There’s plenty to titter about when it comes to the Mormon religion. For starters a founder who translated a religious text from golden plates he couldn’t show to others on orders of a angel, polygamy and sacred underwear. There’s much talk in the states about Mitt Romney’s faith as an active member of the Latter Day Saints and whether this is appropriate for a world leader.
One of the many problems for Romney is that the Book of Mormon states that it is a sin for a white man to marry a black women. Having black skin is attributed to being cursed. Romney is adamant that he does not agree with this. Being up against a black president is maybe not doing his case any favours here, but it’s thought that even black voters who disagree with Obama’s policies will not vote for a mormon. The church only started to allow black priests in 1978 and the number of black members in the USA is still only thought to be between 1-3%. However, memories are short. It was only 14 years earlier in 1964 that segregation ended. In the early part of the 20th century it was fine for all good religious people to kick up a fuss if a black woman refused to give up her seat on a bus for a white passenger.
There is also criticism that women are treated as second class citizens and are not permitted to hold a post in the LDS church, but this sounds strangely familiar……
Then there’s polygamy, but this is no longer part of the modern day manifesto and is only followed by a small number of fundamentalists. It is also illegal.
In the unlikely event that Romney becomes the next president, should we be worried? Should we be more worried than some of us were when we heard George W Bush state his belief that God had chosen him to lead his country, or that Blair had decided to sent troops into Iraq after praying to God. Even Gordon Brown stated his belief that religion should be encouraged in public life and that the lessons of the gospels need not be kept separate from political life.
Maybe it is the unknown, the weird and the slightly comic aspects of the LDS that have people worried. After all, it’s not because they commit more crimes, or become suicide bombers. The feeling is that Mitt is unlikely to win the election and we may never find out if his pants are on fire and how many of his beliefs he has played down for his political campaign.