Video: Mitt on America’s “symphony of faith”; Update: Inconsistent?

posted at 12:18 pm on December 6, 2007 by Allahpundit

Ramesh Ponnuru, Jonah Goldberg, and the Hammer all note a curious omission from his paean to tolerance. Or not so curious: I think it’s perfectly appropriate to omit atheists from a speech that was, after all, a pander, if an unusually lyrical one, since he doesn’t need to pander to us. We’ve been voting for believers for years and we’ll keep on doing so, even though Americans almost certainly would never return the favor. The grand irony in his message of religious harmony and mutual abiding respect is that he probably wouldn’t have delivered this speech at all if he wasn’t suddenly getting beat in Iowa by a left-ish candidate with no money whose main selling point to a large swath of the population is that he fits the traditional definition of Christian and Mitt Romney doesn’t. Will this change that and impress upon those evangelicals our common heritage of free exercise? He’d better hope so because the lefty’s suddenly exploding in South Carolina, too. The most memorable line in the speech isn’t any having to do with the Founding Fathers, it’s his declaration that if being a Mormon means the end of his candidacy, “so be it” — a poignant reminder of the facts on the ground, whatever his other rhetoric may be.

Still, well written and delivered if perhaps not quite magnificent, although feel free henceforth to regard me as someone “not to be trusted as an analyst” per that assessment. Oh — and for the record, Mitt did include atheists at one point, although not by name: “Any believer in religious freedom … has a friend and ally in me.”

Update: I was just thinking about this but David Frum — another analyst “not to be trusted,” evidently — beat me to it. The whole point of the speech, ostensibly, was to take the particularities of various religions’ doctrines off the table and focus on America’s common moral heritage. But in that case, what was up with 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.”

By reassuring Christians that he’s a Christian he’s suggesting that doctrine does matter. So remind me again, why can’t we ask him about, say, the Garden of Eden?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

But I don’t believe you get to call yourself Christian when you hold things to be true that every other church says are not.

silverfox on December 6, 2007 at 2:14 PM

Doesn’t that apply to all churches to varying degress?

MB4 on December 6, 2007 at 2:29 PM

Can Muslims say that they are Christians, too?

silverfox on December 6, 2007 at 1:37 PM

Not if they want to keep their heads.

MB4 on December 6, 2007 at 2:26 PM

But apparently Christians can say they are Muslims – there’s an Episcopalian priest (or maybe even Bishop) who’s also an avowed Muslim. Now that’s wacky.

But I think all this religious mumbo-jumbo is wacky, so I’ll stay mostly on the sidelines for this one.

peski on December 6, 2007 at 2:30 PM

Some interesting thoughts:

Andrew Sullavan: Bishop Romney

I should note that Romney was not only a bishop but was a Stake President who oversees bishops.

Also from Sullivan: The Romney Speech

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 2:31 PM

Doesn’t that apply to all churches to varying degress?

MB4 on December 6, 2007 at 2:29 PM

Exactly. The devil (heh) is in the details.

peski on December 6, 2007 at 2:31 PM

But apparently Christians can say they are Muslims – there’s an Episcopalian priest (or maybe even Bishop) who’s also an avowed Muslim. Now that’s wacky.

peski on December 6, 2007 at 2:30 PM

Yes it is, and I don’t know any Christian denomination that would accept such an idea.

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 2:31 PM

Exactly. The devil (heh) is in the details.

peski on December 6, 2007 at 2:31 PM

Well, according to LDS doctrine, he is also the brother of Jesus.

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 2:32 PM

You’re both wrong. Check your mica.

RushBaby on December 6, 2007 at 2:28 PM

Midwest Insulation Contractors Association?

What the hell would they know about it?

MB4 on December 6, 2007 at 2:32 PM

Steven Taylor makes a good point:

Romney actually reinforced some of the prevalent criticisms of Mormonism, notably that it is ultimately too secretive (or, at least, very evasive) about its core doctrines when he suggests in the quote above that he basically doesn’t have to go into a detailed explanation of his church’s distinctive doctrines.

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 2:35 PM

I’m not trying to smear. But I don’t believe you get to call yourself Christian when you hold things to be true that every other church says are not. I find it dishonest.

silverfox on December 6, 2007 at 2:14 PM

More commentary on Romney’s “electability”?

/sarc

Buy Danish on December 6, 2007 at 2:39 PM

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 2:35 PM

You’re just relentless aren’t you? Get over it, already. I just hope for the sake of the country you are in the minority.

Patriot33 on December 6, 2007 at 2:40 PM

All I know is that if the doctrines of Mormonism produce highly effective, law-abiding, family oriented people who love America they (the doctrines) must not be bad.

NTWR on December 6, 2007 at 2:40 PM

Hening: Decker was expelled from the LDS church for living in adultery for the majority of his marriage. If you want to take his word as a sort of spiritual guide, by all means. Oh, and he’s lied about what positions he’s held in the church too.

Vanceone on December 6, 2007 at 2:12 PM

Do you mean adultery an in multiple wives? I thought some sects of Mormons still are doing that?

As I mentioned, Decker is one in a series of ex-Mormons (men and women), who have become evangelical Christians and have written about the theology not being the same. There are a few books out written to open dialog with Mormons and compare the Book of Mormon with Biblical Scripture.

