J Walking

J Walking


Romney’s one paragraph gaffe, our big problem, a suggestion

posted by David Kuo

I went into the speech thinking that if it were a purely political speech he’d probably done his job but if it were a spiritual speech he’d be hosed. As with all things political, it wasn’t quite either one.
It was a good speech and it was well delivered. He seemed more comfortable and approachable and humble than any other time I’ve seen him speak. And measured by time and words it was an overwhelmingly political speech. He hit the points he needed to hit; he said again and again that there is no religious test for office and that the president isn’t the president of any particular party. He talked about the American civil religion and was impressive and presidential. He dropped in evangelical code phrases and themes like the de-Christianization of Europe, the dangers of a secular America and America’s godly heritage.
But it was also a profoundly spiritual speech. He said he was going to stand up for his faith and that he wasn’t going to get into the business of theology. Then he did just that. In the middle of the speech was this:

There is one fundamental question about which I often am asked. What do I believe about Jesus Christ? I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind. My church’s beliefs about Christ may not all be the same as those of other faiths. Each religion has its own unique doctrines and history. These are not bases for criticism but rather a test of our tolerance. Religious tolerance would be a shallow principle indeed if it were reserved only for faiths with which we agree.

In that single paragraph he blew his chance to slam the door on the pastor-in-chief idea because he was, consciously or not, making the theological argument that Mormonism was basically a part of historic Christianity. And it is, in the judgment of most liberal and conservative Christian theologians, not a part of historic Christianity. The fact that we will now be debating this is evidence of the one paragraph gaffe.
Kennedy’s 1960 speech succeeded in no small part because it was devoid of any religious sentiment. Nowhere in that speech did Kennedy say anything about what he believed. In fact, he said religion was a fundamentally private matter.
Romney’s speech basically did the same thing. But then, perhaps because it is simply what he believes and didn’t think it would be a big deal, perhaps because he wanted evangelicals to know that Mike Huckabee wasn’t the only one who could talk about Jesus, he did the theology thing. And now, instead of moving past this matter – as we should be doing because debating theology is decidedly not what presidential elections are supposed to be about – we will be discussing Mormon theology.
All of this points to our very, very big problem.
Our debate and discussion about faith and politics is, increasingly, just a discussion about faith. That is toxic for our politics and for our faith.
We need to be having theological discussions. They are important and valuable.
We certainly need to be talking about politics. Pick your reason why.
But we’re not getting either one. Instead we are getting politically-inspired theology discussions and theologically-inspired political discussions. Someone needs to hit a reset button because this is one of the ways religious intolerance takes root.
Perhaps what our country could use right now is a pledge by all of the candidates for president to:
1) Declare they respect and admire the faith of every other candidate;
2) Admit that no particular religion qualifies or disqualifies anyone for the presidency;
3) Promise not to manipulate religion to advance their political agendas.
Yes it is a small thing, yes it is a symbolic thing, but it might begin to restore some sanity to our increasingly goofy faith and politics discussion.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(83)
post a comment
Doug

posted December 6, 2007 at 3:33 pm


My only problem with your proposal is that they’d be lying if they signed the pledge, just like they do when they talk about their principles. The best argument for the separation of Church and state is to keep these scoundrels out of the church.
It’s a funny thing about political vices. The left went badly wrong by making everything a test of victimhood and the right criticized that for awhile and then started whining about their mistreatments with more pettiness and greater shrillness than any minority ever dreamt of doing. More recently, the right went wrong by confusing politics with apostolics, which the left criticized them for until Democrats started pomposulating about the depth of their faiths. I think Democrats and Republicans in this country should just admit they are deeply in love with one another and let the decent, honest and secure among us live and worship in peace.



report abuse
 

Jillian

posted December 6, 2007 at 6:56 pm


The prevalent observation on the Democratic side is that Romney advocated tolerance for all religions, generalizing the religions together. But he was quite open that limited or nonprofession of a particular religious faith is not covered. Interesting ‘tolerance’ that.
Romney’s attempt is an advance for his side. As the numbers and power to the dominionisms decline toward minority standing, surely there will be ever closer inching to the positions John Kennedy realized were fundamental.



report abuse
 

mperry57

posted December 6, 2007 at 7:23 pm


WOW! Talk about religious intolerance. So tell me, Mr. KUO – are you saying that you disagree with Mr. Romney’s statement that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind? Because if you agree, then you must accept it as truth. And if it’s truth, why do you have a problem with him stating the truth? If you disagree, then he is simply responding to a question and stating his beliefs. Do you also have a problem with a person stating what he believes? That, sir, is the difference between religious freedom and religious bigotry. It appears that you benefit from the former, but suffer from the latter.



report abuse
 

Jorge

posted December 6, 2007 at 7:24 pm


Good job on Hardball, Mr. Kuo. I wish you had been allowed to flesh out your point.
As for the speech, Romney might not have been able to avoid this discussion, but he forced it to the national spoghtlight today. And he created a pitfall for himself. He made a very controversial remark – that mormons are Christians. The evangelical community that he is trying to persuade has heard generalities about the mormon religion, but I am sure that over then next 2 months they are going to learn alot of specifics about the book of mormon. I am sure that many of my fellow evangelicals are going to be very, very upset with what they find.



report abuse
 

John Allen

posted December 6, 2007 at 8:19 pm


Mr. Kuo, you got shut down by Chris Matthews and Pat Buchanan on MSNBC tonight, and for good reason: your point was pointless. In fact, Romney explicitly did NOT bring theology into his speech. He said he believed in Jesus Christ, that he might interpret Christ differently than other faiths, and he left it at that. He absolutely did NOT state or imply in any way that Mormons are part of historic Christianity. Were you even listening to the same speech as everyone else? For the life of me I cannot understand why so many evangelical Christians think they have legally trademarked the term “Christian.” In fact, if we’re going to get technical here, all Protestant faiths are offshoots of the Catholic faith, in whose eyes they could be perceived heretics and “false” Christians. I’d like to see us move of this silly question of whether Mormons are Christian. Evangelicals absolutely must quit being obsessed with this question. It only makes them look insecure. Plus, it drives so many people crazy. Mitt said it best: Mormons believe in Christ and are therefore Christians. Simply put, we’ve got Catholic Christianity, Protestant Christianity, Mormon Christianity, and who knows how many other strains of Christianity. Who cares? Get over it and focus your attention on something that really matters.



report abuse
 

Rich from Ohio

posted December 6, 2007 at 8:45 pm


“What do I believe about Jesus Christ? I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind.” Are you so arrogant and judgemental, Mr. Kuo, that you cannot accept that beautifully simple and sincere statement of faith, and rejoice that Mitt Romney shares the essence of your own professed faith? Webster’s Dictionary simply defines Christian as “a person who believes in Jesus Christ and follows his teachings”. Personally, I believe that Romney fits that generally-accepted definition better than you do. By their fruits ye shall know them.



report abuse
 

Jason

posted December 6, 2007 at 8:46 pm


David,
I heard you on Hardball tonight, and, quite frankly, I’m astonished by your analysis. I honestly could not understand where you were coming from. I’ve heard people attack Mormons again and again, and I’ve never responded. But I just could not understand where you’re coming from.
I fail to see, first of all, how Romney has brought this issue up. It seems undeniably clear to me that Evangelical Christians have made an issue of this long before Romney announced the speech. Mike Huckabee has clearly made Romney’s religion an issue in the campaign, and Romney had to respond. He did not open the issue, but tried put it to rest once and for all.
As for your so-called gaffe paragraph, I am just at a loss. There is nothing in that paragraph that makes the claim that Mormonism is part of “historic Christianity,” whatever that even means. Romney simply said that he believes “Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of all mankind.” Perhaps anticipating that some naysayers might spin this simple profession of Christ’s divinity as a claim that Mormons are part of main-stream Christianity – as you have done – he went on to acknowledge that there are differences in how Mormons view Christ. Where is the claim that Mormons have the same version of Christianity as you do? Where does he say “we believe in the Niacin Creed”? He professes a belief in Christ, which is absolutely THE central tenet of what you call “Mormonism.” There is nothing counter-factual about this witness at all.
You then went on to say that it is a “fact” that Mormons are not Christians. A fact? Really? How do you define a Christian that gives it such a strong “factual” footing? I’m honestly trying, but I just don’t see how how a series of political compromises instigated by Constantine have forever established what it means to be a Christian. It seems to me that what Christ actually said should matter far more than what anyone else says. And he was quite clear about what it means to be His disciple: “That ye love one another.” If Romney or anybody else claims to believe what Christ actually said (putting aside what any priest or council may have said hundreds of years after His death and Resurrection), why not accept that claim of belief? If you want to talk about “historic Christianity” from the Roman days to now, that’s fine, but I don’t understand why you have a problem with a man’s simple profession of Christ as The Son of God and the Savior of men and women. If you want to say he’s not a “Constantinian” or something to that effect, then you’d be on surer ground. I just don’t understand why your counterintuitive definition of “Christian” (what people said about Christ hundreds of years later) is the only possible one.
But this is all your analysis. My graver concern was a statement you made on Hardball that flat-out misrepresented Romney’s remarks. You claimed that Romney called Jesus Christ “my personal Lord and Savior.” Aside from the fact that it’s perfectly natural for a Mormon to say those words, the problem with your quote is that Romney never used those words. It is simply not credible for you to attempt to analyze Romney’s remarks when you misrepresent them on national television. I apologize for being so blunt, but that was just plain lazy reporting. You know that many Christians think they have a monopoly on that phrase (which makes no sense), and you represented that Romney used that phrase when he did not. That was just unfair.
For full disclosure, I am a believing Mormon and I have no intention of voting for Romney. I don’t like to fight about these things, but I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing today on Hardball. Perhaps you could explain yourself a bit.



