Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mitt Romney Immigration and Gay Rights Versus LDS Historical Revisionism "The Memory Hole"

Update & Edit June 25, 2012.

"...Romney’s religion is not a sideline, but a crucial element in understanding the man, the mission and the candidacy. He is the quintessential Mormon who embodies all of the basic elements of the homegrown American religion that is among the fastest growing religions in the world. Like his father before him, Romney has charted a course from missionary to businessman, from church bishop to politician — and to presidential candidate. The influence that Mormonism has had on him has dominated every step of the way.

The seeds of Romney’s unique brand of conservatism, often regarded with intense suspicion by most non-Mormon conservatives, were sown in the secretive, acquisitive, patriarchal, authoritarian religious empire run by “quorums” of men under an umbrella consortium called the General Authorities. A creed unlike any other in the United States, from its inception Mormonism encouraged material prosperity and abundance as a measure of holy worth, and its strict system of tithing 10 percent of individual wealth has made the church one of the world’s richest institutions..."

Above quotes from : "Romney and the White Horse Prophecy :A close look at the roots of Romney's -- and the Mormon church's -- political ambitions" BY SALLY DENTON at, January 29, 2012

Mitt Romney and the Latino Vote and Immigration CBS News via The Christian Monitor

Mitt Romney immigration policy: Will it win some Latino voters? (+video)
In an address to Latino officials Thursday, Mitt Romney softened his tone as he laid out immigration policy. But he still won't say whether he would first overturn Obama's new policy to help young illegal immigrants. by Linda Feldmann, June 21, 2012

CBS News Romney/Immigration

Sen. Marco Rubio defends Mitt Romney's remark on 'self-deportation' at a (The Christian) Monitor Breakfast Thursday in Washington, D.C.

On the issue of illegal immigrants Mitt Romney surprisingly appears more conservative than the leading officials of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints(aka Mormon Church or LDS).

For examples see:

Immigration Divides Romney And His Church
Hispanic Mormons are torn. “Romney should listen to his church,” says Salt Lake City's McKay Coppins at Buzz Feed Politics, June 22, 2012

Immigration: The Church of Jesus Christ of latter Day Saints Issues New Statement by, June 10,2012

Update My running commentary on Mitt Romney and The Church of Jesus Christ of The Latter Day Saints.
Note The study of LDS is still ongoing -
so any errors or corrections needed and suggestions welcomed in the spirit of scholarship-
For instance until recently I thought most Mormons still practised polygamy which they do not .
Those who still practise polygamy are not members of the official Church .
The claims of racism I thought were exaggerated but they were not and the issue is complicated as it relates to LDS doctrines and mythology and current practices.

Pluralism, Multiculturalism versus A theocracy

In understanding any religion or sect we begin by taking the founder and the religious text and teachings at face value . So Joseph Smith's teachings and The Book of Mormon which he translated from the Golden tablets must be accepted as encompassing a sincerely held religious system.

We must recognize that the founder and his followers are sincere in their beliefs . This is especially true in a supposedly pluralistic multicultural society.

. Things get a little more tricky when the religion's followers attempt to push their values on those outside their Church to make them universal not just by the means of persuasion and debate but also by coercion by legislation backed by those in power with the help of the military and police. So it is a matter of the influence this or that religious group has on the making and enacting of public policies. There's the rub.

Now there is a difference between certain religious teachings and actions and rituals which may have no significant impact on those who do not belong to the particular religious group such as sermonizing, prayer, meditation, chanting while other doctrines may go against the values and beliefs of those of other religious faiths.

For instance one of the often touted extreme examples of religious faith trumping domestic or foreign policy making decisions might be that of deciding to go to war whether a massive invasion or using nuclear weapons in the belief that God would intervene to save spiritually or even physically the "True Believers" and possibly their nations.

I have commented before that despite America's hysteria over Iran's imaginary nuclear threat to the world the Mullahs and Ayatollahs of Iran have publicly issued a Fatwa renouncing the use of nuclear weapons by Iran or any Islamic nation or group on other nations These notables of Iran have proclaimed that it would be anti-Islamic to use nuclear weapons since such a weapon dropped anywhere would kill tens of thousands of innocent civilians. The Americans as Christians may see nothing wrong in the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians to take out one of America's alleged enemies ie Saddam, Gaddafi or Assad but most Muslims view the killing of innocent civilians as immoral . At the very least these Islamic leaders see the killing of civilians when attempting to defend oneself as a very tricky question. While for Americans it is a no brainer killing supposedly innocent people is not much of a concern especially if those civilians are not American citizens or possibly European citizens otherwise America view all such peoples as inferior or as enemies of Christianity as Infidels who's death has no meaning.

An American Joseph Smith was the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1830. He claimed to have found an ancient religious text written upon golden plates . This religious text The Book of Mormon owed its name to the angel Moroni who spoke to joseph Smith telling him this sacred book contained the true Christian Gospel as originally intended by Jesus Christ . According to The Book of Mormon Jesus Christ after his sojourn in the Middle East came to America and preached the Gospel.

Joseph Smith had been chosen as God's latter Day prophet who's calling was to creat a new Christian Church to correct the Christian Church where it had gone astray from the original Gospel.

