Monday, December 10, 2007

Romney Roundup

I know Mormons are kind of exotic critters to the east-coast media, but the sheer amount of bigotry that's getting published is really cheesing me off. Anti-Catholicism is sometimes called "the last acceptable prejudice," but that vitriol is minor compared to what passes for journalism when Mormons are involved.

First, the good.
You mean he's got a life outside of funny underwear and baptizing dead people? Who knew? One discouraging note is that if the WaPo is writing positively about a Republican, it means they think he hasn't got a chance. Still, at least it means one reporter has his head somewhere outside his lower digestive tract.

The bad.
Romney's a racist-cracker-ofay! So there!
A few of the more egregious quotes:
Whenever a proselytizing Mormon knocks on my Harlem door, I chase him away as brusquely as I would chase away a Klansman, or an evangelical Christian Republican, and for much the same reason.

I have zero tolerance for racial intolerance.

And I have zero tolerance for smarmy blockheads. Can't you just smell the crosses burning? (Actually, Mormons don't use crosses; maybe they'll have to burn spires or something.) I'd be interested to know if he's ever actually seen a Mormon ward's ethnic makeup. The LDS church is loaded with Hispanics, Asians and Pacific Islanders. Probably a third of the church is non-white. Can his own church in Harlem (assuming he attends one) boast the same kind of diversity? I doubt you'd see a whole lot of white faces there. But that's different. Those aren't racially intolerant churches.
What exactly is the shelf life of God-inspired bigotry? Mitt Romney grew into adulthood under a Mormon doctrine instructing members that Negroes could not enter heaven or the priesthood because they were cursed by God, and inferior. Laying aside the Mormon hocus-pocus, Romney is no different in such racial conditioning than his comparable, evangelical white Christian, to say nothing of the secular crowd.

"Grew to adulthood?" Yes. He was 30 years old when the church declared that the priesthood was now open to black men. (Heaven was never closed to them to begin with, but the calumny sounds better that way, so let's just leave that in. Who'll ever know?) Is the charge that he could have changed the teaching, and didn't? How much influence does he think the average young man has over a church of millions? Or is Payne saying Romney should have left the church in order to pursue a more color-blind way to heaven? If so, it says something about Romney's loyalty and Payne's, respectively. Romney sticks to the church he's committed to, even if some of its tenets aren't to his liking. Payne seems to think it's better to switch gods according to who suits him best.

From there, Payne descends into some kind of incoherency about disparate drug law enforcement. Which is clearly instigated by the secret Mormon cabal controlling America's judicial system. Which is managed by... white men! That proves it! Romney's a racist!

And the ugly:
I don't think the bozo at Newsday really meant to suggest some shadowy Mormon Illuminati skulking about in preparation for the day when they rise up and subjugate America under their dread regime of decaf pop and green Jello. Elva Anderson knows it's coming, and wants to warn us all. She knows all about it, because she consulted Sandra Tanner, who is to the Mormons what Jack Chick is to the Catholics. Here's what Mrs. Anderson has to say:
Frankly, I don’t think I can count on Mr. Romney’s prayers to his god who is busy birthing spiritual babies on another planet — not while bin Laden is also busy birthing babies on our planet (12 to 24 physical children, according to Wikipedia) and countless spiritual progeny, all of whom hate us.

So, money or not, I’m going to have to say “no” to Mitt Romney. I’d rather count on the prayers of someone like Mike Huckabee; he prays to the same God the pilgrims prayed to. Money might move some conservative leaders, but it won’t move the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when the Philistines, Assyrians and Babylonians come after us with their nuclear warheads.

If Romney is elected to the presidency, God will turn His face away from America, and darkness will reign upon the earth. Because the real role of a president is to pray for the country, not to manage it.

Update later in the day: It just occurred to me that holding Romney responsible for the sort of lurid rumors Mrs. Anderson and Mr. Payne are spouting is equivalent to expecting Guiliani to justify his adherence to the faith of Maria Monk and Alberto Rivera. It's not even his religion they're finding him guilty by association with; it's a caricature.

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