WARNING: Romney’s Mormon Neoconservative Jingoism May Kill Your Child

Don’t get me wrong I could care less about Romney’s personal religious beliefs. It’s his foreign policy and how those Mormon “personal beliefs” may get people like my Marine son killed that scares me.

The danger to our military families posed by having Romney in the White House comes from the fact that to be a good Mormon one has to be jingoistic and combative about foreign policy. So let’s pray Romney isn’t a good Mormon! Let’s hope he’s faking it! But on the off chance he’s a sincere Mormon it’s worth taking a hard look at what it is about Mormonism that will prove so deadly if translated into policy.

Bill Maher said: “In 100 years this country will be Mormon. It’s a stupid religion and a stupid country. They were made for each other.” I hope Maher’s wrong. However one proof that he’s right about our stupidity is that we Americans debate the impact Romney may have on the economy  while ignoring his unique Mormon-inspired potential to get  Marines like my son killed.

And that’s where Romney’s combination of Mormon theologically-inspired ignorance of the world and neoconservative stupidity will be deadly if Romney’s elected. It’s the chief reason to keep this odd millionaire and former Mormon bishop as far from the White House as is humanly possible.

You see unlike Romney’s sons my military-aged son volunteered to serve our country. (Thank God he came home from multiple wartime deployments alive.) I co-authored  a book with Kathy Roth Douquet, Blue Star Families CEO about who serves in the military these days and who doesn’t that John McCain wrote the forward to: AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America’s Upper Classes from Military Service — and How It Hurts Our Country. Point being unlike Romney I have had skin in the game in our wars.

As the father of a Marine who was sent to fight in two stupid wars by an evangelical Protestant president I know how presidential theology can exacerbate stupidity. So I shudder to think that we might elect an even more religiously deluded and theologically-motivated president than W Bush was.

And yes, I know one is not supposed to criticize other people’s religion in polite conversation. And yes I was once myself a member of the stupid Religious Right as I describe in my book Crazy For God, then I changed my mind. But there’s nothing polite about needlessly sending Americans like my son to their deaths.

We Americans have the right to ask what our presidential candidates believe that may impact our lives. Romney’s world view is couched in a religion that makes stark raving evangelical-inspired Christian-Zionist aggression of the kind W Bush practiced when he took us to war look positively mild. If Romney is a good Mormon he believes that the United States is the New Jerusalem and/or Zion. If Romney is a good Mormon he also believes that anyone endorsing models of life outside of Mormon/American xenophobic boundaries is warned in the Book of Mormon in (2 Nephi 10:16) as follows:

“And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles. And I will fortify this land (the USA) against all other nations. And he that fighteth against Zion shall perish, saith God. For he that raiseth up a king against me shall perish…”

 

In other words from the Mormon “perspective” too bad for the country or person who embraces non-US models of government outside the United States. Too bad for those unaware of the “fact” that they are “fighting against God and His Zion” if they disagree with American policy. And since those not like us are fighting against God when they take on America then naturally they must be dealt with very harshly.

This underlying Mormon bellicosity towards the “other” perhaps explains why all Romney’s criticisms of President Obama’s foreign and military policy always — but always — take the form of faulting the President for not being harsh enough, aggressive enough or suspicious enough of other nations.

If Romney is elected and sticks to his theology and the odd history of his people as shaped by their alienated “victimhood” and confrontation with the world, then welcome to a presidency that will make George W Bush’s reckless wars look like a Sunday school picnic.

Belief in “American Exceptionalism” equals perpetual war. Belief in American “manifest destiny” equals willful naivety about the way the world works and our place in it. And Mormonism is nothing less than the religious idolatry of American exceptionalism and manifest destiny.

My son served with many wonderful Mormon Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen. But the fact that the individuals serving from Mormon backgrounds are often exemplary does nothing to fix the fact that when Mormon ideas of destiny and American exceptionalism impact those in top political roles it will make their policy needlessly belligerent. And I’m not just picking on Mormons!  Overly self-confident, as in “God is on our side!” theologically-tainted views  held by the more jingoistic evangelicals like W Bush have also proved deadly.

