Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Fix Picks: Reading Up on Romney

For the next 24 hours, College Station, Texas, will be at the epicenter of the Republican political world.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has chosen the city -- home of the Texas A&M Aggies (gig 'em) -- to deliver his long-awaited speech on the role faith and religion does and should play in American politics. The speech will begin at 10:30 a.m. Thursday eastern time.

Ever since the Romney campaign announced the speech over the weekend, the political chattering class has been, well, chattering about just what he will say and how it will be received.

We'll have full coverage of the speech in The Fix tomorrow, but in the meantime we thought we'd give Fix readers a primer on Mitt and Mormonism. We've plucked a group of articles that do just that; some are purely informative while others make cogent arguments for and against the faith.

Read any or all of them to get a better perspective on just what Romney needs to do tomorrow and what his chances of success look like.

Newsweek has three offerings: a piece about the debate within Romney's political world as to how much of his religion he can and should share, a brief history of the Mormon church in America and a q and a with Latter Day Saints president Gordon Hinckley.

Mike Allen (of the Politico) offers a nice takeout -- back when he worked for Time -- on the preemptive actions the Church took in anticipation of Romney's presidential bid and the impact it has on how the LDS faith is perceived in America.

And, since the Fix is a big believer in primary sources, here's the LDS's own explainer of its own faith tradition.

Looking for a bit more argument? Try this Mormon website for a defense of the faith and the always controversial Christopher Hitchens for an excoriation of the faith from his book "God is Not Great."

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 5, 2007; 5:28 PM ET
Categories:  Fix Picks  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: AFSCME Takes to Airwaves for Clinton
Next: Is Huckabee Democrats' Biggest Nightmare?

Comments

Well done Mitt! Excellent speech and congratulations! Clearly your religious commitment has helped make you the successful husband, father, business and political leader that you are! Thank you for your continued service to make our nation excellent!

Posted by: atwtexas | December 7, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"After 4 years at a Jesuit high school, I am convinced that Jesuits are Catholics in name only."

bsimon, is it possible that you were too young to appreciate what they were teaching? I ask this because the major tenet of a Jesuit education is to teach students to question, to understand the other side as much as possible so that you can argue more effectively - a concept that can be confusing to a teenager, particularly if what you're hearing in school contradicts what you're learning at home.

There is a lot about the Mormon religion that makes me roll my eyes, but I think it's a sad commentary on America that Mitt Romney had to speak about his faith today. He and all the other candidates, regardless of party affiliation, should be judged on his/her proposed policies, qualifications, and character instead of the superficial things like religion, race, or gender. The presidential candidates are interviewing for the most important job in America, and in any company, it would be illegal to ask them any question relating to any of these. The law shouldn't be different for the candidates.

Posted by: femalenick | December 6, 2007 8:40 PM | Report abuse

A month ago, I was actually leaning toward Romney. He has had a great professional career and seems to have great business sense. Being able to balance the Mass. budget & his turnaround of the Olympics is very impressive. But, the more he panders and continues to flip flop, it's a definate red flag. Looking at how he ran in 2002 for Mass. gov. and how he governed, it's worth forgiving how he campaigned. I understand how running for gov. of Mass., it is in the best interest of someone to run an independent campaign. His flip flopping on the Iraq war really does prove that Romney is simply a poll following politician. He will say anything to get elected. First he suggested the surge would never work, but now that it is showing progress militarily has came out for the surge. Romney can't even stay on one side of what should happen for this nation's best defense. He flip flops with polls on that, he cannot get my vote.

That being said, he did have to win over my vote before leaned his way. He has long been known as a flip flopper, political opotunist, RINO & being Mormon doesn't help. However, being Mormon isn't the only thing he must overcome. All of those other labels apply.

Posted by: bryant_flier2006 | December 6, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Mark, bsimon

I went to a Jesuit University in the late 60's-early 70's. I can vouch for the fact that many Jesuit intellectuals hold beliefs far outside Catholic orthodoxy.

