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Author Topic: Time to play the Mormon card?  (Read 843 times)
Lt. Governor TJ
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« Reply #25 on: October 08, 2012, 10:04:53 pm »
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I am disappointed that some one as reasonable as you could support attacking a man over his faith... I bet you would've been outraged has McCain gone after Rev Wright

It's not that I personally support going after random religions, but rather I am addressing it from a strategic point of campaigning. If they were going to do such a thing, then it should have been done in primary season so as to avoid as much potential backlash as possible.

I do, however, think that if a church or religious group engages in overt and official political action, funneling their money and manpower into campaigns in order to affect the result (most notably, Proposition 8 in California), then that group could hypothetically be viewed as more of a political entity than a religious one. It is at that point - and particularly when you consider that the religious/moral elements are being woven into the political dialogue - that criticism of the values and actions of the Mormon Church can be legitimately discussed in political terms.

Even though the Mormons aren't on your side at the moment, they may not be so antithetical to progressives in the long run. After all their church does believe in a constant revelation such that their beliefs could change dramatically at some point in the future with very little ramifications. It's much easier for Mormonism to adapt than most Christian sects with a less fluid concept of morality.

Would that really affect their voting behaviors, though?  I don't think a change in position on a social issue or two (assuming you were referring to that) would necessarily sway Mormons to the left politically in any significant way.

It depends on the issue. But what's your goal, to get Democrats elected or determine the course of future of the country? If it's the latter you would gladly take anyone in the opposite party who comes to agree with you on anything over someone who doesn't.
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« Reply #26 on: October 08, 2012, 10:05:56 pm »
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Absolutely stupid, stupid, stupid idea.

Clearly, if the Dems were so desperate as to play "The Mormon card," their campaign would have been beyond redemption by that point, and the desperate Dems would be seen for what they would be, religious bigots of the worst sort, and Obama as the biggest religious bigot of them all.

Obama would as well be seen as a liar, and for good reason , as he said early in the campaign, that Romney's faith would not be a campaign issue.  

By the way, it was not only the Mormon Church that supported Proposition 8, but also the Roman Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, and I believe as well some Muslim groups.
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Senator Griffin (LAB-NB)
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« Reply #27 on: October 08, 2012, 10:08:46 pm »
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Even though the Mormons aren't on your side at the moment, they may not be so antithetical to progressives in the long run. After all their church does believe in a constant revelation such that their beliefs could change dramatically at some point in the future with very little ramifications. It's much easier for Mormonism to adapt than most Christian sects with a less fluid concept of morality.

This could be true. While your point is made sincerely, I also noticed some parallels:

Even though the Mormons aren't Mitt Romney isn't on your side at the moment, they he may not be so antithetical to progressives in the long run. After all their church he does believe in a constant revelation such that their his beliefs could change dramatically at some point in the future with very little ramifications. It's much easier for Mormonism Romney to adapt than most Christian sects Republicans with a less fluid concept of morality.

Perhaps he has been receiving constant revelations on the campaign trail?
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« Reply #28 on: October 08, 2012, 10:10:15 pm »
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Absolutely stupid, stupid, stupid idea.

Clearly, if the Dems were so desperate as to play "The Mormon card," their campaign would have been beyond redemption by that point, and the desperate Dems would be seen for what they would be, religious bigots of the worst sort, and Obama as the biggest religious bigot of them all.

Obama would as well be seen as a liar, and for god reason , as he said early in the campaign, that Romney's faith would not be a campaign issue.  

By the way, it was not only the Mormon Church that supported Proposition 8, but also the Roman Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, and I believe as well some Muslim groups.

---------------------------------------

First time ever I ever said this, but I agree completely with Winfield.  This would be a mistake of the highest magnitude.  Of course, the Obama campaign is highly unlikely to make such an error of judgment so I am not concerned about it happening.    
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Lt. Governor TJ
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« Reply #29 on: October 08, 2012, 10:22:32 pm »
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Even though the Mormons aren't Mitt Romney isn't on your side at the moment, they he may not be so antithetical to progressives in the long run. After all their church he does believe in a constant revelation such that their his beliefs could change dramatically at some point in the future with very little ramifications. It's much easier for Mormonism Romney to adapt than most Christian sects Republicans with a less fluid concept of morality.