Hening on December 6, 2007 at 2:41 PM

Patriot33,

Just sharing the views that are out there. Pro-Romney views are not the only ones there and Romney didn’t give the speech to convince his supporters he is a good guy. He gave the speech for people who don’t like the idea of giving a platform to the LDS church so they can do more recruiting. I don’t know if he convinced them to change their minds or not.

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 2:45 PM

Can Muslims say that they are Christians, too?

silverfox on December 6, 2007 at 1:37 PM

Not if they want to keep their heads.

MB4 on December 6, 2007 at 2:26 PM

But apparently Christians can say they are Muslims – there’s an Episcopalian priest (or maybe even Bishop) who’s also an avowed Muslim. Now that’s wacky.

peski on December 6, 2007 at 2:30 PM

That reminds me of the joke about the smoker and the two Priests.

John went to Father Jones and asked, “Father is it alright if I smoke when I am praying?” Father Jones replied, “Of course not my son, that would be terrible.”

So John went to Father Smith and asked, “Father is it alright if I pray when I am smoking?” Father Smith replied, “Of course my son, that would be just fine.”

MB4 on December 6, 2007 at 2:46 PM

You know, in my religion God created Lucifer and Lucifer was actually his right hand man for a while. Then there was that whole betrayal thing and God created Hell and cast Lucifer and his fallen horde into it.

Therefore: YOU BELIEVE GOD CREATED SATAN, MASTER OF DARKNESS! AND THAT SATAN WAS ONCE PARTNERS WITH GOD! YOU CATHOLICS ARE NUTTY!

That’s the groutesque, hideous “logic” on display here. If Mitt were a Catholic, he would be spouting blasphemy and promoting heresy, but he isn’t a Catholic so what he believes is fairly irrelevant.

All these pundit chumps wringing their hand about how “secretive” Mormonism is are full of crock. Mormonism is so secretive that you can find countless articles about it online and, if you actually bothered to look for it, you could ask your local Mormon church what they believe.

These bloviating morons are in the same realm of 9/11 truthers that believe the Bush admin is the most non-transparent, secretive, underground fascist presidency in history, despite the fact President Bush tells us when he’ll be out for 6 hours for a colonoscopy.

BKennedy on December 6, 2007 at 2:48 PM

That reminds me of the joke about the smoker and the two Priests.

John went to Father Jones and asked, “Father is it alright if I smoke when I am praying?” Father Jones replied, “Of course not my son, that would be terrible.”

So John went to Father Smith and asked, “Father is it alright if I pray when I am smoking?” Father Smith replied, “Of course my son, that would be just fine.”

MB4 on December 6, 2007 at 2:46 PM

I guess I’m to dense to get the joke (won’t be the first time). The underlying Catholic doctrine on prayer is the same between the two priests. Prayer is talking with God. Whether you are smoking or not is more of a liturgical discipline rather than a theological point of right or wrong.

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 2:50 PM

BKennedy on December 6, 2007 at 2:48 PM

Thanks, shows another a difference between LDS beliefs and Christianity.

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 2:52 PM

BKennedy on December 6, 2007 at 2:48 PM

By the way, do you think calling people names will help your cause?

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 2:53 PM

He gave the speech for people who don’t like the idea of giving a platform to the LDS church so they can do more recruiting.

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 2:45 PM

AHA! The truth comes out.

By the way, who the hell is Stephen Taylor, and how does he get to speak for me when he declares what Protestants believe about Mormons?

Buy Danish on December 6, 2007 at 2:57 PM

Therefore: YOU BELIEVE GOD CREATED SATAN, MASTER OF DARKNESS! AND THAT SATAN WAS ONCE PARTNERS WITH GOD! YOU CATHOLICS ARE NUTTY!?

By the way, Catholics don’t believe this. If you really care to know what Catholics believe about the devil see this.

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 2:58 PM

AHA! The truth comes out.

Buy Danish on December 6, 2007 at 2:57 PM

I’ve been saying the same thing for awhile now. Where have you been?

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 3:00 PM

That’s the groutesque, hideous “logic” on display here. If Mitt were a Catholic, he would be spouting blasphemy and promoting heresy, but he isn’t a Catholic so what he believes is fairly irrelevant.

The people waxing theologically probably have much more in common than you realize when it comes to politics. This is no reflection on Mitt as much as a discussion of religion. If Mitt gets the Republican nod, I will vote for him and I’m sure the rest of the systematic theologians on this thread would as well.

I think we all celebrate the fact that the personal choice of faith plays a lesser role than leadership ability, and that our country can have anyone with or without faith run for President, or speak their mind and we can get behind them.

Hening on December 6, 2007 at 3:01 PM

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 3:00 PM

Not hanging on to your every word, dude.

Buy Danish on December 6, 2007 at 3:02 PM

Not just a B+ but a B++.

Allahpundit on December 6, 2007 at 12:36 PM

You know, I could really go for a sandwich right now. Any suggestions, Hugh?

John from WuzzaDem on December 6, 2007 at 3:03 PM

Hening on December 6, 2007 at 3:01 PM

Right now I would vote for Mitt or any other Republican who gets the nod (except Paul).

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 3:03 PM

By the way, Catholics don’t believe this. If you really care to know what Catholics believe about the devil see this.

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 2:58 PM

The capitalized section was clearly hyperbolic half-truth indicative of the kind atheists and anti-Catholics use at every turn.

