Thursday, December 06, 2007

MORONI BALONEY. After days of anticipation pumped up by bored/desperate political reporters, Mitt Romney has told America why they needn't be scared of electing his Mormon ass to the Presidency. It pretty much boils down to this: Catholic, Protestant, Mormon -- it's all "different shit, same Deity." Let's fight the real enemy -- godlessness!
We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for good reason. No religion should dictate to the state nor should the state interfere with the free practice of religion. But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It's as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America - the religion of secularism. They are wrong.
Damn! They found us out! Well, it was about time: I knew that when we turned that church into a disco, we were asking for trouble.

More serious critics have suggested that Romney was just trying to deflect attention away from his own crazy religion. If so, I think he missed an opportunity. Why didn't he just offer a watered-down version of Mormonism, of which no one need be scared? It sure worked for the Catholics. It might be said that the ground for JFK's election was laid by Going My Way; by 1960 most Protestants probably thought Catholics were just like themselves, only with endearing Irish dialects and funny hats, rather than the blood-thirsty death-cultists they once imagined, and which I knew from my childhood.

Romney should have taken the opportunity to forge a bland counter-narrative. No massacres, no White Salamanders -- just a bunch of nice white people doing wholesome things, like the Camp Fire Girls. In fact, Romney should have just ripped off the Camp Fire Girls, entirely. He should have sung the song: "Sing around the campfire/Join the Mormon Church!" He has a nice deep voice and could have really sold it. He could have told us that Mormonism is all about wo-he-lo, work, health, love. Who'd know the difference? If anyone tried to point out that there was more to it than that, he would have been shouted down as a bigot -- not just by hopeless apparatchiks like Hugh Hewitt, but also by decent Americans everywhere. Having adopted the Disneyland persona of the other big religions in America, Mormonism would be beyond criticism.

All would derive benefits. We'd see lots of Mormon Christmas specials on TV, like "Santa's Magic Underwear" and "The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Meets the Phantom of the Park."

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