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I want to start out by saying that I do not think that the Mormon religion should be an issue in the presidential election, or any religion an issue in any election for that matter. It really makes me angry when I hear Republicans disparaging President Obama’s religious beliefs, claiming that they don’t believe that he’s a Christian. It makes me even angrier when someone like my own father, who claims to be agnostic, has the gall to say that he thinks that President Obama is the Anti-Christ. My father doesn’t believe that Jesus Christ is his savior, but he believes that President Obama is the Anti-Christ? That makes absolutely no sense. I have no religious affiliation, so I actually recently asked somebody I know who is a born again Christian about this. The response I received:

As for the Anti-Christ, Obama IS a possibility, but a very unlikely one. The Anti-Christ will appear as a great unifier and world peacemaker whom all nations will pledge allegiance. Only after he has everyone thinking he's the Messiah will he turn the tables to enslave humanity in evil. He will come on the scene as everyone's savior, so I don't really think Obama fits that bill!
Also, generally speaking it’s just not a wise idea to use religion has as an issue in politics. Setting aside the whole separation of church and state concerns, last month I did a little research on Mitt Romney’s senatorial campaign against Ted Kennedy back in 1994 and read a lot of news clippings from that time period. When Romney first won the nomination in September 1994, the polls showed them nearly tied. Initially, Kennedy attempted to use religion as an issue, but quickly backed off because Romney was winning the argument using comments made by JFK:
Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass, has backed off, for the moment at least, from his attack on the religion of Republican opponent Mitt Romney -- none too soon.
After months of repeating that he would not make an issue of Romney's Mormonism (so often that some felt an issue was indeed being made of it), the senator wondered aloud recently about Romney's views on racial and gender justice: After all, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began ordaining black men only in 1978 and still does not ordain women.

Romney shot back by invoking John Kennedy's stand against religious bigotry when he ran for president in 1960, addressing the "divided loyalty" question before the Greater Houston Ministerial Association. Romney said, "In my view, the victory that John Kennedy won was not for just 40 million Americans who were born Catholic, it was for all Americans of all faiths."

(snip)

We want to know our political candidates as whole men and women. We want to know where and how they grew up, where they went to school, what traditions and experiences formed them. Religion, or lack of it, is part of that formation. To deny religious values a place in politics would leave the leaven out of the lump. To use religion as a shorthand to distinguish Like Us from Not Like Us is reprehensible.

Kennedy erred in making issue about Mitt Romney's religion
By Ruth Walker, The Christian Science Monitor, 6 October 1994

I think this is why we sometimes see articles about the Mormon religion, but we never see the President Obama's campaign talking about it. It is reprehensible to use religion to define a candidate negatively. Considering how much the GOP does it to President Obama, I admire the fact that he takes the high road on this issue and doesn’t use the same tactics. President Obama takes the high road a lot, and I suspect that is why so many people in the GOP hate him so much … he doesn’t stoop to their level.

Anyway, back to the Kennedy vs. Romney campaign. Kennedy had built a sizable lead in the polls by Election Day, and ultimately won the election. He did it by shining a light on Romney's business career via negative ads:

Mr. Romney, who was even with Mr. Kennedy in polls just five weeks ago, has seen his support erode during the last month. A Boston Globe/WBZ-TV poll published today showed him trailing Mr. Kennedy by 55 percent to 37 percent.

The challenger, placing blame for his waning popularity on negative advertisements run by the Kennedy campaign, said he hoped to regain lost ground with his new half-hour television commercial. "It will give me an occasion to talk, once again, in some depth on the issues that I think people really care about," he said before videotaping the ad on Friday.

THE 1994 CAMPAIGN: Massachusetts The Last Weekend: Senate Races Where the Battle Has Been Intense; Romney Eclectic In Final Sprint
by Michael Cooper, The New York Times, 6 November 1994

Maybe Romney learned something from that election, and that’s why his usual method of campaigning is to carpet bomb his opponents with negative ads as he did in the primaries, and has tried to do without much success against President Obama in the general election. I suspect the failure is largely because the ads bear little resemblance to the truth and people, other than GOP loyalists don't recognize the person Romney is describing in the ads.

I don't think President Obama would ever have considered using his religion to attack Romney. It's just not in his character to do something like that, But I do think President Obama’s campaign also learned a valuable lesson about what worked from the Kennedy vs. Romney campaign and used the tactics that did work for Kennedy early in the presidential race, before Romney had secured the GOP nomination, to define Romney before he had a chance to define himself. They put out ads about Romney’s time at Bain Capital, as well as ads about Romney’s experience and failures as Governor of Massachusetts, but they never made the mistake of bringing up Romney's religion as Kennedy first attempted in 1994.

