Happy Martin Luther King Day! This holiday is unique in that Martin Luther King is a relatively recent figure who has received the honor of having a holiday named after him. The work he accomplished in his short life has impacted the world and continues to do so to this day. Our children are already familiar with him and know what he stood for.
Today being MLK day, I was reminded of an article I had read last December about Mitt Romney stating that his father, a four term governor of Michigan, had marched with Martin Luther King back in the 60’s. When Romney was recently asked about Mormonism’s past policies regarding Blacks, he stated that his father had marched with Martin Luther King. That statement did not ring true for a number of journalists who decided to investigate the matter. One such journalist, DAVID S. BERNSTEIN of The Phoenix, wrote an article on the matter, which contrary to Mitt Romney’s claim, clearly shows that George Romney did not march with Martin Luther King. Not in Michigan or anywhere else.
I invite you to read the article for yourself, but I did want to quote one statement made by the Romney Campaign. Evidently the they had heard about Bernstein’s article so they released a statement in an attempt to explain what Mitt Romney really meant when he said that his father had marched “together” with King. Not only is this statement appropriate for MLK Day, I also think it is a statement that gives us an example of how Mormonism works. In his article, Bernstein quotes that Romney Campaign as stating that “together” may mean different cities and on different days. Here is how it appears in Berstein’s article;
“UPDATE: ROMNEY CAMPAIGN SAYS “TOGETHER” MAY MEAN DIFFERENT CITIES, DIFFERENT DAYS
A spokesperson for Mitt Romney now tells the Phoenix that George W. Romney and Martin Luther King Jr. marched together in June, 1963 — although possibly not on the same day or in the same city.”
Now, I admit that english and grammar are my absolute worst subjects, but does this explanation strike anyone else as humorous? Together at different locations at different times? Huh? I understand the idea the Romney campaign is trying to convey, but the choice of wording is bizarre. I’m sure they meant something akin to saying that George Romney marched for the same reasons King marched and that he was in total agreement for that which MLK stood, but it is a stretch to say that Romney marched “together” with Martin Luther King. It is even more of a stretch to say that “together” means on different days at different times.
According to this definition, would it not be possible to say that I marched with Mitt Romney’s father and Martin Luther King despite the fact that I was not yet born? I am in a different place and in a different time, but I agree with Martin Luther King on this issue. All races should have equal rights and protections. In fact, just today San Antonio held their annual MLK day parade in honor and remembrance for what King accomplished. Oh sure, there is the little annoying detail that I did not attend today’s march and have never marched in a civil rights parade, but why should that keep me from claiming that I stand with Romney and Martin Luther King? If the Romney campaign can redefine “together” then I can redefine “march.”
This incident is a perfect example of what I see the LDS Church doing when it claims the title “Christian.” All is fine and dandy until someone does the research to prove the claim as false. Once the lie is detected, a cover-up explanation is fabricated and words are redefined. Almost every basic theological term that Mormons and Christians use in common have completely different definitions. God, Jesus, salvation, repentance, heaven, etc., they all mean something different once world views are contrasted.
Let us just compare the term “God.” Within Mormonism God is two things really; one, a position and two, a species. Man is considered an underdeveloped God (species) with the potential of attaining Godhood (position). In Christianity, the Triune God is completely unique and does not share His position with anyone else. He alone possesses authority, glory and power. With these two contradictory definitions, it is impossible for Mormons and Christians to say that they believe in the same God. The two views are too far apart to consider them in the same category.
So with this in mind, we can say that Mormonism is “together” with Christianity. We’re just not in the same place at this time. They are too different to be considered in the same company.