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A Mormon Reporter On The Romney Bus
Buzzfeed ^ | Novermber 14, 2012 | McKay Coppins

Posted on 11/14/2012 3:52:19 PM PST by greyfoxx39

How America got used to his religion, and mine.

On the night of the South Carolina Republican primary in January, I sat near the front of a dark campaign press bus and listened to reporters talk about Mitt Romney's underwear.

Earlier in the day, one of them had happened upon the candidate and his wife doing laundry in the basement of our Columbia, South Carolina, hotel, and a small cluster of colleagues had now gathered to listen to him relate the anecdote, lapping up every mundane detail of this rare interaction with the closed-off couple.

Finally, another reporter interrupted.

"Did you see their underwear?" she asked, grinning mischievously as though she had just said something naughty.

"What do you think it looks like?" inquired another.

"I think you can see pictures online," someone chimed in.

The exchange prompted giggles from the group — some nervous, others indulgent — as I slid down in my seat and pretended to look at my phone, hoping it wouldn't occur to any of them I might be wearing the strange, exotic garment they were all gossiping about. It wasn't that their tone was antagonistic or insensitive; just uncontrollably curious — like virginal adolescents talking about sex during a sleepover. And as a lifelong Mormon, I had grown fairly used to hearing my religion talked about that way.

This was how much of the political class was treating Romney's religion at the start of 2012: too awkward to discuss in an open forum, yet too tantalizing to ignore altogether. Questions permeated hushed conversations and private e-mail chains: Does Romney really believe he will get his own planet when he dies? Does he baptize dead Jews in his temples?

And as one prominent journalist at Newsweek quietly asked a colleague in the run-up to the Republican primaries, "Would he actually wear that Mormon underwear in the White House?"

If Mitt Romney has one lasting political legacy, I think it will be that next time a Mormon runs for president, that question likely won't be asked.

As Romney's expansive campaign headquarters collapses into a pile of cardboard boxes in Boston, his aides and supporters are beginning to mull what place their failed campaign will have in the history books. And many have determined that Romney's political career may be remembered most for the role it played in mainstreaming a large minority religion, despite a concerted, strategic effort to avoid the topic altogether — something I witnessed with a front-row seat.

A couple days after the election, I spoke to Robert O'Brien, a campaign foreign policy advisor and avowed Romney loyalist. We'd spoken several times over the course of the campaign, and his surrogacy had always been marked by a sort of religious devotion to the candidate, and an undying faith that he was the man meant to save America from ruin.

Suffice it to say, he was crushed by the loss.

"I couldn't sleep on Tuesday night, which is unusual because usually I can sleep through anything," he told me from his office in Los Angeles. "I stayed up late and made a to-do list with like 80 things. I figured that was the best therapy."

He also began considering his friend's legacy, and as a Mormon who converted from Catholicism in his early twenties, O'Brien saw historical parallels between his current and former churches.

"I always thought Mitt Romney would be Al Smith," O'Brien said, referring to the first Catholic presidential nominee, who lost in a landslide to Herbert Hoover. "Now I think he's going to be Al Smith and JFK rolled into one person. Even though we didn't win the way JFK did, to come within a couple points of the presidency, I think makes a lasting impact on the faith... It's going to be a non-event next time a Mormon runs."

For a Mormon journalist who'd spent much of the past year examining the religious life of a candidate and coreligionist, his assessment was vaguely troubling. Was he saying editors won't be knocking down my door when Mia Love throws her hat in the ring in 2024?

But after a year of crisscrossing the country with Romney — pestering his campaign for answers about his faith, and writing countless Mormonism-for-dummies primers along the way — I couldn't deny that Romney's career had provided a national education on his young, American-born faith.

And if my experience was any guide, it's an education the country won't be unlearning anytime soon.

Even as his campaign turned him into the world's most famous member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Romney spent much of 2012 publicly evading the subject of his faith.

In speeches, he conducted all manner of rhetorical gymnastics to avoid uttering the word "Mormon." In interviews, he quickly changed the subject every time the topic came up. And to his staff, his instruction was to dodge and deflect all questions regarding his religious beliefs.

He regularly employed variations of the declaration, "I'm not running for pastor-in-chief."

His reluctance to engage the Mormon question was rooted, his aides privately told me, in a bitter 2008 Republican primary. Back then, Romney was trying to outflank John McCain and Rudy Giuliani on the right by presenting himself as a sort of culture warrior — hoping his staunch, conservative values would attract the party's religious base.

But as his staff and family fanned out across Iowa to win over Evangelical voters in the fall of 2007, they were met with rank anti-Mormonism. Local ministers preached sermons against "the Mormon cult" on Sundays, Christian voters routinely confronted the Romneys with Bible verses during retail politics stops, and some people even refused to shake hands with Romney's former Lt. Governor Kerry Healey because they thought she was Mormon.

Romney's first instinct was to try to persuade the religious right that Mormonism was just another Christian sect. He answered complicated theological questions on local talk radio, and delivered a major address at the George Bush Presidential Library titled "Faith in America," designed to emphasize the "common creeds" his church shared with Protestants.

But the more he tried to educate conservative Christians about his religion, the more intense the pushback became. And for the candidate's family, the rejection was deeply disheartening.

On the day after Thanksgiving in 2007, Tagg Romney phoned a longtime family friend, who asked how the effort was going in Iowa.

"It's brutal," the friend recalled a dispirited Tagg responding. "It's just brutal."

