A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints says that church leadership is on a witch hunt against him after he criticized Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
David Twede, a fifth-generation Mormon, told The Daily Beast that on Sunday his bishop and three other church leaders in Orlando ordered him to “Cease and desist, Brother Twede” after they found discussions about Romney at the blog MormonThink.com.
Twede said that he felt “attacked, cornered, and very anxious” as the church officials informed him that they had scheduled a Sept. 30 excommunication “for apostasy.”
The Encyclopedia of Mormonism defines an apostate as someone who has “seriously contravened or ignored cardinal Church teachings.”
Church leaders also chastised him for only using his first name on his blog, Twede recalled.
“I told them I hide my name precisely because of things like this,” he explained. “I said, ‘Look how fast you got to me.’ I know a lot of members don’t want their life disturbed. In the Mormon church, if you’re not part of the uniform group, you are ostracized.”
“When they interrogated me, they denied that they were on a witch hunt, but they kept asking me, ‘Who are the other individuals you work with on MormonThink?'” Twede said. “They continued demanding that I tell them. But I didn’t.”
But the MormonThink managing editor added that he did not want to place all the blame on church leaders in Florida because they were “acting as agents of HQ leadership in Salt Lake.”
ABC News reported on Thursday that the Mormon church was urging members in Nevada to speak “with one voice” during the presidential election.
“Any Mormon would understand exactly what’s being said there,” Dartmouth religion professor Randall Balmer pointed out. “This is very thinly coded language.”
Church officials, however, have denied that they were encouraging members to support Romney over President Barack Obama.
“The Church has always encouraged people to be a part of the political process and to register to vote,” church spokesperson Dale Jones insisted to ABC News. “However, we do not direct them on how to vote. We are politically neutral and do not support candidates or political platforms.”
Here are 7 wild, bizarre and pathetic moments from Trump’s ‘campaign launch’
On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally that was billed as the official launch his re-election campaign — though he has never really stopped holding campaign rallies.
As expected, the president ranted, lied, and engaged in the raucous attacks that are central to his connection with Republican voters. Some of it was actually just sad, such as his continued obsession with Hillary Clinton.
Here are seven of the wildest, disturbing and pathetic moments from the rally:
1. He said Democrats "want to destroy our country as we know it."
Trump casually accuses Democrats of "want[ing] to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it." pic.twitter.com/4K79KlbEeR
British PM candidates clash over Brexit as Boris Johnson skips debate
Candidates to become Britain's next prime minister clashed over Brexit strategy at their first debate on Sunday but the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, dodged the confrontation.
The 90-minute debate on Channel 4 featured the five remaining candidates and an empty podium for Johnson, the gaffe-prone former foreign secretary and former mayor of London.
In sometimes ill-tempered exchanges, four of the five candidates said they would seek to renegotiate the draft Brexit divorce deal agreed with Brussels even though EU leaders have repeatedly ruled this out.
Michael Cohen ordered back to Congress on March 6
President Donald Trump's so-called "fixer" is being asked to return to Congress for more questioning on March 6.
Outside of the closed-door committee hearing Thursday, Cohen said that the House Intelligence Committee is seeking further information, according to Washington Examiner writer Byron York.
Michael Cohen finished closed-door testimony before House Intel Committee, says he's coming back for another session March 6. Again: No reason for secrecy. Transcripts should be released ASAP.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 28, 2019