report abuse
 

James Hukari

posted December 6, 2007 at 8:54 pm


To paraphrase another great American during a presidential campaign: Mit Romney is no JFK.



report abuse
 

c.hughson

posted December 6, 2007 at 9:14 pm


You need to define your terms when speaking of “son”, “God” and other such words, as they are routinely loaded with different semantic import when talking with folks from different religions.
Many people end up talking right past each other or misunderstanding each other as they don’t define what they mean by such terms as “son of God”, is he for instance, “eternal and unchangeable” in His wisdom, goodness and truth an uncreated being, who is “one being” (“ousia” in the Greek ) or is he merely the first in a series of created beings?



report abuse
 

D

posted December 6, 2007 at 9:30 pm


“WOW! Talk about religious intolerance. So tell me, Mr. KUO – are you saying that you disagree with Mr. Romney’s statement that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind?”
MPerry57,
Mormons were invented by a guy so bigoted he declared that every denomination on earth was no longer part of the Christian Church. And then, lo and behold, he “discovered” the real path. Only, as it turns out, it was the path to godhood first presented by Satan.
D



report abuse
 

Adam

posted December 6, 2007 at 9:56 pm


Well as usual those in the “Know” have missed the whole picture. Only picking apart the true meaning of what this Fine American Patriot was trying to get across. First of all, this issue of a persons religious belief should never be brought up in a Presidential election because, Just as Mr. Romney has stated, “No religion should dictate to the state nor should the state interfere with the free practice of religion.” And what that means to me, Is that there will never be a Religous requirement to attain the office of President of the United States. What He believes as a person makes no difference to me, only what kind of a man will he stand up to be during the trying times of difficult decisions that the President will be forced to make on a daily basis. What His moral convictions and how He will conduct Himself in the Oval Office when the American people aren’t there to watch has far more weight with the American people then should His religious beliefs. Each person is guaranteed by the Constitution the right to worship what we want without any interferance from the Government. So, What is the real Issue here? To the american people, It should be, “How will this Man lead the greatest country in the world through the difficult times that it faces in the coming days, months, and yes years?” Do we want someone who will cow to every whim that comes from Third world Tyrants and Dictators, Or do we want someone who will stand up for what is our Constitutational Right and protect this great nation with every power WE THE PEOPLE grant to Him through our Constitution.



report abuse
 

Rocko

posted December 6, 2007 at 9:59 pm


Mr. Kuo,
You, sir, are either blatantly bigoted or astonishingly ignorant.



report abuse
 

Laura in WA

posted December 6, 2007 at 10:25 pm


I didn’t listen to the speech, but while I suppose Mormonism isn’t part of “historic” Christianity (it’s too new for that), Mormons (and, I assume, Romney) certainly do consider themselves to be Christian. I see nothing wrong with him expressing his faith in Jesus (as other Christian politicians do all the time), and I don’t think it’s really the place of others, especially those who don’t even know him personally, to speculate on whether he’s “truly” a Christian or not.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a Democrat. I can think of a great many excellent reasons not to vote for Mitt Romney. His religion isn’t one of them.
However — I do think it would be great if all the candidates would make and follow through on the three pledges you mentioned!



report abuse
 

ToddH

posted December 6, 2007 at 10:43 pm


David Kuo wrote:
“The fact that we will now be debating this is evidence of the one paragraph gaffe.”
You seem to be the only one debating this point. I’ve spent a significant portion of this day reading reactions to Romney’s speech and you seem to be debating a very lonely point all by yourself. No one else has mentioned this “gaffe.”
Towards the end of your lonely debate you mention three points that you wish all the candidates would engage in with each other. Funny thing is that Romney in his speech dealt with these exact three points.
“1) Declare they respect and admire the faith of every other candidate”
Romney stated:
“I believe that every faith I have encountered draws its adherents closer to God. And in every faith I have come to know, there are features I wish were in my own: I love the profound ceremony of the Catholic Mass, the approachability of God in the prayers of the Evangelicals, the tenderness of spirit among the Pentecostals, the confident independence of the Lutherans, the ancient traditions of the Jews, unchanged through the ages, and the commitment to frequent prayer of the Muslims. As I travel across the country and see our towns and cities, I am always moved by the many houses of worship with their steeples, all pointing to heaven, reminding us of the source of life’s blessings.”
2) Admit that no particular religion qualifies or disqualifies anyone for the presidency;
Romney stated:
“There are some who would have a presidential candidate describe and explain his church’s distinctive doctrines. To do so would enable the very religious test the founders prohibited in the Constitution. No candidate should become the spokesman for his faith. For if he becomes President he will need the prayers of the people of all faiths.”
And:
“It is important to recognize that while differences in theology exist between the churches in America, we share a common creed of moral convictions. And where the affairs of our nation are concerned, it’s usually a sound rule to focus on the latter – on the great moral principles that urge us all on a common course. Whether it was the cause of abolition, or civil rights, or the right to life itself, no movement of conscience can succeed in America that cannot speak to the convictions of religious people.”
3) Promise not to manipulate religion to advance their political agendas.
Romney stated:
“I will put no doctrine of any church above the plain duties of the office and the sovereign authority of the law.”
Did you actually listen, or read, the speech, or, did you immediately hit the brakes when you noticed the “gaffe?”



report abuse
 

ToddH

posted December 6, 2007 at 10:55 pm


D wrote:
“Mormons were invented by a guy so bigoted he declared that every denomination on earth was no longer part of the Christian Church. And then, lo and behold, he “discovered” the real path. Only, as it turns out, it was the path to godhood first presented by Satan.”
As did Alexander Campbell of whom the Churches of Christ and Disciples of Christ, which Jimmy Carter is a member, are descendants. It is called Restorationism which was an attempt to return to the original faith, the original church, believing that Christianity went wrong right after the disciples left the picture. Joseph Smith never presented himself as God or as part of some “godhood.” I don’t know if he ever considered himself a prophet, but I think Latter Day Saints, in general, do.



report abuse
 

Kate

posted December 6, 2007 at 11:20 pm


When considering who to vote for President, the American people want as much information as they can get. When I’m trying to get to know a new friend I often end up bringing up religion, not because I care at all what they practice, but because I find that a person’s spirituality often dictates the decisions they make and the integrity that they have. Universally, all of the world religions, and behavioral psychology, urge people to stay in touch with themselves — to really self evaluate the decisions they have made and figure out why they might be feeling a certain way and how to act in the future. I would like to have a president who is aware of what needs to be done in our country so that the health care system will improve, unemployment will go down, and our troops overseas will come home. Of the Mormons that I know, every single one takes time to think through decisions and is very aware of what “feels right.” Romney’s speech and his religious practices are a testimony to the kind of person he is, and how he will lead this country. What difference does it make if he believes that the Tribe of Joseph wrote some tablets? And why are people always turned off when presidents talk about their religion?
When it is time to get the job done do they get it done? That’s all that matters.



report abuse
 

ds0490

posted December 6, 2007 at 11:26 pm


I think David is correct in his view that many evangelical Christians do not accept that Mormons agree with them on the deity of Jesus. For example:
http://www.nauvoochristian.org/
These folks are getting a lot of attention across Southeast Iowa, and are very clear in their message about Mormons and about Mitt Romney.
http://www.thehawkeye.com/Story/vote_Romney_120607



report abuse
 

R. W. Seeley

posted December 7, 2007 at 2:10 am


First Mitt Romney came after the atheists, and I said that’s not my problem.
Then Mitt Romney came after the agnostics, and I said that’s their look out.
Then Mitt Romney came after the secular humanists, and I said let them deal with it.
Then Mitt Romney came after the non-theistic religions, including my Buddhist friends, but I said they can handle it.
Then Mitt Romney came after the Liberal Quakers and I said, Oh, my God, what have I done in my silence?



report abuse
 

David

posted December 7, 2007 at 3:14 am


The problem is that the mormon jesus is not the Jesus Christians follow.
2 Corinthians 11:4
4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
May God bless you and keep you.



report abuse
 

iowavoter

posted December 7, 2007 at 3:56 am


I watched the speech, and that point was the worst part of the whole speech. It was shocking and false. Mormonism aren’t Christians, they are polytheists. Yes, they are religious, so were the Pharisees.



report abuse
 

cuzco

posted December 7, 2007 at 4:23 am


Kate: “When I’m trying to get to know a new friend I often end up bringing up religion, not because I care at all what they practice, but because I find that a person’s spirituality often dictates the decisions they make and the integrity that they have.
What difference does it make if he believes that the Tribe of Joseph wrote some tablets?”