Quoth:

“Here it is clearly taught that the Devil and the other demons are spiritual or angelic creatures created by God in a state of innocence, and that they became evil by their own act.”

And then:

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, who didst rise in the morning? how art thou fallen to the earth, that didst wound the nations? And thou saidst in thy heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit in the mountain of the covenant, in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the height of the clouds, I will be like the most High. But yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, into the depth of the pit. (Isaiah 14:12-15)”

With:

“As may be gathered from the language of the Lateran definition, the Devil and the other demons are but a part of the angelic creation, and their natural powers do not differ from those of the angels who remained faithful. Like the other angels, they are pure spiritual beings without any body, and in their original state they are endowed with supernatural grace and placed in a condition of probation. It was only by their fall that they became devils.”

Thus one concludes that God created all the angels, Lucifer was the chief rebel who sought to bring down God with his own army of angels, and he lost and was cast to hell.

Yeah bnelson, I’m fairly certain I know my faith as well as or better than you do. Thank you for the link though, I will take the chance to read it more thoroughly in my spare time.

BKennedy on December 6, 2007 at 3:14 PM

Evangelicals for Mitt’s Speech [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

This, from a plugged-in evangelical friend in D.C. who really doesn’t want to have to vote for a Mormon and is really not a Romney fan:

It was a fantastic speech. He said what he needed to-not too much, not too little. At the end, the burden was on the American people-”Will you really keep me from the Presidency because of what I believe. . . . in a pluralistic society?”

And you know me-I say this only grudgingly. Couldn’t have gone any better for him.

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZTQ1OWI2MWNhM2JkYjAyMWFkNGI3YzM1MDAzMjk1MTA=

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 3:16 PM

Thus one concludes that God created all the angels, Lucifer was the chief rebel who sought to bring down God with his own army of angels, and he lost and was cast to hell.

yep

Yeah bnelson, I’m fairly certain I know my faith as well as or better than you do. Thank you for the link though, I will take the chance to read it more thoroughly in my spare time.

BKennedy on December 6, 2007 at 3:14 PM

I think, if I understand LDS theology correctly, the major differences here between the two religions is a profoundly theological one. Specifically in the nature of God, the nature of the devil, and in how the devil came into being.

The reference I pointed you to: http://www.newadvent.com
contains what we know as the “Old Catholic Encyclopedia” there is a newer one that is under copyright and not online. However, there are no dogmatic changes between the two (Catholics like to believe we have not changed any dogma in 2,000 years). There are, of course, liturgical differences and such, and some saints have been dropped from the list of saints. To Catholics a saint is anyone who the Church is certain is in heaven. There are a number of historical articles in the encyclopedia that have also been updated as newer information was discovered.

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 3:25 PM

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 3:25 PM

I work as a reporter/photographer/staff for a Catholic newspaper so I’m pretty much required to know, at least broadly, the tenets of my faith and why they are what they are. Some of the more obscure details escape me but for the most part while I won’t be able to identify a quote by book (much less chapter or verse,) I know the basics and have the resources at my disposal to check should I need further assistance.

BKennedy on December 6, 2007 at 3:30 PM

Thus one concludes that God created all the angels, Lucifer was the chief rebel who sought to bring down God with his own army of angels, and he lost and was cast to hell.

Just one more point. God is not an angel. He is superior to the angels. The devil’s greatest sin was to think he was equal to God. There was never any doubt who would win out when the devil went against God.

BKennedy on December 6, 2007 at 3:14 PM

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 3:32 PM

Just one more point. God is not an angel. He is superior to the angels. The devil’s greatest sin was to think he was equal to God. There was never any doubt who would win out when the devil went against God.

BKennedy on December 6, 2007 at 3:14 PM

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 3:32 PM

That’s pretty much covered by “God created all the angels.” One would assume that no God who is all-knowing and all-powerful could either A: ever logically be overpowered or B: make the rookie mistake of creating beings more powerful than he. 8D

BKennedy on December 6, 2007 at 3:34 PM

Thanks for crediting me, AP

corona on December 6, 2007 at 3:35 PM

The First Team on Fox Sports radio does a weekly segment on man crushes. I think that Hugh Hewitt used a rocket-powered jet pack to fly a few solar systems over that line straight into hero worship.

Maybe someone should mention to Hugh that the line between admiration and sychophancy should be, just maybe, a little bit wider.

Physics Geek on December 6, 2007 at 3:35 PM

BKennedy on December 6, 2007 at 3:34 PM

Yea, I know, but it is important when comparing the two doctrines.

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 3:38 PM

John from Wuzzadem, ask and ye shall receive.

Physics Geek on December 6, 2007 at 3:41 PM

Oh — and for the record, Mitt did include atheists at one point, although not by name: “Any believer in religious freedom … has a friend and ally in me.”

I meant to comment on this quote from AP earlier:

All Atheists do not believe in religious freedom, but I have no doubt that Allah is among those who do.

Buy Danish on December 6, 2007 at 3:54 PM

Yep! Hewitt’s right, Mr. Pundit’s wrong. Have a nice day. . .

Just look at the comments above where differences are being used to divide us. Where sides have been chosen, and are being defended. Where superiority is determined by the number of debate points scored during the argument.

We need a president who will celebrate the common values that make us who we are as a nation, and ignore the petty differences that you(all) are using to divide us.

