From HuffPost Hill:
ROMNEY’S CHRISTIAN FRIEND COMES TO HIS DEFENSE – Jon Ward: “A top evangelical Christian adviser to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Monday said he believes Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign may be intentionally injecting the issue of Romney’s Mormon faith into the Republican presidential primary. “‘ week ago I would have said there’s no way, I can’t conceive of a major candidate’s campaign intentionally using such tactics,’ Mark DeMoss, an Atlanta-based public relations executive who works primarily with evangelical leaders and is an unpaid adviser to Romney, told The Huffington Post. ‘It was inconceivable to me that that could be the case, just because I think it’s just not smart politically.’ But Demoss said that the actions of Texas Baptist pastor Robert Jefress — who first thrust the Mormon issue into the campaign 10 days ago — have given him ‘doubt’ about whether the Perry campaign is as removed from attacks on Romney’s faith as it has tried to appear.”
HITCHENS: “Unless he is to succeed in his dreary plan to borrow from the playbook of his pain-in-the-ass predecessor Michael Dukakis, and make this an election about ‘competence not ideology,’ he should be asked to defend and explain himself, and his voluntary membership in one of the most egregious groups operating on American soil.”
Christopher Hitchens writes in Slate about how this is simply an attempt by Romney to inhibit anyone from asking more details about what exactly Mormonism is. Here’s a snippet, but do go read the entire thing, it’s classic Hitchens, and excellent:
Saddling itself with some pro-slavery views at the time of the Civil War, and also with a “bible” of its own that referred to black people as a special but inferior creation, the Mormon Church did not admit black Americans to the priesthood until 1978, which is late enough—in point of the sincerity of the “revelation” they had to undergo—to cast serious doubt on the sincerity of their change of heart.
More recently, and very weirdly, the Mormons have been caught amassing great archives of the dead, and regularly “praying them in” as adherents of the LDS, so as to retrospectively “baptize” everybody as a convert. (Here the relevant book is Alex Shoumatoff’s The Mountain of Names.) In a hollowed-out mountain in the Mormons’ stronghold state of Utah is a colossal database assembled for this purpose. Now I have no objection if Mormons desire to put their own ancestors down for posthumous salvation. But they also got hold of a list of those put to death by the Nazis’ Final Solution and fairly recently began making these massacred Jews into honorary LDS members as well. Indeed, when the practice was discovered, the church at first resisted efforts to make them stop. Whether this was cultish or sectarian it was certainly extremely tactless: a crass attempt at mass identity theft from the deceased.
You’ll recall that we broke the story that the Mormons had secretly baptized President Obama’s deceased mother without his consent. And to clarify something Hitchens wrote above, the Mormons didn’t just drag their feet when asked to stop secretly converting dead Holocaust victims to Mormonism without their families’ knowledge or consent. They actually told Jewish groups that they had stopped, even though they hadn’t. Then got caught, again and again and again over a 13 year period. It’s pretty aggressively nasty duplicitous stuff.