I do not know enough about the Mormon religion, or any religion for that matter, to be comfortable passing judgment on the religion or somebody associated with it. I do have Mormon friends that I care about and like very much. In fact, there are two young men in their twenties that I know who are Mormons. Recently each of them has posted on their Facebook walls that they do not care if anybody says they are throwing away their votes; they will not vote for Mitt Romney. They won’t vote for President Obama either. They plan to write in Ron Paul’s name on Election Day. Certainly, Romney sharing their religion hasn't swayed them to vote for him.

Now that I have cleared that up, and hope everybody will follow my lead when commenting in this diary, I did find interesting an interview that Lawrence O'Donnell conducted on his show The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday night with Gregory A. Prince, Ph.D., who as a Mormon and knows Romney personally. Dr. Prince found the revelations in the Romney fundraiser video from May to be appalling and not a demonstration of his faith. He also agreed with a quote in a Washington Post by Kathleen Flake (professor of religion at Vanderbilt Divinity School and a Mormon) describing Romney’s thinking as “twisted” and adding, That’s Republicanism; that’s not Mormonism.

I found the revelations from this interview to be comparable to the Catholic bishops who wrote a letter to Paul Ryan criticizing his budget for failing to meet certain “moral criteria” by disproportionately cutting programs that “serve poor and vulnerable people.” This draws me to the conclusion that both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan put their Republican idealism ahead of the values they were taught by their respective religions. The ideals they are most faithful to go against the teachings of Jesus. As I never get tired of watching the Will McAvoy character say near the end of the video from the season finale of  HBO’s The Newsroom: “It's ironic because the biggest enemy of the phony Republican isn't Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid or Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, it's this man [displays picture of Jesus]. He said Heal the sick. Feed the hungry. Care for the weakest among us. And always pray in private.

Then I watched President Clinton’s guest appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart tonight. Talking about his speech at the Democratic National Convention, President Clinton was explaining what his goal was when writing the speech which was basically to explain to the American people what's been going on without talking down to us, and why President Obama's plan is the right plan for the country. Then he went on to discuss Mitt Romney's plan when Jon Stewart mentioned that Mitt Romney refuses to release any details. President Clinton responded:

If I come to you and I say we have this terrible national debt and here's my opening gambit. First thing want to do is increase by $5 trillion over a decade by doing another round of tax cuts that mostly benefit the people we benefited in the last decade, even thought it didn't produce jobs. Now we're in a really deep hole, much bigger than this clock I just showed you, now let me tell you how we're going to get out of it. Well, what about the details? See me about that after the election.

So I wanted to try to explain that in very simple terms. No one else would do that; no one ... unless you were being driven by ideology instead of by evidence. This is a practical country. We have ideals. We have philosophies. But the problem with any ideology is that it gives the answer before you look at the evidence. So you have to mold the evidence to get the answer that you've already decided you've got to have. It doesn't work that way. Building an economy; rebuilding an economy is hard, practical nuts and bolts work.

What Romney said at that fundraiser back in May were expressions of his Republican ideology and had nothing to do with his religious values. I think the writer of the first quoted article from 1994 had a valid point:
We want to know our political candidates as whole men and women. We want to know where and how they grew up, where they went to school, what traditions and experiences formed them. Religion, or lack of it, is part of that formation. To deny religious values a place in politics would leave the leaven out of the lump. To use religion as a shorthand to distinguish Like Us from Not Like Us is reprehensible.

Kennedy erred in making issue about Mitt Romney's religion
By Ruth Walker, The Christian Science Monitor, 6 October 1994

I really don't care what religion Romney or any other candidate practices. It's never been something I've thought about when deciding who to vote for. What I find disgusting are Romney's Republican values that demonstrate he does not care about nearly half this country who he views as freeloaders. You might find the interview as interesting as I did, so I have included the video and full transcript below the fleur-de-orange. For those using an iPad and can’t see the embedded video, you can watch it at the MSNBC site.

Video of Romney May Fundraiser

Attendee: I mean people talk so much about this ... and somebody over their said, "Oh, many people think of you as a rich -- rich guy." And those of us who know you know that that's, you know ...

Mitt Romney: You know I'm poor as a church mouse, right?

