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Getting Romney’s Religion

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Posted on Oct 20, 2011
AP / Charles Dharapak

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney listens as he is introduced at a campaign fundraising event at a home in Des Moines, Iowa, in August.

By The Rev. Madison Shockley

(Page 2)

In his 2008 speech, Romney, having treaded gingerly into theological territory in order to appeal to evangelical voters, gave incomplete information about his faith. What he said about his view of Jesus Christ was true as far as it went. Unfortunately, that left it to others who would exploit the religious biases of the electorate to explain Mormonism’s other “distinctive doctrines.” The belief that Jesus appeared in North America to Joseph Smith in 1820, that God has a human body and Jesus is a “spirit brother” of Satan are among the more inflammatory doctrines to traditional Christians.

So we seem stuck between no discussion of a candidate’s faith and a blatant appeal to the prejudices of the electorate. But the “sometimes” answer suggests that the particular history of a candidate gives the key to the issues that are meaningful to understand.

Romney may maintain that he does not speak for his church and his church does not speak for him but this was not always the case. According to a recent New York Times profile of Romney’s role in the Mormon church, he was a major figure in his faith. For more than a decade in the ’80s and ’90s, Romney served at times as a bishop and as president of the Boston stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Romney provided leadership within the congregation, gave large sums of money (Mormons are required to tithe 10 percent of their income), led evangelistic efforts of the church and represented it in its various public relations needs as it built a Mormon temple in his town of Belmont. This would seem to establish his religious background as an important part of his identity. It was also during this time that he personally intervened to prevent a woman with major medical complications in her pregnancy from seeking an abortion. That’s information the voter should know as we continue to debate the questions of access to safe and legal abortions in this country.

The prohibition to which Romney, Chris Matthews and others appeal is a prohibition preventing any government agency from disqualifying the candidacy of a person solely on the basis of their religion. U.S. Constitution Article VI Clause 3: “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States” [emphasis added]. The founders were reacting specifically to the 17th century Test Acts of England that required persons holding civil offices to adhere to the tenets of the Church of England. 

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Matthews and others have reinvented the founders’ purposes to deny that members of the public may even inquire as to the religious beliefs of a candidate who has asked them for their vote. Pressed by Jeffress in the interview, Matthews admitted as much but persisted that it was a “higher value” expressed by the Constitution than the blatant prejudice of preference for a candidate of one faith over another. This is only a slightly more sophisticated argument but still misses the point.

Voters need as much information as possible about a candidate to determine their choice. Candidates answer public queries from the serious to the ridiculous. One voter famously asked then-candidate Bill Clinton whether he wore “boxers or briefs.” If candidates have any religious experience it is important to the voters to understand whether and to what extent that religion has shaped their values, worldview, commitments and behaviors. It is also an important insight to candidates’ future decisions when faced with issues that overlap with the tenets of their faith. If a candidate does not have religious experience, people may make of that what they will but can do so only if they are aware. If it is important for voters to be informed, then it is important for the media to provide as much information as possible, including a candidate’s religion (or lack thereof) and his or her relationship to that faith.

A candidate’s faith does in fact matter, especially when the religious institution to which he or she belongs is involved in explicit political campaigns that affect millions of lives. Such issues as civil rights for women, immigrants and the LGBT community come immediately to mind. Roman Catholic candidates have an important clarification to make if they disagree with their church’s campaign against reproductive rights for women or to providing medical care to women in reproductive distress. They will also have to defend the position of their church favoring comprehensive immigration reform to voters opposed to such a policy. Mormon candidates have an important clarification to make if they disagree with their church’s campaign against marriage equality for LGBT folks. Southern Baptist candidates will have to explain why a secular voter should support them if they belong to a church that has a history of being racist, sexist, homophobic and anti-science.

Finally, it is hypocrisy to demand that candidates denounce their religion by distancing themselves from the statements of religious leaders or institutions to which they belong. Only voluntary statements of clarification or disagreement should be part of the discussion. Perry did volunteer his own statement that Mormonism is not a cult (he didn’t say it was a Christian faith) yet the media persist in hounding a “denunciation” out of him. But to do so would be to require him to contradict the orthodox teaching of the Southern Baptist Convention (the largest Protestant denomination in the country). Jeffress’ motives were not pure. He knows what the polls say about voters and Mormonism. But the only way that the American people can overcome their bigotry is to become familiar with persons of diverse faiths serving in office and to experience them as people in whom they can entrust civic responsibilities even if they aspire to a different heaven.

Romney, by hiding his faith, robs the American voter of this growth opportunity. President Obama gave his own speech on his faith in Philadelphia during the primary campaign in 2008. It did not hide the origins or doctrine of Black Liberation Theology but put it in a historical context that allowed American voters to grow in the breadth of their religious tolerance. But Romney wants to in one breath assert that he’s just like the average evangelical voter and then hold his breath when it comes to a greater understanding of this important faith. In this way he serves neither the founders nor the voters.


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By ardee, October 27, 2011 at 4:58 am Link to this comment

Ardee in the post I was responding to you had written:

“It is such stuff and nonsense, especially in an era of private sector immorality and the complicity of the politician elected on the dollars of the capitalists who loot and pillage legally.”

Since small businesses make up the overwhelming majority of private sector jobs and capital, your comment could mean nothing else.  Bad private sector, bad small business—it’s a logical syllogism.

I wish I could be as seemingly tolerant as you profess to be. However, considering that no one anywhere is speaking to or about the small business person, I can only restate my opinion that your mentioning of such is both grasping at straws and obfuscation.

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By Egomet Bonmot, October 26, 2011 at 8:31 pm Link to this comment

>>Libertarians certainly don’t share your belief in the basic immorality of the private sector—no one who’s ever run a small business could believe that.

“Deception thy name is Bonmot. No one is speaking about the small businessman. He/she doesn’t own any politicians,or employ any lobbyists, and is certainly not the problem. Why on earth obfuscate like this?”

Ardee in the post I was responding to you had written:

“It is such stuff and nonsense, especially in an era of private sector immorality and the complicity of the politician elected on the dollars of the capitalists who loot and pillage legally.”

Since small businesses make up the overwhelming majority of private sector jobs and capital, your comment could mean nothing else.  Bad private sector, bad small business—it’s a logical syllogism.

Maybe you meant to say “corporate” or “conglomerate” immorality instead of private sector immorality. 

I’ll give you the benefit of a doubt and assume you weren’t deceiving and obfuscating, haw haw.

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By ardee, October 26, 2011 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

Egomet Bonmot, October 26 at 5:49 am

Libertarians certainly don’t share your belief in the basic immorality of the private sector—no one who’s ever run a small business could believe that.

Deception thy name is Bonmot. No one is speaking about the small businessman. He/she doesn’t own any politicians,or employ any lobbyists, and is certainly not the problem. Why on earth obfuscate like this?

Certainly libs aren’t naive about the abuses, the worst in my lifetime—listen to Paul rail against corporatism and ask yourself is anyone besides Dennis Kucinich has the balls to attack his potential donor-base so starkly.

Rail against illegalities, certainly, work to make strong regulatory powers of government designed to curb the abuses, never! This is one of my key arguments against Libertarians, they operate in some mythic utopia where businesses will self regulate. Oh and contribute great sums to charity too in order to end all government entitlements.

I think you’d profit from some debate with libertarians, who themselves usually run screaming from republican politics.

Hmm, the only libertarian candidate is running where? Oh yes, in the Republican primary. Ron, run faster…..plus , for how many years has Paul’s record shown him to sit with, dine with, and vote with, those very same Republicans you now say youze guyz run screaming from….Someone is screaming here, oh yeah, it’s me in the face of your “eccentricities”...a polite word in order to keep this as civil as possible.

It would strengthen your progressivism to defend it from real opposing views and not demagogic republican ones.  Deluded or not, Paulies talk about personal freedom—even Paul himself frames social security as a program the young ought to be able to opt out of.  Who am I, he might argue, to force anyone in or out of an entitlement program.  That’s not a view arrived at by political calculation or playing to one’s base—it’s political suicide—but ideological consistency forces him there.

A program designed to keep foolish people from becoming destitute adults and thus a greater burden on the American people. Oh by all means let us not allow wiser and cooler heads to prevail. Social Security deductions are no burden to anyone, opting out is unfair as the program needs the influx of the new generations in order to pay out to the older.

Rather than opt out we should abolish the cutoff that exists at what, about $106,000 or so, and thus gain more revenues in the program. Paul’s rant about personal freedom winds up to be the freedom of the financial community to privatize Social Security and add constantly raising fees.

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By Anarcissie, October 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment

Lincoln and Douglas were persons of considerable intellect and were very articulate about their ideas.  I don’t think the same can be said of either Obama or Paul.  Of course Obama is a master rhetorician (of empty abstractions), and Paul makes other candidates look stupid because he offers horse sense which they do not, but neither of them strike me as the kind of mental giants who could offer a debate on the same level as Lincoln and Douglas.  So it’s up to us.  And I think the Occupations have given us the opening.

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By Egomet Bonmot, October 26, 2011 at 5:49 am Link to this comment

ardee—Sorry for the delay getting back to you.  In my opinion there is a philosophical case to be made against some entitlements, although most libertarians of the Paul stripe don’t buy the insolvency argument made by repubs.  Of course big entitlement programs that do social good “lose” money, you might argue.  That’s their point.

Libertarians certainly don’t share your belief in the basic immorality of the private sector—no one who’s ever run a small business could believe that. Certainly libs aren’t naive about the abuses, the worst in my lifetime—listen to Paul rail against corporatism and ask yourself is anyone besides Dennis Kucinich has the balls to attack his potential donor-base so starkly.

I think you’d profit from some debate with libertarians, who themselves usually run screaming from republican politics.  It would strengthen your progressivism to defend it from real opposing views and not demagogic republican ones.  Deluded or not, Paulies talk about personal freedom—even Paul himself frames social security as a program the young ought to be able to opt out of.  Who am I, he might argue, to force anyone in or out of an entitlement program.  That’s not a view arrived at by political calculation or playing to one’s base—it’s political suicide—but ideological consistency forces him there.

Now for a surprise, and then I’m gonna catch up on my work.  I hope Ron Paul finishes a close second behind Obama, and I’ve said as much on the Truthdig boards before.  I worked the Obama phone banks on election day and made my last call to Wasilla Alaska—and I’ll work them again in ‘12.  That said, I think this country needs a profound, soul-searching debate about its purpose, and nobody I know is as good at provoking the right questions as your average libertarian.  I think if Paul won the nomination his debates with Obama about the *purpose* of America would be as historic as Lincoln-Douglas.

