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Wright Words: Questions about Mitt Romney's faith are fair game

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  • yurana SANDY, UT
    Oct. 17, 2011 7:50 p.m.

    FAith is not fair game only character. Anyone who has belonged to any faith knows people they would not associate with. So faith in and of itself is too narrow. it always comes down to the person.

  • El Chango Supremo Rexburg, ID
    Oct. 17, 2011 9:34 p.m.

    I disagree... A local radio host in Arizona was railing on Mitt Romney during the last election cycle, saying that he needs to answer questions about his faith. I called the show to challenge his points. When I talked to the call screener, I was met with a bunch of classic anti-mormon arguments. On air, they were attempting to sound like they simply wanted questions answered, but when no one else was listening, they were just looking to smear a religion.

    There are so many other people running for office who belong to various different religions... Catholic, Pentecostal, Baptist, Methodist, Jewish, Lutheran, 7th day Adventist, etc... why don't they have to explain how their faith would affect them, but we do?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 17, 2011 10:02 p.m.

    It's tough to figure out where the line is but... there are some things that might affect a voter's view. If a church, for example, had a strong anti-semitic stance then a candidate of that faith would have that be a legitimate issue to Jewish voters. After all, there are some LDS voters who have voiced in these discussion boards that candidates like Huckabee last time or Perry this time lost their votes (or chances for their votes) because of things said by them or their surrogates that seemed anti-mormon which is a faith-based rejection of a candidate (oftentimes not solely faith-based, but that's still a part of it nonetheless). So there are legitimate faith related questions and concerns that can come up.

  • Midway Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 17, 2011 10:44 p.m.

    Questions about the faith are fair. Smearing the faith are not - and that is what the majority of those bringing up the faith issue are doing.

  • CougarKeith Roy, UT
    Oct. 18, 2011 1:58 a.m.

    The writer here obviously isn't sharing the same view of Obama? Obama never came clean of HIS FAITH, only that he did attend a odd doctrined church in Chicago led by one Reverend Wright, based on Black liberation Theology. He slipped in an interview talking about his "Muslim Faith", but nothing was made of that, he couldn't even produce a VALID BIRTH CERTIFICATE!!! No Certified State Seal, and questionable Etching on the boarder which could appear "Doctored". He changed his name to an Obvious Muslim Name, his Indonesian records state him as a INDONESIAN CITIZEN, not a US CITIZEN, and his religion as "ISLAM" not "Catholic" which was the school he attended where the laws of Indonesia at the time required lessons in ISLAM! Yet there is no big push into Barack Husein Obama's Religious Background, or his true citizenship. Yet here is a man who was born in the states, raised in an AMERICAN BASED FAITH, served a faithful Mission, was an EAGLE SCOUT, has been a governor, organized a very SUCCESSFUL OLYMPICS after scandle recognized and he took over, speaks a foreign language, successful businessman, as well as he's had REAL JOBS! Yet Media attacks Him??? Get Real!

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Oct. 18, 2011 4:03 a.m.

    "why don't they (other candidates) have to explain how their faith would affect them, but we do? "

    Let me try.

    - main reason - The LDS believe that their church is run by a Prophet. They believe that this person gets revelation directly from God.

    Many of the LDS that I know are extremely obedient(in my mind, to a fault) to their Religion and their Leaders. They take guidance in virtually every aspect of their lives.

    So, if you are a STAUNCH follower, and the person you believe to be a prophet of God, tells you to do something, how could you possibly ignore it?

    Now, do I believe that Romney or Huntsman would bow to a call by church leadership, or that church leadership would MAKE that call in the first place? NO, not a chance of either.

    Secondly, "you are a peculiar people" . Your religion is more "different" than most religions that people are familiar with. It would be the same with a JW or a Scientologist. Just the way it is in the Big Leagues.

    People "think" they know about the other candidates religion. Therefore no explanation necessary.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Oct. 18, 2011 8:26 a.m.

    "I'm also a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is the only faith I have ever known, and it's all I've ever wanted to know. I suspect the same is true of Romney."

    It is the only faith I have ever known, and it's all I've ever wanted to know - Maybe that lack of culture and ethnocentrism is what keeps people from wanting to like Romney.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Oct. 18, 2011 8:44 a.m.

