Skip to comments.How NOT to Investigate Mitt Romney’s Mormon Ties
Posted on 05/04/2012 4:04:53 AM PDT by Colofornian
Earlier this week, Mother Jones' Tim Murphy tried to connect the dots between Mitt Romney and Cleon Skousen, the ultra-conservative, anti-Communist LDS political theorist made famous by Glenn Beck. Murphy dug out an August 2007 radio interview Romney did with a Rush Limbaugh-esque political talk jock in Iowa, who, after goading Romney on his faith, turned the subject to Skousen.
Romney gamely played along. He told radio host Jan Mickelson that he once took a class from Skousen at Brigham Young University, admitted that had not read much of Skousen, and agreed that Skousen's The Making of America might be "worth reading." Murphy zeroes in the exchange in an effort to tie Romney to the conservative fringe.
Back in 2008, progressives grumbled when conservatives made controversy of Michelle Obama's Princeton senior thesis on race. But Romney didn't even have to write a thesis on or with Skousen to get a write-up in the progressive press. He just sat through one of his classes back in the day at BYU...
One well-worn option is to use his Mormonism to make Romney look fringe by connecting him to figures like Skousen. Call it the Jon Krakauer approach: focus on extreme political thought, or Mexican polygamy, or nineteenth-century history...
(Excerpt) Read more at religiondispatches.org ...
Per Tim Murphy: In Making of America, the textbook that Mickelson referenced in his conversation with Romney, Skousen quotes from an essay which argues that "one of the blessings of slavery" was that slaves' marriages were fleeting, and suggests that being bought at auction improved slaves' self worth. The real victims of slavery, the author suggested, were the white owners. The book also referred to black children as "pickaninnies"which prompted lawmakers in California to block the text from being used in classrooms. In Skousen's book, the model Supreme Court decision was Dred Scott, which correctly demarcated the limits of federal power; Roger B. Taney, who wrote the majority opinion in that case, was the model Supreme Court justice. Although he didn't seem familiar with Making of America, Romney was almost certainly aware of his ex-professor's reputation. Skousen's academic colleagues began to push back against his teachings while Romney was still a student at BYU. As Alexander Zaitchik reported for Salon, some of Skousen's colleagues at BYU insisted on teaching his economic treatise, Naked Capitalism, which theorized that a global cabal of bankers was quietly controlling the world from behind the scenes. (Naked Capitalism was a sequel to Naked Communism, which argued that the Soviet Union was just a pawn in larger effort by the United Nations to control the world). Skousen's crackpot theories eventually drew the attention of the leaders of the Mormon church, who were determined to distance themselves from Skousen's sermonizing. The church, Zaitchik reported, issued a formal order instructing clergy not to promote Skousen's work (he had started an anti-Communist civics group called the Freeman Institute) from the pulpit, lest anyone get the wrong impression about the church's beliefs. Romney, a former Mormon bishop, would have had to have been living under a rock not to know about Skousen's conspiratorial reputation. After his heyday in the 1980s, Skousen faded into irrelevance, only to be resurrected at the dawn of the tea party era. Glenn Beck, who called Skousen's Five Thousand Year Leap "years ahead of its time," made its ideas the centerpiece of his 9/12 movement and wrote the foreword to a new edition of the book.
Well, allow me to be "succinct and clear" on some of Cleon Skousen's other beliefs (beyond communism) -- and Beck's tie to Skousen.
On the following FR thread -- How Mormonism Built Glenn Beck an excerpt from that article mentioned: A significant figure in this world is the late Cleon Skousen (19132006), the archconservative and fiercely anti-communist Brigham Young University professor, founder of the Freeman Society, and author of 15 books, including The Naked Capitalist, The Making of America, and Prophecy and Modern Times. Beck, who first cited Skousen in his 2003 book The Real America: Messages from the Heart and the Heartland, later started pitching Skousens 1981 book The 5,000 Year Leap on air in December, 2008. He wrote a preface for a new edition of the book issued a few months later and in his March 2009 kick-off of the 9/12 movement declared Skousens book to be divinely inspired.... Cleon Skousen was never remaindered among the most politically conservative Mormons, for whom he has been a household name since the 1960s.
So Beck was calling Skousen's book "divinely inspired" and Mitt Romney was also advocating on the air that one of Skousen's books was worth a read??? Do Beck and Romney know that Dr. Cleon Skousen declared that God could "cease to be God" if ever He lost the support of other gods???
