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Posted at 2:20 PM ET, 01/31/2011

2012: The Year of the Mormons?

By Stephen Stromberg

Will America see a Mormon GOP presidential nominee after all? Some conservatives are already looking around for the not-Mitt-Romney candidate -- which is ominous for the former Massachusetts governor's inevitable run. But the White House now expects that Jon Huntsman, America's ambassador to China and the former governor of Utah, will resign this spring, possibly to prepare for a 2012 presidential campaign.

Huntsman has many of the attractions of presumed front-runner Romney without some of Romney's particular deficiencies. He's a wealthy, smart, businesslike former governor who has a reputation for competent management and is seen as having a real shot in a general election. But he didn't enact Romneycare (a.k.a. Obamacare lite among some conservatives). And he doesn't have the same reputation for opportunistic ideological vacillation.

Perhaps more importantly, 2012 may be the most favorable year ever for a Mormon presidential aspirant in GOP primaries.

Things could very well change, but for now, President Obama's record and the size of government overshadow social concerns, possibly making less consequential the issue of just which very-very-conservative religious creed a candidate accepts. And having another Mormon already in the race would make the faith they share seem less unusual and bizarre.

But the very forces that could make Huntsman's Mormonism less detrimental to his hypothetical run could also exaggerate the dissatisfaction conservatives feel about other elements of his profile. After all, he has worked for President Obama for nearly two years, a fact with which his opponents will savage him -- and one White House officials regularly mention. Obama's China policy hasn't pleased some conservative foreign policy aficionados (Jen Rubin's one-word response: "Puleez"), and the mere association with the Obama administration will hurt among those who pay less attention to the bilateral relationship. And Huntsman's a moderate, which would do him good in a general election but may add to this sort of suspicion during the GOP primaries.

As with Romney and Romneycare, the biggest problem with Huntsman's potential 2012 presidential bid is probably about Obama. Huntsman would have to be the Romney for people who hate Romneycare, betting that conservative voters will consider Romney's association with health-care reform worse than actually working for the president. Huntsman could craft a narrative that sounds something like this: "Yes, I was in the administration; I saw what went wrong; I left; I know how to fix it; and, by the way, I can appeal to independent voters, too."

Regardless of whether that line works, if the logic of the 2012 GOP primary revolves around Washington, not Salt Lake City, it would be comparatively healthy, in its way -- instead of getting lost in wayward speculations about faith, more GOP voters may judge candidates on what they have actually done and what they propose to do in office.

Update, 8:05 p.m.: Huntsman just resigned. And the White House is already trying to label him a "moderate" in the Tea Party era:

Administration officials expressed chagrin at Huntman's change of heart, but said they were doubtful he could make a successful run at the presidency. They chalked much of his aspirations up to the wishful thinking of adviser John Weaver, and dismissed the idea that there is suddenly a market for centrists such as Huntsman after the tea party sweep of 2010.

"It's hard to imagine a massive moderate reaction that will give birth to Huntsman," one senior administration official said Monday.

By Stephen Stromberg  | January 31, 2011; 2:20 PM ET
Categories:  Stromberg  | Tags:  Stephen Stromberg  
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Comments

I just wonder whether any mormon candidate will find any answers to domestic and world problems in a book under a rock. If you buy their cult beliefs, you and many others are in serious trouble...a book under a rock?

Posted by: bigisle1 | January 31, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I would bet that many share my view of Mormons; they are a people with ridiculous beliefs who in practice are generally very good Americans and very fine neighbors. So? So we have to agree with Protestants who voted for Johjn Kennedy: a man is to be judged not by the rfeligion he has but by his character and record.

Posted by: ravitchn | January 31, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Yonkers, New York
31 January 2011

Nothing stands in the way of Jon Huntstman's obvious intentions to try to get the GOP presidential nomination in 2012.

In fact, he is only one among several contenders. There's Tim Pawlenty, Bobby Jindahl, Mitt Romney, Newt Ginbrich, Haley Barbour, Mike Huckabee--and there's Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann.

The way things look as of now, it is Sarah Palin, the acknowledged leader of the Tea Party, who is the obvious frontrunner. She has amassed quite a huge campaign kitty, as of now, and her prospects of acquiring more millions till 2012 look pretty good.

And Sarah Palin is unabashedly sure that she will be able to give Democrat Barack Obama a good fight, not only considering her very impressive credentials as a successful politician--why, she has been Mayor of Wasilla and Governor of Alaska!--but also as one who has an impressive expertise in the area of geopolitics.

If the American people are convinced of her highly impressive qualifications, as she expects them to be, to be President of these United States, she is supremely confident that she, with the able help of her Tea Partyers and the GOP, not only can turn the U.S. economy around quickly, but create the necessary conditions for businesses to hire those 15 million Americans who have lost their jobs. And that's not all: She will do away with those gargantuan Federal budget deficits within the first two years in her tenure as well as bring the Federal budget in balance within the same period--and do this without raising taxes. She will see no need to sunset the Bush tax cuts to America's wealthiest 1 percent because, she is sure, it is America's wealthiest who innovate and create jobs for Americans.