So cheers and adios.

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By ardee, October 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm Link to this comment

Egomet Bonmot, October 24 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

ardee,

First you quit the discussion and give me “your last word” on libertarianism as you go out the door.  Then when I try to muster a polite goodbye, you gloat at my cowardice and run a victory lap.

Gloat, hardly, sickened is what I am at the crap you libertarians spew and the incredulity that you would actually think anyone would swallow this mess of nonsense.

I do apologize as you are receiving the brunt of my anger at those who came before you trying to distort libertarianism to fit in the progressive framework. But you are just as guilty I fear with this mess of pottage:

agree with this, in spirit *and* in letter.  In fact if you look past the chess club geeks that made up old libertarianism to the movement that’s now underway you’ll probably find that they, along with most Americans of any political stripe, agree with your father.  With that in mind I’m sure you’ll be able to guess the argument I’m going to make:  Treat the neediest well!  Care for the sick, shoe the unshod.  (I walk the walk in this btw, it’s not just academic to me).  But don’t institutionalize your charity and create generations of expection for it.  Don’t add layers of beareaucracy and indifference to a good instinct.  Don’t create

First, it was my grandfather, my dad was a centrist democrat.

But the Reaganisms you interject notwithstanding, the government has run successful programs; as social security, and this despite the garbage about its insolvency spewed by extremists on the right, including libertarians sorry to say. Welfare is a basically good system, with a bit of attention it could and should be a great program. Likewise Medicare, looted and pillaged by corporations of the medical variety. All abetted by the meddling of agendized right wing politicos doing the bidding of their corporate masters.

Government exists ,in large part, specifically to care for the infrastructure, and the welfare of the citizenry. You folks want to throw the baby out with the bath water by attempting to foist upon us the rather ridiculous notion that the private sector and churches will pick up the slack left by a government abandonment of its natural and rightful duty to those in need.

It is such stuff and nonsense, especially in an era of private sector immorality and the complicity of the politician elected on the dollars of the capitalists who loot and pillage legally.

When my truck breaks down I fix it, when my roof leaks I repair it. When my government agencies are in need of streamlining and modernization I work to fix that as well. What I do not do is prattle about strangling that government and throwing everyone upon the tender mercies of the private sector.

Cry me some more of those crocodile tears, Bonmot, I have read extensively on libertarian politics and you aint selling me ice in the winter.

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By Egomet Bonmot, October 24, 2011 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

ardee,

First you quit the discussion and give me “your last word” on libertarianism as you go out the door.  Then when I try to muster a polite goodbye, you gloat at my cowardice and run a victory lap.

How in the flying pink Jesus can we end this on a positive note?  Ok I’ll answer the one substantive point made in your last post, that of your socialist father and the way he measured the greatness of a nation by how it treats its neediest.

I agree with this, in spirit *and* in letter.  In fact if you look past the chess club geeks that made up old libertarianism to the movement that’s now underway you’ll probably find that they, along with most Americans of any political stripe, agree with your father.  With that in mind I’m sure you’ll be able to guess the argument I’m going to make:  Treat the neediest well!  Care for the sick, shoe the unshod.  (I walk the walk in this btw, it’s not just academic to me).  But don’t institutionalize your charity and create generations of expection for it.  Don’t add layers of beareaucracy and indifference to a good instinct.  Don’t create resentments in the working classes. 

Who gave the progressivism the corner on Goodness, Charity and Decency?  If you legislate Decency with a capital D, is it still decent?

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By ardee, October 24, 2011 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

Egomet Bonmot, October 24 at 12:25 pm

I do not blame you for avoiding any comment contained in my post, you simply cannot continue your juggling act with so many plates already in the air. Phony, fraudulent and assuming everyone else too dumb to catch your bullshite.

In other words, a typical Libertarian.

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By Egomet Bonmot, October 24, 2011 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment

Well ardee I appreciate the pretty bow if not the bag of crap and cheers!

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By ardee, October 24, 2011 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

“the ending of all entitlements, the privatization of social security if not its outright abolishing, the heart of libertarian practice,”

The heart and soul—and a form of leftism your grandparents would recognize, if not your parents—the one that existed before Johnson’s great society became so completely identified with the left.  The old progressivism was allied to labor, not entitlement.  Those silkscreen WPA posters used to show happy factory workers, not people on couches holding a remote.

This last is patent nonsense, and worse, I believe you know it full well. My paternal grandfather WAS a socialist in fact. He always noted that a nations greatness is measured, not by how the wealthiest live, but by how the neediest are treated.

I actually read your post twice, seeking to find something that actually came to grips with the points I made. Couldn’t find anything but stale and trite libertarian, “Ive got mine screw you” crap all tied up with a pretty bow of erudite command of language.

My last words on this subject to one whose head must be in some warm, dark place when debating; Libertarian politics is and should be anathema to any progressive, moderate or leftist.

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By Egomet Bonmot, October 24, 2011 at 8:02 am Link to this comment

“Thus you attempt to create a legitimate reason for leftists and progressives to ignore both the isolationism inherent in Paul’s supposed stand for an end to war…”

God forbid they should ignore his isolationism.  Paul’s an isolationist!  I’m with you on this one, let’s shout it from the rooftops.

“... as well as the great harm in the politics of libertarians and vote as single issue voters, against their own belief systems.”

Name a presidential election in recent memory that hasn’t been won on a single issue.  I gave you two!  What a bounty.

“to almost subliminally declare Scheer a Paul fan”

Uh, Scheer *is* a Ron Paul fan.

“to push the one or two points in Paul’s platform that unknowing progressives and leftists might support while burying by refusal to address the very grave dangers in the rest of his intent for our governance is suspicious to say the least.”

Oh stop it with your paranoid bugaboos will you?  Agenda, shmenda.  I give every person on this board credit for having arrived at their opinions agenda- and suspicion-free, yours included.

“To think that any leftists would possibly support the ending of all governmental regulation upon our business community,”

Most regulation, not all.

“the ending of all entitlements, the privatization of social security if not its outright abolishing, the heart of libertarian practice,”

The heart and soul—and a form of leftism your grandparents would recognize, if not your parents—the one that existed before Johnson’s great society became so completely identified with the left.  The old progressivism was allied to labor, not entitlement.  Those silkscreen WPA posters used to show happy factory workers, not people on couches holding a remote.

If I could throw out a little grave danger myself, progressives risk squandering the greatest single upwelling of political radicalism we’re likely to see in our lifetime if they don’t do some major soul-searching, quickly.  They’re hugely vulnerable on the issue of entitlements because idleness is at its core—Upton Sinclair wouldn’t recognize the left of today.  Those few still clinging to their McJobs will be even less inclined to part with what they have to give to those with none, and they won’t support a graduated tax because, God bless em, they think that what’s unfair for them shouldn’t be made fair for the rich.  All appearances at Zuccotti Park to the contrary, it’s a losing hand.

“especially when current events and headlines show plainly the need to restore and even enhance said regulations and entitlements, weakened or cancelled by the republicans and democrats who really are republicans, is, I fervently hope, a waste of your time and mine.”

More crypto-somethings…  Ok, what I and others really are I will leave for you to tell me.

But is your leftism on such a solid ground ardee?  That smart phone in your pocket is a raging libertarian, making little libertarian votes for you a dozen times an hour and Twittering you in scream-caps.  We’re headed for much greater personal autonomy, and our politics will adapt to suit the technology, as it always has.  That bell can’t be unrung.

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By ardee, October 24, 2011 at 4:23 am Link to this comment

Egomet Bonmot, October 23 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

ardee,

Nice bike.

Speaking personally, I have no idea what “coalition” I will have been a part of until I leave the voting booth.  I’ll let the experts figure that out.

Yet you do not postpone your attempt to make Paul’s candidacy legitimate, and doing so under the guise of supposed left wing leanings seems more than a trifle dishonest, or agendized perhaps.

& you’re of course right that libertarian politics trump “real” leftist politics—you can’t have both.  To the extent that one’s identity as a real leftist is dear, this might be a dealbreaker.  But under each tent is a collection of causes, some of which gain new saliency in each election cycle.

Thus you attempt to create, and out of whole cloth it seems, a legitimate reason for leftists and progressives to ignore both the isolationism inherent in Paul’s supposed stand for an end to war as well as the great harm in the politics of libertarians and vote as single issue voters, against their own belief systems.

  For me now, at this time, two issues are tops:  Our foreign adventures and the great wealth divide.  Paul has answers to both that I admire for their pragmatism.  Should I stop reading genuine-left Truthdig as a result?  Robert Scheer has a qualified admiration of Paul.  Should he stop writing
for Truthdig?

An argument so flimsy, in my opinion, as to unworthy of rebuttal. To focus on “freedom of speech” to almost subliminally declare Scheer a Paul fan, to push the one or two points in Paul’s platform that unknowing progressives and leftists might support while burying by refusal to address the very grave dangers in the rest of his intent for our governance is suspicious to say the least.

I do not mean to insult you, sir or madam, but your avowed leftist leanings are not evident in your posts thus far. As in every election cycle recently we find libertarians attempting to bridge what is, in my own opinion, an unbridgeable gap between the left and the far right as represented by libertarians. It has proven a waste of time so far and I believe you waste your time now.

To think that any leftists would possibly support the ending of all governmental regulation upon our business community, the ending of all entitlements, the privatization of social security if not its outright abolishing, the heart of libertarian practice, especially when current events and headlines show plainly the need to restore and even enhance said regulations and entitlements, weakened or cancelled by the republicans and democrats who really are republicans, is, I fervently hope, a waste of your time and mine.

Please understand that my words, strong though they may be, are not meant as personal insult.

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By skimohawk, October 23, 2011 at 11:15 pm Link to this comment

looks like Tesla is one of few who gets to the truth about “religion”:

“They all have to go. They are divisive and at their core hateful and exclusionary.
Then maybe people could HATE other people for “legitimate” reasons.”

religion = BS
just a bunch of crap a bunch of guys made up.
no different than stories about the “bogeyman”.
and again, as Carlin said very clearly:
“it’s bad for you!”

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By prosefights, October 23, 2011 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

My impression after more than 50 years obervation is that LDS is a business.