When Romney eventually lost Iowa in 2008, many in the Romney clan took it as a repudiation of their religion. And when he gathered the family together in the living room a few years later to discuss the possibility of another run, the wound was still too fresh for some of them, according to a family friend. More than one of his sons raised the concern that another candidacy would result in their faith being dragged through the mud again.

Mitt took their worries seriously, but the team of political strategists he had assembled insisted they could pull off a win without talking religion. The 2012 battle plan would be to present Romney as a stalwart — if one-dimensional — figure who understood business and could fix the economy by sheer force of will. No culture war, no big religion speeches, and certainly no engaging the press as they pursued the inevitable "Mormon angle."

That's where I came in. I joined the campaign's traveling press corps for BuzzFeed just before the New Hampshire primary in January, and I quickly found that my expertise in Romney's religion posed a distinct advantage — not in access or sourcing, necessarily, but in understanding the elusive candidate as an actual person.

When the "mommy wars" of the early spring shone a spotlight on Ann Romney's decision to stay home and raise her kids, I saw classic Mormon gender roles at play. And when critics raised questions about Mitt's participation in a church that barred black men from the priesthood until 1978, I innately understood the conflicted, sometimes tortured, position many devout Mormons found themselves in at that time. As a lifelong Latter-day Saint who grew up in the relatively close-knit Massachusetts Mormon community that Romney once led, I felt I had a unique window into the beliefs and experiences that defined an almost undefinable man.

And that, apparently, left the campaign deeply unsettled.

Multiple people in Romney's orbit — both inside the campaign and out — would later tell me that Boston tried to keep me at arm's length for a long time because they worried my knowledge of the candidate's faith would bait them into a conversation they were dead set against having.

"The campaign really doesn't like the religion stuff being out there, so that's always a concern in dealing with you," one adviser told me, bluntly.

At some level, I could understand their paranoia. I was fluent in a language that their candidate spoke without meaning to, and one that they would never understand. In their view, every seemingly innocuous question I asked had a "gotcha" lurking behind it, and even their most mundane answers might inadvertently signal, to me, greater meaning.

There was little effort to mask this concern as they dealt with me.

Whenever I managed to work the subject of Mormonism into the conversation while chatting with senior strategist Stuart Stevens, the operative's philosophizing and movie-quoting would abruptly give way to a virtual stupor, as he stared at the ground for several seconds in silence before finally shrugging his shoulders. Meanwhile, my Mormon-themed email inquiries to campaign headquarters were almost universally met with the same curt reply, "Ask the church."

(Interestingly enough, whenever I did ask the church — which spent the year working feverishly to assert political neutrality — I noticed a similar discomfort on their part in discussing Romney. The church's public affairs department, I eventually learned, had a policy of never mentioning Romney by name while talking to reporters, referring only to an ambiguous "presidential candidate.")

It was a credit, perhaps, to the campaign's message discipline that in my entire year of covering the election, I never got a single on-the-record answer to a question about Romney's faith.

But the push and pull often left me feeling conflicted. As a Mormon, I intuitively understood Romney's desire to paper over our religion's eccentricities, and disappear the darker chapters of our church's history. The Latter-day Saint longing to feel normal is practically genetic, and I sympathized with the candidate's practiced avoidance of uncomfortable questions. It was a habit I'd formed as an insecure adolescent — squirming in my cafeteria chair as friends asked me about polygamy — and a reflex I'd worked to get over when I was a Mormon missionary.

But as a journalist, I was now the one asking those uncomfortable questions. And as much as I wanted to believe Romney's aides when they insisted religion should have "no part in this election," I knew that couldn't be true. My entire worldview had been colored by my faith; was I really supposed to believe the same wasn't true of Romney?

Besides, there was plenty of evidence that Mormonism remained a very real part of his candidacy.

While Romney's senior staff was composed largely of secular east coast strategists, his campaign offices in Boston were stocked with young, Mormon mini-Mitts, sporting impeccably ironed dress shirts and eager smiles as they filled various junior positions and internships. Some were taking time off from BYU to work for the campaign, others had recently returned from missions, and they quickly gained a reputation among the rest of the staff for bringing an almost baffling level of earnestness to the often cynical work of presidential politics.

The candidate himself also went to extraordinary lengths to observe the practices of his faith while on the campaign trail. Aides said he prayed daily, and was often spotted in moments of privacy — sitting alone on his campaign charter jet, for instance — with his head bowed, and his hands clenched in supplication. He would often take free moments to read the Book of Mormon or Bible on his iPad, and even on the longest, most grueling days, he never took a sip of coffee, which is forbidden by the church.

Reporters in his traveling press corps often wondered why, even as the general election kicked into full gear, Romney insisted on dropping off the campaign trail on Sundays, opting to spend the day with family in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire or La Jolla, California. Some speculated that it was a symptom of his distaste for campaigning, but one aide told me his motives were mostly religious. Even when he was obligated to travel, he made efforts to find a Mormon Sacrament meeting nearby. He also abided by the other Sabbath-related bylaws, abstaining from dining out and and shopping on Sundays.

"He actually follows all those rules," the aide told me. "It's hard to explain to [press] that, no, he's not going to eat out on Sunday, or anything else."

Of course, reporters likely would have respected a simple explanation of the candidate's Sabbath-day observance. But if the Romney campaign had its own set of political commandments by which it lived, one of the most important was, "Thou shalt not discuss the boss's religion."