Sarah Palin won't see the need to cut the Defense budget either because the United States has taken unto herself the task of defeating terrorism anywhere it takes root in the world, and of continuing to maintain world peace, a task which the United Nations has not been very good at.

Mariano Patalinjug
MarPatalinjug@aol.com

Posted by: MPatalinjug | January 31, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Yonkers, New York
31 January 2011

Nothing stands in the way of Jon Huntstman's obvious intentions to try to get the GOP presidential nomination in 2012.

In fact, he is only one among several contenders. There's Tim Pawlenty, Bobby Jindahl, Mitt Romney, Newt Ginbrich, Haley Barbour, Mike Huckabee--and there's Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann.

The way things look as of now, it is Sarah Palin, the acknowledged leader of the Tea Party, who is the obvious frontrunner. She has amassed quite a huge campaign kitty, as of now, and her prospects of acquiring more millions till 2012 look pretty good.

And Sarah Palin is unabashedly sure that she will be able to give Democrat Barack Obama a good fight, not only considering her very impressive credentials as a successful politician--why, she has been Mayor of Wasilla and Governor of Alaska!--but also as one who has an impressive expertise in the area of geopolitics.

If the American people are convinced of her highly impressive qualifications, as she expects them to be, to be President of these United States, she is supremely confident that she, with the able help of her Tea Partyers and the GOP, not only can turn the U.S. economy around quickly, but create the necessary conditions for businesses to hire those 15 million Americans who have lost their jobs. And that's not all: She will do away with those gargantuan Federal budget deficits within the first two years in her tenure as well as bring the Federal budget in balance within the same period--and do this without raising taxes. She will see no need to sunset the Bush tax cuts to America's wealthiest 1 percent because, she is sure, it is America's wealthiest who innovate and create jobs for Americans.

Sarah Palin won't see the need to cut the Defense budget either because the United States has taken unto herself the task of defeating terrorism anywhere it takes root in the world, and of continuing to maintain world peace, a task which the United Nations has not been very good at.

Mariano Patalinjug
MarPatalinjug@aol.com

Posted by: MPatalinjug | January 31, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but Republicans can look forward to payback for their lies Obama is a Muslim and for bashing him over religion. Payback is a b!tch and you won't stop hearing:

- Mormons believe God lives on a nearby planet called "Kolob"

- Tea Party darling Sharon Angle called their religion a "cult"

- They don't believe in the Trinity.

- They go to their temples to be baptized for dead ancestors whether those ancestors, including Jews, would have agreed or not.

More to follow. What goes around comes around. You can dish it out but you can't take it.

Posted by: areyousaying | January 31, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

The most likely candidate for the GOP nomination is also the strongest one even though he's only infrequently mentioned in these discussions and so-called "expert" pundits don't think about him: Texas Governor Rick Perry.

He's coming from a strong base (large state), has governed for >10 years, and will get the support of the big moneyed interests for 2 reasons: (1) he's at their bidding, will do anything for them and (2) they know Palin can't win a general election. Perry will emerge as the alternate to Palin and will get the nod. Another contrast he presents to Palin (and Romney to a lesser extent) is that unlike them, he has a lot of real governing experience and didn't quit because the job was too tough (Palin) or not seek re-election because he'd lose (Romney and probably Palin); in short, he's got more courage and demonstrated risk-taking.

As to Huntsman & Mormons in general: no Mormon has a ghost's chance of getting either the GOP nomination or elected POTUS for one simple reason: the GOP is too dependent on the Christian Right rank-and-file, those who go to Church every Sunday to hear fundamentalist sermons, those who faithfully attend Sunday School and evangelism workshops, those who consider the Bible "inerrant." To these people and their local preachers - notwithstanding any tortured justification big names like Dobson, Robertson, et al to support a Romney or Huntsman - they simply can not accept a President who believes the Book of Mormon is equal to the Bible in divine authorship or that Joseph Smith was a prophet who received direct relevations from God. While the liberals or secular humanists might smirk or roll their eyes at Mormon history and theology, and ignoramuses might joke about polygamy, the Christian Right with their customary certainty considers it unChristian, blasphemous, and threatening to their own beliefs. Again, I'm not talking about their national figures - I'm talking about their local preachers who when all is said and done have much more influence.

The mainstread media (including WAPO)is secular and ignorant about the subtleties and nuances of religion in America, sticking to a simplistic storyline in which "Christians" = "Christian Right. So I don't expect them to pick up or even to know how to analyze this issue.

Posted by: Cookerhiker1 | January 31, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Mormonism is the most easily debunked religion around, Smith was a con artist plain and simple. If you believe this tripe, you are a rube and that alone should exclude you from office where you must make decisions on facts.

