A strudel for Lawrence

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88 Responses

  1. Ray says:

    C. Biden, “don’t want to travel more than 100 miles from home for fear that they won’t be safe when the last day comes” and “are members of the John Birch Society because the “prophet” encouraged it” describes fringe Mormons. If that was the rule rather than a *tiny* minority, I’d be concerned, as well.

  2. Ray says:

    Sorry, everyone, for three in a row, but I need to clarify quickly.

    C.Biden, your relatives might be devout Mormons who attend church and even hold leadership positions. I don’t mean they are on the fringe socially – just doctrinally. In my decades in the Mormon Church in multiple states and countries, I can say honestly that I have never known of anyone who fits your entire description – particularly the 100 mile travel fear. I’m sure they exist, but I’ve never known any.

  3. TRV says:

    Holy crap! How does the mere mention of the word “Mormon” bring so many bigoted and ignorant people out of the woodwork?

  4. Joe says:

    There are valid criticisms of the LDS church, especially related to race. One is that the doctrine was quite muddled. It’s documented that at least one black held the [LDS] priesthood in the mid-nineteenth century (it’s also documented that women exercised more priesthood authority then than now and any active temple going Mormon knows the reason.)

    One of the causes for the 1978 change was that many converts in Brazil were clearly of mixed racial heritage; many were being ordained to the priesthood in spite of this.

    Ultimately, the change appeared to be both late and one of political expediency, rather than revelation. Far too many aspects of Mormonism seem to track the politics of the age, though usually several years behind. This raises serious doctrinal questions about claims of revelation.

    That aside, while the LDS church largely remains outside of politics, every few years they can’t resist declaring something non-political which really is just that. The church has asked for favors from every LDS politician and I don’t see how Romney would be different. Mind you, it would likely be something small, like supporting the sale, or exchange, of land, but it would still be something. (Here in Utah, the church put the kibosh on a flat tax plan supported by the LDS Governor because it got rid of the tax deduction for charitable contributions–I wouldn’t have believed this myself, but a church spokesman made the mistake of crowing about this accomplishment.)

  5. ZZMike says:

    The only thing here I have trouble with is near the top: “I for one don’t worry about Mitt being a Mormon first and Executive of the US second.”

    A President has to be President of all the people, and he has to be President first. Even JFK was President first. (Probably not a good example, as JFK was hardly a devout practicing Catholic, but you get the idea.)

    The next point, “… while the LDS church largely remains outside of politics, every few years they can’t resist declaring something non-political …” surely applies to all the churches when their people get into position of power.

    Just like any other lobbying group.

    In looking for a candidate, I’d look first for character. Romney seems to fit that bill. Hillary doesn’t. Huckabee fails for his terms as governor. Most all the others fail for one reason or another.

    I’d count Romney’s missionary experience as most valuable. And I’m not even LDS (though I have relatives who are, and I find no fault with them. They’ve even been known to drive more than 100 miles from home).

    The LDS notion of family support is probably unmatched anywhere else. So he’d probably be in favor of any sort of bill that favored families.

  6. Andy Frechtling says:

    AZORACLE asks:

    Did Christ bring Lazarus back from the dead? What evidence do you have of that? Or perhaps you consider one of the pillars of Christian Faith – Christ’s own resurrection – allegorical? accounts?

    Dear AZ: You are confusing apples and oranges. Both resurrection stories are matters of faith, since there is no impartial historical record of either one occurring, nor is there any archealogical evidence for either. That doesn’t mean those things didn’t happen ….just that we can’t look at historical evidence and say “Jesus rose from the dead” with the same degree of certainty that we can say “The Romans conquered Gaul.”

    Andy

  7. Sincere Dissent says:

    Mormons may be nice people, and the professor here is a nice person I was surprised to learn is a practicing Mormon, for no reason other than that to me he seemed a very moral but nonreligious person. But Mitt Romney’s niceness is not what concerns me. The former Governor does seem very nice, and his wife seems very nice, and his kids seem very nice, and his hair and his jaw line are very nice and he delivers a PowerPoint presentation nicely in a nice suit and I hear he has very nice degrees from very nice institutions and wouldn’t he make a nice President.

