Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mitt Romney and The Mormon Constitution

When Mitt Romney said to applause at a campaign stop that he thought the U.S. "Constitution is certainly brilliant and probably inspired", I was disgusted.  I thought it a dog whistle signal to the Tea Party - not really his opinion, not the opinion of a Harvard Law School grad.  Wrong.  This sort of thing is part of the Mormon Constitution, as Gary Wills calls it at the New York Review blog.  A brilliant Mormon student of Wills's some years ago expressed the same view - describing divine inspiration of the Declaration of Independence as a Mormon position.  Indeed Romney's view can be found in the (pre-Civil War) LDS scripture  Doctrine & Covenants:
And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood (D&C 101:80).
Perhaps the divine signal was weak when the inspired founders drafted the fugitive slave clause, or awarded white men an extra 3/5 of a vote for every slave owned.

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