Mitt Romney wants to run on his religion in 2016. Please do.

In an apparent run-up to a third presidential bid, the Washington Post reported yesterday that Mitt Romney will likely feature his Mormon faith far more in 2016 than he did in his previous two presidential runs.

[UPDATE: It turns out this was something of a trial balloon and Mitt will not seek the presidency in 2016.]

Romney has generally avoided discussing his Mormon faith for fear of it being used to attack him. As there’s a debate within the Evangelical community as to whether Mormons are really Christians — many Evangelicals don’t think Catholics are Christians, so imagine their opinion of Mormons — and as the Mormon church has embraced extreme social conservatism in recent decades, advisers to Romney’s 2008 and 2012 runs (correctly) assumed that their candidate’s religion would be a liability with both primary and general election voters.

However, a would-be Romney ’16 campaign would flip that script, with a more “authentic” Romney openly-discussing his faith.

As his son, Tagg, said to the Post:

If he were to run again… I believe he would be much more willing to open up and share who he is — not by asking others to learn the doctrines of his faith, but by speaking of the values of love and service that it has taught him.

Should Romney make it out of the crowded GOP primary field (which he currently leads, but it’s probably too soon for that to mean anything), this would be great for whichever Democrat he faces for two reasons:

1. Mormon metaphysics are bad politics

If Mitt Romney wants to make his faith fair game in a 2016 run, he won’t necessarily have to answer for every verse in the Book of Mormon. He will, however, have to answer for church doctrine and policy that he has endorsed, both directly and indirectly, during his time as a member.

For starters, it wasn’t until 1978, when Mitt Romney was 31 years old, that Mormon leaders had the “revelation” that black people were in fact equal to whites, and could therefore fully participate in the religion’s rituals and traditions. When pressed by Tim Russert in 2008, Romney expressed personal relief that the policy was changed in 1978, but refused to say that the Church’s pre-1978 stance was wrong:

Romney makes three important assertions in his answer:

  • He has always believed that people of all races are equal.
  • He was happy (to the point of tears) when the Mormon church adopted its enlightened view of African-Americans, long after he was an adult member.
  • He is proud of his faith and is “not going to distance [himself] in any way from [his] faith.”

In order to believe all of these things at the same time, and to refuse to say that your religious institution was wrong to hold a doctrine that you disagreed with and was later reversed, one has to believe that the Church is always right, even when it’s wrong. That’s a dangerous belief for a President to have — especially about racism — and we should expect a more elaborate answer from Mitt Romney in the event that he brings his faith into the foreground of a 2016 campaign.

// //

//

This expectation should extend to other aspects of Romney’s Mormon faith over which he has so far avoided serious scrutiny. As silly as it sounds that the Mormon church regularly baptizes the souls of the dead — including scores of Holocaust victims, Joan of Arc, Anne Frank, Elvis, Princess Diana, Ghandi, Pope John Paul II, Hitler, and even Barack Obama’s mother (without his knowledge). The Romney family alsop posthumously baptized Ann Romney’s atheist father. This was largely ignored during his prior presidential runs because Romney was intent on making his faith a non-issue. But if he wants us to engage with his faith in a 2016 run, questions as to whether or not he believes in this brand of metaphysics have to be fair game.

2. Mormon values are progressive values

On the rare occasions when he has been pressed on the nature of his beliefs, candidate Romney has typically pivoted to a discussion of Mormon values, as opposed to dogmas. And if Tagg Romney’s quote in the Washington Post about “the values of love and service” is any indication, that’s the frame in which Mitt’s re-rebooted campaign will present his faith. And this makes sense; it’s much more comfortable to talk about “love and service” than it is to talk about racist doctrines and forcible mystical conversions.

However, the more you talk about Mormon values with respect to love and service, the closer you get to everything Mitt Romney has stood against for the last eight years.

I’d imagine that when conservative Mormons hear Harry Reid say “I’m a liberal because I’m a Mormon, not in spite of it,” they get a similar nails-on-chalkboard feeling to the one atheists such as myself get when we hear that we might be baptized against our will after we die. But if you take the dogma and Puritanical social regulations out of Mormonism, you’re left with a demonstrably progressive worldview with respect to social welfare and engagement.

That’s dangerous for Romney, who’s currently trying to etch-a-sketch his way into being the candidate of the poor and downtrodden despite nearly a decade of talking down to the kinds of people these Mormon values would suggest are deserving of the most respect. As far as Mitt Romney is concerned, “the values of love and service” open him up to more uncomfortable questions than the doctrines of racism and magic.

For starters:

  • How do “the values of love and service” square with doctrine of self-deportation, where we don’t bother to forcibly remove illegal immigrants from our country; we just make life so miserable that they leave on their own?
  • How do “the values of love and service” square with the doctrine of rugged individualism, like that time Romney told students who can’t afford to pay for college to “borrow money from your parents” as an alternative to lowering interest rates on student loans?
  • How do “the values of love and service” square with the doctrine of hate-filled opposition to marriage equality, which Mitt Romney officially endorsed when his PAC donated $10,000 to the National Organization for Marriage’s campaign for Prop 8?
  • How do “the values of love and service” square with the doctrine of Reaganomics, slashing the social safety net while cutting taxes for the people who need the least help getting by?

If being a Mormon means loving your neighbor, lending a helping hand and embracing your social responsibilities as a member of a community, then Mitt Romney has failed his own religious test. If he wants to roll out these values as the centerpiece of a 2016 campaign, he’ll have a full career to answer for before America believes that those values translate into conservative doctrines.

Please proceed, Governor.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • UncleBucky

    Thank you for that. :)

  • UncleBucky

    Both L. Ron Hubbard AND Mormonism (the doctrine, history, etc.) are not fact based.

    EOM

  • UncleBucky

    Mormonism as a church (small “c”) IS as legitimate as the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (big “C” and big “FSM”). As an account of supposedly historical events, it is a crock of buttah.

  • UncleBucky

    One fact is true, that as cults go, Mormonism has reached the heights of being SILLY.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww3MDDyBoZo

  • UncleBucky

    So, you’re SHOCKED!!!! OUTRAGED!!! Well, Batman, manufacture some more facts for me!!!

  • UncleBucky

    Charity? Pay for poor Tom and Dick’s wedding in SLC, UT. They need the married status to move up beyond the poverty line and have self-esteem the same as any other married couple.

    But you won’t. And I KNOW WHY.

  • UncleBucky

    Bigoted blather, you say.

    Teflon genealogy.

  • UncleBucky

    Help poor Dick and Tom to get married. Show that help first, then we can talk further.

  • UncleBucky

    BINGO.

  • UncleBucky

    Help Dick and Tom get married in your state. Sell the nice cake, table settings and chachkies. BE THERE to assist celebrants and spouses to get the ceremony done right!

    Not true. The help you want to give is NOT for all. You won’t even serve nice bevvies at such an event:

    http://home.teleport.com/~packham/paleale2.gif

  • UncleBucky

    WRONG. A-theist means WITHOUT belief. It is not a negation, but the absence of belief. On the other hand, no physical knowledge is completely attainable. Consider the swans as described by Hume. You can think that all you ever have seen are white swans, and so make the assertion. The very next day, here come “Blackie” and off we go having to modify that assertion. That’s science, bub, and that’s how it works.

    Belief is making things up and then forcing (on pain of shunning or even death) others to accept those gee-gaws and gimgees. Nonsense.

    We know that anything you do with the proxy baptism business is no more than fooling around with yourselves. You can say all you want that you will baptize the grandmother of my great-aunt, and it won’t affect a jot her memory, her legacy, her body (what’s left of it) or her material “soul” that is in each and every one of us. Ah, but it’s true, if I find that you are maligning with your cult religion the name of my ancestor, I’ll get piqued at he or she I think might have done it in the secrecy of your cult temple basements, and should I ever run across that person, I might share some of my opinions with them. Yeah, I run across Mormons all the time. You can see their awkward demeanor, dress and the shadow of the magic underwear.