    The problem is that Mormonism has always seemed on par with Scientology. Some religions are premised on facts that have been proven to some degree (e.g., archaeologists find a house in the desert where the Bible says it is, and its dimensions are accurate, etc.). One can believe that Jesus Christ was a historical personage and then disagree about whether or not he was the Messiah. One can take certain parts of the Bible as allegorical at points where if taken literally they diverge from scientific knowledge and then take literally the parts that are confirmed by historical investigation, archaeology, other documentary evidence, and scientific testing of artifacts. But it seems rather hard to deal with claims like, “The Garden of Eden was in Missouri.” To me, that seems on par with: “Cleanse your body of the Thetans that are left over from the intergalactic warlord Xenu nuking your souls in the before-time.” It seems that there are rather strong claims that Mormonism was fabricated, much as Scientology was fabricated by L. Ron Hubbard. That is quite a different pedigree of religion than one premised on an actual guy who was actually crucified and who actual people claimed to see rise from the dead.

    Worse, the religion seems to embody some horrendous claims about humanity. Black people, according to Mormonism as I understand it, are black precisely because they turned away from God and are cursed by God. The black skin is proof that God does not love them and they are sinners. Now, either that is a fundament of the religion, or it is not, and it seems rather irrelevant whether the religion ceased officially discriminating against blacks within its ranks in 1978 by allowing them to be priests. The question is whether the religion has as a central pillar the belief that blacks are inherently evil and indeed are black to alert others of this irredeemable flaw. If Romney does believe this, which I take to be O’Donnell’s point, then he is unfit to be President, because you simply can’t have a President who believes millions of Americans are evil because of their skin color. The President has to take care that the law be faithfully executed, and I would have no confidence — absolutely none — that a man who believes it is holy to be racist would take care that the laws of the nation are faithfully and equally applied in favor of all of our citizens. I would likewise refuse to vote for a vocal anti-Semite.

    I do think that Mitt Romney needs to address this issue more substantively. Simply saying he believes in Jesus Christ is not enough. I personally know Jesus Christ, sir, and Jesus Christ is no racist.

  8. Andy Frechtling says:

    AZORACLE asks :

    Did Christ bring Lazarus back from the dead? What evidence do you have of that? Or perhaps you consider one of the pillars of Christian Faith – Christ’s own resurrection – allegorical?

    Dear AZ —

    You may be missing my point. There is a difference between asserting a matter of faith and a matter of history.

    If you ask me: “Did Jesus rise from the dead?”, I say: There is no independent historical record that indicates this ever happened. To believe it did, is a matter of faith. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, just that as of yet we have no way to independently verify that it did.

    If you ask: “Did the Romans conquer Gaul?”, I say, “Yes, there is both historical and archaelogical evidence that the Romans did, indeed, conquer Gaul.” That is a matter of historical fact.

    Do you see the difference?

    Andy

  9. Global Warming says:

    Two comments were made above that I see recycled again and again in relation to Romney are (1) that the mormon church is racist and (2) that mormons take an oath to give everything to the mormon church and so a mormon president would take orders from the mormon prophet. Both of these statements are false. Mr. Wenger did an admirable job of debunking the first. I will reiterate that it is NOT mormon teaching that any group is inherently less because of their skin color. Any previous teaching tending toward that idea has been utterly repudiated. To say that such is a fundamental teaching of the mormons is to call mormons liars.

    Likewise, the mormon church has stated repeatedly that mormon politicians are responsible to their constituencies, not the church. That should put to rest any claim that mormons make oaths incompatible with the presidential oath of the United States. Again, pushing this canard is another way of calling mormons liars.

  10. Andy Frechtling says:

    Sparkey —

    Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

    You wrote:

    “But I’m also a card carrying Mormon. So by your argument my judgment must be faulty and untrustworthy. Thus, all those Smart weapons I’ve helped design and build over the years must be worthless. And given your implication that Mormons by definition have a systemic problem dealing with facts and analyzing them should Milliken lose his Nobel Prize because his grad student who performed his famous oil drop experiments was a Mormon? How can you trust the data generated by someone that devoutly believes the truthfulness of a book that depicts a society that you claim, “that objective historians simply find no evidence to support…”? ”

    Let me address just this issue. You posit a breath-taking non-sequiteur. As a guy with a BS in Mech E from a small school on the Charles River, and as a die-hard pistolero, I think the firearms designed by John Moses Browning are superb. That Mr Browning, a Mormon, may have had little or no understanding of history matters not the least to me. I appreciate his genius in firearms design.

