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14 February 2012


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Evangelicals will terminate this candidacy just by staying home on election day.

Nancy K

I do find the Mormon religion strange, but as I am not religious, I find much of religion from the burning bush, the rapture,sharia law, nirvana and Shiva or Hunaman strange. However I believe everyone has the right to worship in the way they believe as long as they don't try and force me to follow their beliefs. I think the world would be a sad and boring place without religion, unfortuantly many of our wars are also caused by religous differences. Col Lang I realize now that a comment I made regarding Catholics I knew, was very pretentious and I am truly sorry as I did not mean it to be insulting and it was.

William R. Cumming

Pew Research and other polls repeatedly come up with number of eligible voters at the 20% level that say they will never vote for MORMON. Wonder how many would vote for some of the Christian or Islam or Jewish sects if they were to be identified.
My guess is that Romney if nominated will reveal the accuracy of the polling. Strangely perhaps I grew up with a fairly significant number of MORMON friends--where Arlington, VA. The only goal most had was to attend Brigham Young University and marry MORMON. As far as I knew they all succeeded in those ambitions.



For good or ill it is a mighty burden for Romney to be a member of a polytheist religion. pl



No problemo. I don't claim to know the answers, only some of the questions. pl

Jonathan Goff

Long-time fan of this website, but pretty underwhelmed by Giraldi's hatchet job on the LDS faith. Two quick points:

1-Sure, as Mormons we have a fair number of "weird" beliefs. But the least he could've done is try to honestly characterize them, instead of distorting them almost beyond recognition. It reminds me of the anti-Christian strawman an atheist friend of mine once used. He characterized Christianity in general as a "cult worshiping some zombie Jewish Rabbi, who has his followers engage in simulated cannibalistic rituals". We need to remember that to outsiders we *all* have weird beliefs, and that a little courtesy in at least trying to fairly characterize stuff could go a long way to increasing the light-to-heat ratio of the internet.

2-I can't speak to his experiences in the CIA (darnit Jim, I'm an aerospace entrepreneur, not a spook!), but if accurate that is a bit more concerning to me. I know the CIA recruited highly at BYU while I was there (because as he pointed out, where else are you going to find a better selection of straight-laced, honest, twenty-somethings who speak weird dialects like Swahili or Pangaletok?), but I would hope that LDS church members weren't consciously giving their fellow members unfair advantages. One of the questions we get asked during "temple recommend interviews" is if we're honest in our dealings with our fellowman--and yes that includes people who aren't members of our faith. I could understand a little subconscious group identity (returned missionaries have gone through a shared semi-traumatic emotional experience and can be cliquish just as say ex-IBMers or people who've gone through Army boot camp might), but if a Mormon was intentionally helping his buddies cheat their way through school, he's not living his religion.

Oh, and for the record, even though I'm LDS, I'd vote for Ron Paul in a heartbeat over Mitt.




I would expect that Giraldi will respond to your criticism. As I said theology is in the eye of the believer. Phil's religion and mine insists that wine and unleavened bread are literally turned into the Body and Blood of Jesus at the consecration. Who are we to say that your belief in a non-trinitarian godhead reinforced by legions of new gods on newly redeemed worlds is not true? I don't really care about the old polygamy thing. Perhaps the LDS church shuld not have given in on that. It works for the Muslims. I find Phil's points about LDS members of the DO at CIA to be interesting, but only that. Having lived among a lot of LDS people in Salt Lake I find your basic morals, ethics and community spirit to be admirable. The real problem IMO is that all of this burdens Romney's candidacy in the eyes of those for whom other people's theology does matter. pl

Phil Giraldi

Jon - Actually I don't see my piece as being a hatchet job on LDS. It is not intended to be so, but it is a look at Mitt Romney and the cultural and religious baggage that he brings with him in his quest to obtain the presidency of the United States. I think his views and attitudes are most definitely fair game and since Mormonism has been a dominant force in his life it should be part of the examination without a free pass provided because it is a religion. I would note that if Rick Santorum were to become the leading Republican candidate I would likewise be calling for a careful examination of what exactly he believes as a Catholic and how that would translate into his perfomance while holding high office. I have no real problem with people running for office being ostentatiously religious but, as I noted in the article, there has to be a firewall maintained between one's beliefs and one's responsibility to the electorate and the constitution. I do not believe that Romney demonstrates that he is capable of doing that.


Col. Lang,

The question is, who will not vote for Mitt because of his LDS beliefs.

