Comments about ‘Yale professor Harold Bloom warns of Romney and Mormon theocracy’

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Published: Monday, Nov. 14 2011 4:00 p.m. MST

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Morgan, UT

And in the last days, individuals will become hauty and proudful in their self proclaimed knowledge, stating earthly understanding to try and define Gods nature, purpose and meaning...I guess I have just read some of it now.

Huntsville, UT

Oh my Bob!

I'm just waiting for the heads to explode!

Provo, UT

I am growing weary of every person with a column writing their opinion of the Mormon church and Mitt Romney. I hope the country is growing weary of it as well....for crying out loud.

Average, SE

Vanka, Mormons seek out the good in anything. Just because Dr. Bloom has been fair to portions of Mormonism in the past (particularly about Joseph Smith, who he truly admires) does not mean that everything he says is correct. His praise of Joseph Smith is not a scathing critique of Mormonism; his praise of Joseph Smith is just that - praise of Joseph Smith. His critiques in his NYT op ed piece are unfortunately so full of errors that it destroys the credibility of his article (but not of all his work). I think some of what he wrote was spot-on but much of it was simply a rehash of tired (and wrong) attacks on Mormonism. Dr. Bloom has offered many great critiques over the years, this simply was not one of them.

Laie, HI

@ Ms Molli
So many to choose from: "No Mormon need fall into the fundamentalist denial of evolution, because the Mormon God is not a creator." pg 3 of the article. Although I agree with some parts of the article. This article is, in all, a bias ed and ill informed opinion of a religion that the author has the hubris to believe he understands while presenting it to others as less than acceptable.

I expect more from our residents of higher education. Especially Yale, a school that was founded by those who sought a more open understanding of the spiritual.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

I lived in Pennsylvania in 1990 and was in a business meeting with a gentleman when the subject of religion came up. I was the only Mormon he had ever met. He was an inactive Catholic.

This man asked me if the Mormon Church was just another business, just like the Catholic Church? I felt that he was being unfair to his own church. It just so happened that the LDS church had just changed their budgeting practices. I explained to this man that we used to pay Tithing, Ward Budget, Building Fund, Fast offerings, etc. but that the church leadership felt that the financial burden was too much so they eliminated everything except tithing and fast offerings. It was a leap of faith but it worked out.

With the perpetual education fund, the church leveling the cost of missions for all young missionaries, assisting with housing costs in some cases for senior missionaries, the churches humanitarian efforts, church welfare, etc. I don't see how any knowledgeable person could believe that the church was motivated by money and power.

safety dictates, ID

If we let politics trump our religion can we blame others for misconceptions?

Herriman, UT

@Vanka - do you even read the comments? Most just pile even more on the Mormons, a few critique Bloom's thinking and give honest opinions of why he got it wrong, some are introspective, and a few attack Bloom at a personal level...and that last group so far seems to be the smallest represented on the board. So as far as I can tell, of all the reactionary people commenting here, you seem to top the list. Your comments in "support" of people like Dr. Bloom just hurts their cause and does nothing to promote sincere discussion.

Springville, UT

I'm sure the LDS apologists and the Romney supporters will take umbrage, but Bloom is right on several points. I especially agree with his assessment that Joseph Smith was brilliant but that the Church has deviated from a lot of the teachings. I often wonder if Joseph Smith would recognize or approve of some of the drifting that has taken place. From this perspective, Bloom makes a very valid point.

Provo, UT

In a presidential campaign where increasing religious influence in the political world is seen as a positive force by conservative, evangelical Christians, it would only follow that Romney would incorporate his LDS religious beliefs in policy just as Perry wants to utilize his Southern Baptist beliefs in an administration he would lead. It's all about breaking down the separation between church and state with regard to setting policy.

So who cares if it is an LDS influence, an evangelical Christian influence, or a fundamentalist Christian influence as long as it's a "Christian" influence? The Republican base should be theoretically happy with any of these. Except the evangelicals and fundamentalists recognize Mormons as belonging to a rogue sect of questionable Christian origin.

When religion moves out of the church, synagogue, temple, or mosque, care must be exercised because not everyone agrees with the various teachings being moved onto the social stage. Growing up in Utah in the late 40s and early 50s, few questioned the influence of LDS culture since everyone seemed to be Mormon. However, as Utah becomes more diverse, cultural influences must make way for others who do not share the same belief system.

San Diego, CA

Sorry folks --- I'm not as smart as you guys. I had to look some words up.

Oligarchy: Government by a few.
Guess this is true. Christ is the head of the church.

Plutocratic: Government run by the rich.
Seems this one is false.
Last time I checked, the LDS church had a lay ministry. There are some employees (maintenance folks, temple/church civil engineers/designers, etc.). The Apostles and Seventy receive only a modest living allowance --- period.

Natchitoches, LA

Romney is not helping the Church gain money or power, folks. Bloom's goof is that he believes a few wealthy Church leaders "sponsor" Romney, to use his word. All political parties are represented in Church leadership. Easily accessible are the names of contributors to political campaigns. Let Mr. Bloom show us the sponsorship! Take a look at what money Church leaders give to candidates. Either the prophets and apostles are not rich men, or they are not using their means to sponsor Romney. So much for Bloom's fears of an oligarchy, or plutocracy, venting its will through a presidential candidate.