Because Joseph Smith and the “golden plates,” the very foundation of Mormonism are utterly transparent and proven frauds. If a candidate for the presidency is unable to see through this crude fake, it speaks volumes about “the decisions they make.”

Kate: “And why are people always turned off when presidents talk about their religion?”

Because, I can’t think of even one instance where any candidate’s professed faith had the ring of truth. Do the actions of George Bush speak to any genuine belief in God, or the teachings of Christ?
Jesus, the most powerful being with the most profound message in all of human history killed not a single person during his life. George Bush on the other hand, a man of supposedly deep faith, is directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands in Afganistan and Iraq and invisible thousands of Aids deaths in Africa and the rest of the world through his birth control edicts. The decisions of “faithful” leaders kill hundreds of thousands of people while God’s only son killed no one. See the problem?

Kate: “When it is time to get the job done do they get it done? That’s all that matters.”

No. That’s not all that matters. Returning to Bush for a moment. Either he is a manipulative cynic who burps up religious references to get the votes of gullible Christians, or he honestly believes that God told him to destroy two countries and kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people.
I want an athiest for president because at least you know that they aren’t going to try wrap their actions in some perversion of faith. With an athiest, what you see is what you get. With “leaders of faith” you never know what atrocity they might launch “in the name of God” and how many faithful would blindly follow because they believe that God is guiding their leader’s hand.



report abuse
 

Daldianus

posted December 7, 2007 at 6:01 am


I’m so glad that we don’t have such problems in Europe when we chose our leaders!
The belief in invisible beings is luckily not (yet?) really a topic of politics.



report abuse
 

Northlite

posted December 7, 2007 at 7:49 am


Romney ran for office and then was elected to a four year stint in Massachusetts. As a now former daily reader of the local papers and a life long resident of the “Peoples Republic”(Majority RC I believe), his Mormon religion was rarely if ever an issue. Certainly he didn’t make a big deal of it either. I’ve heard(and perhaps voiced) plenty of criticism of him during his tenure as our governor, particularly since he set his sights on higher ambitions. But I have never ever heard anyone taking him to task for or even a joke about over a beer about his Mormon religion. Us liberals(and moderates and independents) are a fairly tolerant lot. Just don’t try to ram your absolute religious beliefs down our throats.
For Mitt to have shown courage, he would have had to confront in some way the bigotry he faces from the right, from his fellow “Christians”. Instead, he, rather evasively, deposited half-dissolved bromides about our national traditions and made the big public pander. To a cynic even this stuff is more “saying anything to get elected.” And its shameless the way he makes a bogeyman of the very people who treated him as a respect worthy human being in Massachusetts, whether he was Mormon and something else.
Finally, in a general note on all this: While I thought Romney’s speech was evasive, the opportunity it has opened up for discussion on the net about this most interesting and important and heart-felt aspect of our lives approaches the profound



report abuse
 

Mike G

posted December 7, 2007 at 8:05 am


I don’t know, I think this kind of makes his point for him– he’s saying he believes his faith to be part of the Christian tradition, whether others in that tradition do or not (as you promtly demonstrate you don’t). Seems to me that any schismatic group is in the same position– certainly there were Catholics who looked askance at all Protestants the same way, if it isn’t coming from Rome, if it’s full of weird ideas like pentecostalism, how can it be Christianity?



report abuse
 

Pam

posted December 7, 2007 at 8:40 am


As true followers of Jesus, shouldn’t David include a (4)the respect and equal treatment of those who are non-believers?



report abuse
 

Ron

posted December 7, 2007 at 9:11 am


The problem is that the mormon jesus is not the Jesus Christians follow.
2 Corinthians 11:4
4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
I’M GRATEFUL TO NOT SUBSCRIBE TO PAID MINISTER AND HISTORICAL MANMADE FOLLY INCLUDING THE CREEDS.
ID ADVISE YOU TO SEARCH THE HISTORY OF THE CREEDS IN THE 4TH CENTURY. I SAY EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE ACCEPTED AS THE DOCTRINAL FOUNDATION OF CATHOLICISM AND PROTESTANTISM AND ALL THE BREAKOFFS, THEY ARE WRONG, CONTAINING PART OF AND NOT THE WHOLE TRUTH. IF THEY ARE WRONG, THEN YOUR INTERPRETATION OF THE CORINTHIANS QUOTE ABOVE IS WRONG. IT IS TRUE, THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS(MORMONS), DOES NOT ACCEPT THE CREEDS OF THE DIFFERENT DENOMINATIONS. IT SUBSCRIBES TO THE JESUS CHRIST IN THE BIBLE, NOT THE INVENTED GOHEAD AS REFERENCED HISTORICALLY IN THE CREEDS. IF THAT IS HERESY AND NON-CHRISTIAN (AS YOU HAVE DEFINED IT)THAN I CONFESS. IT’S WHY JOSEPH SMITH WAS KILLED AND THE FOLLOWERS WERE KILLED AND DRIVEN WEST. ALSO, THE CHURCH HAD A LAY CLERGY. NO ONE IS PAID AND THE DOCTRINE TAUGHT IS THE SAME IN EVERY CHAPEL ALL OVER THE WORLD. THE ANTI-MORMON FOLKS MAKE ALOT OF MONEY DOING IT. I’VE SEEN IT. YOU DONT FIND MORMONS WRITING BOOKS CONDEMNING OTHER DENOMINATIONS AND MAKING MONEY OFF OF IT. WE JUST PROCLAIM TRUTHS AND HOPE PEOPLE EXCERCISE FAITH IN GOD.
SINCERELY,
A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST



report abuse
 

Dillon - Concord, NH

posted December 7, 2007 at 9:25 am


Do you really believe a creed brought to light by the leader of a pagan empire over 300 years after the birth of Christ is the best way to establish divine truth about the nature of God? This is why God declared in Amos 3:7 – “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, abut he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”
The Nicene Creed was born due to the desire of the Roman Emperor to make Christianity the official church of Rome. To do so he had to harmonize the pagan doctrines of Rome together with that of Christianity. Something isn’t true just because it has been traditionally held by the majority of the churches for centuries. That is what the entire protestant faith is based on isn’t it?
Plato, the father of the pagan trinity said, “God can in no way be described.” Sound familiar
In the preface to Edward Gibbon’s History of Christianity, we read: “If Paganism was conquered by Christianity, it is equally true that Christianity was corrupted by Paganism. The pure Deism of the first Christians . . . was changed, by the Church of Rome, into the incomprehensible dogma of the trinity. Many of the pagan tenets, invented by the Egyptians and idealized by Plato, were retained as being worthy of belief.”
In my opinion the Nicene Creed did an incredible amount of damage to Christianity because it distanced man from God to a degree that we became unfamiliar with him. It hard to imagine an unimaginable immaterial God gives a rats about any one of us. The Bible clearly teaches that we were made in his image, that Christ was sent as his son, and that Christ prayed to him fervently on multiple occasions (is Christ schizophrenic?).
In reference to the Nicene Creed and its adherence, Kierkegaard said, “Christendom has done away with Christianity without being quite aware of it” (Soren Kierkegaard, cited in Time magazine, Dec. 16, 1946, p. 64). Spot on.
You have the right to worship however or what you may, but don’t say that somebody isn’t a Christian because they don’t accept the Nicene Creed.



report abuse
 

abiodun

posted December 7, 2007 at 9:48 am


Romney’s speech tried to have it both ways-“my mormon faith is just like you christians”, and “my mormon faith does not matter”. Plus a good dose of “red meat” to the christians thrown in. Go figure!



report abuse
 

JHS

posted December 7, 2007 at 10:58 am


A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST
Posted by: Ron | December 7, 2007 9:11
I am not a Mormon, but an evangelical and I think you hit the nail on the head.
I am thankful for all my Mormon brothers and sister in Christ.
Now forget the anti mormon crap, and lets all shine together for the world to see.



report abuse
 

Mike

posted December 7, 2007 at 12:29 pm


I am with you JHS. Forget the anti-Mormon garbage and let’s shine together!!!! Spoken as a true Christian.



