“More ethnically and economically diverse than the typical Mormon ward, its roughly 200 congregants are drawn largely from Northeast Washington and have included deported immigrants, a teen shot dead in gang violence, refugees from African wars, and youths who depend on the church for meals, tutoring for class and support to pay for Boy Scout camp,” the Post reported.
The writer seemed surprised to find that most ward members are Democrats. Still, one said, “I’d welcome him with open arms.”
One who would not welcome Romney to Washington with open arms is fellow Mormon Senator Reid. When Romney made his now-infamous comment that seemed to write off the 47 percent of Americans who “are dependent upon government … believe that they are victims … believe the government has a responsibility to care for them,” Reid was quick to comment that Romney had “sullied” their religion and that the GOP presidential challenger “is not the face of Mormonism."
In The Washington Post’s “Belief Watch” column, Lisa Miller puts Romney’s controversial “47 percent” remark to wealthy donors in historical and theological perspective.
“Mormons regard thrift, industry and self-reliance as non-negotiable obligations,” she writes. But, she adds, “The dark side of the Mormon devotion to self-reliance is a corresponding horror of failure and dependency on outsiders.”
“A good Mormon wants to care for others in need, but he doesn’t want to be cared for,” she writes. “If in dire straits, he should seek help first from family and then from his church community – not from government assistance.”
Not all Mormons agree with Romney’s apparent interpretation.