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Thursday, December 13, 2007

ABC NEWS Jake Tapper: Iowa City Councilman Calls Mormonism a Cult

Boy . . . I'm torn as to what to do with this one. I really wish this issue would just go away and that people would stop attacking a wonderful man and accomplished candidate on his religious affiliation. I know it's just a small segment of the population that feel this way about Romney/Mormonism, but for every elected official who's willing to go on the record about it, how many other stealth/whisper campaigns are going on? Who knows . . . but onto the story.

In my previous post I linked to the Caucus Cooler's story about the City Councilman, Craig Adamson, from Marion, IA condemning Romney and Mormonism via email. Well, now ABC News' Jake Tapper interviewed Adamson and he's digging himself in even deeper. And, we find out that he's a Huckabee supporter (sadly unsurprising):

The Mormon faith of presidential candidate Mitt Romney continues to receive scrutiny and criticism in ways that would likely not be so vocally aimed at any faith other than, perhaps, Islam.

In Marion, Iowa, City Councilman Craig Adamson -- a registered Republican who considers himself a supporter of Mike Huckabee -- sent out an email asserting that if "you think religion, especially Christianity, is being marginalized by ACLU and other organizations" then "you would be piling on" if you vote for Mitt Romney because "Mormonism is a cult. In case I didn't type it clearly enough … Mormonism is a cult."

As first reported on the Iowa Caucus Cooler blog, Adamson wrote that "based on my knowledge of Mormonism, I would not trust him as my president as he might be fooled into believing most anything. How could he possibly be trusted to negotiate with Islamic radicals? He might believe Muslim and Mormons are the same, just like he tries to pass off Mormons as Christians."

Adamson . . . suggests his objections to Romney are not just faith-based.

"Whether or not you believe what Mormonism has to say, Romney has flip-flopped on important issues such as whether or not he's pro life," Adamson says.

But he goes on to say that Romney's faith bothers him. "If you've delved into the Mormon faith at all there's a lot to swallow," he says. "Mormonism tries to assimilate itself as mainstream Christianity."

. . .

Adamson intends to attend the Republican caucuses in Iowa on January 3. While he's strongly leaning towards Huckbee, a former Baptist preacher, he considers Huckabee weak on illegal immigration and likes the views of Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., on that issue. The only matter he seems sure of is that he's "going to campaign against Mitt Romney. He's a very educated man -- there's a lot of very educated people that are Mormon. Orrin Hatch is a Mormon; he's been in the Senate for like 100 years. But if you're going to be in positions of responsibly it does trouble me."

"Mormonism is a cult," he says again. "I'm not going to back down on this."

Says Romney campaign spokesman Kevin Madden, “Governor Romney continues to believe that this campaign should not be about questioning a candidate’s faith. While it is fair to criticize a candidate’s record or policy positions, we would strongly disagree with anyone who would choose to make disparaging remarks about a candidate’s personal faith."

And he notes that Romney said in his speech at the George Bush Presidential Library just last week, "I am an American running for President. I do not define my candidacy by my religion. A person should not be elected because of his faith nor should he be rejected because of his faith."

In other anti-Mormon news, a Baltimore Sun columnist actually weighs in on whether or not Romney wears the garments preferred by some members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. (60 Minutes' Mike Wallace took a look at this LDS practice HERE.) A Sun reporter used a bathroom at one of the Romneys' many mansions and took a peek.

This is one of the reasons why people hate the media.

And on Bloomberg TV, Huckabee is asked what he meant when he asked a New York Times Magazine reporter, "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"

"Where were you going with this comment and is it reasonable for people to question how an ordained minister would ask this kind of question?" asked Peter Cook.

"No, because I don't know that much about the Mormon faith," Huckabee responded. "I haven't studied Mormonism. I have enough trouble keeping up with Baptist theology. I'm a Baptist. The reporter actually knew more about the Mormon faith than I did. It was a question that was asked, 10 words, in the context of about a three- to four-hour conversation that we had over a period of several days. Somehow, 10 words got lifted out of an 8,100-word article and it’s unfortunate. I’m not, you know, talking about somebody else’s faith. It’s not my job to discuss it."

Would any religious belief, if practiced by a minority population, withstand such scrutiny?

The "I'm campaigning against Mitt Romney" and the support for Huckabee is, again, sadly unsurprising. Those objecting to Romney on theological grounds seem to have found a home with Huck from Hope.

Also, I love the irony of how this Adamson clown objects to Romney because of his "Flip-flop" on abortion, but can still be a strong supporter of Huckabee despite his "deathbed conversion" on immigration. The Huck-a-flops are starting to pile up (taxes, Guantanomo, Immigration, crime rhetoric, etc . . .).

It's easy to see how unflappable and presidential Romney has acted through all this. He definitely is the one standing on higher ground.

8 comments:

wordswriter said...

