Do. Not. Ask. Romney. About. Mormonism.
The title is Andrew Sullivan’s, and Andrew is right.
Paul Ryan can’t run around this weekend touting that you should vote for him because he’s a good Catholic, and insinuating that you shouldn’t vote for President Obama because he’s not even Christian, while Ryan’s boss, Mitt Romney, angrily tells a radio station not to ask any questions about him being a Mormon bishop.
Now granted, the radio interview is from 2007. But it shows yet another Mitt Romney flip-flop, and this time on faith. In 2007, Mitt Romney was vehement that a candidate’s faith was irrelevant to his running for president.
“I’m not running to talk about Mormonism,” Romney said.
Yeah, you’re running to attack your opponent’s Christianity.
First watch the Romney video, then let’s examine just how much Romney and Ryan have injected Obama’s Christianity in this debate:
Romney/Ryan Going After Obama’s Faith Is, However, Fair Game
Now for Paul Ryan’s nasty Obama-isn’t-a-real-Christian phone call he did with religious right nutjobs a few days ago.
In his remarks to what organizers said were tens of thousands of members of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Ryan said that President Barack Obama’s path for the next four years is a “dangerous” one.
“[It is] a path that compromises those values — those Judeo-Christian values that made us a great nation in the first place,” he said, referring to religious liberty and Obamacare.
Criticizing Obama over his health care bill’s coverage mandate for birth control, the Roman-Catholic Ryan noted that “my church is suing the federal government.”
Funny, Romney’s VP candidate doesn’t mind injecting faith into the presidential race.
And neither does Romney.
Remember when earlier this year, Romney attacked President Obama over the President’s spiritual guides (namely, Rev. Wright)? That little attack on the President’s Christianity, on Wright’s religious theories, was okay for Mitt Romney. But do the same thing back to Romney, question the fact that Mormons think Jesus is going to come back in the Second Coming and reign over all humanity from his seat of power in Missouri, and suddenly you’re the bigot for raising a scintilla of doubt about someone else’s religion.
Mitt Romney thinks criticizing our Christianity is okay, but his Mormonism, and how it shapes his politics, is off limits.
But don’t bring up Mitt Romney’s Mormonism, how it has influenced him, how the Mormons are rabidly homophobic, how to this day the Mormons still haven’t come clean on their racism. I’ve written about the Mormon’s unresolved history racism before, here’s a snippet:
[T]he Mormon’s longstanding racism against African-Americans… 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?
Of course, don’t let any of that stop Mitt Romney from bringing up his Mormonism when he thinks it suits his purpose.
Romney was happy to bring up lots of Mormon mentions during the Republican convention. Again, because it suited his purpose of trying to assuage evangelicals that Mormonism isn’t a cult.
And Romney was also happy to invoke his Mormonism to explain – incredibly – why he’s not releasing ten years of his tax returns, the same that he asked of his own running mate, Paul Ryan. I really have to quote this one, because it’s a whopper:
After months stonewalling on releasing more tax returns, Mitt Romney invoked a brand-new explanation for demurring in an interview with Parade magazine set to hit newsstands this weekend: religion. “Our church doesn’t publish how much people have given [to the LDS Church]. This is done entirely privately. One of the downsides of releasing one’s financial information is that this is now all public, but we had never intended our contributions to be known. It’s a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church,” Romney told the magazine when asked about his returns, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
Suddenly, being a Mormon is not so off-limits of a topic, when Mitt Romney deems it to his advantage.
Why Does Romney Have a Double-Standard for Christians?
It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of the Mormons’ aggressive form of bigotry, their hatred of gays and single-minded desire to take away our civil rights in every state, their years of racism towards African-Americans that they still haven’t fully repudiated, their treatment of women, and their rank disrespect for Judaism, including their systematic attempts to secretly steal the souls of dead Jewish Holocaust victims - they even secretly baptized President Obama’s own mother.
We are not dealing with folks who have a history of showing a lot of respect for the beliefs of others. Which perhaps explains why Mitt Romney thinks it’s all right to criticize Christians, but balks when the same standard is applied to him.
Then again, consistency has never been Mr. Romney’s strong suit. Why should he start now?