report abuse
 

JLF

posted December 7, 2007 at 1:10 pm


“(Mormonism) in the judgment of most liberal and conservative Christian theologians, not a part of historic Christianity.”
Mormons have never claimed to be a part of historic Christianity. In fact, the sum and substance of the Mormon message is that historic Christianity strayed from the original Christianity and that God brought the original Christianity back with Mormonism.



report abuse
 

JLF

posted December 7, 2007 at 1:17 pm


“We need to be having theological discussions. They are important and valuable.”
Absolutely, and the discussion, if one is having it with Mormons, ought to start at the beginning: Why are these very nice Mormon people saying these things about historic Christianity?



report abuse
 

Scott

posted December 7, 2007 at 1:41 pm


Mr. Kuo, your criticism of Mr. Romney’s “paragraph” is another example of political correctness poisoning the debate rather the actual speech of the candidate.
Mr. Romney came forward and told us what he believed in…he was honest without judging other people’s differing views. Isn’t that what we want in a candidate, someone who is frank and upfront? So yes he declared his beliefs…how can that be bad? Only a pundit like yourself can twist this into a negative.
Rather than having more politicians who speak in coded PC language and are afraid to make any strong statements, we need more people like Mr. Romney, not less…i find it ironic that journalists like you are actually inhibiting our culture of expressing freely our opinions in public.



report abuse
 

Scott

posted December 7, 2007 at 1:46 pm


Mr. Kuo, your criticism of Mr. Romney’s “paragraph” is another example of political correctness poisoning the debate of politics and its relation to various religions in our society.
Mr. Romney came forward and told us what he believed in…he was honest without judging other people’s differing views. Isn’t that what we want in a candidate, someone who is frank and upfront? So yes, he declared his beliefs publicly…how can that be bad? Only a pundit like yourself can twist this into a negative.
Rather than having more politicians who speak in coded PC language and are afraid to make any strong statements, we need more people like Mr. Romney, not less. i find it ironic that journalists like you are actually inhibiting our culture of expressing freely our opinions in public, a kind of insidious intolerance.



report abuse
 

CJ

posted December 7, 2007 at 1:47 pm


I liked the speech. I really don’t care if the “Joseph Smith version” of Christianity is different from other flavors – historic or otherwise. If people’s relationship is with Jesus, then Jesus’s Spirit will be with them.
In fact, that’s probably what has saved our sorry selves in spite of the sometimes ridiculous doctrine and dogma we dream up: if we are truly seeking a relationship with Jesus, and if we really listen when he speaks to us, then, it tends to set our heart right, and we bend toward his Light. When that occurs, Christians of all types tend to realize that there is much need for tolerance, even within their own churches as well as among other expresssions of faith.



report abuse
 

Justin

posted December 7, 2007 at 3:23 pm


Speaking as a former atheist who is now a conservative Christian, I always fascinated by the universalism in liberal Christianity. Have we become so relativistic that it is wrong to say that Christianity is objectively true, other religions (and atheism) are objectively false, and therefore that people of all other religions will go to hell? (John 14:6)
If you don’t really believe that people of other religions will go to hell, then we really shouldn’t care what religion our leaders have. As long as they sincerely do good deeds and are basically “good people” then they will go to heaven. If they become role models and that leads to other people adopting that religion, then that doesn’t matter either.
There is another theory, and you see it clearly in the sentiments of secular Republicans who chastize people like me for supporting Huckabee over Romney. “You should be an atheist,” is the subtext of what they say, “but if you must have faith, then have a vague, general wishy-washy universalist faith.” I see universalism as the first step of a withdraw from God.
Why do liberal Christians do this? Why retreat from someone who loves you so much? Because your secular friends tell you that belief is “irrational” and has “no evidence?”



report abuse
 

Bryce

posted December 7, 2007 at 3:27 pm


If I’m not mistaken, Romney said, “My church’s beliefs about Christ may not all be the same as those of other faiths.” That is NOT making a theological argument that Mormonism was basically a part of historic Christianity. Indeed, it is just its oppostie. If he were to make that claim, it would be more along the lines of, “I am a Christian exactly like every other Christian.” But he did NOT say that, now did he.
Mormons have never insisted on being a part of “traditional” “historic” Christianity. We don’t believe the Christian history in the centuries post-New Testament. But we are Christian. We believe in a restoration of gospel truths in our modern day, the same gospel truths that Christ Himself taught.



report abuse
 

Dillon - Concord, NH

posted December 7, 2007 at 3:32 pm


The reason why Kuo is opposed to Romney mentioning his belief in Christ as his Savior has nothing to do with religious tests and political correctness. He is uncomfortable with Mormons being accepted as Christians. The evangelical churches have been trying for years to make sure that their congregations believe Mormons believe in “a different Jesus.” Sometimes to accomplish this they exaggerate certain LDS doctrines about Jesus out of context and add a little bit of fiction to the mix to make it seem even more bizarre.
Many of my fellow LDS friends have been somewhat apprehensive about he fact that Romney is running president because they fear a possible backlash. This fear is understandable as not too long ago members of the LDS faith suffered significant hardships due to religious persecution by evangelicals.
My relatives were forced from their home in the middle of winter to travel the plains with little belongings. I have expressed to my friends that this exposure will be helpful in the end because the debate surrounding Romney’s candidacy will help bring to light what Mormons truly believe, and the lies that have been spread for so long about our faith won’t work anymore because they will have heard otherwise from the horse’s mouth.
When I was in high school in California, I went to a number of Ski trips with my non-denominational friends youth group. I was shocked to discover that at night they would have sermons and without fail they always had their “cult” night, where they would talk about other faiths and why they are cults. It didn’t bother me so much that they were talking about my LDS is faith in a negative light (that I am used to), what bothered me was that most of what they were saying was a blatant lie or half-truth. Why do they feel the need to bash other religions so openly? Do they really think the spirit of the Lord can be with them and teach them important eternal truths in such a context? I doubt it.
One thing I noticed growing up LDS is that we never talked about another church’s doctrine for the purpose of discrediting it. Of course other church’s’ doctrines would come up from time to time in discussion among the congregation in Sunday school classes, but we never had official “cult” days where we talked about other denominations and what was wrong with them. It’s just like in sales; if your product is desirable you shouldn’t need to tear down the competition to get people to buy it, your product should speak for itself.
Also, for being such a prominent issue in this campaign I am astonished at the brief and shallow analysis the subject matter has been given by the mainstream media. Cafferty on CNN said that the Mormon church is “shrouded in secrecy” because only Mormons are allowed in their Temples. Cafferty could have easily have discovered why this is by visiting the church’s website or by contacting a church missionary or official. This statement mistakenly leads people to believe that people who are not Mormon cannot attend Mormon services because many faiths call their regular meetinghouses temples.
Compared to the tens of thousands of Mormon meetinghouses that have been built around the world that are used for regular meetings, there are fewer than 200 temples. Temples are very sacred places for members of the church which are similar to the Tabernacle of the Old Testament. These are places where sacred (not secret) ordinances are performed such as LDS marriages.
The church only permits faithful members of the Church to participate in these things, not because they are strange or weird, but because they are sacred; similar to the way in which the 10 commandments teach that you should not take the Lord’s name in vain. Sacred things are not sacred anymore when they are treated lightly. Any religious ceremony seems strange to outsiders (do you really think baptism would seem normal to anyone not familiar with Christianity?). In the end I think all of this is really a great misunderstanding.



report abuse
 

G

posted December 7, 2007 at 3:55 pm


This was a nice article – but I think the three points at the end are incomplete. This is how I would do it:
1) Declare they respect the *Right* of every other candidate to choose their own faith or none at all;
2) Admit that no particular religion *or absence of* qualifies or disqualifies anyone for the presidency;
3) Promise not to manipulate religion to advance their political agendas.
4) More important than above – Promise not to advance their religious agendas by political manipulation.
best,
G



report abuse
 

Carol

posted December 7, 2007 at 3:58 pm


The Pledge for Candidates to do:….what u said.
I disagree with that. How would you like someone running for the president of the usa who worships and follows the religion of satanism? I sure wouldn’t vote for a satanist.
I am a follower and believer in Jesus Christ. You can’t have theological discussions with someone who worships satan. Try one time.
Thank you,
Carol



report abuse
 

foodandart

posted December 7, 2007 at 4:57 pm


Where do you come from David?
When you dismiss Romney and the Mormons as not being a part of ‘..historic Christianity’, I have to ask WHAT part of that history are you alluding to? Tell me when you speak of ‘historic Christianity’, do you speak to the world of revelation and prophesy that many ‘modern’ thinkers of today view as just a relic of times long gone, when humans were superstitious, technologically ignorant and believed in witchcraft, magic and monsters?
HELLO!!
Earth to Dave!!
These things that were written and spoken of in ‘historic Christianity’ were in many instances throughout the bible *metaphors* (ever heard of them?) for complex issues.
It’s obvious that many of today’s CHINO’s are so secularized, externalized and shallow that the ability to parse deeper meanings in prophesy and personal revelation are lost.
Your own words ring true to this.
That the Mormon Church still HAS the capacity to see the Word of God and Jesus as being relevant must surely trouble many ‘modern Christians’.
The Mormons I have met do have a deeper spiritual core to their lives and families than most others. This places them, in my view as walking closer to that ‘historic Christianity’ than the modern, secularized Middle-class (*lukewarm* from their comfort, I might add..), consumerist ‘Chrsitians’ I meet in my daily travels.
Many Mormons walk closer than not to the ‘historic Christianity’ of the past than Middle-class, consumerist America is comfortable to admit.
Your words sir, strike me as being written by one as shallow as a saucer.
About par for the ‘modern Christanity’ of today, eh?
Now, I’m no fan of Romney for his healthcare policies in Massachusetts, that he made a hash of and ran from, but his Mormon beliefs are less frightening to me than the current spiritual malaise and creeping Godlessness and secularism in all too many mainstream churches today..
Perhaps like the one you were raised in?
You have my condolences.
Deb.



