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New York Times editor calls for tougher questions for religious GOP candidates, sparks 'hailstorm'

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  • Northwest Reader Vancouver, WA
    Sept. 4, 2011 10:33 a.m.

    I would say the question is valid if it is asked to all candidates and specifically in regards to how one would lead the country. Barack Obama barely had consideration of his twenty years of religion until someone finally did research on it. Unfortunately the power media shed very little light on the topic and now his particular brand of religiosity (and relative belief system) has translated into a leader who doesn't really feel the US is exceptional. If we are going to ask the question of Republican candidates now, lets re-ask what Obama's religion says about how he should run the country. Why not get all of the candidates up in front of the nation and have a panel ask them how their religion would influence their decision making process? Each candidate could choose their own panel member.

  • Brian Wasilla, AK
    Sept. 3, 2011 7:33 p.m.

    Simple way to save the country...find out who the New York Times likes, vote for the other guy.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Sept. 3, 2011 11:35 a.m.

    @ Shazandra

    So Mitt has polygamous ancestors. What in the world does that have to do with his ability to lead the country? Huntsman probably does, too. If we're going to judge a POTUS by their relatives, well we've got a real problem in our current president, and many, many past presidents, too.

    See it's this kind of bias that would eliminate a perfectly good leader because of simple lack of conviction of someone else's doctrine that would have zero impact on their job as president. I can assure you Mitt won't turn this country into a polygamous nation.

    As for your "freedom" from all that terrible stuff the LDS church inflicted on you...that was your particular experience with the church. Constant fear of excommunication? Wow! I've been a member of the LDS church for upwards of 45 years and have never run into any of the things you're describing. I've had moments of wondering if I'm good enough , but guess what? Come to find out my Catholic, Evangelical, Lutheran, Baptist and Buddhist friends have felt the same. Your characterization of the LDS church is faulty and is your opinion alone. It just doesn't fit reality.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Sept. 2, 2011 1:52 p.m.

    Shazandra,

    Well said. I couldn't agree more.

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    Sept. 2, 2011 12:06 p.m.

    I want every shred and scintilla of information about the person who sits with finger near the button of destruction, in the 'most powerful nation in the world', thank you.

    I would ask far deeper probing questions of the LDS candidates than Keller did, for my own personal satisfaction. I would rather hear Huntsman reveal that he's semi-active than Romney parrot safe LDS platitudes, wouldn't you? Very little is off-limits to presidential candidates, so why should religion be? And I have tried to post the questions I would ask Mitt re his polygamous ancestors, but the paranoia edit squad here won't allow it.

    That says it all for me. That's why I was LDS for the first 35 years of my life, but evangelical (i.e., Biblical) Christian for the past 25 years: There is freedom from legalism, group-think and constant fear of reprisals or excomminucation. You need to escape from deep in M-land to understand how liberating true freedom in Christ is. I want my Commander and Chief to be free to think for himself, apart from a pope, a living prophet or a space alien, so I welcome Keller's questions.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Sept. 2, 2011 8:33 a.m.

    Bill in Nebraska said, Revelation changes per the times but the GOSPEL doesn't change. Practices may change but the Gospel doesn't change. Gospel is an English translation for the Greek word euangelion/Evangeli(cals),2098.

    Genesis 12:3 "And I will bless them that bless thee(Jews), and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."

    Brigham Young, Can you make a Christian of a Jew? I tell you Nay, If a Jew comes into this church ,and the blood honestly professes to be a Saint, a follower of Christ, and if the blood of Judah is in his veins, he will apostatize.(JoD V. 2 p. 142).

    The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these Brothers of mine, you did for me.'(Mt 25:40) The criterion for Christians will be the kind of treatment shown to the Jewish people during the preceding of the great tribulation.

  • speed66 Heber City, UT
    Sept. 1, 2011 9:28 p.m.

    @KM & @Gregg Weber - So if you decided there was no god, you would suddenly start stealing, lying and killing? Morality is not based on religion...a quick look at history dispels that myth. Bad news: more christians in prison than atheist.

    @ThomasJefferson - If a candidate uses religion as a credential then he invites the inquiry. The real hypocrites are the devout who are not...Haggard, Sanford, Vitter...and on and on.

    @SammyB - your assertion is blatantly inaccurate and demonstrates an ignorance to the facts in lieu of a love for what you wish were true.

    @B-727 - First, I didn't say that politicians should pass a religious litmus test. In fact, I argued against such. My comment that "Treating religion and religious belief as a taboo subject is a tradition that should end." had to do with policy. If a candidate uses religion as a rationalization for policy - and that is all it is - then that religion and those beliefs must be challenged. If not, we are going to be busy killing all those wearing two kinds of thread, selling our daughters and murdering those farmers who grow two kinds of crops side by side.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Sept. 1, 2011 9:21 p.m.

    By the way nothing has ever been actually debunked by the critics. That is totally nonsense. I love how someone says that the Native Americans don't have the Hebrew gene. Actually they are looking for the JEW gene, not the Hebrew. They don't know the Hebrew gene. The only gene available is from the tribe of Judah, which is the Jews, not the Hebrews. You can be Hebrew and not be a Jew. You can't be a Jew without being a Hewbrew. Remember there are 12 tribes of Israel, not one or two.

    Revelation changes per the times but the GOSPEL doesn't change. Practices may change but the Gospel doesn't change. These are huge differences, unfortunately the critics don't understand this.

  • Sir David OREM, UT
    Sept. 1, 2011 8:31 p.m.

    Re:Ranch

    "What bothers me is when religious people try to legislate their own beliefs into secular law."

    No it just bothers you when religious people exercise their political rights. Richard John Neuhaus articulately proved you wrong when he said:

    "In a democracy that is free and robust, an opinion is no more disqualified for being religious than for being atheistic, or psychoanalytic, or Marxist, or just plain dumb. There is no legal or constitutional question about the admission of religion to the public square; there is only a question about the free and equal participation of citizens in our public business. Religion is not a reified thing that threatens to intrude upon our common life. Religion in public is but the public opinion of those citizens who are religious."

    "If they can't live their religion and allow others to either live a different religion or no religion, then they have no business at all in public office. None. And to promise, PROMISE, to discriminate against other American Citizens is simply unbelievable and anathema to the principles of freedom and liberty."

    What's anathema to liberty is your OPINION that everyone can vote based on their opinions except religious people.

  • fatcaesar Las Vegas, NV
    Sept. 1, 2011 7:32 p.m.

    I don't see the progressive far left questioning whether majority leader Harry Reid's Mormonism and ability to serve his country is a problem. What a bunch of hypocrites!

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    Sept. 1, 2011 5:26 p.m.

    I was aghast in 2008 when the media made a circus out of Obama's beliefs - the whole Reverand Wright thing. Republicans made a huge mistake in engaging in making that a center piece of the attack on Obama. It was wrong. I knew that then. Now, the tables are turned and our candidates are facing the same scrutiny. And Mitt Romney faces it more than anyone else.

    Its sad to see when the country is focusing on issues, but clearly democrats and many republicans are going to try to place the Reverand Wright albatross on Mitt Romney. Even sadder is it will probably work.

  • @Charles the greater outdoors, UT
    Sept. 1, 2011 3:58 p.m.

    @Furry: Bachmann already answered that question and quite eloquently I might add. I guess you need a new source of information.

    @atl: you do realize that most of the original 13 states had state religions, right?

    And whatever laws states to enact are a will of the people who are in that state, right?

    And we have 50 states (57 if you are Obama) that have many different kinds of laws, right?

    And anyone can live in any state they want that reflects their own values and beliefs, right?

    ----

    It's quite amusing to see secularists demand that anyone who believes in God has to leave that belief at the door step on the way out into society. And yet, the beliefs that the secularists have don't have to be keep in the home. Why is that?

    Dear Ranch: everything is NOT about your homosexuality. You clearly have issues with your chosen lifestyle not being accepted by society. We don't have to accept, condone or even tolerate homosexuality. Just as you ask Mormons to keep their beliefs to themselves you keep your belief about your behavior in your home; you know, in the bedroom! Problem solved!

  • windsor City, Ut
    Sept. 1, 2011 2:17 p.m.

    Ranch:
    "What bothers me is when religious people try to legislate their own beliefs into secular law."

    And there are many who could say: "What bothers me is when irreligious or anti- religious people try to legislate their own beliefs into secular law.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Sept. 1, 2011 2:06 p.m.

    Do yourselves all a favor. Look up "The Pale Blue Dot" image and the speech made by Carl Sagan associated with it. If that doesn't make you realize how petty and insignificant all this squabbling is then heaven help you.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Sept. 1, 2011 12:02 p.m.

    Fred Vader wrote:

    "What I really think is hilarious about all of this is the fact that Keller, Pagan, Vanka etc. are all Dems and won't likely be voting in the Republican Primaries any way."

    I registered Republican when I turned 18, and I have been Republican ever since.