I often found myself watching Romney bound up the steps of his campaign plane on some midwestern tarmac, marveling at his religious stamina. My spirituality had, regrettably, faded amid the frenetic schedule of the campaign trail. My prayers had become shorter and more utilitarian — Please help me to stay awake during this stump speech — and while I'd managed to successfully eschew coffee, I became reliant on 5-Hour Energy capsules, an only slightly-less-sinful substitute.

But even as I allowed Romney's righteousness to inflict a measure of religious guilt on me, I remained uncertain of whether he even knew that a fellow Mormon was lurking in the back of his plane. Romney wasn't the kind of candidate to hang out with his traveling press corps, and his distance often gave him a sort of televised quality. Even from 50 feet away, he seemed more pixels-and-plasma than flesh-and-blood.

I sometimes thought about how I might bring up our shared religion if I had the chance. Name-drop our alma matter, perhaps? (We both went to Brigham Young University.) Mention a mutual acquaintance in Belmont?

The opportunity never arrived — BuzzFeed, alas, was not among the outlets to score a rare sit-down interview with the candidate — but I did once get the chance to mention it to his wife, Ann.

It was during the Republican primary in Puerto Rico, and Romney had just wrapped up a campaign stop in a suburban plaza. Afterward, a small number of reporters gathered around Mrs. Romney at the rope line, and listened as she praised the raucous mega-rally we had attended the night before.

"It was amazing!" she exclaimed. "Though I couldn't understand anything they were saying. Do any of you speak Spanish?"

A few of the reporters shook their heads, before one of them volunteered, "McKay does."

It was true; I'd become fluent while serving as a Mormon missionary in the Latino neighborhoods of Dallas a few years earlier. It would have been so easy to tell her that as she turned to face me, to let her know that at least one member of her husband's traveling press corps understood this crucial chunk of their lives. But for some reason, I couldn't.

Instead, I lamely muttered something to the effect of, "Yeah, I speak," and let the conversation roll on without me.

Maybe it was because I didn't want my colleagues in the press to think I was using my religion to curry favor. Or maybe I was worried that establishing that link would muddy the waters of the adversarial relationship I was supposed to have with the candidate.

But I think the real reason I hesitated was more simple: I didn't want to feel different.

Around August, something began to change in the way the campaign dealt with the Mormon issue. Romney's press pool was invited to start attending church with him on Sundays. Surrogates were instructed to cooperate with cable-news segments about the candidate's faith. And in a move that initially shocked much of the political class — myself included — an entire block of programming on the final night of the Republican National Convention was devoted to testimonials from Romney's fellow Mormons.

Yes, the stories that were shared dealt more with Mitt's personal compassion than any specific tenets of his religion. But for a faith that had spent the better part of 180 years fighting to gain acceptance into mainstream American society, that night — which also featured an invocational prayer by a longtime Mormon church leader in Massachusetts — will be remembered as an historic one.

At one point, as a Belmont Mormon stood on stage recounting stories of Bishop Romney, I received a text message from my dad, who I think spoke for a lot of Latter-day Saints: "This is surreal."

According to aides, Romney had recognized the historic nature of his nomination as they planned the convention, and it was he who'd insisted that Mormonism be made part of the biographical story the campaign was trying to tell.

Romney never became fully comfortable talking about his Mormonism in public, but the convention seemed to relieve a sort of tension — shrinking his faith from an elephant in the room down to a bite-sized bit of campaign trivia.

As the campaign moved into the general election stage, Republicans remained on guard, as some worried that a desperate Obama campaign might sic its surrogates on the Republican's faith. (I heard the same concern from a number of Mormons.)

One RNC official told me they were prepared to release opposition research dealing with polygamy in Obama's family tree — including passages from a little-noticed memoir by the president's half-sister Auma — if the left tried to make hay of historical Mormon polygamy. But Chicago held its fire, and the issue never surfaced.

On the right, the long-feared Evangelical backlash to Romney's faith never materialized, and there were signs that the religious right was finally accepting conservative Mormons into the fold. In one particularly potent gesture, Billy Graham removed Mormonism from a list of "cults" on his website. That may seem like a low bar to clear, but on election day, Romney ended up winning a larger portion of white evangelicals than John McCain did in 2008.

"This showed that having a common faith was not a litmus test," Mark Demoss, an evangelical adviser to Romney, told the Washington Post after the election. He added that it was "something to feel good about, and there's not a lot to feel good about."

Meanwhile, as grassroots Mormon voters mobilized, some in the conservative movement began to see a real upside to keeping them engaged. The disastrous meltdown of the Romney campaign's get-out-the-vote effort may have masked the fact that the Republican Party reported a substantial uptick in voter contacts over other recent presidential campaigns. Skeptics have claimed the numbers were juiced by counting messages left on answering machines.

But within elite GOP circles, speculation abounded that it was the Mormons, with their missionary zeal, who were driving the numbers upward.

"Bush had his evangelicals, McCain had the veterans who would do anything for him," said one strategist involved in the party's GOTV efforts. "In terms of a base constituency who goes and makes phone call for eight hours for Mitt Romney? It's Mormons."

The strategist added that, based on anecdotal evidence, Mitt's Mormon army was exceptionally good at canvassing.

"If you're someone who's willing to walk around Temple Square and try to talk to people in Estonian, your level of skill in cold calls is probably above average," the strategist told me.

