The New York Times, which steadfastly refused to tell its readers about the effect that Jeremiah Wright’s hateful preaching might have had on Barack Obama’s faith, has devoted considerable space to exploring “How the Mormon Church Shaped Mitt Romney.” It’s a legitimate topic–as is Obama’s religious background–but the Times carefully sets a trap for Romney: either he is a devotee of a faith that remains strange to many Americans, or else he is a religious hypocrite for abandoning his strict ideals in the political realm.
Behold Romney, religious nut:
Mr. Romney has also asked for divine sustenance during his political runs. The night before he declared his candidacy for governor, he and his family prayed at home with Gloria White-Hammond and Ray Hammond, friends and pastors of a Boston-area African Methodist Episcopal church.
His earlier failed run for United States Senate had all been part of God’s plan, Mrs. Romney told Ms. White-Hammond around that time. Mr. Romney had lost, but “just because God says for you to do something doesn’t mean the outcome is going to be what you want it to be,” Ms. White-Hammond remembered Mrs. Romney saying.
And behold the “chasm” between Romney’s success as a politician and the humble demands of his church:
But many also see a gap between his religious ideals — in Sunday school, he urged his students to act with the highest standards of kindness and integrity — and his political tactics. The chasm has been hard to reconcile, even though people close to him say he is serious about trying to do so.
Needless to say, the Times has never held Obama to anything like the same standard. It ignored the racist teachings of Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ–of which Obama was well aware, despite protestations to the contrary–and fails to hold him to account when his actions violate the tenets of that bizarre, radicalized and racialized congregation. (Wright himself has not been shy in attributing Obama’s perceived compromises to political expediency–as well as to “the Jews.”)
At times, the Times article does strike a sympathetic tone towards both Romney and his faith. But the glaring double-standard remains:
Just as Ronald Reagan deployed acting skills on the trail and Barack Obama relied on the language of community organizing, Mitt Romney bears the marks of the theology and culture of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Obama remains shielded by the abstract “language of community organizing” from the fiery anti-American, antisemitic and racist language of Trinity United, which shaped him–by his own admission!–into the man he is today.