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Dec 21, 2006

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myclob

Jacob Weisberg of Slate says the following: “But if he gets anywhere in the primaries, Romney's religion will become an issue with moderate and secular voters—and rightly so. Objecting to someone because of his religious beliefs is not the same thing as prejudice based on religious heritage, race, or gender.”

http://www.slate.com/id/2155902/

Jacob says that, “Objecting to someone because of his religious beliefs is not the same thing as prejudice based on religious heritage, race, or gender.”

How did Jacob get his Job at slate? Did someone ask him what religion he was, or did someone ask what experience he had? Perhaps someone asked to see his Resume.

Jacob Weisberg said, “Such views are disqualifying because they're dogmatic, irrational, and absurd. By holding them, someone indicates a basic failure to think for himself or see the world as it is.”

So you can pre-judge someone based on their religious beliefs? You don’t need a Resume? You don’t need to look at their IQ, ACT scores, or accomplishments to judge them? All you need to know is what religion they belong to in order to classify them as “dogmatic, irrational, and absurd”. Jacob actually said, “by holding them (these beliefs), someone indicates a basic failure to think for himself or see the world as it is.”

Is that how Jacob Weisberg got a job at slate? They asked him for a Resume, and he said, “don’t worry, I’m an atheist”. And the head-honcho at Slate, said, “Good, I don’t have enough time to look at people’s qualifications. I hate Résumé’s with all those stupid things like, ‘graduated from Harvard Business and Law School Cum Laude. Valedictorian. These don’t really mean anything. All I need to do is hear a profession of faith (testimony), or lack thereof, depending on what is fashionable in this day and time. By proclaiming your religious beliefs or lack there of you have told me everything I need to know about you. Welcome to Slate.”

No, I assume that Jacob had to show some qualifications maybe even a Resume. It would have been against federal law for his Boss to ask him what religion he was, wouldn’t it?

Jacob says, “By the same token, I wouldn't vote for someone who truly believed in the founding whoppers of Mormonism.” Is that so Jacob? If you owned a business would you hire a Mormon? They have obviously proven to you that they are stupid. Do you want stupid people working for you? Do you feel comfortable admitting to the world that you are a bigot? What an ass.

Jacob says that Mitt Romney is an “Elder” in the church. If Jacob would have spent 30 seconds talking to someone from the church, he would have realized that Romney is not an Elder.

I think it is great that Jacob wants America to be more like Northern Ireland and Iran were people are judged based on which religion they belong to.

I’m glad that Jacob can take a short cut to intellectualism. He doesn’t have to debate Mitt Romney, he doesn’t have to read the Old Testament, New Testament, or Book of Mormon. He doesn’t have to do better in school, on the ACT’s, SAT’s or in life than Mitt Romney in order to be smarter than he is. All he has to do is reject Mormonism, and therefore he is smarter than Mitt Romney, and deserves more than Romney does, to be president. Forget that Romney balanced the budget without raising taxes; forget that he came up with a new way corralling people away from the emergency rooms and into insurance plans. None of that Matters. Jacob Weisberg is more qualified to be president, in his view, because he is not a Mormons.

Then Jacob says about the stupidest thing I have ever heard. It is his only argument that he brings to the table besides that Mormons are too stupid to be president. The rest of his article is him parading around in his naked bigotry. But here is the only argument that he bring to the table and it makes me wonder how he got a job working anywhere, let alone at slate magazine.

He says, “Perhaps Christianity and Judaism are merely more venerable and poetic versions of the same [transparent fraud]. But a few eons makes a big difference. The world's greater religions have had time to splinter, moderate, and turn their myths into metaphor.” So every other time their was a religious movement were people left one church and joined another, it was healthy. It was good, because it was a reformation. But when my ancestor, George Laub who was a Baptist preacher left his church to become a Mormon it was not part of this reformation? He does not think that Mormonism had anything to draw my grandparents to it? It was not a healthy splintering, moderation? Why were all the other new religions good, but Mormonism was bad? Jacob does not tell us. He wants us to Judge mitt Romney, without looking at any of the details of his life, and he wants us to agree with him that religious bigotry towards Mormons is good, without giving us any reason to agree with him. No substance. No reasons to come to his conclusion. No logic. No independent way of judging Mitt. No use of a Resume. No looking at his skills or experience. And Jacob gives us no reason to agree with him. We are just supposed to jump to his side without any substance, without any reason besides his self righteous mockery.

I would like to see Jacob Weisberg’s Resume, and I can get Mitt Romney’s resume, and we can see who America thinks is smarter.

