Sunday, November 4, 2012

Beck Acts as a Bridge Between Romney and Evangelical Christians

On radio and on his Internet network, the influential conservative pundit Glenn Beck frequently invokes God, religious freedom and the founding fathers, but he does not regularly discuss his own Mormon faith. But in early September, he broke with practice and hosted a special one-hour show, asking his audience, “Does Mitt Romney’s Mormonism make him too scary or weird to be elected to president of the United States?”

Mr. Beck has not always supported Mr. Romney. (“I think he’s an honorable man, but I don’t trust him,” he said last year.) But as perhaps the best-known Mormon after the Republican presidential candidate and a major influence on evangelical Christians, Mr. Beck has emerged as an unlikely theological bridge between the first Mormon presidential nominee and a critical electorate. At the same time, Mr. Beck’s defense of his and Mr. Romney’s shared faith speaks to the long-frayed relationship between evangelical Christians and Mormons and raises the question of whether evangelicals will ultimately put aside religious differences and vote on common conservative issues.
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