Sunday, December 9, 2007

Ode to Mitt Romney

It is not often that I feel pity for white men, much less ones who are rich, Republican and practice a religion with racist doctrines.

And yet, I felt my heart strings plucked a bit when Mitt Romney took the stage this week to defend his Mormon faith at the George Bush Presidential Library in Texas -- is it just me or do you giggle when the words "Bush" and "library" are mentioned in a sentence other than "George Bush doesn't know what a library is?"

Mitt's been under fire for being a Mormon. Check the polls and they'll tell you that Americans are more likely to sign their daughters up for "Flavor of Love 4" than vote for a mormon.

Amazingly, the hesitation has nothing to do with the inherent racism in the Mormon faith (lovingly detailed on this site:

Got a short attention span and don't have time to read dude's site? Here's all you need to know. Take this quote from Mr. Mormon himself, Brigham Young -- the dude with the school: " . . . some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind.

The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of any one of the children of Adam. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings.

This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race--that they should be the 'servant of servants;' and they will be, until that curse is removed."

Nutshell: Black folks are "cursed" with dark skin and flat noses because Cain killed his brother. Now, I know there may be some self-respecting Christians out there who will find this concept ridiculous, but may I remind you that your bible teaches that childbirth is only painful because Eve ate that apple. Just a bit of perspective.

Did I say pity, earlier? As I write this, any pity I had for Mitt is quickly evaporating but before it completely disappears I want to point out the utter ridiculousness of Christian vs. Christian politics. My first ill-found feelings of pity came from the fact that I feel Mitt really felt he was part of the Christian gang. I mean, he says he believes in Jesus Christ, I presume he only believes in one God who created the universe in seven days, three wiseman, Noah, Lot's wife -- the whole shebang, right?

Trouble is, HIS particular faction of Christianity got started in the last 200 years so it hasn't had time to become as established as say Lutherans or Calvinists or any of the hundred spin-offs. So, people think of Mormonism as a cult -- and rightfully so considering it got started by a guy who says Jesus was chilling in North America (and you thought walking on water was just to get chicks). Crazy, right? Nevertheless, the idea of Jesus hanging out with Native Americans is no sillier than Jesus turning water to wine, but it's just too soon, and not to mention, too close. It's easier on the brain to believe these magical things happened a long, long time ago and in a land far, far away. Not fucking Idaho.

So, even though Mitt's got the basic DNA of being a Christian, he's not actually in the club yet. And it's not like he's the first guy to catch hell for being spiritually "left handed." Despite the fact that every U.S. president has been a Christian (they don't swear on a dictionary now do they?), even JFK caught hell for being a Catholic. Half the world is Catholic and he still got shit for it. Not sure how JFK fit cheating on his wife with a major movie star into his theology, but at least we confirmed his faith before the fucker took oath, right?

As an outsider, I guess I just don't see how the differences in practice mean all that much. I mean, forget our phobia toward non-Christian candidates. Are you telling me, if a guy goes to church on Saturday vs. Sunday he has to call a press conference? Call me silly, but I would think you'd want a guy who believes Jesus is the only way to heaven, right? Isn't that the big deal? Sure, it's still unbelievably shallow but I'm trying to understand.

The sad part is, Mitt spoke some truth during his speech. Namely this line: "Religious tolerance would be a shallow principle indeed if it were reserved only for faiths with which we agree." Great line, I just hope Mitt stands behind it when in 2012 Habeeb Muhammad throws his hat (or turban) in the presidential ring.