MIAMI, Aug. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Having won a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court religious freedom decision in 1993, Ernesto Pichardo, a leading religious advocate in the Cuban community and member of the Board of Directors of the Consejo de Latinos Unidos, a national public charity which educates and assists Latinos and others, demanded that Mitt Romney renounce his great-great-uncle's intolerant religious comments.
"Bishop Mitt Romney needs to come clean with the American people," said Pichardo. "Romney's great-great Uncle Orson Pratt wrote some inflammatory words and his core beliefs appear to be an abomination to the First Amendment. Romney's avoidance behavior won't make these issues disappear."
Pratt had written, "Both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than the 'whore of Babylon'…Any person who shall be so corrupt as to receive a holy ordinance of the Gospel from the ministers of any of these apostate churches will be sent down to hell with them, unless they repent."
Pichardo noted, "It seems clear to me that Bishop Romney's personal beliefs hold to a position of being against the world religions and all African religions. Racism and ethnic discrimination appears to at the root of his belief system. What guarantees do the American people have that Bishop Romney will not use his presidency to trample civil liberties and religious freedom?"
Yesterday, Lourdes Galvez-Galvan, Deputy Director of the Consejo, took particular offense to a passage from 2 Nephi 5:21 that states unbelievers, living in the Americas, were cursed and had their skin turned from white to black: "[T]he Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them."
Galvez-Galvan called on Romney to distance himself from the hateful, anti-Latino scripture immediately. "We understand institutions change, but the scriptures and teachings have not. This would be like rejecting slavery but still teaching people that blacks count as 3/5 of any other person," she noted.
Pichardo is an Oba Oriate (a Lukumi/Santeria high priest), President of Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, and leading U.S. – Cuba religious freedom advocate of his faith. He is best known for the unanimous ruling landmark case in the U.S .Supreme Court [No. 91-948 June 11th, 1993] and has been subject of numerous academic works and books. The Consejo, which has published ten investigative reports in the past decade on hospital price gouging, religious fraud, police abuse, and pharmaceutical deception, has helped spur three U.S. Congressional hearings and over a dozen local and state probes, including two Civil Rights inquiries.
CONTACT: Lourdes Galvez-Galvan
SOURCE Consejo de Latinos Unidos