Mitt Romney has presented his faith as part of the reason that people should vote for him; then when people try to examine his faith he has often accused them of being prejudiced without actually reviewing the claims being made about his faith. He seems to indicate that this is all a result of “Anti-Mormon prejudice” which dates back to the nineteenth century.
(This was originally posted on Open Salon June 26, 2012)
Whether this is true or not, he may essentially be attempting to convince people to support him because of his beliefs, while simultaneously saying they should be above scrutiny. Furthermore many other politicians may be attempting to make the same argument; regardless of who attempts this it should not be acceptable. If they don’t want their faith to be subject to scrutiny they should cite it as a reason that people should vote for them or base decisions about public policy on it.
In all fairness there has been plenty of Anti-Mormon prejudice that has gone back to the nineteenth century but there has also been a lot of research into the beliefs that shouldn’t qualify as prejudice; and furthermore once the Mormon religion became established they began developing their own prejudices about other religions and belief systems. Prejudice, or prejudgment, is based on whether people come to conclusions without checking the facts or applying scrutiny; if someone claims that others are prejudiced without actually explaining why or how, especially when some of the individuals in question may actually check the facts, then that person is making a prejudicial statement about prejudicial statements.
This has become routine for the Romney campaign.
This is especially true since the reliance on a large and devoted Mormon base is being used to help him with his campaign. And, quite frankly, there should be some doubts about whether or not these people understand the issues or they’re just going along with the crowd and supporting Mitt Romney based on his faith regardless of his position on the positions that may be contrary to their own best interests. This may sound like prejudice to many people; however after reviewing many aspects of the Mormon religion I think that a review of the facts might support this possibility.
It would be perfectly reasonable, and even advisable for people to be skeptical of this possibility at least until after understanding how I came to have these doubts, unless perhaps, some people came to their own conclusion based on their own knowledge of the Mormon religion. I covered the history of the Mormon religion, and how I came to some of my conclusions, generally speaking, in several of my past posts including A Brief History of the Mormon Religion, Mitt Romney’s Mormon prophets and The Assassination of the first Mormon Presidential Nominee. These posts include sources from several different points of view, including some that have researched the subject more thoroughly than I, and explain many of the details of the religion. This is a religion that essentially has its leaders dictate the truth to the followers and strongly discourages scrutiny in most cases. However a close look at the history of the religion indicates that some of the founders argued against this practice at times; unfortunately some of those same founders also made arguments supporting these practices.
This means that, like many other religions, there are plenty of contradictions that need to be sorted out.
Fortunately some of the people that have done the most to sort out these contradictions are Mormons or ex-Mormons. Unfortunately they have usually had to do this against the wishes of the leadership and have had to either walk a fine line to avoid excommunication, conduct their research in secret, or anonymously or leave the Church before being excommunicated. Furthermore these are not the people that get the most attention in the corporate media; in fact, in most cases they don’t seem to get much if any attention at all unless you look at alternative media outlets.
Furthermore throughout history countries have fought one war after another over religion without allowing rational scrutiny in most cases and religion continues to be used as part of the argument against other candidates, including those that oppose Romney. Why would it be rational to accuse Barack Obama of being unqualified because of his religious beliefs while putting Mitt Romney’s off limits? This is especially important since the criticism about Mitt Romney’s religion might have more truth to it than that of Barack Obama’s. Furthermore I suspect that they’re both using religion as a method to attract support without reviewing the issues; Obama may not be much if any better than Romney when it comes to most issues.
Another question that might be worth considering is why the Mormons support him so strongly when he has an enormous problem telling the public what his positions are or telling the truth at all. This seems to imply that their support may not have much if anything to do with his positions; they may just be supporting him because he is the right religion and that is who their leaders have told them to support.
As the following article indicates he has an enormous campaign base in Utah and this story as well as others clearly indicates that they support him strongly and are being used as a major campaign resource. If this was based on rational support then it shouldn’t be a problem but if it is based on a cult following then the rest of the public should know why Mitt’s constituency supports him. Furthermore the public should understand how his religion might affect his actions as president.