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By Anarcissie, October 23, 2011 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment

This article, written by a liberal (modern U.S. sense) describes important differences between OWS populism and Tea Party populism:
http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/10/2011101883450141716.html

My understanding, based on polls and personal observation, is that most of the supporters and sympathizers of the Occupations are not radicals but reformist social-democratic liberals—that is, people who believe, among other things, in a strong governmental role in regulating capitalism and directing some of the aggregate social product towards welfarist, ‘redistributionist’ programs.  They also feel abandoned by the Obama and the Democratic Party.  The Tea Party materials I have read have been ideologically mixed, but none of them favored ‘big government’ except perhaps for prosecuting wars.  So I don’t think there is much intersection between the Occupations and the Tea Party (-ies).

You might also want to look at http://www.theawl.com/2011/10/why-the-tea-party-hates-occupy-wall-street, which goes into some differences between the movements as found in the Midwest.

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By Egomet Bonmot, October 23, 2011 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

ardee,

Nice bike.

Speaking personally, I have no idea what “coalition” I will have been a part of until I leave the voting booth.  I’ll let the experts figure that out.

& you’re of course right that libertarian politics trump “real” leftist politics—you can’t have both.  To the extent that one’s identity as a real leftist is dear, this might be a dealbreaker.  But under each tent is a collection of causes, some of which gain new saliency in each election cycle.  For me now, at this time, two issues are tops:  Our foreign adventures and the great wealth divide.  Paul has answers to both that I admire for their pragmatism.  Should I stop reading genuine-left Truthdig as a result?  Robert Scheer has a qualified admiration of Paul.  Should he stop writing for Truthdig?

If the Koch brothers have somehow guided me to Paul and his tea party-friendly positions with their media money, I confess the influence was too subtle for me to recognize.

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By Outraged, October 23, 2011 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

Re: ardee, October 23

Your comment: “I would offer that any in depth
perusal of Libertarian politics would immediately
become anathema to any real leftist. I would further
note that the comments of those here in support of a
Paul candidacy have shown no credentials as leftists,
or even progressives.”

I agree and would further suggest that Ron Paul
doesn’t even reflect a POPULIST viewpoint.  Today
Paul was attacking the very foundations of POPULIST
issues, from Politico:

“Republican presidential contender Ron Paul said
Sunday he wants to end federal student loans, calling
it a failed program that has put students $1 trillion
in debt when there are no jobs and when the quality
of education has deteriorated.

Paul unveiled a plan last week to cut $1 trillion
from the federal budget that would eliminate five
Cabinet departments, including education. He’s also
wants young workers to be able to opt out of Social
Security.”

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/66645.html

Education and Social Security are populous issues and
Paul’s viewpoint doesn’t resonate well with most
people.  His positions are extreme and they do not favor or protect the peoples’ interests AT ALL.

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By mrfreeze, October 23, 2011 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

OregonCharles - From your post:

“Would, say, Romney accept and act on that dictation from church authorities?  I think that’s a legitimate question to ask him - not that I’d expect a straight answer.”

What a great point and one that I’d like to add to:

All Mormon males of Romney’s position “are” church authorities. They all consider themselves “elders” holding the “priesthood.” They do nothing but parrot orders from their “prophet” and they are, almost to the person, conservative, republicans…...You will rarely if ever meet a Mormon who votes outside the party line.

If the prophet of the Mormon Church had not “received a revelation” in 1978 (“God, you want us to include blacks?” “Sure, it will increase our ‘market share.’”) to allow blacks to receive the “priesthood” in the LDS Church, Romney would, be answering a lot of questions about his religious beliefs because you know darn well, he would be defending the church (or would he…...?).

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By ardee, October 23, 2011 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

Egomet Bonmot, October 23 at 1:18 pm

I rise to speak to your declaration of a coalition of leftists, tea party members, and independents moving under the umbrella of Libertarian politics. I wonder what actual evidence you have of such,other than perhaps your own unique wish to see such.

I would offer that any in depth perusal of Libertarian politics would immediately become anathema to any real leftist. I would further note that the comments of those here in support of a Paul candidacy have shown no credentials as leftists, or even progressives. Moreover they seem to base their so-called new-found allegiance to the good Doctor on only a small portion of libertarian thought, while ignoring the very real dangers inherent in that political conception.

As I consider the Tea Party to be a wholly owned subsidiary of the Koch Brothers, created specifically to further both the installation of conservative Republicans to national office as well as moving that party to the extreme right, I see possibly a few defections towards the Libertarian Dr. Paul.

But that hardly signifies a trending as most of the members of that party seem quite content to think and act as they are told to do so.

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By Egomet Bonmot, October 23, 2011 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

Lost in all the media coverage of the repubs is the stark reality of Romney’s ineligibility for nomination. Southern evangelicals who dominate the party will no more vote for a Mormon candidate than a gay one. Romney’s campaign ends on super Tuesday.

Which to me leaves a glaring question: Who will be second? Paul is called wild-eyed and unelectible, but I and a growing number of lefties/independents/tea partiers are feeling pretty wild-eyed about the times.  Paul’s chances for cinching it have been downplayed til now imho.

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By oregoncharles, October 23, 2011 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

Shockley does a good job of distinguishing between actions of the STATE, as in keeping someone off the ballot, and actions of CITIZENS. 

To restate his point:  insofar as religious beliefs would dictate POLICY, they’re a legitimate concern.  The reality is that, in American politics, they frequently don’t; we might conclude that, as a politician, Romney isn’t a very good Mormon, making his religion much less of a factor - as we did for JFK, a long time ago.

I would suggest a further consideration:  religions that claim authority over their members - which include the Catholic Church, some fundamentalists, as well as the Mormons - raise the issue of whom we’re electing.  If, say, the Pope can dictate to the President, haven’t we really elected the Pope?  Again, this is ultimately a character judgment:

Would, say, Romney accept and act on that dictation from church authorities?  I think that’s a legitimate question to ask him - not that I’d expect a straight answer.

Those who’d prefer their politicians with no religion at all, or none they take seriously, have a point.

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By omop, October 23, 2011 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

Money for EVERYONE EXCEPT AMERICANS….sounds like nazism?

http://americanfreepress.net/?p=1141

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By Anarcissie, October 23, 2011 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

butlerson, October 23 at 5:08 am:

So,the ‘Truthdiggers’ have come crawling out of the caves, just as I thought.

Can’t say a word about the death cult, Islam, & its megalomaniacal ‘prophet’, but Jews & everyone else are fair game?  What’s it with you Leftists anyway?

This is an example of the fallacy of composition and suggests as well that you don’t know much about leftists.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 23, 2011 at 6:44 am Link to this comment

MRFreeze:
Don’t get me wrong: I think Romney would disastrous for the nation, but I think the others would be catastrophic.

What do I mean.

I THINK we (the USA) might be able to survive a Romney Presidency and re-establish ourselves as a just democratic republic.  No promises, no guarantees, just a possibility.

But I am CERTAIN that under the others our democratic republic will be turned into a fascist dictatorship that can only be recovered from by a violent revolution.  Bush got us most of the way to that fascist empire (remember Darth Cheney proposing to “postpone” the 2004 election?).  Obama has held the line in some places, rolled back in others, and continued the Bush trend in some…but I have not lost ALL hope in our nation recovering under our laws and Constitution. 

With a Perry or Cain or Gingrich or Bachmann or Santorum, all the last vestiges of our democratic republic will be lost as they all want to impose clearly crazy ideas on us (like locking up Democratic congressmen and senators).

Even the sanest and most competent, but soon to drop out, candidate in the race, John Huntsman, is a Mormon as well.

I have no love for the Mormon religion. It actively embraced racism up until either the 70’s or 80’s—I forgot which—and is, to me, just another bat-shit-crazy religion, like fundamentalist and charismatic Baptists, Chasidic Jews, Jihad-bent fundamentalist Moslems, Scientologists, and Christian Scientists (this is not a complete list).

So, in a nutshell: I THINK it is POSSIBLE we could survive Romney.  I have no such hopes about the other candidates with a realistic shot at the nomination.  That’s what I meant, and no more than that.

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By Tesla, October 23, 2011 at 6:32 am Link to this comment

Jew haters and Islamophobes on Truthdig.

The comments to this little exercise just reaffirms my
views concerning religions. They all have to go. They
are divisive and at their core hateful and
exclusionary.

Then maybe people could HATE other people for
“legitimate” reasons.

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By butlerson, October 23, 2011 at 5:08 am Link to this comment

So,the ‘Truthdiggers’ have come crawling out of the caves, just as I thought.

Can’t say a word about the death cult, Islam, & its megalomaniacal ‘prophet’, but Jews & everyone else are fair game?  What’s it with you Leftists anyway? Islam has become your new pet cause despite its being opposed to every human right you supposedly claim to believe in.  It’s like those Leftists that praised the Nazis & Hitler for all the wonders they were doing for Germany, ignoring all the actual ‘deeds’ & its ‘prophet’s’ rantings about what he/they were going to do. (Yes, Hitler said he was ‘guided by providence’ in all of his decisions too).

FYI, I’m a survivor of Mormonism.  Born & raised in that cesspit of bizarre neo-Islamic ideology.  Its founding ‘prophet’ had much in common with Islam’s founding ‘prophet’ - womanizing & getting convenient ‘revelations’ from their demonic deity to excuse their lustful, power hungry actions. They both had people killed who opposed them.

So, in your frenzy to protect Islamofascism at all costs & to keep the blinders on, don’t use the specious charge that I’m in any way defending Romney. Quite the opposite.  I wouldn’t vote for him if he was the only candidate running for the office of chief representative of the US Corporatocracy.  I’ll be writing in Bernie Sanders.

As a gay man I’ve lived the cruel persecution the Mormon cult can dish out & see it nearly destroy my family. Fortunately, I’ve found the average Mormon to be more decent than their leaders, which is evident in Catholics & Muslims too.  That doesn’t take away the dangerous teachings of those 2 ideologies, though, either.

But, if you critics of my comments knew anything of which you speak, you’d agree that Islam is the most hateful of all the man-made cults because it does command that women be treated as servants to men, can be beaten, can be ‘married’ off to old filthy men as children, can be used as sex objects when just little children (you should read Ayatollah Khomeinii’s “Little Green Book”, all based on Islamic Law, & see what depravity this bunch waxes ecstatic about. He even raves about the joy of having sex with a breastfeeding infant & the Islamic tenet from Mohammed himself of taking ‘temporary’ mut’a wives for sexual trysts (then note how Islamists are so wont to call us ‘decadent’!): http://www.scribd.com/doc/57040439/The-Little-Green-Book ) & its demands to kill gays & those who leave it & actually does.

