I wondered how Romney’s faith shapes his foreign policy worldview. Larison points out that there “are many observant Mormons in America and around the world that don’t subscribe to the American nationalist triumphalism that Romney embraces, and there are quite a few non-Mormons that approve of this triumphalism and describe it in virtually identical terms”:

Believing a nation to be favored by God doesn’t necessarily imply that the nation is free to do whatever it wants. If the belief is a genuine one, it implies that the nation has duties to God and cannot act contrary to God’s will. Indeed, being favored by God theoretically imposes a higher standard of conduct on the nation in question. Replacing or conflating God’s will with whatever is expedient or useful for the nation would appear to a genuine believer to be the worst kind of blasphemy and impiety. Of course, the belief could just as easily be turned into a license for aggression if that is what one wants to do with it. In other words, it is more likely that Romney is an aggressive American nationalist and hegemonist and then interprets (or ignores) teachings of his religion in a manner most consistent with that view.