Mormons against Romney

romney At first glance, the one constituency you would think former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney had locked up would be the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormons. Romney is of course a practicing Mormon.

But think again. In an excellent freelance piece for Religion News Service, The Salt Lake Tribune‘s veteran religion correspondent Peggy Fletcher Stack writes that the Mormons Against Romney campaign is gaining some steam.

The crux of the issue is Romney’s sharp move to the right (following in the footsteps of President Bush’s politics) once he started running for president after he was seen as a potential Mormon Moses leading the church out of the political niche of the religious right. Alas, as documented by Stack, Mormon theology does not exactly line up with the politics of the Bush administration on abortion, stem cells and the teaching of evolution:

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney once sounded like a Mormon liberal.

In his 1993 race for the U.S. Senate, the Massachusetts Republican spoke eloquently of abortion rights, protecting gays from discrimination and the possibilities of stem-cell research. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons), which had disciplined some other church members for taking similar positions publicly, took no action against Romney.

These days, Romney talks like a Southern Baptist.

Jesus is his “personal savior,” Romney told a South Carolina newspaper recently. He’s recently awakened to how Roe v. Wade has “cheapened the value of human life.” And that includes stem-cell research.

romney3The opposition within the Mormon community is clearly based on his move to the right on political issues and not any fundamental theological shift by Romney. This is no surprise. Liberal Mormons shouldn’t be expected to support a conservative candidate.

But this article should at least undercut some of the rhetoric that Romney’s conservative convictions came out of his faith. As outlined in the article, Romney once was to the left of Mormon orthodoxy and now he is to the right of it.

This brings me to an Washington Post op-ed by editorial writer Stephen Stromberg, who grew up as a Mormon in California. He lays out an argument that Romney’s religious views should have no effect on the race and should not be examined:

But regardless of how uncomfortable some of these characteristics make some feel, it is unproductive to focus on Romney’s Mormonism. A candidate’s faith, like that of an L.A. high school student or anyone else is ultimately a complex and personal phenomenon, even in the context of a highly centralized religious organization. My experience in Mormon congregations across the country has taught me that it is impossible to tell precisely how individual Mormons will apply their religious principles to their professional lives. And beyond encouraging hard work and honesty, the church itself is hardly definitive on the subject. Consider the divergent examples of other well-known Mormons — those of Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), say.

No one but Romney can know how his beliefs might affect his judgment.

This is all well and good if you’re not a reporter, but if you are, attention to Romney’s Mormon faith is very relevant. As much as we may wish it, Americans care about a person’s religious affiliation, and the Mormon issue will matter to Romney as he continues his run for the Republican nomination for the presidency.

Reporters should not be expected to ignore this aspect of Romney’s campaign. In fact, until Romney addresses the subject and explains how his faith affects or does not affect his policies, reporters will continue to write about the confusion, the flip-flops and the shifting positions.

Print Friendly

  • Martha

    That’s a little nugget which is worth digging into more right there:

    “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons), which had disciplined some other church members for taking similar positions publicly, took no action against Romney.”

    When disciplined? Who disciplined? Was it the same people doing the discipling and the non-discipling, or was there, say, a gap of so many years and a change in leadership?

    This impression of a monolithic Mormon faith with a consensus on everything and Romney as a representative of that – so it’s not true, then? (gasp!)

  • Martha

    Argh. Meant disciplining, not discipling, though maybe they were doing both ;-)

  • JAson

    Mormons Against Romney is ran by a democrat who threatens you with lawsuits if you post negatively on him.

  • Rockstarlett

    Sorry but I think you are dead wrong here.

    “Reporters should not be expected to ignore this aspect of Romney’s campaign. In fact, until Romney addresses the subject and explains how his faith affects or does not affect his policies, reporters will continue to write about the confusion, the flip-flops and the shifting positions.”

    Are you asking other candidates to explain how their religion (or lack of it?) will effect their policies? Also if flip-flops matter so much check the other candidates out on that one too.

    Again….it seems as you are attempting to intellectualize (as a “reporter”) your way through your what is a thinly veiled anti-Mormon bias.

  • Aaron Shafovaloff
  • Rockstarlett

    Mr. Aaron…

    Supposedly GetReligion isn’t supposed be yet another anti-Mormon site. Actually, I find your link of no interest at all.

