Stephanopoulos Challenges Romney's Depiction of Mormon Theology

When's the last time you saw an MSMer dispute a politician on the tenets of his own faith? It happened today on Good Morning America when George Stephanopoulos challenged Mitt Romney's depiction of a tenet of Mormonism.

Weekend GMA host Kate Snow noted to the "This Week" host that at a Mitt Romney event Friday someone called out to the candidate that he didn't "know the Lord." Snow asked George to what extent Romney's Mormonism might be a "big hurdle" for him.

Stephanopoulos: "Polls certainly show that it is. He faces a lot of skepticism from evangelical Christians. When I spoke with him, I asked him how Muslims might perceive the Mormon belief that Jesus will return to the United States and reign personally here for a thousand years."

GMA then rolled a clip of Romney saying the following: "Our belief is just like it says in the Bible, that the Messiah will come to Jerusalem, stand on the Mount of Olives, and the Mount of Olives will be a place where there's a great gathering, and so forth. It's the same as the other Christian tradition."

Stephanopoulos: "Actually, we checked in with a Mormon spokesman who said that's not exactly true. They believe the New Jerusalem is here in the United States, in Missouri, and that's where Jesus is going to come."

View video here.

Just what was George's point? Is he concerned that Mormon theology would make Romney less appealing to Muslim voters in the U.S.? Or perhaps that it would undermine his effectiveness as president in dealing with Muslim countries?

In any case, ABC has now conferred with a religious spokesman for purposes of challenging a public figure on his religious beliefs. Should we expect to see ABC challenge pro-choice and pro-gay rights Christians and Jews with statements from spokesmen from their respective faiths? Will ABC challenge Muslim guests with statements from Islamic experts? Or does ABC limit its theological challenges exclusively to Mormons?

Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.