Even more reason why it’s good that Obama won

From Alternet via an alert reader, here’s Mittens talking about his Mormon faith—after he declared his candidacy for President—to Jan Mikelson of WHO radio in Des Moines, Iowa. Mittens thinks that Jesus will return in Missouri! But that’s what Mormons believe. (I note here that I was born in St. Louis.)

The reader who sent me this noted:

This is THE ONLY TIME I have seen Romney act  like a live human who believes in something…

Sadly, Mittens believes in stuff that’s insane. Alternet quotes a Mormon site:

Background from Prisoner Minister: “Mormons believe Jesus will return to earth in Independence, Missouri to begin a 1,000 year reign.  They think Mormons will at that time become gods.  But before the return of Jesus, they believe the United States will come to a constitutional crisis, on the verge of collapse.  They believe America will be saved by a Mormon leader. The founder of the Mormon religion, Joseph Smith, said, “The time will come when the destiny of the nation (USA) will hang upon a single thread.  At that critical juncture, this people (Mormons) will save it from destruction.”  Their prophet Brigham Young said, “When the Kingdom of God bears rule, the flag of the United States will proudly flutter.” Mormons, also called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), believe the Kingdom of God will arise from the rule of one man on earth, a political figure who will also be their spiritual leader.  They believe there will be a one-world government ruled by this god-king. He will be a prophet and high priest of the Mormon faith, ruling the world from America.”

Not to mention the crazy underwear.

Mittens also endorses a book, The Making of America, which is dubious to say the least. From Alternet:

Bruce Wilson for Talk2Action writes  about the interview:
 “…The former Massachusetts governor endorsed The Making of America, by fringe New World Order conspiracy theorist  Cleon Skousen , a former Brigham Young University professor of Romney’s, and also cited Skousen’s opinions concerning the question of the Second Coming. Here’s video of the interchange [above]–which Mitt Romney may have difficulty explaining, especially in context of his carefully coiffed persona as a moderate Republican.
As covered by Media Matters , in The Making of America Skousen claimed that slave owners were the true “victims” of the institution of slavery:

“Skousen is the author of several controversial works, including The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, which presented as ‘the story of slavery in America’ a passage from a book that attacked abolitionists for delaying emancipation; cast slave owners as ‘the worst victims of the system'; claimed white schoolchildren ‘were likely to envy the freedom of their colored playmates'; and claimed that ‘[s]lavery did not make white labor unrespectable, but merely inefficient,’ because ‘the slave had a deliberateness of motion which no amount of supervision could quicken.'”

Although I’m a bit wary of saying that one shouldn’t vote against a candidate solely because of his/her religion, note that Mittens argues that his religious opposition to abortion should become public policy. THAT is the danger of religion, and why religious “truth” differs from scientific truth. In the case of the former, because one thinks he has the handle on what God absolutely decrees, it’s incumbent to try to impose that on everyone else, regardless of their faith.

At least Christopher Hitchens could make the distinction between his personal opposition to abortion and his view that, as a matter of public policy, women should have the right to choose.

76 Comments

  1. Posted November 9, 2012 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    When you see it written down, you have to ask yourself “who the hell would beleive that BS?” don’t you?

    And yet, people, powerful people too, do believe it.

    Does my head in to think about it.

    Cheers,
    Norm.

    • Kevin
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Democrat Senate majority leader Harry Reid is a Mormon.

  2. marycanada FCD
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    A class A, certifiable control freak

    • Jeannette
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. When Rommey lost, the country dodged a bullet.

      • gravelinspector
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

        I’m sure there will be another one along in about 2 years. Lots, actually.

  3. Duncan
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    I’m well aware that he wouldn’t have been my president (as I’m British) but this type of dogged adherence to truly ludicrous guff scares the crap out of me when I think of how close it was to one of the most powerful chairs in the world. I wasn’t aware of how devout Bush jr was until he was in power (must have been looking the other way or something).