A close look at the article seems to indicate that officially the church doesn’t endorse political activity and is neutral; however in practice there is some reason to believe that this may not be the way it is actually working out. It seems clear that a large portion of the Romney campaign is Mormon and that his campaign wouldn’t be nearly as strong without this support. The Mormon upbringing that most of these supporters may have a major impact on why they support Romney so strongly without asking questions about his constant flip flops or lies.
As I indicated in some of my previous blogs about Mormons, one of the most important things that they’ve been taught from early childhood is that they should believe what they’re told from their leaders and they should be obedient.
This would explain why they accept a religion that was established from a man who allegedly received messages from God while holding his face in his hat, (Source: Mormon Think, original source is actually the immediate followers of Joseph Smith according to written history) and dictating a new version of history that is overwhelmingly refuted by facts and research. It might also explain why they don’t think much if at all about the enormous amount of lies being told by Mitt Romney and the fact that he has routinely flip flopped on his beliefs. Mormons and other religions often use intimidation, sarcasm and other manipulation tactics to present their version of the truth to their followers without allowing scrutiny.
This is actually quite common when it comes to the beliefs of the Mormon religion and the most devout followers believe what they’re told. These lies have been compiled in a long collection as part of a weekly series, Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XXIII (latest episode) on the Rachel Maddow blog that is often featured on her show. This series has compiled a list of hundreds of lies that Romney routinely tells and rarely ever acknowledges critics or stops telling them when he is caught.
This is an enormous list of lies that should clearly indicate that Mitt Romney can’t be trusted to be dog catcher let alone president if they’re true. In all fairness many of them are redundant and they report on the fact that he keeps telling the same lies over and over again. However this doesn’t make it much if any better; in fact this is a standard propaganda method; if you tell a lie often enough without scrutiny then it seems like the truth. In this case it is getting plenty of scrutiny and you would think that it wouldn’t work at all. Or if there are problems with the claims that Mitt Romney is lying then they could review the claims and address the details one after another proving that his accusers are actually the ones that are lying. This doesn’t seem to be what they’re doing at all; presumably because the accusers aren’t actually the ones lying, although in some cases a minor amount of spin, at least, is inevitable when they provide this much coverage. Instead they seem to be ignoring the claims that he is lying all the time and they continue to support him without question.
How could anyone possibly support this method of campaigning?
As far as I can figure they simply don’t take it into consideration or perhaps they dismiss it as liberal propaganda without checking facts. This isn’t uncommon when it comes to devout believers in a religion; they’re often taught that they should only listen to their own leaders and in many cases they’re even told that others are trying to lead them astray often as part of Satan’s plan to lead them into temptation. Ironically if they don’t scrutinize their own leaders they could be the ones leading them into temptation in many cases.
Whether it is Mormon supporters or not the next question might be, if they aren’t campaigning by discussing the issues in an honest manner what methods do they think are appropriate to campaign?
Apparently they arrange for hecklers to do their campaigning for them, or at least give them tacit approval.
These are exceptionally well dressed hecklers but I don’t see how this could possibly be considered an appropriate manner to campaign for office in a system that pretends to be democratic.
A democratic system should focus more on discussing the issues in a manner that enables all of the members of the public to understand them and participate in the decision making process. This clearly isn’t what our system is doing and the willingness of many people to follow the leader without question is a major part of the reason for this. My best guess is that these hecklers have been instructed to do this by their leaders. Even if they weren’t Mitt Romney’s statements about the subject clearly indicates that he approves and I suspect that if he objected that this would end immediately; or at least the heckling that is being intentionally organized would end immediately.
Apparently Mitt Romney may not be the only one that is relying on Hecklers; according to some stories including, Anti-Romney Protesters Say They're Paid To Heckle, the Obama campaign is doing the same thing despite their denials of it; although a close look at the article might indicate that another possibility is that they’re spreading misinformation.