    Jump to conclusions much?

  • New to Utah PAYSON, UT
    Sept. 1, 2011 11:33 a.m.

    Equally important is questioning President Obama's association with reverand Wright, Bill Ayres and his support of gays and lesbians serving in the military. The idea that the ACLU and Planned Parenthood don't have agenda's every bit as demanding as religious convictions is nonsense. The secular humanism taught in Ivy League, Pac 12 and most every major university has widespread consequences. The idea that the NY Times comes out guns smoking against people of faith is expected. The liberals of all shades have been the influencer in universities for decades and now when all their ideas are failing leave it to the NY Times to attack candidates with solutions which might actually straighten out our economy.

  • KC Mormon Edgerton, KS
    Sept. 1, 2011 10:17 a.m.

    donn | 8:05 a.m. Sept. 1, 2011
    I notice that you leave out quotes from Brigham that say that "no revelation received by men is perfect", you also ignore the fact that many at the time believed that the moon was inhabited not only LDS, and your Joseph Smith quote is second hand.

  • SPC SPOKANE, WA
    Sept. 1, 2011 10:06 a.m.

    Read both the column and questions and it was very well written and entertaining. Additionally, all the questions are legitimate in that they focus only on issues that could impact a candidate's policies or political path. I'm not sure what all the uproar really is. Asking this types of questions would only help the "Mormon" candidates.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Sept. 1, 2011 10:01 a.m.

    When a person occupies the high office of the president of the United States they are no longer their own person, they have foregone their privacy to be the consenting represtative of the citizens of the nation. If a Catholic priest ( a man of the cloth) were to run for office his outward garb would identify much of who he is and what are his inclinations; the Mormons wear their holy garbs under their cloths, the voters will wish to know what is the significance of the under garments, do they have the same power as the Catholic robes, etc. The voters have a right and need to know.

  • Sigfried Payson, UT
    Sept. 1, 2011 9:43 a.m.

    You ask God yourself if he is supposed to be the prophet. If the answere is yes, then you follow. . . or not if you choose

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Sept. 1, 2011 9:33 a.m.

    @O'really,

    "Everyone can speak to God and get answers for their personal situation. The prophet is the only one to get answers for the church as a whole. "

    So who picks the prophet? How do we prove who has god's word for personal situations or god's word for the church as a whole? Whose to say your prophet has god's word as opposed to the Catholics or another religions prophet?

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Sept. 1, 2011 9:23 a.m.

    No Pagan/Pagen

    Everyone can speak to God and get answers for their personal situation. The prophet is the only one to get answers for the church as a whole.

    The President of the USA can and should pray.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Sept. 1, 2011 8:26 a.m.

    @Donn,

    These are the kind of questions they'll ask Romney, among others. I personally worry about the "White Horse" prophecy. Anywho, until there are answers to these questions and answers to what past prophets said (Some of the biggest names in the religion, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young), there will always be these lingering questions.

    Unlike other religions, Mormonism is relatively young and made A LOT of claims that have been disputed, changed, or frankly are ignored today by the church. They need to be answered before they'll be let go.

  • donn layton, UT
    Sept. 1, 2011 8:05 a.m.

    Arm of Orion, 7:44 p.m., Look the presidents of the Church are entitled to their own opinions according to their understanding of things. So your argument is invalidated and not sound please try again. OK,
    Brigham Young, I never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call it Scripture, Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon and it is a good as Scripture as they deserve deserve.(JoD v 13 p. 95 also see v. 13. P 264)
    Oliver B Huntington said,As far back as 1837,I know that he said the moon was inhabited by men and woman the same as the earth, and they lived to be a greater age than we do, that they live generally to near the age of 1,000 years. He(JS) described the men as averaging near six feet in height and dressing quite uniformly near Quaker style. Young womens journal v 3,p. 263. 1892

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Sept. 1, 2011 7:39 a.m.

    This whole trend is extremely dangerous to our political system. By making private belief systems subject to public scrutiny, even the antireligious should expect to be probed regarding their private motivations to the most minute detail.

    Hewitt makes a great point that the chickens have come home to roost, because of antimormon prejudices have now branched out to all religious believers. It is laying the foundation for systematic religious discrimination in politics.

    It really is a distraction from the qualifications of our politicians, and will only continue to sew the seeds of discord and distrust between our political candidates and their privately held religious beliefs.

    Some politicians make their religion front and center part of their candidacy, and I expect in such a case that those aspects should be a matter of public discussion, but this is simply not the case with Romney, who has not made his faith a public spectacle--rather the media has done it in an attempt to scare and weaken conservative base.

  • DeepintheHeart Lewisville, TX
    Sept. 1, 2011 7:19 a.m.

    Mormons who follow politics knew this was coming. Any time a member of the church who is conservative rises high enough, there's irreligious or just plain anti-religious people there to knock them down. Notice, however, that no one complains that Harry Reid is a Mormon? I wonder why. Also note that Huntsman has all but branded himself a less-active Mormon. Again, I wonder why.

  • indycrimson Franklin, IN
    Sept. 1, 2011 6:54 a.m.

    For those who worry more about religion than policy, perhaps these comments from the late Jerry Fallwell ring true. He said, "if I am I'll, I could care less the religion of the ambulance driver".

    Regardless of who you believe drove this once great company onto the rocks of bankruptcy...we are on them.

    Elect a president who you feel has the best chance of lifting this boat off of those rocks. Worrying about religion is like wondering if the deck chairs were straight when the Titanic hit the icie rocks of it's own.

  • jdcray Richmond, VA
    Sept. 1, 2011 6:08 a.m.

    "In God We Trust." Who cares "what stripe" the nation's leader belongs to as long as he or she is willing to subscribe to that simple motto.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Sept. 1, 2011 3:20 a.m.

    A question to all those who oppose a presidential candidates reveling as much information about themselves as possible (that gives the voters and the public an insight into the candidates desirability and capability for office): what is objectionalable about that. Shouldn't a candidate be well know and understood; and shouldn't they comunicate their reason and convictions to support their believes. Again, what is wrong with the people knowing and understanding who they are voting for. Are religious people (Mormons, Fundamendalist) afraid of who they are, or have something to hid. The voters need to know for the good and protection of the nation.

  • bluejean Farmington, UT
    Sept. 1, 2011 12:40 a.m.

    Tough questions should be asked and answered. Any good citizen should vote with complete awareness of what they are getting into. However, expressing fear about the threat of a "Mormon Trojan horse" in the White house either displays paranoia and bigotry beyond reason or humorous naivete. Nevertheless, the question should be answered.

    What would the Mormon church get out of having a Mormon president in the White House? No, it won't be power or persuasion. However, without even trying the church has and will surely gain more exposure and perhaps, at last, be able to dispel the endless perpetuated falsehoods.

  • zabivka Orem, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 11:59 p.m.

    KM: "So non-God-believing folk keep the same commandments as believing folk? Why? If life has no purpose and there is no judgement, why wouldn't you just eat drink and be merry - for tomorrow we die?"

    And that's why you'll always need and be happy in your religion, and I'll always be perfectly fine without it.

  • DistantThunder Vincentown, NJ
    Aug. 31, 2011 11:16 p.m.

    This was from Obama's Chicago church's website:

    "Trinity United Church of Christ adopted the Black Value System written by the Manford Byrd Recognition Committee chaired by Vallmer Jordan in 1981. We believe in the following 12 precepts and covenantal statements. These Black Ethics must be taught and exemplified in homes, churches, nurseries and schools, wherever Blacks are gathered. They must reflect on the following concepts:

    1. Commitment to God
    2. Commitment to the Black Community
    3. Commitment to the Black Family
    4. Dedication to the Pursuit of Education
    5. Dedication to the Pursuit of Excellence
    6. Adherence to the Black Work Ethic
    7. Commitment to Self-Discipline and Self-Respect
    8. Disavowal of the Pursuit of "Middleclassness"
    9. Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the Black Community
    10. Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting Black Institutions
    11. Pledge allegiance to all Black leadership who espouse and embrace the Black Value System 12. Personal commitment to embracement of the Black Value System."

    Mr. Keller didn't complain about this hostility towards the middle-class. Why?

  • Grammy3 SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 10:39 p.m.

    I wonder why we never ever hear that Harry Reid is Mormon. It just makes me mad that they are always bringing up about Mitt Romney being a Mormon and not much has been said about Huntsman being one but we never hear anyone questioning about Harry Reid. To me is just upsets me that it is one way and no other way with those back in Washington. It is always to do with the Republicans but never ever with the Democrats.

  • Heidi T. Farmington, Utah
    Aug. 31, 2011 10:33 p.m.

    Could we get a grip! Talk about out-of-control, beyond, and for what? What a waste of exchange. Keller? Please!

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    Aug. 31, 2011 9:47 p.m.

