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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Peter Marlow

Bloom writes that Mormons believe they can earn godhead through their own efforts, hoping to join the plurality of gods, or that Mormons each hope to get a planet all his own. Why does he think it necessary to regurgitate these old mischaracterizations commonly thrown in the faces of Mormons by those brainwashed to hate them? Blooms distortions of our beliefs sound as bigoted and offensive to me as the mocking a Jew might get from an atheist claiming they believe donkeys can talk. Is this how God wants us to love one another?

Peter Marlow

Bloom points out that the LDS Church has never repudiated an arcane quote from Orson Pratt that appears to advocate an LDS theocracy. Why should it? Simply put, when read in context, it is clear that the quote speaks only about governing a church, the Kingdom of God, making the point that a church governed by men rather than God lacks His authority. The following statements, however, represent the established LDS view of religious liberty and civil government. They are 2 of our 13 Articles of Faith, considered scriptural canon, and are memorized by Mormon children everywhere: We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may; and We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. These are far more relevant to the discussion. Bloom could have presented them in his piece.

Tooele, UT

@Recovering Mormon 10:28

I've read few comments on here which would disagree that Mormonism has changed and evolved from Joseph Smith's time to now. But why is that such a controversial point for some people? The world is certainly different now than it was from the 19th century. Is that a bad thing?

The Lord knows the end from the beginning. He knows what the right time is to change and adapt to the changes in the world.

@One of Vai's Cousins 9:58

You said, "A 2 billion dollar mall and closed financial records do not help..."

Whenever people attack the LDS Church for its downtown project, I can't help but ask, why is putting people to work, improving downtown Salt Lake considered unChristian? Are all the people who are working downtown better off trying to find other work, especially during a recession?

What happened to the idea of, "Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime?"

As for the church's "closed financial records" what is the real motivation of those who want the church to open up everything to the public?

layton, UT

RE: iron&clay ,The first vision of JS 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.

This is a Hebrew Idiom." That being a figure of speech much like, "he's my right hand man."
Exodus 15:6 is an example of this idiom. We know God does not have a right hand! And we also know God did not literally "dash in pieces" the army of Pharaoh. This is a figurative example of God's power and strength giving the victory.
We know God is Spirit, John 4:24, who is everywhere, Ps. 139:7-10, Jer. 23:24. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. (John 1:18 NIV)

@ Mansions* for the faithful,it could literally be interpreted that worlds without number are being organized from matter that is eternal for the habitation . Wrong,

Mansions(*Monē,3438)a staying,to make an (one's) abode.

Clearfield, UT

As the financial books of the church are not subject to inspection by the members or anyone, no one can detail what exactly the church spends its money on and how much of what they take in each year is spent running the church and how much is invested in non-church assets. Given the enormous revenues the church takes in each year, estimated at $6_billion, it's seems quite apparent that they cannot spend anywhere close to that on an annual basis in building expenses and the other items. The welfare-related expenses are likely very small in comparison to the income - based on the public expenditures listed in church magazines. Imagine if you had a corporation where the business model was to have your customers give you 10% of their income every year, and all you primarily had to provide in return were the buildings to meet in, a few social programs and some speeches made periodically by the owners. The church hardly spends any of its money on humanitarian aid or charity. It appears that less than 1% of its revenues goes to really help the needy. Where does it all go? I suspect power and greed applies!

A Man's Perspective
Salt Lake City, UT

Accusations that the LDS Church would rule the country through a Romney presidency is just downright paranoid nonsense. It is as bad as many of the tin foil hat conspiracies that get passed around in chain emails.

Following such ridiculous accusations brings the critics out in droves along with high-fives and celebrations.

And these critics wonder why we Latter-Day Saints don't bother with their logic and points of view.

