With Mormons Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman in the 2012 presidential hunt, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has decided to sit out the race—aggressively if necessary, the Wall Street Journal reports. “We not only don’t want to cross the line between religion and politics, we don’t want to go anywhere near the line,” one church official says.
Instead, the church has devoted its energies to fighting any whiff of anti-Mormon sentiment. In May, for instance, it responded to an essay on an obscure evangelical website with a fiery op-ed in the Washington Post. At the same time, it's spreading the word that it doesn't back either candidate. This apolitical turn might be surprising after its recent vigorous campaign against gay marriage in California, but leaders say they now distinguish between “moral issues” which they’ll campaign for, and political ones, which they won’t. (Read more Mitt Romney stories.)