Why is being a Mormon such a big deal?

United States
August 20, 2010 6:17pm CST
I am not Mitt Romney fan at all, but I keep on hearing people talk about him as a presidential candidate, but there is always one big BUT. I don't personally think that someone's religion should matter when it comes to running the country, and there are worse things out there to be. So, can ANYONE explain to me why they wouldn't for for someone because of their religion?
4 people like this
9 responses
@matersfish (6311)
• United States
21 Aug 10
I think it has to do with just how Mormons are viewed in the mainstream. Those on the farther reaches of the left are, like on the far right, the absolute best at playing guilt by association. I'm not privy to all things Mormon. But the way I understand the criticisms, Joseph Smith was supposedly a racist. So now a lot of people view Mormonism as a racist religion. Add to the fact that some radical sects not only marry multiple brides, but also child brides, and you have the makings of a pure outcast. I remember when Romney got into an argument on a plane with some what's-his-face rapper. On the Bill Maher show, Bill painted Romney as a racist for simply being a Mormon. And when Amy Holmes, his token black guest, wasn't offended that a white Mormon argued with black man, Bill hit her with the you-should-be-offended-because-you're-black card. So, that's probably why folks on the far left give him a hard time. I don't think they tolerate Mormons well. Ironic, but it is what it is. Anyone on the right tearing into the guy is probably either just jealous or they find a religious conflict. Just like the Muslim blanket criticisms on myLot - I don't see them coming from atheist/agnostic people. I only see them coming from people of another religious faith. And when it comes to faiths dueling it out over who's best, just leave me the hell out of it. I think they're all out of the clock.
2 people like this
• United States
21 Aug 10
I really haven't heard anyone on the left bashing Romney, but it wouldn't surprise me. All of what I hear is coming from his own party. Anyone, including Bill Maher, who thinks that someone is a racist because of their religion isn't worth talking to in the first place. I don't like to get into religion, but I do realize that we has humans make our own decisions, and we decided for ourselves what is best. There are some groups out there who's values are not what I would approve of, and being a member would force you to have values that would not be productive in elected office (KKK, urban gangs, terrorist organizations). But, I think that even those people should have the ability to run for elected office, if they are legally allowed to. The people should decide if a person is able to hold office, on their own personal moral values, not be judge by the group that they are a member of.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27244)
• United States
22 Aug 10
Fishie (may I call you that like my friend the blue bunny does?), I agree with you 100% about how it's not the atheists or agnostics that criticize people of certain religions but those of other faiths from both the left and the right. Actually, most of the atheists and agnostics I've known have a "live and let live" attitude about the religious views of others as long as nobody is hurting anyone else. I think some of them even feel a bit envious because they know those who are deeply religious, regardless of what religion they follow, get a great deal of comfort and strength from their faith. I'm personally a Christian who hasn't attended church for a long, long time and who doesn't believe in wearing my religious faith on my sleeve. I'd never judge anyone on their particular choice of religions or the lack thereof and I frankly don't care what church my President attends or IF he attends. Annie
• United States
22 Aug 10
"Fishie (may I call you that like my friend the blue bunny does?)" Like faux Hiter reacted to Der Bären Juden while smashing the table in Inglourious Basterds: Nein, nein, nein, nein! But only because the blue bunny sucks. On a serious note, I don't care what you call me. But the bunny is still a horrible person. I don't have a live and let live attitude on this one. Blue bunny =
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Aug 10
Well, sadly, religion does matter to a lot of people. In this country, if you aren't a WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant), then no one likes you. I have encountered this so many times. When I was a Catholic, people didn't like me much because they considered being a Catholic as evil (Maybe it was because of all of the child molestation cases?), anyway, I am not a Catholic anymore, I am Agnostic, and people still don't like me because I am not a designated religion, therefore, I must have ulterior motives. Go figure. My point is, people always hate that which they don't know much about, or that which scares them. Jewish people, Muslims, Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and anything that isn't Protestant or Evangelical must be a threat. That is what goes through the minds of many Americans.
