J Walking

J Walking


Unplugged on Romney

posted by David Kuo

Wow, got this from a very influential evangelical friend:

I don’t think most evangelicals are afraid that a President Romney will impose his esoteric Mormon morality on the rest of us. We’re not really worried he’ll try to ban caffeine (though Huckabee might), or hand out tax breaks for special underwear.
We’re afraid that nominating a Mormon will legitimize a cult.
Maybe there’s something Romney can say to assuage that fear. He didn’t say it today. It was a waste of time to reprise Kennedy’s speech.
Which makes his faith a legitimate concern for GOP primary voters. Why? Because Mitt will depress turnout. Many voters who might otherwise pull the GOP lever will stay home debating whether it’s worse to mainstream Mormonism forever or let Nurse Ratched take over the asylum for four years. Therefore, faith aside, he’s the wrong choice because he’s less likely to win.
It doesn’t matter how convincingly Romney claims he’ll compartmentalize his faith. Nor does it matter if, say, Romney makes the Huckster his veep. In fact, Romney taints the ticket whether he’s the presidential OR the vice presidential nominee.

This is what a lot of evangelicals really think but are afraid to say publicly.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(56)
post a comment
Larry Parker

posted December 6, 2007 at 5:13 pm


Which confirms my worst suspicions about how hateful at least politically motivated conservative Christians are.
(PS — I don’t support Romney. At all.)



report abuse
 

TPSoCal

posted December 6, 2007 at 5:18 pm


David,
I do not think your analysis is fair to evangelical voters. I would consider myself an evangelical voter, and a pretty conservative one at that. Romney’s faith is not any factor in whether or not I vote for him. My concern with him is not his Mormon faith, it’s that I am not sure he is a real conservative. He seems to have changed a lot of his stances over the years, so I am not sure he can be trusted to further the conservative movement. I am still undecided, and I am still considering Romney. It just isn’t fair to say that nails the evangelical thought on this topic. I am also in a strong evangelical family and not one of them has expressed concerns about mainstreaming Mormonism.



report abuse
 

Jordan

posted December 6, 2007 at 5:22 pm


Wrong.
Given the choice between Romney and Hillary, evangelicals vote for Romney, especially if Huckabee is the VP.
Given the choice between Giuliani and Hillary, evangelicals fracture (most stay home/vote third party).
More here:
http://blog.acton.org/archives/2044-Giuliani-and-the-Godbloggers.html
http://blog.acton.org/archives/2074-UPDATED-Mitt-Romney-Reassuring-Evangelical-Voters.html



report abuse
 

TPSoCal

posted December 6, 2007 at 5:58 pm


Larry,
It is not fair to judge all conservative Christians based on one person’s ill advised rant. I know a couple liberal Christians who have said some pretty outrageous things, but I do not assume all liberals feel the same way. I am a conservative Christian and I do NOT agree with the post in any way shape or form.



report abuse
 

B

posted December 6, 2007 at 6:29 pm


“We’re afraid that nominating a Mormon will legitimize a cult.”
I hate to break it to you, but Mormonism was ligitmized a long time ago. There are more Mormons in the US than there are Episcapelians. There are more Mormons in California than in Utah. There are more Temples in Mexico than there are in Utah. The whole “cult” label is just a way to scare parishoners into slamming the doors on Mormon missionaries. It is effective, but it isn’t true.



report abuse
 

Thinker

posted December 6, 2007 at 6:33 pm


Being a kid in 1960 in Evangelical – land – meant I heard every anti-Catholic rant you can imagine. My reasonable and loving parents picked up a bit of it. I mean – those anti-Catholic- the pope will be running things and Protestants will be persecuted rants were scary. When I became a Catholic, the reaction was pretty unreasonable. But over the years my parents realized it was the perfect faith home for me and were at peace with it. Now – I recognize that religion is the excuse for hating another. I do not support Romney. His ambition and lack of deep conviction is on display for anyone who looks very hard. His lack of compassion for suffering is legend in Massachusetts. This had nothing to do with his being Mormon. Kennedy’s womanizing, ambition and family were also legend. In reading his niece’s recent book on social justice and her Catholic background – I realized that her faith and Jack’s faith were very different. Kathleen Townsend’s faith is deeply rooted in the Gospel. Kennedy had the ability t inspire us to great things. Romney’s ambition is the overwhelming atmosphere that surrounds him just as it does Hilary Clinton. Neither has the ability to make us better than we are at present. I suppose that is what my kids are looking for. Inspiration and hope. I see it in Obama, in Huckabee (although recent events are making me doubt him a bit). Where I hear something besides ambition and self interest is in the populist voice of John Edwards. I never have the sense that Romney has been part of the world where schools are terrible, health insurance iffy, mortgages overwhelming. I don’t have the sense that he even sees the suffering that war creates. He would double the size of Guantanamo – what a silly and polarizing statement. Such a statement has nothing to do with his faith and everything to do with a lack of character. There is no connection that I can find between Romney and the lives of American people. He is wealthy, ambitious, and by some chance – Mormon. His Mormonism is the least of the reasons I would not vote for him. I t would not even enter into the decision at this point. John Edwards is probably just about as wealthy as Romney, but his connection to ordinary people at least appears real. If Huckabee will keep his ambition under control and be in touch with his memory of ordinary suffering, he might be an inspiring candidate. I want inspiring candidates. Neither Clinton, Guiliani, Romney or even McCain can bring out anything except our worst and most vindictive sides. If they are people who love their country, who live in humble obedience to their faith – they must see what will happen if they are elected. It is a dark and polarized hole from which we might not escape. I do not want to vote for anyone who will deepen my hopelessness, create further despair about our common life, or create further resentment in the opposing wings of political and religious thought. We are rapidly taking on the rage of Sheite’s and Sunni’s. Forgive the spelling errors – spell check isn’t working.



