Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Governor, You're No Jack Kennedy

In a now-famous speech he gave in the 1960 presidential campaign, JFK said he believed in the absolute separation of church and state. Watch it.

Mittens Romney has tried mightily to cover himself with that JFK cloak, but it really hasn't worked. Vanity Fair has a terrific article entitled When Mormons Go to Washington, giving a history lesson on what happens when members of the Mormon church go to Washington. It isn't a pretty sight.

For not yielding to the wishes of the L.D.S. Church, in 1965, Mormon Congressman Kenneth W. Dyal said he received “abuse, threats, blackmail and vicious attacks on my integrity from corporations, church members and their leaders.” It was perhaps for this reason that resisting the Church was not common.
. . .
From 1851 to 1869, more than 99 percent of Mormon voters supported Church-approved candidates in all but one election. In that year, nearly 96 percent voted for the candidates selected by the L.D.S. president. From 1851 to 1877, there were only three non-unanimous votes in Utah’s House of Representatives, occurring once in 1851, once in 1855, and once in 1861. During the same 26 years, the Utah Legislature’s upper chamber voted unanimously on every motion and bill except for three dissenting votes on different days in 1852.
... the First Presidency consistently favored the Republican Party after 1890 and tried to restrain devout Mormons who were Democrats. The Mormon rank and file obediently fell in line, and today 70 percent of Mormons identify themselves as Republican or Republican-leaning, while only 19 percent say they are Democrats.
There's plenty more and it's all interesting reading. Can we really believe that the so-called General Authorities of the church will take a totally hands-off approach to a president who also a member of their church? I don't think so.