Farmington, UT

If Bloom is referring to the church in the 1840s then he is missing vital, scriptural commandments that Romney would violate to this day if he put faith above the law:

Articles of Faith 1:12
12 We believe in being subject to kings,
residents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

Doctrine and Covenants 134:3
3 We believe that all governments necessarily require civil officers and magistrates to enforce the laws of the same; and that such as will administer the law in equity and justice should be sought for and upheld by the voice of the people if a republic, or the will of the sovereign.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

To Joggle:

It is obvious that you really don't know much of how the church works. First of the magazines the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints produces can be obtained for basically less than $1.00 an issue. Yet it is printed and produced by the Church. Manuals and other items are basically given to each Ward/Branch at basically no cost to them. Yet again these are all produced by the Church. If you cared to research you will find that the LDS Church has spent quite a bit of money on humanitarian aide that comes close to billions of dollars in response to hurricanes, storms, earthquakes, tsumanis and other natural disasters. What you fail to understand that each temple built costs approximately 2-5 million dollars. These are built with out any mortgages or loans being created. In fact, everything the LDS builds is bought and paid for long before it is finished. Again, until you honestly knows what is done you have no where to talk. Each ward and branch is given a budget each quarter. The so called wealth and such is way off base.

Morgan Hill, CA

People laugh at the idea of Mormons "getting their own planet" as if it's some kind of starter kit. Many people, even today, think of heaven as a place where we will all just sit and play harps and sing songs for eternity, worlds without end. I have no singing talent to speak of (as my wife can testify), and no harp-playing or other musical ability whatsoever. So if I have any choice in the matter I'll take the planet, thank you very much!

Silver Spring, MD

A considerable sum donated by members in the Fast Offering category goes to keeping members afloat in tough times for housing, food, medicine, car repairs, etc. Almost no overhead is involved.
Building expenses include construction and operation (utilities, satellite connection, phones, copiers, computers, maintenance, and more. Temples cost even more so. The church has made an amazing effort to build more temples close to the members so that they may attend more frequently.
When the church builds a building, it pays cash. No waste on paying interest for mortgages.
The church also runs employment offices, food storage facilities, and social service agencies, prints books and magazines.
The missionary effort, with missionary training centers, mission offices, printing costs for the Book of Mormon, translation services also is considerable.
The church also sends aid for disaster relief to many nations.
All of this and more goes to blessing us members and those who join, as well as many other people. The church is the best steward of money I've ever seen. Far better that the U.S. government, for sure, and any other government or labor union or charity.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY


I do not know many of the church members you describe. Some like that surely exist. But in over 35 years in the church I have met precious few for whom wealth was an overriding goal.

I have known bishops and stake presidents, temple and mission presidents. Most are middle class. Some do better than that and a few do worse. All are generally focused much more on their families and church service than on wealth. Inasmuch as any of them do value material wealth, it is because of what it can do for their families and others. Several of the wealthiest in my wards have been very generous (I know that having served with them, not because they advertised it).

And no, you can't take it with you. No doubt about that.

Clearfield, UT

@Clark Hippo

Well....since Jesus is the main focus of the Church perhaps this applies....Christ taught that one should sell all that one has and give it to the poor. While that's not totally practical, why couldn't the church sell its non-church assets and help the poor? Does the church really have need of anything other than meeting houses, temples, MTCs, family history centers, visitor centers and EMPLOYMENT center? The humanitarian funds, missionary funds, etc. could all be covered by tithing. The church should keep enough funds invested to keep it sound, but billions invested in businesses, when it could be helping others, is probably not really the way Jesus would have intended his church to be run.

"Thoughtful saints might wonder whether the church should spend more of its assets on programs that benefit the membership rather than further enriching an already huge financial base." P_119, Mormon America, Richard Ostling

"The wealth moves generally in the form of building projects and not, as one might expect, in welfare from congregations in the United States to congregations overseas." Page_126 Mormon America_Richard_Ostling

If a Church has nothing to hide, why not be open and honest about its financial dealings?

Salt Lake City, UT

'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.' - Carrick | 6:30 a.m. Nov. 15, 2011


*'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'

'What I don't understand is why you just don't leave it be?' - Dadof5sons | 10:02 p.m. Nov. 14, 2011


The LDS church donated $400,000 against civil unions in Hawaii in. The Baehr vs. Lewin case. It was through the Hawaiis Future Today (HFT) group.


*'LDS Church's in-kind donations to Prop. 8 total $190K' - By Lynn Arave - By Dsnews - 02/03/09

'Proposition 8 was a ballot measure in California last November that changed the state constitution to restrict the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples and eliminated same-sex couples' right to marry.'


