Newt Gingrich Sits Through a Subtly Mormon-Bashing Sermon

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 13 2012 9:42 AM

Newt Gingrich Sits Through a Subtly Mormon-Bashing Sermon

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- My latest piece from the Deep South mega-primary us Newt Gingrich's run as a kaleidoscope; I look at the rest of the election through Newt. At the end of the piece, I take note of the sermon Gingrich heard on Sunday, in a pleasant suburb of Jackson, Miss.

In his sermon, [Pastor Scott Thomas] had compared the son of man to some unnamed nonsavior. “Jesus is not just someone who had multiple wives and claimed he ascended into heaven!” After the speech, I want to check in: Was he talking about Mohammed?
“No,” he says, “that was specifically about Joseph Smith. My point was that we’re in election time. You need to know what people believe. Mitt Romney doesn’t believe Jesus is God. From a spiritual perspective, he might as well be Muslim.”

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That's cental Mississippi, where I expect Romney to come in third place. If he pulls out a win there -- which polling doesn't rule out -- it will happen because newer Southern arrivals, Republican retirees along the coast, come out in droves for him and out-vote the Mormon-skeptics.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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