Mormons, just an other faith

Often we hear that religion is the cause of anger and war. But they forget that is was the greediness, the power, the control, the desire to own, that caused the going forces threading over the sole of others. God or religion was only a pre-text. So many also wanted to excuse themselves for what they had done or ‘had to do’. Many times in history the name of God was misused.

Lots of people also want to point their finger to certain churches, and think they do live in a holier place. They often forget that a church is the people in it, and their errors. The errors they make while striving to get things right. The Church is also just a mean to get somewhere, and we can only hope the people in that church shall have the right intentions to come all to the same Kingdom of God, which is promised to many, but not as easy to get in to as many would love to think.

White people do have also a superior complex, thinking they all know the best, do the best and are the more civilised. We are brought up to think of all those white people as the marvellous inventors, and that they civilised the rest of the world. Imperialism and the Colonialism is still a big thing by many people.

Cover of "The Devil's Dictionary"

Cover of The Devil’s Dictionary

Furthermore you have a lot of people who want to make a profession in not meaning what they say, or, more charitably, they say what they mean but they mean something completely different than what you, and most of the people would think or understand.

Mitt Romney, born and largely raised in Michigan, in 1968 becoming the first Mormon to make a major-party run for the presidency in the modern era, is no exception—which is why an American company is unveiling Mitt Romney’s Devil’s Dictionary, a new running feature, written by Tim Murphy to help us better understand what Mitt Romney means when he says (for example), “Our president doesn’t have the same feelings about American exceptionalism that we do.” Unlike the original Ambrose Bierce offering, we can’t promise that it will be clever, witty, or darkly humorous, but it is, nonetheless, a dictionary. And it will, at least, be updated they promise.

Having ‘to Retire’ meaning to remain active would not be a problem if it is with the right idea of activeness in mind.  Though to have to work to be able to live, until you are to old to do something fun, I would not like this idea. But for the new presidents-candidate there is still an other meaning of remaining in business. Namely “to maintain a part-time role at a company while retaining full ownership, signing off on key documents, and taking a six-figure salary. e.g. “Mr. Romney retired from Bain Capital on February 11, 1999 to head the Salt Lake Organizing Committee.””

You see it all depends how you turn the words. But hearing words or stories could get a lot of misunderstandings into the world. Not knowing the other person or the situation of the other persons, could help to get a wrong picture.

Not knowing a culture, a race or a people can give the wrong idea. Lots of people are frightened of the unknown, and therefore have weird ideas and are frightened of others.

Giving information or having a person in front of them who resembles those unknown people, can help to get more understanding.

Since Obama is in the picture, fewer Americans sense discrimination toward blacks in their communities. American poll results concerning African American discrimination have reduced from 50% of the public back in January 09, down to around 37 percent today.

African American employees of Ottenheimer on s...

African American employees of Ottenheimer on strike for poor treatment. (Photo credit: Kheel Center, Cornell University)

It is not clear whether or not African Americans have noticed this shift in ideas, as whites and other non-blacks are the ones who claim that this shift has taken place.

Since Barack Obama became president many whites have had a chance to see an intelligent black man in the media, and many African Americans have an additional role model. The good example was an instigator on both sides. The handy man also used his children to let the white population understand that for blacks, as for others, the family-bond is very important. Family values and ethics the president wanted to get more to the forefront. Though his very social ideas frightened many Americans because they see the boo-man in everything that smells to something social, for them equivalent to socialism or even worse to communism.

Mormonism Family Doctrine

Mormonism Family Doctrine (Photo credit: More Good Foundation)

The same could be true during a Mitt Romney presidency, since many Americans could see a normal Mormon family in the White House. So, no matter who wins, America is going to grow, since they’ve never had to choose between an African American and a Mormon.

But the classical evangelical family may find problems to choose and the the Mormon and the African-American communities still have to face prejudices in their habitat.

