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How many voters know that Mitt Romney was a Bishop of the Mormon Church?

I would think not too many.  Why not?

Most likely because the media has not bothered to tell them.  In an extensive, largely fluff piece in May, Jodi Kantor of the New York Times managed to write about 4,000 words about Romney without mentioning that Romney was a Bishop of the Mormon Church.   Instead, he was referred to as a "church official."

Ms. Kantor did not inform her readers that according to the LDS Church News, a Bishop is the presiding high priest and father of the ward. While a Bishop, Romney was also a Stake President, presiding over 10 congregations.  (Another fact omitted by the Times.)

Among a Bishop's duties is the duty "to do the business of the church, to sit in judgment upon transgressors upon testimony as it shall be laid before him according to the laws." This includes the power to excommunicate members from the Mormon Church.  

Instead, the Times writer recounted this story:

Nearly two decades ago, Randy and Janna Sorensen approached Mr. Romney, then a church official, for help: unable to have a baby on their own, they wanted to adopt but could not do so through the church, which did not facilitate adoptions for mothers who worked outside the home.

Devastated, they told Mr. Romney that the rule was unjust and that they needed two incomes to live in Boston. Mr. Romney helped, but not by challenging church authorities. He took a calculator to the Sorensen household budget and showed how with a few sacrifices, Ms. Sorensen could quit her job. Their children are now grown, and Mr. Sorensen said they were so grateful that they had considered naming a child Mitt. (The church has since relaxed its prohibition on adoption for women who work outside the home.)

 
The Times, however, chose not to include other stories about Mitt as a Bishop, some of which were included in a February 2012 Vanity Fair article.  Mormonism permits abortion in the case of rape, incest, for serious health threats to a woman and when the fetus will not survive.  
[A] married woman who, having already borne five children, had found herself some years earlier facing an unplanned sixth pregnancy. .  .

the woman’s doctors discovered she had a serious blood clot in her pelvis. She thought initially that would be her way out—of course she would have to get an abortion. But the doctors, she said, ultimately told her that, with some risk to her life, she might be able to deliver a full-term baby, whose chance of survival they put at 50 percent. One day in the hospital, her bishop—later identified as Romney, though she did not name him in the piece—paid her a visit. He told her about his nephew who had Down syndrome and what a blessing it had turned out to be for their family. “As your bishop,” she said he told her, “my concern is with the child.” The woman wrote, “Here I—a baptized, endowed, dedicated worker, and tithe-payer in the church—lay helpless, hurt, and frightened, trying to maintain my psychological equilibrium, and his concern was for the eight-week possibility in my uterus—not for me!”

“Romney would later contend that he couldn’t recall the incident, saying,I don’t have any memory of what she is referring to, although I certainly can’t say it could not have been me.”

 (Vintage Mitt -- Today he would simply deny he said it.)

Recent polls seem to show that voters who know that Mitt Romney is Mormon are not troubled by his Mormon faith:

of the voters who know that Romney is a Mormon (60 percent), the vast majority say they are either comfortable with his faith (60 percent) or that it doesn’t matter at all (21 percent).
I believe these numbers will change when respondents know that Romney was a Bishop.  Yes, it's not the same as a Bishop in other religions, but it shows an involvement and power in the Church (e.g., to excommunicate) well beyond most laypersons in most religions.  

Finally, I do not think it's "anti-Mormon" to point this out.  It is a fact about a candidate that voters deserve to know.

Poll

Should Voters Know That Romney Was a Bishop?

98%78 votes
1%1 votes

| 79 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  "While a Bishop, Romney was also a Stake (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, Wee Mama, high uintas, cany

    President". These are two different Mormon leadership positions held by separate individuals.

    He may well have served in both positions, but most likely, not at the same time.

    "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

    by Templar on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 09:22:39 AM PDT

  •  No religious test perhaps, but full knowledge (6+ / 0-)

    of the extent of a candidate's invovlement is our right, so we can guage their loyalty.

    •  You stole that headline from a JFK history, didn't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bcre8ve, Darmok

      you?

    •  Such as (7+ / 0-)

      the principle of "lying for the lord".

