But since we like Mitt Romney here . . .
…feel free to spend your money here. Wear the stuff proudly!
To My Mormon Friends . . .
And Evangelicals are not your only problem. Timothy Egan, in the NYTimes writes of the FLDS compound in Texas and draws a direct line to Joseph Smith, the Mormon past and, unbelievably Mitt Romney.
Mormonism is the most homegrown of American religions, and the fastest-growing in the Western Hemisphere. There are more Mormons in the United States than Presbyterians. The church has been vocal about denouncing the renegade Mormons in Texas, and quick to point out that it abandoned polygamy in 1890, as a condition of Utah’s statehood.
For a long time, though, the church was at odds with basic American ideals, and not just because old guys sanctioned marital sex with dozens of teenage girls. What you see in Texas — in small part — is a look back at some of the behavior of Mormonism’s founding fathers.
When Mitt Romney, in his December speech about his religion, said, “My faith is the faith of my fathers — I will be true to them and to my beliefs,” he was taking on a load of historical baggage.
I am not sure what to make of this piece. Mormonism’s past is significant, but it is the past. I find little reason to write this piece other than to mix up the past and the present in people’s minds. To reinforce a historical connection that people are trying to break – to punish a group for a sin for which the group has long since recanted. This guy is apparently arguing for historical revisionism, but his argument is so mired in detail as to serve to make the assiciation he seems to argue against.
Then, of course, there is the historical baggage that every other religion carries with it. Longer ago, perhaps, but not always. Many churches supported slavery, a practice abandoned mere decades before the LDS stopped polygamy, and those same churches carried deep racism well into the 20th century. As a son of the south, I have attended more than a few in my life. “But only a few churches did that” comes the protest. Well, less than a majority of Mormons practiced polygamy as well.
I have made the point before that to the average American, polygamy is all they can associate with Mormonism. I believe this article to be evidence of that fact.
Lowell adds: This line tells you all you need to know about the article:
For a long time, though, the church was at odds with basic American ideals, and not just because old guys sanctioned marital sex with dozens of teenage girls.
What a smear. “At odds with basic American ideals?” Doesn’t that phrase cry out for just a bit of support? “Old guys sanctioned marital sex with dozens of teenage girls?” Does any serious student of that unique historical period describe what happened that way? Do they not have editors at the New York Times?
One of the books Egan cites as support for his article is “No Man Knows My History,” a deeply controversial anti-Mormon book by a well-regarded ex-Mormon author, Fawn Brodie. If that’s Egan’s source for understanding Mormon history, he needs to get out more. Maybe he should crack open Richard Bushman’s more recent, and widely-acclaimed work, “Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling,” which is certainly no valentine to Joseph Smith.
John and I have documented over the last two years that the truly bigoted pieces about Romney with the biggest circulation (i.e., in the MSM) come from liberals. A quick review of Egan’s past articles for the New York Times reveals that — big surprise!– he’s a solidly conventional liberal.
Final thought: It’s interesting to ponder what would be happening if Romney had won in Florida and then sailed on to be the presumptive nominee instead of McCain. As depressing as it is to say this, I think pieces like Egan’s would be all over the MSM and the blogosphere as well. We still have some work to do in this country.
Editors’ Note: Comments on this post have been closed. Thanks for your thoughtful contributions, which we hope have contributed to understanding (not necessarily agreement).