Mormon Beliefs

Mormon Beliefs (Photo credit: More Good Foundation)

Great numbers of voters have confessed that they would not be comfortable if a close relative decided to marry someone who was either black or Mormon. The Washington Post and ABC News did a poll that showed that Mormons are not trusted by people outside of their community. The poll shows that 20 percent of voters would not want a Mormon to marry into their family, and 14 percent said they would not want an African American to marry in either. Whites who live in communities with fewer African Americans were the ones who were more likely to express that viewpoint, since they were less likely to be exposed to all kinds of black people. The same geographic factors do not apply as much to Mormons.

Talk of religion spurred by Romney’s run had aroused in Walter Kirn, author of the novel-turned-film Up in the Air, TNR’s new national correspondent and a former Mormon convert, feelings of surprising intensity. “Attacks on Mormonism by liberal wits and their unlikely partners in ridicule, conservative evangelical Christians, instantly filled me with resentment, particularly when they made mention of “magic underwear” and other supposedly spooky, cultish aspects of Mormon doctrine and theology.”

Stephen Mansfield, an evangelical author who has written widely about the faith of politicians, turns his attention to Mormons in his latest book, “The Mormonizing of America.”

He talked with Religion News Service about how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — including GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney — has progressed from persecution to prominence.

Mansfield is afraid something broader is going on than the story of Bush that was bigger than the story of evangelicals and bigger then the story of the religious left when Obama ran for presidency.

“The fact that the LDS will come into even greater prominence means that even more people will begin to examine the life and character of (founder) Joseph Smith, the life and character of Brigham Young, the season of polygamy, Mountain Meadows, all those things that are not very happy to Mormon memory.”

Why should he be so afraid for that?

He says: “The success of Mormonism is it has a very mystical, spiritual vision that has a very earthly practical benefit. That’s why I call it the Mormon machine. I certainly don’t mean anything political. If you are a Mormon, you understand that you are in this world to pass obstacles to “show yourself worthy” and you’re doing that before the Heavenly Father but it comes down to not smoking, not drinking, not ingesting caffeine, having a large family or a number of children.”

The image suggested that Mormons were squares and robots, a naïve, brainwashed army of the out-of-touch, hurted Kirn a bit. “It also tugged me back to a sad, frightened moment in my youth when these figures of fun were all my family had.”

Where countless liberal columnists have indulged in opportunist slurs against the LDS Church, its history and practices, Kirn brings sophistication and sympathy, noting “A church is the people in it, and their errors. The errors they make while striving to get things right.” He also says: “When a writer for The New York Times, Charles Blow, urged Romney to “stick that in your magic underwear!” I half hoped that Romney would lose his banker’s cool and tell the bigoted anti-Mormon twits to stick something else somewhere else, until it hurt. I further hoped he’d sit his critics down and thoughtfully explain that Mormonism is more than a ceremonial endeavor; it constitutes our country’s longest experiment with communitarian idealism, promoting an ethic of frontier-era burden-sharing that has been lost in contemporary America, with increasingly dire social consequences. Instead, Romney showed restraint, which disappointed me. I no longer practiced Mormonism, true, but it was still a part of me, apparently, and a bigger part than I’d appreciated.”

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts,...

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, 2008 US presidential candidate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Using such bad words is neither going to help one or the other. The experiment with communitarian idealism is one which people should wonder if it is that what they want to go for. Is polygamy the right thing to give freedom to men and women to choose for whit whom they want to live and with how many they want to marry?

The Jehovah Witnesses and the Mormons are two religions a lot of Americans fight against in the otherwise denominationally indifferent US. Though lots of Americans may have no interest at all in the religions of native Americans (the Red Indians). Today they have come at a turning point where they should come to full recognition of the Natives, their culture, their beliefs and their practices.

Also the American population should be more aware of the spirit behind their constitutional Law, which offered freedom of speech and freedom of living in a Land of Liberty. But how many years did it still take before the blacks were accepted as normal human beings with the same capabilities? Though many nationalities came to the New world to conquer the grounds of the natives, they colonised the area and imposed their thinking and way of life to others. They have taken away freedom of many.

