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Dan Balz's Take

Romney's Leap of Faith


Another candidate called to talk faith: John F. Kennedy at the Houston Ministerial Association on September 12, 1960 (AP).

It would be easy to start by saying Mitt Romney is no John Kennedy and therefore the speech he delivers in Texas on Thursday will be in no way a replication of Kennedy's famous speech to Baptist ministers in Houston during the 1960 presidential campaign. Even Romney says he is not seeking to deliver a 2007 version of Kennedy's plea for religious tolerance.

The former Massachusetts governor has his own reasons for shaping the speech around the theme of faith in the public square. But some timely and intriguing new research shows why a Kennedyesque discussion of the importance of the separation of church and state might not fulfill Romney's goal of defusing the issue of whether America is ready to elect a president who happens to be Mormon.

The new study comes from three professors -- Brett Benson and John G. Geer of Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and Jennifer Merolla of Claremont Graduate University in California -- and is based on an internet poll that was conducted in the middle of November.

The most provocative finding is that a plea for religious tolerance, a la Kennedy in 1960, will get Romney little in the way of political benefit. The survey, which included enough southern evangelicals in the sample to make analysis of that key voter bloc possible, looked at the impact of Romney's religion on attitudes -- and also what Romney might say to the public to dispel any concerns they might have.

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Not surprisingly, the survey documented that there is greater bias among voters toward a candidate who is a Mormon than there is to a candidate who is African American or female. "We clearly see that people are more reluctant to vote for Mormons than they are blacks or women," Geer said Tuesday morning in a telephone call.

That reality -- and perhaps shifting poll numbers in Iowa, where Mike Huckabee's support among evangelical Christians has put him even or perhaps ahead of Romney -- finally persuaded the former governor to deliver a speech he and his advisers long have debated.

In a memo summing up their findings, the three scholars wrote: "Voters across the board respond most favorably to a message that dispels the negative stereotypes about Mormons (such as learning that the church banned polygamy about 100 years ago, the LDS Church stresses traditional family values, and that the LDS Church's policy is to be politically neutral). But what does NOT work is a simple appeal to religious tolerance."

Demystifying the Mormon religion will be one of Romney's key challenges, if not in the speech on Thursday then possibly as the campaign progresses. Romney may be the best salesman for this, in part because the scholars found that among those who know he is a Mormon, the issue of his religion becomes less of a political problem.

Interestingly, half of those surveyed already said they knew Romney is a Mormon -- twice the percentage who said they know Rudy Giuliani is a Catholic. But the religious issue is particularly acute among southern evangelicals, particularly those who do not know Romney's religion.

"Southern evangelicals who don't know Romney are way off the scale on bias," Geer said. "They haven't had it demystified."

I asked others who have looked at the intersection of religion and politics how they see Romney's speech in comparison to Kennedy's. John Green, the director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron, said Romney must "make the case that his Mormon faith falls within the mainstream of American religion." But Green said just how Romney does that isn't clear.

"Most of the Protestants who were skeptical of Kennedy knew a lot about Catholicism, but most Americans don't know very much about the Latter-day Saints," he said in an e-mail message. "And in the present climate, a strict separationist arguement is likely to be unsatisfying because so many people of various religious persuasions believe there is a role for faith in politics--although they regularly disagree about the details of that role."

Peter Wehner, a former Bush White House official now at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, agreed with both Green and the trio of scholars that the Kennedy argument is outdated, given the role that religion now plays in political discourse and campaigns.

"I don't think he wants to focus his argument on either separation of church and state or demystifying the Mormon faith," Wehner wrote in a message Tuesday morning. "I'd be shocked if he gets into Mormon doctrine at all. Rather, he wants to argue that his fundamental values are the same as most Republicans and most Americans, and that should be the acid test."

But Wehner also said that, in one important way, Romney may want to echo what Kennedy said in Houston. [Romney's] "task is to convince people that if they vote against Romney because of his particular faith, it would be rigid and wrong," he wrote. "Without saying so, Romney needs to make a compelling, high-minded case that if you believe the Mormon faith is disqualifying, you are being deeply unfair and even bigoted. Romney may not want to use those words, which are super-charged, but that's the point he wants to leave, even as a subtext."

Romney's speech is hardly without risks. Will his decision to raise the issue subject him to more and more questions about whether his own beliefs coincide identically to those of his church? Will he be forced into a continuing conversation or will the Thursday appearance allow him to put the issue mostly behind him? Will the speech head off possible attacks later in the nominating battle?

Geer, Benson and Merolla noted in their memo that Romney is taking a gamble, though he may not have a choice. "The speech may be Romney's best chance to strike preemptively to inoculate the public from such attacks," they wrote. "So, the speech may work, if Romney can walk the delicate line of explaining his beliefs and values without driving away conservative evangelicals."

It would be better if Romney did not have to face this question at all, but as the study found, religious bigotry still exists in this country. Having decided to go ahead with the speech, Romney now has to find the words and arguments that fit these times and this political season, just as Kennedy found them for his time.

--Dan Balz

Posted at 1:35 PM ET on Dec 4, 2007  | Category:  Dan Balz's Take
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Eternal marraige

Adam and Eve were married before the fall...Couldn't die=Eternal marraige!

Jesus and the Covenant with his church is compared to marraige. If marraige was not considered eternal after death...His death would have annulled the convenant instead of cementing the covenant!


Satan and Jesus Brothers-If you don't believe they're brothers like the LDS say and Satan acted of his own free will and fell...
The rest of Christianity believe God created everything out of nothing?
Logically then Orthodox Christians believe that Satan was created by God...God created evil? This would mean God is not ALL good because He created Evil...Thus God is a liar because because he is righteous and cannot lie. Thus He cannot save you?
Or you can disavow Satan's existence...Thus you make God out to be a liar because he is righteous and cannot lie and you are saying by inference God is not righteous and by this logic...Cannot save you!


Polygamy-Where in the NT is it condemned? Not really! The advice to Timothy was that Bishops, etc he chose were to be married to one woman...Nothing about the non-office holding member.
If it were condemned what would that say about Abraham, Isaaac, Jacob the idealized believer in the OT? Jesus says they're in heaven! Isaiah 4 - "In that day" it's extolled!

Mountain Meadows Massacre

"I hope Mitt Romney explains the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre in which Utah Mormons slaughtered 120 unarmed men, women and children who were simply trying to pass through Utah on their way to California.
Posted by: thecrisis | December 4, 2007 03:33 PM "

Researched version of massacre

http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=1c234dc029133110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&locale=0


People acted on their own..The LDS church did not order it done!!!!!!

Posted by: robertcannon11111 | December 19, 2007 3:21 PM

Here is a discussion of the Triune God


http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695233910,00.html

Posted by: robertcannon11111 | December 19, 2007 2:27 PM

Orthodox Christianity inherited lies from apostates from around the time of Constantine! The Reformers and the Protestants are testimony to it by their very existence as churches...It's not their fault that they believe what they believe...It's carefully crafted spin from the master of spin, Satan!

Examples:
Catholics believe a similar doctrine but I'll analize the Evangelical doctrine...
Evangelicals love to quote:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Saying see..."All you have to is believe in Jesus and you are saved!"

However does their doctrine really mesh w/the bible and Jesus' gospel?

Their doctrine says that those who do not accept Jesus will not be saved...Will be eternally damned to Hell in Fire and Brimstone...No matter how moral a life they've lived! Even a baby born into an Evangelical Christain home that died before reaching an age of understanding of Jesus would fall under this condemnation!

Their doctrine of Grace is a gift you cannot earn...But a special believer's prayer "earns" them their way to heaven?...Funny there's no prayer in that vain like it in the Bible?

Billions of people live now and will die not having had a chance to even hear of Jesus!...Let alone know they need to accept Jesus through this "prayer" as their Saviour before they die?

God created the non-christians, He knows the end from the beginning..He knew he that He was creating them to be damned to Hell?

He's all knowing...He didn't have a better plan?

He doesn't have a plan B for the people that never had a chance to hear of and accept Jesus?

Maybe He doesn't Love them?

Maybe He doesn't understand Grace and His own loving, all knowing, Saviour of the world, etc. description in the scriptures?

He states in:
John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Sounds like at least according to the Evangelical brand of doctrine he's certainly condemning the world and not saving them by sending His Son to the world to me!

OR

The Evangelicals don't really have a handle what God preaches in the Gospel after all!...

John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

People are condemned because they don't believe, but they don't believe because their works are evil...People that don't get the chance to hear of Jesus aren't making a choice...It's because of their circumstance in life!
They aren't making a choice between good and bad by not believing...Thus they can't really be evil...They haven't had a chance to make that choice...How can their works be evil?

Romans 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

This would also have to include the Gospel Law!


The early Christians lost the true Gospel after the death of the apostles!

There is a better plan A for those that believe while here and a better plan B for those that didn't get a chance while they were here!

It's laid out in the revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith restoring this knowledge that the ancient christian church had but was lost through the great gentile apostasy...The REAL GOOD NEWS OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST! That everyone regardless of when or where they lived will get the chance to hear of Jesus Christ and get the chance to accept it...

"Every knee will bend and every toungue will confess that Jesus... " How can every knee bend and every toungue confess?...If they haven't heard!

Good news preached by other religions? It isn't good news to non-believers because of their cicumstances in life.

Would God be a righteous judge and condemn someone to eternal damnation because they live in a totalitarian regime that doesn't allow the free exercise of religion?

Lived before Jesus Christ was born?

Etc, etc, etc!


Posted by: robertcannon11111 | December 19, 2007 1:54 PM

tom_worthington,
Acts 7:55 only validates my point that Jesus Christ and God the Father are seperate personages. It states, "But he being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God". It is quite difficult to stand on the right hand of yourself, is it not?

Posted by: lancerlabar | December 5, 2007 11:08 PM

Check out Acts 7:55 in the KJV lancerlabar... I could bible bash all day ;-)

Posted by: tom_worthington | December 5, 2007 10:23 PM

John 17:22 (KJV), "And the Glory which thou hast gavest me I have given them: that they may be one, even as we are one.

