I have to thank my friend Kirsten for showing me the link to CNN Religion blog where Tricia Erickson's new book, Can Mitt Romney Serve Two Masters? and Dr. Richard Bushman's great, but expected response to it.
First off, let me state that I have great respect for Dr. Bushman but frankly, he is to apologetic for me. Mormonism has become a big interest of mine in the past year and although I have never taken a class with Dr. Bushman (because of personal and academic reasons) I must say that I already knew what he was going to state.
His comments: "Mormonism has become this in the recent years.." or "Mormonism is gaining more respect than just being seen as 'that weird religion with rituals and such.." but more importantly, his comment:
"Both Dekker and Erikson are one-time Mormons who became disillusioned, and instead of walking away felt an obligation to discredit their former faith" -Dr. Richard Bushman
was what I expected.
It always comes down to the issue of if you have faith or not; whether you are a faithful Mormon or not. Frankly, it's all bullshit.
It is not about faith and it is not about whether Mitt Romney is a faithful and symbolic Mormon in the 21st century. The real issue is in the second part of Erickson's title: "The Mormon Church and the Office of the President of the United States of America."
Mitt Romney shouldn't be President for a NUMBER of reasons and one of them is YES, he is a Mormon but also another one is because he is a conservative with no hint of a progressive side.
Big money for the rich, big money for the Church that he serves are all a big flashing "NO!"
Mitt Romney being President is scary, plain and simple. He is George W. Bush II, but worse. Instead of having Dick Cheney and his corporate cronies to answer to, Mitt has the Mormon Church and the GOP.
Now this is where my liberal, left-winged brain comes out and the barrier between my brain and mouth does not stop me from saying certain things. Mitt Romney should be President because he is a part of a Religion that has taken pleasure and set principles around ostracizing specific groups. From African Americans to homosexuals, the Mormon Church is not a friend to "othered" communities. (And I don't want to hear ANYTHING about how "they are changing," I don't believe it.)
When it comes to any type of progressive issue if Romney was President, the Republicans will have a say and then the Mormon Church will as well. There is just no way around it. Frankly, to any one with a liberal or progressive brain, it is a scary to think of Romney EVER being President of the United States.
Have we forgotten what the United States would have looked like if Joseph Smith had been elected President when he ran in 1844?
I hate sounding like this, like a big bigot who is "hating" upon another religion. We have freedom of religion and speech in this country for a reason but sometimes, it's that freedom that scares me the most. It scares me the most when a religion now has the power, that they once didn't have, to drastically change the lives of minority communities around the world.
I know we can say this about MOST religions, so lets call this a rant AGAINST Mormonism and Romney for the time being. I don't have the energy to write about the cruelty of religion and frankly scholars are already doing this.
I have to say that I am very afraid for what will happen if he is elected President of the United States. I do not think he can serve his "two masters" and I think the country, just like when George Bush II was President, will suffer greatly.
More importantly, while the country will suffer, "othered" communities will face a double-edged sword that never seems to go away.
Now, one can say: "Well John, you shouldn't be President because you're gay!"
I agree that we get into a slippery slope when we start classifying why certain people should or should not be President. However, we have to classify the people that would say certain things like what I have said or what I just mentioned above.
Would a progressive or democrat say that a gay individual shouldn't be President? Would a Republican say that Mitt Romney shouldn't be President?"
When thinking about these issues I find myself thinking about the latter question and coming to the conclusion that "Yes, a Republican would say Mitt Romney shouldn't be President" for many of the same reasons I have stated here. However, while I have a problem with his politics and religion, a Republican from Texas or any other Red State, would be citing his religious beliefs before his political ones.
Religion is a slippery slope. Once we start going down the path of criticizing someone's religion we find ourselves falling into a tumble and unable to stop the downward fall. However, the trouble with my rant is that not just a "liberal" is stating this about Romney, it is his own political base as well.
And that, my friends, to me is a big, symbolic, "No, No!" In a time when a two party system cannot agree on anything except Mitt Romney's religious beliefs and the trouble it would bring to the office of the President, is quite scary but all to real.
In a post Citizens United world, what type of campaign contributions will we see to Romney's Presidential campaign to propel him into the White House? More importantly, where will Romney succeed where Smith and Young failed?
Part of me hopes I never have to find out.
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