You’re shocked by that revelation, I can tell
(Politico) Mitt Romney wants voters to see him as the man to save the economy and right the country, the redeeming American hero riding in on the proverbial white horse.
Just not that White Horse.
That’s the one in the old Mormon prophecy attributed to Joseph Smith, which predicts that after the banks fail and when the Constitution is nearing collapse, Mormons flush with wealth — the White Horse, in the prophecy’s metaphor — will rise and lead America back to greatness.
Now that Romney’s essentially secured the Republican nomination, the media attention to his religious beliefs has already kicked off a sort of national Mormonism 101. Deep into his second run for president, Romney’s Mormonism remains one of his great mysteries — and obstacles — in many voters’ minds. The Senate has more Mormons than Episcopalians or Lutherans, but polls consistently show that Romney’s religion has remained a factor.
So, the media plans to run a bigoted campaign against Mitt Romney based on religion, and will most likely end up insulting Mormons across the country. When it was Obama’s religious beliefs in the spotlight, the media turned the dimmer down all the way to off.
The White Horse prophecy itself was discounted by the church almost a hundred years ago but Mormon political figures like Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and even Romney himself still get asked about it from time to time. And even though it’s long been discredited by the church, there are pieces of the prophecy that echo with important themes of mainstream Mormonism today: church members believe the Framers were divinely inspired, and Mormons have a special role to play in preserving the Constitution and the nation as a whole.
So the White Horse prophecy is meaningless, and was brought up at the beginning of the story for no reason except to try and make Mormons, and Romney, look wacky. Gotcha. In fact, after the next two paragraphs, most of the story is about that same prophecy, attempting to keep showing that Mormons are wacky.
Yet Romney, for the most part, has steered clear of answering detailed questions about his religious beliefs—referring to “people of different faiths, like yours and mine” in his commencement address to the evangelical Liberty University is about as far as he’s gone in the 2012 campaign.
That leaves journalists and other observers searching for clues, and the attention already going to Mormon views of the Constitution, which has percolated up from the blogs to the New York Times, provides a window into how this can play out on the campaign trail.
The same journalists and observers are still indifferent as to Barack Obama’s past, specifically during his time in the pews at Jeremiah Wrights “church” and during Obama’s time in higher education. How about what he did as a lawyer and community agitator? Never really heard about those.
All that’s missing is the progressives wringing their hands over the coming Republican theocratic takeover.