    IN THE MARKET PLACE, you are ON YOUR OWN. This is the marketplace of ideas, and in my opinion, MormonISM is worth no more than a plugged nickel.

    And again I remind you that you ran into me in AmericaBlog, and started in on me. So I can visit with you on one of your posts.

    http://home.teleport.com/~packham/paleale2.gif

  • UncleBucky

    Bad manners is a thing that one or another person falls into. I consider Mormons to be of extremely bad manners when they discriminate in any way against minorities. Guess which? Meh.

    If you present a set of dogma on the “open market” and if you claim that the secret practices associated with that dogma are sacred, yet you will not divulge them until you sink your hooks into some innocent person, that is another case of bad manners, or “bait ‘n’ switch” as they say in the used cars business.

    If you want us to take your cult seriously, show all. Otherwise, clam up and do your stuff in your temple basements with the cloths, clothes and handshakes. I’ll both — on the OPEN MARKET — critique, mock and bash bad manners, as I have to.

    See? :)

  • UncleBucky

    We respect your right to believe ANYTHING YOU WISH. But when you take those beliefs and force innocent children and semi-ignorant converts to accept them, PAY LAY ALE, fawgetaboutdid (that’s from Chicago).

    Respect I have for facts. Tell me about Your Book of Abraham by the vernerated Whatzit?

    Tell me about the failure of every Mormon locale in the New World to be devoid of artifacts and sites, while every other historical and prehistoric locale has artifacts and sites out the wing-wang?

    You blundered into MY post over on AmericaBlog. I can darn well step into one of your posts and ask you to support JUST why I should respect hoaxes, hucksterism and ho-hum dogma from the Mormon cult? Especially when it is used to control other people to direct their tithes to your faux monuments…

  • UncleBucky

    The book of Mormon is NOT a translation. Fool. It’s a hoax perpetrated by a huckster who thought that an egyptian death book was the Book of Abraham. WE HAVE EVIDENCE of that, that at the very least, Joe Smif was a huckster of the worst kind. I wouldn’t have him translate “Good day!” for me into Spanish at 1pm.

    I know a LOT MORE about the BoM, Pearl and D&C than you think, Mormon apologist/flunky.

  • Denver Catboy

    I don’t expect Bill will even respond to this. He’s got his anti-Democratic Party message to get out, and no amount of facts, reasoning, or pleaing will change his mind. That’s OK. We have rights to our opinions….even if we don’t have a right to not be ridiculed for stupid opinions. ;)

  • mirth

    Thanks for the insight, Bill. I have been away from Ab for a while and most of what you say is new, and welcome, to me. I get the generalized boredom; for me it’s mostly humor I see in what FLL writes.

    Ditto: Jomincur and Ford Perfect are two I very much miss reading.

  • mirth

    It’s always good to read you, 2karmanot, especially when you are saying Hi to me. I hope all is well with you.

  • 2karmanot

    Hi Mirth—been awhile. Good to see ya again!

  • Bill_Perdue

    The latest yawn. “Must stop Jeb: Romney prepares to make peace with Christie Failed 2012 candidate Romney said to personally dislike Jeb – and has signalled that he may yet back Christie for 2016, because ‘a Bush can’t beat a Clinton’ http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jan/30/romney-jeb-bush-christie-republicans-white-house

  • Don Chandler

    I decided to verify the LMFAO and go to the site. It exists and it now seems to appear in the margins of my various favorite sites. Now they’ve got me on their little list! Ad placement software is pretty much hit and miss…mostly miss.

  • evodevo

    And then there’s the whole “no Hell” and “you get your own planet after you die if you’re a man” and “magic underwear” mess …. good Christian values, right? Oh, wait …..

  • Moderator3

    Sorry, I only have one wayback machine.

  • Bill_Perdue

    it is the remarkable insight FLL has into every commenter’s
    true beliefs and motivations that I made note of and find truly
    amazin’.”
    J Edgar Hoover
    , Joe McCarthy and Roy Cohn all claimed to have the same powers of discernment.

    Like yours,
    emphatic yawns are the most common reaction to his mendacity. He gets no up votes for his outbursts and by now
    they’re largely ignored by many. After all,
    in spite of the thunderous denunciations of straw men and cloying attempts to ingratiate himself, there have been far
    too many lies for far too long. People are simply bored.

    And it’s not as if
    he’s a threat – he’s not going anywhere with this. A few people seem to have stopped commenting altogether and that’s
    a pity because their voices will be missed, Jomincur and Ford Perfect in
    particular.

  • mirth

    Only if we can be transported back to 2011 and only in separate wayback machines.

  • Moderator3

    Do the two of you want to be alone?

  • Not charmed at all. His girlfriend is a battered woman, unable to help herself, and the system is completely and utterly broken when it comes to being able to deal with situations like this. The chances of this all coming to a head with his trial for her murder increases with each new incident.

  • mirth

    Ooooo, psychic and pervy.
    Read my commenting history if you are so curious.

  • FLL

    You are, nevertheless, the same woman as mirth from 2009 through 2011. If you tell me that it’s a case of mistaken identity, I’ll take your word for it. But I don’t think it’s a case of mistaken identity.

  • mirth

    You are fulla shite, but I’m sure it all makes sense in your wee, yet with remarkable psychic powers!, mind.

  • FLL

    As usual, you misunderstand. Obviously, anyone has the right to reply to anyone else. I would never claim otherwise. But all I do is suggest that the bloggers criticize Jeb Bush, and there you are with bells on… complaining. Any reasonable reader would conclude that criticizing Jeb Bush (the “electable” Republican) rubs you the wrong way. And please don’t say that this is psychic powers or something. It’s a reasonable conclusion based on your whiny complaints.

    On the other thread, I simply said that some homophobes who are so-called liberals lionize al Qaeda and other Islamic fundamentalists because they find them amusing or useful. And, of course, there you are again insisting that you certainly don’t find religious fundamentalists amusing or useful. Talk about a guilty conscious.

  • nicho
  • FLL

    You can tell by my “like” that I agree with your comment. But to go even further, Bill, you say “We don’t support Hamas.” I’m glad you don’t support religious fundamentalists like those in Hamas. There are ways to support the Palestinian people without supporting fundamentalist Islam. After all, the Fatah Party, which won the elections in the West Bank aren’t religious nutcases. That might provide a model for success.

  • mirth

    Uh, no, gibberish rarely proves anything, but it might be proof of your instability in a I own this thread and don’t reply unless I mention you directly insightful superpowers sorta way.

  • mirth

    True; however, it is the remarkable insight FLL has into every commenter’s true beliefs and motivations that I made note of and find truly amazin’.

    I would read back through his/her commenting history to see if s/he reveals the secret of it all, but, y’know, yawn.

  • FLL

    And wouldn’t it be in character for you to complain when I so much as suggest that someone criticize Jeb Bush. And wasn’t it in character for you to complain on an earlier thread when I suggested that some people have nice things to say about al Qaeda/ISIL because of al Qaeda’s anti-gay agenda. I really didn’t mention you in either of those comments, but you jump right in there with your objections to any criticism of al Qaeda or “electable” Jeb Bush. Sort of proves my point, doesn’t it?

  • FLL

    From Bill’s comment: “…the effectiveness of the left in drawing people away from Democrat, Dixiecrat and Republican politics.”

    Your comment sounds clever, Bill, but the facts don’t support it. Lower turnout for midterms, higher turnout for presidential elections and a consistently low showing (rather close to zero) for third parties is the unchanging pattern.

