Skip to comments.A Different God? Mitt Romney, the Religious Right, and the Mormon Question
Posted on 06/12/2011 5:01:54 PM PDT by Colofornian
As can be expected from a book published by Greg Kofford, Craig L. Fosters A Different God? is well researched and engaging. This book begins by examining the rise of the religious right and the power it exerts on the current political landscape. Foster presents a good deal of information that most Latter-day Saints will not be well acquainted with, such as the difference between evangelical and fundamentalist Christians, the emergence of the charismatic movement, the rise and fall of the Moral Majority, and the subsequent establishment of the Christian Coalition. This background is particularly pertinent to the majority of Mormons in the western United States who align themselves with the Republican Party.
Foster also gives a concise but surprisingly comprehensive summary of the political history of the Latter-day Saints. Because official Church curriculum does not address in detail the period from about 1850 until World War II or even later, most Mormons are rather uneducated regarding their political past, particularly the theocratic era that prevailed until the EdmundsTucker Act precipitated several changes, including the Manifesto in 1890 and the disbanding of the Peoples Party in 1891. The fact that most Mormons at the time gravitated toward the Democratic Party might surprise some of their modern descendents.
While Foster, an ardent Romney supporter, is admirably objective about the many weaknesses that undermined Mitt Romneys run for the Republican presidential nomination, his thesis in this book is that these flaws could have been overcome if not for a larger issue that eventually doomed the Romney campaign: the Mormon Question. This book apparently went to press after John McCain had secured his partys nomination but before he had selected his running mate, but it still has validity far beyond the 2008 presidential primaries. His thorough examination of the strong anti-Mormon sentiment that still seethes in America, especially among the religious right, will be relevant if Romney runs again in 2012 or if any other Latter-day Saint takes aim at the presidency in a future election.
Even though Foster doesnt quite arrive at this particular destination, the sobering conclusion that his presentation inevitably yields is that if a Mormon is to be elected United States president in the foreseeable future, he or she may have to run as a moderate Republican or, perhaps even more realistically, as a moderate Democrat.
Well, Romney was doomed by BOTH the "Mormon Question" and his RINO flip-flopping!
His problem is not that he’s a Mormon....it is that he’s Mitt Romney.
The Mormon gods are distinct from the one true, Ultimate God.
Here is a key god of the Mormons:
God and man are of the same race, differing only in their degrees of advancement (Lds apostle John A. Widtsoe, Rational Theology, 1915, p. 61)
According to revelation, however, he is a personal Being, a holy and exalted Man, a glorified, resurrected Personage having a tangible body of flesh and bones, an anthropomorphic Entity, the personal Father of the spirits of all men. (Bruce R. Mconkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 250)
The doctrine that God was once a man and has progressed to become a God is unique to this Church. (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 1997, p. 34)
We offend again in our doctrine that men are of the same race with the divine personages we call Gods. Great stress is laid upon the idea that we believe that 'as man is, God once was, and as God now is, man may become.' The world usually shouts 'blasphemy' and 'sacrilege' at one when he talks of such a possibility (B.H. Roberts, 1992, Defense of The Faith and The Saints 2:570)
(Roberts, Btw, was a Democrat elected by Utah voters as one of its first Congressman...Congress sent him packing and never allowed him to be seated because Roberts took simulaneous wife #3 in 1893 or 1894 AFTER the supposed announcement that the Mormon church would address polygamy).