Perhaps he has been receiving constant revelations on the campaign trail?


Oh please, Obama's positions have 'evolved' an awful lot over the years too. Anyone remember "most transparent president ever"? Someone clearly forgot to tell Rahm Emmanuel that before he goes into the congressional showers.

To be quite honest I have neither the time nor desire to get into a stupid hackfest against you for the remainder of the evening.
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« Reply #30 on: October 08, 2012, 10:23:48 pm »
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I am disappointed that some one as reasonable as you could support attacking a man over his faith... I bet you would've been outraged has McCain gone after Rev Wright

It's not that I personally support going after random religions, but rather I am addressing it from a strategic point of campaigning. If they were going to do such a thing, then it should have been done in primary season so as to avoid as much potential backlash as possible.

I do, however, think that if a church or religious group engages in overt and official political action, funneling their money and manpower into campaigns in order to affect the result (most notably, Proposition 8 in California), then that group could hypothetically be viewed as more of a political entity than a religious one. It is at that point - and particularly when you consider that the religious/moral elements are being woven into the political dialogue - that criticism of the values and actions of the Mormon Church can be legitimately discussed in political terms.

Even though the Mormons aren't on your side at the moment, they may not be so antithetical to progressives in the long run. After all their church does believe in a constant revelation such that their beliefs could change dramatically at some point in the future with very little ramifications. It's much easier for Mormonism to adapt than most Christian sects with a less fluid concept of morality.

Would that really affect their voting behaviors, though?  I don't think a change in position on a social issue or two (assuming you were referring to that) would necessarily sway Mormons to the left politically in any significant way.

It depends on the issue. But what's your goal, to get Democrats elected or determine the course of future of the country? If it's the latter you would gladly take anyone in the opposite party who comes to agree with you on anything over someone who doesn't.

Certainly, the DNC would, but not to the extent that fundamental values of the party are radically changed in some way and it becomes barely distinguishable.  No one in Obama's campaign would be foolish enough to suggest attacking Romney for his religion even though this demographic is far out of reach, but Utah hasn't gone Democratic since 1964.  There is a very small fringe group of Mormons (i.e. Harry Reid) that vote that way.  I think Mormons are fairly fiscally conservative (albeit it's a generalization) as well as socially conservative, so there isn't much for the Democrats to gain in this respect unless more Jim Mathesons get elected.
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« Reply #31 on: October 08, 2012, 10:27:06 pm »
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Even though the Mormons aren't Mitt Romney isn't on your side at the moment, they he may not be so antithetical to progressives in the long run. After all their church he does believe in a constant revelation such that their his beliefs could change dramatically at some point in the future with very little ramifications. It's much easier for Mormonism Romney to adapt than most Christian sects Republicans with a less fluid concept of morality.

Perhaps he has been receiving constant revelations on the campaign trail?


Oh please, Obama's positions have 'evolved' an awful lot over the years too. Anyone remember "most transparent president ever"? Someone clearly forgot to tell Rahm Emmanuel that before he goes into the congressional showers.

To be quite honest I have neither the time nor desire to get into a stupid hackfest against you for the remainder of the evening.

I wasn't attempting to argue with you. Certainly you wouldn't try to compare the frequency of Romney's "pivots" to those of Obama's and expect them to be equal in this regard?
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« Reply #32 on: October 09, 2012, 12:38:36 am »
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I am disappointed that some one as reasonable as you could support attacking a man over his faith... I bet you would've been outraged has McCain gone after Rev Wright

It's not that I personally support going after random religions, but rather I am addressing it from a strategic point of campaigning. If they were going to do such a thing, then it should have been done in primary season so as to avoid as much potential backlash as possible.

I do, however, think that if a church or religious group engages in overt and official political action, funneling their money and manpower into campaigns in order to affect the result (most notably, Proposition 8 in California), then that group could hypothetically be viewed as more of a political entity than a religious one. It is at that point - and particularly when you consider that the religious/moral elements are being woven into the political dialogue - that criticism of the values and actions of the Mormon Church can be legitimately discussed in political terms.