    But I’d be hesitant to vote for “Le Maitre” for President, without knowing more about his sense of history.

    Merry Christmas to you too.

    Andy

    Andy, here’s a suggestion. Instead of focusing on the trivial minutia why don’t you try looking at what the Book of Mormon teaches? It is not the particulars about the Nephites and Lamanites that are important, but the lessons we learn from the Lord’s dealings with them. If you understand what the Book of Mormon teaches you understand more about who Mitt Romney (or any devout Mormon for that matter) is and what they stand for.

    Here’s a fact, we Mormons are all around you making sound, fact biased decisions every day, that don’t result any of a whole host of disasters*. Romney should rise or fall on the merit of his record, not Davis’ hyper-paranoid extrapolation theory. (And yes, I live in the Dallas area, a Texas native in fact.)

    I challenge you to read the Book of Mormon and find any teaching that would disqualify Romney (or any Mormon) from being President. And I say that knowing you haven’t read it, otherwise you wouldn’t have made the crack about “Shia-Sunni factionalism.” The Book of Mormon is a story of just that sort of conflict.

    Take care, and Merry Christmas!

    Al

  11. MikeT says:

    believing the head of insert-protestant-sect-here is God’s foremost representative on earth

    What mainstream protestant churches actually do this? Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists do not. I’d also hazard to guess that the Anglicans and the Lutherans would be queasy about someone being declared God’s “foremost representative” unless that term simply meant “the one who God allowed to lead the church.”

    Given the way that many protestants get very, very upset about the “Vicar of Christ” title for the Pope, I think you’re barking up the wrong tree here.

  12. Jeremy Jensen says:

    “Church doctrine teaches that I can’t get into the celestial kingdom unless my husband allows me to enter. If he doesn’t make the cut, neither do I. ”

    This is not true. It’s hard for me to believe that you were really ever Mormon if you think this.

  13. Mitt Romeny Needs to Clarify What He Used To Believe says:

    Any previous teaching tending toward that idea has been utterly repudiated. To say that such is a fundamental teaching of the mormons is to call mormons liars.

    No. That categorical repudiation was officially made in 1978, right? But Mitt Romney was a Mormon before 1978. In 1978 he was 30. Was Mitt Romney a racist until age 30? This is O’Donnell’s point. I don’t think all Mormons need to answer this question; just Mitt Romney. He is, after all, running for President of the United States of America.

  14. Rose says:

    I started to praise “Mitt Romney ……” for the reasonableness of his question (as opposed to those who still seem to be demanding Mitt respond to a religion test) … but then I realized that I may not have understood his quesiton correctly.

    The change in 1978 was that black male members could then hold the priesthood.

    The change in 1978 was NOT that black could then BECOME members. They were ALREADY members of the Church.

    So, I would say that it is fair that Mitt answer the question IF you agree that it is fair that EVERY candidate for President answer the SAME question about ANY organization that they EVER belonged to in their lives.

    While you are at it, demand that every candidate explain why they would attend an institution that bars(or has ever done so) women from attending – solely because of their gender. I know that John McCain would have some explaining to do and I suspect that many (if not all) of the candidates with Yale, Harvard and various other Ivy League institutions may have the same problem.

    By the way, O’Donnell’s biography says that he is a graduate of Harvard. Ask him the question as well.

  15. Rose Apparently Did Misunderstand My quesiton says:

    The change in 1978 was that black male members could then hold the priesthood.

    Yes, I know that. But race is not the same as gender, and this is not about joining or being members of institutions that discriminate. It’s about privately held beliefs about the inferiority of other human beings. I could not care less whether Hillary Clinton went to an all-female college. I care whether she thinks men are inferior and intends to take away men’s rights to promote her secret agenda.

  16. Apparently, Mitt Agrees With Me says:

    Well, he just answered the question on Meet The Press, and he teared up. Fair enough. But pretending he didn’t need to have answered the question, Rose, is crap. So is the notion that it has anything to do with women’s rights.

  17. Rose says:

    Good – now we know where you really stand.

    You have no problem with Presidential candidates who are sexist or have belonged to sexist organizations.