 

American exceptionalism/manifest destiny – the core belief of Mormonism — is the belief that America, among all nations for all time, is unique. Other nations rise and fall, but not us!

 

For Mormons no rules of history apply to America. Foreign affairs are a theological statement, not a pragmatic fact-based exercise. In fact America has an obligation to not be bound by any international law let alone to learn from history.

In No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, Romney writes: “I am one of those who believes America is destined to remain, as it has been since the birth of the republic, the brightest hope of the world.”

Translation: Romney is yet another neoconservative shill for nationalistic adventurism but with a ramped-up Mormon twist. Romney’s two books, No Apology and Believe in America, tell us that only a “strong America” can make the world safer and more prosperous.

 

What does Romney mean by “strong America?”

 

With Romney’s comments on the murder of our ambassador in Libya used as an opportunistic campaign point it’s worth examining whom Romney listens to. And when the advice of the warmongers and ultra-Zionists Romney has surrounded himself with is interpreted through the lens of Mormonism’s xenophobic paranoia and belief in “divine providence” it gets truly scary.

It seems four trillion dollars wasted and twelve years of perpetual war isn’t enough for Romney. He wanted us to stay in Iraq and wants us to extend our time in Afghanistan.  Enter the war loving far right wing warmonger Dan Senor, one of Romney’s closest advisers on foreign policy. He’s also the poster child for American stupidity of the kind that needlessly got four thousand, four hundred, eighty eight Americans killed and more than 33,000 injured in Iraq.

Senor was the spokesman for the horribly failed American Coalition Provisional Authority at the beginning of the Iraq war under George W. Bush. And now he’s a close adviser to Romney helping to shape his policy. Senor is an advocate of extremist neoconservative/Zionist thinking of the kind that got us into Iraq under false pretenses. And that’s only the start of the Romney attempt to resurrect the uselessly bellicose Bush Doctrine of preemptive worldwide delusional aggression.

Romney keeps a large group of discredited far right foreign-policy advisers, eight of whom participated in the early neoconservative group Project for a New American Century, founded in 1997 and headed by William-never-met-a-war-I-don’t-love-Kristol. These are the men who killed the Marines whose funerals I have attended as surely as if they laid the road side bombs on some dusty track in Iraq’s deserts themselves.

But you ain’t seen nothing yet! Neoconservative jingoism plus Mormon delusion equals perpetual war.

According to Mormon “holy writ,” the US constitution is inspired by God and God chose the USA to play an exceptional role in all human events… forever. Other nations might have to play by the rules of history – say not become overextended until their military suffers an epidemic of suicides – but not us.

As Paul Bedard writes in The Washington Examiner:

 

Those who know Republican Mitt Romney say he will hit the ground running if elected, and his Mormonism will give him an ‘extra dose’ of patriotism to help.

‘I think he’s going to be a very aggressive president,’ said Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee. And for good reason, he added during a meeting with Washington Examiner reporters and editors. ‘He recognizes that we live in difficult times. The circumstances are pretty dire and  that swift action is needed,’ said Lee, who predicted more White House-Congress interaction.

When quizzed if Romney’s religion or ties to conservative Utah will make him a different kind of president, Lee, also a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said that Mormons like Romney have an optimistic view of the United States.

‘Mormons sort of have an extra chromosome when it comes to American exceptionalism,’ he said. ‘Mormons do have an added dose of a belief in American exceptionalism,’ he said.

‘We believe that this is a choice land that it’s a great place to be. We believe that the founding of America was something that was brought about with a degree of divine intervention and certainly inspiration,’ said Lee, who added that all presidents arrive in the Oval Office with a heightened belief in the nation.”

 

But I’m not panicking at the thought of Romney’s election, yet, because Romney is a demonstrably unpatriotic man, so maybe he’s a comfortingly bad Mormon too when it comes to aggression and that ” extra chromosome when it comes to American exceptionalism.” So maybe Romney’s a Mormon heretic. I hope so.

