(Update: For more on this issue, please see The Bloggernacle Times) Andrew Sullivan, a so called conservative blogger, who happens also to be “gay” has a series of posts over at the Daily Dish, the content of which reveals an unabashed anti-Mormon religious bigotry. He starts with this ludicrous post denying that believing members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are Christian. Opines Sullivan:

But Muslims also revere Jesus. And the inspiration for Mormonism’s radically innovative understanding of the message and life of Jesus – Joseph Smith’s “discovery” – is so alien to mainstream Christianity (and so transparently loopy) that I don’t consider Mormons Christians. This is not to say I don’t support their religious freedom or their right to play a full part of American politics and society. But they’re not Christians as I understand Christianity.

So, according to Mr. Sullivan since Muslims revere Jesus Christ somehow Mormons are not Christian? I’m not sure when Mr. Sullivan was anointed gate keeper of acceptable defined Christianity. Can you imagine Mr. Sullivan’s reaction were I to opine on this blog that professed gays are not Christian because they live a lifestyle morally repugnant to the wholesome and pure Christian lifestyle of Biblical as well as revealed and restored Christianity? “Homophobe” would hurl in my direction so fast it would make your head spin. Frankly, Mr. Sullivan, it doesn’t matter whether you consider Mormons, loopy or not, to be Christian. This type of religious bigotry is no less bigotry than those who hurl the racial epithet “nigger” without regard for its obscene and shameful impact on the recipient.

Not content with his anti-Christian rant, Mr. Sullivan then posts a few days later, on the distasteful topic of “Mormon Sacred Underwear” as though this were a topic fit for the national debate:

Here’s an official guide. Alas, no pictures. (If someone has some visuals, could they please send them to me?) So Mitt Romney will never have to answer the boxers or briefs question. But will he tell us whether he wears Mormon underwear at all times, including when asleep?

Apparently at the time of this post he had no “visuals” of the LDS garment (though a quick google search would produce over 200,000 hits) so, he publicly requests photos be forwarded to him, which he promptly republishes on his own site. What possible point does such a post accomplish? This is the type of National Enquirer, gutter religious story that only demeans one who so callously publishes it. Mr. Sullivan’s true motivation is clearly both a political and religious slur at Governor Mitt Romney.

In his very next post, Mr. Sullivan continues his religious jihad against Mormons with his follow up post on “Underwear Prejudice” and at the same time attempts to justify his religious bigotry:

A Mormon reader writes:

Many of us consider posting photographs of Mormon undergarments to be sacreligious and offensive. Yes, we wear these garments at all times, except during swimming, athletic, bathing, and other activities where it would be impractical. They are made from a variety of textiles, and are comfortable to sleep in, being really not far removed from long johns. Many religious groups, and not just ours, wear clothing as a symbol of religious adherence. Ours, we wear as a reminder of our commitments, but not in public view, because we are reminding ourselves, not making a spectacle. Hence, underclothing. Additionally, they are cut in such a way as to require us to adhere to church modesty standards.

My policy on this site is to publish reality, within certain boundaries of religious respect. If I can publish a cartoon of Muhammad, I can sure publish tasteful pictures of Mormon underwear. Until today, I had no idea that LDS members even wore undergarments mandated by their church. The pictures provided come from Wikipedia. Is it sacreligious for Wikipedia to publish them? I mean no disrespect. It’s a largely irrelevant issue. The racial history of the LDS church is far more pertinent to Romney’s candidacy. And none of this would be relevant at all, if the Republicans did not now base their politics on explicitly religious appeals. You wanna play by the rules of theoconservatism? Then deal with the consequences.

The reality of your site, Mr. Sullivan is well beyond the bounds of any religious respect. Yes, it is sacreligious for Wikipedia, you, or anyone else to publish these types of photographs. And, you do indeed mean disrespect. You mean to disrespect, demean and belittle, an entire religious movement as well as a prominent national political candidate solely for his religious views and practices. Why? Because you don’t like his political or religious views. So, rather than engage in legitimate and meaningful political debate on these issues, you take potshots at Governor Romney and an entire world wide religious movement.

You know from at least one LDS emailer that your conduct in these posts is extremely offensive to LDS members worldwide. Yet, rather than show the respect and decorum you claim to have you continue to belittle and demean for the sake of political gain. If anyone’s Christian conduct is in question Mr. Sullivan it is yours. These bigoted religious posts sink to the lowest common denominator. And,it is quite evident you relish in it. How pathetic!

Any credible, and respected status the Daily Dish once held as a blog of political commentary vanished today in a flurry of mainstream religious bigotry.