Years have gone by, and now those whites have become the hereditary of the imperialist and colonialist population but also of those who searched for an other new free way of life. They can not make undone the missteps of their ancestors, but they could have learned from them. Knowing their history and the history of the Old Country they should take the opportunity to go on those ideas of the Bill of Rights.

Like the popular song and jazz standard, written by Duke Ellington, Don George, Johnny Hodges, and Harry James, and published in 1944, the Americans should see the beginning of the light. But they also should be careful not to go away from the light that shone for the blue coated men. They should take it serious how not only the amendment, which were adopted on December 15, 1791, prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, but also to impede the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. Anybody who they want to vote for has to stand for those major important ideas of ‘Liberty’. However, it was not until the middle to late twentieth century that the Supreme Court began to interpret the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses in such a manner as to restrict the promotion of religion by the states.

Many conservative Christians may find it not right that in the schools there are no prayers said any more. But this should be able to do in denominatial schools, but not in State or Community Schools . The Public Education School System should leave everybody in his own right, having to hold on their own belief or non-belief. In the general classes any thought should be able to be expressed. For faith matters there should be the moral and religious classes, to offer all sorts of religions an opportunity to be formed properly in their religion. (In Belgium for this obligatory subject people can choose between: atheism, secularism, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism (Free protestant Church, United Protestant Church, Reformed, Dutch Protestant church, Anglicanism), Jewish faith and Muslim faith (mostly Sunnite denomination). It is up to the parents to check the teachers and see where they want to place their kids. (I for example, though a protestant found the teachings of the Catholic religion better than the protestant, so I choose for those. For secondary education I choose for Catholic schools, because for their teaching methods and values, and for the Catholic religion class. – Note that also a Catholic school in Belgium by law, has to offer other denominations if it is not a private school.)

As a Christian myself, I prefer that my kids would go to a Christian school, were  they pray and talk about God. As a teacher I also dared to talk about the only One God in my classes, even when certain parents and directors of those State schools did not like it. But freedom of speech should also comprehends that everybody has the right to speak about his or her own beliefs, no matter which they may be, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Atheist or other. Everybody should be able to openly speak about the things they believe in, living standards, values, faith, etc., and to give their knowledge on to others.

Citizens should be aware that because not everybody is so fortunate to be able to pay the bills for a private school, the government should take care that everybody can be formed in her or his own faith with a thoroughly decent education. [My son should feel himself very lucky that as a dancer, choreographer I have been lucky to have had good working opportunities, but now when retired I also do have to sell all my shares and use my savings to pay for his very expensive eduction and do an extra job to be able to live properly. So the less fortunate children have no chance at all to go for such a profession as my son Quinten. And I do not find that right. Everybody should have the opportunity to study for the job he or she wants to do.]

People should accept that other people may think differently, and have other ideas about life. The only thing were all should come into agreement is the values for making the community able to live together. Learning that Freedom can only be there when everybody respects the freedom of the other, and nobody would impose or do something to an other which he would not like to have done to him. (Jesus’ Golden Rule) Discipline and Respect should be the Key words in all education.

People should get to know that blacks, Mormons, Hindi and others may be as well family oriented, love football, law abiding, hard working people wanting to raise their kids the right way, in a good environment.

The environment to live in a multicultural community, should be fostered by the will to work together and go for the right goals to get something “together”, to advance in history.

In that community those who have a certain faith can look to others who have similar faith and they should secure their own believes by making others aware of those deviations.  For example, I do find it dangerous that a denomination, like the Mormons and Witnesses of Jehovah, proclaim to be able to speak in the Name of God, because God uses their prophets or their organisation to guide the people. Just as the Bible is the word of God that has been distilled and preserved by generations, Mormons believe that God still speaks to humans. If you believe it, that is pretty powerful. If you can get to believe others this, then you get more powerful and your denomination shall be able to grow more. Problem there is that several people think they are in the right denomination, because it is, according to them, the biggest. Becoming a bigger denomination would still take a very long time for the Mormons, and those who have real faith in the Truth should not be afraid to lose people to one or another denomination. Because it is God who pulls the people, and it is everybody his own choice to go through the narrow gate, to become justified to enter the Kingdom of God.

