Mitt Romney wants to run on his religion in 2016. Please do.

In an apparent run-up to a third presidential bid, the Washington Post reported yesterday that Mitt Romney will likely feature his Mormon faith far more in 2016 than he did in his previous two presidential runs.

[UPDATE: It turns out this was something of a trial balloon and Mitt will not seek the presidency in 2016.]

Romney has generally avoided discussing his Mormon faith for fear of it being used to attack him. As there’s a debate within the Evangelical community as to whether Mormons are really Christians — many Evangelicals don’t think Catholics are Christians, so imagine their opinion of Mormons — and as the Mormon church has embraced extreme social conservatism in recent decades, advisers to Romney’s 2008 and 2012 runs (correctly) assumed that their candidate’s religion would be a liability with both primary and general election voters.

However, a would-be Romney ’16 campaign would flip that script, with a more “authentic” Romney openly-discussing his faith.

As his son, Tagg, said to the Post:

If he were to run again… I believe he would be much more willing to open up and share who he is — not by asking others to learn the doctrines of his faith, but by speaking of the values of love and service that it has taught him.

Should Romney make it out of the crowded GOP primary field (which he currently leads, but it’s probably too soon for that to mean anything), this would be great for whichever Democrat he faces for two reasons:

1. Mormon metaphysics are bad politics

If Mitt Romney wants to make his faith fair game in a 2016 run, he won’t necessarily have to answer for every verse in the Book of Mormon. He will, however, have to answer for church doctrine and policy that he has endorsed, both directly and indirectly, during his time as a member.

For starters, it wasn’t until 1978, when Mitt Romney was 31 years old, that Mormon leaders had the “revelation” that black people were in fact equal to whites, and could therefore fully participate in the religion’s rituals and traditions. When pressed by Tim Russert in 2008, Romney expressed personal relief that the policy was changed in 1978, but refused to say that the Church’s pre-1978 stance was wrong:

Romney makes three important assertions in his answer:

  • He has always believed that people of all races are equal.
  • He was happy (to the point of tears) when the Mormon church adopted its enlightened view of African-Americans, long after he was an adult member.
  • He is proud of his faith and is “not going to distance [himself] in any way from [his] faith.”

In order to believe all of these things at the same time, and to refuse to say that your religious institution was wrong to hold a doctrine that you disagreed with and was later reversed, one has to believe that the Church is always right, even when it’s wrong. That’s a dangerous belief for a President to have — especially about racism — and we should expect a more elaborate answer from Mitt Romney in the event that he brings his faith into the foreground of a 2016 campaign.

// //


This expectation should extend to other aspects of Romney’s Mormon faith over which he has so far avoided serious scrutiny. As silly as it sounds that the Mormon church regularly baptizes the souls of the dead — including scores of Holocaust victims, Joan of Arc, Anne Frank, Elvis, Princess Diana, Ghandi, Pope John Paul II, Hitler, and even Barack Obama’s mother (without his knowledge). The Romney family alsop posthumously baptized Ann Romney’s atheist father. This was largely ignored during his prior presidential runs because Romney was intent on making his faith a non-issue. But if he wants us to engage with his faith in a 2016 run, questions as to whether or not he believes in this brand of metaphysics have to be fair game.

2. Mormon values are progressive values

On the rare occasions when he has been pressed on the nature of his beliefs, candidate Romney has typically pivoted to a discussion of Mormon values, as opposed to dogmas. And if Tagg Romney’s quote in the Washington Post about “the values of love and service” is any indication, that’s the frame in which Mitt’s re-rebooted campaign will present his faith. And this makes sense; it’s much more comfortable to talk about “love and service” than it is to talk about racist doctrines and forcible mystical conversions.

However, the more you talk about Mormon values with respect to love and service, the closer you get to everything Mitt Romney has stood against for the last eight years.

I’d imagine that when conservative Mormons hear Harry Reid say “I’m a liberal because I’m a Mormon, not in spite of it,” they get a similar nails-on-chalkboard feeling to the one atheists such as myself get when we hear that we might be baptized against our will after we die. But if you take the dogma and Puritanical social regulations out of Mormonism, you’re left with a demonstrably progressive worldview with respect to social welfare and engagement.

That’s dangerous for Romney, who’s currently trying to etch-a-sketch his way into being the candidate of the poor and downtrodden despite nearly a decade of talking down to the kinds of people these Mormon values would suggest are deserving of the most respect. As far as Mitt Romney is concerned, “the values of love and service” open him up to more uncomfortable questions than the doctrines of racism and magic.

For starters:

  • How do “the values of love and service” square with doctrine of self-deportation, where we don’t bother to forcibly remove illegal immigrants from our country; we just make life so miserable that they leave on their own?
  • How do “the values of love and service” square with the doctrine of rugged individualism, like that time Romney told students who can’t afford to pay for college to “borrow money from your parents” as an alternative to lowering interest rates on student loans?
  • How do “the values of love and service” square with the doctrine of hate-filled opposition to marriage equality, which Mitt Romney officially endorsed when his PAC donated $10,000 to the National Organization for Marriage’s campaign for Prop 8?
  • How do “the values of love and service” square with the doctrine of Reaganomics, slashing the social safety net while cutting taxes for the people who need the least help getting by?

If being a Mormon means loving your neighbor, lending a helping hand and embracing your social responsibilities as a member of a community, then Mitt Romney has failed his own religious test. If he wants to roll out these values as the centerpiece of a 2016 campaign, he’ll have a full career to answer for before America believes that those values translate into conservative doctrines.

Please proceed, Governor.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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207 Responses to “Mitt Romney wants to run on his religion in 2016. Please do.”