  4. Howard Kornstein
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    “At least Christopher Hitchens could make the distinction between his personal opposition to abortion …..”
    … and Joe Biden echoed Hitchens perspective when he debated Ryan… saying that while he held a anti-abortion view himself, he had absolutely no right to impose his views on others thru his political decisions. Anyhow,
    I must say, that on viewing this video of Romney, I realise that that although I was frighted in the extreme that Romney might be elected, I wasn’t nearly as frighted as I should have been!

  5. Alex Shuffell
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Why are cults like Mormonism or Scientology and more crazy than other religions? Is it just their age, why is a second coming of Jesus more crazy to say it will happen in Missouri than somewhere in the middle east? Where if he did return wouldn’t he most likely be killed before he attracted a large audience?

    WHy can’t the AMerican cults be more like our sweet British cults. We have Wiccans and Druids, they’re just bit nutty.

    • Posted November 9, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      The only reason Morons are crazier than mainstream Christians is that they incorporate wholesale all the crazy from mainstream Christianity and add on to it.

      It’s kinda like how the main sewer lines are technically more disgusting than the feeder trunk lines…but who really cares?

      The only reason Moronism might seem not as crazy to you is because you’re used to the smell from mainstream Christianity. But, trust me. A religion that says you should believe what it has to say because a zombie told some guy to grope his guts is most emphatically not sane.

      Cheers,

      b&

      • beyondbelief007
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        Crazy like a fox!! I like to think of religious sects as evolutionary competitors. The ones that have been proven to survive DO have some commonality. Probably the strongest key to survival is “don’t piss off the existing faith… co-opt it.” Christians did it do Jews. Muslims did it to Christianity and Judaism. Mormons did it to all of them.

        Other (rough) survival adaptations of faith: Be fruitful and multiply(see Heavens Gate for a counter example); Mormons have that in spades.
        Abandon reason and trust your gut. Mormons use this explicitly in their conversion efforts, quoting a verse from the book of Mormon saying that if you pray with a pure heart you will KNOW what you’ve read is true. (corollary… if you come back and say you can’t believe it, you will be told you didn’t pray with a pure heart.)

        Omnipresent ritual and time commitments; you hardly have time to think when you’re praying or ministering.

        Missionary zeal. Second to building through procreation, conversion is critical.
        I’m sure there are lots of others, and someone hs to have written a book on the evolution of faith.

        • Marella
          Posted November 9, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

          Do they explain what “a pure heart” is and how to get one?

          • Posted November 9, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

            I think the Aztecs had some expertise in that area….

            b&

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      I agree with you Alex. The only active, effective & historically recent organisation bordering on a cult [though cult is not the best word I admit] that I can think of in England & Wales is the United Grand Lodge of England [Freemasons]. A network of exclusively male ‘invite only’ politicians, lawyers, cops, bankers, ex-military & other men of influence having cosy little chats & subverting transparency [to be polite] ~ the one ingredient that’s vital to the good health of a democracy.

      • Miles_Teg
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 2:21 am | Permalink

        My father was a freemason, and I thought they were harmless, but bit, well, strange. 50 years ago they were important, it was said that the position of police commissioner in New South Wales was deliberately alternated between one and a solid Catholic. Dad asked once if I was interested in joining. I wasn’t even slightly interested, but don’t find them objectionable nowadays. Dad said that freemasons in Pakistan, for example, were persecuted by the government because they weren’t hostile to Israel.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted November 10, 2012 at 3:22 am | Permalink

          You don’t find them objectionable nowadays Miles? You think they are just another brand of Lions Club International, Round Table, 41 Club or Tangent perhaps?

          They are a secret society organised on the hierarchical pyramid principle. The activities & the membership of the higher levels not known to the lower levels. It’s a recipe for corruption as has been shown with the odious connection between the police & Freemasonry. Surely you are aware of that & all the semi-buried scandals?

          Last year leading police officers set up a national Masonic lodge where they can meet in secret. This is in defiance of politicians fears about the influence of the Freemasons on the criminal justice system of this country. It bloody stinks & the Freemasons are here to stay ~ they are too well established to weed out.

