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The Mormon Moment

We’re in Tampa.  We’ll unpack this Mormon moment in American politics with three of the faithful at the GOP convention.

A photo made July 1, 2012, shows the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Wolfeboro, N.H., where Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney attended Sunday services. Romney, the first Mormon to clinch the presidential nomination of a major party, attended services Sunday with his wife, Ann, five sons, five daughters-in-law and eighteen grandchildren. (AP)

A photo made July 1, 2012, shows the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Wolfeboro, N.H., where Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney attended Sunday services. Romney, the first Mormon to clinch the presidential nomination of a major party, attended services Sunday with his wife, Ann, five sons, five daughters-in-law and eighteen grandchildren. (AP)

There are things, Ann Romney said last night to an adoring crowd in Tampa, that Mitt Romney does not much like to talk about on the campaign trail.  One of them is clearly his Mormon faith, at least not by name.  Fair enough.  We’re electing a secular, not a religious, leader.

On the other hand, we want to know our presidents.  Mormonism has been very important to Mitt Romney, and Mitt Romney has been important to Mormonism.  A bishop in the church.  A big leader. And maybe soon, the first Mormon president of the United States.

This hour, On Point:  Faith and politics. Mormons talk about their faith and Mitt Romney.

-Tom Ashbrook

 

Guests

McKay Coppins, political reporter at Buzzfeed.

Joanna Brooks, author of the book Mormon Girl: Stories of an American Faith. You can read an excerpt here.

Jeff Benedict, contributor to Sports Illustrated and author of The Mormon Way of Doing Business: Leadership and Success Through Faith and Family.

C-Segment: Cartoonists

Scott Stantis, editorial cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune. (You can find some of his work here.)

Rob Rogers, political cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. (You can find some of his work here.)

Highlights

Mormonism is a topic that Romney has ignored on the campaign trail, said Buzzfeed reporter McKay Coppins. A poor showing with evangelicals in 2008 in Iowa convinced the Romney camp that talking about Mormonism was not a winning strategy, Coppins said. “But that’s starting to change during the convention.”

Indeed, Romney’s status as the party’s nominee has prompted some to call for at least discussion of the candidate’s own history with the church. “He is the guy and people do want to know a little bit more about how a faith that’s been so prominent and deep in his life has made him who he is,” said journalist and author Jeff Benedict, himself a Mormon. “If he can get the anectdotes out there that illustrate how his faith has helped make him who he is, it is a win-win for him.”

Romney’s bid for the presidency is an important moment for Mormons. “This is a pivotal moment for the Romney campaign, but also for Mormons in the country,” said Mormon author Joanna Brooks. “He’s trying to introduce the country to a religion that it doesn’t know very well. That’s difficult to do.” Public perceptions also complicate Romney candidacy and his religion. There is a split in the American imagination of Mormons as either stayed, upright bureaucratic types, or renegade believers in things like polygamy, Brooks said. Those are difficult images to reconcile.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times ”Though Mr. Romney almost never discusses it or performs it in public, prayer is a regular and important part of his life, say friends who have joined him. They describe him closing his eyes and addressing God with thees and thous, composing his message to suit the occasion, whether at a church meeting, at a hospital bedside or in a solemn moment with family and friends.”

Newsweek “Say what you will about him, but Mitt Romney doesn’t do, or not do, anything by accident. Take June 2, when the former Massachusetts governor traveled to a quaint farm in Stratham, N.H., to “announce” his foregone conclusion of a 2012 presidential campaign. Romney has to overcome several mountainous challenges before capturing the Republican nomination, and so he spent most of the day trying to reduce them to molehills.”

Buzzfeed “To do that, the campaign will break from its careful avoidance of Romney’s Mormon faith so far this year, and invite “several people who he has worked with through his church, who he’s helped with difficult times of their lives,” Schriefer said.”

Politico “Still, Romney plans to make a “reference” to his Mormon religion when he gives his speech here in Tampa, according to Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior adviser to the former Massachusetts governor.”

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  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Great idea. Since the Mormon Harry Reid has been leading the Senate for 6 years now this subject must be long overdue.

    Tom, you must be planning an exposé on Black Liberation Theology next week during the Democratic convention since President Obama spent 20 worshiping at that alter and considers his Pastor an important mentor.

    I’ll be sure to tune in for the BLT show.

    • Yar

      Do you want to talk about the role of the church with respect to race?  The most segregated hour of the week is still Sunday morning. Do you really think Romney and Obama’s role in church are comparable?  
      Many republicans put religion into politics, but more importantly they insert politics into religion.  Notice I said church, instead of churches, because my belief is that all religion is part of the same church.  There are no walls in heaven, even though many congregations here on earth have committees on how to build them.  Isn’t this what the shining city on the hill is really all about?  Isn’t the democratic dream to build a country where everyone is treated fair?  

      • notafeminista

        No.

        • BHA_in_Vermont

           No to:
          - talking about the role of the church with respect to race?
          - no to the question of the comparison of Obama’s and Romney’s roles in their churches?
          -  no to the questions at the end of Yar’s post?

          • notafeminista

            All of the above.

          • Yar

            I take it your faith is in the GOP.

          • notafeminista

            1)Fair and equal are not the same.

            2)The Left’s hypocricy towards religion and whatever relationship it has with race makes any meaningful discussion of such pointless.

            3)The Left’s attitude towards President Obama’s use of religion makes any comparison of the two candidates pointless.

            Regardless of my position, any attempt at meaningful of the subjects you broached would be useless.

    • Gregg Smith

      I had the same thought when I saw the topics of the day. Obama’s Black Liberation Theology doesn’t get the scrutiny of Romney’s Mormonism. As to the rest of the show, can you imagine a show on Obama’s economic plan?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         I was thinking the same thing.

        Tax the rich and all will be well.  Robert Reich would be the perfect guest to give a stamp of approval with nary a hint of criticism.

        • Gregg Smith

          Maybe they could get crackpot Krugman too.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       Do you have an understanding to the topic?
      For those that do not, I found this Fresh Air interview link:
      http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89236116

    • DrewInGeorgia

      “I’ll be sure to tune in for the BLT show”

      Me too! A Bacon Lettuce and Tomato show sounds awesome!

  • Yar

    Religious belief is usually passed down through families.  What I find fascinating is the contrast between Mitt, and his father George.  I wonder if the humiliation of George Romney at the 1964 RNC became a defining moment for 17 year old Mitt. He has adopted Goldwater’s religion over his  father’s.
    “I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them.” Barry Goldwater

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c0/George_W._Romney_-_NCAA_antisegregation_march.jpeg

    • notafeminista

      Political convictions are usually passed down through families as well.  It seems that humans tend to stick with what they’ve been exposed to most often in their formative years.

      • BHA_in_Vermont

        Yes, kids tend to follow their parents’ political leanings though more via osmosis than teaching. But people are much more likely to change their political convictions as they see and learn more of the world outside their house, town, state, country.

        Not so much with their religion. Religion is indoctrination from birth. Heresy to even think “your” religion isn’t cutting it for “you”. As a Catholic friend of mine with 7 kids said many years ago: “Easier to create them than convert them”

        • notafeminista

          Oh tosh – we know people experience the same with with their religion.  Just look at John Walker Lindh.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Rice/100000693874282 Joseph Rice

        I don’t think you can generalize about this. Ever discussed politics at a family holiday gathering?

        • notafeminista

          Yup.  Ever notice when the divisions occur?  While not 100% accurate – the disagreements occur between families – not within one family.

    • William

       Gov. Romney’s was most likely influenced by Clinton’s speech (27 Jan 96). “The Era of Big Government is Over”

  • http://twitter.com/TweeterSmart b smart
    • notafeminista

      People who tend away from smoking, drinking and who feed the poor.

      What’s not to like?

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204792404577227173888056682.html

      I will stipulate that the source above automatically makes me suspect, but I’m willing to risk it.

      What’s your take b smart?

      • BHA_in_Vermont

        1) Do not post links to sites that require a subscription to read.

        2) All poor or only Mormon poor? Buy into the religion and we will take care of you?

        • notafeminista

          Aaawww neither of you answered the question.

          Man, Lakoff is GOOD, I’ll give him that.

        • notafeminista

          1000 apologies – I do not have a subscription to the WSJ.  I merely Googled the story and was provided the link w/o problem.  As the WSJ does have free access to some stories, I assumed (obviously in error) this was one of them.   My mistake.

      • Shag_Wevera

        “People who tend away from smoking, drinking and who feed the poor.”

        Talk about cherry picking!

      • anon

        tend away from smoking, drinking and who feed the poor. Like Muslims?

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      Thanks for the link.

      from it:
      “Indeed, to this day, Joanna Brooks tells us, Mormons perceive their persecutors to be not atheists or secularists, let alone Jews or Catholics, but Protestant Evangelicals.”

      She may repeat this when the show is on, I don’t know. But it would seem that Protestant Evangelicals should either be voting for Obama, a third party candidate or not vote at all. Anyone but Romney.

      • Don_B1

        That is why the Republicans have been demonizing Obama and making sure that his attempts at restoring jobs have been so slow; they need Protestant Evangelicals to hate Obama so much that they will vote for ANY Republican (note the horrendous collection of candidates in the Republican Primaries).

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       Interesting that Joseph Smith was a staunch abolitionist, running for President in 1844 on that platform and Brigham Young was a raging racist and supporter of slavery.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Now in some Protestant religions, that’d be a schism right there.

  • Shag_Wevera

    I think Mitt would prefer you pick another subject.

  • Joseph_Wisconsin

    Will Romney being a Mormon matter for the election? Apparently not. The large evangelical Christian Know Nothing base of the current Republican Party to whom this might have been expected to be an issue have such a deep in the gut hatred of Obama’s black face and strange [to their ears] name that any misgivings over the apostasy of Mormonism well be suppressed to vote against Obama. The remainder of the American public does not care as there is no indication that Romney’s religion really deeply effects his views or how he would govern. The only real unwavering principle that Romney seems to hold is his determination to look out for the interests of the very wealthy and the sort of Wall Street crowd he represents. For everything else his position will be in whatever direction the wind vane of public opinion is pointing.

    • Gregg Smith

      That’s sick.

      • Shag_Wevera

        Why?

        • Gregg Smith

          As awful has President Obama has been, the notion that any criticism must be racist is disgusting. 

          • Shag_Wevera

            C’mon double G, you know there is a conservative constituency that is not excited about a BLACK president.  Let’s not be coy.

          • Gregg Smith

            That’s sick.

          • StilllHere

            There’s a liberal constituency that is only excited by him because he’s black.  Which is more racist?

          • Gregg Smith

            I can’t prove it but I’d bet far more people voted for him because he was black than didn’t vote for him because he’s black.

          • J__o__h__n

            Not all, but some of it certainly is.

          • Gregg Smith

            Hardly any and of them there are just as many Democrats as Republicans. His race is a non issue. His terrible presidency speaks for itself. 

          • J__o__h__n

            Racism exists.  Your reflexively writing, “That’s sick.” after every time someone mentions this doesn’t cure it.  While there are plenty of racist Democrats, the Republicans have been courting that vote since Nixon’s Southern Strategy. 

          • Gregg Smith

            Of course it exists, I’ve never denied that. I will continue to point out the sickness of blanket labels in lieu of reason. Race has noting to do with Obama’s performances or criticism of it. 

          • Thinkin5

             What’s terrible is the campaign to change the facts. Anyone can look up dozens of fictional “facts” that try to discredit the president’s record. Like the recent one about Obama taking away the work component of welfare. Big fat lie! If the R’s can’t win with the truth they have no case.

          • Gregg Smith

            He signed an executive order stripping the work requirement from welfare. Where is the lie?

          • Thinkin5

             The Administration has taken important steps to ensure that the work
            requirement is retained and that waivers will be granted only if a state
            can demonstrate that more people will be moved into work under its new
            approach.  The welfare time limits, another important feature of the
            1996 act, will not be waived.
            The right WANTS to believe that he took the requirement out because that’s how they are selling their old, failed agenda. Can’t win on facts so make some up!

          • Gregg Smith

            Dude, heissued anEO!

          • Don_B1

            Print the whole thing here!

            Then everyone can see your duplicity!

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            You’re drinking your own Kool-Aid. Someone wanna explain this to Gregg?

          • notafeminista

            Why don’t you?  Post the executive order and then provided your enlightened analysis thereof.

          • Don_B1

            You just repeated it! The executive order allows some freedom AS LONG AS it leads to MORE people currently on welfare getting JOBS. Is that not the goal?

            And the recipient is not released from learning and job requirements!

            REPUBLICAN Governors WANTED this waver!!!

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            “His race is a non-issue”, except when it comes to the GOP base.

            Sod off.

          • Joseph_Wisconsin

            I’m sorry but opposition to Obama among the Republican base I cited is very much about race.  My handle here correctly identifies my home state as Wisconsin, not say Mississippi, but I live in a county of the state that is very (<95%) white and a majority of just that sort of fundamentalist Christian; don't believe in science, fear others of any other religion or race, that I am speaking of.  Once the 2008 election was over, but before Obama even assumed office, talk in local taverns, cafes, etc. was often shock at the fact that a N-word had been elected President.

