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View Diary: Can Mitt even GET a security clearance? (255 comments)

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  •  My understanding is that he has also taken a (78+ / 0-)

    number of secret oaths pledging to eternally advance the interests of his church above all other commitments, which some here have suggested may be a problem when it comes to sweating his oath to commit himself to obey, and protect the Constitution of the United States of American above all other commitments.

    But, I don't know enough of the details to have an opinion about the truth of the matter.  But, in the mode of political operative, it looks this idea may have some potential.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 07:57:14 AM PDT

    •  The FBI... (25+ / 0-)

      Is filled with Mormans.  I don't know if those particular 'oaths' will be an issue.

      Why is Mitt Rmoney so happy that an American embassy was attacked? Why does he hate America?

      by RichM on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 08:46:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, he has signed every pledge the winger (21+ / 0-)

      Groups out in front of him, so he doesn't have a problem taking oaths.

      Since when is the party that embraces all the top tenets of Satan allowed to call the God shots?--wyvern

      by voracious on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 08:49:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Unintentionally funny...but probably true (28+ / 0-)

      You wrote:

      ...sweating his oath to commit himself to obey, and protect the Constitution of the United States of American above all other commitments.
      He would definitely be sweating as he swore that oath, given his many conflicts of interest.

      RochesterTurning - turning the tide upstate

      by jted on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 08:57:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A legitimate question (26+ / 0-)

      that someone in the media should ask:

      "If you have to decide between your Presidential Oath of Office and your Oath to the Mormon Church, which will take precedence? Which comes first, your church or your country?"

      Democracy - Not Plutocracy!

      by vulcangrrl on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 09:31:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, and (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      white blitz, rhauenstein, Cobbler

      I've heard that those Catholics swear blood-curdling oaths to obey the Pope and all his minions, even if it means murdering Protestant babies and undermining the heretics' phony "Constitution."

      •  I hadn't heard this old possum, and do not believe (15+ / 0-)

        it to be true, but I get the point of your snark, and believe it deserves a serious and substantive response.  

        Given the unique circumstances, and lack of widespread knowledge, and also history of this church, I believe it is a fair question to ask in a respectful way, and he should be able to explain in quick and direct way, the same way JFK, and President Obama did. They both gave historic speeches in response to questions that have become important cultural touchstones on the topics.

        In a separate comment you quote the oath of office, but note that First Amendment, which is considered by most to be part of the Constitution, requires separation of Church and State, so while we should automatically assume that any and all private oaths are suspect, it is also realistic to acknowledge that some voters will want to hear a statement from a presidential candidate about such questions, as was the case with President Obama and JFK.  When reasonable responses are issued, we should accept and respect them.  

        Another line of questioning that I believe to not only be fair, but, much more important in this case for Mitt Romney, and should be acceptable to ask is about his own thinking and actions before and after the 1978 revelation and change of policy with regard to race.  Romney could do much to advance understanding if he were to respond to question s about the nature and timing of the 1978 revelation that reversed the prior discrimination against people of color in his  church, who were previously denied the benefits of Temple Rights. Mitt Romney would have been around 34 when this happened which raises a legitimate question of what were his thoughts during the civil rights movement, what did he think of Martin Luther Kings, Jr. marches?  Did he ever question this doctrines?  Did he espouse them? When did he change? Was it all at once, or a personal struggle over time. How does he believe his background in this regard shapes his current views. What are his current views?

        This is the office of the POTUS and every topic related to character, judgement, personal history, and values voters may wish to know about to make our choice should be fair if asked respectfully, and anyone with Mitt's background should have appropriate responses.

        Tolerance and respect for religions should not be used as a blanket immunization for all related questions.

        In different example, if a presidential candidate belonged to a cult, or religion that practiced Toltec ritual human sacrifice, and a candidates said he was not longer into that, would it not be fair to inquire about the nature of that change, and his changing perspectives?

        If someone had not only belonged to one the racial or religious hate group churches, but  had been a senior leader and exponent of one, but then said they suddenly changed their views, in mid-life,  and then later ran for POTUS would you suggest that the principle of respect for religions, or even collective guilty over a long history of terrible persecution of people due to our society's terrible religious intolerance makes all such questions off limits?  

