7 Ways Mormonism Shaped Mitt Romney
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5. Like most religious institutions, Mormonism has adapted, albeit slowly, to the times.
Through revelations that coincided with an outcry of public opinion, church leaders decided that polygamy wasn't such a good idea (1890) and that African Americans should be treated with equality in their church (1978). To an outsider, it can seem convenient that God speaks to His chosen church through "progressive revelation' after the rest of the nation has already gotten the message. In a similar manner, Mitt seems to have no trouble switching to the side that is in the majority, or at least in the majority of his party. Unfortunately, his stances on issues such as abortion, healthcare, immigration have regressed in an attempt to appease the far right.
6. Mormons are very generous, especially to other Mormon causes.
While other Christian churches suggest a tithe; to be in good standing, Mormons requires members to give 10% back to the church. The Bloomberg article (8/12) estimates that tithing brings in an estimated $8 billion a year (in addition to their business revenues). This money is used for a variety of worthy endeavors, along with trying to keep their own members off government or public assistance. Having struggled with acceptance into the mainstream, Mormons are wary of the government and this comes out in some of Mitt's rhetoric. Like many Republicans, he wants to control an institution that he seems to view with suspicion and distrust.
7. Predestination, or the belief that they were chosen to be born into a specific family at a given time, is central to Mormonism.
Likewise, they believe in a multi-tiered heaven, which is certainly nicer than the Christian fundamentalist version of fire and brimstone. Never-the-less, only those sealed in the Mormon Temple can live with Christ in the highest realm of heaven, where they can eventually go on to rule their own universe. While Mormons are certainly entitled to believe this, if not careful, it can breed a subtle form of elitism. Couple pre-destination with a life that has known nothing but wealth and privilege, and it is possible to understand how Mitt thinks in terms of an "us" versus "them," whether it's the other 47% or the 99%.