            To put it on a more national level, and actual acknowledgment from Republican Party strategists, have a read of the linked article.  The Republican Party has been employing an all white strategy from Reagan on.  They recognize though that given the changing demographics of America's population this may be the last election that this will work.

            http://www.nationaljournal.com/thenextamerica/politics/obama-needs-80-of-minority-vote-to-win-2012-presidential-election-20120824

          • Gregg Smith

            I know of many Democrats here in NC who use the “N” word regularly and voted for Obama. People in the South judge a man by his character.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCZ6YOEX4P7YG2MEYBW43IZC6U Tom

            I have lived in Alabama for 30+ years, after having grown up in Mississippi. I’m 50 years old, and the South is as racist now as it was in 1960. And Gregg, if you live in the South, you dang well know it, too. Southerners judge Obama by his RACE first, then whatever else the paranoid Euro-descended whitebreads can dream up. Somewhere down the line, they might acknowledge character, but much later.

          • Gregg Smith

            After Bush was elected our old Blacksmith told me he could not believe “niggers” could be as smart as Colon Powell and Condi Rice. It blew his mind. Any lifelong generational racism he harbored was blown out of the water. He may have been a racist but he’s not stupid. People in the South may look at skin color but they look harder at the measure of a man’s integrity. All liberals see is a lynch mob.

            It’s the Democrats who cloak there hideous disrespect for blacks in compassion. As if blacks are incapable without their help. They hear “food stamp President” and think it must be about blacks but there are more whites receiving them. Biden was amazed there was such a thing as a “clean, articulate” black. Harry Reid thought his light-skinned non-negro dialect was noteworthy. Bill Clinton told Ted Kennedy Obama should be serving them coffee. Jesse Jackson was in tears the night Obama was elected. It’s all racist as hell and it ain’t from the Republicans.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCZ6YOEX4P7YG2MEYBW43IZC6U Tom

            Why don’t you cite your referencies to this hyperbolic BS, Gregg. Prove it. You have stepped in it now, so show us how you get out.

          • Gregg Smith

            Are you serious? Doyou thinkI’m making it up?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCZ6YOEX4P7YG2MEYBW43IZC6U Tom

            Cite your sources then. Be detailed.

          • Gregg Smith

            up.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Jesse Jackson was crying tears of joy because he realized racists (and racist-enablers like you) wouldn’t be running to Jesse Jackson for apologies or explanations for every single black American who did something controversial or wrong.

          • Gregg Smith

            Hedidn’t thinka black was capable and wassurprisedasheel.

          • Gregg Smith
          • Don_B1

            Their PERCEPTION of his character, maybe. But the Republican Party has spent a huge effort to mischaracterize and demonize Obama as the “other,” “foreign,” etc. that appeals to the side of human nature to distrust people they don’t “know” or who are “different” from them.

            While I think you are impervious to learning outside your set ideology, you might profit from reading this:

            http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/09/fear-of-a-black-president/309064/

            If you do, spend a little time thinking beyond your first impressions.

          • Gregg Smith

            Good point, you are correct. Obama certainly is not a man of high character. He was perceived that way. Now most have awakened to the harsh reality of his radicalness and incompetence.

          • Don_B1

            Typical deceptive response and taking things out of context.

            It just confirms that you are not open to a real discussion.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            Horsecrap. People in the South judge a man (or woman) the same way they do in the rest of The Country: They judge based on their personal beliefs, bias, and prejudices.

            No comment on the “N” word other than to say that any one who uses it is ignorance personified.

          • Gregg Smith

            It’s a word. I don’t use it but most blacks do. Are they all “ignorance personified”?

          • DrewInGeorgia

            Ever see Clerks II? In my opinion anyone who thinks they can reclaim a derogatory phrase for “their” side is a fool. I dislike the shortened and embraced version of the word almost as much as I do the word itself.

          • J__o__h__n

            Once again, you are the self appointed arbiter of what blacks should be offended by.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Nice to see you’ve boiled down your entire universe of wrong into one easy sentence.

          • Don_B1

            Democrats have made cogent criticisms of Obama’s actions that are not racist in any way. But the Republicans and their sympathizers like to “race-bait” so that Democrats and others will call them racists; their not, but NOT above using the issue to attract those that are or are put off by Black people.

            In other words, they can use race-baiting for their purposes and calling them out on it only makes their efforts more effective.

            That is almost certainly why you and others bring the issue up here and elsewhere so often.

            Read (you won’t, but others who are genuinely interested might):

            http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/09/fear-of-a-black-president/309064/

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Frankly I don’t care what religion the President of the USA personally practices (or doesn’t) as long as s/he leaves it at the door.  Religion has no place in U.S. government other than ensuring that people are not kept from participating in what ever religion they want.

    The First Amendment to the Constitution starts:
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
    prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Well stated.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      So far as I can tell it is not possible to leave it at the door. People love their crutches and don’t hesitate to pick them up when they start to stumble.

      • notafeminista

        So faithful people are crippled?

        • DrewInGeorgia

          I don’t know, is self-delusion a handicap? Don’t try to make it seem like I hate the Handicapped or the Religious Spin Dr.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Nota’s avocation is asking people who confront Nota something stupid out of one meaningless grain of sand in a bucket of a post.

            It’s more about Nota than it is about you.

        • J__o__h__n

          Shouldn’t faith healers solve that?

  • Shag_Wevera

    I don’t care about political candidate’s religious preferences because I don’t believe the majority of them believe in it themselves.

    You must claim to be a Christian to be president, so all candidates do.

    There is NO WAY Mitt really believes ALL the teachings of the Mormon church.  He is first and foremost a money changer.

    • geraldfnord

      I think you underestimate the ability of the human mind to compartmentalise and otherwise to double-think.  We should remember that reasonable-seeming people can believe absurd or barbarous things…this is especially important because most of us believe that _we_ are reasonable people, and so believing that because of that we can’t believe in something awful (in its substance or in its implications) may help blind us to when _we_ are doing so.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      “You must claim to be a Christian to be president”

      There is a religious fight to be waged about whether Mormons are really Christians. (And it’s not my fight. I’ll just sit on the side and sell popcorn.)

  • 65noname

    Of course, there was a time when government radio would have included the viewpoint of people that mormonists kicked out because they were too liberal; or objected to the male domination of mormonism.

    Or maybe its just an illustion to think that there was a time when government radio presented a range of viewpoints

  • J__o__h__n

    Missing golden plates and special underwear are no more ridiculous than virgin births and resurrections.  People are free to believe whatever they want, but when they cite their religion as the reason for setting public policy, then they can expect them to be challenged.  The Mormon’s hatred of gays as evidenced by their work on Prop 8 needs to be discussed. 

  • J__o__h__n

    The Mormons do deserve credit for reacting to the Book of Mormon musical in a civilized way.  They didn’t have protests, riots, angry letters to the editor, and not even a single beheading. 

    • sickofthechit

       That’s because it is relatively accurate portrayal.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GVNSLALVZK5KXG6UCEUYVX3EZU Craig

    My concern about Romney’s Mormonism is not about his
    work as a lay leader, but that he served in a major leadership position in a
    church based on Joseph Smith’s outrageous work of fiction, The Book of Mormon. There is absolutely no DNA or linguistic
    evidence that the members of the “Last Tribes of Israel” could have migrated to
    North America. A President must deal with reality, not fiction.

    How does Romney hide from his church’s (and his ancestors’)
    historic embrace of polygamy?  After all,
    the Romney clan relocated to Mexico after Utah statehood in order to remain polygamists.  Brigham Young was an exceptional leader, but
    he proceeded over Utah Territory as a theocracy.  And there are troubling incidents in the
    territory’s history, such as Young’s response to the 1857 Mountain Meadows
    massacre of 120 members of a California-bound wagon train – everyone over age
    seven.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Mormons are supposed to give 10% of their income to their church.  I wonder how Mr. Romney’s tithing compares to his taxes?  Do they track together, or are they different?

    I find the lack of sniping about Mitt Romney’s faith encouraging; though I want to point out that the Republicans certainly went after President Obama’s faith quite ruthlessly.  Both Rev. Wright and his “secret Muslim” faith were targets in the last election.

    Neil

    • sickofthechit

       $1.4 million on $20,000,000 in income is not 10% (from his 2010 taxes.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Not to mention the funds that were getting a suntan or hitting the slopes elsewhere.

        • notafeminista

          Be honest.  It doesn’t matter how much he tithed to the church or paid to the state.  You won’t be satisfied til you get all of it.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            I don’t want a penny of it. Blood Money earned through Money Changing and Short Changing others? No Thanks, it’s all yours.

          • notafeminista

            Then why do you care where his money goes?   It’s none of your business.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            Is that the same thinking that an HSBC cardholder should have for the Parent Company’s practices? If the man wants to ruin…err, I mean run The Country it is everyone’s business. The Envious always think everyone is the same shade of green.

          • notafeminista

            Given the amount of money he has at  personal level, it’s obvious he knows how to create and/or increase revenue, I’d think you’d be excited at the prospect of someone with that ability.

          • notafeminista

            Given the amount of money he has at  personal level, it’s obvious he knows how to create and/or increase revenue, I’d think you’d be excited at the prospect of someone with that ability.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            Rampant Greed is not an ability or talent, it’s a character flaw.

          • notafeminista

            Oh Drew, it’s only greed when it’s someone else’s money you covet.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            You forgot to call him a “young buck driving his Cadillac to the welfare office so he can buy t-bone steaks with my tax dollars”.

    • notafeminista

      You don’t care about his faith.  You want his money.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

         Thanks for your remote psychological analysis — you’re wrong, however.  I don’t care about his faith as long as he doesn’t impose it on the country; and I don’t “want” his money.  Money is the root of most of our problems.

        You are rich when you know you have enough.  I have plenty, thanks.

        Neil

        • notafeminista

          Then why are you worried about what percentage of his income he gives to his church or anyone else?  What he does or does not do with his money is none of your business.   Just as is the case with you and yours.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

             I assume he is being honest with his church — they are supposed to give 10% of their income, and it would be interesting whether he is being honest with his taxes. Like, how did he get an IRA that is $20-100 Million?

            Neil

          • notafeminista

            So let’s assume he’s not handling his money according to church doctrine.  It is then not a huge leap to assume he’s not following other tenets of the faith as well.  Why not mention those?  You only worry what he’s tithing – which then leads you to his taxes. 

            See?  It ain’t his faith you give one flip about.  It’s his money.

          • Don_B1

            It is his HONESTY, particularly when he lied about paying MA taxes while he was at the Olympics and had to file amended (late) returns for those two years before he was elected Governor.

          • notafeminista

            Ah, but you are only concerned whether he is honest with HIS MONEY.  You could not give a rat’s patoot about whether or not he’s honest in any other regard.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            Well Four Pinocchio’s and a Pants On Fire seem to point out that his money isn’t the only thing Romney is dishonest about.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I guess the whole “bearing false withness” thing isn’t a part of the Mormon faith.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

             I already said that his faith is his own affair.  I care very much if he has been bending our tax laws, though.

            Neil

  • Ellen Dibble

    I didn’t hear all of Ann Romney’s remarks last night, but when I tuned in, she was saying that Mitt Romney doesn’t talk about his generosity because he considers it a privilege.  
        Bingo.  It is one thing to be part of a financially stable religious community and in a position to shepherd pretty much everyone to better lives.  It is a very different thing to address a nation where the issue is the institutions that pick up the pieces when religious communities and/or families are not doing that.  
        The division of church and state is basic to the idea of division of responsibility.  A church’s responsibility (care, generosity) does not confer as much “independence” as Americans generally expect.  

    • J__o__h__n

      It isn’t really generosity when you are compelled to pay 10%.  I’m content to pay my taxes, but I don’t think I’m generous for doing so. 

      • BHA_in_Vermont

         No but Romney apparently feels he is being generous by paying the lowest possible tax rate he can get away with.

      • Ellen Dibble

        I think the idea is that the church can have better control, through the bishops, as to how that 10 percent is distributed.  But as we’re hearing, Romney “had to” throw some people out of the church for not being obedient, or something.  To some extent, church membership is about having a community that works well together, and if you are thrown out, you find another.  But citizenship is something else.  Those who are thrown out are still citizens.  And that’s why we have an overarching federal government.  

  • J__o__h__n

    Today’s Morning Edition story on Romney’s Mormon faith was horrible.  Barbara Bradley Hagerty is such an uncritical reporter and more of a cheerleader for religion.  I guess you can’t cover the fairy tale beat and be too critical. 

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Glad I was tied up and missed it this morning. I don’t expect any major media outlets will take a real look at Romney’s “faith”. The Softball pitches just keep on coming

      • J__o__h__n

        She didn’t even mention Prop 8. 

  • Gregg Smith

    MSNBC did not air single minority speaking at the convention. They have their agenda and conservative minorities don’t fit it. 

    • J__o__h__n

      They didn’t get the memo that is was minorities on parade night?

      • Gregg Smith

        Do you think you’re funny? Like the Dems who called Herman Cain a “monkey in a window” during the debates?

        • Don_B1

          What “Dems”? People that make all kinds of ill remarks like the Republicans you speak for?

        • J__o__h__n

          There are very few minority Republicans and the party makes a big point to show off the few that they have.  Shouldn’t you be outraged for the one time every four years that the Republicans favor affirmative action?  I don’t recall any racist comments regarding Herman Cain.  I’ve certainly never made any. 

          • Gregg Smith

            He was called a “monkey in a window” on Alternet after CPAC. It was called a “minstrel show”. Someone hacked Mia Love’s wiki site and caller a “whore and house nigger”. Condi was called Aunt Jemima and Colon Powell, uncle Tom. The racist attacks on Clarence Thomas are legion. Michael Steel was depicted in blackface. don’t get me started on Ward Connerly. No one is vilified in more racist terms than black conservatives.

            What could you possibly mean by the affirmative action snipe? do you assume any black conservative must be helped up by whitey?

          • J__o__h__n

            No, I mean that they are given the high visibility roles as the convention to make the party look more diverse than its membership.