You prove my point that it’s fine to attack the ugly tenets of Mormonism or all the other Conservatives’ right wing Old Testament faux Xtianity, but Islam gets a free pass.

As far as all the evil commands in Leviticus et al of Judaism, & adopted wholesale by right wing so-called Xtians, Judaism jettisoned those ugly commands a long time ago.  Judaism has reformed or we wouldn’t see so many Jews as Nobel winners & excelling at scientific research so much. Try to find a Muslim that has won one of these prizes for science or any Islamic university that produces anything but mindless automatons that can do little more than spout Qur’anic verses.

Islam has not & will not ever reform & come into the present century, embrace science, democracy & diversity because it would have to admit that it was all a fraud from the beginning. The Qur’an was supposedly the exact words from their deity for all time. (Which makes it hard to believe in an Intelligent Creator).

Read the Qur’an yourselves & learn for yourselves. Then maybe you won’t be so gullible as to believe all the lies (Taqiyya) Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood & their front CAIR spout:  http://www.cmje.org/religious-texts/quran/

And while you’re at it read the Ahadith, the sayings of Mohammed used also to make Sharia/Islamic Law. It makes some sense of the rambling confusion or the mediocre Qur’an:  http://www.cmje.org/religious-texts/hadith/  Just don’t read them on a full stomach. This NOT the Sermon on the Mount.

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By mrfreeze, October 22, 2011 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

ITW - OH, and one more thing…..just to prove a point…check out this hot-off-the-press HP post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/22/police-pepper-spray-haka-utah_n_1026963.html

Typical UT cultural “awareness.”

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By mrfreeze, October 22, 2011 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment

ITW - After having grown up as a child in TX (Southern Baptists) and then spending many years in UT (with my “friends” the Mormons), I don’t think I miss the point about religion and politics. Not at all. My problem with Mormonism and its “employees” (let’s not call them members or believers) is that their values are not based on religious principles. They have invented a business that hides behind a religious facade. It’s an exclusive club. Growing up in UT, even the Jews were treated like Gentiles.

And one more thing: I simply revile the Mormon Church. I have no tolerance for its bullying, nasty passive aggression, its misogyny, its homophobia and its phony, manufactured version of North American History. After having endured years of their persecution, their fake patriotism (flag waving and apple pie in public and a virulent John Birchesque hatred of government amongst themselves) and their inability to look at any view except their own…......well…..no, I don’t want a Mormon in charge of the whole country…just go to UT to experience the cultural wasteland that they “enjoy.” Happy, happy, happy…..sheep.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 22, 2011 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment

I see our local nazis, Gulam and omop are back, swinging bare-knuckled with their swastika-tattooed fists.  True hate speech, which TD disavows.

Despite the attacks on Romney’s LDS membership, I think my friend MRfreeze misses a key point: The actual PRACTICE of religion as espoused by Bachmann, Perry, Santorum and others is far, FAR crazier and more dangerous than Romney’s practice of Mormonism.

Frankly, as much of a corrupt robber-investor as I think Romney is, I would trust HIS use of his religion in leading far more than I would Bachmann, Perry, Santorum, Gingrich or most of the others.  I’d much rather a SANE Mormon than a bat-shit-crazy Episcopalian.

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By examinator, October 22, 2011 at 8:28 pm Link to this comment

What I find disturbing is that religion is even a topic of discussion in the context of an election. Makes one wonder what sort of country is the US?
A person’s personal religion or race should be irrelevant. What should matter is policy and competence.

Instead we have a Republican party that is more inclined to vote for a candidate whose policies are a mystery simply because he can *appear* as dumb as those who will vote for him.
A bit like choosing a general or a brain surgeon based on affability over competence.

Clearly America is a nation that is incapable of learning from the mistakes of history and as such doomed to repeat them over and over and over!
It’s almost enough to make a non believer like cry out in anguish “god HELP America” or in the words of Monty Python “we’d better hope there’s intelligence out there (space) because there’s bugger all down here….”  Circa 1972

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By CanDoJack, October 22, 2011 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

So, Gulam, we can jews harp on the jew news until the
empire collapses. When all is said we are left with
extended fingers and the voice ringing from the
scriptures of the same god who said “go kill’em all and
take the virgins for yourselves.”

That voice from heaven would be saying, supposedly
quoting himself from the book of Jewish scripture
adopted by “skin’em alive” Christians, saying
hypocritically, this voice of heaven, “YOUR righteousness
is as filthy rags… there is none righteouse, no, not
one.”

Somehow it seems that better ways exist to waste our
time.

While all victims copy the crimes of their subjugated
when they rise to power, the government of Israel being
an outstanding example at the moment, the Jewish people
must be applauded.

The Jews, from centuries of living in countries not
Jewish, have learned valuable techniques of survival. For
example, the value of negotiation. And while false
flagging is a useful technique, I think it pales when
compared with the value of the reality that Jewish
children never have to be TOLD to do their homework.

To those who complain that the Jews own everything, I
would have to say that in most cases they own it because
they focus and work hard. And of course they don’t while
away their time pointing fingers at the heinous crimes of
Christians or Mormons. But they let you say what you want
to on their website.

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By Gulam, October 22, 2011 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

The number of Jews and the number of Mormons in the USA
is more or less the same. Sit down and look up on the internet
how many Jews own major newspapers as compared with the
number owned by Mormons. Do the same thing for students
and faculty in Ivy League schools, Mormons vs Jews. Look up
the figures on the number of Jews in Congress vs the number
of Mormons. Then try to picture a joint session of Congress addressed by the
governor of Utah punctuated by repeated standing ovations. Try to imagine the
Mormons leading the country into a long series of foreign wars.

This site is controlled, like most of the rest of the internet, by secular Jews.
What does that mean? Well, “secular” means not religious; they are are
admitting in saying this that they are atheists. That they are still recognized as
Jews or identify themselves as “secular Jews,” as many do, indicates that they
regard being Jewish as a matter of race not religion. In fact they do have a
religion: liberal materialism or secular democracy. Call it what you like, such
people believe in ideals like “all men are created equal,” and these ideals have
replaced religious values. The basic assumption here is a direct violation of
everything that it has always meant to be Jewish, in the religious sense.
According to secular democrats Moses should have come down off the
mountain and held elections. “Everybody who thinks that it should be OK to
sleep with your siblings please raise your hand.” The people do know best after
all, don’t they?”

This is a simple matter of people of one religious sect attacking another:
secular Jews jumping on Romney for his religion. Secular Jews want to have it
both ways every time; in this case they attack Romney for his religion while
denying that this Enlightenment nonsense is not a religion, which it most
certainly is, and it is one requiring leaps of faith every bit as great as those of
traditional religions. No religion holds to any statement any more divorced from
reality than the statement “all men are created equal,” and yet that is the logical
starting point from which all manner of decisions in the real world are made in
secular democracies.

I would like to point out that this is not a good time for secular Jews to go
pointing their finger this way, raising religion as an issue. For the last 500 years
and more again and again Jews, especially those of this secular variety, have
been attacked, often violently, when Western economies went into severe
recession, as the world economy is just about to do. The Mormons in fact have
a political profile and participation level far below their numbers and wealth,
while secular Jews preaching Enlightenment materialism have a wildly
disproportional influence over media, education, and government. For them to
attack Romney for his religion, demanding that he talk about and defend his
faith—this is a very dangerous thing indeed for secular Jews to do, because if
the issue of religion ever really gets a proper airing in the United States it could
lead to a close examination of secular Jewish influence. If that forbidden topic
could suddenly come out into the open at this point in time, history teaches us
that it could lead to a great tragedy.

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By EmileZ, October 22, 2011 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment

I am a direct descendant of Brigham Young.

No big deal.

I just thought I should get it off my chest.

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By CanDoJack, October 22, 2011 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

A REPLY to By butlerson’s entry of October 22 at 3:58

It may seem that Mormonism is lite on dastardly because
you have not digested enough Mormon history or have read
too many of thecute “I am a Mormon” ads that show up
right where your mouse tends to sit. Or you don’t know
anyone who is an inner circle Mormon who has tried to
leave the Mormon church before being hunted by the
Gestapo Lamanites. Or perhaps you aren’t aware of the
Mormon “make a Mormon out of a homosexual” program whose
ideas are similar to those of the Michelle Bachman
family.

Consider only this simple history lesson that occurred on
September 11, 1857. (Mormons history is fond of that
date). I look forward to your obtaining a copy of my
upcoming novel, NINE ELEVENS.


he Mountain Meadows massacre was a series of attacks on
the Baker–Fancher emigrant wagon train, at Mountain
Meadows in southern Utah. The attacks culminated on
September 11, 1857 in the mass slaughter of the emigrant
party by the Iron County district of the Utah Territorial
Militia and some local Native Americans.

The wagon train—composed almost entirely of families from
Arkansas—was bound for California on a route that passed
through the Utah Territory during a turbulent period
later known as the Utah War.

A larger party of Mormon militiamen( Gestapo, Lamanites)
—disguised as Native Americans— led the attack.

Om promise of Mormon assistance the emigrants allowed a
party of militiamen to enter their camp, who assured them
of their safety and escorted them out of their hasty
fortification. After walking a distance from the camp,
the militiamen, with the help of auxiliary forces hiding
nearby, attacked the emigrants. Intending to leave no
witnesses of complicity by Mormons (members of The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or LDS Church) in
the attacks, and to prevent reprisals that would further
complicate the Utah War.

The perpetrators killed all the adults and older children
(totaling about 120 men, women, and children). Seventeen
children, all younger than seven, were spared.

Following the massacre the perpetrators hastily buried
the victims, leaving their bodies vulnerable to wild
animals and the climate. Local families took in the
surviving children, and many of the victims’ possessions
were auctioned off. Investigations, temporarily
interrupted by the American Civil War, resulted in nine
indictments during 1874. Of the men indicted, only John
D. Lee was tried in a court of law. After two trials in
the Utah Territory, Lee was convicted by a jury and
executed. Today historians attribute the massacre to a
combination of factors including both war hysteria and
strident Mormon teachings. Scholars still debate whether
senior Mormon leadership, including Brigham Young,
directly instigated the massacre or if responsibility
lies with the local leaders of southern Utah.