Lawrence O'Donnell: When the news of Mitt Romney's Florida video broke on Monday evening, I was incensed -- but not for its political implications.. So says the first line of a post by Dr. Gregory Prince on Huffington Post. His arrogant and out-of-hand dismissal of half the population of this country struck me at a visceral level, for it sullied the religion that he and I share -- the religion for which five generations of my ancestry have lived and sacrificed, the religion whose official mantra is "to take care of the poor and needy throughout the world." My first impulse was to rent an airplane towing a banner: "Mitt Romney is Not the Face of Mormonism!" [See Mitt Romney Is Not the Face of Mormonism, by Gregory A. Prince, Ph.D., The Huffington Post, September 19, 2012.]

Joining me now for an exclusive interview, Dr. Gregory Prince, the author of Having Authority: The Origins and Development of Priesthood during the Ministry of Joseph Smith. Also, Power from On High: The Development of Mormon Priesthood, and he's co-author of David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism. Dr. Prince, what was your feeling when you were first hearing these comments on that video tape of the Romney fundraiser?

Dr. Prince: It both grieved me and mystified me because we have a lot in common. We were missionaries in foreign countries at the same time period; he in France, I in Brazil. I had worked very closely with the types of offices he has held; that of bishop and state president of the Mormon Church. I know that Mormon bishops often will spend as much time on their church duties on a volunteer basis as they do in their professional lives, and much of what they are doing is involving the poor and the needy. That's where the real work of the bishop is done in this church.

Lawrence O'Donnell: Let's listen ...

Dr. Prince: And I just couldn't understand how he could turn away from that.

Lawrence O'Donnell: Well, for the purposes of this discussion, let's listen once again to that statement that changed this presidential campaign this week.

Video of Mitt Romney at fundraiser: There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. (break in tape) These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect. So he'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean, that's what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
Lawrence O'Donnell: In your piece, Dr. Prince, you write The very basis of Mormon community, stretching back to the earliest years of Mormonism nearly two centuries ago, is that the more able have a sacred obligation to assist the less able.

Dr. Prince: Yes, that's correct.

Lawrence O'Donnell: And when you ... I want to go back to your history with Mitt Romney. You actually were a support of Mitt Romney's in his first presidential campaign, weren't you?

Dr. Prince: I was; financially.

Lawrence O'Donnell: And you tell a story in this piece about actually personally approaching Mitt Romney, having a conversation with him about Mormonism when PBS was doing that documentary [See The Mormons, PBS], you suggested to him it would be very useful for both him and the documentary to appear in it and have a sane and sensible discussion of his religion there. How did that conversation go with Mitt Romney?

Dr. Prince: Well the producer of that documentary who is not a Mormon had worked with me on the documentary and she initially made the suggestion. She was intrigued by him as well and she is not a Republican. And I said, well it's possible that I will be seeing him and she said please take this message to him that I will put him on PBS for one hour nationally if he will allow me to interview him about his religion. He was very polite. We met him in a reception line; talked to him very briefly about this. He had heard this before through other emissaries and he politely said we have made the judgment that the religion issue is going to go away on its own and he declined the offer.

Lawrence O'Donnell: There is some speculation that Mormonism actually has something to do with what we heard on that tape about the 47%. There's a post in The Washington Post tonight; posted on the website saying, linking that to the notion that the church, I'm quoting it now the church happens to have a historic horror of dependency on the state [See Mitt Romney’s hard-hearted twist on the Mormon work ethic by Lisa Miller, The Washington Post, September 20, 2012]. What's your reaction to that?

Dr. Prince: Well, I think you're referring to a column that was in The Washington Post today. That's half right that the church does work very hard to encourage its members to be self-sufficient. But that being said; they also work even harder to make sure that those that don't achieve that level of success in life are not left behind. And very often you'll see the bishops as the frontline troops trying to help these people wherever they are and for whatever the cause that they are in that position. They certainly don't condemn them and they certainly don't write them off and walk away from them. That's why I was so upset that he would make that off handed statement that at least to the way I interpreted it was writing off half of the country.

Lawrence O'Donnell: In that same column, by the way in The Washington Post, Kathleen Flake who is a professor of religion at Vanderbilt Divinity School and also a Mormon herself, actually refers to Mitt Romney's thinking in what we heard as “twisted” and what she says, she's quoted in The Washington Post piece as saying, That’s Republicanism; that’s not Mormonism.

Dr. Prince: I agree with that. Actually, if you look at the social aspect of Mormonism, it is a surprisingly to many people, a progressive religion, but you wouldn't guess that by some of the things Mitt Romney has said.