    @CougarKeith,

    "Yet here is a man who was born in the states, raised in an AMERICAN BASED FAITH, served a faithful Mission, was an EAGLE SCOUT, has been a governor, organized a very SUCCESSFUL OLYMPICS after scandle recognized and he took over, speaks a foreign language, successful businessman, as well as he's had REAL JOBS! "

    American Based Faith - is this a prerequisite for office? America is a medley of different faiths so stop acting like Romney's LDS faith makes him an heir to the throne. You just stoke the fire for White Horse prophecy comments.

    Served a Mission - a conversion mission is not a charity mission and doesn't garner the same appreciation and respect.

    Eagle Scout - Good stuff there although it means absolutely nothing to a presidency.

    Foreign Language, Business Success, Olympics, Governor, etc .. - that's all good!

    Just cleaning up your arguments for Romney since a few were completely irellevent and only stated YOUR reasons for liking him, as opposed to true principles on why he's good for the country.

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    Oct. 18, 2011 10:00 a.m.

    CougarKeith | 1:58 a.m. Oct. 18, 2011
    Roy, UT
    "The writer here obviously isn't sharing the same view of Obama? Obama never came clean of HIS FAITH, only that he did attend a odd doctrined church in Chicago led by one Reverend Wright, based on Black liberation Theology. He slipped in an interview talking about his "Muslim Faith"...."

    Your rant is exactly why one should not listen to the hate filled talks of the extreme left or right. Every thing that you addressed are lies of the right. The anti-Mormon community is doing the same thing as your comments. If one wants to be treated civilly, one must treat the opponent civilly.

    Don't give into the lies of either extreme. Show courage and filter out the wacko comments. Concentrate on the policy issues. Those are the only ones that should count.

    Don't give into the hate.

  • Resistance Lehi, UT
    Oct. 18, 2011 10:26 a.m.

    It's interesting that so many people have so many ways to justify hating. I think if we disagree with someones politics, that's one thing. But using religion for political gain is wrong. Especially when you are lying about someone not being a Christian. I could easily vote for a Jew or an evangelical, it's not so easy to vote for a person whose Christian church curses America, but I would have done it if I didn't disagree with so many other things about Obama, but I really can't vote for someon who thinks I'm a cultist and intentionally misinforms people about me.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Oct. 18, 2011 10:39 a.m.

    It seems Romney is much more comfortable and compatiable with the Koch brothers than with most Mormons.

  • aumacoma SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 18, 2011 10:43 a.m.

    All this religious bickering needs to stop. We are a Democracy not a Theocracy. All this is proving exactly why our constitution says religion and politics need to stay out of each others business. But now we have religion pretending to be politics. This is a very dangerous situation. It was said decades ago that when Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross. Well, it looks like we are almost there.

  • ciaobello Concord, CA
    Oct. 18, 2011 11:29 a.m.

    I like your answers. I still stand by my reasoning that a candidate should not be asked about his or her religion, especially in this day and age where information is so readily available from the source itself, if people are so interested.

  • Common Ground Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 18, 2011 11:32 a.m.

    First, this writer is confusing a person's personal values (character) with his religion (or the church he attends) - the first is relevant, the second is not. It is fair to ask a candidate about his values or how he makes decisions, but he or she should not be asked to explain or defend the teachings of his church or pastor (the constitution prohibits it).

    Second, for an elected official to base his governing decisions on his religion is wrong and is the first step toward becoming like Iran or Saudi Arabia. That's why Rick Perry is so scary and why Mitt Romney says it's not an issue - he knows he must represent and work in the best interest of all Americans, not just those that share his religion.

    The Lord will reign when He comes - in the meantime, he has told us to "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's."

  • ciaobello Concord, CA
    Oct. 18, 2011 11:41 a.m.

    To LValfre regarding Romney serving a mission and working for his Eagle Scout try to look behind what these achievements represent, that help everyone: keeping to a strict schedule as a young person, making and keeping appointments, meeting new people, being proactive, learning many new skills by deadlines. Perhaps that's what the poster meant. Many people put these two life achievements on their resume, and are proud to do it.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Oct. 18, 2011 12:08 p.m.

