Sunday, August 11, 2013

What would you ask Romney about his religion?

In an article titled "The Mormon Moment -- Postponed," the Huffington Post raises some interesting questions about Mormonism that I would love to hear Mitt Romney answer.  All of these questions seem highly relevant to whether he should become the next POTUS.
1. How have your early experiences within the Mormon Church -- particularly your two-year proselytizing mission to France and your service as Bishop and Stake President -- shaped your character and your worldview?
2. How does Mormonism's boundless optimism, which transcends even death in a manner unlike any other religion, shape your vision of America's present and future?
3. All religions have fabulous foundational stories. The Mormons are no exception. The difference is that their theology is younger and famously literal. It tells us that God has a body, that there is a plurality of Gods who eat and drink and mate as we do, that the golden plates were real, and that when we die there is a concrete and specific heaven where families are reunited. How has the singular physicality of your faith shaped your view of the world, not only as a private citizen but as a national leader?
4. When Mormons are asked about Joseph Smith's powerful final vision about man becoming God, "God-like" is almost always substituted for becoming God. But Mormonism's oft-quoted tenet is unambiguous: "As God is, man may become." Can you explain this core belief in a way that addresses the charge of blasphemy made by other religions?
5. Why do your new positions on immigration, social welfare, gay rights and abortion differ from official positions of the Mormon Church? Can you place these differences in a context that reassures Americans that Mormonism is not a philosophical monolith -- that indeed there is ample room within the label of "devout Mormon" for people as diverse as you and Senator Harry Reid?
6. What your church labels "sacred" is frequently termed by others "secret" or even "sinister," leading many to conclude that Mormons may not always be telling us what they truly believe. How can you assuage these suspicions by articulating your beliefs?
7. Given that your church's highest leadership councils consist entirely of white males, that it denies its lay priesthood to women and that it played the decisive role in the passage of California's Proposition 8, how can you assure the American public that the composition of your administration and the policies that you would pursue would be reflective of, and responsive to, the diversity that is the foundation of this nation's strength?
8. When asked about the part of his Baptist faith that meant most to him personally and as the nation's leader, President Clinton spoke movingly -- and in his words --a bout "the God of second chances." Human fallibility and the possibility of divine redemption -- these were Clinton's themes. What element of Mormon history or theology has had special resonance for you and has shaped your view of human nature, and of God?
9. Of all the misconceptions surrounding your religion, which one has offended you the most? Or, to interject a lighter note, what misinformation or stereotype has caused you to roll your eyes and even laugh when you are with your Mormon friends?
I particularly like the last question.  It would be great for Mitt to be honest about any disagreements he has with LDS church policy or doctrine.  Of course, there is zero chance that Mitt will touch any of these questions.  For this reason, I started my educational series on Romney's religion, beginning with What does it mean to be a "true believing" Mormon?, and continuing with Magical Mormon Underwear, The Mormon Corporate Empire, Mormon Racism, and Sumerian Submarines and Other Absurdities, and The Rotten Fruits of Mormonism.

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