report abuse
 

Larry Parker

posted December 6, 2007 at 6:46 pm


TPSoCal:
Be careful.
I did not say ALL conservative Christians. I said POLITICALLY MOTIVATED conservative Christians.



report abuse
 

Doug

posted December 6, 2007 at 6:48 pm


I don’t doubt that’s the opinion of many but this is my very problem as an American with this movement (as opposed to my concern as a Christian which you stated very well today,) an election doesn’t legitimize the religion of the candidate and to think it does diffuses the role of government. The election of George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter did not legitimize evangelical Christianity. When we think of our elections as theological or tribal exercises, we get the appallingly bad government we deserve. No offense, but your friend should try pounding his head with a rock.



report abuse
 

SkipChurch

posted December 6, 2007 at 7:05 pm


So the reason evangelicals should not support Romney has nothing to do with his character or policies or record: the reason is simply to be true to one’s essential bigotry? Yikes. I guess the idea is that Mormonism will gain ground over David’s friend’s favored sect, and that would be a bad thing. My gosh. Talk about putting narrow sectarian concerns ahead of the public good!
Well, I guess we all know those pinheads are out there.
Pretty disgusting. Honest I suppose…but disgusting.



report abuse
 

D

posted December 6, 2007 at 7:26 pm


Hey B. nice try, but there are more beer drinkers than there are Mormons. Still, LDS is ONLY legitimized in the minds of Mormons.



report abuse
 

Rich from Ohio

posted December 6, 2007 at 8:53 pm


Hey, let’s just exterminate all the heretical Mormons or drive them out of the country. That way we won’t be tainted by their honesty, hard work, strong families and completely CHRISTIAN lifestyle. They only say they believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior. We know better, right?



report abuse
 

TPSoCal

posted December 6, 2007 at 8:59 pm


Larry,
Sorry if I misunderstood your post.
But I am still saddened over this post by David. Evangelicals are not monolithic in their politics or anything else. Haven’t you ever seen a Baptist and Presbyterian discuss predestination? To assume they would all agree on Romney is ridiculous. I have many evangelical friends and other members of my own church who are staunch Democrats and very liberal ones at that. I just don’t like it when I am labeled in a negative way by people who have never met me. Also, I think it is depressing to see fellow believers berate one another. It’s just not the way it should be.



report abuse
 

mperry57

posted December 6, 2007 at 9:09 pm


“We’re afraid that nominating a Mormon will legitimize a cult”
I refuse to believe that the majority of voting evangelicals could be that shallow.



report abuse
 

TPSoCal

posted December 6, 2007 at 9:10 pm


Larry,
Sorry if I misunderstood your post.
But I am still saddened over this post by David. Evangelicals are not monolithic in their politics or anything else. Haven’t you ever seen a Baptist and Presbyterian discuss predestination? To assume they would all agree on Romney is ridiculous. I have many evangelical friends and other members of my own church who are staunch Democrats and very liberal ones at that. I just don’t like it when I am labeled in a negative way by people who have never met me. Also, I think it is depressing to see fellow believers berate one another. It’s just not the way it should be.



report abuse
 

Sean

posted December 6, 2007 at 9:19 pm


Keep in mind that this is not just an issue with those nasty exclusive evangelicals. The LDS Church is not a member of the WCC, nor, unless something has recently changed, is it eligible for membership because of its theology.



report abuse
 

Mike

posted December 6, 2007 at 9:43 pm


All religions have started out being a cult. Historical Christianity began as a cult from the Jewish culture, and Mormonism started out as a cult from Judeo-Christian culture. We all follow beliefs whose beginnings were a cult. Deal with it people!!



report abuse
 

Roderick Percival

posted December 6, 2007 at 9:51 pm


David Kuo does not want a GOP to be president or is a very weak Christian!



report abuse
 

Jp

posted December 6, 2007 at 10:38 pm


No offense, but I liked you blog better when it promoted a fast from politics and didn’t have lots of politics.
Bring that Dave back! :)



report abuse
 

Sam Winward

posted December 6, 2007 at 10:46 pm


Fear of legitimizing a religion is a reason not to vote for someone? Sounds kind of like a religious test to me for office – the very type of test the Founders did not want to happen and forbade with Article VI of the Constitution. This influential friend could do well to take to heart the message of what I thought was a magnificent speech given today by a presidential candidate.