  • FLL

    Before October, 2011 (when I was only reading Americablog, but not commenting), there was a commenter named “mirth,” whose avatar was a colorful line drawing of a laughing face. That may be a case of mistaken identity. If it is, just say so.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The levels of hysteria and irrationality in personal attacks, distortions and lies are an accurate measure of the effectiveness of the left in drawing people away from Democrat, Dixiecrat and Republican politics.

    http://americablog.com/2015/01/gay-activists-never-embrace-violence.html

  • mirth

    Wut?

  • nicho

    Bingo. You had leaders of a secret cult in SLC interfering in CA politics by spreading misinformation and outright lies in an attempt to force their theocratic views on everyone.

  • FLL

    I definitely think that Bush will fail to carry Florida. Demographic changes (both ethnic and age-related) have put Florida’s electoral votes out of reach for national Republican candidates (at least the current theocratic incarnation of the Republican Party). Even younger Cuban voters will largely go with the Democratic candidate. Can Bush win without Florida? It’s possible, but not likely, considering that the same demographic changes that affect Florida also affect the rest of the U.S.

  • FLL

    It’s easy enough for anyone to understand an implied main idea. For example, let’s say a commenter complains every time one of the bloggers criticizes a Republican, Vladimir Putin (or his ousted allies in Ukraine) or the folks in al Qaeda/ISIL. Criticize the Republicans and the pretext will be that the Democrats are more racist, sexist, homophobic than the Republicans, blah, blah, blah. Criticize Putin and his allies, and the pretext will be that Putin’s critics in Russia and Ukraine who push for democracy are bad people who are trying to oppress the working class (as if Putin doesn’t). Criticize al Qaeda and the pretext will be that al Qaeda/ISIL is battling American imperialism. But that sounds so strange and illogical, mirth. Al Qaeda hates Putin (who hates them right back), Putin hates Republican senators (who hate him right back), and there is no love lost between al Qaeda and American Republicans.

    You ask me to take note of “what they [commenters] may express in a comment.” OK. In their comments, they are championing three forces that are enemies of each other, and the only thing the three forces have in common is that their victory would be a loss for political progressives in general and gay people in particular. I don’t think that readers are too stupid to understand an implied main idea. Another example was back in 2011 when…

    Wait just one minute! [Sound of screeching brakes] Mirth? The one and only Mirth?! I only started posting on this blog myself in October, 2011. However, I’ve been reading this blog starting in June, 2009, when John Aravosis and Joe Sudbay posted a series of insightful articles about the pro-DOMA brief that W. Scott Simpson filed at the DOJ. Then, in February of 2011, the DOJ announced it would no longer defend DOMA in court. And I certainly remember the Fourth of July weekend in 2011 when the DOJ filed a very strongly worded brief in favor of the plaintiffs who were trying to get DOMA overturned in court. Mirth! Even though you’ve changed your avatar (it used to be a laughing face, I think), I just know that you’re the good old mirth from 2011. You remember that thread, don’t you? Oh my flipping Baby Jesus on a waffle! After you read the DOJ brief of July 1, 2011, you were not a happy camper. You were pissed as hell about it, if I recall correctly. If you could have only guessed—back in 2011—how victorious those uppity queers would become regarding marriage. If you were pissed when you read the DOJ brief in July, 2011, I can only imagine how you feel now. But the only thing that matter is that you’re back. You’re back! What fun! Welcome home, and don’t ever leave. LMFAO.

  • nicho

    If you want a good laugh today.

    Chris Christie — and I am NOT making this up — has a PAC and even a website: LeadershipMattersforAmerica.org. Or for short: LMFAO. I wonder what marketing genius came up with that idea.

  • Indigo

    Right! I forgot about that one.

  • mirth

    I would hardly know what to think, FLL, without your ongoing guide to everyone’s actual political beliefs, despite what they may express in a comment.

  • 2karmanot

    You could substitute Mr. J for Goldwater and just about nail it.

  • 2karmanot

    And his connections with Cuban terrorists will come out into the open….again.

  • Indigo

    I’m not persuaded that Bush can carry Florida. I don’t think he can carry Orange County and Orlando, anyhow. He’s tone deaf on any number of sensitivity issues, crazy Catholic, claims religious rights trump such disgusting things as same sex marriage, has a daughter in and out of rehab, and a wife who is alleged to have attempted to smuggle French finery into the US years ago. And on top of that, as the radio jockeys around here like to joke, he’s disobeying his mother. She doesn’t want him to run but he’s ignoring her. Good boys obey their mothers.

  • 2karmanot

    A day later: They are here!

  • 2karmanot

    “This slander is unbecoming.” That’s exactly what I thought!!! when the LDS said my marriage would threaten families and children.

  • 2karmanot

    Exetarian has stars in her eyes.

  • 2karmanot

    I struggle to exist on Social Security….send me a check and one not written on Kolob. and oh, don’t tell anybody. Mums the word, er Morms the word.

  • 2karmanot

    “The help is for all” Oh, like the time the DSL helped deny me my civil right right to marry and defeated Prop 8? What this liberal mind understands is the the DSL is a bigot institution based on fraudulent premises and cultist mind control,

  • Bill_Perdue

    I wasn’t thinking of principled politics when I mentioned Democrats and Republicans. You’re right, there are none there to be found. Just opportunism, often of a criminal nature, in pursuit of votes and money.

  • Bill_Perdue

    I’m a socialist and we’re athiests who oppose all religions.

    We don’t support Hamas, that’s just a lie.

    What we do support is the Palestinian struggle to liberate and reunite thier homeland.

  • 2karmanot

    Bammmm!

  • 2karmanot

    Yadda, yadda, it does give me a certain pleasure to know that I will not run into you in the afterlife, unless of course I am baptized without my permission after I die.

  • 2karmanot

    It was written in pig Latin, olandp, and required translation.

  • 2karmanot

    OK, how about effluvia receptacle?

  • FLL

    Well, that was a fun, interesting threaded… while it lasted. However, as Bill Perdue points out, Romney’s major financial backers have indeed switched to Jeb Bush, resulting in Romney withdrawing from the race. But Romney was never really a serious candidate. The people who want to put progressive voters “in their place” are coalescing around Bush. You’ll be able to spot Americablog supporters of Bush a mile away because every time you utter a word of criticism about Jeb Bush, they’ll scream blue murder and demand that you refrain from criticizing the “electable” Republican and criticize only the Democrats. You, Jon Green, and other bloggers haven’t yet penned any critical posts about Jeb Bush, but just watch and see what happens when you do. Don’t believe me? Go ahead and try it.

  • 2karmanot

    Yep, they were a little slow this time….probably had to bicycle all the way from Kolob.

  • BrandySpears

    It’s always hilarious when a self-professed Hamas supporter mocks other people’s religion. Mormonphobia.

  • 2karmanot

    “this site’s alleged “liberals” who seem to have no trouble denigrating,
    ridiculing and mocking a faith with the kind of vitriol they condemn
    when it targets race, gender or sexual orientation”
    Well, thank you for the compliment, particularly so when I remember how the LDS cult spent millions trying to deny my civil rights. Remember Prop 8?

  • FLL

    There are objective sources of information where you could begin, such as this summary on Wikipedia, “Black people in Mormon doctrine”:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_people_in_Mormon_doctrine

    I don’t think I would trust LDS.org, would you? The Mormon Church will simply trie to cover up uncomfortable parts of their history. I checked and there really is a consensus throughout the Internet that in Mormon doctrine, black people were created black because they were neutral in the celestial war between Lucifer and Jesus; the celestial spirits who fought on the side of Jesus became white people. Whether Mormons supported a ban on slavery for political reasons is another issue. Maybe they did, but their religious doctrine about Blacks is what I was commenting about.