Posted by: Chops2 | January 31, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Give it up will ya. We don't need another Harry Reid in the Old Baseball Glove , Romney. He's been knocked down more times than pins in a bowling alley . Why is it that we are always forced to vote against, rather than for . You bring out Romney , or Newt, the Philanderer , who left his wife having chemo, while he chased a tramp and I guess you think people will forget . Or that they are of the Ilk that say," their personal lives have nothing to do with the way they will lead ? " The Hell it doesn't. And do you see any crawlers under the screen while Hucklebuck plays his guitar on late night TV ? Do they say, Hey people here is Presidential Timbre . And how about another womanizer for President. How about Rootie Kazootie who for good measure is an Excommunicated Catholic for his stand for Abortion , as is Pelosi, Dodd, and Biden. And if you believe the old saw that , " Familiarity Breeds Contempt " then I kinda think ol' Sarah is way past the Familiarity stage . For God's sake, give us a reason to vote . Keep these Has-beens and Never Wasses off the political spectrum. I'll tell you what . Collect all of them , and everyone that was on the stage in 2008 . I'll put Nader up to debate any and all of them at the same time, and with a different subject that is a favorite for each of them , and he'll show just how little the pundits offer to us every election. No sense telling people it's time for a 3rd party. The Republicrats have them convinced that you vote for someone other than them, and you waste your vote. Well, if your vote wasn't wasted in 2008, and wasted on the two administrations before that, then I don't know how a vote can be wasted. And the biggest travesty is that nearly a Billion Dollars will be spent by each candidate to campaign. No wonder people like Nader can't compete . I know fear by all the other candidates kept him off the debating stage with them, and I guess it's obvious he'll never raise enough money to gain the job he could do so much with. It's still the same. " Power corrupts, and Absolute Power corrupts Absolutely.

Posted by: puck-101 | January 31, 2011 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Being an atheist, I care little to which silly cult our President belongs.

I hope the secularist activists who so strongly advocated that Barack Obama's religion didn't matter, will be just as staunch when Mitt Romney is nominated.

Posted by: WmarkW | January 31, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I like Sarah Palins ideals but I do not think she has a chance to be elected because she is so un presidential.

I do not have a problem with a Mormon president though I would probably vote for Newt Gingrich. Most conservatives would agree that Mormons are the poster children of conservative values.

And I do not see why people are afraid that the Mormon church would gain power through a Mormon president. There are many Mormons in politics now and the Mormon church does not wield any influence.

The reason that the Christian population would not vote for a Mormon has more to do with sour grapes. All religions have their own world view. Mormonism may be different than other Christian religions but there are allot of very intelligent folks that believe in Mormonism.

All religions appear strange from the outside if you think about it.

Posted by: peterkaupert | January 31, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Being an atheist, I care little to which silly cult our President belongs.

I hope the secularist activists who so strongly advocated that Barack Obama's religion didn't matter, will be just as staunch when Mitt Romney is nominated.

Posted by: WmarkW | January 31, 2011 6:02 PM | Report abuse


As Long as it isn't the year of the phony neocons again...

nor,
(see the idiotic ad last week), the year of the rabbis tryig to dictate what should be on American airwaves.

Posted by: whistling | January 31, 2011 6:42 PM | Report abuse

I will save my comments and arguments for when this brainwashed Mormon decides he is going to run. Can hardly wait .

Posted by: orionexpress | January 31, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

As far as everyone's fears of Mormons go, I have known a number of Mormons and have found them to be good, honest, hard-working, and very intelligent people. I would have no problem whatsoever with a Mormon president. That being said, I don't really care what religion any presidential candidate is, and I don't get why anyone else does either. It's more important to me that we elect someone who will do what is best for our country, and no religion disqualifies anyone from that possibility.

Posted by: Eagle71 | January 31, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

And don't forget the most famous Mormon of them all: Glenn Beck! How much of what he says is supported by the LDS leadership?

Posted by: tgarahan | January 31, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

And don't forget the most famous Mormon of them all: Glenn Beck! How much of what he says is supported by the LDS leadership?

Posted by: tgarahan | January 31, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

A Mormon president would be no different than any other president with their varied religions. The same arguments used against Mormonism can be used for any other denomination that espouses beliefs that cannot be proved scientifically. It is ridiculous to say that a belief in any religion different than yours disqualifies someone from political office. Now that the public has seen that Beck is on the Right, Mitt Romney is closer to the middle, and Harry Reid sits comfortably on the Left -- and that all three are card carrying Mormons -- it may finally sink in that there is nothing to be afraid of having a Mormon in public office.

Posted by: joshuar10 | January 31, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

To ravitchn and WmarkW:

Well said. I may not vote for a conservative but it will be because of legitimate policy differences, not because of personal belief. I will be dissapointed to see democrats and liberal groups use the same stupid tactics against the religion of their opponent in 2012, and I don't doubt they will, but I can still dream.