report abuse
 

ds0490

posted December 6, 2007 at 11:18 pm


Folks, I suggest you listen to David’s friend on this one. Here is how Romney is playing in one community not far from here.
This story was on the front page of the paper this morning (Thursday) above the fold.
http://www.thehawkeye.com/Story/vote_Romney_120607
Lots of folks from the evangelical Christian churches here are echoing this sentiment. They look at the temple over in Nauvoo, just 30 miles downriver from here, and wonder how they can support someone who believes in that.
David’s friend hit the nail on the head. Romney will depress turnout.



report abuse
 

B Sorenson

posted December 6, 2007 at 11:36 pm


So basically whay his friend is concerned with is protecting priestcraft; professing Jesus for profit. Anybody with a basic understanding of marketing would realise that the introduction of additional differientail products only increases the total demand of the core product, in this case religion. His concern is that Evangelicals can’t compete for the new converts as well as Mormons, and may in fact loose market share.
By the way the Mormon church has NO PAID MINISTRY. Interesting.



report abuse
 

Rachel McKinney

posted December 6, 2007 at 11:46 pm


I am an evangelical christian (even pentecostal) and I cried when I heard this speech. It’s been so long since anyone reminded me why I am so grateful to be an American. When was it? Oh yes, Ronnie Reagan. He was the first divorced president and was not exactly a true “born againer” but we all voted for him. We remembered that many of us had voted for Jimmy Carter the previous election because after all, he was a Southern Baptist and taught a sunday school class. He would have to be a great president! How fooled we all were and now we are confronted with another choice. A Southern Baptist Minister who is not a conservative but a populist or a truly great man who has the greatest track record of any candidate in my lifetime (and I’m old) and loves our great nation and can articulate that love and will defend it and our values. Oh, but wait, he’s a mormon! I did not vote for Jimmy Carter and I did vote for Ronnie and I will vote for Mit Romney!!!!!



report abuse
 

E Johnson

posted December 6, 2007 at 11:49 pm


I can appreciate the concerns of the evangelicals. But don’t be surprised if non-evangelicals turn on you. I, for one, will do what I’ve never done before–vote Democrat before voting for another evangelical religous bigot Republican. My views are shared by many. I believe Huckabee and his supporters are just that–religous bigots–and certainly not true to the traditions of the Republican party.



report abuse
 

Pamela Heinbecker

posted December 6, 2007 at 11:57 pm


I am a Catholic living in Salt Lake City Utah for 23 years. I attend daily Mass and I have observed and learned a great deal about the Mormon religion over these many years. I have yet to be able to define this religion as a”cult”. It is not aq cult..
The Evangelical Christians writing about it as a “Cult” do not know what they are talking about and need to, as one of your other writers noted, “Get over it”. I agree that all religions started out as more or less a “cult”. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is American in origin as a religious nstitution and a very young religion. Evangelicals need to get correct understanding about what is and isn’t a cult.
.
Hugh Hewitt, author and Professor of Law at Chapman College in Orange County Ca. is an Evangelical Christian himself, wrote a terrific bio. on Romney. “A Mormon In The White House; Ten Things Anericans Need To Know About Mitt Romney. Read 5 chapters of it and it will change your mind greatly about Mitt Romney.
Romney is the most competent, best educated, demonstrates the best judgement and is the most couregeous candidate running for President in either party a real leader and a great American. He represents the best in Anerica. He lives his values.
The Evangelical religious folks are treading on dangerous ground by with holding support for this
great man because they are uncomfortable about his faith.
Mike Huckabee, while articulate, great wit and connectivity with people cannot win this nomination.
Even if he did, he would fail to win the presidency. Gov. Huckabee has demonstrated little organization capability and has done very little due diligence to earn the nomination.. Mike Huckabee does not have the grasp or depth of knowledge of the issues of our time that Mitt Romney has. Mitt Romney on the other hand has not only gone out and raised 10s of millions of dollars, invested his own money in the campaign he has also spent an enormous amount of time engaging people in Iowa and New Hampshire iand other early primary states holding hundreds of town hall meetings in coffee shops and church gatherings all over Iowa and New Hampshire as well as the other primary states. He cares about the peoples concerns and listens. He meets and reaches out to each and every person when engaged in these meetings. Romney is more leader than politician. He definitely gets my vote and support. Finally, when the United States Olympic Committee fell into scandal and $376 million in debt it was Romneys brilliant managerial ability that pulled it out and Salt Lake City ended up with a $50 million surplus and his efforts restored the integrity of not only the U.S. Olympic Committee but also the International Olympic Committee.
Pamela H.



report abuse
 

nevadan

posted December 7, 2007 at 12:03 am


Rachel. I agree with your comments 100%. Romney reminds me of Ronald Reagan. I don’t believe the religion of the candidate should matter. Rather, his or her character should count. I believe Romney has character. He admits he was wrong on issues and doesn’t run from the fact that he was wrong. If you want to call it a flip-flop, then Reagan was a bigger flip-flopper. I don’t believe he’s pandering either.
As a Methodist, I can say I’m tired of giving the southern evangelicals a chance to produce a decent president. Johnson. Carter. Clinton. Bush. The two best presidents during my lifetime were Kennedy (Catholic) and Reagan (Presbyterian). I think its time we give a Mormon a chance. I Mormon in the Whitehouse would probably to wonders for this country.