Posted by: lancerlabar | December 5, 2007 10:14 PM

I think that what everone needs to concern themselves with is how Romney will perform as president. If his faith will effect his performance, then it is a valid topic of discussion. I know that if he were to take direct guidance from the president of the LDS church he may face impeachment, and would surely be commiting political suicide. Take the man at face value; he hasn't let his faith ruin his polical career thus far, and I doubt he would as president.

Anyway, I understand everyone's concerns and I hope that the best person gets elected (whether that be Romney, Clinton, Obama, or anyone else). I'm glad we have the opportunity to debate this.

As a mormon, I am happy to see that these issues are being debated. Hopefully some of the negative rumors about my faith can be put to rest over the next few months.

Godspeed, and may the best candidate win!

Posted by: tom_worthington | December 5, 2007 10:08 PM

John 17:21 (KJV), "That they all may be one as thou, Father art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may beleive that thou hast sent me".

Posted by: lancerlabar | December 5, 2007 9:56 PM

yatkins777,

You claim that Mormons do not believe that Jesus Christ is God! That is false!!! "We believe in God the Eternal Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost" We simply do not accept the false teaching that God the Father, Jesus Christ and The Holy Ghost are one being, but we do believe that they are one in purpose. If the other was true, then when Christ prayed to God the Father, he was actually praying to himself. Sounds a bit fishy to me! Also in the BIBLE Jesus tells us to BE ONE AS HIM AND HIS FATHER ARE ONE. Also in John Chapter 17:11 (KJV) Jesus is praying and he says, "And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one as we are". I think the Bible alone will disprove any theory that GOD the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are one being.

Posted by: lancerlabar | December 5, 2007 9:44 PM

ms_outsource, will u please tell me what's ur religion? and who's your candidate..so that i can tell how perfect your religion is. or better not tell me because i might find 101 badly rotten fruits out of 100 in your religion, right? better not tell me coz it already shows in you.

Posted by: jrav1 | December 5, 2007 7:22 PM

Heavenly Father was forced into kowtowing His definition of exaltation to the United States government (ie backed into a corner to abandon polygamy). the majority of people are unable to worship any concept of God who is so powerless, so weak, so incapable of defending His own definition of exaltation. most people believe that an All Powerful God who has the capacity to stand behind His Word and Git er Done!

Posted by: ms_outsource | December 5, 2007 1:10 PM

Dear Anderbor,
I was raised a Mormon, so I get how you want to defend your faith. But, sadly most Mormons only hear the fluff of their religion. You do not believe the Bible at face value. Your scriptures BOM, DOC etc. Only follow the Bible when it agrees with what Joseph teaches. You also believe that the Bible was corrupted by the Catholic church. You also practice polygamy in Heaven. Your scriptures still feel polygamy is the way to go. It is just illegal. Utah needed it statehood so they quit practicing it not because they thought it was immoral. Your faith is scary!!!!

Posted by: karlagledhill | December 5, 2007 12:57 PM

Hello,
I was raised a Mormon and always taught that all other churches, especially the Catholics are not true and an apostacy. Mormons believe that they are THE ONLY TRUE CHURCH. Someone needs to come right out and ask Mr. Romney if he believes that. Because he does. That is written in all of their scriptures. That is a well known fact that most Americans do not know. The Catholics, Baptists etc.. do notmake that claim. That is the problem. Also, it is written in their scriptures that the US gov't will fail and that the Mormons will be there to take over. Scary thought if you are not a Mormon. Do the research. It is not all warm and fuzzy like Mr. Romney would have you think.

Posted by: karlagledhill | December 5, 2007 12:45 PM

jrav1,

you know what, I do know the church's good points as well. but I have a higher expectation of Heavenly Father to not sit on His behind while bad fruit is accumulating in His institution. all the good fruit put together doesn't matter when bad fruit does exist. the jedi mind trick that LDS members play on themselves to forget the bad fruit exists is impossible for me because I hold HF to a higher standard. I have a perfect pure complete up-to-date theology that I will not mention because this thread is about Romney and his religious versus political obligations not about proving to people that my religion is perfect pure complete and relevant to the entire planet not just old white dudes.

Posted by: ms_outsource | December 5, 2007 12:37 PM

the official website does NOT explain that polygamy is STILL practiced as we type in the Celestial Kingdom. or that polygamy will be practiced again at the Return of Jesus. people will only learn about today's moving target called LDS doctrine, yet yesterday there was so much racism, sexism, killing for the Lord, and bigotry by JS against other denominations that an informed person must ask... how can you worship such a lazy sloppy haphazard Heavenly Father (HF)?

I mean look it's so easy for HF to tell the prophet "grab a pen and some paper because we're going to canonize one complete current up-to-date God prioritized scripture free from human imagination and polution of racism and sexism".

yet this is too much work because HF actually likes having human imagination polluting His canonized scripture. LDS have such a low expectation of a less than perfectionist uncaring unconcerned HF that it's unbelievably pathetically sad.

Posted by: ms_outsource | December 5, 2007 12:28 PM

I noticed the comment that mormon.org clearly states the doctrine. I disagree because it does not talk anything about baptism of the dead, Jesus and Lucifer being brothers, God once being a man, three levels of heaven where one cannot reach the highest level unless married in an LDS temple...etc.

Even the book of Mormon, which is presented first to people who are interested, does not have any of the bizaare teachings of the LDS church and actually contradicts some of the later writings of Joseph Smith.

Check out www.utlm.org for information from a decendent of Brigham Young.

Posted by: yatkins777 | December 5, 2007 11:14 AM

God, please forgive most of these Posters!

They know not what they do!


I mean, I doubt most of them know what Day it is! Were talking DUMB, on Biblical Scale!

LOL!

Judge the Religion by the Actions of it's Folowers, NOT by what the Followers claim about their Religion!

Mitt Romney, is a COMPLIMENT to the Mormon Faith!

Posted by: rat-the | December 5, 2007 11:02 AM

Romney's character will reflect the character of his church.

The LDS church has very different beliefs than mainstream Christianity. One example is the eternal progression of man to God. Another is that Jesus is Lucifer's brother.

However, what really concerns me is their use of deception in recruiting members. If you ask a Mormon missonary about some of the specifics of their doctrine they will not give you a straight answer. If the missionary happens to be a woman, they will plead ignorance. They claim to be a Christian religion but they do not even believe that Jesus is God. They use similar language like grace, salvation and atonement, but they mean different things.

The LDS church is based on deception. I am concerned that Romney also has a culture of deception.

Posted by: yatkins777 | December 5, 2007 10:58 AM

ms_outsource, i admire ur diligence that i think u really scanned a bit into mormon literatures and history. but u know what? it's sad that u only look for faults amid the good things there are in mormon history.
but if u make this as ur basis in choosing the next president(fault finding), i think romney will be your sure winner coz he is the one with less faults coz many described him as "almost perfect" to be president (Very successful in marriage, in family, in education, in business, in being a governor).
I think the very small fault u see in him is only his religion.

Posted by: jrav1 | December 5, 2007 10:09 AM

How sad it is to see all of this bickering going on over Christianity versus the Church of Mormon, Judaism versus Buddhism, Catholicism versus Scientology. It's like listening to grown adults debating "Star Trek" versus "Battlestar Galactica" or "Lord Of The Rings" versus "Star Wars".

It's scary for so many of that don't live with these various all-seeing, all-knowing "gods" to know that we're so hopelessly over-shadowed by all of this foolishness. I find it strange that one man who hears voices in his head is considered crazy, and thus treated and medicated. But if a bunch of people hear the same imaginary voice, it's considered a religion and owed respect by everyone, whether we hear the voice or not.

Poor Charles Manson - if he'd paid more attention to rich white people instead of dirty hippies, he might have had a disciple of his own running for president this year. It's such a thin line between "crazy" and "chosen".

Posted by: gebrown3226 | December 5, 2007 8:50 AM

i think it counts more to evaluate one's family than one's religion. Compare Romney's family to any other family of presidentiables, then you'll be surprised what a cult can do to strengthen a family

Posted by: jrav1 | December 5, 2007 6:36 AM

i think it counts more to evaluate one's family than one's religion because waht u are and what u do speaks of what u believe and what u value. Compare Romney's family to any other family of presidentiables, then you'll be surprised what a cult can do to strengthen a family. If american can't see this, it's a sign that they're getting dumber and dumber.

Posted by: jrav1 | December 5, 2007 6:31 AM

no one has judged the man named Mitt Romney, they are only calling into question his decision making process of holding the most powerful position in the world. and it is entirely fair to ask where in the sand is the line between "follow the prophet follow the prophet even if he is wrong", and any obligation to gentile voters. that's all.

where is the line????

do you mean that Romney will follow the laws of this land exactly like Bush followed the laws of this land leading us into war?

Romney does not want to answer what methods of interrogation will be used against prisoners of war because he would like to be the one causing the Constitution to hang by a thread. it's called basic human rights and Romney can not bring himself to state on record that he supports basic human rights.

Posted by: ms_outsource | December 5, 2007 4:12 AM

It is sad to see that we, as a nation, haven't matured enough over the years so as not to subject a candidate to all this scrutiny with respect to his/her religion and beliefs. Mr. Romney is a former governor, period! That alone is enough as a basis for his candidacy for President of the United States. His religion is not relevant. Mr. Romney will have to follow the laws of this land as the basis to make decisions in helping this country.

As for the Mormon religion, I can't begin to understand the notion that "Mormonism" is not considered by the mainstream evangelicals as a christian religion. Just look at the name.

The Church of Jesus Christ of latter day Saints.

The Church worships Jesus Christ as the Savior and God that He is. There is no question in any of the members minds who it is that we worship. Now, the name of Joseph Smith does appear and is heard mentioned at various times at church meetings. But this is out of respect and honor we give to an important figure in the history of this church. And let's make it clear to anyone who wishes to learn the truth about the Mormon religion. Joseph Smith is not, I repeat, not GOD. He is NOT looked upon as God or is worshipped in any way, shape or form. Again, he is looked upon with great admiration for all the work he put forth in helping establish the church that exists today.

I wish to remind all citizens of this great country that our founding fathers made it clear in the constitution that we would have freedom of religion as one of our core values and beliefs. For this reason alone, we shouldn't judge Mr. Romney, or any candidate for that matter, on their respective faiths, but rather, on what they stand for with respect to the issues that affect the people of this nation.