  1. UncleBucky says:

    Thank you for that. :)

  2. UncleBucky says:

    Both L. Ron Hubbard AND Mormonism (the doctrine, history, etc.) are not fact based.


  3. UncleBucky says:

    Mormonism as a church (small “c”) IS as legitimate as the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (big “C” and big “FSM”). As an account of supposedly historical events, it is a crock of buttah.

  4. UncleBucky says:

    One fact is true, that as cults go, Mormonism has reached the heights of being SILLY.

  5. UncleBucky says:

    So, you’re SHOCKED!!!! OUTRAGED!!! Well, Batman, manufacture some more facts for me!!!

  6. UncleBucky says:

    Charity? Pay for poor Tom and Dick’s wedding in SLC, UT. They need the married status to move up beyond the poverty line and have self-esteem the same as any other married couple.

    But you won’t. And I KNOW WHY.

  7. UncleBucky says:

    Bigoted blather, you say.

    Teflon genealogy.

  8. UncleBucky says:

    Help poor Dick and Tom to get married. Show that help first, then we can talk further.

  9. UncleBucky says:


  10. UncleBucky says:

    Help Dick and Tom get married in your state. Sell the nice cake, table settings and chachkies. BE THERE to assist celebrants and spouses to get the ceremony done right!

    Not true. The help you want to give is NOT for all. You won’t even serve nice bevvies at such an event:

  11. UncleBucky says:

    WRONG. A-theist means WITHOUT belief. It is not a negation, but the absence of belief. On the other hand, no physical knowledge is completely attainable. Consider the swans as described by Hume. You can think that all you ever have seen are white swans, and so make the assertion. The very next day, here come “Blackie” and off we go having to modify that assertion. That’s science, bub, and that’s how it works.

    Belief is making things up and then forcing (on pain of shunning or even death) others to accept those gee-gaws and gimgees. Nonsense.

    We know that anything you do with the proxy baptism business is no more than fooling around with yourselves. You can say all you want that you will baptize the grandmother of my great-aunt, and it won’t affect a jot her memory, her legacy, her body (what’s left of it) or her material “soul” that is in each and every one of us. Ah, but it’s true, if I find that you are maligning with your cult religion the name of my ancestor, I’ll get piqued at he or she I think might have done it in the secrecy of your cult temple basements, and should I ever run across that person, I might share some of my opinions with them. Yeah, I run across Mormons all the time. You can see their awkward demeanor, dress and the shadow of the magic underwear.

    IN THE MARKET PLACE, you are ON YOUR OWN. This is the marketplace of ideas, and in my opinion, MormonISM is worth no more than a plugged nickel.

    And again I remind you that you ran into me in AmericaBlog, and started in on me. So I can visit with you on one of your posts.

  12. UncleBucky says:

    Bad manners is a thing that one or another person falls into. I consider Mormons to be of extremely bad manners when they discriminate in any way against minorities. Guess which? Meh.

    If you present a set of dogma on the “open market” and if you claim that the secret practices associated with that dogma are sacred, yet you will not divulge them until you sink your hooks into some innocent person, that is another case of bad manners, or “bait ‘n’ switch” as they say in the used cars business.

    If you want us to take your cult seriously, show all. Otherwise, clam up and do your stuff in your temple basements with the cloths, clothes and handshakes. I’ll both — on the OPEN MARKET — critique, mock and bash bad manners, as I have to.

    See? :)

  13. UncleBucky says:

    We respect your right to believe ANYTHING YOU WISH. But when you take those beliefs and force innocent children and semi-ignorant converts to accept them, PAY LAY ALE, fawgetaboutdid (that’s from Chicago).

    Respect I have for facts. Tell me about Your Book of Abraham by the vernerated Whatzit?

    Tell me about the failure of every Mormon locale in the New World to be devoid of artifacts and sites, while every other historical and prehistoric locale has artifacts and sites out the wing-wang?

    You blundered into MY post over on AmericaBlog. I can darn well step into one of your posts and ask you to support JUST why I should respect hoaxes, hucksterism and ho-hum dogma from the Mormon cult? Especially when it is used to control other people to direct their tithes to your faux monuments…

  14. UncleBucky says:

    The book of Mormon is NOT a translation. Fool. It’s a hoax perpetrated by a huckster who thought that an egyptian death book was the Book of Abraham. WE HAVE EVIDENCE of that, that at the very least, Joe Smif was a huckster of the worst kind. I wouldn’t have him translate “Good day!” for me into Spanish at 1pm.

    I know a LOT MORE about the BoM, Pearl and D&C than you think, Mormon apologist/flunky.

  15. Denver Catboy says:

    I don’t expect Bill will even respond to this. He’s got his anti-Democratic Party message to get out, and no amount of facts, reasoning, or pleaing will change his mind. That’s OK. We have rights to our opinions….even if we don’t have a right to not be ridiculed for stupid opinions. ;)

  16. mirth says:

    Thanks for the insight, Bill. I have been away from Ab for a while and most of what you say is new, and welcome, to me. I get the generalized boredom; for me it’s mostly humor I see in what FLL writes.

    Ditto: Jomincur and Ford Perfect are two I very much miss reading.

  17. mirth says:

    It’s always good to read you, 2karmanot, especially when you are saying Hi to me. I hope all is well with you.

  18. 2karmanot says:

    Hi Mirth—been awhile. Good to see ya again!

