Considering the cast of characters, actors, charlatans, moral and mental midgets running for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney looks absolutely heroic and statesman-like, certainly a vast improvement over dumb Dubya and his court of neo-con power trolls.
Romney appears as a Republican version of Al Gore: handsome, well bred, brilliant, and all-American family values oriented without the seeming pinhead reflexes of ideology and religion that now characterize current Republican radicals. Or not? Is it conceivable that a man who swears to the depths of his soul that he is a devout religious Mormon capable of critical reasoning? Certainly a man as accomplished in business, law and politics as Romney is more than capable of critical reasoning to assume the powerful position of President of The United States. After all, any improvement is better than George Bush, who would make an amoeba look presidential.
Mormonism is front and center these days and open for full critique . Romney brushes it aside by saying, “There are caricatures that pick some obscure aspect of your faith and assume it was the central element.” However much Romney might wish to brush aside the “more obscure aspects” of his faith, the central tenets of Mormonism alone, aside from a most peculiar theology, are enough to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up or laugh out loud at the most inappropriate moment.
Here’s what the next potential President of the United States believes: Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism and one of the most audacious con-men of the nineteenth century, came up with a fabulous new form of Christianity in which he, as a God’s personally anointed prophet, was instructed to ‘restore’ God’s true church since all other creeds “ are abomination in his sight.” So, nothing too ambitious in that assumption. After all, since Martin Luther and the Reformation, every crack-pot with a direct line to the Divine is mission bound.
The part that questions the potential sanity of a man otherwise gifted as Romney is the belief that an angel named Moroni gave Mormon founder, Joseph Smith, golden tablets written in ‘reformed’ Egyptian hieroglyphics (never seen before then) created by an ancient civilization of Israelites sent by God to America (of which all trace had vanished). It gets better. The tablets included lessons Jesus taught during a visit to America after his Resurrection. Smith was able to read and translate the tablets with the help of magic glasses (transparent stones). He published them as the ‘Book of Mormon’ in 1830.
In 1844, Smith was assassinated during a run for the presidency. His successor, Brigham Young, led his followers into the desserts of Utah creating in the area now known as Salt Lake a thriving oasis in which Mormonism prospered, grew rapidly, and became a powerful influence as a state in congress.
The Romney family is thoroughly identified with the Mormon religion in all its aspects and has always integrated its religious politics with secular politics. For example, should Romney explain the ‘convenient miracle’ of revelation in 1978, when the Church decided that the children of Ham were not sub-human and not condemned by God? It’s good they did, especially for black Mormons. There is some black humor in that ole’ Bonymorony comin’ to the rescue in time for civil rights legislation and constitutional law. Then there is the outlawing of polygamy —–theoretically. Throughout Utah, Colorado and other Mormon outposts in the west, criminal polygamy thrives impervious to law, except when cult creeps like Warren Jeffs cross the line with sexual slavery and child abuse.
Although many Mormons have served honorable and distinguished careers in Congress, Romney’s Mormonism as a presidential contender is a serious issue, both religiously and politically. Conservative Christians, those who believe in a Fred Flintstone version of Genesis and the Charleton Heston bad hair day, tacky poncho-version of Moses hallucinating voices from a burning bush are particularly upset over Mormons ‘messin’ with the holy scriptures—-the Bible, word of God and all.
First, the Mormons dump the trinity and piss off Catholics who, since the Council of Nicea, thought they had the divinity ‘thing’ pretty much wrapped-up for a well over a thousand years or so. There’s nothing more upsetting than losing a monopoly on God. Mormon baptisms are not considered as legitimate by Catholics and other Christian sects.
Do Mormon beliefs really matter? Once the essential doctrines of wisdom are removed, most religions are a potpourri of superstition, magic, addiction stimulus, unseen forces, drama, theater, fear and power. Is the Angel Moroni any more invalid than say the moment in the Catholic mass where unleavened bread becomes the actual body of Christ and the wine His blood, suggesting to non-Catholics magical cannibalistic vampirism? Or that of the billions of women ever born, only one conceived by parthenogenesis and ascended bodily into heaven without being captured by the gravitational pull of one of the larger planets?
Evangelicals, especially Southern Baptists, consider Mormonism heretical and “the stronghold of Satan.” In 1842, Joseph Smith explained that “ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors in the Bible, which he (naturally) revised according to God’s direct revelation.” He was partly right, of course, but his mojo was too fantastic and the religious righteous had him assassinated.
A secular skepticism characterizes Mormonism as “Scientology plus 125 years.” The Romney camp pulls out the old Kennedy card when defending religious affiliation, declaring that he would no more take orders from Salt Lake than did Kennedy from the Vatican. The issue is deeper than that, and it really is red-hot theology. The question stands. If Romney believes with all his religious conviction in a modern hoax can he sustain the intellectual integrity necessary to make decisions affecting the lives of three hundred million citizens and guide the direction of the world’s greatest super power? We have seen under George Bush what no intellect at all can accomplish with such power. What would America look like four years into a Romney Mormon domestic and world view?
The closest comparison would be Romney’s father, former presidential contender and Governor of Michigan. Romney the father was also a brilliant innovative thinker and accomplished businessman. In today’s terms of corrupt radical Republicanism, he would be considered a liberal Republican. In his own time, he was the essence of centrist Republican values: conservative on economic issues and generous on social welfare issues.
Mitt Romney ran for governor of Massachusetts as a liberal Republican, very much in his father’s mold. To get elected, he supported such touchy topics as gay rights, the right to choose and so on and so forth. But in fact, there is nothing about Mitt Romney that is liberal. His chimera of compassionate conservativism was and is about blatant political opportunism, a stunt of hypocrisy every bit as toxic as that of George Bush‘s.
For example, the last Massachusetts ‘ state budget which was passed and send to him for signature found him micromanaging line items with veto. No extravagance of corporate welfare or pork was vetoed, only items dealing with social services for the most vulnerable of his constitutes. Specifically, he vetoed a slight increase above minimum wage for in-home health care workers. He may be his father’s son in most respects, but not when it comes to compassionate leadership or the exercise of greatness. In that he more resembles George Bush and the far right. Romney is beginning to show his true colors.
In foreign policy, what can we expect from a president who feels that he is descended from an imaginary lost tribe of Israel? Radical Zionism for starters, the kind that Joe Liberman suggests should bomb Iran at the soonest possible opportunity. Romney would continue the neo-con plan for hegemony in the Middle East, including a permanent occupying force in Iraq that would last decades based on the ‘Korean’ model. Tactical nuclear strikes at Iran via a ‘trumped up’ incident with Israel is already in the works. If Cheney doesn’t get there first, Romney will.
Romney would make use of the neo-con experimentations with democratic dismemberment and use the changes in law to further transgovermental globalism and continue the weakening of American legalism, civil rights and constitutional principles. Romney is a neo-con in sheep’s clothing. Ten to one if elected, Romney will be raised to an even stronger unitary presidency by a convenient new Mormon prophesy complete with set of golden tablets engraved in Harvard English announcing the end of America as we’ve always known it—–provided, of course, that we wear mandatory magical rose colored glasses to read its message. If we convert, that is.