report abuse
 

Paul

posted December 7, 2007 at 8:16 pm


Admit that no particular religion or lack thereof qualifies or disqualifies anyone for the presidency
Fixed that for you, David.



report abuse
 

Commentator

posted December 7, 2007 at 10:40 pm


*I agree with G
1) Declare they respect the *Right* of every other candidate to choose their own faith or none at all;
2) Admit that no particular religion *or absence of* qualifies or disqualifies anyone for the presidency;
3) Promise not to manipulate religion to advance their political agendas.
4) More important than above – Promise not to advance their religious agendas by political manipulation.
…except I don’t think a promise would mean anything, but i think they should keep their religious beliefs unknown so religious manipulation is not possible.

ALSO….
*GENDER PREFERENCE VS RELIGIOUS PREFERENCE
Also, some people don’t think women can rule because they let emotions interfere, yet these same people don’t mind one’s personal beliefs (which are directly attached to one’s emotions) interfering with political decisions.
*STEREOTYPES- You might think you know, but you have no idea:
If Romney identified himself as a Christian (since he thinks Mormons are Christians), then he would be supported by Christians, even though his beliefs as a ‘Mormon’ and as a ‘Christian’ are the same. We will never know the president’s honest personal stances; even friends sometimes surprise us. Religion shouldn’t be a deciding factor.
*RELIGION: A WASTE OF TIME IN POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS (thank goodness since we cannot tell a candidate’s honest beliefs anyways)
Aristotle says that a good shepherd is good at watching over his sheep. What makes one good is his ability to do his craft well. We’re talking about PRESIDENCY. Can a Mormon make a good president? Sure. Can a Christian make a good president? Sure, just like both a Jew and a Hindu can make good athletes.
As long as a candidate knows what is in the country’s best interest and can make that happen- as long as he is a good leader- his religion should not matter. For example, a great businessman might make a lousy father, but he gets the job done. Fortunately, we have no personal relationship with the president, so we could care less if he is a lousy father.



report abuse
 

Curious

posted December 8, 2007 at 12:51 am


The Mormons I have met do have a deeper spiritual core to their lives and families than most others. This places them, in my view as walking closer to that ‘historic Christianity’ than the modern, secularized Middle-class(*lukewarm* from their comfort, I might add..), consumerist ‘Chrsitians’ I meet in my daily travels.
I know hindus, muslims and even scientologists with deep spiritual cores, are they also closer to ‘historic Christianity’?



report abuse
 

responsetomormons

posted December 8, 2007 at 2:07 am


Yes, Jesus prayed to the Father. That is what the “trinity” belief claims happened, as it is taught in the New Testament. Jesus Christ is the Son of the Father, not the Father or the Holy Spirit. You just are ignorant of what Christians have always believed.
I believe in One God. I believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
I certaintly don’t believe it because of the nicene creed. The Christians I know certainly don’t believe it because of that writing.
I believe it because New Testament explicitly teaches it over and over and over again. The Spirit teaches us in the Scriptures that He is God. The God-breathed Scriptures teach that Jesus is God. The Scriptures teach that the Father is God. The Scriptures teach that Jesus is the Son of the Father. The Scriptures teach that there is One God. We have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, who is God Himself. We have the redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross, and His righteousness has been imputed to us. We worship the Lord Jesus Christ, as His apostles did.
As someone who has also studied history, the Mormons posting are ignorant of ancient history. There are numerous documents outside of the New Testament, (which I have read and studied), that teach that there is only one God (what is commonly called the Trinity), long before Constantine was even born. Every time Mormons repeat that it just shows to anybody who has actually studied ancient history that you are ignorant and just repeating something you heard somewhere. I don’t gain my belief in the Trinity from historical research, instead God’s prophets and apostles teach it directly, and God’s spoken to us by true prophets and true apostles, and His Son. But it is dishonest for Mormons to trick average people that don’t study history on a regular basis to support Joseph Smith’s ever-changing confusion about who God was. (compare the book of mormon to the later works, he clearly was changing his views, notice how many different mormon groups there are? just because you are the ‘biggest’ doesn’t mean anything).



report abuse
 

pathtrekker

posted December 8, 2007 at 2:46 am


I find it very interesting that someone (Romney) lives a moral and ethical life, is at peace with himself spiritually, and has the intestinal fortitude to stand up for those beliefs is ridiculed at every turn. But have someone claim to be Christian that held the same office, deffile the oval office with a scandal because of extra-marital oral sex and it is totally acceptable.
Give me a break!! I would rather have a Mormon in office than someone falsely claiming Christianity for their own greedy and power usurping goals.
One other thing… Historical Christianity?!? What is that?? I believe in biblical Christianity and the secularized rendition thereof….



report abuse
 

pathtrekker

posted December 8, 2007 at 2:48 am


Sorry my last statement should have read:
NOT the secularized rendition thereof…



report abuse
 

John Allen

posted December 8, 2007 at 3:08 am


Mr. Kuo, you got chewed up and spit out by Chris Matthews and Pat Buchanan on MSNBC tonight, and for good reason: your point was pointless. Your point, which you made on TV and said again in this article, is simply baseless. In fact, Romney did NOT bring theology into his speech. He said he believed in Jesus Christ, that he might interpret Christ differently than other faiths, and he left it at that. Also, he did NOT state or imply in any way that Mormons are part of historic Christianity. Were you even listening to the same speech as everyone else? I can only conclude that you are purposefully manipulating Mitt’s words for political purposes. Besides, for the life of me I cannot understand why so many evangelical Christians think they have a legal trademark on the term “Christian.” In fact, if we’re going to get technical here, all Protestant faiths are offshoots of the Catholic faith, in whose eyes Protestants are often viewed as heretics and “false” Christians. Anyone who has studied the history of Christianity knows this. Your argument against Romney just rehashes the same old tired question of whether Mormons are Christian. This is a silly question that absolutely must be buried and never heard from again. Evangelicals must get over therir obsession with this question. It only makes them look insecure. Plus, it drives the rest of us crazy. Theology’s main value is that it illuminates the ways in which we are all trying to find our own unique meaning in life. Mitt said it best: Mormons believe in Christ, even if they interpret Christ’s nature differently than others do. So in terms of Christianity, it looks like we’ve got several interpretations: Catholic Christianity, Protestant Christianity, Mormon Christianity, and many other strains of Christianity. It’s time for you to stop this juvenile bickering over theology and focus your attention on what really matters.



report abuse
 

Shawn

posted December 8, 2007 at 5:30 am


I am more disturbed by this RABID bigotry than I have been for some time. I’m losing my faith in a party where 46 percent say they won’t vote for someone based solely on his religion, let alone specific denomination. There is such blatant laziness among these who grasp at straws to discredit Romney on imaginary doctrines. John Smith? Someone is confusing things with Pocahontas. Planets and virgins? Talking Salamanders? This “veil of secrecy” people are experiencing is simply their own willful ignorance. (Rich, you don’t know what “Jack Mormon” means, you look like a fool when you misuse vocabulary)
If you knew the attacks and persecution he’s gone through for his faith you’d understand his hesitance to bring theological questions into a presidential debate. People demand to know if he is Christian; he proclaims devotion to Christ and he is called a liar for it. People ask his opinion on the Bible, he says it’s the Word of God, so they ask again like he mustn’t have understood the question. He hesitates because the next question will be everything from the rapture to how often he speaks in tongues.
He won’t win Iowa for the simple fact that 46 percent of the likely caucus goers are BIGOTS pure and simple.



