Many folks think Democrat and Mormons don't belong in the same sentence, except with "hate" or "aren't" in between. Well, Majority Leader Harry Reid seeks to change all that, but first he has to overcome the culture of the church members themselves.
Despite the fact that Reid held weekly Family Home Evenings and sent three sons on two-year missions for the church, and all five of his children were married in LDS temples, some members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints question his faith because of his politics.
What more can the guy do? He is pro-life, but votes for against anti-choice judges out of party loyalty. He drinks neither alcohol, coffee, tea, or soda. The Democratic Party has lots of religious diversity and religiosity.
Same for Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who noted that Reid is a Mormon, Majority Whip-elect Richard Durbin is a Catholic and Charles Schumer, head of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, is Jewish.
Abortion and gay rights are the big two 'values' issues that tend to keep Latter-Day Saints opposed to the Democratic Party. But the party is home to many pro-lifers, like Senator-Elect Bob Casey, and many pro-traditional marriage members too, like Tennessee's U.S. Rep. Lincoln Davis. True, these folks are in the minority in the party and that the presidential candidates must be pro-choice and pro-gay rights to be the nominee, but it doesn't mean these folks can't be proud Democrats in the State House, the Governor's Mansions, the House and the Senate. The reverse can't be said for Republicans who are much more homogenized.
What unites Democrats is caring for people: raising the minimum wage, supporting the right to organize labor, improving health care, reducing taxes on the poor and middle class, caring for the elderly, equal rights for racial/ethnic minorities, and so on.
What unites Republicans is lower taxes. It used to be smaller government, but then congressional Bush Republicans decided to pork their way into "permanent power." I guess it is still smaller government social programs, but it also includes eliminating premarital sex, no gay sex, no gay marriage, no division between church and state, and no social welfare for the poor, the elderly, the young.
Since there are 3 Casey's for every one Rudy G's, and Democrats love to squabble between themselves, I say welcome to my LDS brethern who are tired of giving their social services away to tax cuts for the rich, who are tired of politicians professing their 'faith' in order to humor you for votes but never deliver, who talk about gay marriage and abortion all day long, but never address the root cause of abortion (poverty, lack of sex education, lack of contraception, rape, incest, abuse, misfortune).