    @ciaobello,

    I'm well aware of the character building traits and habits that can come from doing either or, just as in playing sports or being involved in various other groups or organizations. To state them as valuable for the presidency? Ludicrous. Nobody without basic skills such as discipline, self management, etc etc etc are every going to even make it to be a candidate let alone get elected. I hold my ground that it was completely irrelevant.

    CougarKeith was stating his reason for wanting Romney in office, which had to do with being in the same church among other factors, as opposed to why America needs him.

  • Ross Madison, AL
    Oct. 18, 2011 12:24 p.m.

    Integrity, honesty, civility, family values, fidelity in marriage, self reliance, Love of God and his 10 commandments the basis for US law, hard working, attention to detail, compassion for the suffering, lifting others without hurting them. The values that Mitt Romney stands for are rare indeed in today's world. These are the values of liberty. Tyranny which we have had way too much of lately, is what we get if these values are boring to us.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Oct. 18, 2011 12:56 p.m.

    It does not matter how people try to spin it, the LDS/Mormon religion is very different from other religions and cultures.
    The confusion seems to be with those who have experienced, primarily, the LDS/Mormon culture.
    Many of our parents had us attend many Churches of many different religions as we grew to adulthood. We would accompany our friends and their families. Our parents wanted us to have these experiences in order that we might be able to make an educated/spiritual decision on which religion suited us the best.
    When discussing this subject with "one of us", we will tell you that the LDS/Mormon religion !S definitely very different from any other religion.
    I am not saying the LDS/Mormon religion is better or worse from other religions. However, to one who has never been in the LDS atmosphere, Church, General conference, Temple, etc., LDS concepts are difficult for many to understand and accept.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    Oct. 18, 2011 2:44 p.m.

    I agree with Jason Wrights opinion. When asked about his religion, Mitt Romney should talk of how it informs his political and world view. Nothing to be ashamed of. It would be a shame however if Americans voted based upon all of the false nonsense one hears or reads about Mormons. Let the truth get out there and the votes fall where they may.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Oct. 18, 2011 2:47 p.m.

    %Ross; How is it that you feel Romney is different in the aspects you outline from other prominent politicians. They all put on a good face, it is their success of public contribution where they differ, and Romney has not shown any exceptional success or abilities that would distinguish him from the others, or what we presently have.

  • Andersonsue Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 18, 2011 2:57 p.m.

    Was Mitt born in Mexico?

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    Oct. 18, 2011 4:25 p.m.

    At least Obama is Christian and most people can relate to that. Mitt religion seems very alien to most. His religion will be his downfall.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Oct. 18, 2011 4:48 p.m.

    @m.g. scott,

    "It would be a shame however if Americans voted based upon all of the false nonsense one hears or reads about Mormons"

    Please expand. Every time I hear a call out to the non-sense it's things your prophets actually did or preached.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 18, 2011 5:06 p.m.

    @cougarkeith
    "He slipped in an interview talking about his "Muslim Faith", but nothing was made of that"

    Because people heard the context around it and knew he was referring to the "supposed Muslim faith" others thought he had, and then messed up by not using the word supposed.

    "VALID BIRTH CERTIFICATE!!!"

    There's still people who believe he wasn't born in Hawaii? Okay, let me rephrase that... there's still people who openly believe he wasn't born in Hawaii?

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    Oct. 18, 2011 8:13 p.m.

    A Sunday School teacher I had when I was a teen decades ago had us do an exchange with friends of ours in other churches and share with one another the beliefs of our various religions. LDS people in my city were at the time few and far between, relative to here. It was something I believe we could all benefit from, since the last couple of years have shown some less than educated behavior by adults who I would have thought were a bit more enlightened. It reminds me somewhat of the old idea that Mormons had tails and horns. (I think converts and their kids were exempt, which explains where mine went.) So either too many of us are reverting to primitive supersitious mindsets or are just plain frightened of what we don't know and need to do some learning. The only other possibility is even scarier--some of us who really do know differently are afraid to tell what we know because we don't want to deal with being made fun of--or worse.

  • watcher@75 SMITHFIELD, UT
    Oct. 18, 2011 9:34 p.m.