    I think people are missing Keller's point, as misguided as it may be. He's wanting people to ask Romney embarrassing questions about the history of the Church . . . like Joseph Smith obtaining the Book of Mormon by using a seer stone placed in his hat, comments Brigham Young made about Joseph Smith's consent necessary to enter the Celestial Kingdom.

    Basically his goal is to embarrass the candidates. I think such questions are beneath the dignity of the process of electing a President. No person can explain the meaning behind the history of their religion. Its just playing games.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 9:32 p.m.

    I don't want to know a candidate's religion.

  • KM Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 9:31 p.m.

    Greg Webber

    So non-God-believing folk keep the same commandments as believing folk? Why? If life has no purpose and there is no judgement, why wouldn't you just eat drink and be merry - for tomorrow we die?

  • Gramajane OAKLEY, ID
    Aug. 31, 2011 9:10 p.m.

    The person who quoted some thing about rights and privileges of one state not to be denied in another state -- has me wondering,
    That it was probably taken out of context? As wouldn't that mean all the states HAD to be the same so what happens to states rights? Something fishy there?
    Wouldn't that mean every citizen had the right to have the same amount of welfare from each state or even the same charges for traffic tickets ETC!!!???? Crazy!!
    --- also that poster seemed quite shy on spelling out exactly what promise it was that they signed? Why?
    Insinuation can make things look unfair or slanted that are not! Facts help!!
    That posters "skill" to quote some supposed law but not quote the pledge??
    --- as a babysitter once I had to refuse to let my charge play with another child and the mother came to me demanding why-- SHE was sure I was in the wrong till she found out the child I was carting for was still contagious though feeling well enough to walk outside!! She carefully escorted her child backing away from us!!!

  • coleman51 Orem, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 9:06 p.m.

    Perhaps Bill Kellers article should prompt us to ask the question in a different context; "Is Barack Obama a Trojan Horse for his religion (liberalism) and should be more carefully questioned about his beliefs". I think that would be a more balanced approach to the question Bill Keller brings up instead of exposing his own bigotry.

  • WestGranger West Valley City, Utah
    Aug. 31, 2011 8:58 p.m.

    Bill Keller is amazingly clueless about his obvious religious bigotry. His double standard about others who have beliefs that are different than his own is blatant. Anybody's basic beliefsm rleigious or not, are based one way or another on faith.

  • B Logan, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 8:43 p.m.

    Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. -John Adams

    Who cares what Keller or the New York Times think?

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Aug. 31, 2011 8:38 p.m.

    Geez, I don't believe that when a priest blesses the Eucharist in the Catholic sacrament that it is literally the body of Christ. I could go into more detail here abuot how I feel about it. But it would be insensitive. No, I don't feel that it is neccessary to grill Nancy Pelosi about her belief in that.

    (If we are, can we grill Ken Salazar or Al Gore on whether they believe that public lands are sacred, do they believe in Gaia?)

    I don't agree with US support for Israel, I am uncomfortable that many evangelical and Mormon candidates interpret the Bible to mean that we should support Israel. I will decide whether to vote for them based on their stand for the issue.

    But I am totally cool with their right to have a religious view even if I disagree with them. Some people have a real problem with diversity and it isn't just the people that we normally label as being 'conservative' or 'on the right'.

  • RantBully Bend, OR
    Aug. 31, 2011 8:28 p.m.

    Does the candidate want to do good for the country? This is the most important religious question. If you can't understand this, then you probably don't worry that the current President has failed to do good for our country no matter what his religious beliefs are.

  • Gregg Weber SEATTLE, WA
    Aug. 31, 2011 8:26 p.m.

    @Valfre "How is that so? Since when are the 10 commandments only followed by those with religious standards? You don't think those who don't have a religion still follow such principles? Except the believing in God stuff and keeping the Sabbath day holy, I would contend most non-religious individuals agree with not stealing, murdering, or cheating on their wives."

    The 10 Commandments are more easily followed by one who feels shame in going against them. Count them. There are more than ten. Those without any belief in the afterlife only care about here, now, and maybe their family. Instant gratification pleasure trumps nonexistent Pearly Gates in their eyes.

    It would be interesting to see a survey of religious people vs. nonreligious people living in Las Vegas per capita stealing, murdering, or cheating on their wives[/husbands]. You believe that they would be about the same percentage but I suspect not so.

  • Fred Vader Oklahoma City, OK
    Aug. 31, 2011 8:23 p.m.

    What I really think is hilarious about all of this is the fact that Keller, Pagan, Vanka etc. are all Dems and won't likely be voting in the Republican Primaries any way. It doesn't matter what any of the GOP candidates answered, because the libs still wouldn't vote for them.

    The article was nothing more than Keller following the Obama game plan to call out Romney's religion as "weird" and now that Perry is leading the field, they are trying to throw his religion under the bus as well.

    Such a lame attempt libs.

  • RAB Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 7:55 p.m.

    First, if a candidate has a religious agenda, they are not going to tell anybody about it unless they know it will gain them voters. It is therefore pointless to ask them about it.

    Second, if a candidate has a religious agenda, it will be made obvious by the candidates past activities (especially if they have held office before). It is therefore pointless to ask them about it.

    Third, if a candidate has a religious agenda, they likely will have a hard time hiding it in their speeches. It is therefore pointless to ask them about it.

    Conclusion: It is pointless to ask candidates about their religious agenda. This is just one more in a long list of stupid ideas spewed onto the world by the New York Times liberal agenda.

  • ctrwbc WEST PALM BEACH, FL
    Aug. 31, 2011 7:47 p.m.

    This Country was founded on feedom of Religion. The words of seperation of Church and State is not in the Constition. it states in the first Amendment Congress shall make no law respecting an establiment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. When someone with the press or goverment says something that is offensive or Just wrong I know if they keep it up the more they look stupid. Just keep talking and let every one know. I am sure that Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman are good mormons but I not going to vote for ether becouse they are of my faith. Everyone should study and research the issue and cannibates. There are other Cannidates I like better then Mitt and Jon. so few political cannibates that I liked I voted for. It am usual voting for the cannidite I dislike the least.

  • Arm of Orion Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 7:44 p.m.

    Donn I see what you did there you sneaky devil you (wink). Trying to discredit Mormons and make us all look like idiots oh man you are smart smart guy yes you are! (sarcasm off)

    Look the presidents of the Church are entitled to their own opinions according to their understanding of things. Brigham Young had incomplete knowledge concerning life on other planets and made a poor decision. What Brigham knew and didn't know is up to him further more what if he was speaking of a more spiritual meaning. I am sure you are aware that we use the glory or light of the sun moon and stars in mormon theology to represent different things yes? So argument invalidated and not sound please try again.

  • SammyB Provo, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 7:29 p.m.

    Speed66,

    Be careful not to study history a lot deeper, all ancient cultures, their legends and myths, or you may discover that almost all of their underlying beliefs stem from one ancient source. The gospel was given to Adam in its purity and also to Enoch, Abraham, Moses, etc. Pieces are found everywhere. The Sefer Yetzirah itself, an ancient writing by Abraham, is a great example that shows great similarities to world wide esoteric teachings.

    Christ came late onto the scene, but true prophets had the crucial story and pattern from the beginning.

  • donn layton, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 7:25 p.m.

    On Sunday, New York Times outgoing executive editor Bill Keller asked the following question in a column: "If a candidate for president said he believed that space aliens dwell among us, would that affect your willingness to vote for him?"

    Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon? So it is regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain.(J.O.D., v. 13. P 271 ) Brigham Young

  • Castlepath South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 7:12 p.m.

    "We needn't worry about a mormon in the White House.
    It will never happen."

    I thought I'd never see a communist in the White House either but....oh well.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Aug. 31, 2011 7:10 p.m.

    Does anyone else dislike the word "fealty"? I honestly have never heard it before and it's used many times in these posts.

    The biggest problem I see in asking these religious questions is that it's setting folks up to cross a candidate off thier list simply because they don't like or don't understand the candidate's religious beliefs. Unless you have a conviction of any particular religion, you are bound to disagree with certain beliefs. This can easily scramble and intermix ones' understanding of the candidate's political and religious beliefs to the point of not being able to separate them. I think the idea of the trinity is illogical, but I can totally trust one's ability to lead this country inspite of having that belief.

    I think it's fair to ask if someone takes orders from a religious leader (or spouse) who might have harm in mind for the USA. (Do we get to ask Socialists that same question?) That's an easy answer for LDS. No!

    I think the evolution question is silly. What does that have to do with leading the country? Evolution and creationism should both be taught as existing ideas in the schools. Neither as absolute truth.

  • B-727 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 6:50 p.m.

    Speed 66: "Treating religion and religious belief as a taboo subject is a tradition that should end."

    I couldn't disagree more--and have a very hard time thinking of anything that would be more divisive to the people of this nation (as if we don't have enough internal divisions already).

