Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney should address how his Mormon beliefs influence his views on women and the policies affecting them, writes Liza Mundy, Bernard L. Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation, for Zócalo Public Square.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds a separate-spheres philosophy explicitly proclaiming the chief role of the father to preside, provide, and protect, while the role of the mother is to nurture children. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 60 percent of Mormons believe the best marriage is one in which the husband works and the wife stays home with the children — an opinion held by fewer than one-third of Americans overall.
Whether Romney agrees or disagrees with aspects of his church’s stance on gender roles is unclear, as he regularly avoids answering questions about his religion, writes Mundy, the author of The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners is Transforming Sex, Love and Family. Mundy argues in her article that the media seems to treat questions about his faith as “taboo,” which is a disservice to voters who deserve to know where the potential future president stands on his church’s teachings about women.
“We deserve to know our presidential candidates, to have them explain to us their formative experiences, associations, and influences,” Mundy writes. “Mormonism has clearly been important to Romney throughout his life. What that means for a Romney presidency is a legitimate question: one we shouldn’t be left to draw our own conclusions about.”
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