Even though the Mormons aren't on your side at the moment, they may not be so antithetical to progressives in the long run. After all their church does believe in a constant revelation such that their beliefs could change dramatically at some point in the future with very little ramifications. It's much easier for Mormonism to adapt than most Christian sects with a less fluid concept of morality.

Would that really affect their voting behaviors, though?  I don't think a change in position on a social issue or two (assuming you were referring to that) would necessarily sway Mormons to the left politically in any significant way.

Well, more and more Mormons are lower-class minorities instead of middle-class suburban white people (The rise of the population of Latinos and native Africans in the church attests to that), and from what I understand, even minorities who are Mormon vote Democratic, so the LDS Church could possibly change to be somewhat progressive.

In fact, the Church has already gone specifically moderate on quite a few issues; in Utah they intervened to show their support for the moderate immigration proposal called the Utah Compact, and in Arizona, there's rumors that they quietly supported anti-immigrant Mormon Republican Russell Pearce's recall opponent (also a Mormon). They also supported an anti-discrimination law in Salt Lake City. Additionally, Orrin Hatch's political survival may be in part due to the LDS Church's specific admonition over the pulpit that Mormons should go out to vote (which also repeatedly pointed out that "there is truth in all political parties and the Church does not endorse any of them"). More moderate delegates turned out at the Utah GOP convention in 2012 than in 2010. Conversely, the LDS Dems went from being formed in mid-2011 to having over 2,000 members in 2012.

Heck, though they haven't said anything, the LDS Church's move to have more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly buildings is an obvious move towards moderate environmentalism.

The LDS Church will become more politically moderate, just give it time.
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« Reply #33 on: October 09, 2012, 06:18:22 am »
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In fact, the Church has already gone specifically moderate on quite a few issues; in Utah they intervened to show their support for the moderate immigration proposal called the Utah Compact, and in Arizona, there's rumors that they quietly supported anti-immigrant Mormon Republican Russell Pearce's recall opponent (also a Mormon). They also supported an anti-discrimination law in Salt Lake City. Additionally, Orrin Hatch's political survival may be in part due to the LDS Church's specific admonition over the pulpit that Mormons should go out to vote (which also repeatedly pointed out that "there is truth in all political parties and the Church does not endorse any of them"). More moderate delegates turned out at the Utah GOP convention in 2012 than in 2010. Conversely, the LDS Dems went from being formed in mid-2011 to having over 2,000 members in 2012.

Heck, though they haven't said anything, the LDS Church's move to have more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly buildings is an obvious move towards moderate environmentalism.

The LDS Church will become more politically moderate, just give it time.

That conclusion is contingent on the assumption that our definitions of "liberal", "moderate", and "conservative" do not change. Which may not necessarily be true. After all, I love the Utah Compact a lot, I dislike SB 1070, and I like Orrin Hatch, but half of this board probably considers me a fascist.

And plus, there's already plenty of Mormon Democrats. Harry Reid, for example. I don't think it's a new phenomenon.
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« Reply #34 on: October 09, 2012, 06:24:48 am »
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The LDS Church will become more politically moderate, just give it time.

I think LDS members will become more moderate. I have no doubt about that. But large and centralised religious institutions (and you can see this with the CofE and the RC) rarely moderate their views too much and certainly not if they are church building in parts of the world that seem to quite like the 'fire and brimstone' approach to things.
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« Reply #35 on: October 09, 2012, 08:28:31 am »
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large and centralised religious institutions... rarely moderate their views too much...

