Once Romney is crowned prince and is the Republican candidate, the Dems attack dogs, excuse me, the Super Pacs will begin to bring up issues about Romney’s religion.
Before I tell my story of living in Mesa, Arizona from 1991-2000, I want to show some of the tenets of the LDS bylaws.
1. 1. Multiple Worlds and Multiple Gods....This deserves some explanation. Mormons believe that God created multiple worlds and each world has people living on it. They also believe that multiple Gods exist but each has their own universe. “We are only subject to our God and if we obtain the highest level of heaven we can become gods ourselves.”
2. 2. Multiple Heavens....In LDS doctrine there are three heavens: the Celestial Kingdom, Terrestrial Kingdom, and Telestial Kingdom. The Celestial is the highest, where God and the ones who followed his law reside. The Terrestrial is the middle, where people who followed the Law of Moses reside. The Telestial is the lowest, where the ones who followed carnal law reside.
3. 3. The Book of Mormon is a book of LDS scripture that takes place during the same time as the Bible and takes place on the American continent. It follows the stories of two tribes who descended from the family of Lehi. After Jesus’ resurrection LDS people believe he visited the peoples of the Americas.
4. While tithes are not uncommon among religion, rarely are they mandatory. LDS theology states that in order to make it to the highest kingdom of heaven, you must pay a full and honest tithe.
At some point, a reporter is going to ask Romney if he thinks that he will be a god on his own world. The religious right consider LDS a cult, not a religion. And if Romney wants to win, he needs the South and the rural areas he’s not winning during the primaries.
Santorum is picking up all the states that Romney can’t. I don’t see how his religion won’t be an issue once he becomes the Republican nominee. If he’s smart, he will ask Santorum to be his running mate.
Mesa has the largest group of Mormons outside of Utah. While we were there, the city government was all Mormon. There were public schools run by Mormons.
Our 8 year old daughter was tormented and kept an outsider by her teachers and her classmates. We found out one day when she was in the 3rd grade that every time she said “Oh my God.” She was punished by the teacher and made to sit at a desk in the corner, facing the corner. She spent most of 3rd grade there.
The kid told us about this one day and I almost had a heart attack. It turns out that uttering those words was considered blasphemy by the Mormons. Her friends would tell on her if she said those words during recess and the teacher punished her.
It also came to our attention that most schools were built next to Mormon day schools. And that after lunch, they were allowed to leave public school and attend religious school…leaving only a handful of kids still in class.
How this was legal, was beyond me but the Mormons were very powerful in that city.
We also learned from friends that high school was even worse. Only Mormons were allowed to play varsity football or any other sport. Only Mormons were allowed to be cheerleaders. Only Mormons became first chair in the school orchestra. And so on.
One day, an incident happened that garnered national attention. Behind our apartments was a long strip of grassland that inhabited 135 foot tall electrical towers.
A Mormon family depended on their 13 year old boy to watch his younger brother. The younger brother, it seemed, had some sort of mental disability. The older brother took his eyes off the younger one and in that time, the kid disappeared.
When the older brother looked outside, he saw his kid brother climbing an electrical tower. There were ladders placed so that city employees could access the equipment.
The older brother chased after him, calling his name and pleading for him to stop. The boy climbed all the way to the top and seated himself on a small beam. The older brother chased him all the way to the kid’s perch. Now they were stuck. Shortly after that, the word spread as people noticed young boys sitting over 100 feet in the air on a dangerous tower.
The police were called. The fire department was called. They couldn’t get the kids to come down so it took a few hours for the police to find a construction cherry picker that had an enormous reach. Hours were passing and the evening approached.
This had a happy ending as the firemen were able to get the kids off the tower. Thousands of people watched from below and it made the national news shows.
Our neighbor was a teacher and had the older brother in her class. She told us that the older brother was so afraid of the ramifications from his strict father that he went up the tower. It was a large Mormon family and dad was a tyrant. Social services visited that home over and over. The kids were beaten regularly. The father took the teachings of LDS seriously and expected his children to follow.
Obviously, this could have happened with people of any or no religion. We were invited to a party that our neighbor had in which many of her fellow teachers attended. I heard one horror story after another about the abuse in Mormon homes. Kids regularly came to school with bruises. The school administration did nothing.
When we learned that our kid had spent 4 months in the corner of her classroom, we had a meeting with the teacher and principal the next day. They had smirks and smiles that chilled me to the bone. They explained the reasons that our daughter was always punished. She was a heathen….a Jew…and Jews killed Christ.
The next day, we pulled her out of that school and planted her in one that was not run by Mormons.
We spent 9 years in Mesa and there were always stories circulating or on the news about Mormon brutality.
Just like any religion or people, there are good and bad people. I’m not saying that the Mormons were evil. But they followed God’s rules and tenets like nothing I had ever experienced. Their tithing actually had some families financially ruined. They had to pay 25% of their income to the church. They struggled to feed their kids so the church could become richer.
Those 9 years opened my eyes to the down side of being a Mormon. And based on their laws and rules, I do believe they are a cult, not a religion. And there is just no way this won’t come up in the upcoming run for president.
I am writing this because I chose not to say anything about this on Face Book as I derided Romney. Didn’t seem to be the right forum.
Romney supporters kept talking about his ability to run businesses. His acumen at being a good boss. But Romney cannot escape the attack dogs when the time gets close to vote. He will be forced to respond. And this will only make things worse for him. He either agrees with these tenets or he distances himself from them. The religious right is going to implode if he becomes the nominee. It will be interesting to watch.