    • Posted November 10, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Also we’re sort of used to Christian craziness so custom tends to stale it’s infinimax variety.

  6. Reginald Selkirk
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    1) This video was featured on Pharyngula* on Nov 5. PZ focused on Mitt’s statement that he consistently vetoed pro-choice bills in Massachusetts, which shows his flip-floppery and dishonesty about his true stance on this issue. Romney had been trying to soft-pedal his anti-choice stance since the GOP platform came out with no rape exception, and the idiotic statements by Akins, Mourdoc, et al.

    2) Yes, Mormonism has some crazy stuff. So do all the religions. I prefer not to focus on the ‘Mormons are crazy” angle.

    3) Jan Mickelson is a right wing jerk. Do a search on “michelson” and “nuns” for some eye-opening links about him*. I agree with Romney in his immediate dissatisfaction with Mickelson. Mickelson continually interrupted him before he got to his point, and refused to allow that a political leader might separate his personal religious beliefs from from his secular policy in office. Whether Romney actually did so is another question, and the one PZ zeroed in on.

    * I am not including links for these in order not to have this comment trapped in a spam filter.

  7. Douglas E
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    My understanding is that the ‘mainstream’ Mormons are stuck in no man’s land at the moment regarding the return of Jesus. The return is predicated on the MoMos building a Temple on the very spot/rock specified by revelation, and that a splinter group owns the land and has absolutely no plans to sell it to the Major MoMos.

    • gravelinspector
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      The return is predicated on the MoMos building a Temple on the very spot/rock specified by revelation, and that a splinter group owns the land and has absolutely no plans to sell it to the Major MoMos.

      So, when do you expect the shooting to start? There will, surely, be blood? These disagreements between religious cousins have such a consistent avoiding of shedding the tiniest amount of blood.

      • Douglas E
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        Inspector – did you happen to read Bob Carlson’s link to the Mormon’s of Beaver Island? That one did not end well for the “King” and while I do not foresee imminent shootouts, it is certainly not out of the realm of possibilities – their early history has its share of violence.

        • gravelinspector
          Posted November 10, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

          I got as far as “King Strang” getting shot before figuring that it was unlikely to be any more peaceful (or interesting) than any other schism in a religion. (I’ll make a possible pass there for the parting of the various Ways of Buddhism ; but perhaps the violence there has simply faded into the depths of history.)
          “Beaver Island” has got to be a location in the next “Naked Gun” movie. Names like that should not be wasted.
          -Religious whack jobs in disagreement – check.
          -Guns all over the landscape – check.
          -Past history of violent dissension – check.
          -Remote control cameras, plenty of popcorn, and a comfortable chair? Well, are you ready?

          Are there likely to be significant numbers of innocent bystanders? If not … well gladiatorial massacres have a long history as popular entertainment. Profitable business, as long as you don’t have to pay the participants.

          • Douglas E
            Posted November 10, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

            +1

  8. Notagod
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Why are mor[m]ons always so angry? Jebus is suppose to soothe them, It isn’t working.

  9. magster2
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Born in Missouri? Check.

    Intense interest in religious matters? Check.

    Jewish ethnicity? Check.

    Initials J.C.? Check.

    Jerry, is there something you haven’t told us yet?

    • JBlilie
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      hahahahahahaha!

  10. Posted November 9, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Woah.

    Dude puts “daFUQ” in “Jesus tittyfucking Christ, that’s got to be the most batshit crazy insane idiotic blather I’ve heard all day.”

    b&

  11. suwise3
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Romney was stunned when told he’d lost. It’s one thing for contestants on Survivor to be blindsided by trusted friends, but… when god does it to you? That’s gotta hurt.

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Catastrophist religions place their believers in a win-win situation.

      – If everything goes well, their gods will it and they can be happy in this life.
      – If everything goes bad, their gods will it and they can be happy in the “afterlife”.

