Election 2012: Catholic and Mormon Voters Face a Difficult Choice Between Obama and Romney
Religion has played an increasingly dominant -- and sometimes volatile -- role in politics in recent years. But what happens when religious beliefs conflict with a political party's platform? Or when voters have to square conflicting beliefs within their own church?
Kyle T. Webster
In this week's feature story, Monica Alonzo dissects the Catholic conundrum and Mormon dilemma faced by many voters in this year's election.
For Latino voters, many who are Catholic and others Mormon, the choice between Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama is made all the more difficult because of debates revolving around a host of social issues, including abortion and immigration reform.
Romney, who once supported a woman's right to choose, now is staunchly pro-life. He also opposes the DREAM Act and calls Arizona's SB 1070 immigration law, "a model for the nation." Obama, on the other hand, favors abortion rights, passed a version of the DREAM Act (without any Republican support), and brought a federal lawsuit against SB 1070.
"...Both Mormon and Catholic doctrines preach anti-abortion and traditional family values that align with the Republican way. At the same time, church leaders also publicly adopted a Democrat-esque, humane approach to immigration enforcement, including a path to citizenship.
"The softer stance stems from a growing number of undocumented immigrants converting to Mormonism -- an estimated 70 percent of Latino Mormons are undocumented. In the Catholic Church, where membership is steadily declining, immigrants are offsetting those losses."
Yet the church, whether Mormon or Catholic, continues to dictate to followers that they should vote against abortion rights and gay marriage, regardless of their stance on immigration. With Latino voters' political leanings and faith at odds, many feel they face an almost impossible choice.
Read Alonzo's full stories, "Catholic Conundrum: What's an Anti-Abortion, Pro-Immigrant Voter to Do?"