          • Gregg Smith

            So their ideas and accomplishments mean nothing?

      • Shag_Wevera

        HA!  This one made me smile, thanks!

        • Gregg Smith

          Who is the racist?

    • Don_B1

      They didn’t show Gov. Haley’s (R, GA) speech? Or doesn’t an Indian-American (like Bobby Jindal — R, LA) qualify?

      They are certainly showing speeches by the few minorities the Republicans can scrape up this morning.

      • notafeminista

        Gov Haley is (R, SC)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HUHWX4TIAZRFNFYCWUE43OZDUQ 7LeagueBoots

    There’s this thing called, “separation of church and state.”  How is it even legal for anyone to run for office who openly advocates any religion… or to vote based on their religious preferences?

    • Gregg Smith

      “Separation of Church and State” is not a law. It’s not in the Constitution. There is no freedom from religion.

      • Don_B1

        There IS freedom from having any state religion. And that IS in the First Amendment to the Constitution. That is what all the Founding Fathers were afraid of as they had seen the consequences in war torn Europe of the religious wars in the 1600s and 1700s.

        • Gregg Smith

          “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

          • DrewInGeorgia

            Freedom of exercise does not equate to Freedom of Imposition. Every one has the right to do as they choose until they impede on others’ right to same.

          • Gregg Smith

            Okay.

      • J__o__h__n

        James Madison would disagree. 

        • Gregg Smith

          Show me the law, cite the Constitution.

          • J__o__h__n

            James Madison wrote that the “practical distinction between Religion and Civil Government is essential to the purity of both, and as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.”  His interpretation has more weight than Rush’s.

          • Gregg Smith

            I would agree with his statement which cozies up nicely with my 3 facts without contradiction. Why do you want to drag Rush into this?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Pathetic nitpicking. For the first, original poster never said “Constitution”.

        Are we to figure you’re just another right-winger whose never been caught being in the “wrong” religion?

        • Gregg Smith

          7LeagueBoots asked why religious people are allowed to run for office or vote. That’s a Constitutional matter, smarty pants.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            You’re even lying about something right in front of my face. The question was about why it’s “legal for anyone to run for office who openly advocates any religion“.

            If it’s not about mixing church and state, I’d ask you what is it about. But the answer from you isn’t worth the bother.

          • Gregg Smith

            Alrighty then.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    His personal religious choices are none of my concern.  What matters to me is whether he accepts the equality of men and women and whether he accepts the separation of church and state.  There are many politicians that need to be asked these questions.

    • J__o__h__n

      He has demonstrated that he doesn’t. 

  • amazonjn

    “It’s better than NO religion!”
    Yup. nothing worse than a rational adult as a leader.  Better to believe in an invisible, supernatural daddy who makes us behave, or magical powers, or other organized supertitions than a real grown-up.

    • rydav

      Who was the woman in that soundbite?

    • Shag_Wevera

      We are years from an atheist, agnostic, or simple rationalist winning the presidency.

      • sickofthechit

         Decades, if not centuries…

  • Thinkin5

    I don’t think there should be a “religious test” for a candidate for president. My concern with Mitt is that he has no problem telling outright lies to the public. Even when told that his facts are wrong, he just repeats the lie. So does Santorum! How can we vote for and trust a political leader who willfully lies?! I can’t.

    • TinaWrites

      The lies are STUNNING!  And, they are coming from so many of the Republicans being interviewed.  Did you hear Michel Martin, host of NPR’s “Tell Me More”, call out a Republican party official (I think her name was Tara Wall) for her mis-representation of a major fact?  It was terrific JOURNALISM!!  Google:  ”Romney Campaign Not Giving Up on Black Vote”, NPR, Tell Me More; then listen to the podcast (transcript is there, too, but it won’t be as powerful).  Too many times, journalists are not doing this, and the lies “get out there” as if they WERE facts, even on NPR!!!  I really don’t understand why it happens on NPR!  I make my donations to NPR because of AND in order to ensure journalism that punches thru to the truth!   

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    7LeagueBoots:

     Separation doesn’t mean that the candidate or voter must be an atheist.  It just means that our society must treat all beliefs equally and must not create religious tests for participating in public life.

  • Laur5000

    I will not vote for Romney, but I have to wonder if NPR would be discussing Romney’s religion if he were Protestant or Catholic. I feel a candidate’s religion is irrelevant. Religion or lack of religion means nothing. Priests molest choir boys; atheists, like myself, advocate for social justice. You cannot judge someone by what they profess to believe or not believe. (The biggest and oldest religions marginalize the smaller, newer religions as cults, but I personally find all religions equally nonsensical.)

    • freethinkerstill

      I would have preferred an avoidance of the subject, rather than what sounded like an “infomercial for Mormonism,” as another listener put it.  I expect On Point to look at things from all sides.  If the host can’t/won’t, then pick another subject.  Just my take.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Curious people want to know (I want to know):  How do these Mormons live without caffeine?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Seventh-day Adventists also don’t believe in using caffeine.  They do it through a deep measure of denial of reality–I know, since that’s the religion that I escaped from, a bunch of people with faithful smiles on their faces in the morning.

      • Ellen Dibble

        I think it was Joanna Brooks who said it was “coffee” that Mormons don’t use, so maybe they drink Pepsi and tea?  

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          I know of at least one Mormon who does drink caffeinated soda, but the doctrine, so far as I’m aware, is against caffeine.

          • RedPenGirl

            The doctrine is a prohibition against coffee and tea (not herbal teas). Some Mormons interpret the doctrine as also prohibiting caffeinated drinks (and chocolate in the most extreme cases), but that is personal interpretation. Just FYI, the same doctrine prohibits use of tobacco and alcohol and encourages consumption of grains, fruits, and veg, and recommends limited consumption of meat. 

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Much like Adventists.  I’m glad I escaped.

  • geraldfnord

    I believe that it is wrong to make fun of a person’s non-hypocritical beliefs because people do not choose to believe things—early training, relatively set casts of mind, and a plethora of absurdities flying around anyone’s birth-culture practically guaranty that we all will be unreasonable about something, my own bad self included.  Merely being a single, subjective, view-point moving along a unique world-line means that our information will always be incomplete….  Societies tend to discourage the sort of thinking that makes people able to reject what they believe, as those societies that survived had to be so—so much survival knowledge was utterly arbitrary, and so just had to be memorised and accepted, that it could not be otherwise.

    This is very different from its being wrong to make fun of, or (better) reasonably criticise those beliefs.  Women and men of good will can believe all sorts of horrible things, from racial inferiority in their neighbours to their own ‘objectively provable’ superior beauty, to the necessity of removing all one’s family’s foreskins, to the sacredness of cow dung…it goes on and on and on.

    I guess I’m saying a rationalist’s version of ‘Hate the sin, but love the sinner,’—and I am a rationalist because I believe that it were time that we, as a race, ‘…put away childish things.’

  • madeda1

    Please ask them about the Morman view on African Americans. I understand that they consider them to be abominations and not equal to all other races. Please do this I want to know.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    “TRIED to live his life”

  • sickofthechit

    “We hold these truths to be
    self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed
    by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,”

    The use of the word “their” opens
    it all up to all faiths, not just Christian, not just Mormon, not
    just Jewish, not just Muslim, but all faiths. If they had intended for
    this to be a “Christian Nation” they would have said “our
    Creator”.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       Ah, so I owe the fact that I am “created equal” to my parents. Good point.

      • notafeminista

        Unless you know someone created outside the normal process…?

  • skeptic150

    The Republican platform makes it clear they seek to blur state/church separation and, in some cases, flat out impose Christian dogma on the rest of us (for most Christians, I guess this is ok?).
    Here’s why personal/religious beliefs do matter, imo:
    making decisions based on “faith” rather than reason, civil rights, social policies, abortion and women’s rights, science education, research, sex ed, school vouchers paid for by tax money used for Christian schools, religion/prayer in school, decisions related to war, etc.
    In my opinion, “faith” is simply belief without evidence and should not be considered a “good” thing – it has gotten a free ride on this for far too long. Romney and Ryan’s “faith,” Christianity, has, for the most part, a common belief in a virgin birth, vicarious redemption via human sacrifice (predicated on animal sacrifice), resurrections, heaven/hell, imaginary friends and enemies, magical thinking and superstition, etc. G Bush prayed to his Christian god/imaginary friends and was “led” to invade Iraq. I believe Romney and Ryan, fundamentally, believe in the same things as GB (and probably would not mind imposing policies based on Christian beliefs on the rest of us – that’s why, imo, the anti-abortion issue should not be dismissed lightly). Now, add Joseph Smith to the mix for Mormons and Romney – seriously people, how do we sit back and not point out the obvious nonsense here when it comes to their so-called “faith.” And it is clear to me they will let their “faith” guide them in policy decisions which will affect us all.

    • Thinkin5

       The rightwing has a very different view of the teachings of Christianity than what I learned growing up. They use religion as a weapon for hate. Almost like the Mullahs do!

      • skeptic150

        Yes, and the Christian/American Taliban is strong. 
        When I, or others, try to oppose the further establishment of Christian theocracy in our secular government, the argument is turned on us as anti-patriotic, etc., rather than on the fundamental issue of maintaining/restoring state/church separation.

      • notafeminista

        “Almost” meaning not at all.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCZ6YOEX4P7YG2MEYBW43IZC6U Tom

    My evangelical fundy Christian extended family is holding its collective nose to vote for Bishop Willard. Before the Bishop bought the republic(an) nomination with his un-taxed million$, all Mormons were as distant from Christianity as Muslims and therefore “godless”. Then, after the fallout from the Klown Kar train wreck of the primaries, the Sou. Baptist Convention’s High Priest decided suddenly that Bishop Willard’s religion is indeed a “4th Abrahamic” religion, and therefore he’s just OK for fundy christians to vote for. (Never mind that Judaism and Islam are ahead of Mormonism on the list.) So, the family isn’t as concerned about the magical underwear-clad Latter Day bishop anymore. How trite, how hypocritical, how insanely indicative of right wing ideology that embraces the belief that a rabbinical haploid zombie is the only way to the streets of gold and ultimate gospel singing. But the deeper one digs and learns about Mormonism, the more obvious thinking people conclude that they are uniquely insane. Religion has held back human progress since its inception. All of it must go away if humans are to survive. Period.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       On what bases are your family members deciding that Romney would be a better President than Obama?

  • sickofthechit

    To me, separation of Church and State means there should be no charitable deductions allowed, period.  Churches pay no property taxes even when they run gyms used by the general public which compete with actual businesses.

  • Thinkin5

    I also take issue with the Romney’s telling people not to question them about taxes, MA health care initiative records, Olympics records. They have this idea that they are above questioning because they are Mormon and wealthy. Is that why? Maybe people don’t have to answer for their decisions when they own a company but in government they are accountable and need to answer all questions and be transparent.

    • J__o__h__n

      The hard drives from when he was governor that he bought and destroyed.

  • Matt Wade

    I enjoyed this:

    “By making debt the centerpiece of his campaign, Romney was making a calculated bluff of historic dimensions – placing a massive all-in bet on the rank incompetence of the American press corps. The result has been a brilliant comedy: A man makes a $250 million fortune loading up companies with debt and then extracting million-dollar fees from those same companies, in exchange for the generous service of telling them who needs to be fired in order to finance the debt payments he saddled them with in the first place. That same man then runs for president riding an image of children roasting on flames of debt, choosing as his running mate perhaps the only politician in America more pompous and self-righteous on the subject of the evils of borrowed money than the candidate himself. If Romney pulls off this whopper, you’ll have to tip your hat to him: No one in history has ever successfully run for president riding this big of a lie. It’s almost enough to make you think he really is qualified for the White House.The unlikeliness of Romney’s gambit isn’t simply a reflection of his own artlessly unapologetic mindset – it stands as an emblem for the resiliency of the entire sociopathic Wall Street set he represents. Four years ago, the Mitt Romneys of the world nearly destroyed the global economy with their greed, shortsightedness and – most notably – wildly irresponsible use of debt in pursuit of personal profit. The sight was so disgusting that people everywhere were ready to drop an H-bomb on Lower Manhattan and bayonet the survivors. But today that same insane greed ethos, that same belief in the lunatic pursuit of instant borrowed millions – it’s dusted itself off, it’s had a shave and a shoeshine, and it’s back out there running for president.Mitt Romney, it turns out, is the perfect frontman for Wall Street’s greed revolution.”
    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/greed-and-debt-the-true-story-of-mitt-romney-and-bain-capital-20120829#ixzz24wg6AoH9 

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Off point my friend.

      • Matt Wade

        Ok. Mormonism is crazed cult, no better than Scientology or the Manson family. Better?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Daylight is the best disinfectant for bigotry.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCZ6YOEX4P7YG2MEYBW43IZC6U Tom

    Curses.

  • LiamPaul

     

    I find it amazing that the RNC is not talking about Mitts
    faith since they are the ones that continuously claim this is a Christian
    nation and infant they are always trying to pass laws that make sure this happens.  I bet if their opponent was a Muslim the
    Republicans would make sure the persons faith was the main topic of discussion.

  • LiamPaul

     

    I find it amazing that the RNC is not talking about Mitts
    faith since they are the ones that continuously claim this is a Christian
    nation and infant they are always trying to pass laws that make sure this happens.  I bet if their opponent was a Muslim the
    Republicans would make sure the persons faith was the main topic of discussion.

  • http://www.BornAgainDemocrat.com/ Martin Long

    I called in and was disappointed that the topic I wished to discuss was not welcome today.

    As we all (should) know, Mormons baptize the dead… including those of other faiths.  This has been so uncomfortable that jewish leaders struck a deal with Mormons in St. Lake City that the Mormon church would no longer “baptize” Jews.