There should be major doubts about the effectiveness of this tactic which is utterly absurd and counterproductive. Most hecklers are almost certainly those that are fed up and often have a hard time getting their point across when the establishment refuses to give them an opportunity to speak in a forum that has a chance to reach a large audience. Even if there are some doubts whether it is the campaigns that are doing this or there are some people making it up to discredit the campaign in question if there is little or no discussion about the issues from either campaign then this is all the more reason to support other alternatives that aren’t being presented by the corporate media. This may be an indication that blind support may be involved in both campaigns from many people.
This shouldn’t be considered an acceptable way of electing our officials by anyone but if religious people, or any other people, are taught in this manner from birth then they may not recognize it as being unacceptable.
Many of Romney’s supporters are apparently taught from birth to blindly adopt the beliefs of their leaders and obey. This includes the Mormons and it may also include many of the people that have been opposed to the Mormons but have now been encouraged to support Romney at least for the duration of the election. Many of the Christian evangelicals that have normally opposed Mormonism because they consider it a “cult” are being encouraged by people like Robert Jeffress, who once said that he would “hold my nose” and vote for Romney if he became the nominee. Fortunately I find it hard to believe that many of the people involved in the evangelical movement are inclined to follow this endorsement especially those that are familiar with all the evangelical Anti-Mormon preaching and websites. Some of the most common Anti-Mormon movements are those that are trying to recruit them back to other Christian religion.
In fact it appears as if this election cycle could bring about many more discussions between different religions about their beliefs. Some members of the Mormon Church seem to consider it an opportunity to teach others about their religion and even convert more people; the problem with that is that it may also draw more attention to their religion and make it harder to ignore the flaws in it. Part of the method that many religions preserve their following when they have a flawed belief system is by keeping them segregated from different ideas. Furthermore if they attempt to use this as an opportunity to increase awareness to their religion it is virtually guaranteed that people with other beliefs including traditional Christians and atheists might make more efforts to educate the public about the flaws and it could lead to a major loss of support for the Romney campaign.
The following are a sample of some of the recent articles that have been published about the subject.
This is just a small sample of the articles being published about this issue; and it is inevitable that even if the media doesn’t cover it much there will be an enormous amount of discussions at the grass roots level about this issue in the next few months; and many people may decide how to vote or whether or not to change religions as a result of it. There are mixed messages being sent about whether or not there will be attempts to convert people or not; while the first article says that they’re not trying to do so later on in the article they say, “….and some local leaders have been pointed in telling congregations not to quote from non-official LDS publications.” (full context)
A close look at the article indicates that they might be putting out mixed messages and it may be hard to tell whether or not they’re following the claims that they’re not trying to use this as an opportunity to convert people or not. If they do then they may find that it might backfire and lead people to decline to support Romney in some cases where they would otherwise have supported him. This will increase awareness of many of the unusual aspects of this religion and raise many new doubts. Inevitably many of the Mormons may call this additional persecution when people hold their beliefs to scrutiny. Whether this claim is accurate or not may depend on how they’re scrutinized; if the people reviewing them attempt to use the opportunity to argue in favor of another religion that has as many flaws as Mormonism replacing one superstition with another then there could be some truth to this. If on the other hand those scrutinizing the Mormon religion are pointing out legitimate flaws with it then the Mormons may only consider it persecution if they’ve been taught to perceive scrutiny as persecution, which many religious people have been, including Mormons.
These discussions will almost certainly be impacted by stories about Mormon extremism that is still going on including the FLDS led by Warren Jeffs. Stories like the following are bound to be taken into consideration by some people.
The Mormons will inevitably claim that the FLDS is no longer part of the real Mormon Church, and in some ways this will be true; however it is very similar to the earlier stories about the church from history that took place in the late nineteenth century and even in the early twentieth century. The end of the article claims that the Mormon Church abandoned Polygamy in 1890 which is officially when they did so; however in practice they kept it hidden and it didn’t actually end for decades after that while they gradually reduced and eventually eliminated it. This was done only reluctantly when they had to to maintain their status as a legitimate religion in the US and they made a claim that it was a result of a “revelation” from God which happened to come at the same time as it became politically inconvenient for them to maintain it. Many of their other “revelations” came at times when they were convenient as well.