  19. Bill_Perdue says:

    The latest yawn. “Must stop Jeb: Romney prepares to make peace with Christie Failed 2012 candidate Romney said to personally dislike Jeb – and has signalled that he may yet back Christie for 2016, because ‘a Bush can’t beat a Clinton’

  20. Don Chandler says:

    I decided to verify the LMFAO and go to the site. It exists and it now seems to appear in the margins of my various favorite sites. Now they’ve got me on their little list! Ad placement software is pretty much hit and miss…mostly miss.

  21. evodevo says:

    And then there’s the whole “no Hell” and “you get your own planet after you die if you’re a man” and “magic underwear” mess …. good Christian values, right? Oh, wait …..

  22. Moderator3 says:

    Sorry, I only have one wayback machine.

  23. Bill_Perdue says:

    it is the remarkable insight FLL has into every commenter’s
    true beliefs and motivations that I made note of and find truly
    J Edgar Hoover
    , Joe McCarthy and Roy Cohn all claimed to have the same powers of discernment.

    Like yours,
    emphatic yawns are the most common reaction to his mendacity. He gets no up votes for his outbursts and by now
    they’re largely ignored by many. After all,
    in spite of the thunderous denunciations of straw men and cloying attempts to ingratiate himself, there have been far
    too many lies for far too long. People are simply bored.

    And it’s not as if
    he’s a threat – he’s not going anywhere with this. A few people seem to have stopped commenting altogether and that’s
    a pity because their voices will be missed, Jomincur and Ford Perfect in

  24. mirth says:

    Only if we can be transported back to 2011 and only in separate wayback machines.

  25. Moderator3 says:

    Do the two of you want to be alone?

  26. Naja pallida says:

    Not charmed at all. His girlfriend is a battered woman, unable to help herself, and the system is completely and utterly broken when it comes to being able to deal with situations like this. The chances of this all coming to a head with his trial for her murder increases with each new incident.

  27. mirth says:

    Ooooo, psychic and pervy.
    Read my commenting history if you are so curious.

  28. FLL says:

    You are, nevertheless, the same woman as mirth from 2009 through 2011. If you tell me that it’s a case of mistaken identity, I’ll take your word for it. But I don’t think it’s a case of mistaken identity.

  29. mirth says:

    You are fulla shite, but I’m sure it all makes sense in your wee, yet with remarkable psychic powers!, mind.

  30. FLL says:

    As usual, you misunderstand. Obviously, anyone has the right to reply to anyone else. I would never claim otherwise. But all I do is suggest that the bloggers criticize Jeb Bush, and there you are with bells on… complaining. Any reasonable reader would conclude that criticizing Jeb Bush (the “electable” Republican) rubs you the wrong way. And please don’t say that this is psychic powers or something. It’s a reasonable conclusion based on your whiny complaints.

    On the other thread, I simply said that some homophobes who are so-called liberals lionize al Qaeda and other Islamic fundamentalists because they find them amusing or useful. And, of course, there you are again insisting that you certainly don’t find religious fundamentalists amusing or useful. Talk about a guilty conscious.

  31. nicho says:

    OT — George Zimmerman skates again. Talk about a charmed life.

  32. FLL says:

    You can tell by my “like” that I agree with your comment. But to go even further, Bill, you say “We don’t support Hamas.” I’m glad you don’t support religious fundamentalists like those in Hamas. There are ways to support the Palestinian people without supporting fundamentalist Islam. After all, the Fatah Party, which won the elections in the West Bank aren’t religious nutcases. That might provide a model for success.

  33. mirth says:

    Uh, no, gibberish rarely proves anything, but it might be proof of your instability in a I own this thread and don’t reply unless I mention you directly insightful superpowers sorta way.

  34. mirth says:

    True; however, it is the remarkable insight FLL has into every commenter’s true beliefs and motivations that I made note of and find truly amazin’.

    I would read back through his/her commenting history to see if s/he reveals the secret of it all, but, y’know, yawn.

  35. FLL says:

    And wouldn’t it be in character for you to complain when I so much as suggest that someone criticize Jeb Bush. And wasn’t it in character for you to complain on an earlier thread when I suggested that some people have nice things to say about al Qaeda/ISIL because of al Qaeda’s anti-gay agenda. I really didn’t mention you in either of those comments, but you jump right in there with your objections to any criticism of al Qaeda or “electable” Jeb Bush. Sort of proves my point, doesn’t it?

  36. FLL says:

    From Bill’s comment: “…the effectiveness of the left in drawing people away from Democrat, Dixiecrat and Republican politics.”

    Your comment sounds clever, Bill, but the facts don’t support it. Lower turnout for midterms, higher turnout for presidential elections and a consistently low showing (rather close to zero) for third parties is the unchanging pattern.

  37. FLL says:

    Before October, 2011 (when I was only reading Americablog, but not commenting), there was a commenter named “mirth,” whose avatar was a colorful line drawing of a laughing face. That may be a case of mistaken identity. If it is, just say so.

  38. Bill_Perdue says:

    The levels of hysteria and irrationality in personal attacks, distortions and lies are an accurate measure of the effectiveness of the left in drawing people away from Democrat, Dixiecrat and Republican politics.

  39. mirth says:


  40. nicho says:

    Bingo. You had leaders of a secret cult in SLC interfering in CA politics by spreading misinformation and outright lies in an attempt to force their theocratic views on everyone.

  41. FLL says:

    I definitely think that Bush will fail to carry Florida. Demographic changes (both ethnic and age-related) have put Florida’s electoral votes out of reach for national Republican candidates (at least the current theocratic incarnation of the Republican Party). Even younger Cuban voters will largely go with the Democratic candidate. Can Bush win without Florida? It’s possible, but not likely, considering that the same demographic changes that affect Florida also affect the rest of the U.S.