    Mitt Romney was a Bishop and President of the Stake.  He certainly would have been involved in baptizing the dead of other faiths.  I’ve tried to determine if Mormons have “baptize” my grandparents, and have been stone-walled.

    I think it’s a fair question to ask what Mr. Romney’s involvement in such ceremonies would have been and whether he felt any discomfort in “baptizing” non-mormons after their death; and, furthermore, how I can find out if they involved themselves with my ancestors.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       Anything to increase the “membership” ;)
      Have they baptized Mother Theresa yet?

    • freethinkerstill

       The whole program is difficult to understand.  Wish you’d gotten to ask your question, as I heard no hard questions asked today.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        People don’t ask questions when they don’t think they’ll like the answers.

  • Barrt

    Religious beliefs underlying things like the right wing’s opposition to abortion have enormous consequences for everyone who has to live under the leadership of the politicians we elect, and yet we are told it is somehow unAmerican or improper to challenge the basis for those beliefs.  What utter hypocrisy!  Tom’s need to avoid discussion around the history of Mormonism says all one needs to know about open discourse in free America.

  • J__o__h__n

    Paul Ryan needs to read JFK’s speech and stop imposing his Church’s views like denying abortions to rape victims.

  • BrynMawrJP

    The young Mormon man just commented that Mormons are unique in having an exclusively volunteer clergy; though rare, it’s not unique, as the Quakers use a similar system.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       The “big boys” volunteer and get a huge amount of “non money” compensation in return.

  • Matt Wade

    Mitt has never been clear about anything, except the relentless pursuit of profits.

    It’s no coincidence for Mittens that Profit and Prophet are homonyms.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCZ6YOEX4P7YG2MEYBW43IZC6U Tom

    So much for OnPoint’s “reply” feature putting it where it’s supposed to be.

    • TinaWrites

      I’ve had trouble with that, too:  ever since we could no longer post “as Guest”.  I’m using Disqus.  I wonder if you are, too?  I hope the WEBMASTER will see your comment and mine.  

      • DrewInGeorgia

        They’ll see it and ignore it. There’s a focus on Moderation (censorship) as of late, functionality has apparently never been a primary concern.

        • TinaWrites

          I don’t quite share your cynicism about a show that I really, really, really learn so much from and enjoy so much.  I do think that the use of these other formats for us to use in posting (Facebook, Twitter, Disqus, etc. — rather than “as Guest”) is causing some problems.  

          For instance, I got an email that you had responded to me, but that same email only contains PART of my original post; so, I want to reminded of just exactly what I said.  Then, when I hit the link that brings me to your post, your post is at the TOP of the page, so that I cannot read my OWN post at all.  I’d have to go back to scrolling to the bottom of the webpage, hitting “load more comments” (sometimes many, many times), then, scroll up to the TOP of the webpage and hit “Edit/Find” to find my original post and your reply.  I had to do that when posting as a Guest:  I just thought things would get easier with the change.  

          I chose to post via Disqus because I really do NOT want to be on Facebook.  Yes, that IS old-fashioned, but I really do not want do deal with Facebook.  Also, other NPR shows have different posting options:  most include Facebook and Twitter, but some do NOT have Disqus!  I wish NPR had its OWN posting format:  I trust NPR; well maybe not all their decisions, but they are NOT a for-profit corporation like Facebook.  Why can’t we post to NPR, instead?

          Also, Disqus does not always retain the paragraphs the way I type them:  often, I write in lists, but the list format is totally compressed once I send the message.

          I hope the WEBMASTER is reading this!  Thanks to you both!

          • DrewInGeorgia

            My cynicism is a result of witnessing the efforts of Over-Zealous Moderation first hand. It is not a derision of OP but rather the board moderator(s).

            Using an actual Disqus account seems to be the least glitchy way to interact with the forum. As for the bouncing the comment to the top of the page problem you describe, when you’re on the board and it shows that you have replies try this: First refresh the page. LEFT click on the red reply counter, then right click while hovering over the reply you want to read and select ‘Open link in new window’. The new window will frequently (but not always) pop the comment to the top. If you wish to respond to the reply do so in the newly opened window only. Rinse and repeat for additional replies. After replying close the opened window showing the reply and your original window will still be open. Refresh the original window and everything will (most of the time) be in order. I know this is a convoluted procedure and I apologize but as I said earlier functionality doesn’t appear to be priority.

            As for the destruction of paragraph formatting this appears to happen any time Copy and Paste is used. It takes some effort to keep posts clean and concise but to all who are persistent editors I say Thank You.

            Hope this information is in some way helpful to you.

          • TinaWrites

            Very helpful!  Thanks very much!  (Haven’t digested it yet, but I will try your suggestions!)

  • Matt Wade
  • InActionMan

    What a white wash.

    Tom, Ask these Mormons the following:

    - Do Mormons believe that Satan is the Brother of Jesus?

    - Do Mormons believe that upon death that they themselves will become gods equal to Jehovah and get to rule over their own planets?

    Mormonism is not Christianity. The beliefs of Mormons are not accepted by any Christian Church.

  • J__o__h__n

    Not even $10,000 bets?

  • http://www.facebook.com/atomicdesignads Robert J Zeleniak

    Would you ask your guests to reconcile the fact that Mitt said in an interview in N C. that his religion did not shape his views on marriage equality, rather, “it’s what right for America” . . . However, the Mormon’s President Hinckley, in his “Proclamation to the World” issued a directive to “officers of the government everywhere” to promote the definition of marriage between a man and woman. As a Mormon in good standing, isn’t he required to follow this directive, therefore shaping his political policies?

  • OMA_OPINES

    I grew up in western NY. My grandparents’ home was 2 miles from Hill Cummorah. I disagree much with their  theology but my question is not theological. Is the arrogant American exceptionalism espoused by Romney, etc. grounded in the extrabiblical idea that Jesus visited our land and the “lost tribes” ended up here?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      My American exceptionalism isn’t grounded in that belief, since I’m not a Mormon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anita.paul.5680 Anita Paul

    The Mormon church had no problem using their large dollars to push back against gay marriage.  As for Romney is he ashamed of his own faith. 

  • divine582

    Given the powerful influence of the Christian Evangelical caucus  in the Republican Party how can religion not be a part of campaign? Many from this group consider Mormanism to not biblically valid.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.havel Stephen Havel

    Why is it that no one actually talks publically about the bottom lines of mormanism? Morman is a person that Moroni who spoke to Joseph Smith considered the Father Jesus worked for, making Moroni a Jesus return clamiant. This is as big an antiJesus movement as Catholicism and New Age Jesus spirituality and Christianity, all a big brainwashing effort. Now how did Moroni come to Joseph Smith? In affect the same way the false Jesus came to Paul of Tarsus that created the current church. If you simply list the handful of major points Jesus made, you will see that all the Christian related groups are totally off point with a few tiny exceptions.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    The problem with church charity is that there’s always the hint behind the giving that those who receive are expected to convert.  By contrast, I’d much rather see a government welfare program that requires getting an education and getting a job.  What the person believes isn’t our business.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I remember Bill Clinton proclaiming about the time he was elected that he or the government was the parent of last resort, something like that.  There are no orphans in a country where he was president.  Then we elected Bush II, who spoke about the church and the family taking over as much as possible, the better to shrink the federal government.
        This is the blue/red issue at hand.

  • Matt Wade

    Pretty Ricky Santorum called Mormonism a cult in 2007. Evangelicals really don’t like Mormonism. Why do you think Romney’s polygamous grandfather had to flee to mexico?

  • JGC

    Private welfare:  please someone explain how private welfare programs differs from public welfare.  Is it in controlling who is deserving to get private welfare and for how long?  And is the private welfare truly private, when it is government subsidized by tax deductions?

    • Gregg Smith

      Private welfare comes from a personal choice of how to spend ones own money. Public welfare is bureaucratic choice of how to spend someone else’s money.

      A tax deductions not a subsidy. For it to be a subsidy money has to change hands.

      • Don_B1

        When money does not leave John’s hands because he is not paying the full amount another tax payer has to, then the tax rates have to be set higher than otherwise and the other taxpayers pay more. 

        That IS effectively the transfer of a payment not made by one person to an increased payment by others. When someone pays another person’s bills, they effectively transfer money to that person.

        Sounds like a subsidy to anyone but a deceptive wordsmith like you.

        • Gregg Smith

          That is not honest on a few levels. First, there are the vague meaningless terms like “full amount”, “set higher” and “pay more”. Then there is the assumption someone else has to pay more which automatically assumes they are not paying enough (whatever that means) and completely disregards all pretense that the government can do with less which is crazy. But to say I am the “deceptive wordsmith” while you equate what you call an effective transfer with an actual subsidy is a bit over the top. Money must be exchanged for a subsidy to exist. Truer word have never been spoken. You are the one torturing the language to suit your definition built on a false premise.

          Finally, to hold your position you must assume the money belongs to the government and they choose how much to let you keep. That’s hideous.

          • BHA_in_Vermont

             Right. There should be no taxes or government. Everyone will take care of him/her self.

            I’d agree to that IF we get to go back in time for a “do over” when it doesn’t work out.

            Why does the Mormon church demand 10% of one’s earnings regardless of income? How is that different than the government deciding how some quantitiy one’s money should be spent? I’d rather the govt spend my money on roads and social programs than the Mormon church spending it to fund missions and temples.

          • Gregg Smith

            “Right. There should be no taxes or government. Everyone will take care of him/her self.”
            That’s crazy. Where did you get that?

        • notafeminista

          So?  According to the Left high tax rates increase revenue.  I’d think any chance to do so would be welcome.

      • sickofthechit

         Allowing a tax deduction results in the rest of us effectively subsidizing their contribution.  Churches pay no property taxes in my state.  Are you telling me that isn’t a subsidy?

        • Gregg Smith

          Yes.

      • JGC

        If I donate $100 to the LDS Church, $100 to Samaritan’s Purse, and $100 to Planned Parenthood, and then claim a total of $300 tax benefit on my IRS form, does this have benefit to society? Are some donations more worthy than others?    

  • OnpointListener

    My question: has
    Romney been charitible to any person or entity outside of his
    church?

    If you have income
    in the millions and you get to deduct the contribution directly from your
    income, does that make you less generous?

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       Read this:
      http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/02/mitt-romney-charity-philanthropy-lds

      In 2010 it all went to the Mormon church (he apparently goes with the after tax 10% tithe or the $1.5M would have been $2.2M – generous guy) and $1.46 million in appreciated stock to the Tyler Foundation, a 501(c3) nonprofit funded almost exclusively by the Romneys. Frequently such stocks are sold immediately for no “gain” and thus no tax. And the donor gets to write off the appreciated value from their income. One can presume the donor has figured out that the stock in question isn’t going to gain much more value or they would keep it. There is no income tax paid on the appreciated stock and the donor pays less income tax because of their “generosity”. What a deal! Romney is a legal tax evader.

      In 2010 the foundation donated:
      - $145K to the Mormon church
      - $100K to the GWB library
      - $10K to the Olympic Equestrian Foundation (I’m sure it had nothing to do with Ann’s horse being in the Olympics in 2012, really)
      - Less self serving and not at all unusual for people to fund causes close to “home” $85K related to MS and $30K related to cancer
      - $5K to the private school his kids attended. 
      - $25K to BYU (alma mater)
      - $10K to Harvard Business School (alma mater)

      And there were donations to entities one would not consider self serving. But one has to wonder how “moral”, though legal, it is to avoid paying taxes by giving your “charitable donations” to a foundation you alone fund and control. Another perk for the wealthy.

      • OnpointListener

        Thanks for the great information and the time you took to spell it all out… don’t we all wish it would be surprising?

        I wonder if Mitt has ever helped anyone out in a manner  that was not tax deductible at the time… and which would not show on his tax returns.  Anyone out there know?  My gut tells me the answer is NO.  Why give money without a tax deduction?I watched the dog and pony show the RNC put on last night and listened to some of the coverage today on NPR and news providers that are highlighted in “Reader Supported News”.  I am so discouraged.If you get a chance, check out Matt Taibbi’s latest blog today in the rollingstone.com.We are witnessing a coup d’etat , in real time, that will lead to the destruction of our planet and most of the people on it.I am a widow and I have a 19 year old daughter…. I worry so much for her and her generation.  I never expected, 20 years ago, that things might end like this. I asked her this evening if she would be willing to move out of the country if RR are elected.And finally, a message about notafeminista and other “trolls” on this forum… the best way to deal with them is to completely ignore them… do not respond… don’t feed the monster.  I tried to communicate once and quickly realized there is no sincerity there on that end.Just jack boots looking for a forum.  Do not give it to them.  

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    So caller, you wouldn’t accept an atheist in office?  Since you want a religious test, just remember what happens in societies that apply such tests.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      The “Any religion is better than no religion” remark summed it up. Some people…

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    I am not Mormon and the caller can trust me with her checkbook. Generalizations are not a good thing. MOST people will not steal from others. Maybe she should vet her potential employees better.

    • J__o__h__n

      And not discriminate against those who don’t believe in gods. 

      • Ellen Dibble

        That too.  But how can you determine that?   If they are falling apart and losing their memory and cognitive powers, then the appropriate god has abandoned them?  If they hold together with spunk and integrity, then clearly the divine has acknowledged them and holds them in His hand?  Before there was religion, God was not present?

    • Ellen Dibble

      I know what she means though.  She probably could trust the non-Mormons, but I too, the Mormon I’ve known, if I had to characterize her, I might say “I’d trust her with my checkbook.”  It kind of encapsulates it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anita.paul.5680 Anita Paul

    You know why doesn’t get caught up is because he has other people do his dirty work.