But the Catholic and Anglican churches are political institutions, and the Catholic Church, in particular, does moderate its views.  Frequently, even, relative to the long span of its existence.  It did so especially during the times of empire-building, but still does today.  For example, Latin American bishops are given wide latitude in dealing with the natives.  I have personally stumbled upon some very unorthodox Catholic masses.  Once, in the the department of Solola in central Guatemala, I was hiking through the forest and came upon a clearing where I saw fifty or more people around a fire.  There was a priest in proper seasonal vestments leading a folk mass in a local language, probably Quiche, Kakchikel, or Tsutujil.  Parishoners were throwing stuffed animals into the fires.  I don't speak Quiche, but when I inquired a local explained to me--in Spanish but with the lilting accent of those who grew up speaking the local language and learned Spanish in school--that they were making offerings for their ancestors, or to bless a new baby.  A few years later, in Peru, I found catholic priests overseeing the blessings to Pachamama.  Maybe they weren't overseeing, per se, but they certainly were not looking the other way.  Bottles of fermented grain beverages were poured upon the ground in front of buses about to embark upon hazardous mountain journeys over rough roads, and the idea was that the Great Mother goddess would protect them if she gets enough booze in her to put her in a good mood.  

Closer to home, we see the changes in the church as well.  Just now, I took down from the bookshelf my Handbook for Today's Catholic (Liguori Press, 1978), Baltemore Catechism No. 1 (Tan, 1977), and The New Saint Joseph Catechism (Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1969) and dusted them off.  I looked, but I could not find any reference to homosexuals or homosexuality in any of them.  Why would I look up such a thing in the index anyway?  Why, indeed?  Because nowadays the church has a strong position on homosexuality.  It took up that position probably--some might even argue smartly--as a political move.  For one thing, a number of Irish priests and American priests were suddenly being accused of child molestation.  Such things have probably happened for centuries, but only with a free press and a reasonably educated populace do such reports act as a catalyst for political change.  For another thing, the Episcopalians were beginning to ordain women and liberal men, many of whom had their own feelings about homosexuality which offended older Episcopalians, and the Catholic church found it a convenient time to stage a coup.  I forget the name of it.  It had a fancy-sounding name, like, "The Pastoral Reconciliation" or something, but in the 90s a number of Episcopalian priests, many of whom were married, suddenly became Catholic priests.  In 1969, you had to dig deep to find the church's position on "homosexuality" (if it had any).  In 2012, it's all over the place.  This was a calculated political move.  A moderation, in fact, by a "large and centralized institution."

Back in 1964, Johnny XXIII decided it was time to offer masses in the vulgar languages of the world.  That was pure political expedience.  And the college of cardinals that elected him knew he would push for such changes.  They simply saw the need for change in order to keep up with the world and stay relevant.  Similarly, it decided it needed a liberal pontiff when it elected Karol Wojtyla in 1978.  

Of course, by the time old Karol passed away, in 2005, times had again changed.  Suddenly we're in an age in which the US, the UK, the Europeans, and others are promoting some values which may destabilize "large and centralized institutions."  An age in which "radical Islam" encroaches upon Western values.  And an age in which a global economic recession was about to threaten grave destabilization.  You can be your last dollar that the college of cardinals won't stand by on the sidelines.   They knew it was time for a tougher act, so it elected that old Nazi Joseph Ratzinger as pontiff.  In short order, he had laid out the Church's position on Islamic terrorism, moral relativism, and consumerism.  In no uncertain terms!

Don't be so quick to dismiss the ability of "large and centralized institutions" to moderate their views.  The Catholic Church is a political organization, and it moderates itself as necessary--"pro re nata" if you will--in order to maintain some political power.  No, it will likely never have the political power it had in the good old days of the Templars and the Corps du Tiercelet.  King Henry VIII saw to that, didn't he, but the church knows how to keep itself afloat, precisely by moderating its politics.  

I know all this was a little off topic, but it struck me how demonstrably false the quoted statement was.  You're a smart guy, and you know we couldn't let such a glaring inaccuracy go unnoticed.  :O

As for the LDS, I'm not so sure that it's the sort of political body that the Anglican or Catholic churches are.  If anything, the LDS has often been on the wrong side of the law.  In that sense, it isn't unlike the early hippies of the Christian movement, long before they got mixed up with imperial politics.  They're doing their own thing in their own way.  True, the LDS has a hierarchy in a way that the Ephesians and the gnostics never had, but I don't see them as trying to run governments, at least not with the tour de force tactics that the Catholic church has employed.  Romney is just a guy trying to get elected.   You may think him a crook and a liar and a plutocrat.  That's fine, but don't drag the Mormon religion into it.
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« Reply #36 on: October 09, 2012, 08:33:26 am »
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And in the Episcopal Church, I have received Communion from an openly gay priest. 
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« Reply #37 on: October 09, 2012, 08:52:47 am »
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quote author=angus link=topic=161026.msg3457058#msg3457058 date=1349789077]