Posted by: delakile | December 5, 2007 4:01 AM

oh, and the prophet speaks so highly of Bush's war on terror that you'd think a new revelation commanding Romney to attack Iran would happen in Romney's first day of office. The church supports war on terror because obviously God told the prophet what a big supporter of war God really is. Get it? God likes war so Romney will keep us in war. That's killing in the name of God, just like Mountain Meadows Massacre and Haun's Mill massacre and the Danites and blood atonement. the LDS version of Heavenly Father is all for that kind of killing in His power and authority.

Posted by: ms_outsource | December 5, 2007 3:31 AM

the current church prophet is getting up there in age, and it is entirely possible for senility to cause an outlandish request of brother Romney. or simply think that little whispering sound he described to Larry King told him that Armageddon is right here right now.

as to learning about the church on the official website, where do we find the church once accepted slaves as tithes? where do we find all the false prophecies of JS and BY? so much is hidden that it's called lying by omission. lying for the Lord. Lie, lie, and continue lying as long as it takes to look just like a mainstream denomination.

Posted by: ms_outsource | December 5, 2007 3:25 AM

1. "Judge ye that ye be not judged."

As a Mormon who grew up in the Bible belt, I can attest to this type of religious persecution that Mit Romney is receiving. Many of my closest friends were Southern Baptists and were taught on Sundays from their Preachers as to what a "cult" the Mormon church was. I went to a Baptist summer camp in junior high and was taken to the top of a hill by adult counselors where I was told that I was going to hell and that my religion, everything I had ever known, was a cult. I have never prayed so hard. How can a religion use Sundays, a day of worship, to attack other religions?

I have studied the religions of the world and find them all to be fascinating! Most religions are simply different interpretations of the Bible. I know that you can not force someone to change their intrinsic beliefs, no matter how much you damn them to hell. As an educated, professional woman, I know that religion is something that is passed down from generation to generation. As a adult, there comes a time to form your own opinion, not one of your preacher or family. It is only after careful research and prayer that you can truly find the answer. I wish that every religion only focused on worshiping God, not about teaching intolerance or bigotry towards other religions. Elect Mit Romney for the President he will be, not for the religion he believes in. Although the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints aka the Mormon church is beautiful and full of answers.

Posted by: hlsmith17 | December 5, 2007 3:10 AM

I think it is reasonable to consider a person's decision to join an organization, even if it is a religious organization, when considering a person for president. Especially when the candidate states that his "faith informs his decisions". If a candidate were of the Rastafarian faith, worshiping God by smoking dope, you can bet that would be an issue. If a candidate were a member of NAMBLA, again, certainly an issue, because it sheds light on an individuals reasoning and decision making ability. For information on the Morman faith you can certainly go to mormon.org, as suggested by aeberwick. But I would also suggest a visit to exmormon.org to view the side of the mormon church that the mormons aren't so eager to share with you.

Posted by: bustyn | December 5, 2007 2:31 AM

I am a practicing member of the LDS church, and while I may or may not vote for Romney, I believe that concerns about the potential influence of Church leaders on Romney are unfounded. Please review the following articles which shed light on this matter and others.

http://www.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=37ba9f4d1e031110VgnVCM100000176f620aRCRD&vgnextchannel=f5f411154963d010VgnVCM1000004e94610aRCRD

http://www.christiancentury.org/article.lasso?id=3594

Please also consider the importance of fair and polite debate about others' beliefs. We all need to do our part to create an environment in which our opinions, beliefs, and convictions can be discussed in a productive and respectful manner. Remember the golden rule. Thank you.

Posted by: spencerbls | December 5, 2007 2:11 AM

I'd say the adherance to the confusing doctrines outlining a church several hundred years after the death of Christ, when leaders had to meet to reach a POLITICAL agreement on the nature of God...which is the of foundation of Christian churches today, is the real shaky ground when it comes to true religion! (Research the Nicene Creed)

If you read the Bible correctly, God does not speak to people through committees, he speaks through prophets, such as the young boy Samuel in the Old Testament.

For those anti-mormons who try to use DNA as evidence...try presenting all of the facts and maybe you will have a decent arguement.

http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Conferences/2006_DNA_and_the_Book_of_Mormon.html

This is an excellent website for those seeking educated answers regarding the outlandish and bigoted misinformation being posted regarding Latter Day Saints.

http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/

When Joseph Smith published the Book of Mormon, there was very little known about the Arabian Penninsula or ancient America. At the time, perhaps 5% of the cultural information in the Book of Mormon was proven to be correct. If you study the archeology of the Olmec and Mayan Cultures, today nearly 80% of the cultural information is found to be correct. A higher percentage than the Bible, as a matter of fact. Only slightly more than half of all place names mentioned in the Bible have been found. The Book of Mormon fits comfortably and neatly in an ancient New World setting. There are no major areas of disagreement between the archaeological information available in Mesoamerican regions and the cultures and geographies described in the Book of Mormon.

The Book of Abraham contains amazing descriptions of the universe...brilliantly portrayed and translated in the 1800's, long before mankind had any idea of the wonders of the universe that we have discovered through NASA and the Hubble Telescope. Joseph Smith was a man beyond his time...Whether a genius or a prophet is left to the individual to decide...but I dare say he was a better man than the slanderous individuals who spread hate and intolerance regarding one of the most selfless churches in the world today...especially when it comes to responding to worldwide natural disasters.

I hope folks will lay aside the vomit they hear spewing from their respective threatened church pulpits, look into the eyes of Mitt Romney Thursday night, and judge for yourself.

Posted by: samsbillthepony | December 5, 2007 12:17 AM

I believe that a faithful Catholic, unlike Giuliani, would have the same troubles as Romney. People are concerned whether a candidate's church affiliation, particularly a conservative one, is more important than running the country. My church affiliation comes first and I would be open about that, if I were running. People may or may not vote for me based on that, but they should have that information.

People criticize the Mormons for not allowing women to become priests, as if secular opportunities should be forced on religions. I converted to Catholicism for a number of reasons but one of them is because they do not ordain women to the priesthood. There is a lot of prejudice against women like me-conservative. But I researched the religion thoroughly before converting. People often assume that secular political values must be the same as those of religion. But there are a lot of religions out there, making such a match-up absurd. Conservative religious women of all persuasions are often assumed to be brainwashed, etc. Like it or not, Romney is an adult. I would like to hear his views but only as he chooses to talk about them, not because liberal non-elites think he owes them something.

Posted by: alera1 | December 4, 2007 11:55 PM

Since you call the Mormon Church a cult, I am sure you can elaborate and explain the reasons for it being considered a cult?? Right?

Posted by: lancerlabar | December 4, 2007 11:46 PM

I don't believe it is religious bigotry to question Romney's mormon beliefs He belongs to and attempts to adhere to the beliefs of a well documented recognised cult. Cults cannot be trusted therefore niether can Romney.

Posted by: iceman4god | December 4, 2007 11:37 PM

ms_outsource,

The Mormon Prophet will not be Romney's Vice President nor will he be his advisor. So he won't be telling him what to do while in Public Office. You all seem to think Romney is Poster Child for the Mormon Church, but he is not, he has his problems when it comes to his political history and Church Doctrine. Personally I am a Mormon, and would prefer to see Ron Paul get the nomination, because he is the only candidate who has a un-faultering history of upholding the constitution at all costs. And he is the only Republican ready to bring home the troops and not only from Iraq, but other places where we have been for years and years. Unfortunately the media has sentenced his campaign to a quick death.

Posted by: lancerlabar | December 4, 2007 11:25 PM

athoyle, when you said Romney is stupid, were you aware that Romney graduated in the top 5% of his Harvard MBA class and at the same time in the top 20% of Harvard Law School. Does it mean anything to you that everyone who knows him says he is one of the smartest people they have ever met and solves problems like no-one else.

rsanders, are you aware that every consultant in the industry agrees on the fact that Huckabee is getting his votes and coming out of nowwhere strictly because of the religious issue with Romney. Huckabee would not be a contender if it were not for that. The stats prove it beyond all argument except for the most hardened anti-Mormons.

Posted by: jasonroiz | December 4, 2007 11:23 PM

The religious bigotry of a few never ceases to amaze me. A lot of the comments from those who hate Mormons are so distorted, it's a relief when they get it half-correct. Their pastors have trained them well. Like Satan, they mix the truth with lies in order to stir up hatred against Mormons in order to protect their flocks. As a Mormon, I can say that the Church trusts and encourages each of us to do our own homework about religion, and then follow-up the study with personal prayer to reach our own conclusions. For some reason that concept makes the preachers nervous.

Posted by: WeNeedSkills | December 4, 2007 11:12 PM

Wow! I am a Mormon. My religion is really getting attacked with non-truths on this page! Relax people. You are already trusting about 20 Mormons in the top of the US government. You should thank other Mormons for your TV and computer monitor (CRT inventor), clean air, equal rights for women, steady state theory of chemistry, all of Browning's 100+ patents, and for producing so many of the products and services that you enjoy. BYU is the largest private university in the US @ 94% strict adherent Mormon; it is #1 in the US for bringing new products to market. The University of Utah (where woman's rights gained momentum and launched to the rest of the country) @ 70% Mormon is #2 is US.

Mormons are provably, with US government statistics, healthy and successful by every measurable statistic, including education that is higher than the U.S. average.

Here's trivia most people don't know. The most religious city on the planet is Provo Utah at 90% Mormon (not Israel, not Pakistan, no where). Personally, the first time I went to Provo Utah, I was nervous about how different it would be than Texas and how I would be treated; I was the only Mormon at my school in Texas, which was one of the largest schools in Texas. Once inside Provo, I got a flat tire in my $500 truck looking all ratty. In the 10 minutes it took me to fix it, three people stopped to ask if they could help. Welcome to Provo!

Posted by: jasonroiz | December 4, 2007 10:59 PM

I watched the debates the other night and honestly Romney was the dumbest one up there on the stage, he is dumber than George Bush and I didn't think that was possible. If he gets to be president I know for sure there won't be a USA left, always assuming that there is some of it left when George leaves. I don't worry to much about the Morman's, I have read so stories about how intolerant they are, and a fundamental religion is what has us in the problems we are faced with today. I certainly hope people everywhere are smart enough to see through Romney, he is about gthe last one I would want for a president in either party.