report abuse
 

AComp

posted December 7, 2007 at 12:08 am


I have to echo the sentiment that the founders put into our Constitution the fact that we will have no religious test for the office of President. Personally, I feel offended by the comments of this man. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ (Mormon). I’m a college student and I did serve my church for 2 years without pay in a foreign country during the prime of my lifetime. I feel my religion to be very important. I also feel my country to be very important and am ever grateful for the religious freedoms which we have. I share conservative values of low taxes, less government involvement in our lives, strong families, strong values, etc. In fact, I am more conservative on these issues then many of our RINO friends in office. It saddens me to think that I would be (and am) discriminated against merely because of my belief system. Who gave the evangelical churches the authority to declare who the true believers are? Certainly not God.



report abuse
 

garth

posted December 7, 2007 at 12:14 am


So for evangelicals there is a religious test for the presidency. I have no problem with that. If you want to base your vote on religion that’s your right. I am stunned that an evangelical Christian would not vote for Romney because he’s Mormon and allow Hillary to run the country blows my mind. They would rather have Hillary appoint Supreme Court Justices, end the war in Iraq, determine where and how much the government spends money than have a Mormon president. If this is true we live in a sad country. It seems all the evangelicals want from Mormons are their votes for the Republican candidate (90+% voted for Bush in 2004) and their donations. But when it comes to running for the president don’t bother. Maybe Mormons should stay home or vote for the democratic party nominee. When you are so willing to dismiss Mormons remember that without them Bush would not be the president today. There are enough mormons in key states (remember they vote heavily republican) that they can swing just about any election. There are 125,000 Mormons in Florida, 350,000 in Arizona, 250,000 in Texas, 170,000 in Nevada, 130,000 in Colorado, 380,000 in Idaho, 1,750,000 in Utah. If Mormons had not voted in such high numbers for Bush in 2000 & 2004 Bush would have lost all of the above states. It would have been an electoral landslide for Gore or Kerry. Maybe it’s time for evangelicals to lighten up and give mormons a chance.



report abuse
 

S Kosta

posted December 7, 2007 at 12:24 am


I am a Mormon. The very core basic tenant of Mormonism is freedom of choice. Mormonism teaches that you are to learn as much as you can and make your own choices of your free will. That is why we are here. For the prophet to “order” a member to do anything would be a violation of that person’s free agency. Only God sits in judgment of man. Prophets are but the mouth piece of God but man always has his free agency.
The fact that Romney was ever pro-choice is a testament to the fact that his religion does not dictate his politcal stance on issues.
Core values that moth religions or non-relgious people for that matter believe are the answer to many issues plaguing America today. The breakdown of the family is the root of so many of our problems.
There a saying in the church.. “No success can compensate for failure in the home”
Now having said this I am not certain I will vote for Romney. I will not simply vote for him because he is also a Mormon.



report abuse
 

Chad

posted December 7, 2007 at 2:21 am


One evangelical’s opinion does not represent everyone’s opinion. How does this random unnamed person saying evangelicals won’t for him a scientific fact. Please use reason. A sample size of one does not justify your claim.
I am a Catholic college student. I support Mitt Romney stronger than I have ever supported any candidate for any office. He has conservative credentials and has proven he can win even the bluest of blue states. He turned around many companies as a venture capitalist. He will do the same with Washington DC.
Many people said that no one would vote for JFK… well… that ended up being very wrong.



report abuse
 

Robert Thomas

posted December 7, 2007 at 2:33 am


David is absolutely right on your assumption regarding people not wanting to legitamize the Mormon Cult by voting for Mitt Romney. I feel the exact same way as you describe. Whether there are large numbers of voters who feel the same as I do, only time will tell.
Just a simple investigation into the Mormon religion will uncover the clear fact that it is not a Christian religion. The Jesus they follow is not the Jesus of the Bible. Even though they call him by that name. It’s very deceptive.



report abuse
 

R. W. Seeley

posted December 7, 2007 at 3:16 am


How comfortable are the American people going to be with a President who takes part in secret rituals they know nothing about and can never see?



report abuse
 

Religious Patriot

posted December 7, 2007 at 3:40 am


After reading and listening to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannidy, Pat Buchanan, Bill Bennett, Dr. Richard Land and other conservatives, I realize that they all disagree with the religious bigots on this site and others. You remind me of the Sadducees and Pharisees of Christ’s time. Christ and his true followers set the example and only spoke of the gospel. All you seem to do is attack. Sad isn’t it.



