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Obama to Meet With Mormon Leader

By Michael A. Fletcher
President Obama is scheduled to hold an Oval Office meeting Monday with Thomas S. Monson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Monson, who has headed the church since last year, will be joined at the afternoon meeting by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), himself a Mormon.

By Washington Post Editor  |  July 19, 2009; 10:34 PM ET
Categories:  Religion  
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"Then how come the mormons contributed a ton of $ to push Prop HATE through, instead of DONATING that money to Habitat for Humanity or an organization that does NOT discriminate against GLBTs, such as PFLAG or GLAAD?"

First, Mormons, and many religions, donate to, serve and administer many fine charities. It seems like you object to what issues the religion takes on and the positions they support. However, who are you to say to them to put down their microphones and cash when the world, society and the religion's very teachings are under constant threat by the gay agenda, the push to redefine marriage, and/or all matters of the sexual liberation movement (more like sexual slavery movement)? If you're calling for an end of a moral battle, disarming one side is merely allowing the other to invade. Isn't that what you're really asking for?

Posted by: cprferry | July 20, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse


I had no idea Obaminites were such bigoted hate mongers...

So you Hate Jews, Mormons, and who else?

Oh yeah... hetero white males

Posted by: Obama_TRAITOR_in_Chief | July 20, 2009 11:32 AM "

Look who's talking about being a bigoted hate monger with THAT user ID.

I don't like Obama (even though I voted for him) but I like hypocrites like you even less.

Posted by: solsticebelle | July 20, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

It's disgusting that Obushma would meet with the head of this homophobic church.

Harry Reid is no Democrat and it is a crime that he is the Senate leader.

All religion is a blight on humanity, but Mormonism is especially bizarre and cult-ish.

Posted by: solsticebelle | July 20, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I grew up in the Church in Utah so I think I know a little bit about it. The Mormons have an outstanding social services program that is well-organised and effective. Contrary to popular belief, it is for anyone in need, not just members. Perhaps President Obama is looking for ideas of how to frame the structure of national healthcare. Perhaps he's looking to make peace with one of the most influential religious communities in the country. And perhaps he's showing them how a truly spiritual person behaves around sexist,bigoted jerks.

Posted by: harowles | July 20, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

fr asl man:

>...The LDS Church does NOT hate people who are gay. The fact is that some of these people who were kissing on church property is private property, not public which is trespassing. ...

You sure have a weird way of showing that the mormons "do NOT hate" gays.

>...Furthermore, the Church is not against gays working in the workplace, housing, restaurants because of their sexual orientation. We even teach bashing against gays is a sin....

Then how come the mormons contributed a ton of $ to push Prop HATE through, instead of DONATING that money to Habitat for Humanity or an organization that does NOT discriminate against GLBTs, such as PFLAG or GLAAD?

Posted by: Alex511 | July 20, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Mormons are self-righteously outraged that anyone would question their PR spin regarding the Main Street Mall incident while they have lied to us about not being involved in politics:

From Reuters, October 1, 1998
By Yereth Rosen
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The Salt Lake City-based Mormon church has donated $500,000 to the campaign for an amendment to the Alaska constitution that would ban same-sex marriages, a group seeking passage of the measure said Thursday.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints made the pledge last week and the money arrived Wednesday, said Kristina Johannes, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Family Coalition, a group campaigning in favor of the constitutional amendment.
On November 20, 1997, Stephen Covey, Mormon author of several popular self-improvement books, gave the keynote address at a fund-raiser in Honolulu for Save Traditional Marriage 98 ("STM98"), a political action committee sponsoring a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages.

Mormon-owned BYU-Hawaii and the Polynesian Cultural Center made contributions that slightly exceeded the $1,000 political contribution limit. BYUH paid $1,200 to the group and the Polynesian Cultural Center paid $1,025. According to the Campaign Spending Commission, these payments are illegal, even if the organizations are refunded the money at a later date.
-- On 11 June 1999, a person living in the San Francisco Bay area reported on a public Mormon e-mail list that a friend told her by e-mail that "stakes and wards have been assessed rather large amounts to raise for the anti-gay initiative in California.

The have also lied to us about not condoning violence against gays:

On October 2, 1976, Elder Boyd K. Packer told the General Conference Priesthood Session"

"While I was in a mission on one occasion, a missionary said he had something to confess. I was very worried because he just could not get himself to tell me what he had done.

After patient encouragement he finally blurted out, "I hit my companion."

"Oh, is that all," I said in great relief.

"But I floored him," he said.