I don’t care what dogma, or ceremony you hold dear, and which you abhor.

I do care that you do not murder me, my family, seize my property, or imprison me simply because I disagree with your opinion, or seek to tax me into poverty because you don’t like what I think, say or do.

Have a nice day . . .

rockhauler on December 6, 2007 at 3:57 PM

I’m of the opinion that Mitt and his allies have engineered most of this. It’s his “don’t tase me, bro” act that makes me suspicious. I had a cousin that when we were kids would always start yelling “ow ow stop hitting me!” when he was losing a game of Chinese checkers or we were arguing over a toy and the adults would come running from the other room to save him from my supposedly vicious attack and this has the same “manufactured” feel to it.
He’s too clever by half.

…and yes, I finally beat the crap out of my cousin since I was getting punished for it anyway.

TBinSTL on December 6, 2007 at 3:58 PM

Yep! Hewitt’s right, Mr. Pundit’s wrong.

rockhauler on December 6, 2007 at 3:57 PM

Absolutely. Hard to argue with logic like this:

Mitt Romney’s “Faith in America” speech was simply magnificent, and anyone who denies it is not to be trusted as an analyst.

John from WuzzaDem on December 6, 2007 at 4:08 PM

In reading the speech it is excellent. It represents the best of America.

Those making criticism of it, have their own agenda. No doubt for the most part their own lack of faith with our Almighty Father.

MarkB on December 6, 2007 at 4:10 PM

Mitt’s speech was one of the best candidate speeches in the history of our country. Nayseyers can nitpick, question, and ridicule all they want, but his points were dead on and exceedingly well put.

davenp35 on December 6, 2007 at 4:26 PM

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007

Please take your blatant bigotry to one of the leftist hate sites.

davenp35 on December 6, 2007 at 4:31 PM

I guess I’m to dense to get the joke (won’t be the first time). The underlying Catholic doctrine on prayer is the same between the two priests. Prayer is talking with God. Whether you are smoking or not is more of a liturgical discipline rather than a theological point of right or wrong.

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 2:50 PM

The idea is that if the guy is praying then smoking would be a distraction from praying – bad.

But if he is smoking and added in some praying that would just be a bonus – good.

MB4 on December 6, 2007 at 4:39 PM

The idea is that if the guy is praying then smoking would be a distraction from praying – bad.

But if he is smoking and added in some praying that would just be a bonus – good.

MB4 on December 6, 2007 at 4:39 PM

Oh, thanks. Guess I need a guidebook.

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 4:43 PM

The idea is that if the guy is praying then smoking would be a distraction from praying – bad.

But if he is smoking and added in some praying that would just be a bonus – good.

MB4 on December 6, 2007 at 4:39 PM

It’s one of those intent vs. behavior deals.

If you intend to smoke while halfheartedly praying you’re not on solid ground.

If you intend to pray but happen to unconciously start smoking out of a bad habit you developed you’re in the clear, although you should seriously consider praying to get rid of the habit and for the strength to take concrete actions to remedy it.

BKennedy on December 6, 2007 at 4:45 PM

although you should seriously consider praying to get rid of the habit and for the strength to take concrete actions to remedy it.

BKennedy on December 6, 2007 at 4:45 PM

:)

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 4:46 PM

Please take your blatant bigotry to one of the leftist hate sites.

davenp35 on December 6, 2007 at 4:31 PM

What did I say that was bigoted? That Mormons are not Christians? That is simply what all Christian denominations say. Why is that bigoted? I’m sorry I am not fawning all over Mitt today. I think it was an excellent speech and I said that. I don’t know if it will satisfy the audience he is after. However, he may get some people to look at him again which may net him some votes.

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 4:53 PM

Evangelical Leader Applauds Religion Speech by Romney

COLLEGE STATION, Texas, Dec. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Reverend Rob Schenck (pronounced SHANK), an Evangelical minister who is chair of the Committee on Church and Society for the Evangelical Church Alliance, America’s oldest association of Evangelical clergy, as well as president of the National Clergy Council, a network of conservative church leaders, today applauded Mitt Romney’s speech about the candidate’s views on faith in the public square.

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/news_press_release,237658.shtml

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 5:18 PM

I don’t think he’s reassuring Christians the he’s a Christian–he’s trying to say that all Christians have a basic belief in Christ as common and that this is what matters.

jeanie on December 6, 2007 at 5:29 PM

I don’t think he’s reassuring Christians the he’s a Christian–he’s trying to say that all Christians have a basic belief in Christ as common and that this is what matters.

jeanie on December 6, 2007 at 5:29 PM

Yes, that is what he is saying. He is also saying it is unamerican to ask for more details about a candidate’s beliefs. Not sure that was intended by the founding fathers, but maybe it was. It has definately become the custom. Will it work for him in this primary is the question. It might. Going into this speech I thought it was a bad idea for him. He actually accomplished more than I thought he would and probably gave the best speech possible on this subject. We will see if he knocks any wind out of Huck’s sales with it. He definately alienated a lot of liberals with the speech, which could be a problem in the general election (but they probably would vote for Hillary anyway).

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 5:36 PM

The speech was terrific.

However, my problems with Romney are due to his changing of positions, his ‘slickness’, his need to talk to his lawyers
before making decisions, and my own personal gut feeling that I don’t trust him.

