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A California Mormon Reader Is Pessimistic About His Faith's Influence On Romney
From: A Los Angeles Mormon [Email him]
I don't think it's a matter of intelligence with Mr. Romney, but rather a product of the influence his family and religion have had on him.
His father seemed to be convinced that support of the Civil Rights agenda was a clear choice between good and evil. I think Mitt believes this too.
To him, nothing could be worse than to be considered insensitive to the plight of minorities. But Mitt is extremely vulnerable to just this charge. As a wealthy, white, Mormon, child of privilege, he has had to convince himself that his party and his church truly have the same views on race that he has.
His story about how he pulled over the car and wept when he heard the news in 1978 that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints would allow blacks the priesthood, strikes me as either a lie or the sign of an unbalanced individual. (I write as a lifelong and very active member of the church.)
It was certainly a significant event. We knew it was coming at some point—this had been taught long before there was any political pressure on the church to change—but the old doctrine hadn't particularly bothered me, or anyone I knew in the church. Like some of the Lord’s most difficult commandments, it couldn’t be rationally explained by the facts at hand, but had to be accepted by faith.
To Mitt though, it was obviously quite a burden to bear. How could God have a doctrine that Mitt was uncomfortable explaining?
He has given much the same response to the topic of polygamy. I think he said that he could think of nothing more abhorrent than that practice. [VDARE.com note: Romney said ““There is nothing more awful, in my view, than the violation of the marriage covenant that one has with one’s wife. The practice of polygamy is abhorrent, it’s awful, and it drives me nuts that people who are polygamists keep pretending to use the umbrella of my church.” (Romney, Politics and Religion, By Kate Phillips, NYT, December 3, 2007)]
Now I can't explain why the Lord required it of His Church for a time, or why the ancient prophets practiced it, but I do know that I can think of a lot of things that are more abhorrent than polygamy as practiced by our religion up until 1890.
For Mitt, then, there is that constant battle to prove that although he's rich, white, and Mormon, he truly understands and cares about those who are different.
For this reason, I don't look forward to him offending the large groups of voters who will never vote for him anyway—even if it costs him the election.