      Rmoney has a decidedly casual relationship with the truth, which, as a "religious" candidate, seems to be contradictory, but is more understandable in light of this:

      I believed a list of prevarications presented in the proper context would prove that lying wasn't actually lying. Instead the list would prove that a perceived lie was probably a misunderstanding, a remark out of context or a deliberate misinterpretation of historical events. My belief was that those who accused church leaders with deception were deceivers themselves; they twisted words and took remarks out of context. But as I read more church history my list grew, and at some point it occurred to me that a pattern of institutionalized deception had been established by Joseph Smith. Subsequent church leaders, including those who serve currently, followed Smith's example of lying to protect the church. The growing evidence pointed to a standard practice.

      Evidence presented in this essay establishes that when the church image or its leaders needed protection it was and is, okay to fib, deceive, distort, inflate, minimize, exaggerate, prevaricate or lie. You will read quotations by church leaders who admitted that deception is a useful tool to protect the church and its leaders "when they are in a tight spot," or "to beat the devil at his own game." They admit engaging in moral gymnastics; that God approves of deception - if it's done to protect the "Lord's Church" or "the brethren" as the leaders are called.

      and this:
      "Some things that are true aren’t very useful. And there are those in the past who have looked at the leaders of the Church, for instance, and found out that they’re human and want to tell everything. There are steps and missteps that don’t help anything. Some think that to be totally honest they have to tell everything. They don’t. If they’ve got the mindset for that, then they’re always grumbling — they have an appetite for it. They’re free to do that, but it isn’t really productive, it doesn’t really make anybody happy.

          Someone you knew, say when you were in college, made a terrible mistake. You knew about it, and it was forgiven and lived beyond. There’s little purpose in going back and digging that out and speaking of it when their children might be present — a lot of things that are true historically aren’t very useful and don’t generate happiness.[21] "

      and this:
      "It is one thing to depreciate a person who exercises corporate power or even government power. It is quite another thing to criticize or depreciate a person for the performance of an office to which he or she has been called of God. It does not matter that the criticism is true. As Elder George F. Richards, President of the Council of the Twelve, said in a conference address in April 1947, 'when we say anything bad about the leaders of the Church, whether true or false, we tend to impair their influence and their usefulness and are thus working against the Lord and his cause.'
      I honestly don't think religion should be used as a criteria as to whether someone is suited to be President of the United States, but since they do believe that whether or not someone "Christian enough" is central to whether or not they should even be "allowed" to be president, it is only fair that their own background be given at least a cursory glance.

      "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." - Plato

      by Bcre8ve on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 10:20:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed and voters have a right to ask (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wintergreen8694

      what public policy positions might require Mormon church approval or acquiescence, as I lay out down thread here:

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

  •  Another "just saying" post about the relgious (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lcj98, Utahrd, Darmok, Wisper

    beliefs of a political candidate. IOKIYAD, I guess.

    •  do you think all religious beliefs (5+ / 0-)

      to be beyond discussion, even if they may greatly influence an administration's policy?   So far, many of Mitt's positions reflect party stances, all built on religious grounds, abortion rights, rights to marry freely without regard to the sex of one's intended spouse, access to birth control,  stem cell research, all closely tied to religious beliefs.     Why is it out of bounds for discussion?

      I will not agree to vote for these positions, I know they flow from religious positions, are pushed hard by religious organizations, etc.   Why is religion out of bounds for discussion, especially when those beliefs actively support suppression of equal rights?  

      What about Palin's whole right wing support of zionism so the end times can come sooner?    Do you not think that degree of crazy ought to be discussed?

      •  Ok... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Darmok, GoGoGoEverton

        But he hasn't governed of a Mormon before.  So why question it now?  Anyhow, we have two very devout Catholics that are second and third-in-line to the Presidency.  I don't hear many people "discussing" their religious belief...

        The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

        by lcj98 on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 09:47:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We do know that in the past he promised (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Upper West, MKSinSA, wintergreen8694

          to keep his personal objection to abortion out of all policy decisions, because of his deep personal principle that it's not correct to push his Mormon beliefs onto others.

          He has since rescinded that principle and now openly pushes his Mormon views on abortion and believes that Roe v. Wade should be overturned, and that Planned Parenthood should be defunded.

          The stickler with Planned Parenthood defunding is that Planned Parenthood is already precluded from funding abortion with taxpayer money.

