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Christian Conservative Cautions Mitt Romney: 'Want Our Vote? Don't 'Spin' Your Mormon Faith!'

Author warns that "strategy of silence" will backfire with evangelical voters come November

PHOENIX, Jan. 4, 2012 — Mitt Romney may be the odds-on favorite to win the Republican nomination, but if he continues to be tight-lipped concerning his Mormon faith, it's doubtful he will become the 45th president of the United States.

"Voters want to hear from Mitt Romney how his Mormon faith will affect his presidency, and Romney had better tell them, or in my view he will lose the presidential election," explains Christian conservative scholar Andrew Jackson, D.Min., a former professor at Regent University and Phoenix Seminary, in his latest book, The Mormon Faith of Mitt Romney: What Latter-Day Saints Teach & Practice.

Book Cover Image:

Although he carries the name of the seventh president of the United States, Jackson's purpose is not political, but to present Americans with a concise and thorough introduction to what Latter-day Saints (LDS) officially teach and practice today.

While the author admits that he'll vote for Romney if he wins the Republican nomination, he explains: "As an Evangelical Christian, I am bothered, and even suspicious, that Mitt Romney refuses to openly and honestly explain his Mormon faith to the public and how it would or would not shape his presidency."

He adds, "When people ask Romney honest questions about his Mormon faith, and he tells them to go read the official websites of the LDS Church … I wonder, 'Does the Mormon Church speak for you? Do you believe everything the official LDS websites say, or do you think for yourself on some issues of your personal faith?'"

Read author Andrew Jackson's 10 key questions reporters should ask Mitt Romney about his Mormon faith at:

Jackson says that those advising Romney toward a "strategy of silence" have it all wrong: "This evasive style concerning his Mormon faith will only reinforce a growing public image that he is plastic and slick, and it will actually backfire on him as voters are looking more and more for authentic and straight-talking leaders."

Instead, Jackson cautions, Romney must embrace his Mormon heritage and begin to speak from the heart concerning his faith — especially to Christian conservatives, who accounted for 60 percent of the Iowa GOP caucus electorate in 2008.

"Throughout our history, Americans have tolerated our presidents advocating a very diverse brand of Christianity, and I believe they would also tolerate a Mormon president, if he were open, honest, transparent and a straight talker."

While Romney can't make millions of people comfortable with Mormonism, he can make millions of Americans feel comfortable voting for a Mormon president, the author says.

He concludes: "Many Americans might not agree with Romney's Mormon faith, but I believe they will embrace an honest heart that speaks straight to them, without pretense or spin."

Matthew Green

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