Posted by: athoyle | December 4, 2007 10:51 PM

Expectation Game. The Romney speech has one purpose - to give an excuse for a loss or close finish in Iowa. Given the vast amount of money and time that he has spent in the area, he can't admit that Iowan's just liked Huckabee a little better.

Romeny needs to blame the Iowa situation on something. Is anyone doing a poll to see how many Mormans are voting for Romney verses Huckabee? Should there be any surprise if Morman's preferred Romney at a much higher rate than any other candidate? Would this be anti-Christian bigotry or simply a preference for someone they are more comfortable with?

Posted by: rsanders | December 4, 2007 10:50 PM

As a LDS, Why should I explain my beliefs over the internet. AS Romney says out on the trail, If someone is truly interested in this church they can learn at mormon.org or lds.org.
If you do not like Romney do not vote for him. Even point to our religion as the reason why. And then go tell your friends and neighbors. I'll do the opposite because I think he will do a lot of good as the President or wherever he serves.
Those of you who fight against the church go ahead it is your right to believe or not. But, you cannot stop this work. It will fill the earth just as Joseph prophesied when he and five others organized the church in 1830. This is the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fulness. Two missionaries taught me the first discussion and I knew and every part of my being knows that what they had taught me is true and I had the same feelings all the way through the six discussions and still do. I knew the book of Mormon was true before I ever read it. The testimony of those Elders filled my entire being with the Holy Ghost. Joy, wonder, peace, love, all at once and many times since.
Joseph Smith was and is the Prophet of the Restoration and Jesus Christ leads this church today.

Posted by: fitzsw | December 4, 2007 10:43 PM

Mormons are Christians- Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior of the world. The only way to salvation is through Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith was a prophet. We do not worship prophets or believe that they are equals to God the Father or Christ. As a Southerner and a Mormon, I want to say that many people whom I associate with who are Baptist and other mainstream faiths are do not dislike Romney. Some plan to vote for him! I wish the rest of the country could see the Bible Belt wants a president who has a backbone and who is capable of supporting the family values, the right to bear arms, immigration reform, saving Social Security, fixing the national budget, reforming taxes, etc. If Romney did not have a real shot at the White House this press conference would be far from news worth.

Posted by: fufighter94 | December 4, 2007 10:34 PM

I'm confident that Romney's religious faith is as authentic as his commitment to gun rights (flip flop) and opposition to abortion (flip flop). He is a candidate who will say anything for a vote and decides what he believes by what polls say. I don't care what he says his religion is, because it's obvious to me that he doesn't believe anything at all. Just another politician.

Posted by: sonvolt777 | December 4, 2007 10:13 PM

Hutch: Just read your entire post. Is it possible to actually understand the gobblygook you just posted or do you preach like that to all of the followers who don't understand a word you say, just to get a warm fuzzy because you are the only one who gets it.
Best guess is that if you asked one of you congregants what you just posted, they couldn't give you a cognisant answer.
"God is one yet three, three yet one. What does that mean?"
Exactly! What does that mean?

Posted by: scottdevelopment | December 4, 2007 9:55 PM

Did you know that in 1845, the Southern Baptists were considered a cult by the Northern Baptists?

By the 1830's tension began to mount between the Northern and Southern Baptists. Baptists in the South were embracing slavery because it was the core of their social and economic order.

Baptists of the North were saying that God would not condone treating one race as superior to another while Southerners said that God intended for races to be separate. In around 1835, the Southern states began complaining that they weren't receiving money for mission work.

Let's put things into perspective. By 1865 over 620,000 Americans had died over the slavery issue. Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians all fought for the right to own black people. The LDS Church has always been against slavery. Can the Southern Baptist Convention claim the same?

Just trying to figure out when these Evangelical born again "Christians" pulled the beam out of their eye so they could see so clearly the faults of other religions.

Posted by: scottdevelopment | December 4, 2007 9:43 PM

Oh dear Anderbor1
Several things need to be addressed here:
Sorry, but no one took or painted pictures of Jesus, and He said we should not have graven images or idols that we worship.
There is no such thing as heavenly parents, sounds like book of mormon to me.
To clarify for other Christians and yourself, the Lord is looking for His Bride, so all men will be a Bride who believe in the Lord, but we won't have heavenly parents. We will recognize our parents, brothers, sisters, and others, but will not have family separate from being in the Body of Christ.
I have heard about mormons having their own planets and procreating in the next life, sounds like science fiction to me, and it is not in the Bible.
If you are thinking that the Trinity is made up of three persons, you are heretical according to the Bible. God is one yet three, three yet one. What does that mean? Simply that God is One with distinctions but not separateness. God the Father is the source, God the Son is the way to the divine life and nature of God, and the Spirit comes to us to give us this divine life and nature, but not the Godhead. 2Peter1:4 "be partakers of the divine nature"...John 10:10, "He came to give life (zoe/divine life) and give life (zoe) abundantly". So life and nature. How else can we be conformed to His image and be in His Body?
You say Joseph Smith was a prophet...nice try, but the Bible shows us that the era of the prophets was over when Jesus became incarnated. Proof? Look at the Mt. of Transfiguration when Moses (representing the law) was there with Elijah (rep. the prophets) and then God spoke, "hear Him"...referring to Jesus, His Son.
Well, I'll stop here, if I read more nonsense, I'll take more time and quote more scripture. For now, I'm planning to vote for Huckabee, the genuine article compared to any of the others...especially Chillary Clinton...do we really need as they say, Bush, Clinton, Clinton, Bush Bush? Please, folks let's vote for a refreshing change...enough is enough, and let that not be a man who thinks he is going to procreate another planet.
By the way, I almost forgot, if you or anyone old enough to make an intelligent decision, hears the gospel and doesn't pray to receive the Lord before he/she dies, you will not have a second chance to pray to receive Him. Proof? Look at Luke 16 where the rich man is in Hades looking across the chasm and begging for someone to go tell his brothers not to make the same mistake he did (he ended up on the wrong side of Hades, the eternal torment side). He sees Abraham and the beggar in Abraham's bosom, but he can't cross over the chasm. Quite a picture, wouldn't you say?

Posted by: hutch | December 4, 2007 9:24 PM

as to the LDS worship of a Heavenly Father who did jack after the Mountain Meadows Massacre, who allowed the church to accept slaves as tithing, who segregated filthy behavior people by darking their skin making for a racist God...

it's perfectly natural to as Romney how much of the olden days racist filth he accepts as the Word of God.

Posted by: ms_outsource | December 4, 2007 8:22 PM

brother Romney did not actually support gay rights like he promised. that was only flatulance during campaigning. he has an exceptional ability to speak one way during campaigning and act a 180 degrees different in office. it's not a flip flop because he never actually voted one way and voted another, he only campaigned one way and acted another.

Posted by: ms_outsource | December 4, 2007 8:11 PM

WHY is it bigoted to want to know what Romney would do if the prophet told him "God said fire the nukes". Follow the prophet even if he is wrong is brainwashed into LDS from the day they are born. Under what conditions exactly would Romney say no to what he believes is God's mouthpiece on earth?

Posted by: ms_outsource | December 4, 2007 8:06 PM

adrienne_najjar,

You said that "We need someone to solve our problems, not save our souls - that is my business alone". While you are exactly right about needing someone to solve our problems, if you have any belief in the Bible you will also know of the commandment "Go Ye Therefore and Teach all nations baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" this tells me that we as Christians are responsible to preach to those who are in need of salvation, otherwise we are held responsible for the souls lost due to our neglect. Nevertheless that is not the job of our Political leaders, and I do not believe that Romney will be preaching to anyone if elected. It seems as though many of those posting comments here seem to think that the President is some dictator. The fact remains that he is virtually powerless without the backing of the majority of congress, if Congress doesn't pass the bills they never get sent to his desk for signature and Congress is not obligated to persue any of the presidents recommendations. In reallity the real problems of this Country are due to Congress. And I mean on boths sides of the Spectrum.

Posted by: lancerlabar | December 4, 2007 7:47 PM

thecrissis,

You said that "The problem with a Mormon politician is that the Mormon religion does not allow flexibility of morals, character and most importantly, actions". You make it sound as if the Mormon Church is some dictatorship. If this was true then Brother Romney would have already been excommunicated for his former support of abortion and gay rights.
The fact is that anyone who knows anything about the Mormon Church knows that they preach all the time on FREE AGENCY.

Posted by: lancerlabar | December 4, 2007 7:26 PM

I am blown away by some of the comments to this article.
I have read them all, and am amazed at some people in this world.
After reading all this I have decided to vote for Mr. Romney. I have learned in my life, someone who stirs up this much opposition... must be great.

Posted by: deantippetts | December 4, 2007 7:24 PM

I think we are getting better when it comes to such issues of bigotry, but to take it to the extent that it may prevent the most qualified candidate for president to lead our nation does not say much good about us. However, I do still believe that Mitt will get the nomination because he is the most qualified candidate for these reasons.

1. Mitt has an amazing wife that is beloved by republicans

2. Mitt has values that are as American as any

3. Mitt has an amazing family

4. Mitt has an amazing resume including a BS degree from BYU, a JD from Harvard, and an MBA from Harvard, and was at the top of his class with every degree

5. Mitt has amazing experience in turning around disfuctional business

6. Mitt saved the 2002 winter olympics from bankruptcy, and scandal

7. Mitt was a successful Gov. of the state of Mass.

8. Mitt came down on the side of life on every piece of legislation as Gov.

9. Mitt supports the constitutional amendment to define marrige between a man and a woman

10. Mitt balanced the budget in Mass. for four years straight

I could go on and on but I think you get my point. His membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints should not be the defining issue. He is the right man for the job.

Posted by: dustinhofheins | December 4, 2007 7:19 PM

I'm not worried nearly as much about Romney's religion as I am about his lack of morals. He openly cheated in the Florida straw polls by paying his supporters to vote multiple times. That is why he will never get my vote.

