Gary Rosenblatt’s column (“Romney Or Not, We Can Learn From The Mormons,” Nov. 25) offering a Jewish perspective on Mitt Romney’s candidacy in next year’s presidential election is eminently timely, but begs for attention to some serious issues concerning Mormonism’s possible impingement on the candidate’s suitability for the highest political office.
Here are three questions among others that warrant consideration:
First, much of the Mormon faith is kept hidden even from most Mormons who are excluded from participation in rituals and observances conducted in the secluded and off-limits areas of its temples. How can the general public determine whether this faith will affect a person’s political life if it is not totally available for study and scrutiny?
Second, since the supreme leader of the Mormon faith is considered by its adherents to be endowed with prophetic powers, might not the independence of a faithful Mormon elected to the presidency of the United States be compromised by his loyalty to his faith’s ultimate authority?
And third, Rosenblatt acknowledges that only victims of the Holocaust were exempted from the Mormon doctrine of baptizing the deceased, but that otherwise the practice continues unabated. How does such an approach to persons, although deceased, jibe with the principle of individual autonomy that is the very foundation of modern democratic society?
The successes of Mormonism in family life, with its youth, in growing demographically and in public relations may be admirable and even instructive, but questions about its worldviews and activities need be addressed openly and critically.