The Pryor Times

September 29, 2012

Letters to the editor

— Dear Editor,

Two of the basic tenets of the Constitution of the United States of America are: 1) separation of church and state and 2) freedom of religion. I have read that Benjamin Franklin practiced the Black Mass. America has freedom of religion, including not believing in a higher power. But that isn’t really true. Today, especially in the “Bible Belt,” many church-goers believe their brand of religion is the only true path to heaven. They are apt to try to destroy church they don’t approve of or that they resent in their community, e.g., burning Islamic mosques.

And they really do not believe in separation of church and state. Proof: Ministers advising congregations from the pulpit to vote for or against certain persons, and a church’s involvement in political campaigns.

Mr. Romney’s religious beliefs have been carefully soft-peddled by his campaign as well as by the general Republican campaign effort.

I want to say that some of the very best men and women I have know over my 90 years have been devout Mormons. Fine people. And I don’t think a U.S. president who is a Mormon would necessarily be a catastrophe just because he or she was a Mormon. But one might wonder why Mormons baptize people already dead and buried, why the Temple is so central to their religion, and what Mormons believe will happen on Judgment Day.

I have a friend, a wonderful woman from a devout Mormon family, who had married a Baptist She was cut off from all possibility of being with her family in heaven, she was told, because she couldn’t be married in the Temple, according to the Mormon doctrine. Additionally, told to me by my friend, Mormons eligible to go to Mormon heaven will rule, in their own individual “heavenly” world, over those they have “baptized” while her on earth.

Amy Sparks