    The Founders were absolutely right to reject all religious tests for holders of public offices. They did so because they knew perfectly well from European experience how emotional, irrational and even violent people can become when their fundamental beliefs or spiritual values are challenged.

    Do you really want to lower the level of political discourse in the U.S. to that found in places like Beirut or Baghdad? Do you really want to take a giant step closer to settling our political differences the same way they do in those bastions of democracy (via AK-47, RPG and car bombs)?

    Let's leave a candidate's religious beliefs (or lack thereof) entirely out of the political arena and focus our attention on the merits of their policy positions. That should be more than sufficient to eliminate candidates who are whackos, of whatever stripe.

  • KC Mormon Edgerton, KS
    Aug. 31, 2011 6:41 p.m.

    atl134
    Take some time to read the State Constitutions of the Original 13 States and then answer the question about this being a Christian Country. Many of them required people to be Christians to run for office in the State. How more Christian can you get than that?

  • localblue Sandy, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 6:24 p.m.

    Is "refutate" a word? This is a serious question.

  • KC Mormon Edgerton, KS
    Aug. 31, 2011 6:09 p.m.

    Bill in Nebraska
    Can I correct one thing for you? The "separation of Church and State" comes from Jefferson trying to get the constitution ratified. Some Baptists had a fear of the Constitution because almost every state at the time had an official state religion in their state constitutions (written under the Articles of Confederation but not removed until much later) and they were worried that they might be denied the right to serve in other states because of the state religions. He told them that the First Amendment was to provide a "separation of Church and State" to protect peoples rights to their religions. You are correct however that it is only recent that it has been viewed in the light of protecting the Government from Religion. That is not how it was intended, the intent was to protect religion from the government.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 6:03 p.m.

    Religion buys way too many political candidates a 'get out of stupid free' card.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 31, 2011 5:30 p.m.

    re: ute alumni | 2:57 p.m.

    Ask a child where God is. A child is humble enough to believe and meek enough to listen. They know how to kneel and pray. They know why Christ said, "Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."

    The proud, the arrogant, the "intelligent" dismiss God. They have already found their answer. They will never see His face or feel His love because they reject Him, His teachings and His influence in their lives.

    No government can serve its people without practicing laws that were given to Moses. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt do no murder. Thou shalt not bear false witness. Thou shalt not covet. They were applicable when Moses walked down the mountain. They are the basis of our laws today.

    Mock God if you wish, but think what kind of world we would have without His influence - and His laws.

  • cindyacre Shelley, ID
    Aug. 31, 2011 5:28 p.m.

    "If a candidate for president said he believed that space aliens dwell among us, would that affect your willingness to vote for him?"

    This type of question, trying to equate religion with the extra-terrestrial tells me a lot about the subjectiveness/objectiveness of this piece.

  • bgl Santa Monica, CA
    Aug. 31, 2011 5:13 p.m.

    I don't always agree with the DNews, but man am I impressed by it's readership. Thank you to The New York Times for posing this question. Thank you to the very intelligent Des News readers who posted on this thread and encouraged what he seems to be asking for. Transparency. I want to know if my candidate has a religious agenda and I not only want to know it--I demand to know it. I don't want to get that info from 24 hr. news cycle talking heads, but from the pages of respected news organizations with solid writers and interviewers. If Mitt's leanings (for example) are too difficult for me to live with, I suppose I will not vote for him, but I will respect his honesty and the honesty of all candidates. The Trojan Horse of religious agenda must never override our basic freedoms and the only way to keep it outside of the gates is through open and frank discussion. True, there may be some who hide and weasel their beliefs into law in spite of the 1st Amendment, but that is why we need a vigilant and alert body of voters.

  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    Aug. 31, 2011 5:08 p.m.

    It's all good. Powerful "thinkers" always trying to think up ways to trick devout individuals.

    Answer the questions and move on.

    Render unto Caesar...

  • phillyfanatic LONG BEACH, CA
    Aug. 31, 2011 5:08 p.m.

    This is not surprising from Keller or anybody in the Journo-List MSM flacker DNC love-boaters! They do not like the Judeo-Christian foundation of our nation in the first place. WAPO et al doesn't either. See each night the MSM BIG 3 nets as they smear GOP pols who have the gall to believe in God! It is not only Mitt and Jon but Perry, Michelle, Sarah, John Ryan, John Kasich et al. And oh, yes, all of them seem to be very successful leaders. Hmmm. BHO seems to be a secular ...whatever but Keller just loves him.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Aug. 31, 2011 5:00 p.m.

    @Gregg Weber,

    "Having no religious standard is worse than one following most of the 10 Commandments."

    How is that so? Since when are the 10 commandments only followed by those with religious standards? You don't think those who don't have a religion still follow such principles? Except the believing in God stuff and keeping the Sabbath day holy, I would contend most non-religious individuals agree with not stealing, murdering, or cheating on their wives.

  • speed66 Heber City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 4:56 p.m.

    You might be well served by actually reading the article instead of the DN's conservative spin.

    If a candidate attempts to use his religion as a credential then isn't he the one that has put it on trial? I don't think Huntsman or Romney have done this by the way.

    Treating religion and religious belief as a taboo subject is a tradition that should end. That's not to say that we shouldn't accept others' rights to believe...but we shouldn't have to pretend that they are logical especially where public policy is at stake. Scientologists? Christian Scientist? Polygamists?

    @CougarBlue - beware looking at history or you'll find that most all christian beliefs and stories were ripped off from ancient cultures.
    @JNA - your assertion of a "liberal media" is irrational bordering on paranoid and your assessment of Obama's standing in history is pure folly.
    @Sasha - who is we in "we can answer them"?
    @Eliot & Too - Fair questions - not credible but fair.

    The official church position is disingenuous. The LDS church is active in politics and that's okay provided they are honest about it. Frankly, I think they should give up their tax-exempt status so they can be more forthright.

  • B-727 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 4:55 p.m.

    Ugly, ugly, ugly.

    Comparing a candidate's private religious views to the question of whether or not he or she "believes that aliens walk among us" is an absurdity that insults the intelligence of the reader.

    I thought we settled this issue once and for all in 1960, when JFK's Catholicism was laid to rest as a political issue. One would actually like to believe that Mr. Keller said those things because he has learned nothing in the last 50 years. As ignoble as even that explanation would be, Keller's partisan motivation is all too obvious.

    The very same people who cried foul when questions were raised in 2008 about the church President Obama attended for 20 years now feel entitled to raise questions about the religious affiliations and beliefs of candidates running against Mr. Obama?

    Give me a break. Bigotry remains bigotry and hypocrisy remains hypocrisy, no matter where they originate on the political spectrum. No wonder the New York Times is circling the drain. Shame on Mr. Keller and his newspaper for publishing such contemptible tripe.

  • Mandie29 EDGEWOOD, NM
    Aug. 31, 2011 4:51 p.m.

    So would we prefer our government to be run by a bunch of atheists?

  • Gregg Weber SEATTLE, WA
    Aug. 31, 2011 4:37 p.m.

    Being religious or not is important as far as character. Having no religious standard is worse than one following most of the 10 Commandments. There are LDS conservatives who I would vote for, and LDS liberals I would not vote for because I am concerned about what they would do to the Constitution, my freedoms, or my life.
    Are these proposed questions for right wing candidates any harder than the ones they asked candidate Obama? I suspect they will be much harder on right wingers about their religious beliefs about Mormonism, Catholicism, or some other "ism" then they will be on left wingers about their religious beliefs in Atheism or some other "ism".

  • dumprake Washington, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 4:12 p.m.

    A better question is: If a candidate for president said he believed in global warming, should that discredit him as a serious candidate for president? Yes, it would. Global warming is complete fiction.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Aug. 31, 2011 3:57 p.m.

    They keep denying me, it's quite ridiculous. Anyways:

    You all need to relax. They should ask the candidates about their beliefs! Nothing wrong with that. I would be uncomfortable if they weren't asked tough questions! Religious or atheist, I would want to know the bottom line on where they stand.

    I believe asking the candidates, especially Romney, about the 'questionable' beliefs, prophecies, and history of the church could be beneficial for his candidacy DEPENDING on his answers. If he avoids the questions or gives no answers, like some have done in the past to certain questions, he will really hurt his chances with the American public. If he comes out and lets everyone know what he's all about it will be over with.

  • Coug Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 3:31 p.m.

    The NY Times writer seems to draw a comparison religious beliefs and space aliens, yet supports a president that thinks higher taxes and bigger government can stimulate our national economy.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 3:27 p.m.

    The editor certainly did raise some interesting points.

    The biggest one...

    The US Constitution (and its Amendments) are the governing law of this land. From a legal standpoint there is no higher authority.

    In the Oath Of Office the President swears to uphold this law.

    I don't care what kind of precepts you have, America is not run by any Church. If you want God to be the highest authority in the land there are some people in the Middle East that I'd love to introduce you to.

  • TDS Clearfield, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 3:21 p.m.