Romney has hidden lots of money overseas, has strapping sons, none of whom volunteered for military service, avoids taxes, closes American companies and ships jobs overseas and even uses the death of an American ambassador for political purposes against a wartime president.

 

So maybe Romney is a bad Mormon and a hypocrite who will be a more pragmatic leader than a good Mormon would be when it comes to starting wars.

 

After all Romney’s tax dodging alone presents a double-dealing vision of globalization at average American’s expense that no good Mormon would embrace. So let’s hope his anti-American bet-against-America greed bleeds over into self-preservation when it comes to world affairs too.

But so far in letting the bellicose prime minister of Israel direct his world view and in letting the most jingoistic neoconservative advisers of the old W Bush crowd write his policies Romney seems to be a frighteningly good Mormon, at least when it comes to embracing the kind of American exceptionalism that gets lots of members of the 47 percent (from who’s ranks most volunteers come to serve America),  killed. So a vote for Romney may well be a vote for perpetual war.

After all this is the man who managed to insult the British and needlessly antagonize the Palestinian people from an American-centric position, EVEN BEFORE being elected. And as Maher said: “One of the things Americans are going to love about Mormonism… is that, first of all, Jesus is an American. Jesus is an American in Mormonism. And [Americans] love the idea that Mormons embrace more than anybody that we are the super-duper star-spangled best country ever! And if we have any flaw, it’s that we make other countries feel bad because our awesomeness is so overwhelming.”

Note: The rest of the world won’t buy into Mormon “geography” either that places Jesus here in the good old USA as one of ours. Mormonism is the perfect form (or offshoot, depending on your views) of Christianity for extreme nationalism. And the Russians, French and Chinese etc., may not go for Mormon fictional “geography” that puts the center of the earth in Salt Lake City, any more than most Jews go for the idea that the Mormons baptized dead Jews into their fold or the British went for the idea that the American Olympics was inherently better run than theirs.

A favorite Romney charge is that Obama is ashamed of his country and goes around the world apologizing for it. But then no normal person who has actually read some history, or traveled, or opened his or her mind to the fact that maybe their religion has gotten some points wrong could love America as much as a good Mormon! To Mormons America isn’t just another country but proof that their alternative fanciful version of world “history,” religious truth and reality is factual.

For Mormons America is Mecca, Jerusalem and the Garden of Eden all rolled into one. In an essay on the topic of the Mormon idea of America, Pat Bagley (of the Salt Lake Tribune) included this quote from Brigham Young: “There is not a Territory in the Union that is looked upon with so suspicious an eye as is Utah, and yet it is the only part of the nation that cares anything about the Constitution.”

The Mormon “Saints” saw themselves as the only true patriots and the key link in the chain of American exceptionalism beginning with Jesus’ personal visit to America, the Pilgrims, continuing through the Founding Fathers and being the key to the establishment of Christ’s righteous government on earth forever. In all of the history of the world, according to Mormons, America alone has a special destiny, one guaranteed by God.

In 1846 Brigham Young with the leaders of the Church, issued the proclamation of “The Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” that began: “To all the Kings of the World; to the President of the United States of America; to the Governors of the several States; and to the Rulers and People of all Nations: GREETING: KNOW YE THAT the kingdom of God has come …”

After his arrival at the Great Salt Lake, Young had set up a “government in exile” to step in when non-Mormon America needed salvation by the One True Church. It was called the “Council of Fifty,” also known as “The Kingdom of God and His Laws with the Keys and Power Thereof, and Judgment in the Hands of His Servants.”

The Mormon belief that they were the only real and true Americans may partly explain the troubles Mormons had in New York, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois and later Utah. The US government denied Utah statehood and hounded and imprisoned Mormon leaders until the Church promised two things: to abandon polygamy and swear fealty to the United States and its elected leaders and stop the annoying practice of setting up alternative “governments” to the US government.

