Author’s note I originally posted this here at FPR back on March 18, 2008.
Am I accountable for the crazy things that people say at my church? Luckily, I tend to disagree, and disagree strongly with most political statements made at church. Was Mitt Romney responsible for racist practices that existed with the Church during his younger days? I do not think so. What about Ezra Taft Benson’s delusional politics? While I believe that he was an apostle and prophet, his politics was nasty rubbish. Do I need to denounce him completely? No. His talk on pride (which I read later) was a turning point in my life that helped me decide to serve a mission.
The right and left have some shady religious figures. James Dobson, under the guise of pro-family Christianity, is one of most hateful and disgusting characters in American politics. Is he any different from Jeremiah Wright (Obama’s preacher)? Mostly just in ideology. A major difference is that Dobson is willing and able to rally large amount of people to his cause, in a way the Wright cannot.
As Mormons, it we are going to expect others to look past our religion and the history of our religion, we should be hesitant to blame political actors for everything that their pastors say or think. Do we want to constantly be in the position of having to condemn polygamy and past racism? If Obama was Mitt, what would you say given the controversies of the last week?