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Yesterday was a federal holiday honoring a religious celebration; if there is a War on Christmas, Christmas is winning.  So this is as good a time as any to discuss Mitt Romney’s religion, and the separation of church and state.

One of the unwritten rules of American politics is that you should never express disappointment with the voters.  They can express their disappointment with you, each time you’re on the ballot.  But it’s strictly a one-way street.

Nevertheless, I was disappointed to read last Thursday that a Mason-Dixon poll found that 26% of all American voters would be “uncomfortable” with a Mormon as President.  Last month, a Public Religion Research Institute poll put that figure at more than 40%.  In June, a Quinnipiac poll put the figure at 36%.  And a Gallup Poll in June found that 22% of all voters would not support any Presidential candidate who is an active Mormon.

The Constitution could not possibly be clearer on this point.  The penultimate sentence of the Constitution states:  “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”  Note that this was in the original Constitution; the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights came later.

In fact, the Founding Fathers had very strong views on this subject.  This is reflected in the inscription on Thomas Jefferson’s tombstone, which Jefferson wrote himself.  The tombstone identifies Jefferson’s three proudest accomplishments – interestingly, his being President for eight years didn’t make the cut.  Instead, Jefferson’s tombstone recognizes Jefferson as (1) the author of the Declaration of Independence, (2) founder of the University of Virginia, and (3) author of the “Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom.”  That statute eliminated the Anglican Church as the official state religion of Virginia, and opened state government to all religions.

Perhaps this is one of those times when people need to be reminded of what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.”  Bigotry is wrong, whether it’s directed against African-Americans, gays, Jews or Mormons.

Mitt Romney got this right, in a speech during his 2008 campaign.  He said:  “I am an American running for President.  I do not define my candidacy by my religion.  A person should not be elected because of his faith, nor should he be rejected because of his faith.”

Amen to that, Brother.

It’s not that I’m soft on Romney.  When Newsweek asked me about Mitt Romney a couple of weeks ago, the only good thing that I could say about him is that “he would be less bad than some of the other candidates who are running for the Republican nomination.”  Mark Shields said that Romney has “more positions than the Kama Sutra.”  When I watch Romney, I see someone so conflicted that he can’t make up his mind whether to flip or flop.  And I never got to see the Republican Presidential debate that I really wanted to see:  Romney 2006 vs. Romney 2011.

But here’s the thing:  we need a President who will find jobs for the 24 million Americans who can’t find full-time work.  We need a President who will find health care for the 50 million Americans who can’t see a doctor when they are sick.  We need a President who will find food for the 48 million Americans who need government assistance to feed themselves.

You find me a President like that, and I don’t care if she is a left-handed, gay, differently-abled, Latino Mormon.  Or a Moslem, Buddhist, atheist, Protestant, Catholic or Jew.

I just want someone who can do the job.

Courage,

Alan Grayson

Originally posted to Alan Grayson on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 03:10 PM PST.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (220+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dallasdoc, Shahryar, lostinamerica, Mike E, Rogneid, BFSkinner, Gooserock, lexalou, Shirl In Idaho, Azazello, slksfca, kevinpdx, sodalis, JekyllnHyde, CA Nana, opinionated, aliasalias, Bluesee, GoGoGoEverton, nipit, 3goldens, Youffraita, Ckntfld, annan, ColoTim, Chitown Kev, OleHippieChick, voracious, maybeeso in michigan, davehouck, TX Freethinker, Debby, Persiflage, politik, bkamr, AnnieR, blueoasis, porchdog1961, ljb, Cronesense, millwood, Greasy Grant, democracy inaction, Jeanni, Involuntary Exile, sidnora, Cali Scribe, pittie70, fugwb, Josiah Bartlett, Seneca Doane, Zack from the SFV, concernedamerican, Setsuna Mudo, geonerd, hester, tapestry, 6ZONite, LucyGoose, Skennet Boch, Tyler R, Bule Betawi, janmtairy, wishingwell, Canis Aureus, Shockwave, radarlady, Killer of Sacred Cows, deben, roses, alasmoses, leftykook, pioneer111, cpresley, bglv, RLMiller, pixxer, Mulkum, sea note, Mislead, Wreck Smurfy, paxpdx, Burned, quill, Margd, jamess, Caddis Fly, Alice Venturi, Miss Blue, FarWestGirl, SueM1121, UncleCharlie, melo, dmhlt 66, Dirtandiron, No one gets out alive, Dianasmom, Judge Moonbox, Mentatmark, BigVegan, rubyclaire, GeorgeXVIII, ricklewsive, Contra, Peace JD, Cassandra Waites, bnasley, gulfgal98, Dem Beans, WisePiper, luckylizard, temptxan, gfv6800, charliehall2, lezlie, BusyinCA, dsb, frisco, paul2port, bluck, Notreadytobenice, dRefractor, karmsy, AaronInSanDiego, eigenlambda, triv33, markdd, belinda ridgewood, buckstop, Bridge Master, Xavier Onassis EMTP, midnight lurker, dougymi, zukesgirl64, beaukitty, Pinko Elephant, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, deha, HeyMikey, DJ Rix, high uintas, Marjmar, shesaid, maddercow, edsbrooklyn, oxley, Angie in WA State, Polacolor, NM Ray, drmah, Dbug, vigilant meerkat, ItsaMathJoke, SallyCat, ladyjames, Rick Aucoin, prettygirlxoxoxo, waltoon, Joieau, bythesea, tin woodswoman, Rumarhazzit, Jeff Y, fumie, ArtemisBSG, ER Doc, BachFan, letsgetreal, ATFILLINOIS, joliberal, J M F, Shelley99, eeff, msdobie, Egalitare, anodnhajo, brae70, tung sol, PBen, JBL55, Jjc2006, Kane in CA, sherlyle, jfromga, blueoldlady, UTvoter, RJDixon74135, mofembot, BlueInARedState, Its a New Day, Ice Blue, jgilhousen, Oh Mary Oh, Tinfoil Hat, Old Jay, lineatus, andydoubtless, unclejohn, Rhysling, mrchips46, SanFernandoValleyMom, carver, KVoimakas, 88kathy, stratocasterman, S F Hippie, elwior, bluicebank, Broke And Unemployed, FlyingToaster, Subterranean, catly, redlum jak, MidwestTreeHugger, sawgrass727, djohnutk, poligirl, trumpeter, whatGodmade, Kiterea
  •  I object to Romney's religion (113+ / 0-)

    The worship of Mammon among the ruling class is killing this country.  High time we put a stop to it.

    When Free Speech is outlawed, only outlaws will have Free Speech.

    by Dallasdoc on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 03:15:49 PM PST

  •  No religious test (13+ / 0-)

    means Romney might win his party's nomination, just not his party's base (who test people's religions daily!).

    Welcome to the headquarters of pulling facts out of my hindquarters

    by Mike E on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 03:17:02 PM PST

  •  Well said. (18+ / 0-)

    Romney did miss his chance to educate the electorate when he gave his big "Mormon Speech" a few years back. Obama was prodded into making a "Black Speech", and it raised us as a people in a way that bettered us ethically, morally and spiritually.

    That he has to deal with bigots and ignoramouses, well, that's his base and his problem.

    The revolution will start when somebody starts it. Well, somebody started it. OWS. It's on.

    by lexalou on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 03:19:28 PM PST

    •  When I hear Republicans complain about Romney's (22+ / 0-)

      religion I just tell them to calm down, Obama is doing a great job as a muslim president. They get a little irritated when I remind them how dumb they were in 2008 about that.

      AND WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT HEALTH CARE IN 2011? -- Susan from 29

      by voracious on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 03:45:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's a difference (35+ / 0-)

      between the "Black Speech" and a "Mormom Speech".  Race is different from religion in all sorts of fundamental ways.  Obama could not choose his ancestry, and racial bias itself is rooted in ignorance.  The science doesn't hold up - never has.

      I would argue that religion is different.  I don't think Romney should be judged because he was born to a Mormon family, but I have to ask... in all seriousness... why is it that religion always gets a pass when it comes to a frank discussion of what is factual, and what is not?  The Mormon religion developed in the 1820's and 1830's in upstate New York and Missouri.  Its tenants can be tested.  It makes concrete historical claims, none of which appear to have actual evidence to back them up.  

      Now I recognize that Mitt Romney may be a cultural Mormon - he may be a member of the church the way many of us are members of our churches.  It may be about identity and family.  But if someone believes that the Garden of Eden was in Missouri, and that Jesus came to the New World after his crucifiction, and that there was a huge war between the Lamites and the Nephites, who came to the New World from Babylon by way of Arabia, and that all of this was written on golden tablets inscribed in "Reformed Egyptian" which could only be read by special seeing stones by a person with a criminal fraud conviction... well, you see what I'm getting at.  

      I could vote for a cultural Mormon, someone raised in the Church who sees that as part of his or her heritage.  I cannot vote for someone who actually believes in something so bizarre, without the slightest shred of evidence.  People are free to believe.  But we've gotten to a point in our culture where we are asked not even to point out the obvious - that many (most?) religious texts are simply inconsistent with evidence.  Truth does matter, ultimately.  We have to be able to look open-eyed at religious belief, including cult-like religious belief, and consider that as we assess the suitability of a person for higher office.  It's not a religious test, it's a test of whether someone is rational or not.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 03:56:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'll go with what you said. (5+ / 0-)

        And, if you want to be further baffled wiki Temple Garment.  

        The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

        by Persiflage on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:12:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And how about those funny hats Jews wear... (0+ / 0-)

          am I right?

          Oh.  And those funny clothes Catholic priests, nuns, popes, and cardinals wear!  Oh, and don't forget making fun of what Muslims wear.  Oh my gosh, crazy!!!

          •  well -- Ivory's point was not about the underwear, (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kyril, ladyjames, Persiflage, lineatus

            it was about the core Latter-Day beliefs.  I also have no problems seeing those as nutty, as I did when I first encountered them in grade school.   OTOH I do understand that once you start peeling that onion, it's hard to know when to stop.  

            But then second OTOH, I know that many, if not most, sincerely religious people are very willing to reject the tenets of other religions on the basis of plausibility -- in other words, they apply what in their minds is a reason-based test: "how can you believe THAT?"  So maybe it's a fair test.

            I would love to have the opportunity to vote for an avowed atheist as president, in my lifetime.  I'm not optimistic...

          •  Thanks for the sarcasm. (0+ / 0-)

            and you make a good point.  But, I wasn't ridiculing or making fun.  So, find someone else to play with.

            The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

            by Persiflage on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 06:25:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Muslims wear ... (0+ / 0-)

            muslin?

            I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

            by trumpeter on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 03:26:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  He is not a "cultural Mormon" (12+ / 0-)

        His is an elder- or, maybe that was even aBishop.

        At any rate, he is sought after for spiritual guidance by othe Mormans- as witnessed in recent diaries where he counseled a woman agaisnt abortion when her life was at risk.

        His Mormanism is very mach a part of his life.  

        That said, I do beleiev in the establishment clause.

        As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

        by BPARTR on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:14:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Someone could believe in private (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ivorybill, Loge, lezlie

        that the Sun orbits the Earth and all the moon shots were faked up in Hollywood...but as long as they don't insist those beliefs be taught in science class or call for the elimination of NASA as a fraud, I don't really care. What's private is private, as long as it involves consenting adults.

        Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes (modified)

        by Cali Scribe on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:26:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Huh? (8+ / 0-)

          Wow, just wow.  You wouldn't care if your President was so ignorant as to not believe science?

          This scares the crap out of me.

          •  If he didn't force those beliefs (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cacamp, drmah, mmacdDE

            on others, I'd really have no trouble with that. On the other hand, if he used those beliefs to set public policy, like cutting NASA, then that's different. It's like GWB and the stem cell issue; I have no problem with him personally believing that a clump of cells with no brain development is equivalent to a living human being, but when he used that belief to dictate what sort of scientific developments could be pursued, and left millions of people in pain in the process, that crossed one of my many lines. You believe that stem cells are life? Fine, don't use any treatments that involve stem cell research, just as many people don't use products that are tested on animals. But don't tell me what I can or cannot use to maintain my own health or the health of those I love.

            Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes (modified)

            by Cali Scribe on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:52:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  In my opinion (0+ / 0-)

              this is a very poor idealogy.

              A President that believes conspiracy theories and doesn't believe in science is a very dangerous individual.

              •  To me, I think personal belief (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                monkee

                should be personal -- if it doesn't affect one's dealings with the outside world, what's the harm in it?

                Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes (modified)

                by Cali Scribe on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 05:18:50 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  But There Aren't Many Serious (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kyril, pasadena beggar

                  beliefs that "do[n't] affect one's dealings with the outside world".   A lack of belief in science sure as hell would necessarily affect them.

                •  I don't think you can have a personal (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kyril, BPARTR

                  belief regarding reality (such as a belief in science or not) that does not bleed into public life.  

                  If your beliefs are totally of the spiritual realm, that is a different matter.  But most religious fundamentalists don't satisfy themselves with that realm - they meddle in this one.

                •  The question is whether or not the (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ivorybill

                  individual intents to keep it personal and separate from his or her life in public service.  In some cases, the answer to that question is fairly clear like when they use their campaign or public office to preach their religious beliefs.  I think that voters would be wise to consider not so much the specifics of the religion as the clarity of intent on the part of the politician to codify their religious beliefs into our laws.

                  And in the case of someone who buys the Mormon scripture, you might have to be concerned that they'd not believe in science, etc.

                  The irony of this Romney conundrum is that so many people in the GOP constituency would be perfectly happy to have some Southern Baptist come in and run this country on the basis of that religious dogma, but they aren't so keen on Mormonism guiding the political leadership.  It won't get them all the way there in understanding why separation of church and state is so important, but it might get them further along in becoming "enlightened".

                  •  Agree strongly and agree moderately (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    inclusiveheart

                    There's effectively no difference between Southern Baptists and Mormons who believe in a fundamentalist, literal interpretation of their respective scriptures.  Yes, the GOP base applies a religious test inappropriately, by favoring their orthodox brand versus a heterodox version.  

