Letters to the Editor

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ROMNEY: Church’s ads aren’t an endorsement

Letter by Michael R. Jennings, Puyallup on Feb. 24, 2012 at 11:28 am with 55 Comments »
February 24, 2012 12:56 pm

Re: “Pro-Mormon ads have political aim” (letter, 2-23).

This letter writer is very much misinformed. As an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), I can assure readers that our church does not fund any political candidate for office, nor does our leadership endorse any candidate, period.

And yes, we are great and normal people.

Leave a comment Comments → 55
  1. Don’t worry about my opinion – I don’t think your church is any wackier than any other denomination. Floating out of a cave postmortem vs golden plates and Jesus hangin’ with the Indians in North America – its all Harry Potter to me.

  2. Mr. Jennings, I have a bridge I would like to sell you. Rationalize much?

  3. old_benjamin says:

    Dude, he didn’t float out. He walked out.

    Tell me, which method of reckoning history is based on years since Harry Potter’s birth or Brigham Young’s birth? Something special must have happened don’t you think to warrant the designation “anno Domino”? Not even the Supreme Court has yet seen fit to find that tribute outside the “Wall of Separation.” Think about it.

  4. Anno Domini, Latin for “In the Year of (Our) Lord”, AD commonly refers to years following 1 BC in the Julian and Gregorian calendars.

    “anno Domino” could mean: the year of our Pizza.

  5. ben, it’s the little pink ones, second jar from the left. One a day, remember?

  6. old_benjamin says:

    Gosh Pubico, I don’t remember. But, if you found them helpful, I’ll sure try a few. Is there a generic or do I ask for them by brand name?

  7. I knew it! You forgot you already had them. We have been through this before ben.

  8. Anothermoniker says:

    “I can assure readers that our church does not fund any political candidate for office, nor does our leadership endorse any candidate, period”

    Maybe you can explain why the money trail for Prop 8 in California ended at the Mormon Church.

  9. alindasue says:

    old_benjamin and muckibr,

    A lot of people mistake AD for “After Death”, not realizing that Jesus was crucified and resurrected in 30-something AD.

    old_benjamin, He may have floated out or He may have walked out. It doesn’t really say, does it? According to the record, when she arrived at the tomb, He had already left it.

    Anyhow, as to the rest of the comments… normally, being LDS myself, I have a lot to say on this topic, but it’s been a long day full of car repairs, errands, and sick children and I am frankly quite tired. I hope you’ll forgive me if I take a shortcut this time and end this, my last comment of the night, by copying and pasting my post in reply to that letter (and comments) that triggered today’s letter by Mr. Jennings. Here goes:

    __________________________________________________________________

    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.
    _______________________________________________________

    Good night, all. See you tomorrow sometime.
    peace

  10. To my knowledge the mormon church is the only religious denomination that advertises. If it is such an amazingly wonderful organization why does it have to?

    I admit I was involved with that bunch many, many years ago for a time. Once they get their fingers into you they never leave you alone. A meeting here, a meeting there, other church members banging on your door to check on you.

    They keep their congregation so dang busy that they haven’t got time to question anything about it!

    Haa! I remember the time that someone I know from another country had missionaries bang on their door. They “promised” that if this person joined their church, the church would give them free visits home!!!!

    This person made visits to the old country regularly anyway, and the missionaries found themselves resoundingly kicked out the front door!! :D

  11. rooster_02 says:

    Only a cult would require you to wear a specific type of underwear.

  12. Dcr626, You can now add this to your knowledge based. TV ads for the Catholic Church.

    http://www.catholicscomehome.org/about-our-tv-commercials.php

  13. aislander says:

    South Park devoted an entire show (perhaps two: part 1, part 2) mocking the Mormon Church’s history and gospel, but the bottom line was that anything that produced the wonderful families and culture characteristic of LDS was a benefit to its members and the world.

