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  1.    #1  
    This question deserves to be asked on the eve of Romney's planned speech addressing the fears and disdain that many Christians have for Mormonism -- fears and disdain expressed in part by Huckerbee's surge past Romney in Iowa. Despite millions of treasure and months of intensive campaigning, Romney has fallen from being the clear front runner to a faltering second place in the polls there.

    As a hardcore atheist (and human hater), I cynically see this controversy as an opportunity for the foundations of all religious dogma to be discussed, analyzed, and questioned. Others might find it fruitful ground to explore religious diversity and tolerance.

    The Washington Post today describes a bit about Mormon history and several of the more unconventional beliefs that so much bother Christians.

    Nevertheless, the question has been opened for discussion if only now by Romney himself: Should a Mormon be President ??


    Romney Aims to Prove His Christianity
    By Jacqueline L. Salmon
    Washington Post Thursday, December 6, 2007

    ...The question is on the minds of voters on the religious right as Mitt Romney, a Republican presidential candidate who is also a Mormon, prepares to deliver an address today designed to convince evangelical Christians that he shares their religious values.

    That could be a tough task, because many of those voters, a core Republican constituency, believe Romney's church lies far outside the bounds of Christianity. His task has taken on a new urgency since GOP rival Mike Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister, has soared in the polls with less than a month before the Iowa caucuses.

    Almost one-third of Americans of all faiths surveyed in August by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press said they do not regard Mormons as Christian. Among white evangelicals who attend church at least weekly, more than half said they believe that the Mormon religion is not Christian...

    ...unlike traditional Christians, Mormons also revere the Book of Mormon equally with the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. They believe that Jesus visited the Americas after he was crucified and that he will return and reign from the United States and Jerusalem. They believe that the dead can be baptized, that God was once a man and that a human can become like a god. And, they say, God speaks through living apostles and prophets, such as Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the Mormon Church.

    Mormons believe the faith's founder, Joseph Smith Jr., a Palmyra farmer, was guided by an angel to a set of ancient records etched on golden plates. Those records, which include an account of Jesus Christ's appearance in the Americas after his crucifixion, are in the Book of Mormon.

    For many traditional Christians, such ideas are heresy...

    ...Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary: "It's just not Christianity."

    Mormons say such pronouncements are not only hurtful, they're just plain wrong.

    "We don't understand why anybody would turn around and say the Mormon Church is not Christian when the very center, the very core of everything we teach, everything we believe, is centered in the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus," said Elder M. Russell Ballard, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the leading governing body of the church.

    Since it was founded in Palmyra in 1830, the Mormon Church has, at least in numbers, cut a wide swath across the American religious landscape. Mormonism has become the fourth-largest religion in the United States, with 6 million adherents in the country and 7 million abroad.

    But many outside Mormonism are unfamiliar with it. More than half of Americans surveyed in the Pew poll said they knew little or nothing about the faith. Asked to give a one-word impression of Mormonism, 75 percent said "polygamy," a practice that Mormons repudiated more than 100 years ago, and 57 percent called it a cult...

    ...Because of their doctrine and practices, Mormons have spent much of their history battling discrimination and persecution.

    Shortly after the Book of Mormon was printed in 1830, Smith and his band of followers were forced to flee Palmyra, which had become hostile to them. They were then hounded out of communities in Missouri and Illinois, where Smith was killed by a mob in 1844...

    ...Smith taught that the true church of Jesus Christ disappeared with the death of Christ's last apostle and that Christianity lapsed into darkness -- the "great apostasy," Mormons call it -- for almost 18 centuries. He also said that God used him to restore the "only true church" to the Earth.

    Mormons have dropped some of the faith's more notorious teachings. In addition to believing that polygamy was sanctioned by God, they believed until 1978 that God did not allow black people to serve in their priesthood. ...
    Last edited by BARYE; 12/07/2007 at 11:07 AM.
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  2. #2  
    Certainly NOT!

