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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Non-Mormons living in Utah will agree whole-heartedly with the article. This is how you are judged whether you agree with it or not.

Brigham City, UT

Respect Dr. Bloom a lot, but he is not correct that "Salt Lake City sponsors Mr. Romney's candidacy". And, I'm sorry, but anybody who receives a paycheck is after money and power---what is wrong with that? Money and power mean you are not pushed around as much. Anything wrong with that?? I think it was Pres. Hinckley who, in a general conference talk said, that we, as a church, are not money producers, but money consumers-----the church spends the money it receives. Apparently, Dr. Bloom prefers a church that is kicked around, pushed around and in deep poverty. He prefers poverty-stricken churches that can't help others out in disaster. Dr. Bloom should worry more about Bernie Madoff than Salt Lake City.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

Bloom clearly has no understnading of the leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Thomas S. Monson, Boyd K. Packer and Dallin H. Oaks are no plutocrats.

The leaders of the Church are not men who spent their adult lives in poverty, although Presidents Monson and Packer were clearly not raised in wealth, and President Uchtdorf was raised in poverty, but from both an ideological and realistic perspective these men are not plutocrats.

Bloom is mouthing off about things he knows nothing about.

Zealot is an attack term almost as bad as cult. I am not sure what constitutes zealotry, but it is clearly a gratuitous attack that more reflects negative energy than any level of thinking.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

Utter Nonsense,
Since the PBS special about Mormons was in no way made or produced by THe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints your claim that Bloom was touted by the Church as non-biased just does not make any sense.

Bloom is a literary theorist, so I do not expect him to be able to understand easily what motivates people to do what they do. That is at the heart of his baseless calling of other people Plutocrats.

The Church organizes resources in many ways to the benefit of mankind. The Perpetual Education Fund among many other things just does not fit Bloom's baseless attacks.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

The Church has made it imminently clear it is not sponsoring any political candidate.

Blooms' implications otherwise is just wrong.

Bloom just does not understand Thomas S. Monson. President Monson is a man who cares about people and relationships, not money and power. For Bloom to claim otherwise is ludicrous. He knows nothing of Thomas S. Monson and betrays an ignorance of the subject. In fact, it seems that he knows so little of President Monson his attack is motivated by the Church not agreeing with his own political goals. This is as likely to be because the Church actually avoids making statements on most political issues, as opposed to it taking any position that Bloom openly disagrees with.

Bloom in his focus on this world forgets that the function of religion is to point us to a better life hereafter. This means that religions have to seek ways to share their message boradly, and this generally requires avoiding too many political entanglements.

Bloom may speak in high language, but he does not know politics if he thinks Romney is sponsored by the Church.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

Bloom's attacks on Southern Baptists also reflect a reinforcement of misinterpretation of their actions and beliefs. This is the type of writting that divides and disunites people.

Bloom has done a disservice to both electoral goodwill and to the understanding of what various religions believe. Academics may claim they have a cosmopolitianism that encompasses everyone, but in fact they have a narrow disdain for anyone who actually believes religion has real meaning and power.

Bloom should spend some time learning about the Church's welfare program, digging wells in Africa and the Ezra Taft Benson's institute attempts to improve living conditions in many nations before he spouts off on things he knows absolutely nothing about.

Layton, Ut

Ignorance dressed in fancy words is still ignorance.

Montesano, WA

@ Pegan,
It amazes me that you want nothing to do with The LDS faith in any way shape or form. I can respect that. What I don't understand is why you just don't leave it be? You want nothing to do with it but you are always harping on a church that you don't want to belong to. That is a oxymoron. I have no desider to belong to any other church and I never harp on them. Nor does any one else that I know of. seems to me your frustrated with something you just can't let go of.

Federal Way, WA

I dont see how Mormon leadership is striving for money and power. Where does their money go? It doesnt appear to go toward multi million dollar salaries as many other "christian" churches do. They pay their bills and dont go into debt so is that what the authoer is referring to? They build a lot of buildings and temples so is that a bad thing?

Would Mormons really be better christians if they didnt strive so hard for education and well paying jobs? IF they didnt teach their children to be self reliant?

People experiencing materialism and craving (some times coveting) money and materials like others might have, is not unique to Mormons. Everyone deals with this in their lives to one degree or another.

Monsieur le prof
Sandy, UT

We need to remember that this is just the opinion of one man who is as unfamiliar with the original teachings of Jesus Christ as he is of those restored teachings in our time, not unlike a majority of Christians today. Very few people actually know what their churches believe, nor do they care. Most believe that "all roads lead to Rome," and so it doesn't really matter which church one attends.

As for Prop. 8 in California, it was actually the Catholic church leaders who invited the LDS to aid them in their fight against it. Unfortunately, it was the latter who received the brunt of the liberal left's tirade and anger. So much for their "tolerance" of others.

