Are Mormons Christian Enough for the Right Wing Chistians?
Yesterday morning's paper tells me that Mitch Romney is going to give a speech in which he tells the Christian Right (aka the Christian wrong) why his Mormonism will not pose any problems for them or the country should he be President. He then will try to do what JFK did when he tried to explain to Southern Baptists why his being Catholic would pose no problems for them or the country. JFK was successful.
I was actually present when JFK submitted himself for questioning by a battery of Baptist preachers thanks to my being friends with someone who had access to passes. It was amazing to see him deal deftly with their concerns. I felt some sympathy with them since I was raised as a Baptist and Catholicism was our main nemesis. My father was a prejudice-free man except for his strong anti-Catholics views. I got over my early indoctrination. In fact, I am not sure I ever bought into it since one of my friends was Catholic and I spent time in their house and knew his family.
I think Romney is making a mistake by giving a speech rather than by doing what JFK did. JFK approached the Baptist ministers at a personal level by allowing them to question him. Indeed the setting was almost intimate since very few people were in attendance. As far as I can tell, Romney will use the Orientation Theater of the Bush Library at Texas A & M for his address. It holds around 148 people. In using a theater, Romney will be putting distance between himself and his audience. If I were him, I would give a brief address and then sit on the edge of the stage and answer any questions members of the audience might have for as long as necessary. That way he makes himself completely vulnerable to them. If he survives, he wins.
There is a nasty irony to the problem Romney faces. It seems he will be trying to say that though the Mormon religion is hierarchical in nature, he believes fully in the separation of church and state and will not be influenced by the views of the leaders of his religion. Interestingly, Kennedy said
"I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president -- should he be Catholic -- how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote ... "The nasty irony is that the Religious Right does not believe in the separation of church and state and its ministers try to influence how members vote. They want the state to pass laws that dictate that there will be no abortions, that homosexuals should not be afforded normal human rights, and other nefarious views. I believe that Romney may once have believed that some abortions were acceptable and that gays should be given the same rights as everyone else. However, he seems to have caved to the Religious Wrong.
I don't really care who the Republicans put up but I am beginning to care about the Democratic choice. Hillary has dug deeply into Obama's past to reveal that Obama has, contrary to his claims, always wanted to be President by citing a paper he wrote in kindergarten claiming that he wanted to be President. This is the sort of mean-spirited, double-dumb mistake that costs people elections. She also allied herself with Bush's hawkish views on Iran and its putative nuclear weapons program. She swallowed Bush's rhetoric whole. Two bad Bush was lying about what Iran was up to. This makes her look like a triple-dumb person.