Remember when conservative religious leaders were piling on Mitt Romney, arguing that his eligibility for the nomination was hampered by his religion? Well, as the other contenders dropped out one by one, so too did the objections to the nation’s first Mormon candidate.

It would have been great if the reason evangelical leaders and others eventually coalesced around Romney were a reevaluation of the misguided impulse to apply a religious test to a candidate. But instead, political expediency seemed to inspire a conclusion that, really, wasn’t Mr. Romney an evangelical in all but name already?

A similar magic happened when Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri revealed an outrageous ignorance of human biology with his “legitimate rape” remark several weeks ago. As most of his party turned against him – at least in part because the statement revealed too much of the extremist anti-choice leanings that have become endemic in GOP policy circles – respected leaders like Gov. Mike Huckabee, a prominent Baptist minister and former presidential candidate, made the rounds expressing his unwavering support.

Religion in the service of politics. What happens when dogma is malleable in the service of electioneering? Suzii Paynter, Director of the Christian Life Commission of the Texas Baptist Convention and head of the Office of Advocacy and Care,
joins us to look at this important question.

Click the “play” button above to hear the extended interview. To download this audio, click here. Transcript coming soon. To hear the entire September 1, 2012 State of Belief Radio program, click here.

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