This story on the Daily Beast this morning should scare everyone who’s even thinking about voting for Mitt Romney on Nov. 6.
It seems that David Twede, a writer whose work includes managing editor of the site MormonThink.com, recently authored and published a series of articles that were critical of the GOP Presidential nominee. He says he was summoned by church authorities to a meeting at which he was repeatedly badgered about his role on the site, the reason he masks his identity there, and instructed to “cease and desist.” The church allegedly plans to excommunicate him on Sept. 30.
As an ex-Mormon who was excommunicated at my request, I can tell you this much: his story rings very true. I was “counseled” on several occasions and threatened with excommunication (before I decided I wanted out anyway) because my political views weren’t in alignment with those of the church. Specifically, I refused to join a church-mandated picket line at a local X-rated theater and I joined the anti-death-penalty vigil outside a prison in Utah when Gary Mark Gilmore was being executed.
This is my biggest concern about Romney as a Mormon. I don’t think his religion ought to be an issue. I admire a lot about the Mormons, frankly. But I am personally aware that the LDS Church doesn’t hesitate to use its power of excommunication as a threat to force members to comply with strictly secular policy making with which they can lightly paint a coat of theology to make it seem unbiased.
Faced with a decision that would potentially violate Mormon positions, would a President Romney risk excommunication or would he bow to the insistence of the church authorities who see themselves holding sway over all of its members and their views on virtually every subject imaginable?
It’s at least food for thought.
(LATE ADDITION: Here is Twede’s predecessor’s message to the magazine and his announcement of his resignation from his life-long church.)