mormon churchCan someone please explain to me why it’s all of a sudden okay to bash someone’s religion? Isn’t that what we call bigotry? Just because you may not understand someone’s beliefs is no reason to be a jerk and mock him or her.

Yet liberal columnists are having a heyday poking fun at Mitt Romney for his Mormon beliefs. Last week, The New York Times’ Charles Blow tweeted in response to Romney’s lament that so many children are born out of wedlock these days. Blow tweeted: "Let me just tell you this Mitt 'Muddle Mouth': I'm a single parent and my kids are *amazing*! Stick that in your magic underwear."

Devout Mormons wear underclothes called temple garments, as an expression of faith and a constant reminder of the promises made in the temple. Jews also wear specials garments – ever heard of a yamaka? What about Sikhs and their turbans? What if Charles Blow had said, “Stick that in your magic hat”?

On Tuesday, Salon Editor-in-Chief Joan Walsh entered the fray, joking “Romney’s saving the soul of America – so he doesn’t have to baptize us after we’re dead.” She was referring to the Mormon practice of by proxy baptism, in which a living person is baptized in the name of a deceased person, so that the deceased may chose to accept it in the spirit world

They are not indoctrinating the dead into their religion; they are simply offering potentially lost souls an opportunity to enter what they believe to be the true church. It’s a practice that offers comfort and peace to the members of the LDS church, and if they’re wrong, why does it matter? 

I can’t think of any religion that says that your salvation is jeopardized by actions of members of other religions. What you believe spiritually, and what happens after this life on earth, is between you and God. No one can, through their own actions, make a decision on your faith for you, whether here or in the afterlife. It is up to you, and you alone. Mormons simply offer a way for the deceased to follow their path, should the spirit of the person choose to follow it.

Both Walsh and Blow unfairly scorned the Mormon Church for religious practices they didn’t even take the time to learn about, let alone respect.  They both later apologized for saying what they did, Walsh only after bashing the religion some more over a series of tweets before saying, “However, I believe in keeping religion out of politics and I don’t want to be responsible for everything my Church preaches, so I apologize.”

Maybe someone should explain to Joan Walsh that the best way to keep religion out of politics is to keep religion out of politics, not directly disparage a presidential candidate on their faith. 

 

Image via superfem/Flickr