The question for Americans today is if we can trust a president to be a good world citizen when the entire theology and history of his religion is to see itself as superior too not just all other Americans but to all other nations. This hardly seems like a good basis for peace.

The question is not just will Romney “swear fealty” to the United States and its elected leaders but will he also swear fealty to a fact-based version of world history? More to the point: Will Romney be a good Mormon or a good world leader? Bluntly: will Romney get lots of Marines like my son killed because of some very stupid ideas about God’s “plans” for America?

Frank Schaeffer is a writer and co- author of AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America’s Upper Classes from Military Service — and How It Hurts Our Country and author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back .

To book Frank to speak at your college, church or group please contact Frank HERE

About Frank Schaeffer

Frank Schaeffer is an American author, film director, screenwriter and public speaker. He is the son of the late theologian and author Francis Schaeffer. He became a Hollywood film director and author, writing several internationally acclaimed novels including And God Said, "Billy!" as well as the Calvin Becker Trilogy depicting life in a fundamentalist mission home-- Portofino, Zermatt, and Saving Grandma.

  • Brett

    When someone’s “religion” is a dangerous racist cult, being polite is very secondary to being accurate and informative. No one has yet explained to my satisfaction why Mitt Romney spent half his life in a blatantly racist religion, and the other half his life in the same, now somewhat more covertly racist religion.

    • doug

      This post is just a rationalization for the psuedo-Leftist, psuedo-Liberal agenda of breaking down the wall of separation between church and state and creating a group of established churches.

      • Jeff

        Hi Doug
        The prefix “pseudo” is used to mark something as false, fraudulent, or pretending to be something it is not. Do you mean the post is for those who are not leftist or not liberal? Or perhaps pretending to be that way? Either way it would make more sense without the prefix.

  • DavidW

    Thank YOU, Mr. Schaeffer, for your poignant feature here! I identity myself as “Spiritual”. As a Gay man of Faith, Romney and Mormonism in general DO concern me a great deal! I wish you continued successes! And thank YOU! :-D

  • Dawn

    Wow! I’m more concerned with a statesman that pretends he’s a statesman than I am with religious affiliation, but this article was very interesting, thank you for sharing!

  • LHorn

    I am a Mormon and served in the Navy. My son served in the Marines and is currently in the reserves. We serve to defend, not as an offensive force. This article and its author is about as wrong as one can be.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Hi LHorn, my son may well have served with yours. The quality of Marines doesn’t depend on their religion. But just as W Bush’s evangelical faith played a part in getting us into Iraq because of his views about Israel, so too Romney’s religion will play a part, and already does. How else to explain that he is always faulting the President for not being aggressive enough? I mean when s enough enough or should we keep our military deployed in the Middle East forever?

      And in case you think I’m picking on Mormons no one has been more critical than me f my own church background in the evangelical world.

      • Travis

        How else to explain it? Easy. It’s something to criticize Obama on and score political points. Obama and Romney criticize each other constantly on whatever basis they can think of. It has nothing to do with religious motivation.

  • Jeff

    Hi Frank

    I wonder whether the “conservative” mindset is hardwired for continuous battle; a type of hyper vigilance. Many(conservative) whom I know at an individual level are fair and friendly but appear to revert back to a hard-line, black and white mindset with others of similar thinking. Evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker often refers to this as a sort of primitive/tribal mentality. In like manner, war correspondent, Chris Hedges, speaks of religious fundamentalism not so much as faith in God but more in terms as what Pinker describes. So perhaps you have a good point, Frank, in that let’s not only hope Romney is a poor Mormon but that, as Lincoln says, he can appeal to the angels of our better nature.

  • ThinkForYourself

    This is an interesting article, but I would like to point out that the POTUS does not have unilateral power in starting and participating in a war. Romney can’t just point his evil Mormon fingers towards the middle east and whisk our troops away.

    Wars are voted on by Congress, including the House and the Senate. The Iraq war began just this way. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_Resolution#Passage Any war under Romney would have the same requirements. So if crazy Romney wanted to start a war, we need to have a crazy majority of Congress to agree.

