Sunday, September 23, 2012

Romney critic faces excommunication

Do you really think you want to combine politics and religion? Here's a Mormon who faces excommunication from the church for being critical of Mitt Romney!
David Twede, 47, a scientist, novelist, and fifth-generation Mormon, is managing editor of, an online magazine produced largely by members of the Mormon Church that welcomes scholarly debate about the religion’s history from both critics and true believers.

A Mormon in good standing, Twede has never been disciplined by Latter Day Saints leadership. But it now appears his days as a Mormon may be numbered because of a series of articles he wrote this past week that were critical of Mitt Romney.

On Sunday, Twede says his bishop, stake president, and two church executives brought him into Florida Mormon church offices in Orlando and interrogated him for nearly an hour about his writings, telling him, "Cease and desist, Brother Twede."

Mormon leaders have scheduled an excommunication "for apostasy" on Sept. 30.

This is why we don't have a  theocracy in America (not yet, at least). This is why we separate church and state.

Of course, Twede had to hide his identity at anyway. The phrase "witch hunt" is used for good reason, a tragic reminder of our religious history.
“I told them I hide my name precisely because of things like this,” he says. “I said, ‘Look how fast you got to me.’ I know a lot of members don’t want their life disturbed. In the Mormon church, if you’re not part of the uniform group, you are ostracized.” ...

“When they interrogated me, they denied that they were on a witch hunt, but they kept asking me, ‘Who are the other individuals you work with on MormonThink?’” he says. “They continued demanding that I tell them. But I didn’t.”

He's lucky they can't use red-hot pincers these days!

But this also demonstrates why you shouldn't belong to faith-based groups. Criticism of any kind is anathema to religions, because they all have faith they already know the truth (even though different religions disagree vehemently on what that truth is).

What good is criticism if you won't use it to correct your mistakes - heck, if you refuse to recognize even the possibility that you might be mistaken? Religions value faith, not skepticism, for good reason.

Science values skepticism, because scientists want to be corrected if they're mistaken. But religions can't afford that. Skepticism is too dangerous to religions built on the sands of wishful-thinking.

But facing excommunication for criticizing a presidential candidate? It's pretty clear that Mormon leaders think they'll have the president in their pocket, if Mitt Romney is elected.

Admittedly, this doesn't seem to be just about Romney:
Twede started contributing to MormonThink about four years ago and says he was recently asked to be managing editor when the former editor resigned after also being “confronted and pressured” by the Church leaders, according to Twede.

“Rather than go through the excommunication, he resigned for family reasons,” explains Twede, who notes that after the former editor resigned, LDS leaders kept it quiet. “They didn’t want anyone to know about MormonThink. They wanted him to take the site down.”

What's the difference between a religion and a cult? Size, only size. A religion has more members, more money, more property, more power. But it's just a cult at heart.


Jeff said...

"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own." - Thomas Jefferson

Did a little probing in the LJS. Tried to buzz Jody P's tower a little bit.

Two thoughts:

A: Jody P is ignoring me.
B: Jody P is a friggin' idiot

"The trolling is done by the liberals on here who sit around all day looking for conservative comments so they can make personal attacks against the posters. And it is sad that this forum is so dominated by that kind of trash"...

Can you say "projection?" If Jody P is that dense, it'll be like shooting fish in a barrel.

Jim Harris said...

I wonder what the Mormons make of Romney. I guess if he wins it's a kind of validation. But I would also think they would worry about getting too much attention. Their religion is very different from older forms of Christianity. I bet most Americans think they are no different than Baptists and Lutherans. What happens when the average Christian finds out their story is so much different?

WCG said...

You're torturing me, Jeff, since I can't read that stuff anymore. I wish you'd started commenting before they went behind a paywall.

WCG said...

I don't know, Jim. As often as they come to my door proselytizing, I don't think they're worried about getting too much attention!

Admittedly, they don't lead with the magic underwear. :)