report abuse
 

nnmns

posted December 8, 2007 at 6:02 am


There are reasons to consider a candidate’s religion. The main one is to determine whether some mucky-muck in that faith will come in after the election and try to force an elected official to act differently than he or she indicated during the campaign and during their previous political lives.
Romney claimed that won’t happen in Mormonism and those more familiar with Mormons in office can judge the truth of it.
Roman Catholic bishops have shown in the last few years it’s not true for Catholics, and to be a trustworthy candidate now a Catholic must vow not to be affected by their supposed religious superiors. That will probably hurt their chance of being elected but it’s an important issue. It’s a shame those bishops have chosen to disadvantage Catholic candidates in that way.
Beyond that issue, there’s the question of how much their interpretation of their religion will impact on their ability to judge what’s happening in the world. If they really believe in end-times fantasies, for instance, they cannot be trusted to deal with problems in the Middle East or problems like global warming rationally. But others of the same religion but not fanatical probably could be so trusted; that’s something voters will have to judge based on the campaign and their past record.
It doesn’t help anyone that a few religious fanatics in Iowa and South Carolina are so influential in choosing the candidate for one of our major parties.



report abuse
 

David Quass

posted December 8, 2007 at 9:09 am


IF WHAT PEOPLE BELIEVE IS NOT TOTALLY BASED ON THE BIBLE, THEN IT IS NOT OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH. OF COURSE MOST DO NOT TAKE THE TIME TO REALLY READ IT FOR THEMSELVES. IT SAYS, ” THE BIBLE IS OF NO PRIVATE INTERPRETAION.” IF ONE READS IT LOOKING FOR THE TRUTH OF WHAT IT SAYS, THEY WILL KNOW REAL CHRISTIANITY. AND IT WILL CHANGE LIVES. “GOD IS LOVE.” ( 13TH CHAPTER OF I CORINTHIANS )



report abuse
 

dionysis

posted December 8, 2007 at 9:38 am


In our great political system we have the theory correct, for fear that one religion would dominate. In practice one religion is dominating today and it’s Christianity.
Romney felt the need to yield giving a nod saying I am like you, I believe Jesus is my savior. Regrettably the response by conservative Christian spokesmen were no you are not exactly like us, rejecting Romney’s acceptance of Christianity, as compatible with of his religion.
Do we not today have what our founders feared when they instituted the doctrine of separation of Church and State? Are we not in reality forcing Romney to pass a Christian litmus test before being elected president? Is this not Inquisition like in the face of one dominant religion?
Be who you are Mr. Romney, be the faithful husband and parent, be the honest administrator because just saying I am a Christian isn’t good enough for me anymore. Furthermore, since the only Christian president who acted like a Christian in office in my lifetime was Jimmy Carter, whether a candidate says they are or aren’t, is irrelevant. Most Presidents don’t act like Christians. Just be the good man you say you are.
The question should rather be Mr. Candidate If elected will you be the person you say you are?



report abuse
 

Joel Bryan

posted December 8, 2007 at 9:55 am


David,
I’m so sorry for the prejudice of people like Deb. My wife is Asian and, I don’t know about your experiences, but I’ve found most American’s don’t have such prejudice. I’m not sure but it seems she’s a Mormon and perhaps some Mormon readers of this article would like to repudiate her prejudice comments. Certainly, their church no longer supports such attitudes.
As for your comments, I can’t agree more. I hope Huckabee reads this and realizes now is the time to declare this and put to bed talk of religious prejudice. Just because we disagree with Mormons doesn’t mean we disrespect each person’s rights to believe as they see fit and certainly Mormonism shouldn’t be a disqualifier, unlike Carol’s reference to Satanism.
By the way, I saw you on TV the other day and I thought your articulated your position well. I pray God gives you wisdom as you continue in this career.



report abuse
 

Rebekah Anderson

posted December 8, 2007 at 10:52 am


I think Governor Romney did a beautiful job elaborating on America’s early history of religious intolerance and the need the
founding fathers felt to make a change. He hit it right on the head when he said that “freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom”. I, for one, want a principled, religious person in the White House running our country. You won’t find that in Hillary and I think the differences are crystal clear now. When Romney said, “Religious tolerance would be a shallow principle indeed if it were reserved only for faiths with which we agree”, I think he was sending a message to the American people that even his Mormonism can and should be tolerated and should not prevent him from being elected president. Let us remember that he is first and foremost an American running for president, as you or I would be. Let’s put his religion aside as the 5th Amendment to the Constitution insists we should, and consider the man’s brilliance when it comes to financial planning and growth (something our country desperately needs right now), his organizational skills and the ability to surround himself with the best, most knowledgeable people for the job. If anyone can turn around this country’s sagging economy, it is Mitt Romney. If anyone can bolster the average person’s faith in our country, it is Mitt Romney. If anyone can be an example of high moral character willing to protect the family and our American way of life, it is Mitt Romney. Let’s put this religion issue to rest once and for all.



report abuse
 

nnmns

posted December 8, 2007 at 11:16 am


“I, for one, want a principled, religious person in the White House running our country.”
Two words and a letter: George W. Bush. You may argue over whether he’s a principled, religious man but he convinced a lot of people he was and yet he’s been an utter disaster as a president. Fundamentalists and Evangelicals need to realize two things: 1) religiosity is fairly easy to fake and being principled is apparently also for many people, especially those drawn in by the religiosity
2) morality is a much broader than apparently their preachers deal with; medical care, a living wage, care of our shared earth, etc.
3) morality is available from a lot of sources, not all very religious.



report abuse
 

Mormon for 40 years

posted December 8, 2007 at 12:09 pm


As a former Mormon and Mormon missionary, if anyone doesn’t think that the Mormon church won’t try to capitalize on Romney they don’t know Mormons. Perhaps Romney is tolerant of other faiths, but Mormons are not. The Mormon church was founded on the principal that all other churches are apostate. Only Mormons have God’s priesthood and God’s prophets. Romney’s religion is not a credible foundation from which to propel his tolerance speech that is aimed towards evangelical Christians.



report abuse
 

faithful29

posted December 8, 2007 at 1:35 pm


Like many of you said, let’s put this religious debate to rest. This is not what a presidential election is supposed to be about.
What this country really needs in the White House is someone with Integrity. Merriam Webster’s Online dictionary defines Integrity as:
Firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values.
I want someone who’s not in this to make money (Pres. Bush) and someone who has some moral fiber (unlike Clinton). Our last 2 choices for president have torn this country further apart than I could have ever imagined because of their selfish behavior.
Give me a president who wants to bring us all together, no matter where our beliefs lie, and who wants us all to work together to improve our world, rather than destroy it. Give me a president who has a plan ready to put into place that will make things better for everyone, because our world is quickly turning into Hell on Earth. Give me a president who wants to project a positive image of america to the rest of the world instead of the nasty one that we’re currently projecting by being tyrants.
I am tired of liars and cheats. I am tired of presidents who enter war for unfounded reasons, except to say that they stand to benefit financially from it. I am tired of presidents who teach our children poor moral values.
I could care less about a person’s beliefs as long as they live them with honesty and integrity. If you really want to know who will get the job done, look at the way they’ve behaved in the past. If there are a million skeletons in their closet, they may not be the best, but if they have conducted their affairs with the respect and integrity, they will most likely conduct themselves the same in office.
And, can we stop all the mormon bashing going on. I don’t hear any of them bashing you for your religion, so just back off. Live and let live. If we are truly Christian, we will conduct ourselves in a Christ-like manner, meaning we will treat others as Christ would have treated them.



report abuse
 

Spidey

posted December 8, 2007 at 4:01 pm


The problem with the Mormophobics is Mitt has always been secular in all the public and private jobs he’s taken. Can anyone point out Mormonesque thing he did as Gov. of Mass? This atheists thing is very idiotic.This was a speech about faith not the lack of it. Atheists ‘s god is the government and imposing that world view on everybody. Much more dangerous than Mormonism.



report abuse
 

Jillian

posted December 8, 2007 at 6:10 pm


His opposition to gay marriage in Massachusetts, Spidey. The selective enforcement of the ‘1913 law’ in particular.



report abuse
 

nnmns

posted December 8, 2007 at 6:24 pm


“Atheists ‘s god is the government and imposing that world view on everybody.”
It’s amazing how many people who aren’t atheists and likely don’t know who they know who are atheists, are willing to say what atheists hold as a god. Just because your god is imaginary doesn’t mean you have to claim we have bad gods.



report abuse
 

John E.

