Sunday, May 27, 2012

Channeling God: The Audacity of Being Mitt

Politics, sex and religion are supposed to be avoided like the plague in polite society so as not to upset anyone's tenuous grasp of their carefully constructed worldview - based mostly on fear, I fear, of that which they don't understand, so they can remain cozily wrapped in their security blanket of ignorance. But, this election defies being polite and religion must be addressed with courage and clarity.

The New York Times article about Mitt Romney's faith is littered with clues as to how his faith would inform his decisions should he become President of these Un-United States...heaven forfend...and provides critical insight into who this Hollow Man really is. It is not a polemic about Mormonism but it's about how Romney interprets his religion and how he adapts it. It is not about issues because those are open to interpretation depending on where Mitt's wet finger determines which way the wind is blowing. The question is: Do you want someone who claims to be on the phone with God calling the shots?

Zealously, Mitt Romney is convinced he has a direct line to the Divine.
  • "Mr. Romney also prays before taking action on decisions he has already made (my italics), asking for divine reassurance, a feeling that he is "united with the powers above," Dr. Hassell said.* 
Dr. Hassell is a close friend and observer of Mitt Romney so he should know. So, is this how the 'dog incident' went down? INTERIOR SHOT. Mitt dialing a shoe à la Get Smart, phone ringing. God picks up. Sound of thunder. "Hey, God, gotta minute? I know you're busy but I just need to run this by you. I've decided to put Seamus in a crate and tie it to the roof of the car so he can go with us on vacation. No, no, I know he'll love it. It's only for twelve hours. What? Listen, God, I respect your opinion but this time I'm going to play God to myself and disagree with you...just this once, I promise. Please, don't hold it against me. Talk later. Bye." Mitt ties dog in dog crate to top of car. Smiles self-satisfyingly, says to self, "God will see that I made the right decision."

But wait. There's more. Lots more.
  • "...dozens of the candidate’s friends, fellow church members and relatives describe a man whose faith is his design for living."* 
It's more than just his faith. It's his quest about "how to apply Mormon gospel in the wider world - also drives Mr. Romney's life. "He just needs to know what God wants him to do and how he can get it done."* Mr. Christensen said -  another FOR - Friend of Romney.  ALARM BELLS.
  • "But being a Latter-day Saint is “at the center of who he really is, if you scrape everything else off,” said Randy Sorensen, who worshiped with Mr. Romney in church."* 
If you scraped everything off, there'd be nothing there but a Hollow Man.

Let me play you few hard core licks of what makes this man tick*:
  • "Every  presidential candidate highlights patriotism, but Mr. Romney's is backed by the Mormon belief that the United States was chosen by God (my italics) to play a special role in history, its Constitution divinely inspired."*
  • "...that leading it (America) is "an obligation and responsibility to God."*
  • "He prays for divine guidance on business decisions and political races..."*
  • "In church, Mr. Romney frequently spoke about obeying authority, the danger of rationalizing misbehavior and God’s fixed standards."*
  • "“Mitt was very much by the rules,” said Tony Kimball, who later served as his executive secretary in the church."* 
Just think how this 'by the rules' mentality would play with his political decisions. Oh, by the way, Mitt, who's making those 'rules'? I think we know his answer. His God. Except when Mitt plays God.
  • "Outside the spotlight, Mr. Romney can be demonstrative about his faith: belting out hymns (“What a Friend We Have in Jesus”) while horseback riding..."* I just had to include this quote. The visual is just too good...Mitt as Gene Autry. 

All of this is beyond disturbing, even, I expect, to Christians, Muslims, Jews and other God-believing religions as Mitt seems to have designed his own God to listen to. The very idea of hearing voices, God's voice, is a suspicious version of crazy, though Mitt is not the first person to defer critical thinking to the Divine as an excuse for intellectual laziness. And it allows those believers to express dominance over others who don't toe the same line just as Mitt and others do. This is especially troubling to those of us who don't believe in God. Yes, we don't. And we manage our lives very well, thank you. So, can you imagine having, as your President, an adult who claims to consult an imaginary friend, God, and possibly friends like Lucifer or Jesus? This prospect is the scariest of all. A President that has a special phone to God in the Oval Office is unacceptable and dangerous. And I don't want my tax payer money paying for it.

OK, supposing there is a God and Mitt Romney channels him. How does Mitt square up his Moral Duplicity? Does Mitt-the-Liar pass the smell test for integrity? Because he does lie. A lot. Does God make a special dispensation for Mitt because his design for him is to be President and Liar-in-Chief? How does Mitt internalize and process his lies? Is it okay, because as Mitt's friend infers about him, that the 'end justifies the means'? 
  • "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."* 
  • "“I have absolutely no idea how he rationalizes it,” Mr. Kimball said of Mr. Romney’s harshest statements and attacks. “It almost seems to be the ends justifying the means."* 

So many alarming questions, no answers. The question of character, in a politician, is a treacherous one because the definition of character floats in a nether world of expediency which supposedly justifies the means and who of us - believers or otherwise - could pass this test of virtue? But there has to be a line in the sand and a Presidential candidate who can't, or won't, make a decision without consulting the Mother Ship, who operates with such an intense degree of God-given certainty, who accepts lying as his right and who still thinks Seamus loved being in a shitty crate for twelve hours should be subject to diligent scrutiny. And in my estimation, if you didn't already guess, roundly rejected and sent to rehab. Mitt Romney is no Man for All Seasons and heaven help us if he's elected. Frightening.

* Romney’s Faith, Silent but Deep via NY Times


1 comment:

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