But there is a caveat: Many times personal religious beliefs stand as proxy for (perhaps a less well defined) stance on actual policy. It is all well and good to speak in the spirit of goodwill when saying no one should be judged unduly by their personal beliefs, but we are foolish if we think personal belief does not in some way inform on political practice, sometimes in very strong ways. To the degree a leader can seperate belief from good policy where appropriate, and here I am thinking especially of abstinence only education and myths about condoms in AIDS prevention, they are worthy leaders. Men who let the book of Genesis keep them from funding historical research, the book of Leviticus keep them from giving their fellow man equal rights, or let Paul's letters justify violence between nations, indeed any man who lets any holy book justify his own ungodly behavior, deserves nothing but laughter and pity from Christ's true disciples. I'll settle for scorn and derision because I am still a long way off.

Posted by: ashtar377 | January 31, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Mitt 2012! Huntsman would be a good President, too, but 2012 will have to be a test run.

As for the Mormon church, there is no better church out there. (Not to downplay the good others do.) Mormonism is a strength, not a weakness, for both men. If you actually know a Mormon or anything real about what they believe, you'd know that.

Take a look at @LDSFacts on Twitter! You might learn a thing or two.

Posted by: JedMM | January 31, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Mormon, love my faith. I would like to think that our country had moved beyond bigotry and course, mocking words for those who are different from ourselves. I see many people here haven't gotten there yet. Any religion sounds nuts when someone with an antagonistic view dismisses it in 20 words or less. Get the facts, however, I'm sure it's easier for some of you just to dismiss me as hopelessly brainwashed with no mind of my own than take a responsible and accurate look at my faith. Check it out: www.mormon.org.

And No, I won't be voting for Romney.

Posted by: jrbourne | January 31, 2011 8:19 PM | Report abuse

As can be seen from the bigoted and distorted postings by evangelicals on this site, getting information about Mormons from evangelicals, is like learning about Jews from Nazis. Too bad for Huntsman. As long as evangelical christians, America's version of the Taliban, continue to influence the Republican party, Mormons will have a difficult time getting elected on a national scale.

Posted by: heinzjm | January 31, 2011 8:29 PM | Report abuse

As can be seen from the bigoted and distorted postings by evangelicals on this site, getting information about Mormons from evangelicals, is like learning about Jews from Nazis. Too bad for Huntsman. As long as evangelical christians, America's version of the Taliban, continue to influence the Republican party, Mormons will have a difficult time getting elected on a national scale.

Posted by: heinzjm | January 31, 2011 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about posting twice...don't know how that happened.

Posted by: heinzjm | January 31, 2011 8:33 PM | Report abuse

I am a Mormon. I think the thing that bothers me the most about people's comments regarding my belief's are that they all use the words "brain washed." I believe what I believe on faith because it has led me to peace and happiness in my life. I think it's time we move beyond religion and start looking at candidates as American Citizens and actually take the time to consider what good they might be able to do for our country. We are in a serious economic crisis right now and President Obama is doing nothing to curb spending or the deficit. With my "Hope" that Obama would get the job done all used up, I'm ready for someone who has good ideas and a political history to show that they won't waver. Whether that's Romney, Huntsman, Christie, Gingrich or someone else I don't know, but when it come time to vote, all I'm going to look at are the issues and who's the best man or woman for the job.

Posted by: imbleton22 | February 1, 2011 12:16 AM | Report abuse

@imbleton22:
I'm glad that your mormonism has brought you peace and happiness.

But reflecting on the Prop 8 vote in California and its financing by the LDS groups in Utah, your mormonism has also brought discrimination to some of us.

When your faith gets political, some of us get angry.

Posted by: mikecapitolhill | February 1, 2011 6:59 AM | Report abuse

So, was 2008 the year of the Methodists? Presbyterians? Lutherans? Muslims? I guess one's religion isn't that important if one isn't Mormon, or Catholic. It is a shame in this day and age that Romney's religion has to be touted so much. The man is running for President, not the national primary Minister. It is time to let it go. Mr. Stromberg.

Posted by: schwindt1 | February 1, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

http://multimedia.jta.org/album/6287/multimedia_album.php

Posted by: areyousaying | February 1, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

All religions are bizarre and "cultish " to those who are not their adherents. Those who point to the Mormon beliefs as weird or bizarre hold equally weird and bizarre beliefs as to their own faith, at least as seen by outsiders.
For example an objective person reading the Nicene Creed, rationally, would marvel at "bizarreness". The upshot is if we expect others to respect our "irrational, or suprarational" beliefs we should give respect to others. In short judge not lest ye be judged. All religions are "cults" in one form or another and calling people names and tearing them down nothing to bolster our own peculiar beliefs, or lack of beliefs for that matter. William james in his seminal Varities of Religious Experience tells us that the value of a religion lies in its pragmatic consequences, its "fruits" as he terms it. As measured by that yardstick there is no doubt that Mormonism, to those who have studied it rather than just ignorantly thrown rocks at it, its fruits have been for the good both as to its members and the larger society. A final thought: Before one speaks one should have knowledge of what they are speaking about.

