I think your question gets right to the heart of how coverage of religion skirts signicant issues. Mitt Romney throws this question into relief. There is a very real way in which Mormonism IS an ethnicity, in that there is a distinct culture with which its adherents identify strongly and which shapes many of their assumptions about how things are, how authority works, and the "rightness" of one's own outlook. Not limited to Mormonism by any means. But we are faced with a candidate for whom these things will certainly be a significant factor in how he defines his role should he become president, and it will play a huge role in the underlying paradigm that will drive his agenda. To address your question directly, my sense is that to Romney, there is no conflict: the Mormon church and its accompanying culture has a built-in dichotamy that dismisses the apparent conflict. No reconciliation is necessary, because this dichotomy is already built in and not questioned.
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