Saturday, February 24, 2007

Romney, the Mormon Candidate

Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows that I am not a Republican, nor am I a conservative. If I had to choose among the candidates for the 2008 Republican nomination for President, my first choice would not be Mitt Romney. In my opinion, the least offensive Republican candidate would be Rudy Guiliani.

And as an agnostic, I am not religious. I find Mormonism, in particular, to be one of the strangest religious sects in the US today, and I'm being charitable just saying that.

That being said, I take a dim view of those who seek to discredit Romney's candidacy by pointing to his Mormon faith. Most recently, his opponents have called attention to the fact that Romney has the temerity to be a direct descendant of Mormons who were renegades from monogamy who engaged in religious, polygynous "plural marriages". Never mind the fact that Romney has been in a monogamous marriage for the last 37 years.

But it wouldn't matter in the slightest to me if Romney had continued his family's and his faith's former practice of plural marriage or had engaged in the modern form of polyamory. His private life is just that -- private and no business of mine. The last time I checked, being in a monogamous marriage was not a constitutional requirement to become President of the United States. Article 2, Section 1, of the U.S. Constitution sets the requirements one must meet in order to become President:

1. A natural-born citizen of the United States
2. Thirty-five years of age
3. Resident of the United States for 14 years.

Responding to those who refer negatively to Romney's nonmonogamous ancestors, his wife, Ann Romney, said, tongue in cheek, that in contrast to his two main Republican competitors, her husband had "only one wife". This refers to the fact that McCain has been married twice; Giuliani three times.

I have no intentions of voting for Romney. However, I will not base my decision on the fact that he comes from nonmonogamous forbears. Rejecting Romney for being Mormon is no better than those who rejected JFK for being Catholic, as there are much better, more relevant things to reject Romney for. His record of flip-flopping on several key issues is a case in point. There's no need to stoop to prying into his family background, religion, or private life.


No comments: