As the father of four children who disappeared into Utah 16 years ago in a Mormon abduction, I’m going to have much to say about Mitt Romney, Mormonism and religious freedom throughout the campaign.
Thanks to the Mormons who kidnapped my children and put them through a forced immersion that led to the death of my son Aaron Cruz, Oregon has become the first and only state in the nation where child abduction creates a civil cause of action, providing kidnapping victims with new tools to deter and resolve parental and family abductions and organized church shunnings.
In 2005, as Senator Avel Gordly’s chief of staff, I led her workgroup on her landmark child abduction statute, Senate Bill 1041, which immediately became known as “Aaron’s Law”, as it passed on a dramatic end-of-session unanimous House vote not long after his death in Payson, Utah.
The Mormon church is notoriously intolerant of religious views that differ with its one approved line of thought. Ask any of the thousands of former Mormons designated as “apostates” for having expressed disagreement or left the church who are victims of organized Mormon shunnings. The LDS church and all of its doctrine simply does not recognize religious freedom.
And should you suffer the terrible bad fortune of having your son or daughter marry into the Romney (or any other Mormon) family, say goodbye to any plans you ever had of attending your own child’s wedding. They’ll make you wait outside.
It is one thing to believe something as an aspect of religion, and in that regard we are ostensibly all free to believe practically any thing at all, but that freedom ends where a person or a congregation acts on its beliefs, enforcing its “no contact” rules on children caught in the middle, for example. Particularly when those actions involve the severing of families and child abuse, and for those actions the Mormon church must be held accountable.
The Mormon candidate for the Presidency of the United States needs to explain himself, and that doctrine he says is the foundation of all of his decision making.