  • Matt Wade

    Mitt Romney: draft dodger. He lived in a castle in France during the Vietnam War. So tough!

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

     Mormons are welcome to come talk to me.  We’ll have an interesting conversation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.havel Stephen Havel

    The one thing that is true, but I hear no news people saying is that mormonism is a cult. That’s because that word to them means “evil”,satanic, etc. when the fact is that Jesus was as big a “dangerous cult leader” as any we have seen, that is, “dangerous” from the perspective of all those who stand to lose what they want/have from believing otherwise. Jesus clearly denied his human family, his mother, brothers, etc. saying his family were fellow believers in his representation of his “Father”. His disciples were REQUIRED to leave their families and friends and careers and loves for anything else but HIM and his teachings and that they would be killed for supporting him but that was part of the program to gain the trust of his “Father” from outer space, the heavens.

  • Mouse_2012

    Sounds like a Giant Infomercial, talking up all the good stuff about a product while excluded the side effects.

    • AlfaRB

        You’re absolutely right, Ashbrook didn’t really didn’t pursue any ‘delicate’ areas of the faith.  Looks like once again we need BBC reporting to dig into things.

    • freethinkerstill

       I couldn’t agree more.  One of the worst On Point programs ever!  No counterpoints to happy Mormon guests who tell us how great the faith is.  Even Ms. (Brooks?) the sort-of Mormon feminist fell right in line with happy housewife presentation of Ann Romney.  I want to believe this program was not the choice of Ashbrook.  Where is the true “fair and balanced” I’ve come to know from On Point.

    • woodchuck2

      I agree, this was one of the worst On Point segments ever.  It’s too bad, because a balanced discussion of mormonism would be useful to voters.  Tom was ignoring the elephant in the room.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Obviously if those on their Mission get “knocked down” every day and get up to do it again the next day for two years, what does that say about them?

    That they don’t learn from their mistakes. 

    • notafeminista

      Tell it to the pro-choicers.

      • BHA_in_Vermont

         Show me the “pro-choicers” that get pregnant and have an abortion every month.

        Yeah there are some women who are “repeat offenders” but it isn’t at every opportunity and their religion doesn’t force it on them.

        • notafeminista

          Geez, man.  The pro-choicers are still out there every day preaching their position and demanding the government keep their hands off their uteruses.  They don’t give up their position, why should Missionaries?   

          We know there is a contingent of whatever number that does not agree with the pro-choicers and work to defeat their agenda.  Why don’t the pro-choicers just learn from their mistakes and give up?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Yes, let’s all us lefties take political advice from a concern troll like you. That’s the road to success and popularity.

            You’re like the anti-North star of navigation.

          • notafeminista

            Popular? What are you, 14?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Popular: Like getting enough votes to win elections. It also includes not putting stock in concern trolls’ opinions.

            I was gonna say “I can’t believe I have to explain this to you”. Then I realized who I was dealing with.

          • BHA_in_Vermont

             ”The pro-choicers are still out there every day preaching their position
            and demanding the government keep their hands off their uteruses”

            As are the “pro-lifers”.

            “Why don’t the pro-choicers just learn from their mistakes and give up?”

            Same for the “pro-lifers”.

            Abortions are highest in countries where it and birth control/education  are illegal.

            My opinion: Abortion should not be considered a form of birth control.

            I have no problem with making every effort to ensure sure people – men and women – have the education and means to NOT have an unwanted pregnancy.

            Same with ensuring anyone dealing with an unwanted pregnancy is educated in the alternatives to abortion. But don’t do it in a confrontational manner in their face at the clinic. Wrong place, wrong time. For every one you might “save” at the clinic, you could have potentially prevented dozens of unwanted pregnancies and abortions with education.
             

            And if the “pro-lifers” want a non abortion choice to be the most common, they better pony up help for those that choose one of those options. Having a baby, even if you are going to give it up for adoption, is not a cheap proposition.

            Rest assured: “back alley” abortions WILL again be the norm if it is made illegal. And then where will the “pro-lifers” go to try and stop them?
            They won’t, they can’t, it will be “invisible”.  If the “pro-lifer’s” end goal is the fewest possible number of abortions, they should be fighting to keep it legal. Support Planned Parenthood, they do a LOT more than the occasional abortion. Volunteer your time at PP to educate women coming in for general reproductive health reasons. Make it a positive interaction. What they don’t know CAN hurt them.

          • notafeminista

            Point being, if someone believes in their position, why should they (including the Mormons) just learn from their mistakes?  Should they not keep working to keep their positions known and available not invisible as you say?

    • sickofthechit

       I think it says they are better salespersons and people for having experienced it.

      • SomeGuyNamedMark

         It says they got a free vacation overseas in their youth.

  • TinaWrites

    Wow!  President Obama has his faith, and, when he was first President, he, in his own “reticent way” (in quotes because religious “reticence” is being attributed to Romney now), enjoyed the preaching of Reverend Wright.  Now, I cannot pretend to have heard Rev. Wright except in his interview with Bill Moyers; however, everything that Rev. Wright said in that interview, including his reasons for why he said the phrase that got him (and the President) into so much trouble, was nothing BUT TRUE about America’s History — its actual, not mythological, History!!!  Nothing is more ‘deeply seated’ (to paraphrase the guest’s description of Mormonism’s place in U.S. culture) in American  History than slavery, Jim Crow and racism.  And yet, the Republicans jumped on the President for enjoying the Reverend’s message of Hope that was based NOT on a mythological America, but on the real, honest History of life in America!  Jump to now:  the media is not jumping all over Romney and his faith; in fact, his faith is being brought out in a tender and respectful way for viewing and understanding.  The Republicans expect nothing less.  But I remember what they did to the President.  I hope others do, too.  

    • notafeminista

      Where in any seminary of any faith do they teach potential clergy to ask God to damn America?

      Rev. Wright is the antithesis of a clergy person.

      • Mouse_2012

        I don’t recall them teaching about not reporting priest abusing children either but……..

        • notafeminista

          And when precisely have you seen me advocate for that?

      • sickofthechit

         What Reverend Wright said was to
        -God damn an America that imprisons disproportinately black youth, that fails to rehabilitate them, that fails to provide equal education to them….
        there were several other specific instances he was railing against that day.  His point was that America was not treating all equally and he was warning that God would not judge us kindly if we don’t change our ways. 

        As for his “chickens have come home to roost” 9/11 reference was an allusion to the fact that America has not been without fault in its dealings around the world, and that it should not be surprising that a weaker entity who feels powerless to stop us does something drastic.

        • TinaWrites

          Thank you for spelling out the specifics of Rev. Wright’s comments, and compellingly!

        • notafeminista

          Yes…as I said, he was making a specific request for God to damn America – it wasn’t a statement.  He was asking for God to punish America, as you pointed out for failing to provide more fully for certain demographics of the country

          No clergyman asks God to damn anyone.  The clergy are to help one find spiritual salvation should one be seeking it – to find redemption for one’s sins.

          God damn America is the flip side of God bless America.  Both are requests made of Him.

          No clergy person asks God to damn anyone as the clergy knows exactly and specifically what that request means.

          • sickofthechit

            My paraphrase did not do it justice. This is from an ABC news page on the internet. 

            Reverend Wright
             

            “The British government failed, the Russian government failed, the
            Japanese government failed, the German government failed, and the United
            States of America government, when it came to treating her citizens of
            Indian descent fairly, she failed. She put them on reservations. When it
            came to treating her citizens of Japanese decent fairly, she failed.
            She put them in internment prison camps. When it came to treating her
            citizens of African descent fairly, America failed. The government put
            them in chains. She put them on slave quarters, put them on auction
            blocks, put them in cotton fields, put them in inferior schools, put
            them in sub-standard housing, put them in scientific experiments, put
            them in the lowest paying jobs, put them outside the equal protection of
            the law, kept them out of their racist bastions of higher education,
            and locked them into positions of hopelessness and helplessness. The
            government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three
            strike law, and then wants us to sing God Bless America…no, no, no

            Not God bless America, God damn America. That’s in the Bible, for
            killing innocent people. God damn America for treating her citizens as
            less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is
            God and she is supreme. The United States government has failed the vast
            majority of her citizens of African descent. Think about this, think
            about this.

            For every one Oprah, a billionaire, you’ve got 5 million blacks who out
            of work. For every one Colin Powell, a millionaire, you’ve got 10
            million blacks who cannot read. For every one Condoskeeza Rice, you’ve
            got 1 million in prison. For every one Tiger Woods, who needs to get
            beat, at the Masters, with his cap, blazin’ hips playing on a course
            that discriminates against women. God has his way of bringing you up
            short when you get to big for your cap, blazin britches. For every one
            Tiger Woods, we got 10,000 black kids who will never see a golf course.
            The United States government has failed the vast majority of her
            citizens of African descent.”

          • notafeminista

            He said all the things you’ve posted now.  His position is clear.  He wants God to punish America for what he perceives as a failure on the part of America to more fully support certain demographics of the country. Hardly a “message of hope”.

            No clergy person wants nor asks for eternal damnation for anyone.  For any reason.  That is not the vocation of a clergy person.

    • DrJoani

      WEll…I’m hoping the media will begin to give a “fair and balanced picture” unlike FUX News , and cease painting that religion in attractive colors.
      Your factual  analysis is the best I’ve seen/heard/read yet.
      Brava!

      • TinaWrites

        Thank you!

  • J__o__h__n

    Going around annoying people to try to convert them isn’t something to be celebrated. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

    How can a man who lies, cheats and destroys countless peoples’ lives become a bishop in the Mormon church?

    That is the work of Satan not Jesus.

  • Mouse_2012

    Nothing on how the church didn’t allow blacks to accept the priesthood unitl the late 70′s and it looks like the guest danced around the what Romney did as a Bishop(the negative stuff)

    • DrewInGeorgia

      The Delicate Ballet continues…

      • J__o__h__n

        Dressage?

        • DrewInGeorgia

          Apparently they’ve added the anti-eggshell breaking slippers to the equipment list.

    • DrJoani

      True true, especially the way he counseled WOMEN (who obviously don’t count for much despite wifey trying to get sympathy by talking about her 5 screaming sons—cared for by the HELP ?—her wonderful w& warm hubby, her breast cancer and MS).
      Do Mormons give to people who are NOT church members, apart from their missions  abroad which they give out religious tracts?

      • notafeminista

        Wow!  You just answered your own question….good job!

      • Mouse_2012

        Some on a Individual level I woud guess but as a Church it’s mostly for it’s members and people who soon will become one if I recall correctly . As I said before the LDS treats non-mormons great or perceived to be but once in the church you see the down and dirty aspects.
         

        • RedPenGirl

          You do not recall correctly, Mouse_2012. Sorry. There are programs in place in the Mormon Church that serve mainly members of the Church. Isn’t that as it should be—an organization taking care of its own? But I can tell you that it is not limited to members nor is it limited to those who agree to convert. My dad was a bishop in SoCal and in AZ, and I remember instances in both places where people called him out of the blue, sometimes in the middle of the night, needing help. He didn’t ask about their background or whether they were members. He offered help to get them on their way: food, finding a place to sleep, transportation, even arranging medical care when it was needed. 

          You should also read more about the Church’s humanitarian aid efforts in NOLA, Haiti, Korea, and many, many other places in the world. The Church offers help where it’s needed, regardless of the religious affiliation of those in need. They have ongoing programs for developing clean water sources, providing infant resuscitation training and equipment in nations with high infant mortality rates, working with NGOs to provide immunizations against diseases like malaria, providing wheelchairs, and so much more. The countries where these kinds of services are needed are most assuredly not countries where the Mormon population is high.

          • BHA_in_Vermont

            “My dad was a bishop in SoCal and in AZ, and I remember instances in both
            places where people called him out of the blue, sometimes in the middle
            of the night, needing help.”

            - How many were Mormons?
            - How many were family friends or neighbors that pretty much anyone would have helped in a similar circumstance?

            Your “average” person in need doesn’t think: “I have a problem, I’ll look up the head of the local Mormon temple”.

            I’m not saying he isn’t/wasn’t a decent and helpful man, only that your examples are not limited to those of the Mormon faith.

          • DrJoani

            Please tell me about more about Mormons providing”immunization to malaria” because for us in Peace Corps, and others there
            and elsewhere, there were only costly   anti-malaria drugs, taken either
            daily or weekly. I can give you the names if you are interested. Immunization?

            i

          • RedPenGirl

            It appears the Church involvement in Madagascar was after your time there.  But here’s information from a press release about how the Church spends their money. If you want to read the whole thing, google “lds newsroom.” It’s currenlty the first item on the Press Releases page.

            In 2003, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donated three million dollars to support a worldwide initiative that would provide measles vaccinations to children in 40 countries. The Church worked with the American Red Cross, United Nations Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United Nations Children’s Fund, World Health Organization, and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.In 2004, the Church participated in a measles vaccination campaign in Madagascar. Some Church members volunteered their time by serving missions dedicated to the measles campaign.From 2004 to 2009, 62,503 Church members in 35 countries volunteered their efforts in canvassing neighborhoods and helping at vaccination postsIn 2009, the Church participated in measles vaccination campaigns in Botswana, Cape Verde, Kenya, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, and Uganda.