As we neared election day, it became increasingly clear to me that Mormonism was being woven into the social fabric of the political class. Pool reporters began to see trips to church with Romney less as a tantalizing peek into the candidate's strange religion, and more in the way Mormons sometimes view it: a dull chore to be fulfilled out of obligation.

And even some Republican donors — who had long viewed Romney's religion as little more than a line to factor into the balance sheet as they determined how much to give to his campaign — were now becoming fiercely defensive of the faith.

One Romney friend told me about flying cross country on a private jet with a group of wealthy conservatives after an east coast fundraiser, and listening as the candidate's religion came up.

"Mitt's a good guy, a smart guy, but I can't believe how he believes this Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon stuff," one of the donors said, offhandedly.

The jet's owner, a Catholic businessman with no ties to the Mormon Church beyond Romney, became indignant.

"There's no difference between Joseph Smith receiving the Book of Mormon, and Moses going up to Mount Sinai and talking to a burning bush," the jet owner argued.

When the first man half-heartedly disagreed, the owner proceeded.

"What's the difference?" he demanded. "Mitt Romney's a smarter guy than you are, maybe he knows something we don't."

Romney's friend was amazed.

"This was the elite of America, and that conversation was taking place. It was almost surreal," he said. "I mean, that guy was not converting to Mormonism. But what it tells you is that Mitt Romney, because of his example and who he is, has given people a different appreciation for Mormons."

Of course, the rising relevance that Mormonism has enjoyed in 2012 cuts both ways for the church, which now faces the task of disentangling its public image from polarizing Republican politics.

I'm not sufficiently well-acquainted with presidential history to judge the validity of the Al Smith comparisons Romney's supporters are now tossing around. But to determine whether his candidacy got the country more comfortable with the idea of a Mormon president, there's one clear bellwether.

Toward the end of the election, I was sitting on another dark campaign press bus in another battleground state, when a correspondent flopped into the seat behind me and began making casual conversation. His topic of choice: Mormon underwear.

"So, do you wear them?" he asked at one point.

"What do they look like?" he inquired at another.

The questions were generally similar to the ones that had been naughtily whispered among the press corps nine months earlier, but this time the tone was entirely different. The reporter was speaking in full voice, gliding through the conversation with the same nonchalance he exhibited in his assessment of the pulled pork sandwiches we had just eaten for dinner. Romney's underwear — and the faith it symbolized — was no longer considered taboo.

As the bus started up, and began rolling away from the site of the rally, the correspondent remarked, "I saw some pictures of the underwear online. They didn't seem very weird to me."




TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: elections; inman; ldschurch; mormon; politics; romney; romney2012; romneyandgod
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The Romney candidacy was the mormon church's most ambitious bid for legitimacy with Christian America. This article by a temple mormon attempts to whitewash the sect and its anti-Christian doctrines and history as "just another Christian" religion while portraying Romney as a paragon of religious virtue who couldn't possibly have been the driving force of the vicious primary campaigns in '08 and '12.

Rewriting history is a much-used tool of mormonism. Rewriting Romney as a hero doesn't wash for those of us who watched him destroy good men in his quest for power.

1 posted on 11/14/2012 3:52:27 PM PST by greyfoxx39
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To: Colofornian; Elsie; svcw; Zakeet; Tennessee Nana; aMorePerfectUnion; Godzilla; fishtank; metmom; ..

Ping


2 posted on 11/14/2012 3:54:12 PM PST by greyfoxx39 (We told you Mitt couldn't win.)
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To: greyfoxx39
Rewriting history is a much-used tool of mormonism. Rewriting Romney as a hero doesn't wash for those of us who watched him destroy good men in his quest for power.

Bingo


3 posted on 11/14/2012 3:57:16 PM PST by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: greyfoxx39
The only question remaining is, who will issue the fatwa?
4 posted on 11/14/2012 3:58:19 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: greyfoxx39

Really?

Pinged the haters, huh?

I blame you all for Romney losing the election.


5 posted on 11/14/2012 3:59:17 PM PST by Tenacious 1 (The Click-&-Paste Media exists & works in Utopia, riding unicorns & sniffing pixy dust.)
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To: Tenacious 1

“I blame you all for Romney losing the election.”

Just needed more Log Cabin types.


6 posted on 11/14/2012 4:01:44 PM PST by Psalm 144 (Voodoo Republicans. Don't read their lips. Watch their hands.)
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To: Tenacious 1
And I blame you for not actually proving charges and nominating a weak candidate.......the blame is on you and all the cowards who screamed "Romney's the only guys who can win".

pssst your ignorant charge is not borne out by any facts.........not that facts would matter to you apparently

7 posted on 11/14/2012 4:02:01 PM PST by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: Tenacious 1

Prepare for multiple posts of Scripture spanning untold inches.


8 posted on 11/14/2012 4:02:54 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy
Prepare for multiple posts of Scripture of spanning untold truth inches.
9 posted on 11/14/2012 4:05:32 PM PST by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: svcw

Wait a minute . . . what does Romney’s religion have to do with him being a weak candidate? Big oops, on your part.