2 people like this
• United States
21 Aug 10
I hate to agree with you rogue, but you are 100% correct. You would think that our country would have come much further, but we are still lagging behind.
2 people like this
• United States
21 Aug 10
But you see, that's just it! America still has backwards thinking. We are still intolerant people. We should be further ahead than what we are now, but look at us! This is still a country that hates and fears progress, and that hates and fears people who aren't White Anglo-Saxon Protestants. My family is a mixture of many different cultures and religions, and quite often we find ourselves having to defend any and all beliefs that we have. We are all a mixture of different races. My mother is 1/4th Native American, and she is very dark looking because of it. If you look at her, and you look at me, you wouldn't think that we were mother and daughter, and yet, we are. The country that we live in still harbors hatred, bigotry, and intolerance.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
22 Aug 10
I'm right with you on this one Rogue. I lived in Florida, which may be the most multicultural state in the country (either that or California) and even there you'd see a fair bit of anti-Catholic attitudes. It would at least make some sense if it was about the child molestation cases, but it went further than that. People in southern baptist churches specifically were taught that Catholics believed in cannibalism, spoke in tongues, worshiped the saints as gods, and other things to make Catholics seem like freaks of nature. I think that over time different groups get absorbed as part of the majority the way the Irish, Italians, etc. started being called white and stopped being Micks, and greaseballs.
2 people like this
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
21 Aug 10
I really hope someone can answer this, because I don't get it either. I've honestly never met a Mormon that wasn't a pleasant person. I've had several Mormon friends in the past and when I worked at the library in Orlando we used to get small groups of them from Utah (I think they were missionaries) that would come to use the computers. They were always very polite, dressed in shirts and ties, didn't complain about buying a computer pass (computer use is only free for residents) and were quite appreciative when I would help them with the computers. My best guess is that some people still associate them with polygamy, but even then, who cares? I heard someone tell me they were a cult once when I was a teenager, but I don't think that's a popular belief. As for the last election, I did hear people say his religion would be a problem for him, and I still hear people say it. I just haven't heard anyone say it would be a problem for THEM when it came to voting.
2 people like this
• United States
21 Aug 10
I think that your last line is the correct answer, but I could be wrong. I think there are people that like Romney, but they just can't bring themselves to vote for him, and the easy way out is to say it is because he is a Mormon. I don't think I have ever known a Mormon, but I am sure I am totally wrong on that. I can tell you that I have never had someone come up to me and tell me about the Mormon religion, unlike other religions that are shoved down your throat. The only thing I ever remember about the Mormon church is the old commercials that they did back in the 1980's.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
21 Aug 10
I'm not sure how many there are in Ohio. In Orlando though there was a huge Mormon temple just down the road from me so they must have had pretty big numbers to make that kind of building. You're right, I've never had any try and shove religion down my throat. Even the missionaries I met never really pushed anything on me. They did ask me once what my religion was. I told them I was Catholic and they asked what church I went to. I answered and that was as far as that part of the conversation went. I totally remember seeing those commercials when I was a kid. "This message was brought to you by The Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter Day Saints".
2 people like this
• United States
21 Aug 10
I have no idea if there are any temples here, but I really don't care if there are or not. Like you said, I couldn't even tell you the last time that someone came up me and told me they were a Mormon. I can tell you that I often get approached by people telling me they have been saved, and I really don't care. I just don't see a need for people to bash someone because of their religion, but it happens more than I think we all want to see.
1 person likes this
@laglen (19782)
• United States
20 Aug 10
I didnt just take a double take but a triple! You defending a Republican, just a minute, let me sit down! lol I am just kidding. I agree MOSTLY. I dont care for Romney myself but it has no bearing on his religion. Some extremists may cause alarm, but as a rule, religion, in my opinion counts but their platform on other issues counts more.