      • RedPenGirl

        See my response to Mouse_2012 below about what Mormons and the Mormon Church provide. But you should also know that Mormon missionaries—not all of whom serve “abroad”—do more than give out religious tracts. Yes, that’s what people see. But it is also part of the responsibility of missionaries to provide service, which they do in multiple ways. I worked in a care center for developmentally disabled children and in an orphanage. My husband taught PE classes in schools in Africa and helped prepare food in hospitals. In addition, if missionaries are serving in areas where a natural disaster strikes, their proselyting work is often suspended so that they can help in cleanup, distributing aid, and so on. Did you further know that there are some missionaries who are called solely to teach people in developing countries about hygiene, child nutrition, finding clean water, and so on? 

        • DrJoani

          Good for you and them! VOLUNTEERISM?
          I was in Peace Corps in Madagascar 2 1/2 years  1998-2000 and we  really didn’t have the chance, the money or the opportunities to help out in the same ways that you apparently did. My neighbors’ children were also missionaries and did not do what you did.
          I’ve paid close attention to reading, listening,hearing about Mme Brooks (now at SDSU) who is also keen on getting the truth of the Mormons out there but frankly, I do not want a biased man of religion who doesn’t know what he is for or against in regard to people and their lives from one year to the next, one decade to the next.
           HE HAS NO CORE but he IS handsome, tall and wealthy, and a billionaire.
           I do not believe that becoming very well-off, wealthy, rich, well-to-do should be national goals for individuals (ie. for US).
          Nor do I think that character can be evaluated on that basis. SO…Tell me more about those Mormon objectives regarding getting rich, please

          • RedPenGirl

            Good for you for serving in the Peace Corps. Just to be clear, Mormon missionaries are not paid nor did we engage in volunteer service because we had money or materials to offer. We had time, able bodies, and willingness. The Church also does not find the opportunities for missionaries to provide community service in most cases. In my experience, we went to places within our community and volunteered in capacities that the organization needed. 

          • freethinkerstill

             But a missionary to…France?

  • Meridth Gimbel

    Mitt Romney being a ‘Mormon candidate’ makes me uncomfortable because I feel like his Rebublican beliefs stereotype the rest of the Mormon community and how we align ourselves politically. I’m Mormon and I have to say, as a Democrat, I’m not necessarily excited about Mitt Romney being a candidate. Gov. Romney wants to cut spending on social programs which I feel, along with my religious beliefs, that taking care of the sick and needy is really important.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       But do you vote your conscious or your church?

      • Meridth Gimbel

        Are you asking if I vote according to my religious beliefs and/or my conscience? Yes and yes. My religious beliefs are the reasons I align myself with the Democratic party as I stated above. I believe strongly in social programs such as Wic, food stamps, Social Security, etc. Contrary to what some people believe, Mormons are not a bunch of mindless zombies. It is a very important part of our religion to ponder and study things out, whether they be religious principles or political issues.

        But if you are asking me if my Church makes me vote a certain way, then no. Generally the church tries to remain uninvolved concerning politics, other than the recent propositions on marriage equality, which I don’t entirely agree with. (I believe in a separation of church and state and that there should be civil unions for everyone. The definition of marriage seems to have more of a religious connotation.) Regardless, the church doesn’t force anyone to belong to any political party or vote any way. I am still a member in good standing even though I have atypical political views.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          I know nothing about Mormons firsthand given my geography and upbringing.

          But this does remind me of the Catholic Church where people consider themselves in the belief (all the faith/hope/charity, “whatever one does to the least of my brothers…” stuff in the bible) but will also use birth control and don’t tell their priests about it.

          (It might make them “imperfect” but that’s between them and their maker. Seeing as how we’re talking about faith and politics, “Who is and is not a good Catholic” is not my beef, until some bishop goes on TV to tell us which Democrat is condemned to hell.)

          Are Mormons much like that, especially in places where one can go to a pharmacy which isn’t staffed by Mormons? I’m genuinely asking, for your input here.

          • Meridth Gimbel

            I can understand your curiosity. So you are asking if church leaders would condemn church members condemn political leaders because they don’t prescribe to their faith? I hope I understood that correctly.

            The official stance on the church concerning politics is to be “politically neutral.” So when we go to church we are not suppose to talk politics, we are suppose to talk about following Christ, lifting up the needy, repentance… things like that.

            I’m pretty sure that no modern leaders have publicly condemned any political parties or leaders. The church has made statements about Proposition 8 and a few other politically charged topics, but like I said in the above statement, you can be a member in good standing and disagree.

            We also don’t believe our church leaders have the authority to condemn anyone to hell.  

            I hope that answered your question.

            Also, I’m not sure if this is helpful, but this is a video the church released concerning the relationship the church has with politics.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Thanks for the response.

    • lesliemf10

      I am glad to hear this. Where are the testimonies from poor people Romney supposedly helped?

      • Meridth Gimbel

        I’m sure that he has helped some poor people, but I wish he weren’t interested in cutting funding for so many social programs. Some Mormons believe that since we generally take care of our own needy, that the churches should handle it. I can’t disagree with this sentiment more. I’m glad our church gives food to the needy and financial assistance to those that need it, but I feel like it’s our responsibility as American’s to make sure that there are no 90 year olds starving in a shack somewhere, or that low income families are able to properly nourish their kids, etc. Too many people would fall through the cracks. Yet again another reason why I’m a Democrat and am voting for Obama.

  • lesliemf10

    What’s the Mormon Church’s position on women’s choice and abortion? Does the Mormon Church allow/advocate abortion in case of rape?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=850129274 Daniel R Mower


      Church leaders have said that some exceptional circumstances may justify an abortion, such as when pregnancy is the result of incest or rape, when the life or health of the mother is judged by competent medical authority to be in serious jeopardy, or when the fetus is known by competent medical authority to have severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth. But even these circumstances do not automatically justify an abortion. Those who face such circumstances should consider abortion only after consulting with their local Church leaders and receiving a confirmation through earnest prayer.”

      http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?locale=0&sourceId=63c139b439c98010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=bbd508f54922d010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD 

      • lesliemf10

        Thank you for this explanation. Too bad Romney doesn’t seem to admit rape is rape.

        • Meridth Gimbel

          I agree. 

    • Meridth Gimbel

      The Mormon church believes in a women’s choice for abortion in situations of harm to the mother or child, rape or incest. In those situations they ask us, their constituents, to talk with a Bishop about it. But ultimately it is their choice.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MS3BJQ5PI4LRON67F54DSUXF3M Tommy

    I’m a Black American, Obama supporter, and Protestant.  With respect, given the Mormon religion’s radical change in 1978 of its view of Black people (in response to a purported revelation received by its living prophets), is there anything in Mormon belief that would prohibit such a change happening again? Might their be a sudden acceptance of gays perhaps?  Or a reversal of acceptance of Blacks?

    • Mouse_2012

      in theory the church could have a vote and the prophet could have an “revelation” and gays could now be acceptable. The reversal on acceptance of blacks wouldn’t have to happen the church would only need to change the atmosphere while attending.

      • BHA_in_Vermont

         Isn’t it convenient that they can have “revelations” any time it is expedient? I guess Mitt had revelations about all sorts of things and will again. It isn’t an Etch-a-sketch, it is a “revelation”

  • jim_thompson

    I am not trying to be a smart alec, but isn’t it an historical fact that the Mormon Church is the only church that engaged in open warfare with the US Government?

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      They blocked govt troops’ supply lines but Young backed down before any battles occurred. We wouldn’t be having this conversation today if he hadn’t, there wouldn’t be any Mormons.

  • Ellen Dibble

    There are wealthy and successful and generous individuals who are willing to take big risks and to take charge, and by the way, they wear gold chains around their necks and carry guns, and I’m not talking about CEO’s.  Just sayin’.  Success in financial terms is somewhat suspect, in and of itself.  Success especially in this day of corporate/bank over-reach is subject to question.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.havel Stephen Havel

    This is not said to say all cults are the same. They are not anymore than all politicians or entertainers or all religious or all spiritual or all athesists and their associated groups are the same. What recognizing the facts does though is helps those that do seek to understand what’s MOST real and MOST genuine learn to discern the truth from the lies. The people that believe in anything are not classified by the creators of this planet based upon what groups they subscribe to, religio-spiritual or secular humanist. They do however allow us to judge ourselves by what we gravitate to, whether it’s related to wanting a relationship with them or not, which is not determined by group or dogma affiliations.

    • DrJoani

      I really have trouble understanding just what your points are and what you are trying to say. You might want to use commas .
      You use the word “cult” in your opening sentence and I tend to agree right there that the religion IS a cult, but so are many others.
      I had a large family of Mormon neighbors: nice people, and really not very responsible people: too many children, a lot of rigidity from daddy, and more.

      • notafeminista

        Who determines what is the right number of children?

        • J__o__h__n

          The food and water supply.

          • notafeminista

            And, in your opinion, that magic number is what?

        • jefe68

          In her opinion her neighbors had to many children.  You do understand the meaning of an opinion. More comprehension issues I see.

          • notafeminista

            In her (or your) opinion who determines the correct number of children?

            Please do give my regards to Mr. Lakoff.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            More comprehension issues, indeed.

        • DrJoani

          Please see my reply above (?) to Stephen Havel. But in brief: more than half a dozen kids is too many if you don’t take care of them.
          l9th century and before then people needed (economically) to have many children since most of them died before they reached adolescence .
          Not all of us want to be Mormons and to propagate the faith through our offspring.

          And few of us want men (and  perhaps resentful or otherwise sad,wealthy? women)  making decisions what we should or should not do with our bodies in terms of having children.

          • notafeminista

            Actually by your lights, one child is too many if the parent(s) is unwilling or unable to care for them.

      • DrJoani

        Because I came to this hours later I’m not sure to whom I’m replying. I apologize  and to explain what I meant by  b my judgmental “too many children” is that they had more than they cared for. They had more than half a dozen, and the little ones had diaper  rashes and wandered around the neighborhood freely. Others often watched out for the children. My son, who used to attend  their church’s all-day Sunday services, often babysat willingly for the little ones, helping the mother in various ways.
        Dad came home from a hard day’s work and very little patience. We could hear himn yelling and screaming at the kids, giving them commands, etc.

        So when I hear easy talk about “family” I find it creepy.
        I’ve forgotten now. What’s the other GOP  buzz word? Democracy, is it?

        • notafeminista

          So much for that whole “it takes a village” theory.

          Gawd.

  • Mouse_2012

    Mormons still believe the mark of Cain is where blacks came and after Jesus died on the cross he went to America to teach the white Indians  who the other white indians tribes were pissed and killed them and than god curse them with red skin and since their crimes were not as great as Cain’s they were far more acceptable than blacks.

    • Meridth Gimbel

      That’s not at all true.

      • JGC

        What web site best reflects the tenants of the LDS Church? And what do you think of the Bloomberg Businessweek article that gave a figure of only 0.7% of donations to the LDS Church going to actual charity (as opposed to supporting the investments in shopping malls, expansion of the physical plant of the church and so forth)?  Does that ring true to you? And what are the qualities of the two candidates that lead you toward voting for Obama, instead of Romney?  

        • Meridth Gimbel

          Like the Joanna Brooks said on ‘The Mormon Moment’ there has been some history of racism of the church and that is wholly unfortunate. Brigham Young was a church leader a hundred some odd years ago. That statement was his personal opinion, and coincided with a lot of religious people at the time. Plenty of other religions have had histories that are similar, which doesn’t make it right that it happened, but also doesn’t make the Mormon the only religion with it’s prejudices. The current policy for priesthood holders is any worthy male can obtain the priesthood.

          As for donations of the church, why does it bother you where our money goes? Like in the Old Testament and the New Testament, we believe in a 1/10th tithe. It’s a symbol of our obedience to God. 

          As for the last question, one of many reasons I’m voting for Obama mostly because I believe in taking care of the sick and needy so I have a strong belief in social programs. Mitt Romney wants to cut a lot of funding to such programs and that would be an anathema to me.

          • JGC

            I have been thinking about the LDS and what I have been reading about the LDS Church, and there is still a lot of reflection to be done on my part, but a positive thing to be said is that there is a mechanism within the Mormon Church to evaluate past perceived wrongs and try to make them right. And the slate can be wiped clean fairly quickly (in comparison to aeons of time in other religions), and then they move forward. The Church of LDS has tradition yet is not immobilized by static beliefs.

            Donations for the church:  There are two things that bother me about the 10% tithe.  One is somewhat calmed by your answer, which is the tithe is voluntary and obedient and unquestionable, and so it does not bother most people in the LDS faith. The unquestioning obedience thing is something I have to wrap my head around, but O.K. That is the belief.I still wonder if the contributors know and approve how their hard-earned money is spent on centralized LDS directives.

            The other thing that bothers me about the tithe, is that it is considered a tax-deductible contribution.  If it could be shown that 80% (for example) of the donation was going to true charitable help of the afflicted and the poor, and the remaining 20ish%,  a smaller portion, going to the upkeep of the infrastructure and costs, that is truly a donation to be supported by the American taxpayer.  Why does it bother me where your donation goes?  Because  I am supporting your donation tax-wise but I don’t think we are realizing the proportional benefit to poor Americans. 

            For the last question, I also want their to be a strong social support for the people who need this, and I want it at the federal government level. I do not want it to be completely left to the states, because it would be more unifying if there was a basic support that could be relied upon as one travels through the various individual states to the destination of their ultimate employment.

                

      • Mouse_2012

        of course it is, it’s one of the reasons blacks were disallowed from the priesthood until the late 1970′s this also is providen out in the history of the church and as your aware of this It’s talked about when Jesus came to america.

      • Mouse_2012

        Starting

         In 1849, Brigham Young made a statement that Blacks were not entitled to hold the priesthood due to the “Curse of Cain.”

        Again it wasn’t until the late 1970′s did this change.