  • Eric

    I appreciate your recognition that members of the LDS church aren’t politically monolithic, even on the so-called social issues. It has been written on several of the LDS blogs (although I haven’t verified it) that in Salt Lake City there is even a bishop (the head of a congregation) who’s a member of the Green Party. I personally know many church members who are Democrats (although most, like Reid, have problems with the party’s staunch pro-choice sentiments).

    Reporters who don’t recognize the political diversity in the LDS church are doing their readers a disservice. Even the church’s president has stated before the National Press Club that it is possible to be a Democrat and a faithful member of the church. True, the church is predominantly Republican, especially in Utah and southern Idaho. But Reid is not an anomaly either.

    That said, I think it’s a legitimate question to ask a person running for president how his/her faith (or lack of it) affects what he/she would do in office. But it is an issue that many of the candidates, Barack Obama perhaps being the main exception among the top-tier candidates, aren’t adept at discussing.

  • Pingback: » Blog Archive »

  • Ken

    Not long ago, “Character” didn’t matter. Now, religion does. Will the media ever take a nuetral position? Silly me, of course not. In my profession a persons past record is the best indicator of his future performance. Oops, we don’t apply that concept either. Polygamy, marital infedelity, divorce, rape, seduction, miss-use of authority, there will always be, created in someones mind, a problem. Mitt seems like a good qualified man, more so than what we’ve seen in the past. Give-em a chance before you throw him overboard is my thought. Take a breath ya’ll. WE might discover something good about each of the candidates.

  • Kathy Caudle

    Feb. 28th, ’07

    Mormon Mitt Romney’s Theocracy

    The record shows Mormon Mitt Romney will establish a theocracy ruled by the Mormon church, especially since the Mormon church’s leaders not only its president Gordon Hinckley but also its lawyer operatives like David McConkie (who’s the equivalent of Carl Rove) want this, if elected president. This type of priestcraft rule is another form of tyranny.

    Also this shows Mormon Mitt Romney is nothing more than another cog in the political wheel being rolled toward the white house by the Mormon church and its leaders like its president Gordon Hinckley but also its main political operative David McConkie. They have help though, as is common knowledge.

    Consider the Mormon church’s furtive march to overthrow the white house and seat a Mormon in the Oval office that’s persisted steadily since about 1977 when Orrin Hatch was first elected to congress and his political operative ally David McConkie began lobbying and lawyering with his relative Oscar for the Mormon church. Through his political alliance with the Mormon church and its leaders, such as its president Gordon Hinckley and its main operative lawyer David McConkie, Mitt Romney inevitably will realize the scope and magnitude of the ruin they impose on those who say “no” to them.

    Not being intimidated and threatened by the Mormon church and its militaristic-type leaders, mostly Gordon Hinckley and the Mormon church’s main political operative David McConkie, should in and of itself be a handful for Mitt Romney. Or, as these Mormon church actors do with almost everybody else, will Mormon Mitt Romney stand alone with his Mormonism against the Mormon church and its dictatorial leaders?

    Eventually Mormon church member politician Bob Bennett was elected to the U.S. senate then later in the 1980s and ’90s Chris Cannon and Rob Bishop both of whom also are Mormon each was elected to the House of Representatives. A few years later another Mormon church-based politician Mike Leavitt left his governorship in mid-term to join his fellow Mormon church politicians already in Washington in furtherance of the Mormon church’s seemingly inconspicuous advance to conquer the white house and seize the Oval office. Together then these seven Mormon church-rooted politicians always led by this church’s main political operative–Orrin Hatch, Bob Bennett, Chris Cannon, Rob Bishop, and Mike Leavitt–have slyly machinated repeatedly and maneuvered each political move to grab the white house and capture the Oval office.

    The impression Mike Leavitt gave is that he left his governorship in the middle of his term without explaining to the people of Utah, since he was a public servant elected by the people and so duty-bound to inform the people of his doings, was that he was to bolster the presence of the Mormon church through its representatives in Washington all who are aforenamed and who operate under the guises of elected senators and representatives. So sneaky was Mike Leavitt when he left his governorship he never even informed the local news media. Probably because most of it is also owned by the Mormon church.

    Other examples exists to show why throughout his candidacy Mitt Romney must be challenged to explain his Mormonism. Not only is this important because the Mormon church leaders like its president Gordon Hinckley either himself does or sanctions others like David McConkie to inflict religious persecution on dissenters of Mormonism and non-Mormons alike but crucially because since it’s Utah’s dissenters of Mormonism and non-Mormons specifically who suffer molestation by the Mormon church and its leaders such as this church’s president Gordon Hinckley et al this shows that Americans everywhere else also will be made to endure afflicitions for their non-Mormon religious differences by the Mormon church and its iron-fisted leaders such as the one aforenamed but also by its cunning operative lawyers like David McConkie.

