Friday, December 07, 2007

Mitt's Mormon problem: Lee Benson gets it right (but Romney's still a hypocrite)

This morning, Lee Benson has an interesting column titled Weirdness, not religion, real issue. Noting the comparison to John F. Kennedy's speech that Mitt likes to hear, Benson writes:

[F]or the most part they both used their forums to appeal to the good conscience of the American people to not count them out because of the church they belong to.

Still, for all that, in comparing and paralleling himself to Kennedy, Romney did rather dance around the real issue surrounding Mormonism.

His problem is way different than Kennedy's.

His problem is this: 160 years since they drove us out of Nauvoo, people still think Mormons aren't normal.

They think we're weird.
True. In my experience, the most common concern expressed by out-of-staters about Mormons isn't that they're religious, but that they are, well, weird. Spend time with someone who has the slightest clue about Mormon doctrine (or thinks he does), and it doesn't take long for the golden plate / magic underwear / polygamy / Kolob jokes to start in.
This is perplexing to us who are actual Mormons, and not just because it bugs us that our beliefs, rites and rituals attract a great deal of ridicule when other religions can have their chants, creeds and ceremonies and no one seems to look twice.
Again true. Every religion has components that are head scratchers on paper, but Benson is right: If it's a 'strange' Catholic or Methodist belief, no one thinks twice. If it's a 'strange' Mormon belief, it's a cult. I guess that's what happens when one religious demonination outnumbers another.

And, ironically, that's what Romney himself did when he basically declared that a person cannot be a good American unless he goes to Church. That's why I don't feel sorry for Mitt. He seems just as willing to impose his religious view on others as evangelicals are with him. What goes around comes around.

1 comment:

Misty Fowler said...

Having actually been raised in a cult (Jehovah's Witnesses), my personal belief is that the Mormons are not a cult. Weird, yes. But, really, what does "normal" mean anyway? Normal is boring, if you ask me.