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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » USA President is a Mormon. (Page 1)

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Author Topic: USA President is a Mormon.
Elizabeth
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Mitt Romney for president?

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/opinion/columnists/will/s_283684.html

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mr_porteiro_head
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Reading the autobiography of one of my ancestors, Sanford Porter, he talked about how his son went out to Washington to do "electioneering" for Joseph Smith's presidential campaign.
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Joldo
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Joseph Smith ran for president? I never knew that.

And I'd totally vote in a Mormon. I love you guys.

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mr_porteiro_head
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He did. The Mormons were getting pushed around so much and the government wouldn't help, so Joseph Smith decided to run for president to try to fix that.

It didn't work, and Joseph Smith was murdered and the Mormons were driven out of Illinois.

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Joldo
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When was that, and what platform did he run on? It seems like a religious platform would hardly work, considering Mormons weren't the most popular kids around.
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tern
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Part of it was an abolitionist platform. Joseph Smith saw the Civil War coming, and wanted the government to buy up all the slaves, free them, and then send them to Canada.

I read an article talking about how if Mitt Romney ran for president, he would have the whole polygamy thing dogging him, and the conclusion was that his campaign was unfeasible. I rather disagree, and as a Mormon I think it would be a great way to get the word out that we really really don't engage in polygamy any more.

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Joldo
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But it would be a lot more gradual, and his campaign probably wouldn't succeed. The polygamy idea might wear off a bit, but most of the Southern voters--especially the Baptists--would be lost off the bat, and they make up a substantial portion of the Republican vote.
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mr_porteiro_head
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As a Mormon who grew up in the South, I say that a Mormon candidate is unfeasable. The fact that he belongs to a "cult" religion would remove a large part of his conservative support.
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TomDavidson
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I think it's more likely that Mitt Romney would have his questionable political record dogging him than any baseless concerns about polygamy.
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Joldo
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I think it's the simple matter of religion that'll kill him.
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tern
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Tom, every politician has a questionable record. It's part of the definition. [Smile]
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Sergeant
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I don't think the country is ready for a mormon president. It could happen eventually but only after people like hatch and romney break the ground and get it through peoples heads that we are basically normal people with fairly conservative values. Those people in the south that disagree with us on the basis that we are a "cult" would likely be suprised that our values line up with theirs quite well.

[Laugh] Tern
I wanna be a politician so I can be on everyside of everything [Smile]

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Bokonon
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Well, the whole polygamy thing wasn't an issue when he ran for governor up here.

-Bok

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mr_porteiro_head
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That's probably because there's no propaganda machine against the Mormons up there like there is down in the South.
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Nikisknight
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I don't know about the south, being in california, but I'm leaning towards Romney right now.
And I really don't think too many southern republicans would say, "Well, the R's a mormon, so I'll vote for Sen Clinton!"

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
And I really don't think too many southern republicans would say, "Well, the R's a mormon, so I'll vote for Sen Clinton!"
It would never get to that point. There are many more republicans out there besides R.
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
I think a Mormon running as a Democrat would do much better than a Mormon running as a Republican
I think I agree.
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Amanecer
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quote:
That's probably because there's no propaganda machine against the Mormons up there like there is down in the South.
*looks for propaganda machine* *does not see one*

I'm not saying that the South doesn't have its biases. I just think they go against any religion that's not mainstream Christian, and even that limitation is questionable depending on the group. I don't think Mormons are singled out.

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tern
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Oh, I don't know about that - name any other religions that were attacked and driven out of the South, physically. Having said that, this is my second time in Texas, and it is much more tolerant here than it was 12 years ago. I'm guessing that the Southern Baptists figure that they have more in common with Mormons than other groups.
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Scott R
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>>name any other religions that were attacked and driven out of the South, physically.<<

First of all, Missouri/Illinois aren't part of the South.

At least *I* don't consider them part of the South-- it'd be like saying that Utah is part of the West Coast. [Smile]

Secondly, there are idiots everywhere. Southerners are no more likely to despise the idea of a Mormon president than anyone else.

Mitt Romney, if he runs for president, won't die on the issue of religion; he'll die on the fact that his party has bungled the goodwill of the world and the country by flailing about in Iraq. Looking ahead to 2008, I don't see how the GOP is going to recover from their wartime floundering.

