"Doesn't he know we have separation of church and state in this country?" was the reaction of many religious Republicans, outraged by Republican Senator Mitt Romney's jarring act of voting with his conscience to convict United States President Donald Trump of the crime of abuse of power at the president's impeachment trial.
"I heard he even prayed for guidance on what to do," said Miranda Hill of Kansas City, Missouri. "Which wouldn't be so bad in and of itself, but then he went and actually did it!"
Hill was far from alone in her censure of Romney's conduct. "He let his religious morals influence his behavior," said Kenneth Stockwell, a Catholic living in Boston, Massachusetts. "That's so wrong." Referring to Romney's affiliation with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, he noted, "Mormons can be extreme that way."
Lucas Reilly, of Nashville, Tennessee, explained that as a "regular Christian, "his own loyalties never once swayed from the Commander-in-Chief. And he described Romney's decision to act in accordance with his fundamental sense of right and wrong as incredibly divisive - to both the Republican Party and Christianity itself. "Think about what would happen if we all just did what we really, deep-down, thought was right, rather than go along with our political party," he said. "It would be pandemonium."
Kip Harris, a self-described "heathen" living in New York City, was likewise troubled by Romney's decision not to toe the Republican party line, and to vote to convict Trump - albeit for very different reasons. "I admit, I get a kick out of poking fun at religious people for being hypocrites and nuts," he said. "Romney took a little bit of the wind out of my sails."
He added, "He's still nuts, though. The latter holds true." He chuckled. "Mormon joke - get it?"