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Friday, December 07, 2007

Did Mitt Do Himself In?

I'm intrigued by the follow up chatter re: Mormon Mitt's last ditch appeal to Christian conservatives in Iowa.

NOW I'm hearing that the minute theological details of a person's faith don't matter in politics, and we shouldn't worry about it.


The Book of Mormon, attributed to Joseph Smith, was supposedly transcribed from gold plates that were buried for 1400 years near Palmyra, NY, until the angel Moroni appeared to a 17 year old Joseph Smith in 1823 to let him know about the tablets. The angel further instructed Joseph to return to the spot on the same day every year, until *finally* in 1826, the angel told him that if Joseph 'would Do right according to the will of God he might obtain (the plates) the 22nd day of September next and if not he never would have them'. Joseph also learned that in order to be given the plates, God required that he marry a girl named Emma Hale and bring her along on his next visit to the hill, in September 1827.

Joseph obeyed, and recovered the 5 gold plates a year later. The plates gave an account of former inhabitants of the continent (e.g. Adam, Eve, and Jesus), and were written in dead language known as 'reformed Egyptian'. Moroni was nice enough to provide Joseph with 'interpreters', i.e. divinely endowed eyeglasses that would allow him to read the plates and translate it into English.

Among its many revelations was that Jesus traveled to North America after his resurrection to spread the good news among the ancient, warring tribes.

Joseph Smith was later given a revelation that the Garden of Eden was actually in America. How about that?

* This historical information comes from the Jon Krakauer book, 'Under the Banner of Heaven'*

The Osmond family, Mitt Romney, and the rest of the Mormons hold up the Book of Mormon on an equal basis with the Old and New Testament of the Christian Bible. For those Christians who believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God and without error, this Book of Mormon is problematic, to say the least.

What do the theocrats want? If the Mormon Mitt were to get the GOP nomination, his speech would be parsed out and replayed with disastrous results during the general election season. For one thing, an agnostic or atheist has no place in Mitt-World.

If we're now being told that the theological details don't matter, than I have a proposal for the social conservatives. Put your Bible down, and just tell the rest of us:

No abortions, but the death penalty might be okay
We need to be afraid, very afraid, of immigrants, scientists, homosexuals, Muslims, etc.
The war in Iraq is necessary and good.
Government intervention in personal matters re: end of life decisions is necessary and good.

and on and on....

Tell us you support these positions because they're what you believe deep in your heart... it is who you are. It's okay to hold those positions - I would always support that freedom of expression. But stop claiming that God is on your side, as there seems to be considerable differences of opinion re: what God has been saying.

UPDATE: the latest Newsweek poll shows Rev. Huckabee with a 2-1 lead in Iowa over Mormon Mitt.