  • nicho

    They will be — if that’s what they need to be to get votes. If you’re looking for bedrock principles, you are looking in the wrong place.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Well, to be fair, now we have to bash a Democrat before we choose another Republican.

    I wonder, are any of the Democrats religious nuts?

  • I’m not scared of the Mormons and I have been to their “chapels” before and I’ve read up on Joseph Smith, one of the greatest con men to have lived. I know way more about the cult than I want to. It’s really ridiculous and silly in so many bizarre ways and that is saying a lot for someone growing up Roman Catholic.

  • nicho

    Could we start a Draft Mitt movement? This was going to be fun. There’s still plenty of room in the GOP 2016 Clown Car.

  • nicho

    Not secret? So I can just show up at the Temple and sit in on one?

  • nicho

    And I wouldn’t go to a neo-Nazi site to find out the truth about Nazis.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Romney just announced he won’t run. Bushis sucking up all the money, which is likely a big factor in his decision.

  • olandp

    That must be why the church demands a tithe based on one’s income. There is a theory that Romeny under reports his income to the church which is why he won’t release his tax returns.

  • olandp

    What “early translations”? There is only one “translation” because the golden plates or tablets disappeared after slick Joe read them.

  • olandp

    How ironic that a Mormon would be endorsing the scientific method and calling for facts. Fact is that you cannot prove there ever were any golden plates or tablets that contained “The Book of Mormon”. Joseph Smith was a con man who made up a bunch of crap to fool gullible simple minded people. There were no ancient Jews who came to the Americas, that is a provable fact. DNA analysis of Native Americans show that they immigrated from eastern Asia 13,000 years ago, before there even were any Jews. A religion founded on a lie, is a lie. I could be wrong, there may actually be a God, but I know that if there is he/she/it is not a Mormon.

    As to the “courtesy” of posthumous baptism, who among the descendants of Anne Frank asked for her baptism? Who asked for the baptism of Barak Obama’s mother? Why would I, or anyone else go to a website for the LDS “Church” to get the “facts” when “lying for the Lord” is a regular practice endorsed by that “church”? You should go troll somewhere else where you can find gullible people who will buy your brand of bullshit. It won’t work here.

  • Buford2k11

    How do you know an Atheist’s beliefs? you got that Mind Reading thing going? Everything you have said in this thread has made no sense…other than a mindless defense of an Ideology that seems to be short on compassion and long on raising money…

  • Buford2k11

    You are doing the same thing…Prove there IS an afterlife…

  • Buford2k11

    So, when did Black People appear?

  • Buford2k11

    Ummm…I live in an area rife with “Jack” Mormons…they have nothing nice to say about Mitt, and their former church…I grew up in the “Reorganized” part of the Latter Day Saints…I learned all about JS and BY…and the whole “split” in the Church…and I think you are pushing an alternative and not so honest “truth” of the Faith…not accusing you of anything…but your insistence for others to do research is fine…you should do the same….there is way more to understanding the Mormon Faith than blind obedience to dogma…

  • Bill_Perdue

    That, like most cult propaganda, is anti-scientific and downright silly.

    Gender, skin color and sexual orientation are genetically determined. People are not born being superstitious.

    Get a grip.

  • noGOP

    you seem to be consistently promoting propaganda. I, for one, don’t find your comments appealing or persuasive.

  • Bill_Perdue

    It’s not for all mormons. It’s mainly for men adept at parroting dogma and coming up with plausible reasons to ask for the rent month after month.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Cults are not defined by snooping and shunning but by their beliefs in outrageous superstitions, their arrogant intrusion into civil life and their right wing politics in defense of the rich.

    Episcopalians have outrageous superstitions, they arrogantly intrude in civil political questions like marriage (they’re for it) and divorce (they oppose it) and they don’t just defend the rich, they are the major grouping of the rich.

  • Baal

    I have the facts and if you believe the story Joseph Smith propagated about his golden plates there is not much anyone else can do to help you. You choose to believe this, but of course you don’t choose your national origin or race or who your parents are. So yes, it is a badge of honor that I am not gullible.

  • Bill_Perdue

    christer hagiography is full of minor gods and goddesses stolen from earlier classical cults. And after 2000 of insanity there are also any number of loopy people who’ve been adopted as saints.

    jebuz and the goddess mary are amalgamations of zeus, jupiter, baal, mithras, etc. “His blood washes me. Washes me white as snow (I’ve come to tell you I’m washed) I’m washed in the blood, in the blood of the lamb” is pure mithraism.

    http://vimeo.com/73067754

  • Indigo

    Why thank you, Handsome Stranger. But stick around, things are mighty fluid in these here parts.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Religion is the enemy. It’s humankinds greatest calamity.

    It is, on the face of it, a form of insanity. People who espouse that insanity have to live with the consequences, including the growing rage of their victims and the growing number of atheists.

    The way to handle the cults is simple. Tax them until they fall and can’t get up. Prosecute them for raping children, for interfering in civil matters, for enabling wars of aggression and conquest and confiscate their wealth to compensate their victims.

    Those policies won’t ever be put in place by politicians, Democrat and
    Republican alike, who instinctively and endlessly pander to the cults. It can only be done by a workers government.

  • Exetarian

    Yes. And so can everyone else here. “Scumbag” is certainly far less insulting or denigrating than anything else being said about Mormons on this page — all by people who aren’t just opposed to Mitt Romney but who are using dislike for him to savage an entire faith of millions of good people, many of them your neighbors who would give the shirt off their backs for you. How about this “name calling” below from emjayay: “That’s as complicated a full of f*&^&ing as Hindoo tales.” Wow. Insulting and name-calling not just millions of Mormons but a billion Hindu as well. Nice. Be consistent, Moderator3. If name calling is off-limits, then castigate every solitary poster on this page who is mocking anyone’s faith. Make the mocking of faith as off-limits as mocking gender, nationality, race or sexual orientation and we’re good.

  • Exetarian

    Unless you read the facts.

  • Exetarian

    Or… you could just respect the rights of all people of faith to be respected and given their Constitutional latitude… and ask that they respect you likewise.

  • Exetarian

    Mormonism is a Church as legitimate as any other. If you believe otherwise, then you are welcome to go visit an LDS Chapel any Sunday and see for yourself. Otherwise you’re perpetrating specious, second-hand rumor without any evidence to support it and plenty against it. Inform yourself or keep your paranoid fears to yourself.

  • Exetarian

    What a bunch of crock. Mormons absolutely don’t do that. I’ve spent my life as one and I have never so much as heard such a thing suggested or practiced. Seriously, you people have got to get over yourselves. This slander is unbecoming.

  • Exetarian

    You are the only respectable liberal of integrity on this page. Please continue to preach your common sense politics to the rest.

  • Exetarian

    Charity must be voluntary or it’s not really charity.

  • Exetarian

    Do your research. The way in which half-truths and flat-out falsehoods are propagated on this page are appalling. Latter-day Saints have never contended that Native Americans are genetically related to Israelites. They are “of the house of Israel” and are descendants of “Lamanites.” Genetics are not part of the contention. All descendants of Israelites in the Book of Mormon are extinct by the end.

    Naturally, being a tolerant sort of liberal who believes in equality for everyone you would say that all religions are crazy. God forbid anyone say anything negative about someone’s race, gender or sexual orientation… but hating on religion you wear like a badge of honor. Bigoted hypocrisy.

  • Exetarian

    False. Do your research. Mormon compassion extends far beyond the LDS Church. Millions in aid to poor nations and even the needy in America is routine. LDS Social Services makes no secret of this. They simply don’t publicize it.