      • Notagod
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        Yes but, Mittens was supposed to be the great snow bunny that saved the United States from destruction and It turned Mittens away!

        It’s just so painful I’ve got to laugh.

      • beyondbelief007
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        Excellent! I’m going to add that to my list of evolutionary adaptations of religions that survive the transition from Cult to Mainstream: they sell hope VERY effectively.

  12. Posted November 9, 2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    If you haven’t read “Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows” you really need too. Anytime a Mormon starts telling me about his magic I bring up the Mountain Meadows massacre and cover up by Brigham Young and the Mormon Church. Which they continue to cover up.

    • raven
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      The Mormons fought a war against the USA, the Utah war.

      They went to Utah to form their own country called Zion or some such.

      It wasn’t much of a war but the main casualties were the civilian men, women, and children massacred at Mountain Meadows.

      There is an army base, Fort Douglas right above SLC. It was build to keep an eye on the Mormons. The guns point down at the city itself. It’s still there.

      • JBlilie
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        Desiree … The symbol of Desiree is still on the flag and road signs …

    • JBlilie
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Mormons in southern Utah also intercepted and killed William Dunn, O. G. Howland, and Seneca Howland as the walked from the Grand Canyon to the settlements of southern Utah.

    • gravelinspector
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Not having any reason other than normal contempt to know more about the Mormons than is strictly necessary, I did have to follow up on that. Significantly, by the time I’d typed “Mormon massacre” into Google, “Mountain Meadows was coming up in the list.
      So… ah, such wonderfully God-like behaviour. As Mo in Jesus’n’Mo (Mohammed’s body-double) would probably say, “Let there be smiting”?

  13. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church),

    I always read that as “LSD Church” (TMAS – Too Many Acronyms Syndrome), then have a laugh when I remember how psychedelic their beliefs are.

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      In the UK, LSD (before acid and decimalisation) referred to cash, as in £=pounds S=shillings and D=pence (don’t ask, it’s all to do with Latin). As an oldie, I still think of the Moron church as being about cash.

      • Occam
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        As a small matter of chronological fact, LSD precedes UK decimalisation by a generation, having been first synthesized by Albert Hoffmann of Sandoz (now Novartis) in 1938.

        I remember Albert Hoffmann, who was quite a folk hero at my alma mater, as as sprightly old gent who enlivened the scientific symposium held in 2006 to celebrate his 100th birthday. His death in 2008, aged 102, can only be considered premature, in view of his intellectual vigor and insatiable curiosity. Here was one who was crazy in the Jobsian sense.

        • Posted November 10, 2012 at 12:27 am | Permalink

          Occam, Lsd stood for pounds, shillings and pence (librae, solidi, denarii) well before 1938 and before UK decimalisation, but not afterwards. Wikipedia – can I say that here? – suggests the system started to come together about the 8th century.

          • Occam
            Posted November 10, 2012 at 6:30 am | Permalink

            Lysergic acid and batshit crazyness were my target, not the Carolingian coinage system.
            (Sorry UKIP chappies, your beloved old £sd is really arch-Continental!)
            As a dusty old metrology hand, I wouldn’t want to bore you with its intricacies. But there is an apt parallel to Mormonism and its relation to the older Christian sects.

            The denarius goes back to the late 3rd century BCE, Second Punic War. The solidus was first introduced half a millennium later, with Diocletian’s second monetary reform of 301 CE: 1/60th lb. gold = 1000 denarii. Under Constantine, the solidus was fixed at 1/72 lb. gold; by that time, debased denarii were worth as 2000 times less. The ratio of the Carolingian pound to the Roman libra was roughly 5:4 (depending on which libra value one accepts). One Carolingian silver, no longer gold, libra = 20 solidi = 240 denarii.

            Debasement, devaluation, daring approximations, deformation of the reference parquet, reappropriation of antique denominations for new values, plus a fair amount of ‘creative minting’, i.e., fraud: it really seems like the history of religions runs parallel to that of monetary systems. Only, divine coinage is far more counterfeit.

