In the latest chapter of a quirky Republican primary subplot, a group of Mormon libertarians is paying to display a large billboard in Orem, Utah aimed, in part, at antagonizing their coreligionist, Mitt Romney.
The billboard, which will go up on Friday and is sponsored by libertarian advocacy group LDS Liberty, asks a provocative (to Utahns) question: "Why did Spencer W. Kimball say: 'We are a warlike people?'" The sign then directs readers to visit a website featuring a little-known sermon by Kimball, past president of the Mormon Church, condemning the overly aggressive nature of America's military.
The overarching goal is to persuade Mormon Republicans that their faith is out of step with the their party's interventionist, neoconservative tendencies, an organizer told BuzzFeed. But he said that the message is especially relevant now that Latter-day Saints are lining up behind Romney, whose foreign policy platform is marked by hawkish Iran rhetoric and urgent calls for Navy-building.
"I personally think Romney's foreign policy is egregious and at odds with the principles of his faith," said LDS Liberty organizer Connor Boyack, adding, "One can look at these talks from prophets and see that Romney is out of touch with them."
This isn't the first time Mormon libertarians have had fun needling Romney. In Nevada last month, a group called Mormons for Ron Paul blitzed the press with soundbites about how Romney's views were contrary to their religion.
They also handed out these pins:
McKay Coppins is a senior writer for the BuzzFeed News politics team, and the author of The Wilderness, about the battle over the future of the Republican Party.
Contact McKay Coppins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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