      • Mouse_2012

        Feel free to explain what happen to the tribe that Jesus visted in america? and what happen to the tribe that attacked them?

        -Lamanites
        -Nephite

        is a good start
        the Lamanites are the principal ancestors of the American Indians.”[10] The wording was changed in the 2006 Doubleday edition and subsequent editions published by the LDS Church, stating only that the Lamanites “are among the ancestors of the American Indians.”[11][12] Many Latter Day Saints also consider Polynesian peoples and the other indigenous peoples of the Americas to be Lamanites.[7][13][14] A 1971 church magazine article referred to Lamanites as “consist[ing] of the Indians of all the Americas as well as the islanders of the Pacific.”[15]

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Ann Romney is right, having 5 boys running around the house isn’t in the fairy tales because the story ends at the wedding if not before. That was their choice as Mormons to increase the ranks.

    And no, they don’t have breast cancer or MS in fairy tales. But a LOT of REAL people do. The difference is that many of them don’t have adequate health care.
    - If they do, they don’t dare quit their job because they would lose their insurance and their preexisting condition would prevent them getting insurance on their own.
    - Very few of them have so much money that they can buy expensive horses (under the guise of a business so they can write off the expenses) to aid in their physical therapy. Most of them couldn’t even afford to rent a physical therapy horse for an hour a day/week. 

    Sorry Ann, but your marriage is a lot more “fairy tale” than most.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Most of what she said had me supposing there must hundreds of thousands of women out there she is addressing who think that afternoons with five boys running around the house screaming was not the plan.  Or that illnesses don’t strike families, not ours.  It’s not part of the plan.  However, there are even more women, probably millions upon millions, who think that having five sons roughhousing around in the afternoon and being able to be there with them, that’s pie in the sky, totally.  It’s the fabric of being human, and without it, we are less.

      And the illnesses, some tougher than others — with or without health insurance, plenty of families contend with those.  The marriage vow takes that into account:  ”In sickness and in health.”  For the Romneys, apparently you can take the financial factor out of the equation, which for plenty of us would create tensions within the extended family over what can and can’t be done, who should or should not underwrite this or that… If the issue is identifying the best treatment and going ahead with it, learning your limitations and dealing with it — that is, for most Americans, the pie-in-the-sky marriage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.havel Stephen Havel

    They just talked about the White Horse in Revelations as folklore from the 19th century. Some experts on “on point”. Triviality at best is the rule in 99% of the media. The White Horse comes from the Book of Revelations chapter 6 and is clearly depicting the return of Jesus (that joseph smith is claiming moroni is, though shows no evidence of fulfillment of the many prophecies, except as many christians by loose knit metaphores and figures of speech and great generalities that anyone could fulfill. The Red horse was Bush, the black horse is Obama and the next pale/green horse appears to be romney/ryan and the color codes apply in many ways as does the white horse who was AppleWhite the most demonized person who showed NO evidence of demonic behavior despite surface appearances the media thrives on. For anyone who wants scriptural proves of all I am saying, go for it. I know it’s scary to even consider what I am saying but that’s because there are unseen and seen beings that hate to see change, yet change is necessary and will take place and is escalating as we speak so fear not!

  • woodchuck2

    Well now THAT segment was a bunch of fluff.  Mormons have some absolutely crazy beliefs that people should know about.  Tom could have highlighted them, but instead he threw softballs to mormon apologists.

  • AlfaRB

    Keep all Religions out of Politics
    For me what this really comes down to is: Do I as an atheist want religion or God to influence any political decisions making?  Answer: No.  There should be a division between religion and state- pure and simple. 
    Religion is based mostly on Faith not Fact, and the only faith that I want to tolerate is one that I have to put in my political leaders (and that’s even way too risky), to combine that with even more faith is just crazy. 
    It appears that about 20% of the US population is Non-religious and it’s numbers are growing, in a few years it may be 30%.  It would behoove all to keep this in mind, and keep politics secular, for all’s sake.

  • tboneplayr

    Did I detect an inconsistency in this morning’s On Point discussion?  It was mentioned that the Mormon Church released a video following the nomination of their favorite son, Mitt, declaring that Mormon’s are not politically monolithic; that they vote according to their conscience, not their faith doctrines.

    Yet a moment later, Joanna Brooks referred to the historical fact that Mormons were counselled to vote against FDR because of his New Deal policy.  More recently, can’t we all remember when the Mormon Church “counselled” members to vote for Proposition 8 in California, against same-sex marriage?  

    Further to the point, my understanding of the Mormon faith is that OBEDIENCE is paramount.  So acting against the counsel of the church is forbidden.  The panel this morning could say all it wanted to about how Mitt would not bow to the dictates of his church when leading our country, but I remain skeptical.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kent-Strock/1123338778 Kent Strock

       In Utah where the church controls 90% of the media and educational system and Mormons vote REpublican 90% she is giving a view of the church that is different than here.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QMDZ3LH5U2B4GAT7J2HS4TCP6E Jim

    I don’t really mind using religion in politics even though our founding fathers SPECIFICALLY OBJECTS to it.

    I have nothing against the Mormon religion either. I was once approached by a nice looking and well manner mormon girl taking a bus to Harvard Square three years back. We discuss what she wants to discuss… mainly religion. I will not reveal my religion here since i do not need to brag about my faith.

    Although i have little knowledge with Mormonism, I don’t care if the candidate is Mormon, only his character.

    I do have a LOT of problem with Romney’s character, ethically and morally. I prefer the other Mormon republican presidential candidate (Jon Huntsman). 

    Romney should really consider revealing the truth behind his off-shore investment accounts. that information is NOT private, since he is considered running for the Presidential office.

    • SomeGuyNamedMark

      One big objection I have to Mormons is their obsession with missionaries.  They can’t stand to see anyone, even fellow Christians, have beliefs different than their own.

  • Laur5000

    I agree. I wish NPR would not engage in this sort of discussion. It only exacerbates the problem of religion’s encroachment politics. It’s a shame that in 2012 religion is still even talked about in the media. I really look forward to a more progressive time in the future when politics will be separate from religion and to cross that line will be a social faux pax. 

    • notafeminista

      ‘Tis shameful the media engages in a discussion of practices that half the world’s population engages in.

    • SomeGuyNamedMark

       Ignoring it won’t make it go away

  • Joseph_Wisconsin

    I would be most trusting of an atheist President. Then I could be assured that the President would not find his decisions or policies swayed by beliefs in myths, magic, and superstition. However, for a politician to become President he or she must have learned to deal in the real world and compromise on whatever his or her faith should dictate. The US President that allowed his religious beliefs to most influence his governance was the President Republicans still love to hate, the feckless Jimmy Carter. Every Republican President since Carter has courted the fundamentalist religious right, and paid lip service to their beliefs, but in terms of governance there has been little or no influence there. I certainly do not anticipate any difference with Romney. The man worships at the alter of mammon, not God.
     

    • Gregg Smith

      My biggest concern would be the notion they don’t have a core set of beliefs that puts their own insignificance in context. As an agnostic I was somewhat comforted by GW Bush’s faith. 

      As President you are pulled from every angle by incredible forces all over the world. You are enticed with power, fame, money and influence. To me, when the din of politics gets so loud one needs to look inward and draw on something to distinguish between right and wrong, good and evil, conviction and compromise. I think religious people are better at that.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        I think compassionate and rational Human Beings are better at that, Religion has nothing to do with it.

        • Gregg Smith

          I’m not saying atheist cannot be compassionate, just that they have less of a core belief system. It seems to me if one denies the existence of a higher power outright then they are more likely to inflate their own importance. I would worry about that with a person in power. I could be wrong.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            For a self-claimed non-believer, you really want to give away the store to Christianists.

            And when dealing with the religious, you can’t dismiss how “compassion” is mutated into “for the proper kind of people”.

          • J__o__h__n

            Nonsense.  If anything they could have more of one as they had to construct it themselves and not have all the answers supplied for them. 

          • Gregg Smith

            No one knows the answers, at some point truth comes down to your faith in it.

          • Steve__T

             Truth and Faith? I could have faith in a lie that won’t change the fact that it’s still a lie.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            One who believes they are The Chosen and thinks that Finite beings can dictate, interpret, and enforce the Will of The Infinite (which they by definition cannot even comprehend) is less likely to over-inflate their own importance? I’m having trouble following your logic.

          • Gregg Smith

            I don’t think you know what people believe. Where do you get the chosen thing? Or the rest of it? Never mind.

          • BHA_in_Vermont

             Less of a core belief system? I highly doubt it. A core system not based on a hierarchical structure that tells its “members” what to believe and expects cash money to belong is not a lack of a “core belief system”.

            I’ll bet a much higher percentage of criminals affiliate themselves with a religion than are atheists.

            I’ll put my atheist core belief system up against Romney’s Mormon and Ryan’s Catholic belief systems any day of the week. Religion, much as its advocates don’t want to admit it, is not morality.

          • JGC

            It is not exactly right to say that atheists have no, or less of, a core belief system than true believers. They believe there is no Great Decider casting human fate and doling out reward or punishment.  And if a person believes there is no ultimate reward beyond, maybe the only chance to experience heaven is now.  But I could be wrong.

      • J__o__h__n

        His faith scared me as he used it to justify his reckless decisions. 

        • Dee

          Re: “ His faith scared me as he used it to 
          justify his reckless decisions. ”

          Yes, Romney’s sense of entitlement is just like 
          rich corporations and their desire to build their wealth off the labor of workers with the lowest cost to their bottom line. 

          Then there is the arrogance that our govern-ment & environment should serve their needs with little or no concept of what their respon-sibility should be to those involved……

          I recall reading in environmental and nature 
          magazines –especially in quiet regions of the 
          country and from other 3rd world countries –how US businesses are always focused on 
          what regulations they didn’t have to comply with… This is shameful greed in my book.

          Thus they often leave residents and wild life 
          in such areas and countries choking on the by products of their industry and place those 
          local populations at greater risk for diseases. 

          Lastly,  God forbid that others should oppose 
          their “American interests”"such as in the case 
          of Syria and Iran today … and they are threat-ened with the might of American economic power and military might…Dee

          P.S. I don’t know about you but I know for 
          many on the Left like myself –their shame-
          ful abuse and misuse of American power 
          must be reined in as it is placing us all at 
          greater risk for future reprisals as Ralph 
          Nadar and Bruce Fein talks about recently 
          at the Harvard Law School …

          Bruce Fein & Ralph Nader, America’s Lawlessness 
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8kla2T0NQQ

          Accusing Iran, Ignoring history 
          http://www.zcommunications.org/accusing-iran-ignoring-history-by-ted-snider

          Syria , “The Next Humanitarian War” 
          http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29234

      • jimino

        You speak of the importance of acknowledging one’s own insignificance.  I would think you would therefore be very concerned about those claiming to be made in the image and likeness of God, and who also claim the unique ability to determine God’s intentions.

        Wouldn’t that make religious people the worst at putting their insignificance in context?  Or are there religions that don’t exalt humans to God-like status?

        • Gregg Smith

          What’s more insignificant that being made is another’s image?

          • sickofthechit

             So you are saying God’s image and likeness is insignificant?

      • SomeGuyNamedMark

        You need religion to have a core set of values?  Religious people frequently have conflicting values.  Having religious faith doesn’t automatically mean you have positive values either.

  • Pingback: “Not taking offense” – Mission unexamined in the life of Mitt Romney « Titus on Mission

  • sbjules13

    I was raised a Mormon & my ancestors came across the plains. to Utah.  I am not going to vote for Romney.  I might have considered Jon Huntsman & love Harry Reid, but NOT ever, ever Romney.  

    • Meridth Gimbel

      I’m Mormon and I’m voting for Obama.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kent-Strock/1123338778 Kent Strock

    I am from Utah and her sanitized image of the Mormon church doesn’t ring true.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kent-Strock/1123338778 Kent Strock

     In Utah Mormons control 90% of the media and the entire educational system and they vote 90%+ for one party.  It is monolithic.  They claim the church doesn’t tell them how to vote-which is worse because it suggests cult like qualities.

  • SylviaSLC

    Forget the funny underwear and the wacky beliefs such as worthy men getting their own planet, and polygamy which Mormons believe continues in heaven.  People can believe what they want.  

    The real problem with the Mormon Church is that it cannot keep itself out of politics.  The church actually calls Utah legislators before big votes.  The church is constantly guiding and creating legislation.  Every change to Utah’s ridiculous liquor laws and antidiscrimination ordinances is made in close consultation with the church.  Look at the Mormon Church’s overwhelming involvement in California’s Prop 8 battle.  

    Claiming that Romney’s Mormon faith will be separate from governing belies the facts of the church’s ongoing intermeddling in politics.

  • GObama2012

    I lived in a predominantly Mormon community for 8 (long) years and I learned a lot more than “they are nice people”.  They are 100% committed to the Church at the expense of their own family members if necessary.  Ann Romney speaks of women – one of my teachers, an ex-Mormon, couldn’t attend her own daughter’s wedding.  And I wouldn’t have been allowed to attend either because I’m not a Mormon.  But I sure was invited to Mormon wedding receptions…a non Mormon is good enough for that (read gifts)! I was brought up that you respect the ceremony before going on to the party.
    I’m not voting for Romney for many reasons and one of them is certainly that he is a Mormon.  Btw, not too many Mormon women go on Missions in my experience.  They are expected to get married and start having babies to increase the Church membership.  Like I said, 8 long years!

    • Meridth Gimbel

      I’m voting for Obama and I am a Mormon return sister missionary. I like his policies on international politics. I like the healthcare bill that was passed. I supported his stimulus package way back when. I think it’s unfortunate that people will vote for or against someone based on someone’s religion (or what they perceive their religion to be). I’m a firm believer of voting for a politician based on policy and their record not on which church they may or may not attend.

