The fact that the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is a billionaire and a prominent member of the Mormon Church and who increased his fortune by setting up a company which preyed on smaller companies, took them over and then broke them up (Greed is good! proclaimed Michael Douglas In the best Wall Street tradition) gives the Mormon Church a slightly unsavoury air.
You scratch my back
And I’ll help you with your tax returns
Determined thick-skinned young men
In ties and white
Perform feats of ubiquity
Barnsley, Avignon and Bruges
Popping out from behind a rock
In the Sahara desert
Accosting me as I lounge on a bench
In Espinho’s street 19
Is this your boy?
Oh wow, how old is he?
Oh wow, what’s the little fella’s name?
Oh wow, and are you British?
The Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) was founded by the visionary prophet Joseph Smith Jr. in Upstate New York toward the beginning of the 19th century. Initially outlawed, he and his band of followers wandered through various states seeking Zion or the New Jerusalem in order to build their Tabernacle/Temple, a latter-day Moses leading his tribe to the Promised Land of milk and honey.
After Smith’s death in 1844 the Mormons followed Brigham Young to a salt lake in what would become the Utah Territory.
In the early days of the Church polygamy (plural wives) was practised – Mitt Romney’s great grandfather had three wives and consequently literally hundreds of descendants, one of whom might very well become the next president of the United States of America.
God bless America
(God help the rest of us)
While we’re on that subject, do you realize that they are Christian extremists in the heartlands of America who hold the whimsical belief that God (the Divine Creator) has singled out their country for special favour.
(During medieval times examples of this delusion are legion. At the battle of Agincourt (1415) both sides, the English and the French, were firmly convinced that God was on their side).
At what exact point of that continent’s million-year-history God made this choice is not clear. Presumably not before the 18th century – obviously God can’t have meant the indigenous Indian tribes who had been roaming those Great Plains from time immemorial … look what happened to them!
What is slightly scary about such people is the way they fly in the face of accepted science and indeed general knowledge.
And why not choose Ethiopia, Malaysia or Tibet? What’s wrong with Argentina, New Zealand or Croatia?
In short, God bless the Ukraine!
(As well as America, of course).