10 posted on 11/14/2012 4:06:31 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: greyfoxx39
....And now we see the real difference between Campingites and Salt Lake sect mormons. When Harold Camping's latest prophecy didn't come true his followers had the smarts/shame/honor to finally shut up.
11 posted on 11/14/2012 4:06:47 PM PST by SENTINEL (Election 2012....One more false prophecy by FLDS/LDS "prophet" Joseph Smith)
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To: greyfoxx39

Well, he keeps raising the underwear issue in this article, but he doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to provide any answers to curious readers. Are we just expected to say, “Oh, well, that’s OK then. We won’t ask.”


12 posted on 11/14/2012 4:08:33 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: 1rudeboy

What I posted: And I blame you for not actually proving charges and nominating a weak candidate.......the blame is on you and all the cowards who screamed “Romney’s the only guys who can win”.

pssst your ignorant charge is not borne out by any facts.........not that facts would matter to you apparently

Show me where in that statement did I bring up Romney’s religion, you really need to stop focusing on it.


13 posted on 11/14/2012 4:11:51 PM PST by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: svcw

I’m sorry, you must have forgotten that I’ve been following your posts for years.


14 posted on 11/14/2012 4:12:54 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Tenacious 1
I blame you all for Romney losing the election.

I don't think a handful of FReepers could possibly have caused the disastrous failure of the ORCA attempt at matching Obama's ground game...perhaps the "mini-mitt-mormons" described in this article were involved in that farce.

In any case, remember there were 52,000 mormon missionaries out there proselytizing for mormonism in much the same way this author does and quite probably 90% of the mormons in the US were electioneering for him.

15 posted on 11/14/2012 4:14:16 PM PST by greyfoxx39 (We told you Mitt couldn't win.)
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To: greyfoxx39

Romney’s first instinct was to try to persuade the religious right that Mormonism was just another Christian sect.
__________________________________________

Willard’s first lnstinct...lying...


16 posted on 11/14/2012 4:15:42 PM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: greyfoxx39
I don't think that a handful of FReepers amounts to anything, either. Which makes me wonder . . . why would anyone post something about Romney, in order to accuse Mormons of whitewashing and rewriting history?

Seriously, I'm not Mormon, just wondering why.

17 posted on 11/14/2012 4:19:21 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: greyfoxx39

The jet’s owner, a Catholic businessman with no ties to the Mormon Church beyond Romney, became indignant.

“There’s no difference between Joseph Smith receiving the Book of Mormon, and Moses going up to Mount Sinai and talking to a burning bush,” the jet owner argued.
_____________________________________________________

Well that right there is ignorance gone to seed...

Mormonism is no more related to Judaism than it is to Christianity...

Mormonism is a false religion...a cult..


18 posted on 11/14/2012 4:23:21 PM PST by Tennessee Nana
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: 1rudeboy
Read the article. Coppins himself says "As a Mormon, I intuitively understood Romney's desire to paper over our religion's eccentricities, and disappear the darker chapters of our church's history."

Sheesh!!

20 posted on 11/14/2012 4:27:28 PM PST by greyfoxx39 (We told you Mitt couldn't win.)
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To: KevinDavis
thank you Kevin...I agree with you 140% ( like Ohio voters)..

there are posters here that have become utterly disgusting..

21 posted on 11/14/2012 4:31:03 PM PST by haircutter
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To: greyfoxx39

Oh, my . . . should I remind you of the “eccentrities” of a Roman Catholic, or “disappear” the darker chapters of the Roman Catholic Church’s history?


22 posted on 11/14/2012 4:39:36 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: greyfoxx39
Romney's first instinct was to try to persuade the religious right that Mormonism was just another Christian sect.

Why would he want to do that? He should be proud of the differences between the LDS belief system and Christianity. Joseph Smith certainly was. He hated all Christian sects.

"There's no difference between Joseph Smith receiving the Book of Mormon, and Moses going up to Mount Sinai and talking to a burning bush," the jet owner argued.

God spoke through the burning bush, and God gave the 10 Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai.

God wasn't involved at all with Joseph Smith receiving the Book of Mormon.

23 posted on 11/14/2012 4:53:15 PM PST by Syncro (The Tea Party is Dead-->MSM/Dems/GOP-e -- LONG LIVE THE TEA PARTY!)
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To: 1rudeboy

“Wait a minute . . . what does Romney’s religion have to do with him being a weak candidate? Big oops, on your part.”

RINOmney was a piss-poor choice of a candidate for a multitude of reasons. His faith was just one of them, since it alienated significant numbers of voters.

He joins Dewey, Ford, Dole, Bush I, & McCain as GOPe approved candidates who were moderate losers, who ran lame campaigns that reflect their lame beliefs.

RINOmney, being a Bishop in a cult, hurt him in many ways. Even worse, it hurts his own eternal destiny.


24 posted on 11/14/2012 4:56:11 PM PST by aMorePerfectUnion (Gone rogue, gone Galt, gone international. Gone.)
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To: greyfoxx39; Tennessee Nana


Elections have consequences

I have serious doubts that you can see beyond your Mormon tunnel vision.

25 posted on 11/14/2012 4:56:43 PM PST by NautiNurse (BOHICA)
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To: 1rudeboy

“I’m sorry, you must have forgotten that I’ve been following your posts for years.”

Wow, a stalker!!! Some people just have hobbies. Others, obsessions.


26 posted on 11/14/2012 4:57:38 PM PST by aMorePerfectUnion (Gone rogue, gone Galt, gone international. Gone.)
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To: 1rudeboy

Bishop Mitt Romney, son of Bishop George Romney, and as a Romney, a member of Mormon royalty going back to the creation of the cult, is a very powerful figure within the Mormon cult.