          The funding that Planned Parenthood gets from the government pays for a zillion other services for women, especially for many poor women.

          So Romney is now asserting that his religious beliefs are sufficient justification to deny millions of women access to legal and non-controversial medical procedures.

          •  That's really disingenuous. GOP are antichoice (0+ / 0-)

            almost universally across the board, he's a Republican, and OH YEAH HE WASN'T REALLY AGAINST IT NEARLY AS MUCH AS GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS.

            It has nothing to do with his "Mormonism."

            •  Review the videos of his debates against Ted (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MKSinSA

              Kennedy, and see if your assertion still holds water of if it is actually full of holes.

              For the time being I'll move you over to the mis-informed column of Kossacks who care and ignore your lazy charge of that bringing up his past promises is disingenuous.

            •  GOP certainly WAS NOT anti-choice across (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MKSinSA

              the board in 1994.

              What are you smoking?

            •  If his position on choice had nothing to do (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Upper West, MKSinSA

              with his Mormon faith, why did he have to go to Utah and get their permission for his stance of "non-interference" with Roe v. Wade?

              •  Oh please cite your sources oh tinfoiled one. nt (0+ / 1-)
                Recommended by:
                Hidden by:
                Sue B
              •  There is a great summary article on either (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Upper West

                Slate or Salon, recently, that carefully walks through the evolution of Mitt's contradictory positions on abortion, stem cell research, and IVF.

                I can't lay my hands on it ATM, but this article on Slate is a place to start.

                http://www.slate.com/...

                Requesting assitance to Kossacks who also read the article; it would be great to have a link in this thread.

              •  In 1993, Romney went to Salt Lake City... (3+ / 0-)
                In 1993, Romney went to Salt Lake City to explain to the Mormon church leaders why he was going to take a pro-choice position on abortion.
                From SLATE
                The Conversion
                How, when, and why Mitt Romney changed his mind on abortion.

                By William Saletan|Posted Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012, at 5:30 AM ET

                Snip

                1993: The Wirthlin Poll

                In 1986, Romney became president of the church’s Boston stake, overseeing a dozen wards. Seven years later, while still in that pastoral role, he began to think about running against Sen. Ted Kennedy. Romney approached the idea as he had always approached things: with a businessman’s prudence. He hired Republican pollster Dick Wirthlin to survey the Massachusetts electorate and identify challenges Romney might face. Scott, a friend of the Romney family, reports in his book that Wirthlin came back with tough news: No pro-life candidate could win statewide office in Massachusetts.
                Advertisement

                Until this moment, Romney hadn’t taken a public position on abortion. He had pro-life experience as a Mormon leader and counselor. He had pro-choice experience as the relative of a woman who had died from illegal abortion. In general, he respected women, and he didn’t like government telling people what to do. Within the Romney family, his mother had preached the separation of religious practice from public policy. Mormons, having suffered persecution at the hands of other Christians, feared the injection of sectarian faith into politics. The LDS church also had a doctrine of free agency that distinguished the rightness of choices, such as whether to drink alcohol, from the freedom to make those choices.

                ...

                Romney could have framed his complex feelings about abortion either way. Wirthlin’s poll said that if he ran as a pro-lifer, he’d lose. It would be simplistic to say that the poll dictated Romney’s decision. But we know that he used the poll to influence the most important pro-life organization he had to appease at the time: the elders of the LDS church.

                Scott’s account, as told in his book and in a more detailed interview with Slate, is based on conversations with Romney and other senior church officials who were present. As president of the Boston stake, Romney owed church leaders a consultation before doing anything that might cause them trouble. In October or November 1993, he went to Salt Lake City to meet with them and explain the abortion position he was going to take. Wirthlin went with him. In these meetings, Wirthlin was more than a pollster. He was a church official, a brother of one of the church’s 12 apostles, and a cousin of the church’s next president.

                Romney didn’t ask the brethren in Salt Lake what his abortion position should be. He had already decided on it. He didn’t ask them to endorse it, either. He came to explain his position, why he had to take it, and how it conformed to church doctrine. He told them he would say that he opposed abortion personally but that such private beliefs shouldn’t be imposed on others. Romney argued that this view was acceptable under the doctrine of free agency, and he used the poll data to close the sale. If he didn’t frame his position as pro-choice, he’d lose. Many of the church leaders were unhappy with Romney’s formulation. But if they wanted him in the Senate, this was the best they were going to get.