The fact that the panderer extraordinaire Hugh Hewitt, the Bush White House, G.H.W.Bush, and Rupurt Murdoch all LOVE Mitt Romney scares the livin’ sh*t outta me.

Like ya’ll said- Harriet Miers, anyone?

Ex-tex on December 6, 2007 at 5:37 PM

He definately alienated a lot of liberals with the speech,
bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 5:36 PM

Are you saying that talking about religion, about having religious belief is offensive to liberals? Or are you saying that talking about traditional American values are offensive to liberals?

I do understand liberals when they say the want to take back America, or change America to mean that they want to change the US from what it has always been; i.e. Christian, self reliant, thrifty, hardworking, to something else more leftist, socialist.

Or have I missed something? What was offensive to liberals?

rockhauler on December 6, 2007 at 5:51 PM

It was a good speech, what I expected.
So why is he so good at speeches, but not action? We should vote to elect him the Presidents speech writer. We’ll let the real leaders do the heavy lifting.

right2bright on December 6, 2007 at 5:52 PM

Midwest Insulation Contractors Association?

What the hell would they know about it?

MB4 on December 6, 2007 at 2:32 PM

*Sigh*. From the headlines, this mica.

RushBaby on December 6, 2007 at 6:09 PM

So the nonsense of Mormonism is now on par with the nonsense of Catholicism. It is only a matter of time before Scientology is acceptable too.

I give some slack to my Catholic relatives, because 2000+ years ago is a long time. Who the hell really knows what was going on back then? The smart ones rationalize it with words like figurative, non-literal, and allegorical. But my other relatives (by marriage into a Mormon family), the 1820′s, babbling into a hat, seer stones, Israelites in New World, etc. Come on, I know a huckster when I see one (no pun intended). Mormonism is the religion of many great upstanding citizens, but it’s still nonsense. Similarly, Scientology makes great actors, but it too is nonsense.

If someone is gullible enough to fall for Joseph Smith’s nonsense or L. Ron Hubbard’s nonsense, I reserve the right to question their judgment (not their religion, but their judgment).

tommylotto on December 6, 2007 at 6:20 PM

So the nonsense of Mormonism is now on par with the nonsense of Catholicism. It is only a matter of time before Scientology is acceptable too.

I give some slack to my Catholic relatives, because 2000+ years ago is a long time. Who the hell really knows what was going on back then? The smart ones rationalize it with words like figurative, non-literal, and allegorical. But my other relatives (by marriage into a Mormon family), the 1820’s, babbling into a hat, seer stones, Israelites in New World, etc. Come on, I know a huckster when I see one (no pun intended). Mormonism is the religion of many great upstanding citizens, but it’s still nonsense. Similarly, Scientology makes great actors, but it too is nonsense.

If someone is gullible enough to fall for Joseph Smith’s nonsense or L. Ron Hubbard’s nonsense, I reserve the right to question their judgment (not their religion, but their judgment).

tommylotto on December 6, 2007 at 6:20 PM

So I take it you find Guiliani’s blatant rejection of his religion an appealing trait?

A man who fails to follow the simple, commonsense, generally conservative edicts of his office is a man of far, far more questionable judgement then a man who acts rightly and justly towards others because he feels called to do so.

BKennedy on December 6, 2007 at 6:23 PM

Hening: Decker was expelled from the LDS church for living in adultery for the majority of his marriage. If you want to take his word as a sort of spiritual guide, by all means. Oh, and he’s lied about what positions he’s held in the church too. Vanceone on December 6, 2007 at 2:12 PM

Case in point, any dissenter from the Mormon religion is villified as spiritually weak and undeserving of God’s grace and human compassion for experiencing an independent epiphany.

Actually, GRACE is not very Mormon, because it is by one’s obedience to Mormon dictates (specifically attendance of meetings, no joke) that they prove their worthiness to their god (proof of their integrity).

Hening’s points are valid, vanceone, like it or not.

Be clear about the Mormon term “the Gospel” as the Mormon gospel INCLUDES ALL of their past scriptures and current magazine publications and every word spoken at their General Conferences. Specifically, they coin the phrase, “the gospel in the fullness of its glory” as only Mormons would have it. So their gospel is not as read in the New Testament or even the four Gospel books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Actually, with all of the vindictive hatred that Mormons pronounce on those who leave their fold (sons of perdition, the higher you climb in their heirarchy determines the proportionate depth in hell that you “fall” having committed the UNPARDONABLE SIN of disagreeing with THEIR AUTHORITY), their gospel is not very good news.

Propaganda WORDING has become the greatest issue for the Mormon salesmanship campaign for power (members and influence) as truly their original doctrines are bastardizations of an eclectic array of interests that caught the eye of a con artist named Joseph Smith:
Swedenborg and angelic visitors
Utopian Communism and the Order
Legitimizing extra-marital affairs with plural marriage
Free Masonry and the temple ceremony
Nonsensical translations of Egyptian heiroglyphs with his OTHER SCRIPTURES, Pearl of Great Price & his dictates according to whim, Doctrine and Covenants…etc., etc., etc.

maverick muse on December 6, 2007 at 6:47 PM

Anyone see the Fox Report with Sheperd Smith tonight? They were giving a brief history of the LDS faith…and the background music they were playing was..AVE MARIA!

DOH!!