    It's not so much the religion/philosophy that I would scrutinize, but the manner in which it is opperationalized. Belonging to a group that espouses a level of irrational thinking isn't so much of problem (pretty much every organization has varying levels of irrationality)it is the manner in which it is internalized and played out. When Pat Robertson stated that: "all gays should be stoned to death," - does he really mean it? Maybe but he's never attempted it. On the other hand the instigators of 911 took their beliefs to a new level.

    By in large however, notwithstanding research that 80%+ of americans believe in God, most are too apathetic or indifferent to ever make their beliefs significant. I'm not worried about the religious beliefs of any of the candidates as they fall into to this larger group, but I am interested in their fiscal records.

  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    Aug. 31, 2011 3:21 p.m.

    I don't care WHAT religion you are. Those who paint all Mormons as close-minded and non-inclusive are no better than those who would paint all Muslims as terrorists.

    I just want a President who will be fair and moderate and wise, who will take away nobody's rights, who will fight for all Americans, not just the white, rich, Christian Americans.

    I personally think Romney, who's not from Utah, and Huntsman, who served as Obama's Ambassador to CHINA, are much more moderate than the other GOP candidates.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 31, 2011 3:08 p.m.

    Just for the record, Pagan's first post quotes Michele Bachman as saying "Gays are part of Satan's plan."

    That is a lie. Bachman never said that. Please post the correct quotation, and apologize.

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 2:57 p.m.

    Paganette:
    Pagan | 12:19 p.m. Aug. 31, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    'On the other hand, God has all knowledge. God has all power.' - Mike Richards | 11:54 a.m. Aug. 31, 2011

    Then where is God?

    Heaven?

    What address is that, exactly?

    Brilliant. You and your ilk are profound thinkers. Thanks for your continued cut and paste.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 2:43 p.m.

    Questions are OK, it is the way they are asked. When he mockingly says: "If a candidate for president said he believed that space aliens dwell among us, would that affect your willingness to vote for him?" Keller says he wouldn't dismiss the candidate outright, but would "certainly want to ask a few questions." he is trying to put the candidates in a class of being nuts.

    As Christians we believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, we believe He suffered for every sin, pain, difficulty or heartache so that we may be forgiven or feel His comfort. We believe that He took his body up 3 days after His death so that we all may be resurrected. These are absolutely amazing things to believe, yet I have no doubt about them and I am humbled to say that. I dont think it would be right if someone mockingly said yeah and you probably believe in space aliens too.

  • KM Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 2:40 p.m.

    Do we really have to give any emotion or time to a known heathen? How dare those politicians believe that there is something to life, a purpose. We should all be like Keller and think that all this order in the universe and our being here living on the earth was just by chance and for no apparent reason. Shame on we religious folk.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 2:31 p.m.

    Bill Keller, the editor of the New York TImes is many things.

    Most of them would not be permitted here, so use your imagination.

    However, he is a stranger to the truth, has a hard left agenda and does not care about the damage he and his paper can cause our country. That is easily verifiable by reading his paper over the last few years. (The last few years, while their circulation has been plummetting!)

    Keller's thoughts on religion are not worthy of discussion, and his attempt to set the agenda for character assassination by religious discrimination is despicable!

    I am shocked that the Deseret News even bothers to comment upon his aspersions. It would be more fruitful to try to hold a rational discussion with one of the "street preachers" who spew hatred at Conference time.

  • nottyou Riverton, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 2:12 p.m.

    What a double standard...maybe if Barack Obama had been asked tough questions about his religion we wouldn't be in this mess right now.

  • Anthracite Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 2:05 p.m.

    I'm a Mormon and have no problem with the questions posed to the LDS candidates. I can't speak from the perspective of the candidates from other faiths. Though I do wonder, how does it feel for those in the "mainstream" to have their faith questioned, too?

  • ElJefeOcho STAFFORD, VA
    Aug. 31, 2011 1:57 p.m.

    Put simply, liberals are ok with religious people, as long as those people who believe don't take their religion seriously.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 1:55 p.m.

    Questions about religion can be good and perhaps can contribute to better understanding. It is the manner in which Bill Keller condescendingly questions that is wrong.

    For instance it is interesting; even Romneys differing postures on the topic of abortion could perhaps be explained by his religion. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints believes that there is an eternal law of heaven that persons must have agency to choose that freedom and liberty are essential to the Lords plan however choice is always accompanied by accountability. The Church teaches what it believes to be true and just. There is an interesting dichotomy, in the case of abortion, where one person is deciding to end another life. As one person cannot be accountable for the life of another, protecting the life that would be lost in an abortion is determined to be paramount even though it would infringe to some degree on the agency to choose of the person desiring the abortion.

  • CRB Woods Cross, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 1:49 p.m.

    Perhaps candidates that demonstrate a lack of faith, character and values should be the ones asked the difficult questions. Comparing space aliens living among us to having faith in God says a lot more about where the editor stands than anyone else.

  • JLFuller Boise, ID
    Aug. 31, 2011 1:28 p.m.

    Is fealty to the B of M an issue? Not to Mormons. To others who do not know about us it might be. So, just has been said countless times before, let me repeat: there is a line between religion and performing the job one is elected to. Voters expect that all successful candidates will do the job for which they were elected and not mix religion with their civic duties. Mormons do that every day. So, to be clear, Mormons believe in separating the two. Those in government service believe in performing their civic duties without regard to religious preference.

  • Jim Mesa, Az
    Aug. 31, 2011 1:24 p.m.

    I thought that it had to be a prerequiste to belief that aliens live amongst us, for any political candidate. A persons religious believes should not be a factor for office. Perhaps were should be looking at behavior and not beliefs.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 1:19 p.m.

    @Lehicoug

    Godwin's law states that whoever brings Nazi's up in a debate automatically loses. I mentioned it because of the complete lack of any relation between this subject and genocide.

    I'm also not an atheist, I just wanted to show that for all you complain about the secular attacks on religious candidates... the people who are most discriminated against when it comes to willingness to vote for them... is the atheists.

    @cougarblue

    "The phrase "separation of church and state" itself does not appear in the United States Constitution. "

    I am completely aware of the fact that it doesn't, but it's an implicit requirement that in order to have freedom of religion, the church must be separate from the state. That's why everyone knows Sharia law is unconstitutional, even if Islam wasn't made an official religion. Making laws based on Islam that have no other purpose (that's why murder is still illegal despite being forbidden by religions) like say... banning pork, would be unconstitutional because of the separation of church and state principle.

  • Macfarren Dallas, TX
    Aug. 31, 2011 1:18 p.m.

    @Furry1993

    When we elected Bill, we got Hillary. No one seemed to have a problem with that then. Remember Hillary heading her own committees and hearings to socialize health care? Perhaps we should have questioned Michelle when Barak was running. She's as extreme as he is. Remember her remarks about 'finally being proud' of her country? Outrageous.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 31, 2011 1:17 p.m.

    As for what a religious candidate should answer to a question about what he'd do if there was a conflict between his legal duties and his religious beliefs, he should just refer the questioner to the Reverend Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail," and leave it at that.

    I wonder if Keller's ever read that document?

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 1:16 p.m.

    Keller's concerns about candidate's fealty toward their religion is ironic since, as the article says, he has not fealty to the Constitution:

    "No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    Aug. 31, 2011 1:14 p.m.

    Perhaps nothing influences one's worldview more than religion. And there is perhaps no more important moment for trying to truly understand one's worldview (other than choosing a spouse) than when deciding who to vote for to lead our country. And yet, asking questions regarding how one's religion influences a candidate's worldview is somehow considered off limits by some?

    I think you can absolutely be respectful to one's religion of choice AND ascertain how that religion influences their worldview.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 31, 2011 1:13 p.m.

    The United States is a Christian nation, in the sense that its main (indeed, overwhelming) religious cultural influence is Christian.

    It does not, on the other hand, have a Christian government, or a Christian constitution.

    What Keller and his kind mistake in assuming, is that if a person believes, as a matter of religious faith, in things which seem absurd, you can draw conclusions about his general judgment.

    Except of course people apply different standards of judgment in evaluating articles of faith than they do generally. Keller and liberals do this, too; unlike religious people, they don't admit it to themselves. They think that when they reject the scientific consensus about the safety of, say, genetic engineering, or its conclusions about human intelligence, they're doing so out of pure reason. Which of course is hogwash.

    If my doctor rejected the theory of evolution, I would have concerns -- because I just don't think you can study fields relevant to medicine without recognizing the overwhelming evidence for evolutionary biology. On the other hand, if my accountant, because of his inerrant-Bible Protestantism, did so, I wouldn't worry. I don't expect he'll apply the same special epistemological standard to my taxes.

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 1:02 p.m.

    I, for one, do not want anyone who believes in "theocracy" to become the president. As long as they have the conviction that their beliefs are personal and do not want to have every American live by them, I don't care what religion (or non-religion) they belong to.