Dr. Skousen: Through modern revelation we learn that the universe is filled with vast numbers of intelligence's, and we further learn that Elohim is God simply because all of these intelligence's honor and sustain Him as such...since God 'acquired' the honor and sustaining influence of 'all things' it follows as a corollary that if He should ever do anything to violate the confidence or 'sense of justice' of these intelligences, they would promptly withdraw their support, and the 'power' of God would disintegrate...'He would cease to be God' (The First 2,000 Years, pp. 355-356).
Romney, Beck & Skousen represent the Mormon belief, thereby, that God was once a man and "acquired" godhood; and that, you can do that, too. And that the Mormon god is part of a broader "council of gods" (Skousen's "intelligences" who "honor and sustain" that god as a "fellow god")
Do Romney and Beck believe Skousen's "pro-family" view on parenthood? (That parenthood = godhood???)
Mortality made it possible for us to be endowed with the powers of procreation for the first time The divine power of procreation is described by the Lord as being a fundamental quality of Godhood. In fact, eternal parenthood is Godhood (The First 2000 Years, pp. 39-40).
To unpack Skousen, what's he saying here?
Perhaps you've seen the Lds bumper sticker, "Families are forever" Lds get that from Joseph Smith's Doctrine & Covenants D&C 132 re: "eternal (celestial) marriage."
Well Skousen used the same section --vv. 19-20 to teach eternal parenthood. (The thing is those verses also teach polygamy)
What did Skousen mean by his reference to "mortality" and "procreation for the first time"? Lds believe that by Adam & Eve sinning, it wasn't simply a "fall" -- it was a "fall upward" -- an event to be "celebrated." (see quote below) Why? Because they believe that it was only by mankind sinning that they could die -- becoming "mortal." And that by becoming "mortal" they could rise to godhood. (They get this in part from the Book of Mormon -- a phrase that reads, "Adam fell that men might be..." [it doesn't say be what...Mormons fill in the blank on that] Anyway, Skousen didn't believe that God made Eve able to reproduce until she fell; that falling was a good thing.
In this way, Mormons have the absolute wacky understanding that the world's evils were something the Mormon god wanted man to do:
The Lds church in one of its priesthood manuals calls the Fall a "Great Blessing" while one of its general authorities, "apostle" Dallin Oaks, wrote: "Some Christians condemn Eve for her act, concluding that she and her daughters are somehow flawed by it. Not the Latter-day Saints! Informed by revelation, we celebrate Eve's act and honor her with wisdom and courage in the great episode called the Fall." ("The Choice that Began Mortality" Liahona, 2002)
Only in Mormonism are wars, murders, hate, idolatry, racism, rape, incest, sexual abuse, lust, theft, and other consequences of the fall a blessing to be "celebrated."
I know the implied message here is ‘Like zer0bama’...but just for giggles here is the open mike quote by ‘the messiah’ to Medvedev on the missile defense
talking about the need for incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin to give him space when it comes to missile defense when he told Medvedev, This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.
Even though Willard was BORN into MORMONism; by the time a person is into their 30's, and is STILL 'in' it; they OWN it and all that it has ever produced.
There are a LOT of ‘old guys’ on FR...
He used to be big in anti-communist circles.
Way back before the Internet it usually wasn't possible to just call a commie a commie and walk away. Most people wouldn't understand what you'd said and you'd look like a kook. The 'solution" was to interpolate/interpret your anti-communism thesis in terms of a locally prevailing orthodoxy. So you had anti-commie Mormons, anti-commie Baptists, anti-commie Catholics, and so forth, and they'd have their spokesman and he'd say all sorts of things.
WIthin that mix you had OTHERS who'd use the anti-commie thing to peddle their own agenda.
Billie James probably fell into that last category although his "failings" are not easily classifiable.
He went away ~ but others took up the cudgle, and eventually America woke up, elected Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan (All well known anti-communist figures) and there we have it.
Simultaneously communications improved so there was less need for a single spokesman to push any sort of political philosophy, or to oppose one.
Recalling all that I quickly looked up Skousen to see if he had anything to do with Hargis, and lo and behold he did ~ and also Reverend Moon, etc. The whole crew ~ I gather Skousen was the Mormon version of all the other formal anti-commie speakers, if not leaders. There were similar techniques and so forth, and they communicated with each other.