It is often stated that the Democrats and the left and the secularists are religious bigots but it should be noted that the state of Massachusetts which is always held in regard by conservatives as the modern day secular liberal Gomorrah, elected Mitt to be their Governor. Crunching the numbers would indicate that there were a lot of the secular types who voted for Mitt, regardless of his religious beliefs.

It should also be noted that the Democratic Party has placed a Mormon in the highest levels of their leadership, the long time Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

I am secure in my opinion that the religious bigotry against Mitt Romney will be much more of a problem within his own party.


I have a problem with a candidate who still feels guilty for taking a sip of beer and a puff on a cigarette--what 40 or 50 years later. If that's the worst he's done, he isn't human. He has the heart of a robot in that he has no shame over destroying the livelihoods of multitudes but regrets the minor sins. It's egoism.

They say the fruit falls close to the tree. From all accounts his father met a high standard of intergrity. Sometimes the fruit rots on the branch before it falls to the ground.


Same things were said that about a black President and those statements were proving wrong.

I really must dissent, Rombone's problems are not his religion, but his inability to connect with voter's in an authentic manner.

Regardless, if gas prices go over $4.00 per gallon and they will, he will win.

Allen Thomson

> Jon Goff

Stepping slightly off topic, I'll point out to those interested in space stuff that Mr. Goff operates an excellent blog devoted to such matters: http://selenianboondocks.com/

However, back on topic, kinda, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homoousian

Charles I

Completely off topic, but if you watch the episode of Carrier on PBS tonight, you will likely pray.

Called Rites of Passage, I think this episode involves the most hair-raising breath-stopping thing I have ever seen:

Night Landing, Pitching Deck


Think of all religions as different channels on TV.

Do yourself a favor.

Turn off the set, go outside and see the world as it is.


farmer don

Don't see too much in this discussion. This is just about politics. pl


Charles I

Imagine on top of the sheer diffficulty of the thing, you might have significant battle damage to deal with. Read a little book called "Mission Beyond Darkness." It was given to me as a Christmas present in 1948 by my father's German driver. Hauptmann Walter Flick who had been a fighter pilot in the Luftwaffe, pl



Dissent is welcomed. Romney has many problems. pl



I wager that you are a "kaffir," an unbeliever. pl


It's egoism.

No it's not; it is the power of the taboo. There are no taboos on asset stripping.

The Moar You Know

I dated a "fallen" Mormon for several years. The linked article is quite accurate but doesn't begin to convey the scope of just how much every aspect of a Mormon's life is controlled by the church. It's not necessarily a bad thing, the Mormon mafia is great if you need connections for your career, for example - but there is a totality to the Mormon experience that I've never seen in any other religion.

People claim that Romney is "inauthentic" or seems to be lacking in humanity. Here's the deal - Romney is desperately trying to downplay his Mormonism for the masses, understandable. However, you take away Mormonism from a guy like Romney and there is literally nothing left. Hence the weirdness that many see but cannot define about Willard. And the perception that he is hiding something.

He's hiding a lot, actually. There are those who support him in his quest for the presidency, based on a belief that he supports some issue of importance to the supporter. To those people I can only say this - you have no idea what Romney believes, you have no idea who or what he supports, you have no idea what he would do as president. You really don't.


Hi Pat,
Massachusetts like Rhode Island not infrequently elect Republicans to governorships and the US Senate while voting for Democrats for most other state offices. Cynic that I am I suspect voters see it as a means of limiting corruption which otherwise would be even more rampant. In any event, Mitt's popularity/approval rate with Massachusetts voters in his last years as governor was about 35%. I think he might be fortunate in the fact that the Massachusetts primary is not among the first in the country.


Faith Matters to a large and politically powerfull group of folks and Reason gets tossed under the bus. As long as there is more than one person running for office, someone's great chain of being will be pulled asunder. Romney will have his troubles.

The Twisted Genius

I just read a short account of the battle behind "Mission Beyond Darkness." In addition to the actions of the Naval aviators, I was struck by the example of the fleet commander, Admiral Mitscher. In enemy waters, he had his ships turn on their lights to guide the planes home on a moonless night. He exposed his fleet to possible enemy strikes doing this, but he did what he knew had to be done. If he lost any ships through his action, I'm sure his career would be over and he'd probably be brought before a court martial for breaking protocol in a war zone. He put his life and his career on the line. We need more of this.

Warren Jason Street

Mission Beyond Darkness is an excellent book. You may be interested in how one copy was discovered:



I place myself in the agnostic camp.

Theology is above my pay grade.

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