    • Spoticus

      You’re only partially correct there. The president would normally have to have a vote in Congress before declaring war, UNLESS he writes an executive order saying he doesn’t need it. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_are_executive_orders_useful_for_presidents
      And about the “crazy majority of congress,” have you looked at the crazy Republican majority in the House? I’m sure they would be more than happy to give Romney whatever he wants, economy be damned. Let me also direct your attention to Paul Broun and Todd Akin. These two are as crazy as they come. Both are on the House Science Committee and both are not in any way qualified to say ANYTHING about science in any way shape or form. First off, everyone has to know about Todd Akin’s stupidity by now, but Paul Broun, maybe not so much. He was quoted as saying that evolution and the big bang theory were “lies straight from the pit of Hell.” http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2012/10/06/video_paul_broun_calls_evolution_big_bang_theory_lies_straight_from_the_pit_of_hell.html
      With people like this Congress, if Romney is elected, we are all majorly screwed.

    • enkelin

      Well YES he can. What about Grenada, Panama, Libya, Kosovo, Bosnia and countless other hundreds of incursions that congress never voted on. Korea and Vietnam were NEVER voted on by congress. All Presidents have disregarded the War powers act.

    • Sandy

      Doug are you naturally obtuse or have you had to work at it your entire life. The “psuedo” which btw is misspelled leftist liberal agenda of breaking down the wall separating church and state to facilitate a group of established churches is the biggest pile of steaming crap I’ve ever heard. Any decent self-respecting left leaning progressive liberal has no intention of establishing any KIND of religion whatsoever. In fact most of us never attend any kind of church for any kind. If I were you and you don’t want to see the wall separating church and state torn down you would be better served by the leftist liberal agenda which is to keep the wall as strong as possible between church and state. I can assure you Mitt Romney has every intention of trying to establish the Mormon Church as the one true religion of the US. I know what the Mormon agenda is because I was adopted and raised by members of the LDS Church. My mother is a fifth generation Mormon descended from on of Brigham Young’s wives. So if I were you I’d vote for the other guy this election.

  • JM

    Frank,

    Thank you for your article. It’s clear that you put a lot of thought into your work. As it is, I myself am a Mormon, and I also find myself politically on the far left. I think you will agree with me when I say that we can two (or more) people reading the same book can come to two (or more) different and potentially contradicting conclusions, right? The same is true in Mormonism. While some may read 2 Nephi 10:16 (the verse you cited) as a case for American Exceptionalism, others – like myself – could read it without any built in Xenophobia, but simply as a pronouncement of blessings that are identical to the blessings that are given to everyone. If you read verse 21 of that same chapter, it reads:
    “But great are the promises of the Lord unto them who are upon the isles of the sea; wherefore as it says isles, there must needs be more than this, and they are inhabited also by our brethren.”

    So, while, of course there are a lot (and probably the majority) of conservative Mormons who support and believe the harmful and undoubtably unChristian American Exceptionalist reading of the Book of Mormon, there are still a lot who don’t – like myself. I only wish that you wouldn’t try to paint every Mormon to be a bigoted, conservative, xenophobe who is completely fine with all of the social stances that most contemporary Mormons take.

    Thanks again for your work, I hope that people do see the dangers in Romney’s approach to defining America as a dominant nation and that he does not succeed in this election!

    Much respect to you,

    JM

  • Jettboy

    Its clear you read one verse and then forgot to read the whole of the Book of Mormon. If you had, then you will have realized that war is NOT idealized by the book of Scripture. Freedom and righteousness sure, but war is seen as a symptom of a moral outrage for ALL participants. More than once a long and bloody war is seen as a reason that righteous people turned away from God. Its neither a pro or anti military book, but it is more harsh against military actions than a verse or simplistic reading allows. Same goes for the whole of Mormonism and its teachings, or does Harry Reid get a pass because he is a Democrat?