Lawrence O'Donnell: And Dr. Prince, before you go, I just want to talk about the politics and Mormonism. I think Mitt Romney, and possibly for other reasons I think that people generally think that Mormons probably line up very heavily Republican. What is your experience with that and is there anything in Mormonism that would tilt a voter one way or the other, toward the Democratic Party or Republican Party?

Dr. Prince: The irony Lawrence is that over a century ago one of the apostles of the church was sent out to try and convince the church members that it was possible to be a good Mormon and a Republican. So the pendulum certainly has shifted over the years. Two weeks ago we were in Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention, and had the first ever meeting of the LDS Democrats Caucus. So I think it's safe to say that at least Mormon Democrats have been removed from the endangered species list.

Lawrence O'Donnell: Dr. Gregory Prince thank you very much for joining me tonight.

Dr. Prince: It's been a pleasure, thank you.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    “Mitt Romney is the only person in America who looked at the way this Congress is behaving and said, ‘I want the brains behind THAT operation.’ ” — Tom Perriello

    by hungrycoyote on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 12:53:31 AM PDT

  •  Good interview. Very enlightening... (8+ / 0-)

    Couldn't help but sense some animosity felt by Dr. Prince toward Romney.

    But Romney's really no different than other conservative politicians who claim also to be stalwart Christians. They all hide behind their organized religion cults, contriving elaborate cryptic meanings and spiritual justifications for their very non-Christian behavior toward fellow human beings.

    Their lives are driven by greed and intolerance, and steeped in hypocrisy and untruth.

    "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

    by markthshark on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 01:35:38 AM PDT

  •  No offense, but many people know religion is (7+ / 0-)

    the major culprit of societies not getting along cause they can't seem to agree on which god is the best god.. just saying.

    Most wars are religious ideology based- all through history.

    I wish grown-ups would stop believing in the adult santa claus.

    "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

    "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

    by roseeriter on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 01:53:33 AM PDT

    •  No offense taken at all. That's a fact (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ardyess, roseeriter, Old Lefty

      of history as well as the here and now. And just look at the Israeli and Palestinian conflict that has been going on so long, as well as all the sects of Islam.

      It's also what's happening within the GOP and why they are being pulled further and further to the right. Social issues based on religious beliefs is a big part in what's causing that to happen.

      My concern in the diary was that we don't starting acting liking Republicans by disparaging a religion, specifically Mormonism. The issue I wanted to bring up in the diary has nothing to do with the religion. The point was how Romney's fundraiser comments demonstrate that he does not adhere to the teachings of his own religion.

      “Mitt Romney is the only person in America who looked at the way this Congress is behaving and said, ‘I want the brains behind THAT operation.’ ” — Tom Perriello

      by hungrycoyote on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 02:08:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If the Separation of Church and State hadn't been (4+ / 0-)

        breached in our government like the constitution instructed It wouldn't be a problem or issue.

        Haven't heard many GOP Political religious spouters Practice what they Preach period. I would also add most Preachers and Priests don't practice it either which SHOULD be a clue to the followers to Wake Up and Think for Yourself.

        Sheesh, these days finding like-minded people who don't Lie, Cheat, Steal or Murder is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

        "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

        "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

        by roseeriter on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 02:16:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •   A couple things (3+ / 0-)

        IMO the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is about land, resources and identity, religion is just a distraction. If there were a solution on the table that would fairly address these concerns on both sides the religions issues could be accommodated as is commended by the Prophets of both faiths, salaam/shalom be upon them.

        What we are witnessing in the GOP around social versus economic issues was foreshadowed at the founding of modern conservatism in the 50's and is playing out now in the dissolution of the uneasy coalition of Unfettered Capitalism and Religious Conservatism. Dr. Prince points directly at the heart of it when he points out, essentially that Mitt's Capitalism is incompatible with the Gospel of Charity, just as W.F.Buckley did 60 years ago in his dispute with Ayn Rand.

        The blessed fowl have come home to roost in the rafters of the Crystalline Conservative Cathedral and are shitting on the head of the Bishop.

        Just getting a handle on the knobs and dials.... Hey, don't touch that!

        by Old Lefty on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 02:37:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I still don't see an explanation for THIS: (5+ / 0-)
        The point was how Romney's fundraiser comments demonstrate that he does not adhere to the teachings of his own religion.
        Show me, in one of the three LDS' holy books and in their doctrine where he has not adhered to the church's teachings.