                    I've become less comfortable with the idea that religious belief should get a pass as long as the elected official does not cross the line and attempt to codify belief into laws, because it is so hard to draw the line between belief and policy.  We are running out of flexibility for error.  The first decade of this century witnessed more economic activity and more people-years lived than the entire 18th century, from Bach to the steam engine, the entire Age of Enlightenment and then some. If religious faith prevents a decision-maker from evaluating rational science-based evidence or claiming a false equivalence between science and faith, that's a problem for me.

                    Ironically, the candidates who claim to adhere to the most conventionally bizarre religious scriptures, Romney and Huntsman, might actually be the most rational of the entire bunch when it comes to evaluating scientific evidence.  I think it is certainly fair to ask precisely how and the extent to which Romney's (or Obama's) faith inform their decisions, and to assess whether and how faith might trump evidence.

                    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

                    by ivorybill on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 08:29:03 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, most of us have a spiritual side that (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      ivorybill

                      informs our political beliefs.  I certainly do.  But I personally adhere to the concept of less is more with respect to that.  In other words, my spiritual beliefs are applied to my political outlook in very broad based terms - like I think that compassion and humility are important and so I tend to look at political questions with those concepts in mind.  My other specific beliefs that fall into that "religion zone" are generally set aside or even simply just forced to coexist with aspects of political and governmental policy that might conflict with my personal beliefs.

                      JFK was a Catholic but he supported the space program.  The Catholic Church doesn't have a terrific track record on the science front, but he launched the space program - their persecution of Galileo being fairly ironic given that without him JFK's race to the moon would never have been possible.  In an effort to make a quick review of Galileo's story, I was surprised to find that the Catholic Church still seems to be wrestling with how to deal with him - 400 years later.  Anyway, if JFK had not had the ability to separate Church and State, the space program might have been off limits for him.

                      Anyway, a lot of the religious zealots are really just people who feel that they must have all of the answers and aren't willing to accept the fact that as humans we do not have the full and complete picture.  Those are the people who scare me primarily because they would be fool enough to persecute someone as important to human advancement and understanding of the universe as Galileo.

              •  then you disqualify all Christians? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Loge, Rick Aucoin

                No American can be elected unless he/she believes in things like the virgin birth and ressurection. One has to be a Christian and at least give lip service to its tennents to have a chance at the Presidency. So Mormons, Baptists and Catholics are all in the same boat when it comes to unprovable 'beliefs'.

                America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

                by cacamp on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 07:57:32 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  There is a difference in (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kyril, pasadena beggar

                  religious beliefs and not believing in science (such as believing the Sun revolves around the Earth, etc.).   Many very intelligent people are able to separate the two, although I must admit I find it strange.

                  I also know many Christians who believe everything in the Bible is an allegory, even the virgin birth and resurrection.   Of course, no church I know of has taken this position.

                  It is interesting though that many churches now teach that the story of Adam and Eve is an allegory.   I'm certain this wasn't the case before the discovery of evolution and of course you still have some Christians still raging against evolution and the age of the Earth to fit their Biblical understanding of their world.

                  •  Mormons believe in evolution, (0+ / 0-)

                    or tend to.  

                    Did you mean to read St. Thomas Aquinas out of Catholic theology in your point about allegory?  Even if he believed it was true, the account's main use was always allegorical.  In some of Thomas's writing he came very close to developing evolution -- his mistake was in assuming it stopped, but he did understand both survival of the fitness and the role mutation played.  

                    "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                    by Loge on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 09:39:48 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  most GOPers disavow science (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Loge

                    Especially fundy's like those running for President. The two Mormons are the only ones who don't. All the Christian fundys running say they'll put Gods law above anything else. Only the two Mormons don't.

                    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

                    by cacamp on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 09:46:29 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  I hear you (7+ / 0-)

          And part of me wants to agree.  A good friend of mine believes that 9/11 was an inside job.  He really believes it, and he functions well in normal life, and he's a decent guy.  Would I feel comfortable with him deciding national policy, based on the fact that he's proven to me that he can accept a totally irrational - indeed harmful - belief, without examining critically the evidence or lack thereof?  

          I have to wonder. I have to wonder whether it's always OK to simply not question irrationality, to simply accept it, especially in the context of public policy. It's hard for me to do that, at least on a personal basis.

          “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

          by ivorybill on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:33:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But who are we to judge (0+ / 0-)

            what is "irrational" and what is not? To a pure capitalist, the actions of the past two weeks on Daily Kos in giving lifetime subscriptions to total strangers would be totally irrational, thus disqualifying us for office. To a racist, a white woman marrying a black man would be irrational. There are thousands, maybe millions of people, who go to faith centers (be they church, synagogue, temple, mosque, or what have you) every week; they all profess beliefs that to the outsider seem irrational. And to members of faith communities, the words of people like the late Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkins might seem completely irrational.

            I think we have to tread a fine line as to what is considered "irrational" and judge more on actions and behaviors than mere words and professed beliefs. I'd like to see more questions in debates where candidates are given hypotheticals and asked how they would react -- things like the Ron Paul "let him die" (and the resulting cheers from the Republican base in the audience) about a man who through no direct fault of his own ends up in the hospital without health insurance tells me far more than knowing what church a candidate goes to on Sundays.

            Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes (modified)

            by Cali Scribe on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 05:05:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Are you really serious or are you trolling? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kyril, little lion, Vote4Obamain2012

              You started this by saying you had no problem voting for a candidate that believed

              the Sun orbits the Earth and all the moon shots were faked up in Hollywood.

              and now you are saying who are we to judge?  If you don't realize what sort of damage a President like this could cause then I think you haven't thought it through.

              •  Cali Scribe is not a troll. However, I agree (6+ / 0-)

                with you that there are some beliefs that are so clearly counterfactual that they suggest the individual is not sufficiently grounded in reality to govern - to have the fate of the country and the planet in his hands.

                "Maybe this is how empires die - their citizens just don't deserve to be world leaders anymore." -Kossack Puddytat, In a Comment 18 Sept 2011

                by pixxer on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 05:47:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Well, let's suppose you had a candidate (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dRefractor, pixxer, ivorybill

                who had doubts about science, yet believed in economic equality because it was the right thing to do -- and that person was opposed by a person who believed in science but also thought that the free market should conquer all and that economic equality was a pipe dream that a bunch of hippies on an acid trip dreamed up. Which way do you go? For me, I'd take my chances behind Door #1.

                Before we had all this public talk about religiosity, we didn't have these sorts of problems. I suppose we can credit (or blame) Jimmy Carter and his Playboy interview for bringing all this stuff in the open, along with the late Jerry Falwell and his oxymoronic Moral Majority which was neither moral nor a majority at the time.

                Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes (modified)

                by Cali Scribe on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 06:34:16 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm enjoying (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BPARTR, Lensy

                  the back and forth with you, Cali Scribe... I'd suggest that equating science with faith actually sets up a false equivalence.  Science isn't particularly about belief.  In your hypothetical above, I'd say that the right-wing Ayn Rand nut who believes the free market should conquer all, has made that error... not only is his science wrong (biologists and sociologists provide ample evidence of the rationality of altruism and cooperation), but the very way he frames his "belief" in science is wrong.  Science is about testing explanatory frameworks with evidence. A rational decisionmaker would look at the current economic debacle and draw the appropriate conclusion - that unregulated free enterprise leads to boom-bust cycles with disasterous consequences.  In terms of your other point, I readily agree with you that intangible values do indeed matter.  If those are faith-based, great.  However, I actually think that literal interpretation of scripture often tends to make it more difficult, not easier, to act on the better angels of our nature...

                  “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

                  by ivorybill on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 08:42:46 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  We're voters (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kyril, Rick Aucoin, pasadena beggar

              it's our job to judge.

          •  'without examining critically (0+ / 0-)

            the evidence or lack thereof?' - so basically you friend is irrational because he believes that 9/11 is an inside job. What information other than the media reports do you have that prove his viewpoint irrational? Maybe he doesn't seem to argue his position to your liking but unless you know with absolute certainty,  your position is as irrational as his and maybe more so. 550 years ago most Europeans believed the world was flat until a new set of facts emerged. The basis of a good conspiracy is for any answer other than the official version to appear to be totally irrational. Remember 'you can't handle the truth' - Jack Nicholson.

            •  It's prettyobvious (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BPARTR

              that there is such a thing as reality.  Positing that the earth is round, based on astronomical observation, is not a conspiracy theory against those who believe the earth is flat, even if they are a majority.  Positing that the CIA blew up the WTC without evidence, when there is an actual history of previous al-Qaeda attempts on the WTC and when members of al-Qaeda freely admit their involvement, is not the same thing at all.  It is conspiracy theory and not just a matter of difference of opinion.

              “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

              by ivorybill on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 08:48:42 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  I think that you could go through (9+ / 0-)

        a similar litany with pretty much all religions, though.  The difference for Mormonism is mostly in how recently the events took place.

        Democrats must
        Earn the trust
        Of the 99% --
        That's our intent!

        "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

        by Seneca Doane on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:38:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  it gets a pass quite simply because (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ivorybill

        it's not an argument that can be won by appealing to facts.  As long as he doesn't use his public position to push his religious beliefs on others, what does anyone care what he believes?  I think Barack Obama's religious beliefs are factually incorrect.  If he derives political views that I agree with from them, I am happy agreeing with those political views without getting into religion.  The fact that Romney is a Mormon, a minority religion, makes it less likely he'll push it than George W. Bush, an evangelical.  Perhaps Romney in the white house helps other mormons in their proselytizing, but I don't much care what other people believe as long as I have the right to say no, thank you.

        After all, my religion -- atheism -- is more hated than Islam or Mormonism in the United States, so live and let live is quite important to me.  It's well represented in my part of brownstone brooklyn, but apparently there is a whole lot of country west of the appalachians.

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:44:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  please don't kid yourself. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lexalou

          Romney would push his religion just as much as W did. Worship of Mammon above all other worthy goals comes out in several ways. He, and the people he'd have around him, would be just as bad as W.

          Bloomberg beware. Zuccotti Park is everywhere. --O.W.S. 17 November 2011

          by CoExistNow on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 05:38:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  i'll keep this in mind (5+ / 0-)

            if i'm ever tempted to vote for Romney.  which i'm not, as long as Obama is on the ballot.

            as far as cutesy 'worships money' stuff, i think when he's a religious minority, and is actually facing some measure of religious discrimination, we can discuss his religious views without derailing them with jokes about how he is a private equity asshole.   i'm with Grayson on this one -- given how much is wrong with Romney, let's leave his religion out of it.  Unless you also want to openly mormon-bait Harry Reid, various Udalls, Andy Reid, The Killers, Philo Farnsworth, or Ken Jennings.

            "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

            by Loge on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 05:46:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  As far as I now, (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Agent99, pasadena beggar, technomage

              Reid, Udalls, Reid, The Killers, Farnsworth, and Jennings are and were not:

              1. Bishops in the Mormon Church;
              2. On record as consulting with elders in that Church when doing their job;
              3. Anti-gay;
              4. Of the belief that women have a specific, limited role in the family and society; or
              5. Anti gay marriage.

              But the first one alone disqualifies Romney imo. He is not simply of the Mormon faith. He has served as a leader in the Church.

              And please read the Harpers story in Fall '11 edition. This is not a Church that is happy to be one of many in a pluralistic society. They want to run the place.

              Bloomberg beware. Zuccotti Park is everywhere. --O.W.S. 17 November 2011

              by CoExistNow on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 08:08:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Romney was also (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                monkee, ivorybill

                a governor of a state, and there's simply no record of him using that status to push his specific religion -- likely because it would backfire immensely.  to the extent he's successfully compartmentalized religious views from public duties, he's not so different from various Kennedys and Cuomos.  

                As far as 3-5, i'll stipulate that he's a republican.  So, his religion is neither necessary nor sufficient to explain his views -- views which I do not share!

                Lastly, to the Harpers' story -- don't we all want to run the place?  Anti-mormon prejudice dressed up as investigative reporting or theological commentary, when it comes from the right and left, more or less negates that risk.  At least a Protestant President who similarly wants everyone to conform is more than halfway there.  Either way, making broad descriptive claims about Mormonism in general doesn't shed any light on how Romney practices it, even as a church leader, let alone how he would reconcile his religious faith with public obligations.  

                The fact that he tries to deemphasize it on the hustings except to bash Newt Gingrich's marriages i find encouraging.  

                "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                by Loge on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 09:13:36 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  We disagree wrt why Mitt publicly (0+ / 0-)

                  subdued his brand of faith while Governor of Mass. I believe he did it to keep favor with the independents and moderate Republicans in that State to keep his political options open for the future. It sounds like you believe he did it out of a sincere and laudable compartmentalization of his religious doctrine from his leadership role. Fair enough, as neither of us knows for sure.

                  I made the point re his party because Republicans have to keep their Christianist, theocratic party happy when they govern. And for all we know, Romney is a Christianist. Let's not attribute Dem values (separation of church and state) to this guy.

                  wrt the Mormon faith as a whole - gold and the acquisition of riches is a main tenet. It's a fact. This is not someone who relates to or would govern for the broad array of Americans. He believes that those who are poor or are not well-off are out of favor with God.

                  Am I saying he's a holy roller nut job? No. But he would bring his faith to bear at least as much as W did, and that's excessive as far as I am concerned.

                  Bloomberg beware. Zuccotti Park is everywhere. --O.W.S. 17 November 2011

                  by CoExistNow on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 06:41:53 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  no, the difference is (0+ / 0-)

                    i'm not trying to read his mind.  The "likely because it would backfire immensely" sort of entails currying favor with moderates and indies -- and i don't see much difference with how he'd govern as president, at least not compared with the other republicans, making his religion less of an issue than his political philosophy.  If anything, Romney would try to keep out of specifics.  The effect of compartmentalizing out of conviction versus out of pragmatism is the same, but what i object to is the notion that if Romney overtly pushes his religion it's every bit as bad as if he does it sub rosa.  This is like the debate about having Reed Smoot sit in the senate -- 4 terms was just a trick to get us to overlook his secret desire to pursue polygamy and wage war on the U.S. to create the republic of Deseret.