  42. FLL says:

    It’s easy enough for anyone to understand an implied main idea. For example, let’s say a commenter complains every time one of the bloggers criticizes a Republican, Vladimir Putin (or his ousted allies in Ukraine) or the folks in al Qaeda/ISIL. Criticize the Republicans and the pretext will be that the Democrats are more racist, sexist, homophobic than the Republicans, blah, blah, blah. Criticize Putin and his allies, and the pretext will be that Putin’s critics in Russia and Ukraine who push for democracy are bad people who are trying to oppress the working class (as if Putin doesn’t). Criticize al Qaeda and the pretext will be that al Qaeda/ISIL is battling American imperialism. But that sounds so strange and illogical, mirth. Al Qaeda hates Putin (who hates them right back), Putin hates Republican senators (who hate him right back), and there is no love lost between al Qaeda and American Republicans.

    You ask me to take note of “what they [commenters] may express in a comment.” OK. In their comments, they are championing three forces that are enemies of each other, and the only thing the three forces have in common is that their victory would be a loss for political progressives in general and gay people in particular. I don’t think that readers are too stupid to understand an implied main idea. Another example was back in 2011 when…

    Wait just one minute! [Sound of screeching brakes] Mirth? The one and only Mirth?! I only started posting on this blog myself in October, 2011. However, I’ve been reading this blog starting in June, 2009, when John Aravosis and Joe Sudbay posted a series of insightful articles about the pro-DOMA brief that W. Scott Simpson filed at the DOJ. Then, in February of 2011, the DOJ announced it would no longer defend DOMA in court. And I certainly remember the Fourth of July weekend in 2011 when the DOJ filed a very strongly worded brief in favor of the plaintiffs who were trying to get DOMA overturned in court. Mirth! Even though you’ve changed your avatar (it used to be a laughing face, I think), I just know that you’re the good old mirth from 2011. You remember that thread, don’t you? Oh my flipping Baby Jesus on a waffle! After you read the DOJ brief of July 1, 2011, you were not a happy camper. You were pissed as hell about it, if I recall correctly. If you could have only guessed—back in 2011—how victorious those uppity queers would become regarding marriage. If you were pissed when you read the DOJ brief in July, 2011, I can only imagine how you feel now. But the only thing that matter is that you’re back. You’re back! What fun! Welcome home, and don’t ever leave. LMFAO.

  43. nicho says:

    If you want a good laugh today.

    Chris Christie — and I am NOT making this up — has a PAC and even a website: Or for short: LMFAO. I wonder what marketing genius came up with that idea.

  44. Indigo says:

    Right! I forgot about that one.

  45. mirth says:

    I would hardly know what to think, FLL, without your ongoing guide to everyone’s actual political beliefs, despite what they may express in a comment.

  46. 2karmanot says:

    You could substitute Mr. J for Goldwater and just about nail it.

  47. 2karmanot says:

    And his connections with Cuban terrorists will come out into the open….again.

  48. Indigo says:

    I’m not persuaded that Bush can carry Florida. I don’t think he can carry Orange County and Orlando, anyhow. He’s tone deaf on any number of sensitivity issues, crazy Catholic, claims religious rights trump such disgusting things as same sex marriage, has a daughter in and out of rehab, and a wife who is alleged to have attempted to smuggle French finery into the US years ago. And on top of that, as the radio jockeys around here like to joke, he’s disobeying his mother. She doesn’t want him to run but he’s ignoring her. Good boys obey their mothers.

  49. 2karmanot says:

    A day later: They are here!

  50. 2karmanot says:

    “This slander is unbecoming.” That’s exactly what I thought!!! when the LDS said my marriage would threaten families and children.

  51. 2karmanot says:

    Exetarian has stars in her eyes.

  52. 2karmanot says:

    I struggle to exist on Social Security….send me a check and one not written on Kolob. and oh, don’t tell anybody. Mums the word, er Morms the word.

  53. 2karmanot says:

    “The help is for all” Oh, like the time the DSL helped deny me my civil right right to marry and defeated Prop 8? What this liberal mind understands is the the DSL is a bigot institution based on fraudulent premises and cultist mind control,

  54. Bill_Perdue says:

    I wasn’t thinking of principled politics when I mentioned Democrats and Republicans. You’re right, there are none there to be found. Just opportunism, often of a criminal nature, in pursuit of votes and money.

  55. Bill_Perdue says:

    I’m a socialist and we’re athiests who oppose all religions.

    We don’t support Hamas, that’s just a lie.

    What we do support is the Palestinian struggle to liberate and reunite thier homeland.

  56. 2karmanot says:


  57. 2karmanot says:

    Yadda, yadda, it does give me a certain pleasure to know that I will not run into you in the afterlife, unless of course I am baptized without my permission after I die.

  58. 2karmanot says:

    It was written in pig Latin, olandp, and required translation.

  59. 2karmanot says:

    OK, how about effluvia receptacle?

  60. FLL says:

    Well, that was a fun, interesting threaded… while it lasted. However, as Bill Perdue points out, Romney’s major financial backers have indeed switched to Jeb Bush, resulting in Romney withdrawing from the race. But Romney was never really a serious candidate. The people who want to put progressive voters “in their place” are coalescing around Bush. You’ll be able to spot Americablog supporters of Bush a mile away because every time you utter a word of criticism about Jeb Bush, they’ll scream blue murder and demand that you refrain from criticizing the “electable” Republican and criticize only the Democrats. You, Jon Green, and other bloggers haven’t yet penned any critical posts about Jeb Bush, but just watch and see what happens when you do. Don’t believe me? Go ahead and try it.

