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Despite Evidence To Contrary, Hugh Hewitt Blames Liberals For Anti-Mormon Prejudice Against Mitt Romney

Reported by Ellen - March 13, 2007 -

Hugh Hewitt, who once deliberately sicced his readers on us, was a guest on Hannity & Colmes last night (3/12/07) to tout the candidacy of Mitt Romney. Hewitt has a new book out about Romney. Hewitt's appearance came immediately after a double segment of a Romney interview with Sean Hannity, only. Fair and balanced? Not. Then, despite the fact that evangelical Christians have a major problem with the Mormon religion, Hewitt blamed liberals for any bigotry Romney may face. With video.

Alan Colmes did a good job of arguing that the problems with Romney are not so much his religion but his flip-flops on such issues as abortion and gay rights. He presented a number of quotes of Romney's proving that he has changed his stance.

Hewitt, without citing any proof, claimed that Romney's "flip-flpping was invented by the liberal media."

Colmes countered with another quote of Romney saying, “You will not see me wavering” on abortion." Now, of course, Romney has changed his stance completely.

Hewitt made the dubious declaration that conservatives are too smart not to endorse Romney despite his changes in philosophy. Then he made the even more dubious declaration that his problems will be "with anti-Mormon bigots on the left.”

In fact, as Hewitt almost surely knows, it's evangelicals Christians (not a big liberal voting bloc) who have the problems with Romney's religion. To quote from a September 2005 article in Washington Monthly by Amy Sullivan,

But moderate Republicans aren't the ones who could derail a Romney candidacy. His obstacle is the evangelical base--a voting bloc that now makes up 30 percent of the Republican electorate and that wields particular influence in primary states like South Carolina and Virginia. Just as it is hard to overestimate the importance of evangelicalism in the modern Republican Party, it is nearly impossible to overemphasize the problem evangelicals have with Mormonism.

...Evangelical Christians consider Mormonism a threat in a way that Catholicism and even Judaism are not. The LDS Church, they charge, has perverted Christian teachings to create a false religion. As John L. Smith, a Southern Baptist who runs Utah Mission--an organization that tries to convert Mormons--told Christianity Today: "Mormonism is either totally true or totally false. If it's true, every other religion in America is false." To be tolerant of Mormonism is to put evangelical Christianity at risk. And to put a Mormon in the White House would be to place a stamp of approval on that faith.

Southern Baptists have been particularly vocal about labeling the LDS Church a "cult." In 1997, the denomination published a handbook and video, both with the title The Mormon Puzzle: Understanding and Witnessing to Latter-day Saints. More than 45,000 of these kits were distributed in the first year; the following year--in a throwing down of the proselytizing gauntlet--the Southern Baptist Convention held its annual meeting in Salt Lake City. Around the same time, a speaker at the denomination's summit on Mormonism declared that Utah was "a stronghold of Satan." When Richard Mouw, president of the evangelical Fuller Theological Seminary, tried to repair relations with the LDS community by apologizing on behalf of evangelicals during a speech in the Mormon Tabernacle last year, his conservative brethren lashed out. Mouw had no right, they declared in an open letter, to speak for them or apologize for denouncing Mormon "false prophecies and false teachings."

A June 2005 article in the conservative publication The Weekly Standard echoed those conclusions: "Protestants and Catholics who are serious about their Christian faith are likely to see Mormonism as heretical in key respects, even non-Christian... The question is especially relevant with respect to evangelical Protestants... One evangelical leader offered this succinct take on whether Romney's faith would hurt him in the primaries: 'Against Giuliani, no. Against Frist, yes. Against [Rick] Santorum, yes. Against Arnold [Schwarzenegger, who is ineligible], no.'" (from Page 2 of the article)

Colmes told Hewitt, “You want to blame the liberals for everything.”

Hewitt responded, “Because they’re usually responsible... The left is using (his religion) to bleed him."