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By Oceanna, October 22, 2011 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

I seriously doubt that Obama’s alliance with the televangelist, Rick Warren,
reflected his own issues with LGBTs.  I also don’t think he’s a Christian
dominionist like Warren who believes in Christian dominion over government
and society throughout the world, though I believe Obama is a secular
dominionist. 
I think I was being too extemporaneous and general to characterize Warren in a
cozy relationship with the Ugandan president, Musenivi.  He may or may not be
personally connected with him. Uganda is certainly important to his ministry
and has been designated as a “purpose driven” nation.  His mentor, Peter
Wagner, has “relational networks” embedded throughout Uganda and its
government that promoted the” Kill the Gays” bill.  There are specifically anti-
gay “apostles” from Wagner and Warren operating in the US, who were
instrumental behind the passage of Proposition 8 in CA that reversed legalized
same-sex marriage in the state.  The apostles also are also an opposition group
to the Lord’s Resistance Army, who of course, are the ostensible target for the
military advisers being sent to Uganda. 
http://www.talk2action.org/story/2009/12/4/134435/084/
I’m not really sure who’s the most brutal and ignorant, whether it’s the LRA or
the Museveni dictatorship, which has been in power since 1986 and has little to
no qualms about killing or terrorizing it opponents in the Ugandan Democratic
Party, who believe their candidate, Besigyen, won the presidency. 
It’s not surprising that The Kill the Gays bill, which has been in limbo for several
years, was denounced just last month by the State Department.  I think the
killing of gays will go on with or without the bill, especially if they’re visible and
activists.  But then, of course, it’s bad PR for a military incursion purported to
be based on the humanitarian to be defending an extremist presidency that
backed gay execution and insisted upon US abstinence programs for HIV.
Obviously, Romney isn’t the only one who has a problem with his religious
associates.  The GOP and its apologists are not the only ones with double
standards of morality either.

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By jjpurr, October 22, 2011 at 10:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I will not cast my vote for Romney but not because of his religion.  Your critique of Romney’s religion appears to be a little biased, not fair and poorly researched.  If you know the history of the Mormon Church you will find that Joseph Smith clarified the role of the Church in society.  Read the 11th and 12th Articles of Faith.  The 11th deals with religious tolerance and the 12th deals with the supremacy of the state. If Romney became President he would be duty bound to be totally secular in the governing of the country with respect to the laws of the land.  In other words, if there is a conflict with the law and with his religion he must (by the 12th article of faith) choose the law or he is in violation of an important tenant of the Mormon code.  Wouldn’t it be nice if all religions had the same two Articles of Faith?

JP

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By omop, October 22, 2011 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

@ Butlerson

To overcome your selective amnesia about “other” religions.


* “If a ‘goy’ (Gentile) hits a Jew he must be killed.” (Sanhedrin 58b)

* “If a Jew finds an object lost by a ‘goy’ it does not have to be
returned.” (Baba Mezia 24a)

* “If a Jew murders a ‘goy’ there will be no death penalty.” (Sanhedrin
57a)

* What a Jew steals from a ‘goy’ he may keep.” (Sanhedrin 57a)

* “Jews may use subterfuges to circumvent a ‘goy.’” (Baba Kamma 113a)

* “All children of the ‘goyim’ (Gentiles) are animals.” (Yebamoth 98a)

* “Girls born of the ‘goyim’ are in a state of ‘niddah’ (menstrual
uncleanness!) from birth.” (Abodah Zarah 36b)

* “The ‘goyim’ are not humans. They are beasts.” (Baba Mezia 114b)

* “If you eat with a ‘goy’ it is the same as eating with a dog.” (Tosapoth,
Jebamoth 94b)

* “Even the best of the ‘goyim’ should all be killed.” (Soferim 15)

* “Sexual intercourse between the ‘goyim’ is like intercourse between
animals.” (Sanhedrin 74b)

* “When it comes to a Gentile in peace times, one may harm him
indirectly, for instance, by removing a ladder after he had fallen into a
crevice.” (Shulkan Arukh, Yoreh De ‘ah, 158, Hebrew Edition only)

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By EmileZ, October 22, 2011 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

@ Butlerson

Fine!!!

Don’t take my bate….

To hell with you and your nasty, perverted, bigoted comment all the same.

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By ardee, October 22, 2011 at 8:29 am Link to this comment

butlerson, October 22 at 3:58 am

I truly hope you find the help you so desperately need.

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By Oceanna, October 22, 2011 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

I just wrote a critique on Shockley’s article that didn’t go through.  There is a
serious problem with censorship on this site.  Perhaps my comment on his
hypocrisy and adherence to double standards was too pointed.  Or maybe it was to
the reference of Rick Warren, who performed the prayer invocation for Obama’s
inauguration, and his alliance with the Ugandan president, who genocides gays
and who is now a prominent ally in the expanding war fronts of Africa.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had a comment “disappeared.” Might as well be the last
time.

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By Oceanna, October 22, 2011 at 7:32 am Link to this comment

I didn’t realize when I made my earlier comment about Jeremiah Wright that the
Rev Shockley is also UCC minister.  Nor did I read the article in its entirety.  I
found some passages particularly compelling.

“A candidate’s faith does in fact matter, especially when the religious institution
to which he or she belongs is involved in explicit political campaigns that affect
millions of lives. Such issues as civil rights for women, immigrants and the
LGBT community come immediately to mind.”

What about Obama’s alliance with Rick Warren, who gave the prayer invocation
at his inauguration?  Warren is homophobic in his theology, not to mention
known to be tight with the Ugandan president who genocides gays and who has
also become a prominent geo-political ally in the expanding US war fronts in
Africa. 

“Finally, it is hypocrisy to demand that candidates denounce their religion by
distancing themselves from the statements of religious leaders or institutions
to which they belong.”

Obama clearly “distanced” himself from Jeremiah Wright. That was despite his
referenced 2008 speech claiming he could no more do that to Wright than his
grandmother who raised him. 

The Rev Shockley is illustrating hypocrisy and the double standard at work in
Christianity.

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By GW=MCHammered, October 22, 2011 at 7:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Religion and prayer: designed to keep people from
thinking then doing for themselves.

OWS: critical thinkers doing

Incomes fall for all but wealthiest Americans
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-20123659/incomes-fall-for-
all-but-wealthiest-americans

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By glider, October 22, 2011 at 6:04 am Link to this comment

I like CanDoJacks take on this business.  It is extremely entertaining to watch 2 sets of crazies telling each other that the opposing set of crazy is unacceptable.  Now they know a bit how atheists feel being forced to vote for Christianity litmus tested Presidential candidates.

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By EmileZ, October 22, 2011 at 5:01 am Link to this comment

@ Butlerson

How ‘bout them Jews…

We are all a bunch of Nazi lovin’ hypocritical anti-semites here on truthdig. Let’s just get it all out in the open.

You are a credit to your race Butlerson.

I truly admire your pluck and courage, I know there is some damn Jew word for that… oh yeah!!!!

Chutzpah.

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By butlerson, October 22, 2011 at 3:58 am Link to this comment

Well, while I agree with the idea that a person’s religion does make a difference and does influence their outlook and policy decisions, just as Perry’s and all the other Republican candidates are anti-gay rights and anti-everything except the right to get obscenely rich and pay no taxes, I find it extremely hypocritical to read this on Truthdig, whose previous articles would seem to make it very clear that if Romney had been Muslim they would have bent over backward to appease him on this matter and condemn anyone who questioned Islam, even though Islamic Law and scripture demands the killing of gay people, those who leave it (like the mafia), women who are raped or who ‘may act lewdly’(they’re to be sealed up in a room and left to starve to death), and those who question or criticize Mohammed (and there is very much to criticize and question about this man and his life of mass murder, most notably of 900 Quraysh Jews then selling their wives into slavery and forcing the boys to be raised Muslim, all after Mohammed raped the most beautiful widow and forced her to become one of his many wives. He was guilty of kidnapping, rape, enslavement of captives, child molestation, owning of sex slaves, robbing passing caravans, adultery, as he had a harem of ‘concubines’ he used for sex but never pretended to marry, and was racist, saying blacks should be enslaved by superior Arabs, and so much more).

With outrageous teachings like these, Islam makes Mormonism sound positively benign, yet, you can bet Truthdig would call anyone who called for a Muslim candidate to distance him/herself from these ugly, hateful tenets and its Warlord founder, a ‘racist’ (even though Islam is not a race), an ‘Islamaphobe’ (though a ‘phobia’ is an unreasonable fear and the fear of Islam is very real for women, gays, young hairless boys, girls, pigs and dogs etc.) and a ‘hatemonger’, though it would be hard to be more hateful than the teachings of this ‘religion’.

Would Truthdig and this Reverend mention Islam’s blasphemy of Jesus?  It certainly seems Romney’s belief in Jesus is up for questioning.  Muslims always say they ‘believe’ in Jesus, but the Jesus (Issa) of Islam bears zero resemblence to the Jesus of the Gospels who taught the exact opposite of everything Mohammed and Islam taught.  Mohammed/Islam taught that Jesus was a Muslim, not the Son of God, didn’t die on the cross and wasn’t resurrected, and they certainly do not believe in any of the love thy neighbor/enemy, don’t cast stones or turn the other cheek ideas he taught either. 

Would the good Reverend and other Republicans, or anyone, keep silent about these teachings, or would they demand a Muslim tell where they stood on these Islamic teachings?  Unlikely. Not Politically Correct.

Why is it that just Romney must tell all about his faith?  Why not the rest of them?  They all seem to come from pretty bigoted, intolerant, backward, anti-science ‘faiths’ and are all anti-gay, anti-choice and anti-everything Jesus taught. But no one’s making any of this an issue, are they.  Hypocrites.

Why is Mormonism fair game when Islam is not? Of the two, Islam is the far more dangerous.  It doesn’t even believe in freedom of speech, conscience or religion, let alone women’s or gay rights or even equality of all religions under the law.

Either make them all explain their beliefs, or skip it.  All religious beliefs make a difference in the ideas, character, policies etc. of any candidate. It should all be made public and questioned, to be fair.

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By ardee, October 22, 2011 at 3:30 am Link to this comment

philotruth, October 22 at 1:43 am

Ardee: I dream of a nation that understands the religion is fraud.