After learning a little more, my response was "Well, thanks. Somebody had to do it, and it wouldn't be well for a General Authority to solve the problem that way"

I am not recommending that course to you, but I am not omitting it."

Posted by: coloradodog | July 20, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Even more than most religions, the mormon church is an extremly freaky little cult. Follwing some hick from upstate NY - Come on.

Posted by: Trout1 | July 20, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

As a long time reader of the Washington Post (hard copy since the 70s and now online) I'm periodically surprised that a major metropolitan newspaper attracts such hate maggots as evidenced by the comment forum attached to this brief non-story.

Posted by: LoyalReader | July 20, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they are getting together to hash out some other ways to take more rights away from gay people.

Maybe with the Mormon money and Obama’s clout they can simply exclude gays from the Bill of Rights or something.

I see NO reason for Obama to meet with the leader of a cult.

The fact that Reid is a Mormon explains a lot. He has been one of the worst dem leaders of the senate EVER. He is a spineless, corporatist, conservative tool who should have been replaced years ago.

I don’t hate Mormons; I just hate cults that use their money in other states to take away the rights of other Americans.

Posted by: thromulese | July 20, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Well, Obama promised in his campaign that he'd meet with his enemies as well as friends. He's met Chavez, the leaders of Iran, and other dictators and corrupt groups. He's tried to establish open correspondence and peaceful negotiations with some of the most insane and twisted people who remain in power over their minnions. It stands to reason he'd see an impotent geriatric player like Thomas S. Monson as yet another player that he has to try to establish some form of civil exchange with.

This man is the present head of a church that claims to have 13 million members, half of those living in the US. While only about 5 million claim alliegence to the LDS church and perhaps even less are active it's still a significant number of people to make peace with, in spite of their racist, bigoted, sexist, and cult history.

Utah has been run like a theocracy in many cases and the general populace tend to vote in block according to the mandates from the pulpit and group think mentality. The dissenters that dare to join the Democratic party are seen as either dangerous or delusional but even one as powerful as Harry Reid carrys some weight with the LDS because he still claims belief in the Doctrine of the church.

Obama seems to be following Abraham Lincoln's advise when he said, "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" .

Perhaps even one as conditioned to bigotry and arrogant entitlement as Thomas S. Monson can meet Obama and somehow process the idea that even a Black man has the potential to greatness.

The LDS church has a history of self inflicted wounds. It might do them good to show some respect for people living in the 21st century. Maybe we can all hope that they'll want to join us here.

Posted by: insanad | July 20, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Far to many responders on this issue display a disgusting and unacceptable level of religious intolerance, racial hatred and bigotry.

Posted by: dikaslogos | July 20, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

you all do know that Mormon leaders have me with Bush, Clinton, Bush Sr. Why so you have to bring your hatred of Obama or the church into everything. Do yourselves a favor and get educated and maybe you wont hate so much.

Posted by: kcocinero | July 20, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I had no idea Obaminites were such bigoted hate mongers...

So you Hate Jews, Mormons, and who else?

Oh yeah... hetero white males

Posted by: Obama_TRAITOR_in_Chief | July 20, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I had no idea Obaminites were such bigoted hate mongers...

So you Hate Jews, Mormons, and who else?

Oh Yeah... Heterosexual white males

Posted by: Obama_TRAITOR_in_Chief | July 20, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

The only reason obama is courting the Mormon Church is because he is afraid Mitt Romney could possibly beat him the 2012 election. I'm a Mitt Romney fan - he is a brilliant man, and although I am not a Mormon, I respect their beliefs. They are family oriented and certainly not muslim terrorists, which obama also embraces. So this is strictly a political move, has nothing to do with religion. I believe most Mormons will recognize him for what he is and will not vote for him. I am anxious to see if he will also meet with the President of the Southern Baptist Convention, of which I am a part, or the United Methodist Church and the other Christian denominational leaders.

Posted by: patandbob | July 20, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

That should read "it is not only for their family...".
Family, friends and legal authorities are obviously worthy and part of the Church and Body of Christ on earth. This love and respect for them comes from, is guided toward and united by God, hence the need to receive his blessing and offer an appropriate sacrifice.

Posted by: cprferry | July 20, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

This is Obama's opportunity to become "white and delightsome" (perhaps like Michael Jackson).

Original Mormon scripture in 2 Nephi 30:6 in the Book of Mormon taught that dark-skinned Lamanites (Indians) would eventually experience a change in the color of their skin should they embrace the Book of Mormon. This passage of Mormon scripture used to read:

"...their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and a delightsome people."