    …and Matt Stone and Trey Parker have intimate knowledge of the workings of the LDS, as well as a demonstrably skeptical attitude about…well…everything.

  14. old_benjamin says:

    alindasue, it doesn’t really matter how He got out, just that he didn’t stay in the tomb. We know though that He did walk about from the record of the Gospels. As far as we know, Harry Potter never came out of a sealed tomb, walking, floating, flying or doing back flips.

  15. frankiethomas says:

    I went from Candidate to Proposition 8 myself. The Mormon church funds politics. Right ot wrong is another argument but it dows. And the timing of these “hey were just like you” ads with the Romney campaign is just a happy accident. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

  16. frankiethomas says:

    *does *of

    My apologies

  17. Anothermoniker says:

    Speaking of reincarnation, Dcr came back. Within 7 days, no less.

  18. Anothermoniker says:

    “Unless your church happens to have the acronym “AME” following whatever other name you wish to insert, endorsing/ supporting a candidate can lead to the loss of 501(c)(3) status.”

    As usual, VoxK goes out of its way to make a racial issue. “AME” stands for “African Methodist Episcopal” and, althought not 100% is well known as a “black” church. Next will be the standard denial that race was the issue.

    My former church, a United Methodist in North Tacoma was known for having candidate forums. No one was endorsed, it was an informational time for the entire community to attend. Candidates were not allowed to ignore the topic questions and provide their pre-written, non-context answers (ala Palin, Bachmann and now all GOP candidates).

    This has been a practice in many churches for many years. Also churches have hosted individual candidates. The problem comes with financing and with endorsement from the pulpit, neither of which has been demonstrated other than by evangelical churches with GOP candidates. For example:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woVTAVitd2c

    Has VoxK, once again exposed the racist roots? Sadly, yes.

  19. Anothermoniker says:

    Oh…and there is a HUGE difference between funding a candidate and a proposition. That difference is….uh…well….uh…semantics.

  20. Anothermoniker says:

    rooster – according to the online dictionary:

    cult   /kʌlt/ Show Spelled[kuhlt] Show IPA
    noun
    1. a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
    2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers

    any sect of Christianity would qualify as a cult.

  21. aislander says:

    Dictionary definitions are short because they condense things to their simplest essence. Thus their attractiveness to the simple minded…

    …but definition number two would apply to devotion to government as deity. That is called statolatry.

  22. alindasue says:

    Dcr628 said, “To my knowledge the mormon church is the only religious denomination that advertises. If it is such an amazingly wonderful organization why does it have to?”

    I’ve also seen those Catholic ads that muckibr mentioned. I’ve also seen ads and received mailings from several of the mega-churches in the area. The Methodist church down the street from me frequently comes by to invite the neighbors out to church, as well as leaving many fliers at our gate. Jehovah’s Witnesses are famous for their advertising and proselyting activities.

    Those are all “amazing wonderful” people who are working to spread the word about God in their own ways. There is much to respect about them, even when we do disagree on doctrinal issues at times.

    Dcr628 also said, “Once they get their fingers into you they never leave you alone. A meeting here, a meeting there, other church members banging on your door to check on you.”

    Being LDS is more than just attending a Sunday meeting. It is a way of life. Yes, that does involve Sacrament (communion) meeting, Sunday School meeting, Priesthood/Relief Society meetings, youth activity meetings, before school Seminary classes for high school students, skills learning meetings, service project meetings, potluck get-togethers, church dances, and so on… I guess “a meeting here, a meeting there” is an accurate description. The only meeting that everyone is “expected” to attend is Sacrament meeting.