The traditional church is clearly not as extreme as Warren Jeffs cult but they almost certainly are more extreme than most other religions that are widely practiced. A more rational example of how some members of the current church might be inclined to behave in some cases could be the recent story about a mother that was told that she could reduce her daughters punishment by cutting her hair in the court room, Eye for an eye, hair for hair? Judge orders Price woman to cut off daughter's ponytail in court. The behavior of the children in this story is clearly inappropriate but if they were raised in an environment where this type of treatment was considered acceptable then it’s conceivable that the children learned this type of behavior from the adults that raised her. It may seem to many that the adults behaved even more inappropriately; the mother of the victim complained when she didn’t initially cut it short enough. The mother of the perpetrator may not have taught her daughter well enough in the first place and the fact that she was so quick to cut her daughters hair without questioning the judge seems to imply that she was inclined to obey authority without question. It wasn’t until later that she decided to file a complaint.
It isn’t guaranteed that these people involved are Mormon but in Utah Mormonism is the dominant religion and it impacts everyone even if they aren’t part of the religion. Furthermore the behavior described clearly does fit the pattern of behavior of the Mormon religion.
Some of the most thorough research on Mormonism has often come from more moderate Mormons including those that maintain the website Mormon think who have raised many important questions about the legitimacy of the Mormon religion. These are mostly Mormons that have had first hand experience with the church including many that still participate in the Church. This may, in many cases, be because they were raised in the church and they may be closely tied to other Church members. When people leave the church they’re often ostracized which is why some of them tend to keep quit about their doubts.
The people at Mormon think have raised some legitimate question about Mitt Romney, or quoted from others that have done so in a page devoted to Mitt Romney. This includes many doubts from his own cousin, Park Romney, who has left the Church and has done his own work to debunk the Church, although a lot of it has a lot in common with other efforts to debunk the religion. It also includes an alleged “White Horse Prophecy” which is considered controversial and many doubt its legitimacy; however if others believe it then they may act accordingly and it could impact the country if they have a sufficient amount of power.
Clearly the public should take a much closer look at any issue that could have a major impact on how our country is run including religion before choosing a president. This is especially true when a large segment of the political establishment has been behaving in such an irrational manner, which is the only way someone like Mitt Romney could have obtained the nomination. If the electorate had a better choice he almost certainly wouldn’t have gotten the nomination in the first place.
This doesn’t mean that we should blindly go for the only other candidate that the traditional media is presenting to the public as “viable” though. The fact that the corporate media which had control over the vast majority of the coverage that enabled Mitt Romney to gain the nomination didn’t cover him better should also raise doubts about whether they covered Barack Obama adequately or not. The corporate media has also declined to cover many of the other lesser known candidates for the presidency that are listed at Project Vote Smart including Jill Stein, whom I reviewed previously. It should be clear that the corporate media isn’t trying to provide coverage on many of the most important issues that impact the public and we shouldn’t continue to allow them to decide who our presidential candidates are or any other candidates for public office.
Accepting the claim that refusing to vote for the candidates sponsored by the corporations is “throwing away your vote” guarantees that the corporations can continue to choose only candidates that will carry out their agenda without any real scrutiny from the public. The truth is that if you vote for candidates that have taken hundreds of millions of dollars from the corporations who want a return on their investment then you will be “throwing away your vote.”
This effectively ensures that there will be no reform in the system and many of the same people that finance Romney’s campaign will continue to hedge their bets and finance Obama’s campaign. Obama has proven repeatedly that he would be willing to do what he can to give them their money’s worth. In many cases he has made promises before the election and forgotten them after the election and when he has responded to the will of the people it has only been after a massive uproar like the black out when they attempted to pass SOPA and PIPA. This is just one of many other examples; he has also indicated that when it comes to protecting the environment he does so only when attention is drawn to it; he will continue to fight wars based on lies; his attempts to stand up to Wall Street have been limited to lip service and many other issues.
This won’t end until the public makes it clear that they’re not dumb enough to believe the corporate media and the political establishment anymore!!
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