Friday, October 28, 2011

Can I support Mitt Romney? Donna's parents say "HELL NO"

When I was in high school,  one of my good friends was a girl named Donna.  We had so many common interests that we could talk for hours and not run out of things to talk about.  Donna and I loved sports,  business,  and stocks.  Sometimes we'd arrange to meet each other at the mall,  and just walk around,  talking,  and browsing the stores looking for good potential stock investments in the retail stores.  We had our eye out for hot products,  or hot retail store concepts.

Donna and I never went on an official date.  And while we wanted to go to the prom with each other our senior year,  it didn't happen.  I skipped the prom that year,  driven by the disappointment of not being able to take Donna.  Why didn't I take Donna on a date or to the prom?  Donna was Mormon.  Her parents wouldn't allow Donna to date a non-Mormon.  I couldn't call Donna at home.  I couldn't go to her home to knock on the door.  Her parents would not allow a non-Mormon boy to be within 1 yard of her while she wasn't in school.  When we met outside of school,  it was in secret,  with a constant eye out to avoid being seen by anyone who may report back to her parents.

Although I've had little contact with Mormons since knowing Donna in high school,  it's been my impression that the Mormon religion is highly tight knit,  to the point of being exclusionary.  It's not unusual for the parents of Mormons to strongly encourage their children to marry within the Mormon religion.  They'll even go to the extent of match making.  Donna's parents picked out her future husband,  met with his parents,  and arranged the marriage.   She got married right after high school and both she and her husband were shipped off by their families to attend that great Mormon University in Utah,  BYU.  I lost touch with her and don't have a clue how life work out for her.  But I've often thought about Donna.

There have been many times I wonder what my life would have been like had I been able to marry a girl with whom I had so much in common.  It didn't happen,  because I was not Mormon.  It didn't happen, because I was discriminated against by the Mormon religion.  If you're not Mormon,  you just don't belong near or around Mormons.  That's what these Mormons clearly communicated to me.

Mitt Romney is a Mormon.  That makes me stop and wonder ... how can a Mormon be the President of the "United" States of America?  Is it right to have a President who grew up within a religion that is so exclusionary,  closed,  unaccepting of other Americans?  When I think about this issue,  I keep seeing the faces of Donna's parents in my mind.  HELL NO.  You can't be around us.  You're not Mormon.

The memory of Donna's parents clearly cries out to me NOT to cast a vote for Mitt Romney.  I'm not a fellow Mormon.  Well, OK.  Then, Mitt doesn't belong in OUR nation's White House either.

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