Posted by: cantzon | December 4, 2007 7:15 PM

Wow. The comments to this article are mind-boggling. I'm glad Mr. Romney will be speaking on this tomorrow night, as it is clear that there is a lot of wrong information out there. I will be surprised however if this will be a discussion of his church beliefs, rather than a discussion of why the country should not fear a Mormon candidate, but I guess we'll find out on Thursday. Remember that the LDS Church does not endorse any political candidate, including Mr. Romney.

As a member of the LDS Church, it is clear that many people have no clue what we believe. It's a little disheartening and a little humorous at the same time. I guess I laugh to keep from letting it really bother me.

For those of you that are interested in finding out what Mormons believe, you have several options as I see it:

1) Go to lds.org, which is the official website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

2) Ask a current member of the LDS Church. In my experience, when it comes to our own doctrine, members of the LDS Church are among the most knowledgeable church members of any religion out there. Just talk to the Mormon guy/gal next to you at work, at school or down the street and ask him/her about it. Preferably someone you know and someone you can trust. There are lots of us out there and we're happy to answer questions. Even if they can't answer every question, they'll point you in the right direction and will appreciate your general interest in finding out about what we believe.

3) Or, you could take the most nonsensical of the 3 options, and ask people who have an obvious agenda that they are promoting. These are people who are interested in denigrating the LDS Church and its members for one reason or another (whether it's a bad personal experience with a church member, an ex-member of the church or a member of another church that feels the need to put us down for some reason). I personally think this is a ridiculous way to learn about something you're interested in, but apparently, this is the way many people decide to go. How else can you explain the misinformation posted in response to this article?

I'll suggest that you go for #1 or #2, but the choice is yours.

Thanks.

Posted by: marcusp23 | December 4, 2007 7:09 PM

LDS religion was never an issue for George Romney, or Mo Udall, or others. It matters now because the Southern Baptists and Assemblies of God pentecostals, persons who fervently condemn Mormonism as a "Cult,"
are in charge of the Republican party.
The republican party is theocratic, and in a theocratic state you can't be of the wrong faith. The GOP is theocratic, and that is why the faith of an LDS candidate matters. It is just that simple.

Posted by: richtigshaska | December 4, 2007 6:40 PM

Romney's speech will do little to help certain Evangelicals overcome their prejudices about Mormons. Evangelicals have been taught by their preachers since they were very young that Mormonism is a cult. Evangelical preachers earn their livelihood from their congregations, so they have always had a financial incentive to discredit any religion that threatens to steal away congregants, who are the source of their livelihood. Mormons, with their aggressive proselytizing tactics, have posed just such a threat to the salary of Evangelical preachers; thus, Evangelical preachers have characterized Mormonism as a cult while ignoring other Christian denominations whose beliefs also differ from their own. I expect these prejudiced evangelicals to continue to use the flip-flop argument as a way to oppose Romney's candidacy on grounds other than religious bigotry. I doubt Romney's speech will change their deeply ingrained beliefs about Mormons.

Posted by: harold2 | December 4, 2007 6:39 PM

To TR444
People don't understand what Mormon doctrine teaches. (And neither do you)

First, the goal of a good mormon man is to become a god in the next life. (Error #1: The goal is to live a life in which we learn to truly love and understand God and our Fellow Men as stated by Jesus in the New Testament will inherit all that God has, and at that point call it what you will)

If you had an issue with either Jimmy Carter or George Bush's driving of foreign policy based on religious beliefs, try a president with a god complex. (Or someone like you without one who is only motivated by what your limited mind and experience thinks "feels" good)


Two, although Mormons will allow blacks (aka those without "white and delightful" skin to quote mormon doctrine) into their churches (Error #2: is that all people could always be members of The Church),

mormon church doctrine remains that blacks are cursed because of their lack of courage and that this is why their skin is dark. (Error #3: The book "Mormon Doctrine" is not scripture, is not official and is only the opinions of a person who was in a leadership position in The Church and he himself recanted a number of items in his book because it was only his opinion)

If John Edwards belonged to a country club that excluded people based on race, he'd be out in two seconds. I don't see why the word "church" in the name redeems the organization.


Third, mormons believe that women's salvation/perfection is dependent on their husband's religious conformance -- no marriage, no children, no heaven and if you picked a lout as a spouse, it doesn't matter how good you are, you are stuck with whatever level of perfection you husband is capable of. He doesn't make the cut for god, well, you don't get to be a goddess. (Error #4: All individuals who live good lives as outlined in the Scriptures will achieve salvation, your lout of a spouse, unmarried or no children in this life does not determine your standing in you life in the afterlife)


We have come too far as a country to have our president belong to ANY organization that espouses such bigotry (Just like you are spewing out).

And Romney was undoubtedly preaching the "no blacks allowed" (Please see Error #2 and #3) message when he was a missionary, as that was mormon doctrine at that time.

If Romney steers away from owning up to the more distasteful aspects of his belief system and tries to airbrush it with "family values" I would say that he is the one lacking the courage of his convictions (and bigotry is not a family value).

If he addresses the tenets of his faith directly, well, that would be an interesting speech, but I don't think it is going to make many people warm and fuzzy feeling about him as our president

(I would recommend you talking with a nice set of Missionaries to truly understand what The Church of Jesus Christ is all about - I did and realized that all the misinformation that I was fed and believed just like you was not correct and taken out of context by people who were bigoted, ignorant or had a vested interest in the status quo, was not correct and ended up becoming a full member 16 years ago and during all my time the emphasis of The Church has been service to our fellow men both inside and outside of The Church and the fruit of the Gospel is a wonder to behold).

Posted by: tristamh | December 4, 2007 6:33 PM

I wouldn't get too caught up in the religion thing because can be distracting in judgeing the true character. The Founding Fathers cautioned against.

One of the best ways to judge the character is by the way he has lived his life.

Mitt Romney has led people to the greater good, in businesses (Bain Capital), in community services (Bankrupt Olympics to one of the most successful) and government leadership (Big government spending to fiscal responsibility). All of these suggest he would make a fine president.

We could learn something from people like Mitt Romney. He knows how to work and get the job done. He enjoys working with others and their sense of values, while not compromising standard morals for prosperous living.

Reading some of the comments above, it confirms that people today are no different than past generations, maybe just more volitile. They continue the history of the natural man, where one is clouded from seeing the light to judge correctly because they have failed to remove the darkness within to see more clearly.

It's not the first time a good man has been ridiculed and persecuted, and probably not the last. But it's a representation of the resistance that is common among those who represent something good.

You can tell there's something worthwhile when there is so much against him.

Posted by: jskousen | December 4, 2007 6:31 PM

Amen Electric Bill. I for one am not voting for Romney either, and I am most definitely an active, beleiving, temple recommend holding Mormon. I think Romney is a joke.

Posted by: wyltk75 | December 4, 2007 6:28 PM

Romney is on the wrong track. It doesn't matter if he "demystifies" the Mormon faith from now until the primaries, it won't help him. The Republican party is the party of intolerance. Romney has courted that intolerance frequently with his stance on immigration and other issues and if you live by the sword, you have to die by the sword. The intolerance of the southern evangelicals is just part of the overall "big tent" of Republican bigotry. It is the main piece of the Southern Strategy and the Rove strategy for 2004. The thing is that once bigotry gets deeply imbedded in the political process, it is very difficult to get rid of and the Republicans opened the door to the bigots in 1965, so they are only reaping what they have sewed, as is Romney.

Posted by: ElectricBill | December 4, 2007 5:39 PM

Wow, lot of angry people on both sides of the Mormon issue. Well I'm not allowed to vote in your primary, but if I had to choose I'd choose Huckabee. Not because of his religion, but more because he seems to have some COMPASSION. After almost 7 years of Bush, I think even most republicans are done with the chest thumping intimidation and worship of money and ignorance that couldn't be further from our best interest as a nation.

I love how Huckabee is running a campaign on almost zero money, doesn't even have the money to defend himself when he gets attacked by his rich opponents, is now somehow ahead and suddenly it's cause Romney is Mormon?? Anybody think that maybe he's just a better candidate for president? Maybe some people think outside of religious boxes, take a look at his little-engine-that-could campaign they never noticed till now, laugh at his Chuck Norris endorsement, watch him do well in the debates and then suddenly realize that the front-runners aren't their only options... Maybe money alone doesn't buy a nomination. Imagine that.

Posted by: grimmix | December 4, 2007 5:38 PM

Posted by: thecrisis | December 4, 2007 5:37 PM

BEING BORN AND RAISED IN THE MORMON CHURCH I HAVE A PRETTY GOOD REASON TO FEAR THE ELECTION OF A MORMON PRESIDENT. AS AN ADULT I HAVE FOUND SO MANY CHINKS IN THE ARMOR OF THE MORMON CLAIM TO BE THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE CHURCH OF GOD. ANYONE WHO THINKS THAT THE PRESIDENT AKA THE PROPHET OF THE MORMON CHURCH WOULD HAVE NO INFLUENCE ON MR ROMNEY IS ABSOLUTE OUT OF THEIR MIND. IF THE PROPHET WERE TO TELL MR ROMNEY SOMETHING THAT GOD HAD REVEALED FOR HIM TO DO I ASSURE YOU IT WOULD BE SO DONE. IF ANYONE THINKS HE WOULD NOT SEEK THE COUNSIL OF CHURCH OFFICIALS... AGAIN I TELL YOU THEY WOULD BE OUT OF THEIR MIND. MY ADVICE...BE LEARY VERY VERY LEARY

Posted by: ED_SCOTT | December 4, 2007 5:36 PM

For andebor (or any of the other Mormons participating), you question why it took the Western world to give equality to people, yet homosexuals (as one group) are still not equal. What is the Mormon view on gays as you see it? Would you vote for a homosexual who plans to "stay that way" into office given that everything else is the same? If not, why not?

I work with many, many Mormons. They represent more than 15% of my office. I don't mind them or their beliefs at all with respect to living, socializing, etc. I don't want Romney (specifically) as president. Some of that is due to what he's said about religion, but it's not because he's Mormon.

Posted by: sinesk1 | December 4, 2007 5:36 PM

Correction: It is the 'National' Council of Churches not 'United' Council Churches that has labeled the LDS Church a cult in the past. Sorry....