        I would not agree.  

        The admirable values of respect for the diversity of religions,  should not be stretched  to make all questions related to religion and affiliation with specific worldly organizations off limits in a Presidential election where the internal psychology, values, judgement, and the candidates ability to articulate intelligent responses to sensitive issues are crucial clues to fitness for office.

        On a separate, but related point, once members of a church leave the private sanctum of their places of worship and voluntarily interject themselves into public political issues, such as Proposition 8, and GLBT issues in California issues, they open themselves up for greater scrutiny and challenge and cannot expect public  acceptance of a claim to  use privacy, or tolerance issues as an immunity shield.

        In this regard, another fair question for all who oppose granting equal civil rights for all Americans, is whether or not they believe these rights derive from the 14th amendment or the bible.  

        The Nuns of the Bus tour of Catholic sisters have challenged Paul Ryan on how he reconciles his slashing of food stamps with New Testament biblical values of compassion for the poor, and being thy brothers keepers.  The Franciscan Friars Network, and some council of Catholic Bishops have raised similar issues and asked both Romney and Ryan to respond.

        Discussions such as these are not only fair, but also good, and if conducted properly do not represent intolerance for religion or privacy for candidates who wish to be President and Vice President, in my opinion.  


        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 11:47:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Correction when I wrote should automatically (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          assume, I meant shouldn't automatically asssume.  But, I hope the meaning was clear anyhow.

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 02:28:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  If there is no evidence, it must be true... (5+ / 0-)

          1)  The question of racist policies in the Mormon Church is a separate issue from that of supposed "secret Mormon oaths."  One is a documented historical fact; the other is flimsy hearsay.  The fact that one has a negative disposition or impression of a religion is not a warrant to mix fact, rumor, and fantasy.

          2)  It is true that black people could not be formally equal members of the Mormon Church, including clergy, until they were forced to confront the issue and change the policy in1978.  But you know what -- most predominately white churches or religious societies have never had to face the question of black people becoming clergy, because THEY DON'T HAVE ANY BLACK MEMBERS.  I certainly know that the synagogue I attend has never had to deal with this question.  Sunday morning is still the most segregated time of the week, and it is PRECIOUS FEW white Americans that can say that they have been ministered to by a person of color.  Vice versa is true for most blacks, though probably somewhat fewer.
          In this respect, Mormons are now ahead of most other churches in bringing blacks and Hispanics into their communion.
          To put this another way, if we took the religious societies that most politicians belong to (Southern Baptists, Modern Orthodox Jews, etc.), and traced them back to before 1978, how much integration would we see?  And how much would we like the teachings and doctrines that we found?  Do you really want to open this can of worms?  Judge not lest ye be judged.

          3)  The Mormons do not practice Toltec-style ritual sacrifice.  I know that you use that example as an intentionally extreme case -- but the point is moot because human sacrifice is illegal, regardless of separation of church and state, and candidates can be held accountable for illegal activities.
          The more important question is why you suspect Mormons of illegal or immoral practices any more than any other religious group.  There is no documented pattern of Mormons being criminal any more than anybody else.  In person, they are perfectly nice people.  They are innocent until proven guilty. Subjecting Mormons to a suspicious questioning about their religion more than everybody else is just prejudice, plain and simple.    The fact that they are a small minority faith that has been subject to persecution in the past makes this only more true, not less.  And the defense, "I'm just asking questions, I'm not asserting anything" is a Fox-News-style dodge.

          4)  You cite opposition to JFK's and Obama's candidacies as positive historical examples.  I think that JFK's and Obama's statements were ones they unfortunately had to make to counteract prejudice.

          5)  The Nuns on the bus are Roman Catholics -- clergy, no less-- criticizing Paul Ryan's attitudes as a fellow Catholic.  We are not in any position to criticize Romney regarding his adherence to Mormon teachings.

          6)  Romney is a horrible person to put forward as a possible President.  He is a spoiled, elitist, opportunist ninny.  I'd rather not confuse things by bringing his religion into it.

          •  I tip your well thought out comment in the spirit (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            of constructive engagement, and for your well thought out sincerity, civility, and obvious good will, but disagree with several of your points.  Since if is very late for me here, and several hours past my bedtime, let me touch each point briefly.

