"There is nothing particularly wrong with reflecting religious views in politics... but not everyone realizes this is happening."
Aldie, VA (PRWEB) June 04, 2014
Award winning author, Anthony T. Cluff, said today that the teachings of the Mormon religion play a much bigger role in U.S. politics than most people realize. This, said Cluff, is because most people do not know what Mormonism is all about. Cluff is the author of the path-breaking book on Mormonism entitled "In Search of the Great White God: From Big Bang to Coba and Beyond,"
While "In Search of the Great White God" is not about politics, Cluff said, it sheds light on Mormon teachings that are often reflected in political decisions being made by Mormons holding high public office. Examples are some of the political decisions that have been made in the past by Senator Harry Reid, a Mormon and the U.S. Senate Majority Leader. According to a new analysis conducted by Cluff, three in particular stand out.
The first deals with the most recent Presidential election, in which Senator Reid was adamantly opposed to the election of Governor Mitt Romney, a fellow Mormon, to be President of the United States. His opposition was understandable because Senator Reid's political philosophy as a liberal Democrat was in direct opposition to the more conservative philosophy of Governor Romney as a Republican. But the intensity of Senator Reid's opposition to Governor Romney's election was out of proportion and often inexplicable. Senator Reid said that Romney "couldn't be confirmed as a dog catcher," even though Romney had served honorably as Governor of Massachusetts. He ruled out the possibility of working with Governor Romney, even though the Senator is a strong advocate of bipartisanship and highly critical of Republicans for not working with President Obama. And, he said that Governor Romney had "sullied his faith" and was not "the face of Mormonism," for which Senator Reid was roundly criticized.
What accounts for Senator Reid leveling such outrageous charges against a fellow Mormon, particularly when the Mormon Church places such great emphasis on the need for fellowship among its members? The answer is to be found in one of the pillars of the Mormon religion known as The Articles of Faith. These are 13 principles that define what it means to be a Mormon. And, Article 12 says that members of the Mormon Church believe in being subject to the secular authority of kings, rulers and "presidents." This means that if Governor Romney had been elected President, Senate Majority Leader Reid would have found himself subject on religious grounds to a President of the United States whose views were in total opposition to his own. To prevent that from happening, Governor Romney's run for the Presidency had to be opposed at all cost.
A second matter in which Senator Reid's political philosophies reflect Mormon interests has to do with U.S. immigration policies. The Senator supports legislation creating a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants who have come here, he says, to "build a better life for themselves and their children and to achieve the American dream." The Senator's position on this issue is consistent, to be sure, with his liberal political philosophy of tolerance toward immigrants who have entered the country illegally. It is also consistent with the interests of the Mormon Church, which are subtle but exist nonetheless. The Mormon Church is engaged in a huge missionary effort throughout Latin America to convert people living there to Mormonism. They are of particular interest to the Church because they are viewed as the offspring of ancient Americans chronicled in scriptures that are sacred to the Mormons known as The Book of Mormon. The Mormon Church stands a much better chance of converting these people when on American soil if they are U.S. citizens than if they remain hiding in the "shadows" illegally.
Finally, there is Senator Reid's support for same-sex marriage. He has said that "the federal government has no business picking and choosing which American couples get the legal recognition and protections they deserve." His views on this subject are currently at odds with the official position of the Mormon Church. But, while the Senator was speaking of marriage between individuals of the same sex, he just as easily could have been speaking about plural marriages in which one man has many wives, a practice once allowed within the Mormon Church. It is only logical that, if the government should not interfere with same-sex marriages, it should not also not interfere any longer with the practice of polygamy. This means that, if same-sex marriage is allowed, the Mormon Church would be fully justified in seeking to reinstate the practice of polygamy. Senator Reid's support for same-sex marriage in the short run would then have been indirectly supportive of whatever interest the Mormon Church may have in restoring polygamy on religious grounds in the future.
In each case, says Cluff, the political views of Senate Majority Leader Reid are aligned with the teachings or interests of the Mormon religion. There is nothing particularly wrong with reflecting religious view in politics. Senator Reid can align his views with whatever he wishes. But, not everyone knows this is happening, says Cluff, because Mormonism is not all that well understood. Cluff wrote "In Search of the Great White God," he said, in an effort to increase understanding of what it means to be a Mormon.
"In Search of the Great White God: From Big Bang to Coba and Beyond" has been called a "choice and recommended read" for anyone interested in learning more about Mormonism. It was honored as one of four finalists in the general religion category of the USA Book News National Best Book Awards in 2010. It has been characterized as a "soul-searching, unexpectedly humorous, and slightly cantankerous" attempt on the part of the author to describe what it means to be a Mormon, which he might know something about since he was born and brought up a Mormon. He is the former head of the prestigious Financial Services Roundtable and before that served as Minority Staff Director on the U.S. Senate Banking Committee.
More about Mormonism can be found on the author's website: http://www.mormonenigmasolved.com