report abuse
 

aniowavoter

posted December 7, 2007 at 3:51 am


I am a conservative Christian, lived in Iowa all my life, married, not part of any campaign, living in Iowa and thinking about voting for the republican nomination.
I watched Romney’s speech, he seems very serious about Mormonism, which I pray that the Lord will spare this country from.
That email is in line where I’m thinking. People forget that Mormonism is preached against in the churches of Iowa, and Mormon “missionaries” aggressively attack Christian’s belief in One God.
Mormonism just redefines terms like “Jesus” “God “Savior” “son of God” and “salvation” and “grace” to mean things completely new, that Christians have never believed in 2000 years. Those words have real meanings, and those words and phrases have meanings defined in the Bible. I don’t mean a dictionary, I mean the meanings of greek words have defined meanings and they are used in certain ways to create certain meanings. Nobody ever picks up the Bible and thinks its a cookbook. I know its hard for our post-modernist society to think that words have meanings, but if you’ve been able to understand my writing so far, you’ve demonstrated that its written communication is possible. God has spoken to humanity in the past by the prophets, but in these last days he spoke to us by His Son, Jesus Christ. He was crucified for our sins and rose from the dead, and whoever believes in him receives forgiveness of sins. His Apostles were the witnesses of his resurrection, and they received the Holy Spirit and we have their writings. They certainly didn’t teach that many gods existed.



report abuse
 

S. Kosta

posted December 7, 2007 at 7:28 am


As a former Mormon Missionary there is nothing in aniowavoter’s comments that I would disagree with except for the erroneous statements about what Mormons believe.
You would be amazed how close Mormon beliefs are to “traditional” christian beliefs. It’s much easier to believe a fabulous rumor or lie than the boring truth. I say that to Mormons as well because some are just as likely to believe false teachings about other religions.
The point is the more you see and know of us the more you see we are the same as anyone else. There are good Mormons and bad Mormons just like any other religion.
We need to take our common beliefs and save this country from the extremes of both the right and the left.
Europe and the Middle East show us the two extremes Europe Secular progressives and the Middle East with Theocracies. This is what makes America great we are neither. If we sway to far either way it is divisive.



report abuse
 

garth

posted December 7, 2007 at 8:02 am


Mr. Seeley,
Have you ever heard of the Masons? Do you realize how many of the founding fathers belonged to that group?



report abuse
 

Doug

posted December 7, 2007 at 8:30 am


TPSoCal, I agree with you. Influential Evangelical leaders are rarely as influential as they are described and never as representative. But I stand by the position that that portion of Americans who think secular, political elections serve as endorsements of the religion or frequent flyer programs of the candidates should pray for the wisdom God gave Mice and assist Him by knocking themselves on the head with a brick.



report abuse
 

Larry Parker

posted December 7, 2007 at 8:55 am


Agreed with Garth …
The huge monument to George Washington in his hometown of Alexandria, Virginia, let us not forget, is called the George Washington MASONIC Monument.



report abuse
 

Mark L., Lynchburg, VA

posted December 7, 2007 at 9:12 am


I do believe the future of this nation will perhaps be determined more by this election than at any other time in my half century on this planet. I am interested in the election of a leader that will insure that my children and grandchildren will grow up in a nation that resembles the one envisioned by our founding fathers. Mitt Romney seems to have the same vision, and I will certainly support him in that. I want a to elect a president NOT a preacher.
I find it quite interesting that so many “Christian” fundamentalists bash the Mormons with a religious template based on their own tightly held interpretations. They question the wearing of under garments considered sacred, and don’t look at their own religious history of the last century in the wearing of sheets, masks and funny pointed hats as they terrorized blacks, Jews, and just about anyone else that didn’t agree with them. It is funny that nothing seems to change, just now the (most)masks are off.



report abuse
 

James

posted December 7, 2007 at 3:07 pm


I must admit, I feel very similar to the friend that Kuo quoted, “[I'm] afraid that nominating a Mormon will legitimize a cult.”
As someone said earlier Romney’s stance on abortion shows that he is not controlled by the church… that’s a good point, but a separate one for me. Even if Romney was Mormon only by name I still believe that nominating him would help to legitimize the Mormon faith. Which is only a problem because I believe that the Mormon faith is false and damaging to our culture. However, that being said, there are more damaging things being legitimized everyday, and it is my choice to help or not to help legitimize them, as it it is my government given right to vote for a president of my choice for my own reasons, religious included. The next question I need to ask my self is what is most important? There are things more important than not helping to legitimize a cult, certainly, but do other candidates offer a better alternative then compromising on this issue? Probably. But, if Romney can present himself as the best candidate above all others, it’ll make it very hard not to vote for him.
All that being said I’ve heard it said that the best way to deal with a cult is to let them speak up about what they believe. To allow the light to shine in the the poorly lit areas and reveal. It might be a good idea to allow Mormonism to be more mainstream, it may open people’s eyes to its twisted version of “christianity” and draw more critics. It is a very new religion, quick growth and powerful people do not legitimize it. Maybe the result will be like that of Tom Cruise and Scientology.



report abuse
 

canucklehead

posted December 7, 2007 at 10:35 pm


David Kuo does not want a GOP to be president or is a very weak Christian!
Posted by: Roderick Percival | December 6, 2007 9:51 PM
I agree and I think we should do the evangelical thing and have a burning at the stake for Mr. Kuo and his ilk. Imagine someone insisting that a candidate be a believer first and a politician second. Sounds like some wacko Judean would-be rabbi they crucified some 2,000 years ago. Of all the nerve, David!



