In our current political polarization, politics has often trumped people’s commitment to truth. It has also often trumped people’s commitment to morality and principles such as freedom of religion. A welcome exception is the Mormons. The case of Roy Moore has provided a test. Here is what Kurt Andersen writes in the article linked above:
… while I find their religious beliefs as extreme and strange as I do those of most American Protestants, Mormons seem more consistently virtuous and disciplined in the ways they live their lives.
In the Trump era, compared to the rest of the religious Republican base, they have walked that walk as citizens. Nationally, Trump’s share of the Mormon vote was 20 percent less than he got from white evangelical voters. In Utah, as The New York Times noted, more people voted against Donald Trump than for him in the general election.
Jeff Flake, one of five Republican U.S. senators who are Mormon, represents Arizona, the state with the fifth most Mormons. Right after Roy Moore won the Alabama Senate nomination in September, Flake was “the only Republican lawmaker to criticize Moore” according to The Washington Post—weeks before Flake announced he was leaving the Senate. Later he elaborated on his displeasure, focusing on Islamophobia, saying Moore’s “belief that a Muslim should not be a member of Congress because of his faith … was wrong.”
In response to the variously grotesque defenses of Moore, Flake tweeted: “Come on, Republicans. Is this who we are? This cannot be who we are.” …
America’s most famous Mormon Republican, the one who declined to endorse Trump in 2016 because of his “trickle-down racism, trickle-down bigotry, trickle-down misogyny,” and who said in August that Trump’s “apologists strain to explain that he didn’t mean what we heard” concerning Charlottesville, remarks that had “caused racists to rejoice.” Mitt Romney stepped up first thing Friday morning, making superb use of Twitter’s new 280-character limit, advancing the logic of the case by batting away other Republicans’ main line of defense: “Innocent until proven guilty is for criminal convictions, not elections. I believe Leigh Corfman. Her account is too serious to ignore. Moore is unfit for office and should step aside.”
… Latter-Day Saints were the brave, virtuous avant garde, and as ridiculous as I find their supernatural beliefs, they are in this instance an outpost of true, real-world righteousness in a party in the grip of a terrible Faustian bargain.