Posted by: Birddog08 | December 4, 2007 5:35 PM

Please someone settle an aurgument for me. The United Council of Churches, the predominate protestant leadership group in the US has said for many years that the LDS Church is not a christian church but intead, considered as some sort of a cult. Does or does not the the United Council of Churches still consider Mormorns christians?

Posted by: Birddog08 | December 4, 2007 5:27 PM

To SteelWheel1: That was not me that made the comment.

Posted by: toddemiles | December 4, 2007 5:26 PM

STOP! Dan, you know better than to write an entire piece that is based on an internet survey. Internet surveys are by definition, self-selecting respondents. Second, if you are going to do that, you are obligated to publish the results and methodology. Third, you didn't really bother to give us the credentials of those academics who analyzed it. You can do much better than this. The entirety of your reportage is suspect because of these underlying items. To comment on the other items within it is to comment on nothing.

Posted by: forces | December 4, 2007 5:23 PM

You're saying that Jeffereson wasn't an Evangelical like I was taught in Bible school?

Posted by: wyltk75 | December 4, 2007 5:18 PM

This is the problem with dedicating so many "journalistic" resources to "campaign coverage". You get crap like this.

Posted by: zukermand | December 4, 2007 5:09 PM

Personally, I'd like to see another Deist president, like Jefferson--one with a deep commitment to Enlightenment thought and rational principles.

P.S. Jefferson's attendance of Episcopal services while President was a mostly political choice.

Posted by: wgmadden | December 4, 2007 5:07 PM

anderbor1, you are suggesting there are two radically different versions of the story of Christ? One that all Christians adhere to and one that Mormons came up with and call Christian, right?

Okay, well I'm a racist, homophobic, intolerant and completely bigoted fascist who believes in a Putin/Chavez '08 ticket. And I'm a Mormon, because I just created a branch of Mormonism that adheres to these core values. If the official Mormon Church disagrees with me, they're just plain wrong because my own philosophy says I'm actually a Mormon, and that's what goes.

It's nice to write the rules for someone else's religion, eh?

Posted by: thecrisis | December 4, 2007 5:05 PM

Since there is misunderstanding let me state, as a "mormon" or member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that mormons do not worship Joseph Smith and WE DO worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Read "The Living Christ" and/or the doctrines and beliefs of the church at Mormon.org or lds.org

Posted by: ashafster2 | December 4, 2007 4:59 PM

ANDERBOR1-LOL!

YOU are mad at "Thecrises" NOT ME!!!

Consider me more a "Surf" Rat, than "Dirty" Rat!

LOL!

Posted by: rat-the | December 4, 2007 4:56 PM

Michele7:


You said:

Christians do NOT believe in "heavenly
parents." There are no parents, no mother father. And you cannot try to make it "OK" by putting in quotes the word God.

There is one God. One. That's it.
And God's not married.

You've also done nothing with your argument to refute the problem Mormons still have about the doctrine of men becoming gods in the next life and ruling over their own planets."


Once again - you assume your belief is the one true christian belief. This is arrogant on your part. I find our belief that we come from Heavenly parents who want us to be like them as being every bit as plausible as your belief that the next life consists of hell fire for those who dont profess your beliefs or werent lucky enough to hear them -and the playing of harps for those who were good.

And I do believe God is married - and I do beleive Heavenly Father and Jesus are 2 distinct beings - and I do believe that you and I can be like them if we follow their teachings and rely on the grace of Christ and his sacrifice for us.

And you know what - I am Christian (someone who believes Christ is their personal Savior and worships Him as such) - and you're going to just have to deal with the fact that your view of the world and Christianity isnt everyone's view - and it certainly aint mine.

The difference between you and me. I still think you're Christian and doing your best to follow Christ. And you think Im going to Hell cuz I dont agree with your interpretation of the Bible.

Thats called intolerance and bigotry...period

Posted by: anderbor1 | December 4, 2007 4:55 PM

q959fm:

I was making a point. In my 15 years of interacting with missionaries, practicing Mormons and the Church's official "image" in Idaho, I have come to realize Mormons care more about indoctrination than actual behavior.

Most Mormons are very nice people and make excellent neighbors. But when it comes to their religion, there are no exceptions and there is no leniency. I don't think Mormons should be sent to an island to die (or anything else like that) I just don't think there can be a functional relationship between the Mormon Church and the White House. End of story.

Long ago, I had a high-school acquaintance who was a Mormon, in a very conservative Mormon family. He fought with drugs (extreme hallucinogens, alcoholism and marijuana) for years and at one point pulled a knife on his father in front of his family and was severely beaten by his father because of it. Yet, he was still a practicing Mormon. It was only when, years later (he was much cleaner), he told his parents he did not want to go to church with them anymore because he didn't know if he believed. His parents threw him out of his house and he lived in his car for more than a month (before finding an apartment with friends), still trying to finish high school. He was disallowed from attending family events, including Thanksgiving and Christmas, and was also disallowed from seeing or speaking to his younger siblings, in fear that he might corrupt them.

After he graduated high school, he decided to go back to Mormonism. His family accepted him into their home, helped him mend his relationship with his siblings and his father gave him an extremely lucrative position heading up a Wireless Internet company (family owned), which is where he still works.

Moral of the story - extreme drugs and extreme threats of violence against your family are acceptable, so long as you still attend church on Sunday.

And this is not the only extreme case I have seen. In fact, in Idaho, it's virtually impossible to not know a story like this of your own.

Posted by: thecrisis | December 4, 2007 4:52 PM

I'm a regularly-attending Mormon. Just went to church on Sunday ... and I'm appalled by the bigotry I see in this thread.

I'd expect hideous comments like "Mormons care more about people going to church than if you're a murder" - from some right-wing publication.

I really thought those who read the Washington Post would be more progressive.

Apparently I was wrong.

Posted by: q959fm | December 4, 2007 4:41 PM

Don't forget the most powerful Mormon to date, Harry Reid. He's a full fledge Democrat and a Mormon. How do you reconcile that?

Posted by: wyltk75 | December 4, 2007 4:38 PM

toddemiles,
You made an incorrect point in your response to pcstorandt when you said "If Romney were a Democrat he would be facing the same scrutiny he's receiving as a Republican, only it wouldn't be out in the open like it is in this race".
So how then was Mitt able to get elected in Liberal Massachusetts as a Republican no less? If the Democrats were as intolerant and close-minded as the Republicans Mitt would have been dealt with the way Red States treat people that are not like them. But that didn't happen to Mitt did it?

Posted by: SteelWheel1 | December 4, 2007 4:30 PM

Anderborn: From a mormon site (http://www.angelfire.com/mo2/blackmormon/homepage.html):

Elder Bruce R. McConkie, an Apostle of the LDS Church, wrote in the 1960s his very popular book Mormon Doctrine which states:

"The Blacks are denied the Priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty.

The Negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain blessings are concerned, particularly the priesthood and the temple blessings that flow there from, but this inequality is not of man's origin, it is the Lord's doings." (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 526-527).

And

"President Gordon B. Hinckley, whom Mormons believe is the "Living Prophet" of the LORD on earth today, was interviewed on Australian television, on the TV program COMPASS which aired on the Australian Broadcasting Company on November 9, 1997. Hinckley was asked:

COMPASS: Now up until 1978 I understand Blacks were not allowed to be priests in your Church?

GBH: That is correct. Although we have Black members of the Church. They felt that they would gain more in this Church than any other with which they were acquainted and they were members of the Church. In 1978 we (the president of the Church) received a revelation under which all worthy men would receive all the blessings of the Church available to them as well as to any others. So across the world now we are teaching the Gospel to Blacks, Whites, everyone else who will listen.

COMPASS: So in retrospect WAS THE CHURCH WRONG IN THAT?

GBH: NO I DON'T THINK IT WAS WRONG. It, things, various things happened in different periods. There's a reason for them.

Posted by: tr444 | December 4, 2007 4:28 PM

WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. RUDY GIULIANI IN 1984. Oops...2008.

Posted by: gaoxiaen | December 4, 2007 4:28 PM

Anderbor1:

Your arguments: "First off, we believe all men and WOMEN are children of loving heavenly parents (God)who want their children to naturally become like themselves eventually." and "All I will say is that we beleieve men and women, to be like our heavenly parents, need to be married." are extremely alarming.

Christians do NOT believe in "heavenly
parents." There are no parents, no mother father. And you cannot try to make it "OK" by putting in quotes the word God.

There is one God. One. That's it.
And God's not married.

You've also done nothing with your argument to refute the problem Mormons still have about the doctrine of men becoming gods in the next life and ruling over their own planets.

Nice try.

Posted by: micheleh7 | December 4, 2007 4:25 PM

Huckleberry didn't descend from an ape, he descended from a species of chickenhawk.

Posted by: gaoxiaen | December 4, 2007 4:20 PM

pcstorandt,
you are right! The problem for Mitt is he chose to play politics according to the the Rove/Bush rules of political polarization. And he has gotten burned..excuse me ..fried because that game plan is so 2004.

It is way too late for Mitt to do the Kennedy religion speech. And it won't do a bit of good either for Mitt to denounce his Mormon beliefs just to assuage the religious bigots in his party.

Mitt has flip flop on all the things he once held as principles just to present himself as an acceptable Right Wing candidate only to find out later that all those hot button social issues weren't really that important politically. Just look at how the Ring Wing Religion fanatics have embraced Rudy.

Here we have a Rudy G., whose religious beliefs are "what whatever suits his purpose for the moment" gets anointed by Mr. Right Wing Religion fascist Pat Robertson. While Gov. Huckabee, a devote Baptist Minister, is left bewildered by the religious right lukewarm treatment of him.

Now Huckabee is hot and Mitt is not.

Mitt would have gotten same political results maybe even better results had he given the $7 million dollars to political bloggers like us : )

Posted by: SteelWheel1 | December 4, 2007 4:19 PM

Have you found any buried stone giants lately? Seen any indecipherable (except by Joseph Smith) gold tablets with the scriptures on them? It was a good con job. Still going strong.

Posted by: gaoxiaen | December 4, 2007 4:18 PM

To Toddmiles:

No, its a protestant view in my opinion - not Christian. We'll agree to disagree.