            There is substantial evidence of many of these points.

            1) My perception that the secret oaths is causal, hearsay at all.  There have been several articles about it here and elsewhere, by former Mormons who have written their life stories. Also, a post here within the last month linked to a video purportedly taken of a smuggled camera of the ritual, and to my knowledge these descriptions have not been denied by the church.

            So there is sufficient fact in these discussion to make such a question a valid one for someone running for POTUS. I wouldn't suggest that these are sufficient concerns for job interviews, less critical than POTUS.  

            Also, I'm not actually as concerned about the oath issue, as I am about the extensvie, well-documented, and not disputed written history of the churches racial positions, and the extensive written, non-disputed historical archives of the writing of the founder, and leaders of the church right up to 1978 and beyond.  

            I also raised the issue of the fraternity oaths of former President Bush.  And, not there are several easy and perfectly acceptable responses we can imagine in both cases,  but the more primary point is not the oaths themselves but the nature, sincerity with which the candidate answers.  In Former president Bush's case, if he laughed, and dismissed it as a silly fraternity ritual that would be fine.

            In Governor Romney's case, if he looked the camera square in the eye, and said he feels his religion is a private matter that is really no one else's business, but assured voters that it should be no concern to them whatever, so it would not in any way interfere with his ability to support and defend the Constitution of the U.S., it would be fine as well.  If he went further and reminded us that Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, Ambassador Huntsment, thousands of observant FBI agents, and solders have patriotically served our country for many decades with no conflicts of interest, it would be outstanding and win him bonus points.

            Alternatively, if he became discombobulated, shifty, and was unable to articulate a credible response it might be problematic.

            With many questions in a wide variety of settings it is not so much the content, but the way someone responds that reveals aspects of their character, poise, integrity etc, that are relevant.

            And, BTW, I do not have a negative disposition to members of the LDS church as I grew up in a community where they predominated, my best childhood friend and family were members, I've been at many social functions at community centers, me and my entire family has been remotely Baptized in their rituals, and I've worked for the LDS church senior leadership, they were a client of mine, and I've taught a seminar in their world headquarters.

            The approximately 50 or so members of the church I've known personally are without exception the kindest, most respectful moral, and good people I know, and among the finest people I know of any religion.

            I personally do not see their oaths as an issue, in any other way that Mitt Romney's run for office, where I think he as already been sufficiently evasive about tax returns, SEC filings and other aspects of his personal history that otherwise irrelevant questions become fair game.

            I've met Mitt Romney once, but do not know him personally.

            2. It was not just that people of color were not permitted to be full members, or member of the clergy, my understanding is that were denied Temple rites, which implied they could not go to a fully sanctified afterlife.  But, the bigger problem is that there is a vast written history of blatantly racist documents, which you can easily verify with google. But, this also can be explained, as Americans and members of the human species all of us, to my knowledge carry vast burdens of collectively and cultural guilt.

            The point is not to engage in a witch hunt, but whether an individual is able to understand the history, differs with any of it, what personal conclusions and insights they have derived from their personal self-reflection, and what positions to they take now, and how do they believe their own identification with there cultural history do they proclaim for the future, and what are the plans with regard to any and all issues for the future.

            In the same way, I believe as Americans if would be fair for any other citizen of the world to ask us what we thought of our history of war in Iraq which I consider to be illegal, allegation that our own CIA has overthrown democratically elected governments for our own Machiavellian purposes, are still using 25% of the worlds. non-renewable resources with 5% of the world's population, have engaged in extraordinary rendition, and have our own history of racial issues, religious intolerance, etc.  

            If other citizens of the world wished to ask us question about this I think it would be fair, and I wouldn't accuse them of anti-Americanism solely on the basis of the question.  If I were applying for a job of CEO, or senior management of any multiple national corporation, the UN, or any other global organization I would expect questions like this to be asked, and would expect the quality of my answers to be used as part of the evaluation of my suitability for employment.

            I was the CEO of a management consulting firm that did substantial global work, with multinational corporations, foreign governments, and NGOs, and would not have dreamed of sending any of my employees to work with these clients if they were unable to respond with poise, grace, and in an articulate way to such questions, whether they were fair or not, because they such questions will be aimed at them for a variety of reasons.