    We also do go to people’s houses to check on them every month. Among the women, it’s called “visiting teaching”. Among the men, it’s called “home teaching”. How it works is that members are paired together with another member and given a list of people or families that they are assigned to visit. For example, a woman at church and I currently have a list of five women (4 are active at church; 1 is not) that we visit. During that time we talk and get to know how she is doing. Usually it’s just casual conversation, a quick gospel message, and friendship, but sometimes we learn of specific needs the person has and try to find ways to help her or get her the help she needs. (Each case is unique because each person is unique.) IF everyone is doing his or her job, then all the people in the ward would be visited and their welfare checked on at least once a month.

    old_benjamin said, “alindasue, it doesn’t really matter how He got out, just that he didn’t stay in the tomb.”

    You are right. It doesn’t matter how Jesus left the tomb, only that He did. He did walk among the disciples for a bit afterward prior to ascending up to His Father, and He still lives. The biggest thing that matters in our conversation here is that Jesus was/is real and Harry Potter is a fictional character.

  23. aislander says:

    alindasue writes: “There is much to respect about them, even when we do disagree on doctrinal issues at times.”

    Very true, which is why when the Founders were arguing that government promote religion in the United States, they specifically excluded doctrinal issues from that commission…

  24. alindasue says:

    aislander said, “…and Matt Stone and Trey Parker have intimate knowledge of the workings of the LDS…”

    Given that I can’t find anything in the history of either of those gentlemen that would give them “intimate knowledge” of anything regarding the church, can I assume you are being facetious? It’s sometimes hard to tell in these written comments.

    rooster_02 said, “Only a cult would require you to wear a specific type of underwear.”

    As Anothermoniker points out, “cult” can be used to refer to anything with a devoted following from a religion to Star Trek.

    That aside, an LDS person wearing temple garments (the underwear) isn’t much different than a Jew wearing a prayer shawl. Not everyone at church is required to wear them, but the more devout members (those who chose to do temple work) choose to wear them. In fact, the garments serve much the same purpose as a prayer shawl in that they remind us to dress and act modestly and the markings on them remind us to look to the Lord in our dealings and to pray always.

    We don’t generally talk about them in any detail because we consider anything having to do with the Lord’s temples to be sacred and, as such, entitled to reverence and respect.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sacred

    frankiethomas said, “And the timing of these “hey were just like you” ads with the Romney campaign is just a happy accident. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.”

    The “I’m a Mormon” campaign began a couple years ago with a test run over in the New York area, and plans to expand it began before anyone had even filed an “intent to run for President” this last year – so yes, it could be called a “happy accident”, I suppose.

    Mitt Romney and Jon Hunter are not the only LDS people involved in politics though. As I said before, Harry Reid is just as much LDS as they are.

  25. aislander says:

    Parker and Stone were close to some Mormon families when they were kids. I have the very strong impression that they admire the results of Mormonism, but are skeptical of the history…

  26. Anothermoniker writes, “Speaking of reincarnation, Dcr came back. Within 7 days, no less.”

    Laughing so hard I have tears running onto my dinner plate!

    Does this make me a GOD!!?

    HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

  27. Woah my new power is overwhelming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

  28. Anothermoniker says:

    I so loved your “goodbye cruel blog” of last week…

  29. rooster_02 says:

    Anothermoniker,

    I agree with you. Christianity is a cult.

  30. pantomancer says:

    Nobody remembers Trinity United Church of Christ, President Obama’s cult that campaigned for him from the pulpit? You know, the one he attended for 20 years but never heard any of their controversial preachings.
    President Obama is over his head. Hillary would make a much better president. Since we checked one box with President Obama, it’s time we check the other with Hillary.

  31. Cardinous says:

    “Nobody remembers Trinity United Church of Christ, President Obama’s cult that campaigned for him from the pulpit?”

    Proof? Or is this just another LFBASELESSASSERTION?

  32. Cardinous says:

    Streeeeeetttched….to its most absurd….

    Someone will call this “campaigning”…even though it was a guest speaker (Catholic priest)to Trinity.

