Apparently, having an atheist father-in-law was an issue for Mitt Romney.
Mitt Romney will still likely be the Republican who is selected to run against President Barack Obama, even with Newt Gingrich’s recent surge. Ron Paul and Rick Santorum remain long shots at best, and other candidates such as, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann, have already thrown in the towel. While much emphasis has been placed on Romney’s taxes, another bit of news regarding his father-in-law is now making headlines. Mitt Romney and family posthumously ‘converted’ his father-in-law to Mormonism, disrespecting a life in which Edward Davies regarded all religions as “hogwash”.
As a common practice with the LDS Church, it should be no surprise that Mitt Romney has engaged in such practice. The Church is infamous for its posthumous baptisms. While Romney touts his father-in-law’s name as an example of the right way to practice immigration (Davies was a Welsh-born immigrant who became a successful engineer and inventor), Romney obviously lacked respect for the man’s beliefs.
The Romney family was aggressive in their efforts to convert the Davies family soon after Romney met his future wife Ann, succeeding in converting all of Edward Davies children, and even obtaining a death bed conversion from his wife, but Edward had remained strong in his views, maintaining his atheism until death. This was the way Edward Davies wanted to die. A mere 14 months later, in a special family meeting, the family decided to posthumously convert the man. Davies is even listed as being ‘sealed’ to his wife, a practice of the Mormon Church, in 1994. While many in this nation think that a person has a choice for these types of things, Mitt Romney and his family obviously didn’t care.
To say this is a controversial practice within the Mormon Church is a generous statement. The Founding Fathers of the United States, Christopher Columbus, Pope John Paul II, and even Adolf Hitler have all been baptized. The Church of Latter Day Saints view it as a service to the deceased, and think that this posthumous conversion will aid them in the afterlife. That said, it also seems to be incredibly disrespectful to the real life beliefs people have had during their mortal window.
In the end, Edward Davies thought all of this was just, well, hogwash. Whatever they do in his name certainly has no binding attachment to him as a man. It’s a self-serving practice of the Mormon Church, and it will continue to garner negative attention for them. The better question is this; what does this say about Mitt Romney, our potential President. Well, this is iffy. He obviously has no problem brushing off the religious beliefs of others in favor of his own, but I doubt he’d go ahead and perform this posthumous ‘conversion’ for all of our dead relatives through an executive order. The real problem is the same problem many had before this news broke; who is this guy?
Few trust him on the Conservative side, and fewer trust him on the liberal side. He has a history of being a bit quiet and vague, as show by his unwillingness to release his tax information or explain his ever changing positions. Evangelical leaders don’t like his Mormon faith, and the working class wonders if a man who makes nearly $22 million dollars a year but claims he is unemployed can really relate to the real world problems Americans face. Converting a dead man to your religion isn’t very good for your image, and while some find it shameful, the sad thing is that Mitt has bigger problems.