Interestingly, the Jesuits were founded in the 16th century as the Catholic Church's shock troops for the counter-Reformation. They were the ultra-orthodox. They also meddled extensively in politics. Jesuits were active in efforts to undermine Elizabeth I in an effort to return a Catholic monarch to England. Quite a few were hanged, drawn and quartered for their troubles. Their interference in politics in Catholic countries led them to be banned from a number of nations in the 17th and 18th centuries. The order was suppressed by the Pope in 1773 and it was not re-established until 1814.

Posted by: jimd52 | December 6, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

bokonon writes
"In my own defense, and with some reference to "gobbledygook," I will just say that playing with words is fun."

Speaking of which, I first parsed that as 'reverence for gobbledygook' which also seems to make sense. To me, anyway.

Posted by: bsimon | December 6, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

femalenick - "I think it makes more sense to judge people not by what they say they believe but by what they do. Actions, as they say, speak louder than words."

The philosophy I try to follow... And yes, the grammar comment was intended as a compliment.

Posted by: dave | December 6, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

boko/maek -- zen [which i often read] is about rejection of religious authority and hierarchy of any sort and insteadig finding 'god' within yourself.

i think the seamus story just illustrates a bizarre coldness and inability tto empathize with a fellow creature. ..

Posted by: drindl | December 6, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Mark, point taken. In my own defense, and with some reference to "gobbledygook," I will just say that playing with words is fun.

and in re Seamus: Romney was at best a distracted and at worst a disinterested governor, and there is really no reason that he should be elected anyway. As a dog lover myself, I cannot imagine what kind of person would subject a faithful friend to what must have been a terrifying 8 hour ride atop the Mittmobile. Not the kind I'd like to see in the Oval Office, that's for sure.

Posted by: bokonon13 | December 6, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Tea break.

Bokonon, you are guilty of Deep Thoughts and are also too bright to argue about gobbledygook. Turning my collar around now.

bsimon, I have often, since that day, wondered if Jesuits were not a bit subversive to the established RCC. History seems to say they were political mavericks at many junctures. And I thought Dean Drinan was a terrific law prof.

My Life With Dogs - title of an unpublished work in my head. Some of my best friends have been dogs, to paraphrase an old canard. I know why I have a visceral reaction to the Seamus story but I will not share that here. Needless to say, my emotional reaction is so strong that I expect others to share it. But to the merely rational I would say the luggage belonged on the roof and the dog belonged in the coach, and to make the story a parable about decisiveness tells me I would rather nominate a different "Decider".

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 6, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Mark, agreed about the gobbledygook, but Taoist writing (presumably the Tao Te Ching) is not the same animal as the Christian scriptures at all. Taoist writing is more sensory and evokes stillness or a state of mind, whereas the Bible etc. is all about "thou shalt not." Put another way, maybe the Taoist gobbledygook is that way intentionally, and the point is for the reader to construct his or her own sense from the words? while the Christian gobbledygook is/was more rooted in commands and prescriptions which are more specifically a part of sociopolitical context in which it developed?

or maybe not. I don't know...

Posted by: bokonon13 | December 6, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

"Virtually all of Bush's campaign events were closed."

That was certainly true in '04. Was it true in 2000?

Posted by: bsimon | December 6, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Before you ever read another post signed "avraamjack", google the words
"avraamjack" and "stalking".

You may choose to skip over her posts, based on the result of your googling, because you will find that AJ has repeated the 10:26 AM drivel on every blog in the English speaking world for weeks.

Posted by: MoreAndBetterPolls | December 6, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

USMC-Mike

Virtually all of Bush's campaign events were closed.