Getup Get God

Getup Get God (Photo credit: prettywar-stl)

People should also have the freedom to enter or to leave a religion, and also to go back to it, if they want. And others shall have to respect their choices. All religions should give people a choice. A real choice.

Those wanting to live in a multicultural society should always be very aware of the values and ideas of the ones to vote for.

Prejudice is difficult to capture accurately in polling data; voters are often reluctant to express views they perceive as socially unacceptable. Little in the new data suggests an obvious effect from voters’ comfort level with religious or racial intermarriage on the neck-and-neck battle for the presidency between Obama and Romney.

Against Obama, Romney,who is for polygamy, is having less trouble bringing evangelicals, who consider such a thing as whorish, to his camp. He leads the president among the strong Republican group by 78 percent to 15 percent in the new Post-ABC poll, eclipsing John McCain’s whopping 47-point margin in 2008.

“Their philosophy and belief system is totally opposed to the Christian belief system,” said Doreen Tomlin, an evangelical Christian from Florida who plans to support Romney this fall. “I’m basically looking at his policies and not his religion.”

Would this be a further sign to get religion out of politics and out of public places?

A story to follow.

 

 

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Read more:

  1. Walter Kirn’s Must-Read on Mormonism + >Read the whole thing.
  2. Poll: Many Americans Don’t Like Black People or Mormons
  3. Evangelical author sees a “Mormonizing of America”
  4. Do Mormons Experience the Same Prejudice as Blacks?
  5. Change in the Book of Mormon
  6. Bill Clinton on Mitt Romney
  7. Mitt Romney: The Devil’s Dictionary
  8. Mormons again gaining some attention
  9. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  10. Wat betreft Korte inhoud van lezingen: Bijgeloof en feesten

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  • Do Mormons Experience the Same Prejudice as Blacks? – Blog: Flunking Sainthood (religionnews.com)
    This week the Bloggernacle hills are alive with the sound of outrage about a white Mormon editor at Utah Valley magazine who claimed the handle “women of color” to describe the colorfully dressed but all-Caucasian females on her staff. What does this debacle tell us about Mormonism, race, and persecution?
  • Colorado shooting: A rare glimpse into Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith (csmonitor.com)
    Some are urging Mitt Romney to be more open about his Mormon faith as a way of humanizing a man who can seem stiff. In his comments about the Colorado shooting rampage, Romney may have taken a step in that direction.
    +

    Writing in the Los Angeles Times, columnist Michael Kinsley urges Romney to be more forthcoming about his faith at a time when “the deepest reaches of any candidate’s psyche are considered fair game for commentary and analysis.”

    “He shouldn’t be pushing his Mormonism into a corner and hoping people will forget about it,” Mr. Kinsley writes. “He should be making it a central part of his campaign. It’s far and away the best thing I know about him.”
    +

  • Mormons for Obama Say Romney Doesn’t Represent Them (abcnews.go.com)
    Mitt Romney is arguably the most high-profile Mormon in the United States right now, but a small group of Seattle-based bloggers are hoping to let people know that not all Mormons are the same – and they’re not all voting for Mitt Romney.