The Father is a glorified, perfected, resurrected, exalted man who worked out his salvation by obedience to the same laws he has given to us so that we may do the same. (Lds apostle Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, p. 64)
When you can thus feel, then you may begin to think that you can find out something about God, and begin to learn who he is. He is our Fatherthe Father of our spirits, and was once a man in mortal flesh as we are, and is now an exalted Being. (Brigham Young, Oct. 8, 1859, JoD, 7:333)
It appears ridiculous to the world, under their darkened and erroneous traditions, that God has been once a finite being; and yet we are not in such close communion with him as many have supposed, (Brigham Young, Oct. 8, 1859, JoD, 7:333)
The idea that the Lord our God is not a personage of tabernacle is entirely a mistaken notion. He was once a man. (Brigham Young, Feb. 23, 1862, JoD, 9:286)
What, is it possible that the Father of Heights, the Father of our spirits, could reduce himself and come forth like a man? Yes, he was once a man like you and I are and was once on an earth like this...He had his father and his mother and he has been exalted through his faithfulness, and he is beomce Lord of all. (The Essential Brigham Young, p. 138)
Knowing what we know concerning God our Father-- that he is a personal being; that he has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as our own; that he is an exalted and glorified being; that he was once a man and dwelt on an earth and knowing that this knowledge was had by many of the ancients, should we be surprised to find legends and myths throughout the cultures of the earth concerning gods who have divine power but human attributes and passions? (BYU professor Robert L. Millet, The Eternal Gospel, Ensign, July 1996, p. 53)
Joseph Smith did in fact teach that God is a Man of Holiness, an exalted and glorified man. (BYU professor Robert L., Millet, The Mormon Faith: Understanding Restored Christianity, p. 169)
Joseph Smith's purpose is to show that the Bible teaches that our Father in Heaven was once mortal, as we are. (BYU professor Emeritus Joseph Fielding McConkie and Craig Ostler, Revelations of the Restoration, p. 1087)
Imagine "President Romney" praying to such a god for help in a crisis!
ONE OTHER very key different as to why Mormons have a "different god": They believe that the ONLY ones who get to live forever with this god are...
...Married to worthy, faithful temple Mormons...[singles not allowed...or women married to unworthy Mormons not allowed]
This means that if you are not a temple Mormon, the Mormon church says your chances of living with this god forever are nil.
So many things in this world are upside down. I wish we could go back to a time when blacks were republican and mormons were democrats.
You don’t have to hang out around FR very long to realize that for many of the posters, it IS his being Mormon.
No doubt many of them would not vote for Romney were he a Baptist. But I also suspect a good many would not have voted for Reagan had he been Mormon.
Yup. Many Mormons were Democrats up until the early 1890s when Mormon leadership told many of the sheep to switch parties. They wanted to come across to national political leadership as more balanced so that statehood would not be denied them.
Imagine that. Mormons switching parties 'cause their leaders told them to!
Want a source?
During most of the 19th century, Utah was polarized along local rather than national party lines. Two local parties dominated the political scene: the Mormon Peoples Party and the Gentile Liberal Party. When Mormons did think in terms of national politics, they were almost universally Democrat, as the Republicans opposed Utah statehood. Brigham Young was a life-long Democrat.
In order to gain the senates approval for statehood, Utah was required to normalize its political allegiances. The Church disbanded the Mormon Peoples Party but feared that a mass Mormon migration to the Democratic Party would displease Republican senators. Church leaders sent Apostle John Henry Smith to visit LDS congregations. It was possible to be a faithful Mormon and a Republican, he explained to the amazement of many LDS faithful. In 1893, the Church even asked some specific families to become Republicans, a move that would be unimaginable today.
Largely because of this Church effort, Republicans and Democrats were both well-represented around the turn of the century. The Democrats had some impressive victories; in the first presidential election after Utah statehood in 1896, Democrats earned eighty percent of the presidential vote for William Jennings Bryan and elected many of their own to state, local, and national offices. Democrats also had great successes in the 1910s, in the 1930s with the rise of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and in 1964 with the Lyndon B. Johnson landslide
Source of above: Mormons and politics
Other historical background info of Utah State and Utah Territory:
State politics was reorganized after the 1890 Manifesto discontinuing polygamy was announced, and both the Republican and Democratic party emerged in the state. Many assumed that the traditional ties of many LDS Church leaders to the Democratic party philosophy would make Utah a strong Democratic state. In 1894, however, Republican Frank J. Cannon was elected Utah's delegate in Congress and the Republicans elected 60 members to the Constitutional Convention, a 13-vote majority over the Democratic. [Source for this & below quotes: http://www.media.utah.edu/UHE/d/DEMOCRATIC.html ]
Now keep in mind, this Republican surge was initiated pre-statehood admission. When we look at the actual first post-statehood election in 1896, what do we find?
