Romney, Women and Mormonism

One fact about Mormonism that the media have completely overlooked and that could have a potentially significant negative impact on Mitt Romney’s general election campaign is that in the Mormon Church women are denied access to the priesthood. (That’s the males-only church population that holds every significant office of authority from the top to the bottom of the church.)

I’m a former Mormon and I can tell you that even though many Mormons would argue that they treat their female members with great dignity and respect (and that’s even true in a large swath of the church membership), that does nothing to erase the fact that women are in essence second-class citizens when it comes to church management and leadership. Without a properly practicing Mormon husband, Mormon women are even denied access to the highest degree of the afterlife.

It’s hard to see how a man with the lifelong training and education in a church that does not recognize women’s right or ability to lead the church at any level would be expected to have an egalitarian attitude toward females in his political life and campaigns. And that’s certainly indicative of what we’ve been seeing so far.

I don’t think that the fact that Romney’s a Mormon leader should disqualify him from the office of President but I also don’t think his religious beliefs and  practices, as presented by the church to which he has devoted his life, can be declared off limits for political discourse, either.

(Added After Initial Publication)

After I posed this I recalled that I had posted an article on the subject of Romney’s Mormonism and the Presidency in 2008. I was able to find it here. If you’re interested in the subject, that article provides a broader perspective on the subject rather than focusing on the women’s issue)

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