About the only way to do it would be to press the religious button even harder-- it won in Ohio, after all. (This is why Hilary won't succeed-- she's not seen, currently, as even remotely spiritual)

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Chreese Sroup
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Yeah, Utah isn't considered west coast, or mid west. We're just somewhere in them dar mountains.
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KarlEd
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quote:
Originally posted by Chreese Sroup:
Yeah, Utah isn't considered west coast, or mid west. We're just somewhere in them dar mountains.

I thought the common term was "fly-over country". [Wink]
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Chreese Sroup
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I prefer ski-land usa. Or grand canyon USA.

And I have a sudden feeling of deja vu; I think I had this conversation in a thread about 2 years ago here on hatrack...

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smitty
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Is Utah still a state?

j/k, would actually like to visit it someday

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Artemisia Tridentata
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quote:
I think a Mormon running as a Democrat would do much better than a Mormon running as a Republican
He would never take it. But, if he would: HARRY REID FOR PRESIDENT! That would be awsome. We would not only have an honest man as president,( remember Jimmy Carter ) we would also have a skilled politician. ( don't remember Jimmy Carter )
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Brian J. Hill
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MITT ROMNEY FOR PRESIDENT! That would be awsome. We would not only have an honest man as president,( remember Jimmy Carter ) we would also have a skilled politician. ( don't remember Jimmy Carter )
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Nikisknight
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I'd like to think grown-up southerners are mature enough to realise that having a leader that supports your values (or has any to begin with) is more important than someone who shares your theology.

This is what I've grown to realize over the last few years, namely that there are Christians who may agree about who Jesus is, but have no more values in common than any other two Americans. And Mormons, who I thought of (well frankly still do) as having a lot of "weird" ideas, are usually people who's ideas of good and bad match up with mine more often than not.

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Artemisia Tridentata
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Brian, the fact is that any Republican is going to have to run as a Republician. Next exection that is going to be a big problem unless the Democrats shoot themselves in both feet.
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Brian J. Hill
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Artemisia, perhaps. But you are assuming that things in the world (especially in Iraq) will continue as they are over the course of the next two years. IMHO, this is unlikely. From my perspective, I have seen steady progress being made in Iraq over the past 2 years. The pace of the progress has been slow and rather frustrating, but has been in the right direction. I anticipate that if the elections run relatively smoothly, and the resulting parliament doesn't get too bogged down with political and tribal infighting to accomplish anything (I admit those are big "ifs") then the pace of progress will speed up.

If contions in Iraq are such that the troop levels will be able to decrease significantly, and I anticipate they will, then President Bush will get credit for "bringing home the troops." Whether that credit should go to Bush or someone else is irrelevant. Nonetheless, if Iraq improves, and barring a tremendous economic downturn, it won't be as hard as some are suggesting to get elected as a Republican.

That being said, I'm skeptical about Mitt getting through the primaries. If he does throw his hat into the ring, I'll do everything in my power to help him get elected. He definitely fits my model of what I look for in a president, much more so than Bush does.

The problem with being a Democrat now is that in order to have good chances of being elected, the situation in Iraq has to deteriorate over the next 2 years or our economy has to fail. I'd hate to be in a position where national failure=political success.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Originally posted by Amanecer:
quote:
That's probably because there's no propaganda machine against the Mormons up there like there is down in the South.
*looks for propaganda machine* *does not see one*

I'm not saying that the South doesn't have its biases. I just think they go against any religion that's not mainstream Christian, and even that limitation is questionable depending on the group. I don't think Mormons are singled out.

I don't know if Mormons were the only ones singled out in Texas, but we certainly were. They would have big sermons and conferences specifically about how Mormons were evil, weren't Christians, were Satanists, how you shouldn't let your children be friends with them, how you shouldn't let the missionaries through your door, and how to beat them at your own game if you ever do talk with them.

Perhaps they did this with Catholics as well. I don't know. But I know they did this with Mormons.

Granted, this was twenty years ago, and maybe things are much better now. But back then they would have a push about once a year.

There was some of that where I was in Oklahoma, but it not nearly as focused towards the Mormons in particular -- the Mormons were lumped into the big "THEM" that they needed to fight against.

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smitty
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Holy Cow! Getting more and more ashamed for not standing up for my Mormon bud in HS when he was razzed, and that was stupid crap - how do people actually preach that garbage?
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mr_porteiro_head
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I'm not saying that everybody does it, but in the town where I was a kid, yes, there were people who really did preach that from the pulpit.