Ed Cone

Whether or not Weisberg "wants us to Judge mitt Romney, without looking at any of the details of his life, and he wants us to agree with him that religious bigotry towards Mormons is good," the larger point is that he predicts voters may judge Romney on his Mormonism.

So for the sake of argument, let's stipulate that Weisberg is a terrible bigot who does not compare favorable to Romney.

That leaves the point about voter attitudes.

Connie Mack Jr

I wouldn't vote for someone who truly believed in the founding whoppers of Mormonism.* Jake

Wait until he finds out that he is the last member of the lost tribe of Judaism and he has just been promoted to be the Head Elder over the Boston Garden by the LDS.

billg

Matters of faith are always "dogmatic, irrational, and absurd" viewed from an evidentiary point of view. If evidence existed to support the claims of a faith -- any faith -- those claims would be commonly accepted facts, not tenets of belief.

Whether or not evidence exists to support any particular faith is another question. It usually boils down to to people believing that they know something, which is not the same as knowing it.

A person's beliefs are his own business. So, yes, all other things being equal, it is an act of bigotry to oppose a candidate based solely on their religious faith.

However, it is not an act of bigotry to oppose someone whose acceptance of matters of faith as matters of fact compels you to question their grip on reality. Is it bigotry to oppose a member of a cargo cult or a Scientologist? I don't think so, because their adherence to their faith calls into question their ability to distinguish between belief and reality.

If we could trust polticians to avoid the selfishness of allowing their personal faith to guid their decisions, this would not be an issue. But, apparently, we cannnot.

Alan Cone Bulluck

Why do yall persecute Mormons and Mitt Romney? He beleves in fredom.

Bubba


"That leaves the point about voter attitudes."


So, in the theme of Weisberg's point, why would there be a functional difference that makes Romney's situation regarding voter attitudes any different from Obama, or for that matter, Hillery?

Ed Cone

To follow Weisberg's logic, Bubba, because Obama and Hillary embrace mainstream forms of Christianity, which would not give pause to voters who embrace similar versions of the faith.

ACB: I don't think anyone here is persecuting Romney or Mormons. The question is about voter attitudes, not commenter attitudes.

The CA

Here's how Mitt Romney should respond to such critics...except for maybe the last sentence.

Jon Lowder

My initial reaction to this was that it sounded familiar to the objections to Kennedy over forty years ago. But in thinking about it I realized that with Kennedy the issue wasn't his faith but rather his potential fealty to the Pope. The issue that Weisberg raises is more about the intellectual limitations of someone who believes in the Mormon "whoppers."

To be fair, Weisberg isn't merely picking on Romney. Here's what he said about Bush:

"In George W. Bush's case, the public paid far too little attention to the role of religion in his thinking. Many voters failed to appreciate that while Bush's religious beliefs may be moderate Methodist ones, he was someone who relied on his faith immoderately, as an alternative to rational understanding of complex issues."

Personally I think that Mormon whoppers are considered more "whopper-ish" because they purportedly happened so recently in history. Mainstream religions all have their own whoppers but somehow they seem less, well, whopper-ish because we're separated from them by thousands of years.

I think Weisberg brings up a great point, and I think he's also right to highlight Romney's Mormonism because of its status in our society. Really, do you want someone who checks his decision making abilities at the door and leads the country by relying disproportionately on his faith? In other words do you want to hear, "I'm going to pray about how to handle the war in Iraq" or "I'm going to consult with my advisers and base my decision on how to proceed in Iraq on their input"?

Bubba

"To follow Weisberg's logic, Bubba, because Obama and Hillary embrace mainstream forms of Christianity, which would not give pause to voters who embrace similar versions of the faith."

Then Weisberg's logic is incomplete.

Obama's race, and Hillary's sex would present a similar obstacle to them among certain segements of the voting public.

The question is how much of an obstacle in each case, and how such an obstacle could be successfully overcome by the respective candidates.

If you want to argue that Romney has a larger obstacle than Obama or Hillery, that's another matter.

However, any portrayal of Romney as representative of the Morman faith and beliefs is akin to saying Ted Kennedy is representative of the Catholic faith.

It's just not true.

Ed Cone

Absolutely true on the woman and race issues.

The problem with the Catholic/Mormon analogy is that Catholicism is a mainstream American religion, while the essential question posed by the article is whether Mormonism is or not.

Connie Mack Jr

The problem with the Catholic/Mormon analogy is that Catholicism is a mainstream American religion, while the essential question posed by the article is whether Mormonism is or not.*Ed

I am sure 60 thousand BYU fans and 18 thousand Utah Jazz fans at their home games would disagree who is mainstream in college and professional sports.

