Comments about ‘New York Times editor calls for tougher questions for religious GOP candidates, sparks 'hailstorm'’

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Published: Wednesday, Aug. 31 2011 10:04 a.m. MDT

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Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

'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?

Ranch
HUNTSVILLE, UT

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.

Ballplayer
Spanish Fork, UT

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.

embarrassed Utahn!
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Vanka
Provo, UT

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.

Eliot
Santaquin, UT

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?"

VST
Bountiful, UT

Keller not only is pouncing upon Mormon and Evangelical political candidates, he also in that same editorial, took a swipe at those candidates who adhere to the theological beliefs surrounding the Holy Eucharist of the Catholic Church and several other denominations.

Bill Keller is certainly entitled to his "opinions" but one just needs to understand that Keller is so far out on the extreme fringes of the political left that the "busses do not even run out there." He is not part of mainstream liberal (progressive) thought and political ideology.

sideshowben
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

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.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

'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

no fit in SG
St.George, Utah

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.

Mickey
Houston, TX

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?

@Charles
the greater outdoors, UT

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!

TOO
Sanpete, UT

"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.

Ranch
HUNTSVILLE, UT

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?

Fitness Freak
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Sasha Pachev
Provo, UT

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.

CougarBlue
Heber City, UT

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.

CougarBlue
Heber City, UT

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.

JNA
Layton, UT

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.

no fit in SG
St.George, Utah

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......

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