                    As far as Mormon tenets, you've also described a bit of Calvinsim and the "prosperity gospel."  And social darwinism.  So, since Mormonism is underinclusive to describe the political viewpoint, the viewpoint could can addressed on its own terms.  

                    There's simply no way to suggest Romney's religion disqualifies him from office without (a) stigmatizing Mormons in any position of responsibility or (b) suggesting any religious faith is disqualifying, which makes some deductive sense but would be every bit anti-democratic as views you attribute to the believers.

                    "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                    by Loge on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 06:59:37 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm not saying he's disqualified, (0+ / 0-)

                      just that voters can consider the truthful facts about his faith, the degree to which it would play a role in his decision making, and the degree to which he'd seek to impose it on others. I do the same analysis with all religious candidates. Mitt can be on the ballot. You, me, and Alan agree on that!

                      Bloomberg beware. Zuccotti Park is everywhere. --O.W.S. 17 November 2011

                      by CoExistNow on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 09:28:09 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  fair enough as a legal matter, (0+ / 0-)

                        but making the point about "his" faith, if somehow treated differently from other religious candidates, is while not illegal as practiced by a voter, is still not what this country is about.  If there's compelling evidence of how he views the role his religion plays in public life that should take him out of consideration (if he'd already be in consideration), that's not a problem, but speculation or prejudgment is, which is why "his" faith is something of a weasel wording.

                        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                        by Loge on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 09:45:31 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Thanks for helping me refine (not snark)- (0+ / 0-)

                          I actually don't fully embrace any candidate that takes their religion too seriously. That's true for any candidate and any religion. I find fundamentalism of any stripe dangerous to democracy; and am frankly suspicious of every major organized religion - and those that buy into and exploit them - because I don't think religion is ever egalitarian or live and let live. Anyone who is a bishop or elder in their church - regardless of their church - is perfectly qualified to be on the ballot, but I won't be pulling the lever for her or him, and it's no sin (pun intended) for a voter to consider how seriously one considers her or his faith when in voting booth. JFK was never a bishop in Catholic Church. If he had been I'd never have voted for him. And Drinam was forced to choose
                          Priesthood or Congress.

                          Bloomberg beware. Zuccotti Park is everywhere. --O.W.S. 17 November 2011

                          by CoExistNow on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 01:59:14 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

      •  You believe in the Ivorybill? ;) (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wee Mama, ivorybill, Lensy

        Seriously - terrific comment.

        It's not a religious test, it's a test of whether someone is rational or not.

        Sums it right up, yessiree.

        "Maybe this is how empires die - their citizens just don't deserve to be world leaders anymore." -Kossack Puddytat, In a Comment 18 Sept 2011

        by pixxer on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 05:43:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Of course it's very different. (4+ / 0-)

        But it speaks to the cultural isolation and ignorance of the general American population. Many were so uncomfortable, if not cross-eyed, frothing at the mouth insane over just the thought of a president of a different ethnic heritage other than WASP. Remember what Kennedy went through just for being Catholic. He had to address that as well, to educate the electorate.

        Obama chose to tackle his not-a-WASP head on and gave a brilliant and illuminating speech.

        Romney is refusing to address his not-a-WASP-ness. He is refusing to help people become comfortable with his family, his motives, his belief system and outlook on life. It leaves people uncomfortable with the unknown. What we mostly know about Mormonism comes from their terrible and ridiculous history and from the things we hear and read of modern Mormons.

        One of the things we know is that they are encouraged to "mainstream" and become leaders in various high profile fields as a way to further the Mormon Church. Maybe that's why he seems like such a chameleon and an empty suit. He will be whatever he needs to be to further his ends and this huge force in his life, the Church, we don't know how that factors in, if at all, but he won't address it.

        And has been stated, he was/is a church elder.

        The revolution will start when somebody starts it. Well, somebody started it. OWS. It's on.

        by lexalou on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 06:02:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  no worse than "virgin birth" is it? (0+ / 0-)

        is there some sort of rule that silly beliefs are ok if they're real old?

        Mizzou seems as good a place as any for the Garden and Jesus, being the Son, could go where he pleased I suppose. But the basic fact is beliefs should not be disqualifying in America, young or old.

        America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

        by cacamp on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 07:51:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Tips for "crucifiction". eom (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dallasdoc, ivorybill

        2.1 million Texans voted Democratic in the 2010 midterms. How many people in YOUR state voted D in 2010?

        by Rick Aucoin on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 09:36:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Mitt's religion (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shirl In Idaho, doc2, Dirtandiron

    Alan is being very noble, but he might want to do some research on Mormons and he will discover that Mormons always answer to "the church" first, family and country come after.

    •  Really? (15+ / 0-)

      Are you a member?  You base this on what?

      I was raised in the Mormon Church and there was never such a loyalty oath or any such requirement.  Certainly the morality that the church hopes to imprint on its members is a consideration of any member at any time about any topic, but work is work and the world is the world.

      "Give to Caesar that which is Caesar's"

      Those who think something else are putting their personal views on it, not the Church's.

      I left the Mormon church 50 years ago for my own personal reasons, but they should not be painted with untruths any more than other churches and religions.

      *the blogger formerly known as shirlstars

      by Shirl In Idaho on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 03:29:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  and so do devout members of most other religions (17+ / 0-)

      For example, Catholic doctrine says that God and the church come first, yet JFK said what he said.  Your argument would ban almost any religious person from office.  I myself am an atheist, but "no religious test" means "no religious test".

      •  For the GOVERNMENT. Not the voter. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mmacdDE

        A rather important distinction, that.

        2.1 million Texans voted Democratic in the 2010 midterms. How many people in YOUR state voted D in 2010?

        by Rick Aucoin on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 09:43:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

          Religion can't be a qualifier or disqualifier for running for or holding office.

          But it certainly can be either one for voters.

          There were plenty of otherwise good dems who just wouldn't vote for JFK because he was catholic. And plenty of republicans who voted for him for that exact reason.

    •  Yes. Being a practicing Mormon is (16+ / 0-)

      not the same as being a Hispanic. There is a kooky belief system involved, which makes the Christian kooky belief system look reasonable. People lived in harmony with the dinosaurs? Jesus visited what is now America after his crucifixion? I could go on, but the point is that anyone who believes any of these things should not also have the ability to launch nuclear weapons. That's my view, at least.

      •  How is the idea that the Garden of Eden (25+ / 0-)

        was in Missouri any weirder than there was a Garden of Eden at all?

        AND WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT HEALTH CARE IN 2011? -- Susan from 29

        by voracious on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 03:58:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh! Let me answer that one! (12+ / 0-)

          The Garden of Eden derives from ancient Mesopotamian myths and has no greater concrete basis in fact, than any of the Greek myths or any Native American creation myth, for that matter.

          I accept that in America in 2012 anyone running for office has to at least pay lip service to believing these myths.  I can vote for and respect religious people who see the scriptures as metaphor, or who believe in a God but admit to mystery and uncertainty.  I think we all have every right to question the suitability for higher office of anyone who believes in a literal interpretation of the bible or any other holy text.  I think its a measure of the tyranny of religion and its unwholesome hold on our national life that no atheist can openly run for president or higher office.

          “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

          by ivorybill on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:11:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's extra, super-duper whacky. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ExStr8, BillyElliott, pasadena beggar

          As opposed to merely idiotic.

          •  i'm sorry, but once you're all in for (7+ / 0-)

            transubstantiation, there's no further to go in super-duper wacky. you've redlined that sucker.

            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

            by UntimelyRippd on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:34:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The only reason that Christianity (12+ / 0-)

              doesn't seem as whacky as it should it that it has been shoved down most people's throats since the day they were born.

              If you did not know anything about any religion, then Christianity would seem just as whacky as Mormonism or Scientology.

              •  No, because Mormons believe everything (5+ / 0-)

                in the Bible PLUS the Book of Mormon. So, by definition, they are even more gullible than your average Christian. I'm not arguing that Christianity isn't completely inane, just that Mormonism takes it one step further.

                •  If you believe god gave Moses tablets with (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Dallasdoc, Loge, ladyjames, BPARTR

                  10 Commandments, then it isn't a stretch to believe golden plates were buried in upstate New York.

                  Believing any of it is weird to non-believers but the whole point of religion is faith.

                  AND WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT HEALTH CARE IN 2011? -- Susan from 29

                  by voracious on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 06:28:55 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  But someone who believes both is one (0+ / 0-)

                    step more inane than someone who just believes one. In my worldview, someone who believes that there are two angels dancing on his head is slightly more idiotic than someone who believes that there is just one angel dancing on his head. It's a relative world.

                    •  meh (4+ / 0-)

                      Christians are, in theory, supposed to believe both in the old and new testament. As far as I'm concerned, that rules out all critical thinking skills as they pertain to mortality.

                      Mormonism is just another view (regardless of motivation) on what's beyond the veil of life and death as we experience it here on planet earth -- I give them credit for the hutzpah to evolve the vivid (if often repulsive) imagination behind the writings of the old testament and the (mostly agreeable, imo) new testament. So is mormonism really a new level of implausibility? By my line of thinking, the old testament is pretty darn close to infinity on the scale of unlikeliness, so really this argument is like "oh yeah, infinity times infinity to you, buddy!". ymmv

                      Still, I'd agree with you on "relative" sanity if you were to find me a christian who disavows literal translation of the old testament; they do exist. For that matter, many, if not most, of those of the jewish faith don't take their own religious history as literal truths. Romney, before being co-opted by the far religious right, used to behave and speak as if he was not a fundamentalist.

                      So back to Grayson's point -- it's Romney's behavior and his words that are of worry; trying to guess on his motivation, religious or otherwise is beside the point.

                      The art of listening is the ability to pay attention to that which is most difficult to hear

                      by dRefractor on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 08:18:46 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  i'm not sure (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      doc2, ivorybill

                      the two mormon kids in my law school class who wound up clerking on the Supreme Court were "idiotic."  They had better study habits, and benefitted from conservative affirmative action to a limited degree, but a lot of people with good study habits and a pipeline into feeder judges didn't.  While i may be getting the big picture stuff right by not believing in anything, it's (a) not a choice on my part, just an inclination for which i can't take credit any more than people who do have faith can't really take blame, and (b) Pascal's wager tells me that even if i'm right, it proves nothing.  I don't know the experience of believing one thing in my heart very deeply and yet convincing myself it's incorrect -- it only works with the type of weakly-held views we don't associate with religion or things i came to believe as a matter of intellectual conviction in the first place. I think most atheists feel the same way -- Dawkins, et al, never convinced a believer of anything, but they may have convinced people who didn't feel like faking it or expecting faith by acting as if ye had it.

                      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                      by Loge on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 09:48:48 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Difference between "idiotic" and "delusional" (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      pasadena beggar, ivorybill, Lensy

                      You can have beliefs that we would ALL agree are crazy and be very smart indeed.

                      For example, take Kurt Godel.  Godel was so smart that Einstein, late in life, said that the only reason he went to the office is so he could walk home with Godel and talk to him.  Godel is famous for Godel's proof, which is very profound.

                      Yet Godel also believed that his refrigerator emitting toxic gas and that most people were trying to poison him. He believed this so strongly that he essentially starved himself to death after his wife died (she was one of the very few he thought were NOT trying to poison him).

                      Follow me on Twitter @PeterFlom

                      by plf515 on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 03:57:56 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  absolutely (0+ / 0-)

                    Religion requires faith- and faith , by definition is belief in the unbelievable. If it is not unbelievable, then one doesn't require faith to believe it.  That, of course, is the essence of the difference between "belief" in science and faith in religion.  The person who believes in science is quite willing to change his views about any particular matter immediately if evidence to the contrary is presented, whereas the person with faith retains his so-called beliefs even more strongly in the presence of evidence to the contrary.

                    As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

                    by BPARTR on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 09:26:26 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  So then, Christianity is loonier than Judaism? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BPARTR

                  Because Jews only believe the Old Testament and Christians add the New?

                  Makes sense to me.

                  Follow me on Twitter @PeterFlom

                  by plf515 on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 03:54:13 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Take Kierkegaard's view (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cacamp, ivorybill

              the notion that God ever became mortal was the ultimate in absurdity -- which is an argument for faith, per Kierkegaard.  There is no faith without absurdity, and nothing could be more absurd than Christianity.

              Of course, if Kossacks stopped preaching to the choir for a moment, a majority of voters would say anything in Mormonism is less wacky than the belief that there is no purpose to the universe, that it simply is, and there is no divine grace.  Logic is with the atheist camp, numbers aren't, and atheists are that because they follow the numbers.  But even still, if you are going to accept a Christian president -- and we have -- the anti-mormon sentiment seems like cultural bias more than serious theological points, and those serious theological points are a matter for Romney personally, not electorally.

              "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

              by Loge on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:52:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Our Christian president did not (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Lensy

                spend three years on a "mission" for his faith. Mormonism requires a cult-like devotion. There is a difference.

                •  Yes, Romney did a mission (5+ / 0-)

                  which also helped keep him out of Vietnam.  Not a point in his favor, but I get it.  France is lovely.

                  As far as what Mormonism "requires" or the extent to which it's "cult-like," i'll concede it's not the easiest religion to follow, but aside from that, you don't know what you're talking about.  I've known a few mormons, and shared an office with one for a year.  He had free will and voted for Al Gore. Unless by "cult-like" you mean, "not actually a cult."

                  "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                  by Loge on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 05:34:13 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  If he had a free will and voted for (0+ / 0-)

                    Gore then he is what we call a non-practicing Mormon, of which there are many. But that is not Romney (unless you think he voted for Al Gore).

