copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2012
I know there are discussions going on around the Bettina Network about the Republican Primary. That is all you can get when you turn on the news, but I see almost no one has sent in their breakfast discussion as a blog, probably because they have a strong religious component and none of us wants to be thought of as bigots -religious or otherwise, true or false. Well, I guess I will just have to risk folks knowing we take in all views from wherever and give the freedom of discussion to all our guests without judgment. So my breakfast table talk has to be about the breakfast we just had from which I am still trying to recover. The house is super clean after one of these discussions because cleaning helps me think and sort out – maybe this writing will substitute, it is certainly easier on the body.
We had an unusual assortment of people because one guest invited a couple friends from the area. A bonus when you stay in a Bettina home.
The breakfast was all about the Republican primary. After the laughter at what is going on stopped, we turned to the more serious side of the race.
It started with a guests’ comment on race, actually – the heavy racist overtones to Mitt Romney’s latest television ad about the race being about the soul of America and he goes downhill from there. The interesting thing about racism – those engaged in that emotion generally can’t see their own failings, but that ad was pretty specific. No media got it. I guess you had to have been involved in politics when race was the prevailing issue which made or broke politicians to get the really extreme racism and almost Nazi-like threat Romney is making in that advertisement, if Obama continues in office. I must admit, I had to watch television to take another look at the ad and with that background, the racism jumped right out of the ad in my face. I have much to learn.
From race we turned to religion. I am sure no one at the table would have that conversation anyplace else except in a Bettina Network home.
One guest started it with a story about a friend of hers who was interested in the Mormon Church and started to attend. The guest was Caucasian, her friend was African American and single – no, not gay single, but single-by-life-circumstances.
After a few weeks of going to the particular Mormon Church she was attending, they apparently saw she was seriously interested. They talked to her about her interest and about becoming a member of the Church. Their suggestion – strong suggestion was that she not return to their Church – a white, young professional, couples gathering with lots of small children – and told her to go to another Church – still Mormon, but in a different part of town with a different congregational make-up. More diverse with lots more single people. When she checked it out, there were lots of African-Americans. She got the message and turned her attention elsewhere. Amazingly, what she took away from that encounter was not the Mormon’s racism, but their social engineering. They were telling her what to do in no uncertain terms and she had no choice. It was clearly, from her encounter, not racism, but it was based on their belief that a single African American woman would be more comfortable in a Church with single African Americans along with other minority members – some young professionals with young children, but minorities just the same.
The breakfast conversation moved from there to the autobiographies of Romney, his father and others in which they were clearly told what to do by their Elders and they saw it as their duty to do just that. Someone suggested the reason Romney was born in Mexico was because his father had been sent there by the Mormon Church with much push back on his part, but he went nevertheless because he saw it as his duty to do what his Church told him to do with minimum push back.
Given that background up came the name of Huntsman with the conjecture as to why he decided to run. He clearly was not going to run and then all of a sudden, fresh from an appointment by the Obama administration to China, he announces his intention to join the race. Looking at his strategy since he entered it looked as though he had been ordered into the race by his Elders in the Church rather than joining the race totally of his own volition. For one thing – it really looks like a gross ethical violation, unusual for Huntsman – and the strategies of both Romney and Huntsman say some greater power was moving them towards the goal of a Mormon president of the U. S. A. and that greater power was not God, but gods – I loved that comment and just had to include it.
To say that almost wiped me out as I sat quietly listening to this is an understatement.
The discussion went on to really outline the difference in what would happen in such a circumstance if Romney were the only Mormon in the race as opposed to two Mormons running for the Republican nomination. There was a lot of discussion as to why a minority or woman running for an office for the first time would have a much easier time if there were two running instead of just one.
There was also a lot of discussion about what happened in Massachusetts when Romney ran for the Senate and almost beat Kennedy and then ran successfully for the Governorship. The discussion was about Romney allegedly using the Church records to push his campaign instead of keeping a distance considering that a conflict of Church and State. Some of that conflict apparently made the papers in Massachusetts.
This discussion was not about Romney or Huntsman using the Church records with the computerized colleciton of information about everyone in the world who the Mormons visit on a regular basis and update their computer records as their young missionaries call on you – but about the Mormon Church overseeing the Romney campaign and introducing Huntsman either with his agreement or with some pullback on his part – to insure the victory of one of their own.
I know the computer part is true – about the Mormons collecting information from their missionaries and keeping those recods computerized for future proselytizing – I had not thought before of the efficacy of such a collection being used to further the political ambitions of the Mormon Church.
Someone at the table remembered the Senate Campaign of Romney against Kennedy and what happened when Kennedy tried to raise the issue of religion against Romney. There was an immediate media ourcry about how the Kennedy’s were in the same position when Jack Kennedy ran for president so Kennedy should just keep quiet. The person raising that bit of history was still upset about that, but not because the media quieted the religious issue, but because they would not report on what Kennedy was saying – which was that there is a difference between a person who is a member of a religion – sitting in the pews – running for a public office and someone who is a Bishop in his denomination running for office without making that distinction clear with the public backing him not knowing of his official Church position – sort of like an Archbisop of the Catholic Church running for office and hiding his official position with the Church. The issues then being raised take on a very different look.
The Bishop in a denomination has declared his belief in everything for which the Church stands. A person in the pew can have theological differences with his denomination and is free to make his own decisions even when they conflict, theologically and otherwise with his Church’s teachings and beliefs.
Ed.Note: This part of the conversation came up because Romney is/was a Bishop in the Mormon Church. We had a couple questions after the blog published about this which is why this note is being added.
If that person in the pews is running for public office, he can make decisions which differ from the theological beliefs of his denomination – he might get push back and heavy push back sometimes from his denomination, but the Bishop would not be able to make decisions which differed from his denominations theological belief system, he has taken an oath, vow, whatever to uphold and follow all of his Church’s beliefs.
That was a discussion that needed to be held when Romney ran for the Senate and that did not happen. That is still a discussion that needs to be held and could be aired without religions bigotry if we had the right kind of media – which we do not. A media beholden to advertisers who can give and take away would be hard put to report on such issues without their bias showing in their reporting – which is the disgrace of one of our most powerful institutions.
WOW! I don’t believe I got through all of that and I hope you publish this blog without my name attached. You take the heat and I will still send you breakfast table talk.
Ed Note: A guest at a Bettina home, who stayed a couple years ago, called us about the blog and said that Mitt Romney’s father was born in Mexico, not Mitt Romney. We would like to correct that mis-statement. She went on to say that about 130 years ago Romney’s great grandfather – Miles Parker Romney and others – fled to Mexico from Utah. Miles had four wives and they were running from the anti-polygamy laws passed earlier making multiple marriages a felony. Miles’ fathers had 12 wives.. The Romney family returned to the U. S. and lived in Michigan where Mitt Romney was born.
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