                Based on the published history of Romney's PUBLIC POLICY POSITION, voters have a right to ask if there are any other PUBLIC POLICY matters on which Romney will be bound by his faith to obtain church approval or at a minimum to obtain church acquiescence.
            •  I will grant you one point - his opposition to (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MKSinSA, bewareofme

              Planned Parenthood has no OBVIOUS connection to his Mormon beliefs.

              And it shows he's really just a partisan-hack who finds it convenient to dis-enfranchise poor women, for whom Planned Parenthood is often their ONLY ACCESS to healthcare.

        •  he's done now (3+ / 0-)

          if he wins the Presidency, he won't seek further office.  When he was in Massachusetts, he still had ambitions for political office.   And if he finds running America as little to his taste as running Massachusetts, he may never run for re-election.

          If I was in Massachusetts, I probably would have questioned it a little more deeply.   If he was his father all over again, I might trust his word a little more.   He's not.

          He's given funds for the Proposition 8 fight in California, a fight close to the LDS.    Would he ever stand up for the rights of women, blacks, gays, etc. since they have been low priorities for his church and he has never been a active advocate for equal rights, just mouthing platitudes to get elected in Massachusetts?

          I can't say that he should be picked on particularly, but the more conservative trends in evangelical, Catholic and Mormonism?   Shouldn't we question what anyone of those particular active (right up to outright domionist thinkers) believe and ask if we want that person to be in charge.  If the Catholic social doctrines were pushed as much as their abortion/conception stances,  would we have less to worry about,  if Romney is clear, as Kennedy,  was that religion would not dictate his political decisions, would we have less to ask about?  And would you trust Romney's word as people tended to trust Kennedy's?

        •  Would there be any reason to ask about Santorum's (0+ / 0-)

          beliefs?  His beliefs were front and center in his campaign.

          Mitt's trying to keep everything hidden.

          If he would prefer to focus on policy, he can start revealing some details any time, instead of we'll decide that after I'm elected.  In consultation with Congress, of course.

          Bull-shit.

        •  Do you think voters have a right to know (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wintergreen8694

          if a candidate is "morally obligated" to obtain church approval for public policy?

          He most certainly did govern as a Mormon, and had to obtain church approval on his pro-choice stance when he ran for gov of MA.

          I laid out Romney's history down thread what public policy positions might require Mormon church approval or acquiescence, as I lay out down thread here:

          http://www.dailykos.com/...

  •  A bishop in the Mormon church (9+ / 0-)

    is not as big a deal as you think it is. It is nothing like a Roman Catholic bishop. It is more like a pastor, and many men in each church take turns at being bishop for a while. I disagree with you that the American people would think differently about his faith if they knew he was a bishop and the truth of what that really means. Those people who would not vote for a Mormon already know what they need to know. The thing is, there are SO many very good reasons to not vote for Mitt Romney, so why go here? Keep in mind that Barack Obama is a Christian, a religion that believes that a man who lived 2,000 years ago (maybe) walked on water, had a virgin for a mother, and came back from the dead. Oh, and still hovers above us listening to our every thought and deciding the fate of every one of us. Maybe Mormon theology is a little crazier than that, but not much.

  •  I knew this already and it's the least of the (11+ / 0-)

    reasons to consider Mitt unfit for the presidency. Please keep your eye on what matters here.

    Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle. -- Woody Allen

    by cassandracarolina on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 09:35:25 AM PDT

  •  Have we had church leaders as presidents before? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Occam was an optimist

    I'm going to google it if nobody knows. I know Carter has a Sunday School, but have we had any reverends?

    Does a bishop give sermons? Or are they like deacons with extra powers?

    •  Carter is and was, by far, the most (5+ / 0-)

      religious president we've had, certainly in the past 100 years. And one of the most liberal as well.

    •  James Garfield, apparently (3+ / 0-)

      He gave sermons, weddings and funerals. And according to random folks on the internet, he's the only one.

      I'm curious now if Romney has done weddings and funerals or sermons.

