by smitton, Thu Mar 22, 2007 at 11:00:13 AM EDT
The short answer to that interrogetory is, "They will if they know what's good for them."
The brouhaha surrounding the candidacy of Mitt Romney has provided a lot of grist for the Anti-Mormon mill. Nary a week goes by that some pundit pontificates that America will never elect a Mormon, a religion so exceedingly strange that they have their own scriptures, living prophets, multiple wives, and magic underwear. Surely a candidate that subscribes to these strange doctrines can never be taken seriously on the national stage.
While it would be tempting here to examine these strange beliefs one by one and compare them to equally strange Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, or virtually any other religious tenet, I would like to focus on just one doctrine that, heretofor, has garnered virtually no national notice: i.e., The Doctrine of the Sacred Nature of the Constitution.
As I noted previously, the LDS (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) are unique in the world in declaring that the Constitution and other founding documents of the Republic are holy writ, on par with the Bible or other sacred texts. The Doctrine and Covenants, one of the LDS books of scripture, believed by them to be spoken by the mouth of God, is unequivocal in its support of the U.S. Constitution.
" And now, verily I say unto you concerning the laws of the land, it is my will that my people should observe to do all things whatsoever I command them.
And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.
Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land;
And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.
I, the Lord God, make you afree, therefore ye are free indeed; and the law also maketh you free.
Nevertheless, when the wicked brule the people mourn.
Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil. " (Doctrine and Covenants 98: 4-10)
" According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles;
That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.
Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.
And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood. (Doctrine and Covenants 101:77-80 )
Most Mormons clearly believe that the Constitution and the ideas embodied there and in the Declaration of Independence were inspired directly by God, Himself and therefore must be defended even to death. Another scripture reads:
" For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.
Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;
For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.
But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned." (Doctrine and Covenants 58:26-29 )
These scriptures have led many a Saint from Harry Reid (D-NV)to Mitt Romney to devote large portions of their lives to public service, and I have no doubt that Romney has prayerfully considered them, as well.
Will America ever elect a Mormon president? .... If they know what's good for them.