"As religion becomes an ever-more significant issue on the campaign trail, Mitt Romney's Mormonism will be off-limits as a subject for the opposition," Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod said last Sunday.
If that is the case, why is the liberal media still focusing on Romney's religion? Perhaps it's because they can get away with it, knowing full well that Obama won't be asked to live up to the same standard expected of Mitt Romney. Obama's campaign will be praised for the above-the-fray position by the media while the same media carry on the dirty work of defaming The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a world-wide religion. More from Axelrod in the same article:
He added, however, that Romney should to come [sic] out stronger against attacks on Obama's former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. A recent GOP ad proposal unearthed by the New York Times that aimed to focus in on Obama's relationship with the pastor brought the racially-charged issue to the forefront of the campaign this week. While Romney repudiated the ad, Axelrod and [sic] he wasn't vehement enough in his disapproval.
If Romney is expected to "vehemently" repudiate any possible attacks against Jeremiah Wright, then why isn't Obama expected to "vehemently" repudiate ongoing attacks against Mormonism? Why does Obama think he can get away with this double standard? Our president's insulting silence on media attacks against Mormonism shows a tacit approval, not to mention a lack of principled leadership. Romney demonstrates greater leadership by personally speaking out against attacking Jeremiah Wright.
Having regularly attended LDS churches in various congregations across the country for more than 20 years, I'm very familiar with my church and its doctrine.
- The LDS Church teaches that the Founders of the United States were divinely inspired to create a new nation granting unparalleled rights and liberties.
- The LDS Church relies on a lay (uncompensated) ministry, with members serving as local leaders and teachers for variable lengths of time. Sunday sermons are regularly by members of the congregation.
- The LDS Church teaches members to volunteer, contribute, and serve in their communities.
- The LDS Church teaches members to be law-abiding citizens, as explained in the 12th article of faith:
We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
- The LDS Church's primary focus is to teach people to follow Jesus Christ.
- The LDS Church now has over 14.4 million members worldwide, with about 6.2 million members in the United States, or 1.7% of the US population, and these numbers continue to grow.
- The LDS Church has an estimated 186,000 African American members, about 3% of members in the US.
- The LDS Church teaches tolerance and respect for all other creeds, faiths, and beliefs. The 11th article of faith says:
We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
- The LDS Church teaches patriotism despite receiving multiple abuses by the hands of government authorities in the early days of the Church. Early Church members were driven out of Missouri by mobs carrying out an Extermination Order from Governor Boggs, followed by mobs chasing them out of Illinois after only a few years' time. Early members sought but received no protection from local officials, state officials, or President Martin Van Buren, despite abuses against members' religious liberty, property, and even their lives.
- The LDS Church teaches members to extend love and forgiveness to all people who have wronged them individually or collectively, following Jesus Christ's example.
- The LDS Church maintains strict political neutrality, but takes a stand on some social issues such as Proprosition 8 in California. This political neutrality also explains how LDS United States Congressmen are both Democrats and Republicans. There are currently 15 LDS Church members serving in Congress, most notably Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
If Obama's team thinks that the media highlighting Mormonism will drive voters away, they are mistaken. Mitt Romney has not tried to distance himself from his faith and has been loyal to his church and its teachings. If one candidate's faith is brought into the public forum, then both candidates' faiths should be discussed in the public forum. Either Obama should lead on quelling attacks on Mormonism, or he should accept that Jeremiah Wright is relevant during this campaign season.