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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Maureen Dowd, "Anne Frank, a Mormon?": Will Mitt's "Magical Underwear" Prevent His Nomination?

I have been waiting for Mitt Romney's faith to be scrutinized by a New York Times op-ed, and in "Anne Frank, a Mormon?" (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/19/opinion/dowd-anne-frank-a-mormon.html?ref=opinion), Maureen Dowd does not shy from the task. Dowd writes:

"Richard Bushman, a Mormon who is a professor emeritus of history at Columbia University, said that after 'the Jewish dust-up,' Mormons 'backed away' from 'going to extravagant lengths to collect the names of every last person who ever lived and baptize them — even George Washington.' Now they will do it for Mormons who bring a relative or ancestor’s name into the temple, he said.

. . . .

As for the special garment that Mitt wears, “we wouldn’t say ‘magic underwear,’ ” Bushman explains.

. . . .

Republicans are the ones who have made faith part of the presidential test. Now we’ll see if Mitt can pass it."

Okay, Maureen, you've made your point: Mitt's Mormon beliefs might strike many of us as "weird."

Personally, I don't care whether or not devout Mormon couples think they will be given planets in an afterlife. I also don't care what Mitt wears under his suit. (Maureen might be interested to know that many Orthodox Jews wear a fringed "tallit katan" under their shirts.)

I am far more troubled that Obama sat in silence over the course of 20 years as his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, told his congregation that African Americans should not sing "God Bless America" but "God damn America," and claimed that United States "terrorism" was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Water under the bridge, or does Obama remain a radical leftist in sheep's clothing, apropos "magical underwear"?

The Kennedy brothers, John, Robert and Edward, were all able to differentiate between their Catholic faith and America's pluralistic freedom of religion. I have no doubt that Mitt Romney will do the same.

Can Republicans accept Romney's Mormonism? Actually, I think the issue which remains to be seen is whether Romney's relative moderation, flip-flops and all, as opposed to his Mormonism, will allow him to be nominated, or will Republicans commit hari-kari by nominating a reincarnation of Barry Goldwater, defeated by a landslide in the 1964 presidential election.

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