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Opinion

Letters: A helping hand or a handout?

Re “His conservatism may be article of faith for Romney,” Sept. 21

Neither the government nor the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will pay a needy church member’s mortgage, but both offer food assistance. When a church does it, it’s a helping hand; when we all do it (with our tax revenue), it’s a handout.

According to this view, a family of four with a monthly income of $1,200 (and not paying income tax) is self-reliant and taking personal responsibility if it accepts help from the Mormon Church, but it believes itself a victim if it accepts government help.

Access to succor in times of hardship should not be subject to religious affiliation. The resources of a country are greater and more broadly invested than the resources of any church. Only as a country can we ensure domestic tranquillity and promote the general welfare.

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Kevin T. Freeman

Anaheim

As a practicing, believing Mormon who is also a Democrat, I approached your article on Mitt Romney’s conservatism with some trepidation, afraid that I would find myself characterized incorrectly as something that I am not. It never happened. I want to personally thank The Times for an article that was balanced, accurate and sensitive, to both my religious and my political selves.

The Times captured that sense of what it means to be a Mormon in political America. The church’s doctrinal underpinnings were properly expressed, and the political diversity of Mormons (along with our reasons) was treated correctly.

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Jeff Combe

Temple City

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