Rep. Judy Manning must think there are no Mormons, Muslims or people who are respectful of other faiths in her Cobb County district. In an article published by the right-leaning Marietta Daily Journal, Manning said the following:
“I think Mitt Romney is a nice man, but I’m afraid of his Mormon faith,” Manning said. “It’s better than a Muslim. Of course, every time you look at the TV these days you find an ad on there telling us how normal they are. So why do they have to put ads on the TV just to convince us that they’re normal if they are normal? … If the Mormon faith adhered to a past philosophy of pluralism, multi-wives, that doesn’t follow the Christian faith of one man and one woman, and that concerns me.”
Her characterization of Mormons as "not normal" and of Muslims as worse than that is disrespectful from anyone. It's disappointing and harmful coming from an elected official. Once elected, she represents everyone -- not just people whose faith she has taken the time to study and understand. In Cobb County, and parts of surrounding counties, that includes about 2,000 Mormons from four congregations or wards.
Rep. Manning should apologize immediately. If she doesn't apologize, Georgia House leaders should remove her from her leadership position as the Chairman for the Children and Youth Committee.
Instead she will probably stand by the offensive comment and be celebrated by her colleagues.
What's sad about Rep. Manning's comments is that it's a bit surprising. She has been described as a thoughtful, well-respected lawmaker. She once served as Chair of the Cobb County Republican Women’s Club and, according to her official bio, has served in different offices for the Women’s Legislative Caucus. Surprisingly, she is also a two-time recipient of the Legislator of the Year award.