  • DistantThunder Vincentown, NJ
    Aug. 31, 2011 1:01 p.m.

    How about these questions:

    Why do Mormons live 7-9 years longer than the average American?

    Why do devout Mormons have a divorce rate that is half the national average?

    Why are Mormon women the second best educated of all religious women with Jewish women slightly more educated on average?

    Why is the LDS Church the number one sponsor of the Boy Scouts?

    Why does Utah have the lowest out of wedlock pregnancy rate?

    Why does Utah have the lowest drunk driving rate?

    Why does Utah have the lowest death rate by drunk drivers?

    and many more?

  • Furry1993 Clearfield, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 1:00 p.m.

    I know one question I want to ask Bachmann. She said she believes in being submissive to her husband. Does that mean that, if elected, we will have President Michelle Bachman or President Marcus Bachmann in actual control of the government? Or will we have a joint presidency, like there was a joint governorship in Alaska with Sarah and Todd Palin?

    That is a pertinent question, based on religious and social beliefs.

  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 12:53 p.m.

    atl134 your comments show lack of scholarly research in the beliefs of our founding fathers. including the Declaration of Independence. We are a Christian Nation and I can give you hundreds of quotes from our founding fathers about that. Here is the 1st Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grief.

    The concept of separation of church and state refers to the distance in the relationship between organized religion and the nation state. The term is an offshoot of the phrase, "wall of separation between church and state," as written in Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists Association in 1802. Jefferson reflected his frequent speaking theme that the government is not to interfere with religion.[1] The phrase was quoted by the United States Supreme Court first in 1878, and then in a series of cases starting in 1947. The phrase "separation of church and state" itself does not appear in the United States Constitution.

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    Aug. 31, 2011 12:51 p.m.

    Good, then let's fire off some real tough religious question to Barak Obama! For instance why did he attend a christian church for 20 years where the pastor is a known racist? Maybe even question the "Muslim" influence he's had in his life. Is Obama a real christian when he mocks people who "carry their bibles?"

    If we open up religious questioning, let's do it for all people, not make it a condition only for a select few.

    Once again the NY Post boldly establishes itself as a self-righteous, find fault with others, type paper.

  • Lehicoug Lehi, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 12:46 p.m.

    @ATL134

    I have no idea who Godwin was.

    And I could care less if you are an atheist.

  • Fender Bender Saint George, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 12:45 p.m.

    While they may not be the most pressing questions we should ask presidential candidates, I hardly think Keller's proposed religious questions are "outrageous".

    At least Keller is proposing all GOP candidates should be subject to the same type of questioning and the same level of objectivity, and skepticism. Most other news organizations seem content to raise questions about Huntman and Romney's Mormonism, while altogether ignoring Bachmann and Perry's ties to politically charged fringe Evangelical movements.

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Aug. 31, 2011 12:43 p.m.

    How about an openly gay president? Would Pagan approve.

  • RAB Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 12:42 p.m.

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their CREATOR " oops, I almost quoted some church-and-state-mixing obviously unconstitutional anti-American document again.

    The thing these anti-religionists seem incapable of understanding, is the fact that a person's claimed religion is NOT a predictor of that person's behavior. Did people vote for Pelosi thinking she would fight abortion rights because of her Catholic faith? They were disappointed if they did. If the candidate is extreme and exclusive with regards to their religious views, there past behavior will expose it. Asking intrusive questions will reveal nothing.

    If you want to know what a candidate will do, you don't need to know what they claim to believe. Candidates will say anything to get your vote. You HAVE to look honestly at everything they have (or have not) done in the past. Then you need to weigh that against what they claim they will do for our country in the future--and HOW they intend to do it. If their past behavior does not jive with their plans for the future (like Obama), they should not be trusted.

  • conservative scientist Lindon, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 12:37 p.m.

    The Michael Medved piece is fantastic and right on the money.

  • Plebeius Holladay, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 12:24 p.m.

    To Ranch
    You are very narrow minded with a single agenda on your "AHEM" that you cannot think straight (or act for that matter). Your bias is a very example of the twisting of thought sayings and out of context matters that arise from one sided thinking.
    To all
    Religion is and always will be an issue in a persons running for office, just as religion always has and always will be part of our country, but that does not mean that you attack thoughts of a religious group that a person belongs to.
    Romney answered questions about his religion last time, this is a liberal agenda to attack the right, not to open debate of the issues. This is why the left can't swing me over to their side, they are hypocrites.
    I vote for a person and their stances on issues along with their voting history.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 12:23 p.m.

    @Bill in Nebraska
    "At the time the Constitution was written the founders didn't want one religion over another."

    That's actually the exact reason why we aren't a Christian nation.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Aug. 31, 2011 12:22 p.m.

    The Constitution and Declaration of Independence speaks qualities of a Christian Nation. We welcome people of all nations here regardless of their religious affiliations. The term, "Separation of Church and State" is found no where in the Constitution of the United States. That term was coined by legal men intepretation of the Constitution. Congress has no right to infringe on the rights of any religion yet they did in the late 1800s. Unfortunately, the US Supreme Court upheld that law, based on what, the concept of their own CHRISTIAN BELIEFS. The same thing happens today from the left or the right. The left takes a more liberal view of the Bible and its teachings where the right takes a more literal view of the Bible. Many of our laws we have go back to the Ten Commandments. This is not a secular nation regardless of what some want you to believe. Those on the left have a liberal view of the Constitution where as those on the right have a literal view of it as well. The Constitution was divinely inspired to preserve us a nation.

    It is "One nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all".

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 12:20 p.m.

    @lehicoug

    "How different are they than the Nazi's or Communists who equated the Jews with vermin? "

    Way to leap at Godwin's law there.

    You know, right now atheists are the demographic that americans are least willing to vote for so if anyone is being discriminated against as a candidate over religion... those with no religion face the worst of it.

  • Macfarren Dallas, TX
    Aug. 31, 2011 12:20 p.m.

    One thing is certain, the election of Obama has proven that anybody can be elected regardless of qualification (or lack thereof), or religion (or lack thereof), or constitutional viewpoints (or lack thereof)..... shall I go on?

    If you ask me, Obama being elected opens the door for anybody anywhere to be elected, even IF they believe in aliens. As long as they get back to the Constitution and get the current Marxist out of office, they could be Santa Claus themselves as far as I'm concerned. Let's get the Emperor-in-Chief out of there.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 12:19 p.m.

    'On the other hand, God has all knowledge. God has all power.' - Mike Richards | 11:54 a.m. Aug. 31, 2011

    Then where is God?

    Heaven?

    What address is that, exactly?

    You belief, is fine.

    But when you start presuming that everyone should follow you because of what you say...

    and cannot prove...?

    How do you expect to be credible?

  • Morgan Duel Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 12:18 p.m.

    When I look at a person running for president, I look at what will this person and his policies do to help this Country to grow and develop, to provide the people with the same freedoms we have enjoyed for the past 200+ years. Today I notice, that instead of wanting what we have had some want to go in a different direction. They have different values. It will be interesting to see whether we survive all the potential change wanted of not.

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 12:14 p.m.

    We needn't worry about a mormon in the White House.
    It will never happen.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Aug. 31, 2011 12:11 p.m.

    If you notice the ones agreeing with Mr. Keller you will also notice those against it. Mr. Keller is a leftist, thus probably a democrat. Pagan, no fit in SG, Vanka, Ranch and others have all but stated they agree with the leftist view. Those who are conservative and independent do not agree with the leftist view. In my own opinion non of the so called pledges go against anything in the Constitution. It is my constitutional right to vote my beliefs.

    I know a very conservative Bishop that voted for Obama in 2008 because he didn't like or trust McCain. Today if I talked to him, he would swing his vote back to conservative. These questions are hypocritical as are most of the leftist views, but go ahead let him ask them. It is up to the canidate to answer them if they wish to. To those who say this is not a Christian nation should really take a hard look at what it really is. It is a Christian nation. At the time the Constitution was written the founders didn't want one religion over another. We are a Christian Nation regardless what some leftist think.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 12:10 p.m.

    To say a person cannot be influenced by a religion that has been a part of them is ridiculous. Their attitudes and beliefs are certain influenced to one degree or another. Does it bother me that JFK beleived in transubstantiation? Not one bit. Does it bother me that as a Catholic, JFK held the Pope to be infallible and to be the voice for God? Not one bit. Was JFK influenced by his religion? Certainly. And that is OK.

    As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Mitt Romney and John Huntsman 1st of all "beleive in the God the Eternal Father, His Son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost." Everything else stems from that including to "render unto Ceasar that which is Ceasar's and rendering to God that which is God's" Religion does not have to be discarded to participate in the governments of man. The governments of man don't have to shun the good and moral values taught throgh theh ages by religion.

    If you want to know more about the religion of Mitt Romney or John Huntsman find a couple of mormon missionaries they will be glad to tell you more.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 31, 2011 11:54 a.m.