  • Exetarian

    Not true. The help is for all. At the time of hurricane Katrina, there was a convoy of trucks and supplies headed to the region, not just for Mormons but for all victims. And all the Mormons of the area pitched in and made their chapels available for housing, aid, etc. The Church simply doesn’t publicize such efforts because it’s not trying to get public acknowledgement. It’s doing what it believes is right. The difference, for the liberal mind to understand, between Church welfare and public welfare is that the one is provided for by voluntary donations, the other by conscripted, involuntarily seized taxes. Charity, to a Christian, only takes place in a condition where the charity is voluntary because it blesses the giver and the receiver. It’s not about helping the poor — it’s about bringing the needy and the fortunate together in heart and mind through a voluntary transaction.

  • Exetarian

    They’re sacred. Not secret. I would wager that there are plenty of things you do in your life that are private, especially matters related to family. Given how cavalierly the people on this site seem to pat themselves on the back for their contempt and insulting disdain for something their fellow Americans hold secret — apparently justifying it based on politics — is it any wonder some people would prefer to not open their most precious, sacred events to your contempt? Bad manners appear to be a liberal badge of honor.

  • Exetarian

    Correction… as an atheist you BELIEVE there is no God or afterlife. But you do not “know.” Nor can you since that would violate the scientific method you hold so dear. Be consistent. And LDS doctrine does not “claim the should of the dead against their will.” They are proxy ordinances that the deceased may or may not accept. It’s a “courtesy,” if you will. Do your research. Stop accepting the rantings of the uninformed as fact. An “atheist” who believes in empirical knowledge and facts ought to do better than accept as facts specious rumor and uninformed rambling. Go to the source.

  • Exetarian

    By all means. Make insulting assertions about things you cannot prove. That make you sound so much more rational.

  • Moderator3

    You can give your opinion without name calling.

  • Exetarian

    Foolish and ignorant poster, UncleBucky. That terminology came from early translations of the Book of Mormon in which there are no black people. It was never — and is not — a reference to races of African descent. If you were less bigoted and did your homework, you’d know that.

  • Exetarian

    Mormons were abolitionists. Do your homework. Don’t be a bigot.

  • Exetarian

    Or just go to LDS.org and read what they actually believe.

  • Exetarian

    Or you could actually just go to LDS.org and read what they actually believe in their own words.

    You’d probably send people to a neo-Nazi site to learn about Jews, wouldn’t you? Scumbag.

  • Exetarian

    Egregious journalism. Get your facts straight and do your research. There is an LDS Public Affairs office available for this reason.

    The LDS Church never had a revelation that blacks were equal to whites. It was a 1978 revelation that all worthy men should receive the priesthood, reversing a prior policy — not a doctrine. The doctrine always held the equality of all. The policy on priesthood has since been explained in detail by the Church as a mistake and a product of cultural biases rather than doctrine.

    The Church also does not routinely baptize the souls of the dead — it performs proxy ordinances which the deceased are presumed to have the freedom to accept or reject. Members of the Church may ask that deceased relatives receive such ordinances posthumously — as opposed to the belief of other faiths that those who die without adopting such things on the earth are sentenced to Hell.

    I would think even good liberals would appreciate the charitable intent of that more “progressive” doctrine.

    Apart from that, the tenor of this site’s alleged “liberals” who seem to have no trouble denigrating, ridiculing and mocking a faith with the kind of vitriol they condemn when it targets race, gender or sexual orientation, is the height of hypocrisy.

  • EdA

    For that matter, George Bush frequently said that he talked to God. Nobody in the media in the media ever asked him whether God answered and whether he paid any attention to the answers, which god he spoke to, or if it did happen that he and the Christianist Fundamentalist god gabbed and he did pay attention, why that god clearly gave him such god-awful advice.

  • The_Fixer

    Good points, all.

    However, he is supposed to not be running scared of his Mormonism, which implies that he’ll be more open about it. Of course, yes, he could put a limitation on that and stonewall any queries on details.

    In the end, it doesn’t change one fact: he’s not a good candidate and not very electable. He’s doesn’t connect with people in a personal way and comes off as what he is: a heartless CEO with all the appeal of a rusty block of iron.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The LDS cult and Romney’s membership in it will likely be a secondary question. Most people’s first objection will be tot eh fact that he’s not just a right winger but that he’s a predatory capitalist.

    He’s a loony cultist identified with job killing capitalists.

    So is Hillary Clinton.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2007/09/hillarys-prayer-hillary-clintons-religion-and-politics

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/hillary-clinton-wal-mart/

  • emjayay

    That’s as complicated and full of fucking as Hindoo tales.

  • emjayay

    No. Elohim did not rape the Virgin Mary. She was married but was frigid and wouldn’t do it. I had a dog like that. Doggie cum all over her, but not in the right place. And she really liked the guy otherwise.
    Anyway, one day Mary was quietly reading the Torah or praying or something in her room decorated in the fashion of the early Renaissance Netherlands, and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove came through the window in a bunch of rays of light and the candle blew out and she got pregnant in a completely spiritual way with no sweat or unseemly motions or screaming “yes!” or anything.

  • Baal

    It will never happen. But it would be nice for some presidential candidate to say, “I believe in religious freedom but personally don’t find any of them persuasive, and really don’t have any strongly held religious beliefs. Also, I certainly don’t believe that having religious beliefs of one sort or another makes you a better person”.

  • JaneE

    I am just pointing out that the religious values that Romney might invoke to show his concern for the poor are not going to withstand close scrutiny.

    I have Mormon relatives, and have seen the Mormon church do really great things to help them when they needed it. The problem with Mormon compassion is that it is only for other Mormons. Pretending it is otherwise is a lie.

  • Dave of the Jungle

    The last thing we need is government policy being dictated by Star Base Kolob.

  • FLL

    Thanks for posting this. It all sounds like the petty worldview of a racist 19th-century Anglo-American man who’s trying to overcompensate for occasional homoerotic tendencies by setting up a scriptural blueprint for men having multiple wives. Overcompensation is never convincing.

    I never knew that Mormons believe black people were punished for remaining neutral in their celestial war between good and evil. That conveniently excuses slavery in the Southern states, doesn’t it?

  • gratuitous

    Under that scenario, it’s possible. My guess, though, is that Romney will confine himself to general statements about being Mormon, and steadfastly refuse to get into any specifics. I remember quite well how his campaign resisted full disclosure of Mitt’s tax returns, especially for the years that would have made him look like such a robber baron that even the ghost of Jay Gould would say, “Whoa, now that’s over the top.”

  • Yes. Actually, they didn’t have a single truthful thing to say, none of them, including American Catholic and Baptist leaders, too.

  • UncleBucky

    “white and delightsome” is the description of the Mormon people. Later the LDS changed “white” to “pure” or “fair”, but the blackness meme still was allowed, and so the change means nothing.

    Foolish people.

  • Indigo

    I don’t know anything about Mormonry and to tell you the truth, I don’t care. (Ditto on Tom Cruise, by the way) but I care very much that any religionist would run for office while foregrounding cult practice of any kind from PresbyLutheterian to NewAgeianity. I don’t care, as long as they clearly understand that under no circumstances whatsoever is our secular Constitution to be trivialized by any form of theocracy.

  • 2karmanot

    Yep, Bush Le petite believed in the trinity—-being born on third base and all………

  • 2karmanot

    Many many years ago, I encountered an angel in the Everard Baths.

  • 2karmanot

    Like the three faces of Eve?

  • 2karmanot

    bingo!!

  • 2karmanot

    Strange that Mormbots haven’t swarmed this article yet….maybe the word went out.

  • 2karmanot

    Episcopalians don’t do that– that’s funny

  • 2karmanot

    Without Mormonism Mitty would be a zero sum phenomena.