An opinion shared by many. I am am agnostic, I believe anyone who respects scientific methodology would, perforce, be one too.

There are, however, 1.4 billion who follow the teachings of Islam, another 1.2 billion followers of Catholicism,etc. Your dismissive statement seems to weaken when considered in the terms of so many ‘defrauded’ folks.

Lighten up, your own personal experience is simply not good science.

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By EmileZ, October 22, 2011 at 2:13 am Link to this comment

I hope this link will help to answer many of your questions and nagging doubts Rev. Shockley.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBeCWPmRCe0&feature=related

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By philotruth, October 22, 2011 at 1:43 am Link to this comment

Ardee: I dream of a nation that understands the religion is fraud.

I say this based on 20 years of debates with Christians who will never give a straight answer that doesn’t contradict a previous one, if you ask questions in an inconvenient order.

If people can’t be bothered to tell the truth on religious details just to win an argument, what will they do for a big pile of money?

Think about it.

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By Steve Sexauer, October 21, 2011 at 11:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Finally, it is hypocrisy to demand that candidates denounce their religion by distancing themselves from the statements of religious leaders or institutions to which they belong.”

Really? Since when is it hypocritical to ask people who they agree with? Especially those they affiliate with?

Typical liberal propaganda, “be really polite and don’t worry about the truth—it’s too uncomfortable”  As we can see, it’s not working.

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By jb0331, October 21, 2011 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Give us Barabbas.

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By Fred E. BARRETT, October 21, 2011 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I really do believe that the day will come when all of this ignorance will be a
thing of the past. mrfreeze in your post you stated in addition to other things.
“And make no mistake that Mormons fundamentally embrace an anti-
government philosophy that goes back to the time their religion was
“fabricated” by Joseph Smith”.

This statement is totally false. I have no idea what other religions have to say
about our government and have no argument with them on what they believe.
Whatever they believe is their choice whether their religion is Christian,
Agnostic, atheist or one of the major world religions or one of the offshoot
sects. The great blessing in this nation is they are all protected from
government dominating their right to worship God according to the dictates of
their own conscience.

I do know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not anti
government. All you need to do to discover there position on the governments
of the world is read in the Doctrine & Covenants Section 134 which dates back
to the 17th of August 1835 while Joseph Smith was still president of the church.
This section defines what the church believes concerning the purpose of
government and the churches relationship to this government of the United
States and all of the other different types of governments across the world. The
134th section of the D & C Below should assist those who are reading these
posts in seeing how much ignorance is contained in many of these posts.

Doctrine & Covenants Section 134
A declaration of belief regarding governments and laws in general, adopted by
unanimous vote at a general assembly of the Church held at Kirtland, Ohio, 17
August 1835 (see History of the Church, 2:247–49). The occasion was a
meeting of Church leaders, brought together to consider the proposed contents
of the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants. At that time, this declaration
was given the following preamble: “That our belief with regard to earthly
governments and laws in general may not be misinterpreted nor
misunderstood, we have thought proper to present, at the close of this volume,
our opinion concerning the same” (History of the Church, 2:247).
1–4, Governments should preserve freedom of conscience and worship; 5–8, All
men should uphold their governments and owe respect and deference to the
law; 9–10, Religious societies should not exercise civil powers; 11–12, Men are
justified in defending themselves and their property.

The Contents reveal that the church and it’s members are not anti government.


Above is the outline on what members believe and what The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches. It’s members are among the most Patriotic
citizens in the United States and have a desire to see this nation succeed and
continue as the greatest nation on the face of the earth and to remain an Ensign
of freedom. The above section makes obvious that Elder Romney as he has
been called by some in their posts is dedicated to his family, his God, and his
nation. He being a member of the church believes in rendering unto the
government the things that are the governments and unto God the things that
are God’s. Those who have been speaking condemning words should really
regardless of what religion they are read Matthew 12:36-37. I intend no offense
here but the truth must be made known. There is so much more to reveal but
time and space won’t allow it.

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By prosefights, October 21, 2011 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment

How to fix this?

The Christian Science Monitor:

A Long, Steep Drop for Americans’ Standard of Living

Think life is not as good as it used to be, at least in terms of your wallet? You’d be right about that. The standard of living for Americans has fallen longer and more steeply over the past three years than at any time since the US government began recording it five decades ago.

http://dailyreckoning.com/the-new-american-standard-of-living/

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By KittatinyHawk, October 21, 2011 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The current cliques of Religion forget where they came from.  Religion today is about money, not souls.
If one even tried to conceptualize what Jesus would want for us, what the Creator created, we would understand that there is no need for the Rulers in the World, No need for Religions falsifying original concepts.  We were supposed to grow, share, learn with each other.  We were supposed to teach each other.
Instead we Kill, we teach Killing then we pretend to be some white Religious do gooder.  No such Creature.

Mitt Romney’s Religion should have no more influence on our Government, Daily Lives than the Catholic Church did for Jack Kennedy.  We make the big deal out of it, and give the Church Power that doesnot belong to it under Law.

I see Mormons as just more dissatisfied People who left the first Christian Church because they were quitters like all the others.  Instead of following the teachings of Christ and making changes from within, dissidents sniveled and left.  Now those Churches are nothing more than hypocrites who preach Killing, condone Killing of man, woman, child and all living things.  They condone destruction of the Earth, its water, air, land in the name of their Collection Plates.

If you are going to Crucify one Religion Crucify them all.  If you are to make mockery of one person’s Faith, than all are void of Faith in Creation.

For me, a woman who takes back stage to another wife, condones Adultery.  A Man who cannot abide by his Vow, should then get a Divorce.  To shame the First Wife is unthinkable, shame on the Women who allow it in the name of any Faith.  Children must be taught that making an Allegiance of any type is a responsible step not to be taken lightly.  Men acting like spoiled children, having to have everything are the Problem with the world.  Bad Parenting is alive and well

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By CanDoJack, October 21, 2011 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

The presence of a (or a pair of) Mormons in the
Republican race is extremely valuable since the Mormon
could be extremely useful as a crude example or
immorality play that points the finger at the evangelical
grand standers.

It is as though the Mormon is saying to the evangelical
Christian, “look at my religion. If you think your
unbelievable fairy tale and your endless make believe in
make believe is tacky and preposterous, look at our
stuff.

“Why, look how tacky is the story of creating a book
translated with seer stones from plates that no one ever
saw by a prophet who just happened to be a treasure
hunter gold digger compared to rolling a stone away on
the third day and finding no cadaver in the cave!!

“Look how empty of good old violent action movie stuff
the Book of Mormon is compared to those juicy scenes in
the “real” bible like Numbers 21 where god tells the
Israelis to go down and slaughter thousands of
nonbelievers of all ages but keep the virgins for
themselves.”

But, lets talk patriotism. Until 1927, when Mormons
decided they might be better off to be more friendly to
the earlier day saints, Mormons were required to take an
oath that they would do all in their power to bring about
the destruction of the United States.

When Mormons began migrating to Utah in 1846, Utah was
part of Mexico. Shortly after the exodus from the US
began the Mexican - American War began.

It seems strange that the berthers would worry so about
Obama’s birth place when for so many years “bonafide”
American traitors were begetting passported progeny that
would legitimately run for president. Especially since
the Mormons in more times and ways than one were at war
with the US.

But why the Christians are crowing that the Mormons are
not real Christians is beyond me.

Both Rick Perry and Romney are advocating changes to the
government that are driven by what they perceive to be
religious interests. Is it better for a president to make
decisions based on his religious beliefs than for a
president to make decisions based on which way the
religious wind is blowing in his affiliated wacko
constituency?

Or, do you want the steady hand on the button of an
atheist to whom morality is pragmatic, whose feet are
firmly planted in real dirt or do you want the snake oil
salesman hand of a real or phony religious zealot of any
stripe?

The rejection of Romney posited by the Christian
Crackpots is as crazy as the the idea that life begins at
conception. Any sane person knows that life begins when
the sperm is born and has it first swimming class.

 

 

Why Would one trust a Moslem over a Mormon?

Ceteris paribus

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By Arouete, October 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment

Part One:

Frankly I am sick and tired of phoney and pretentious statements from propagandists about what the founding fathers originally intended with regarded the relationship between church and state. Enough has been written on the subject by people who actually do know that they are talking about. Just google it.

The founding fathers all clearly despised exactly the circus of religiosity we see today.  None were devout practicing Christians, some were outright atheists, and most were Enlightenment Deists who abjured all superstitious claptrap about miracles or even a personal god who heard and answered prayers.  Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, and Madison were especially vehement in these regards. The only “creator” they bowed to was the one Voltaire, the “father of the Enlightenment” recognized and each ridiculed religion with the same disdainful mockery as Voltaire. They intended there should be no such relationship at all. What part of the words “WALL OF SEPARATION” and “shall make no law respecting…”  don’t today’s pundits get?  The words mean what they say and says what they means. Clearly if any of them were alive today and published their well-known religious opinions they’d all be tarred and feathered and never win any election.

See this: http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/john_remsburg/six_historic_americans/chapter_2.html

And see this: http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html 

As usual, Shockley gets it right for all the wrong reasons by failing to make distinctions with a real legal difference. Some of you may recall his past Truthdig article “Racist Judge Inadvertently Makes the Case for Gay Marriage” and especially the discussion the comments that follow at http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20091029_racist_judge_inadvertantly_makes_the_case_for_gay_marriage/ 

Truthdig’s readers clearly know far more about rudimentary law than most preachers who pontificate on it.

There Shockley “completely agreed” that when a preacher is permitted by the state to perform the *secular duty* of solemnizing a *civil marriage* (as all clerics do) he “should not have to preside over a marriage that he found morally objectionable.”  That, my friends, was an admission of constitutional violation of separation of church and state if ever I saw one and the reason is one any second year law student should comprehend.

In the capacity of cleric that is no doubt true however (and here is the part Shockley just doesn’t get) they forfeit that right to pick and choose which legal rights they’ll respect when they act *as government officials*. For instance if any preacher refused to marry an inter-racial couple claiming (as the preacher did in the infamous case of Loving v. Virginia) that he found such marriage morally objectionable that preacher could certainly marry or not marry such couples in his church and AS a cleric. That is his First Amendment right. That, mind you was an argument purportedly favoring the right to marry. Go figure. 