Schweggie on December 6, 2007 at 7:46 PM

Open letter feedback to Tom Bevan:

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been sickened by the fawning adulation that Hugh has heaped on Romney these past few months. Get a room, already! My respect for your blog just took a quantum leap, because somebody had to say it. I cannot stand Romney. I have not settled on any other candidate, but Romney makes my skin crawl. The tone of his voice irritates me. He is slick, sly, slippery and whatever other bad word you can think of that begins with “s”! I hope you can help pull Hugh back to being a little objective. If it were Reagan, I’d be right there with him, but to go in the tank for Romney? In the words of that guy who freaked out over Britney Spears, “Bitch, please!”

gajaw999 on December 6, 2007 at 7:53 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been sickened by the fawning adulation that Hugh has heaped on Romney these past few months. Get a room, already! My respect for your blog just took a quantum leap, because somebody had to say it. I cannot stand Romney. I have not settled on any other candidate, but Romney makes my skin crawl. The tone of his voice irritates me. He is slick, sly, slippery and whatever other bad word you can think of that begins with “s”! I hope you can help pull Hugh back to being a little objective. If it were Reagan, I’d be right there with him, but to go in the tank for Romney? In the words of that guy who freaked out over Britney Spears, “B*tch, please!”

gajaw999 on December 6, 2007 at 7:59 PM

John from Wuzzadem, ask and ye shall receive.

Physics Geek on December 6, 2007 at 3:41 PM

Wow. I just finished looking that up at the Wayback Machine site so I could e-mail it to someone. One of my all-time favorites.

John from WuzzaDem on December 6, 2007 at 8:40 PM

Wonderful speech! As of now,, he is the man I would be voting for! He was just great! I plan on donating to his campaign!

JellyToast on December 6, 2007 at 10:05 PM

What I want to see is a Republican debate where one of the other candidates steps up and says “look, I don’t agree with Romney’s religious beliefs, they strike me as something Stan Lee would concoct on a long acid trip, but the fact is we are electing a President here, not a pastor or bishop. What is important is his political views, not his theological ones. I want you to vote for me because I am the best man here to be the next President, but I don’t want anybody’s vote if they are simply voting against Romney because of his religion.”
I think it would do a lot to ease the “Mormon issue,” and whoever showed the guts and judgement to do it would see his own ratings go up significantly.
Unfortunately, I am not holding my breath.

Lancer on December 6, 2007 at 10:47 PM

He is also saying it is unamerican to ask for more details about a candidate’s beliefs. Not sure that was intended by the founding fathers, but maybe it was.

bnelson44 on December 6, 2007 at 5:36 PM

It was.

MB4 on December 6, 2007 at 11:10 PM

Actually Mitt did not go as far as the founding fathers did.

He probably did not want to rile the natives too much.

John McCain stumbled recently when he said that the Constitution had established the United States as a Christian nation, which it most decidedly did not.

In fact the wondrous thing about the Founding of the nation is how consciously and how carefully the Founders went about securing liberty of conscience.

Washington said that the government of the United States was “to give to bigotry no sanction … and to persecution no assistance.”

Jefferson said that his Virginia act for religious liberty was “meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan, the Hindu, and infidel of every denomination.”

And Madison said, “The religion of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man.
- Jon Meacham

MB4 on December 6, 2007 at 11:16 PM


Huckabee Plays the Religion Card

Wow!!!

Does Krauthammer ever nail it, and nail The High Reverend Huckster.

When Mitt Romney’s father ran for the presidency 40 years ago, his Mormonism was not an issue. When Mo Udall was a major challenger for the Democratic nomination in 1976, his religion was so irrelevant that today most people don’t even remember that Udall was a Mormon.

Five members of the Senate are Mormon. Are there any intimations that the Mormonism of Harry Reid, Orrin Hatch, Gordon Smith, Michael Crapo or Robert Bennett corrupts, distorts or in any way diminishes their ability to perform their constitutional duties?

Mormonism should be a total irrelevancy in any political campaign. It is not. Which is why Mitt Romney had to deliver his JFK “religion speech” this week. He didn’t want to. But he figured that he had to. Why? Because he’s being overtaken in Iowa. Why Iowa? Because about 40 percent of the Republican caucus voters in 2000 were self-described “Christian conservatives” — twice the number of those in New Hampshire, for example — and, for many of them, Mormonism is a Christian heresy.

The appealing aspects of Huckabee’s politics and persona account for much of this. But part of his rise in Iowa is attributable to something rather less appealing: playing the religion card. The other major candidates — John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson — either never figured out how to use it or had the decency to refuse to deploy it.

Huckabee has exploited Romney’s Mormonism with an egregious subtlety.

Huckabee is running a very effective ad in Iowa about religion. “Faith doesn’t just influence me,” he says on camera, “it really defines me.” The ad then hails him as a “Christian leader.”

Forget the implications of the idea that being a “Christian leader” is some special qualification for the presidency of a country whose Constitution (Article VI) explicitly rejects any religious test for office.

Just imagine that Huckabee were running one-on-one in Iowa against Joe Lieberman. (It’s a thought experiment. Stay with me.) If he had run the same ad in those circumstances, it would have raised an outcry. The subtext — who’s the Christian in this race? — would have been too obvious to ignore, the appeal to bigotry too clear.