Joseph Smith believed his calling besides presiding over this new church he believed he was being called by his God " to become president (Of USA) and reorganize American society according to Mormon principles ".

Joseph Smith did not hold to the principle of "The Separation of Church and State" as found in the American Constitution. He saw the workings in the spiritual realms as entwined with political and public policy making decisions. So ethical and moral issues could only be settled and acted upon by relying on the Church's basic principles and doctrines .

Since this notion of combining a religion with the state into some form of theocracy was part of the original teachings of Joseph Smith and the Church of jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints there is therefore reason to question a Mormon running for a high office such as president on how their faith and Church doctrines would impact on policy making decisions. It is then up to the electorate to make an informed decision to accept or reject the individual.

Part of the reason that coming to an informed decision on candidate who is LDS member is that the elders and the church's official historians are constantly in the act of rewriting Mormon history to rid church documents of any opinion or action which does not fit with the Church's current attitudes and opinions and doctrines. They will also white wash and downplay any doctrine or opinion or past activity of the Church if it is bad for the Church's public image that is if the practices or opinions are controversial in a given period of time. What is acceptable to the Non-Mormon American public at one time may at a later time be seen as shocking or culturally backward etc.

For instance this is why the Mormon Church had a change of heart and a rewriting of its doctrines such as Polygamy and its racist policies and its sexist policies. Not because they themselves decided to change but because it was a matter of the Church's public image or its survival as a religious people. In the case of Polygamy this was in deed the case since the US government was stripping the church of its material wealth and denying Mormon's their rights .

It is reminiscent of George Orwell's memory hole in 1984 in which the past gets re-written so there are no contradictions in policies . I would ague that the rewriting and reinterpreting of history is in fact an American obsession to eliminate all facts which in some way undermine or contradict America's current view of its own somewhat mythological history. updating historical documents and text to fit with current Church doctrines.

For instance there is agreement among most non-Mormon historians and researchers that The Church of jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was more tolerant of same sex sexual and emotional relationships especially during its earlier period up until the 1950s when the Church leaders took a harsher view of homosexuality referring to homosexuality as an abomination and an afront to God.

As part of The Mormon Church's rewriting of its own history to align the older Church beliefs and practices with those doctrines and opinions held by the Church currently the Church elders teach that the LDS church has always been fervently anti-homosexual even though this contradicts the fact based history of the Church .

Though someone who is Gay but does not take part in sexual activity with people of the same sex that is are in fact celibate is allowed to be part of the Church.

And again borrowing from website Religious Tolerance we get a brief overview of ... "Current LDS attitudes towards homosexuality:

The LDS church is currently very strongly opposed to equal rights for gays and lesbians. They maintain that their position has remained unchanged through their history.

They teach that a member cannot be excommunicated simply because they have a homosexual orientation, as long as they remain celibate.

Daniel Peterson, a professor at Brigham Young university and the author of many books and articles on church doctrine said in an interview:

"To be a practicing homosexual is something that will bring you into contact with the church court. To be a homosexual as such, to be of that inclination, there's nothing excommunicable about that and there are lots of them in the church. It must be a terribly difficult road to walk." 8

However, church policies are not always interpreted consistently; ex-members are occasionally seen on Usenets describing how they were excommunicated from the church because news of their sexual orientation became public, even though they have never been sexually active.

The church expects the same behavior among heterosexuals, bisexuals, gays and lesbians. Daniel Peterson said:

"... the standard for a homosexual is the same as the standard for a heterosexual. No sexual relations except within [opposite-sex] marriage. And if you violate that, that is one of the most serious things the church will look at. In that sense, there's no discrimination; there's a single standard that if a heterosexual male violates his marriage covenants, he's likely to be disciplined, whether it's with a man or a woman." 8

Current LDS beliefs about homosexuality:

Mormons refer to homosexuals as being "same-sex attracted." Their current beliefs are similar to that of most other conservative Christian churches. They believe that:

Homosexuality is a chosen lifestyle.

All homosexual activity is immoral and sinful, irrespective of the love and commitment of partners in a same-sex relationship.

Homosexuality is caused by dysfunctional parenting, typically by an overbearing mother and emotionally distant father

It can be cured through reparative therapy, repentance, and prayer.

see for instance:


Newsroom The Church of Jesus Christ of latter Day Saints

Online Nevada Encyclopedia


Dialogue :A Journal Of Mormon Thought

The LDS Church (The Mormons) & homosexuality at Religious Tolerance Ontario Consultants On Religious Tolerance

See which Republicans are partying with Mitt Romney in Park City this weekend by Blaze Bullock, Deseret News, June 22, 2012

News analysis: Differing philosophies at the core of economic arguments for President Obama, Mitt Romney by Jackie Hicken, Deseret News, June 17, 2012

"Romney and the White Horse Prophecy :A close look at the roots of Romney's -- and the Mormon church's -- political ambitions" BY SALLY DENTON at, January 29, 2012

Time To Cancel The Mormon Theocracy Watch at Walter Russell Mead's Blog, March 27,2012

Mormonism’s Negro Doctrine: An Historical Overview by Lester E. Bush, Jr. Dialogue A Journal Of Mormon Thought (spring 1973)

Toward a Post-Heterosexual Mormon Theology
by Taylor Petrey, in Vol. 44 No. 4, Winter 2011, Dialogue

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