But (here’s the part Shockley doesn’t get) as a matter of law that cleric would loose his civil authority (and probably his tax exempt status). Get it? The First Amendment protects his right to so choose AS a cleric; but the *same law* denies him the right to deny that civil duty and civil right as an agent of the state. That is ‘state action’. If any court upheld a preachers right to refuse his duty *as a government official* that would ”make a law respecting the establishment of religion.”  The SCOTUS cases demonstrating this principal fill the law libraries. The Rev. Shockley should go read law before he pontificates on it.

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By Arouete, October 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment

Part two:

I only mention that article because this one demonstrates Shockley has not abjured his peculiar standards of logic nor his selective application of law.

In this article Shockley is clearly correct but still demonstrates the inability to make distinctions with a very real legal difference. He gives a nod to even-handedness but reveals a double standard and seems to want special rules of engagement only for certain religious candidates.  I am not sure if he is willing to subject all other religion-pandering, faith-based, candidates to the same strict vetting process.

(See e.g., “American Politics Under The Corporate Banner of Heaven” at Open Salon http://open.salon.com/blog/f_arouete/2011/10/15/american_politics_under_the_corporate_banner_of_heaven.)

It is not merely that others are subjecting Romney or any candidate to a religious test. Quite the contrary, it is the candidates who have made religiosity and faith their essential qualification and a “religious test” for public office. One can’t hide behind a rule they have waived. In one way or another, they have all made religion a test for public office and, ergo, none can abjure the test they have marched into the public square as their special qualification. Romney should not be singled out for disparate treatment.

Shockley seems to get that much right here and not only by accusing Romney of “hiding his faith.”  However, when any politician makes an issue of their religiosity and their faith by marching it into the public square as their special qualification for public office then the issue is not weather we subject *them* to a religious test but whether they can pass the test THEY put in issue. Can they keep their religious dogmas separate from their state actions? Recent history alone tells us “Hell no they can’t!”

When any politician makes their deep faith and religiosity an element of their special qualification for public office, then all of us have not only the right but the duty to ask, and ask, and ask, if any candidate actually believes the central tenants of their religion’s dogmas. After all, it’s their boast. And we have a perfect right to question the specifics of the faith they claim qualifies them.  In such cases it is they, and only they, who have made it a ‘religious test.’

Do they actually believe that Jesus will return to live in a Bible Belt suburb or that blacks suffer the mark of Cain?  Do they actually believe (as Perry has said) that those who don’t accept Jesus as savior will burn in Hell? We have a right to ask EACH and ALL of them if they actually believe an unwed teenager was raped and impregnated by a phantom for the sole purpose that her unfortunate offspring be subjected to bloody torture and public execution as a human sacrifice just to forgive us our sins. After all that is the basis of the faith they have made an issue of.

Likewise, we have a right to know if they believe it is anything but psychotic for a starved and delusional wanderer to curse a fig tree into withered sterility simply because it did not bear fruit out of season as nature intended.

When political candidates make an issue of their religious values we have every right to know if they actually believe such twaddle or subscribe to such intellectual rubbish. That goes for all of them and not just Mormons.

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By zonth_zonth, October 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm Link to this comment

In another recent interview this turd for brains claimed “God made the US to be the leader of the free world”

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By mrfreeze, October 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

My dear friends - If the following quote from Elder Romney doesn’t convince you (or at least give you pause) about just how twisted and corrupt his “religious” values are as a Mormon claiming he’s a Christian and is committed to “the truth”.....if you don’t question his motives….well then…

“Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney came out swinging at President Obama’s announcement that all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by year’s end, ending a war that lasted more than eight years. “President Obama’s astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in Iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of American men and women,” Romney argued in a statement. “The unavoidable question is whether this decision is the result of a naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in negotiating with the Iraqi government.”

Is the man incapable of telling the truth or even distinguishing reality from his own fiction? This is what Mormons are good at: manufacturing fictions about history, religion, ethics, you name it.

The man (and his religion) are nothing more than panderers and profiteers….

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By prosefights, October 21, 2011 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment

Mormon first-hand knowledge.

Mormon Rodmar Hayes Pulley was best friend in South San Mateo, CA in about 1952-54.

As a result I was invited to LDS youth parties.

Mormans are super-neat life style people.

In 1954 I matriculted into Episcopal Shattuck school.

But here are some negatives of Mormonism, I observeed.

Pulley was sent on a mission when he should have been into college, imo.

South San Mateo Mormon Drew Christianson smoked cigarettes.

He was ostrasized from LDS.

Sandia labs project leader, Jim Durham and his wife Faye, WERE jack Mormans.  Both are dead.

Durham commented that when he grew up in Ribgy, ID, a Mormon community,  he could never figure out why so many beer trucks were seen.

Durham reported, he finally figured-out why.

Durham reported that Mormans are OK, provided you don’t get too many of them together.

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By JniBGood, October 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A genuinely devout Christian would have no time to pursue the Presidency of the United States.

A genuinely devout Christian would never seek any poltiical office because they would recognize the corruptive and corruptible nature of politics and the impossibility of reconciling Christian faith with political power.

So, all of those who profess their faith do so out of self-serving political expediency.

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By skimohawk, October 21, 2011 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

another example of why George Carlin was right:
“it’s all BS folks, and it’s bad for you!”

...just another smokescreen to keep you distracted from what’s really going on: more US troops deployed overseas to keep the endless war going.

who gives a damn if he worships Jesus or Buddha or (as one reader suggested) cabbage patch dolls.
that any of the other candidates would even raise the issue speaks volumes about their own hypocrisy.

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By dandevries, October 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is a sad commentary on the political environment when the only two sane candidates for the presidency of one of (the only)two major political parties are Mormons.

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By Anarcissie, October 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

Most people pay little or no attention to their religions, except on major holidays.  As far as the Republican candidates go, I feel that we should respect and join in their inattention.

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By berniem, October 21, 2011 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment

I can’t ever remember voting for someone who made their religion a part of their resume. I am totally sickened by the smarmy, self-righteous BS spewing from our alleged leaders as they go about their criminal and immoral pursuits all the while professing belief(faith)in the absurdity called religion! Wake up butt heads! This is the 21st century! Belief in the nonsense propagated in the ignorant past designed to frighten and control the masses is the truest example of brainwashing and we continue as a society to allow our children to be victimized by the various ecclesiastic charlatans and parasites who are at the bottom of so many of mankinds’ woes! Mormonism is just one of our more modern mental afflictions.

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By Basoflakes, October 21, 2011 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

The FLDS is the largest subfaction of the LDS church and there are tens of thousands of members in FLDS.  Warren Jeffs and his father are FLDS leaders.

As long as the Mormon Church does not ostracize the FLDS, this is one of those ‘sometimes’, when it is okay to clarify a person’s religious makeup.  I don’t care one way or another about plural marriage, but I wont have a President that in any way approves of the child marriages of Warren Jeffs.

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By Phyllis Scaringe, October 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

People of different religions can run for president. Seekers of the truth, as best we can know it.

A major problem begins when he claims to be a Christian.

The Church of Latter Day Saints has been investigated; it’s scriptures have been discredited, (not only its practices) - for umpteen years. To hold those beliefs - and he was a bishop?- tells us his grasp of objective reality is skewed.

An honest and moral agnostic would be better.

It says more about the character of Romney. He would say anything to become President. He’s a waffler, a flip flopper, as his record shows.

If he were an honest, thinking man, a truth seeker, as our Founders were, it would be an oxymoron to profess to be a Mormon.

I don’t think we can trust his integrity and judgment.

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By prosefights, October 21, 2011 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakhaurer is a super-fun book on Mormon history.

http://www.amazon.com/Under-Banner-Heaven-Story-Violent/dp/0385509510

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By al, October 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“God” forbid any of these religious fruitcakes gets elected, but, alas, it looks like that’s exactly what will happen, as the “Democrats” have chosen to commit political suicide by not allowing anyone else to compete with BO.
All republican candidates - and most Dems too - express the opinion that there is “religious freedom”, that is the freedom to choose one or another flavor of Christianity (being the sole source of morality and wholesome values).
They’ll sooner elect a Sunni or a Shiite than an agnostic.
The worst candidates EVER. As a democrat, I long for the likes of Nixon, who was way more liberal than Obama.

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By omop, October 21, 2011 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

Seneca’s take on religion is rather spot on as they say.

” Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false,
and by rulers as useful.” —Lucius Annaeus Seneca

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By Mike E, October 21, 2011 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In my own instinct for self preservation, I agree with the article, that you should know your representative’s moral guide. If you want to know what LDS believe, pick up a book called We Believe Vol 1 and 2. Or you can get the same information at LDS.org. Go check it out, because a lot of what I read from comments on the net are WRONG! Super completely wrong.

I’m LDS from CA. In our history, the LDS church has been loving towards other faiths and their constituents. We believe that God gave you the right to make your own choices.

I will not be voting for Romney. I would love to see an LDS President, but Romney’s political ideologies differ from mine on many issues.

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By Payson, October 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The LDS church uses its advertisements of attractive and endlessly enthusiastic
people as a way of avoiding actual discussions of beliefs that most Christians, let
alone everyone else, would find bizarre.  “We are just like you,” the ads seem to
imply.  Their official name is a critical tool to combat a sense of “otherness” by
including “Jesus Christ.”  They profess a deep commitment to “family values” and
tend to come across far less threatening than many evangelical groups who
highjacked the current crop of GOP candidates.  We hear the soundbites of
evangelical leaders saying crazy things(the Japanese emperor has sex with a sun
goddess or the Statue of Liberty is a pagan deity, etc.), but you never hear an
LDS leader or political candidate talking about how their religion came about. 
The public knows more about Mitt Romney’s faith from “South Park” than from
actual members of the church.

How a candidate’s religious beliefs influence their policy decisions is a legitimate
question, but Mitt Romney has actual governing experience that reveals quite a
bit about this issue.  Romney was rather flexible as governor of Massachusetts
when it came to issues frowned upon by the LDS church.  Though the church
itself may war against gay rights and abortion, there are a few LDS politicians,
Democrat(Harry Reid) AND Republican, who seem to take a more liberal view
when actually in office.  Maybe I am a delusional optimist, but I would like to
believe they are actually following Christ’s actual words and trying to avoid
judging by being somewhat compassionate.  Or, perhaps, because they
believe(like most Western religions) that they are THE special chosen people of
God, their efforts to inform you of “the truth” via commercials or two missionary
boys were a good faith effort to save you and once you refuse you are doomed
anyway.  Who knows, but I, an atheist who believes the actual words of Jesus
about treating others is a wonderful guide for anyone, fear a Mormon in office
far less than a Michele Bachman.  There is virtually nothing Christ-like about the
boastful religious posturing of Bachman, Perry, Cain, Gingrich and Santorum.
If someone wants to believe that a man named Noah built an ark that could
house two of every species or that a man in upstate New York was given sacred
tablets that only he could read, ugh, I guess I can live with that.  The “Christians”
who believe gays cause earthquakes, sex is only for procreation and success in
greed-laced capitalism is somehow God’s blessing on the holy concern me
greatly.

