News Release

Mormonism: * Bigotry * President Romney’s Bishophood a Threat to the First Amendment?

JOANNA BROOKS, jmbrooks at mail.sdsu.edu
Brooks is author of The Book of Mormon Girl. She writes regularly for ReligionDispatches.org and her recent pieces include “The New York Times Sunday Review has a Mormon Problem” and “How (Not) to React to Anti-Mormon Sentiment in the South.”

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle at law.uiuc.edu
Boyle is a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law and author of Tackling America’s Toughest Questions. He said today: “Romney’s official positions in the hierarchy of the Mormon Church raise serious questions under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Do the American people want the functional equivalent to the Mormon Pope and his College of Cardinals sitting in their Salt Lake Vatican City ordering the President of the United States what to do? Romney must come clean and fully explain his official positions in the Mormon Church hierarchy and the extent to which he takes orders from their Prophet and Apostles. So far the mainstream news media have all given Romney a pass on this threat to the First Amendment because big business supports Romney and the mainstream media is part of big business. But the mainstream media are protected by that same First Amendment that Romney threatens. The media have a First Amendment obligation to nail down Romney on these serious First Amendment issues.”

“Romney is/was a Mormon Bishop and Archbishop. They take orders from the Mormon Prophet, roughly the Mormon equivalent of the Roman Catholic Pope. Constitutionally speaking under the First Amendment, Romney is not equivalent to either John Kennedy (a lay Catholic) or Joe Lieiberman (a lay orthodox Jew) or Jimmy Carter (a lay Baptist Sunday school teacher).”

“Critically, Kennedy said he would resign if there was a conflict and Romney conspicuously did not.”

Boyle is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Harvard Law School where he was section-mates with Willard Mitt Romney, now known as Mitt, as first year law students (1Ls) during the 1971-1972 academic year. They took all their first-year law courses together. He teaches courses on the Constitutional Law of U.S. Foreign Affairs, and Jurisprudence, among others.

Kennedy’s address from 1960.

Romney addressed the issue of religion and public office in 2007.

From Mormon.org, see “Who is the Mormon Prophet Today?