  • 2karmanot

    And, of course Billo is prone to tribal polygamy.

  • 2karmanot

    Mormonism would make a good board game.

  • 2karmanot

    Indeed, it’s such absurd nonsense. There is no life after death.

  • 2karmanot

    OMG! ROTFL

  • caphillprof

    My primary problem with this strategy, apart from Mormon nonsense, is the notion that Mitt Romney is capable of “opening up” about anything. Open up is not really part of Aspergers.

  • caphillprof

    Do they pay their tithes in Salt Lake or on Grand Cayman?

  • The_Fixer

    I think it all depends on whether Mitt’s religion becomes an Internet meme.

    Things he’s said have gotten the attention of the Internet before, like the “Binders full of women” and the “47%” remarks. I think it really depends on what he says about it, and if it gets enough public attention. Mitt being Mitt, I think that he’ll eventually say something that will get a lot of attention. How long-lived, and its effects, remain to be seen.

    It could even come from an innocent question, such as “what do Mormons believe?”

    Look at the video in nicho’s post below, and you can understand that. Most major Abrahamic religions would look at it and think it’s nuts (like their own beliefs are really any better).

    Yes, the major media are great at ignoring things and not asking enough questions. But they do know how to jump on a meme bandwagon.

  • Baal

    Well, joseph smith was pretty much the L. Ron Hubbard of his day. A convicted swindler before he decided to invent his religion, and then things got pretty violent as factions fought over who could control the thing he started.

    The early history of the LDS makes pretty fascinating reading.

  • Baal

    I guess it’s all how you define the cult. I would make the definition broader and say it includes childhood indoctrination into belief in supernatural entities. But make no mistake about it, even some more mainstream Christian denominations would meet your definition but real nevertheless. The harassment may not always be that overt as your description in Utah, perhaps not so much anymore and not everywhere. But of course, going back in time, burning people at the stake is a pretty compelling threat.

    Episcopalians are not a very broad swath of the universe of Christianity.

  • gratuitous

    I agree with your premise, but disagree with the conclusion. I don’t see any way that the popular media are going to buttonhole Mr. Romney about his religious beliefs. They’ll mention some peripheral facts about Mormonism in general, perhaps a few specifics about the number of Mormons in various states, but as for asking about details from Romney? Silent as the tomb, and nobody’s going to roll away that stone.

    See, for example, the fatuous statements candidate George W. Bush made about his personal faith. Jesus is his personal hero, who changed W.’s heart, and stopped him at age 40 from drinking his life away. Did you ever hear any reporter ask W. about his drinking days and if he was still on the wagon? You did not. Did you ever hear any reporter ask W. what about Jesus that made him such a personal hero? Not a word. Did you ever hear any reporter ask W. what changes had been made in his heart due to his conversion? Nope, no sir and no siree bob. Specifics beyond W.’s airy, meaningless pronouncements were neither volunteered by the campaign nor solicited by reporters.

    Romney will get away with what a great thing it is to be a Mormon, he attends services regularly, and he and his wife are devoted, tithing members of the LDS, as are their boys. Anything beyond that will be strictly off limits by mutual agreement between the campaign and those covering it. I don’t think there’s any subject that makes political reporters more uncomfortable than discussing a candidate’s religion. I don’t know for sure why that is, but I think for a lot of reporters and their editors, it’s that they don’t know how to report on religion; it’s like a foreign country to them.

  • nicho

    I guess it’s time for this again. What Mormons believe.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGFAph3lWqw

  • nicho

    They also marry dead people. A friend of mine who was a Mormon told me that he and his sister were “married” 20 or so times one day for dead relatives.

  • nicho

    No, that’s absolutely wrong. All religions are not cults. People say that all the time — and it’s just not true. Cults have definite characteristics. One aspect of a cult is to make it difficult to exist outside the cult. A Mormon who decides to leave, for example, can no longer attend the Temple. So if a parent dies or a sibling gets married and the ceremony is in the Temple, the person cannot attend. Not even all active Mormons can go to the Temple. Some Mormons have been totally ostracized from their friends and families for leaving the church — leaving them with no support system.

    An older man I know had to return to Utah for health reasons. He was a gay man, but not open to the people in Utah. He and his house were watched constantly. Church members would come to visit him. One would engage him in conversation in the living room, while the another would spend the time snooping around the house to see what he could find. When friends of his from CA would go to visit him, church members were on the lookout. He would get a call informing him that his friends had just come into town and would be at his house in a few minutes. Just to let him know that he and his friends were being watched.

    Episcopalians don’t do that.

  • nicho

    And most of what they and other “religious leaders” said were damnable lies.

  • nicho

    He could always invite the networks in to broadcast the Temple Ceremony. Any outfit that has super-secret ceremonies — that not even all members of the church can attend — makes me just a little nervous.

  • Baal

    OK, point taken.

  • Demosthenes

    A superb article, Mr. Green. I hope it gets wide circulation, since your analysis goes to the heart of Gov. Romney’s latest “reinvention” of himself.

    Hasn’t failed perennial failed vanity candidate Mitt Romney figured out the American people aren’t really into him?

  • I never said all religions weren’t cults – I just said that Mormonism wasn’t a religion it was a cult. Stop putting words in my mouth.

  • Baal

    Seriously, no. That’s not what most people are doing. Christians don’t use the word “god” or “divinity” for all their angels and archangels and demons and Satan. But these things are supposed by many Christians, and in their scriptures, to be supernatural intelligent entities who are essentially immortal and who occasionally show up on earth but mostly live in some other place — heaven or the firmament or someplace else in outer space. Christians get pissed off and claim you don’t understand the subtleties of their sublime monotheism when you point out that by any normal understanding of someone not in their religion, these things are gods. They may be minor gods, certainly less important than the three distinct faces of their all-in-one god, but gods they are. People pray to them (to intercede with their boss but still), in some cases fear them, and attribute all sorts of good and evil to them.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The scientology and christian science cults are worse. Scientology was invented by a mediocre SF writer as a get rich quick scheme. Christian science occasionally leads to the death of innocent children.

  • olandp

    Being atheist myself “the baptism of the dead thing” just strikes me as silliness, there is no God and no afterlife, hence it is just a bunch of mumbo-jumbo. To those who really do have faith in a God or Gods it is highly offensive that someone would try to claim the souls of the dead against their will. What hubris.

  • The Trinity is a basic concept in a lot of Western Pagan religions, described these days as the three archetypes of the God and the Goddess — Youth, Warrior, Sage, and Maiden, Mother, Crone. It’s a pretty old concept.

    As for the saints, a lot of Pagan religions are just filled with spirits, of somewhat lesser stature than gods, but still needing to be acknowledged and/or placated — sacred springs, sacred trees, sacred rock formations, and on and on, are all inhabited by spirits. In Japan they’re called “kami” and are all over the place.

    Not that Christianity borrowed things from other religions, or anything like that.

  • And there’s the point of attack, if the Democrats have the sense to use it — which is an open question. If Romney is going to go around spouting about the values of “love and service” in his faith, he’s going to have to live down his own past history and his current policy proposals — which, bet on it, are going to be as specific as Paul Ryan’s budget plans.

  • Mark_in_MN

    El was also a specific deity in the Canaanite religion (and generally religion in the Levant) out of which Hebrew religion certainly developed. It also is just the word for “god.” There is some possible evidence for Israelite devotion to Asherah left in some texts of the Hebrew Bible. At some point, it seems probable, Yahweh was adopted from others (the name doesn’t appear in Canaanite sources) by at least some among the developing Israelite ethnic groups, eventually being a deity of the Israelite kingdoms and their monarchy. Eventually reforms, no doubt with as much, if not more, political and social intent as religious intent (especially since these were not really separate realms of thought and power in that age), coalesced Israelite religion into a monotheism around Yahweh.

