Now on to my rant. Aaaaaaaaaaaand commence to SCROLLING. Hahaha. While I'm terribly excited about Barak Obama potentially running for President (and the Dems have a woman and a Hispanic as contenders - go diversity!) I'm TERRIBLY WORRIED about Mitt Romney throwing his hat in the ring on the Republican side. Don't know who he is? Then clearly you're not from Massachusetts!
Full disclosure to any newbies out there: I am a former member of the Mormon Church. My family is one of the "old" Mormon families, very active in the church and serving in SLC as "General Authorities." (What a title, huh? I am an authority on, well... everything.) My family also contains members of the Fundamentalist sect of polygamists that are being accurately portrayed in the HBO show Big Love. I am also a registered Independent, and have a deep and unabiding hatred of the modern Republican party. Well, John McCain doesn't give me hives. Bob Dole seems like a decent sort, even if he is a curmudgeon. Full disclosure.
Also, D&C stands for Doctrine and Covenants, an open-source scripture held to be the word of God by the Mormon church. Basically, any time the President (prophet) speaks, it's the word of God. You can look things up here. *cough* You can also look up original versions here. Oh, what's that? God's word needed revisions? Noooo!
Now. Mitt Romney WAS (\o/) the governor of Massachusetts. According to anelith, a resident, he's a big fat liar. He wasn't going to push his "family values" agenda on the state, etc. And he did. The big question right now is will he govern from the pulpit if he is elected President? The short answer: hell yes, and be afraid.
I'll have to explain a few things about the Mormons for this to sink in. The LDS church (as it prefers to be called) believes fervently that Jesus Christ is the head of its church. He is living, breathing, and speaks regularly with the church's president, whom they believe is a prophet, just as Noah, Abraham and Moses were prophets. Let that sink in, because it's very important. What Moses commanded, what Abraham commanded, all the teachings and guidelines in the Bible are the tenets of faith and belief for Christians and are obeyed. You toe the line, in other words. That isn't debatable. So... if the head of the LDS church (the "prophet") commands the members to do something, by gum, they'll do it, or they'll be disobeying a direct commandment as sacred as "Thou Shalt Not Kill."
Blacks were not allowed to hold the priesthood in the church, because they "carried the mark of Cain." The "prophet " received a revelation from God in the late 70s that this "commandment" could finally be done away with. That flaky god! This was a HUUUUUGE deal. A small group of people left the church over it. Which... doesn't say good things. BUT. Most members "prayed and found succor" in god's infinite wisdom and obeyed the commandment. Because if you are not following all the LDS church's commandments, you will suffer in the next life. (D&C 11:25) How?
You know those temples the church has? You can't just go into one. I certainly couldn't. Not every Mormon is allowed inside, either. You regularly have meetings with your local bishop (priest) and he interviews you with a series of questions, mostly pertaining to the commandments of the church. Are you obeying them? If not, you cannot have a "temple recommend," which is a pass allowing you inside the temple. Going to the temple and performing the rituals inside (baptism for people who have died, marriage and "sealing" ceremonies for people who have died) is a HUGE PART of an active Mormon's life. This enables you to climb the ladder, so to speak, and get "high up in the kingdom of god" aka, the top tier in heaven at God's literal feet. And maybe be so good and worthy that you can have your own planet and be god over it, too. (D&C 76 55, 59) It is your DUTY as a Mormon to help those who have died receive the blessings of the temple. While you and I might shake our heads at this, it's the very CORNERSTONE of the active Mormon's faith. (Faith without works is dead. D&C 22:2)
How does this affect Mitt Romney? Let's say he becomes President. *shudder* He - as an active member - cannot contradict the Mormon President. HE. CAN. NOT. (D&C 28: 6 "Thou shalt not command him who is at thy head, and at the head of the church.") Let's say there's a bill before Congress regarding benefits to gay partners. He can in NO GOOD CONSCIENCE allow that bill to not get a veto. The Mormon Church is VERY CLEAR that you are your sex BEFORE birth in the "pre-existence." And all that your sex entails, as in, you're a girl, you like boys, period, in God's name, amen. You are rife with sin, otherwise. Which, whatever. They are certainly entitled to their close-minded beliefs, even though I emphatically disagree. But this should not be LEGISLATED.
