The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd launches a salvo against Mitt Romney and his Mormon faith by cobbling together the usual jeers and criticisms from such Mormon experts as Bill Maher, Christopher Hitchens, and those angry with baptisms of the dead, particularly of Holocaust victims. She also includes Richard Bushman and a member of the BYU religion faculty.
But her intention is clear: to roll out any claim that Mormonsim is weird, different, and an anyone who is a believer is unworthy of being taken seriously. Not unheard of but expect more of this from the Left as Mitt Romney gets closer to threatening President Obama.
Fortunately, Commentary – a conservative political magazine with a Jewish perspective – takes Dowd and the Times to rightfully task:
Of course, as she admitted, it’s easy to mock any faith, and the columnist is well-known for having a negative opinion about the Catholic faith in which she was raised. But would the Times let her get away with poking fun at the skullcaps or items of clothing associated with religious Jews such as the fringed garment many Orthodox Jews wear? Would she have mocked Muslims for their burqas or head coverings? But in an era where a satire about Mormons is a Broadway hit and many liberals worry about Romney’s ability to beat President Obama next fall, right now it’s open season in the Grey Lady on Latter Day Saints.
It should be specified the Mormon practice of seeking out every name of everyone who ever lived — even the victims of the Holocaust — and posthumously baptizing them into their faith was deeply offensive to non-Mormons. To its credit, the official LDS Church finally gave it up in the 1990s, but the ill will that this ritual created still lingers.