report abuse
 

responsetomormon

posted December 8, 2007 at 1:41 am


S-kosta,
I’m glad that you mention “how close Mormon beliefs are to “traditional” christian beliefs.” I’ve spoken to mormon missionaries, just like yourself. It doesn’t help that its “close.” Lets think about the conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees. The Pharsees believed Moses was a prophet of God, just like Jesus did. They claimed to believe in the ten commandments, they tithed, they studied Scripture. They believed in God’s creation and the resurrection of the dead, and angels.
Yet despite their “close” to Jesus, it wasn’t good enough.
Jesus declared
“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?” and “on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness”!
Jesus said “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” (John 8:46)
You are My witnesses,” says the LORD,
“ And My servant whom I have chosen,
That you may know and believe Me,
And understand that I am He.
Before Me there was no God formed,
Nor shall there be after Me.
I, even I, am the LORD,
And besides Me there is no savior.
Jesus Christ declared
“I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins,
for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”
Remember that Jesus Christ is merciful and righteous, turn from sin and believe in Him, the Son of the Father.



report abuse
 

John Allen

posted December 8, 2007 at 5:15 am


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
 

B

posted December 9, 2007 at 12:56 am


responsetomormon, your making one fatal assumption. You may be the snake.



report abuse
 

ella

posted December 9, 2007 at 3:57 pm


Thank you Thinker, for your always insightful comments. You are absolutely correct: Mormonism would be the very, very last reason not to vote for Mitt Romney. Give us someone with the spirit, character and ability to lift our nation back up from these undeniably dark, dark days.



report abuse
 

c kitty

posted December 9, 2007 at 4:20 pm


I am a little tired of the Evangelicals running the religious/political discussions. They remind me of the “cool” crowd in High School. You are only accepted if you are just like them, where the right clothes, use the right slang, etc. It never occurs to them that someone else might be closer to truth. Religious beliefs are all based on beliefs, not on any objetively provable facts. It is about choice. Whether one believes in holy water or holy underwear is not nearly as significant as whether one has the intelligence, goodwill and leadership to guide this country through some very tricky times ahead.
The fact that Evangelicals don’t like a particular candidate might very well be a good reason to consider voting for that candidate. After all, look what they talked the country into voting for last time.



report abuse
 

Timbo

posted December 10, 2007 at 2:20 pm


As a nonbeliever, I’m concerned about “legitimizing” Mormonism too. But I’d also add Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and any other faith system to the list. I’m voting for whomever mentions his/her faith the least.



report abuse
 

Eliza

posted December 10, 2007 at 6:59 pm


I’ve done a lot of research on Mormonism and it is a cult. The reasons it is not Christian are the following:
** they believe the Bible is incomplete and hold the Book of Mormon above it.
** Its founder Joseph Smith is described in history as an occultist. He held seances and used a crystal ball to gain inspiration while writing the Book of Mormon
** Mormons believe we all face a tribunal of God, Jesus and Joseph Smith to gain entry into heaven
** Brigham Young was quoted as saying “If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, Joseph Smith his prophet and Brigham Young his successor, you will be saved”
Christianity requires faith in Christ alone for salvation and the Bible as the revelation of God. Mormonism does not. This is the main defining factor. Catholics and Protestants of all denominations agree on this even if we disagree on some less important issues
His Mormonism aside, Romney is insincere and unethical. He is running the most negative campaign I’ve ever seen- spending his time launching false attacks on his opponents rather than telling us why we should vote for him. He has flip flopped on abortion and gay rights, changing his position more than once depending on whether he was trying to court liberal or conservative votes. This is appalling.
After much research on the candidates, I’m supporting Governor Huckabee. He is ethical, honest, and refuses to launch negative attacks even when he is attacked by Romney constantly. Check him out http://www.mikehuckabee.com



report abuse
 

Larry Parker

posted December 10, 2007 at 11:45 pm


The LDS Church is not a cult.
Scientology is a cult.
How can I be so certain? Besides the anecdotal evidence, one must keep in mind that all religions are “weird” in some way or another. Imagine orthodox Christianity as described to a non-believer who had never heard of it before … LDS beliefs would seem fairly normal in comparison!
It’s possible that the LDS Church should not be considered a Christian church. I’ll leave that to the theologians. But I do know, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, that we are all entitled to our own set of opinions, but we are not entitled to our own set of facts.
And to my knowledge the LDS Church has not told lies in the way that, say, Scientology does about psychiatry and so many other subjects.