Posted by: ronh6 | February 1, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

It's not bigotry to find religious beliefs ridiculous on their face and to consider a candidate's ridiculous beliefs when voting.

Posted by: dnahatch1 | February 1, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Mormons shouldn't complain about bigotry as long as they fund and support anti-gay measures.

Posted by: dnahatch1 | February 1, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

All those posters who are bashing Mormonism, and dismissing a Romney or Huntsman candidacy, please consider these facts:


1) After Glenn Beck's August 18th gathering at the Lincoln Memorial, many Evangelicals were calling him "the next Billy Graham". They don't doubt his Christian credentials.


2) Mormon teenagers have been judged to “top the charts” in Christian Characteristics by a UNC-Chapel Hill study. Read about it here:

http://MormonsAreChristian.blogspot.com


3) Mormons have a better understanding of Christianity than any other denomination, according to a 2010 Pew Forum poll:

http://www.pewforum.org/Other-Beliefs-and-Practices/U-S-Religious-Knowledge-Survey.aspx


4) 11 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were non-Trinitarian Christians. Those who insist on their narrow definition of Christianity are doing our Republic an injustice.

Posted by: bot1 | February 1, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Mormanism was never was an issue when Mitts dad ran (or at least tried to)in 68. People judged him on his business expertise and record as gov. What tripped him up was the "Brainwashed about Vietnam" comment. Sadly the unconstitutional religious test started in the 70's with the rise of the evangelical right becoming an appendage of the Republican party.Though born again Carter received a good number of evangelical votes. Makes me miss the old Republican party.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | February 1, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"I will be dissapointed to see democrats and liberal groups use the same stupid tactics against the religion of their opponent in 2012, and I don't doubt they will, but I can still dream." --ashtar

I'd hate to see that too, but there would likely be a HUGE difference in the motivations behind it. The people who fought against Obama's religion were the ones insisting he was a Muslim--sadly, a synonym for "terrorist," a charge that he was lying about his religion, and that (as an alleged non-Christian), he was also unpatriotic.

If/when dems argue against a Mormon politician, at least it would be a more open argument about the candidate's religion and potential influence on policy, rather than an ugly, tangled facade for an even uglier side-door sabotage.

Posted by: EdgewoodVA | February 1, 2011 6:54 PM | Report abuse

The Mormons, Catholics and others didn't turn a political issue into a moral issue(same sex marriage). The gay/lesbian community turned a moral issue into a political one. Both Mormons, Catholics and others were making a moral judgement thru poltical means just the same as we would if what was up for a vote was the right of pedofiles to adopt children. Are you for or against that and on what grounds?

Posted by: rsortiz | February 2, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Some of those who have commented have made the standard charges that Mormonism is a "cult," Mormon beliefs are "ridiculous," and Mormons are "brainwashed" (all apparently allowable comments despite the "no personal attacks" policy).

Others have countered that "All religions appear strange from the outside if you think about it." In his book Mimesis, Erich Auerbach has an illuminating chapter about Voltaire showing how what Auerbach calls Voltaire's "spotlight" technique anticipated Nazi propaganda against Jews and other groups. The "spotlight" technique wrenches the practices or beliefs of a group from their context and makes them appear ridiculous.

The first comment above is a beautiful example of the technique: The Book of Mormon is ridiculed as "a book under a rock." Once you get the hang of it, anything and anyone can be ridiculed in the same way: a baby born in an eating trough (aka "manger")? the universe, including this earth and all its life, created in 144 hours? humans made out of dirt? people eating their God or, alternatively, worshipping bread and wine? Such ridicule evades the responsibility to seriously examine the things being ridiculed.

Atheists like to think themselves exempt from this sort of ridicule (maybe one motive for atheism). But it's not hard to attack anyone once you get started: chemical and electrical processes somehow have the power to think and perceive? unthinking matter gave birth to beings who have figured out how the universe works? nothing survives ultimate annihilation, and yet our lives have meaning?

The "spotlight" technique takes a yet more perverse turn when the ridicule is based on extreme distortions of reality or even fantasies, like the ancient charges of incest and cannibalism made against Christians.

Through all of this, the one solid evil, it seems to me, is what the philosopher Levinas calls "the hatred of the other," a hatred that is destructive to what most fundamentally makes us human, even when we try to justify it as revenge for what others are supposedly doing to us.

We humans obviously have some room for improvement when we so persistently take just about any excuse to (as Pres. Obama put it in Tucson) "turn on each other." For any professed Christians out there, I'd like to suggest that the teachings of Christ (not to mention other religious and moral traditions) point to a better approach, maybe even in online comments.