                    •  He went to temple weekly (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Rick Aucoin

                      and had his kids baptised so, i reiterate, you dont know what youre talking about on this one.  What "we" call?

                      Abd the point is Romney will make a terrible president for reasons other than his mormonism, just as Bush didnt need Methodism to be awful and Clinton was pretty good as a Southern Baptist.  And JFK didnt take orders from the pope.  

                      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                      by Loge on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 07:40:47 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Mormonism is different. And (0+ / 0-)

                        you don't know that your comparisons are appropriate because we've never had a Mormon president. Once we've had a few, then you can tell which of us is right and which is wrong.

                        •  we don't elect mormonism (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          mmacdDE

                          we would elect, God-forbid, Mitt Romney or Jon Huntsman.  They both would bring complex individual experiences to bear. Both, for example, could be thought of as governors, rich kids, businessmen.  Romney's an Easterner, Huntsman's a westerner.  Romney lived in France, Huntsman lived in Singapore and China.   Not only does religion not define them, it's damn near impossible to attribute any one action or decision or policy they support to religion -- let alone somehow make the case that their decisions aren't "really" theirs but the invisible hand of Salt Lake City.

                          There's nothing different about Mormons except the acceptability of expressing anti-Mormon prejudice in polite company.  Some are religious nuts, others are religious nuts who keep it on the inside, others are perfectly reasonable people.  There are 6 million of them in the United States, they're not monolithic.  

                          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                          by Loge on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 10:38:00 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  How can one be "perfectly reasonable" (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            pasadena beggar

                            and yet believe that humans and dinosaurs co-existed? This isn't really a matter of faith, as it is in direct contradiction to scientific fact, and belies a fundamental mistrust of all science. The dinosaurs predated humans by tens of millions of years. It is not like there is any controversy about that whatsoever.

                          •  i see what you're doing (0+ / 0-)

                            paint the individual with every loony thing about the religion, and suggest anyone advocating cohabitation answer for religious views one doesn't share and can't explain.  I've said only that Romney, himself, is reasonable, and my evidence for this is at no point has he been called upon at any time in his life to make decisions involving dinosaurs.  Say what you will about his policies, he knows his way around a spreadsheet.

                            And read up on Rawls.

                            "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                            by Loge on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 06:37:08 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  The right would argue that he spent 20 years (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  doc2

                  listening to a radical preacher.

                  AND WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT HEALTH CARE IN 2011? -- Susan from 29

                  by voracious on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 06:30:09 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Mostly yes, a little no... (0+ / 0-)

                Yes:

                if you are going to accept a Christian president -- and we have -- the anti-mormon sentiment seems like cultural bias more than serious theological points

                Maybe a little no:

                those serious theological points are a matter for Romney personally, not electorally.

                Again, literal interpretation or rigidity in belief is a red flag when it comes to public policy.  The irony is that Mitt Romney is probably less rigid than the rest of the GOP pack of fools.  

                “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

                by ivorybill on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 09:02:22 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  well, he's quite rigid (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ivorybill

                  in his bearing.  i don't know the extent to which mormons have literal interpretation, much less mitt romney.  it's also a matter of necessity.  i'll stipulate i'll be more likely to vote for a non-mormon mitt romney over the mormon one, but are we going to face that choice?  

                  "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                  by Loge on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 09:13:06 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  No it's not. (7+ / 0-)

            It's just more recent. That makes it look sillier, but what it really does is expose how religions in general exert power over their adherents by forcing them to believe the unbelievable.

            I say this as someone reared in a faith that has its own share of magic garments, arbitrary rules, and foundational myths. Just because the nonsense was made up 1500 or 2000 or 5000 years ago doesn't make it any less nonsense.

            "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

            by sidnora on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:56:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is that there re degrees of (12+ / 0-)

        adherence and belief to the kookiness. Some self declared Christians simply believe in the so called Golden Rule and none of the rest of the silliness, so one cannot toss them all into the same bag.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 03:59:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed (8+ / 0-)

          Absolutely agreed.  But I think a candidate's religiosity is fair game.  I know some people who identify as Catholic and who believe in God, and truly live their religion.  I'd vote for them in a heartbeat.  But I would consider it a dangerous character flaw and a disqualification for higher office if, for example, one of those people believed against all evidence to the contrary that the earth was 6000 years old, or that a gay couple will literally burn in hell, or that old-testament genocide is somehow excusable, or that God tortures children.  

          If religion means a belief in God and a tendency to live decently with kindness and generosity, well that's not a bar to office, that's a recommendation.  But if adhering to the golden rule and a religiously-inspired kindness toward others is a qualification for office, then it's fair to insist that religiosity and dogmatic belief and religious rigidity should equally be a disqualification for office. We on the left tend to place religion out of bounds in politics.  I think this is a mistake.

          “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

          by ivorybill on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:20:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  including Mormons (0+ / 0-)

          from a comment by Loge upthread...

          i'm with Grayson on this one -- given how much is wrong with Romney, let's leave his religion out of it.  Unless you also want to openly mormon-bait Harry Reid, various Udalls, Andy Reid, The Killers, Philo Farnsworth, or Ken Jennings.

          America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

          by cacamp on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 08:09:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  no it doesn't (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        UntimelyRippd, sidnora, Rick Aucoin
        which makes the Christian kooky belief system look reasonable

        As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

        by BPARTR on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:15:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Mitt's religion is a problem and will be (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dirtandiron

        I'm guessing the poll numbers would be higher if people knew about some of the controversial beliefs of the Mormon religion. Examples: Adam conceived Jesus, Jesus had many wives and a physical body. Do they know anything about the founder of the church, polygamist Joseph Smith who claimed that the Garden of Eden was somewhere in the United States? I agree that religion shouldn't matter, but I believe more than the Republican base is going to have a problem with some of the these things.

        “The '60s are gone, dope will never be as cheap, sex never as free, and the rock and roll never as great.”~Abbie Hoffman

        by nipit on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:51:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why exactly should it not matter if (0+ / 0-)

          a person who wants to be president believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God? I think that should matter. Anyone who believes that and the other stuff that makes up the Mormon theology I would find incapable of making the rational decisions that are part of the job.

          •  I see what you are saying (0+ / 0-)

            Where do we draw the line on crazy? I see many people in this country calling someone incompetent and irrational because that someone doesn't believe in Jesus Christ or in any god. Will a Jew or atheist ever be president if we use dogmatic religious beliefs as a litmus test? At the same time, we can't dismiss religion totally. We should be concerned if someone's religious beliefs are keeping them from acknowledging separation of church and state, climate change, evolution, or homosexuality as a choice. We want someone who is tolerant and open-minded to others despite their beliefs. In these cases, religion does and should matter.  

            “The '60s are gone, dope will never be as cheap, sex never as free, and the rock and roll never as great.”~Abbie Hoffman

            by nipit on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 10:20:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No. (0+ / 0-)
              We want someone who is tolerant and open-minded to others despite their beliefs.
              We fight hard against beliefs such as the Laffer curve, or that upward mobility is good in America, or that wealth trickles down, or that black people are inferior. We have no problem knocking people for such beliefs. But if those beliefs stem from, or are claimed to stem from religion, then we need to be super sensitive. Don't want to criticize someone for his personal religious beliefs. Because as long as the word religion is involved, it is a fine and noble thing, no matter how inane the belief is.

              I say that it is incumbent on every person to rail against ALL falsehoods, even if they are part of some organized religion.

      •  how is it any kookier than any other religion?? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladyjames, BPARTR
    •  That sounds like the kind of stuff they say (8+ / 0-)

      about Muslims. A person's religion shouldn't matter.

      AND WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT HEALTH CARE IN 2011? -- Susan from 29

      by voracious on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 03:46:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just like JFK and Catholicism, right? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Loge, wishingwell, sidnora, Dirtandiron

      Justified anger does not grant you unrestricted license.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 03:50:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's the exact same thing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, slksfca

      they said about John Kennedy.

      "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

      by sidnora on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:21:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And JFK took orders from the Pope (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slksfca, monkee, Dem Beans

      individual mormons may do these things, but there's a leap you're making from "some" to "most" to "all," from "sometimes" to "all of the time."  Denying him the right to be an individual is the essence of bigotry.  And all I have to do to refute it is point to any mormon in public life who didn't always follow the church -- the Udalls?  Harry Reid?

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:48:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  But that sounds like the accusation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slksfca, Loge

      leveled against the Jews of "dual loyalty".

    •  This is the same argument... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron

      ...that anti-Catholic bigots tried to use against JFK in 1960.

      I have a real problem with seeing it dusted off for reuse against Mitt Romney today.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 05:53:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  People were extremely skeptical of JFK (8+ / 0-)

    and Catholicism. The more they learn about the LDS the better for understanding them.

    That being said, their religion doesn't matter, and there's no religious test to office.

    But this Mammon worship has got to stop!

    I have spent many years of my life in opposition and I rather like the role. - Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Rogneid on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 03:21:01 PM PST

    •  Their religion matters if that's what they (7+ / 0-)

      try and impose upon others.  If that's how they live their own lives without imposing it (I'm not saying preaching, but actually imposing, like banning abortions), then I don't care whether the president is a Mormon or a Muslim (or a Christian of whatever flavor).

      I don't trust the Republicans not to try and put religious beliefs into practice for those who don't share those beliefs - whether it's abortion, reproductive health services of another sort, or the Mammon worshiping that I think they practice.  I will work against them because if elected, they will work against me.

    •  Did you know that Mittens (6+ / 0-)

      held the position of Bishop in the Mormon church and that before he was governor of MA he was the highest ranking Mormon official in the state of MA?

      This is way different than Kennedy being a Catholic.  It would be more like had Kennedy been a bishop in the Catholic church right before running for political office.

      I think people are right to be cautious about how beholden Romney would be to Utah if elected President.

      Also, any woman who is thinking of voting for Romney should learn more about what Mormons think of woman.   This article is interesting if you haven't seen it:
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

      •  Sorry, that is the 4th page of the article (0+ / 0-)

        here is the link to the first:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

      •  name one decision (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladyjames, ivorybill

        as governor that is evidence for this thesis.  Shit, Huntsman wasn't even that beholden to the Tabernac.

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:56:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  unless he is a member of the quorum (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rick Aucoin

        he's not that big a deal, bishop or not.

        And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

        by Mortifyd on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 06:53:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I confess to not having great (0+ / 0-)

          knowledge of the Mormon faith, however, it is hard to believe that the highest Mormon official in MA would not be considered having at least a high level position within the church.

          He's certainly not just a regular, run-of-the-mill Mormon.

          •  I was a mormon (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Loge

            but ok cool.

            You seem to have it all sorted out.

            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

            by Mortifyd on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 09:39:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Your lack of knowledge... (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ladyjames, kyril, Dallasdoc, mmacdDE, ivorybill

            ... self admitted lack of knowledge, hasn't stopped you from posting your ignorance repeatedly in this thread, sadly.

            When a quick skim of a wikipedia article would show you that a Bishop in the Mormon church is just the guy in charge of that one congregation.  The administrator for a specific church building's worth of members.

            Not a minister or preacher like most protestant churches, but basically an administrator.

            Above this rank is the Stake President, who is the Admin in charge of a geographically convenient selection of individual church locations.  Consider this to be the equivalent of a Mayor of a town (Bishop of a church congregation), and the County Commissioner who administrates an entire county (the Stake President).  There are many levels of bureaucracy above this as well, until you get to the Quorum in Salt Lake and eventually the President of the Church (the Prophet).

            I was raised in this church, and its embarrassing to see so much ignorance about it from people who are nevertheless willing to criticize its members.

            I criticize its members, and members of other kooky "Invisible Sky Man" clubs, such as the Catholic Church, but I at least try to find out the facts.

            2.1 million Texans voted Democratic in the 2010 midterms. How many people in YOUR state voted D in 2010?

            by Rick Aucoin on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 09:52:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  so Romney was kinda like a deacon? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rick Aucoin

              Managed stuff, counseled at times, maybe presided over parts of the service?

              Not a problem - we've had plenty of pols in high positions who were at that level.

              •  Well, I underestand he was also a Stake Pres. (0+ / 0-)

                Stake President is a higher administrative position than a mere Bishop of a Ward.

                Stake President's actually communicate with the bureaucracy in Salt Lake as I understand it.  Bishops of a Ward just talk to the Stake President for their marching orders.

                If Mittens was a Stake President then he was much more actively involved in the Church bureaucracy than if he was a Ward Bishop.  Not surprising, he's from aristocratic stock, he was a Ivy League rich boy, so he's the sort that would be moved up in the church.

                2.1 million Texans voted Democratic in the 2010 midterms. How many people in YOUR state voted D in 2010?

                by Rick Aucoin on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 09:39:58 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  I'd consider being in charge of the Boston Stake (0+ / 0-)

              more than just a common member.

              From his Romney's wikipedia page with references:

              From 1986 to 1994 Romney presided over the Boston Stake, which included more than a dozen congregations in eastern Massachusetts.[26][63][66][65]

              Here is a link to the page: http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              I said I didn't have much knowledge of the Mormon faith, but that doesn't mean that I didn't do some research on his position within the church.

              •  You also said... (0+ / 0-)

                ... he was the highest ranking Mormon official in Massachusets, which isn't the case.  

                Yes, as a Stake President he was two ranks above the common congregation member, in the organizational structure of the church.

                And Stake President is high enough up the org chart that he'd be in communication with Salt Lake, getting his marching orders from the hierarchy there.

                But he was not the highest ranked member in Massachusets, that's overstating the case.  He held a position two ranks above the common church member.

                2.1 million Texans voted Democratic in the 2010 midterms. How many people in YOUR state voted D in 2010?

                by Rick Aucoin on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 10:43:38 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Loge, mmacdDE

        How about the fundamentalist and women??  Or how about the catholic church and women??  Several of the christian denomonations (sp) aren't all that kind to women.  Also I'm an elder in the presbyterian church, should I be forbidden to be president?

