God Forbid

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Mormonism doesn’t work for me. I just wanted to get that straight, right off the bat. I have serious doubts about the timeline of events proffered by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I just can’t swallow the idea that the Son of Man rolled away the rock and then ascended into heaven, only to make a pit stop on the other side of the planet. It’s not that I doubt that Jesus could have dropped in on the loincloth-and-human-sacrifice set; but if He did, His lessons clearly didn’t take — until Hernán Cortés and his Spanish legions reinforced it at the end of a musket. I likewise find the details of golden plates and seer stones pretty dubious.

But here’s the really cool part: I don’t spend time thinking about LDS doctrine, nor do I have to. Mormons are welcome to believe whatever the heck they want; the last time I checked, that’s the American (not to mention Constitutional) way. And I would have guessed that the Democrats would move to the front of line to join me in dismissing attempts to criticize any candidate based on his religious beliefs. After all, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) shares the Mormon faith espoused by Governor Mitt Romney; and I have heard no howls of derision pouring forth from the left regarding Reid donning any “magic underwear,” promoting polygamy or otherwise planning to impose his faith on those of us who prefer the booze to contain actual alcohol.

To be completely honest, with Congressmen like Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a Muslim, keeping company with Islamofascist-linked hate groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations while the Democrats accuse his detractors of religious bigotry and intolerance, it ought to follow that the LDS church, which has no ties to suicide bombers or their financiers, is free of the fickle finger of fatuousness.

It ought to follow, but it doesn’t. As I perused media and social networking sites, I caught a recurring theme of liberals launching venom at Romney and his faith. From Daily Beast Brit and Obama cheerleader Andrew Sullivan’s statement that “Mitt Romney belonged to a white supremacist church for 31 years of his life” to “Doonesbury” (yes Virginia, it does still exist) cartoonist Garry Trudeau’s crude attacks in a series of comic strips, there was nary a shred of religious acceptance to be found.

That sort of mouth-breathing, ignorant hate represents the worst kind of mindless political assault. And it is hardly isolated. The same Democrats who find Ellison’s pals such fun at a party have no room in their hearts for a guy who thinks of Utah as the Promised Land. The same liberals who cheered the idea of a mosque within AK-47 range of Ground Zero can’t abide the idea of a teetotaler in the Oval Office. The same Obama backers who slander anyone who opposes Obama with the rhetorical brush of racism just can’t imagine a Mormon in the White House.

If the Democrats really do want Americans to look past those matters of faith that separate us, then perhaps Romney’s religion ought not be a sticking point in 2012. There is no shortage of reasons to object to Romney, and he’s eminently preferable to the abominable Obama. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints causes me no great consternation. It’s not as if the Mormon clergy espouse a doctrine of hatred, racism and “God damn America.” Now that would be wrong, wouldn’t it?

–Ben Crystal

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.