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Bay Area Atheists/Agnostics/Humanists/Freethinkers/Skeptics Message Board › "Does Romney's Religious Devotion Make Him More, or Less, Trustworthy?&

"Does Romney's Religious Devotion Make Him More, or Less, Trustworthy?"

user 9892369
San Ramon, CA
Post #: 433
[continued from parts 1 and 2]­

MormonWiki contains a section titled, Lying for the Lord, which "refers to the practice of lying to protect the image of and belief in the Mormon religion." At other sites, apostate Mormons discuss the practice, although much of what they discuss is something more subtle than outright lying. One former Mormon reports, "When I was a missionary, the church's official Missionary Guide instructed missionaries to avoid providing direct answers or solutions to investigators' questions or concerns" (an investigator is someone who is considering becoming a Mormon). He goes on to say that most missionaries are doing the best they can in an untenable situation, and contrasts a Mormon missionary's desire for integrity with the objectives of the religion itself: "I wonder if it might be fair to say that ... the system which puts missionaries in the line of rhetorical fire without providing them with the information necessary to craft meaningful answers to legitimate questions about the church is a form of collective sophistry?"

There's a reason some answers are to be avoided: they aren't conducive to belief. Mormon leader Boyd K. Packer, the second-most-senior leader in the Mormon Church, had this to say: "There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not. Some things that are true are not very useful."

Boyd also has expressed sentiments very similar to those of Evangelical apologist, Archer:

It is a matter of orientation toward scholarly work - historians' work in particular - that sponsors my concern. I have come to believe that it is the tendency for most members of the Church who spend a great deal of time in academic research to begin to judge the Church, its doctrine, organization, and history, by the principles of their own profession.... In my mind it ought to be the other way around. A member of the Church ought always, particularly if he is pursuing extended academic studies, to judge the professions of men against the revealed word of the Lord.

This is the mindset to which Romney is spiritually accountable.

The line between church and state has blurred in recent years. When John F. Kennedy ran for president as a member of a religious minority, he took great pains to assure the American people that he respected and would enforce separation of church and state. Romney offers no such assurance. Unlike Kennedy, who was merely a lay Catholic, Romney served as a bishop in the Mormon church, leading rituals and offering spiritual advice to lower-level Mormons, and wealthy co-religionists have poured money into PACs that support his election because they see him as someone who shares their worldview. Barack Obama grants regular White House access to the Catholic bishops and their proxies, and one has to presume that, should they want it, Mormon bishops might have similar access under Romney. Thus, it is reasonable to ask how Mormon culture and dogmas are likely to affect policymaking.

Many of us are hungry for data-driven policies and public servants who are willing to hear and speak hard truths. On both sides of the aisle, people are weary of politicians who calculate the likely effect of a statement rather than assessing its truth value. Should Romney be elected, many Americans will want to believe that having a devout Mormon in the presidency is one of the circumstances when religion increases integrity.

Unfortunately, in this regard, Romney's religion offers little in the way of assurance. Mormon belief may suppress outright lies in social situations and foster trust between business partners, especially among the faithful. But when it comes to the matter of helping cherished ideologies and groups gain ground, Romney's relevant seminary lesson may well have been that the means serves the end.

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

Valerie Tarico
Valerie Tarico is a psychologist. She is the author of 'Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light." She is also the founder of
A former member
Post #: 5
Given that the LDS Church is more of a movement than a "religion" (compared with previous major religions), a Mormon leader is likely to have experience in assessing political considerations just as much as exercising dogmatic purity. Mitt Romney's pronounced "flexibility" in policy pronouncements shows that he is more "political" than "doctrinaire." This is in contrast with his own father (his is an interesting career, beginning as a junior lobbyist in Washington, D.C., after following his girlfriend to the city, where her father had taken a bureaucratic job in the Coolidge Administration), who on several key national political issues followed his own sense of social justice and broke with the LDS Church leadership to find his own way to political success as governor of Michigan.
A former member
Post #: 4
Romneys political and social views made him totally untrustworthy. Even though the election is over, his snickering arrogance was unreal and horrifying. The various websites stated that his horrible views on womens rights were such that most women did not vote for him. He is against privacy for sexual matters, abortion, contraception, legal drugs, drinking etc. Even the conservatives said that Ryan was a really dumb choice.
Although maybe not true, some blogs said that Ryan used to be a fundamentalist preacher. Other blogs stated that Romney would have been a disaster for the United States. Some writers claimed that he wanted Robert Bork on the top committee for the Supreme Court. I knew jerks in high school that had the Romney smirk-the same nasty mentality. They think that they are superior to everyone else.
As shown on the electoral college, it was mainly the fundamentalist south, various red states and mormons who voted for Romney. He had the arrogance to even write up a victory speech etc. well before he was destroyed in the election. Political cartoonists stated that most women could not stand him.
At the democratic convention some speakers said that Romney made money by getting rid of jobs and careers.
The scary part was that the other relegious conservatives on tv thought that Romney would absolutely win-no question. They must feel like real fools now.
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