Bishop Romney’s attempt to become president after receiving permission from his Holy Prophet to do so, and Mormonism, are all intertwined, and of the same thing.

You seem obsessed with defending Mormonism, yet you don’t seem to have any religious interest in it or anything else, which does explain the Christians and Mormons involvement in the discussions.

Is your interest in advancing liberalism and anti-Christianity, is that what drives your passionate devotion to threads involving Mormonism?


27 posted on 11/14/2012 4:58:28 PM PST by ansel12 (Todd Akin was NOT the tea party candidate, Sarah Steelman was, Brunner had tea party support also.)
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To: ansel12
Is your interest in advancing liberalism and anti-Christianity, is that what drives your passionate devotion to threads involving Mormonism?

I just have a thing for religious bigots. 1st Amendment, and all that . . . .

28 posted on 11/14/2012 5:02:58 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: greyfoxx39; All
From the article: He answered complicated theological questions on local talk radio, and delivered a major address at the George Bush Presidential Library titled "Faith in America," designed to emphasize the "common creeds" his church shared with Protestants.

Give me a break...the author, McKay Coppins, is a Mormon in good standing with the church who is even named after one of their deceased "prophets" (David McKay).

And he's somehow claiming that Mormons think they share ANY common "creeds" with Protestants?

Didn't Joseph Smith's initial "vision" with unnamed beings who Smith pretended were God and Jesus, say that 100% of Christian "creeds" were an "abomination" to them???

Isn't that "vision" contained now in Mormon "scriptures?"

What? Does McKay Coppins not know either the Mormon "first vision" or their "scriptures?"

Documentation ... see third row in chart below:

Snapshot of Joseph Smith’s Slanderous Invectives vs. Christian Sects

Mormon Source

[Note: Most of these are Mormon ‘scriptures'. In fact, First three rows below are Lds 'scripture' & therefore cannot be rug-swept any more than a Jew might try to take three commandments off of the very tablets of stone Moses brought down from the mountain]
“...which of all the sects was right… must join NONE of them, for they were ALL WRONG… those professors were ALL CORRUPT…” Joseph Smith – History vv. 18-19. – Lds "scripture" Pearl of Great Price
...“which of all the sects was right…ALL their CREEDS were an ABOMINATION in his sight…they teach for doctrines the commandments of MEN…” Joseph Smith – History vv. 18-19. – Lds "scripture" Pearl of Great Price
Mormon church the only ‘Christ-sanctioned’ church on earth: “…the foundation of this [Mormon] church…the ONLY true and living church on the face of the whole earth” [Obvious ‘scorched earth’ implication: All other churches are false and dead] Lds “scripture” Doctrines & Covenants 1:30
Direct question asked of Joseph Smith: 'Will everybody be damned, but Mormons?" Answer from Lds "prophet" Joseph Smith: 'Yes, and a great portion of them, unless they repent, and work righteousness." Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 119 [Not “scripture” – but still publicly spoken by the Mormon ‘living prophet’ and published by a later Mormon ‘living prophet,’ Joseph Fielding Smith – via a publisher owned by the Mormon church – Deseret News Press, 1938]
“In 1952…the first official proselyting plan was sent to missionaries throughout the world…It included seven missionary discussions that emphasized…[four topics, one of them being]THE APOSTASY and Restoration…” [This makes it 60 years that Mormon church missionaries, now numbering 55,000, have formally emphasized in its training & door to door saturation a priority in bashing the worldwide Christian church as “apostates” (100% AWOL)] Our Heritage: A Brief History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints p. 116, 1996

29 posted on 11/14/2012 5:05:13 PM PST by Colofornian (“...those outside the Church who say Lds do not believe in the traditional Christ. No I don't."-GH)
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To: aMorePerfectUnion

No, my dear. I’ve simply noticed over the years that denizens of the Religion Forum pretend to forget what they’ve said the day before, as if it innoculates them from criticism.


30 posted on 11/14/2012 5:05:30 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

And you must have forgot between post and reply that I did not mention Romney’s religion, apparently its important you, ty and keep up.


31 posted on 11/14/2012 5:05:30 PM PST by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: Tenacious 1
I blame you all for Romney losing the election.

Hater.

32 posted on 11/14/2012 5:06:12 PM PST by Colofornian (“...those outside the Church who say Lds do not believe in the traditional Christ. No I don't."-GH)
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To: 1rudeboy; NautiNurse
Oh, my . . . should I remind you of the “eccentrities” of a Roman Catholic, or “disappear” the darker chapters of the Roman Catholic Church’s history?

How far will the fighters for Mormonism go?

33 posted on 11/14/2012 5:06:12 PM PST by ansel12 (Todd Akin was NOT the tea party candidate, Sarah Steelman was, Brunner had tea party support also.)
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To: svcw
Which naturally leads to the question: have you ever mentioned Romney's religion? What brought you to this thread in the first place?

For Gaia's sake, cut the bullcrap.

34 posted on 11/14/2012 5:09:10 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: ansel12

I’m a Catholic, and I have no problem defending Mormons from the God Squad.


35 posted on 11/14/2012 5:10:35 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy
Oh, my . . . should I remind you of the “eccentrities” of a Roman Catholic, or “disappear” the darker chapters of the Roman Catholic Church’s history?

Really? You call people who expose the Mormon cult bigots, and you attack the Catholic denomination of Christianity?