      Snarka snarka snarka!

      by Hunter Huxley on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 09:46:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's a high likelihood that he has... (0+ / 0-)

        Romney that is.

        The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

        by lcj98 on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 09:50:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Harrison was an active Elder (5+ / 0-)

        in the Presbyterian Church.

        FDR was a warden for St James Episcopal Church in NYC, spoke of himself as "God's Agent", imploed Americans to seek their own spiritual renewal, encouraged every citizen to pray,  claimed that America would only prosper as a nation if each citizen followed the principles of the holy bible and sought Divine guidance in their life.

        In his Thanksgiving Day address in 1942, he asked that every citizen set aside Thanksgiving Day, November 26th and the upcoming New Years Day as three days of solemn prayer, both public and private, to express our dependance on the Almighty God.

        He also quoted George Washington's appeal to God to protect our nation and then read Psalm 23.

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 10:26:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  During my 65 years of Mormon Church membership (4+ / 0-)

      (the first 18 semi active, and the rest not at all) it has always been assumed that every Ward Bishop handles the routine matters of the congregation like weddings, funerals, issuing Temple Recommends, certifying compliance with financial responsibilities to The Church, dispensing welfare needs, getting local members to cut sweetheart deals with each other when the greater good gets advanced by that, and I never knew any of the kids who appreciated getting asked during annual interview if they ever masturbated.

      But the Temple Recommend is the all time biggie, because of the quaint Mormon focus of living for "Time and All Eternity", and the belief that that time span gets diminished in spirtual quality absent participation in certain very private temple rituals (oh and make sure you adhere to all of the rules regarding the wearing of the special underwear).

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 10:15:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you for sharing your insight (3+ / 0-)
        But the Temple Recommend is the all time biggie, because of the quaint Mormon focus of living for "Time and All Eternity",
        I think an important story is the church's secret files that they assemble on members, similar to the files Hoover assembled when he was head of the FBI.

        According to a documentary by the BBC, they have a culture that encourages little brother ratting out each other as a "moral duty" and the consequences can be similar to shunning or banishment.

        Of course it's debatable whether that documentary will ever be shown on TV in the US.

        •  The way that this is expressed here leads me to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Occam was an optimist

          believe the there is no need for any real emphasis on reeling in dirt, just because the central data base of all info on any "member" is so all inclusive that the need for any additional material is pretty minimal. On the other hand, I really can't say what's in my file in church vaults (very large, modern, and tunneled into a mountain with thousands of feet of granite cover, I've toured) because that's an issue that is just not discussed.

          There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

          by oldpotsmuggler on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 11:22:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I have no problem w/identifying Romney as Bishop (3+ / 0-)

    Does it have anything to do with anything confronting this country?  Probably not.  Still, I think his position as an elder in LDS is relevant.  It's indicative of his level of involvement in the church, and the level of his belief in his faith of choice.

    Many here won't recall this, but JFK was basically forced by a Nixon campaign whisper smear to very publicly state that he would not be answerable to the Vatican if elected president.

    Here's an excerpt (read the entire thing, it's outstanding):

    These are the real issues which should decide this campaign. And they are not religious issues — for war and hunger and ignorance and despair know no religious barriers.

    But because I am a Catholic, and no Catholic has ever been elected president, the real issues in this campaign have been obscured — perhaps deliberately, in some quarters less responsible than this. So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again not what kind of church I believe in — for that should be important only to me — but what kind of America I believe in.

    ... But let me stress again that these are my views. For contrary to common newspaper usage, I am not the Catholic candidate for president. I am the Democratic Party's candidate for president, who happens also to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my church on public matters, and the church does not speak for me.

    Whatever issue may come before me as president — on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject — I will make my decision in accordance with these views, in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressures or dictates. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.

    So, I really don't want to hear that Bishop Romney's religion is out of bounds, until he makes a JFK-esque type speech on religion.  Cripes, Obama had to do basically the same thing.

    The cultish nature of Romney's religion is not out of bounds.  It informs who he is on so many levels.

    The test of whether we're willing to stand up to the thugs that wrote voter suppression laws is this: Are you willing to hold hands with someone that needs hand holding in order to qualify to vote?

    by Richard Cranium on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 09:51:25 AM PDT

  •  But that's different (0+ / 0-)

    So where's your diary about the attitude of officials in Keith Ellison's religion about reproductive rights?