    You have no problem with Presidential candidates who have belonged to organizations who discriminate against persons of color.

    The only people who you want to see account for their past actions ….. just “happen” to be Mormons.

    Crap is the correct word for it.

  18. Mitt's Quote says:

    GOV. ROMNEY: I’m very proud of my faith, and it’s the faith of my fathers, and I certainly believe that it is a, a faith–well, it’s true and I love my faith. And I’m not going to distance myself in any way from my faith. But you can see what I believed and what my family believed by looking at, at our lives. My dad marched with Martin Luther King. My mm was a tireless crusader for civil rights. You may recall that my dad walked out of the Republican convention in 1964 in San Francisco in part because Barry Goldwater, in his speech, gave my dad the impression that he was someone who was going to be weak on civil rights. So my dad’s reputation, my mom’s and my own has always been one of reaching out to people and not discriminating based upon race or anything else. And so those are my fundamental core beliefs, and I was anxious to see a change in, in my church.

    I can remember when, when I heard about the change being made. I was driving home from, I think, it was law school, but I was driving home, going through the Fresh Pond rotary in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I heard it on the radio, and I pulled over and, and literally wept. Even at this day it’s emotional, and so it’s very deep and fundamental in my, in my life and my most core beliefs that all people are children of God. My faith has always told me that. My faith has also always told me that, in the eyes of God, every individual was, was merited the, the fullest degree of happiness in the hereafter, and I, and I had no question in my mind that African-Americans and, and blacks generally, would have every right and every benefit in the hereafter that anyone else had and that God is no respecter of persons.

    MR. RUSSERT: But it was wrong for your faith to exclude it for as long as it did.

    GOV. ROMNEY: I’ve told you exactly where I stand. My view is that there–there’s, there’s no discrimination in the eyes of God, and I could not have been more pleased than to see the change that occurred.

  19. Same Guy As Before says:

    You have no problem with Presidential candidates who are sexist or have belonged to sexist organizations. You have no problem with Presidential candidates who have belonged to organizations who discriminate against persons of color.

    No, I didn’t say that at all. I don’t think the Girl Scouts is sexist because no boys are allowed, and I think your analogies are illogical and irrelevant, so I moved the conversation back where it belongs.

  20. Rose says:

    That’s OK.

    Personally I find you to be inconsistent and remarkably ill-informed.

    It’s about privately held beliefs about the inferiority of other human beings.

    The difference in our POV’s is that I care about privately held beliefs about the inferiority of all other human beings.

  21. Rose is a disingenous dissembler says:

    The difference in our POV’s is that I care about privately held beliefs about the inferiority of all other human beings.

    Uh, no. I just don’t think the Girl Scouts is a sexist organization or that all-female colleges are evil, which is where your logic leads. Your logic means that women can’t have their own organizations. Which is sexist. In that case, Hillary Clinton should turn down any contributions from Emily’s List and we should strike down the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. I think that’s nutty. It’s also irrelevant to Mitt Romney’s candidacy.

  22. Rose is ignorant and bigoted says:

    Personally I find you to be inconsistent and remarkably ill-informed.

    Personally, I find you to not have read what I wrote and to have never taken a biology or biological anthropology class.

  23. Rose says:

    Fascinating ….

    You demanded:

    But Mitt Romney was a Mormon before 1978. In 1978 he was 30. Was Mitt Romney a racist until age 30? This is O’Donnell’s point. I don’t think all Mormons need to answer this question; just Mitt Romney. He is, after all, running for President of the United States of America.

    I agreed, but I also pointed out that the same question was a fair one for all Presidential candidates (which the rest of us know include both male and female human beings). Most have attended a college and/or belonged to an organization that had restrictive policies at one time or another when they were members/students. I also pointed out the same situation applied to Lawrence O’Donnell.

    Mitt, as much as you apparently would like to pretend, is not the only one.

    From that you “logically” claim:

    Uh, no. I just don’t think the Girl Scouts is a sexist organization or that all-female colleges are evil, which is where your logic leads. Your logic means that women can’t have their own organizations. Which is sexist. In that case, Hillary Clinton should turn down any contributions from Emily’s List and we should strike down the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. I think that’s nutty. It’s also irrelevant to Mitt Romney’s candidacy.

