In a recent political discussion with a colleague of mine who was an associate of Stephen Covey, a Mormon bishop and an active church member for years, the question of Mitt Romney’s character came up. Since both my colleague and I work in the leadership development field and have helped individuals and organizations to maximize their leadership potential, I was interested when he pointed me toward the following statement by another former LDS leader.
“Evidence presented in this essay establishes that when the church image or its leaders needed protection it was and is, okay to fib, deceive, distort, inflate, minimize, exaggerate, prevaricate or lie. You will read quotations by church leaders who admitted that deception is a useful tool to protect the church and its leaders "when they are in a tight spot," or "to beat the devil at his own game." They admit engaging in moral gymnastics; that God approves of deception - if it's done to protect the "Lord's Church" or "the brethren" as the leaders are called.”
This remarkable staement is from Ken Clark, a former ranking member of the Mormon hierarchy. More of his thinking can be found here:
Before I go further, I want to make it clear that I don't believe the LDS church is unique in this idea of "lying for the lord" or justifying behavior based on some perceived spiritual benefit. The Catholic church and others as well are equally guilty of lying to protect their core dogmas, clerical misbehavior, or financial dealings.
Since 'character' was on my mind, and the character displayed today around the Libyan incident, my interest was further piqued by Steve Erickson's article up on the American Prospect site:
He writes, “Romney’s current troubles don’t stem from miscalculation or even a duff convention in Tampa but are manifestations of his own political character as heard and witnessed over the past half-decade. This is a man who has altered his positions—not modified, not tailored, not hedged, but utterly transformed—on every single issue from abortion to climate change to the health-care reform that he signed as governor in Massachusetts.”
I believe that Romney views his duty to be “beating the devil at his own game" and so will take any position, mouth any words, deny any facts, assert any falsehood that furthers what he believes to be his 'duty'. The Republicans true believers have demonized Obama to an extent never before seen in American politics. When you consider what Clark has written about the leadership philosophy of the LDS church and factor in Romney’s self-professed faithfulness to that creed, the emerging picture is one of a guy psychologically and constitutionally incapable of telling the truth. Romney too, is a true believer, and in that regard a very dangerous man to serve in any capacity that requires honest assessment, clear judgement and the ability to own his decisions for good or ill.
Today's sad and pathetic attempt to again demonize Obama for the tragic events in Benghazi are just another example of how this failed leader, now clearly aware that his ship is sinking, will grasp at any untruth as a lifeline, even if it means pulling the country down with him.