Mitt Romney is not the first Mormon to run for President, Joseph Smith actually made a bid for the presidency in 1844. Mormonism is the fastest growing religion in the Western hemisphere, and could prove to be a decisive voting block. This series explores Mormonism, drawing heavily from Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven. At some point, Romney will have to address where he stands under the doctrines of Mormonism.
Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer, 2003, Excerpts
There is a dark side to religious devotion that is too often ignored or denied. As a means of motivating people to be cruel or inhumane, there may be no more potent force than religion. When the subject of religiously inspired bloodshed comes up, many Americans immediately think of Islamic fundamentalism, which is to be expected in the wake of 911. But men have been committing heinous acts in the name of God ever since mankind began believing in deities, and extremists exist within all religions. Muhammad is not the only prophet whose words have been used to sanction barbarism; history has not lacked for Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, and even Buddhists who have been motivated by scripture to butcher innocents.
Although the far territory of the extreme can exert an intoxicating pull on susceptible individuals of all bents, extremism seems to be especially prevalent among those inclined by temperament or upbringing toward religious pursuits. Faith is the very antithesis of reason, injudiciousness a crucial component of spiritual devotion. And when religious fanaticism supplants ratiocination, all bets are suddenly off. Anything can happen. Absolutely anything. Common sense is no match for the voice of God.