    “I would say just like Mitt Romney is not your average American, he’s not your average Mormon, he doesn’t represent every Mormon in America,” said Laura Saganac, spokesperson for Mormons For Obama, a blog that hosts pro-Obama posts written by a small group of Mormons living in Seattle.
    +
    The blog was created in January of this year and has sold about 500 “I’m voting for Obama and I’m a Mormon” bumper stickers. The bloggers post about election issues from the perspective of a progressive-minded Mormon. Writers have tackled both Romney and Obama’s positions on gay marriage, health care and religion.
    +
    While there may be no written rule within the church demanding political purity within the Mormon community, there is one big issue where the Mormons for Obama split from their church. On the issue of gay marriage, they side with the President, who affirmed his support for its being legal in May of this year.  The Mormon Church, however, believes it should be banned, going so far as to encourage LDS members to support the passage of the highly polarizing Proposition 8 in California, banning gay marriage in the state.
    +
    The Bain Ad That Romney Should Fear the Most

  • Mitt Romney’s NAACP Speech Was A Huge Moment For Mormons (businessinsider.com)
    For most of its history, the Church of Latter-Day Saints, or Mormon Church, excluded African American men from the “priesthood,” an ordination given to most married Mormon men in good standing with the church.(The LDS church does not have a full-time salaried clergy, so virtually all Mormon heads-of-households are considered priests).

    +
    Mitt Romney’s assumption of a leadership role in Boston’s Mormon Church coincides with the church’s shift in in its stance toward accepting African Americans into the priesthood, and there is little reason to believe that Romney opposed the change. In fact, he has called the reversal “one of the most emotional and happy days of my life,” and said he broke into tears when he heard the news of the change.

  • Mormons’ First Families Rally Behind Romney (nytimes.com)
    In the mid-1800s, newly converted families from across the United States and Europe gathered in the growing Mormon town of Nauvoo, Ill., to help their prophet, Joseph Smith, build a New Jerusalem.
    +
    Now, more than 150 years later, descendants of those first families of Mormonism are joining together in a new effort: delivering the White House to Mitt Romney, whose great-great-grandfather Miles Romney settled alongside many of their ancestors in Nauvoo in 1841 and joined their torturous migration.
    +
    Mr. Romney’s base of support is broadening steadily. As his national finance director Spencer Zwick, who is Mormon, said, “We are now beginning our Catholics coalition for Romney; we have a Jewish fund-raising director — the only way that a campaign turns into a cause is if you have outreach to many different groups.”
    +
    Bill Marriott, whose family built a single A&W Root Beer standinto one of the largest hospitality companies in the world, said it was not lost on him that Mr. Romney’s pending nomination is a major moment for his fellow Mormons.“It is a great story, and we want the world to know about our religion,” said Mr. Marriott, who recently handed his chief executive title to a non-Mormon, Arne Sorenson. “We really feel like we’re coming out of obscurity.”
    +
    Mr. Eyre said the main attraction to Mr. Romney for most Mormons is their “common values” with him, not their “common faith.” But he nonetheless described a “giddiness” over his prospects.
  • So Romney’s campaign is about Mormonism (americablog.com)
    The NYT reports that for prominent Mormons who are bankrolling Mitt Romney’s campaign, their support of Romney is about his being a Mormon, and more generally, about helping promote Mormonism in America and across the world.

    But this election isn’t about Romney’s Mormonism, really.

