Liberal Mormons: A minority within a minority

ST. GEORGE, Utah (RNS) U.S. Mormons overwhelmingly share the party affiliation of Republican presidential nominee and fellow Mormon Mitt Romney, but there are liberal-leaning members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are finding their voice and supporting President Obama in the election.

Crystal Young-Otterstrom, chairwoman of LDS Dems, an official caucus of the Utah Democratic Party, said the caucus met with other Mormon Democrats across the nation for the first time during this summer’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

Still, Young-Otterstrom described Mormon Democrats as a “minority within a minority.”

According to a Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life study released in January, 74 percent of Mormons in the United States are Republicans or lean toward the Republican Party. Only 17 percent are Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party.

Romney’s candidacy might give some the impression that Mormonism aligns with conservatism, but Jen Nuckols, a 31-year-old Seattle social worker, said that is not always the case.

“I’m a Democrat because I’m a Mormon,” she said. “So much of what Jesus taught about in the New Testament was about caring for the poor, the fatherless, the oppressed, and not judging people who have less than us. I think those are things that are taught from the pulpit at church, and I see those beliefs reflected in the Democratic Party.”

The website Mormonliberals.org invokes a similar statement by the most prominent Mormon Democrat, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.: “I’m a liberal because I’m a Mormon, not in spite of it.”

Read on at USA Today.

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