For all of you wondering where Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam has been for lo these many months, the answer came at the end of his Wednesday op-ed:
Globe columnist Alex Beam is writing a book about Joseph Smith.
A-hah! What came before the end:
A big win for the Mormon church
Nov. 6, 2012, the day that Latter-day Saint Mitt Romney claimed 58 million votes in the presidential election, may qualify as the most important day — ever — in Mormon history. What had long been America’s most reviled, and openly rebellious, religious minority had become certifiably mainstream.
Coincidentally, a BuzzFeed piece by McKay Coppins appeared on the same day, and said essentially the same thing:
This was how much of the political class was treating Romney’s religion at the start of 2012: too awkward to discuss in an open forum, yet too tantalizing to ignore altogether. Questions permeated hushed conversations and private e-mail chains: Does Romney really believe he will get his own planet when he dies? Does he baptize dead Jews in his temples?
And as one prominent journalist at Newsweek quietly asked a colleague in the run-up to the Republican primaries, “Would he actually wear that Mormon underwear in the White House?”
If Mitt Romney has one lasting political legacy, I think it will be that next time a Mormon runs for president, that question likely won’t be asked.
What follows is an intriguing account of the pas de deux between Romney and his religion in his two presidential runs, and the pas de deux between Romney’s campaign and Coppins, who is himself a Mormon.
Well worth the read.