    Do yourselves a favor and read the comments below the video. It says a ton about those that oppose Trinity.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGgRaApkcP8

  33. alindasue says:

    aislander said, “Parker and Stone were close to some Mormon families when they were kids. I have the very strong impression that they admire the results of Mormonism, but are skeptical of the history…”

    When I was a kid, I had several close friends who were Catholic. When I was older, I work as a personal care giver for a lady who was very old, very Italian, and very devote Catholic. She had a rosary collection worthy of the Vatican. Yet, despite all that exposure, I can tell you about some of their customs and attitudes, but I can not even begin to claim to have “knowledge of the intimate workings” of the Catholic church.

    Judging from the few clips of “The Book of Mormon” musical that I have seen on YouTube, I can pretty much see that Mr. Parker’s and Mr. Stone’s “knowledge of the intimate workings” of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints isn’t much better. Their play has its entertainment value, but I would not consider it a reliable source of information about the church by any stretch of the imagination.

    Interestingly enough, coming back to the topic of this thread, the opening of “The Book of Mormon” musical also seems to coincide with Mitt Romney running for president. To use frankiethomas’s words: “And the timing of these… with the Romney campaign is just a happy accident. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.”

    If one could be a “happy accident”, the other could be to, eh.
    Personally, I don’t think the timing was deliberate in either case…

  34. alindasue says:

    Oops! I meant “devout”, not “devote” in the comment above.

  35. aislander says:

    I defer to your greater knowledge of this subject, alindasue. I overstated Stone and Parker’s knowledge of LDS beyond what I knew for certain.

    I believe that my subsequent conclusion regarding their attitudes toward the church is correct: they do admire the results. As do I…

  36. Cardinous says:

    The LDS Church has been advertising on TV for at least 25 years that I can remember. Their advertising campaign has nothing to do with Romney.

    That being said, I don’t see them as apolitical either.

  37. took14theteam says:

    So is the Mormon underwear lead lined to keep out unwanted evils, or to keep in unwanted evils?

    ;-)

  38. “I so loved your “goodbye cruel blog” of last week…”

    Oh but its still in the works….even if I have become a GOD” now! HAA!!

    This whole comment about this and that stuff has worn out with me…never really accomplishes anything and usually just gets someone all fussy and fidgety…..But once in awhile something pops up for my attention….I think for the most part Ill just be fewer are farther between until one day someone will wonder….’What ever happened to that Dcr guy?” ;)

  39. alindasue says:

    took14theteam said, “So is the Mormon underwear lead lined to keep out unwanted evils, or to keep in unwanted evils?”

    Is that an honest question or are you being deliberately provocative? Wanting to believe the best in people, I’m going to treat your question as an honest one.

    Standard white fabric. No lead.

    What we do to “keep out unwanted evils” is have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, adhere to Heavenly Father’s commandments, study the scriptures, and pray often.

  40. I can vouch for UNLEADED underwear in Utah…..I lived there once upon a time and not once did I hear anyone clanking around in metallic panties!

  41. …..although there WAS this one weird character standing on a street corner at 25th and Washington in Ogden who…….Oh never mind! :D HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

  42. Cardinous says:

    You know, it’s funny how the evangelicals (Assembly of God) women used to never wear makeup (they said it was vain), but Tammy Faye made it all OK for them. Go to an AOG Church for lessons on 80s Big Hair and makeup.

    Those would be the same kind of people to criticize garmies.

  43. And yes, we are great and normal people.

    It really depends upon how you define the word “normal”. Since the vast majority of Americans don’t store a year’s worth of food in their pantries it could easily be demonstrated that you aren’t “normal” – but then….neither am I.

  44. alindasue says:

    Normal… I don’t think I’d know “normal” even if it shook my hand and introduced itself. I’ve always been considered a bit “eccentric” even in the years before I became LDS.

    You know though, it wasn’t too many decades ago that it was considered a normal practice to keep a steady supply of staples (flour, sugar, leavening, etc) on hand and to “put up” foods in season for later use. The concept of “food storage” is not much different from that.