I know all this was a little off topic, but it struck me how demonstrably false the quoted statement was.  You're a smart guy, and you know we couldn't let such a glaring inaccuracy go unnoticed.  :O


[/quote]

You've sort of agreed with rather than countered the point that I was trying to make Smiley Firstly differing forms of mass (and I've attended many) and languages used in mass does not necessarily qualify as moderation or temperance of Catholic faith or teaching. It's still mass. It's culturally specific, particularly in emerging Catholic groups in Africa and South America (and China and Japan for that matter) to maximise adherance and faith. Reflecting and later enveloping local tribal customs over birth, death and everything in between has always been the Church's practice since it's own founding which is why Catholicism is still essentially 'Roman'.

You are correct in pointing out that the Church has taken a hardline stance on gays partly driven by Mr Ratzinger's office in his 'Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons' communique of 1986 and a stark divergance from the Church's indifferent to neutral position that it previously held on the matter. But that is not 'moderation' of a position. If anything that's actively taking a position to set itself apart from western social changes. Indeed at the time it was a rather 'wooly' stance as it appealed to psychology and the understanding of same sex attraction as a 'disorder' less than a decade after such ideas began to get shelved in the profession. As a result the Church is boxed in by it's own inertia. While it's position hasn't changed since the statement the 'evidence' it appealed to has as the focus has moved towards genetic markers and pre-natal brain development as potential indicators. It has led many in the Church to chase after faux scientific 'evidence' that was the invention of the evangelical right to aid their position. Which is a shame as the Church has gernally made it's peace with scientific theory.
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« Reply #38 on: October 09, 2012, 08:56:35 am »
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Won't work, the race card trumps the Morman card profoundly.
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« Reply #39 on: October 09, 2012, 10:24:15 am »
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Won't work, the race card trumps the Morman card profoundly.

Just get yourself banned already, opebo.
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« Reply #40 on: October 09, 2012, 10:47:12 am »
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... that is not 'moderation' of a position...

I think this is our central disagreement.  I'm not agreeing with what you said, but perhaps with what you meant to say.  Or maybe we need a definition of terms.

We both agree that the church has evolved, both in style as well as substance.  In many cases it was simply a politically expedient move to make it more palatable to the vanquished as it expanded globally.  I call that moderation.  To moderate a point of view means to change it.  The dictionary probably says something like "to moderate means to keep within reasonably limits, or to alter the severity of something..."  If I start with "have no other gods before me" but end up with "hey, lets put up a christmas tree in the chapel because the barbarians will think it's cool and they'll more likely come to Christmas mass" then you should call that a moderation.  Similarly, allowing English, German, and all the rest, to supplant Latin was a moderation.

I also agree that His Holiness Pope Benedict, before he was His Holiness Pope Benedict, had already had some pretty stark views on homosexuality long before anyone in the church started publicizing about it.  In fact, I'd made a point of it:  you have to remember that those cardinals who made him His Holiness knew about his rants before they elected him.  They wanted a hardliner--and not just on homosexuality, but on a host of other issues ranging from consumerism to the "War on Terror" to ecuminism and everything in between.  As for homosexuality, in particular, the Church needed a moderation of its formerly lax attitude that was garnering so much bad publicity.  (Now, we can quibble about the finer points of sociology here, but we needn't:  obviously one should not conflate "homosexuality" with "molestation of altar boys by priests."  You and I probably don't equate those two topics in our own minds, but you can bet that much of the Catholic public does.  This is of central importance here.)  The moderation sought by the Church comes in the form of a changing its seemingly tolerant dealings with "deviant" priests to one intolerant toward them.  This is a form of moderation, no matter how you slice it, because it projects a viewpoint to the public that is more palatable to them.  It is exactly the form of moderation (based on political realities) that the church has been rendering very successfully for about 1700 years.

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