The Caravan Moves On
Enid, OK

Article quote from Mr. Bloom: "....is indistinguishable from the secular plutocratic oligarchs who exercise power in our supposed democracy,"


Any guy who writes like that is the poster-child of those who are "ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Tooele, UT

What I find amusing about Bloom's column, along with similar columns in regards to the LDS Church is they appear to contradict the many messages I read on Facebook, YouTube and other Internet sites about the upcoming demise of the LDS Church.

Among the quotes I have read include the following:

"The Mormon Church is bleeding members."

"The Internet has stopped the Mormon Church dead in its tracks."

"The Mormon PR machine no longer works."

"Mormon's are fighting hard to get into poor, third world countries because they can no longer baptize educated people with access to the Internet."

So which is it? Is the Mormon Church on the verge of becoming a major influence in American political and social culture, or is it on the verge of total collapse?

Buckeye, AZ

Funny that he singles out Romney as dangerous for a potential theocracy.... I think Perry and Cain have been just as, if not more so, "religious" in their campaign as Romney has. (Bachman by far the worst as far as lack of separation of church & state!)

Anti Bush-Obama
Washington, DC

I'm more worried about Romney and his Globalist theocracy which will prove to be very destructive to this nation. Just look at what Obama is doing to it now. The constituion is just a dirty word now. People draw near it with their words but their hearts are far from it.

It's a joke when Republicans claim they want smaller government because only Pauls track record proves he is the only candidate capable of following through on that.

Larry Lawton
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

I read the article by Bloom. Reminds me of that old tale of two guys at an opera. After an hour of so, Ollie gets up to leave. His companion pulls him back into his seat, saying, "Sit down. It ain't over til the fat lady sings." Bloom says he spent a few years looking at religion in the west, but he sure didn't see my church. Like Ollie, he was in the theater, but neither saw nor heard the opera. Had he paid attention, he would not now look as ill-informed as he is condescending. A list of his howlers might start with his allegation that Romney's campaign is sponsored by the church leadership, then go on to examine the idea that Romney is or ever was high in the leadership of the church. Unfortunately, his intended audience has three strikes against them:
1) They mistake good writing for accuracy.
2) They think a secular education qualifies one to understand -- and even judge-- religion.
3) They assume one of their own actually knows about "fly-over country."
Sadly, no comments section allowed to the underlying article by NYT, so his silliness goes unchallenged there.

Las Vegas, NV

All about money and power? Does Bloom realize that the General Authorities of the Church live by very simple means? They don't have huge houses or have fast cars or private jets. So how can it be all about money and power? This is the problem with research. Research is so one-sided. I hardly find people nowadays do adequate research. If you want to learn to play golf do you ask a basketball player only? Now the basketball player may play golf, he even might be pretty good at it, but you won't get much out of it. The problem is many think they are an expert in golf after that. You really want to know golf you ask a professional golf player. My point is Bloom needs to research church from the inside out and not the outside in, but this is the problem in regards to research of the LDS Church. Everybody asks everybody else but the church or members of the church. President Monson would have no problem showing Bloom how the church operates its money and maybe he'll see how unlavishly the General Authorities live there lives.

Charlottesville, VA

Ugh...Prof. Bloom, please stop airing your ignorance. Being a Yale academic luminary doesn't mean you can state your opinions as simple facts. And these opinions are embarrassingly uninformed.

Referring to non-Mormons as "Gentiles"? That usage largely fell out of the Mormon vernacular 50 years ago.

Mormons believe they can have "their own planet"? A popular thing for second-rate anti-Mormons to repeat, but not based in any actual Mormon beliefs, scriptures, or teachings.

And although there is much more that is wrong with Bloom's article, the primary problem is his attitude that his particular cynical viewpoint is demonstrably, indisputably true--at least, among smart people like himself.

Salt Lake City, UT

'...they (Mormons) may learn how to better live successfully in the world of different people.' - skeptic | 6:15 p.m. Nov. 14, 2011

Well said!

However, as evidenced by commentors on this board:


BLAH, BLAH, Blah, blah....zzzzzzz - Eichendorff | 5:03 p.m. Nov. 14, 2011

And the moderators who allow such rhetoric as part of 'civil discourse'...

Some people, do not WANT to learn how to live with different people.

My comments are far, far, from insulting to specific persons or things.

But people in this state never seem to run out of their 'loving and acceptance' by telling me to leave this state. Or that I 'live in my own country.'

I give not one, not two but THREE examples of theocracy, and I'M the person who is not tolerant?

I try NOT to focus on Mitt Romney's faith. Rather his actions.

UNLIKE some, whom Mormons trip over themselves to support.


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

*'Rick Perry backer decries Mitt Romney, Mormons' - By Jamshid Ghazi Askar, Deseret News - 10/08/11

" (Robert) Jeffress described Romney's Mormon faith as a 'cult,'....

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