To a degree it all worked.
The question now is whether or not Skousen is still relevant ~ and the Progressives attacking Romney on that point are missing the obvious ~ if Romney exists, Skousen failed!
But did Billie James Hargis?
Well Mitt wins one there ~ if Billie won him over in his final days in some way that's the last thing the Progressives are going to condemn.
101 Constitutional Questions To Ask Candidates
by W. Cleon Skousen
I'm torn -- Mitt is a fraud and not a conservative, but he's a lesser evil than Obama. That's doesn't say much I know -- choose between a Moslem and a Mormon.
But in this event, if we choose the Moslem, that means the end of the US.
Mark my words -- if Obama wins, the US is a third-world country in 2020. If Mitt wins, that will be delayed beyond 2020 (but not stopped significantly)
What are you guys going to do? Seriously? I'm open to any and all suggestions.
This is the battleground state ~ the others appear to be a sideshow, and this is where the Mittbots fouled their nest ~ quite publicly.
Very simply, the Convention must chose a candidate who can win Virginia ~ and that's not going to be any of the big names currently holding office here. They're all Mittbots.
I’m of the opinion that FR can move this election — if all FReepers pick ONE candidate, we have a chance.
Romney's Mormonism is a known quantity. It's his statism that people need to become aware of.
And busting on Cleon Skousen? He was just reflecting on the Mormon values at the time. Yeah, they were pro-slavery back then. So were some of my ancestors.
And, I think "The 5,000 Year Leap" is a great book. Does that make me a racist pro-slavery Mormon? No. Not any of the three.
You gotta extract the good, people. Find truth wherever you can, and discard the dross.
It WON'T be Romney. And if you start advocating that here, Jim WILL give you the zot. He's already done it to others who are actively campaigning for Mitt on FR.
I'm voting for Virgil Goode...and once Romney is nominated, I'm leaving the GoP party...
Big Tent, yes...Ever-expanding tent so that the GoP eventually pushes somebody to the left of Obama 15-25 years down the line? (Nope)
But in this event, if we choose the Moslem, that means the end of the US.
I've read the Old Testament...Dozens & dozens of times, God was provoked by His people...
Why? And why were they often temporarily "judged" (like being delivered over to Babylonians, etc.)?
The most common issue was idolatry being practiced by Jews.
That gets to God, who is a jealous God in the most perfect sense of that word. (Human jealousy is possessive when we have no right to possess another person; divine jealousy from a perfect being is protective over those He has a right to be as Maker)
If we have an overwhelming # of God's people (Christians) voting for Romney, who portends to be a future rival god of THE God...someone who thinks he will receive worship, praise, adoration, glory, prayer from creatures...[temple Mormons already think they are gods-in-embryo]...how do you think God will react to such elevation and endorsement of an idol?
You think He'll pour out blessings on that?
I resemble that remark.
I know it's not a solution but I cannot bring myself to vote for either one. There doesn't appear to be a solution to my dilemma except to rejoice in the fact that both evils cannot win.
God's still in charge and whichever evil we get is for His own purposes.
Proverbs 16 V. 4, K.J.V.:
The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
“I’m voting for Virgil Goode...and once Romney is nominated, I’m leaving the GoP party.”
Ditto, Colo. This election season is going to be one slobbering shout out for the GOP-E and will be absolutely nauseating.
I’m a political junkie, conservative talk show radio listener and former Faux news viewer.
Week six of “NO FAUX” and it feels great. Only radio show allowed is Levin and I turn him off when he goes all in for Rom. Yesterday, I was cheering when he said that the Mittens team is “odd and they better get their act together”.
Leaving to spend the summer at my cabin in the woods(literally) and will continue this sabbatical.
As for the internet, that’s still on my list cuz I have control.
What are some of the rest of you going to do to get through this hellish next few months?
yes, but what do we do, seriously? I despise Romney, but he’s the lesser of two evils. Unless Palin (or even, let’s be honest, any non-Romney) comes along, the only other alternative is to sit it out and let O win...
No. But the curses will be (and ARE) on us with the Moslem O in power, right?
***But did Billie James Hargis?***
Billy went bust when it was found he was diddling both male and female students at his Tulsa university. I was living in Tulsa at the time and it was all over the news.