    That’s how people managed through the Great Depression and the rationing days of WWII. That’s how we manage through the recession now. It get’s us through the rough weeks like this last week when we had two expensive car repairs on the same paycheck.

  45. pantomancer says:

    Anybody catch Louis Farrakhan’s latest political rant from the pulpit?

    President Obama is waaaay over his head. We checked the box, let’s check the other one and put Hillary in charge for the next four.

  46. Anybody catch Louis Farrakhan’s latest political rant from the pulpit?

    Although Louis Farrakhan actually makes some insightful statements, most folks who are extremely race-based in their thinking (you might call them the black and white “black or white” thinkers) tend to “catch” his latest.

    I’m thinking your race-based thinking doesn’t come from the black side of things…..

  47. alindasue says:

    pantomancer,

    What do the rantings of a Nation of Islam minister have to do with this thread topic? More to the point, what do the rantings of said minister have to do with how well President Obama is performing his duties as President?

    I get it that you supported Hillary Clinton before she conceded the nomination to Barack Obama back in 2008. Personally, I was rooting for Dennis Kucinich that year. However, neither of those people are running for president in 2012. You either throw your support behind the person their party has chosen to support, the incumbent President Obama, or you vote for another party’s candidate.

    Either way, please, keep your arguments against a candidate actually relative to that candidate and keep your posts at least somewhat related to the thread you are posting in. Thanks.

  48. While a bit off topic, I’m trying to find why someone would call this a “rant”?

    February 27, 2012|By Dan Hinkel, Chicago Tribune reporter

    In a fiery lecture to thousands of followers of the Nation of Islam on Sunday in Chicago, Minister Louis Farrakhan warned that racial hatred could lead to attempts to assassinate President Barack Obama.

    Farrakhan spent much of his oration decrying what he cast as Satan’s influence over racist forces in politics and society before asking a pointed rhetorical question: “Do you think they’re wicked enough to be plotting our brother’s assassination as we speak?”

    It sounds like one of the most logic based things that Farrakan has ever said. Fascinating how an Islamic embraces and protects a Christian president. We should all be so open minded.

  49. aislander says:

    Whether it’s Farrakhan or Phelps, it isn’t a matter of skin color, which is really a non-factor to most people, but of culture and philosophy. THOSE matter.

  50. “DALLAS, Texas – Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Thursday that President Obama wants more young adults to go to college so they can undergo “indoctrination” to a secular world view.”

    No less incendiary or stupid than any statement by Farrakhan, Phelps, et al…and yet, not a peep from the right wing telling Rick “shut up, you are making us all look stupid”. This isn’t a loose nut wacko, but the leading candidate (today) for the Presidential nomination of the GOP.

    Yep. Culture and philosophy

  51. I highly recommend to ALL other legitimate posters on these blogs to completely ignore ImLarry, Cardinous and Anothermoniker who is the same person formerly known as ManuelMartini. It is totally pointless to engage in discussion with a person whose ONLY purpose here is to antagonize others.

    Read more here: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/letters/2012/02/22/afghan-culture-is-just-too-different/#comment-205985#storylink=cpy

  52. pantomancer says:

    I said nothing of race beerboy.

  53. pantomancer says:

    :0 say it isn’t so muckibr. Will do.

  54. wildcelticrose says:

    I just wish the mormon “missionaries” would quit knocking on my door.

    I have a sign which clearly states no soliciting or PROSELYTIZING and that anyone engaging in either will be treated as a trespasser.

    Even the JWs who aren’t fond of secondary education can read and understand that and don’t knock.

    The mormons always do (the last one argued with me stating that he “knew the law”

    He was less than kindly, and loudly told to get off my porch.

  55. alindasue says:

    wildcelticrose said, “He was less than kindly, and loudly told to get off my porch.”

    He? I think you mean “they”. They always travel in pairs. If there was only one, then it’s likely he wasn’t one of our missionaries.

    Ah, well. It least your comment was sort of on topic.

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