        •  Forbidden? (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril, Dallasdoc, mmacdDE, ivorybill, Lensy

          That's a tricky word in this conversation.  

          The constitution is clear that the government will enact no religious test for office.  Much like the First Amendment states that the government may not infringe upon your right to speak your mind freely.

          As is pointed out regularly to people who get banned around here those do not apply to individuals or private organizations in our country.  They are restrictions the government must abide by.  (yeah, right, I know, but at least that was the idea)

          As an individual I have the complete right to judge any candidate for elected office utterly unfit if they claim to have psychic communion with invisible all powerful being(s) from the sky.

          So "forbidden" is not the right word, not at all.  That implies that the law does not allow it.  But in a "if it was up to me" situation (like, say, when you go into a voting booth) it's completely legitimate to judge someone on their religion.  To vote only for fellow Mormon's or Catholics, for instance.  

          2.1 million Texans voted Democratic in the 2010 midterms. How many people in YOUR state voted D in 2010?

          by Rick Aucoin on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 12:53:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  would your perspective change if (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron, WheninRome, oxley, Agent99, Lensy

      you knew that Mormons have a goal of filling government and business and the rest of society with members of their church? Did you read the Harpers piece this past Fall? We fault Rick Perry for his extreme "Seven Pillars" views and allegiances; let's not give Romney a pass on his.

      Bloomberg beware. Zuccotti Park is everywhere. --O.W.S. 17 November 2011

      by CoExistNow on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 05:50:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is overlooked. It is very important. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Agent99, technomage, Lensy

        Mormons on the upper levels seek to fill all positions with Mormons if they can. My husband worked with a Mormon and as soon as he got the guy off the ground and established he was replaced with a Mormon. This is the way they do business, BIG Bidness. They are very clannish. Nobosy was afraid JFK was going to cram the Cabinet and the congress with Ppapists, rather that he would collude as a head of state for the best interests of the Vatican.

        •  the plural of anecdote (0+ / 0-)

          is not data.

          i have heard people make the exact -- exact -- same point about Jews.  Or when that stopped being ok, Orthodox Jews.  How about -- crazy notion -- judging Mitt Romney as an individual.  Hint:  he doesn't come off well.  Huntsman, also a mormon, comes off a fair bit better, but I wouldn't vote for him except against Romney.

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 09:54:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I don't care what religion someone follows (21+ / 0-)

    But what I do care about is if they try to inject their particular version of whatever faith it is into the political office, or try to force it on others, or keep trying to insist the US is a "Christian Nation".

    Life's tough. It's tougher if you're stupid.

    by PaganDancer on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 03:22:17 PM PST

    •  maybe it wouldn't be so bad, then, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril

      to have a president who is a religious minority.  i mean, other than Romney.  Fuck that guy in his pleated pants.

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:57:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  this is exactly what Romney would do. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, Dallasdoc

      He is no different than other Republicans. His religion is an issue because he wants to impose it on the rest of the country! Let's not be foolish about this. We're not talking about a live and let live kind of guy, folks.

      Bloomberg beware. Zuccotti Park is everywhere. --O.W.S. 17 November 2011

      by CoExistNow on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 05:56:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm opposed to worship of Mammon (9+ / 0-)

    Romney's biggest sin is Mammon, not Mormon.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 03:30:31 PM PST

  •  I learned everything about Mormons from (7+ / 0-)

    the Book of Mormon on Broadway

    Best. Show. Ever.

    AND WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT HEALTH CARE IN 2011? -- Susan from 29

    by voracious on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 03:50:02 PM PST

    •  I am still waiting (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, voracious, Dallasdoc, ER Doc

      for a touring company out here on the West Coast -- if they come to SF I'm sooooo there.

      Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes (modified)

      by Cali Scribe on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:31:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They will be in LA from Sept-Nov. I'm hoping (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cali Scribe, ER Doc

        they make it to SF after that. I saw the show last week in New York. It was outstanding. I have never seen anything like it. We paid a fortune for the tickets and it was worth every penny.

        AND WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT HEALTH CARE IN 2011? -- Susan from 29

        by voracious on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 05:08:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Then you should certainly read (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc

      Under the Banner of Heaven, by Jon Krakauer. It won't make you think better of Mormons, but it's a much more detailed picture.

      I did love the show, though.

      "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

      by sidnora on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:59:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the book does seem to conflate (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        monkee, sidnora

        the regular LDS church with the fundamentalists over the issue of polygamy.  Krakauer can't have it both ways -- either the LDS prophet is absolute, or polygamy is still officially tolerated.  

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 05:05:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I felt the most valuable thing about the book was (0+ / 0-)

          the discussion of the history of the church. From there you could see how it evolved into both the modern LDS church and the polygamous fundamentalist holdouts.

           

          "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

          by sidnora on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 07:52:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Southpark did a hillarious episode called (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc

        All About Mormons or something like that. It was amazing.

        AND WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT HEALTH CARE IN 2011? -- Susan from 29

        by voracious on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 05:09:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I loved how it was 21 minutes (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ER Doc, mmacdDE, ivorybill, Lensy

          of gleeful bashing of everything silly about Mormonism, and then ended with a speech very apropos to this discussion:

          "Maybe us Mormons do believe in crazy stories that make absolutely no sense, and maybe Joseph Smith did make it all up. But I have a great life and a great family, and I have the Book of Mormon to thank for that. The truth is, I don't care if Joseph Smith made it all up, because what the Church teaches now is loving your family, being nice and helping people. And even though people in this town might think that's stupid, I still choose to believe in it. All I ever did was try to be your friend, Stan, but you're so high and mighty you couldn't look past my religion and just be my friend back. You've got a lot of growing up to do, buddy. Suck my balls."

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 09:56:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I rarely see South Park (0+ / 0-)

          or much other TV, for that matter, but it makes sense. From Loge's description below, it sounds like it takes the same line on Mormonism as the show.

          Was the episode before or after they did the show?

          "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

          by sidnora on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 07:48:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I think it is fair game (6+ / 0-)

    to be cautious about voting for someone who may be beholden to a religious group.

    This is not only true for Mormons but for any Christian, Jewish or Muslim candidates as well.   I would be very hesitant to vote for a candidate that was a Catholic priest much as I would be wary of voting for a Mormon bishop.

    I believe Mr. Romney has held a position of bishop in the Mormon church.   He has made comments that he took direction from church elders in making political decisions.

    I think it wise for Americans to be cautious about voting for someone who may take orders from Utah while in office.

    I don't find this position to be anti-Mormon but rather in being proactive about keeping a division between church and state.

    •  wow.. bigotry on DKOS recced by six people (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Loge

      there are virulent/militaristic atheists out there as well.

      Wouldn't you find it disconcerting if I went around saying I'd be very hesitant to vote for an atheist because they might consult with Sam Harris

      Sam Harris is a prominent atheist (one quote among many "It is time we admitted that we are not at war with terrorism. We are at war with Islam.?")

      If you aren't outraged....you aren't paying attention

      by happenstance on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 09:59:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not bigotry (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BPARTR, Lensy

        Romney had a position of great power within the Mormon church...he was a bishop, the highest ranking member of the church in mass at one time. He has apparently gone to church elders for approval when it came to some of his policy positions. That is an issue as far as I'm concerned.

        I dont want another president starting a war because his personal god told him it was a good idea.

        While JFK has been brought up here as an example, he made it explicitly clear that his religion would NOT influence his politics. I do not have confidence that Romney would. People here dont seem to understand how powerful the Romney's are within the Mormon church, and the role that has played in the ascendency of many of them into positions of political power. I find that dynamic troubling no matter what the religion is.

        The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places ~Ernest Hemingway
        Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle ~ Anonymous

        by SwedishJewfish on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 10:44:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  that's an oversimplification (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happenstance, ivorybill

          as to JFK -- he said he was just as loyal to America as anyone else and to judge him as an individual.  I'm sure to some degree his religion did influence his politics, and we have medicare as a result.  (LBJ passed it, but it was Kennedy's bill.)

          Saying Romney "apparently" did x is not evidence.  I would be troubled if there was evidence the church said no, and on what; or if Romney had initially said no but the church said yes.  Put it this way:  what about his tenure as governor do you object to and the discussion can proceed from there.  He can consult with whomever he wants.  The logical leaps are confirmation bias, and therefore prejudice in the latin root sense, and as applied to a minority religion, bigotry.  Mormons are less than 2% of the U.S. population -- an effort to turn the U.S. into a mormon theocracy is not tenable, but i suppose if Romney were president and didn't push his religion, that, too, would be evidence of a fiendish plot to deceive us as to mormonism's true nature.  

          As for the Bishop thing, that's apparently nothing like being the head of a Catholic Archdiocese -- Romney's not ordained in any way.  His family does go way back, but the mormons didn't make his father CEO of American Motors or Governor of Michigan, and they didn't write the tax laws that created Bain Capital out of the Boston Consulting Group.  I'll stipulate that he wouldn't have gotten the job with the 2002 olympics without being mormon.  

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 05:24:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  He consulted with church elders (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ivorybill

            wrt his pro-choice position while running for senator, that has been pretty well established. He had to ask for their permission to do so. I don't believe he disputes this.

            I have issues with his position of authority within the church, period. I would have the same issues regardless of what church we were talking about. I am wary of the confluence of organized religion and power, which is very different than ones personal faith and beliefs.

            I am not suggesting he is attempting to turn us into a Mormon theocracy and don't appreciate the accusation of such tin foil hattery, thx :)

            The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places ~Ernest Hemingway
            Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle ~ Anonymous

            by SwedishJewfish on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 07:25:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  i think the issue is (0+ / 0-)

              "consulted with" covers too much ground.

              "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

              by Loge on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 08:01:28 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ok, to be more specific (0+ / 0-)

                He asked for their permission.

                The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places ~Ernest Hemingway
                Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle ~ Anonymous

                by SwedishJewfish on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:11:38 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  cite plz? (0+ / 0-)

                  and was it ever denied?  and if so what happened?

                  "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                  by Loge on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:13:54 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  There was a rec listed diary (0+ / 0-)

                    a few days ago that had the article that made reference to this in it....it was a nyt article...I am on my phone and can't really dig up links, sorry.

                    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places ~Ernest Hemingway
                    Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle ~ Anonymous

                    by SwedishJewfish on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:29:53 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  From a Dec. 18 NYT op-ed (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      SwedishJewfish

                      "There is absolutely no evidence that a religious hierarchy, either that of Al Smith's Roman Catholicism, of Mitt Romney's Mormonism or of Representative Keith Ellison's Muslim faith, has ever dictated these politicians' positions on the issues or challenged their allegiance to the Constitution. Every "

                      I looked at two lengthy Times articles about Romney and religion, and the closest on point was this:

                      "As a Senate candidate, Mr. Romney angered higher-ups in Salt Lake with his independent stance on abortion; he said that he was personally opposed, but favored laws allowing women to choose. But earlier as a church leader, he hewed much more closely to the official Mormon view."

                      The diary contradicts this, quoting a woman who had a clear bone to pick with Romney saying "When she visited his office, he told her that he only supported a pro-choice agenda because church elders in Provo had told him that it was the only way he'd win the seat in the liberal state." It doesn't make much sense that Romney would say this. Even if it's true, Romney doesn't pretend to be pro-choice anymore, and that's a proper target for ire, not the reasons behind it.

                      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                      by Loge on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:53:34 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I was mistaken then (0+ / 0-)

                        I thought the quote about consulting the elders in provo was in the nyt article. My apologies.

                        The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places ~Ernest Hemingway
                        Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle ~ Anonymous

                        by SwedishJewfish on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:59:07 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

        •  Human beings have many many (0+ / 0-)

          "sources" if you will for their behavior.

          We are all responsible for our actions, independent of what religion we belong to. To go around claiming you worry if someone was particularly religious smacks of bigtory.

          All those folks in the pre-civil war days who fought for abolition...they were influenced by religion.

          Stalin was influenced by an ideology that had no place for God.

          I think we should just look for good people instead of figuring out if they are good based on their religion (or lack thereof)

          If you aren't outraged....you aren't paying attention

          by happenstance on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 06:18:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm talking about power (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pasadena beggar

            not piousness. My issue is with power and authority within an organized religion. Being wary of that is not bigotry, no matter how much you try to say it is.

            The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places ~Ernest Hemingway
            Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle ~ Anonymous

            by SwedishJewfish on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 07:30:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I guess we'll have to disagree (0+ / 0-)

              I'm tired of people making a huge bogey man out of "organized religion" and making that be the root cause of all the world's problem

              the world's problems have to do with people. Creeps are everywhere, from religious persuasions and otherwise..from Karl Rove (who said he was an atheist) to the recently deceased Christopher Hitchens

              Putting too much of a focus on religion might have more to do with anti-religion bias than you realize.

              If you aren't outraged....you aren't paying attention

              by happenstance on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 08:48:11 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Honestly (0+ / 0-)

                it sounds like you have an anti-atheism bias. I'm sorry that you are tired of hearing the truth. Bringing up Karl Rove and Stalin, suggesting that because they personally were atheists and happened to be evil human beings is somehow relevant is just silly. Again, you are talking about the beliefs of individuals, I am referring to the collective actions of institutions. Two very different concepts.

