Friday, July 13, 2007

A Study in Scarlet

In the strangest places... Not even sure what pricked me into reading it, but I just finished the very first Sherlock Holmes book, A Study in Scarlet. It was probably first published in 1887, but it bears shockingly hard on the American political insanity of 2008, and for that reason I encourage you to read it. It's actually an excellent story in its own right, but...

One of the leading (=least implausible) neo-GOP presidential candidates is Mitt Romney. So far he's been doing a pretty good job of distancing himself from his Mormon background, and this book helps explain why. More concretely, it led me to understand one of Romney's more mystifying comments. Do you remember when Romney said that polygamy was the most evil thing? Why not unnecessary war or genocide or slavery or mass murder? What is it about polygamy that bugs him so much? Well, evil is in the eye of the beholder, and polygamy is the specific evil that could hurt Mitt, so no wonder he regards it as the #1 evil. This old classic from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle reveals why Mitt thinks polygamy is the #1 evil: Because the Mormon history surrounding that practice could prevent him from becoming president. Ultimate horror!

I actually thought I was someone who knew a fair bit about the Mormons. I even knew a few of them when I was young. They have this thing about mingling with the infidels, befriending them, and converting--but certainly *NEVER* marrying a gentile. Actually, such unholy marriage is a violation of old Rule 13 of their original holy code as written by Joseph Smith (and now repudiated--at least in public). That's just one of the interesting tidbits in the book, along with my first introduction to the Danite Band AKA the Avenging Angels. Now that I know where to look, I was able to find out quite a bit of ugly information--but mostly I was impressed by how skillfully the Mormons are suppressing that part of their still recent history. Yeah, everything's on the Web, but some data is much harder to find than other data...

In conclusion, I encourage you to read this book and to pass the word around (even though his landscape is rather hyperbolic at the start of Part 2). I had certain reservations about Romney before, but they are greatly increased. We do *NOT* need another religious lunatic anywhere near the White House. If Romney isn't a religious lunatic, then he's a coward who's too afraid of the Mormons to get the heck out of that pseudo-church. <joke type="nuts versus loonies">After all, the Catholics assure us they have a monopoly on all this religious stuff.</joke>

Next strange topic for discussion: Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Ever heard of her? I'm in the middle of her old Gift from the Sea, and it seems to be a very impressive piece of philosophy... Light reading, and maybe it drowns in the philosophic shallows a bit farther on, but so far I'm finding it quite interesting and somewhat thought provoking.

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