Practicing Mormons — All of Us, Implicitly — are Religious Fanatics

A useful reminder

Mitt Romney delivered a graduation speech recently to a largely Mormon audience at Southern Virginia University in which, among other things, he suggested that the school’s graduating seniors not unduly delay marriage and children.

His countercultural remarks have drawn a firestorm of criticism, and have been pronounced deeply weird and the ravings of a “religious fanatic” by elements of elite opinion (including a CNN panel featuring, among others, the reliably wrong Marc Lamont Hill, the still-not-expelled British import Piers Morgan, and the lamentable daughter of a former Utah governor) and elsewhere.  Which speaks eloquently of the nature of our society today, and which should help practicing Latter-day Saints understand that they’re not likely to have the genuine respect of the current masters of American culture anytime soon — not even on matters related to marriage and family where we could once count on social reinforcement for the shared values of a sort of civil religion — and should waste little time or effort seeking it.  I suspect that the response also shows that even internal moral exhortations, within the community of faith, will be subject to derision from the outside.   (I anticipate that this will increase considerably, as a matter of fact.  Dissent from orthodoxy will not be tolerated, however much that orthodoxy celebrates faux diversity.)

http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/04/mitt-romneys-case-for-getting-married-young/275443/#comments

On the right, the “great and spacious building” of 1 Nephi 8:26-28

 Posted from New York City

  • http://www.facebook.com/peredehuit Doug Ealy

    Good for Mitt. I’m happy to be associated with the ravings of a “Religious Fanatic”. I hope that the derangement of my mind and his mind continues in the face of modern-day Korihors. Thank you for sharing!

  • Anyotheruser

    “the still-not-expelled British import Piers Morgan”

    But we don’t want him back!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Peterson/634891356 Daniel Peterson

    Tough luck. He’s yours.

    We’ve got enough such people already, home grown.

    • Anyotheruser

      But taking him off our hands is one of the best things America has ever done for us! We thought you guys were being charitable! :-)

  • Ben Tanner

    Daniel once again.. well said. Thank the Lord we have Daniel Peterson.

  • Rich Alger
  • Collin Simonsen

    Mockery has such a strong psychological affect even though it has no logical basis. You can mock anything. Einstein’s hair is funny, therefore relativity is bunk. It’s so easy.

    See a classic example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHcSf0NQVsw

  • Lucy Mcgee

    I wouldn’t call the short CNN segment a “firestorm of criticism”, and the only CNN contributor to call Mr. Romney a religious fanatic was Marc Hill.

    The planet is fortunate that not every family has a “quiver full of children”, because much of human poverty, disease, and malnutrition is caused, in part, by women having too many children, not too few. High population growth rates stretch the resource capabilities of many indebted 3rd world nations. The Philippines would be a prime example of a nation with one of the highest population growth rates in Asia, rich in natural resources, terribly in debt to world bankers and unable to feed its burgeoning population. If one wants to see human misery, have a peek at those children who make their living on Smokey Mountain, in Manila. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2gMPnOaoPg

    Some six million of the world’s children die each and every year before the age of five. That’s like a massive 2004 Aceh tsunami sweeping away every child there, every few weeks.

    Population growth rate does certainly advantage religion as can be seen in the spread of Islamic populations globally. The best sources of lifelong religious adherents are those children who grow up steeped in a particular religious culture.

    By the way, if the map you presented was based on population and not geography it would give a more reasonable picture of national voting demographics. http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/2012/

    • http://www.facebook.com/kgbudge Kent G. Budge

      The connection between poverty and overpopulation is a tenuous one. Africa has a relatively low population density and is fairly blessed with natural resources, yet it has a high level of poverty.

      • Lucy Mcgee

        Egypt’s population has more than doubled since 1981. Cairo has over 7 million people and experiences massive unemployment. Egypt has a high fertility rate which has added significantly to socioeconomic burdens there. Twenty nine percent of children in Egypt are malnourished.

        Quivers full of children may make sense for a minority of those who desire to grow the Kingdom, but certainly not for the vast majority of humans on earth, many of whom cannot feed the children they have.

        • danpeterson

          Egypt’s fundamental problem isn’t so much population as government corruption, statism, incompetence, and the lack of a work ethic supporting a private sector.

          I lived there for four years, and saw it at first hand. I’ve visited Egypt many times since.

          Going solely by population and population density, Hong Kong ought to be a basket case. But, to put things mildly, it’s not.

        • lindasdf

          I remember back 20some years ago, the starving people of Africa was the “cause celebre” or however you say it. Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones decided to invite the elite of the singing world to make a record to help raise money to feed these poor people. They raised mega bucks, and bought tons of food. When they tried to get it to the starving people of Africa, I think they were not welcome, they could not land the plane,, and had to push the food out from the air. What was still salvagable after this was taken by dictatorial governments, and others in power, and doled out only to those who would sell their souls to the devil. They also tried it in Britain (Do they know it’s Christmas?, one of the stupidest Christmas songs I ever heard), but there, too, they only did it once.
          I see lots of American parents with four or more children who are happy, healthy and well-fed. I see lots of American families (if you can call them that) who only have kids so they can stay on government welfare. So, it’s not how many kids, but who has them.