Is Mormonism the only religion that you are so dedicated to fighting for? Do you spend a lot of time and passion defending Christianity, perhaps Evangelicals from the constant attacks?

36 posted on 11/14/2012 5:13:30 PM PST by ansel12 (Todd Akin was NOT the tea party candidate, Sarah Steelman was, Brunner had tea party support also.)
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To: 1rudeboy

Well, lets see..........not in the Religion Forum but News/Activism........so that’s why.
I look at all News/Activism posts.......why not find something else to do.
Romney was a bad candidate..........period.


37 posted on 11/14/2012 5:13:39 PM PST by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: 1rudeboy; svcw; All
Wait a minute . . . what does Romney’s religion have to do with him being a weak candidate? Big oops, on your part.

Let's say Sarah Palin runs for POTUS in 2016. Let's say between now & then she gives us all a "revelation" that she thinks she's a "goddess in embryo?"

What? You think the MSM will just look the other way? Or cover it once & then consign such a statement to the dustbin?

Don't you think people in general & the MSM would consider Palin to have some sort of personality identity disorder?

Don't you think that such a person given to vulnerability to deception -- about themselves -- would be a "laughing stock" to the world over such gullibility?

And yet Romney showed major discernment issues and got a free pass? Why? Just because he was "Mormon" -- and the world had already written that off long ago.

Since when is extreme arrogance & hubris -- thinking you have royal divine blood dripping in your very veins -- irrelevant to character?
Since when is character irrelevant to determining THE leader of the free world?
Since when is discernment a "take it" or "leave it" quality for THE leader of the free world?

Oops...you've made a major blunder in writing all that off as irrelevant...

38 posted on 11/14/2012 5:13:58 PM PST by Colofornian (“...those outside the Church who say Lds do not believe in the traditional Christ. No I don't."-GH)
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To: greyfoxx39; All

Someone needs to stop these dam* Mormons. The streets are crawling with them - they’re coming to neighborhoods by the busload...and forcing themselves on innocent people. You call these people Christians?

SHAME SHAME

(BTW - Where’s FEMA?)

http://vimeo.com/53357089


39 posted on 11/14/2012 5:14:07 PM PST by maine-iac7 (Christian is as Christian does.)
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To: greyfoxx39
The really interesting question is, Why so many Mormon haters have this peculiar fetish over their underwear, even after the election is over. It supports the principle that sexual fetishism indicates unresolved sexual inadequacies on the part of the hater. Or maybe infantile jealousies aroused by fantasies of polygamous marriage. Who knows, really. Even the perverts themselves can't quite face themselves honestly enough to tell us.
40 posted on 11/14/2012 5:14:38 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: 1rudeboy

Do you know what your religion teaches about Mormonism and why they are not Christian?


41 posted on 11/14/2012 5:15:44 PM PST by ansel12 (Todd Akin was NOT the tea party candidate, Sarah Steelman was, Brunner had tea party support also.)
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To: 1rudeboy; ansel12; svcw; greyfoxx39; All
I’m a Catholic, and I have no problem defending Mormons from the God Squad.

ALL Catholics:

Here are the types of statements made by Mormon leaders about Mary that 1rudeboy, the Catholic, "defends":

Example: Some LDS leaders have tried to play it both ways re: describing Mary as a virgin (for example, LDS apostle Bruce R. McConkie). Some clearly implied that she wasn’t (Brigham Young)

Example of LDS saying Mary was a virgin: "Modernistic teachings denying the virgin birth are utterly and completely apostate and false." (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, page 822. [A CARM writer’s comment to this was: Let them proclaim it. But quite honestly, I fail to see how the Mormon people can assert that Mary remained a virgin in light of this evidence from their prophets and apostles. I see them saying two different things and backpedaling trying to sound Christian.]

Let’s deal with each of those descriptions separately, shall we?

”Literal”:

”The birth of the Savior was a natural occurrence unattended with any degree of mysticism, and the Father God was the literal parent of Jesus in the flesh as well as in the spirit." (Lds "prophet" Joseph Fielding Smith, Religious Truths Defined, p. 44)

“…Christ was born into the world as the literal Son of this Holy Being; he was born in the same personal, real, and literal sense that any mortal son is born to a mortal father. There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events, for he is the Son of God, and that designation means what it says. (McConkie Mormon Doctrine, p. 742, 1966)

Did ya'll catch the conception part here being discussed as part of a “normal and natural course of events” process? Was McConkie just making that up out of thin air? No. He was simply repeating what earlier LDS “prophets” have said about this “natural process”:

...same physical sense that any other man begets a child...:

Brigham Young:

“God…created man [as spirit children], as we create our children: for there is no other process of creation in heaven, on the earth, in the earth, or under the earth, or in all eternities, that is, that were, or that ever will be.” Journal of Discourses (JoD), vol. 11, p. 122

(OK, Young's quote here = absolute statement that God only has one means of creation, and that the spirit, Jesus, was first “created” in heaven through the same process “as we create our children”).

“The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood—was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers. (JoD vol. 8, p. 115)

(Of course, if any poster wants to tell us that they were begotten of their fathers in some other manner that their fathers who ”partook of flesh and blood”--anything other than what Young called a “natural action”--we’ve got listening ears)

“When the time came that His first-born, the Saviour, should come into the world and take a tabernacle, the Father came Himself and favoured that spirit with a tabernacle instead of letting any other man do it.” (JoD, vol. 4, p. 218, 1857)

What was Brigham meaning? “When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. And who is the Father? He is the first of the human family; and when he took a tabernacle, it was begotten by his Father in heaven.” (JoD vol. 1, p. 50, April 9, 1852)

What did Brigham mean by "who is the Father?...first of the human family?”