Posted by: jimd52 | December 6, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

CLINTON SLEAZE WILL INVIGORATE GOP, DISPIRIT DEMOCRATS AND SINK DEMOCRATIC TICKET
.
It is possible that Senator Clinton is the best candidate. However, even though many may like the policies that Senator Clinton proposes, they should also consider her record, just as Senator Clinton insists.
.
The last Clinton Administration, when faced with the fact that protection rackets where assaulting, torturing and murdering people with poison and radiation, chose to avoid its responsibilities to incarcerate the criminals and to protect the citizenry.
.
Instead, they made a deal with the criminal gang stalker protection rackets to leave them alone and to consequently abandon the citizenry.
.
Do we want a President who sells out the citizenry for votes?
.
Do we want a President who sends a \"crime does pay\" message to society?
.
Would you vote for a President who signed nonaggression deals with the KKKlan or the Nazi party? Gangs that torture with poison and radiation are much like the KKKlan and Nazi Party.
.
We do not need a sellout President. We need a principled leader President.
.
If you are one of the few who do not know what the above refers to, do a web search for "gang stalking" to see the tip of the dirtberg. Please do it before you decide to reply to my post. Here let me make it easy for you: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22gang+stalking%22.
.

Posted by: avraamjack | December 6, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"A Jesuit explained the theory of "gobbledygook" to me when I was 15."

After 4 years at a Jesuit high school, I am convinced that Jesuits are Catholics in name only.

Mark, on the subject of Romney, why did the Seamus story affect you so strongly?

Posted by: bsimon | December 6, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

funny story, mark. unfortunately, the 'gobbleddy gook' is all most religious folks seem to care about.

Posted by: drindl | December 6, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

A Jesuit explained the theory of "gobbledygook" to me when I was 15. We were on a train, in adjacent seats, and I was asking him wiseguy questions about the BVM and the IC.

He told me of his seven years as a missionary in postwar Japan. He studied Lao Tzu so he would be conversant with their faith.

The Tao, as he described it, read "gobbledygook, gobbledygook, gobbledygook, treat others as you would want them to treat you, gobbledygook, gobbledygook."

A realization dawned for him that all religions surrounded their universal truths with gobbledygook.

I asked "Why?"

He said - "That's how we get them in the door". People, he said, loved to argue about their gobbledygook and say theirs is the best.

He quoted me from Paine -
the quote that nick cited. He said it was only fair to judge a religion on how closely it adhered to its "do unto others" or love thy neighbor" standard, which he said they all had. He said I was obviously too smart to get caught up in the gobbledygook.

His story worked on me. I stopped hassling him about the BVM.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 6, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Not only does "God" have a physical body, but "He" lives with his wife on a planet circling the star Kolob. Mormons want to go there some day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_you_could_hie_to_Kolob

It's really not too unlike the Hale-Bopp Comet cult of a few years ago who poisoned themselves so that their souls could go take a long ride with Jesus on the spaceship that was hiding behind the comet. I wonder what Mitt Romney has in store for our country? Will he help us all reach the Heavenly Father?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven's_Gate_(cult)

Posted by: B2O2 | December 6, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

DanLounsbury writes
" In time their "Christian" friends wanted to now engage them in argument and debate about religion--debate that took on a sinister "I am Christian and your not." In time, these two groups of kids, Mormons and "Christians" who shared so many values, ideals and principles were divided."

Being raised Catholic, I can relate. The self-professed Christians sometimes seem more intent on focusing on what makes us different & use that to drive us apart, rather than focusing on what we have in common and trying to get along. In my experience a lot of Christians pay lip service to others' beliefs, often ridiculing rather than tolerating.

Having said that, I find Mormonism to be a bizzare set of beliefs. A guy finds a bunch of golden tablets in the mid 19th century that only he has ever seen or can read, that tell the story of a lost tribe of Israel being spirited to North America?

Posted by: bsimon | December 6, 2007 8:34 AM | Report abuse

What has happened with my children and their "Christian" friends has become a metaphor for Mitt's candidacy. As my Mormon children grew into their teens, their "Christian" friends took a 6 week course at their church describing the evils of Mormonism. In time their "Christian" friends wanted to now engage them in argument and debate about religion--debate that took on a sinister "I am Christian and your not." In time, these two groups of kids, Mormons and "Christians" who shared so many values, ideals and principles were divided. My son stopped hanging out with these friends because he didn't want it to turn into an argument time after time. My how the devil must laugh as he has turned such a great force for good in the world against such another great force for good.

Posted by: DanLounsbury | December 6, 2007 3:43 AM | Report abuse

Dave, I'll take your grammar comment as a compliment.