In the early 80's after NCAA basketball teams refused to play BYU because of Mormon racism, the Church changed "the most correct book on earth" replacing the word "white" with the word "pure".

In 1960, the infallible Prophet, Spencer Kimball utilized 2 Nephi 30:6 when he stated how the Indians "are fast becoming a white and delightsome people." He said, "The [Indian] children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation" (Improvement Era, December 1960, pp. 922-3).

Maybe more Mormons and their racist Huckabee counterparts would vote for Obama if President Monson waves his magic salamander and makes Obama white.

Posted by: coloradodog | July 20, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"I thought a temple or church or synagogue or mosque was God's house and was open to all."

It is, but every rite has particular rules about who could enter. The ancient Jews had to be cleansed and purified, and even then only the high priest was allowed to enter the inner chamber. Jesus opened the Church to all peoples, but that doesn't mean we aren't asked to meet God on His terms. For example, the Catholic church still requires its members to be purify their souls through confession and penance before receiving the Lord in the Eucharist. Many religions have similar requirements to participate fully in the church.
I think the confusion may stem from the differing expectations of a church service. Many people, particularly the intercommunion Protestant Christian (emphasis on protest), view service as a self-enriching experience. That is not what life, Sundays or a church service is about. It is about God - praising and worshiping him.
When Christians celebrate the sacrament of marriage in a church, it is not for their family, friends and legal authorities, but to receive the blessing of God. They are offering their marriage as a sacrifice to and for God. The regulations you speak of are intended for all of us to serve God fully and appropriately, not half-heartedly and selfishly.

Posted by: cprferry | July 20, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

"The founder of the mormon faith IS a FULL BLOWN RACIST!"

So is the founder of Planned Parenthood, and that hasn't stopped Obama, Pelosi and others from reaching out (read: bending over backward) to them.

Posted by: cprferry | July 20, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

It is amazing that those who demand compassion for gays lack even a morsel of compassion for the LDS people. Gay marriage is not a moral issue, it is a political one. It has to do with civil rights and while as a practicing Mormon I don't agree with the Church's actions in California I believe they have every right to take a stand in a moral issue. If you want to know if the LDS church discriminateas against black members or gay members, then go to one. You'll find that like in society at large there will be good and bad situations. But before speaking out you should look at the Church's work in New Orleans, Africa, Latin American, etc. You should also look at the people, many of them progressives, who are involved in compassinate work and civil rights. The issue of gays is a difficult one, simply because it is a moral issue and any church that is worth its salt will struggle with it. Gays may deserve--and I believe they do-- to have all the rights of other citizens but they do not deserve to be freed of all moral constrains. if churches believe that someone's lifestyle is morally wrong then they should stand firmly against it. For all those Utah bashers, ask yourself why there are so many gays in the state. hint: because acts of violence or overt discrimination are much less so here than in places considered 'safer sanctuaries". Bigotry against a church was one reason we have cosntitutional rights to religious freedom. Maybe those of you who don't believe in this right for the LDS people ought to examine yourselves. You will find a lot of hypocrisy there. Too many gay activists have revealed that hypocisy with their attacks on people who have been for the most part civil to them. and yes civility doesn't demand that we agree with those we disagree with. And in that arena the Church has shown much more civility than many gay activists.

Posted by: ignacio19501 | July 20, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Frankly, it is generous for Thomas Monsen to meet with Obama. It's more like Monsen is meeting with the devil - not the reverse. And for all the ignorant haters on this page - try learning about the subject and thinking for yourself. Being anti-religion may seem cool but it is so sheeple.

Posted by: ammy1 | July 20, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

What a waste of time and tarnishment of the Office of the President of the United States. Meeting with religionists is tantamount to walking the corridors of an insane asylum.

Posted by: mykelbarber | July 20, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Once the President meets with one cult leader, he will have to meet with all of them.


Posted by: swanieaz | July 20, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Having lived in UT for 18 years before moving to AZ, I know that not all Mormons are prejudiced against non-Mormons. However, their rituals are so secretive and select that one has to wonder why. They promote themselves as "family-oriented", but if you are not a member of the LDS you cannot attend the wedding of a family member if that member is married in one of their "temples".

You are not considered "worthy" to enter the temple if you are not a member and have a "recommendation" from your local bishop. Silly me - I thought a temple or church or synagogue or mosque was God's house and was open to all.

Since some of my family are members of the LDS church, I studied the Book of Mormon and other writings pro and con. Conclusion: patriarchal, secretive, select, not for me.