I believe that one must come unto Christ in order to gain salvation. But this conversion can occur in this life or the next in many cases. That is a pillar of Mormon doctrine.

One of the most offensive doctrines in the world is that a little baby born in China with no exposure to Christ and no concept of religion, who dies - goes to hell for not being baptized.

I don't believe the same Christ who said "suffer the littles ones to come to me" and who loves us perfectly would allow such an injustice. Thats not the Christ I believe in, and not the one Ive read about in the Bible.

As Mormons ARE Christian - its a Protestant view that you hold (granted Ive met some Protestants who dont believe as you do so I too need to be careful I dont paint with too broad a brush).

And Id appreciate that you respect my belief system as I do yours. I know what I believe.

Posted by: anderbor1 | December 4, 2007 4:17 PM

I'm just irritated that we're even forced to have these religious discussions when it comes to the Presidential Election. No religion should command its members to hold certain political beliefs and no politician should consider their religious beliefs when making policy decisions.

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, along with the "No Religious Test" Clause of Article VI, Section 3, prove this. No lawmaker of any religion may use their religious influence in lawmaking and no religious person may judge a politician based on religious criteria.

The Christian Right and the Mormon Church violate both of these crucial Clauses from both directions. They mandate politicians to adhere to "Christian Values" (which somehow include racism, bigotry, homophobia and hatred) and when they become politicians, they make statements like what Republican Congresswoman Katherine Harris said in 2006:

"If you are not electing Christians, tried and true, under public scrutiny and pressure, if you're not electing Christians then in essence you are going to legislate sin."

How our Founding Fathers must be writhing in their graves.

Posted by: thecrisis | December 4, 2007 4:14 PM

Willard (his real name)Romney and HUckleberry can split the religious crackpot vote in Iowa and move themselves down in the ranks in all the other states. Sounds like a good plan.

Posted by: gaoxiaen | December 4, 2007 4:13 PM

sparks -- I think that one would be hardly surprised if either Hilary or Obama "swift-boated" Romney with the wide variety of juicy nutty things said by mormon church leaders and in Doctrines and Covenants. Then he'd have the choice of caving on his religion (looking like a wimp) or looking like a nut himself. If he can't answer the problem that the "blacks are cursed" doctrine hasn't been abandoned yet (caused in part by one of his relatives) during the primary season -- against that cutthroat pol Huckabee, why should Republicans think that Romney is electable in a general election potentially against Hilary?

Posted by: tr444 | December 4, 2007 4:11 PM

To Rat-the:

What are you talking about

"Mormons care more if you're loyal to the church than if you're a murderer or not."

Are you really that ignorant? I can't believe the level of bigotry or stupidity in that statement. Its not even worth gracing with a response.

"A heroin-addict psychopath would not be kicked out of the Mormon Church but a moral, upright citizen who decides he doesn't like Joseph Smith would be shown the door faster than you can say the word hypocrisy."

Again, untrue. We do excommunicate those involved in any illegal activity (possession of lillegal drugs qualifies), and do not kick out someone for not believing Joseph Smith or the Bible or Book of Mormon - but we do excommunicate if they are actively anti-Mormon and assailing its doctrines. Pretty standard in most churches and organizations religious or non.

"But it would literally be impossible for Romney to be a President who embraces the separation of church and state and a Church-abiding Mormon."

Once again - wrong. The church does not get involved in politics and hasnt since about 1900. To say he'll be influenced in his decision-making by Salt-Lake is completely false.

Posted by: anderbor1 | December 4, 2007 4:08 PM

TR444 - you are misinformed and you need to give your head a shake.

"First, the goal of a good mormon man is to become a god in the next life. If you had an issue with either Jimmy Carter or George Bush's driving of foreign policy based on religious beliefs, try a president with a god complex."

First off, we believe all men and WOMEN are children of loving heavenly parents (God)who want their children to naturally become like themselves eventually. In order to accomplish this we need to(regardless of what faith we are in) become "perfect even as our Father in Heaven is perfect" to quote Jesus. This means becoming perfectly humble, kind, non-domineering, charitable, non-judgmental, etc, etc. Of course, as perfection is not attainable in this life, this means starting here in this life towards that goal - and then continuing that progression and learning in the hereafter. So having a "God complex" is actually the antithesis of our belief system as that conjures up pride and arrogance (the opposite of the Jesus we worship).


"Two, although Mormons will allow blacks (aka those without "white and delightful" skin to quote mormon doctrine) into their churches, mormon church doctrine remains that blacks are cursed because of their lack of courage and that this is why their skin is dark."

This is garbage. The Book of Mormon has 1 passage which refers to a group of people who became dark skinned after falling away from Christ. As with the Bible, there are many interpretations of this passage. The skin change could have been imagined by the author bourne out of years of war between his and that other nation of people (prophet's aren't perfect). I personally think it was more metaphorical in that it referred to a darker soul - rather than skin. Frankly, I dont know what it means exactly. But I do know that I have many "dark-skinned" friends, family, and loved ones (many who are Mormon), and if you think we (white people) treat them as lesser people - you are ignorant sir. Why did it take so long to grant black people the Priesthood? I dont know. Why did it take the US all that time to grant blacks civil rights? or for western civilization to grant women the right to vote? Obviously, it should have been done sooner. But, even the most passing glance at LDS history, discloses that the Mormon people, as a group, were anti-slavery and anti-racism in comparision to the vast majority of their contempararies. Further, perhaps you should take a look at what the Book of Mormon also says which is that "God is no respector of persons...black or white, bond or free, male or female...all are alike unto God." Maybe read all the doctrines of a religion prior to making some grand pronouncement of its doctrine.

"Third, mormons believe that women's salvation/perfection is dependent on their husband's religious conformance -- no marriage, no children, no heaven and if you picked a lout as a spouse, it doesn't matter how good you are, you are stuck with whatever level of perfection you husband is capable of."

This quote is absolute garbage. I dont even know where to start it is so far off and so incorrect that it truly insults your probable intelligence level. All I will say is that we beleieve men and women, to be like our heavenly parents, need to be married. If one of the partners is wicked, the other righteous, that person is entitled to re-marry either in this or next life. As the Bible states "Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man in the Lord." Its a mutually giving relationship and there is no doctrine that says women are inferior in any way. In fact I venture to say that we are one of the few religions that teaches women are truly equal to men - so much so that they can become like our Heavenly parents.


Last Point - there are a lot of quotes that are spoken of as "Mormon doctrine" by people living in the 1800's that are not our doctrines. They could have been mispoken, misrecorded, or are flat out lies by persecuters of the early church where heresay ruled the day. Our cannons of scripture and general conference talks by presidents of the church are all out there. That is the doctrine. This garbage about so-and-so saying blacks are descended from Cain or whatever, is not Mormon doctrine - so please quit spewing it out as such.

Ok - Ive vented - carry on

Posted by: anderbor1 | December 4, 2007 4:01 PM

Oh Geez! Proofread RAT!-That is "Synthesis", with an H!

Posted by: rat-the | December 4, 2007 4:01 PM

Screw this guy and all the other politicians who pander to the religious a-holes. We need someone to solve our problems, not save our souls - that is my business alone.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | December 4, 2007 4:01 PM

The problem with a Mormon politician is that the Mormon religion does not allow flexibility of morals, character and most importantly, actions.

Mormons care more if you're loyal to the church than if you're a murderer or not. A heroin-addict psychopath would not be kicked out of the Mormon Church but a moral, upright citizen who decides he doesn't like Joseph Smith would be shown the door faster than you can say the word hypocrisy.

If Mormonism allowed as much religious flexibility as most Protestant religions, this would not be a problem. But it would literally be impossible for Romney to be a President who embraces the separation of church and state and a Church-abiding Mormon.

Posted by: thecrisis | December 4, 2007 4:01 PM

Hmmmm. Last time this Catholic Boy checked, Jesus worshipped GOD! The one true God of Abraham.

That's good enough for me!

For anyone interested in getting REAL insight that is shared by Abrahamic Faiths, you can learn about "Syntesis" and the fundementals of the Kabbalistic System, by Googling "Tarot of the Bohemiens", and starting in Chapter 1(Some sites start you in chapter 4-Click "Previous").
You can also get to a whole lot of Shared Info by Googling "Yod-He-Vau-He" AKA-The "Sacred Word".

Or, you can keep pretending to have all the clues! LOL! Evangelicals!!! Out to Evangelize ME!


Judge the Religion by the Person, not the Person by the Religion!

ALL Faiths are AFTER the Original Faiths of Old-That also worshipped the God of Abraham! MUCH was LOST, when the Great Library in Alexandria burned!-Of course every Evangelical knows that-LOL!

Posted by: rat-the | December 4, 2007 3:58 PM

pcstorandt, don't kid yourself. If Romney were a Democrat he would be facing the same scrutiny he's receiving as a Republican, only it wouldn't be out in the open like it is in this race. I've seen and experienced it firsthand as a Mormon candidate for local office on the east coast . While I was disappointed to see the same bigotry Romney's experiencing in my beloved Democratic Party, I recognized it as natural suspicions we all have towards anyone different than us. People vote for the person most like the person they perceive themselves being. The delta between most people's religious observance and that of most Mormons is so significant in so many ways that its challenging for people whether they be D's or R's to make the "I'm going to vote for you because you remind me of me" leap required to carry the election. The difference between the D's and the R's when it comes to Mormon candidates is R's have no problem expressing their suspicions while D's are more circumspect in expressing their views.

Posted by: sparkes22 | December 4, 2007 3:56 PM

To anderbor1: It is not a protestant belief that states that those that do not believe in Jesus as their savior is going to hell. It is a Christian view. (or should be) Jesus tells us "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).

So if you profess to read and understand Jesus' teachings then this should also be your view.

Posted by: toddemiles | December 4, 2007 3:52 PM

Romney is roasting on the fire that Rove and Bush built to manipulate religious conservatives, paying lip-service to them.

Huckabee is the real-thing, so just exploiting the conservative base is not working right now for the rich people like Romney.

The wealthy of this country use people's religion to trick them into supporting the rich stealing from the poor and destroying the earth.

I have no pity for Romney. he sought to exploit the religious, and now is losing because the genuine article showed up.

