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Romney’s Mormon Problem
The article we're commenting on raises the issue of whether enough of the American electorate will be able to accept a Mormon as the President of the United States. From a completely rationale viewpoint the answer should obviously be yes. Mormons have held many offices at all levels of government and have discharged their duties without their religious beliefs causing undo concern to the vast majority of their constituents.
Faithful Mormons are found in almost every walk of life, and for the most part they have a good reputation for the way they conduct themselves in business and in the community. There's no reason to think that this would not be the case if one were to be elected President. It seems more appropriate for LDS candidates to be judged on their past records and what they say they will do if elected as opposed to their religious affiliation.
Unfortunately, their chances of being elected are near zero. I do find the idea of an LDS church member being elected President exciting, but only in the same way that blacks were so excited about President Obama being elected as it showed how Americans had overcome a long held prejudice. Some of our LDS beliefs can justifiably be viewed as strange and hard to believe, but when looked at rationally I don't find them any harder to believe than other supernatural events believed by faithful members of other religions.
For example, anyone who believes that Jesus Christ is the literal Son of God and that only through his atoning sacrifice can all mankind be saved from the effects of the Fall and sin is believing in a supernatural event for which they have no rational proof. We believe that supernatural events similar to those that occurred in the bible have occurred more recently. We believe that God has restored the true Church of Jesus Christ to the earth by calling prophets and apostles as he did in biblical times.
It's true that there are what appear to be questionable statements, beliefs and events in the LDS church's past and present. These have been explained to me plausibly in such a way that they do not alter my faith in what I believe to be the truth. My faith is based more on spiritual feelings and its positive affect on my life and the lives of others than it is on empirical evidence or rational argument.
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This seems to be the same for true believers of other faiths as well, and I see no reason why having this type of faith should exclude anyone from being elected President of the United States. For those of you who are uneasy about a candidate for the US Presidency being a member of the LDS church ask yourself if you think the candidate's religious beliefs will cause him to act in office in a way that will be detrimental. I personally see no reason why this would be the case.
If you'd like to know what Mormons really believe and perhaps more importantly in the context of this discussion what they are taught to believe check out mormon. I have to disagree with you bennybay. According to Webster, a Christian is "any one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ.
This year my husband and I are teaching the year-olds in our ward congregation the stories of the New Testament in Sunday School last week was the parable of the Unmerciful Servant--Matthew The Book of Mormon, as the subtitle would suggest, is just another testimony of Jesus Christ. It is difficult for me, after having spent a lifetime studying the teachings and following the example of Jesus, to be told that I am not a Christian by someone who does not apparently know anything at all about what I believe. If you really don't think we believe in Jesus, read the Book of Mormon and then get back to me.
Some folks wrote about being angry that the Mormon church supported Prop 8. If you're angry that Prop 8 passed, I suggest you wander into the inner city and start picketing black churches. Maybe you can get Al Shapton to join your march. America has an interesting history with Mormonism having chased its adherents all the way to Utah. It was once legal to kill a mormon in Missouri:. Once in Utah the Americans made a few more demands. The Americans weren't going to allow Utah to become it's own country, and they weren't prepared to accept polygamy. With no desire to be victims of genocide, something had to give, and so polygamy was outlawed by Mormons.
So, if it comes to it, the question is, will the American people reelect a Marxist, or will they elect a Mormon? Which one do they dislike more? Laconicly Sane Thank you for a sincere and thoughtful comment. My experience is the same. It is the fact that mormons really believe it and are really trying to live it that upsets people the most. The fact is, alongside the weird or silly things that these commentators are pointing to are incredibly powerful principles of family relationships, love, service and human potential that make practicing mormons believe strongly that they are better off for being mormon.
I am aware how silly these things sound, and yet, I really believe that my life is more happy and my behavior more principled for having committed to live the mormon religion. Many conservatives, even ones that are very radical, seem to think of their positions as traditional or "the way things have always been" or perhaps even "the way things used to be".
It's hard to square that type of mentality with a religion that everyone knows was invented recently by a con-man. While Mormonism may not be any crazier objectively than older religions, there seems to be some unspoken feeling that the days of yore in which the older religions were started really were sort of magical and touched by God in some way that the modern world is not.
I'm not sure how people manage to entertain this sort of stupid but there it is. I meant to say I agree with Kushluk's edit.
BU-trained scholar says uninformed prejudice abounds
As individuals, Mormons are, in aggregate, really nice. As a group they can be petty and vicious. I don't think that has anything to do with any particular candidate, but I agree that the Prop 8 was appalling and it seems entirely fair to hold that against Mormons as a group. I am interested by the series of comments accusing the LDS church of financial corruption--perhaps you just assume members donate money and the church leadership spends it how it pleases.
I must admit, I don't understand how the church managing their finances like a businesses is a bad thing--businesses are accountable for how they spend their money. Plus the LDS church has a lot of stuff to keep track of--various universities, welfare programs, church buildings and temples throughout the world, humanitarian aid, etc.
On another note, at this point more than half of the members of the LDS church live outside of the US. Having lived in Hong Kong, France, Germany, Jordan, and the US I can tell you that although the church and the doctrine are the same, the culture certainly is not. Of course, many young year-old missionaries don't know everything about a culture when they start their 2-year missions, but ignorance of a culture is not a rejection of it.
I guess I just don't understand where this notion of Mormons hating other cultures came from. This is more true of Americans in general. I suppose I was naive to think that the Economist's readership would differ from a pretty typical cross section, but indeed the comments regarding Mormonism have ranged from innocent misunderstanding to misinformed to benighted.
As with most things, a deeper understanding would dispel most of these as in most cross sections, probably not the rants of the benighted. Some of the comments on this article seem to illustrate well this "flak," and do so in a manner that is quite impolite and even vulgar. I would have hoped that the readership of The Economist would be at least well educated enough to be able to disagree in an agreeable manner. The book of Mormon is demonstrably BS. It just didn't happen, sorry, and trying to sell a myth based on BS is hucksterism pure and simple. As for entrepreneurial ethos, you find a lot of Mormons running large corporations word to the wise: corporations are not entrepreneurial , and the whole church is run like a corporation, designed to max out profits and work the little guys to death.
If you think those are examplary American virtues, then you certainly don't deserve citizenship. Upstanding citizens? Are you joking? Mormons commit, on average, the same number of crimes as any other group of white people in America, which brings me to They are unforgivably racist. They hate the First Peoples, they hate the blacks, they hate anyone who's not white.
It's the KKK in religious clothing.
BU-trained scholar says uninformed prejudice abounds
Yes, they have reason to feel persecuted. They were persecuted in the 19th century because they were so dumb that they believed garbage that even uneducated Americans in the s could see was false immediately. Farmers in Illinois and Missouri kicked the Mormons out as soon as they got there, because they realized that these people were dangerously stupid. Would that we could do the same to the Tea Party.
Would you trust, as president with the nuclear codes , a person who believes in a fairy tale that was clearly made up in the midth Century in America, and who makes their major life decisions based on that belief? Stop trying to paint present America's reluctance towards a Mormon president in the same light as what Obama has overcome as a black president. They are apples and oranges. Asking "why don't people like? I would even say that "most people" are okay with Mormons at least as much as they're okay with any group that's fairly public about their religion.