report abuse
 

Jillian

posted December 11, 2007 at 1:31 am


You’ll be right at home in my newly founded Church of The Almighty Dollar, Larry :D



report abuse
 

JLFuller

posted December 11, 2007 at 10:40 am


I am going to re-post an earlier offering here.
David
Why Use the Term “Cult” to Describe Mormons?
“A cult is a group or movement exhibiting a great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea, or thing and employing unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion and control (e.g., isolation from former friends and family, debilitation, use of special methods to heighten suggestibility and subservience, powerful group pressures, information management, suspension of individuality or critical judgment, promotion of total dependency on the group and fear of leaving it, etc.) designed to advance the goals of the group’s leaders to the actual or possible detriment of members, their families, or the community.” (West & Langone, 1986). http://www.csj.org/infoserv_articles/langone_michael_term_cult.htm I included this definition because it is what the professionals use.
Mike Licona, writing in The Baptist Press, used a definition for the word cult as ” a group that refers to itself as Christian but which differs in one or more of the fundamental beliefs of Christian orthodoxy”. “So what” you say? Well, there is an old axiom that says you are entitled to your own opinions but you are not entitled to your own facts. The significance is, in this case, Licona wants to paint an emotional image of Mormons as being of the first definition while only being accountable for using the second. The second definition is only a weapon and is intended to deceive. Licona knows most people have no idea what a cult is but know it is not good – think Jim Jones and Jonestown. Not even Licona and the most ardent of his fellow travelers think that. But the word has staying power. It is useful. Like superglue, once it is applied it is there forever. To many Evangelicals, taking a critical look at the word and how it has been used becomes almost sinful. They have been told since they were children to be afraid of Mormons, which are evil-doers out to steal your soul and send you to hell. So they don’t think twice about. And now it has become a high profile wedge issue. If this was not spawned by Evangelicals then they certainly have adopted it and used it as a favorite tool.
Using the professional definition of cult would create a problem for them. If Mormons are not cultists, what are they? That is an honest question, one I think they are afraid to take on. Certainly no Mormon that I know of, including me, wants to humiliate or defame these people for thinking differently than we do although the other side is not so gracious. But neither am I willing to let them define us. We need a fair discussion of the differences in order for there to be mutual respect. Maybe we never agree on much, but at least we can at least learn not to wantonly abuse the other. But mutual respect does not appear to be what these people want – separation is. The downside for Southern Baptists, in particular, is that once Baptists actually learn the truth about what Mormons are and are not, they start to distrust their ecclesiastic leadership. It becomes a “you lied to us on this, so what else have you lied to us about?” In fact, the largest denomination converting to the LDS Church was reportedly said to be Southern Baptists according to Richard Land of the SBC. So it appears to me that a rapprochement on the SBC’s side would work for them better in the long run. And it is certainly more Christian.
I used Licona’s piece because it was found on the Southern Baptist’s website. Given Mike Huckabee is prominent in that organization, this has political overtones. I do not intend to hold Licona up to derision but rather as representing part of the problem I think needs redressing.



report abuse
 

Ministry of Silly Walks

posted December 11, 2007 at 5:28 pm


It might be helpful to point out that for many evangelicals, the term “cult” is theological rather than sociological. In other words, while for most people, the word “cult” conjures up images of mind control, communal living, weapons stockpiling, mass marriages, charismatic and authoritarian leadership, etc., those features are either incidental or absent in terms of what a lot of evangelicals are thinking about when they use the term “cult.” For them, a “cult” is a sect or religious group that denies one or more of the essential teachings of evangelical Christianity. And I have yet to meet an evangelical who knows the first thing about Mormonism who does not hold the opinion that Mormonism’s beliefs about Jesus Christ, the Bible, and the nature of God are, indeed, incompatible with orthodox Christian teaching. This is a matter of theological truth for them.
Of course, most of the rest of the world tends to use the term “cult” as a sociological category, and as such they have a hard time understanding why so many evangelicals insist on calling the Church of LDS a cult, since by sociological standards, 21st century Mormonism does not fit the description.
In some ways, this is quite beside the point. I am an evangelical who thinks that Mormonism contradicts basic Christian beliefs. Even so, I reject the reasoning of David’s friend. I have many, far more important reasons why I can’t imagine voting for Mitt Romney. Furthermore, I do not agree with others that we are coming dangerously close to some sort of religious test, and that it is far from self-evident that electing an individual has the effect of legitimizing whatever faith (or nonfaith) that person practices, especially if we can stop making such a big deal of it.
Even so, for the sake of clarity and better mutual understanding, I think it is important that all sides keep in mind that we are talking about very different concepts of what constitutes a “cult.” I would go so far as to say that it a term that is so loaded, so abitrary, and so subjective, that it has oultived its usefulness.



report abuse
 

Jillian

posted December 11, 2007 at 7:19 pm


Well, MoSW, if evangelicals could in fact draw the proper theological line in the traditional place, placing the practices and theologies of the historical occultic Christian heresies beyond the pale.
The problem is, it would, very embarrassingly, put many of their fellow evangelicals if not themselves on the wrong side of the line.
I’m always struck by how contemporary public conservative Christian theology tends to avoid what historical theology invariably emphasizes, which is to use the historical heresies (Arianism, Pelagianism, Manichaeanism, Gnosis, Marcionism, Socinianism, syncretism, etc.) as definitive of what kinds of beliefs and practices are not compatible with Christianity.



report abuse
 

Ministry of Silly Walks

posted December 11, 2007 at 11:37 pm


Oops, I meant to say, “I do agree with others that we are coming dangerously close to some sort of religious test…” Sorry!
Jillian, I would agree that contemporary evangelicalism is by and large woefully ignorant of Christian history, especially pre-Reformation history, which, of course, makes us susceptible to all sorts of silliness, error, and, indeed, outright heresy. Quite ironic, isn’t it?



