From a deeply concerned Associated Press:
Romney Family Tree Has Polygamy Branch
By JENNIFER DOBNER and GLEN JOHNSON
February 24, 2007
While Mitt Romney condemns polygamy and its prior practice by his Mormon church, the Republican presidential candidate’s great-grandfather had five wives and at least one of his great-great grandfathers had 12.
Polygamy was not just a historical footnote, but a prominent element in the family tree of the former Massachusetts governor now seeking to become the first Mormon president.
Romney’s great-grandfather, Miles Park Romney married his fifth wife in 1897. That was more than six years after Mormon leaders banned polygamy and more than three decades after a federal law barred the practice.
Romney’s great-grandmother, Hannah Hood Hill, was the daughter of polygamists. She wrote vividly in her autobiography about how she “used to walk the floor and shed tears of sorrow” over her own husband’s multiple marriages.
Romney’s great-great grandfather, Parley Pratt, an apostle in the church, had 12 wives. In an 1852 sermon, Parley Pratt’s brother and fellow apostle, OrsonPratt, became the first church official to publicly proclaim and defend polygamy as a direct revelation from God.
Romney’s father, former Michigan Gov. George Romney, was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, where Mormons fled in the 1800s to escape religious persecution and U.S. laws forbidding polygamy. He and his family did not return to the United States until 1912, more than two decades after the church issued “The Manifesto” banning polygamy…
B. Carmon Hardy, a polygamy expert and retired history professor at California State University-Fullerton, said polygamy was “a very important part of Miles Park Romney’s family.”
Hardy added: “Now, very gradually, as you moved farther away from it, it became less a part of it. But during the time of Miles Park Romney, it was an essential principle of the Romney family life.”
Other Mormons have run for the White House, including Romney’s father in 1968 and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, in 2000. But Mitt Romney’s stature as a leading 2008 contender has renewed questions about his faith and its doctrines…
Funny how the media hasn’t mentioned Barack Obama’s father’s polygamist ways. That is, apart from this from the UK tabloid, the Daily Mail:
A drunk and a bigot – what the US Presidental hopeful HASN’T said about his father…
.… At 18, he married a girl called Kezia. But Obama Sr was more interested in politics and economics than his family and his political leanings had been brought to the notice of leaders of the Kenyan Independence movement…
At the age of 23 he headed for university in Hawaii, leaving behind the pregnant Kezia and their baby son.
Relatives say he was already a slick womaniser and, once in Honolulu, he promptly persuaded a fellow student called Ann – a naive 18-year-old white girl – to marry him. Barack Jr was born in August, 1961.
Two years later, Obama Sr was on the move again. He was accepted at Harvard, and left his little boy and wife behind when he moved to the exclusive east coast university…
Mr Obama Jr claims that racism on both sides of the family destroyed the marriage between his mother and father.
In his book, he says that Ann’s mother, who went by the nickname Tut, did not want a black son-in-law, and Obama Sr’s father ‘didn’t want the Obama blood sullied by a white woman’.
In fact Ann divorced her husband after she discovered his bigamous double life…
Obama Sr was forced to return to Kenya, where he fathered two more children by Kezia. He was eventually hired as a top civil servant in the fledgling government of Jomo Kenyatta – and married yet again.
Now prosperous with a flashy car and good salary, his third wife was an American-born teacher called Ruth, whom he had met at Harvard while still legally married to both Kezia and Ann, and who followed him to Africa…
And this is Obama’s father, not his great-great grandfather. Who knows what Obama’s Muslim ancestors were up to in Africa a hundred years ago?
But speaking of fathers, how is it none of this was ever mentioned when Mitt’s father George ran for the presidency in 1968?
Was it because he was adamantly against the Vietnam War, and therefore a far preferable choice to Richard Nixon — at least in the eyes of our watchdog media?
And how often was Mo Udall’s Mormonism mentioned when he ran for president? Didn’t his great-great grandparents practice polygamy?
Or for that matter, who has ever brought Harry “Pinky” Reid’s Mormon ancient ancestors during his campaigns?
Funny how even this article had to drag in yet another Mormon Republican, Orin Hatch, rather than mention Mr. Reid — the most powerful elected Democrat in the land.