Youtube Video: Romney and Religion: Is America Ready for a Mormon President?
I am glad some people are saying the things I have thought about a Mormon running for president of the USA:
If you like the short video, here's the long one:
He doesn't like the French but I bet his tongue will wag when he meets Mrs. Sarcozy.
I'm so delighted that a candidate's church is all of a sudden back on the table as valid political discussion after a notable four year absence. After all, I'm much more comfortable with a president whose preacher wont speak to him because the Jews wont let him, and because the government he now represents created AIDS in laboratories to kill blacks.
Yeah, it would be great if candidates in the USA could be openly atheist. Well, some are openly gay now, so it will happen one day.
A candidate's nutty preacher is not the same as a cult member like a JW or Mormon or Scientologist. Everyone guesses that Obama is, like most politicians, a fake or casual Christian. I hope Romney is a fake or casual Mormon, but the odds decrease with these cults.
I could just as easily pick on Rick Perry or Santorum. I don't think they faked their beliefs, but wear them in public.
Abrahamic religions can be Orthodox, Conservative, Liberal, or Progressive/Re-
form. If you're going to go Abrahamic, I'd recomend Progressive/Reform. Given
some of Obama's stances, such as on homosexuality, he's probably Progressive/
"The United Church of Christ (UCC) is a mainline Protestant Christian denomin-
ation primarily in the Reformed tradition but also historically influenced by
The Republicans seem to be Conservative--Christian right.
Romney seems to waffle between Conservative and Liberal:
"Romney tried to balance the conservative dogma insisted upon by the church
leadership in Utah with the desire by some Massachusetts members to have a more
flexible application of doctrine. He agreed with some modest requests from the
liberal women's group Exponent II for changes in the way the church dealt with
women, but clashed with women who he felt were departing too much from doctrine.
In particular, he counseled women not to have abortions except in the rare cases
allowed by LDS doctrine, and also in accordance with doctrine encouraged
prospective mothers to give up children for adoption when a successful marriage
was not present."
I think it's hard to be widely successful in any public sphere without being able to keep a verbal distance between your faith and your Recorded statements. Santorum crosses that line continually and so is almost certain to be unsuccessful as a presidential candidate. Romney would be unelectable if he ever appeared in public wearing his temple robes or spoke even remotely in defence of a Mormon specific policy ( like intervening to get missionary access to a country in return for foreign aid ) and rightly so. I think to see how his religion influences his public life you need to look at his previous jobs.
What I see is the archetypal Mormon stake president - stake presidents are generally elected ( cough chosen by the spirit) because they are negotiators, fiscally sound, have a solid traditional family relationship, loyal to authority, not boat rockers, good listeners and father like. As a SP you need to sit through the trials and tribulations of congregation members as they come to confessional style meetings where the SP is guided to balance mercy and judgement with the overall aim of getting individuals to fix their spiritual and physical lives and become mentally and materially self sufficient. As such Mitt will be quite in touch with the arguments put forward by different sectors of society ( albeit working class, middle class and cash class Mormons.) in short Mitt's strength will never be on the stage it will be in the post address strategy meeting. This is a problem for him as President - the calm, negotiator stle leadership that serves well in mormondom isn't necessarily what is useful for leading a nation where a bit of fire and inspirational chutzpah are often critical ( Churchill, Napoleon, Reagan etc).
Should Romney get elected, other than a hardening of the 'gays destroy marriage' tripe, it's hard to see what part of current Mormon theology will affect his stances given that the church heirarchy is currently scrambling to erase its socially crippling past and present a mainstream, apple-pie religion. Mormonism has a laid back cockiness about itself in stark contrast to the more sensationalist evangelical movements or the doom laden JWs. Mormonism isn't overly obsessed about the second coming or in putting in place rapture/ Armageddon scenarios partially because it put in place extra unachievable steps as signs of the times ( like building an actual Zion in Missouri) so with those mental buffers they don't need to sweat about the other nastier signs of the times, I.e. the second coming isn't just around the corner.
While many may mock the concept of becoming a god it has one very positive side effect. Mormon teachings see this life as being a place to self improve and get ready for great responsibility by self sufficiency, education and life success. These fit quite well with core republican aims. Mormonism also has quite a practical side to it involving preparation ( food storage etc) and charity ( Welfare Square ) which is partially why Romney wouldn't have struggled to pass Romneycare and could live with Obamacare ( it's not fundamentally a bad program - its just not a clearly costed program.) Mormonism is strong on self sufficiency and always tries to tie charity to enabling the recipient to pay back ( so a family getting its groceries paid will be expected to go clean the church for a few hours each week etc ) however, the church also will give untied aid when the need is urgent rather than long term. Mormonism is a good synthesis of Republican' work for what you get' and the Democrats 'compassionate state' approaches. In fact historical Mormonism has closer roots to Communism than many might know ( see United Order ) even though recent church leaders have shown near hatred of Russian Communism.
