[UPDATE 01/14/07] A reader kindly pointed out to me that if you go to the “Worship With Us” section on Mormon.org and type in the White House address, it shows that Romney would attend DC 3rd Ward (there have obviously been some changes since I left DC back in 2005). I’ve updated some of my comments below appropriately.
I belong to an “LDS/National Security” e-mail list (and the fact that such a listserv exits should give this author some pause for thought). Most discussions are serious, but some occasional humorous bits come through. I found this one particularly funny since I lived for six years in the ward (Chevy Chase Ward, Washington DC Stake) that Mitt Romney and his family might well attend were he elected, including a few years in the bishopric (congregational leadeship) of that ward. I’ve stuck in a few notes based on my experience there. ..bruce..
Mitt Romney’s new ward?
So….if Mitt Romney became President of the US (from this point forward referred to as POTUS), won’t we have something we’ve never had before – a president who goes to a specific church? All other presidents belonged to religions that didn’t have tight congregational boundaries. Now, think about that: What Ward would POTUS be in? [See above.] If you are his new Bishop, here are your top 10 questions:
1. Will you allow an inaugural ball to be held in the cultural hall? Do you mount security cameras on top of each basketball rim and have a secret service detail stationed on the stage?
2. Can you call Mitt and Ann as the Nursery leaders… even if you really feel inspired?
3. Who is going to home teach them? Will you call someone who needs activation but may not pass the vetting and national security screening?
4. If Harry Reid [who is in the Chevy Chase Ward] and Mitt Romney are in the same High Priest group, will you need to be there to keep order?
5. Exactly how will tithing settlement work? Will the Secretary of the Treasury come, too?
6. Will you be inviting the new Romney family to speak in Sacrament Meeting… and if they go a little over, at what point do you ask them to sit down?
7. Will the Secret Service do a sweep of the building before each meeting? And if the Romney’s always leave before Sunday School, will the Sunday School president need to interview them? If they stay, where will you hold the class?
8. Can you call the Secret Service agents to help out in Primary?
9. If you give Mitt a calling and the two Democrats in the Ward [NOTE: there’s a lot more than just two Democrats in any of the DC wards and branches] raise their hand AGAINST sustaining him – partly out of habit – does the Supreme Court need to be involved?
10. If you can’t give them a calling (job), and they don’t attend very often (for presidential stuff), will that mean they’re ‘inactive?’ If they’re not active, can you give them a Temple Recommend? And if you do, can they go? Will the Secret Service have to screen the temple too?
11. If the President wants to hold Sacrament Meeting at Camp David or the White House for security reasons, is that a conflict of Church and State?
If you’re assigned to be the Romney’s home teacher:
1. Can you just drop by, no appointment?
2. Can you even call them for an appointment, or do you have to go through the Chief of Staff?
3. Can you bring by Christmas sweets and cookies? Will they be analyzed? And for how many people – family, secret service details?
4. If you don’t come, can the IRS do an audit on you?
5. Will they want to do a national security background check?
6. Do you have to have a permanent companion who has been vetted? Can you just grab any teacher or priest to come with you? And what if that priest has been a little wayward? Do you need to search him first?
7. Do you have to help him move in and out of the White House?
8. If Ann Romney gets sick, are you allowed to bring in meals or at least tell the Relief Society about it?
9. What can you share with the Bishop about the Romneys?
10. Do you have to ask them about their year’s supply?
11. If you get a late night call for a blessing, will reporters follow you around wanting to know what was wrong and what you said?
If Mitt Romney is assigned to be YOUR home teacher,
1. Is telling the group leader you haven’t been home taught a national security breech?
2. If he wants to come at the end of the month, do you accept his reason, ‘I’ve been out of town’?
3. Will he drop by unannounced, or will the media crews give him away?
Heh. The good news is that if Romney were to attend the Chevy Chase Ward, the Washington DC Stake would probably finally buy the property next door to the Chevy Chase Ward building and put in some decent parking — which the Chevy Chase residents in that neighborhood would probably be very grateful for, given all the street parking that gets taken up every Sunday. ..bruce..