  14. raven
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Mormon mythology is baroque to say the least.

    IIRC, the Garden of Eden is also in Missouri.

    If you read everything that happened or will happen, it makes it look like Missouri is the center of the earth.

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      What strikes me as real baroque is that the founder was known before, during and after as a prodigious con man. Yet they “believe”.

      Maybe they were too ashamed to give the rigmarole up, then they succeeded in brainwashing enough children to continue the hoax. :-/

      • HaggisForBrains
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        the founder was known before, during and after as a prodigious con man

        .

        It could have been worse – what if the founder had been a science fiction author who had a theory about making money by starting a religion. Oh, wait…

      • JBlilie
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        He founded the LDS church so he could get lots of sweet young bootie. Total con man and scumbag. Some of my relatives are Mormons — it beggars the imagination that they can believe the crap. And some converted as adults!

  15. Curt Nelson
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Referring to Romney as Mittens seems like a bad idea. I would ignore anyone who refers to Obama as Barak Hussein Obama (I know that’s his actual name, but you know what I mean) because name calling is a red flag for hatred, and a turn-off for open-minded people.

    • whyevolutionistrue
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Thank you for your concern, open-minded person.

      • JBlilie
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        I DO prefer Nit, by the way! ;^)

        • gravelinspector
          Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

          Does American English refer to the eggs of lice (hair lice? It’s not a problem I’ve had to concern myself with the details of) as “Nits” in the same contemptuous way that British English does?

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

            There’s also “Nit” as a poker term [also known as a "Rock"]. A nit is a tight-passive player that avoids confrontations. They are highly exploitable & consistently lose.

            • gravelinspector
              Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink

              You took the time to put your crampons on before launching that particular boot at the Republican crotch, didn’t you?

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

                @gravelinspector What are you rabbiting on about? Where did that come from? You lost me on the curve ~ I didn’t expect ice there. I’m a Brit so I don’t give a toss about the Republicans especially. From a U.K. [& actually ROTW] P.O.V. we can catch the flu off either side just about equally.

                Check out my definition on any poker site & you’ll find it’s absolutely accurate. I contributed that because I am a semi-professional poker player.

                If I wanted to remark on a political party I would have done so directly ~ I am a direct kind of guy who isn’t into the snide aside. OK?

    • Notagod
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Didn’t Mittens refer to Mittens as Mittens early on in his campaign, while story telling? Though the purpose might have been to dissuade people from using Mittens to refer to Mittens.

      And, Obama did state that he wished he could use his middle name during a recent speech.

    • truthspeaker
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      “because name calling is a red flag for hatred, and a turn-off for open-minded people”

      Speak for yourself.

      Your concern is noted.

    • Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      Just out of curiosity, how is ‘Mittens’ name calling? Does it mean something other than a glove with no separate fingers?
      Is there some other double-entendre I’m unaware of?

      • Posted November 10, 2012 at 12:34 am | Permalink

        His followers had (what pleasure to use that tense!) jerseys with a picture of some kind of mitt, like a pot-mitt, very basebally and butch.

        Mittens, though they also have merged fingers, have a diminutive name, suggesting they are softer, smaller and cuter. Calling him “Mittens” is like patting him on the top of the head.

        Obcat, and of course there is the children’s song, “The three little kittens, they lost their mittens…”

    • Posted November 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      I was thinking Mittens was too endearing. I prefer “Mouton”, and no, I don’t mean “mutton”.

      • Marella
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        So did I, as I read the above post I thought the writer was going to chastise us for not taking the threat Mittens poses seriously enough, and downplaying his dangerousness with the use of cute nicknames.

      • Timothy Hughbanks
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, that’s exactly my feeling – “Mittens” is way too nice for the bloodsucking parasite he is.

        • Posted November 9, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

          It’s his Mafia nickname. You know the style — Smiley is the guy who’s never happy; Tiny is the guy who can bench press a recalcitrant linebacker; Mittens…

          …well, let’s just say that you really don’t want to know how he got that nickname. Poor little girl….

          b&

        • Posted November 9, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          “Mittens” is a nickname he got as governor of Massachusetts. Some people use it as a term of endearment and others use it as a dismissive insult.

