President of the House of Deputies Bonnie Anderson is quoted in the Boston Globe today:
Some leaders of mainline Protestant denominations, meanwhile, are fuming over Santorum’s accusation that their churches have “gone from the world of Christianity.’’
“It is upsetting and kind of bizarre that a candidate has gone out of his way to question the faith of about a quarter of the US population,’’ said Bonnie Anderson, the president of the House of Deputies of the Episcopal Church. Speaking as the top elected lay leader of the worldwide church and a member of a Michigan congregation, Anderson said, “People are tired of seeing faith used as a political weapon, and Mr. Santorum might want to ask himself whether he and other politicians are contributing to this problem. I think it is very possible that he is.’’
In taking on mainline Protestant churches, Santorum risks alienating a large group of people who include many general election swing voters. White mainline Protestants make up 18 percent of the US population, and historically African-American Protestant churches account for 7 percent, according to a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Evangelicals make up 26 percent, Catholics are 24 percent, and Mormons and Jews are each 1.7 percent, the survey found.