  • Dee

    Where is the compassion and the sense of responsibility towards the middle ground and the down trodden in the mormon faith? ..I just don’t see it in Romney or hear 
    about it in Mormon faith…It’s disturbing as it is not re-
    flecting a reality about every day life….
    It seems to me Mormonism is pretty much about indiv-idual successful and to heck with those who don’t make it….(Nothing like giving them the punishment they de-serve –by ignoring them. ) I imagine in much the same way the greed driven Zion-ist in Israel are a clear and present danger today to the people in the Middle East and should pack …Likewise, Romney is a a clear and present danger to the American Middle Class who wish to have a caring and responsive government that promotes their rights and enhances their collective prosperity and security.Now this kind of government is increasingly at risk withRomney’s endorsement of Ryan’s budget plan which pro-poses budget cuts to 3/5 of Middle & lower Class programswhile increasing tax incentives  to millionaires & billionaires who don’t need them…In the process, Romney wants to reduce EPA standards for this money class and further places our waterways, air waves and soil at risk for contamination with their toxic by products….Lastly, let’s not forget -Romney wants to destroy the  public education system the Middle Class government built up  by placing it and civil service in private hands. And he and Ryan are all for handing out vouchers to the sick and disabled. I guess until they drop…Dee 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kent-Strock/1123338778 Kent Strock

    I live in Utah and the image of the Mormon church and charity portrayed here is not my experience or that of my neighbors.  Yes, they do help but with LOTS of conditions.  First you have to go to the Bishop and you are humiliated.  “Go get a job at McDonald’s-they are paying 11 dollars an hour”.  They will help you IF you go to their church services.  You have to attend 5 times and have talks with missionaries before they help.  If they do help you are expected to go work in one of their factories at the rate of $8 bucks an hour before they help more.  NONE of the 10% tithing goes to help the poor.  It all goes to the support church hierarchy.  The money that a ward helps the people in the geographic area comes from Fasting Sunday.  They are expected not to eat and donate that money to “help” the poor.  Rich areas get money but they don’t have any poor people.  It can easily be seen as their help as an investment to get more converts who will then give 10% of their income to the church which is NOT spent on helping the poor.  It has been reported that .7% of church tithing goes to the poor.  Even if the number is off by a factor of 10 that is not much money. If the church wants to help the poor they would raise the minimum wage to a living wage.  But if they did that they wouldn’t have supplicants.

    • abidebythedude

      Most of this is misleading, Kent, and much is flat-out wrong. Tithing does not go to “support church hierarchy” as as essentially none of the church hierarchy is salaried. Only a small amount of tithing goes toward welfare as other donation categories are specified for welfare and humanitarian service. Fast offerings are distributed beyond local units if not used there. 

      When you try to disparage a religion using anecdotes and mistruths, you risk bigotry.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kent-Strock/1123338778 Kent Strock

         I know it is an anecdote but I am reporting what the Bishop said to us. Your statement “hierarchy is not paid” is not  really true.  The LDS church is the largest employer in the state. The church brings in 7 billion dollars a year in tithing.  The bishop said the only money spent to help comes from fast offerings.  For anyone paying attention this is part of the Mormon socialization. ANY criticisms or facts presented are refuted by saying you are a bigot.

      • JGC

        If you mean does not support the actual people behind the Church, I agree, from what I have read.  What virtually all the tithe supports is the building of new churches, continuing maintenance on the existing churches and temples, and even business investments (media, shopping malls,etc.) that benefit the LDS.   

    • SomeGuyNamedMark

       Sounds like a business

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kent-Strock/1123338778 Kent Strock

    A friend works in the Utah political system.  At least until several years ago an official in the church would signal to the legislature members how to vote by sitting on side of the gallery or the other.

  • jimino

    Didn’t catch the show so maybe they covered this: Is there a Mormon way of dropping bombs vs. a Jewish way of doing it?  How about a Christian way of buiding a road or bridge vs. an atheist way?

  • 7ConcernedMom2

    My concern about Romney’s Mormonism is that he shares the church’s very radical America-centric perspective.  Let’s think about how a Romney foreign policy would be influenced by the belief that God essentially chose upstate New York as the birthplace of this “true” religion.

    • jamste75

      Yes.  It seems that when they go on their missions, it’s not so much about learning about other cultures as it is learning about selling something, “learning about rejection” from strangers. 
      Customers aren’t friends. 
      Just a thought passing through my mind.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kent-Strock/1123338778 Kent Strock

       It is still theology that near the end days the Mormons will take over the government to save the day.  That is one reason the church has amassed 50 billion dollars and they horde food.

  • grandmasitter

    I think we should stop talking about Mr. Romney’s religion and concentrate on his abilities as a businessman. 

    If we (America) really believe that everyone should be treated equal, then let it go. 

    We need to get out of debt and may need a lot of help from above!!

    • jefe68

      Help from above? I’m sorry but magical thinking is not going to help us solve any of our fiscal problems.
      From my point of view a businessman is not the best choice as they tend to make lousy statesmen.

      • Gregg Smith

        Obama is a lousy statesman and a lousy businessman.

      • grandmasitter

        Jefe68
        I intended the “help from above” as a euphemism for we’re going to need lots of help.

        Even if a businessman is a lousy statesman, don’t we need a businessman to get us out of this fiscal mess. 

  • DrewInGeorgia

    The following is a reply to grandmasitter but I didn’t have the heart to make it directly for fear of unintentionally hurting her feelings:

    “We need to get out of debt and may need a lot of help from above!!”

    Isn’t it odd that the first people to proclaim “Pull yourself up by your Boot Straps and you can accomplish anything!” are also the first people to raise their eyes to heaven and beg their chosen deity for assistance at the first sign of trouble?

    • grandmasitter

      DrewinGeorgia, thanks for thinking of my feelings, I really intended the “help from above” as a euphemism for we’re going to need a lot of help! 

      Guess, I should have chosen a better phrase. 

      Grandmasitter

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Your phrasing was fine and I respect what you said whether I agree with it or not. I didn’t want my observation to seem like a criticism of your comment, it wasn’t.

  • Mouse_2012

    It’s the dirty little secret that many in the church don’t want to admit too. The history channel has a great piece on the Mormons history.
     
     

  • J__o__h__n

    When Richard Dawkins was on On Point there was also a proponent of religion on the show.  When Christopher Hitchens was on On Point there was also a proponent of religion on the show.  Why wasn’t there a skeptic on today’s show on Mormons?

    • DrewInGeorgia

      You already know the answer but it is definitely a valid question.

      • Mouse_2012

        Clearly today is being “Fair and balanced” today with it’s guest.

    • jefe68

      My take on this show was it was fluff job.
      In fact this entire week has been one.
      I watched GBH the other night as Gwen Ifill just sat their and let this Republican governor, I forget his name off hand, just spouted off one lie after another. She and the other journalist did nothing to counter this mans BS.
      There was a time when they did, but for some reason it’s all about not offending anyone and being way to polite.

      I was watching a documentary on Hubert Humphrey, (now there was a statesman) and it was when Senator Humphrey was trying to introduce his civil rights bill.
      The boll weevil Southern Democrats were doing everything to stop it. The commentator called them what they were, racists. You would never hear this today, it’s a shame that truth has been buried in favor of looking as if you are fair and balanced.  

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I wonder if such panel-choosing decisions and lie-enabling are part of the NPR mothership’s plan to “appeal to right-wingers”* without “debasing the journalistic product”*.

        *Actual NPR ombud words in 2009.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    There was an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate that was extremely relevant to much of the discussion on today’s topic.
    Link provided below.

    http://www.npr.org/2011/11/21/142470957/would-the-world-be-better-off-without-religion

    • Mouse_2012

      Dinesh D’Souza is the guy that just came out with the hit piece against obama whoses somehow labelled as an scholar

      • DrewInGeorgia

        I’m well aware, he is a real piece of work. Listen to the debate when you get the time if you haven’t already. D’Souza is clueless.

  • http://www.facebook.com/richardneedles Richard Needles

    Does anyone else find it ironic that Mitt Romney spent his Mormon mission in France trying to convert people of Paul Ryan’s faith (catholic)? Mitt tried to convert catholics that their “one true faith” was wrong and arguing that Mormonism is the better “one true faith.” Just sayin — interesting perspective AND, another reason I am agnostic — “one true faith” just does not appeal to me

    • harverdphd

       Actually not interesting at all, and no, I don’t find it particularly ironic.

  • notafeminista
    • Gregg Smith

      Every now and then we get a glimpse up the skirt of the MSM. They’d rather we not see it but we know it’s there.

  • Peggyu

    According to a Bloomberg Government analysis in the past 25 years with a democratic president 42 million jobs were created. During the past 25 years when a republican held the presidents office only 24 million jobs were created.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Tom, kudos on your professionalism today.

    To my fellow commentors — many of you come across as bigots.

    I suspect that if this was a profile of Harry Reid’s religion many of the comments would disappear and your hate is simply driven by crass politics.  Many of you are worse than birthers.

    Have a nice night.

    • Gregg Smith

      After hearing the show at 7PM, I agree. This blog is not representative of the radio show.

  • http://www.facebook.com/titus.presler Titus Presler

    I’ve got a long posting about the matter of Romney’s mission work as a young man – echoing Joanna Brooks’ desire to hear more about it – at: http://titusonmission.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=2052&action=edit&message=6&postpost=v2

  • seacher

    I appreciated the discussion about Mormonism on today’s show.  I knew very little about the religion and welcomed the information.  A man’s belief system MUST inform his decision making and therefore this is a very pertinent topic to consider when choosing a president.  PLEASE do a piece of similar depth on President Obama’s beliefs and his history and participation in  whatever church has been part of his life.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/anthony.norris.129 Anthony Norris

    So I only got to listen to about 40 minutes of the broadcast, did anyone every mention the Mormon’s history of Racism?

    • DrewInGeorgia

      You listened to 40 minutes and are asking if anything remotely resembling criticism of either Mormonism or Romney emerged? The last twenty minutes were just like the first forty minutes. Tom had his magical AESB (Anti-Egg Shell Breaking) slippers on. It was pretty impressive really, I’m wondering if he’ll try fire-walking next. After today’s performance it wouldn’t surprise me to see him gracefully float across the coals with his feet never touching the fire.

  • Steve__T

    Disqus does it again I can’t seem to post replys

  • Steve__T

    I can’t seem to post reply’s

  • Steve__T

    You better go read a Bible, Your Ignorance is showing again.

    @notafeminista on Rev Wright.

    He said all the things you’ve posted now. His position is clear. He wants God to punish America for what he perceives as a failure on the part of America to more fully support certain demographics of the country. Hardly a “message of hope”.

    No clergy person wants nor asks for eternal damnation for anyone. For any reason. That is not the vocation of a clergy person.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwYig2CP66Q&feature=related Phaerisee

    Blessed be The Holy Trinity, which they do not believe in.
     Blessed be The Warning of adding or taking away from
    Holy Scripture, which they do not abide.
     Blessed be The sinless and immaculate lamb of God, for them, Jesus and Lucifer are brothers.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwYig2CP66Q&feature=related

    • Raúl Ramírez

      The concept of the Trinity was only agreed upon with the Nicean and Athenasian Creeds, both several hundred years after Christ and not contained in the Bible. Do you think Jesus was praying to himself? Was he talking to himself on the cross or when he stepped out of the waters of baptism?

      As for the “not adding to the word”, you do realize that several books of the New Testament were written after Revelation, don’t you? The books of the New Testament circulated independently for many years. The current order and compilation was done by men.

  • ExcellentNews

    Mitt Romney IS already the living prophet. He says – the rich do not need to pay taxes to help the poor thanks to whose labor they have amassed their riches in the first place. He says – everyone for himself (women not included – they are for making soldiers and workers). He says – we do not educate, research and develop new technologies, but there is no problem with Government picking winners and losers amongst foreign dictators and despots. He says … never mind. What will YOU say on Nov 5?

  • Pingback: NPR’s On Point – Mormon Moment | Mormonopia

  • http://www.facebook.com/church.state.9 Church State

    Bragging rights of the fastest growing religion or a numbers game?  I personally have major issues about GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney being a devote member of a religion that has church leaders that do not seem to be concerned about the ethical issues of the Mormon Missionaries and LDS faithful members baptizing minor children into the Latter Day Saints (LDS) faith without the written consent of the child’s parent(s).  Unethical or religious freedom???  There also seems to be another accepted practice of the Mormon Missionaries and LDS faithful members of baptizing prosepective church members into the LDS faith after only three visits of Book of Mormon and other religious lessons.  Don’t most well known established religions require the person to live the faith of the religion for about six months before baptizing them.  This is done to ensure the new faith is a good match for the prospective convert.  Unethical or religious freedom???  What about the practice of baptizing an individual who is intoxicated or impaired or not of sound mind?  Unethical or religious freedom???  What about the LDS practice of Proxy Baptism – baptizing deceased persons of other religions into the LDS faith without the written consent of the family members of the deceased (proxy LDS baptisms have been performed on past Catholic Popes and other top religious figures).  Unethical or religious freedom???  It just all seems too questionable to me. 

ONPOINT
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Apr 25, 2014
President Barack Obama and ASIMO, an acronym for Advanced Step in Innovative MObility, bow to each other during a youth science event at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, known as the Miraikan, in Tokyo, Thursday, April 24, 2014. (AP)

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Apr 25, 2014
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Super expensive miracle drugs. How much can we afford to pay?

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