Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch made headlines yesterday when he claimed that Democrats will "smear" Mitt Romney for his Mormon faith during the general election.
Hatch's claim is ridiculous. In fact, it is right-wing politicians and pundits who keep on "warning" us that Democrats will attack Romney's faith -- and then use those "warnings" as opportunities to slam Mormonism themselves.
The American Family Association's Bryan Fischer, like others on the Religious Right, has continually attacked Mormons, even going so far as to say their faith shouldn't be protected by the First Amendment and claiming that a Mormon president would threaten the "spiritual health" of the nation. But Fischer warned in a column yesterday that the "the out-of-the-mainstream media" will attack "every unusual thing Mormons have ever believed or done" -- helpfully listing a litany of things he deems "unusual" about Mormonism.
The Southern Baptist Convention's Richard Land has likewise claimed that progressives will make Romney's faith a campaign issue -- while he himself insists that Mormonism is "technically... a cult."
The Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody used the same tactic this week when he posted a video of a Ron Paul supporter grilling Romney on quotes from Mormon scripture -- and then claiming that Democrats and liberals will be the ones to attack Romney's faith.
The Values Voter Summit, the Religious Right's marquee event, fell apart last year after the pastor who introduced Gov. Rick Perry repeated his claims that Mormonism is a "cult" that worships a "false god."
Meanwhile, one of the most powerful Democrats in the country, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, hasn't been held back by any progressive backlash to his Mormon faith.
Romney is receiving attacks on his faith. But, as much as the right-wing media is trying to spin it otherwise, those attacks are not coming from progressives.
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