        I don't necessarily disagree with you--wait, actually I might--but it depends on what your proof is.

        As a former LDS myself, I have strong feelings about Romney in part because of his religious beliefs which put God before country.

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

        by cany on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 03:13:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sooooo...... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungrycoyote

    If a Presidential candidate were a practioner of Xiovekj Memecedi wherein it is necessary to hang upside down for five days drinking only beetle juice...... what I'm saying is that at some point the practices of some theoretical or actual religion will cross the line where it DOES become relevant to the voters' consideration. Whether Mormon practices cross that line is for each person to decide for themselves, but those practices are (or should be), like a candidate's tax returns, subject to public scrutiny. Scrutiny is not an attack, it is an inquiry, and I think Dr. Prince provides a robust defense of, at least, LDS adherence to the doctrine of the Gospel of Charity.

    I appreciate the historical perspective you provide so well, but the correlation drawn between the '98 Kennedy campaign and the current Obama one seems a bit forced. Especially in light of the crypto-muslim hallucinations and the reaction to his earlier "guns and religion" statement, they may have figured that one out without reference to Massachusetts.

    Republican attacks on Barak vis a vis his religion are an entirely different matter, because they aren't attacking the religion he professes, but a secret one that they attribute to him with no evidence beyond sheer fantasy. In the case of Rev. Wright the attack was explicitly political, and in both cases, the subtext was race. That is shaky ground indeed and I agree that we too must tread lightly in the sacred precincts, but I have heard no one here accusing Mitt of being a secret, say Fellatio-ist, just as I am not doing right now. ;-)

    Keep up the good work.

    Just getting a handle on the knobs and dials.... Hey, don't touch that!

    by Old Lefty on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 02:16:17 AM PDT

    •  In the current climate, I doubt that a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Old Lefty

      practioner of Xiovekj Memecedi would be a viable candidate for president with any chance of winning. So I don't ever see it becoming an issue. I'll try to wrap my brain around it and tackle it, if it ever does become an issue.

      I don't think President Obama or his campaign ever needed the historical reference to 1994 to decide not to go there. I offered it to point out that Ted Kennedy tried going there and it back-fired on him, which is why no matter what crazy stuff the GOP does, we shouldn't (on the outside of the campaign) go there either.

      My parents were agnostic, and I was raised without religion in my life. I've never felt a need to explore incorporating religion in my life. I do respect the fact that others are dedicated to their faith. I just wish they'd respect my non-faith, and keep religion out of my government.

      “Mitt Romney is the only person in America who looked at the way this Congress is behaving and said, ‘I want the brains behind THAT operation.’ ” — Tom Perriello

      by hungrycoyote on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 02:35:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thankfully me too (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hungrycoyote, shaharazade

        but I watched several friends and many strangers through the 60's and 70's take some pretty frightening journeys through a whole range of religions, from Jerry Garcia-ism to spraying e. coli on salad bars in the name of a guy with 52 Rolls Royces, so I have been an avid observer of religious phenomena for some time.

        I meant by my first point above simply that there are in fact limits to what some find politically acceptable under the umbrella of religion, whether that limit is hanging upside down or taking oaths of self immolation as has been done in Mitt's life. I too have some LDS friends and bear them no ill will, but as an institution, the LDS Church has some serious issues with its former members, in an their eyes as well. Creeps me out frankly, but as you say the point is political, and just as in the Israel/Palestine, religion is relly not the issue here.

        Just getting a handle on the knobs and dials.... Hey, don't touch that!

        by Old Lefty on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 02:50:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree. And I very much appreciate the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Old Lefty

          discussion because as I said, religion has never played a part in my life, and I am going through a learning curve trying to understand some of the motivations people have.

          It's like the whole Todd Akin controversy. I get that he really believes the stuff he said, and is still bewildered trying to understand what the big uproar was all about. In some ways, he is a more principled man than Mitt Romney because at least he's standing up for what he believes despite the fact that it's just appalling. But Romney? It really is difficult to know what he truly believes and where those beliefs come from.

          “Mitt Romney is the only person in America who looked at the way this Congress is behaving and said, ‘I want the brains behind THAT operation.’ ” — Tom Perriello

          by hungrycoyote on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 03:47:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  In all other cases I would agree: (5+ / 0-)
    I want to start out by saying that I do not think that the Mormon religion should be an issue in the presidential election
    But since Mormons have a specific plan to use the Presidency to usher in a Mormon Theocracy called the White Horse Prophesy Romneys Mormonism is of significant importance. This makes the situation different than say Kennedy because as far as I know they do not have a specific charter to Theocrize the Country.

