Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Political Question du Jour

The hot new political question - which I imagine will be with us for some time, but there is nothing like getting an early start to sow doubt among what might be his constituency - is: Will Christian conservatives and other conservatives vote for a Mormon? In this case Mitt Romney for President in 2008.

Heh. In my case, I no longer have to wonder. The question no longer exists only in the realm of the academic.

I had completely forgotten about it until I read this post by Dean Barnett, but I actually voted for Romney already in 1994 - when he was running for Senate against Ted Kennedy. Dean Barnett tell us:
I first met Mitt Romney in early 1994 when he was beginning his Senate run against Ted Kennedy and was a washed up pol at age 27, having lost my bid for state representative in 1992. I’m proud to say that I was one of the first volunteers for the Romney for Senate campaign.

I still don't have a very good sense of what Mormonism is besides the rumor of a few weird practices here and there, but Rebecca Lesses points out, at Mystical Politics, that the representation of the physicality of God in Mormon theology reminds her of the understanding of God in Judaism as represented in [the elusive] text of the Shi'ur Koma, a key tenet of the early mystical tradition in Judaism, known as Merkavah Mysticism. It's a text which in some way gives us the actual measure of God.

Unfortunately most of our knowledge of the Shi'ur Koma exists as guess work, as the text itself is very difficult to undeerstand; but modern scholars think that it was mystical commentary on certain verses of the Song of Songs, a book that uses allegory to describe the relationship between God and the people Israel.

And a commenter at Rebecca's site points out that the Enochic traditions, also essential to Merkavah Mysticism, plays an important role in Mormon theology.

Which makes aspects of Mormonism sound almost like a displaced apocalyptic cult from the first or second century CE Israel that somehow landed in 19th century America.


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