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

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Published: Monday, Nov. 14 2011 4:18 p.m. MST

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Sneaky Jimmy
Bay Area, CA

Hmm Big danger with Romney but no danger with right-wing wacko christian conservative or left-wing wacko Stalinist progressive.

JerryLungaard
SLC, UT

The great thing about sheep is that they never question the shepherd. Most members of Christian denominations receive a full accounting detailing where every last shekel is spent. There's no doubt that the LDS church could do the same. People on this board want to claim that General Authorities are given a meager stipend. I'd personally feel quite sheepish making the same claim when the actual numbers have never been provided.

RAB
Bountiful, UT

No mystery why church critics always attack machine-gun style. They hide the baselessness of their criticism in numbers that cannot be possibly be debunked in few words.

The superiorly intelligent professor has condescended to inform the world that the Mormon desire for truth is somehow a bad thing? If only I could scrape all this evil zealous knowledge out of my head.

Latter day Saints learn from their leaders, but MOSTLY from scripture, from their neighbors at church, and from personal prayer. They obey nothing without gaining a personal testimony of it first.

Romney has no more power in the church than the local church librarian.
Church leaders gain nothing personally when the Church makes more money. Extra money for the church merely means more buildings in which to serve God and more welfare with which to serve Gods children. Sorry if that is a problem for some people.

SUNNY ALL DAY
Saint George, UT

@Charles

You denigrate everyone who doesn't believe just like you.

Your posts are angry and vitriolic.

Your anger, hate and envy of your fellowman is easily understood considering you could not possibly be convicted of what you claim to be.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@Clarkhippo
"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. "

I'm not so sure that that makes the LDS church an easy target though. I think putting yourself out there makes you an easier target, like the Westboro Baptist Church, or Jeffress. The LDS church seems to have had, in my opinion, its most grief thrown towards it when it is most actively out there (Prop 8 on the national level, and to some extent locally with the immigration bill).

"It cuts both ways I suppose. "

Basically.

"Socialism - United Order (Sorry, but two are different. In the United Order, people still own their own property)"

People own their own property in Germany, France, Sweden, Norway...

@sashabill
"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."

That's why I noted the disproportionate involvement, THAT is what separates the LDS from the others.

jsf
Centerville, UT

Regarding socialism and united order Marion G. Romney said, No, brethren, socialism is not the United Order. He goes on to explain, under the united order men consecrate their goods to the church and in exchange are given stewardship to the property to manage as they see fit. Under socialism the property is forcibly taken and controlled by the state. He ends his talk with the following prayer, "And now in line with these remarks for three things I pray:
(1) That the Lord will somehow quicken our understanding of the differences between socialism and the United Order and give us a vivid awareness of the awful portent of those differences.
(2) That we will develop the understanding, the desire, and the courage born of the Spirit, to eschew socialism and to support and sustain, in the manner revealed and as interpreted by the Lord, those just and holy principles embodied in the Constitution of the United States for the protection of all flesh, in the exercise of their God-given agency.
So please do not try to justify your socialist agenda, with church membership.

mightymite
DRAPER, UT

Mr. Bloom's comments ring deep. Well stated Mr. Bloom!

Joggle
Clearfield, UT

To all who addressed me:

True LDS believers will generally never consider that the church is not what it claims to be. They have already concluded that the church is true and any contradictory evidence must be wrong, and they try to "back into" an explanation (any explanation) so as not to upset their faith. Many LDS believers, upon hearing of some adverse claim against Mormonism, will say it is a lie or misinformation when in fact it may not really be. Or they will simply ignore it believing that there must be some other explanation - one that will support their faith. A non-LDS person is quite easily able to find LDS sources to support statements made on this board. My statements are supported by an LDS site. If you want to refute my statements based on my argument you are welcome to do that, but remember....my statements are supported by members of your church who are pro-LDS. The main difference between them and the LDS commentators here is that they at least try to address strong arguments supporting both sides.

Fact is the LDS Churches assets can be estimated and it is obviously very wealthy.

JerryLungaard
SLC, UT

David O McKay was employed by the LDS Church for his entire adult life. When he died, he owned a home free and clear that was valued at $500,000 in 1970. This was not his total net worth.

Adjusted for today's values that would be the equivalent of $2,810,000.00 (using the Consumer Price index/ most conservative estimate). How could this be possible on a meager stipend?

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

Yes,Joggle your last comment is correct it can be ESTIMATED and yes the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is weathly. However, everything that I said is absolutely true. What the LDS Church takes in as far as tithing is concerned can be estimated but that doesn't mean it is correct. The reason for that is because the LDS Church membership is higher outside of the United States. Many are in third world countries but it is to be noted that some these countries fast offerings are covering some of the Wards/Branchs in the United States as well as where they are. The membership of the LDS Church gives freely of its donations. For members to want a qualifing range as to how it is spent is really not THEIR business. Once it leaves their hand and is given to a member of the Bishopric, it is no longer their money. It becomes the LDS Church's money to be used as it sees fit. As I noted earlier the amount of money given for humanitarian needs around the world is awesome. Thirteen million was given for Katrina alone.

LDS Revelations
Sandy, UT

Mormonism and theology have gone hand in hand since the early days. True the LDS Church has learned by sad experience over it's history to be less overt in it's building of Zion and the Kingdom of God on earth (the Church). Turns out that in the past this got the Church in Dutch with it's neighbors.