    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 03:15:02 AM PDT

    •  What evidence is there that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lonespark

      the White Horse Prophesy is something that Romney believes in? I've read about it too, and it's just about as valid an argument from the left about Romney as the Anti-Christ argument from the right is about President Obama.

      The whole point of this diary is that Romney has shown himself not to adhere to the doctrines of his religion. The things he said at the fundraiser were examples of Republicanism not Mormonism.

      “Mitt Romney is the only person in America who looked at the way this Congress is behaving and said, ‘I want the brains behind THAT operation.’ ” — Tom Perriello

      by hungrycoyote on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 03:42:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This very question (3+ / 0-)

        belies your ignorance of Mormon Theology.

        What evidence is there that the White Horse Prophesy is something that Romney believes in?
        Mormons will excommunicate anyone that questions their Theology and you think Mitt as a Bishop in that same church will suddenly buck them over this?

        There are no grey areas in Mormonism you either believe or you don't. I'm not the only recovering Mormon to know this.

        Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

        by Horace Boothroyd III on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 03:57:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Okay, thank you for setting me straight. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Horace Boothroyd III

          I didn't not realize that you had such an intimate knowledge and personal experience with the religion. You certainly would know better than I would.  I've just read the denials that it is church doctrine.

          “Mitt Romney is the only person in America who looked at the way this Congress is behaving and said, ‘I want the brains behind THAT operation.’ ” — Tom Perriello

          by hungrycoyote on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 05:51:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Google "Arizona Strip, Mormon" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shaharazade

            And "White Mountains, Mormon."

            Read something about what life is like if Mormons have complete control. It will also help you understand why we are so vehement about something Progressives rarely tread upon.

            Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

            by Horace Boothroyd III on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 05:54:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Read Sacred Ceremonies. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hungrycoyote, snazzzybird

        Remember, you can't have crazy without az.

        by Desert Rose on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 05:32:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ruh Roh, (4+ / 0-)

    This is a disturbing story re the Mormon Church

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/...

    A Mormon in good standing, Twede has never been disciplined by Latter Day Saints leadership. But it now appears his days as a Mormon may be numbered because of a series of articles he wrote this past week that were critical of Mitt Romney.

    On Sunday, Twede says his bishop, stake president, and two church executives brought him into Florida Mormon church offices in Orlando and interrogated him for nearly an hour about his writings, telling him, "Cease and desist, Brother Twede."

    It doesn't stop there, the article, but I can't post all of it.
     

    Ron Reagan: "Sarah Palin's constituency are people who wear red rubber noses and bells on their shoes."

    by AnnetteK on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 03:18:05 AM PDT

  •  What if a presidential candidate sincerely believe (5+ / 0-)

    that nuclear war with Russia over Israel was inevitable because it was biblical prophecy as taught to him by his religion. Thus, it was incumbent upon him to use the power of the presidency to prepare for such a war.

    What if a presidential candidate believed that? Do you think bringing that up, because it is a religious belief, is an unfair topic for political attacks?

    •  No you're correct. One of the things that (0+ / 0-)

      scares me about Romney is that he's willing to follow the advice of the neocons and start a war with Iran. But, I think that's more to do with the neocon's lust for war than a religious belief.

      “Mitt Romney is the only person in America who looked at the way this Congress is behaving and said, ‘I want the brains behind THAT operation.’ ” — Tom Perriello

      by hungrycoyote on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 05:54:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's the biggest reason I went rigid with dread (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brooklynbadboy

      at the merest possibility of Sarah Palin being a septuagenarian cancer survivor's heartbeat away from the presidency.

      Hell yes that should be a topic for political attacks.  It would be urgently relevant.

      Fox News is to the truth as a flaming bag of dog shit is to a packed lunch. --MinistryOfTruth

      by snazzzybird on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 06:30:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Would you rather have a Quaker or a born-again (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lonespark, hungrycoyote

    Southern Baptist as president. That should be an easy question for most of us here- the Quakers are a pacifist, inclusive community while the Southern Baptists are at the opposite end of the spectrum.

    So you prefer Richard Nixon to Jimmy Carter?

    Most politicians don't give more than lip service to their religion. Carter was an exception. I don't see any evidence that either Obama or Romney is a true believer, which is just fine with me. I really don't care what set of improbable myths they claim to believe in. What counts is what they have done and what they are going to do.

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