  • Mitt Romney’s Campaign Should Have Faith in His Faith – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
    Like Senator John Kerry in 2004, Romney must now be puzzled about how what he thought was his strongest asset (in Kerry’s case, his honorable service in the Vietnam War; in Romney’s, his successful career at Bain Capital LLC) could have molted into a liability. The answer is in part skilled demagoguery from the other side (yes, I mean you, Mr. President) and in part deserved punishment for overplaying your hand (military experience in Kerry’s case, transferable business skills in Romney’s).
    +
    Like Kennedy, Romney argued that politics and religion were separate spheres. He pledged to be president of all the people, not just his co-religionists. He said, with Kennedy, that if an irreconcilable conflict arose between his core religious beliefs and his obligations as president, he would resign before betraying either. And he said that for a presidential candidate to go into any details about his faith — to “describe and explain his church’s distinctive doctrines” to the press and public — would violate the spirit of the constitutional separation of church and state. In other words: My Mormonism is private, and has no relevance to the presidential campaign or the presidency.
    +
    Romney is a much more devout Mormon than Kennedy was a Catholic.
    +
    At the moment, all that most people know about Romney the man is that once in high school he led a gang that bullied a gay student, and that his wife has multiple sclerosis. And they’re turned off by his apparent lack of any inner life. But maybe he does have an inner life after all. Why in the world would he try to hide it?
  • On Mormonism (wnyc.org)
    Joanna Brooks, senior correspondent at Religion Dispatches, professor at San Diego State University and the author of The Book of Mormon Girl: A Memoir of an American Faith, gives a progressive, feminist look at the role of Mormonism in America as a Mormon in light of the recent Bloomberg Business Week cover.
  • Romney a hot topic at pageant (buffalonews.com)
    The Hill Cumorah Pageant has been a mid-July ritual here for 75 years, with Mormons coming from around the country to the site where an angel is believed to have bestowed golden tablets to church founder Joseph Smith Jr., who then translated the divine plates into the Book of Mormon.

    The elaborate church production includes a volunteer cast of hundreds, a huge, multi-tiered stage and enough lighting to illuminate a small stadium.
    +

    Many Mormons have grown to expect hostility and misrepresentations of the religion.

    “That goes without saying. We’re used to that,” Riker said.

    Mormons historically have experienced far worse. The church’s earliest adherents were violently persecuted for following their beliefs and had to flee several states before finally ending up in Utah.

  • Spike Lee Talks Politics: ‘They Got A Tough Decision: Obama Or A Mormon’
    Despite publicly criticizing Mitt Romney for being unable to “hang” with President Barack Obama, controversial director Spike Lee recently told Vulture that when he met the conservative politician at Reagan National Airport a few years ago the two shook hands.

    “I was just in D.C. and he was there and he said, ‘What’s up, Spike?'” Lee recalled. “I said, ‘What’s happening, Mitt?’ We were in line getting something to eat. So I said what’s up and shook hands.”
    +
    Lee then recalled the monumental moment Obama won the 2008 presidential election.

    “America had reached a point that many people, black and white, thought would never, ever, ever, ever happen,” Lee said about Obama’s historic victory. “And this was the epitome of how great we are as a country, and the world saw that.”

    However, Lee doesn’t believe that voters will embrace another African-American presidential hopeful for quite some time. When asked if he believes America will see another black president if Obama were to lose his re-election campaign, Lee replied, “I will be dead before it happens.”

  • Cher upsets Mormons with alleged slur (lfpress.com)
    Cher has upset leading Mormons by using a derogatory term in a Twitter.com attack on U.S. presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

    The pop superstar, who is a fervent Democrat, sent out a tweet on Friday, urging President Barack Obama and his aides to get organised or risk losing November’s election to Republican Romney, who is a Mormon.

    Cher wrote, “I Feel if he (Obama) doesn’t get all his DUCKS IN A ROW we’ll b forced 2 listen 2Uncaring Richy Rich! The whitest man in MAGIC UNDERWEAR in the WH (White House).”

  • Mitt Romney’s Campaign Should Have Faith in His Faith (washingtonmonthly.com)
    Like Senator John Kerry in 2004, Romney must now be puzzled about how what he thought was his strongest asset (in Kerry’s case, his honorable service in the Vietnam War; in Romney’s, his successful career at Bain Capital LLC) could have molted into a liability. The answer is in part skilled demagoguery from the other side (yes, I mean you, Mr. President) and in part deserved punishment for overplaying your hand (military experience in Kerry’s case, transferable business skills in Romney’s).
  • The Face Of Mormonism (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)
    McKay Coppins, a Mormon reporter, found, at last weekend’s Mormonpalooza, that Romney isn’t alone in his reticence about his faith:
    “There’s a sense among the Mormons here that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been in 180 years of dress rehearsals, and that 2012 represents their onstage debut.”

About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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