"Point being, while Catholics may be considered 'real Christians,' they have their beliefs that many others find either objectionable or quite strange."

I was raised a Roman Catholic, and once, while talking to my mother-in-law, who was raised Methodist but went to a Presbyterian church most of her life, said, "Catholics are Christians?" Imagine my incredulity!

To your point, Dave, the biggest misconception about the Catholic Church is the concept of papal infallibility. Most think that it's about the pope being infallible - which, as you know, is a complete misinterpretation. And this coming from someone who only goes to church for weddings, funerals, and baptism.

JSlauson is right...it's important for all of us to be wary of what we read and believe. Just because it's written does not mean it's true, and that it is always prudent to consider the source.

I think that all religions are meant to help people cope with the challenges of living. I think it makes more sense to judge people not by what they say they believe but by what they do. Actions, as they say, speak louder than words.

"Every religion is good that teaches man to be good; and I know of none that instructs him to be bad." - Thomas Paine

"It was the experience of mystery--even if mixed with fear--that engendered religion." - Albert Einstein, Living Philosophies

Posted by: femalenick | December 6, 2007 3:11 AM | Report abuse

Next November vote for who you feel represents your values and ideas of good government...be that Clinton, Obama, Romney, McCain, etc.

I'm not an effective apologist for our doctrine, so I won't attempt to delve too much into this.

In addition to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint's (aka Mormon's) belief in The "Holy Bible" as a testament of Jesus Christ, the church also professes that the "Book of Mormon" is scripture and is a testament of Jesus Christ.

Please, before accepting as "fact" what you hear reported on the news, internet, blogs, forums, RSS feeds, me, etc. about Mormons, get your information from the "source" itself, then make your judgement. Neither the Mormon church nor it's people are out to do harm or misrepresent our doctrine. We have no other agenda than to help "make bad men good and good men better."

If this is important to you, then here is a good place to start:

http://www.mormon.org/mormonorg/eng/basic-beliefs/the-restoration-of-truth/the-book-of-mormon?src=BoM1001

Request the free copy of "The Book of Mormon" and "The Restoration DVD" (bottom of web page above). Watch the DVD, then read from The Book of Mormon. Pages 151-158 will give you a good initial "feel". I promise, you will not go blind.

You may find it surprising that Jesus Christ (i.e., Savior, Redeemer, Messiah, etc) is mentioned more frequently in the Book of Mormon than in the New Testament.

Then sometime before Christmas, sit down with your family, loved ones, or in solitude and read Luke chapter 2.

Merry Christmas!

John Slauson
Sandy, Utah

Posted by: jslauson | December 6, 2007 2:30 AM | Report abuse

Next November vote for who you feel represents your values and ideas of good government...be that Clinton, Obama, Romney, McCain, etc.

I'm not an effective apologist for our doctrine, so I won't attempt to delve too much into this.

In addition to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint's (aka Mormon's) belief in The "Holy Bible" as a testament of Jesus Christ, the church also professes that the "Book of Mormon" is scripture and is a testament of Jesus Christ.

Please, before accepting as "fact" what you hear reported on the news, internet, blogs, forums, RSS feeds, me, etc. about Mormons, get your information from the "source" itself, then make your judgement. Neither the Mormon church nor it's people are out to do harm or misrepresent our doctrine. We have no other agenda than to help "make bad men good and good men better."

If this is important to you, then here is a good place to start:

http://www.mormon.org/mormonorg/eng/basic-beliefs/the-restoration-of-truth/the-book-of-mormon?src=BoM1001

Request the free copy of "The Book of Mormon" and "The Restoration DVD" (bottom of web page above). Watch the DVD, then read from The Book of Mormon. Pages 151-158 will give you a good initial "feel". I promise, you will not go blind.

You may find it surprising that Jesus Christ (i.e., Savior, Redeemer, Messiah, etc) is mentioned more frequently in the Book of Mormon than in the New Testament.

Then sometime before Christmas, sit down with your family, loved ones, or in solitude and read Luke chapter 2.

Merry Christmas!