report abuse
 

KLBA1

posted December 12, 2007 at 3:23 pm


I think it’s sad how we, whatever our religion or political affiliation, are letting the wool be pulled over our eyes by candidates and their advisers who think that we, as citizens and voters, are not able to vote on issues but have to find the “candidate who most believes like I do” or in many cases “who doesn’t believe what I don’t believe.” It’s a sad thing when the nation that used to have political discourse at the level of “The Federalist Papers” has to listen to candidates spew this sort of self-confessional talk show silliness. The media keeps telling us that “people of faith” will only vote for candidates who say/confess a particular thing. Is that actually TRUE? Or is it just something we all think is true because certain people say it so loudly and so often?



report abuse
 

Sage Boman

posted December 16, 2007 at 7:52 pm


A MESSGAE TO ALL, HERE IS THE TRUTH
“We’re afraid that nominating a Mormon will legitimize a cult.”
Mr. Kuo, respectfully, I believe you know very well that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Siants is anything but a cult. I tell you and all who read this humbly that the Church of Jeus Christ of Latter-Day Siants is in very fact the Church that Jesue Christ himself established in the New Testament.
Jesus Christ is the son of our Heavenly Father. He died on the cross and was resurrected on the third day. He lives today with a body of flesh and bone, that is why said to his disciples…”Handle me and see, for a spirt hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have.” We as members of his Church beleive that. I am a member of the Church under specualtion. I have grown up in this Church and never at anytime be taught that salvation cometh through another person other than Jesus Chrsit the son of God.
Joseph Smith saw Jesus Christ and the Father, everyonoe’s Heavenly Father. It’s as real as anything in the world. Jesus Christ was rejected by many, but that didn’t change the fact that he is who he is. The Savior of all mankind. Please look at “mormon.org” if you really want to know about this wonderful Church. -Sage



report abuse
 

Sage Boman

posted December 16, 2007 at 8:01 pm


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Chruch that Christ established in the New Testament. He built it with prophets and apostles. The Church has apostles today look at this! The words of a living apostle of the Lord. Go to mormon.org to learn more!
The apostle’s name is Jeffrey R Holland. I copied them from lds.org and have pasted them here because I suppose not many of our friends from other faiths have made it over to the website. :-)
“A related reason The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is excluded from the Christian category by some is because we believe, as did the ancient prophets and apostles, in an embodied—but certainly glorified—God.17 To those who criticize this scripturally based belief, I ask at least rhetorically: If the idea of an embodied God is repugnant, why are the central doctrines and singularly most distinguishing characteristics of all Christianity the Incarnation, the Atonement, and the physical Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ? If having a body is not only not needed but not desirable by Deity, why did the Redeemer of mankind redeem His body, redeeming it from the grasp of death and the grave, guaranteeing it would never again be separated from His spirit in time or eternity?18 Any who dismiss the concept of an embodied God dismiss both the mortal and the resurrected Christ. No one claiming to be a true Christian will want to do that.
Now, to anyone within the sound of my voice who has wondered regarding our Christianity, I bear this witness. I testify that Jesus Christ is the literal, living Son of our literal, living God. This Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer who, under the guidance of the Father, was the Creator of heaven and earth and all things that in them are. I bear witness that He was born of a virgin mother, that in His lifetime He performed mighty miracles observed by legions of His disciples and by His enemies as well. I testify that He had power over death because He was divine but that He willingly subjected Himself to death for our sake because for a period of time He was also mortal. I declare that in His willing submission to death He took upon Himself the sins of the world, paying an infinite price for every sorrow and sickness, every heartache and unhappiness from Adam to the end of the world. In doing so He conquered both the grave physically and hell spiritually and set the human family free. I bear witness that He was literally resurrected from the tomb and, after ascending to His Father to complete the process of that Resurrection, He appeared, repeatedly, to hundreds of disciples in the Old World and in the New. I know He is the Holy One of Israel, the Messiah who will one day come again in final glory, to reign on earth as Lord of lords and King of kings. I know that there is no other name given under heaven whereby a man can be saved and that only by relying wholly upon His merits, mercy, and everlasting grace19 can we gain eternal life.
My additional testimony regarding this resplendent doctrine is that in preparation for His millennial latter-day reign, Jesus has already come, more than once, in embodied majestic glory. In the spring of 1820, a 14-year-old boy, confused by many of these very doctrines that still confuse much of Christendom, went into a grove of trees to pray. In answer to that earnest prayer offered at such a tender age, the Father and the Son appeared as embodied, glorified beings to the boy prophet Joseph Smith. That day marked the beginning of the return of the true, New Testament gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the restoration of other prophetic truths offered from Adam down to the present day.
I testify that my witness of these things is true and that the heavens are open to all who seek the same confirmation. Through the Holy Spirit of Truth, may we all know “the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom [He has] sent.”20 Then may we live Their teachings and be true Christians in deed, as well as in word, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
There you have it! Isn’t it great to know the truth! You are invited to mormon.org as well. :-)



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.