            As, they will to Romney.  If they, he, or I were unable to respond effectively to relatively simple questions such as these they would not be qualified to serve in those position, and one could predict they will stumble on the must more difficult complex ethical ambiguities that are expectable, and ones that are not, but frequently come up.

            3) You correctly noted that I intentionally chose the Toltec case as an "extreme condition test" of the sort used to test the robustness of mathematical models, and I believe can be used with equal effectiveness in judging logical robustness of  a position.  I thought of, but rejected using examples, of voodoo, and Santa Maria animal sacrifices, aboriginal cannibalism, MondoWeiss, and David Duke, which I believe reading previously you are familiar with.  I did not want to unnecessarily offend some of these people, or side-track the issue with the many confounding issues. There are very few remaining Toltecs, and the few that exist no longer engage in human sacrifice, and I have written other positive things about some of their other practices, so I thought it was a better example.  But, as long as we bring it up, I believe if former leaders of any of these groups ran for president, and they had reversed previously problematic positions  it would not only be legitimate to ask them about how their views changed, but it would be irresponsible not to.

            4) I only agree that it was sad that JFK, and President Obama had to respond to such questions in a very abstract way, that is is sad that we come form such a primitive species that we behave towards one another in such primitive and cruel ways.  Pragmatically, their excellent responses to such challenges represent important stepping stones of our cultural progress, and these responses have contributed substantially to improved understanding, and a reduction of racism, and anti-Catholicism, and other religious intolerance.

            It would be a shame if we deprived members of the LDS church an opportunity for a similar speech by Mitt Romney on his own perspective of his religions and what positive elements he draws form it, as well as any explanation of his churches unfortunately history with regard to racial issues, which they appear to have put behind them.  But, often, this transformations, need some symbolic visible events to catalyze, and asking him such questions, that we know exists in the minds of the population, and even ourselves, can be part of that process of confronting the reality of the situation, and moving beyond it.

            5) It should not just be practicing leaders of a religion that are free to ask questions of how they reconcile their behavior in the rest of the social system.  Especially, if members of the religion choose to use their religious beliefs to intervene into the political process as many Catholics have with regard to choice, and our social programs.  

            We are all sufficiently versed in the belief system with regard to compassion for the poor, feeding the hungry and being ones brother's keeper, and these values are sufficiently suffused into our culture that it fair for anyone to challenge Paul Ryan, or Mitt Romney our apparent lack of consistency in their espoused belief system.

            Also, given that the LDS church is alleged, with substantial documentation, of have engaged in Proposition 8 in California, they open themselves up by their own actions to questions of whether as citizens of the United States our civil rights derive form the Constitution, and in this case the 14th amendment, or the bible.  Every president candidate of any religions, or even atheist should be prepared to answer such as citizen and every voter in a democracy will be entitled to interpret that response, or refusal to response in any way they like, for the purposes of their vote. That's the way democracies work.

            6) While I agree with the first part of what you say, I must disagree with the later.  A person's religion, values, beliefs, processes of thoughts, sources of influence, culture, family history, community, admired heros, personal influences and every thing else that has contributed in important ways to who they are today can and should be used to thoughtfully  evaluate their character and fitness for POTUS, and many other important positions.

            And, in Mitt's case some of his most positive and compelling evidence he is leaving behind by not discussing these issues.

            For example, my understand he tithes 10% of his total income to his church and donates a higher fraction of his income that almost anyone I can think of to charities. (some of which are dubious but that is another matter.) He has many fellow church members who tell heartwarming and inspirational stories about his service to his community, and church members under his leadership.

            Perhaps, the most positive and compelling information I know about him comes from his volunteer, church activities,
            and other community service.  In some ways he seems to do a disservice to himself and his church by not bringing these up, and being more willing to confront these issues, and discuss them openly.

            Whatever, I promised I would be brief, however these issues seem so important that I appreciate you patience if you have read this far.