Posted by: Bruce_Young | February 2, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

As to Prop 8: Mormons, Catholics and others didn't turn a political issue into a moral one (same sex marriage). The Gay/Lesbian community turned a moral issue into a political one. Mormons, Catholics and others acted on a moral issue using the political means at hand just as they would if the rights of pedophiles to adopt children were up for a vote. Are you for or against the latter and on what grounds?

Posted by: rsortiz | February 2, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

LOL! I love it when someone tries to use the fact the Mormon Church doesn't believe in the Trinity as an argument as to why one cannot be elected President! Do they (areyousaying I'm talking to you) know that 5 of our Presidents have been Unitarians? Were John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, Millard Fillmore and William Howard Taft such bad Presidents? Okay, well at least compare them to some of our "Christian" Presidents.
And former Gov. Huntsman is more moderate then President Obama when it comes to same-sex rights for couples. No, he didn't support same-sex marriage, but he did support benefits to be extended to same-sex couples. Its a small step in the right direction.

Posted by: alli2 | February 2, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

(areyousaying I'm talking to you)

I couldn't care less who believes in the Trinity or not. My feigned bashing of Mormons was to point out the incredible hypocrisy of RepuBPlicans who lie about Obama's religion and bash it daily and then who are so indignant and outraged when the tables are turned.

Both Romney and Huntsman would be far better candidates than Palin and Huckabee but it is Chriscons themselves who will not allow their nomination based solely on their religion.

Posted by: areyousaying | February 2, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but Republicans can look forward to payback for their lies Obama is a Muslim and for bashing him over religion. Payback is a b!tch and you won't stop hearing:

- Mormons believe God lives on a nearby planet called "Kolob"

- Tea Party darling Sharon Angle called their religion a "cult"

- They don't believe in the Trinity.

- They go to their temples to be baptized for dead ancestors whether those ancestors, including Jews, would have agreed or not.

More to follow. What goes around comes around. You can dish it out but you can't take it.

Posted by: areyousaying | January 31, 2011 4:18 PM |

The Mormons can't take it? Wow, is that ever a case of the ignorant who should keep their mouths shut. The Mormons have been beatened, tarred & feathered, hated, abused, massacred multiple times, had an extermination order issued against them, frozen to death, starved, had their property and land stolen multiple times, buried their children, spouses, and friends on the plains while escaping from "the land of the free", supplied men at the request of the government to aid in the Mexican American war, then later had the U.S. army march against them to destroy them, endured hardship after hardship to help settle the American west...and there you sit, telling everyone how the mormons can dish it out but they just can't take it. The mormons have taken more and fought back less than any people in the history of this country (and that, by the way, is the definition of a Christian people).

This from someone who sits in his comfy chair, making fun of and ridiculing a people with whom he doesn't agree, all in the name of a country and laws that allow tolerance and freedom of religion. It sounds to me like you are the one that can't take it. You can't take living in a country of freedom and tolerance, because apparently that goes against your ethic of recrimination and vituperation. A word of advice: it's better to be silent and be thought a fool, than it is to open your mouth and prove that you are one.

Posted by: whatIknow | February 2, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Mormon, love my faith. I would like to think that our country had moved beyond bigotry and course, mocking words for those who are different from ourselves.
------------------------------------------

Have you ever spent any time in Utah?

Posted by: jrbourne

Posted by: areyousaying | February 2, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Wow, is that ever a case of the ignorant who should keep their mouths shut.
Posted by: whatIknow
-----------------------------------

Is your post the official opinion of the Church regarding others' First Amendment Rights of that of teabaggers like Angle who would deny these rights to those different and who called your religion a "cult"?

Is there a difference?

Posted by: areyousaying | February 2, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Please realize that living a Christ-like life involves adhereing to the "mote principle" : do not try to tell me about the speck in my eye when you have a beam in yours.
I hope that those who say we worship Joseph Smith stop and think about the fact that the correct name of our religion is "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." Christ's followers were referred to as "saints" - not perfect people, but striving to be perfect follwers of Jesus Christ. We do not say that Baptists worship John the Baptist or Lutherns worship Martin Luther.
In fact The Articles of Faith, our beliefs, state:
"#11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."
The rest of the list may be reviewed at
http://lds.org/library/display/0,4945,106-1-2-1,FF.html
As for who I will vote for, it remains to be seen as to who is running, what their qualifications are, and whose values match mine the best.
Make it a great day!

Posted by: IbelieveinChrist | February 2, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

"....and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."

Really? That would be great. Sadly in my 22 years of suffering Mormon intolerance growing up in Utah and another 28 being married to my late Mormon wife, I never encountered a Mormon who practiced this by example (except maybe some of those living outside Utah).

