Mitt Romney gratuitously brought up Rev. Wright a few months ago.
Here’s the transcript of Romney speaking:“I think again that the president takes his philosophical leanings in this regard, not from those who are ardent believers in various faiths but instead from those who would like America to be more secular. And I’m not sure which is worse, him listening to Reverend Wright or him saying that we must be a less Christian nation.”
So, to reiterate the golden rule: Don’t discuss Mitt Romney’s religious influences in the Mormon temple, but do discuss Barack Obama’s religious influences in a Christian church.
So Christian wackos are fair game. Mormon, less so.
You see, Christian faith is full of wacky crazy with all sorts of wacky beliefs, but Mormon temples aren’t. So please don’t mention Romney’s Mormonism and his influences, but feel free to take a whack at President Obama’s Christianity and his influences.
It’s interesting that Romney has a double standard on Mormonism versus Christianity when he claims they’re the same thing.
A lot of our friends in the mainstream media have given Romney a pass on the Mormon issue. They say it’s religious bigotry to discuss Mitt Romney’s religious influences in Mormonism (though I doubt they’d say the same if his religion were Scientology). Yet Mitt Romney goes after Barack Obama’s religious influences not three months ago, and no one hears a word about it from the media.
And spare us the “Romney was going after the man (Wright) and not the faith (Christinaity)” argument. So, you mean, it would be okay for us to go after individual Mormon preachers and what they have to say about Mormon teachings, like Jesus having slept with his mother, Jesus being the brother of Satan, about the special underwear Mormons wear, about the way Mormons try to secretly steal the souls of the dead – all of that is okay so long as we link it back to a particular Mormon who made the comments? So, for example, it would be okay to declare open season on Joseph Smith?
Romney is trying to have it both ways.
There’s a part of me that thinks that Mitt Romney is playing cute with this issue. It’s entirely possible that Romney is bringing up Rev. Wright in order to remind folks about the wacky preacher AND when there’s a backlash against Romney for bring up Wright, Romney will simply say, you’re right, religion SHOULD be off limits, and voila, Romney takes his Mormonism off the table.
Whatever the justification, Mitt Romney has made one thing perfectly clear: He thinks his Mormonism is relevant to this campaign.
UPDATE: CNN’s Roland Martin, who I’ve disagreed with on some things in the past, agrees that Romney has just put his own faith on the table:
Martin was on CNN this morning along with The Blaze‘s Will Cain, who also had questions about the latest anti-Obama ad that emphasized his middle name: “what are you trying to reinforce there?” Martin interjected that this was precisely “why this is so stupid.” “You can try all day to drudge up Jeremiah Wright,” he warned conservatives, “but you’re now putting Mormonism on the table… you’re not putting on the table how African Americans were treated by the Mormon religion.” Cain agreed that “I don’t think it’s smart to use Rev. Wright as a salacious bullet point again,” but argued that the President’s vision for America in its entirety was a legitimate ground of debate for the election.
Romney just put Mormons’ longstanding racism on the table.
Martin is referring to the Mormon’s longstanding racism against African-Americans, that only receded in the 1970s after a nationwide boycott. Though there are reports that racism in Mormonism is alive and well even today. This from a recent Washington Post article:
Until 1978, the LDS church banned men of African descent from its priesthood, a position open to nearly all Mormon males and the gateway to sacramental and leadership roles. The church had also barred black men and women from temple ceremonies that promised access in the afterlife to the highest heaven.
As he explored joining the church in 1988, Perkins said he asked Mormons near his Los Angeles home about the racial doctrines. They gently explained that blacks were the cursed descendants of Cain, the biblical murderer, he recalls.
The LDS church has neither formally apologized for the priesthood ban nor publicly repudiated many of the theories used to justify it for more than 125 years.
[A]nother Mormon scripture, The Pearl of Great Price, says, “blackness came upon” Cain’s descendants, who were “despised among all people.”
Pressed by Russert, Romney refused to say his church was wrong to restrict blacks from full participation.
Even under intense pressure from black Mormons, the church has refused to formally repudiate past interpretations of doctrine or scripture that tie spiritual worthiness to race.
It’s time to ask Mitt Romney if he was ever told by a religious mentor that blacks were the despised descendants of Cain, and just as importantly, what did Romney say, if anything, in response?