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McKay Coppins: A call for Mormon Democrats to throw their hats in the ring

Last week, in writing on my blog about what a Mitt Romney presidency

would mean for Mormonism, I shared an experience one of my friends had

while living in Massachusetts.

I wrote: "Shortly after Romney's gubernatorial election, the Boston

Stake planned a 'mini-mission,' in which 60 LDS teenagers spent a

weekend proselyting with the full-time missionaries in Eastern

Massachusetts. In the testimony meeting that followed the activity,

everyone took turns swapping their best rejection stories. The winner

came from a kid who had spent the afternoon knocking on doors near

Cambridge:

"'This really isn't a good day for you guys to talk to me,' a woman

told them after glancing at their nametags. 'I'm a Democrat.'"

I went on to wonder aloud whether this reaction would extend to the

national level if a Latter-day Saint like Romney assumed the

presidency. After all, in today's toxic political environment, it's

hard to imagine any president who is consistently well-liked by more

than half the country's population.

Essentially, I wondered if a Romney election would result in more

conservatives showing interest in the church (thanks to the likes of

Sean Hannity), and more liberals showing disdain for their political

enemy's religion.

Obviously, I would welcome any sincere convert to the church,

regardless of political convictions. But I sometimes worry that the

increase in Mormon involvement in the political realm could result in

an increasingly monogamous Latter-day Saint population. After all,

while there is a handful of Mormon Democrats in Congress, there are far

more LDS Republicans. And if our church is perceived as a one-party

faith, it will likely alienate people who would otherwise accept our

invitation to come unto Christ.

As a fierce independent, I am far from embracing every point in the

Democratic platform, but I do think it's about time more LDS Democrats

throw their hats in the ring. In an ideal world, political ideology

would have no effect on religious faith.

But unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world.