An under-current of theocracy however remains in the LDS Church despite the fact the Church has departed from it's roots in many ways. But then similar ideas are common to a lot of other Christian groups that maintain fundamentalist beliefs. Mormons don't have a monopoly on the ideas of America being a Christian nation or of letting ones beliefs drive their politics.

I can however see reasons people might worry that Romney as a Mormon might have a theocracy in mind. 1) the history of Mormonism, 2) the religions Millennialist ideas/teachings that promote theocracy 3) the authoritarianism within Mormonism and 4) near absolute obedience to leaders and consecration to the Church by members. But then they should be worried about other candidates similarly fundamentalist and committed as well. Are Mormons the only ones that take these ideas seriously?

JerryLungaard
SLC, UT

"For members to want a qualifing range as to how it is spent is really not THEIR business."

Bill,

The same is true of other congregations all over the USA. The big difference is that the majority of Christian organizations out there provide a statement to their followers. It details every cent that was spent by their church. Why does the LDS church differ on this point to most Christian churches? Is there something to hide? Why not make the finances of the Mormon church public?

I'm sure that the Mormon church has done so much good in the world. They've provided the figure on Katrina that you've mentioned here. Why is the remainder so secret? Why not let your light so shine before the world that they might see your good works and glorify God in heaven?

eastcoastcoug
Danbury, CT

I find it appalling how little people really know about what Mormons believe. How are we to trust the "experts" or media on Islam which is centered halfway around the world and mostly speaks another language?

As for the "money" issue, the church teaches frugality, saving, staying out of debt and it self-funds. Of COURSE it has money!! And outside of moral issues ie. Prop 8, it is the least involved in politics of most large groups of its size, especially churches.

There is just a ton of ignorance being tossed around here - by Bloom (who btw has NEVER read the B of M) and the other so-called experts who have weighed in on this blog who supposedly know everything about the church.

kenny
Sterling Heights, MI

I wanted to address a few thoughts but decided to just comment by saying this article is way off regarding the LDS church that I happen to be a member of.

Hank Pym
SLC, UT

@ Mike Richards | 5:34 p.m. Nov. 14, 2011

"particularly when a religion tells the world that God is dissatisfied with all other religions. That tends to cause people to take sides."

What!? Organized religion being divisive?

Seriously, here is what gets me. If, in 1820, all religions were flawed then why start another?

BrianM
BOISE, ID

I think we are going to see a lot of social evolution within the LDS movement in the coming year. A good number of both outsiders and life-time insiders are going to discover new perspectives about church history and the probability that the official beliefs and worldview are literal.

I think this social evolution of the LDS movement will be good for everybody. Hopefully we will end up as a more rational and less judgemental, fearful nation of citizens.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

The problem with some of the other Christian denominations is that they are only responsible for their OWN congregation. In other words, what is donated is only for that congregation not the whole church. You will never find all that the SOuthern Baptist bring in because they really don't know. The same with the Lutherans or any other congregation. Now for the LDS Church the whole amount goes to Salt Lake City to the Church headquarters. Semi-annually an internal audit is done in each Stake. The report is then reported to the headquarters in SLC. Each year as a member you meet with the Bishop to go over your donations. Every bit of your donations are spent as you intended it to be. Tithing pays for most Church activities. The other donations, Ward Missionary efforts, General Missionary efforts, humanitarian, fast offerings and etc., regulated. The leadership will come out and tell you if tithing funds are used for something or not. We have been told that NO TITHING funds were used in building the City Creek Mall. These audits are then reported on in the April conference each year.

Joan Watson
TWIN FALLS, ID

As one who has long admired Professor Bloom as a first rate scholar, I wish he had not been so miss the mark, silly, in his recent criticism of the Mormon church and its leaders. Certainly that church is rich in money derived from tithes and contributions from its members, however, because it spends all its money and rescources in helping and contributing where ever needed - it is a powerful influence for good. One may well argue that Mormon riches and power = resources honorably gained and spent!

Dadof5sons
Montesano, WA

@ Bebyebe,
So Utah is a theocracy? WOW when did that happen? Last time I lived in Farmington, There was a state consitution, elected governement. And Utah was part of the Union. you know the United states. And they followed the US costitution. Could you please site the date that a theocracy took over was there a coup? And if you don't like it there move itis just that simple unless the "theocracy" is holding you there against your will?

@Charles
the greater outdoors, UT

It always amuses me at how many people are intoxicated with wanting to know the finances of the LDS church. The non-members are just being busy-bodies with the ex-mo's just being bitter that "the church tricked them into paying tithes and offerings"!

It wouldn't matter if the business arm of the church's finances were open to the world. The same complainers would still complain.

The non-business arm of the church's finances are donations and once the money is given over then what's the worry? Do people really think that their funds are being misspent?

Where the funds go is clearly stated and I don't know one LDS member who is concerned with it once the money is donated. I'm sure LDS Lib and the like would want to know but no one else.

No one has detailed why the LDS church shouldn't have money on hand nor that what they are doing with it is wrong. Many have already stated how many jobs are created by the City Creek project. I thought that was a good thing.

Why don't all the busy-bodies just take care of their own finances and move on?

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