  •  What vow does a Mormon bishop take? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Upper West

    Think about it - if I was the Mormon Prophet, I'd want ALL of my clergy to take a vow of obedience to ME, above all others.

    That's just simple Religion 101.

    So what is in this vow?

    How can Mitt Romney take an oath of office if he has an over-riding vow to the Mormon Prophet?

    And, for that matter, one to King Grover.

    Cheers.

    Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain. Friedrich Schiller

    by databob on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 10:01:01 AM PDT

  •  Mitt's views about Mormon prophecy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Upper West, indie17

    are also fair game, IMHO.

    Voters have a right to know whether Mitt Romney's statements after the SLOC games reflect a belief that the 2002 SLOC games were fulfillment of Mormon prophecy.

    Shameless plug for my own diary - and the other Kossack's diaries who dug up some of Romney's scarier views.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Do we really want a president who believes weather events are fulfillment of God's will?

    We have a right to ask whether there is anything in Mormon doctrine that could be construed as "global warming is a fulfillment of Mormon prophecy."

    •  I'm a little surprised (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Occam was an optimist

      at comments construing this as an attack on religion or as equivalent to Rev. Wright.  (The Poll, btw, is 35 yes and zero no for whether voters should know that Romney was a Bishop.)

      And my suggestion of simple identification doesn't even go as far as even evaluating his views.

      The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

      by Upper West on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 10:41:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No one would assert that a candidate's 25 year (3+ / 0-)

        history of service and leadership in a "non-profit" apolitical  organization were OFF LIMITS.

        The Mormon church made themselves a POLITICAL organization by virtue of their support for California Prop 8.

        The Mormon church took a position and spent millions of dollars to influence a ballot vote in the state of California.

        At the time Mitt Romney had just recently failed to win a presidential nomination.

        Perhaps we need to make it clear to folks that all JFK did was attend catholic services and publicly pledge to uphold the separation of church and state.

        Mitt's personal religious beliefs are not a test for office.  His leadership role in the church is part of his RESUME and is fair game.

      •  Me too. Obama was raked over the coals for (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Upper West

        attending church.  There are many reasons that someone continues attending a particular church even if they disagree with some of the church's leadership on some issues.

  •  Wow, talk about poor timing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoGoGoEverton, Wee Mama, high uintas

    A shooting at a temple in Wisconsin and you bring up that maybe Mormons are so freaky that we need to warn people about Romney's faith?  Really?

    You should think about deleting this diary that is light on facts and heavy on innuendo.

    •  Excuse me? (2+ / 0-)

      The diary is entirely factual, using Mormon sources and the NY Times and Vanity Fair.  

      There is no innuendo.  Just whether it is relevant that Romney was a Bishop, and the poll shows that overwhelmingly respondents believe that simple fact is relevant.

      The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

      by Upper West on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 11:12:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's rich (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        high uintas

        You cite to your own poll with 52 votes like it has any significance at all?  

        And you obviously know very little about how things work in the Mormon church, and yes, your diary is full of innuendo that Romeny may be beholden as a leader in some poorly understood faith and "isn't that scary?"  Which couldn't be more poorly timed given the events of yesterday.  Not to mention that attacking a candidate's religion is a non-starter for most Americans and certainly should be off-limits to Democrats.

        Let me be a little more clear: attack a candidate for their record, statements and positions.  Barring a candidate saying, "I want to enact/see enacted my religious beliefs," let's leave religious attacks to the kooks.

    •  You should think about the Evelyn (0+ / 0-)

      Woodhead Sped Reddin' Course....or any reading course, for that matter.  And, if you don't "get" the reference, hop on teh goog and figure it out.

    •  False equivalence - and inappropriate to (0+ / 0-)

      suggest that the diary promotes homicide against Mormon's.

    •  We should warn all people about (0+ / 0-)

      any delusional thinking on the part of anyone running for the highest Constitutional office in the country.

      •  Warning! Delusions Everywhere! Beware! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Darmok

        So where are the articles warning us about the delusional thinking of christians?

        Obama claims to be a christian.  Christianity is built on delusion.  Won't someone warn us?!?

