Mormons shame Evangelical Christians in practicing their faith-based preachings in this election cycle
It took Mormon Utah to say no to Donald Trump’s bombastic, boastful, bullying, and vulgar campaign style. That was the message from Tuesday’s primaries. Those who identify themselves as Born Again and Evangelical Christians continued to vote for Trump in Arizona, as they have across the South. Not so in Utah where Trump was overwhelmingly rejected by Republican voters. Utah is about 65 percent Mormon. Ted Cruz, himself an Evangelical Christian, won largely Mormon Utah, Tuesday, with an overwhelming 69.2 percent of the vote, thereby garnering all of its 40 delegates to the Republican convention. He lost Arizona with a large evangelical population In Utah, Donald Trump finished a distant third, behind John Kasich with only 14 percent of the caucus vote. In raw vote terms, Cruz won over 122,100 voters , in Utah, to Trump’s 24,782.
Idaho is another state with a large Mormon population. In Idaho, Ted Cruz earlier won with 45.4 percent of the vote to Trump’s 28.1 percent (with Rubio still in the race when Idaho voted, he pulled 15.9 percent of the vote). In Idaho’s Madison County, which is predominantly Mormon, Trump received just over 7 percent of the vote.
Mormon’s comprise 23 percent of Idaho’s population, roughly the same percentage as Evangelical Christians. Both stress “love thy neighbor” as central tenets of their faith and both profess a rejection of profanity and vulgarity. As recipients of religious bigotry themselves, Mormons have stressed inclusiveness and religious tolerance in their faith. Indeed, when Trump argued for keeping all Muslims from entering the United States, the Mormon church issued a statement condemning that proposal. When 26 Republican governors, including those from all of the heavily evangelical southern states, proclaimed that Syrian refugees should not come to their states, Utah’s Governor Gary Herbert dissented and welcomed them.
It seems that not only did a majority of Evangelical Christians reject the love thy neighbor doctrine when it came to Syrian refugees but they were not offended enough by Trumps regular demonstrations of profanity, vulgarity and shameless boasting to vote against him, even when one of their own was on the ballot. Indeed, should Donald Trump win the Republican nomination, his sweeping of the evangelical South will prove to have been the linchpin of his campaign.
As one who is neither Mormon or Evangelical Christian, it seems to me that, of the two religious groups, only the Mormons practiced what they preached in this election cycle.