Posted by: Utahreb | July 20, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Has he met with the Church of Scientology yet? What is he doing? What is his purpose? I am tolerant of the philosophies of all religions as long as they don't promote actions against anyone or any other religion. However, Obama always has an agenda. Think about it--why is he doing this? One thing is for sure--he may meet with many religious leaders, but his actions are not in accord with Christianity and Judaism.

Posted by: coffic | July 20, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I had no idea Obaminites were such bigoted hate mongers...

So you Hate Jews, Mormons, and who else?

Posted by: Obama_TRAITOR_in_Chief | July 20, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Let's see if Obama gives Monson the secret handshake like GWB did. (google photo)

He'll probably just ask him to explain why they would posthumously baptize his mother when she clearly would of never joined that cult when she was alive. The cult that teaches her son was marked with dark skin because of his unrighteousness in the pre-existence. What's that? 'Baptism for the dead' is a gift? Ya right, it's an insult.

Posted by: jackmax1 | July 20, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Anything or anyone who treats this cult like a normal member of society is dead wrong. This cult believes that an illiterate farmer from upstate NY found a set of golden tablets written by Jesus and his followers and that you have to do exactly what they say including wearing "special underwear" or god will deny you his favor. Sounds like a version of Grimm's fairy tales rejected by a publisher as too weird.

Posted by: elaygee | July 20, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I am not a Mormon and I think after having been exposed to southern baptist doctrine for decades that it is a shame first and horribly arrogant for a group of people to say ,whatever their religion, that we are right and we have confirmed seats in heaven etc.... You are speaking in the name of God here and by the way I think Christianity has a lot of important lessons but at the same time I think Jesus was the first and only real anti-semite who was the most effective without violence. I mean can you imagine creating a new religion that disapproved about the fundamentals of Judaism, created in Jewish land and today Christians outnumber Jews by leaps and bounds. he said to his people eat pork in Jewish land. But I think we are far from reality here even me with these comments. It is a political meeting pure and simple, you can't ignore very large communities and ask them for help later....duh....

Posted by: ADDbuster | July 20, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Meanwhile the Mormons, who ingeniously claim they don't hate gays and were never involved in politics (even though the Church directly funded hundreds of thousands of dollars for anti-gay initiatives in Alaska, Hawaii, California before and formed a massive multi-state PAC for Proposition 8) are selectively enforcing their unknown "rules" for gays crossing a downtown block that used to be a public right-of-way before a back room, theocracy-in-action deal with the city that made the thoroughfare the Church's private property.

I grew up in Utah and recommend the movie "Latter Days" which realistically depicts Mormons attitudes and actions toward their gay sons ("True Believing Members", by the way, have been brainwashed into believing this movie is nothing more than vicious Mormon bashing - but I lived there and saw it first hand).

Obama is no friend of gays hobnobbing with these wrinkled old homophobes and hate mongers.

Posted by: coloradodog | July 20, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

The headline should read: Obama meets with the Devil himself. Now I'm really disgusted.

Posted by: mradams | July 20, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Brilliant political move by Obama!

First he appoints Gov. Huntsman to be the ambassador to China, arguably the most important ambassador post this country has.

Now, he's having a high profile meeting with the LDS President in the Oval Office, something I don't believe GWB did.

HAnd so, when the GOP rejects Mitt Romney again in 2012 largely because he's LDS and the Southern Baptist base of the GOP can't deal with that, Obama will be there as a viable alternative for enough LDS voters to perhaps sway a few key western states. Not UT. But it'll help in a few.

Posted by: beeferoni | July 20, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

I suppose that if President Obama can invite Rick Warren to preach at his Inauguration, despite Warren's adulation of a Southern Baptist who advocated the use of force to keep churches segregated, and if he could meet with the Pope, then he can meet with someone a sneak thief of civil rights like Thomas Monson. But after shaking hands with the guy, Obama should count his fingers.

Posted by: edallan | July 20, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse

So I understand that the Mormon church accepts gays and lesbians as long as they do not have sex. That does not sound very accepting to me. And when will the Mormon church fess up to bankrolling the Yes on Proposition H8 in California?

Posted by: earltrowbridge | July 20, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse

I am disappointed with all of the hate in the comments here. The LDS church is also a large charity organization involved in providing care for needy members and non-members alike. Because of a dedicated and mobilizable volunteer squad it was first on the ground to respond to natural disasters world wide including Hurricane Katrine. Gee, I wonder if that's why President Obama might like to meet with church President Thomas S. Monson?

