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Conservative Christian leaders focus on Romney's policies, not his Mormonism

Published September 11, 2012 5:08 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

More than two dozen Christian conservatives are trying to put theological debates about presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Mormonism to rest by focusing on the policies outlined in the GOP's new national platform.

In a letter delivered Friday to Romney, the leaders acknowledged that some conservatives have "tempered their enthusiasm for sound governing principles by their concern over differences in a candidate's theological doctrine."

But, the leaders said, "it is time to remind ourselves that civil government is not about a particular theology but rather about public policy."

Signatories of the letter include the two sons of the late Jerry Falwell, leading Catholic anti-abortion activist Rev. Frank Pavone, and GOP strategist Ralph Reed. Polls repeatedly show that, while most social conservatives favor Romney, nearly a quarter still express discomfort with his LDS faith.

The 28 signers of the letter to Romney said the principles of the GOP's platform — with planks opposing abortion and defining marriage as between one man and one woman — are "squarely within the Judeo-Christian tradition."

On NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, Romney spoke of "the Judeo-Christian ethics that I was brought up with" and credited them with helping him decide to run for president.

Other signatories of the letter include Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Samaritan's Purse President Franklin Graham, former Vatican Ambassador Raymond Flynn, Focus on the Family President Jim Daly and National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference President Samuel Rodriguez.