As shouted from the rooftops, I repeat: The United States is electing a Commander-in-Chief, not a Pastor-in-Chief!

from huckaboom to huckabust said...

Indeed, go to Evangelicals for Mitt and see how they dislike Mitt's faith, but see the best man for people of faith.

In their words, "It's not even close."

Go, Mitt!

http://www.evangelicalsformitt.org/front_page/game_on.php

Anonymous said...

I've got a Use Your Brain Candidate Scorecard. I think publishing it might help folks clarify and recognize that while their feelings for or against a certain theology might be important, it's not the only thing. Email me if you want it to post on your site at john-at-cachevalleyhomeinfo-dot-com.

SGS said...

Adamson is stepping on his own toes. He claims that "there's a lot of very educated people that are Mormon" but yet, said "there's a lot to swallow" if you do study the faith. So, again, if you are "very educated", you won't be scammed into believe foolish things, at least not on the "lot" scale. If you do believe those foolish things, then you cannot be "very educated". He cannot have it both ways.

So, he is either telling us LDS members that we are idiots for believing those things, or we, being educated that we are, may know something he does not know yet.

I will let the you readers decide which is which, but beware: it is best to look for the fruits than to look for the speckle in an eye. You should look at the lives of us LDS members, rather than, what your pastors (who have conflict of interest) are telling you about us. If you do not know LDS members, there are plenty of people out there you can learn about -- Glady Knight, Steve Young and the Osmonds. They are only tip of the iceberg of people in spotlights.

makeli said...

"deathbed conversion", priceless. :) To wordswriter,
shouldn't someone tell Huck that he is running for Commander-in-Chief, not Pastor-in-Chief? :)

Gull said...

IMO, Adamson and those who exhibit this "strain" of reasoning are an embarrassment and liability to the principles of conservatism.


http://perishthethought.blogdrive.com

Brian said...

It's never been about if Romney will be controlled by the leadership in SLC. In that respect, Romney's speech missed the mark completely.

It's always been about the religious war between us and other Christians. They do not want a Romney presidency 'legitimizing' the LDS faith as they see it.

Catholic made Mormon said...

December 12, 2007

To: Citizens of Iowa

Subject: Open Letter

Hello Iowans:

I’m confident that no one in Iowa either A: knows who I am or B. cares what I think: but if they were to ever ask my opinion about the Mormons I have a few facts to share. My religious tradition began with my mother raising me Catholic in harmony with the wishes of my father, a Presbyterian who emigrated from Scotland and I have now been a Mormon for 30 years. I am writing this Open Letter to Iowans because I would like to pass on some facts about Mormons that Iowans and most other Americans might have missed or forgotten over the last 5 years.

2002 - Georgie Anne Geyer, syndicated columnist, reported on the 2002 winter Olympics hosted by the mostly Mormon state of Utah as follows: “How on earth could a largely Mormon state do something so daring as hosting an international celebrity meeting? Would the world come gladly to a state whose dominant religion asks members to abstain from alcohol, tobacco and even caffeine, three staples of international conferences?”

She quoted Raymond T. Grant, artistic director of the Olympic Arts Festival. He talked of the opening ceremony and said: “You know, 98 percent of the entire cast were volunteers, and that’s huge. In fact, most were not paid at all. This is an extraordinary story, and I’d link it directly to Mormon culture. As a Catholic boy from New York, I found it interesting that Brigham Young, the founder of the Utah settlement of the Mormons, built a theater before anything else.’

“He went on to tally up: The state has six dance companies; more pianos and harps are sold in Utah than anywhere in the United States; the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has [360] members; and the oldest Steinway dealership in Utah … was started as early as 1862. In Utah, their per capita spending on students is one of the lowest—yet they boast high test scores. ‘It has been fascinating for me, having to tap into this culture.’ ”

Miss Geyer concluded her story by writing: “It is simply the mix of a serious and upright religion, of families who foster and insist upon providing the highest levels of culture right along with the highest modern technology, and of generally sensible organizing and governing. In short, it is a modern mix of the old America” (“Salt Lake City and State of Utah Reveal Themselves to the World,” Salt Lake Tribune, 15 Feb. 2002, A15).

2003 - President Bush awarded the 360 member Mormon Tabernacle Choir the National Medal of Arts in an Oval Office Ceremony (6 representatives were present). The National Medal of Arts is the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence. Past winners include Yo-Yo Ma, Kirk Douglas, Itzak Perlman, The Julliard School, Gregory Peck, Maya Angelou, Barbra Streisand, Frederika von Stade, Bob Hope and others.

2004 - President Bush awarded the Religion Presidential Medal of Freedom to Mormon Church President Gordon B. Hinckley on his 94th birthday in a ceremony at the White House for inspiring millions and leading efforts to improve humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and education funding across the globe. It is the highest civil honor given by the White House and previous recipients include Mother Teresa, Billy Graham and Norman Vincent Peale.

