Why is Romney Getting a Get Out of Jail Card on Religion?

One area of American History that caught my interest in college was the history of America’s westward expansion. Like so many children of my age about everything I knew about cowboys and Indians came from watching Lash Larue and Hopalong Cassidy movies at the Lyric Theater on Saturday afternoons in the 1950s.

One aspect never mentioned in those movies was the settlement of Utah by the followers of Brigham Young and Mormonism. Matter of fact, I never knew a Mormon until I moved to California and even after meeting a number of them about all I knew was that they, at one time, practiced plural marriage and didn’t smoke or drink anything with caffeine in it.

In my history courses the Mormon settlement in the West was covered but nothing about their religious beliefs. It wasn’t until later, while reading Irving Stone’s Men to Match My Mountains, that I first became aware of the religious foundations of Mormonism and the religion’s interpretations of New World historic events.

Stone’s book prompted me to engage in further study of Mormonism and to read The Book of Mormon. I ran my collectived notes past several practicing Mormons and they concurred I had my facts in order. During the years I taught the history of America’s West I used these notes as the basis for lecture and discussion. In the succeeding years I’ve continued to pay attention to the church’s ever evolving history and have paid petty close attention to the reception of Mitt Romney in national politics.

I say this to establish some credibility to understanding what conservative columnist Andrew Sullivan wrote about today in his blog, The Dish. Sullivan lays out a scenario involving the consequences of a presidential candidate zealously belonging to a religion that openly and fervently preached racial supremacy and Heavenly exclusion based on race and skin color. The object of his essay is Mormonism and Mitt Romney’s devotion to its tenets. He asks the question, why is Mitt being given a pass for what his religion has accepted as truth while Obama was blistered for his relatively brief association with the Reverend Wright?

If you’re one of those “undecided” voters the media is always alluding to, maybe you could benefit from reading Sullivan’s piece and boning up on Mormon history. If you’re one of the ideologically pure, don’t waste your time, you’re not interested in being challenged anyway.

Click HERE to read Sullivan’s column and watch the several videos he has included.

Also, don’t assume I or Sullivan are attacking Mormons and their beliefs, we’re not. I don’t care what religious views a person has. However, religions come with histories and adherents to those religions have to be aware of and respond to those histories when they go awry. Especially when those adherents are running for the leadership of the American nation.

5 thoughts on “Why is Romney Getting a Get Out of Jail Card on Religion?”

  1. Every religion has its Hogwarts mysticism that rest squarely on the willingness to believe. Faith. But that is not Sullivan’s point. Why is Romney given a pass from his religion’s past and current beliefs about who’s getting into Heaven? Why is Obama boiled in oil because of his associations with the verbally controversial leader of a relatively mainstream Christian church while nobody seems disturbed about the overt racial supremacy of Romney’s Mormon religion? Could it be yet another sign of the racism that has caused the current president so much grief?

  2. Oh, and one I forgot, the earth is only 6000 years old and all the “scientific” evidence to the contrary is a conspiracy by secular leftist communists to lead true believers away.

  3. I admit the Mormons have some pretty crazy beliefs. BUT is it any crazier than a guy coming back from the dead, a guy moving a mountain with his mind, priests turning bread and grape juice into human flesh and blood, a guy making a passage through the sea so that hundreds of people can walk through it then it drowns all the guys chasing them, painting lambs’ blood over your door will protect you, a giant turtle holding up the world, a god sleeping that if he wakes up the world will end?

  4. I hear you, Larry, but, in part, this idea could apply to nearly all of American Christianity, since it once allowed the decimation of the American Indian (native American) population, and defended slavery, to name a couple examples. Indeed, to go on, even many modern American Christians defend the use of coal to make power, drive gas-burning, gas-guzzling cars, even when hybrid, economy and a few full electric transport devices are available. One could go on, but I don’t wish to stray too far from the topic.

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