          I picked up the use of the nickname from people in both groups, so it’s the term I’m used to using for Willard Romney.

  16. jeffery
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    To those, airy-fairy “let’s just all get along” types: if you think that Mitten’s religion shouldn’t have been a consideration in his candidacy, and that his political decisions wouldn’t have been influenced by his religious beliefs after he was elected, you’re as delusional as he is!
    “Mormons, also called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), believe the Kingdom of God will arise from the rule of one man on earth, a political figure who will also be their spiritual leader. They believe there will be a one-world government ruled by this god-king. He will be a prophet and high priest of the Mormon faith, ruling the world from America.” Doesn’t this sound a lot like the Baptist description of the AntiChrist? It will be interesting to see if the fundamentalist bloc returns to reviling Moronism as a cult, now that they’ve lost the opportunity to “use” Mittens to further their own agendas.

  17. JBlilie
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    I very strongly recommend that everyone read Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer.

    LDS response to Krakauer

    Krakauer’s reply to the LDS

    Also: No Man Knows My History by Fawn Brodie, an excellent biography of ol’ Joe Smith, the con man who got Mormonism going.

    (I ran the numbers on his book of golden tablets (JS gives dimensions for it!) It was, if I remember right, over 250 pounds. Yep, he’ll be just slinging that thing around. I know he was a big strong guy; but still.)

    I also recommend this from Sam Harris

  18. Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Ah yes, “the slave”. What an interesting, yet stomach-turning turn of phrase, typical of “the right-winger” and “the bigot”: How they refer to whole groups of people in the singular, as if there were only one of them.

    Being singular, “the Jew” and “the slave” have a singular nature – right up until you meet them face-to-face, which is the only time “the Jew” or “the slave” becomes the particular Jew or slave you are facing now.

    I think there is some peculiarity of our nature that I can’t quite put my finger on that allows us to do this much too easily, in much the same way as the unwary amateur philosopher may mistakenly confuse the concrete for the abstract, or vice-versa.

  19. Posted November 9, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m starting to suspect he thought he was going to fulfill prophesy. It would explain his hubris and how blindsided he was by the results if he thought he had been anointed by God to rule the world, starting with the USA.

    Can you imagine what American imperialism would have looked like with a President who thought he was anointed by God to rule the world and a congress eager to rubber stamp military action?

    • Posted November 9, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      Like the Reagan administration? Pretty much describes that situation to a “t”.

  20. Posted November 9, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    “At least Christopher Hitchens could make the distinction between his personal opposition to abortion and his view that, as a matter of public policy, women should have the right to choose.”

    I’ve heard he had some opposition to abortion, but haven’t seen anything on it from him. Does anybody have something in which he discusses the subject, and says why he’s opposed to it?

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      *** 1 ***
      Nov 28, 2008 Lisa Miller writes [without giving a source] at NEWSWEEK MAGAZINE

      Christopher Hitchens, the bombastic and verbally double-jointed atheist intellectual, says the articulation of such points of view represents progress, a reaching for common ground after 30 years of oppositional acrimony. Hitchens, known for his defiant and politically incorrect positions, takes an uncharacteristic middle path on abortion. When asked whether he is “pro-life,” he answers in the affirmative. He has repeatedly defended the use of the term “unborn child” against those on the left who say that an aborted fetus is nothing more than a growth, an appendix, a polyp. ” ‘Unborn child’ seems to me to be a real concept. It’s not a growth or an appendix,” he says. “You can’t say the rights question doesn’t come up.” At the same time, he adds, “I don’t think a woman should be forced to choose, or even can be.” Hitchens does not recommend the overturning of Roe v. Wade. What he wants is for both moral callousness and religion to be excised from the abortion debate and for science to come up with solutions to unwanted pregnancies, like the abortifacient mifepristone (RU-486), “that will make abortion more like a contraceptive procedure than a surgical one. That’s the Hitchens plank, and I think it’s a defensible one”