  61. 2karmanot says:

    Yep, they were a little slow this time….probably had to bicycle all the way from Kolob.

  62. BrandySpears says:

    It’s always hilarious when a self-professed Hamas supporter mocks other people’s religion. Mormonphobia.

  63. 2karmanot says:

    “this site’s alleged “liberals” who seem to have no trouble denigrating,
    ridiculing and mocking a faith with the kind of vitriol they condemn
    when it targets race, gender or sexual orientation”
    Well, thank you for the compliment, particularly so when I remember how the LDS cult spent millions trying to deny my civil rights. Remember Prop 8?

  64. FLL says:

    There are objective sources of information where you could begin, such as this summary on Wikipedia, “Black people in Mormon doctrine”:

    I don’t think I would trust, would you? The Mormon Church will simply trie to cover up uncomfortable parts of their history. I checked and there really is a consensus throughout the Internet that in Mormon doctrine, black people were created black because they were neutral in the celestial war between Lucifer and Jesus; the celestial spirits who fought on the side of Jesus became white people. Whether Mormons supported a ban on slavery for political reasons is another issue. Maybe they did, but their religious doctrine about Blacks is what I was commenting about.

  65. nicho says:

    They will be — if that’s what they need to be to get votes. If you’re looking for bedrock principles, you are looking in the wrong place.

  66. Bill_Perdue says:

    Well, to be fair, now we have to bash a Democrat before we choose another Republican.

    I wonder, are any of the Democrats religious nuts?

  67. heimaey says:

    I’m not scared of the Mormons and I have been to their “chapels” before and I’ve read up on Joseph Smith, one of the greatest con men to have lived. I know way more about the cult than I want to. It’s really ridiculous and silly in so many bizarre ways and that is saying a lot for someone growing up Roman Catholic.

  68. nicho says:

    Could we start a Draft Mitt movement? This was going to be fun. There’s still plenty of room in the GOP 2016 Clown Car.

  69. nicho says:

    Not secret? So I can just show up at the Temple and sit in on one?

  70. nicho says:

    And I wouldn’t go to a neo-Nazi site to find out the truth about Nazis.

  71. Bill_Perdue says:

    Romney just announced he won’t run. Bushis sucking up all the money, which is likely a big factor in his decision.

  72. olandp says:

    That must be why the church demands a tithe based on one’s income. There is a theory that Romeny under reports his income to the church which is why he won’t release his tax returns.

  73. olandp says:

    What “early translations”? There is only one “translation” because the golden plates or tablets disappeared after slick Joe read them.

  74. olandp says:

    How ironic that a Mormon would be endorsing the scientific method and calling for facts. Fact is that you cannot prove there ever were any golden plates or tablets that contained “The Book of Mormon”. Joseph Smith was a con man who made up a bunch of crap to fool gullible simple minded people. There were no ancient Jews who came to the Americas, that is a provable fact. DNA analysis of Native Americans show that they immigrated from eastern Asia 13,000 years ago, before there even were any Jews. A religion founded on a lie, is a lie. I could be wrong, there may actually be a God, but I know that if there is he/she/it is not a Mormon.

    As to the “courtesy” of posthumous baptism, who among the descendants of Anne Frank asked for her baptism? Who asked for the baptism of Barak Obama’s mother? Why would I, or anyone else go to a website for the LDS “Church” to get the “facts” when “lying for the Lord” is a regular practice endorsed by that “church”? You should go troll somewhere else where you can find gullible people who will buy your brand of bullshit. It won’t work here.

  75. Buford2k11 says:

    How do you know an Atheist’s beliefs? you got that Mind Reading thing going? Everything you have said in this thread has made no sense…other than a mindless defense of an Ideology that seems to be short on compassion and long on raising money…

  76. Buford2k11 says:

    You are doing the same thing…Prove there IS an afterlife…

  77. Buford2k11 says:

    So, when did Black People appear?

  78. Buford2k11 says:

    Ummm…I live in an area rife with “Jack” Mormons…they have nothing nice to say about Mitt, and their former church…I grew up in the “Reorganized” part of the Latter Day Saints…I learned all about JS and BY…and the whole “split” in the Church…and I think you are pushing an alternative and not so honest “truth” of the Faith…not accusing you of anything…but your insistence for others to do research is fine…you should do the same….there is way more to understanding the Mormon Faith than blind obedience to dogma…

  79. Bill_Perdue says:

    That, like most cult propaganda, is anti-scientific and downright silly.

    Gender, skin color and sexual orientation are genetically determined. People are not born being superstitious.

    Get a grip.

  80. noGOP says:

    you seem to be consistently promoting propaganda. I, for one, don’t find your comments appealing or persuasive.

  81. Bill_Perdue says:

    It’s not for all mormons. It’s mainly for men adept at parroting dogma and coming up with plausible reasons to ask for the rent month after month.

  82. Bill_Perdue says:

    Cults are not defined by snooping and shunning but by their beliefs in outrageous superstitions, their arrogant intrusion into civil life and their right wing politics in defense of the rich.

    Episcopalians have outrageous superstitions, they arrogantly intrude in civil political questions like marriage (they’re for it) and divorce (they oppose it) and they don’t just defend the rich, they are the major grouping of the rich.

  83. Baal says:

    I have the facts and if you believe the story Joseph Smith propagated about his golden plates there is not much anyone else can do to help you. You choose to believe this, but of course you don’t choose your national origin or race or who your parents are. So yes, it is a badge of honor that I am not gullible.