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By Bird48, October 21, 2011 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

All religions are cults to one degree or another. This is merely an argument about which cult has the most members.

I’ve never understood why, if all these religious fanatics profess to worship “god”, they spend so much time arguing among themselves about how it should be done. What exactly makes a Baptist god better than a Catholic god better than a Mormon god etc.

Personally I don’t feel comfortable with any so-called Christians legislating my life but since that seems to be what I am stuck with it matters not which particular fiction they embrace—they’re all nuts.

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By prosefights, October 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

Most Mormons are obedient to wishes of LDS elders, I’ve observed.

Jack Mormons are not, I’ve found. 

Many jack Mormans tell you what is wrong with Mormonism.

One told me that to be a good Mormon will take all of your time.

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By larrypsy, October 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

The dude worked for several years to eliminate jobs by streamling business establishments.  He
got a deferment during the Vietnam War to proselytise the Morman faith in Paris.  Handsome, but who needs another Reagan.

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By Oceanna, October 21, 2011 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

It shouldn’t matter if Romney is Mormon, Pagan, Jewish, atheist, etc.  Religion
shouldn’t be used as a political or predictive issue.  Hello, look at the
candidate’s record and what they’ve done instead! 

Case in point.  The corporate media and right eviscerated Obama for Jeremiah
Wright.  When you look at Obama’s record of rapidly expanding war fronts,
accelerated drone attacks, extra-judicial assassinations, privatizing national
healthcare to the benefit of the industries, etc., how in the hell could he
possibly be conflated with his spiritual mentor of 20 years?  Jeremiah Wright is a
Black Liberation Theologian aligned with the Church of Christ altruism, just in
case any folks forgot that or his framing of 9/11 as chickens coming home to
roost.

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By jamie, October 21, 2011 at 11:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

They are not Mormon’s (that is a term used by Gentiles, LDS members even consider Jews Gentiles). Latter Day Saint’s is their appropriate title. Up until the passage of the Civil Rights Act, blacks were not even considered for priesthood in the temple. Blacks were black skinned because God was punishing them for being bad. They were not even considered human, but talking apes.

The LDS church is a unique example of one crazy religion that has escaped objective scrutiny. If Elder Romney really believes this trash peddled by his church, “God” help us….

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By mrfreeze, October 21, 2011 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

@KSM - I’ve had the displeasure of speaking with (or rather having been condescended
to) by plenty of Mormons in my day…....and they are never what they appear to
be….Elder Romney is no different. So everyone, skip going to the Mormon websites or
reading their propaganda as you’ll only get the happy, happy stuff.

Romney’s inability to reconcile his MA healthcare reform is emblematic of his “faith” which
has nothing to do with humanity and everything to do with money and coercion. His
religion has funded anti-gay legislation….how does he reconcile that? He’s all about
national defense but managed to spare his precious sons from service…...How does his
faith reconcile that?

No, it’s not a matter of “getting to know the Mormons.” Recently Romney was in Seattle
and the Mormon Church was literally posting advertisements on TV, Metro busses, etc.
prior to and during his visit….“I’m Mormon” they shout out!  Nothing like a little happy face
propaganda mixed with politics…..

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By KSM, October 21, 2011 at 9:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I disagree with your contention that Romney is “hiding” his faith. It’s well-established that he is member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, most of whom, like Romney, openly live their faith. It’s easy to find out about the church. Do your research! There is lds.org and mormon.org. Talk to your Mormon neighbors - there are 6 million in the United States. How can Romney “hide” a religion with 14 million members in the world. It is not his to hide. If he chooses not to discuss it in his candidacy, how is that your business? He has been previously elected and has shown through that whether or not his faith will affect his public life.

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By Jim Yell, October 21, 2011 at 9:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The question of a persons religeousity is are they willing to protect everyone and not just promote their personal religious opinion? The Kennedy’s were good at inclusion, inspite of belonging to a very, in theory Fundamentalist Church. In fact Catholics in America as politicians have a very good understanding of the obligations of inclusion if they wish to serve in a democracy, tempered with a Bill of Rights.

Thanks to the Vatican I can no longer feel confident in Catholic Politicians as I once did. A recent proclaimation of the Vatican was to withdraw support and even Religious identification of Politicians who are Catholic and try to administer the secular law if it violates any of the intrusive pronouncements of the Pope. So if I voted for a Catholic Politician today I would have to be very confident that he could withstand the threat and even excommunication of his church if he acted for all of his constituancy.

I think this can be applied to any Fundmentalist sect that represents any Religous Brand. If they are not able to tend to all citizens interests than they should not go into politics.

As to my observations of Mormon faith, well they have a few good ideas, but they are Fundamentalists and I could not trust them to be impartial or fair if they gain major political power, just as today I have a strong doubt that Catholic Politicians can continue to serve all Americans, considering the reationary Pope who now rules Catholic beliefs.

On that basis I think a large part of the rabidly Fundamentallist Protestent groups, are also questionable.

It is all covered in you have a right to your opinions but they stop at the end of my nose.

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By mrfreeze, October 21, 2011 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

The notion that questioning public officials about their religious beliefs is somehow “inappropriate” or “has no place” in the public realm is patently FALSE. If someone professes to believe in a faith (any faith), they carry with them a whole set of values, judgments and particular world views that have the potential to shape public policy. Their religion is “fair game” as far as I’m concerned.

One more point specific to Elder Romney: I lived among the Mormons in UT for many years. Don’t think for one nano-second that Mormons don’t practice a “special” form of prejudice against all other religions (they teach this stuff in their seminaries that sit right next to all the high schools in the state). And make no mistake that Mormons fundamentally embrace an anti-government philosophy that goes back to the time their religion was “fabricated” by Joseph Smith.

Yes, Mr. Romney doesn’t want to talk about his religion because he wants to keep the “flag waving, apple pie eating” facade alive and well in public…...instead of revealing that his Mormon faith is nothing more than a business operation that has less to do with faith than with profit.

*******special note*******

TD has, in the past, pointed out that one of my comments about the Mormon faith was “inappropriate.” Well, whoever took offense to the last post, instead of whining to the editors in private, why don’t you answer my comment her in public. Nothing I wrote above is “offensive or inappropriate.” It’s an opinion based on years of living among a people who practice a “happy” form of prejudice that, I’m afraid, may become more accepted should Elder Romney attain the presidency….............

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By paul ostrowski, October 21, 2011 at 8:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

cant beleve these fools are running for public office in the so called
‘grearest country in the world’.      ....so its come to this.w

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By balkas, October 21, 2011 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

once we wld separate ALL ‘RELIGIONS’ from god, we wld have solved at least half of all
our ills that have befallen us thus far [and much more to come] on intrapersonal,
interpersonal, interethnic, interimperial, and inter-cultic [-‘religious’] levels.

the other half of the ills that happen to us—oops, that higherups do to us and
themselves, we cld obviate by elimination of the artificial division among us into two
categories: left and right.

yes, folks, we were divided long time ago. divided with vengeance and with an eternal
and the evilest purpose yet devised: subjugation, [ab]use, belittlement of majority of
people on the planet.

up to a certain time—and for each ethnos at diff times—we had been of one mind and
one purpose. had we not have been so strongly trusting, interdependent, unimental,
we wld have not survived.

note, please, in those day there wasn’t even one ism, one cleric, one politico, one
columnist, one leftist/rightist/hero/sport legend/actor. and we survived w.o any of
that. instead of that, we ONLY HAD more or much more peace, security, respect for
one another, guidance/tutoring, etc.

but before people cld be divided [and also turned against one another or a group
against another group, the evil-minded people had to first of all utterly destroy our
greatest wealth: trust in one another [that u wld not be belittled, left w.o.
food/shelter/fellowship with others, work; taught to hate, abuse your neighbor, etc],
high civilization we enjoyed, and an interdependent way of living.

if we do not separate god from ‘religions’, we cannot separate them from daily life or
politics.
and probably 99.999% of ‘believers’ [say, 40% of world pop] wld always vote for people
like obama, palin, clinton, bachmann, romney, franco, mussolini. tnx

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D.R. Zing's avatar

By D.R. Zing, October 21, 2011 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

Well I’ll be darned!  An insightful article about religion.

For those of us who read The Holy Bible as myth, for those of us who
don’t believe in the Santa Claus God, for those of us who don’t believe
in heaven or hell, for those of us who don’t believe in spirits
galavanting around the universe (which is a pretty broad tent that can
include deists, metaphysicists, atheists, agnostics, Buddhists and so
forth), Romney is no different from people we meet everyday: He’s
superstitious. 

It doesn’t matter to me, personally.  I work with superstitious people
each day. It boils down to:  Can I trust them? Do they work hard? Are
they good at what they do?  If the answer is yes to all three, and it
frequently is with the devout, I don’t give a rat’s petunia if
they go home and worship cabbage patch dolls.

That said, I agree with the gist of this article. We should be
discussing religion during political campaigns and we should be
discussing it like analytical adults, not as scared, scarred and
superstitious children.

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By Mike slone, October 21, 2011 at 7:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mormon candidates also need to be checked on American Exceptionalism. I know
Romney is big on this, and I do wonder if it’s related to his faith. Mormonism sees the U.S.
as new Israel. That is kind of a big deal. I’m not being bigoted; chances are that Romney
is of your standard American Civil Religion. But he needs to be clear on this stuff.

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By grokker, October 21, 2011 at 5:15 am Link to this comment

Perhaps it’s time for the formation of something like the “Transcendental Party”. Using the metaphor of the “mothership”, let’s leave all of this religious, racist, sexist, political bullshit behind us and start over.

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By ardee, October 21, 2011 at 4:59 am Link to this comment

I dream of a nation in which the religion of the candidate has no bearing on his/her selection.

I am a dreamer!

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