    What if he sends the police to come round to my house.... every Saturday!!!
  3. tirk's Avatar
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    #3  
    No. No-one who believes in irrational fantasy should be trusted with anything more dangerous than a spoon.
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  4. #4  
    Why not ask if a black or woman....
  5. #5  
    I would love to live in an America tolerant enough to support a Mormon (or Jewish, Muslim, atheist, woman or black) president. But, like it or not, the contrast between how Mit and JFK handled this issue is impossible to avoid. While, JFK's speech was successful at overcoming prejudice about his faith though boldness and leadership Mit's speech showcased neither quality. Using the word "Mormon" only once to the programmed applause of a pre-screened audience just sounds timid and forced compared to JFK's thowing "Catholic" 20 times in the faces of an audience of skeptical ministers.

    http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical...ssociation.htm
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikec View Post
    Why not ask if a black or woman....
    The GOP supports organized cults?
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by lifes2short View Post
    The GOP supports organized cults?
    Yes... like the KKK.


    I would guess a Mormon can be president... why not? Why? Does it really matter?

    I don't think it matters at all, as long as he leaves his religion where it belongs. No biggie.
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  8. #8  
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by By: theog at Today 07:21 PM

    I would guess a Mormon can be president... why not? Why? Does it really matter?

    I don't think it matters at all, as long as he leaves his religion where it belongs. No biggie.



    Bush Jr. has not been successful in keeping his religion where it belongs. I would be concerned that Mitt would be a failure in this regard as well.

    Fundamentalist seem place their personal ideologies at times ahead of the Constitution. This is a problem. I'm not sure Mitt is a fundie, but Huckabee quacks like one.
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  9. #9  
    As I posted in another thread here, I have had a great deal of contact with Mormons personally and professionally. Truthfully, I have never had any reason to have developed nothing but respect for each one I have ever known. I have seen several in high ranking professional positions in my career(s) and each time they have been extremely professional in keeping their religious views separate from their professional responsibilities and even socializing. For example in my previous line of work we often times have to attend cocktail type parties. I have seen them very discretely order a pop or a virgin drink and then turn around and woo our client better than anyone else and seal a deal multi million dollar deal....even without a single swear word or dirty joke!

    It would be interesting to find out how many here have even asked a Mormon about any of the accusations posted here...aka cult? I have actually several times when I read some claims on the Internet and found it to be very interesting, positive, and enlightening discussions.

    Basically my view is still the same.....for the most part (with self recognized exceptions) religious affiliation does not really matter to me. As I have shared a while ago, it should not be THE factor for voting for or against a president. Here is what I said the last time this very same point was discussed:

    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    I find it interesting that the most commonly expressed biased view held against a candidate is religion. I could be wrong, but it seems like the ones most expressive are the ones who do not believe in religion. And from some of the statements the views may be based on some misconceptions, at least based on my knowledge which may be just as flawed or inaccurate as the person next to me.

    For me, I probably fall in line with this myself. First of all I am religious (as most of you probably know from discussions in the past). As far as a presidential candidate goes, sex and race have no bearing or thought for me in the least. Expressed (or avoidance of expressing) views, experience, actions (such as involvement in scandals), and the planks in their platform that they stand on do matter to me.

    Religion is pretty much a non issue with me, with some exceptions. I know several (I mean a lot of) Mormons, many of who are very close to me. Their standards are high. Their family commitments and loyalty are strong. Their work ethic are often times superior (I have several who are employees of mine and are constantly the highest producers). And even though they live according to their beliefs, I have seen it time and again that they can separate it from their professional lives. From my personal experience I would not have an issue voting for a Mormon any more than I would have voting for a Catholic, Baptist, or any other Christian denomination. I would have no problem with the candidate being Jewish either. I would have to admit that I don't know enough about Buddhist to know if it is a concern or not.

