Romney holding Mormon scriptures in his lap.
Mitt Romney has been reluctant to discuss his Mormon faith on the campaign trail — and his defenders routinely cry foul when when Democrats and journalists bring it up. When he’s pressed to respond details about his church’s theology and history, Romney often dismisses them, arguing that he’s “not running for pastor-in-chief.”
But in a 2002 interview with the Mormon newspaper Church News, Romney was much more forthright about the extent to which he is influenced by his faith. The glowing profile of “Brother Romney,” as he’s referred to throughout the story, was published shortly before the Winter Games kicked off, and just as his national star was rising.
The story paints a portrait of a man who has been shaped my Mormonism — and to whom his church still matters deeply.
One telling anecdote:
In October 2000, just a few days before the closing ceremony of the Summer Olympic Games, Brother Romney flew from Sydney, Australia, to Boston, Mass., to attend the dedication of the [Boston, MA Mormon] temple.
While he needed to be in Australia for the closing ceremonies, he felt it more important to attend the dedication. With no time to rest following a 24-hour flight, he was among the throng waiting in line early that morning for the dedication.
“My commitment to my Church and faith is all encompassing,” he said. “The opportunity to attend a temple dedication in the presence of a prophet in my hometown, where I served as stake president and bishop, is an opportunity that I would never miss.”
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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 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. 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. Particularly when those actions involve the severing of families and child abuse, and for those actions the Mormon church must be held accountable.
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the opening line: “when Democrats and journalists bring it up” is lazy and incorrect. journalists perhaps, but if any political party is more associated with raising the issue it would seem to be republicans, a la the religious right folks, like that supporter of rick perry who made an issue of it before perry’s entry into the race. not saying it’s not an issue among people of various political persuasions, but definitely not sufficiently associated with the Democrats (as compared with Republicans) to name them as the ones who “bring it up.”
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