    Patriotism to the United States ought to define the platform of an American presidential candidate. Let the candidates demonstrate their commitment to the U.S. Constitution upholding the sacred provisions of rights and freedoms. Strengthen America by building up Americans, not humiliating, ridiculing religious beliefs, or using bullying tactics to suppress a freedom worker's liberties. Every candidate exhibits tremendous courage by seeking nomination. Keep the courage by focusing on the most troubling issues facing Americans' quality of life. Show the real and meaningful way in which he or she will benefit America by serving in its highest office.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    Oct. 19, 2011 12:21 a.m.

    I may change my mind before November 2012, but in this latest campaign run for POTUS I lost much respect for both Huntsman and Romney in their wishy washy, at best lukewarm, responses to their membership in The Church. Wasn't expecting (nor thinking wise) to use their political platform for missionary work; but, nevertheless their responses have not reminded me of LDS people I know who are may be shy and tongue tied to answer questions, but never ashamed of their faith.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Oct. 19, 2011 12:27 a.m.

    After the love-fest article he wrote about Glenn Beck, I can't believe anyone would give this writer/advertiser any credibility.

    @watcher@75

    Do you mean the conservative version of patriotism? Must everyone express their conservatism exactly the same?

  • Central Texan Buda, TX
    Oct. 19, 2011 9:39 a.m.

    The religion-card being played here by Rev. Jeffress and other Perry supporters is not a question of values, character, or faith informing our decisions. It is about ginning up opposition to a presidential candidate solely because of the specific religious denomination of the candidate.

    This IS religious bigotry, and the answer to religious bigotry is not for us, as the voting electorate, to say, "well... it's OK to ask someone about his faith...", "yeah, we ought to explain how our faith informs our decisions", blah, blah, blah.

    We ought to simply explain that we Americans don't put up with bigotry of any kind, and we should expect that anyone running to be our President should disassociate himself/herself from individuals steeped in religious bigotry (eg. don't take campaign money from them, condemn their actions, etc.)

    Romney, by the way, has given an inspiring faith speech already. Go back an re-read it.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Oct. 19, 2011 11:22 a.m.

    I notice atheist Christopher Hitchens (who is currently dying of stomach cancer from having drank and smoked his entire life) is saying society should fear the Mormons; amazing how the supposedly most "wise" among us are, in reality, the most foolish.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    Oct. 19, 2011 11:32 a.m.

    @Brent T.
    Where have you been? Mitt has NEVER been shy or wishy-washy about his LDS faith. Mr Romney has tried to stay on message during this campaign when so many folks try to derail him from his most important campaign theme: the ECONOMY. NO, Mitt has clearly and decisively stated his position as a staunch and firm Latter-Day Saint.

  • Rick LT GLENDALE, AZ
    Oct. 19, 2011 12:31 p.m.

    I agree with the author. The ONLY questions about a candidate's religion that are fair game relate to "how will his/her religion affect his positions on various bills, foreign policy,economics, etc.". If Mitt were Moslem, I think we'd all be asking those questions, with big exclamation points. How about atheist (still a religious belief system)? My question is "why don't Americans question the ultra-radical evangelicals more about how their religious beliefs will affect the way they govern"? I think that there's more issues there, than with a Mormon.

  • CCO SAINT JOHNS, AZ
    Oct. 19, 2011 1:07 p.m.

    I so agree that Mitt Romney would be wise to talk about how his faith affects his decisions in the way that Mr. Wright opined. An individual's religion should not be an issue. How he lives his religion and how his religion affects the decisions he makes and who he is should be an issue.If a Catholic candidate is pro-abortion, I would guess that his religion does not affect his decision on the issue and that he does not adhere closely to his leaders' teachings and that he is not true to his faith. To me, the character of an individual is a vital issue and if a candidate does not stand true to what he professes to believe, he is lacking in character.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 19, 2011 3:32 p.m.

    Mitt should just post a web page on his faith...

    1. I remove my horns during work hours
    2. I help shovel the gold into the temple vault every Wednesday at mid night
    3. My other 10 wives live in a secret bunker under the garage

    and so on....

    what a joke. A 15 million member church with well known public figures world wide shouldn't be so mysterious. Good grief just go to lds.org and learn for yourself.

  • Kami Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 19, 2011 4:58 p.m.