  84. Bill_Perdue says:

    christer hagiography is full of minor gods and goddesses stolen from earlier classical cults. And after 2000 of insanity there are also any number of loopy people who’ve been adopted as saints.

    jebuz and the goddess mary are amalgamations of zeus, jupiter, baal, mithras, etc. “His blood washes me. Washes me white as snow (I’ve come to tell you I’m washed) I’m washed in the blood, in the blood of the lamb” is pure mithraism.

  85. Indigo says:

    Why thank you, Handsome Stranger. But stick around, things are mighty fluid in these here parts.

  86. Bill_Perdue says:

    Religion is the enemy. It’s humankinds greatest calamity.

    It is, on the face of it, a form of insanity. People who espouse that insanity have to live with the consequences, including the growing rage of their victims and the growing number of atheists.

    The way to handle the cults is simple. Tax them until they fall and can’t get up. Prosecute them for raping children, for interfering in civil matters, for enabling wars of aggression and conquest and confiscate their wealth to compensate their victims.

    Those policies won’t ever be put in place by politicians, Democrat and
    Republican alike, who instinctively and endlessly pander to the cults. It can only be done by a workers government.

  87. Exetarian says:

    Yes. And so can everyone else here. “Scumbag” is certainly far less insulting or denigrating than anything else being said about Mormons on this page — all by people who aren’t just opposed to Mitt Romney but who are using dislike for him to savage an entire faith of millions of good people, many of them your neighbors who would give the shirt off their backs for you. How about this “name calling” below from emjayay: “That’s as complicated a full of f*&^&ing as Hindoo tales.” Wow. Insulting and name-calling not just millions of Mormons but a billion Hindu as well. Nice. Be consistent, Moderator3. If name calling is off-limits, then castigate every solitary poster on this page who is mocking anyone’s faith. Make the mocking of faith as off-limits as mocking gender, nationality, race or sexual orientation and we’re good.

  88. Exetarian says:

    Unless you read the facts.

  89. Exetarian says:

    Or… you could just respect the rights of all people of faith to be respected and given their Constitutional latitude… and ask that they respect you likewise.

  90. Exetarian says:

    Mormonism is a Church as legitimate as any other. If you believe otherwise, then you are welcome to go visit an LDS Chapel any Sunday and see for yourself. Otherwise you’re perpetrating specious, second-hand rumor without any evidence to support it and plenty against it. Inform yourself or keep your paranoid fears to yourself.

  91. Exetarian says:

    What a bunch of crock. Mormons absolutely don’t do that. I’ve spent my life as one and I have never so much as heard such a thing suggested or practiced. Seriously, you people have got to get over yourselves. This slander is unbecoming.

  92. Exetarian says:

    You are the only respectable liberal of integrity on this page. Please continue to preach your common sense politics to the rest.

  93. Exetarian says:

    Charity must be voluntary or it’s not really charity.

  94. Exetarian says:

    Do your research. The way in which half-truths and flat-out falsehoods are propagated on this page are appalling. Latter-day Saints have never contended that Native Americans are genetically related to Israelites. They are “of the house of Israel” and are descendants of “Lamanites.” Genetics are not part of the contention. All descendants of Israelites in the Book of Mormon are extinct by the end.

    Naturally, being a tolerant sort of liberal who believes in equality for everyone you would say that all religions are crazy. God forbid anyone say anything negative about someone’s race, gender or sexual orientation… but hating on religion you wear like a badge of honor. Bigoted hypocrisy.

  95. Exetarian says:

    False. Do your research. Mormon compassion extends far beyond the LDS Church. Millions in aid to poor nations and even the needy in America is routine. LDS Social Services makes no secret of this. They simply don’t publicize it.

  96. Exetarian says:

    Not true. The help is for all. At the time of hurricane Katrina, there was a convoy of trucks and supplies headed to the region, not just for Mormons but for all victims. And all the Mormons of the area pitched in and made their chapels available for housing, aid, etc. The Church simply doesn’t publicize such efforts because it’s not trying to get public acknowledgement. It’s doing what it believes is right. The difference, for the liberal mind to understand, between Church welfare and public welfare is that the one is provided for by voluntary donations, the other by conscripted, involuntarily seized taxes. Charity, to a Christian, only takes place in a condition where the charity is voluntary because it blesses the giver and the receiver. It’s not about helping the poor — it’s about bringing the needy and the fortunate together in heart and mind through a voluntary transaction.

  97. Exetarian says:

    They’re sacred. Not secret. I would wager that there are plenty of things you do in your life that are private, especially matters related to family. Given how cavalierly the people on this site seem to pat themselves on the back for their contempt and insulting disdain for something their fellow Americans hold secret — apparently justifying it based on politics — is it any wonder some people would prefer to not open their most precious, sacred events to your contempt? Bad manners appear to be a liberal badge of honor.

  98. Exetarian says:

    Correction… as an atheist you BELIEVE there is no God or afterlife. But you do not “know.” Nor can you since that would violate the scientific method you hold so dear. Be consistent. And LDS doctrine does not “claim the should of the dead against their will.” They are proxy ordinances that the deceased may or may not accept. It’s a “courtesy,” if you will. Do your research. Stop accepting the rantings of the uninformed as fact. An “atheist” who believes in empirical knowledge and facts ought to do better than accept as facts specious rumor and uninformed rambling. Go to the source.

  99. Exetarian says:

    By all means. Make insulting assertions about things you cannot prove. That make you sound so much more rational.

  100. Moderator3 says:

    You can give your opinion without name calling.

  101. Exetarian says:

    Foolish and ignorant poster, UncleBucky. That terminology came from early translations of the Book of Mormon in which there are no black people. It was never — and is not — a reference to races of African descent. If you were less bigoted and did your homework, you’d know that.