            One other thing with regard to the "secrets oaths and rituals."  If I he laughed and said, "well I certainly hope that no one who belongs to a church that engages in rituals where their regularly symbolically drink the blood, and eat the body of their spiritual founder is going to become overly concerned about our rituals," I would congratulate him and admit that he had courage, intelligence, and a much keener mind than I am currently inclined to grant him.

            Also, he could remind us that a great deal of the secrecy of his church can be traced back to the fact that their founder, and a significant fraction of their first two generation of male members were not only apparently persecuted but killed off as they fled across the Eastern United States in attacks that were often led by leaders of another of our great religious traditions.

            I've spent a fair amount of time in their visitor's center in Salt Lake City, seen many of the films they show of their history, have read from the book of Mormon, attended social events, etc.  

            Just because I think its fair to throw them a fast ball in a Presidential election doesn't mean I don't think there is a chance to knock the baseball out of the stadium, for a grand slam.  John Huntsmen, and Harry Reid certainly could.  

            But, Mitt Romney, I don't think so, which is why I think the question would be worth asking.  But, again, I pointed out in my comment that I was not thinking of this from the role of an academic, or theological perspective, but merely from the point of view of a political operative, and I further said I didn't know enough to the facts to know if this would be wise.

            From a purely Machiavellian perspective which I think is important to be able to think through in elections, I can think of many answers Romney might be able to respond with that would win him substantial bonus points.  

            But, I should also tell you that it my personal belief as a spiritually oriented scientific humanist who believes we should study all the great religions traditions for wisdom and metaphors, and that I strongly believe nearly all political operatives are doomed to spend a substantial amount of time in Dante's Inferno roasting in molten lead in an afterlife.  

            My primary hope is that I will be at at least one ring higher than Karl Rove so that I can spend a couple million years peeing on his head, and making fun with him.  

            But, also as someone whose spiritualism has also been influenced by quantum mechanics  and Buddhism I believe in a version of Karma that transcends time, so I am already suffering from my own moral short comings, and will not ever suggest to anyone that I have any advantages in this regard.  

            Sadly, I'm beginning to believe one reason these Republicans make me so angry, and unkind to the point of being downright mean, is that they must remind me of the worst part of my own nature and unresolved issues.

            Anyway thank you for engaging as much as you have in what I believe to be very important issues for all of us.  It is a great shame that we have not found any religious Rosetta Stones that allow some of our species most valuable wisdom and spiritual insights to be discussed more openly.

            But, this is another reason I believe such questions should be confronted, debated, and discussed collectively to make the kind of progress we've seen from JFK, and President Obama's speeches.  If we force, or even allow questions of religion to be forced out of public discussion we may collectively loose, or not develop sufficient wisdom and capacity for self-reflection to move in the direction of goodness.  

            Sorry I've written for such a great length.  This has mostly been for my own benefit, as I wish to strive for improving my thinking on these important questions.  

            I guess what this all boils down to is I believe we have a better chance as a society to improve ourselves with regard to bigotry, religious, and other hateful intolerance by more communication, not less. So it is better to get this issues out into public discussion rather than try to hide them behind shields of immunity or censorship.  But, we need to acknowledge this can and will cause painful transition periods of worse before better behavior.

            But, I will think more about it, and may acknowledge other points you make latter.


            The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

            by HoundDog on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 12:02:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Correction, I should have said that evidence of (0+ / 0-)

              historical racism is "not" hearsay.  But, I hope you can gain some glimmer of the point of view I'm advancing here despite many other such errors, as I do not have the energy to read and correct any others.

              The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

              by HoundDog on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 12:05:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  who has the right to ask and why (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              My overriding concern, as I tried to say in my previous point #2, is not with shielding religious questions out of public discourse.  It is with double standards.  People love double and triple standards, and with regard to Mormonism, they seem to be a common problem here on Dailykos.  

              Your main objection -- or "question" -- about Mormonism that you seem to want to present to Romney is about the discrimination against people of color before 1978.  Fine.  My question is:  did you think of asking the same question of Bill Clinton regarding Southern Baptists before 1978?  Of Hillary Clinton regarding Methodists?  Of Joe Lieberman regarding Orthodox Jews?  Hell, did anyone even ask that about George W. Bush's evangelical prayer groups?  Do you think we would find racially integrated histories to these religious groups, especially pre-1978?  And either way, why aren't these religions subject to the same level of scrutiny that you insist on applying to Mormonism?