In fact the writer should stand out in front of the Mormon Temple in downtown Salt Lake City and convinced the Temple choir that singing God Bless America is not mainstream.

billg

Religion is an intensely private matter. What I believe, and the infliuence of those beliefs on the decisions I make, is my business.

But, if I seek elective office, how I make decisions is a legitimate matter of public concern. If I'm inclined to turn to faith and prayer to seek solutions to public policy problems, the public needs to know that. What each individual voter does with that knowledge is up to them. But, knowing and acting on the knowledge that an elected leader may turn to God for answers is in the public's interest. We'd feel that way if a candidate called in priests to read the future from animal entrails. We have have just as much right to feel that way if a candidate, or president, solves problems by kneeling in prayer.

I'd feel morally stained if I voted against someone because I disagreed with their religion. But, I would have no regrets about voting against someone who allowed their faith to assume such a dominant role in their lives that I had to question their ability to put the public interest ahead of the demands of their faith. As I said earlier, putting their personal faith ahead of the public interest is an intensely selfish thing for elected officials to do.

PotatoStew

"As I said earlier, putting their personal faith ahead of the public interest is an intensely selfish thing for elected officials to do."

What do you do if the candidate in question sincerely believes that placing their personal faith ahead of other considerations will benefit the public interest? Is it still selfish in that case?

The CA

Missing in this discussion about particular religious beliefs is that Mormonism may seem odd historically/procedurally, but doctrine wise, it is tenants are essentially no different than other Christian faiths.

As is illustrated in the South Park clip I linked to above, the lesson is what the religion is teaching, not in the history of how the religion was founded.

On the other hand, if the discussion is about intelligence which has been alluded to, I think that is a fair topic to debate. Obviously, Romney is a smart guy as are plenty of other Mormons. What is difficult for many to swallow is that they believe the story behind Mormonism which was also smartly parodied in the full South Park episode where that clip came from. It is here where the debate about a person's wisdom comes into play. Of course, there are certainly plenty of people on the planet who find the whole notion of Jesus Christ equally unfathomable and suspect as they do Joseph Smith's story.

Scientology is in a class by itself. It is clearly an economic scam and a cult. L. Ron Hubbard talked about creating his own sci-fi religion years before he formed Scientology, so we know it was created out of thin air. I don't think anyone would take seriously any candidate that was a Scientologist because it is so obviously and well documented to be bogus as well as sinister in it's motives. LDS doesn't have the same track record and believes in the same core tenants and values of the rest of Christianity- which are also tenants and values largely shared with Judaism even if the process is different.

Bubba

"LDS doesn't have the same track record and believes in the same core tenants and values of the rest of Christianity- which are also tenants and values largely shared with Judaism even if the process is different."

Which is why I don't see Romney's faith being a major impediment in the long run.

Fundamentalist and other conservative Christians will end up supporting Romney in the long run if nominated, unless an opposition candidate has established clearly superior credentials with them.

Patty Ayers

Mr. Cone: How bizarre does a religion have to be before we're allowed to make an assessment of important aspects of the practioner's character, based upon their choice of religion?

Knowing that a person chose Mormonism and believes its tenets tells me a vast amount.

Your assertion that this is a type of prejudice is entirely unfounded.

Connie Mack Jr

Mr. Cone: How bizarre does a religion have to be before we're allowed to make an assessment of important aspects of the practioner's character, based upon their choice of religion?* Patty

Not much if that religion claims some dude found some lost golden plates that explain everything in life and than he lost them because of some lost jewish tribe in the new world stole them!

Knowing that a person chose Mormonism and believes its tenets tells me a vast amount.* Patty

You got that right! Do you know some people in North Carolina dare snakes to bite them to prove God does exist with his tenets?

Your assertion that this is a type of prejudice is entirely unfounded.* Patty Ayers

Great Architect!! Ed has not suggested any law to locked up Mormons in Greensboro because of rumors that some of his friends have been married twice.


LDS doesn't have the same track record and believes in the same core tenants and values of the rest of Christianity- which are also tenants and values largely shared with Judaism even if the process is different.* Brother Sam

Sure it does Sam! The State government of Illinois burned the Mormons out of their homes and business at one time in history. Sorted like Daniel and his Jewish tribes being run off to Baghdad in ancient history by those dirty Persians


Fundamentalist and other conservative Christians will end up supporting Romney in the long run if nominated, unless an opposition candidate has established clearly superior credentials with them.*Bubba

Bubba! Suppose that opposition candiate is Jesus! Than what? And besides your Republican party is wipe out along with those Fundamentalists who departed from the real faith as backsliders and hypocrites.


Bubba you are screw! Have you ever consider Devil and goat worship as a backup religion to carry forth your republican promises into the land of political honey and love?

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