    We have two choices. We either elect someone who believes in God or we elect someone who does not believe in God. Man has proven that he can't do anything on his own. He messes up everything. On the other hand, God has all knowledge. God has all power. God has our interests in mind. Those who believe in God have a chance of doing the right thing simply because they are "meek" enough to know that man does not have all the answers and that they must rely upon someone who has those answers.

    The "educated" warn us to believe in ourselves. There's a "fat chance" that believing in ourselves will ever solve any problem. Mr. Obama has proven that. He has tried to implement "HIS" philosophy on us. He wants us to follow him. What total arrogance! What has he ever done that would make anyone want to follow him? What jobs has he created? Who has he helped? What is the condition of his extended family? Who would want to be a member of his extended family?

    Religion makes us better. Those who believe in God believe that "THEY" are not the answer.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Aug. 31, 2011 11:53 a.m.

    The New York Times also said this:

    "There is a sense, encouraged by the candidates, that what goes on between a candidate and his or her God is a sensitive, even privileged domain, except when it is useful for mobilizing the religious base and prying open their wallets."

    Isn't that the real issue here? You can't have it both ways.

  • whatnext Clearfield, Utah
    Aug. 31, 2011 11:50 a.m.

    I think everyone is forgetting one thing. Regardless of what group, religion, or beleifs a person has or lives, if that individual is elected president he or she will do what that individual thinks is best for this country. And weather we like it or not, their beleifs, values, culture, and the way they think,or even breath is going to be part of their thought process. All the candates will do thier best to uphold the constution and the laws of this country, but what it ultimately boils down to is the dictates of their own conscience on how that individual will make the decisions on what is best for this country.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 11:50 a.m.

    'People People People...relax. You can always count on the lefties who are posting to be hypocritical and attack religion.' - JNA | 11:22 a.m. Aug. 31, 2011

    Reply fact:

    *'Fox News host: Romney not Christian' - By Hal Boyd, Deseret News - 07/17/11

  • Lehicoug Lehi, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 11:46 a.m.

    Keller seems to fit the bill of what an executive editor for the New York Times should be: an elitist who looks down on those he can't seem to understand. No shocker there. He's preaching to his choir.

    What I'm concerned about are his "mindless followers"...the church of the secular left who demonize and caricature anyone who has religious faith. Who are empowered by drivel like Keller's and feel compelled to disregard my 1st Amendment rights and destroy them.

    How different are they than the Nazi's or Communists who equated the Jews with vermin? Before long an entire nation (including school children) looked at Jews with contempt and hatred.

    Whenever I read comments like Vanka's I shudder. Labeling my parents and extended family as "irrational" and "fanatical" and imploring people to be "extremely worried" about them because of their faith is what I fear about the secular left.

    Folks like Keller and his followers have a vision of religious people being driven from society. At the very least driven into a closet; at worst eliminated.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 11:43 a.m.

    @Charles
    "let's have a set of questions for Obama and his allegiance to the Koran"

    How about we ask questions that aren't completely absurd.

    "Let's grill him on how he claims to be Christian but never goes to church."

    A sizable percentage of people who are Christians are Christmas-and-Easter types actually.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Aug. 31, 2011 11:42 a.m.

    The LDS church had every right to be involved in Prop 8. Clearly they saw it as a moral issue. They had the right to financially back it.

    Similarly, people have the right to peacefully protest the LDS church. People are free to loudly disagree with them. You are also free to voice your dislike of the church and their involvement.

    See how that goes?

    As far as constitutional religious tests, get a grip.

    You have every right to vote for or against a candidate for any criteria you choose, including race, gender and religion.

    What the constitution guarantees is that a potential candidate CANNOT be disqualified for running based on those criteria.

    You can also agree or disagree with this OPINION piece in a newspaper. Just like that paper has the right to run the OPINION.

    Just like news organizations can question someones religious affiliation (including Fox news)

    Everyone has an opinion. Some you like, some you dont.

    Such is life.

  • JFFR Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 11:39 a.m.

    I'm okay with more questions as long as people will listen. I'm sure that if they listen to Jon Huntsman or Mitt Romney they will be comfortable with a Mormon's capacity to be President.

    People don't understand who Mormons are, they aren't comfortable with us. Go ahead and ask questions. Some of they will seem disrespectful, but I hope we can come to an understanding!

    @Pagan, I wonder if Abraham Lincoln or George Washington felt God called them to a work... could you look into it for me?

  • AZRods Maricopa, AZ
    Aug. 31, 2011 11:36 a.m.

    Ranch, I couldn't agree more, but probably not in the way that you meant it.
    Consider your response coming from a member of the LDS church and you'll get a glimpse into what we feel and experience.
    Especially your last paragraph where you say "If they can't live their religion(that means you Mr Keller) and allow others to either live a different religion or no religion, then they have no business at all in public office. None. And to promise, PROMISE, to discriminate against other American Citizens( here you are totally twisting facts, ranch) is simply unbelievable and anathema to the principles of freedom and liberty."

    Mr Keller is doing exactly what you are so aptly refuting.
    Why should a candidate be discriminated against because they are LDS?
    To compare one man's doctrine to that of the devil?
    To push to disriminate against a good LDS person simply because they are LDS, as you express perfectly is "unbelievable and anathema to the principles of freedom and liberty". Well said Ranch and thanks for proving our point.

  • Coach Biff Lehi, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 11:32 a.m.

    Ranch,

    You're cut and pasting notwithstanding, do you really think the authors of the document you are quoting even dreamed that it's meaning would be sent through the wringer to attempt to redefine hetero-normative marriage? Or is that a modern interpretation?

  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 11:25 a.m.

    Ranch, how are they violating the constitution? You need to document based on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and examine the writing and thinking of the founders as to why they wrote things as they did. Your statements do not have logic to them.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Aug. 31, 2011 11:23 a.m.

    Candidates and politicians like to tell the voters lots of happy, pretty, sunshiny things. Michelle Bachmann gets my vote at being the best at that, so far.
    Here in the State of Utah, a state run by a certain majority of people....... LDS(Mormons), there is much for the voters to learn.
    In Utah, the state, county, and city government (and most "nice" organizations), are headed by Mormon people. Since Mormons prefer to associate with other Mormons, the majority of people, in the state, Mormons prefer to vote for Mormons. Once in office, they like to have committees filled with people with like principles, yep, Mormons. The legislation that is put forth, is for the principled people of Utah......yep, you got it, Mormons. Mormons spend all their Sundays together, as well. Men in what is called Bishoprics and Elder's Quorum's spend several evenings every week together. There appears to be little time or interest in hearing about others not of the faith.
    When one takes the time to review the laws in Utah, it is pretty obvious who is in charge and how they want us all to live. Romney and Huntsman know of no other way......

  • JNA Layton, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 11:22 a.m.

    The posts for and against on this thread are hilarious. People People People...relax. You can always count on the lefties who are posting to be hypocritical and attack religion. This really isn't news. Liberal lefties are so much more morally superior (wink wink) Please understand that the New York Times is the written communication wing of the Democratic Party. Their candidate, which by the way is the worst President in the history of this country (President Obama in case you are wondering)is in a free fall, they are only doing what they do best, trying to catch and revive him. This has always been done under the guise of "free and open press" The only thing conservatives should be concerned about is that you actually fell for it and found yourself surprised that Keller wrote the editorial and came up with the questions. Please don't take the media seriously. CNN, ABC, NBC, CNBC, AP, New York Times, LA Times et al are on the payroll of the Democratic Party and it is only going to get worse. Democrats will never be happy until this country is completely secular, Godless and lying in ruins.

  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 11:22 a.m.

    No fit in SG. Help me understand this. If this state is predominately LDS then how are they going to avoid associating with each other and becoming involved in politics. Some counties such as Washington, Davis, Cache and Wasatch are 80-90% LDS. Are you saying they should only vote for the other 10-20% who might run for office and should not vote for someone of the 80-90% marjority population. That is truly twisted logic. Your statement to me makes me think that a standard to run for political office in Utah should be that you are not LDS and therefore would be more honest in your office. That is a wonderful way to disenfranchise a large population by insinuating they should not associate with their own people and they should not elect their own people to govern them.

  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 11:16 a.m.

    When we talk about weird I find it weird that some religions believe the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost are the same, yet they are separate. To me it makes me think that Jesus was a Ventriloquist when he was baptized, and in the Garden and the voice of the Father was heard. In John 17 is Christ talking about himself asking himself to give himself the glory he had with himself in the preexistence. Those are weird beliefs to me. When I read the scriptures I find ample proof that the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost are three separate personages (Acts 7:55; John 17). If I use the same criteria that others use against us LDS then I can claim they aren't Christians because they believe in a Christ that does not exist.

    Ancient records have proven that this trinity belief was not the belief of early Christians. They believed the Father sent the son into this world and the Holy Ghost was one who bore witness of the Father and the Son. I guess according to this Keller early Christians had weird beliefs and should have been questioned extensively.