*'Three GOP Presidential Candidates Sign Pledge To Investigate LGBT Community' - Stephen D. Foster Jr. - Addicting Info - 08/16/11

One of the signatures to the 'pledge'...

was by Mitt Romney.

Glendale, AZ

@skeptic-Are you serious? I hope you are teasing with your comment about Mormons learning from Mr. Bloom. We are not perfect by any means, but we are striving to live the teachings of Christ and His example. I don't know if Mr. Bloom even covered that or is even trying to do that himself because I have never heard of him until today. I think we will just continue to follow what Christ told us to do.

Morgan Hill, CA

@atl34. People who complain about the Mormon money behind the Proposition 8 campaign seem to have no problem with Unitarian and other religious liberal involvement in the No on 8 campaign. As a Mormon and former Unitarian I find this rather amusing, not to mention blatantly hypocritical. If the Mormons had put their effort and money toward the No on 8 campaign, I venture to say that nobody would be complaining about tax exemptions or separation of church and state.

As for me, I am proud to say that some of the "Mormon money" in that effort came right out of my pocket.

the greater outdoors, UT

@Dear LDS Lib: Sir, I wish there was a way to contact you so we could have a conversation about all of these things you angrily post each day. Sadly, the Dnews doesn't allow that function.

You denigrate Utah Mormons for having big homes and driving Escalades and tell them they have let go of the iron rod.

I'm did not grow up in Utah but have lived here for a decade or so and have a different take than you. Mormons in every state have bought big homes and drive Escalades. It's nothing unique to Utah Mormons.

However, what is unique to Utah Mormons are people like you. Utah Mormons like you have a reputation throughout the US with people like me. You sleep on your rameumpton and denigrate everyone who doesn't believe just like you. Your posts are angry, vitriolic and factually incorrect.

Your posts regarding church doctrine are usually not true while telling others they live in the large and spacious building.

Sir, your anger, hate and envy of your fellowman is astonishing considering you claim to be an active LDS.

I'd love to be your home teacher to help you take your beam out.

m.g. scott


Let me quote you "Billions invested in business when it could be helping others." Just who do you think those businesses are helping?

To those who seem to think wealth and the church don't mix, let me remind you that the church position hasn't changed. The leaders frequently warn the Saints not to use credit or overextend themselves. That some do and get into financial trouble does not speak to the truth of the church, only to the human failings we all have.

Southern Utah, UT

Leave it to Pagan to make every article possible about Prop 8 and a chance to smear the LDS and true conservatives.

'Three GOP Presidential Candidates Sign Pledge To Investigate LGBT Community' - Stephen D. Foster Jr. - Addicting Info - 08/16/11
One of the signatures to the 'pledge'...

was by Mitt Romney.

If the LBGT community have done nothing illegal, unethical, underhanded, decietfully, abused the public trust, manipulated the media, and lied to the American public, they should have no qualms about being subject to investigation.

When the truth is told the gay community has not been honest and forthright about their actions, history, methods and objecitves, and most people have no idea of what takes place in the underground gay culture and their agenda.

Read Madsen & Kirk for a good primer

Glendale, AZ

@Joggle, if the church financial records are hidden then how can you even assume to know they are even close to that figure you are stating? I find it humorous when people say the church doesn't let members know what the financial statements are, but yet they throw out a figure stating how much we give in tithes and offerings. I guess it's OK to throw out a dollar figure and say "we assume" it's such and such amount in the millions. Then we can assume it can also be such and such amount in the thousands, right?

Glendale, AZ

I have read lots of comments regarding the so-called attack on SSM here and on other sites claiming "the Mormons" are behind all the attacks. Whether this is true or not, is of no consequence to me, but what I want to point out is that the SSM are the pot calling the kettle black. They are the ones who started pushing their agenda to change what marriage has been since the start of this country (one man and one woman). No one was opposed to anyone's desire to be in a SS relationship. It was their business, but the SSM were the ones who openly came out in attack against traditional marriage and are the ones trying to push their beliefs on us. Do not be deceived on this matter, they will not stop until they change the constitution or get a new one to pursue this agenda.

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