          • Namakaokona

            Can you give one example of a ‘family (if you can call them that) who only have kids so they can stay on government welfare’. Name ONE. Besides being a vile, vicious thing to say, if is useful as a Republican Party talking point, but has no basis in fact. NONE.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Peterson/634891356 Daniel Peterson

            It’s rather notorious that some poor girls have children in order to qualify for government assistance that will permit them to leave home. There’ve been studies on this for years and years and years. You really aren’t aware of the phenomenon?

          • Namakaokona

            Then surely you can name one example. I don’t even ask for two.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Peterson/634891356 Daniel Peterson

            The data haven’t exactly been hidden, and, after this bit of unmerited kindness on my part, I’m not inclined to do your (very simple) research for you. Here’s the first item that came up on Google, something that dates back all the way to 1996. So it’s not exactly new news:

            http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/1996/06/bg1084nbsp-how-welfare-harms-kids

          • Namakaokona

            The Heritage Foundation is an ultra right wing ‘think tank’ funded by the Koch Brothers and is nothing more than right wing propaganda–so you aren’t doing any ‘research’ for me–but thanks anyway, When your main talking points are from the Heritage Foundation and the thrice married drug addict Rush Limbaugh, I suggest you need to do your own research–don’t worry about me.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Peterson/634891356 Daniel Peterson

            You asked for data, and I gave you data. The article to which I provide a link includes references. But I think you didn’t even bother to read it. You simply dismiss it in advance on the basis of an ad hominem attack. You make it pretty clear that there’s no point in wasting more time on you.

          • lindasdf

            When I worked at a local welfare dept. I saw it a lot! Even if I knew any names, I couldn’t give them to you, but believe me, they are out there.

          • Namakaokona

            That is made up baloney and you know it. As I said, you have no proof of anything you said, just the expected repetition of right wing talking points and smug self righteousness. So which ‘local welfare department’ did you work at? How did you arrive at the conclusion that a single welfare recipient had children just to collect welfare, as you stated?

          • lindasdf

            I worked at one in north central Ohio. I know because I talked regularly with the case workers.
            Also, my mom worked at the city health dept, and she saw this, too.

          • Namakaokona

            When reading these posts, one can only wonder if you realize that people other than Mormons read them–they are filled with the kind of smug, selective self righteousness for which Mormons are (in)famous, and explain why Mormons are really disliked overall. Keep it up.

          • danpeterson

            Are you talking to me?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Peterson/634891356 Daniel Peterson

            I take it that you yourself dislike both Mormonism and Mormons, but that you wish to dislike us still more and hope that others will also come to dislike us. That’s very attractive!

          • Namakaokona

            You are doing that job for yourself–I needn’t do anything.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Peterson/634891356 Daniel Peterson

            Your comments are rather strange. How exactly am I doing what exactly?

          • Namakaokona

            While you are belittling the efforts of others to aid the starving, perhaps you could detail the efforts of the so called Mormon Church in aiding the poor? 2.5 billion on a shopping mall with a Tiffany’s and million dollar condos? Yeah–I’m sure that’s what Jesus would build.

          • danpeterson

            Again, are you talking to me?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Peterson/634891356 Daniel Peterson

            I’m not sure where your figures come from. But “the so called Mormon Church” is involved in humanitarian aid around the world, runs a huge welfare system, participates extensively in philanthropy, and so on.

          • lindasdf

            The LDS church has an extensive Humanitarian and Welfare plan. We help those who have needs they can’t meet, as much as we possibly can.
            The mall in SLC was built with money from selling church businesses as they became redundant, and other such business sources. This business end of the church DOES pay taxes. It was built to help keep out urban blight, and make downtown safe for everyone, especially visitors and those wanting to use the temple.

          • lindasdf

            BTW, I am NOT belittling these charity efforts. I’m just saying that they were a little bit naïve about it.

          • Lucy Mcgee

            Forty percent of food grown for a hungry planet never reaches those affected. Massive debt of third world nations almost promises continued starvation, disease and lack of hope not for thousands, or tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, but for millions and millions of children. The promise our population makes these kids is a life which is nasty, brutish and short. And the small amount of worldwide humanitarian aid given by the LDS Church, for example, while it may play well as an advertisement, has done little. I read somewhere that the LDS humanitarian aid program was something like a ten dollar a year donation per LDS Church member. Hmm.