”Jesus, our elder brother, was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the garden of Eden, and who is our Father in Heaven. Now, let all who may hear these doctrines, pause before they make light of them, or treat them with indifference, for they will prove their salvation or damnation…Now remember from this time forth, and for ever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost.” (Millennial Star, Vol. 15, p. 770, 1853)

What other LDS “prophets” embraced Brigham’s “natural process” of begottening?

“…As the horse, the ox, the sheep, and every living creature, including man, propogates its own species & perpetuates its own kind, so does God perpetuate His.” (Lds "prophet" John Taylor, Mediation & Atonement, 1882, p. 165 )

What about other LDS apostles? What did they say about this natural process?

"In relation to the way in which I look upon the works of God and his creatures, I will say that I was naturally begotten; so was my father, and also my saviour Jesus Christ. According to the Scriptures, he is the first begotten of his father in the flesh, and there was nothing unnatural about it." (LDS apostle Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, v. 8, p. 211)

"Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers" (LDS apostle Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 547.)

Now I’ve cited McConkie twice, and a lot of folks have seen one or both of those quotes, but not nearly as many have seen this following McConkie excerpt…where McConkie makes sure we otherstand the literalness of what’s he talking about:

“We have spoke PLAINLY of our Lord’s conception in the womb of Mary. I am the son of my father and the father of my sons. They are my sons because they were begotten by me, were conceived by their mother, and came forth from her womb to breathe the breath of mortal life, to dwell for a time and a season among other mortal men. And so it is with the Eternal Father and the mortal birth of the Eternal Son. The Father is a Father is a Father…And the Son is a Son is a Son…a literal, living offspring from an actual Father. God is the Father; Christ is the Son. The one begat the other. Mary provided the womb from which the Spirit Jehovah came forth, tabernacled in clay, as all men are, to dwell among his fellow spirits whose births were brought to pass in like manner. There is no need to spiritualize away the plain meaning of the scriptures. There is nothing figurative or hidden or beyond comprehension in our Lord’s coming into mortality. He is the Son of God in the same sense and way that we are the sons of mortal fathers. It is that simple. Christ was born of Mary. He is the Son of God—the Only Begotten of the Father. (McConkie, The Promised Messiah, pp. 467-468, 1978 )

42 posted on 11/14/2012 5:16:30 PM PST by Colofornian (“...those outside the Church who say Lds do not believe in the traditional Christ. No I don't."-GH)
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To: ansel12
Hello? I'm Catholic.

I am able to criticize my faith without having a bunch of internet jihadists calling me a hypocrite.

43 posted on 11/14/2012 5:17:32 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Colofornian
I want to make one thing very clear to you. The First Amendment ensures that anyone is entitled to religious opinions other than mine.

So throwing dogma at me is the same as throwing dogpoop.

44 posted on 11/14/2012 5:23:04 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: greyfoxx39; All
From the article: Romney never became fully comfortable talking about his Mormonism in public...

Hmm...I wonder if it's because at least deep down, Romney knows how wacky & weird Mormonism really is...and he didn't want to get caught in the crosswinds trying to defend or even explain it???

Mormonism as 'Weird' -- Examples Thereof:

* Are Mormons "Weird"?
* Anne Frank, a Mormon?
* HAVE YOU NOTICED THIS ABOUT MORMONS?
* About Mormonism - Mormon Underwear
* Mormonism and Mitt Romney’s “Weirdness”
* Planet Kolob to Mormons: It’s not our weird beliefs, it’s our credibility
* 21 facts everyone should know about Mormon teaching [Mormonism/Anti-Christian]
* Mormonism's Outlandish Heresies [Mormonism/Anti-Christian]

45 posted on 11/14/2012 5:24:42 PM PST by Colofornian (“...those outside the Church who say Lds do not believe in the traditional Christ. No I don't."-GH)
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To: 1rudeboy
Prepare for multiple posts of Scripture spanning untold inches.

ROFLMAO!!!

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Such a predictable bunch.

46 posted on 11/14/2012 5:24:42 PM PST by Tenacious 1 (The Click-&-Paste Media exists & works in Utopia, riding unicorns & sniffing pixy dust.)
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To: maine-iac7

mormonISM is not Christianity, yet it is their right to take bus loads of people into neighborhoods and pester them.
Who has said they need to be stopped?
It needs to be exposed as the anti-Christianity that mormonISM is.


47 posted on 11/14/2012 5:25:15 PM PST by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: hinckley buzzard

What mormon haters?


48 posted on 11/14/2012 5:26:18 PM PST by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: 1rudeboy

Who said otherwise?


49 posted on 11/14/2012 5:27:39 PM PST by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: 1rudeboy

Claiming to be a Catholic is extremely common for the fighters for Mormonism and against Christians, it is a constant, your anti-catholic attack was pretty revealing as well

Do you know what your denomination teaches about Mormonism and why they are not Christian?


50 posted on 11/14/2012 5:27:46 PM PST by ansel12 (Todd Akin was NOT the tea party candidate, Sarah Steelman was, Brunner had tea party support also.)
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