Let’s Goof on Mormonism

Good column by Frank Rich in the NY Times yesterday:

For those Americans looking for the most unambiguous way to repudiate politicians who are trying to divide the country by faith, ethnicity, sexuality and race, Mr. Obama is nothing if not the most direct shot. After hearing someone like Mitt Romney preach his narrow, exclusionist idea of “Faith in America,� some Americans may simply see a vote for Mr. Obama as a vote for faith in America itself.

This was before Romney did his crying routine on Meet the Press, which I didn’t watch. He cried because he realized that his church was dropping its racist policy toward African-Americans. In 1978. Never too late I guess! By comparison, the Mormons dropped the polygamy kick way back in 1890. Some things are more obvious than others.

Me, I’d be embarrassed to be a part of anything like that, and I don’t understand why people stick with it. I don’t get why anyone would continue to participate and give money and waste time in such a practice, when it holds such antithetical views to your own. Unless they’re not.

(It’s like if I woke up one Sunday and said “You know, forget that I am pro-choice, pro-birth control, pro-gay marriage, pro-women-becoming-priests-or-whatever–I’m going to church!”)

What about Mitt? He was relieved that the rules were changing, but make no mistake, he wasn’t about to do anything about it if they weren’t. “I love my faith. And I’m not going to distance myself in any way from my faith,” he said to Tim Russert. Racist or not, Mr. Romney was and is a Mormon, dammit!

It’s nice that he can shed tears, now that his faith has limped boldly toward the future (the “future” being Brown v. Board of Ed. 1954 or the Civil Rights Act of 1964), but nothing he said puts his judgment at a particularly high level. He, like so many others, was blinded by the light. Maybe still is.

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