The church has been very clear that women belong home. WOMEN BELONG HOME. If you are a single mother, you should do your best, obviously, but as soon as you marry (because you should, or that pesky highest kingdom of god thing won't apply) you should STAY HOME and raise your children. While I agree that a parent being home benefits the children, SCREW YOU. No one puts baby in a corner. :)
More insidious, and something casual observers don't recognize is HOW OFTEN THE CHURCH CHANGES ITS STANCE. Joseph Smith, the founder and a Freemason - and who aped most of the Mason's rituals for the temple, but that's neither here nor there at this time - was a big proponent of blacks being full members of the church. Let me remind you that was back in 1832, when NO ONE respected blacks. That's to be commended. And he was the PROPHET of God. Who had God's word. Right? And... when did blacks get the right to be full members? Meaning, when were the heavens opened to them so they could have Eternal life? 1978. So... it was okay to oppose god's word on this one thing back in the day? o_0
Joseph Smith was also "told by god" to have plural wives, aka polygamy. But he wasn't supposed to tell anyone. Only a handful of men. Uh huh. And then in 1892, when Utah was facing being seized by the Federal government and all of their properties and holdings taken from them (and they were and still are a VERY wealthy organization) the prophet got a "revelation" from god saying they would no longer practice polygamy, now open up those federal coffers, kthx.
Oh, and the prophet John Taylor (my cousin's g-grandfather-in-law by marriage) pulled a few men aside and said, no, really god wanted them to keep on being polygamist, just shush about it and go to Southern Utah. And the FLDS chuch was born, and now we have Big Love talking about what's really going on down there. During Brigham Young's presidency, men could be "sealed" (a word which means essentially married for the eternities) to each other. That's... that's not even KNOWN now, because the church re-prints its books every time there's a policy change, and gives the members a new book, which becomes the Word. And they just take it. And it's never talked about again. *shrug*
Jesus has "told" the Mormons what to eat, how much to sleep (D&C 89), exactly how church service should be - and it's the EXACT SAME in any country, in any building (D&C 46), to not worry about their debts (D&C 111:5) - which, btw, Salt Lake City has the HIGHEST RATE of bankruptcy in the US. Jesus Christ has also given the people and specific bodyguards permission to hunt and kill people. (See: Mountain Meadows Massacre and Porter Rockwell.) He gave them a step-by-step plan for ridding your presence of an evil spirit, which was carried out TO THE LETTER in an ep of Big love, which makes me love that show even more. (D&C 24:15)
People laugh and boggle at Pres. George W. Bush's "fanatical" born again beliefs. The literal 6000 years age of the earth, that sort of thing. Well, the Mormons believe there were horses and steel and iron smelted in the US in pre-Columbian America (400 BC to 147 AD to be precise.) The original inhabitants, pre-dating the Myans and Incas, had paved roads, a form of government, HORSES... They're descendants of Jews that fled Jerusalem when the Romans rolled in, about 400 BC. I'll let you history buffs ponder that for a spell. Even though the DNA record shows NO CORRELATION between Native American Indians and Jews. The school BYU has a division dedicated to PROVING these claims, history be damned. My father's friend worked on the Ramses exhibit in the late 80s - he was a devout Mormon and BYU prof. - and they claimed the Egyptians had garments with the same markings the modern Mormon's garments have (those "holy underwear" you've heard about.) Proof that god is telling the Mormons the Right Way. (There were no "sacred garments" found on the mummies of ancient Egypt, beyond the ritual bindings, etc.) MIND BOGGLING.
It also states in the Book of Mormon (Alma 23, 3 Nephi 2) that Native Indians also bore the mark of Cain (dark skin) and when they repented and were good, they became white. THIS IS A BELIEF. Also, the Bible wasn't translated correctly (tell me something I don't know) and Joseph has a newer version that's right. And... has all sorts of bits inserted that confirm his new religion's teachings. But that's not suspect, is it? (D&C 93)
The end of the world is nigh, and the Second Coming will literally happen. But in a completely organized way. Jesus will arrive at Adam-ondi-Ahman, MISSOURI, and all the church leaders will know. (Incidentally, that's the site for the original Garden of Eden. With Adam. And Eve. LITERALLY THE LOCATION.) They will then pull their telephone trees and call their lists, informing all the righteous. (!!!) The devout and worthy priesthood holders (men) will go and receive Christ's instruction for how to wipe the earth clean. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. I have been to this spot on a church trip when I was a teen. WOW. Jesus tewtally is all about the organization for destruction. (Um, the DayTimer is a Mormon company. My uncle helped start it. 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, by Stephen Covey? Mormon. Jesus <3 ledgers!)
So... this could be your next President of the US. This could be the beliefs upheld (because again, he HAS TO or he won't obtain Celestial Glory in the highest kingdom of heaven) by the leader of the Free World. And you thought Dubya believed some wacky stuff. This could be the basis for policy decisions. He WILL confer with the Mormon President on decisions. He will make sure of it.
THIS FREAKS ME OUT.