        •  Frankly, I'd love to see the God Delusion debated (0+ / 0-)

          by our leaders, but you know that won't happen any time soon.

          And if it ever does, we'll have to hear all kinds of teeth -knashing about religious persecution, from those who don't believe in evolution.

          Darwin recanted, didn't you know?  

        •  Actually, Obama's Christian (0+ / 0-)

          beliefs and yes, delusions about being "saved" by a mythological figure have affected his Presidency to the point that he has violated separation of church and state several times. He created the very first advisory council made up of religious reps to advise him on the faith based initiatives.  In other words he has religious people advising him on Government policy.  He has a Pentacostal preacher also advising him and praying with him in the Oval office, and we pay that man's salary. He went to the last Prayer Breakfast claiming that he was proud to be there as a representative of the American people. WRONG!

          So you can see that it is important now that we have opened Pandora's box as far as religious intrusions into government that we all know what kind of nonsense the President believes.

          When the Supreme Court decided Hein v FFRF, they actually opened the door to a President being able to start a church with executive branch funds and no one can stop him.

          •  The faith-based initiatives advisory panel (0+ / 0-)

            didn't that start with GWB?

            Or did GWB just pick/choose himself without any advisory panel?

            •  GWB didn't set up any advisory groups. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Occam was an optimist

              As he said, Congress wouldn't pass his faith based initiatives so he "did it myself".  The biggest problem with Obama's group is that most of them receive faith based monies, so it's highly unethical for them to be advising him on those policies.

              Plus, Obama promised in the campaign to reverse Bush's Presidential order that allows these programs getting federal money to discriminate in their hiring.  He has not done it yet, despite continued protests from national church/state groups.

          •  I have to admit that I have sympathy for Obama (0+ / 0-)

            on the religious test issue, because of the evangelical attacks on his church attendance (NOT THE RIGHT KIND of Christian church) and douche's like Franklin Graham questioning whether Obama has Christ in his heart.

            Prior presidents relied on Billy Graham, no?

            Franklin Graham's smack against Obama's christian "purity" was a gripe because Obama didn't choose him to step into daddy's role.

            •  Billy Graham was not paid by (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Occam was an optimist

              taxpayers for his advice to Presidents. Joshua DuBois is paid by the taxpayers.

              I could give you even more ways Obama has been terrible when it comes to understanding separation of church and state.

              •  I'm listening, if you have time, please do (0+ / 0-)

                go ahead.  I'm willing to become better informed.  I usually don't pay much attention to the religious right, but have really become alarmed this year by all the nonsense.

                •  I am a member of three groups that (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Occam was an optimist

                  keep me up on all the church/state issues going on in the country, and boy, it's amazing what goes on every day.   The groups are the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.  I've been an activist for years.

                  While I plan to vote for Obama, he has really let me down re: church /state.

                  Even before he became President, he saw nothing wrong with going on CNN and talking about why he believes in the Trinity. That flies in the face of the prohibition of religious tests for office. As a professor of Constitutional law, he should have pointed out to the interviewer that those kinds of questions are in appropriate and unrelated to an election.  He also would have Christian ministers come into election rallies and pray before he spoke. Then he had Rick Warren at the inauguration who led the nation in the Lord's Prayer which was highly offensive and inappropriate.  Then he did not follow through on his promises to rein in the Faith Based Initiatives. Then his Justice Dept. argued against the taxpayers' rights to question having their tax dollars go to religious institutions in Hein v. FFRF.   He keeps going to these annual Prayer Breakfasts hosted by a shadowy Christian dominionist group called "The Family" (read the book of the same name by Jeff Sharlet).  He conducted an Easter Service in the White House and I believe he had a Passover service there too.  In my view, THAT'S WHAT CHURCHES and TEMPLES are for!  He continues to generate a Prayer Proclamation every year, which he is required to do by law, but he should at least voice an objection to that.
                  And, at the 9/11 memorial ceremony in NYC, his entire remarks consisted of passages from Psalm 46, totally ignoring the fact that many of those who died that day were of other faiths and non-believers.

                  So while Obama throws a verbal bone to atheists/agnostics once in awhile, his actions have been consistently ones of endorsing Christianity.