In the first presidential contest held after achieving statehood in 1896, however, Utah Democrats did well, drawing more than eighty percent of the presidential vote for William Jennings Bryan and electing a variety of Democrats to state and local office as well. That same year, William H. King was elected to Congress and the Democratic legislature selected Joseph L. Rawlins to serve as U. S. Senator. Two years later, the Democrats elected B. H. Roberts to Congress although he was denied his seat because of his practice of plural marriage. Roberts was eventually replaced by William H. King in a special election held in April 1900.
We know that in the Utah state Legislature assuming office that 39 in the Utah House of Reps in 1897 were Democrats, only 3 were Republicans & 3 were Populists. In the state Senate, it was a 17-0 shutout for the Democrats (plus one populist).
By 1900, the parties became balanced, and then the Democrats dropped off for a while in Utah as Republicans Teddy Roosevelts ways carried the national day:
But the Democrats rebounded with the help of the Progressive Party in 1914: In 1914, Utah Democrats allied with the Progressive party to take control of both houses of the Utah legislature as well as many county offices. Two years later, the Democrats scored a major victory garnering the state's electoral votes for Wilson, and electing Simon Bamberger as Governor, William H. King to the U.S. Senate and both representatives in Congress. The state legislature was overwhelmingly Democratic as well.
Reagan could not be Reagan had he been Mormon.
I’d prefer a modern mormon president over a muslim president any day.
My point was that many freepers REALLY despise Mormonism and Mormons.
If you don’t believe this, I suggest you try reading some of the Mormon-bashing threads. A remarkable number of people seem to believe a theological disagreement in and of itself is sufficient reason to vote against a candidate.
I’m not Mormon or particularly fond of the faith, but I can recognize that those posting such extreme dislike for Mormonism are pretty unlikely to vote for a Mormon president, regardless of his positions and record on other issues.
I never said YOU are among this group, necessarily, only that there are a good many of them out there. IOW, the author referenced in the article is correct. His Mormonism IS a problem for Romney. I don’t this it’s his major problem. But it is still a problem.
But...but...voting for Romney just because he is mormon and so is the voter...that's perfectly OK, right?
Reagan has nothing to do with Romney OR mormonism.
His Mormonism is definitely a problem, especially when he speaks of it and seems to “gloss over” many of it’s anti-mainstream Christian beliefs. When you are part of a religious group that many think is a cult and you aren’t even straight forward with those that you want to vote for you (mainly conservative Christians and Jews), yeah there’s going to be a problem and it’s of Romney’s own making.
Not sure where you get that idea.
There aren't enough Mormons to swing an electoral vote in any states except Utah and possibly Idaho.
There are, however, more Mormons than Jews, and the media is always obsessing about the Jewish vote. Though there seems to be considerable disagreement out there about how to count who is a Mormon and who is a Jew.
I can't count how many hundreds of times I've posted comments on Romney's...
...abortion stances & comments/stances on embryos...
...ENDA & homosexual support...
...Same-sex marriage being passed on his watch in MA...
...Bay State Romneycare...
...Romney as board member for Marriott & Marriott as a member of the porn industry -- to the degree that even the DesNews took him to task in '07 on this issue...
...Yet here is ALSO a consistent point I've been making: I've make numerous posts that link Romney's wishy-washy stances on many issues (abortion, embryos/stem cells, ENDA, healthcare, etc.) to the reality that Mormon church leadership is also wishy-washy:
Issue examples are...
...Homosexual rights in Salt Lake City (2009)...
...Abortion exceptions within their church body...
...Blacks as priests (1978)...
...Polygamy (1831 change to override polygamy described as an "abomination" in Book of Mormon; 1890 change, etc.)
Harry Reid told his BYU audience in 2007 when he was speaking to them "I am a Democrat BECAUSE I am a Mormon, not in spite of it."
Source: Reid Gets Warm Reception at BYU
Well, I have a similar point: Mitt Romney's wishy-washy, waffling behavior is in part, BECAUSE he is a Mormon leader who operates in the same "convenient" tradition he has seen so many other Mormon leaders operate in...
All you have to do is to read the Reed Smoot hearings in the early 1900s and you'll see how convenient it was for even the top Lds "prophet" to lie under oath to cover up even his own personal polygamous relationships!
Too many FREEPERS, unknowledgeable about historical and more recent flip-flopping behaviors by Mormon leaders are too quick to de-link Romney's behavior to Mormonism.
It's time some of you FREEPERS get an education in historical Mormonism.