There were some kids who were honestly surprised to discover that I didn't have horns on my head. [Evil Laugh]

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Scott R
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>>There were some kids who were honestly surprised to discover that I didn't have horns on my head.<<

And oddly, the first time I ever heard that particular bit of nonsense preached was in Wisconsin, from a friend who'd heard a speaker talk about it at the Lutheran school in town.

Like I said, there are idiots everywhere.

I spent 10 years in Texas public schools, in a small Texas town, and was never ever ostracized because of my religion.

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Tatiana
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My boss who attended a Christian "Bible" church, fairly fundamentalist and literalist, told me that they had speakers come to their church to teach about the evils of being Mormon. They taught a twisted version of our doctrine to make it sound as bad as possible. I think the reason they do that is that they're worried about losing their congregations to a church that does so much missionary work and who are appealing in other ways, like strong families, committment to values, etc.

When the temple opened here in Birmingham, some of the local Protestant fundie churches staged protests and handed out flyers across the street from the temple site.

That same boss told me "the devil got hold of you" when I joined the church. Another time a lady whose pet-sitting service I was using while I was out of town, happened to be there when the missionaries dropped by to say hi. Thereafter she brought me anti-Mormon literature to try to save me from their influence. I told her I was already a member of the church. I didn't have occasion to use her services after that so I don't know if she would have refused or what.

My mother and father (who are reasonably well-educated people and definitely not fundamentalist Protestants) told me that they decided I had "turned off my brain" when I joined the church. My mom's sister who lived most of her life in California did help some by being delighted that I was LDS and telling mom that she knew some really great people in CA who were LDS. It also helped, I think, that the fundies were protesting us. Mom isn't usually in agreement with that segment of the political spectrum.

I think the fact that Mormons are so rare around here really helps add to the problem. Most people don't have any actual real life LDS friends to counteract the negative propaganda. But yes, I've seen far more anti-Mormon reactions around here in the few years I've been a member of the church, than I ever did anti-Catholic reactions the whole time I was growing up Catholic.

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Paul Goldner
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I really can't understand how ANYONE would vote for mitt after looking at his record in MA. The man is basically controlled by his campaign donors (you can tell because he flip flops based on who is currently giving him money). And he's not only incompetent, he appears to be maliciously incompetent. Everything he does seems designed to wreck whatever he says he's trying to fix... seriously.

Before you decide you might want to vote for this man, please look at his record carefully. He's not worthy of being president. He's all the incompetence of Bush rolled up with the political trustworthiness of Nixon.

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Artemisia Tridentata
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Brian: No arguement on the Iraq thing. It needed to be done, and would have been hard for any administration. It's Bush's untentable record on domestic issues; the economy, the environment, and the massive, unprecidented, influence peddling that will sink them.
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Scott R
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Instead of just lambasting Mitt, why not provide some substance for those interested?

Democratic Party Chair Blasts Romney Record on Jobs, March 2004

Mitt Romney on the Issues-- July 2005

Dems welcome Romney-- March 2002

Mitt vs. Microsoft

Mitt : Flip Flopper Hall of Fame

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Paul Goldner
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"Instead of just lambasting Mitt, why not provide some substance for those interested?"

Because for something like this I tend to let people find their own sources? I think its more likely that they'll change their minds that way.

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TomDavidson
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quote:

I'd like to think grown-up southerners are mature enough to realise that having a leader that supports your values (or has any to begin with) is more important than someone who shares your theology.

A truly surprising number of people think that values are inseparable from theology.
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Bokonon
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Scott, I remember hearing on the radio this past summer that he's recently taken a much more hardline stance on abortion, right around the same time as he started speaking at all sorts of conservative think-tank conferences. Then there was the gas tax hike proposal that he was categorical against, and then for, and then just dropped it completely.

-Bok

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Scott R
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Hey, I don't have an opinion on the guy.

Personally, I don't really WANT a Mormon president. What if he's corrupt? What if he's just. . . terrible? Ugh-- we've got enough bad apples under the covers, we don't really need one in the international limelight.

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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Is there any reason for a non-mormon to vote for him? I've heard him speak a few times, and he strikes me a just another bland politician with the regular assortment of skeletons in his closet. Until he displays a piercing insight into the American soul, he is just another dude. At least with Clinton and Rice, they put something on the table for me to reject. I do reject them.