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 11:15 a.m.

    Let him ask those questions. We can answer them.

    In my view there is nothing wrong with a candidate making decisions based on his religious beliefs. I am LDS, but I am much more comfortable with a Catholic or an Evangelical in office acting 100% in accordance with his reading of the Bible, than a flaky LDS or a non-believer. I am comfortable with a President that prays and follows what he feels is an answer to his prayer even if I do not share the same faith with him. I have served a mission and asked people many times to pray and follow answers to their prayer. It was very uncommon for someone to pray and feel that they should do something really odd, something I would not want the President to do. On the contrary, answers to prayers have encouraged people to make some change for the better - quit smoking, drinking, drugs, get a job, go to school, etc.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 11:07 a.m.

    I suspect this NY Times article is more about getting Obama re-elected than about concern for WHATEVER religious views the Repubs. have.

    NYT was one of the lamestream media who worked so hard to get Obama elected, and they're just hoping he will be re-elected.

    The lamestream media will try anything they can think of to "divide and conquer" the Republican and middle ground electorate with the hope that Obama can somehow pull out another term.

  • Ranch HUNTSVILLE, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 11:00 a.m.

    Ballplayer says:

    "My first response would be that "We believe in... honoring, obeying, and sustaining the law." For a Mormon President, that would certainly include the Constitution. "

    ---

    Article IV
    Section 1
    Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.
    Section 2
    1: The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

    Article XIV
    1: ... No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; ...nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    ---

    Mitt Romney (a Mormon) has already signed a Pledge to violate the above Constitutional guarantees of Certain Citizens.

    Utah has Amendment 3. California has Proposition-8.

    Both of these amendments violate the Constitutional guarantees listed above.

    Please explain how you can say that a Mormon President would follow the law and Constitution, yet he can sign such a pledge?

  • TOO Sanpete, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 11:00 a.m.

    "If a candidate based his political beliefs on forcefully taking from people who have more to give to people who have less, would that affect willingness to vote for him?"

    Liberals are hypocrites. Plain and simple.

  • @Charles the greater outdoors, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 10:57 a.m.

    Keller is the ultimate hypocrite. This is just a ruse to try to put down those he deems as inferior to his intellect. Who even reads the NYT any longer? It's stuff like this where he is just trying to drive people to his website.

    His column has no probative value, regardless of what Vanka thinks. It's clear that people have never read the Constitution when they cry for a religious test.

    On the other hand, let's have a set of questions for Obama and his allegiance to the Koran, not the Bible. Let's grill him on how he claims to be Christian but never goes to church.

    How often does he read the Bible?

    What are the 10 commandments and what does #10 mean regarding the redistribution of wealth?

    What is the meaning of the parable of the Good Samaritan and of the talents?

    Who gets to go to heaven and how do they get there?

    What is the doctrine of the Atonement?

    Let's ask Pelosi, Durbin, Schumer, Reid, Matheson, Jackson-Lee, Waters, Boxer, Frank and Biden all of these questions too.

    After all, we need to know if they know their doctrines of the gospel!

  • Mickey Houston, TX
    Aug. 31, 2011 10:56 a.m.

    This is absolutely absurd and for those claiming that it is okay are at the pinnacle of hypocrisy. It wasn't okay to question Obama's relationship with his pastor, but it is okay to question Republicans on their associations?!
    What does it matter from where your beliefs are shaped whether they be from God and His prophets (Bible, BOM) or they be from Lenin and Marx? If you don't like the beliefs, then don't vote for them! It has nothing to do with religion. All those who agree with Keller, does that mean we should delve into all the books and philosophers that secularists have read to make sure that they aren't being overly influenced by them?

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Aug. 31, 2011 10:54 a.m.

    Candidates and Politicians can say all they want, whenever they want.
    One need only look at the Government in the State of Utah. Included would be state government, county government, and city government. In my own life, I find the same type of "Utah government" in Home Owner's Associations(HOA) within the state.
    LDS(Mormons) people run this state, the counties and cities. Mormons like to be with other Mormons. They like to hire Mormons. They prefer Mormons as neighbors. They spend their Sundays with other Mormons. They "try very hard" to be nice to non-Mormons.
    The Mormons voters vote for other Mormons. The State Legislators feel more comfortable being around other Mormons, who think as they do. Consequently, the decisions that are made, are decisions made for the majority, which are Mormons.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 10:53 a.m.

    'So questioning whether our elected President is Muslim or Christian is okay, but asking questions about the Republicans religious views should be off-limits?' - embarrassed Utahn! | 10:32 a.m. Aug. 31, 2011

    Agreed.

    Like how I shouldn't bring up that Bristol Palin had a child outside of marriage...?

    But Glenn Beck can make fun of Obama's daughters during the BP oil spill?

    'BECK: (imitating Malia) Daddy? Daddy? Daddy, did you plug the hole yet?'
    - Glenn Beck transcript for the Glenn Beck radio show, 05/28/11

    This can also be found on:

    *'Glenn Beck smears Obama's 11-year-old daughter' - by Simon Maloy - Media Matters - 05/28/11

  • sideshowben SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 10:52 a.m.

    The Mormon Church claims that it is politically neutral, but it spent a ton of money on Prop. 8. Abortion and gay rights are political issues and the church has a stance on them. Bachman and Perry are both running on platforms that tout their religious beliefs. Like it or not, religion is in the debate and it's time for us to ask questions about how that religiosity will affect our political reality. I, personally, tend to support people who are willing to set their personal religious beliefs aside and govern secularly. The fact that Perry and Bachman are so outspoken about those beliefs tells me that they are not willing to engage in politics in a secular manner. We are not a Christian nation, and we should refuse to vote for people who seek to impose a particular sort of religion on us no matter what that religion is.

  • Eliot Santaquin, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 10:36 a.m.

    Fair enough. Here's a question I would like to ask in order to get a look into the faith of secular, liberal candidates:

    "If a candidate for president said he believed that wealth could be created by simply printing more money, would that affect your willingness to vote for him?"

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 10:36 a.m.

    Keller knocked it out of the park! This is exactly what needs to be done: dig deep into the religious beliefs of all presidential candidates, especially those who wear their affiliation on their sleeves!

    Deceptive religious supporters will respond with, "but you are creating a religious test for public office!"

    My reply: in today's environment of religious fanaticism, you bet we are! There is nothing wrong with "testing" a person's religious beliefs as a qualification for public office, so long as the branches of the government do not officially do so. But private citizens? You bet we should be extremely worried about religious fanatics and irrational thinkers in public offices!

    Great job, Keller.

  • embarrassed Utahn! Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 10:32 a.m.

    So questioning whether our elected President is Muslim or Christian is okay, but asking questions about the Republicans religious views should be off-limits? Another example of the hypocrisy from the right-wing.

  • Ballplayer Spanish Fork, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 10:29 a.m.

    I would ask equally tough questions of people who profess no religious belief. As a Mormon I would welcome these questions if I were running for office. My first response would be that "We believe in... honoring, obeying, and sustaining the law." For a Mormon President, that would certainly include the Constitution.

  • Ranch HUNTSVILLE, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 10:29 a.m.

    I don't care if a person has religious beliefs. That doesn't bother me.

    What bothers me is when religious people try to legislate their own beliefs into secular law.

    Romney, Santorum, Bauchmann, et. al have signed pledges promising to Legislate against certain other Americans based on their religious beliefs.

    That is a real problem to me.

    If they can't live their religion and allow others to either live a different religion or no religion, then they have no business at all in public office. None. And to promise, PROMISE, to discriminate against other American Citizens is simply unbelievable and anathema to the principles of freedom and liberty.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2011 10:28 a.m.

    'I've heard the call. I believe God wants me to run for President.' - 1999

    - As recalled by minister James Robison in a telephone conversation with Bush, and first reported in the book The Faith of George W. Bush (2004) by Stephen Mansfield.

    *'Sarah Palin has 'God on her side'? - By Hal Boyd, Deseret News - 07/14/11
    'Bristol Palin, the daughter of potential GOP presidential hopeful Sarah Palin, said her mom has "got God on her side,"

    *'Perry More Comfortable With Idea of a Run' - By MICHAEL D. SHEAR - NY Times - 08/31/11

    'In an interview with The Des Moines Register this weekend, Mr. Perry used spiritual references to suggest that a presidential bid would be something that God wanted him to do.'

    *'Michele Bachmann: God warns with disasters' - By Jamshid Ghazi Askar - DSNews - 08/29/11

    'Gays are part of Satan's plan' - Michele Bachmann, 2004 conference

    This, is a valid question.

    Everyone claims they have 'god on their side.'

    But what does 'God', want them to DO?

    Abstracts about religion are fine. They give us some small, generalized insight into what a canidate MIGHT stand for.

    Or, they are just, cover.

    What are they hiding?