It is unfortunate that so much hatred is directed towards the church for its role in Gay Marriage and that it is now viewed as a political church when instead it goes out of its way to avoid political involvement in most areas. Harry Reid is a great example of this, as a pro-choice Democrat Mormon. The church simply does not have an official political stance on these things. Has never endorsed candidates and never issues stances on specific legislation. The church views the debate over Gay Marriage to be especially special because the church views marriage as so sacred. As such, it is the rare issue that they have chosen to be involved with. Even still, they show respect and tolerance for gay brothers and sisters world wide. This is why the members of the Westoboro Baptism Church protested outside of the funeral of church President Gordon B. Hinckley accusing him of not hating gay people strongly enough.

Posted by: symphonyofdissent | July 20, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Mormonism is just as ridiculous as Christianity. Its a belief imagined by an idiotic, gullible Mr. Smith, taken to the extreme by breaking away from the mainstream...oh and he was also influenced by a magician (a travelling-horse and buggy-magician; NOT jesus, but of course he WAS also influenced by Jesus. The fact that they could not even admit their wrongdoing in not accepting blacks into the Church is just as despicable as the Pope turning his head to Hitler's destruction of the Jews. By the way actually READ the bible and -Titus verse 6:1 or whatever- read the damn chapter its 1 page long-god evidently approves of slaves and DISAPPROVES highly of Jews. A little motivation for Hitler, no!? But I have to admit that the church does have its pull- who wouldn't wanted a whole eternal life!? I mean that would be great!! But it also is far from reality.

Posted by: cchurns08 | July 20, 2009 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Previous post interrupted...

My main concern is trying to at least pretend that there is some separation of church and state in this country.

I don't care if it is the Pope, the Morman leader, or whoever has set themselves up as leader of a new religious movement - they don't have a place in government.

Posted by: renovate | July 20, 2009 4:03 AM | Report abuse

What a delicious irony. A mere thirty years ago this mormon church would not have allowed Obama to serve in the Priesthood - would not have allowed Obama to fill a position in the church that a white 12 year old boy could fill.

What makes it even funnier, the mormon church refused to say they were wrong to deny blacks from serving in the priesthood and refused to apologize for excluding blacks. When they did begin to allow blacks, the mormon leaders refused to talk about the past policies towards blacks.

Society left the mormon church in the past. Much of society recognized its mistakes, acknowledged the wrong, apologized, and moved forward. The mormons can't apologize because they simply cannot admit that their church's doctrine was fallible.

Welcome to the White House!

Posted by: jivetalker | July 20, 2009 2:52 AM | Report abuse

I cannot stand it when the religious say that homosexuals are okay as long as they don't have sex. Can you imagine the brutality of a group who is free to enjoy their sexuality to its glorious fullness while completely denying it to other human beings? As if one's sexual life is no big thing? It makes me completely incredulous. It's abhorrent. It's cruel beyond measure.

Posted by: BobGreenpoint | July 20, 2009 2:13 AM | Report abuse

The founder of the mormon faith IS a FULL BLOWN RACIST!

Posted by: frutambu | July 20, 2009 2:04 AM | Report abuse

The LDS Church does NOT hate people who are gay. The fact is that some of these people who were kissing on church property is private property, not public which is trespassing. For example, people who advocate eating Pork and munching BBQ pork sandwiches on the grounds of a Jewish Tabernacle is considered trespassing, but they are free to voice their beliefs on any public property or places adjoining with the Tabernacle's property. Respect people and religious boundaries. Furthermore, the Church is not against gays working in the workplace, housing, restaurants because of their sexual orientation. We even teach bashing against gays is a sin. We acknowledge some members who are gay but if they live the worthy standards of the church, they can go forth or progress like any other member as long as anyone does not participate in homosexual behavior in word, thought and deed. I have good friends who smoke, and I don't, and don't reject them because they smoke. I have some gay friends and they know my beliefs but we don't make a great deal of it, just like a Democrat and Republican thing.

It seems you may not be aware there are very many minorities in the church, you're invited to visit a local congregation. Keep in mind large cities mostly have congregations who are minorities but you will surely still find a couple of minorities in some areas that may have larger homogenous populations. I remember a great ward who had a wonderful bishop who was black and the only black member in a white congregation. We all loved him because he was a compassionate man and leadership, nothing about the color of his skin.

Posted by: ASL-Man | July 20, 2009 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Will he be meeting with Sen Hatch and Glenn Beck next? Why would President Obama meet with the leader of this hate church? This "church" that arrests gay men and discriminates against minorities. Why?

Posted by: oyb2009 | July 19, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

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