I've been thinking about Mr. Romney's speech.
First of all, I'm Mormon. Which means that I'm about to be followed by a bunch of comments regarding holy underwear and wives and plates and whatever. To which I'll only say: whatever. Just as weird as believing that a piece of cracker turns to blood in your mouth, or that you get 70 virgins if you die defending your faith. Yes, we had a problem with racism up until the 1970's, and the whole polygamy thing is good for a laugh. Every religion "grows up", and mine is pretty young that suffered some trauma early on.
Second: Mr. Romney was wrong when he said "Freedom requires religion". He's wrong logically, he's especially wrong when it comes to the tenants of the Mormon faith. What he did was throw out a bone to the religious right who want to see separation of church and state brought down. Yet when you ask any Mormon (or at least, any one that I've talked to down here in Florida), they think that's a terrible, terrible idea.
Why is Mr. Romney wrong based on Mormon faith? Mormons like myself believe that God inspired the US Constitution. He didn't write it, but he inspired the people behind it. Why? Again, by Mormon belief, so that there would be a nation conceived in liberty that would allow religious freedom to allow the conditions of the restoration of the church.
Think about that a second: Mr. Romney said "Freedom requires religion". But right away, according to Mormon faith, he runs into a major problem: the history of the church believes that the Constitution was created with freedom of religion, in order to allow free expression of religion to occur.
Therefore, one could only conclude by the Mormon faith that it is not that "Freedom requires religion", but "Religion requires freedom"! Without free expression of religious beliefs, you can not have complete expression of any religion.
Then, look at other countries. Do they have religion in China? Sure. Do they have free expression of it? No. Therefore, people having religious beliefs haven't magically made China a flourishing democracy.
Mormons believe strongly in the separation of church and state. The 11th article of faith reads "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."
I might have added "Or not, as they may", but hey, it was the 1800's, atheists were a crazy idea to some people. Then again, so was the idea finding plates that said that Jesus visited America, so forgive him. Mormons know what happens without complete separation of church and state - you get a situation where your religion gets murdered just because you have crazy ideas that Jesus was the son of God (literally) or something, and then you run to Utah.
Trust me - the vast majority of Mormons that I've talked to strongly believe in the separation of church and state.
I haven't met a single Mormon in my area that wants to vote for Mr. Romney. I don't want to vote for him. I would have supported him if he kept his "beliefs" that gay marriage was fine, and his pro-choice statements (yes, there are Mormons like myself who are pro-gay marriage and pro-choice because of my beliefs in constitutional freedoms, which are separate from my religious beliefs). By dropping them once he ran for president, he's only proven to me he's a guy who will say anything to get elected, so I don't know *what* he believes, save in power.
So, Mr. Romney is wrong - Freedom does *not* require Religion. Free expression of Religion requires Freedom of expression, separation of church and state to ensure that no other religion can enforce its beliefs on others. To say otherwise only proves that not only is he a bad candidate, but also a badly thinking Mormon.
Of course, this is all just my opinion. I could be wrong.
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