A fine story this morning in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette by Charlie Frago (sorry, pay wall) about a four-year-old Mormon child denied admission to the private Little Rock Christian Academy because of his religion. Mormon doctrine doesn’t align with doctrine of the school, founded by the Bible Church. The parents promised their four-year-old wouldn’t proselytize but that didn’t bring down the barrier.
Carla Emanuel, a school board member, put it rather pungently. She said it was “sneaky” for kids to come in at early ages when children are susceptible to influence. “It’s frightening how quickly things can get turned around,” she told Frago. Emanuel, cover subject on this month’s Soiree magazine for her volunteer work, added of Mormons, “I don’t believe they’ll go to heaven.”
Well. LR Christian is a private school and privately funded (except its football field briefly enjoyed a public helping hand from the airport.) I won’t venture into its admission policy, the religious views at conflict or my own beliefs on heaven, hell and their future inhabitants, if any.
But the article does illustrate a point I made a while back in linking to a Washington Post article about a bloody historical event in the life of Mormonism and its ties to Arkansas. That, and a historic difference of opinion about Mormonism among Southern Baptists and other evangelicals, seemed a likely factor in, at a minimum, the level of enthusiasm in the Republican base (i.e., evangelical Christians) for Mitt Romney’s candidacy. One of the ubiquitous GOP shills on social media took my citation of the national newspaper article and its historical reference as a bigoted religious slam on Mormonism, rather than a statement of fact. To him, I add, “See Little Rock Christian.”
The Little Rock Christian Board members, according to its website, include a number of prominent business and legal names:
Stuart Miller, Cindy Burson, William Clark, Gary Cooper, Carla Emanuel, Scott Ford, David Gatewood, District Judge Mark Leverett, Harry Li, Pat Millwee, Britton Nowell, Rene Proctor, Mike Rainwater, Ken Shew, Cara Wade, Steve Wade and Ray Williams
Just for fun, I ran them all through followthemoney.org. None turned up as a contributor to a presidential candidate this year.