    And you think I haven’t read YOUR posts?

    LOL!

    I think your personal attacks on me have adequately demonstrated your inability to discuss the situation rationally or logically.

  24. Denise says:

    Never thought I’d learn so much about Mormonism in such a short period of time.

  25. Rich Rostrom says:

    One might note what else Lincoln said on that occasion:

    I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man

    is to have the superior position the negro should be denied every thing. I

    do not understand that because I do not want a negro woman for a slave I

    must necessarily want her for a wife. My understanding is that I can just

    let her alone. I am now in my fiftieth year, and I certainly never have had

    a black woman for either a slave or a wife. So it seems to me quite possible

    for us to get along without making either slaves or wives of negroes.I will add to this that I have never seen, to my knowledge, a man, woman or child who was in favor of producing a perfect equality, social and political, between negroes and white men. I recollect of but one distinguished instance that I ever heard of so frequently as to be entirely satisfied of its correctness—and that is the case of Judge [Senator Stephen] Douglas’s old friend Col. Richard M. Johnson.

    Johnson was Van Buren’s Vice President. He was notorious for having a slave mistress, whom he treated as his de facto wife. In 1836 the Virginia electors would not vote for him, and so he became the only Vice President elected by the Senate. (In 1824, the electors split four ways on the President, leading to the election of John Quincy Adams by the House, but they largely concurred on John Calhoun as Vice President.)

  26. Rose Is Too Stupid To Read says:

    Most have attended a college and/or belonged to an organization that had restrictive policies at one time or another when they were members/students. I also pointed out the same situation applied to Lawrence O’Donnell. Mitt, as much as you apparently would like to pretend, is not the only one.

    Except you ignore that my concern is not with membership to organizations that have restrictive policies, but only to whether individuals have private beliefs about the inferiority of other humans that they will enact into public policy — the question arises with regard to Mormonism because Mormonism is perceived, rightly or wrongly, to embody the belief that black skin is a sign of God’s disfavor. As I state explicitly above, it isn’t about whether blacks were allowed to be priests, or even admitted into the religion, so the rest of your nonsense about membership to organizations is wholly irrelevant.

  27. Res Ispa says:

    What Rose Was Too Illiterate to Read: [T]he religion seems to embody some horrendous claims about humanity. Black people, according to Mormonism as I understand it, are black precisely because they turned away from God and are cursed by God. The black skin is proof that God does not love them and they are sinners. Now, either that is a fundament of the religion, or it is not, and it seems rather irrelevant whether the religion ceased officially discriminating against blacks within its ranks in 1978 by allowing them to be priests. The question is whether the religion has as a central pillar the belief that blacks are inherently evil and indeed are black to alert others of this irredeemable flaw. If Romney does believe this, which I take to be O’Donnell’s point, then he is unfit to be President, because you simply can’t have a President who believes millions of Americans are evil because of their skin color. The President has to take care that the law be faithfully executed, and I would have no confidence — absolutely none — that a man who believes it is holy to be racist would take care that the laws of the nation are faithfully and equally applied in favor of all of our citizens.

  28. Kaimi says:

    Thanks for your comments so far, all. There are too many here to address all. Let me try to respond briefly, to a few of them.

    I, personally, am not deciding whether or not to vote for Mr. Romney based on his faith, but I don’t think it’s bigotry if others do.

    I think it’s fine to make decisions based on the content of Romney’s (or others’) belief, religious or not. I do have concerns when Romney (or any other candidate) has beliefs attributed to him that don’t seem to correspond to actual belief.

    are constantly telling me that these are the last days, have boxes of stored food in their living rooms, and don’t want to travel more than 100 miles from home for fear that they won’t be safe when the last day comes, who give me faith promoting material at the drop of a hat or a holiday, whichever comes first, who join MLM schemes @every two years, whose e-mails are filled with urban legends, and who are members of the John Birch Society because the “prophet” encouraged it.

    You’ve got some weird relatives, CBiden. But then, you probably knew that.

    I know weird Mormons who join MLM, and who send around lots of urban legends. I don’t think I’ve ever met any who follow the 100-mile rule, though. (Or at least, who have ever told me about it).

