So, the Republicans have finally got an official Presidential candidate who isn't howlingly mad (i.e. not Palin or Ron Paul).
Or have they? OK, Mitt Romney ticks all the boxes for a candidate from any party: hugely rich, privileged and ideologically well to the right. But what caught my eye is his Mormon belief. Now as far as I'm concerned, any religious belief is akin to mental illness (whether you agree with a Vengeful God or a Nice God, you'd still rather think that somebody deliberately made Auschwitz, plague and Justin Bieber rather than accept that physics brought them about without regard for our feelings).
But Mormonism. Wow, that's crazy. And offensive, especially when you get to the bit about Americans being the chosen people. I've never quite got why God would go 'eeny meeny miny mo' when it comes to humanity, and it's certainly clear enough that Somalians, for instance, haven't come in for any special treatment - unless from the Vengeful Smiting God), but there's something rather unpleasant about Joseph Smith announcing that Americans are the Special Ones. You can bet he didn't mean African-Americans or Native Americans, too: black people were only recently permitted entry to the priestly caste in 1978. Apparently Christ did have a go with the natives, but they didn't take to it.
What of other Mormon beliefs. Well, like Catholicism, it's male supremacist, which is why you only get neatly-dressed young men wearing out your door bell. We'll pass over the polygamy: like mainstream Christianity dropping social justice when it made a pact with political power, most Mormons quietly dropped this when Joseph Smith got Utah into the Union after Missouri chucked them out for staging a violent insurrection (wonder what Romney thinks of that). Smith was lynched while awaiting trial for treason.
This is the Joseph Smith who was given the new texts of Mormonism on solid gold plates, dropped off by an angel. Solid gold plates that he carelessly mislaid.
Oh yes, and Mitt Romney will be wearing the special and compulsory Mormon Religious Underpants.
I'm uncomfortable with anyone religious wielding power, because I want them to answer to and act on behalf of their citizens, not their religious beliefs. Perhaps I'm more bothered by Romney because his chosen sect is so recent and therefore merely looks more bonkers than Catholicism or Islam.
There are plenty of reasons to find Romney repulsive, starting with all his revolting hard-right policies. But I still think that anyone who has to wear special undercrackers shouldn't have the nuclear launch codes.