Mitt Romney’s New White House Bid, If Any, Will Be Heavy on His Mormon Faith

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is either channeling his inner Latter-Day-Saint or listening to political advisers who are betting that a heavier dose of Mormonism will wow the American electorate in 2016.

In a speech … Friday night, Mitt Romney reminded the world that he’s a Mormon — and made clear that it would be a key part of his presidential campaign if he does decide to run for a third time.

What an excellent strategy to overcome the accusation that Romney, as a politician on the national stage, is fatally tone-deaf. </sarcasm>

Romney put his faith, something he rarely spoke about or demonstrated on the 2012 or 2008 campaign trail, front and center while addressing Republican National Committee members aboard the USS Midway in San Diego, saying that those closest to him, including his wife Ann, know him not only as a businessman and politician but as a devoted leader in the Mormon church.

“For over ten years, as you know I served as a pastor for a congregation and for groups of congregations. And so she’s seen me work with people who are very poor, to get them help and subsistence. She’s seen me work with folks that are looking for better work and jobs and providing care for the sick and the elderly. She knows where my heart is,” Romney said.



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Pastor Terry Jones Is Beset By Customers of His Furniture-Shipping Company Who Haven’t Received Their Possessions

Florida’s Terry Jones is a man of many talents: pastor, Qur’an-burning simpleton, french-fry-stand owner, and, we learn from the Bradenton Herald, the co-proprietor of a shipping company that specializes in transporting antique furniture from seller to online buyer.

The entrepreneurial pastor is currently struggling with more than his share of business setbacks. Considering that Jones is almost literally in al Qaeda’s crosshairs, the mall where he sells his fries made him remove three large photos of himself from the wall of the stand last week; he further had to agree to take his name off the lease and to stay away from the mall for the time being.

Now he’s also in a heap of trouble with his furniture-moving company.

From Philadelphia to Houston, customers of a moving company operated by a controversial pastor are upset. Antique dealers from across the country are sharing their stories of not being able to get answers from the Rev. Terry Jones on whether they will ever get their possessions back.



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“Peeping Don” Pastor Who Resigned From Church Over Digital Voyeurism Now Faces Burglary Charges, Too

Maybe ex-pastor Donald Courtney Biggs, freshly accused of sneakily videotaping a nude or partially nude woman, can trade war stories with ex-rabbi Barry Freundel, who made a habit of that kind of thing.

A former pastor at a church in Medford [Oregon] stands accused of secretly videotaping an adult female “in a state of undress” without her consent, Medford police said. …

The Medford Police Department in November launched an investigation into “inappropriate texting” between Biggs and a 14-year-old female, officials said. He knew the girl from Mountain Church, where Biggs worked as an administrative pastor and oversaw the youth program, according to police.

Detectives then found that Biggs had secretly taken a video of an adult woman at his home, authorities said. Biggs was placed on administrative leave, and he resigned from the church, officials said.



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A Groundhog Day Replay? Cartoon Protests Break Out In String of Muslim Countries; Some End In Violence

Looks like it’s 2006 all over again.

Via France24 and confirmed through other online sources (1, 2, 3, 4), here’s a roundup.

Niger:

At least five people were killed on Saturday during a second day of unrest in Niger, as French citizens were warned to stay indoors amid anger in several Muslim countries over a Prophet Mohammed cartoon published by Charlie Hebdo this week.

Police fired teargas at crowds of stone-throwing youths, who set fire to churches and looted shops in Niger’s capital Niamey. … President [Mahamadou Issoufou] has condemned the deaths of five people in Niamey today, four of whom died in burned churches and one woman who died in a bar.

The unrest came a day after at least four people were killed and 45 others were injured in protests in Niger’s second largest city Zinder, with demonstrators ransacking three churches and torching the French cultural centre.

“We’ve never seen that in living memory in Zinder,” a local administration official said.



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Dan Fincke Unpacks 16 of the Worst Charlie Hebdo Memes

Over at Camels With Hammers, Dan Fincke is in no mood to let the anti-Hebdo brigade have its way with the facts. So in a Herculean mega-post, he applies severe scrutiny to various ideas that he finds, in sum total, appalling.

He’s even done us the service of linking to each debatable statement, so you can peruse the list and jump right to Fincke’s counterargument.

1. “Why are people insisting we show the images? We can stand up for free speech without approving of or republishing images we disagree with.”

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