                  •  I too think it's really sad. It's like Romney (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Fishtroller01

                    trying to prove his conservative bonafides over and over again to the religious right.

                    Did Obama think that he had to prove his Christian bonafides over and over again knowing that he was going to be hammered because of race and because of his multi-continent DNA and upbringing?

                    I found it astonishing that it took a team of professionals to trace his history back to the son of one of the first slaves. If he had played up his family military history and the fact that he is a descendent of an American slave, perhaps it wouldn't have seemed so necessary to establish Christian bonafides.

                    And I think Rick Warren is a charlatan just like the others... they all disgust me.

                    Hoping if we elect him a second time, we'll get some opportunities to hold his feet to the fire.

                  •  Is he following a strategy of keep your friends (0+ / 0-)

                    close and keep your enemies closer?

                    •  Naw... (0+ / 0-)

                      I think he is a true Jesus follower... I hate to see intelligent people really believe in those old fables. The worse part is when they spend tons of time trying to reconcile today's world with 2000 year old ideas. It's a real brain twister.  Most liberal Christians, like Obama, just ignore most of what's in the bible, including the gospels, and make up their own stuff.  The character called Jesus was not a community organizer nor a particularly nice guy, but when you cherry pick the texts, you can come up with whatever suits you.   I prefer being good without a god or a savior or anything else imaginary.  It's a lot easier and often saner.

  •  Misuse of Power (0+ / 0-)

    So, it seems this ability to excommunicate members is very important to diarist.

    Yes, as bishop Romney had that ability.  Now, as a former bishop, he no longer does.

    Do you have any evidence that Romney misused this power?

    Did he excommunicate all Democrats in the Boston area?

    Did he excommunicate all working women?  All single mothers?  All members of non-white ethnicity?

    Please show me how he misused this, the ultimate power in the universe.

    •  Appeal Always Possible (0+ / 0-)

      And of course, a Mormon who feels he has been wrongly excommunicated (or otherwise disciplined) by his/her bishop can appeal to the stake president.  If they feel the stake president acted wrongly, they can appeal further to church headquarters.

    •  It's been hashed over in the comments (0+ / 0-)

      If you're actually curious to educate yourself, you'll find useful links.

      If instead, you simply prefer to shout nonsense about matters that have already been discussed, well, go ahead, it's your right.

      Exercise your freedom, go for it!  Choice is a wonderful thing.

      •  I have read the comments (0+ / 0-)

        and found one instance where Romney withheld a temple recommend from a single mother.  No instances of excommunication.

        Did that mother appeal?  What were the outcomes of those appeals?

        It is a known fact that Romney is a dick.  And he obviously was a dick in the instance of this woman.

        But where is the evidence that he was a dick about excommunications?  Not seeing it in the diary or in the comments.  It's just this thing we're supposed to be afraid of even though he no longer has this power in his church.

    •  Only He-Man (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koseighty

      and the Masters of the Universe have the ultimate power. Don't you know ANYTHING?

    •  ultimate power in the universe. (0+ / 0-)

      Is hyperbole necessary to make your point?

      Excommunication is not the "ultimate power in the universe."

      Excommunication is the ultimate power IN A COMMUNITY.  Shunning is well known tactic for exerting social control.

      I don't much care about the excommunication issue. I care about the prophecies and whether Romney would be obligated to run policy positions by the Mormon church, as he did when he ran for the Senate in 1994.

      That's a much bigger question, IMO.

      Your opinion may differ.

  •  Maybe when Mitt and Ann get into the White House (0+ / 0-)

    they can get cracking at afterlife baptizing all the past Presidents and their wives into Mormonism.  Ann can dunk herself in the bathtub on behalf of Eleanor Roosevelt while Mitt conducts the ceremony.  According to Newsweek magazine, he's done it before.

    From Daily Beast,

     "Romney's biography is fully Mormon. When asked by NEWSWEEK if he has done baptisms for the dead—in which Mormons find the names of dead people of all faiths and baptize them, as an LDS spokesperson says, to "open the door" to the highest heaven—he looked slightly startled and answered, "I have in my life, but I haven't recently." The awareness of how odd this will sound to many Americans is what makes Romney hesitant to elaborate on the Mormon question."

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