              As an analogy, you seem to say that it would be acceptable for a multinational corporation to question an American applicant about America's racial history, and base their decision on the response.  Okay, it's good to make sure someone is not a racist, that's fine -- but I would want to know, who is doing the asking here?  A South African asking me what I think about racial segregation?  An Australian asking about treatment of indigenous people?  A Briton or a Frenchman asking about colonialist repression?  A Japanese person asking about xenophobia and exclusion of immigrants?  A Brazilian asking about inequality?  Etc. etc. etc.  Again, those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.  Before questioning others about their backgrounds, you better make sure that you look at yourself first, and be sure that you are using consistent standards.

              In support of the idea that it is valid to question Romney about his religion, you point to the positive relationships you've had with Mormons.  I'm not sure what the point of this is.  You seem to be saying either
              A)  "I don't question my Mormon friends, but I like them.  I don't like Mitt Romney, so it's okay to question him."  Tolerance is for everybody, whether you like them or not.
              B)  "I'm fine with not questioning ordinary people about their faith, but Romney is running for President."  That argument might make sense for other concerns, like having foreign bank accounts, but with regard to religion, it quickly breaks down under the slightest scrutiny.  There is nothing criminal about Mormonism, and no aspect of it that isn't common to many other organizations, including, as you say, college fraternities.  If Mormons can be trusted to have others' lives in their hands as, for example, police and soldiers, then why not as President?  Why is that any more dangerous, unless you think that Romney is engaged in an insidious long-term conspiracy, and will somehow betray the nation in favor of Mormonism, despite the lack of any history of Mormon perfidy, and the lack of any evidence of such a traitorous plot?

              You put forward the notion, as well -- though I'm not entirely clear on what you're saying -- that the questions about Mormonism don't actually matter, but Romney's response does.  This seems basically illogical.  If the question is not fair or valid, then Romney can respond however he damn well pleases.  One could equally ask me about my sex life, for example, and I would like to think I would respond in a poised manner, but I also might say that it's none of your damned business, and I would be within my right.  And the more important question would be, why are you asking?

              Again, I'm not sure I totally understand your point, but you seem to advocate using an unfair question, loaded with possible double standards, to see how Romney will react.  Further, you say you support this idea from the "Machiavellian" standpoint, or that of "a political operative."  You believe that people will use his response to judge his character.  This all sounds to me suspiciously like playing on anti-Mormon prejudice for political gain.

              You imagine Romney, or any hypothetical Mormon, answering questions about their oaths with the retort,

              well I certainly hope that no one who belongs to a church that engages in rituals where they regularly symbolically drink the blood, and eat the body of their spiritual founder is going to become overly concerned about our rituals.
              This would be a perfectly valid response.  And the person who made it would be INSTANTLY POLITICALLY DEAD.  They would never be elected to any high office ever.  It's something a scholar or activist could say.  It's something I could say, and I am perfectly happy to.  The conversation that you imagine is a perfectly valid and even productive one -- the problem is that it would not be fair to force a Mormon into that situation, where they have to pay the price for the unpopularity and minority status of their faith, and get squeezed between their loyalty to their religion on the one side and the prejudices of the majority on the other.

              Again, I think it is a blessing that we can beat Romney without bringing his religion into it, and that's what we should do.

    •  And that's not to mention (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rhauenstein, marleycat, BlackSheep1

      The insidious Freemasons and their ritual covenant with Jews and bankers to destroy civil government and replace it with a Masonic World Order.

      /snark, in case you can't tell.

    •  This is the Presidential oath of office: (6+ / 0-)
      I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
      It says nothing about "above all other commitments."  In our Constitutional system, it is understood that you can have other commitments, including religious ones, and still be able to execute the office of the Presidency.

      As for the supposed Mormon "secret oaths," I don't know much about them, and you only cite, "[m]y understanding..." and "some here have suggested..."  This sounds awfully flimsy, and rather reminiscent of the phony Catholic oaths that repeatedly circulated around the country in the early 1900s.

