Mormon President?

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Mormon President?

Post by awip2062 » Thu Jul 06, 2006 5:47 pm

Elfie, did you read this by Cal Thomas?? It was in my local paper today (editorial section, of course).

Can a Mormon be president?
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Consider the following scenario: four candidates are running for president in 2008. One is a pro-choice Protestant who believes in balanced budgets and would cut spending and lower taxes, but is divorced and remarried to someone who has also been divorced. The second candidate is a Catholic, who is pro-life, but who believes in tax increases and more government spending to help the poor. This candidate is married, but during the '60s he smoked dope and lived in an ashram with two women. The third is Jewish and supports the Iraq war and Israel against those who wish to destroy it, is married to a gentile and thinks same-sex marriage is OK. The fourth candidate is a Mormon, who is married to the same woman he started out with, is pro-life, opposes same-sex marriage, wants taxes and government spending cut, would put more conservatives on the Supreme Court and appears consistent in his private and public behavior.

According to a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll, if you are a conservative Christian voter, you are more likely to vote for the Protestant, Catholic or Jewish candidate before you would vote for the Mormon, though he is more in line with your political philosophy.


The poll found that while anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism are fading among voters, anti-Mormonism is not. Thirty-seven percent of those questioned said they would not vote for a Mormon presidential candidate. Article VI of the U.S. Constitution forbids a "religious test" for those wishing to serve in public office, but it can do nothing about voters who wish to apply a religious test to candidates.


The impetus for the poll appears to be the likely presidential candidacy of Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who is a Mormon.


I am reminded of a comedy bit by the late Steve Allen. Allen would take a camera and microphone into the street and ask people, "Could you ever vote for an openly heterosexual person for president?" The shocked interviewee would fervently respond, "Oh, no, I could never do that." It was funny, but it also said something about the ignorance of the individual being quizzed.


If Romney runs, he might consider following the example of another son of Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy, who addressed the issue of his Catholicism in a speech to the Houston Ministerial Association during the 1960 campaign. Kennedy said: "I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute; where no Catholic prelate would tell the president ? should he be Catholic ? how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference, and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him, or the people who might elect him."

In a telephone interview, Governor Romney tells me he doesn't believe religion is a factor "when people know the real individual." Asked whether he might follow Kennedy's example and make a speech about church and state, Romney says, "There may well be a time when something is said by me or something happens that crystallizes the issue for people, but I believe the people in this country subscribe to the Lincoln view that when people take the oath of office they abide by America's political religion and that they place the Constitution and the rule of law first."

The poll results may reflect attitudes toward Mormonism that are similar to what non-Catholic voters thought about Catholics four decades ago. Some may get their impressions of Mormonism from the HBO series "Big Love," about a modern polygamist and his three wives (the church banned polygamy in 1890 as a condition for Utah's admission to the Union, which took place in 1896.)

If an ambulance hits me, I care less where or how the driver worships than I do about his sense of direction to the nearest hospital. It troubles me not that a Mormon might be president. It does trouble me a great deal that so many people would think a person's faith ? whether one shares it or not ? should be the only reason to deny someone the presidency. Perhaps if Romney decides to run it won't matter too much of that 37 percent, anymore than it eventually did during the 1960 campaign when the issue was Catholicism.


Okay, people. All these men in this scenario have a faith that they claim.

Which candidate would you choose and why?

Personally, I would go with the Mormon or the Protestant because their platforms are the ones I agree with. I would want more information on the Protestant's platform before I could choose between him and the Mormon though. I would not necessarily hold his divorce or his current wife's divorce against him because I don't know anything about what precipatated them and I also know that people change and he may have been a very different man in his younger days. I know I am not who I was.
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Post by Devil's Advocate » Thu Jul 06, 2006 6:11 pm

I wouldn't support any of those four candidates, because each of them has several policies that I disagree with.

If voting was compulsory, I'd go for whoever was most likely to defeat #4, because I disagree with all of his policies. Better to have a president who has some policies you agree with than none.



On the broader question of political candidates' religious beliefs or affiliations: God forbid there be an atheist candidate....


For those of you who answer the question on the grounds of platform rather than the candidate's religion: would your answer be different if the candidate was an atheist (with the same policies)? What if he was a Muslim? Or if "he" was a she?

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Post by awip2062 » Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:39 pm

If I could find a candidate that didn't have a number of policies I disagreed with, I think I might die! LOL That is yet to happen and I find myself choosing the one I like the best that is up for office.

The poll was done to see how voters would choose based upon religous standings and the appearance of following or not following those beliefs. There are many religions that could have been put in there, but they went with some common ones here in the states.

Voting is not cumpulsory here. I am glad it is not.

I like your reasonings for not voting for #4. Although I would likely end up voting for him myself (even though he is LDS and I am not) because I do agree with his policies, you have good reason for choosing not to vote for him. That is what I like to see -- people making choices and voting on the candidates platform rather than manipulative ads.

Would my choice be the same if he were an atheist with that platform? Yes. I did not vote for the Southern Baptist candidate when given a chance in years past, even though I attend a Southern Baptist church. I didn't see him as the best man for the job, although he did get it.

If the man were a Muslim, again, it would depend on his platform. If he were one of the militant Muslims, no. I am sure of that because his platform would inevitably have many areas with which I would disagree. If he had that same platform but happened to be Muslim, I would not have a problem with voting for him.