  102. Exetarian says:

    Mormons were abolitionists. Do your homework. Don’t be a bigot.

  103. Exetarian says:

    Or just go to and read what they actually believe.

  104. Exetarian says:

    Or you could actually just go to and read what they actually believe in their own words.

    You’d probably send people to a neo-Nazi site to learn about Jews, wouldn’t you? Scumbag.

  105. Exetarian says:

    Egregious journalism. Get your facts straight and do your research. There is an LDS Public Affairs office available for this reason.

    The LDS Church never had a revelation that blacks were equal to whites. It was a 1978 revelation that all worthy men should receive the priesthood, reversing a prior policy — not a doctrine. The doctrine always held the equality of all. The policy on priesthood has since been explained in detail by the Church as a mistake and a product of cultural biases rather than doctrine.

    The Church also does not routinely baptize the souls of the dead — it performs proxy ordinances which the deceased are presumed to have the freedom to accept or reject. Members of the Church may ask that deceased relatives receive such ordinances posthumously — as opposed to the belief of other faiths that those who die without adopting such things on the earth are sentenced to Hell.

    I would think even good liberals would appreciate the charitable intent of that more “progressive” doctrine.

    Apart from that, the tenor of this site’s alleged “liberals” who seem to have no trouble denigrating, ridiculing and mocking a faith with the kind of vitriol they condemn when it targets race, gender or sexual orientation, is the height of hypocrisy.

  106. EdA says:

    For that matter, George Bush frequently said that he talked to God. Nobody in the media in the media ever asked him whether God answered and whether he paid any attention to the answers, which god he spoke to, or if it did happen that he and the Christianist Fundamentalist god gabbed and he did pay attention, why that god clearly gave him such god-awful advice.

  107. The_Fixer says:

    Good points, all.

    However, he is supposed to not be running scared of his Mormonism, which implies that he’ll be more open about it. Of course, yes, he could put a limitation on that and stonewall any queries on details.

    In the end, it doesn’t change one fact: he’s not a good candidate and not very electable. He’s doesn’t connect with people in a personal way and comes off as what he is: a heartless CEO with all the appeal of a rusty block of iron.

  108. Bill_Perdue says:

    The LDS cult and Romney’s membership in it will likely be a secondary question. Most people’s first objection will be tot eh fact that he’s not just a right winger but that he’s a predatory capitalist.

    He’s a loony cultist identified with job killing capitalists.

    So is Hillary Clinton.

  109. emjayay says:

    That’s as complicated and full of fucking as Hindoo tales.

  110. emjayay says:

    No. Elohim did not rape the Virgin Mary. She was married but was frigid and wouldn’t do it. I had a dog like that. Doggie cum all over her, but not in the right place. And she really liked the guy otherwise.
    Anyway, one day Mary was quietly reading the Torah or praying or something in her room decorated in the fashion of the early Renaissance Netherlands, and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove came through the window in a bunch of rays of light and the candle blew out and she got pregnant in a completely spiritual way with no sweat or unseemly motions or screaming “yes!” or anything.

  111. Baal says:

    It will never happen. But it would be nice for some presidential candidate to say, “I believe in religious freedom but personally don’t find any of them persuasive, and really don’t have any strongly held religious beliefs. Also, I certainly don’t believe that having religious beliefs of one sort or another makes you a better person”.

  112. JaneE says:

    I am just pointing out that the religious values that Romney might invoke to show his concern for the poor are not going to withstand close scrutiny.

    I have Mormon relatives, and have seen the Mormon church do really great things to help them when they needed it. The problem with Mormon compassion is that it is only for other Mormons. Pretending it is otherwise is a lie.

  113. Dave of the Jungle says:

    The last thing we need is government policy being dictated by Star Base Kolob.

  114. FLL says:

    Thanks for posting this. It all sounds like the petty worldview of a racist 19th-century Anglo-American man who’s trying to overcompensate for occasional homoerotic tendencies by setting up a scriptural blueprint for men having multiple wives. Overcompensation is never convincing.

    I never knew that Mormons believe black people were punished for remaining neutral in their celestial war between good and evil. That conveniently excuses slavery in the Southern states, doesn’t it?

  115. gratuitous says:

    Under that scenario, it’s possible. My guess, though, is that Romney will confine himself to general statements about being Mormon, and steadfastly refuse to get into any specifics. I remember quite well how his campaign resisted full disclosure of Mitt’s tax returns, especially for the years that would have made him look like such a robber baron that even the ghost of Jay Gould would say, “Whoa, now that’s over the top.”

  116. BeccaM says:

    Yes. Actually, they didn’t have a single truthful thing to say, none of them, including American Catholic and Baptist leaders, too.

  117. UncleBucky says:

    “white and delightsome” is the description of the Mormon people. Later the LDS changed “white” to “pure” or “fair”, but the blackness meme still was allowed, and so the change means nothing.

    Foolish people.

  118. Indigo says:

    I don’t know anything about Mormonry and to tell you the truth, I don’t care. (Ditto on Tom Cruise, by the way) but I care very much that any religionist would run for office while foregrounding cult practice of any kind from PresbyLutheterian to NewAgeianity. I don’t care, as long as they clearly understand that under no circumstances whatsoever is our secular Constitution to be trivialized by any form of theocracy.

  119. 2karmanot says:

    Yep, Bush Le petite believed in the trinity—-being born on third base and all………

  120. 2karmanot says:

    Many many years ago, I encountered an angel in the Everard Baths.

  121. 2karmanot says:

    Like the three faces of Eve?

