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Front Page » June 12, 2007 » Opinion » Editor's notes
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Editor's notes


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By PATSY STODDARD
Editor

The presidential foot race has been off and running for a number of months now. Barack, Hillary, Mitt, Rudy, McCain, and some I've probably missed. One thing I've missed is the information on any of the candidates religion. Anyone but Mitt Romney that is.

I know the Kennedy's are Catholics, but I don't know specifically which religion the Bush family is. I've seen them outside churches many times but I've never focused specifically on their religion.

I am glad they are a reverent church going family. I suspect many of our presidents have all been God loving, God fearing men. Being a president seems like such a daunting task and getting more formidable all the time.

Without the help of God, the job would no doubt be even harder. Even if you don't specifically believe in God, He helps you anyway, and at some point in your life, He has been there beside you, even pushes you in the right direction when you need it. Especially when you think you don't need it.

Back to Mitt. Mitt is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This doesn't bother me. The slang term for Mitt's church is Mormon. This Mormon moniker is more common that the proper name of the Church.

The LDS Church is still not widely known and if someone has heard of the LDS Church, then often times the information is false, misconceived and down right irrational.

One of the most common misconceptions is the practice of polygamy. The LDS Church hasn't practiced polygamy since the late 1880s. More than 100 years ago this practice was eliminated.

Of course all of those men, I would guess, fulfilled their obligation to these polygamous wives and their families under much persecution, if what I have read about those days is correct.

Another misconception about the LDS Church is that the LDS people have horns. I've yet to see any of these horns growing on Utah Mormons, or Mormons anywhere else for that matter.

Another item I've heard of is that Mormons don't believe in God. I received a video one day at the office from an LDS film company that interviews people across the USA and these people, selected at random off the street, answered questions about the Mormon Church.

The results were often comical and certainly enlightening. They discussed all of the misconceptions I mentioned earlier and others I didn't mention. One underlying theme throughout the video was the emotion of the people as they spoke about Mormon people.

They described them as health conscious, very religious, church going, good moral standards, people who stood out in a crowd, people willing to help out, clean cut and well dressed. One man from Michigan said these Mormon missionaries always want to mow my lawn.

I didn't hear any negative remarks but there are many people with negative opinions of Mormons. No doubt these negative images are caused, too, by church members doing things they shouldn't. Just like the positive comments were caused by church members who have done something right.

I think Mitt Romney did a good job on the Olympics 2002 in Utah. But pulling off the Olympics and running a country are two different things.

I do think Mitt Romney deserves fair consideration for this office. The fact that he is a Mormon shouldn't count against him. In fact, I think it should work in his favor. If Mr. Romney is truly a faithful church member, I doubt the escapades of the Clinton era would ever take place in a Romney administration. At least I would hope it would never take place.

Whatever our religious preferences are shouldn't come into play when we are seeking a public office. The government has spent so much time, effort and money in trying to remove God from government, why does a candidate's religious preference even matter?

I hope Mitt Romney is given a fair shake, as fair as all other candidates. Mormons aren't cult members. Theirs is a very viable, worldwide organization that seeks to do good in this world. This church and its members should be treated with the same dignity and respect afforded other religions.


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