    There are valid criticisms of the LDS church, especially related to race. One is that the doctrine was quite muddled. It’s documented that at least one black held the [LDS] priesthood in the mid-nineteenth century

    Certainly true. There’s some good research and study that’s been done on the issue, including Bush and Mauss’s book Neither White Nor Black that traces the development of the doctrine.

    Worse, the religion seems to embody some horrendous claims about humanity. Black people, according to Mormonism as I understand it, are black precisely because they turned away from God and are cursed by God. The black skin is proof that God does not love them and they are sinners. Now, either that is a fundament of the religion, or it is not,

    That’s easy. It’s not.

    The question is whether the religion has as a central pillar the belief that blacks are inherently evil and indeed are black to alert others of this irredeemable flaw. If Romney does believe this, which I take to be O’Donnell’s point, then he is unfit to be President, because you simply can’t have a President who believes millions of Americans are evil because of their skin color.

    It’s not a central pillar of belief. Or a minor pillar, for that matter. It’s not part of church doctrine.

    Was Mitt Romney a racist until age 30? This is O’Donnell’s point. I don’t think all Mormons need to answer this question; just Mitt Romney.

    That seems like a reasonable enough suggestion.

    I appreciate the statements that Romney has made. I agree that they’re not as clear as they could be. That’s probably the usual political-speak. But I’d be happy to hear a more forceful statement.

    Rose,

    Agreed that that the broader concerns about whether a candidate previously belonged to a racist and/or sexist organization certainly extend more widely than to Romney alone.

    Anti-Rose person,

    Pick a handle and stick with it, dude. I’m counting 10 different handles on this thread. And “Rose is stupid” is not an appropriate handle. It’s fine to disagree with another commenter, but let’s keep it civil.

  29. A Dude With A Civil Handle says:

    Kaimi,

    Rose started it by calling me “inconsistent and remarkably ill-informed” in a post in which she deliberately chopped up my post, took phrases out of context, and ignored explicit statements that I made, e.g., claiming I have no problem with sexist politicians after I had stated that I cared whether Hillary Clinton held anti-male views that would influence her public policy-making, but not whether she attended an all-female college. Her tone was incivil, and I responded in kind. But point taken, both about tone and the handle.

    As to your comment that “Agreed that that the broader concerns about whether a candidate previously belonged to a racist and/or sexist organization certainly extend more widely than to Romney alone,” that does not appear to be Rose’s point. If that were Rose’s point, she would have taken at face value my statement that I do not think all-female colleges are sexist institutions or that the Girl Scouts is a sexist institution. Of course, if one was a member of the Klu Klux Klan, that would be of concern. But one can obviously distinguish between the Klu Klux Klan and an all-female college. The Klu Klux Klan has as its central pillar a belief in the inferiority of certain classes of human beings. An all-female college might, but that isn’t necessarily or probably the case. And a former member of the Klu Klux Klan might have joined for the social networking benefits in his local community when the KKK ran local politics and government, not because he privately held white supremacist views. The focus of the inquiry would not center on the membership in the organization, but rather on whether the person actually held the views. I do not think having attended Harvard is an equivalent to membership in the KKK as a warrant for inquiry, nor do I think being a Mormon would be equivalent if there weren’t the public perception that racism is a central pillar of the faith. One could easily imagine a religion in which only hermaphraodites were priests because two sets of genitalia reflected the duality of God; that doesn’t necessarily mean males and females are considered inferior in the religion or that any adherents of the religion hold such views. The Mormon policy rescinded in 1978 only warrants inquiry because of the public perception about Mormonism; thus Russert asked about the policy specifically and Romney responded about whether he was a racist in general, using the policy as a framework to discuss it, i.e., “I was so overjoyed that I wept from my profound and eternal belief that racial equality is holy.”

    By contrast, Rose’s position seems to be “Any organization that excludes female members for any reason is a sexist organization,” which is simply illogical, e.g., “The Association of Male Breast Cancer Survivors,” not to mention leads to the notion that any benefit exclusively accruing to one gender is unfair. Striking down the Pregnancy Discrimination Act because it is in effect a disbursement of cash to “women only” seems rather foolish to me, even if it is principled. Not to mention it has nothing to do with Mitt Romney’s comments about racism on Meet The Press.

  30. Rose says:

    Thank you, Kaimi, for your kind words. Yes, you are absolutely correct that my point was:

    Agreed that that the broader concerns about whether a candidate previously belonged to a racist and/or sexist organization certainly extend more widely than to Romney alone.