Well, Huckabee is running against Romney (the other GOP candidates are non-factors in Iowa) and he knows that many Christian conservatives, particularly those who have an affinity with Huckabee’s highly paraded evangelical Christianity, consider Romney’s faith a decidedly non-Christian cult.

Huckabee has been asked about this view that Mormonism is a cult. He dodges and dances. “If I’m invited to be the president of a theological school, that’ll be a perfectly appropriate question,” he says, “but to be the president of the United States, I don’t know that that’s going to be the most important issue that I’ll be facing when I’m sworn in.”

Hmmm. So it is an issue, Huckabee avers. But not a very important one.

And he’s not going to pronounce upon it. Nice straddle, leaving the question unanswered and still open — the kind of maneuver one comes to expect from slick former governors of Arkansas lusting for the presidency.

MB4 on December 7, 2007 at 1:16 AM

maverick muse on December 6, 2007 at 6:47 PM

Thank you for making the point about being vilified when one becomes an apostate. I have been trying to find info regarding the charges about Decker being thrown out of LDS, and that he is making up his experience in the church. I only became familiar with him while working on a term paper in seminary. It appeared that his points and experiences were the same as other authors and sources,and his research into Scripture and the confusion in LDS theology was valid, and again, paralleling other authors.

If one finds Christ within another faith, that’s genuine and happens all the time. Usually that person then joins an actual Christian church. Decker and others make the point that Jesus Christ is used as window dressing to attract Christians to LDS with a weak sense of theology. Depending on how far you rise in temple worship, you could spend your life in LDS, and never know what Joseph Smith was really all about.

South Park touched on what others have said here, which is if people follow LDS teaching, attend services (eat Jello-O) and are happy…..what’s the problem? To an evangelical Christian, the problem with that is they want to see you saved through Christ.

It’s unfortunate that some folks feel they need to be apologists for a faith they know little about in order to defend Conservatism, since that is actually a Liberal tactic and doesn’t serve to convince others or always provide the truth.

Hening on December 7, 2007 at 7:44 AM

Dear Right2Bright:

You probably stopped looking at the thread for a while (for which I could never blame you!) but I asked you here a question about polytheism (scroll to the bottom or do ctrl-f and “Moslem”). Would you mind answering?

Many thanks,
Tzetzes

Tzetzes on December 7, 2007 at 7:59 AM

MB4:

Yes, Krauthammer’s was the best of many good articles at National Review (Goldberg’s was good too). Huckabee: cute like a puppy-dog, but slimey up close.

Tzetzes on December 7, 2007 at 8:01 AM

David Brooks: Romney’s job yesterday was to unite social conservatives behind him. If he succeeded, he did it in two ways. He asked people to rally around the best traditions of America’s civic religion. He also asked people to submerge their religious convictions for the sake of solidarity in a culture war without end.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/07/opinion/07brooks.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

Not sure how this will go over in Iowa.

bnelson44 on December 7, 2007 at 9:14 AM

It’s unfortunate that some folks feel they need to be apologists for a faith they know little about in order to defend Conservatism, since that is actually a Liberal tactic and doesn’t serve to convince others or always provide the truth.

Hening on December 7, 2007 at 7:44 AM

Hopefully most of us care about how people conduct their lives, and Mitt Romney is unassailable in that regard.

Defining character by action and deeds is not a “liberal” point of view and it’s “unfortunate” that you are taking this dogmatic position.

Buy Danish on December 7, 2007 at 9:52 AM

re: Buy Danish @ 9:52

It’s unfortunate that some folks feel they need to be apologists for a faith they know little about in order to defend Conservatism, since that is actually a Liberal tactic and doesn’t serve to convince others or always provide the truth.–Hening on December 7, 2007 at 7:44 AM

Excusing or refabricating egregious material matter in order to make it APPEAR either appealing or palatable only has so much effective influence, usually upon a lazy, pre-set dogmatic, or emotionally susceptible mind. Taking advantage of the emotionally unstable is not fair game in God’s play book; it is merely a political practice. Those who scrutinize prior to commitment demand to see who is hiding behind the curtain. Even Dorothy had enough gumption not to fall apart when she SAW the “wizard”. She expressed her indignation and after all, found her way home without him.

maverick muse on December 7, 2007 at 11:26 AM

Hening on December 7, 2007 at 7:44 AM

re: Decker

You have a grad adviser at your seminary, yes?

Graduate research prioritizes BIBLIOGRAPHIES, FOOTNOTES, and substantiated QUOTATIONS.

Beyond internet sources, you will need to visit and borrow from libraries and read hard copy text.

re: Mormon bastardization of Christianity

For those born and raised as pious Mormons, there is no shaking their testimony of themselves. They can not AND will not accept doubt or difference from their avowed mindset as anything but WRONG and/or WEAK in nature. Their allegiance to themselves is non-shakable. Their dogmatism is as fanatic today as ever, though revisionism is the means of their current demand for ACCEPTABILITY.

Reform certainly has its place in ANY social club, Mormon church included. The Mormon’s problem with their own reform is that as a church they denying their own essence even as they change it. The Mormon authorities are masters of self-righteous deceit and propaganda. By chance I noted their official new, improved apologist introduction to the Book of Mormon. The fact remains that what Joseph Smith originally wrote, divinely inspired word for word, he swore was the record of the Native Americans who, according to him, were all absolute descendents of his Hebrew Lehi crossed the Pacific in a submarine and landed in Chili to populate this “American” continent. Bruce R. McConkie (Mr. “power in the priesthood” pulpit pounder) wrote the first “introduction” to the B/M as required during the culminating 20th century Mormon make-over for political correctness that aligns chronologically with “granting” their priesthood to those of African descent.