• United States
21 Aug 10
I am not defending him as a candidate, just him as a qualified person who is running for an office, that many feel he could do a good job in, but are holding back on supporting him because of his religion. I am not a big Romney fan either, but I do stand up for people when I feel they are being treated badly, especially when I don't feel it should matter. But, I am not a republican.
2 people like this
@laglen (19782)
• United States
21 Aug 10
Oh, I know you are definitely not a Republican and I truly appreciate your fairness!
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Aug 10
they made a big deal out of it when he ran in the primary for president last time too. I never understood why. But then I don't understand why a persons religion should matter when it comes to doing the job. ANY JOB. Employers can not ask you what religion you are when you are interviewing for a job...that would be illegal. So why should it legal to take it into account with our elected officials? the campaigning is the interview process so religion should be left out of it. It is discrimination.
2 people like this
• United States
21 Aug 10
I agree Lil, the funny part is that this office is a federal job, which means that legally they can't discriminate against him. But, he has to get the job first.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27244)
• United States
22 Aug 10
It sure isn't a big deal to me or ANY deal, as far as I'm concerned. I've said for years that I'd prefer it if no politician spoke of his or her personal religious views or practices at all because they're not relevant to holding office IF they follow our Constitution. I was very young but I still remember all the furor when JFK ran for President. Some people claimed the Pope would actually be running the country. You'd certainly think we'd have come far enough to be past such nonsense by now but I guess not! Annie
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Aug 10
I am sure that these people that are unhappy with Mitt, are looking at the big donation picture, and are looking at all of the money that will go to other candidates. The thing that makes me laugh is if you had a primary between Rudy, Mitt, and Newt Gingrich who do you think that Catholic Church would support? Just a question that many hope is NEVER answered.
@k15682 (301)
• United States
21 Aug 10
I wouldn't vote for him because he is mormon. Mormons look out for other mormons and nobody else. We also would have so many brothers and sisters in the WH we'd all be confused!
• United States
21 Aug 10
As I stated above, I really haven't had much, if any, personal contact with any Mormons. I have never heard people tell me to stay away from them, and you really don't hear much bad about them (except for that radical elements, but find me a religion that doesn't have a few crazies running around?). It sounds like you have had a bad experience with Mormons. I still feel that if someone can run the country, than they should at least be given a fair chance.
1 person likes this
@k15682 (301)
• United States
21 Aug 10
I would never say somebody shouldn't run for President simply because of their religion, I just would never vote for a mormon. I once asked a well respected mormon, If there was a disaster of some kind and you were the only house in the area with food would you share it? The answer was NO, my 2 year supply is for my family.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
21 Aug 10
So you are judging the entire religion because of one d!ckhead? Tell me that doesn't sound crazy. How can you vote for anyone for president knowing that there are similar and much worse people in every faith. Heck if that is the WORST Mormon out there, then I'd have to say they're in pretty good shape.
3 people like this
@irisheyes (4373)
• United States
22 Aug 10
I thought this whole issue had been resolved with the Kennedy election but the religious right has now taken over the Republican party and they probably wouldn't endorse anybody who was not a fundmentalist Christian. Frankly, I think Mitt Romneny would have a better shot as a Democrat.
• United States
23 Aug 10
I just think it is sad that people are more worried about someones religion, than if they can do the job. But, it is what it is.
• United States
21 Aug 10
I would rather have someone running my country who has the same values I do. That is my choice. Thus, I would prefer a Christian. It is not for me to say that Obama is not a Christian. That is up to God. However, the Bible says to test their fruits, and I have. Obama is not the kind of President I want. I am not a Mormon, but I would rather have Mitt Romney running this country than Obama.
• United States
21 Aug 10
Yes, for 8 years we had a Christian running the country, and I sure wouldn't vote for ANYONE with his values. The problem with voting for someone because of their religion is that you don't know if their personal values are those of your own. You may consider certain values much more important than others, and if that person you voted for doesn't consider your values to be those of his, than you just voted for someone that really doesn't represent your values.
1 person likes this