posted December 8, 2007 at 7:40 pm


>>>
Give me a president who wants to bring us all together, no matter where our beliefs lie, and who wants us all to work together to improve our world, rather than destroy it. Give me a president who has a plan ready to put into place that will make things better for everyone, because our world is quickly turning into Hell on Earth. Give me a president who wants to project a positive image of america to the rest of the world instead of the nasty one that we’re currently projecting by being tyrants.
Posted by: faithful29 | December 8, 2007 1:35 PM
>>>
Yeah, but Al Gore isn’t running. Or were you talking about Kucinich?
Cuz you sure aren’t talking about Romney…



report abuse
 

Mary E. Bender

posted December 9, 2007 at 7:04 am


On reviewing the lecture of Mr. Romney, I did’t think it really
had say a specific point it was trying to make ,almost like hedging what was really behind what he meant. I couldn’t see what Kennedy had to do with whatever point he was writing about. As the Review of the paper said which I just read,what he could see is that Kennedy did not want to mix in any way statements about religion in the politics. The members of Belief Net know Religious Beliefs are critical to the road a person is taking in their lives.
I think anyone in the Public eye needs to be closely examined as to what their personal beliefs and ideas are. I think America in all of it companies ,organizations and government positions needs to weed out people that have the wrong ideas or “thinking”. Unless this country is more watchful and takes greater part in this countries affairs and direction, I am pessimistic about what the outcome will be.



report abuse
 

nnmns

posted December 9, 2007 at 9:10 am


“I think America in all of it companies ,organizations and government positions needs to weed out people that have the wrong ideas or “thinking”.”
Wow, Mary, and I expect you want to pick out what’s “wrong thinking”. And what would you like to do with those weeded out?
Just out of curiosity, where did you hear this idea?



report abuse
 

Thinker

posted December 9, 2007 at 10:42 am


OK, there are two things I have been thinking about and one of them is “worldview”. The evangelical worldview has proven to be one that divides, that seeks power over others, that rewards the rich and ignores the poor and really can’t seem to wait for the end of the world – that is – if you use the Bush administration as an example of Evangelical worldview.
The Catholic worldview (as evidenced by Anthony Scalia, William Donahue, and Archbishop Bernard Law ) in one in which wrong is covered up by power, bullying is the standard way to keep the sheep together, and sexual abuse is the fault of the victim.
We’re talking about individuals here – who live compartmentalized worlds – Romey’s worldview is less Mormon and more connected to immense wealth and the need to protect it and people who have immense wealth. Kind of like Bush’s undeclared worldlview.
Huckabee – I’ve been reading what he has to say – and I’m afraid someone was right when they said, the law won’t make any more difference to him than it has to Bush. Huckabee has a better worldview, but no skills or desire to protect the Constitution for everyone that I can detect. Romney doesn’t either.
Non of this has anything to do with these men being Baptist, Catholic, Mormon or Methodist.
So, I’m looking for someone who lives their faith and realizes that the Constitution has no religious test and that somehow we must figure a way to be compassionate and fair. Bush tried to fake that one for about five minutes and it just wasn’t there. Cheney – well I don’t know what happened there – . McCain – the only people who really like him or admire him are the people who don’t know him well. His Senate colleagues turn a peculiar shade of green trying not to say what they think about him – it appears his temper is more than a small issue. Clinton (or Elphaba if you are into musical comedy reference) at some point she must realize that her election would harm us all – not because of anything she has done – but because so many people hate her with little reason – she is not inspiring – why is that her greatest sin? I keep coming back to Edwards and Obama as the people who at this moment in time can help us be better people. Romney has the look of a president and a heart of stone. Huckabee has a good heart, a strong faith and the inability to fully understand the Constitution at this point. McCain – well as my 80 year old mother says – he’s too old and grouchy and will say something different every time he talks. Guiliani does not bear mentioning – his own moral failings are taking him down quickly. But he was a bad mayor, a bad husband, a poor father, a vindictive prosecutor and one who picks his friends from a rather slimy bunch. I want a race between good human beings, men or women of faith, who can inspire us to be better people and who will support the Constitution. Oh, yeah – some knowledge and skill with the rest of the world might be something we really need. A race between candidates like that would in itself be a healing thing. At this point – it isn’t going to happen. Such Republicans exist – I know of three who could perhaps be such a force. But I’m not going to name them. I’ll let you guys guess.



report abuse
 

Larry Parker

posted December 9, 2007 at 12:01 pm


Thinker:
Hagel’s one, I’m guessing, although he wouldn’t run against his close friend McCain.



report abuse
 

PatientWitness

posted December 9, 2007 at 9:06 pm


I like what Thinker wrote about “worldview.” As to the riddle posed at the end, well, sorry, Thinker, but I’m stumped.
A Republican (or Democrat, for that matter) professional politician who values the welfare of people over corporations, one who is not beholden to lobbyists, one who believes that no man is above the law, one who can think clearly and act responsibly, one who is spiritual but not zealously religious, … please tell us who you think fits this description.
Obama may actually fit this description but on the Republican side…? Wouldn’t fitting this description get one kicked out of the GOP?



report abuse
 

Kate

posted December 9, 2007 at 11:22 pm


Cuzco,
First, I was speaking of the Tribe that left the Middle East to come to the Americas around 600 BC. It could be totally wrong but some Mormon’s think Lehi was a descendant of the Tribe of Joseph.
Next, I think you misinterpreted what I was saying. I brought up the healthcare system, unemployment, and bringing the troops home. Our current president has not done anything good for those three issues. His religion has nothing to do with what he has done as president. Which again is why it should be left out of political debate. Actions speak a lot louder than words and we need a leader who fixes a lot of the problems we are having, not who talks about his religion. An equivalent would be voting for some one who is an atheist because you think he or she will do the opposite of what a Christian president did – simply because he is an atheist. I dont think one has anything to do with the other.
My point with the spirituality thing is that you can believe or not believe in a god and still do what behavioral psychology calls self evaluation. I have buddhist friends who are good at it, Mormon friends who pay attention to how their actions affect others, and paegan friends who also self evaluate. I have Muslim friends who pray five times a day and it helps them make difficult decisions. The term you give this intraspection is not important. The only things that we should be looking at when we vote for a president are the decisions he has made and the things he has accomplished. He needs to be a man that evaluates what we need to fix and knows from past experiences how to go about it. He needs to be above this crippling party system we have, have enough tact to be successful, and be focused on the major issues that are affecting all of us.



report abuse
 

Clara Singer

posted December 9, 2007 at 11:55 pm


I think Mit Romney did express his views on religion very clearly. I would be ashamed to refuse to vote for a good candidate for president of the U.S.A. because he is a morman or in the case of Barack Obama, a black. Grow up America.



report abuse
 

dionysis

posted December 10, 2007 at 11:06 am


Wow what a field of candidates we have! The first woman, the first Mormon, the first evangelical minister, the first African American, wow!
Here is my prediction: Romney will be elected in a close race with Obama after a ballot scandal in Utah



report abuse
 

B

posted December 10, 2007 at 2:56 pm


“Here is my prediction: Romney will be elected in a close race with Obama after a ballot scandal in Utah”
LOL. The only ballot scandal I can see in Utah is that Romney got 97% instead of 98% of the vote.



report abuse
 

Howard Mandel

posted December 10, 2007 at 4:53 pm


Discussing his personal beliefs in public is profoundly offensive to me and millions of other Americans who do not share his faith (or any faith for that matter). The ideas that secularism is the enemy, or that religion and freedom are codependent, are historically ridiculous and in conflict with the constitution. The principal of church/state separation is the single reason religion has thrived throughout American history. If Americans elect another pastor-in-chief religious freedom and democracy will be the first casualities.



report abuse
 

C.C.

posted December 11, 2007 at 2:02 am


Christianity was what our country…USA…was founded on. Christians believe in doing unto others as they would have them do to them…not doing to others before they do unto you…Christianity teaches to turn the other cheek…not kill all who do not believe as we do…we do not believe in killing all “infidels”…I am not a Morman, but Romney wasn’t ashamed of his religious beliefs in Jesus Christ and I think that is to be admired. Thank you.



report abuse
 

Jackie

posted December 11, 2007 at 3:54 am


Dear Mr Kuo,
I believe the pledge you outlined would not only serve the United States but the world.



report abuse
 

Kathleen Pelley

posted December 11, 2007 at 6:27 am


I have no plans to vote for Romney because I disagree with his politics, but I deeply respect his version of Christianity. I think that if we checked in with Jesus Christ, we might find that all of us mortals and our earth-bound churches have a very small part of the Truth. I am also very sorry that we have fallen so far away from the goals of separation of church and state that we cannot respect his right as a Mormon to call himself a Christian. I will be voting for President based on what I think is right for my country, not on what church he belongs to or does not belong to.



report abuse
 

Mary Stephens

posted December 11, 2007 at 7:27 am


This whole notion that we are a Christian nation is offensive to me. What about the hundreds of thousands of Americans who believe differently than our curent pastor-in-chief? What about those of us who don’t participate in an organized church,temple or mosque? Are we not American enough? Mr. Kuo, you are so right, leave religion out of politics, look what bringing it into politics has done for our nation.