And Obama, well, the only thing Obama has done wrong is not gotten back to me about getting a job in his Chicago Office. Obama almost has Messiah status in my esteem. Instead of saying my prayers to various Sts., I almost find myself praying to him.

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theamazeeaz
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As an atheist from a Catholic family, I've attended pretty much only Catholic Mass. I went literally once to a (Congregationalist) service. My old Girl Scout troop was getting their Silver Awards, and since we had met in their basement for years, why not put it into the service.
What a culture shock! I had vaguely heard complaints that the Catholic church had too much regid ceremony, and seeing this service, I saw where it came from. The congregation was about 30 people, intimate enough to embarrass the crap out of its teenage member by singing Happy Birthday to her as part of the service.
It was fascinating from a cultural standpoint, especially when the Pastor came to what was more or less the Homily. It was the Martin Luther story, complete with the "good works because you're saved not to be saved" spiel given far more clearly and believeably than in my Public School history class. It made sense, but what struck me was the necessity to constantly compare Congregational thought to Catholic thought, to say we're not Catholic and here's why. Yes, one was derived from the other, but why talk about what somebody else believes? Just keeping the Protest in Protestant I guess.
In all the years I went to Mass and CCD, the subject of other sects of Christianity NEVER came up. The only other religion we ever mentioned was Judiasm, which came up quite naturally in some instances, but there was one time when we watched a movie on a Catholic family who harbored Jews in Nazi Germany, got caught, went to the Concentration camps, and survived because they were eventually released as policticals. We also watched a video about the KKK harasing Jews on the West Coast (I think in Washington). It was pretty disturbing stuff: a whisper in the back of my mind wanted to ask if things like this ever happened to Catholics, but the question seemed weirdly out of place, because the horrible things on that video don't happen here (as far as I've ever known). I had heard that maybe Catholic weren't quite accepted, but wasn't really sure: where I'm from, most people are Catholic, so to me, being Catholic does not give you a relgious "identity"- you're just like everyone else, and don't pay much attention to the idea.
It wasn't until High School that I had, a close, relgious not-Catholic (Anglican) friend that I understood there were other strong religous identies who really needed to remind people that they weren't Catholic: there were all sorts of churches in town, and some people went to them too. But people always went to the same church when they decided to go(we never went to any other Catholic churches even though some people in town did (father George was rather unpopular in the early 90s), because ours was within walking distance), so it was all the same to me. I think I was fifteen or sixteen when I realized that only Catholics do the sign of the Cross when they pray.

I'm not trying to be offensive here, and forgive me if any of my experiences sound that way. As you grow up, you see the world from one point of view and it slowly gets peeled away. What I'm trying to say is that my religious upbringing taught me that there were two religions in this world: Catholicism and Judiasm, and while Catholics weren't Jews, Jews, on the whole, were okay people who just didn't believe in Jesus. Catholics, on the other hand, believed in what the Jews did, plus the Jesus stuff, which is very important, so we don't celebrate Hannukah or Passover, even though we share in Moses and the ten commandments.
But there was nothing about the other Christian religons. Really, nothing, and I'm curious as to why.

My own personal guess could be summed up with a quote from Ender's Game, the one where Val tells Peters that "Demosthenes isn't going to notice that Locke exists, ever". Are we deliberatly pretending the Protestant Reformation didn't happen in CCD, or are we taking a moral high ground, refusing to play the "we're not you" game. Or do the CCD people find that they can't and don't want to have a serious relgions discussion about what it means to be Catholic because some kids may leave with theological differences that will make them not want to be Catholic (counteracting the purpose of CCD). Trying to tell the Confirmation students that God doesn't like abortions was bad enough.

So, hatracks of all relgions, I have some questions. Not trying to offend, just curious about how the world works outside mine.

What relgion are you?
Do representives (sunday school, ccd teachers, ministers, priests etc.) of your relgion ever compare your relgion to other people's?
What sort of things do they say?
If you are a member of a non-Catholic but Christian religon, how important is the idea of "not Catholic" to your religion? Is it mentioned a lot, or do you think was I lucky to sit in on the biannual "this is why we are Protestant" speech?
Americans, was the fact that John Kerry is Catholic ever mentioned at Mass/the service (I only attend when my family drags me to Mass when I'm home, so I never saw if this came up)? What opinions were given?
If you voted in the 2004 election, did Kerry's religion (or Bush's) sway your choice?