    I thought the question to Mitt was quite reasonable – so reasonable that I would support it being asked of all candidates (male and female) to whom it similiary applies. None of the candidates, including Mitt, was “in charge” of the policies that are being questioned, but many (if not all) have at some time participated despite knowing the policy was in effect.

    I also agree with your comments about what place race actually takes in the beliefs of the Church. (The 100 mile rule was a *new* one to me too. :-))

    While the Church does involve itself somewhat in Salt Lake politics (which is somewhat understandable given its land holdings in the area), the separation between politics and religion is strictly adhered to in the church buildings. We are counseled to be active citizens in the community and reminded ever year to vote, but I have never heard anyone suggest a specific candidate – including Mitt Romney – either officially or unofficially. What you often see on the news – a candidate speaking from the pulpit during church services – I have never seen or heard about happening in the LDS church in my 30 years of membership.

    One thing that I think many non-members don’t either know or understand is that the while the largest number of LDS live in the United States, over half of the total members of the church are from overseas. The LDS church is a world-wide one and the President over all members, not just the US ones.

    Dozens of different languages (and various dialects of those languages) are taught to missionaries before they go into the field. When missionaries go into the field overseas, they don’t live in 5-star hotels – they live and work as the citizens of the country do. I can speak from personal experience when I say that missionaries find it very easy to bond with the people of their home countries.

    Now does that mean Mitt would give preference to the French were he to be elected? No, of course not, but he just might be able to relate to the French better than some our past presidents have been able to do so because of his experience.

    Personally, I have not yet decided on my vote for President. For one, it is WAY to early for that decision. Also, however, I can see a number of plusses and negatives to each candidate. I just prefer such decisions to be made on facts versus urban legends.

  31. A Dude With A Civil Handle says:

    None of the candidates, including Mitt, was “in charge” of the policies that are being questioned, but many (if not all) have at some time participated despite knowing the policy was in effect.

    Of course, this still makes no sense. It has nothing to do with being in control. In the case of Hillary Clinton attending an all-female college, there are no policies at issue. The concern is still what she believes, entirely independent of where she attended school.

    Not to mention none of the other organizations you mentioned have a reputation for being essentially racist or sexist, so your grasping onto Kaimi’s lifeline makes no sense. If you had meant — or written — what Kaimi did, we would not have been arguing, as you would have had nothing to argue with me about and certainly would have had no reason to bring up sexism as an analogy or quote me out of context (which Kaimi fixed for you) or state that I believed things I had expressly stated I did not believe, i.e., outright lying (which not even Kaimi could fix for you).

  32. Celeste says:

    Ray –

    Actually I left the church when I was 14 years old, hardly of an age when I would be married yet. The reason I left? After one of the women in our congregation discovered that her husband was raping their 18 MONTH old daughter, instead of going straight to the police, she sought counseling from the bishop, and he told her that “it must be because she wasn’t fulfilling her duties as a wife.” When the woman came to her senses and took herself and her children back to the states (we were in Germany at the time), as a show of support for that molesting bastard, the church offered his services out as a babysitter. And people took him up on it, based on the recommendation of their church leadership! And he proceeded to molest a bunch of other little girls. After that, and the pathetic response of the church, my family wisely decided that it wasn’t in our best interests to remain members.

    As for my comment regarding “I can’t get into the celestial kingdom unless my husband lets me in,” I can’t see too many other ways to interpret being given a secret name that my husband has to call me by and ‘pull me through the veil’. Perhaps they’ve changed the temple ceremonies over the years, and they’ve ditched that portion. If so, well and good. The church always was pretty good about responding to changes in social attitudes over the years, but they’re still overtly sexist, as evidenced by this quote from Hinckley during the April 2007 General Conference: “Husbands, love and treasure your wives. They are your most precious possessions. Wives, encourage and pray for your husbands. They need all the help they can get…”

    The problem is that so many LDS members don’t even realize they’re being sexist. Which is why I thought it was kind of sad that the missionaries responded to me the way they did. They weren’t being sarcastic, they weren’t trying to make a joke, they really thought that “women staying home taking care of the kids so men could get things done” = equality.

