What happened
Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney over the weekend defended his Mormon faith against criticism from some evangelical Christians that it is a cult—a belief fueled by rival candidate Mike Huckabee’s recent remarks. (FOXNews.com)

What the commentators said
“Mormons aren’t Christians,” said Rod Dreher in The Dallas Morning News. That’s not meant as a “criticism.” It’s just fact that—while Mormons claim Jesus Christ as their savior—“Mormonism rejects foundational doctrines of traditional Christian orthodoxy” and it’s impossible to reconcile the two.

That doesn’t make the “bigoted” attitude any easier to stomach, said Kenneth Anderson in The Weekly Standard. “Am I the only one to find tiresome the endless trop among Christians of this country that they wish they could have (wholesome, good hearted) Mormons without (cultish, anti-Christian) Mormonism?”

Romney’s recent big speech on faith certainly didn’t put the matter to rest, said Michelle Boorstein in The Washington Post (free registration). Some Mormons felt he didn’t go far enough to explain “how Mormonism differs from other faiths that believe in Jesus.” Others were angry that he said anything at all.

Mormonism is an easy mark, said James Carroll in The Boston Globe (free registration). Prophet Joseph Smith’s origins in upstate New York seem “disqualifyingly banal,” and “what Mormons believe is outlandish.” But isn’t “every religion a religion of myth”?