          • lindasdf

            We do more than just throw money at the problem of hunger and homelessness. We could just give money to already-existing charities, but a lot of them don’t use 100% of the money they are given. Some goes to pay the (sometimes outrageous) salaries of those who run these charities.
            We know that 100% of the money we give to our welfare and humanitarian plans will be used to feed the poor . We also give of our time and talents. This makes it real.
            Plus, we also have some of the people who receive help from us helping with this, using their time and talents.
            When you figure in all of this, we give MUCH more than $10 a year.

          • Namakaokona

            LDS welfare takes care of Mormon Church members–commendable but it does nothing outside of that sphere. Your church does some high profile disaster relief accompanied by yellow T Shirts and massive advertising–it is nothing more than PR–not unlike the millions spent on the ‘I’m a Mormon’ ad campaign. Your church operates like any other big US corporation–it is just tax free. In countries where the so called Mormon Church is REQUIRED by law to reveal their finances, the actual amounts spent are charitable giving are miniscule. Here in California in the SF Bay Area, Mormons are not known for charitable giving, but for spending millions of dollars to engage in political campaigns based on nothing more than cheap fear mongering and outright lies to strip homosexuals of equal protection under the law. Since Prop 8, favorability ratings for Mormons has plummeted, since most CA citizens now realize Prop 8 was a pack of lies. Your smug, self righteous, snide, sneering comments don’t help. But, by all means keep it up.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Peterson/634891356 Daniel Peterson

            It’s flatly untrue that the LDS Church aids only members. Were you in Indonesia after the tsunami to see LDS aid going to Muslims there? I was. Have you been in Jordan, where LDS assistance is going to refugees — none of them Mormon — from the Syrian civil war? I have. Do you imagine that those villages in Africa where the Church has been drilling wells and vaccinating against measles and training local medical personnel in neonatal resuscitation are populated entirely, largely, or even significantly by Mormons? If so, surprise! They’re not.

            I see no point in responding to your question-begging and hostile remarks about Prop 8. You’ve made it clear that you’re not really here for actual conversation, and life is short.

          • lindasdf

            Nope, I beg to differ. I did a two year service mission at our Bishop’s Storehouse. We gave away over $50,000 worth of food and other commodities a year to other local charities, like the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and a ton of local food kitchens and shelters. That was just in the central Ohio area.

            And many of our food processing centers are shared with other charities. For instance, in Houston, our church owns a peanut butter processing plant. Since we are not running it 24/7, the church has worked out a deal with a local food bank. We will provide the facilities, the jars and lids, the salt and sugar, in fact, everything but the peanuts. THEY provide the peanuts. Then two days a week, they make their own peanut butter, with their own label on it, and put it in their food bank. Two other days a week, we do the same thing.

            I think this is also done for other things like applesauce and jams and jellies.
            We primarily help our own because they have (for the most part) paid their fast offerings when they had the money. But we aren’t stingy either.

          • lindasdf

            And I’m not the one making snide, sneering comments.

          • lindasdf

            Perhaps you can provide some info.
            The organizers of people against prop 8 raised somewhere between $3-6 mill more than those who wanted prop 8. So, I don’t get it. Why didn’t those opposed to it, get out their own campaign? Seems like all they do it sit around whining and blubbering about how much the Mormons raised, and how intolerant and homophobic we are. Where did all that money go to? I don’t live in California anymore (thank GOD!!). So, I’m a little out of the loop.

  • Lucy Mcgee

    By the way, I like the new format in the comment section which makes a bit easier for those who are challenged with the English language and want to edit comments, etc.

    • JohnH2

      replying to multiple threads of comments in a stacked conversation leads to a confusing layout of the conversation.

      • danpeterson

        Yes, it definitely does.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.merkling Joseph Merkling

    I think ti would be good to consider your map in light of this one.

    http://www.worldpopulationatlas.org/cartograms/usa_main.jpg

    The distortion is made by adjusting area to reflect population density.
    That being said those who praise personal comfort over building civilization come in all shades of nominal political affiliation.

    • danpeterson

      Yes, there are several ways to look at it. That was only one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Raymond-Swenson/100000312491451 Raymond Swenson

    I was listening to Truman Madsen’s lectures on the teachings of Joseph Smith while driving to Seattle last week. Madsen said that Joseph taught that the day would come when only Latter-day Saint women would be willing to bear children. That must have sounded pretty radical in 1844, and difficult to achieve with the medical knowledge of the time, but it sounds very prescient now.

    Despite Catholic teaching against birth control, most Catholic families are about the same size as average. While LDS teaching does not prohibit use of birth control by married couples, LDS women have more children than their non-Mormon neighbors, because they believe each child is an already existing child of God in his or her spirit, and they want to bring them into a faithful home.

    If you delay having children until you are financially secure, you won’t have them until you are middle aged, when you are beginning to grow physically inadequate to the task of child rearing. By contrast, marrying and raising children makes us mature in ways that are difficult to attain otherwise.


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