    In reality, the people who are making a big deal out of this are LDS. I'm LDS and I don't let this stuff get under my skin. I've asked a few friends of mine who are not LDS and they aren't paying any attention to the religious arguments/statements/etc. But I know from our history that many LDS enjoy feeling like they have been martyred over and over and over again. They don't want to let loose of their own history, but when someone points out something not so great in the history of the LDS church, you will hear a lot of comments about how long ago that happened and why focus on it now, etc. Well guess what fellow members of the church: you can't have your cake and eat it too!

  • awsomeron1 Oahu, HI
    Oct. 19, 2011 5:02 p.m.

    I feel deeply sorry for the Community or Office Water Cooler.

    Mitt Did Not Stop Abortion in Mass, during his time as Gov. Enough said and far more then enough Not Done.
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in the sanctity of human life. Therefore, the Church opposes elective abortion for personal or social convenience, and counsels its members not to submit to, perform, encourage, pay for, or arrange for such abortions.

    The Church allows for possible exceptions for its members who
    Pregnancy results from rape or incest, or
    A competent physician determines that the life or health of the mother is in serious jeopardy, or
    A competent physician determines that the fetus has severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth.

    The Church teaches its members that even these rare exceptions do not justify abortion automatically. Abortion is a most serious matter and should be considered only after the persons involved have consulted with their local church leaders and feel through personal prayer that their decision is correct.

    Very much weaker then the previous one. Other statement said you could receive Church Punishment for doing such acts.

  • awsomeron1 Oahu, HI
    Oct. 19, 2011 5:27 p.m.

    He who walks the middle of the road gets hit from both sides.

    When you run for public office everything is fair game, except perhaps your minor kids. I won't attack a child even if the child is working in the Campgain. Kids should believe in their parents at least until they are grown.

    With a few exceptions. Inmoral Acts, and outstanding bad behavior, and Family Abuse. Moral Police but when the windows are closed and the shades and drapes down, perhaps a whole different story.

    This is why Home Schooled Kids need to be examined 4 times a year and interviewed by a Social Worker away from the parents. AT the Parents Expense.

    Grandsparents just for fun: Ask your Grandkids at Thanksgiving Dinner what their Mom and Dad say about you at their dinner table. Pick the most Honest Grandchild regardless of age over 8 or 10. Yes there is one and you know who that is. Usually the most Agressive and obnoxius and not by any means always a boy. If more then one set of parents ask a child from each family without any warning. You might find somthing out you Can Fix.

  • sg newhall, CA
    Oct. 19, 2011 7:27 p.m.

    I'm sorry but I complete disagree with this article and the position of its author. Religion is not fair game. Since when should anyone's faith and belief system become a litmus test to one's qualifications? We do not live in Biblical times or Book of Mormon times where the judges were also the high priests. Our Founding Fathers made it very explicit that religion should not be used to determine one's qualifications. So, no religion and faith is definitely not fair game. If so, then Obama should never have been elected based on his relationship with Rev. Wright.

  • camotim Council Bluffs, IA
    Oct. 20, 2011 10:29 a.m.

    The "no religious test" clause of Article VI of the US Constitution does not, IMHO, applies prohibits USG from requiring an oath or affirmation of a public officer that he, or she, is, or is not, an adherent to a particular faith or creed. It is, again IMHO, a response to the requirement in the UK that persons, as a condition of holding offices under the Crown, had to swear allegiance to the Church of England and swear a renuciation of other faiths or creeds.

    HOWEVER, I firmly believe that, when casting one's free and secret ballot, for any office, such as Electors for President and Vice President, a voter has the right to apply ANY TEST, including a religious one, as to whom he or she shall cast their vote. The
    US Constitution guarantees, at least in this area, the right of a citizen to be a bigot.

    TO change this right to be a bigot in the ballot booth is impossible and any serious attempt to do so would cause such havoc as to seriously impair the survival of the system of government we have created in the US by the divinely inspired US Constitution.

  • dotp POTEAU, OK
    Oct. 20, 2011 3:31 p.m.

    If he is going to answer these questions (and I don't see any reason why he shouldn't) one other thing needs to be added. He needs to add that his faith supports the Constitution of the United States of America and Constitutional government. I, too, am LDS and I HAVE been associated with other churches in the past. What we believe is NOT that different from what others believe, it's just that we have a little more knowledge about a lot more things. Since the church is true there is no reason NOT to answer these questions truthfully and openly.