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Sunday
May202012

Romney, God & American Exceptionalism | Rev. Thomas Williams" & A New Legion Scandal | Baptist Teachers Revolt

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

image via Soda HeadMaking God-related news and opinion the topic of today’s DFR was easy. Without plotting the result in any way — like Googling “Catholic bishops” to see what new legislation the boys club has in mind for women this week, God came to me today.

Romney’s Faith Runs Deep

Jodi Kantor, author of The Obamas, dissects Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s relationship with God in today’s NY Times.

Dozens of Romney’s friends, relatives and fellow church members “describe a man whose faith is his design for living”.

Clayton M. Christensen, a business professor at Harvard and a friend from church, said the question that drove the Sunday school classes — how to apply Mormon gospel in the wider world — also drives Mr. Romney’s life. “He just needs to know what God wants him to do and how he can get it done,” Mr. Christensen said. via NYTimes

Like Rick Santorum, candidate Romney’s frequent tributes to American exceptionalism are grounded in his belief that God has chosen the United States to play a special role in history — with its constitution divinely inspired.

In 1992 Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve  wrote an essay The Divinely Inspired Constitution, explaining the position of Romney’s church on the matter. In a thorough but swift read of the document, it lays out many precepts that most Americans agree on. Oaks stresses the “farsighted young statesmen” James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, “who favored a strong federal government” as necessary in leading the country forward.

Is the Catholic Church Uncatholic?

NYTimes columnist Maureen Dowd thinks so. The ever-acerbic challenger to papal dogma in Rome, Dowd argues that today’s Catholic church is “intent on loyalty testing, mind control and heresy hunting. Rather than all-embracing, the church hierarchy has become all-constricting.”

The Catholic bishops hunt down nuns and lecture American women on the immorality of birth control and wanting to control our family planning, while that plagued-with-scandal Old Boys Club The Legion of Christ suffered another set back this week when the order’s superstar Rev. Thomas Williams admitted that he fathered a child. (cont)

More DFR

Rev. Thomas WilliamsRev. Thomas Williams, a moral theologian, author, high-profile television personality and former superior of the Legion’s office in Rome, admitted Tuesday that he had fathered a child “a number of years ago.” The Legion of Christ order, still in clean up mode from the scandal created by its pedophile founder Rev. Marciel Maciel, acknowledged that it has known about the child and apologized for not acting sooner to remove Rev. Williams as a moral leader for the Legion’s Catholics.

Huff Po reports that just last week, the “Legion admitted that seven of its priests were under investigation by the Vatican for allegedly abusing minors”, cloaked by the same secrecy and silence that allowed it founder to engage in a lifetime of abuse.

Back to Maureen Dowd who touched base with former New York governor and Catholic Mario Cuomo, whose son Andrew is weighing running for president.

“If the church were my religion, I would have given it up a long time ago,” he said. “All the mad and crazy popes we’ve had through history, decapitating the husbands of women they’d taken. All the terrible things the church has done. Christ is my religion, the church is not.

Cuomo continued, saying “The church would be wiser to take the path laid out for us by Kennedy than the path laid out for us by Santorum.”

South Baptist Educators Revolt

Shorter University is a 139-year-old Baptist school located in Rome, Ga. Recently, the school mandated that its 200 employees, including about 100 faculty members, sign ‘a personal lifestyle pledge’ declaring that they reject homosexuality, premarital sex and adultery.

The pledge may have backfired, as reports surface that only 12% of the faculty have signed the pledge. Many professors including tenured professor Sherri Weiler, have resigned.

“Lest anyone think I am ‘promoting’ homosexuality, please know that I am not,” professor Sherri Weiler, who resigned last week, wrote in the Rome News-Tribune, according to the “Save Our Shorter” site. “I am simply not going to judge anyone who expresses his/ her sexuality in this way.”

Students writing on the “Save Our Shorter” site say they welcome the focus on homosexuality but the even bigger issue is the school’s loss of academic freedom, which it has enjoyed for decades while respecting its religious heritage.

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