Park Romney, a former Mormon high priest, said he left the church because he believes it is a “fraud.” While Mitt Romney does not really ever discuss his religion like one or two of the other Republican candidates, he is known to be a committed follower of the Mormon faith.
Park Romney told BBC that one of his main misgivings about the church is its founder, Joseph Smith, and particularly the Book of Abraham. This particular book is believed by those who practice Mormonism to be transcribed by Smith from Egyptian scrolls. Egyptologists such as Dr. James H. Breasted of the University of Chicago have their doubts about the book, and many believe it to be a fake.
“There’s compelling evidence that the Mormon Church leaders knowingly and willfully misrepresent the historical truth of their origins and of the Church for the purpose of deceiving their members into a state of mind that renders them exploitable,” says Park.
Park claims that sense he left the church, he has been “alienated” from his family because the church requires them to “shun” him. He further said, “Their doctrine, their protocol, and their culture, as enforced by bishops, encourages the families to disassociate themselves from the apostate.”
Mormon Church elder Jeffrey Holland denies that any such thing exists. He also said, “If I had a son or daughter who left the Church or was alienated or had a problem, I can tell you I would not cut that child out of my life.”
Elder Holland particularly felt offended that anyone would associate the Mormon Church as a cult. Most of the church’s attackers are actually former members. He said, however, that those who feel it is a cult should probably no longer be members, and, “I have chosen this church because of the faith that I feel and the inspiration that comes, but if people want to call us a cult, you can call us a cult. But we are 14 million and growing.”
It is sad that Mitt Romney or any other individual should be judged by their religion, especially when the United States’ government is supposed to be based on the separation of church and state; however, just as what was seen with Barack Obama (belief that he is Muslim) it is not that simple. Romney does not bring his religion into fold when in debate, but this will only further cause people to ignore him simply based on his religion.
I am not a supporter of Mitt Romney’s, and this story is interesting; however, using Romney’s religion against him politically is wrong especially when he is obviously not forcing it onto those who do not want to hear or believe it. John Greer, professor of political science at Vanderbilt University said, “The nomination would be in the bag if it weren’t for the Mormon factor.”