    There are things about the mormon church to like. Their attitude towards women is not one of them, for me, and is sufficient to keep me from ever going back.

  33. Joe says:

    Ocasionally, bad things happen to good people. That’s life; the rain falls on the good and the evil; the sun shines on the good and the evil. There are people in every religion who don’t follow their religion. There are local leaders who might not respond the right way in some situations. I’m sorry for what you had to go through, but just because you had a bad experience with one or two members of the church, doesn’t mean that that church’s doctrine is not true. Whether Mormonism is true or not is for every person to decide for themselves, but it cannot be declared false due to the poor actions of a handful of members. And it’s funny how you talk about the temple when you’ve never been there and the only people telling you about it have had their memories screwed up by their traumatic experiences in unrelated events. Don’t associate the falsity or truthfulness of ANYTHING or ANY CREED (even atheism) by the actions of those who believe it. The Doctrine of the church is “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church” and “If any man offends one of these little ones, it would be better if a millstone be hanged around his neck and be cast into the sea”. Just because one man who professes to be a member of a church who believes that, and who doesn’t practice that, doesn’t mean that the doctrine is false. It means one MAN is false.

  34. Ed says:

    I am sick and tired of it. No need for apologetics – this is just beating your head against a wall. You are trying to convince people who cannot think for themselves.

    To all the anti-Mormons out there – listen –

    Call it multi-theism as you wish but Heavenly Father, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are 3 seperate and distinct beings. Your idiotic and nebulous trinity was the invention of a committee and makes no sense. 90% of your congregations don’t see God that way – try giving them a quiz. The only people who believe that crap are those who learn it in some divinity school. It defies logic and the common sense Heavenly Father gave you. It serves only to fulfill the purpose for which it was created – to distance man from God.

    Yes there is and will be more than one God but there is only one Heavenly Father.

    Yes there is a Heavenly Mother.

    Yes baptism for the dead gives hope to those who never had a chance to hear the truth.

    Yes it does make a difference how you act in this life. Being “saved” is an assinine philosophy drempt up by a man. Only God can give us the gift of immortality – he freely gives it to all. Any more than that (exalatation)has to be earned.

    We are put here to work out our own salvation and help one another, but as for the anti-LDS morons -I no longer care about you – you are doing Satan’s work and yes – he is your spirit brother.

    No more being PC – I dust my shoes off.

  35. Cindy says:

    Celeste,

    How sad for you that you would allow a man (In your case a Bishop) to determine your eternal salvation. I’ve had several not-so-great Bishops and several not-so-great Stake Presidency leaders, and I would not allow one of them to ever keep me from the gospel of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, I’ve never had a man in the LDS faith treat me as though I were less than them or beneath them. In fact, it has always been the opposite for me: I’ve always commanded respect and have always received it. I’ve been chosen for leadership possessions and have been questioned for my advice on many occassions.

    The bottom line is, if you have your own personal relationship with God, you really don’t need to concern yourself with someone elses personal relationship with God, and certainly not Romney’s.

  36. Aaron says:

    I love the comments here! I think it’s funny how big of a topic Mormonism is. I wrote a post recently on how I believe Mormonism covers truths found in every religion or faith. Feel free to stop by and leave your comments:

    http://www.graceforgrace.com

  37. Kirk says:

    To those who are worried about how a Mormon President would effect the lives of others should look to the articles of faith. The 11th article of faith states:”We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”
    In other words, it is against the teachings of the church for a Mormon to force others to become Mormon or believe the same things we do.

    In the 12th article of faith it states: “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” The constitution is the law of the land, and what comes with it is the system of checks and balances. It would be a Mormon’s religious duty to uphold the constitution and the other laws of the land.

    And to those who worry about the Prophet, there is also a sort of system of checks and balances in the church. Major revelations are often prayed about and discussed among the General Authorities of the church before being released to the members. Should the Prophet go senile or something and desire to issue some illogical or outrageous commandment it would not only go through him but it would go through the Presidency and the Apostles at least.
    And to Elizabetta, Mormons do believe that the members may talk directly to God, but we also believe in the structure of the church as laid out in the Bible, which includes Prophets. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that the Lord no longer deems it necessary for there to be Prophets on the Earth. If anything, tumultuous and confusing times like these mean we have more need of a Prophet now than ever.