    Like a tyrant David McConkie bullies his way into situations always invoking the name of the Mormon church and its leaders like its president Gordon Hinckley et al and overthrows the old order of whatever this happens to be and replaces this with a Mormon church-centered command. The hardened attitudes with which David McConkie et al acts and omits acting for the Mormon church and its leaders like its president Gordon Hinckley in Utah foretells similar prejudiced mindsets that will operate to extract similar circumstances everywhere else throughout America if Mormon Mitt Romney becomes president.

    Bonds of Obligation

    Creating bonds of obligation with people like presidential candidate Mitt Romney by extending favors such as giving him money to finance his election campaign is the way the Mormon church and its leaders like its president Gordon Hinckley acting through the Mormon church’s operative lawyers like David McConkie latch onto someone like Mitt Romney because he’s running for president. Then once the candidate like Mitt Romney is in office those like David McConkie, who always invokes the name of the Mormon church, “calls in the favors.”

    The Likelihoods of A Mormon Mitt Romney Presidency

    This means the likelihood exists greatly that [an]other[s] will suffer similar prejudicial religous mistreatment because of their deistic differences, to Mormonism, if Mitt Romney is elected president which unceasingly will be perpetuated at the hands of the Mormon church’s main political operative David McConkie. This is especially true since the Mormon church through this particular operative seems to always avenge those who dissent and otherwise don’t subscribe to Mormonism.

    The Secular Crossroads Plaza and the Mormon Church-Owned ZCMI Centre Mall

    The commercial matter between the secular Crossroads Plaza (mall) and Mormon church-controlled ZCMI Centre Mall (ZCMI means Zion’s Corporate Mercantile Industries) emphasizes the wrongful mixing of the Mormon church with the commerce as a function of the state. Located across Main Street from each other in downtown Salt Lake City these two malls co-existed and prospered peacefully.

    Then the Mormon church and its leaders such as Gordon Hinckley along with its operative lawyers like David McConkie wanted to buy the Crossroads Plaza. But those retail merchants who comprised the consortium that owned and operated the Crossroads Plaza, the Downtown Alliance, didn’t want to sell.

    Destabilization resulted, of the retail shops in the Crossroads Plaza, which not only adversely impacted the shop keepers but also consumers. One place of business after another opened then closed in rapid succession over a period of months–everything from big retail franchises to independent shops including restaurants–as part of the Mormon church’s desire to possess the Crossroads Plaza which always had been known as “the people’s mall.”

    Mormon Mixing of the Church With the State

    Though there’s nothing good about asking for public aid the fact remains in Utah the Mormon church through its leaders like Gordon Hinckley and operative lawyers like David McConkie mixes the Mormon church with the state in one out of every two situations in the Beehive state–whether the circumstances involve business, education, churches of different religions, and/or governance at all levels–and so shows that this will be stepped up to the federal government is Mitt Romney is president. For instance the Mormon church bishop-verification requirement of state welfare applicants before they can qualify for assistance such as food stamps which is practiced shamelessly in Utah will be widened to include all the states plus the District of Columbia and will especially apply to those states that share a historical relationship with the Mormon church if Mormon Mitt Romney is made president.

    All this evidences the Mormon church’s plans to estblish a theocracy and rule through a Mormon Mitt Romney presidency. He’ll let ‘em, because David McConkie will effectuate an “accident” for Mitt Romney if refuses to comply.

    Needless to say this also shows the very real need for Mitt Romney NOT to be supported in his bid for the presidency. He’s got the Mormon church and all its operatives like David McConkie in tow along with this church’s so-called theosophical leaders like its president Gordon Hinkcley also trailing behind him and, without a doubt, Mitt Romney will give them all a “place at the table” because this is what they want.

    Kathy Caudle
    Salt Lake City, UT

  • Ken

    Dear Katie.
    Your exposé was interesting to read. Were you this vocal when Bill Clinton was running for office amidst all the barrage of criticism thrown at him? You sound very angry. Is there anything good in your life that brings joy to you? I have been to Salt Lake City a couple of times. I found the City and the people to be very kind, thoughtful and helpful, very genuine. I think I will quiz my Mormon neighbors to see if what you say is true. It sure sounds contrary to what I have seen and experienced. I will get back to you. In the mean time chill a little. Life is worth living. Ken