Thursday, February 23, 2012

Romney Disrespects (rather than Renounces) His Mormon Heritage

OK, "Renounce" is a bit strong, but actually more accurate than what Romney said about the current President of the United States last night:
"I don't think we've seen in the history of this country the kind of attack on religious conscience, religious freedom, religious tolerance that we've seen under Barack Obama"
Really? Worse than President James Buchanan sending the U.S. Army to Utah Territory to put down a supposed Mormon insurrection? Worse than President Millard Fillmore Martin Van Buren who said to Joseph Smith, "Your cause is just but I can do nothing for you" when the Saints were forced to leave the State of Missouri under Governor Boggs's Extermination Order? Worse than the Presidents in the late 19th Century who signed a series of anti-polygamy and anti-Mormon legislation governing the Territory of Utah including the confiscation of church property?

And according to Romney Family history, Mitt's Great-Granddad fled the United States to Mexico in order to escape federal prosecution for polygamy. Mitt's dad, George Romney who was Governor of Michigan, was actually born in Mexico a generation or two after the family gave up plural marriage.

It's not the heritage or history of plural marriage that is as troubling to me as the hypocrisy. After all, I wouldn't be here either but for the biological facts of polygamy. My 2nd Great Grandfather, of the generation that gave up the practice of entering into plural marriages, spent over three years in the territorial penitentiary for his religious beliefs. Has President Obama put anyone in prison for their religious beliefs? (Well, maybe some radical Islamists, but that's a story for another day.)

And what was this greatest attack ever on religion Romney is complaining about? It was the requirement that insurance providers cover women's contraceptive choices. Nobody is forced to actually use contraceptives. The government isn't going to check any bedrooms. In fact, the goal is to leave such things to the individual choices of women without government interference as protected by the Constitutional Right of Privacy that even Ron Paul recognizes

It's a very weird and odd irony, I admit. I'd rather not have to get into any of these issues. So why is Romney? Is Santorum really that much of a threat?

February 24, 2012

Federal Statutes outlawing polygamy, and specifically directed against the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" in Utah Territory, began with the Morrill Act of 1862, signed by Abraham Lincoln. 12 Stat. 501 (July 1, 1862). So, President Lincoln was actually a greater foe of religious "conscience, freedom, and tolerance" than President Obama--and against Romney's (and my) own church! I still like both Lincoln and Obama better than a potential President Romney.

And, please! Don't let anyone think I am in any way advocating modern polygamy. I am only acknowledging my own family and church history with great respect for those who were faithful to their religious beliefs and practices of those days. I would like to see that honesty and respect out of Romney who should know better.

February 25, 2012

The Discussion of the discussion continues here.


  1. Sorry for the slip maligning Millard Fillmore. He actually wasn't that bad for the Mormons as pointed out by Ardis of I knew it was Van Buren, I just had Fillmore on the brain (the town, not the President it was named for) because of a troublesome work issue I'd rather not go into.

    1. "" for you cut-and-pasters. Sorry, Ardis, and thanks again. I do try to correct my typos and even more substantive errors.

  2. I feel like Romney is saying things that he knows are not true in order to get votes. He seems to be "just following the crowd".

    1. Thanks, Alan. It is hard to assess how much is intentional and how much he is going along with the party base convincing himself into it or not. And I think history shows that his dad would not have done that.

  3. About Lincoln and the Morrill Act: it's my understanding that while he signed the bill, he made a pragmatic decision not to enforce it.

    Anyway, your point about Romney is in my opinion entirely on the mark. :-)

    1. Thanks, SLK. Yeah, Lincoln was a little busy at the time. But he did sign that "message bill" put forward by the Radical Republicans. (Hmmm, "Radical Republicans" in the Congress. Maybe history really does repeat itself!)

  4. Mr. Romeny is not my favorite candidate in the world, but I think what Romney is referencing here specifically, is not the fact that women should or should not have the "choice", but rather he is recognizing the fact that the Government is stepping in and forcing a religion to do something. Is that not the issue? Or did I miss something by paying to much attention to the media? I will agree that there may have been bigger gaffes by past presidents with regards to religious liberty. Though it may be the point of your post to recognize that Romney can be hypocritical, its not the issue we should be concerned about I don't believe. Romney is trying to make a headline. He is using key words on a hot topic. He is doing his job per-say.

    However you look at it Romney's words may have not been the most choice words, but I think you have to take them also knowing that he is playing politician, much the same as Lincoln was with regards to the Morrill Act; per the comment by SLK that sounds much like a Santorum in "going with the crowd". Radical Republicans or not, he, Lincoln was playing politician. By your standard, it seems he was also a hypocrite.

    Our current President is also a hypocrite (who isn't?), but it can be missed if you look the other way. In calling for racial equality he practices the very opposite. Imagine if the Ron Paul campaign launched ‘Whites for Ron Paul', much like President Obama just launched 'African Americans for Obama'. He, Ron Pual, would be decried and almost literally burned at the stake, not only by the media, but I can just see the WH admin declaring it a radical attempt to solidify votes and a score of other things.

    My point is not that President Obama is bad--though I do not like him as President of this or any country-- rather it is that we are all imperfect and hypocrites in our own right; that is why I feel rather than calling out someones hypocrisy or pointing fingers lets look at the bigger picture to see what is happening. Government is--with the issue at hand, and with so many other issues--over stepping its bounds. Are we not here to govern ourselves?

    1. Thanks Anonymous @ 9:02. True that every President engages in political expediency. Lincoln tended to admit it though, at least to himself and those around him.

      And I am intrigued by the idea of "Whites for Ron Paul." I don't think it quite works the same as "African-Americans for . . ." or even "Italian-Americans for . . . ", "Native Americans for . . .",etc. probably for historical reasons that I can't explain anymore than the obvious. That's one thing I find so fascinating about those claiming some kind of pure Constitutionalism based on the Founders - they tend to be very selective about the rest of US history - and even about the founding.


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