report abuse
 

cernowain

posted December 11, 2007 at 11:30 am


Iowa is the reason for the Romney “blurb”, ie, the inclusion of a traditional profession of faith.
It was inserted into an otherwise fine speech simply because he is appealing to corn-bred Iowans who have done the “invited Jesus into my heart” thing.
I think most Iowans aren’t going to pick up a book of Mormon nor are they going to read all the anti-Mormon rhetoric on the web. They will simply take what he said at face value and say, “He’s OK.” Because a lot of Iowans are evangelical Christians but don’t dig into different beliefs in order to prove them wrong like Fundies like to do.
So, that’s why I think his statement was included. It won’t win any votes, but it will get the caucusers to at least listen to his political platform. He had to say that faith statement to at least get his foot in the door.
When he gets to New Hampshire, I predict he’ll make another speech on religion and politics that will not include a personal faith statement.
Since I’m not a Christian, I would just prefer religion be kept out of politics altogether, since the majority likes to lord it over the minority.
At least Romney isn’t like Huckabee who said “I am running to turn this nation back to Christ”. No thank you.
blessed be,
Cern



report abuse
 

Matthew Kabrisky

posted December 11, 2007 at 11:46 am


About one person in seven is a non-mystic: i.e., a person who does not believe in any form of revealed truth. Mystics, like Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, etc., refer to non-mystics as athiests. Non-mystic folks can’t understand why anyone can believe in mystical things which seems to be stuff “so strange no one could ever believe it”. Non-mystics constitue about 14% of the human population, making it the third or fourth largest group of “believers” on the planet depending on who’s doing the classifying. Since there is no way to make non-mystics feel embarassed by what they believe in, they never get swept up in the strange stuff that cloggs up logics and politics.
Matt



report abuse
 

Janey Darnell

posted December 11, 2007 at 9:32 pm


Lord. This is insane. :-P The lack of compassion, understanding, and general mayhem over a few remarks on Christianity is indicitive of how little humans understand themselves. If I’d been Jesus I think I’d have killed MYSELF.
I admire the fact that Romney even tries to talk about his religion, ’cause you know the world is full of people who are going to throw stones at you as soon as you do…all in the name of their God.
As far as I can see, their real God is not one who preaches Love Your Neighbor, Love God with All Your Heart; if you’re truly doing one you’re doing the other because These Are the Main Things and All the Rest are DETAILS. (No, their real God is likely to have a legion of names, Status-in-Our-Chosen-Community and I-Have-To-Be-Right-in-Order-To-Love-Myself at the top of the list.)
When people ask me if I’m a Christian I generally say, “That’s for Jesus to decide.” I don’t align myself with any major religion or believe 100% in any religious document or standard creed. If friends were to ask me to elaborate, I’d say I find the most Truth in Quaker tradition, but other religions have value as well. If Romney decides to elaborate on his religion, I say he’s a brave soul. Does that mean he’ll also make the best president? Not necessarily.
P.S. Here are a few questions I’d like to Kuo to answer. In your estimation, how many Americans honestly believe a person can separate political action and theology? I suspect it’s only wannabe politicians and some news reporters who like to pretend that’s possible. (Or maybe they think talking about one’s theology is the “bad” thing, but living it is something else.) While the Founding Fathers were not the fundamentalist Christians some would like to believe in, they still had interesting theology and related ideas on what U.S. Presidents ought to do in office. Which makes me wonder…what should we use at the swearing-in ceremony in place of a Bible if an atheist gets elected? Or has the whole Protestant God/president connection already been done away with? If so, somebody ought to alert the fanatic Muslims overseas. And a whole lot of American voters. ;-j



report abuse
 

Marcrega

posted December 12, 2007 at 11:05 am


I think that the foundation of this country is a Christian foundation. Not because we have a choice or not. It happened many years ago. I believe that is the reason we are the best nation in the world. If you don’t believe that, go and live a few months some place else. I did. That’s why I can say it. Another thing is. Have you all try to find out what the Mormons believe in? I did. I have some relatives that are Mormons and I investigated that church. It’s very different than anything you guys can imagine. That is why I’ll never vote for a Mormon.
Sorry, that is my opinion.



report abuse
 

KLBA1

posted December 12, 2007 at 3:15 pm


Whoa!
“Since there is no way to make non-mystics feel embarassed by what they believe in, they never get swept up in the strange stuff that cloggs up logics and politics.”
Last time I checked, the Soviets were self-proclaimed atheists, how about that great Soviet experiment called the gulag? That didn’t get people “swept up in the strange stuff that clogs up logic and politics?” How about the atheist Khmer Rouge and their massacres? Nothing to be embarrassed about there, huh? I guess when you have your own self-determined non-mystical morality, you can’t actually do anything that is immoral…



report abuse
 

Larry Parker

posted December 12, 2007 at 11:30 pm


Marcrega:
Would you refuse to vote for Barack Obama simply because he’s an African-American?
(I’m deadly serious.)



report abuse
 

randa

posted December 15, 2007 at 10:26 pm


The government is based on faith and religion. Our forefathers relied on faith and prayer. This world need men of faith and I think Rommeny would be a good man for the job. Mormons are good people that you can respect and honor.



report abuse
 

Doug

posted January 14, 2008 at 6:28 pm


For some reason there has been what seems to be underground debate as to whether Mitt Romney should be voted for because of his religion. While I believe that character and decision making ability are of the up most importance in a candidate, and religious conviction can be a good litmus test for these, I don’t believe that specific religious ideology is a benchmark to be used. This criterion smacks of religious bigotry and seems to disregard what the Founding Fathers initial declarations. The assertion most often being used against Mr. Romney seems to be that he is not a Christian. To maybe address those who are holding this as a criterion for this election, I decided to do some research. I should disclose that I belong to the same religion as Mr. Romney (which is probably obvious at this point). According to Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary a Christian is as follows. Chris•tian: \?kris-ch?n, ?krish-\, noun, Latin christianus, adjective & noun, from Greek christianos, from Christos, 1526, 1 a: one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ b (1): DISCIPLE 2 (2): a member of one of the Churches of Christ separating from the Disciples of Christ in 1906 (3): a member of the Christian denomination having part in the union of the United Church of Christ concluded in 19612: the hero in Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. By the first definition, I would propose that Mitt Romney is a Christian. The name of his professed religion is The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints. That seems to profess a belief in Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon, a book of that Mr. Romney’s religious affiliation asserts as scripture, refers to “Jesus” 186 times, “Christ” 389 times, and they are used in conjunction 67 times. This does not count allusions to Christ through terms like “the Son of God”, “Messiah”, and the like. One of the many passages in the book referring to Christ states, “And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 25:26).” This seems to be a long standing confusion among other Christian religions. The misconception was addressed by the leadership of Mr. Romney’s religion whom released a “proclamation” reaffirming Christ in as the central figure of their worship “As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth (2000 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. English approval: 12/99. 36299).” This evidence alone would legally justify the use of the title “Christian.” Instead it seems that other faiths would like to create a new definition of what a Christian is in order to further their political or financial agenda’s? Is it just a way of excluding those they don’t understand, want to understand, or fear? I don’t know the answer to these questions but on the surface feel that not voting for Mr. Romney because he is not a Christian is somewhat ignorant. If this is your current view I would suggest you seek out a member of the church and decide for yourself if they are not Christian. Christ himself gave his own litmus test when he said, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them (New Testament, Matthew 7:20).”



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting J Walking . This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Inspiration Report Happy Reading!!!

posted 9:36:25am Jul. 06, 2012 | read full post »

Dancing... or drinking through life
I am not even sure that I know how to do a link anymore. I'm giving it a shot though so, three readers, please forgive me if I mess this up. So Rod Dreher's sister is battling cancer. It is nasty. Their faith is extraordinary. Here's his latest post (I think) There are 8 comments on it. As I scrolle

posted 3:05:22pm Mar. 02, 2010 | read full post »

Back...
I'm back here at JWalking after a bit of time because I just want someplace to record thoughts from time to time. I doubt that many of the thoughts will be political - there are plenty upon plenty of people offering their opinions on everything political and I doubt that I have much to add that will

posted 10:44:56pm Mar. 01, 2010 | read full post »

Learning to tell a story
For the last ten months or so I've been engaged in a completely different world - the world of screenwriting. It began as a writing project - probably the 21st Century version of a yen to write the great American novel - a shot at a screenplay. I knew that I knew nothing about the art but was inspir

posted 8:01:41pm Feb. 28, 2010 | read full post »

And just one more
I have, I think, just one more round of chemo left. When I go through my pill popping regimen tomorrow morning it will be the last time for this particular round of drugs. Twenty-three rounds, it seems, is enough. What comes next? We'll go back to what we did after the surgery. We'll watch and measu

posted 11:38:45pm Nov. 18, 2008 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.