Last weekend I caught an African-American Christian preacher on some AM station somewhere in the nowhere between Columbus and Cincinnati hissing with anger at anyone who would dare vote for such a man as Obama. Why? Obama is pro-choice. If you're pro-choice, you're a terrible sinner, and to vote for Obama would therefore be a real-world support for Obama's sin.
So I got to thinking on that topic and wondered: If conservative Christians are willing to dig so deep into these single aspects of Obama's politics/beliefs, equate them with religion, and say that to support Obama is to support all his sins, how does the general Christian voting for Romney - a member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints (LDS, aka Mormons) - weigh against their belief system?
Awww hell, we ain't even draft dodgin'. We stone-cold door-to-door'in' with some New-est Testament LDS evangelizin' rhymes.
For those who don't know, Mormonism was begun by Joseph Smith who, in 1820's USA, spoke to an angel who pointed him to a nearby hill that contained golden plates (left by Jesus' ancient follower-settlers, natch!) inscribed with a new Testament of the Bible which he translated out of pure inspiration and became The Book of Mormon. Huzzah!
This entire book, the foundation of their belief system and Word of God, is dismissed - sometimes as heresy - by every other Christian sect in the world.
Sad, Sad Conversation
So I thought I'd bring it up to an online group I sometimes converse with on politics and religion. I'm the only liberal, but I swear I wasn't trolling. I was genuinely interested: how are conservative Christians reconciling their belief disparity with someone they are willing to put in the White House?
And it didn't matter. Most of them, despite citing "ignorance of Mormonism" as a reason why some might not vote for Romney, had very little knowledge of - or desire to learn about - Mormonism.
(Note: I have nothing against Mormonism or their belief system or Mormons themselves. What I'm trying to do here is push someone [many someones] who use Obama's Reverend Wright's Black Liberation Theology as a go-to for "N0bama" [and that's a Glenn Beck parrot talking] to recognize what Mormonism even is.)
And forget reconciling belief systems; they just didn't care that there was a difference.
The book of Mormon states that Jesus, post-Resurrection, chilled with Middle-East disciples then came to America (remember ancient settlers/believers?), healed some sick, preached a little gospel, set up disciples to spread the church to the Americas, and peace-out back to heaven? "Meh."
The LDS Church regularly - as in now - baptizes the souls of the non-Mormon deceased. Pope John Paul II may very well be Mormon as he's been baptized posthumously - repeatedly. "Eh."
The Book of Mormon talks about a star or planet named Kolob that is closest to the seat of God?
Mitt used the Church of LDS to dodge Vietnam by travelling to France (he speaks French!) to go door-to-door evangelizing?
Mitt Romney's father was born in Mexico because his grandparents fled the US because of anti-polygamy laws?
"Hey, you hear about that Black Liberation Theology? That's crazy!"
I could've told them that Mitt Romney believed that he had an alien mouse in his head running levers and a wheel and it would've been agreed upon and dismissed. These supposedly smart people knew very little about Mormonism and had little care to; they had already made up their mind.
And I agree that most of us have made up our mind and the millions spent from now to November will be on the 5% undecided. But there's no logic there, no reasoning involved: they hate Hate HATE Obama. For some it's race, for some it's BLT (Obama's pastor's church's tangential, barely-related philosophy bolstered to scare white people, not the delicious sammich), but for everyone, it's the "othering," the demonization of the man that has been going on for over six years.
Though, to be fair, I can't imagine what words would convert me to voting for Romney.
And so I guess that's where we're at in this election.
UPDATE: In this whole thought/forum experiment I failed to recall perhaps one of the most important issues in dealing with why Romney's religion is not much of an issue: over half of all Republicans do not identify Obama as Christian. That's a large piece of the equation I failed to include.