Wow. That was long and slightly irrelevant, but I wanted to say it. Thanks for reading.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
What relgion are you?
LDS/Mormon

quote:
Do representives (sunday school, ccd teachers, ministers, priests etc.) of your relgion ever compare your relgion to other people's?
That's not quite a fair question. In our church, most peopleare as much a "representitive" as anybody else. If you're a sunday school teacher this month you might not be next month.

But to answer your questions, sometimes the beliefs of other religious come up, usually in the context of "This is why we believe X, even though others don't." Sometimes individuals go beyond that and talk about why Y group is wrong, but usually not.

quote:
If you are a member of a non-Catholic but Christian religon, how important is the idea of "not Catholic" to your religion? Is it mentioned a lot, or do you think was I lucky to sit in on the biannual "this is why we are Protestant" speech?
Not important at all. We view catholicism as pretty much just another Christian church.

quote:
If you voted in the 2004 election, did Kerry's religion (or Bush's) sway your choice?
No.
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Amanecer
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quote:
I don't know if Mormons were the only ones singled out in Texas, but we certainly were. They would have big sermons and conferences specifically about how Mormons were evil, weren't Christians, were Satanists, how you shouldn't let your children be friends with them, how you shouldn't let the missionaries through your door, and how to beat them at your own game if you ever do talk with them.
It's always sad to hear things like this and I'm sorry that happened in the town where you lived. However, I don't that that one town is representative of the entire South. I think it likely that anywhere Mormons have a strong influence, the local pastors will explain why they believe Mormons are incorrect and encourage their congregation to stay away from the missionaries. I also think that since Mormons do not believe in Christ as God in the same way that most Christians do, it's a fair interpretation of their own doctrine that they may not consider Mormons Christian. I don't think any of those actions constitute propoganda. When they cross the line to saying Mormons are evil, satanists who you should stay away from, I think that gets into propoganda territory.
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tern
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quote:
the local pastors will explain why they believe Mormons are incorrect and encourage their congregation to stay away from the missionaries. I also think that since Mormons do not believe in Christ as God in the same way that most Christians do, it's a fair interpretation of their own doctrine that they may not consider Mormons Christian. I don't think any of those actions constitute propoganda.
Given the blatant unfairness of the "Mormons are not Christian" doctrine, and the extreme distortions of Mormon beliefs by the local pastors, I'd say it definitely crosses over into propaganda territory. Oh well, you haven't lived until someone tells you you're going to Hell because you're a Mormon.
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tern
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quote:
I think it likely that anywhere Mormons have a strong influence
Which would not be the South. Utah, certainly, California, arguably, but Mormons do not have a strong influence in the South.
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smitty
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I guess I had thought OSC was being a little dramatic in "Folk of the Fringe" - couldn't imagine people today acting like that.
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EricJamesStone
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Assuming Romney were one of the two leading candidates for the Republican nomination (a big if), his chances in primaries in the South depend very much on who his opponent is. If it's a Southern conservative Republican (e.g. George Allen), Romney won't do well. If it's a Northeastern liberal Republican (e.g. Rudy Guliani), then Romney could do quite well.

Assuming he got the nomination, his chances in the general election depend a lot on the same things the general fortunes of the Republican Party depend on: how the economy and Iraq progress. But they also depend on who his opponent is. Anti-Mormon sentiment among Southern Baptists won't hurt him much if the Democrats nominate someone very liberal on social issues.

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Amanecer
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quote:
Given the blatant unfairness of the "Mormons are not Christian" doctrine
I would imagine that many people find it unfair that Mormons think that only Mormons get to recieve the highest degree of glory and meet God. However, that is Mormon doctrine and Mormons have every right to believe it. I think the same goes for the Christians who do not see Mormons as Christian.

quote:
the extreme distortions of Mormon beliefs by the local pastors
While this is quite likely true in many cases, I also think many times local pastors emphasize aspects of Mormon doctrine that Mormons feel can only be understood with more background information. I can see why this might feel like a disortion to Mormons, but I definately do not think the intent is to distort.

quote:
you haven't lived until someone tells you you're going to Hell because you're a Mormon.
Do you really think Mormons have a monopoly on being told they're going to hell?
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