If you know the rules of political journalism, you know that the Gods become restless unless some poor sap writes a few thousand words on the great faith of each candidate, so all true Americans know that he’s guided by prayer, attends church regularly, and has been helped by his faith through at least one life crisis. Jodi Cantor throws the current sacrifice down the volcano in today’s Times profile of Romney’s religion:
Mr. Romney is quick to uphold rules great and small. During primary debates, when his rivals spoke out of turn or exceeded their allotted time, he would sometimes lecture them. When supporters ask Mr. Romney to sign dollar bills or American flags, he refuses and often gives them a little lesson about why doing so is against the law.[…]
In church, Mr. Romney frequently spoke about obeying authority, the danger of rationalizing misbehavior and God’s fixed standards. “Most people, if they don’t want to do what God wants them to do, they move what God wants them to do about four feet over,” he once told his congregation, holding out his arms to indicate the distance, Mr. Christensen remembered.
Cantor doesn’t tell us how Romney reconciles moving about a country mile from the truth on a regular basis with “God’s fixed standards”, but perhaps there’s some rule that you can lie to non-Mormons if it advances the Mormon cause. (I seriously wonder if that’s true – it would explain a lot).
Also, too, if you ever wondered whether Mormonism is one of the most patriarchal religions, wonder no more, because God doesn’t move an inch for women. It’s OK for Mitt to tolerate alcohol and tobacco as a governor, but abortion is a no-go. (I think the Times’ fact-checkers missed this.) And there’s a charming story about how Mormons used to forbid working mothers to adopt, and how Mitt helped a family follow that rule by tightening their belt.