Skeptic's bias merely refects the opinion and ignorance of Mr. Bloom. The kindness and service of the LDS church leaders, coupled with the generosity and charity of the church itself, are the fruits of true Christian theology. And I think that a desire for education is probably a good thing, isn't it?

American Fork, UT

The professor is right. The chuch has pumped much energy and many dollars into an absolute mainstream image in the quest for religious, and ultimately political, influence and power.

Clearfield, UT

A rather bold and courageous article to be published in the Deseret News which on the whole does attempt to provide some balanced reporting, but seems to tilt against the Church itself. Not an article one would typical expect in the Deseret News. It's nice to know that the Deseret News isn't adverse to providing a diversity of news, pertinent to the election of next year's President.

Sandy, UT

So why does some anti-mormon professor get any stage at all for his bigoted views? How many athiests, anti-catholics or anti-protestants from right off the street get front page opinion articles bashing on the religion of past candidates when it has nothing to do with how good of a political leader those men were?

Why is the LDS church the only religion where it is OK to be a bigot and put religion into politics where it does not belong? Lets keep the election focused on candidates track record, education and skills at leading the country and turning the economy around! I have not seen a more articulate, well spoken and proven candidate than Romney for this task in over 20+ years!

Salt Lake City, UT

@Monsieur le prof

"Unfortunately, it was the latter who received the brunt of the liberal left's tirade and anger. "

That is due to the fact that half of the contributions to the pro-prop 8 side came from LDS members and around 3/4 of the volunteer hours on the pro-prop 8 side came from LDS members despite being 2% of californians. If any other church had that disproportionate iinvolvement they would be the ones criticized. Simple as that. The end result is that a lot of people went from having a neutral or leans-positive view of the church to having a negative one. Some members got tired of dealing with the attacks on their faith from fellow members, just because they disagreed on the matter. Some eventually left the church over it. One can notice that the church was not nearly as involved in Maine's referendum on gay marriage one year later.

"So much for their "tolerance" of others. "

Do you expect people to tolerate what they consider to be intolerance?

Salt Lake City, UT

Twenty years ago Professor Bloom wrote about Mormons in his book, The American Religion: The Emergence of the Post-Christian Nation. In his chapters about Mormonism, his admiration of Joseph Smith is extraordinary, and he thinks very well of Brigham Young and even calls John Taylor "heroic." It was fun, for those of us faithful LDS who read the book, to hear him say such things when so many other intellectuals sneered and trashed, but reading on we then found that somehow Wilford Woodruff fails Bloom--he doesn't quite make it clear how, but it maybe has something to do with the Manifesto--and he has no respect for any subsequent prophet up to the present time.

Bloom is not ignorant--it's an ignorant thing to say of such a vastly educated man. But he is a kind of Jeremiah in an ivory tower, and has little love for the modern world and seemingly for anyone who manages to navigate it peaceably. Having been once lured into cultural/intellectual arrogance, I feel a little sorry for him, despite his great riches of knowledge.

Wake up, Ebenezer Bloom! Don't be so miserly! It's Christmas Morning!

Tooele, UT

@Terry 10:53

You said - "Why is the LDS church the only religion where it is OK to be a bigot and put religion into politics where it does not belong?"

Because we're an easy target. You don't see Latter-day Saints holding offensive picket signs in front of other churches. You don't hear LDS Church leaders go on TV and say misleading and inflammatory things about Rick Perry, Herman Cain or Michele Bachman. You don't have squads of LDS people following around journalists or cartoon producers who write or say negative things about the church.

People come after us because they know we're not going to come back at them in the same way.

@atl134 11:07

You said, "Do you expect people to tolerate what they consider to be intolerance?"

Of course not and this is why so many LDS people vote Republican. They see the immorality which is continually advocated by the left and they won't tolerate it. It cuts both ways I suppose.


The first vision of Joseph Smith of the Father introducing his Son has a precedent in Acts chapter 7 where Stephen the martyr exclaims seeing a vision of the Son on the right hand of the Father.
When Jesus tells his disciples that he is going to prepare mansions for the faithful, it could literally be interpreted that worlds without number are being organized from matter that is eternal for the habitation of the meek who will inherit the earth and earths.

Layton, 84041

It is no surprise that the LDS Church, and Mitt Romney since he is a the frontrunner and LDS, are being attacked by the left like harold Bloom. Great emphasis has been placed on the attacks from the religious right but the left will probably be even worse.

This is discussed in Brignhurst and Foster, The Mormon Quest for the Presidency: From Joseph Smith to Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman (2011). It is well worth reading.

Harwich, MA

Maybe most of you should step outside the box, take a long hard look at yourselves and ask the question "who am I, who are we"? Take a hard enough look and you'll be surprised at the answer.


To Dadof5sons:

You don't live here under a theocracy. You would understand Pagan more if you did.

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