Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) have at least one thing in common with presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney—the Mormon faith.
Media rarely if ever made note of these Democrats who are Mormons, but with Romney’s ascendancy in the polls, various Left leaning publications have opted to slam the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
I get regular hate-filled updates in email from some woman whose name I can’t remember—she really doesn’t like Mormons. That's not surprising--she probably doesn't even like herself.
I live in the South, so you might think I didn’t know much about that faith. Fact is, I got an up close and personal view for a number of years because a Mormon family happened to live on the same street where we bought our first home.
None of us were wealthy. Most of us were working families trying to stay afloat. We were a blend of retirees and young couples with children.
Our neighborhood was near the urban center of the city and times hadn’t been kind. We had a problem with speeding cars, drug dealers and irresponsible property owners who would rent to anyone who could breathe.
We formed a neighborhood association and over a period of years, we cleaned that neighborhood up. We held block parties; we invited the sheriff to speak to our group. If we saw the law being broken, we called police and we backed up our call with testimony. We picked up litter, kept our yards nice and improved our properties. We all worked together to turn that neighborhood into a good place to bring up children. It was a hard-fought battle that we won. As a result, we saw property values rise.
During all the neighborhood revitalization—we funded it; not a government dime was spent other than authorities doing the duties our local taxes paid them to do—the family who happened to be Mormon worked with those of us who belonged to an assortment of religions, including Judaism, Catholicism, an Eastern faith or two and Wicca.
Our children played together and my own children’s upbringing was enriched by learning about all those faiths.
I came to know the Mormon family well because they had a daughter close in age to our older daughter.
The family was hard-working, moderate in all things, respectful of law. I never heard a single member of the family curse; I never saw any of them use alcohol although they didn’t criticize my own habits at block parties and such. The family helped neighbors and would be a blessing to any community.
I knew little about the Mormon faith until I lived near and came to know a family that practiced it. They shared the same goals we did—to work hard, to prosper and try to be an asset to their community.
Admittedly, some of the things I learned about their faith seemed strange to me. As a Lutheran who has enjoyed talking to others of many different faiths about religion, I have to admit things about Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and other faiths have also seemed strange.
When others visited my own church, our practices seemed strange to them, especially if they’re not into liturgy, knee-bending and managing to consume a wafer that under no circumstances should be chewed.
The Leftist flacks who are attacking Romney’s faith are doing so out of desperation—socialists never give up their power base willingly.
But every time you read something derogatory about an American faith, bear in mind that the faith of Romney is the faith of the second most powerful leader in the Democrats’ party and others in Congress as well. Apparently none of these Democrats felt brave enough to defend their faith or speak out about the persecution being waged by flacks like Maureen Dowd.
I would wager, sight unseen, that the devout Mormon family I lived near and came to know well were far more honorable than any of the Leftist flacks and pundits in attack mode.
The attacks on Romney’s faith are typical of the Left who preach diversity at every turn but are completely incapable of practicing it themselves unless it is politically expedient to do so.
Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to future scribbling by Dowd. Potential titles include "Is Elvis a Muslim?" or maybe "Is Elvis a Jew?" or perhaps "Is Obama a Catholic? ", but I'm not holding my breath.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Aug. 23, 2012)