Mormons and their missionaries teach what sells. Missionary discussions are premised upon one’s receptibility to their claim that someone COULD have a revelation. They never admit their own false pretenses, as they can not recognize their own faults. They must be perfect in order to save themselves through their practices. At this point the young do not even know their own factual history. Any “bad” thought regarding their perfect doctrine and holy past must be a falsehood fabricated by a fallen son of perdition or by hard-hearted bigots who call themselves Christians. Whatever their faults, it is always the enemy bigot’s fault, not theirs. They have re-written their own history so many times over the years, each time with the declaration of thanks for their living revisionist prophet of profit.

You will be inundated by resources of historical documents. Never forget to visit civil/municipal court records, beginning with what is available in the state of New York on that Joseph Smith family. One could begin at the Library of Congress in order to study the evolution of the Mormon scriptures and temple ceremonies. As per reading journals of their pioneers, you will need permission to enter the Mormon Church History Vaults in the mountains of SLC where proud descendents leave their progenitors’ journals for safe keeping. You could view the PBS documentary aired this past year for a contemporary view. There are many well documented sources from those historians who left the Mormon church that will save you from having to re-invent the wheel in beginning your research.

Jesus told us, it is by our faith that we are made whole. Even Mormons have faith in their god, and admire Jesus as their elder brother who showed them how to be perfect in order to become Mormon and even more perfect in their pursuit for excellence. As they say, the glory of God is intelligence. They live by such adept line upon line, precept on precept gobbly goop gospel in all of its glory special dogma that fills in any blank that your mind may have. “Be like us and be happy, or you are wrong out of spiritual weakness,” is their thought mode. Their duty is to convert the world and condemn all those who will not convert, and to assassinate those who speak against them. During the 19th century, the temple ceremony literal blood oaths forcibly bound members together, and there were those dissidents who were never seen or heard of again, left down an empty shaft. Brigham Young had many hench men who left many a mark to be recognized by those who research. Contemporary Mormons know or admit nothing of their own true history, only their revised and authorized version that leaves their behind clean. Their defensive offense on those who know the score is horribly predictable.

maverick muse on December 7, 2007 at 12:34 PM

Taking advantage of the emotionally unstable is not fair game in God’s play book; it is merely a political practice.
maverick muse on December 7, 2007 at 11:26 AM

So, am I to infer that Mormons are “emotionally unstable”?

Their duty is to convert the world and condemn all those who will not convert, and to assassinate those who speak against them.

maverick muse on December 7, 2007 at 12:34 PM

Look at the history of the Romney family (Mitt and his parents) and I can tell you that this is unadulterated BS. Moreover, going back to the 19th Century to slander those in the 21st Century is a cheap tactic and is akin to asking us to take responsibility for slavery, for Jim Crow laws, or a lack of women’s suffrage – parts of our history that preceded us and which none of us bear any responsibility for.

Is this country irredeemably stained because of those situations, or can we take credit for having evolved as a nation and be proud, patriotic Americans?

I said this at another thread, but I am going to repeat it here: What you and others are doing is a form of McCarthyism, although at least McCarthy was targeting people who really were enemies of the Unites States.

Were you, or are you now, a member of the LDS church?

Buy Danish on December 7, 2007 at 2:30 PM

Osama Bin Ladin is a man of faith too.

It’s the object of out faith that matters not the faith in and of itself. Brigham Young taught that Joseph Smith will ultimately decide who gets into heaven. Does that sound like Christianity to you?

Mojave Mark on December 8, 2007 at 1:44 AM

Mojave Mark on December 8, 2007 at 1:44 AM

Oh, so now you’re comparing Romney to Bin Laden? What an absolutely pathetic analogy. Most of us are smart enough to differentiate between barbaric savages and good citizens, but apparently you are lacking some basic skillz.

What matters is how you lead your life, and you’ve got some competition with the Romneys.

Good luck with that!

Buy Danish on December 8, 2007 at 9:52 AM

re: Buy Danish on December 7, 2007 at 2:30 PM [asks]

Taking advantage of the emotionally unstable is not fair game in God’s play book; it is merely a political practice.–maverick muse on December 7, 2007 at 11:26 AM

I provide brief, accurate, applicable explications of Mormon-ISM. Unless you are ignorant or deceitful, you can not deny what I write of that church.

As per any one targeting the weak in spirit to rape, that is not Christian behavior, no matter how “common” or politically accepted the practice.

In response to Decker, I neither wrote of you, Buy Danish, nor of Romney. Do not convolute text.

maverick muse on December 8, 2007 at 12:21 PM

Mojave Mark, the OBJECT of our faith bears its own significance.

maverick muse on December 8, 2007 at 12:32 PM

Mormons can claim to be Christians all they want. They aren’t and more than Christian Scientists! There are basis tenets to the Christian faith taught by Christ and the Mormons teach otherwise. For those of you that aren’t Christians to have a discussion about what we Christians believe, seems rather foolish to us…

sabbott on December 9, 2007 at 5:31 AM

Comment pages: 1 2