                 Let me make this crystal clear-I don't care what any individual believes in. I grew up in an interfaith family, went went to both hebrew and catholic school, am best friends with an evangelical Christian and was engaged to a southern baptist. My daughter is very religious, even at 5 years old, and has been for as long as I can remember and I'm fine with that. I'm personally on the fence, but not anti-religion by any stretch. I am, however, strongly against the concept of organized religion because any time an institution-be it the government, the church, or even something as seemingly innocuous as a college football team (I.e. Penn state) becomes too powerful, it inevitably leads to abuse of that power. And because these institutions are held as sacred, those abuses of power are almost always ignored, covered up, and allowed to continue...or even through the process of indoctrination become accepted practices within that institution. See the pedophilia within the catholic church, which is still to this day going on and being covered up, the Penn state scandal, the widespread abuse of young girls and discarding of young boys within certain sects of the Mormon church, and for an example of how it becomes accepted practice see the rampant and unapologetic bigotry, homophobia and misogyny that is not only accepted within fundamentalist abrahamic religions, but is actually forced upon the populace, regardless of their OWN beliefs, by being codified into law....whether we are talking about sharia, or dominionism or radical-Zionism, there is always a point where organized religions grow so powerful and convinced of the superiority of their own personal beliefs that they encroach on the rights of others. Now, if you can show me examples of any organized group of atheists who have done anything similar to the examples I've mentioned, or can name a war that was started by atheists then maybe you have a point, but I don't think you can. Therefore your arguments are steeped in false equivalency and your accusations of bigotry or anti-religion bias on my part are completely unfounded.

                The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places ~Ernest Hemingway
                Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle ~ Anonymous

                by SwedishJewfish on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:02:17 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  perhaps you are just anti-institution, then (0+ / 0-)

                  if so, then I think your original comment was erroneous. You aren't concerned about ...

                  "My issue is with power and authority within an organized religion."

                  your concern is with power and authority. Period. Institutions can become self-perpetuating/self-serving and can commit evil acts. I can respect that point (and largely agree).

                  You say you don't care what an individual believes in yet earlier you said "I dont want another president starting a war because his personal god told him it was a good idea."

                  I think you are missing the point. A whole ton of wars/evil acts happen because of other non-religious institutions. You can very well try to argue that Iraq was inspired by religious zealtory (some of the support certainly came from the religious christian/jewish crowd) but much more of it came from the extremely wealthy Military-Industrial, Energy, & Financial sectors-- a set of people who aren't particularly religious (unless you count greed as a religion).

                  Putting a heavy focus on one's religion or religiosity isn't going to help prevent getting a really bad president.

                  As to your last challenge -- I would argue that the Soviet Union was  an organized group of atheists that committed a great deal of evil in this world.

                  If you aren't outraged....you aren't paying attention

                  by happenstance on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:26:30 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well that non-sequitur about bush (0+ / 0-)

                    was more a comment on how faith can sometimes spill over to governance. There is no question that Bush's religion influenced his policymaking. Not just on Iraq but on stem cell research and a variety of other issues. So I should have been more specific-I don't care what any individual believes in, unless their beliefs are forced on me. The moment you use your faith as justification to encroach upon my rights, or if you are a politician and use your faith to guide your policymaking instead of the will of the people who you are supposed to represent, I have a problem with that.

                    And I'm not necessarily anti-institution, just against concentrated power in any form. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and all that.

                    The soviet example is interesting...in many ways I consider both leninism and stalinism very similar to organized religion-the only difference being instead of compelling people to worship and be loyal to a god, they inspired that same devotion to the state,  and to the individuals who presided over it. Stalin in particular was worshipped by stalinists, and elevated to an almost god-like status by those who believed he would lead them into their own kind of heaven on earth. They may have been atheists by strict definition but only because they worshipped something other than traditional religion.

                    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places ~Ernest Hemingway
                    Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle ~ Anonymous

                    by SwedishJewfish on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:54:39 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, I object to ANY religious belief (11+ / 0-)

    in my represented officials.

    Believers tend to do jacked-up things with the rationale that God will fix it. Non-believers know that they can only rely on themselves and whatever gets damaged in the process can't be corrected. THAT'S what I want my elected officials to believe.

    Having said that, I find the stronger the religious belief, the less comfortable I feel about it. I've never met a lapsed Mormon. They are either devout or have quit the church.

    So, if the pollster had asked me the question "Does Mitt Romney's religion bother you?" I would have answered, Yes.

    My new favorite RIGHT WING website: NewtCantWin.com It's what the RIGHT thinks of Newt! Enjoy!

    by pucklady on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:11:59 PM PST

    •  some do, some don't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron

      perhaps JFK's religious views let him to avert nuclear war over Cuba and Berlin.  Dubya was different.  Obama seems more like Kennedy.  I think how one expresses religion is a function of character, not that religion determines it.  

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:59:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What's the definition of "lapsed", (0+ / 0-)

      if not "quit the church"?

      "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

      by sidnora on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 05:01:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, like with Catholics, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, Dirtandiron, sidnora

        "lapsed" would mean still believing, but not attending church or participating. I think that is different from leaving the church and no longer believing.

        My new favorite RIGHT WING website: NewtCantWin.com It's what the RIGHT thinks of Newt! Enjoy!

        by pucklady on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 05:14:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So lapsed would mean (0+ / 0-)

          "lazy" more or less, rather than actively rejecting the faith?

          Interesting. I am an atheist of Jewish descent, but I still consider myself Jewish. I think I've rejected the faith, but I know that if they were rounding up the Jews everyone else would consider me Jewish, so I see no reason not to own it.

          And besides, I make great knaidlach.

          "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

          by sidnora on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 07:56:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think that's kind of different (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sidnora

            I don't think there is such a thing as "of Mormon descent" or "of Catholic descent". One's Jewishness is almost an ethnicity as much as a religion. Is there Christian food? Mormon food? There is certainly Jewish food, as you point out.

            I'm not sure I like the word "lazy" to describe lapsed, but right now, I can't think of a better word. Reprioritised, perhaps?

            I think I was raised as a "reprioritised" Christian, then went through some variations of non-Christian spiritualism, then ended up an atheist, but a non-prioritised one of those, too.

            I'd love to try your knaidlach. I have no idea what that is, but I'm always game for new food.

            My new favorite RIGHT WING website: NewtCantWin.com It's what the RIGHT thinks of Newt! Enjoy!

            by pucklady on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:49:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I consider myself (0+ / 0-)

              a non-prioritized atheist, too ( as opposed to a militant one).

              Is there Christian food? From my POV there is: jello salad and baked ham, for instance (non-religious Jews dote on certain pork products, especially bacon, but a whole baked ham is culturally a reach).

              Knaidlach (plural, one is a knaidle) are matzo balls, and if you're in the NYC area I'd be happy to make some, sometime.

              "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

              by sidnora on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 01:57:25 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for including (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    taonow, Zack from the SFV, kyril

    us atheists.

    Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

    by democracy inaction on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:16:32 PM PST

  •  I don't care what faith (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Loge, Dirtandiron, ladyjames

    a person practices in private -- as long as they put the Constitution ahead of the Bible, the Qu'ran, the Book of Mormon, or whatever holy book their particular institution professes.

    Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes (modified)

    by Cali Scribe on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:23:19 PM PST

    •  Just how are you going to know (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril

      how the candidate will behave while in office?

      I've already read articles where Mitt stated that he took guidance from Utah in his political runs in MA.   I'm not anti-Mormon but I really fear Utah would have a lot of pull in DC should Mitt get the White House.

      •  Well, in that case you'd have precedent (5+ / 0-)

        If he took guidance from the elders in Utah, that would be a big red flag. But if someone is simply going to their local stake every Sunday, just like people attend church, synagogue, mosque or other faith center weekly, you don't have much to go on.

        I judge people by their political stances, not their religious ones. I happen to be a Christian, but if I'm faced with the choice of a Christian who is a proponent of the "prosperity Gospel" (people are rich because of God's favor, so if you're poor it's because you're a filthy sinner who needs to get right with God and good Christians shouldn't waste their money on you) and an atheist who believes in economic justice, I'm going to go for the atheist. That has nothing to do with any religious test -- it has to do with the fact that I find the "prosperity Gospel" a load of crap.

        Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes (modified)

        by Cali Scribe on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:40:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Local Ward, not Stake. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril, ER Doc

          "Ward" is the basic congregational unit in the Mormon Church.  A Stake is a collection of Wards, think of it as like a County which has several towns within it.

          2.1 million Texans voted Democratic in the 2010 midterms. How many people in YOUR state voted D in 2010?

          by Rick Aucoin on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 09:55:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Though on further review, "Ward" isn't really it. (0+ / 0-)

          No one in the Mormon church refers to going to the Ward for services.  A "ward" is a congregational unit, the people, really.  The building where the Ward has services and Sunday school and all that is simply called the church.

          So, it would be "simply going to their local church every Sunday".  

          2.1 million Texans voted Democratic in the 2010 midterms. How many people in YOUR state voted D in 2010?

          by Rick Aucoin on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 03:04:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  When religions promote (23+ / 0-)

    authoritarianism in the name of a spiritual being in order to exact obedience from their fellow humans, then their access to the coercive powers of the state to back up their dicta conflicts with the Constitution's commitment to individual liberty.
    The separation of church and state isn't designed to protect the church, but to protect the state from irrational interference. That churches have designs on our secular institutions is all too evident.
    As a matter of fact, during colonial times, political subdivisions and ecclesiastic districts were combined (some states still have parishes) and ministers received material support from secular coffers.  It was when multiple sects developed and all sought to sup at the public till that it was determined best to keep church and state separate, if only to minimize conflicts.
    Bush being directed by his "higher" father and Romney responding to the elders are both examples of men abrogating the responsibility for their actions and obligations to an unaccountable entity. If they aren't prepared to assume the obligations, they shouldn't apply for the position.

    The culture of obedience is attractive because it relieves people from having to make any choices. That's not good preparation for the Presidency.

    People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

    by hannah on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:33:20 PM PST

    •  Actually it is designed in part (9+ / 0-)

      to protect the church from the State, in that you're not going to have a state religion such as what was found in England and led to the Puritans and other groups seeking a new land free from persecution. (The fact that those same groups engaged in similar persecutions of those who were different, including the then current residents of these shores, is a totally different story.) Despite the wishes of Herman Cain and others, we have the right to practice any brand of religion, or no brand if we so choose.

      Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes (modified)

      by Cali Scribe on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:45:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  hannah and cali scribe (6+ / 0-)

        it is for members like you two that I became a lifetime member of dailykos.

        I have not rec'd this diary or given Grayson a tip because religion does influence how we act and govern--whether it is ourselves or others. I am in agreement that there should be no religious tests but the kind of influence that religious socialization brings to bear should be weighed carefully. For example, I was raised Baptist--my grandfather followed his minister from Arkansas to Chicago in 1938--and we remained in that church throughout my childhood. Women had to wear skirts and could never be ordained as ministers. Eventually, I found the sexism intolerable and began exploring other options. Would I want someone who embraced the teachings of my old church to run for office? No. Especially given how their socialization would impact my choices as a woman.

    •  Even Jesus gets it wrong sometimes. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MKinTN, Dallasdoc, blueness, hannah, tobendaro

      He sure flubbed on Iraq.


      Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he can rob the world. Nationalize the bastards.

      by Pluto on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:47:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's not bigotry to criticize religion (25+ / 0-)

    The religious test prohibition in the Constitution is a bar on the government imposing a religious test.  It in no way prohibits a voter from taking into account--or basing a vote entirely on--a candidate's religion (whether for or against).

    A candidate's religion, and the intensity with which they choose to project their religion, are certainly fair game for a voter to base a vote on.  If a candidate's religion requires one to believe that African-Americans and Native-Americans are inferior, the Garden of Eden was in Missouri, and Jesus sojourned in North America, then it is entirely reasonable to think that someone who believes in such things is an idiot.  Ditto for religious beliefs in creationism, angels, heaven, hell, and reincarnation.  After all, if a candidate cannot think straight on these matters, why should I trust him or her to think straight on anything else?

    In most cases, it's a matter of degree--for instance, I find any belief in any sort of god to be irrational, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for atheist candidates to emerge.  But candidate's who want to bring their "faith" into play--as Romney, and for that matter, all the Republican candidates, do--run the risk of having the beliefs of their religions discussed, and criticized, in the same way that their non-religious beliefs are discussed.

    "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

    by Old Left Good Left on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:38:45 PM PST

  •  With one exception. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExStr8, wishingwell, kyril, blueness, ladyjames
    The penultimate sentence of the Constitution states:  “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

    A declared atheist will never be elected to the US Presidency.

    So there's one religious test that stands -- whether formalized or not.


    Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he can rob the world. Nationalize the bastards.

    by Pluto on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:39:48 PM PST

  •  While I agree, I also see the problems-- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kpbuick, tobendaro

    -- If he runs on "conservative principles" and uses his faith to back up his adherence to those principles, then he moves his religion into the center of the stage and makes it part of his campaign.

    But then I feel the same way about all the people who run using Christianity as a campaign pillar.

    Mitt has been smart enough not to do this so far, but in order to appeal to the conservative base, he may have to do the old "my faith tells me that..." and as soon as his faith is a running mate, it is open for scrutiny.

  •  I thought Romney's religion was money? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Supavash, CoExistNow, tobendaro

    I am uncomfortable with that religion being in charge of things.

    There's more to this country than money, and we need a president who demonstrates that.

  •  The fact that I would be uncomfortable (24+ / 0-)

    with a Mormon as President shouldn't be read to mean I think Mormons should be disqualified from being President. I would also be uncomfortable with a Republican as President, but I'm not agitating for any laws to make them ineligible.

    Religion is odd in that it blurs a certain boundary.

    On the one hand, it's a social identity - something it shares with other protected characteristics such as race, gender, and sexual orientation. And on that count, it deserves protection. Official entities should not be allowed to discriminate based on religion.

    On the other hand, religion is a statement of beliefs, ideology, and philosophy. And when someone stands as a candidate for political office, they're asking to be judged on their beliefs, ideology, and philosophy. Their religion is part of that. Saying "I'm a Mormon" without qualification says "I believe what the LDS Church teaches, not just about the afterlife and other intangibles, but about how things should be here on Earth."

    And some of the things the Church teaches are repulsive. Do I have to give people a pass on repulsive beliefs just because they're cloaked in religion? I have absolutely no shame in saying I would never vote for a member of the World Church of the Creator. It's a racist church and I won't vote for a racist. Would you condemn me for that? Doubtful.

