Monday, October 23, 2006

This was on the local CBS station

The Boston Globe is reporting:
Despite repeated denials by the Mormon Church and Governor Mitt Romney's advisers, e-mails from a key Romney consultant state that the leader of the worldwide church was consulted on an effort to build Mormon support for the governor's potential presidential bid and that a key church leader has been involved in mapping out the plan. One e-mail also describes Romney's personal involvement in the planning.
Ah, the scary Mormons! The LDS church does not endorse candidates or campaign for them, but individuals are free. J. Reuben Clarke and Ezra Taft Benson, both apostles, served in government. There are 5 Mormon senators in Congress now, including Harry Reid and Orrin Hatch. The "key Romney consultant" is probably misstating the church's involvement. There are lots of wealthy LDS people who think that Romney would make a great president. There's nothing sinister in that. I suppose the Ted Kennedy gets a lot of support from Catholics, without being endorsed by the Church.

Utahns are used to critics charging that the LDS Church exerts excessive influence in local politics, but I find that nothing more than sour grapes. People vote according to their personal principles, which are often influenced by their religion. But Utahns are also Westerners and, like others in the intermountain areas, they tend to be conservative. But the Church doesn't tell them how to vote or which candidates to support. Every time there's a election a letter from the First Presidency goes out to every congregation stating that policy and reminding leaders that church property and meeting houses are not to be used by politicians or parties to promote themselves. The General Authorities of the church include Democrats and Republicans, but mostly they are interested in building the church, not partisan politics.

That won't stop this sort of innuendo and rumuor, but it reeks of an attempt to play on prejudice against Mormons to hurt Romney's chances. I support Romney because he's a capable executive who would make a good president. If I always supported Mormons, I'd feel obligated to back Harry Reid, whom I despise.


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