  • Mark_in_MN

    Oh, sigh. The figure of archangel Michael is anything but a god in any Christian understanding, much less a traditional one. I don’t know where you get this stuff, apart from you (or someone else) making something up rather than actually paying attention to Christian teaching or history.

    And to use a “prayer” to someone as indication of divinity is to very much misunderstand the word. It means simply to entreat or request. One might once have said “Pray, come over here,” to another person. That language is somewhat archaic now, but you’ll find it in Shakespeare and Jane Austen, without even a hint of divinity. And civil complaints in court may include a “prayer for relief” without suggesting that the court is, in some way, divine.

  • Mark_in_MN

    The baptism of the dead thing is bizarre and off-putting, and at least a bit offensive, but I’m not sure it’s really as big a deal as you and John and some others make it out to be. Matters such as the too-long held racist dogma of the LDS and opposition to same-sex marriage and LGBT equality based in what, for all intents and purposes, is the idolization of family, are much more serious issues that can (and will) have an effect on policy and execution of the law. I don’t see how the bizarre baptism of the dead does that. It might make one very uncomfortable with Mormonism, but I would fear that putting much emphasis on it could be seen as petty or unfair (even by those who don’t like the practice) because it doesn’t have that current policy connections that other issues related to Mormon dogma and “values” have.

  • Thom Allen

    And the republicans would have blamed the kittens.

  • I understand that Mr. Hilter fellow is rather nice.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKgHUrKZiXA

  • I’ve met a lot of nice Mormon folks, Jane, but I still remember coming home to California in late October 2008 and seeing commercial after commercial on TV — paid for by the Mormon Church and urging people to vote for Prop 8. These commercials said it a terrible thing for two gay women like my wife and I to have the legal benefits and protections of civil marriage, and further that our very existence was a danger to children, should they learn about us.

    These commercials, we learned, were paid for by Mormons all over America, having been urged to give extra tithes by their leaders. The people we were staying with even received an out-of-state phone bank call from a group identifying themselves as affiliated with the Church of Latter Day Saints. Mitt Romney himself had his PAC donate $10,000 to the pro-Prop 8 effort, despite the fact he also did not live in California.

    My wife is my first and best safety net, as I am hers, the very model of self-reliance, yet Mormons sought to keep that from being a legal thing. That’s why I don’t forgive them, I will never trust them, and it’s why I see their words so often speaking of compassion and understanding to be rank hypocrisy.

  • BillFromDover

    Show me the consent form.

  • Baal

    deleted since what I wrote was not very good.

  • Baal

    And of course, the interesting fact that Elohim is at the origin a plural form of El, which just meant god (like Allah).

  • Indigo

    It does. Sometimes, when I think about historical events, it seems to me that the rich in every age and time have used religion as a smokescreen. It’s strange that the gods let that happen but then there’s a saying to the effect that the gods are crazy. Could be.

  • nicho

    Of course, the OT has two gods, which Jews and other “monotheistic” religions have conflated into one. You had Jehovah, the volcano god, who always and only appears on Mt. Sinai. He was angrey, jealous, spiteful and smiteful. Then, there was Elohim, the nice guy who loved everyone and was very inclusive. He only appeared on Mt, Horeb. They eventually became the same guy, but the original texts are quite clear.

  • Baal

    Except that the capo is flesh and blood and the saint is a pneumata. But, pretty much the same otherwise.

  • Praying to a Saint is a lot like asking a capo in a mafia organization to vouch for you with the Don. :)

  • Baal

    I live in Texas, and yes, Stalin would fit right in the local GOP.

  • nicho

    No, she said Yes

  • Baal

    Again, the Trinity is usually referred to as a “mystery” by Christian theologians (another way of saying it makes no sense at all) and it is not supported by Christian scriptures, but it doesn’t matter. It it makes sense to you, fine. The point is Christians believe typically in more than three all-in-one supernatural entities that can take actions (described quite definitively in their scriptures). These are entities who do not typically take fleshly form and who live somewhere in outer space but who can sometimes infest humans. In the old days, 2000 years ago, most people would call those things gods. Might even give them names — you know, like Satan. Or the Virgin Mary. Or Apollo or Neptune. Or Mercury (a bit like the angel Gabriel).

  • Baal

    See my comment above. It’s not just the Trinity, Christians believe in all sorts of other supernatural entities that can supposedly intervene in our lives. Also, saying that the Trinity is not really polytheistic does not make it so.

  • Baal

    The Trinity is something they came up with about two years after the canonical texts, though. It makes no sense whatsoever, but then again none of it does, so it really doesn’t matter.

  • Baal

    No, they aren’t monotheistic, not even close. Most Christians believe in Satan. How is Satan different in his powers and capabilities of some of the gods of polytheistic cults, such as those of early Romans and Greeks? He is at the head of an army of demons also, who are certainly not flesh and blood entities. What are they? What are the angels and arch-angels? Even the concept of the Trinity makes a mockery of pure monotheism. Jesus sits at the right hand of God, right? It may have been decided at a conference in the fourth century that somehow he is of the same substance os God the Father but that doesn’t make it coherent. And of course, how many Christians pray to saints for intercession. How does that work? They are dead. And if not dead, then what are they? How do you pray to the virgin Mary? Finally, there are all sorts of statements in the Old Testament, old strata of the texts, where God has a council, and in Job for example, where they refer to the “sons” of God, with the implication that Satan is one of them.

    Finally: “You shall have no gods before me”. Note the plural.

    Of course Mormonism is particularly insane, but frankly it all is—and Christianity can only be said to be monotheistic by the simple trick of defining a subset of supernatural intelligent entities as gods (and even then there are at least three), and then calling all the other gods they believe in something else.

  • Baal

    For sure that is true, but it may matter to a few people in other places enough to make a decisive difference.

  • Baal

    All religions are cults, and while I find Momonism to be especially silly, there is no basis on which you can say that any other religion that invokes the supernatural makes more sense.

  • Baal

    It distracts from some of the other really bad shit though.

  • Baal

    Of course, you can find some of those exact same ideas (many Gods, and Jesus at least being a created being of sorts, and very likely a being who never came to earth but whose passion took place somewhere in outer space) in several of the Epistles and throughout the Old Testament. But better to let the GOP do the heavy lifting on the religion front, especially since all of it is bullshit.

  • Baal

    The other problem of course is that their religion is filled with all sorts of juicy bullshit which can now be demonstrated without any doubt to be simply wrong. Native Americans are not genetically related to Israelites and their descendents. Of course all religions are crazy, Christianity more than most, but Mormonism takes the cake, and lots of people who would normally be his “base” think he is a heretic. And not really Christian.

  • UncleBucky

    But, given that there are billions of habitable planets, in this Universe on some other planet, there would be different “Sons”. On the planet Zilch, God sent down himself (whoosh) as “Bill”, and the words for annointed is “Gates”, and the word for three was Micro… Follow me?

    Micronity = Father, Bill Gates and the Holy Service Pack.

    I dunno. Trinity makes no sense if it could happen billions of times.

  • UncleBucky

    If the Mormon safety net for Mormons were extended to the USA for ALL (Medicare for All, that is, education for all, and a peaceful retirement for all), heck, Mormons would be in the streets against it.

  • UncleBucky

    RMONEY: Please proceed, but don’t you dare grunt and chuff when we ask you SPECIFICS. We were lucky with the 47%. But we need to build up a war chest on the discrepancies between this guy’s claims and his past actions. Remember, interviewers, past action predicts future action, not the objectives statement at the top of the resume.