  • Spoticus

    So, they quoted Sen. Mike Lee who said, ‘Mormons sort of have an extra chromosome when it comes to American exceptionalism,’ Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t having an extra chromosome cause Down’s Syndrome? That would explain his political platform. Now, just so I don’t get a whole lot of hate mail saying I don’t know what Down’s Syndrome is, I’ve done some research, http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_Down_syndrome_and_what_are_the_symptoms&altQ=What_are_the_symptoms_of_a_person_with_Down_syndrome
    Apparently there can be a noticeable learning disability associated with Down’s Syndrome. That seems extremely evident by the way Romney says he can fix the federal budget when he completely screwed up the budged in Massachusetts.

    • Travis

      To all you who are about to point out that Romney graduated cum laude from Harvard Law AND Harvard Business, and that anyone who thinks he has Down’s Syndrome obviously has no idea what that its–”Spoticus” is TROLLING. Don’t feed the trolls.

  • misswillow

    Hate to be a grammar nitpicker, but it should be ‘I could NOT care less about Romney’s etc. ‘, not ‘I COULD care less about Romney’s etc’. It is a little hard to get past incorrect grammar in the very first sentence…does he not have an editor?
    And, no, I am not a Romney fan. I think he would make a terrible president. But come on writers, you make a better case if you write correctly.

    • http://www.nature.com Agnikan

      misswillow, in general, you would be correct, but “I could care less” might also be appropriate, since it implies that one has not yet reached — but certainly could reach very easily — the minimal level of care-less-ness.

  • Frank Schaeffer

    Hi Spoticus, I lived n MA under Romney, he quit after one term because he knew he’d never be given a second.

  • Janesmom

    I live for the day we see a non-religious POTUS.

    • http://www.nature.com Agnikan

      Jefferson, we hardly knew ye.

  • JJ Ferron

    So good to read your comments. Just wondering why again American peoples don’t see the scam.
    Romney just look like another Bush, and Americans elected Obama 4 years ago to get out of this nightmare, and they are again going to vote for a duplicate or the Bush policies.
    Yes they must be very ignorant, and blind. How can you make your voice been heard before it is too late. This time we will have a bigger war if Romney is elected. It is our duty to make peoples know, Romney is a danger to all peoples who don’t fit Mormon’s vision. Anyone check Joseph Smith’s picture already know, he is trouble. Look’s like the same 40′s picture of German dream’s babby.
    “Any politician associated to religion is a fanatic”

    • Travis

      I agrees! It s our duty’s to make peoples no Mormon’s babby is German dream’s pictures!!!

      I think what you’re saying is that you see a physical resemblance between Joseph Smith and Hitler, and therefore Romney is a Nazi.

      Eloquently stated, JJ Ferron.

  • Travis

    Romney isn’t fit to be president, because he didn’t serve in the military! That’s why I’m voting for Barack Obama, who served three tours of duty in the Persian Gulf War!
    Oh, wait, no. No, he didn’t. Barack Obama has no military experience, either.

    Also, your armchair interpretation of Mormonism is completely wrong. You got no idea what you’re talking about. Virtually everything you say about Mormonism is false. Would you think I was a constitutional scholar based on the fact that I read the Constitution once? Then what makes you think you know what Mormonism means based on your misreading of a few passages in the Book of Mormon?

    • Sandy

      Travis if you aren’t a Mormon you truly don’t have any idea what you’re talking about. The author of the article has done his research and done it well. He could have gone even further into the insanity that calls itself Mormonism. Now if you are a Mormon then you boyo are lying for the Lord. Let’s enlighten all those non Mormon gentiles including the Jews what Mormons really do believe. The stuff that most people don’t get until they go to the temple and get to go through all the secrets of the LDS church such as the Mormon view that there are many god and goddesses and the God of planet earth lives on a planet in the center of the galaxy called Kolob..shall we go further Travis…Yes let’s. Now this God had his Son Jesus by having actual copulation with the virgin Mary because the Mormon God has an exalted eternal body of flesh and bone. Want more yeah let’s give me more. Now the Mormon Jesus can’t return for the second coming till the Mormons have prepared the earth to receive it’s paradisical glory as laid out in “The Cleansing of America” by Cleon Skousen. So essentially that means a Mormon theocracy being not only established in the US but around the world as well. And for the finale after reigning for a thousand years of peace, satan is loosed again for a short time, then Jesus will pilot the earth out of it current orbit and take it back to Kolob, according to Cleon Skousen. And don’t accuse me of misreading anything. I was adopted raised a Mormon and have a mother who is a fifth generation Mormon descended from Brigham Young. I can then vouch for the absolute truth of Frank’s article. And I hope that the national media will shine the spotlight even harder on Romney and what he and other like him really believe. Now no more lying for the LORD….

