Tuesday, February 27, 2007

why Mitt Romney won't be president

former massachusetts governor and republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has many unfortunate traits. at this early stage of the presidential election his primary liability is seen as his religion: he's a Mormon. I wish his primary liability was seen as his utterly hateful anti-gay bigotry. He's gone out of his way to ingratiate himself to the religious right by offering up gays as a political sacrifice. I actually think Mormons are fascinating, and am happy to say it's not his religion that frightens me. But here's a funny story that makes me think, wow, he really has no chance as a Momon to be accepted by americans.

when I was spending a lot of time in the world of Santeria (I am an initiated priest of Obatala, though completely inactive), I knew this lesbian couple in the religion. They were middle-aged, New York social worker types, very borough, and very dedicated to the religion. Half the couple was of Jewish ancestry, half Puerto Rican. As santeros they were very strict, but they had a lovely house in the religion. One of their daughter's was initiated, and they and their house members were very welcoming to me, a white gay man. One was a priestess of Ochun, and the other, of Obatala.

Anyway, they had recently taken a tour out west. They had gone to Salt Lake City. And described their visit to the Mormon Tabernacle. They said it was lovely. The one telling the tale said, "oh yes, we saw the altar." She lowered her voice conspiratorially, and looked left and right. "You know. The main altar. Where they do the human sacrifices."

So yes, a Santeria Priestess who regularly wrung the heads off chickens and participated in numerous rituals where various barnyard animals were offered up to the Orishas, the gods of Santerias (it's a long story), a priestess of a religion often vilified and misrepresented in tabloid media, this priestess actually believed Mormons perform human sacrifice as part of their religion.

Now maybe it is I who is naive, but somehow I don't think so. So I might wish that Mitt Romney's hateful actions against gay people would disqualify him from being a viable political candidate, but I will have to settle for the misconceptions of the ignorant. I guess either way we win.

Too bad about those Mormons though. They seem like nice people.

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