Neoconservative Jingoism Plus Mormon Delusion Equals Perpetual War
Continued from previous page
A favorite Romney charge is that Obama is ashamed of his country and goes around the world apologizing for it. But then no normal person who has actually read some history, or traveled, or opened his or her mind to the fact that maybe their religion has gotten some points wrong could love America as much as a good Mormon! To Mormons America isn't just another country but proof that their alternative fanciful version of world "history," religious truth and reality is factual.
For Mormons America is Mecca, Jerusalem and the Garden of Eden all rolled into one. In an essay on the topic of the Mormon idea of America, Pat Bagley (of the Salt Lake Tribune) included this quote from Brigham Young: "There is not a Territory in the Union that is looked upon with so suspicious an eye as is Utah, and yet it is the only part of the nation that cares anything about the Constitution."
The Mormon "Saints" saw themselves as the only true patriots and the key link in the chain of American exceptionalism beginning with Jesus' personal visit to America, the Pilgrims, continuing through the Founding Fathers and being the key to the establishment of Christ's righteous government on earth forever. In all of the history of the world, according to Mormons, America alone has a special destiny, one guaranteed by God.
In 1846 Brigham Young with the leaders of the Church, issued the proclamation of "The Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" that began: "To all the Kings of the World; to the President of the United States of America; to the Governors of the several States; and to the Rulers and People of all Nations: GREETING: KNOW YE THAT the kingdom of God has come ..."
After his arrival at the Great Salt Lake, Young had set up a "government in exile" to step in when non-Mormon America needed salvation by the One True Church. It was called the "Council of Fifty," also known as "The Kingdom of God and His Laws with the Keys and Power Thereof, and Judgment in the Hands of His Servants."
The Mormon belief that they were the only real and true Americans may partly explain the troubles Mormons had in New York, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois and later Utah. The US government denied Utah statehood and hounded and imprisoned Mormon leaders until the Church promised two things: to abandon polygamy and swear fealty to the United States and its elected leaders and stop the annoying practice of setting up alternative "governments" to the US government.
The question for Americans today is if we can trust a president to be a good world citizen when the entire theology and history of his religion is to see itself as superior too not just all other Americans but to all other nations. This hardly seems like a good basis for peace.
The question is not just will Romney "swear fealty" to the United States and its elected leaders but will he also swear fealty to a fact-based version of world history? More to the point: Will Romney be a good Mormon or a good world leader? Bluntly: will Romney get lots of Marines like my son killed because of some very stupid ideas about God's "plans" for America? Frank Schaeffer is a writer and co- author of AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America's Upper Classes from Military Service -- and How It Hurts Our Country and author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back .