    And yet you would condemn me for refusing to vote for a Mormon. But the LDS Church is a homophobic church and I won't vote for a homophobe (given a better alternative...sometimes there isn't one, sadly). Now, I could make an exception for a Mormon who publicly and explicitly broke with the church on LGBT equality, but that option has never been presented.

    "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

    by kyril on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 05:12:05 PM PST

  •  There are plenty of reasons not to vote for Romney (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    monkee, drmah, Loge

    Religion doesn't have to be and shouldn't be be one of them.

  •  I _strongly_ disagree (8+ / 0-)

    Let's say a candidate said, "My religion is to rape little boys." Well, you can't hold that against the candidate because it would be unConstitutional to have any "test" of the candidate's religion? Yes, the Mormon religion is not to rape little boys. And since they reformed it to gain enough respectability for statehood it's not even to rape young girls any more - except in breakaway versions which still practice according to the original doctrine. Or maybe you don't think it's rape if it is forcing a young teen to have sex with an older man if she's already been declared one of his many wives? Respect for the ways of other religious communities means you should not, perhaps.

    If you do believe it's not rape, and I differ from you on this, that's not a "religious" difference. That's not what the Founders were concerned with. They were concerned with "tests" that would be choices by government officials as to who would be allowed to be a candidate. It has nothing to do with who voters should vote for. Voters are allowed to use our consciences, even to consider issues claimed to be under the ownership of "religion" as we do so.

    Mormons are a bit like Scientologists, in that they can be wonderful individuals, as enlightened as any of us - but are assuredly not so as long as they firmly embrace their "faith." In both cases, it's an obviously absurd confabulation invented to create a cult in service to its leaders. In both cases, any candidate who actually embraces its doctrines should certainly not be prevented from running by anyone, let alone by any government action. But they deserve zero votes. Not all religions are deeply corrupting of the individual fully in their embrace. But some are. And our votes should be informed by our best knowledge of this.

    •  you know that Romney (0+ / 0-)

      has only 1/3 of the number of wives of Newt Gingrich, right?  If you want to tar Romney with the sins of the FLDS, then you can't also claim that it's a cult, as the FLDS are directly violating the stated position of the Tabernacle.  So, which decision was it when Romney imposed the political or religious views of others onto Massachusetts?  For this charge to hold, it would have to be a decision Romney made, did not believe in, and was so unpopular or without justification that opposition to it couldn't be thought of as a legitimate bit of political disagreement.   Was it when he had taxes pay for the abortions?

      Insofar as scientology actually imprisons people, i'm not sure there's a good comparison.  The tithing at least has some biblical support (real bible, not the Joseph Smith one).  

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 10:03:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's rich... (0+ / 0-)
        (real bible, not the Joseph Smith one).

        hard to know where to start, replying to that.

        As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

        by BPARTR on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 09:49:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i don't think it's the word of God, (0+ / 0-)

          but it's not where you'd start anyway and is only mentioned to distinguish and explain one aspect people use to say it's a cult, that it "takes" 10% of one's income.  Which is a strange case to make because it's not coming from the book that has all the stuff in it that generally distinguishes Mormons.  

          The fact that it appears in the context of defending an individual mormon against some aspersions towards his faith, there's a decent chance "real bible" to refer to the old and new testaments isn't entirely a claim about biblical inerrancy.  

          But it's true, you don't know where to start.  not that there's any need to reply if you have nothing to say.

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 10:00:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  in what way is one book (0+ / 0-)

            real and the other not real?

            As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

            by BPARTR on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 10:13:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  are you dense? truly dense? (0+ / 0-)

              i have to explain the point three times to you?  you can't work backwards from the explanation that i was being glib?  if i had said "from the bible" instead of "from the real bible" the point would have been exactly the same, though it wouldn't be a sarcastic dig at the people who are more willing to accept conventional Christians as plausible candidates than Mormons.  the very fact that i was again suggesting that anti-mormon prejudice is a bad thing already implies that i'm not picking sides about which texts are "true," and if i were, wouldn't it be the book of mormon?

              i guess some people who criticize religions for excessive literalism are often guilty of projection.

              "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

              by Loge on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 10:22:29 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  That's not what "religious test" means (17+ / 0-)

    The voters can make up their individual minds on whatever damned basis they please.  People simply can't be prevented from running based on their religion.

    Democrats must
    Earn the trust
    Of the 99% --
    That's our intent!

    "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

    by Seneca Doane on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 05:23:42 PM PST

    •  it was tested in Utah (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Seneca Doane

      Reed Smoot.   well, the senators invented a pretext -- that the single-married Smoot really, secretly made an oath to take multiple wives, but it was a transparent effort to keep a mormon out of the Senate.  Old prejudices die hard.

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 10:06:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  His religious beliefs are paramount (7+ / 0-)

    because of the extremism of the particular religious group he chose to join up with - and because they underpin political beliefs.

    The Mormon church leaders that Romney reports to don't believe in separation of church and state, so yes, his religion actually is the problem.

    There are probably Mormons out there who aren't part of the particular religious group that Romney reports to, and I might trust them depending on the details. But Romney chose who his bosses are and they don't believe in the values that make America great.

    •  Here I have to disagree (0+ / 0-)
      the particular religious group he chose to join up with
      Tell me the religion of a person's parents and I can tell you with a great deal of certainty what his religion will be.  Religion is a vertically transmitted meme infection.  Very few people actually choose their religion.

      Whether they choose to actively participate is a more reasonable question.

      As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

      by BPARTR on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 09:53:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Silly (0+ / 0-)

        That's like excusing a Republican because their parents were Republicans.

        What you say may have been true in 1950, but it's not true any longer.

        People quit churches and/or join different versions of them all the time in America.

        My comment isn't even about the broader religion itself, it's about the specific church and the specific elders that Romney reports to.

        •  sorry- I wasn't excusing him (0+ / 0-)

          He is old enough to read.  But people do not change religions all the time, even in America ( they might change from Methodist to Baptist, but they tend to stay mainstream Christian...)  and worldwide- if you were born a Muslim, you are probably a Muslim, dito Buddhist, Jew,
          Christian.

          As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

          by BPARTR on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 01:46:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think you'll notice that I'm talking (0+ / 0-)

            about denominations or types of Christianity.

            I think we're saying pretty much the same thing.

            People swap from denomination to denomination or dial up or down the intensity of the fundamentalism within a denomination by choosing various churches, etc.

            Thanks

  •  Atheist will be the last on your list (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrHinkyDink, kyril, Dallasdoc, JustinBinFL

    to make it to the White House. Not needing a phantom father figure to tell you what to do is too scary to voters, I think.

    "Maybe this is how empires die - their citizens just don't deserve to be world leaders anymore." -Kossack Puddytat, In a Comment 18 Sept 2011

    by pixxer on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 05:37:58 PM PST

    •  more often than not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pixxer

      that "phantom father figure" tells them what they happen to already think.   just saying.  Religion is usually used as a crutch, supporting the predjudices and secret wishes of the proponent.  Rarely does a politican say, " I wanted to do X but my god told me to do otherwise- or I didn't want to do  Y but my god made me do it."   Instead we hear " God told me to run for office, or told me to invade another country."

      As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

      by BPARTR on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 09:57:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  More fundamdntally, the religious seem to (0+ / 0-)

        believe that one cannot be moral unless doing what the phantom father figure says to do. All morality can come only from God. As though the species has not matured since we came down out of the trees.

        "Maybe this is how empires die - their citizens just don't deserve to be world leaders anymore." -Kossack Puddytat, In a Comment 18 Sept 2011

        by pixxer on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 10:07:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great comparison... (7+ / 0-)

    ..Mr. Grayson:  Being left-handed is exactly like being a Mormon.

    Sorry, Mormonism is a creepy religion and the American people have every right to put any potential president who adheres to it  under a microscope.

    There are diaries here all the time where people put Dominionists, Pentecostals & prosperity message kooks under the microscope.  I don't see why Joseph Smith and  Brigham Young should get a pass.

    Just like Scientology:  If a Scientologist wants to run for president, then I want full disclosure on the L. Ron Hubbard & thetan stuff.

    What if Alan Grayson's political opponent was a Scientologist?  I  wonder if the famous Grayson tolerance would hold up if that clown car full of low-hanging fruit rolled into town.

    All that aside, if, like Romney,  you amass 40 million dollars via grift, theft & venal business dealings, us heathens should be no more impressed with that than the angel Moroni.

    When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in excess body fat and carrying a misspelled sign.

    by wyvern on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 05:50:50 PM PST

  •  I can state without reservation (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cacamp, Loge, kyril, tobendaro, ivorybill

    that Mitt Romney's religion is not why I won't vote for him. Why, I would not vote with equal enthusiasm for a Catholic Republican, or a Muslim Republican, or a Zoroastrian Republican. The religion is irrelevant; the party affiliation is pretty much everything.

    The whole point of society is to be less unforgiving than nature. - Arthur D. Hlavaty

    by Alice Venturi on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 06:05:52 PM PST

  •  It worries me when politicians are religious (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, Agent99, oxley, tobendaro, ivorybill, Lensy

    Always.

    But, in America, all successful politicians are religious, so it's just one of those annoying things one has to put up with in life, like hemorrhoids.

  •  I don't care what Romney's religion is, but I sure (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Supavash, kyril, oxley

    as hell hope a majotrity of the RW base cares. I hope it is reason enough for them to stay home next November. And I have no qualms with feeling this way. None. It best assures Romney's defeat.

    Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

    by JTinDC on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 06:08:06 PM PST

    •  And it should be used in the election to (0+ / 0-)

      help this happen too.

      It couldn't be the Obama campaign directly, but people for Obama need to make sure Mormonism is an issue in the election.

      It may be his biggest weak spot. To not use it would be political suicide. It would be handing over the election to the other party.

      Thats what matters, doing what you have to to win. Who cares if it should be an issue or not.

      •  There are about 6 million mormons (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, ivorybill

        in the United States.  The President should no sooner seek reelection on their backs than the 2 million Muslims or the 6 million Jews in the U.S.  It would be a pyrrhic victory and utterly not in keeping with what Barack Obama believes about pluralism.  

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 10:13:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The one thing Obama should not do (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Loge

          is bash Mormons, and neither should the rest of us.  We forget that in the 1820's we ethnically cleansed the SE US of its Indians, and in the late 1830's, the US government did nothing while the Mormons were hunted and driven from their land in Missouri. There's a deep history of real persecution including massacres against Mormons, which led in turn to all sorts of unhealthy behavior on the part of the early Mormon leaders.  I doubt the Mormons would have attacked that convoy of 49ers near Cedar City had they not been on the other side of the guns in Missouri just a few years earlier.  

          As my comments elsewhere suggest, I don't even remotely believe in the Mormon religion and am troubled by any politician, Mormon or whatever, who is excessively rigid in terms of religious belief or interpretation.  That said, I would no sooner see the Mormons persecuted than I would the Navajo.  Both have a place in American society and we need to distinguish very carefully between legitimate concerns about religion affecting public policy, and illegitimate actions that undermine pluralism and religious freedom.  

          “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

          by ivorybill on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 09:24:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped and rec'd (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    monkee

    and thank you, Mr. Grayson!

    Peace!

    Equality. It ain't complicated!

    by SueM1121 on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 06:08:14 PM PST

  •  Someone's religion IS fair game (9+ / 0-)

    Really; as was said above: "no religious test" means that he can't be barred from running.   But I'd happily vote against someone who espouses ridiculous ideas even if those ideas are given the label "religion".

    Of course, I am an atheist so it is a bit like "Zeus v. Thor" for me.  But if someone thinks that wholesale slaughters are ok if some sky daddy orders it, or if the "rapture is coming" hence global warming isn't a problem, or if dark skins are really a curse from a deity, yeah, I have a problem with those beliefs and WILL take those into account when I vote.

    "Obama won. Get over it."

    by onanyes on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 06:11:26 PM PST

    •  what's your evidence (0+ / 0-)

      Romney thinks any of these things?  I'll give you that he doesn't believe in global warming -- or is unwilling to act on it, which is the same thing -- but mormons don't really believe in the rapture.  What's more, it's not clear that Mitt has ever espoused much of anything ever since he left his mission in France.

      I'm an athiest, too, but i find live and let live a better strategy than intellectual arrogance.  Which is uncharacteristic, but i didn't really choose to be an atheist.  It just sort of happened that way and i built a belief system without God in it.  I suspect to most americans, this sort of rhetoric is about as obnoxious as this mornings subway preacher was to me.  

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 10:18:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  uh... (0+ / 0-)

        "Romney thinks any of these things?"

        I didn't say that he did.  I said if I had evidence that someone held these beliefs I would take these into account.  I was listing beliefs espoused by some in the name of various religions and not ascribing them to Mr. Romney.

        If this is your idea of intellectual arrogance then I feel sorry for you.

        "Obama won. Get over it."

        by onanyes on Thu Dec 29, 2011 at 03:26:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i'm sorry i though that (0+ / 0-)

          the word "someone" in a diary about mitt romney might reasonably relate to mitt romney.  

          i do think using terms like "sky daddy" is intellectually arrogant.  there are serious argument, but unconvincing ones, for the existence of God and people who believe in God who are more intelligent than either of us.  Reducing religious faith to a caricature and then attacking that caricature makes it look like you're not equipped to handle the actual, sophisticated arguments about the nature of God or belief.  Addressing them on their own terms is more interesting than having an adjective fight.

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Thu Dec 29, 2011 at 03:42:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  The Mormans I have known are (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    monkee, Loge, mmacdDE

    just as diverse in every area of life and ethics as every person I have known in my life.

    He is not advocating America as being of his Religion like  Bush II did.  

    I respect him for the fact that he is not trying to manipulate our view  one way or the other on his Religion.

    Still would not vote for him though for other reasons, but would not vote against him because he is a Mormon.

  •  Keith Ellison (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loge, mmacdDE, ivorybill

    So if an idiosyncratic holy book and a history of intolerance disqualify an adherent to that religion from holding public office; then Keith Ellison can't be in congress?

