Letters to the Editor

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ROMNEY: Pro-Mormon ads have political aim

Letter by Donovan D. Wolters, Lakebay on Feb. 17, 2012 at 4:45 pm with 20 Comments »
February 21, 2012 10:59 am

With a presidential election upon us this year, we’re going to be subjected to a slew of ads touting the admirable qualities of one candidate or another. Ahead of it all, we presently get to enjoy people telling us all about themselves and what great, normal people they are. And by the way, they’re Mormons.

These ads telling us what regular people Mormons are, without a doubt, paid for by the Mormon church in order to let us all know that presidential candidate Mitt Romney is just like you and me.

While I’ve got no beef with the message (although I’m an atheist), I’ve got to protest the fact that these blatantly political ads are paid for with tax-exempt church dollars. If anyone really thinks otherwise then they are just as delusional as those who think that someone who makes millions by producing nothing has something in common with them.

Leave a comment Comments → 20
  1. I also think it’s much more than a coincidence that the “And I’m a Mormon!” ads just started to be broadcast when Mitt Romney and John Huntsman became candidates. But, if the LDS church is NOT breaking any laws, then more power to them!

    There is no blatant political message in any of the ads that I have seen. They are just trying to convey that Mormons are regular people like everyone else. What is the problem with that. Nothing, unless you are an atheist.

  2. I am sure they are part of the “Mormon agenda” being “crammed down our throats”, just like the “gay agenda” people talk about.

    (If you can’t tell, that was )

  3. Well, for some reason it deleted a (forward slash) “sarcasm” in the last parenthetical expression above. I guess that is an HTML code for something.

  4. Gosh, three times I’ve tried writing the word s a r c a s m, (written without the spaces) and it just won’t take it. Is that not allowed anymore?

  5. Cardinous says:

    The Mormon Church as been advertising for years. Possibly they are in coordination with Romney’s campaign, but I doubt it.

    Romney’s biggest hurdle is the religions bigotry of his own party.

  6. pantomancer says:

    Great letter Donovan. Never before in the history of our nation has a tax exempt group spent money on political ads… really.

  7. pantomancer says:


  8. TacomaDad79 says:

    The very idea that the Mormon church can still claim to be tax exempt is a joke.

  9. lylelaws says:


    Please enlighten me about ads, because I haven’t seen any of them. Are they on TV, in the newspaper or where?

    If they are ads asking or people to vote for Mitt Romney, you may have a point, but if they are just trying to promote their image what is the harm?

    As I stated in a recent letter, although I don’t practice religion, I have never known a Mormon who was not honest hard working and very family oriented.

  10. Theefrinker says:

    I don’t believe these commercials to be politically-affiliated; they’re just advertising their religion… and advertising one’s religion is certainly nothing new.

  11. Talked to a student who said he dropped out of the Church when they were pressuring him to work the phones against Prop 8. That was clearly a breach in the rules against political action.

    However – the pro-Mormon (usually with a Dad being goofy with his children) ads have been around for awhile – especially when one lives close to the center of the beehive – the Church is extremely active in recruitment. I don’t see them as having an additional political intent.

  12. beerBoy, I think issue-oriented elections are ok, its partisan elections where churches cannot take sides.

    The line gets mighty thin when we have a clear divide like Prop 8, but so far the courts have talked about partisan PARTY politics.

    I am sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong.

  13. Yeah, it’s really something to get up in arms about all right, those unsavory ads about simple, regular folks.Sound the tocsin!

  14. David1964 says:

    Lyle, I’ve seen the Mormon ads on local buses and billboards.

  15. alindasue says:

    The church’s “I’m a Mormon” ads serve a much greater purpose (or sinister, I suppose, depending on your point of view) than merely advancing the political ambitions of a couple of its members. It’s part of our missionary program.

    I first began noticing the TV commercials for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints way back during the ’70s when I first joined the church. A lot of them can still be watched thanks to the magic of YouTube. The themes have been numerous: spending time with family, how to keep a marriage strong, values like honesty and integrity, Biblical stories, the importance of serving others, and more.

    Besides the commercials, the church has used the evolving media technology to its benefit and the benefit of its members. Since the 70’s, most of the chapels have satellite receiver dishes so that special programs such as General Conference or the Christmas devotional can be broadcast to chapels throughout the world. The church has continued to use the evolving technology to make genealogical searches easier for both church members and non-members.

    As internet technology increased, so did the church’s internet presence. The lds.org site, which started as an excellent resource for church news, now has expanded to the point where even the general public can access nearly all the church’s magazines, hymns, scriptures, Sunday school manuals, broadcasts, and much more… even an online piano course. Branching off lds.org are related sites such as Provident Living (frugal living, food storage, and welfare service), Family Search (genealogy), and mormon.org.

    The current “I’m a Mormon” commercials tie in with the “mormon.org” site which is un-apologetically a missionary site, letting the world know about the church, showing individual profiles that members create, and providing a forum for members to answer questions about our beliefs. The site began forming a couple years ago. I created my profile on the site last spring. If you type “Alinda Sue” into the search bar, you’ll find it.

    The church does occasionally speak out about moral issues, as tuddo pointed out, but it does not get involved with political campaigns.

    beerBoy, the First Presidency did send out a letter to all the wards in the light of Prop. 8 reminding us that marriage between a man and a woman was an important part of our family structure. I suspect any pressing to man phones that your student experienced was more the result of peer pressure than action of the church itself. We are, of course, all human and some people do bring their political beliefs with them to church, unfortunately.

    As for the timing of the “I’m a Mormon” ads… Remember, this is not the first time Mitt Romney has run (and probably won’t be the last…) and there are LDS politicians on both sides of the spectrum. Harry Reid is just as much a Mormon as Mitt Romney is.

    (Unrelated aside: I notice this letter is dated the 17th despite not actually being published till the 21st. Why does TNT keep doing that?)

  16. marcellomancini says:

    Mr. Wolters

    As a Mormon, I take issue with your blanket statement that the current “I am Mormon” television spots are politically motivated. They are not. These ads have been playing in different markets throughout the United States for many years. The Northwest happens to be one of several markets that the ads are currently running. If you truly believe these ads are politically motivated, why in the world would anyone spend the money to run them in this blue state. Oh…please forgive me. How could I be so naive as to forget about the many local, state, and federally elected democratic officials who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. My bad!

    I would like to invite you to attend one of our several hundres

  17. Alindasue: I just checked out your profile for Alinda Sue and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it. I am a life long LDS and have always said that “converts” seem to make the best Mormons, or maybe it just seems that way. I am proud of the way we are taught to live and to respect and help others, not just members of the church. Your letter (and others) help to prove that our “I’m a Mormon” ads are not politically orientated, thank you and God Bless.

  18. paradox255 says:

    To all those who commented on my letter concerning the Mormon ads on television, Thanks. And those of you who really believe that this is not politically motivated, I’m sure you also believe that the president of the Mormon church has a direct line to “God”.

  19. alindasue says:


    I believe Thomas S. Monson, the current president of the church, to be a prophet of God. That means that he has no more and no less a “direct line to God” than Moses or Abraham had.

    Actually, we believe that we all have a “direct line” to our Heavenly Father through prayer and can receive prophecy and/or guidance regarding our own families and responsibilities. The only difference is that the prophets’ receive instruction regarding the guiding of the church as a whole.

  20. Churches are people, my friends.

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