Or, Nonsense and Perfidy amongst Christians and Atheists.
I have become rather animated about a number of things that have happened this week last as I have listened to podcasts of radio shows from the US and Blogs and Commentaries both from the Internet, which tend to get to me before News Limited decide to publish in the Australian newspaper here in Australia, aka., Terra Australis Incognita.
We are all familiar by now about Mitt Romney’s problems with the anti-Mormon nature of his opposition from within the Republican Party, particularly, the so called, Christian Right. The speech he gave some time ago where he quoted Brigham Young, one time leader of my and Mitt Romney’s Church. Whatever Mitt quoted BY saying is irrelevant, because the response was acidic. The argument being, that given Mitt Romney gave a quote from BY (from over a hundred years ago, then some other statement from this Great Man (BY) yet flawed Prophet is relevant. This, of course is nonsense, unrelated to his speech that day defending his Mormon heritage, one I might add, is honorable and he is justifiably proud of, and a reasonable effort to answer his critics.
From this vantage point it looks like the critics had nothing to hook on except a past that did not include the candidate directly. It looks absurd and irrational.
So weeks went by and I am busy listening to radio shows and Internet audio blogs when my attention was caught by KCRW’s “Left, Right and Centre” commentary on the weeks political events. Obama on Race, Iraq Five Years Later, Obama Speaks, with a date last Friday, 21, March, 2008. Here a temporary replacement for Robert Shier (Truthdig.com) Lawrence O’Donnell started a train of discussion on Obama’s Pastor in Chicago and some statement related to Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s opposition to US Foreign Policy and how Reverend Wright is ashamed of it, and saying something like “God damn America” for these foreign Imperial escapades by the US.
Today's generations of Americans have always known religious liberty. Perhaps we forget the long and arduous path our nation's forbearers took to achieve it. They came here from England to seek freedom of religion. But upon finding it for themselves, they at first denied it to others. Because of their diverse beliefs, Ann Hutchinson was exiled from Massachusetts Bay, a banished Roger Williams founded Rhode Island, and two centuries later, Brigham Young set out for the West. Americans were unable to accommodate their commitment to their own faith with an appreciation for the convictions of others to different faiths. In this, they were very much like those of the European nations they had left.
Here Romney is telling our story and how it relates to others of the American Foundation, Mormons experienced religious bigotry and intolerance and ended up with an assassinated Prophet and a move to found a Deseret State outside the Union at the time. Of course Utah was established later.
The point I can’t understand is why Mitt Romney, because he invoked Brigham Young is therefore responsible for everything the man said in his prolific and verbose life as Prophet, Governor of an ostracized people. I wouldn’t expect Barack Obama to be personally responsible for what Pastor Reverend Wright said some other time than Mitt Romney on what Brigham Young said 100 years ago or so. I’m sure we could extract in appropriate material from many sources in Religion, these people are human after all.
I don’t want to say anymore for fear of upsetting the reader, but you get my drift I hope. Barack Obama is not Pastor Wright and Mitt Romney is not Brigham Young. Where did Lawrence O’Donnell get his education?