  •  Romney's religion will be less of an issue than (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah

    his lack of a likeable personality, lack of a stand on any issue of importance to Americans, and his pursuit of creed.

  •  Romney is for a "Christian" government. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, onanyes

    Romney claims this is a "Christian" country and that our laws must follow "Christian" doctrines.  Since there are many different Christian sects, it is fair to see which sect Romney belongs to since Romney has stated he will govern based on his religious beliefs and that government policy must abide by religious laws.

  •  My first ever Presidential vote (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dallasdoc, cacamp, Loge, ivorybill

    was for a Mormon -- Morris Udall.

  •  I absolutely believe you are right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, kindofblue

    that the State has no business excluding anyone from political life based on their religion.

    I also believe I have every right to judge a person for political office on the religious opinions they express.  Fundamentalists, for one, I could not vote for.

    I feel that I have good basis for doing so.  

    However, it also makes me uncomfortable because I realize that others may vote against people of certain religions for reasons I find to be arbitrary, but they obviously do not.

    Life is a quandary.

  •  On a side note: (0+ / 0-)
    One of the unwritten rules of American politics is that you should never express disappointment with the voters.  They can express their disappointment with you, each time you’re on the ballot.  But it’s strictly a one-way street.

    So much for "name it and shame it," eh?

    If a majority of voters are "disappointing" (read, "wrong"), then it seems our representatives/leaders should be willing (if they don't accept the obligation via James Madison's perspective in Federalist #10) to tell [that] truth; you know...refine and distill the public interest...blah blah blah.

    ...meh...what do I know; I'm just a housewife.

    Besides, you are indeed expressing your disappointment.  Good on ya.

    "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

    by Marjmar on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 08:30:17 PM PST

  •  What Alan Grayson said (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    monkee, ER Doc, Dallasdoc

    After all, isn't that truly what we all want need in a President?

    But here’s the thing:  we need a President who will find jobs for the 24 million Americans who can’t find full-time work.  We need a President who will find health care for the 50 million Americans who can’t see a doctor when they are sick.  We need a President who will find food for the 48 million Americans who need government assistance to feed themselves.

    You find me a President like that, and I don’t care if she is a left-handed, gay, differently-abled, Latino Mormon.  Or a Moslem, Buddhist, atheist, Protestant, Catholic or Jew.

    I just want someone who can do the job.

    So say we all!!!

    * * *
    I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization
    * * *
    "A great democracy must be progressive or it will soon cease to be a great democracy."
    THEODORE ROOSEVELT

    by Angie in WA State on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 08:42:50 PM PST

  •  'I just want someone who can do the job.' (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, Loge, SwedishJewfish, ER Doc, missLotus

    Which is why I will be voting enthusiastically for President Obama.

    cheers,

    Mitch Gore

    Want to end too big to fail banks? Then move your money and they will no longer be too big.

    by Lestatdelc on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 09:08:19 PM PST

  •  btw I find this an excellent thread on the issues, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, bluegrass50

    unpacking/examining/debating them without anyone getting too crazy (or even cranky) in defense of Mormonism, organized religion, rationality, atheism, or anything else.   This isn't always the case even on DK, let alone anywhere else.  Kudos.

    "Ah, excuse me, is this the 5 minutes or the full half-hour?"

    "Oh, let's start with the 5 minutes"

    "Very well.  Anyway, I DID tell you just now"

    "no you didn't"

    "yes I did"

    "no you didn't"

    "Yes I did"...        

  •  Religion does concern me, when I think the person (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    manoffire, Dallasdoc, ivorybill

    believes in some fundamentally wacky ideas about the world.

    And would be interested in making sure that their "prophecies" or beliefs are foisted off on everyone.

    For instance, if Bush's fundamentalism, or Palin's fundamentalism, make them believe that having religion and politics intertwined -- then I say it's a mistake to elect them.

    Could be very damaging for society.

    For instance, if they revere the idea of massive violence in the Middle East, because those would hasten "end times" and "the resurrection" -- then I don't think they should be in office.

    (ps see recent history on that.)

    This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

    by AllisonInSeattle on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 11:42:40 PM PST

  •  I'm a Mormon (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, Disrupter, ivorybill

    and there is no way I'd vote for Romney either.  I wouldn't vote for any Mormon for public office because:

    1. Most of them are Republicans.
    2. Being Republicans, they are in bed with Fundamentalists, which hate Mormon's guts, so political Mormon Republicans are stupid, too.
    3. I have never had a business transaction with a Mormon that was resolved in my favor.
    4.  The Mormon Democrats I know of in public office are very Blue Dog, and are Conservative Republicans.  I would vote for David Knowlton ( a professor at Utah Valley State ), because he is smart, liberal and he was my roommate in College  (UT Austin). I would would vote for Mark Mickelsen, for the same reasons.  However I very much doubt they would ever run for office.
    5. While the church has official exceptions allowing abortions, I doubt that there is a Mormon in public life that fully supports a woman's right to choose, and wouldn't stand up to a total ban on abortion, even up to the death of the mother.

    I can't see Harry Reid running for Pres.  He is too old and too Conservative.  I would imagine in the larger picture andy truly Liberal / Progressive Mormon that really pushed a reality based agenda would ultimately run afoul of Church authorities a risk excommunication.

    This is why i don't think Mormons would make good politicians, and why I ain't no way no how votin' for Mittins.

  •  I respect a person's right to choose a religion. (0+ / 0-)

    I do not have to respect the religion they choose, or the person doing the choosing if I feel that their choice makes them a dupe.

    I do not have to respect a person's or that person's religion if I feel that their holding of a public office would be guided more by religion than by the Constitution.

    I don't respect Romney because he will say anything and do anything to be president, and he does not appear to care about people as much as he cares about corporations.

    His wacky ideas about golden tablets, corporations, jobs, the place of women in society and magic underwear simply underline the reasons why Romney will never, ever get my vote.

    •  unfortunately very few (0+ / 0-)

      people choose a religion.  Instead, they adopt the religion of their parents- no choice or discrimination or examination of the tenants of the religion are allowed or attempted.

      If people actually chose their religions, there would be a lot more atheists.

      As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

      by BPARTR on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 10:03:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The constitution IS clear (0+ / 0-)

    but it does not give any guidance on why people should or should not vote for anyone, only that the government may not make it a requirement that a person be of a certain religion or forbid people of certain religions from running.

    To get at this question, a poll would have to ask, e.g., should Mormons be allowed to run for public office?  

    I think such questions have been asked, but they are different questions from the one you cite.

    I, personally, am uncomfortable with anyone who thinks God speaks to him/her being in office.

    Follow me on Twitter @PeterFlom

    by plf515 on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 03:45:25 AM PST

  •  When the real light of 2012 begins to shine on (0+ / 0-)

    Mitt and his past, his religion will be the last thing important to voters (well, at least those north of the Mason Dixon line).  It's downright humorous that Mitt's last chance at the presidency is finally here when most Americans will despise him for being in the 1% more than they will because of his religion.  The Repubs just can't get a break anymore. :)

  •  Alan, let me know when you fing that guy or gal (0+ / 0-)
  •  Your religion does define you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whatGodmade

    I often agree with Alan but I think he is wrong here.  Human beings are defined by our environments including our religious beliefs .  Otherwise, why not elect a robot with no personality for president?  "PresidentBot 2012"  

    If you believe that Native Americans are really decedents of Jews despite all evidence to the contrary, then you have a different way of looking at things than an atheist.  I am not judging, just stating an idea.  I agree that we can't define his candidacy based on his religion but it is not fair to say it is not a factor that should not be considered.  It isn't just about solving problems, it is about how those problems are solved and what a candidate believes is going to define their path to attempting to solve problems.

  •  George Washington said (0+ / 0-)

    much the same thing when hiring workers for Mount Vernon, the language was slightly different.

    But clearly religion has reached into government in many ways, mostly with pernicious effect, to change or stymie policies that would allow more people to fully express their personal liberties.   For large groups of Americans, there are religious tests for everything.   And anyone who fails is demonized, isolated, and subjected to death threats even.

    Politically, it would be foolish to refuse to ignore that these people exist.    Especially if you are the Republican Party that has courted them with the verbally bigoted equivalents of throwing raw meat to ravenous  dogs.

  •  I can only agree to a certain extent. Religious (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ivorybill

    belief is belief in the supernatural; a belief in a fantasy and system of tall tales and empirically unsupported nonsense commingled with moral and ethical pronouncements. When I hear that somebody is religious I immediately think two possibilities are the likeliest to explain it (although there are others, of course): 1) they grew up that way, and were essentially brainwashed as children, which is how the vast majority of religious  belief is perpetuated; 2) they came to religious belief after thinking about it for a while, reading religious and other texts, interacting with religious people, etc.

    I don't want a person in the second category to be in a position to make decisions that have direct, or significant indirect impact on me. These people have demonstrated a propensity toward reaching irrational conclusions and ignoring actual, empirical evidence. People in the former camp can't help it, and may potentially shed their irrational beliefs, much like a person who has been kept away from education his entire life isn't necessarily stupid and can overcome it by becoming educated.

    So in a sense I don't care if a person seeking office professes religious belief. I do care how that person came to that belief, and I do care to what extent that belief influences his view of the world and his agenda. In this regard I treat religious belief the same as any other a person might have. That's why I will probably never cast a vote for a Republican, and the list of Democrats I will vote for is shrinking rapidly (for example).

  •  Mormonism is no more a religion than (0+ / 0-)

    is Scientology.

    Both were created by hucksters and swindlers.

    OTOH, Jim Jones Peoples Temple and the Moonies are really religions. ;-)

    We cannot win a war crime - Dancewater, July 27, 2008

    by unclejohn on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 08:17:53 AM PST

  •  Atheist president of America? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    carver

    An active jihadist Muslim could be elected in America before an Atheist. Americans would rather have a person who believes in fables and fairy tales over a person who believes in reality.

  •  A Republican Mormon is NOT the same as a Democrat (0+ / 0-)

    Mormon like Harry Reid because (almost)all Republicans believe in a blending of Church and State. I don't fear Jimmy Carter's evangelical Christianity but I do fear the evangelism of Michelle Bachmann.
    I'm surprised you missed the difference, Alan.
    Mitt Romney's religion is an issue because he's a Republican.

  •  I won't consider a politician's.... (0+ / 0-)

     ...religious beliefs the day Atheists are allowed into the political debate.  I am far more tolerate of the  religionist's beliefs and rights than they are of mine – as an Atheist I am effectively excluded from political office (not that I have any desires for political office)

    The only shame in ignorance is when one takes pride in it. .......{- 8.25 / -5.64}

    by carver on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 09:13:23 AM PST

  •  There is a difference between (0+ / 0-)

    "there being no religious test for public office" and my refusal to vote for someone because of their religious beliefs.  Sorry but anyone who believes the "stuff" in the Book of Mormon will have a serious lack of judgement in other matters. They accept on faith that this neer do well itinerant  in upstate NY found gold tablets that no one else can see and translated them.  That Church leaders can have visions that tell them to become polygamous...or end polygamy or end racist requirements for the Priesthood.  That after we all die we go to another planet and are in our present human form with our celestial family.  That he/she belongs to a church that uses their vast finances to defeat human rights legislation.  
    Sorry....I just don't buy it.  I've spent hours as a volunteer in Family History Libraries. Although I am thankful for what the LDS church has done for my genealogy, baptizing holocaust victims is beyond reproach.  Willard believes what the church leaders tell him...so his entire approach to science is suspect.

    My social security, medicare and military retirement are EARNED benefits. The checks Paris Hilton and the Waltons receive while sitting around the pool are entitlements. Don't let the Republicans confuse you.

    by regis on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 09:20:04 AM PST

    •  suppose we make just a few changes to your text: (0+ / 0-)

      Sorry but anyone who believes the "stuff" in the Bible will have a serious lack of judgement in other matters. They accept on faith that this neer do well itinerant  in Mesopotamia found gold tablets that no one else can see and translated them.  That Church leaders can have visions that tell them to become Christians and proscribe women from the Priesthood.  That after we all die we go to another place and are in our present human form with our celestial family.  That he/she belongs to a church that uses their vast finances to defeat human rights legislation.  
      Sounds like the Catholic church...

      As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

      by BPARTR on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 10:10:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But (0+ / 0-)

        I don't know of any Priest, Bishop or Pope running.  Most Catholics I know don't agree with the hierarchy on those items.  All mormons believe the Book of Mormon and when the grand poobah of the church has a revelation...they just believe him. I wouldn't vote for a Scientologist or a Moonie either.

        My social security, medicare and military retirement are EARNED benefits. The checks Paris Hilton and the Waltons receive while sitting around the pool are entitlements. Don't let the Republicans confuse you.

        by regis on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 06:33:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  While religion should not be relevant in politics, (0+ / 0-)

    one thing that is relevant is the extent to which a candidate is capable of believing things for which there is no evidence when it seems convenient for him.  Some religions require a greater stretch of credulity than others, and I think it is fair to take that into account as one factor among many in evaluating a candidate.

  •  "God said ...' "God wants ..." or "God told me..." (0+ / 0-)

    your post on this made me realize that I really do not like the idea of a mormon as president - So I had to really evaluate why the thought of Romney as president turns my tummy and makes me wanna puke. From what I know about mormons, they really do not hold my core values and beliefs. I am not talking doctrines here - but "powers and principalities" They have put other races down, and our constitution says ALL men are equal - is't that what the civil war was about? But Mit is just a tad over the edge for me. I did a Diary here about Mit's "calling from God" God made USA the dictators of the world.

    It wasn't a very popular diary and I doubt many read it. But that is what Mit Romney thinks - that USA should even go against the UN if necessary to get things done. So .... ya know when people say that GOD told them to do things - if you do NOT take their religion into concideration than you are dumb ass idiot!! I do not normally take religion into politics, but if the people who are running for office are throwing their religious views into the reasons why they are doing things- then you better damn well consider them.

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