As I type this, the news channel is blaring with filler waiting for Barack Obama to comment publicly on his announcement early today that he’s leaving the Trinity Unity Church of Christ, presumably as a consequence of the videotape of Father Michael Pfleger’s sermon in which he mentions Hillary Clinton. Obama has been attending Trinity for 20 years, and so questions are being raised about “what does he know now that he didn’t know then?”
Here’s the thought experiment that springs to mind: suppose Mitt Romney announced that he was leaving the LDS Church. Do you think that the media, or the Political Left, or the Religious Right would simply assume that he had truly abandoned LDS beliefs and history? What would Romney have to say and do in order for these groups to accept his word that he truly rejected the LDS Church? Burn his temple recommend? Drink wine and coffee in public? Ask to have his name removed from Church records?
And if he did all this, what would these groups then say about his integrity, judgment, and honesty?
On the other hand, how would Romney (say he were the GOP VP candidate) react if reporters started attending his home ward meetings and taking notes about Sacrament meeting talks and Sunday School/Priesthood lessons? (I suspect his reaction would be to sic the missionaries on them, but still….) And I’m sure that he’s be more than thrilled if they started listening to General Conference. 🙂