  • Chris Roberts

    Similar story: Just before Bush got elected, I had a conversation with a practicing Christian. My fear was that Bush’s overtly religious attitude could cause troubles for him if he acts on some insight based on the Bible that goes against what his advisers tell him for example…. Of course that’s EXACTLY what happened. Most of his Intel told him Saddam didn’t have WMD. But Jesus told him to go into Iraq. http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2005/10_october/06/bush.shtml

    • Travis

      Actually, the intelligence all suggested Saddam DID have WMD, which is why people like Democrats and Republicans alike voted for it. And these were Congressmen and women who had access to the intelligence. We’ve since learned that Saddam was intentionally trying to create the impression that he had WMDs, because he thought it would give him regional influence, and he didn’t think the US would invade.

  • Elizabeth

    I like the article, but am offended that you would say that Christians believe in war as well. Mormon’s might think it’s right, but real Christians who actually read the Bible and don’t just base their faith in bits of the old testament, and in republicanism, know it’s not right. The Bible has A LOT to say against murder.

  • doug

    WARNING bigotry can kill

    Members of the militia entered the shop and found ten-year-old Sardius Smith hiding under the blacksmith’s bellows. William Reynolds put his musket against the boy’s skull and blew off the top of his head. Reynolds later explained, “Nits will make lice, and if he had lived he would have become a Mormon.”

    Andrew Jenson, The Historical Record, Dec. 1888, p. 673.

  • Chris Roberts

    And here’s a fun exercise: compare this piece to Krugman’s piece: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/18/understanding-romneynomics/

  • kathrin quisenberry

    a) This land in the verse of Nephi refers to is all of the Americas and NOT the USA
    b) In the Mormon religion war is forbidden , unless ordered directly by God ( which has not happened in over 2000 years). Also read Doctrine and Covenants 98 which Mormons consider modern day revelation which explicitly explains how to handle defense.
    c) most of the Mormon membership is now outside of the USA and has very little in common with US Mormons – “foreign Mormons” are pro peace, pro community and very much on the left; US Mormons have clearly become consume/money oriented neo-conservatives/fascists.