  122. 2karmanot says:


  123. 2karmanot says:

    Strange that Mormbots haven’t swarmed this article yet….maybe the word went out.

  124. 2karmanot says:

    Episcopalians don’t do that– that’s funny

  125. 2karmanot says:

    Without Mormonism Mitty would be a zero sum phenomena.

  126. 2karmanot says:

    And, of course Billo is prone to tribal polygamy.

  127. 2karmanot says:

    Mormonism would make a good board game.

  128. 2karmanot says:

    Indeed, it’s such absurd nonsense. There is no life after death.

  129. 2karmanot says:


  130. caphillprof says:

    My primary problem with this strategy, apart from Mormon nonsense, is the notion that Mitt Romney is capable of “opening up” about anything. Open up is not really part of Aspergers.

  131. caphillprof says:

    Do they pay their tithes in Salt Lake or on Grand Cayman?

  132. The_Fixer says:

    I think it all depends on whether Mitt’s religion becomes an Internet meme.

    Things he’s said have gotten the attention of the Internet before, like the “Binders full of women” and the “47%” remarks. I think it really depends on what he says about it, and if it gets enough public attention. Mitt being Mitt, I think that he’ll eventually say something that will get a lot of attention. How long-lived, and its effects, remain to be seen.

    It could even come from an innocent question, such as “what do Mormons believe?”

    Look at the video in nicho’s post below, and you can understand that. Most major Abrahamic religions would look at it and think it’s nuts (like their own beliefs are really any better).

    Yes, the major media are great at ignoring things and not asking enough questions. But they do know how to jump on a meme bandwagon.

  133. Baal says:

    Well, joseph smith was pretty much the L. Ron Hubbard of his day. A convicted swindler before he decided to invent his religion, and then things got pretty violent as factions fought over who could control the thing he started.

    The early history of the LDS makes pretty fascinating reading.

  134. Baal says:

    I guess it’s all how you define the cult. I would make the definition broader and say it includes childhood indoctrination into belief in supernatural entities. But make no mistake about it, even some more mainstream Christian denominations would meet your definition but real nevertheless. The harassment may not always be that overt as your description in Utah, perhaps not so much anymore and not everywhere. But of course, going back in time, burning people at the stake is a pretty compelling threat.

    Episcopalians are not a very broad swath of the universe of Christianity.

  135. gratuitous says:

    I agree with your premise, but disagree with the conclusion. I don’t see any way that the popular media are going to buttonhole Mr. Romney about his religious beliefs. They’ll mention some peripheral facts about Mormonism in general, perhaps a few specifics about the number of Mormons in various states, but as for asking about details from Romney? Silent as the tomb, and nobody’s going to roll away that stone.

    See, for example, the fatuous statements candidate George W. Bush made about his personal faith. Jesus is his personal hero, who changed W.’s heart, and stopped him at age 40 from drinking his life away. Did you ever hear any reporter ask W. about his drinking days and if he was still on the wagon? You did not. Did you ever hear any reporter ask W. what about Jesus that made him such a personal hero? Not a word. Did you ever hear any reporter ask W. what changes had been made in his heart due to his conversion? Nope, no sir and no siree bob. Specifics beyond W.’s airy, meaningless pronouncements were neither volunteered by the campaign nor solicited by reporters.

    Romney will get away with what a great thing it is to be a Mormon, he attends services regularly, and he and his wife are devoted, tithing members of the LDS, as are their boys. Anything beyond that will be strictly off limits by mutual agreement between the campaign and those covering it. I don’t think there’s any subject that makes political reporters more uncomfortable than discussing a candidate’s religion. I don’t know for sure why that is, but I think for a lot of reporters and their editors, it’s that they don’t know how to report on religion; it’s like a foreign country to them.

  136. nicho says:

    I guess it’s time for this again. What Mormons believe.

  137. nicho says:

    They also marry dead people. A friend of mine who was a Mormon told me that he and his sister were “married” 20 or so times one day for dead relatives.

  138. nicho says:

    No, that’s absolutely wrong. All religions are not cults. People say that all the time — and it’s just not true. Cults have definite characteristics. One aspect of a cult is to make it difficult to exist outside the cult. A Mormon who decides to leave, for example, can no longer attend the Temple. So if a parent dies or a sibling gets married and the ceremony is in the Temple, the person cannot attend. Not even all active Mormons can go to the Temple. Some Mormons have been totally ostracized from their friends and families for leaving the church — leaving them with no support system.

    An older man I know had to return to Utah for health reasons. He was a gay man, but not open to the people in Utah. He and his house were watched constantly. Church members would come to visit him. One would engage him in conversation in the living room, while the another would spend the time snooping around the house to see what he could find. When friends of his from CA would go to visit him, church members were on the lookout. He would get a call informing him that his friends had just come into town and would be at his house in a few minutes. Just to let him know that he and his friends were being watched.

    Episcopalians don’t do that.

  139. nicho says:

    And most of what they and other “religious leaders” said were damnable lies.

  140. nicho says:

    He could always invite the networks in to broadcast the Temple Ceremony. Any outfit that has super-secret ceremonies — that not even all members of the church can attend — makes me just a little nervous.

  141. Baal says:

    OK, point taken.

  142. Demosthenes says:

    A superb article, Mr. Green. I hope it gets wide circulation, since your analysis goes to the heart of Gov. Romney’s latest “reinvention” of himself.

    Hasn’t failed perennial failed vanity candidate Mitt Romney figured out the American people aren’t really into him?

  143. heimaey says:

    I never said all religions weren’t cults – I just said that Mormonism wasn’t a religion it was a cult. Stop putting words in my mouth.