Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Letter in Time

Well, I thought that I’d try and get another post in before the end of the month. I have kept up my summer tradition of appearing in at least one magazine. Last year it was New York Magazine for a luxurious spread (google my name and it will come up), this summer it is Time Magazine, which my parents subscribe to and I read when I’m home, because they keep the old issues stacked up on their coffee table.

The letter I sent in was in regards to a story run about Mitt Romney. I basically attacked the notion that a candidate’s faith is not an issue. I believe that it is. Either because A) it informs the decisions they make, or B) if it doesn’t, then they have to explain why they feel privileged to sacrifice their conscience. In the case of Mitt Romney he will be earning money from taxpayers that will go in part to the LDS Church. (Now it seems he is not accepting any salary and will donate it to charity, though I wonder if it will be one that is secular and behind all Americans.)

My Original letter was thus:

Mitt Romney in the White House? I don't think this country can take another teetotaller for president!

Your article regarding Romney's Mormon faith, claiming that it is bigotry to question his religion I think misses the point that if he is elected, at least ten percent of his income, which comes from the tax payers of this country, will be going to support the Mormon Church, and so we as Americans have the right, I think, to ask him what he believes and what he supports. Remember, this was a church that until the 1970s believed Black people could not go to heaven, is prejudiced against women's rights, and believes in a history of the New World that is directly at odds with genetics and archaeology, not mention that their holy book, despite all those problems, originally contained hundreds of grammatical errors and plagarizations from the King James version of the Bible. When several of the candidates for the GOP nomination can stand up and honestly say they don't "believe" in evolution, we cannot sit back and simply refrain from a critical analysis of what other people believe out of some sort of courtesy. Politicians' faith is a very public thing, it informs policy decisions before the facts are heard on either side of an issue.

The Letter that Time edited for their magazine:

Mitt Romney in the White House [May 21]? If he were elected, at least 10% of his income--which would come from us taxpayers--would go to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Remember, this is a church that until the late '70s believed blacks couldn't go to the highest tier of heaven, limits women's role and believes in a history of the New World that is at odds with scientific facts. We can't refrain from a critical analysis of what people believe out of some sort of courtesy. Politicians' faith is a very public thing.
Benjamin E. Nardolilli ARLINGTON, VA.

You can see the criticism of their holy writ was removed and the joke I put in at the top, but I think the essence of the piece remains, the most important thing is the role of blacks and the history of the Americas in Later-Day theology.

The letter has been making its rounds throughout the world I suppose. Recently a girl I knew in Middle school talked to me a Facebook, telling me she had read my letter.