John Slauson
Sandy, Utah

Posted by: jslauson | December 6, 2007 2:21 AM | Report abuse

USMC_Mike

Very common. I suspect in this case, it's more a case of limited seating than anything else - especially with all the press that will be sure to be there.

Posted by: jjrogers | December 6, 2007 1:33 AM | Report abuse

FYI,

This event is by invitation-only. So, even though I multiple connections to A&M, it being my two-time alma mater, I can't even watch the guy if I wanted to.

I don't know how normal this is, as it would be my first time to get to see a presidential candidate. But it kind of turns me off a little.

Does anyone know how often candidates have closed audiences? Besides of course, HRC (duh).

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 6, 2007 12:56 AM | Report abuse

I don't care if the man worships the McDonald's arches. All I care is that he recognizes the separation of church and state. Sadly, I doubt it.

Posted by: Brittman1 | December 6, 2007 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Dave, thanks for the personal anecdotes. I grew up in NJ surrounded by Catholics. I agree there's plenty to marvel about in Catholic rituals & practices. (IMO, the same can be said about Baptists and other denominations.)

My main point is that -- unlike Mormons -- there's no denying a Catholic's bona fides as a Christian.

Of course, as a patriotic & freedom-loving non-Christian, I find all the holier-than-thou snubbing ridiculous.

Posted by: ssomo | December 6, 2007 12:09 AM | Report abuse

femalenick,
Heavens! If your grammar was the minimal standard allowed on this blog, you might just be blogging to yourself.

Posted by: dave | December 5, 2007 11:38 PM | Report abuse

ssomo-"1 - Catholicism is the original Christian Church. No one has ever said Catholics are not 'real Christians.'"

A few quick stories from someone that grew up Catholic. In college, went on a date and got to talking. Mentioned I was Catholic and her response was "Aren't they the cannibals [referring to the sacrament of communion as practiced by Catholics]? Was married in an Episcopal Church [not to aforementioned woman] and during the pre-maritial classes, the Reverend and my wife got into quite a spirited discussion on just how silly it was for Catholics to confess their sins to someone [priests] other than God ["Why can't you just have you conversation directly with God" I was asked]. My father-in-law till the day he died, could not fathom how I, a Catholic, was allowed into DeMolay [a masonic group for youngsters].

Point being, while Catholics may be considered "real Christians", they have their beliefs that many others find either objectionable or quite strange. To this day, there are many pre-conceived notions people have of Catholics.

Posted by: dave | December 5, 2007 11:30 PM | Report abuse

An interesting book on the fundamentalist Mormons, plus extensive background on Joe Smith & the roots of Mormonism is "Under the Banner of Heaven" by Jon Krakauer. Note: the super-nutty fundamentalists are technically ex-Mormons who've branched off the mainline & usually have been excommunicated. Krakauer's background chapters are a detailed primer on the church's history, though I imagine the LDS has some disputes with his version of events.

Posted by: bsimon | December 5, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

drowley - erichsen may well be right, and I was wrong. I have two books on world religions that both attribute the quote to the Book of Mormon. A quick google search suggests otherwise, which only goes to show, that you can't believe everything you read. Multiple sources are critical for anyone wishing to know the truth rather than just a version of it.

Posted by: femalenick | December 5, 2007 9:39 PM | Report abuse

This is precious. You regulars will really appreciate it. Dan Bartlett interviewed [in austin, mark] where he has recently retired frm being a bush aide since he was about 19.. on communcation straegy..Sorry CC, you are lower on the totem pole than Hugh Hewitt...

Texas Monthly: 'What about the blogs?'

Bartlett: We had to set up a whole new apparatus to deal with the challenges they pose. Are they real journalists? The Washington Post, for example, has journalists who are now bloggers. Do you treat them as bloggers? Do they get credentials?

Let's think of it as a practical matter. If one of those journalists-turned-bloggers, Chris Cillizza, e-mails you to say he needs an interview, and at the same time one of the Post's print reporters--say, Dan Balz--e-mails you and says he needs an interview, and you can do only one . . .

'Balz.Because the print edition of the Post has more of an impact?'

Because Balz is on multiple platforms. He's booked more easily on television. He's read by more people. He influences people a bit more. Now, the question might not be as much Chris versus Dan as maybe, "Is it Dan Balz or one of the guys at [the conservative blog] Power Line?"

'Yeah, or what if [conservative blogger] Hugh Hewitt called?'

That's when you start going, "Hmm . . ." Because they do reach people who are influential.

'Well, they reach the president's base.'

That's what I mean by influential. I mean, talk about a direct IV into the vein of your support. It's a very efficient way to communicate. They regurgitate exactly and put up on their blogs what you said to them. It is something that we've cultivated and have really tried to put quite a bit of focus on.

--the rightwing blogs 'regurgitate.' couldn't have said it better myself.

Posted by: drindl | December 5, 2007 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Strengths that Romney brings into this:

1. This will be a canned event where he won't have pesky reporters or citizens asking questions. Mitt always does his Buzz Lightyear-Best when he's following a script.

2. The campaign has been milking this for media attention for a few days now, building anticipation, ensuring that he'll probably have the spotlight for his spin. As "The Fix" himself (themselves? -- what's the right word given Chris's use of the royal "we") concedes, the speech will be the center of the GOP universe tomorrow.

3. Look for the speech itself to channel more of Dubya than JFK. Look for Romney to avoid any specific reference to Mormon doctrine, and emphasize overall themes of "family values" (i.e. anti gay marriage, etc). Look for him also to call for circling the wagons against "Islamo-fascism".

Look for him to imply... "Hey, Mormons don't look that bad compared to *those* guys and their jihad".

Problems for Romney With This Speech

1. Nomatter how you look at it, this is basically Romney playing defense. At the end of the day, the best he can do is pretend that he's dealt with this issue once and for all.

2. If Romney at all *comes off to evangelicals* as defensive, "too coached", or disingenuous during his speech (unlikely but possible), it'll be a mistake that will cost him.

3. What if the speech backfires and actually draws more attention to the Mormon issue than he wanted? While the earliest primary state voters have been tuning into this issue for awhile -- voters in delegate rich states slightly later in the primaries might just be getting to know Romney and the speech (and the ensuing media coverage) could just make sure that voters will always just think "Mormon" whenever they see Romney.

It'll be interesting to see how it all works out.

Posted by: heartlandmoderategal | December 5, 2007 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Or you could watch the South Park episode on the origins of Mormonism. Just as true, and much more entertaining.

Posted by: riff_raff17 | December 5, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Actually, to set the record straight, the couplet beginning "As man is" is from neither the Book of Mormon nor Joseph Smith. It's a statement made by Lorenzo Snow.

Posted by: erichsen | December 5, 2007 9:13 PM | Report abuse

'Following the death of Jesus Christ, wicked people persecuted and killed many Church members, and other Church members drifted from the principles taught by Jesus Christ and His Apostles?. The Apostles were killed and the priesthood authority--including the keys to direct and receive revelation? for the Church--was taken from the earth ( 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3). Because the Church was no longer led by priesthood authority and revelation, error crept into Church teachings. Good people and much truth remained, but the gospel? as established by Jesus Christ was lost, resulting in a period called the Great Apostasy?.

This apostasy led to the formation of many churches with conflicting teachings. Without the full gospel or the priesthood authority, people relied on human wisdom to interpret the scriptures? and the principles and ordinances? of the gospel of Jesus Christ. False ideas were taught as truth, and much of the knowledge of the true character and nature of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost was lost. The doctrines of faith? in Jesus Christ, repentance?, baptism?, and the gift of the Holy Ghost? became distorted or forgotten. Each generation inherited a state of apostasy, as people were influenced by what previous generations passed on, including changes to Christ's gospel. Some inspired people, such as Martin Luther and John Calvin, recognized that practices and doctrines had been changed or lost and tried to reform the churches to which they belonged. Without the priesthood authority, however, Christ's gospel could not be returned to its original form.

After centuries of spiritual darkness, a restoration of truth was needed. Under the Direction of our Heavenly Father, the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored on the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. God has promised it will never be taken from His children again.'

Thanks for the cite, CC. Oh, no, this will never fly with the Christian fundamentalists... oh, no, no, no.

Tjey beleive that the King James version of the Bible is the literal word of God --and they sure don't believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet sent from God. Talk about apostasy and heresy... the more Christians find out about this, the less they are going to like it.

Religious convictons in a politician mean nothing to me, UNLESS they are going to be their governing principles in office. JFK was serious about separation of church and state-- but i donn't think that's true about eithr mitt or huck.

Posted by: drindl | December 5, 2007 8:38 PM | Report abuse

drowley, I promise that the quote is from THE BOOK OF MORMON, which was based on translations by Joseph Smith via a scribe.

Posted by: femalenick | December 5, 2007 8:09 PM | Report abuse

First, thanks Chris for the links and info.
Second, femalenick, I don't think the phrase you quoted is from the Book of Mormon. I think is a quote attributed to Joseph Smith.

In any case, it is a historically troubling trend that we see in the interconnectedness of faith and politics. I believe the Founders of the Constitution indended people of honesty and integrity hold office and that the Consitution is fundamentally opposed to any type of strick denominational requirement.
Finally, I believe that Christians passing judgement on other Christians is silly and self-defeating. Isn't judgement something Christians are expressly warned about (as in: if you are harsh to judge you will be judged harshly by God). Let's let Christ decide who is Christian and who is not. And let's just try to focus on working together without conditions of belief to solve the problems that face our nation and our world.

Posted by: drowley | December 5, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Comparisons with the JFK speech in 1960 is laughable for two reasons:
1 - Catholicism is the original Christian Church. No one has ever said Catholics are not 'real Christians.'
2 - JFK pledged himself to separation of church and state. The fundamentalist GOP voters who are scared of Mormons want to tear down the separation between church & state. But they want **their** church running the state -- not Romney's.

(As if any of these holy rollers have an exclusive claim on God's will. Please.)

Posted by: ssomo | December 5, 2007 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I know hundreds of Mormons and Mormon families, having lived in Idaho for 16 years, and if Romney sounds like any of the missionaries I've spoken with, he can kiss his magic-underwear-covered behind goodbye.

Truly a psychotic religion. Not Christian, not logical, not moral. Mormons will always claim they are a highly moral and ethical religion but if you are a non-momo or speak out against the church, fear their wrath.

Posted by: thecrisis | December 5, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

And just in case there's a grammarian out there (they crop up regularly and can be brutal), I do know that "neither" must be followed by "nor" - rather than by "or." It's just that sometimes during composition, the brain juggles multiple words and the intended word doesn't always win out where the fingers are concerned.

Posted by: femalenick | December 5, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

"As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become."

That was on an Osmonds album in my youth. I didn't know what it meant then, but that phrase, from The Book of Mormon, encapsulates the reason that Roman Catholics and Protestants question Mormonism. If the definition of Christianity is whether or not you believe that Jesus died and rose again on the third day, then Mormons are Christians. But that's where the similarities end. The concept of God is different (Mormons believe that truly exemplary Mormons can become God - heresy to traditional Christians!), as well as Mormons not believing in "original sin." (This is why neither the Roman Catholic Church or the United Methodist Church accept Mormon baptisms from Mormon converts, whereas most others are accepted.)

The difference, however, does not negate the fact that the Mormon lifestyle, excepting the fundamentalists who still practice polygamy, is beyond reproach. They don't drink tea, coffee, or alcohol - and there is a great emphasis on the youth.

My not wanting Mitt to win has to do with his policies rather than his religion. But I'm not the average American. I can vote for a homosexual or an atheist whereas most Americans would cringe at the thought.

Posted by: femalenick | December 5, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

"Read any or all of them to get a better perspective on just what Romney needs to do tomorrow and what his chances of success look like."

I think you'd be better off providing a link to JFK's speech regarding his Catholicism. That's what Romney needs to look at to improve his chances of success.

Posted by: judgeccrater | December 5, 2007 6:17 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company