    If they were Muslim, I would have to be honest and say, it would not be an immediate non-vote, but I would be asking a lot more questions. Many of which would be for my education and many for my piece of mind. What faction, what ties, etc... I would have to educate myself on his views. I guess what my main concern would be is the published statements of beliefs of some radical Muslims factions of how Gov, Democracy, and God should be arranged and ran, in other words bringing Democracy and their religion at odds with each other.
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 12/07/2007 at 02:32 PM.
  10. #10  
    Anyone who claims to guided by ..... faith ... should not be President.

    Faith in any entity that is unsupported by repeatable, reproducible evidence. Be it the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, flying spaghetti monster, or god (any flavor).
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  11. #11  
    In a democracy, should people not be guided by who they chose to guide them, be it Richard Dawkins OR the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

    Obligatory Simpsons Quote:
    "I voted for Kodos"

    Surur
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal View Post
    Basically my view is still the same.....for the most part (with self recognized exceptions) religious affiliation does really matter to me.
    Care to succinctly bulletlist these special religious exceptions?
  13. #13  
    I agree with everyone here

    The Op for this gem, which is hilarious :
    As a hardcore atheist (and human hater)...
    Holla!

    Basically:
    • People should get whomever they vote for, regardless of religion, race and hair color (although, business people should be banned )
    • Mormons are not half as bad as Baptists--in fact, they really tend to be nice people. Granted, like all religions, their history is awful and full of intolerance. ahem. But they are no "weirder" than any other religion.
    • And people who are "guided by faith", ideally would not be president

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    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur View Post
    In a democracy, should people not be guided by who they chose to guide them, be it Richard Dawkins OR the Flying Spaghetti Monster?
    No. Because that way you can end up with Hitler in charge, or Sharia Law, and you can't then go back easily.

    It's one of the deficiencies of democracy. (I think it's covered in Karl Popper's "The Open Society and Its Enemies".)
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  15. #15  
    It seems to me that the question should be, "Why must one be a Christian in order to be President?"

    (I heard Romney's speech. He pandered to the Christian Right. Otherwise, it was brilliant.)
    Up the next election, my citizens; always the next election.
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    #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by pdxtreo View Post
    I don't think it matters at all, as long as he leaves his religion where it belongs.
    But with most religions, you can't be consistent in your beliefs and also "leave it where it belongs". It has to suffuse all of your life, and decision making.

    And giving control of nuclear weapons to someone who believes in life after death is just plain dumb!
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  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal View Post
    ...........Truthfully, I have never had any reason to have developed nothing but respect for each one I have ever known........
    Was the double negative intentional or Freudian?

    One can say that about people. I fear zealots of whatever stripe, including those who would pick a candidate for public office based upon their religion.
    Up the next election, my citizens; always the next election.
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    It seems to me that the question should be, "Why must one be a Christian in order to be President?"
    While I agree with you on your premise, you're certainly aware of their claim of "christian" values held by joe-average American, correct?

    (I heard Romney's speech. He pandered to the Christian Right. Otherwise, it was brilliant.)
    The Christian Right leave their religion where it belongs .... Since when? Ronnie Raygun has to be laughing hysterically in his own little corner of hell at that notion.
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by tirk View Post
    No. Because that way you can end up with Hitler in charge, or Sharia Law, and you can't then go back easily.

    It's one of the deficiencies of democracy. (I think it's covered in Karl Popper's "The Open Society and Its Enemies".)
    Oooh...I remember that from Star Wars!

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  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by tirk View Post
    No. Because that way you can end up with Hitler in charge, or Sharia Law, and you can't then go back easily.

    It's one of the deficiencies of democracy. (I think it's covered in Karl Popper's "The Open Society and Its Enemies".)
    Will be able to go back to before "faith-based initiatives?" We certainly cannot return to the relatively stable Iraq of Saddam Hussein. Is it better to have people killed by their government than by their neighbors?

    Do you expect a smooth transition to Democracy in post Castro Cuba?
    Up the next election, my citizens; always the next election.
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