If he was a she? Same platform, same people running against her? I vote for women for other offices, so....
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Post by ElfDude » Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:09 pm

I hadn't read the article, but someone wrote something similar a while back and it got me thinking. I had to ask myself the same question that DA asked. Would I be willing to vote for an atheist or a Muslim? (I already know I'd have no problem voting for a she, if her policies were sound)

I honestly don't care if the candidate is an atheist provided that he respects the constitution's position that the government not mess with my manner of worship.

The Muslim question made me have to think long and hard. If the candidate was at all wishy-washy about taking a hardline position against the Islamist jihadists out there... if he would not soundly denounce their actions, then I couldn't trust or vote for him. And if he DID denounce their actions, I'd have to be able to hear honesty in his voice and see it in his eyes. That's a tough one. But it's only a tough one because my nation has recently been attacked in the name of Islam. If you had asked me the same question in 1982 I probably would have shrugged and said, "What difference does the guy's religion make?"

As far as I know, Mormons have never waged a holy war against the nation. :)

Note: If people are getting their impression of Mormons from the show Big Love, they need to be straightened out. The characters in that show are not Mormons.
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Post by awip2062 » Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:16 pm

I get my information on Mormons from my LDS friends.
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Post by ElfDude » Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:30 pm

awip2062 wrote:I get my information on Mormons from my LDS friends.
Probably a good idea... going straight to the "horse's mouth".

I wish I had Jewish friends. I'd love to be able to ask questions of them.

It was great when my boss was a Jehovah's Witness. We were able to get a lot of useful information from each other. :)
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Post by ElfDude » Fri Jul 07, 2006 3:21 pm

I got curious about the poll and went to look for more info about it. I take the following from the LA Times:
Thirty-seven percent of those questioned said they would not vote for a Mormon presidential candidate, and 54% said no to the prospect of a Muslim in the White House.

In addition, 21% said they could not vote for an evangelical Christian.

Fifteen percent said they would not vote for a Jewish presidential candidate, and 10% were unwilling to cast ballots favoring a Catholic chief executive.

...

The nationwide survey of 1,321 adults was conducted June 24 to 27. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, Poll Director Susan Pinkus said.

Poll results were released in three stages. Economic findings came out Thursday; political conclusions on Friday; and information about religion today.

No Muslims appear likely to seek the presidency in 2008. But the numbers could be a threat to Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (as the Mormon Church is formally known) who is exploring a run for the GOP presidential nomination.

"It is something he will have to address," said Merle Black, a professor of politics at Emory University. "It will be a challenge. It doesn't necessarily kill him as a candidate, but he may have to talk in more detail than he ever has before about his faith."

His religion apparently was no detriment in Massachusetts in 2002, when he easily won election as governor. Massachusetts is one of the most heavily Catholic states in the country, and also one of the most Democratic.
Two comments. The first is that I'm surprised by the amount of religious bigotry that still appears to exist out there. The Muslim thing, as I posted before, obviously doesn't surprise me because our country was recently attacked by them.

But the rest do surprise me... that there are that many people out there who would absolutely not vote for a Catholic or an evangelical or a Jew... I thought we were a little more grown up than that.

Secondly, on the subject of Romney himself, I find the last paragraph in my quote above very telling. Despite being LDS and a republican, he convinced the majority of a bunch of democrat Catholics that he was the right man for the job. And they still like him, so he wasn't a "stealth candidate". That's saying something.

I'm not familiar with him. I've never heard a speech from him or watched an interview or anything. But if he does jump into the presidential fray, I'm looking forward to hearing what it was that got him into his governorship, and seeing what the rest of the nation thinks of it.

Hmmm... just noticed one other thing. The poll was conducted only among "adults". Things change a bit when you only poll "registered voters" and even more when you only poll "registered voters who are likely to vote". I'd like to see the results of polls like that as well.
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Post by awip2062 » Sat Jul 15, 2006 2:06 pm

I just bought curriculum from a Mormon, Elfie.
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Post by ElfDude » Sat Jul 15, 2006 2:13 pm

Home school stuff?
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Post by awip2062 » Sat Jul 15, 2006 2:17 pm

Yes. It is a library of 800 books including classics, American State papers, biographies, math texts, grammar texts, readers, et cetera all on one CD.
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Post by ElfDude » Sat Jul 15, 2006 2:23 pm

awip2062 wrote:Yes. It is a library of 800 books including classics, American State papers, biographies, math texts, grammar texts, readers, et cetera all on one CD.
Nice. :)
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Post by Me » Sun Jul 16, 2006 6:49 am

It should be obvious but ethnicity or religion should not be a factor in voting for someone, it should be knowledge and their views about the world.
When evil is allowed to compete with good, evil has an emotional populist appeal that wins out unless good men & women stand as a vanguard against abuse.

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Post by awip2062 » Sun Jul 16, 2006 2:24 pm

Unfortunately this poll shows that it is a factor for many Americans.
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Post by Big Blue Owl » Sat Nov 25, 2006 9:29 am

As long as said Mormons don't come and bash on my door before noon on Saturday...and not at all, preferrably.

Check out this short video that illustrates this point.

http://my.break.com/media/view.aspx?ContentID=185806

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Post by ElfDude » Sat Nov 25, 2006 9:58 am

Man! That is one whiney individual!
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