I teach a Mormon family English in Mexico and I see the 15-year-old with some of the same intolerant attitudes he learned from his peers at Church (he says he hates Catholics, for example, when all his relatives on his father's side are Catholic). Beck, albeit a recent convert, is also an example of the acorn not falling far from the tree.

Posted by: areyousaying | February 2, 2011 10:29 PM | Report abuse

In any case, either's nomination would be better than that of Palin or Huckabee. It would provide some great political and religious entertainment watching Palin's evil brew of evangelicals and white-supremacists along with the intolerant minions of the seditious theocon Huckabee rally together for some "reload" "shoot them in the head" teabagger infighting against what some of them still call a "cult".

Posted by: areyousaying | February 2, 2011 10:53 PM | Report abuse

P. S. whatIknow

Save your advice for Relief Society meetings.

Posted by: areyousaying | February 2, 2011 10:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why not since he is the most qualified. Religion should have nothing to do with it. Go Romney!!

Posted by: boblee1 | February 2, 2011 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow it is sad to see all the religious bigotry. There is a bit too much emotion in some of the responses to be just a casual observer on Mormonism. I know it is easy to simply apply labels to people that disagree with you. All liberals are communists. All conservatives are gun lovers and religious zealots. Both are labels that don't help one's cause, let alone true. There are just too many bright articulate Mormons out there to say they are brainwashed idiots. Just like all Muslims are terrorists is an incorrect statement. Maybe I am too idealistic, or simply not bright enough to expect something else on a message board.

By the way if someone else believes (or doesn't believe at all) in something that is different than your faith, doesn't mean that is an attack on you or your faith.

Ahhh forget it. I am wasting my time. Good night....

Posted by: cgharring | February 3, 2011 2:36 AM | Report abuse


Get used to the steady drumbeat of Mormon baiting coming from the Washington Post. They were pretty much silent on the issue when Harry Reid was running in the last election, but now that it's Republican candidates, the gloves come off.

Advocacy journalism is alive.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 3, 2011 12:33 PM | Report abuse

For those of you without an agenda, who don't like having to go to Mormon.org to figure out what makes Mormon's so different...here are the top three myths about Mormonism.

TOP 3 MYTHS of Mormonism.
Myth #1: Mormonism is a cult.
This myth is most likely due to our belief that we have a prophet that gives direction from God about how to lead the church. Our belief in our leaders is no different than the Catholic's belief in say..the Pope. But no one calls them a "cult". The other part of this persistent "cult" fallacy implies that we must follow everything we are told..or else. Actually, the reverse is true. Joseph Smith himself put it best when he was asked how his people were willing to be so obedient. He said that he taught them correct principles and they govern themselves. What motivates Mormons to be so faithful centers on our concept of Heaven. We believe in three levels of heaven, based on faithfulness and our relationship with Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father, Jesus and the Holy Ghost reside in the top one. Because of this our desire to follow the teachings isn't based on fear of hell, but on love for and desire to return to our Heavenly Father, who resides in the upper most part. To go to "Hell" you have to be REALLY, REALLY bad. That's the difference between us and between other religions that threaten you with eternal damnation at every turn.

Myth #2: Mormon's Don't Believe in the Trinity. Well, maybe not the way some religions see it, as some kind of three headed being, or one God who alternately refers to himself as "My Beloved Son" (when Jesus was Baptized) or prays to himself (as in the Garden of Gethsemane). We believe that God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are three separate beings that are one in purpose.

Myth #3: Mormons are not Christians. This belief stems from other denominations contention that Jesus is spirit and was always so and is currently one (I wonder what he did with his body). We believe that we have the ability to progress as far as we are able in the afterlife. This bone of contention boils down to the attitude that "our Jesus is better than your Jesus". As Mormons, we really don't worry about who is more Christian. We think that's for the Savior to decide...it's our job to try to live his words and not worry about vilifying others who are trying to do the same.

When you look at the teachings in this light, our religion is very logical. And it explains why Mormons are faithful (by and large) and very good people. That's one thing that people have correct, when they look at the church...there are some of the most wonderful people in the world in our church. They are kind, honest and loving, and the church helped them become that way. As the scriptures say, "By their fruits ye shall know them."

Thanks for letting me have my say.

Posted by: pegasys9 | February 3, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I am dissapointed in what some people believe about the "Mormons". As a rule they are good family people, love their children and their church. They also love their country, love their neighbors and are conservative in their approach to things. The Constitution of our country would not be in jeopardy if a good LDS person such as Mitt Romney or Mr. Huntsman were to be voted into the Presidency of the U.S. They would bring values that were lost in the 1950s. Why don't you call the missionaries and they will give you a true appraisal in what they believe? Then you are welcome to talk since you then will be well informed of what the Mormons believe in. Please don't knock them until you know what they believe in. Also, The Church does not tell Glen Beck what to do, he has a mind of his own. Mormons are not automatons of the Church. Why the negative approach to Mormons? There is the people that say that Mormons don't believe in Jesus when the Church is called: "THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS'. Mormons are not a sect, they are counted in the millions all over the globe! I was so for Mr. Huckabee until he was not very positive towards Mr. Romney downright attacking. People has the right to be free to choose his/her religion. Like someone said above: "By their fruits ye shall know them". Mormons do not knock down any religion, why then, others attack the Mormons? It is through one Mormon that the Constitution will be salvaged and our beloved country will be salvaged, there will be work for people (like before), the economy will take a boost, etc. We will take our rightful place in the world again. A prophecy that was given in the early 1800s, Romney and Huntsman were not thought of during the 1800s nor their fathers. Romney was quite about his religion not because he was embarrassed, but because he was aspiring to the Presidency and suposedly we are free to choose our religion and it is a private matter.

