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Jon Stewart skewers critics of Romney's Mormonism

Published May 3, 2012 10:00 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The subject of Mitt Romney and his Mormon faith came up last night on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart."

But Stewart wasn't making fun of Mormonism - his targets were people zealously attacking Romney because of his faith.

Stewart started with a few digs at evangelical Christians who attacked Romney during the Republican primaries, but are now endorsing him. Stewart summed up the shifting attitude: "Simple math: I hate Barack Obama more than I love Jesus."

But the bulk of Stewart's segment was aimed at two MSNBC hosts — Martin Bashir and Lawrence O'Donnell — who have gone after Romney and Mormonism.

First up was Bashir, shown in a video clip quoting a passage of the Book of Mormon about lying — which says liars would go to hell, along with "the whoremonger and the sorcerer."

"Really?," said Stewart. "Whoremonger and the sorcerer? Is that from the Book of Mormon or is that MSNBC's new debate show?"

Then Stewart played a clip of O'Donnell attacking Joseph Smith (in comments O'Donnell later apologized for), and another clip talking about the LDS Church's less-than-stellar record in African-American relations - including a claim that Brigham Young believed that a Mormon man would "die on the spot" if he had sex with a black woman.

Stewart called it unfair for O'Donnell to make Romney answer for everything ever said by a Mormon leader, finishing off with this statement:

"You can't cherry-pick the worst aspects of a religion and then hold every member of that religion solely responsible for it.... It's not like Mitt Romney will pursue policies that are unfair to black people because he's a Mormon. He'll do that because he's a Republican."