This week marked the ignition of the new online journal Religion & Politics with some familiar Dialogue faces participating. Board Member Max Mueller serves as associate editor and Dialogue Associate Editor Matt Bowman contributes a thought-provoking essay.
Within this inaugural issue, there are two Mormon-related pieces. Mueller writes on “When Romney Was a Mormon President” explaining “…considering his service to the LDS Church, “pastor-in-chief” may be an accurate way to frame a large part of Romney’s presidential campaign résumé. After all, for over fourteen years, he was one of the most powerful Mormons in New England, first as the bishop of his home church in Belmont, then as Boston Stake president, the region’s highest ecclesiastical authority. Mitt Romney helped shape the Boston-area Mormon Church and in turn it helped shape him as a political candidate. In fact, with more than a third of his adult life spent serving the LDS Church, Mitt Romney’s business has, until recently, been more religion than politics.”
And, as mentioned above, Bowman shares his thoughts as “A Mormon Scholar (Meeting) Latter-day Libertarians” describing what he learned a lunch with Connor Boyack: “Boyack and other Mormon libertarians argue that their preferred policy choices are not merely political. They are theological, rooted in a particular interpretation of Mormon teachings about how the cosmos operates. Their devotion to Ron Paul is not simply a reasoned decision about which of several political platforms might be best for the country. It is, in the fullest sense of the word, religious. That adjective should not be taken as a synonym for fanatical or cultish. Rather, it is to say that Connor Boyack believes that if Ron Paul (who is, let’s remember not a Mormon) is elected president, American politics might fall into greater harmony with God’s will, and thus human freedom, potential and happiness will have the opportunity to be most fully realized.”
Bloggers have already pounced on this announcement with Juvenile Instructor’s Ben Park explaining “If you are a fan of the combustible blend of religion and politics that has played a large role in American history, then today is your Christmas.”
And Max Mueller introduces R&P in a guest post at By Common Consent and poses two questions:
“First, how far into the religious worlds of our political candidates should we go?
Second, what should we do with the information and observations we make about these religious worlds?”
Dialogue is pleased to welcome this exciting online initiative and will be following the exploits and explorations of Religion & Politics.