2005 - The magnitude of disasters the world experienced in 2005 is without parallel in recent history – from the severest earthquakes, to the tsunamis, to the hurricanes, to the floods, to the mud slides - 2005 was dubbed the “year of natural disasters” by the World Health Organization. In 2005 and 2006 the Mormon Church responded to emergencies in 67 countries, distributing 1.7 million hygiene, school, newborn and cleaning kits; 7.6 million pounds of food; 260,000 blankets; 1.3 million pounds of medical supplies and 2 million pounds of clothing. Alex Amparo, director of emergency management for the Governor’s Committee on Volunteerism in Florida reported that the emergency relief given by the Mormon Church and its hundreds of volunteers was tremendous during the 8 hurricanes that hit Florida in an 18 month period from 2004 to 2005. He said “from a standpoint of an emergency management official at the state level, I will tell you that the LDS Church’s volunteer program is one of the most structured and effective operations that I’ve ever seen, and I’ve worked with a host of agencies before.”

‘05/’06 - The humanitarian aide the Mormon Church gave to member and non-member victims after hurricanes Katrina and Rita was abundant. The church sent 200 truckloads of commodities and relief supplies for distribution and contributed 5 million pounds of food and water. A total of 10,000 church members from southern states caravanned every weekend for 3 months to help clean up until public services could once again handle the volume. Church volunteers provided more than 42,000 man-days. One newscaster said that 2 of the churches doing a lot of the cleanup were the Mormon Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter–day Saints (AKA the Mormons). Check out more details on the church’s website (lds.org) in the March 2007 Ensign magazine article entitled Storming Back or try Googleling Mormon Helping Hands.

Perhaps this compassionate service was given because Mormons know from their history what it feels like to be abandoned by the federal government when it failed to protect their religious freedom in the mid-1800’s and 6,000 lost their lives during the exodus to the Salt Lake valley. Is it any surprise that the church that was in a survival mode in the 1800’s rescuing their own, now knows how to help run a rescue operation in our day anywhere in the world? I might be wrong but I’m guessing the victims receiving the help didn’t give a hoot that they were Mormon helping hands and were probably pretty grateful.

Mormons volunteer their help indiscriminately without judging the heart and conscience of victims to determine if their religious denomination is suitable – after all there’s only one person who has the know how to judge if a person’s belief system is working and He is the judge of us all.

Will our next president acknowledge Mormons who help their fellow citizens in their hour of need as described above? Or would he/she wring their hands and say this can’t be happening, Mormons aren’t part of the American religious mainstream, there is no way compassionate caravans could have proliferated from covered wagons?

2007 - Claremont Graduate University’s School of Religion is establishing a new program in Mormon studies. Stating that the purpose of the school is to study the full breadth of religious experience, the university is hiring a prominent historian and biographer of church founder Joseph Smith to lead the program — starting the first such academic program in California and the second of its kind at a secular school nationwide.

Non-Mormon academics and Mormon Church leaders described Claremont’s appointment of Richard Lyman Bushman, professor emeritus of early American history at Columbia University, as a significant advance in serious scholarship about the religion, which is growing quickly worldwide…. “We consider him to be the single most widely known and highly regarded historian of Mormonism," Karen Torjesen, dean of the Claremont School of Religion, said in a statement.

Please vote for whomever you like for president, but the religion of a candidate that’s recognized for accomplishments like these shouldn’t sway you.

See Mitt Romney’s speech on Faith in America for more concerning religious tolerance (it can be viewed at MittRomney.com)

I’m also including the talk from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s broadcast of 12/09/07 as our Christmas wish for all Iowans – it sums up pretty well how the our family tries to keep Christmas. Please click on http://www.musicandthespokenword.org and under messages select As Christmas Comes.

My hope during this season of good will to men is that those who read this with an open mind might start wondering if they are misinformed about those closed minded Mormons and realize the Mormons really are an accomplished organization with a lot of class.

We hope you all have a happy and inspiring Christmas and New Year.

Sincerely,

Phil Taylor and Family
Vista, CA

P.S.

I don’t want to forget to mention that BYU has America’s largest ROTC program outside of our military schools. I love religious freedom so I submitted a question about defending religious freedom for the YouTube Republican debate. Please click on the URL below to see it. It might be of interest to replace “Mormon” in Destiny’s question with another denomination to get a glimpse of the religious melting pot in America that would be endangered by an incorrect answer. If the URL doesn’t work insert philtaylor4 into the YouTube search window.
http://www.youtube.com/contest/RepublicanDebate&results_all=true?goto=4878
Saving the best for last the Mormon Church’s Relief Society is the world’s largest women’s organization with a membership of 5.5 million women. Without it the church’s charitable outreach would be impossible to run. It is led by a 3 woman presidency.