Lets finally look at the most Mormon views that could cause issues for a Mormon president:
1/ marriage - Mormonism cannot allow Romney to champion legalising gay marriage since it has tied itself to that mast. Gay marriage is also seen as a gateway to polygamous marriage the legalisation of which could kill the Mormon church from within.
2/ American exceptionalism. - Mormons really believe the New Jerusalem will be built in the US. America is part of Gods divine plan ergo it's rights must always be placed over other countries. Note Mitt's hard line stance against Russia and China. He will fight passionately to ensure America wins in trade and all international exchanges. Might make a Mitt more extreme than an Obama.
3/ social provision - expect to see this cut. Mormonism ultimately hates to waste money unless it can see a reciprocal 'improvement' in the individual. There is little tolerance for free loading or laziness. Expect a Mitt to push workfare over welfare.
4/ education - apart from ID which Mitt would potentially push but not as much as Santorum the educational system would be in good hands. Mormons like education.
5/ the biggie. Will the Mormon church try and influence public policy. Publically definitely no ( political and social suicide for Mitt and the church ) but privately - hmmmm - if you mix socially on a regular basis with Mormon aristocracy how can you not be having an influence? The most powerful person in the world will now be a phone call or an interview away from the Mormon prophet. Whatever Mitt says publically , for a true Mormon, the prophet trumps the public ( to be fair that has to be a ditto for a strong Catholic and the pope.) It is not inconceivable that a Mormon prophet could demand certain things ( Either through illness or an inflated sense of moment - and we have some nasty, arrogant bar stewards in the Mormon heirarchy) that would cause Mitt to need to either resign or do something stupid. What does a Mormon president do in a nuclear crisis if the prophet says god wants a preemptive strike? Not a good pressure in a hot moment. When it comes to government you can't afford to have a potential unelected loose cannon influencing the leader no matter how unlikely that is. Mormons truly believe they are the only true church and that they really are being led by direct revelation from heaven. Imagine some of our more convinced true believers on this forum being in charge of the country. Maybe very lovely 99% of the time but utterly capable of getting a 'message' at any time and ignoring all evidence basing action upon it.
Personally,I'd stick with Obama and get Mitt into a financial management role.
Qcmbr, you break it down pretty good. The U.S. has survived some pretty bad presidents so we would survive a Mormon.
Fiscally, Mitt seems like he's very Republican. I don't think he would be much different than most other Republicans who might get into office, as far as that goes. My opinion is that a Hilary Clinton presidency would have been virtually identical to a Barack Obama presidency. Mitt and Newt are very different, but they generally would be typical Republicans.
I am sure Gay Marriage wouldn't make much progress under his presidency, but it hasn't made much progress under a Democratic liberal either. That's pretty much a "state's rights" thing that the president is afraid to touch.
I tend to agree with any workfare vs. welfare programs. FDR's "New Deal" got America back to work after the Depression. We may need that. I seem to recall Obama suggesting something similar but the Republican congress has made sure anything Obama suggests doesn't get off the ground. If Mitt suggested some programs, Congress might want to move them along. I think Obama wanted to get people to work on the roads and bridges across the country, similar to the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) that built up many national parks and public works projects in the past. If the government is going to spend money on people anyway, that would be okay.
Qcmbr's #5 is my concern. The Mormon Church is a dangerous mind-control cult. I feel it's worse than Watchtower except for education. I know from Watchtower that the Governing Body feels way more important than ALL of the members and would hope to take advantage of one of their own in a position of power. I am confident that a Catholic president wouldn't call the Pope about important or even urgent decisions, but I am not so certain about a dangerous mind-control cult member. Cognitive Dissonance has wired brains under mind-control differently, but we also know that many JW's are not so serious about their religion and stay for family- we can only hope that Mitt is only religious as far as upbringing and family have kept him there in name only.
Romney's SuperPac was in high-gear this weekend getting the 1% to write Big Checks. They even had the gall to bring in Condolezza Rice of WMDs Iraq War fame as the featured speaker.
Where have all the flowers gone.... Pete Seeger