Monday, September 24, 2012


Because I find it hard to call one religion any crazier than any other, I've tiptoed around Mitt's, quoting more authoritative sources than myself on the few occasions I've brought it up. I do see something specially strange in choosing to follow faiths mostly made-up on the spot, like Scientology or that one from a hundred fifty years ago; they differ only in numbers from the followers of David Koresh or Jim Jones or that guru in my native state, with the Rolls Rice (it's a plural.)

But I have to say there's something specific and disturbing about this:

David Twede, 47, a scientist, novelist, and fifth-generation Mormon, is managing editor of, an online magazine produced largely by members of the Mormon Church that welcomes scholarly debate about the religion’s history from both critics and true believers.
A Mormon in good standing, Twede has never been disciplined by Latter Day Saints leadership. But it now appears his days as a Mormon may be numbered because of a series of articles he wrote this past week that were critical of Mitt Romney.
On Sunday, Twede says his bishop, stake president, and two church executives brought him into Florida Mormon church offices in Orlando and interrogated him for nearly an hour about his writings, telling him, "Cease and desist, Brother Twede."
Mormon leaders have scheduled an excommunication "for apostasy" on Sept. 30.

Short of rioting and killing and their various other transgressions against humanity and common sense, I guess I'd defend most faiths' rights to do most of what they want. But this smacks of the extremism and thought control we see in Iran, or Saudi Arabia, or Pakistan... And whereas it's between the writer and his church, I wonder about having a president who's been brought up to think that way; assuming he has. I'd like to know how he feels about it: if not the particulars of this case, then about the threat of excommunication from the faith that he's described as the most important thing in his life, one for which he's been some sort of high holy guy. In which role he seemed to relish telling others how to live their lives (see link below).

Maybe it's no more fair than the questions raised about JFK and Catholicism. But that religion, having been around a while, was sort of familiar. They'd pretty much stopped drowning witches and lopping off heads by the time JFK came along. And unlike Mitt and the Taliban, JFK wasn't, far as I know, one who'd doled out his religion's brand of justice to others (link coming up). I'd like to know what excommunication would mean to Mr Romney, in terms of gateway to heavenly reward, to the special places reserved there, as I understand it, just for Mormons; and to what lengths he'd go to avoid it, what he'd do, as president, if threatened by it, as he's threatened others.

Not to mention wondering why the elders are so anxious to get Mitt in office that they're shutting down criticism of him... Now there's a conspiratorial question with some kick to it.

[Image source]


Margy said...

I do have to speak up about this one - lots of discussion in certain LDS circles about this rumor as you can imagine. It seems another issue connected to his writing is at issue (one that is defined as apostasy), not his criticisms of Mitt Romney. Of course, in a church with lay ministry whacky things like this are possible!

Sid Schwab said...

Thanks, Margy. It's certainly possible that the specifics of this case are different from what was reported. Mitt's activities as a "counselor" to women? More to the point that I was making, maybe.

Kevin McFerren said...

I heard on a public radio broadcast this evening, on To The Point, from a Mr. Scott, I believe it was, who has also written extensive critiques of the LDS church, and has not been interrogated for it. He claimed to have talked to Mr. Twede and that the issues the elders have with him are about his "subverting the faith of others", not his criticisms of Romney.
Not sure whether Mr. Scott had his own take on this, as he was not very forthcoming with details, even when pressed by the interviewer, Warren Olney.

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