  • Travis

    Okay, I’m going to try to list all the factual errors here:
    1. The land described in the Book of Mormon is never identified as the United States. In fact, the descriptions of the geography seem to suggest that the Book of Mormon takes place in Mesoamerica, perhaps southern Mexico, Guatemala, or Nicaragua. So Schaeffer’s whole premise about American exceptionalism is wrong.
    2. In the Bible, God frequently promises vengeance on the wicked, but that doesn’t mean that Christians think it is their job to carry that vengeance out, jihad-style. And neither do Mormons think that way.
    3. Mormons don’t believe that the United States is the New Jerusalem or Zion. We believe that Zion is a spiritual state, not a political or geographical entity, and we believe that at the Second Coming, a “New Jerusalem” will be built in the Americas. That’s at the Second Coming. Not today. We don’t equate the “New Jerusalem” with any current city or country.
    4. To say that American exceptionalism is “the core belief of Mormonism” is absurd. The core belief of Mormonism is that we can be forgiven of our sins through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. And American exceptionalism? The Book of Mormon also says (Schaeffer ignores these passages): “Behold, all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people shall dwell safely in the Holy One of Israel if it so be that they will repent.” (1 Nephi 22:28) Or 2 Nephi 29:8: “Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another.”
    5. Schaeffer’s outrageous distortions, sniffing out a significance for which there is no support, should be obvious enough from this passage: “Romney writes: ‘I am one of those who believes America is destined to remain, as it has been since the birth of the republic, the brightest hope of the world.’ Translation: Romney is yet another neoconservative shill for nationalistic adventurism but with a ramped-up Mormon twist.”
    6. Schaeffer also blatantly fabricates doctrines: “According to Mormon ‘holy writ,’ the US constitution is inspired by God and God chose the USA to play an exceptional role in all human events… forever.” Do Mormons believe that God inspired the Founding Fathers to establish a free nation? Yes. Do we believe that key elements of the Constitution were inspired? Yes. Do we believe that the USA is going to “play an exceptional role in all human events…forever”? No! No such extreme idea has any basis in Mormonism.
    7. Bill Maher, by the way, is also a polemicist who doesn’t let mere ignorance stop him from spewing invective about Mormonism. The idea that Jesus is an American in Mormonism? Totally false. The Book of Mormon says that the resurrected Christ appeared somewhere in the “promised land” (presumably the Americas). How does visiting the Americas make Christ an American? I’ve visited Italy; does that make me Italian? Maher also has no idea what he’s talking about.
    8. Brigham Young said that Utah was the only state in the union that respected the Constitution, because the U.S. government at the time was actively attempting to destroy the Mormon church. Young was saying that the government was violating the First Amendment. But this quote also kind of undermines Schaeffer’s assertion that Mormons think America can do no wrong, doesn’t it?
    9. When the LDS or “Mormon” church announces that it is the kingdom of God, it does not mean that in a political way. It means it in a spiritual way. Jesus Christ said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” Getting the doctrine right, however, doesn’t support Schaeffer’s thesis that Mormonism is all about jingoistic supernationalism, so he ignores it and invents his own version of Mormonism.
    It should be obvious that Schaeffer is far more interested in furthering his political preferences than fairly or accurately representing Mormonism. I don’t know whether to accuse him of astounding ignorance or dishonesty or both.

    • Matthew

      I have to say that your response impressed me. I am an LDS member as well, and I constantly fight an uphill battle against the assumptions made by others about our faith. It’s…disturbing. Thank you for stating all you have, by the way.

    • harrystamper727

      Nice summary

    • Sandy

      Y’all Mormons quit lying for the Lord now…

  • http://www.skeptictank.org/ Fredric

    “I could care less” — you probably mean “I could not care any less.” As it is, you stupidly got it backwards.

  • harrystamper727

    What grinds on me is so many people, including this author who take the time to “explain Mormonism”. What we “really” think and what our real intentions are…..yet they are not members. Kinda like listening to Ford dealers about Chevrolet, or perhaps, Xerox reps about Cannon copiers, better yet……Hugo Chavez as to what he thinks of America, no no…better yet, this is like asking…….Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran what he thinks about Israel. I think you get the point.

  • Kerry Kesey Grogan

    While I am no fan of Mormonism it seems only fair to point out that American exceptionalism is not limited to Mormonism. We have been operating under that for as long as we have been a nation. We have also gone to war as well as covert wars in other countries with the mind set that we are truly God’s country.

  • Karen

    Wow. So much fear, lies, and deception in one little blog post! Its downright impressive!! Romney states that he believes in a strong and enduring America, and the Book of Mormon speaks of it being a free land, not ruled by kings. Everything else is your own fear and paranoia talking. We dont want to be at war! There is nothing gained by it. You think we should just ignore that Iran is about 5 minutes away from nuking us and has stated its a high priority to DO so? We should just ignore that, because THEN your son will be safe?? I try to wrap my head and understanding around people like you, but its impossible. You are bigoted beyond reason. Whats really unfortunate is that even if he wins and is a great president you’ll still conjure up every offense and untrue accusation you can, because you simply and willfully hate him and misunderstand his beliefs.

    PS… Do you think you could have used the word “stupid” anymore? You sound like a 5th grader.


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