When Dallas First Baptist Church pastor Robert Jeffress endorsed Mitt Romney this week, it raised some eyebrows. Jeffress, after all, was the evangelical leader who roiled last year’s Value Voters Summit by casually telling reporters that Mitt Romney was “not a Christian,” but instead a member of the Mormon “cult.” His endorsement should serve as a warning to any Democrats who expect that evangelical distaste for Mormonism will cost Mitt Romney a significant number of votes. Most conservative evangelical political activists, like Jeffress, have long since subordinated any theological concerns about political leaders to a cultural agenda where all are welcome allies.
There’s nothing mysterious about this phenomenon, and it doesn’t reflect dishonesty, either. Jeffress himself explained his endorsement of Romney in pretty clear terms: