Ix-nay on the Ormon-may

Do. Not. Ask. Romney. About. Mormonism.

The title is Andrew Sullivan’s, and Andrew is right.

Paul Ryan can’t run around this weekend touting that you should vote for him because he’s a good Catholic, and insinuating that you shouldn’t vote for President Obama because he’s not even Christian, while Ryan’s boss, Mitt Romney, angrily tells a radio station not to ask any questions about him being a Mormon bishop.

Now granted, the radio interview is from 2007.   But it shows yet another Mitt Romney flip-flop, and this time on faith.  In 2007, Mitt Romney was vehement that a candidate’s faith was irrelevant to his running for president.

“I’m not running to talk about Mormonism,” Romney said.

Yeah, you’re running to attack your opponent’s Christianity.

First watch the Romney video, then let’s examine just how much Romney and Ryan have injected Obama’s Christianity in this debate:

Romney/Ryan Going After Obama’s Faith Is, However, Fair Game

Now for Paul Ryan’s nasty Obama-isn’t-a-real-Christian phone call he did with religious right nutjobs a few days ago.

In his remarks to what organizers said were tens of thousands of members of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Ryan said that President Barack Obama’s path for the next four years is a “dangerous” one.

“[It is] a path that compromises those values — those Judeo-Christian values that made us a great nation in the first place,” he said, referring to religious liberty and Obamacare.

Criticizing Obama over his health care bill’s coverage mandate for birth control, the Roman-Catholic Ryan noted that “my church is suing the federal government.”

Funny, Romney’s VP candidate doesn’t mind injecting faith into the presidential race.

And neither does Romney.

Remember when earlier this year, Romney attacked President Obama over the President’s spiritual guides (namely, Rev. Wright)? That little attack on the President’s Christianity, on Wright’s religious theories, was okay for Mitt Romney. But do the same thing back to Romney, question the fact that Mormons think Jesus is going to come back in the Second Coming and reign over all humanity from his seat of power in Missouri, and suddenly you’re the bigot for raising a scintilla of doubt about someone else’s religion.

Mitt Romney thinks criticizing our Christianity is okay, but his Mormonism, and how it shapes his politics, is off limits.


But don’t bring up Mitt Romney’s Mormonism, how it has influenced him, how the Mormons are rabidly homophobic, how to this day the Mormons still haven’t come clean on their racism. I’ve written about the Mormon’s unresolved history racism before, here’s a snippet:

[T]he Mormon’s longstanding racism against African-Americans… only receded in the 1970s after a nationwide boycott. Though there are reports that racism in Mormonism is alive and well even today. This from a recent Washington Post article:


Mormon via Shutterstock

Until 1978, the LDS church banned men of African descent from its priesthood, a position open to nearly all Mormon males and the gateway to sacramental and leadership roles. The church had also barred black men and women from temple ceremonies that promised access in the afterlife to the highest heaven.As he explored joining the church in 1988, Perkins said he asked Mormons near his Los Angeles home about the racial doctrines. They gently explained that blacks were the cursed descendants of Cain, the biblical murderer, he recalls.

The LDS church has neither formally apologized for the priesthood ban nor publicly repudiated many of the theories used to justify it for more than 125 years.

[A]nother Mormon scripture, The Pearl of Great Price, says, “blackness came upon” Cain’s descendants, who were “despised among all people.”

Pressed by Russert, Romney refused to say his church was wrong to restrict blacks from full participation.

Even under intense pressure from black Mormons, the church has refused to formally repudiate past interpretations of doctrine or scripture that tie spiritual worthiness to race.

It’s time to ask Mitt Romney if he was ever told by a religious mentor that blacks were the despised descendants of Cain, and just as importantly, what did Romney say, if anything, in response?

Of course, don’t let any of that stop Mitt Romney from bringing up his Mormonism when he thinks it suits his purpose.

Romney was happy to bring up lots of Mormon mentions during the Republican convention.  Again, because it suited his purpose of trying to assuage evangelicals that Mormonism isn’t a cult.

And Romney was also happy to invoke his Mormonism to explain – incredibly – why he’s not releasing ten years of his tax returns, the same that he asked of his own running mate, Paul Ryan.  I really have to quote this one, because it’s a whopper:

After months stonewalling on releasing more tax returns, Mitt Romney invoked a brand-new explanation for demurring in an interview with Parade magazine set to hit newsstands this weekend: religion. “Our church doesn’t publish how much people have given [to the LDS Church]. This is done entirely privately. One of the downsides of releasing one’s financial information is that this is now all public, but we had never intended our contributions to be known. It’s a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church,” Romney told the magazine when asked about his returns, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Suddenly, being a Mormon is not so off-limits of a topic, when Mitt Romney deems it to his advantage.

Why Does Romney Have a Double-Standard for Christians?

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of the Mormons’ aggressive form of bigotry, their hatred of gays and single-minded desire to take away our civil rights in every state, their years of racism towards African-Americans that they still haven’t fully repudiated, their treatment of women, and their rank disrespect for Judaism, including their systematic attempts to secretly steal the souls of dead Jewish Holocaust victims – they even secretly baptized President Obama’s own mother.

We are not dealing with folks who have a history of showing a lot of respect for the beliefs of others.  Which perhaps explains why Mitt Romney thinks it’s all right to criticize Christians, but balks when the same standard is applied to him.

Then again, consistency has never been Mr. Romney’s strong suit. Why should he start now?

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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42 Responses to “Ix-nay on the Ormon-may”

  1. rebart says:

    Why shouldn’t Romney be angry about people 
    haranguing him about his religion?
    He wasn’t running for Bishop-in-Chief.
    Why didn’t they harangue Obama about
    his Black Theology and his support of
    Black Panters threatening voters, and his
    membership in that lunatic Jeremiah Wright’s
    so-called church?

  2. karmanot says:

     I liked it too. Colorado always discerns the paradigm at hand and eviscerates the bullshit. I would agree with ancient fortune cookie that pain is the greatest teacher and there are times when the existential pain of Colorado leaps from the comment to scream the truth.

  3. wmforr says:

    At least we all know what Paul Ryan thinks of our “Judeo-Christian values”.  Just ask the Catholic nuns.  After all, he is a disciple of that well-known Catholic philosopher St. Ayn, author of Virtus sui indulgentiæ [The Virtue of Selfishness, an explication of the Sermon on the Mount, I believe.

    As to Mormonism, the term “Black Mormons” sounds like “gay Republicans” to me.  I mean, why oh why did they pick that cult out of all others?

  4. Papa Bear says:


  5. karmanot says:

     Colorado, you must read Arthur Silber.

  6. karmanot says:

     Mitty’s a failure that can only fulfill the White Horse’s ass.

  7. Joe Bosse says:

     I’m pretty sure that one is welded on.

  8. Joe Bosse says:

    Money buys you ad time and silence.
    It’s not discussed because the Mormon’s have paid the media to shut up about it.

  9. A reader in Colorado says:

    I know what you mean, but what *I* mean is about the focus of this site in particular.

    It’s decaying.  It’s not that commenters are censored, it’s that owners control the front page content, and for the last year, they’ve been screaming mimis, with few exceptions, with a monomaniacal obsession about saying anything they have to say to get Barack Obama elected or find anything they can to attack Romney/Ryan.And it’s not that those things are always bad.  It’s that the focus is MONOMANIACAL.

    You can’t discuss many topics on this site, unless you intend to take an excursion.The overall content is SUFFERING.  And it’s partisan.  Not just partisan, but INSANELY partisan.  And, sometimes, many times, just bad.And it’s controlled to a few front page posters.  And it’s often just stupid bullshit – things anyone grabbed on to to get a partisan point across..  And it omits an entire world of content, because all we talk about is what they want to talk about.  As I said, “screaming mimi, 24/7”.We aren’t talking about serious issues here.  It’s driven people off.  I’ve made a conscious point to resist leaving.All you have to do is glance at this site to realize in the last 6 months it often screams like Drudge.  And, often, I’m sorry, just STUPIDLY!  Things that just make no sense or are totally self-contradictory from day to day, due to the extreme monomania.  Talking about how mocking Muslims is bigotry in one breath and mocking Mormons is somehow sacrosanct in almost the same breath is an example of this.Sure, you can, in the comments, talk about other stuff, but if a tree falls in a forest and no one hears, will it make a sound.

    I hope this will change after the election.

  10. ezpz says:

    “Have you noticed we aren’t discussing reality at all anymore in places like this?  That everything is about this dude with his canned goods the Red Cross didn’t want, or that guy and his smirk?”

    noticed??  Not only has anyone with a shred of clarity noticed, but many have been repelled by it – so much so that some of those you mentioned in a previous comment don’t visit, let alone comment here anymore.  

    It’s hard to take – the shallowness, the unseriousness, and yes, as you  well point out,  the replacement of “reality reality” by partisan politics.

    Sad, but your point is well taken about ‘things that could help’ when this part of the ‘show’ is over.

  11. Naja pallida says:

    I’d be surprised if even a small fraction of modern Mormons would get the reference.

  12. hollywoodstein says:

    I dunno my experience with this blog has been different.  I’ve followed it for years, and admired its voice.  Recently, I’ve begun drinking again vodkarumbourbonmm46knobcreeksinglemaltscotchtequilachardcultcabsgigondasvacquerasquesyrahsyrahdomainedechevalierbaroloburgundydomainedelaromaneecontinewzealandsauvignonblanc1st2nd3rdgrowthbordeauxetcetera, which has led to black out post happy posting, which is always interesting to read the following day.  I have insulted people who believe in Jesus, and guppie hurricane victims in New York, and worst of all expressed my disappointment with the One, none of which will win you any prizes.  I’ve held multiple, contradictory positions on the same issue.   I’ve plagiarized the owner. But I mean well and sometimes on rare occasion I have a point. 
    Despite all of this I haven’t been censored, (although some mean girls were mean to me on one post where I asked the owner to share his experiences with photo stitching software about which I and others would appreciate a reply, but I think that was more of a mean girls turf war in their own heads over a new hen in the hen house than anything I actually said) 
    I hope and trust this forum has room for a diversity of voices.  If not there are other forums.
    I don’t remember this kowtowing to  Muslims you speak of, but if true I will be happy to cast the first stone against a medieval mentality that stones gays in the public square because of a dusty book that has a horse flown by a pedophile in it.  It is a legitimate problem of how Western democracies can accommodate a religion which some of its adherents believe should also be the government.  We have the same problem in the US.  Say your piece.  Be prepared to defend it.  And we will all be the better for it.

  13. A reader in Colorado says:

    Thanks, ezpz, you are too kind, I wouldn’t hitch your wagon to my horses, though.

    I will admit, in one way I am crazy.

    I’m Sarah Connor about this.  That’s what I feel like, Sarah Connor in Pescadero State Mental Institution.

    I really believe these people, this multi tiered political class will make one fatal mistake (not any speciifc one, but one of a range of a class) and they will with their IDIOCY and their STUPIDITY then kill us all.  Unless there is one sub-fatal mistake and then this entire political class is then reined in savagely.  

    And that’s my message, to John Aravosis, to all of the people who support the relative insanity superstructure.  “You’re going to get us all killed.” “You PEOPLE are going to get us all killed.” “Those practicing your entire PROFESSION are going to get us ALL killed.”

    I really think this whole STRUCTURE, the structure of idiot politicians, then their idiot pundits, then their idiot bloggers, are going to be our downfall.

    Our total downfall as a civilization. They’re going to destroy us all.

    And if that sounds crazy, and I know it does, the problem is political reality takes so much precedence over so many things in America.

    We have an electrical grid which can be utterly destroyed by one solar flare.  We have a national health structure that can enable a Stephen King novel of our country.  That doesn’t even talk about nuclear weapons or second financial meltdowns.  Or global warming.

    I’m not a Doomsday Prepper.  I’m just saying.  Our civilization is extraordinarily fragile.  And the entire political class, not just the politicians themselves, but their handlers, enablers, supporters and bloggers, are fiddling while Rome Burns. They’re going to get us all killed. They need to get serious.

    These things exist because of idiot parties and their idiot supporters.  They’ve shut off the reality channel.

    Sorry for the shouting.  LOL.  We aren’t dealing with our problems as a country at all.And I believe it about multiple things.  The problem is political reality has taken precedence over reality reality.

    Have you noticed we aren’t discussing reality at all anymore in places like this?  That everything is about this dude with his canned goods the Red Cross didn’t want, or that guy and his smirk?

    The problem is, this entire conversation for 6 months has been about politicians as a royal class.  Not excluding Mitt Romney, but Barack Obama included.

    They’ve shut off the channel to the outer world.  And because of this we’re all in grave danger.

    So, I’m crazy, LOL.  I don’t care about the reality of the politicians and their smirks and their affects.  And they’re all of one class, and need to be reined in.  Savagely, if necessary.  They are there to be our servants.  Not we, they.

    That’s the way it used to be in America.  Politicians as employees.  Or at least the ideal.

    But what I was referring to is things which could actually help, maybe.  Things that even the bloggers and the partisans might agree with.  After the election.

  14. hollywoodstein says:

    I see what you did there.

  15. hollywoodstein says:


  16. ezpz says:

    “All that ends in the next 24 hours.”

    Hallelujah!  Oops, maybe not a good choice of a word on this particular thread, lol.

    “After the election is over we need to encourage the contentless partisan apologists to adopt a new cause.”

    Good luck with that!  My patience for those bots has been exhausted.

    An eastern saying comes to mind:

    ‘What we don’t learn from enlightened reason, we will learn from pain.’
    ~Anonymous (to me)

    Sadly, those ‘partisan apologists’ have not learned, have not discerned  from observation or reason, and as a result, we will all feel the ‘pain’ which I suspect will get even  worse before it gets better.

    Thank you for expressing so well and so clearly – yet again – exactly what I’m thinking and feeling.  Your ‘enlightened reason’ inspires!

  17. ezpz says:

    Nice – that literal and metaphorical ‘milking’ thing!

  18. A reader in Colorado says:

    The problem with this blog is the dictation of subject matter. I absolutely agree with you. 

    On the other hand, after this election is over, we, the people to the left of Atilla the Hun, including, you, me, Becca, Karmanot, Gridlock, Gryphon, and others, if they will return after the screaming mimi fest that this blog has become over the last six months, possibly including Gaius Publius, if he can ever get over his fixation of, Without the Democrats, we are doomed, DOOMED , are going to have to figure out what to do to fix the country after the complete CLUSTER FUCK the Republicans and Democrats, and their various apologists and screamers, have made of it.

    This blog has been a screaming mimi fest, with “Look what an adorable Humanitarian Obama is!” “And look what a sociopath Romney is!”

    All that ends in the next 24 hours.

    And then we have to figure out what to do.  I’m sick of hearing what this blog has been talking about in the last 6 months, with fatuous nonsense about how wonderful Obama’s health insurance enrichment plan is, or repeated, redundant repetitions of how Romney is a billionaire sociopaths or screaming mimi shit about how wonderful Obama is and how terrible Romney and Ryan are. For the 6,387th time.

    And how horrible it is that, while Obama has done, as a fluffer and concierge and chief salad tosser, everything the Republicans ever wanted and imagined, down to fluffing their pillows, and still they dis him, and how rotten that is.

    Or how things are getting wonderful for millions and millions of Americans, and if you don’t agree, you just can’t see it.

    After the election is over we need to encourage the contentless partisan apologists to adopt a new cause.

    What this blog has been talking about, with some rare exceptions, is desperate largely-nonsense designed to get Barack Obama elected.

    We need to encourage the blog owners here to take a new direction, if for no other reason than to preserve their relevancy, WHATEVER THE OUTCOME.

  19. A reader in Colorado says:


    A desire for a secular government as mandated by our Constitution is a surrender to Hitler?

    You have your nut cap on.

  20. Guest says:

    Oh, I don’t know.  As we sat in the tent of my fathers, lo, there was a great din, and doodad slew abundago, and lo, as we sat in the tent of my fathers there was great carnage, for the armies of doodad slew the mighty host of abundago, and the mighty host of abundago were slain, inasumch as the armies of doodad slew them, as we observed the great carnage of the mighty host of abundago from the tent of my fathers .. .. .  blah. blah, blah.”  No wonder Mark Twain called it “cloroform in print.”    

  21. karmanot says:

     Not to mention milking it for all its worth!

  22. karmanot says:

     The Book of Mormon is truly a casserole of kitsch King James passages, Dear Abby and enough science fiction to make Scientologists blush.

  23. Guest says:

    You, of course, would surrender to Hitler in the name of ethical purity.

  24. Guest says:

    All that needs to be said to them is:  “Remember Mountain Meadows.”

  25. Guest says:

    Mormonism has a world-view, and it’s a bat-shit crazy worldview.  It also purports to give them a claim to entitlement to run the world — which is is not good in itself but merely a disposable instrumentality on the way to gaining your own spirit universe.  And, as such, it cannot help but exert a powerful influence on its adherents’ views about the relative or ultimate worth of various kinds of human activity.  It is entirely opposed to classic Christian incarnationalism, which regards the world as having the potential to be an iconic window to the divine.  Mormonism is a half-baked cassoulet of free-masonry, Armininianism and reactionary anti-Platonism.  It ends up in a materialism that, had it any real integrity, would resemble Islam.  But it doesn’t.  And it should have no claim to the attention of American Christians in any authentic historical Christian tradition.  People like Romney who try to dodge this, and their senile enablers like Billy Graham, are trying to pull a fast one on Christians who are either ignorant of their heritage or who feel it merely as a source of tribal identity and a buttress for extreme left-wing Reformation notions of exaggerated individualism.  Which, perhaps, is why Paul Ryan, the acolyte of Ayn Rand, finds an alliance with Romney palatable.  Romney isn’t a Christian.  Mormons aren’t Christians.  They like to pass themselves off as such, but they’re not.  And Ryan, as long as he’s flirting with Ayn Rand, isn’t a Catholic.

    If there’s still any doubt about the fraudulence of Mormonism, it should be dispelled by the Rule of Length.  We have a saying for young lawyers:  “Long law is wrong law.”  The canonical New Testament which incorporates historic Catholic Christianity is a relatively brief gloss on and development out of the Hebrew scriptures.  Contrast that to the bilious and endless verbosity and rhetorical calisthenics of the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, and the Doctrine and Covenants — not to mention the ostentious buffoonery of the Egyptian mummy transcription 

    Make no mistake about it.  Romney has an agenda, and it is not of this world.  And it’s not anything any Christian in his right mind would want to be incorporated into.    

  26. Papa Bear says:

    Sacred cows exist for the sole purpose of providing much-needed laughter material — or at least, that’s how I see it…

  27. Outspoken1 says:

    Mormons feel anyone else is a sucker to be taken for all they can get!!

  28. ezpz says:

    All the attributes you list are not exclusive to the GOP.  To imply that team blue does not have these awful traits is part of and perpetuates the problem of the rigged two one party system.  A party OF the corporations, BY the corporations, FOR the corporations.

  29. samiinh says:

    Romney believes he’s going to fulfill what Mormons call the White Horse Prophecy of Joseph Smith.

  30. hollywoodstein says:

    This should be worth at least a quarter of a point in a swing state if it gets any play.

  31. hollywoodstein says:

    Zero taxes for more than 10 years.  Bloomberg News breaks the story that Mitt paid no taxes for more than ten years, 1996-2009,  using a Mormon LDS tax shelter.  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-29/romney-avoids-taxes-via-loophole-cutting-mormon-donations.html
    Mitt only paid in 2010 to have a return for the campaign.
    Harry was right!
    I’m certain Fox will have this in heavy rotation featuring apologies to Senator Reid.

  32. A reader in Colorado says:

    But we do have a Christian one practicing hypocrisy, in addition to a Mormon one.  

    I fully support confronting Romney on the strength of his belief in the planet Kolob, just as I support asking Barack Obama why he claims to support freedom of religion and a secular government while maintaining the abomination to that ideal, Bush’s Office Of Faith Based Initiatives inside the White House, the center of what was supposed to be our secular government, and more broadly on his failures in promoting secular government in general.

    Or perhaps how he can authorize drone strikes with known innocents being killed, and how that squares with a belief in Jesus.

    But none of those questions are likely to get asked, are they?

    Perhaps its time for Presidential candidates to go back to shutting up about their damn religion and remember the President of the United States is a secular office. And respecting the White House as the People’s House, and not some damn church social.

    We should be so lucky with anyone, but haven’t been, lately.

  33. Naja pallida says:

    Careful. You might attract the trolls that come flooding in telling us to stop hating on their history of bigotry… and that us being intolerant of their intolerance means we are the bad guys.

  34. Naja pallida says:

    Probably because we don’t have a Muslim candidate actively practicing hypocrisy.

  35. hollywoodstein says:

    Don’t forget to vote.  The GOTV.  Then Drink you deserve it.

  36. hollywoodstein says:

    Totally agree.  If your religion is your main belief system and central to who you are as a human being and how you relate to others and society, and thus how you would govern by all means it should be fair game.  And if you believe in obviously fraudulent beliefs like planet Kolob or e-meters or virgin births or talking snakes it should be a valid part of the conversation. 
    But it’s not partly because people who pray in glass churches shouldn’t throw stones and because if you don’t believe in my fraudulent story book, I will get upset and fight you, because god is a loving god.

    Aside from the sanctimonious dodge, look at the flash of anger.  This is an entitled man who is used to his shows of anger cowing his sycophants.  It doesn’t wear well in the democratic process, and it doesn’t bode well for governance.

  37. A reader in Colorado says:

    Why, for the same reason “insulting” Muslims is viewed as a dastardly event, counterproductive and equal to bigotry on this blog, while Mormonism is fair game.  On this blog.

    Or did this blog not prance around self-importantly a little while back intoning so seriously and solemly that it was horrible to incite Muslims by not observing their restrictions about their religion, even if one was not a Muslim? That non-Muslims should obey Muslim rules about Islam, and to do otherwise was disrespectful, inciting, and tantamount to bigotry?

    I’m an atheist: Everyone is fair game, including Islam, Christians and Mormons. And all white knuckle religionists are wont to get their panties in a bunch.

    If people want to go on about Kolob and Golden Tablets and Joseph Smith and people going to Mexico to have many wives, and funny underwear, be my guest I don’t support Romney, I think it’s funny.

    Just don’t wax sanctimonious about how someone is inciting Muslims to rage by disrespectfully depicting Mohammed and by the way how dare they do something so disrespectful. That’s a true double standard.

  38. BeccaM says:

    Mendacity and blatant lies. Double-standards. Projection. Jingoism. Xenophobia. Appeals to paranoia and intolerance. Racism, sexism, and homophobia. Anti-democratic vote suppression. Election-rigging. “Wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

    It’s how the GOP rolls these days.

  39. Not_Phyllis says:

    D’oh?! Can’t do that!

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