      *** 2 ***
      You can also Google search for a YouTube video [it's in parts] of the Hitchens Vs Jay Richards debate in Jan. 2008 at Stanford U. where the below exchange occurs according to many sources, though I haven’t watched the video

      Hitchens:-

      “The religions that say you should admire infanticide as proof of the love of God have no claim. No! Claim! At! All! to be preaching ethics, let alone morality”

      The moderator then asked Hitchens, “Are you involved in the pro-life movement in that case?” Hitchens replied:-

      “I believe that the concept unborn child is a real concept, yes. And I’ve had a lot of quarrels with some of my fellow materialists and secularists on this point. I think that if the concept child means anything, the concept unborn child can be said to mean something. And actually all the discoveries of embryology, which have been very considerable in the last generation or so, and of viability, appear to confirm, that opinion. Which is—I think it should be innate in everybody, is innate in the Hippocratic Oath, is instinct in anybody who has ever watched a sonogram, and so forth. So yes, is my answer”

  21. Bob Carlson
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    If Mittens’ familiarity with the history of Mormonism includes the saga of King Strang, I wonder what he would have to say about it. Strang, who considered himself the rightful successor to Joseph Smith, moved with his followers to Beaver Island in the northern part of Lake Michigan. Also see the Wikipedia for James Strang.

    • Douglas E
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 12:46 am | Permalink

      Bob – thanks for the tidbit about Beaver Island; relatives have land there and I had not heard this particular bit of history.

      • Bob Carlson
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 6:09 am | Permalink

        It would be somewhat more than 15 years, ago on a visit to the island, that I learned the story at the Old Mormon Print Shop Museum.

        • Douglas E
          Posted November 10, 2012 at 7:17 am | Permalink

          Fascinating stuff – hope to visit next summer.

  22. souplesse000
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    “Not to mention the crazy underwear.”

    Yes but this is merely a matter of popular acceptance. We don’t point out the craziness of Jewish yarmulkes anymore do we? The Mormon under garments have gotten a lot of play in the press due to Mittens candidacy but come on, in the face of a host of religious-based adornments this really isn’t that nutso. Or at least no more crazy than about a hundred other examples one could mention.

  23. heleen
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Could anyone clearly hear what Mitt Romney says at 1:40 about the killing of all the Jews? Who is doing that killing? Jesus? or is Jesus stopping the war that’s killing all the jews?

    • Posted November 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      The latter…. he says that Christ appears, splits the Mount of Olives to stop the war that’s coming in to kill the Jews….

  24. Georgia
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    This is clearly false doctrine. No one, not even a deity, would voluntarily return to Independence, Missouri.

  25. Sam
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    I don’t check this website every day, so I missed out on a timely comment, but I was born and raised a Mormon though I found my way out in my 20’s. I am a critic of my former church, and all churches, and yet I get defensive still when others critique my church, not because I disagree, but because of the small errors or unfair criticisms. Magic underwear, for instance. I never believed my “garments,” as Mormons call them, had any properties other than those inherent in cotton. What they were to me was a physical symbol of an inward commitment to my god and my faith, like yarmulkes, as someone above mentioned. And, yes, Joseph Smith is an obivious con man to anyone not already committed to the thesis that Mormonism is true — and yet, Joseph Smith, and his inane Book of Mormon, is not why most people practice Mormonism. I would wager a fair number of Mormons don’t the scriptures outside of the perfunctory skimming in Sunday School. Rather, they like the feeling they get from church attendence. They like being with like-minded people. They like believing there is a just, omnipotent patriarch in their lives. It works for them. It’s easy and comforting. Yes, they have to accept beliefs that would (and likely do) cause sizeable cognitive dissonance if they were to regard them objectively, but most of the time, the bizzaro beliefs don’t get in the way, because Mormons are too busy with the modern, conservative values and practices of the church, very far removed from their wife-collecting, stone-peeping founder.


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