Romney did not proselytize either, it was the media asking questions, they wanted more information but that is left to the missionaries. May peace abound in your hearts and thank you for allowing me to write some of my thoughts. If some of you knew what is the LDS belief system, you may want to join the Church too.

Marica1
A "Mormon"

Posted by: Marica1 | February 3, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Watch "Prop 8: The Mormon Proposition" for everything you need to know about Mormons.

Republicans are some of the most cowardly people this world has ever known.

OK all you Mormons and other self proclaimed profits. Your days of lies and deceit, your days for dividing people are dwindling.

What are you going to rejoice about when you get old?

That you stopped the gays from getting married for a short while or maybe that you disallowed the right of someone serving with honor in our military?

Well than; Mission Accomplished.

The tea Party never existed. It was a propaganda campaign to rally the disaffected Republicans. The media was paid to say "Tea Party" instead of saying "Republican" and in doing so created a new "brand" that was not tainted by the failure and incompetence of the Republican Party.

These toe tapping tools will stop at nothing to force your children learn myth in science classrooms such as ID or that the Earth was made 6000 years ago. Republicans will vow that gays should not be able to live as non-gays do in our country, while simultaneously being gay in the closet. These people like to hate things. Fighting is what feels normal. These people are angry and angry people are easily exploited.

Welcome to the Divided States of Glen Beckistan.

Posted by: getcentered | February 4, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

If there is a "Year of the Mormons", it won't be led by the Republican party. Most Mormon-haters identify as Republicans. In fact, most people who hate any another group people identify as Republican, which will make it impossible for Republicans to agree on any candidate in 2012.

The Republican party has become the party of "say no to everything". Heck, even Ronald Regan would be ineligible to run with today's Republican party, because he instituted the largest tax increase in California history. The Republican party has collapsed on itself because the only thing they can all agree on is saying "no" to everything.

A moderate, educated, experienced and articulate Mormon candidate could succeed in the Democratic party, just as the Catholic JFK did in the past. But a Mormon would never receive enough support from today's Republican voters to succeed as a Republican candidate.

Posted by: cwgmpls | February 4, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

HATERS GONNA HATE!

Posted by: manylols | February 4, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

As a politically moderate atheist, I get a chuckle out of Christians who label Mormon beliefs "ridiculous."

Posted by: Reader333 | February 4, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I am sorry, after the prejudice the Mormons have shown to the gay community and the sneaky way they handled their invasion of California (see the Prop 8 movie) , for the first time in my life I will judge a person by their religion if they are Mormons. I ache for any gay person born to Mormon parents, and pray they will make it out of there alive. You judged and now I judge you. And no I am not gay and yes I am Republican, and I will never vote for a Mormon unless their views on gays and the way they treat.

Posted by: brown4675 | February 4, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

@whatIknow

"The mormons have taken more and fought back less than any people in the history of this country."

You can't be serious. You're going to put Mormons up against Native Americans and African Americans in the contest for most mistreated? Mormons were indeed persecuted, and unfairly so at times, but they did fight back and none of their suffering has had lasting effects. Compare that with the utter destruction of Native American cultures or the cycle of poverty that many Native and African Americans are still trapped in today because of discriminatory systems that were still going strong just 50 years ago. The Mormons apparently didn't learn much empathy from their allegedly horrible mistreatment, seeing as they only acknowledged the equality of non-whites with whites in 1978.

The Mormons were mistreated in the past, true. But please save us your over-developed sense of victimhood. It's insulting to the real victims in this country's history.

Posted by: j7kohl | February 4, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

All this talk is silly. I think it is clear that Jeb Bush will be the nominee for the GOP in 2012. Michelle Bachman running on the Tea Party ticket will take away enough votes from Bush III to ensure an Obama re-elction. However, Jeb will be elected on his second try in 2016.

Posted by: CyPhy | February 4, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

All this talk is silly. I think it is clear that Jeb Bush will be the nominee for the GOP in 2012. Michelle Bachman running on the Tea Party ticket will take away enough votes from Bush III to ensure an Obama re-elction. However, Jeb will be elected on his second try in 2016.

Posted by: CyPhy | February 4, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

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