Conservative Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn, who has decried criticism of his past writings as an attack on his Christian faith, knocked Mormon theology as “blatant heresy” in a newly unearthed 2006 blog post.
Hagedorn wrote the line in a post pondering whether evangelicals would vote for Mitt Romney, a Mormon who at the time was considered a top contender for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination.
“Here’s the bottom line: Mormon theology is blatant heresy,” Hagedorn wrote in the post WisPolitics.com found using an internet archive. “Mormons are polytheists who believe we can become gods and who believe that both Jesus and Satan are sons of God the Father.”
The campaign of Supreme Court rival Lisa Neubauer, a fellow appeals court judge, declined comment.
But Joanna Beilman-Dulin, research director for One Wisconsin Now, which has criticized past Hagedorn posts, called the comments on Mormonism another example of intolerance from the judge.
“His writings are littered with extreme statements and his record is full of examples of him acting on them in both his personal and professional life,” she said.
Hagedorn consultant Stephan Thompson said the race should be “about judicial philosophy, not theology,” but opponents had turned it into a “disingenuous debate over old blog posts.”
“Judge Hagedorn is running for the Wisconsin Supreme Court to say what the law is, and not what he thinks the law should be,” Thompson said. “Unlike his opponent, he has no religious test for public office and will protect the religious freedom of everyone.”
In the blog post from 2006, the same year he graduated from Northwestern Law School, Hagedorn defined himself as a “conservative evangelical Christian.” He wrote he’s not committed to having an evangelical Christian president, but one who “will most effectively stand up for and implement my values.”
“As I have said before, all things being equal, I would like a President who knows the true God,” he wrote. “But in practice this preference is usually unimportant.”
He added that the president “is not theologian-in-chief” and “good theologians do not necessarily a good President make.” He concluded that he didn’t know if he would vote for Romney, but “his Mormon faith will not be the primary reason why I vote either for or against him. In all likelihood, his faith will have no impact on my vote at all.”
Hagedorn’s campaign said he voted for Romney in the 2012 election.
Hagedorn has been under fire for past blog posts, which argued a U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down an anti-sodomy law could open the door to legalizing bestiality, and for his association with a school that bars employees and students from being in a same-sex relationship.
The Wisconsin Realtors Association last month withdrew its endorsement of Hagedorn and requested he return an $18,000 donation. A source today also confirmed to WisPolitics.com that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce won’t put money into the race. It often sends money to Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce for Wisconsin races, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported the development.