  • emjayay

    Not all of them, and they roll them all into One God. But I do suspect the Trinity thing is in some way partly an accommodation to the general previous beliefs in all cultures in multiple gods and inclination of people to want to believe that. Just a guess. The Catholic Mary worship (sort of) and all the saints is more of the same thing.

  • nicho

    And if someone made their Trinitarian beliefs the basis of their candiacy, I’d be inclined to not vote for them.

  • JaneE

    Mormons have always believed in helping others in need, and donating time, money, and goods to provide that help. They also have a strong emphasis on self-reliance and providing for the future. The problem lies in that the help for others is restricted to other Mormons, not others in general, and self-reliance means that if you aren’t “trying” hard enough, your sufferings are your own fault. The church provides the safety net for Mormons that government provides for non-Mormons. To say that the public welfare is not the function of government may work for Mormons, because the church does an excellent job of providing a safety net, and goes far beyond that for its members. What is not so easy to explain is why the government should not provide the same benefits to the majority of its citizens who are not church members. That may not be so easy to explain – to non-Mormons it comes across as rank hypocrisy.

  • chris10858

    I grew up in an evangelical family and the part of baptizing people on their behalf argument probably wouldnt be a big deal to most evangelicals. If they were to learn about how Mormons beliefs like how God is a created being and there are other “Gods” out there, along with their ideas about Jesus and Satan being brothers… things like that would definitely freak out a lot of religious folks.

    Of course, Democrats would never use anything like that because our leaders are wimps. Although, I think Bill Clinton could safely speak to it since he’s got that southern Baptist kind of persona to him.

  • They may say that, but reality doesn’t really bear it out. The LDS web site has pictures of every single one of the church’s leaders, and it’s like a modeling agency catalog of head shots for old, smarmy, white men.

  • Indigo

    Being a Mormon is the sum total of who he is? That’s not a qualification for anything.

  • FatRat

    1978 Blacks allowed to advance to higher echelons.
    1979 Disco Demolition Night
    1980 Empire Strikes Back.
    So in theory, Lando Calrissian could stay in Cloud City or traverse to Kolob to see if the grass was greener over there. lol This isn’t ancient history.

  • Sorry but Mormonism isn’t a religion it’s a cult.

  • 2karmanot

    Yep!

  • It should also be noted that Mormons don’t believe in the Trinity, at least not as it is written in most Christian teachings. They make use of the names, but their explanations for the role of each are completely different.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    The idea that Mormon’s are polytheistic is new to me. If you saw a statement from me that said I thought so, pass the joint, it must be good stuff. If Muslims and Jews believe that about Christianity, they can go for it.

    You’re making many assumptions.

  • Isn’t that just it though? Mitt Romney can’t run on his religion. His only choice is to run on lies and half-truths about his religion. If he explained the actual reality of it all, without a filter through FairMormon apologetics, he’d offend (or at the very least confuse) not only most of the voting public, but also those of his own faith who have been going to such great lengths to avoid having to explain things. His only choice is to continue to whitewash Mormonism as just another protestant theology, convincing people that its belief system is no different from Baptists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists or Episcopalians. Which, sadly, if he’s on the ballot, most Republicans will continue to fall for anyway.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Actually, the big break from Christianity is the Mormon belief that Jesus is a created being.

  • At least half of Texas voters would vote for Joseph Stalin if he had (R) next to his name and the only other option had (D), and because of gerrymandering, he’d most likely win. When it comes down to it, they don’t care about policies, religion, family values, or any of the things that they whip out of their pants and constantly wave around. They go into the voting booth, and the only thing they’re looking for is that the candidate they vote for is not a Democrat. Texas politics is disgusting, and state politicians laugh all the way to the bank as the people of the state struggle with high health care costs, low paying jobs, one of the worst education systems in the country, relatively high crime rate, senior citizen care that is appalling, and most of the state’s ecosystem sold to the oil industry. But still, it’s virtually impossible to get voted out of office in Texas unless you’ve done something to offend the monied interests. Greg Abbott could have set fire to a bag of kittens on the steps of the Texas Capitol building, and then stomped it out, and still got elected as governor over Wendy Davis.

  • Quilla

    Wait…don’t forget the Magic Underwear and Lying for the Lord.

    Those tenets always excite Romney’s great unwashed 47%.

  • It is just as rational as your claim that Mormons are polytheistic when they claim that they are monotheistic. It’s just as valid for Jews and Muslims to make that claim against your beliefs as it is for non-LDS Christians to make that claim against Mormons. Are you really this incapable of seeing your own religion from an outside perspective?

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Parthenogenesis always struck me as icky.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    That argument is a fail. Water exists in all three states at all times somewhere on the Earth. The oceans are liquid, the ice caps are solid, and that stuff coming out of my tea kettle is a gas.

  • BillFromDover

    Wasn’t the Holy Ghost a rapist?

  • BillFromDover

    But not at the same time?

  • BillFromDover

    Don’t Christians have three Gods; the Father, Son and Holy Ghost?

  • BillFromDover

    Some men are born for greatness. Mitt ain’t one of ’em.

  • 2karmanot

    “that trinity doctrine makes no sense so repeating it doesn’t make it more rational.” True that….KABOOM is a three in one cleanser, but to my knowledge rarely makes it to the altar.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Saying that Christians practice polytheism is not proof that they practice polytheism. The trinity makes sense to many.

  • 2karmanot

    But, but, that Holy Ghost is a trouble maker….parthenogenesis and all. “The explanation given to children is that water can be a liquid, gas, or solid, but it’s always water.” The same can be said of s**t Mike.

  • BlueIdaho

    Many of my family members are still active in the fundamentalist religion in which I was raised in Texas. They will also gladly tell you they voted for Romney even though they were taught from a young age that the mormon religion was a cult and had no valid biblical basis. They are not unlike many millions of other religious fanatics that vote based on their hatred of liberal/progressive candidates. Should Romney run again, he will get their vote even though he is not a Christian and his god (or at least one of them I suppose) lives on Kolob.

  • 2karmanot

    “but by speaking of the values of love and service that it has taught him.” Hmmmm—such as gutting companies, ruining and destroying the financial security of thousands of individuals and families …some kind of love ya got there Mr. Kolob.

  • That Christians practice polytheism. And then there are Catholics with their pantheon of saints to whom they also pray. (I’ll admit that in my experience rabbis often aren’t clear on the difference between various Christian sects just as Christians rarely understand the difference between different Jewish sects.) If it is fair for Christians to decide who is and is not a real Christian then it is just as fair for Jews and Muslims to decide that Christians are not true monotheists. Also, that trinity doctrine makes no sense so repeating it doesn’t make it more rational.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    If I were to ask a rabbi, what would be his answer? The Christian creed is very clear that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three different aspects of one god. The explanation given to children is that water can be a liquid, gas, or solid, but it’s always water.

  • Ask a rabbi if Christians are monotheistic. They aren’t.

  • nicho

    There are many Christian denominations and sects and sects within denominations and sects within sects — but they all have one thing in common: Their creed begins with “I believe in one god.” Mormons believe in many gods. Ipso facto, they are not Christians. Christians are monotheistic.

  • We don’t have to imagine whether Evangelicals think Mormons are real Christians. They were happy to tell you they weren’t up until Romney got the GOP nomination. Liberty University even had a required class on cults that included a unit on LDS. https://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=19959&action=courseDetail&CatID=22&CourseID=2612 I was shown anti-Mormon “educational” films in (Southern Baptist) church as a teenager. The Billy Graham ministries website also included LDS as a cult on its website, only removing it a could of days before the 2012 GOP Convention. We know what Evangelicals think of Mormons. We also know that they turned out to vote for one because that’s how much they hate Obama.

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