Posted by: river845 | December 4, 2007 3:45 PM

Aeberwick, no other political candidates have views as radical and insane as the Mormon church. Also, he is not being forced to do anything. He simply recognized that the public is picking up on how psychotic the Mormon Church is and he chose to try and quell that rather than let it fester because he knows if he doesn't take preventative measures, he'll have no chance of ever getting elected as president.

Electing any Mormon to the White House would be the largest and most catastrophic step backward in the Constitutional separation of church and state we have ever seen.

Posted by: thecrisis | December 4, 2007 3:41 PM

Mitt Romney rarely tells the public that he is a leader in the Mormon church and that he follows the teachings of the Book of Mormon (he refers only to the Bible). Male leaders in the Mormon church use the Book of Mormon and teachings of Joseph Smith to guide their lives. They have a paternalistic view of life, teaching fervently that others are unworthy to live with their families and friends in the afterlife if they have not, and do not continually, visit the Mormon temples. If they do not have a pass (temple recommend) to get into the temples, they aren't part of the group of people who make it to (the highest level in)Heaven. Anyone who has had the courage to break away from the Mormon church and worship God in another way, will agree. It is a subculture that breeds an "us against them" mentality among its members. Our country is a melting pot where its leaders should not have intolerence to others' beliefs. Isn't it the religious zeal that what brought those terrorists to fly the planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? Dogmatic religious zealots are not what we need in power. A basic faith in God, following the Ten Commandments, and respecting our fellow man is what we need in our leaders. God Bless those who chose to try to make things better for all of us.

Posted by: dbmkj | December 4, 2007 3:38 PM

I would like to reiterate that the official views of the Mormon church can be found at mormon.org. I wish that all news stations and news papers would share this information. Romney is not an official spokeperson for the Mormon church and I don't think it is fair for him to have to take on that role. None of the other candidates are being forced to be spokespersons for their faiths. Go to the source of official information: Mormon.org

Posted by: aeberwick | December 4, 2007 3:37 PM

I hope Mitt Romney explains the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre in which Utah Mormons slaughtered 120 unarmed men, women and children who were simply trying to pass through Utah on their way to California.

Posted by: thecrisis | December 4, 2007 3:33 PM

As a practicing Mormon, I cannot figure out how people can say we do not worship Jesus. It's baffling. I pray everyday with my wife and 3 children in the name of Jesus. Pictures of him adourn 3 rooms in my house. Joseph Smith is considered a prophet by us (like Moses or Joshua), not God. God is Jesus. Jesus is my personal Saviour. Can I be more clear?

Also, I am aware of some of the difficult-to-believe doctrines in our church - and I'm ok with anyone who doesn't believe them and who thinks Im a bit odd for doing so. But are our beliefs any less believable than Catholic Communion where the bread is supposedly turned to the flesh of Jesus before being eaten? Or the protestant belief that anyone not Christian is damned to eternal torment regardless of whether or not they have even heard of Christ before. Mormons look at these doctrines and shake our heads - but we dont call others crazy for having them as beliefs -we simply agree to disagree and think they are misinterpretations of the Bible. That said - we'll still vote for you if you stand for good values and policies.

Thats my take.

Posted by: anderbor1 | December 4, 2007 3:32 PM

As your article points out presidential candidate Mitt Romney has a tough job in selling his being Mormon to the US.

One of the main issues I see facing him is convincing us that he does not answer to Salt Lake. As a good mormon (and one that wants to stay in right standing) he must comply with the religious establishment in Utah. If he does not he risks excommunication and loss of his salvation by Mormon law.

So if tommorrow the elders decide that pologomy is correct do we suddenly have to change all laws by presidential order?

Many other faiths have people that are casually affiliated with them. It is my understanding that this does not exist in the Mormon faith. Either in whole-heartedly or out.

Posted by: toddemiles | December 4, 2007 3:29 PM

People don't understand what Mormon doctrine teaches. First, the goal of a good mormon man is to become a god in the next life. If you had an issue with either Jimmy Carter or George Bush's driving of foreign policy based on religious beliefs, try a president with a god complex.

Two, although Mormons will allow blacks (aka those without "white and delightful" skin to quote mormon doctrine) into their churches, mormon church doctrine remains that blacks are cursed because of their lack of courage and that this is why their skin is dark. If John Edwards belonged to a country club that excluded people based on race, he'd be out in two seconds. I don't see why the word "church" in the name redeems the organization.

Third, mormons believe that women's salvation/perfection is dependent on their husband's religious conformance -- no marriage, no children, no heaven and if you picked a lout as a spouse, it doesn't matter how good you are, you are stuck with whatever level of perfection you husband is capable of. He doesn't make the cut for god, well, you don't get to be a goddess.

We have come too far as a country to have our president belong to ANY organization that espouses such bigotry. And Romney was undoubtedly preaching the "no blacks allowed" message when he was a missionary, as that was mormon doctrine at that time.

If Romney steers away from owning up to the more distasteful aspects of his belief system and tries to airbrush it with "family values" I would say that he is the one lacking the courage of his convictions (and bigotry is not a family value). If he addresses the tenets of his faith directly, well, that would be an interesting speech, but I don't think it is going to make many people warm and fuzzy feeling about him as our president

Posted by: tr444 | December 4, 2007 3:26 PM

All the Religious Bigotry, comes from the Evangelicals. THEY, as a group, need to consider their actions more, and others less! Hipocricy is UGLY!

I judge People by their Actions, and then consider their Actions as I eveluate their Proclamations of Faith.

By this Standard, Islam loses my respect very quickly. Evangelicals, and their attempts to somehow FORCE their Views, do not do a whole lot better, but at least they do not condone Murder!

It is not so much whether Mitt Romney is Mormon, as what does his actions say about the Mormon Faith. Everyone I know that knows anything about Salt Lake City, considers the entire group to be very Moral.

Morality, in the Catholic Church, is what it is all about! To live the example, not PREACH it! Nobody is perfect! We have Confession for just that reason. It is a chance to acknowledge bad judgement, make attonement, and strive to do better being aware(Conciously) of our personal failure.

When I see the Family (Chistmas Photo?) of Mitt Romney's that is viewable by going to mittromney.com, what I see is a beautifull harmoneous and somewhat LARGE, assortment of People I would love to know. They radiate wholesomeness, and "Family Values".

That, Folks, erases all doubts about Mitt Romney-The MAN!

HE, is a major COMPLIMENT to the Mormon Faith!

STOP, trying to let suspicions about that you are not sure of, INSULT HIM!

Posted by: rat-the | December 4, 2007 3:25 PM

Governor Romney is the most qualified presidential candidate on both sides of the isle. From his education to his successful business career he is head and shoulders above the other candidates.

I look forward to hearing Mitt's speach and hope it will put concerns about his faith to rest.

The beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are clearly stated at: www.mormon.org

Anyone who would like to know what members of the Church believe could simply visit the site.

I invite timklly to visit the site. Then he could make a more informed comment the next time.

Posted by: dkajkr | December 4, 2007 3:24 PM

The problem is that all of the religious bigotry in this country comes from the Christian Right and the Mormon Elite. Living in Southern Idaho for fifteen years I can tell you that Mormons are an exclusive religion in which they support themselves and their religious brethren first and foremost, while harshly casting aside any members who stray from their faith. I have friends who were disowned by their parents simply for not going to church. Poor Mormons are denied help from the church unless they abide strictly by the Mormon doctrine, which in that case they are fully supported by the Church.

For non-Mormons, the moment a Mormon believes you are not willing to join the Church is the moment they stop listening to what you say. The LDS Church is an exclusive cult that is fascist to outsiders and socialist with its insiders. No church in America could make religion in politics a more hostile and volatile situation.

Posted by: thecrisis | December 4, 2007 3:24 PM

I don't think it's necessarily bigoted to take into account a candidate's religious beliefs when evaluating the candidate. I'm sure Mike Huckabee's a swell guy, but anyone who doesn't believe in evolution sure isn't getting my vote - he's free to believe what he wants, but I think we've seen enough intrusion of faith and ideology into science for the past seven years.

And speaking of bigotry - I have yet to hear anyone ask Romney to justify his active role in a church which does not give equal status to women, and until the 70s, did not offer equal status to African American men. Again, of course he is free to worship as he chooses, but are we not free to ask whether outdated notions of equality for women and minorities may have played a role in shaping Romney's current views?

Posted by: mwallace8831 | December 4, 2007 3:12 PM

LORD, Lunatic, or Liar?

Agree or disagree with the claims...but you cannot refute that the claims were made. This is the dividing line between Christianity the others. Jesus did not reject WORSHIP from his disciples. There was nothing to misunderstand when Jesus made a claim that he was equal with God the Father. Gospel of John 10:30. The Pharisees started to pick up rocks because this was considered blasphemy. When people started to worship Paul and Barnabas after they had performed a miracle they said for them not to do this..because they were just men. Jesus NEVER said this. He accepted worship. The question is do Mormons WORSHIP Jesus as Lord or do they think him and Joseph Smith are equal. Jesus does not leave people with alot of options....you can have only one of 3 conclusions about Him as CS Lewis stated...Either He is LORD, Liar, or Lunatic...His claims leave you with NO other options. If Mormons believe he is LORD to be worshipped as such then Fine...they ARE Christians...otherwise they put Joseph smith on the same level and this is unacceptable to Historic Christianity.

For an excellent Documentary go to "DNA & the Book of Mormon"you tube -these are Mormon scientist grappling with the lack of archelogical, linguistic, historical evidence for any of the events that took place in the Book of Mormon. Also along the same lines: "The Bible and the Book of Mormon" compares the archelogical, linguistic, historical references in each one and how they match up with the evidence.

Either way neither religion will threaten to kill you if you named your Teddy Bear Jesus or Joseph Smith.

Posted by: timklly747 | December 4, 2007 2:48 PM

If Romney were a Democrat with mainstream views, this wouldn't even come up. The Republican "base" (no pun intended) is intolerant of anyone not in THEIR mainstream. Why no demand that Huckabee explain his religious views, which he cites at every turn, and which would clearly affect his decisions as president? The answer is that he's one with the "base."

Posted by: pcstorandt | December 4, 2007 2:47 PM

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