      I will entertain that there are probably Mormon oaths that demand a high level of commitment from adherents, but
      A) That is not different from a whole variety of other organizations
      B) I would doubt that they entail any conflict with other commitments
      C) We don't even know that they exist, let alone have we seen their text.

      Please, let's avoid creating our own version of birtherism.

      •  Words as in Constitution, not as some Republican (0+ / 0-)

        Supreme Court Judge mangles them to embarass the nation.

      •  "Best of my ability" (0+ / 0-)

        Do you think this means:

        1) the very best I could possibly do, all other factors that could limit what that best is, and I have a choice about, ignored in preference to this.

        2) Y'know, the best I can manage while allowing my hands to be tied by these other strictures I'm adhering to.


        •  The latter. (0+ / 0-)

          We have always understood people coming into public office to be encumbered by various other loyalties that may validly exist ALONGSIDE their public duties.

          How about marriage?  There could easily be situations where a president could serve the country's interests by divorcing their spouse and making a strategic marriage alliance with some foreign potentate.  Monarchs do this all the time.  Should we expect this of presidents?  Or on a more mundane level -- if the president must put his job above all other loyalties, then shouldn't he or she be sequestered and abandon all ties to spouses and families, which might compete with their office for time and attention?  Do you think presidents should do this?

          When George Washington was sworn is as president, he was a married man, a vestryman in his Episcopal church, and a Freemason.  He had made solemn vows of loyalty in all of these capacities, and as a Freemason had even taken REAL secret oaths.  Do you believe that he should have been interrogated about all of these commitments?  Do you think that Washington should have been held suspect, or that he was not fit to be president because of them?  It's fine if you do -- but holding Mormons to this level of scrutiny while everyone else is given a pass-- that is a prejudiced double standard.

          •  A wife in labor and a missile crisis. (0+ / 0-)

            The choice as to which we expect a President to attend to is easy, and basically refutes everything you just said.

            A childs school recital, or a meeting with a foreign leader after an international incident.

            For the most part the previous loyalties we understand the President to be entering the job with can exist in the same committment space as the role without reducing their ability to do their best at it, or else the diminishing returns would be so excessive or even counterproductive that we do not expect them...

            But when there's a conflict? None of those other things come first. NONE.

            We note Mitt's religion stands in stark conflict with his ability to perform the role to the best of his ability.


            And we have no reason to believe he'll choose to uphold the "best of my ability" oath he takes when it comes face to face with such a conflict.

            •  A circumcision or a trade summit? etc. etc. (0+ / 0-)
              A childs school recital, or a meeting with a foreign leader after an international incident[?]
              Okay, so let's replace your "child's school recital" with a "Mormon christening ceremony."  Do you think that Romney would be likely to attend this christening and spurn a foreign leader?  What makes you think this?  Do you have any evidence to suspect that Romney would do this, any more than a Baptist or a Catholic or a Jew?  Or do you just really not like Mormons, so you insist that a Mormon candidate would more likely do this than anyone else?  Again, should we have been afraid that George Washington would fail to sign a treaty because he was busy with an Anglican investiture ceremony?
              We note Mitt's religion stands in stark conflict with his ability to perform the role to the best of his ability.


              This a blatant bait-and-switch.  The discussion was about whether Mormons, more than anyone else, are likely to prioritize their loyalties to their religion over their loyalties to the state.  This link is about Mitt Romney's history of promoting policies that harm women, which may possibly be the result of his imposing his own religious values on others.  That is a serious concern, but it is a completely different concern.  One is a matter of treason or dereliction of duty; the other is of performing your duty in a way we don't like.  If we take a fighter pilot as an analogy for the president, it is like the difference between having poor aim when shooting, and intentionally shooting down your own comrades.

              Mitt Romney is a terrible, terrible choice to put forward for president.  It has NOTHING to do with him being Mormon.

    •  Mormons are quite patriotic. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      old possum, Cobbler, Cassandra Waites

      In fact it's one of their Articles of Faith:

      12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
      It sometimes struck me as being a little TOO much like, "See, we are TOO law-abiding citizens!" But it's definitely taken seriously.

      "Nothing happens unless first a dream. " ~ Carl Sandburg

      by davewill on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 03:09:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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