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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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JKayDS
EULESS, TX

I have read all of these comments..
some were in my opinion good, some demeaning, many off topic, some just anti, and some were just down right stupid.
I am getting REALLY tired of "Prop 8" being brought into nearly EVERY article the DN publishes.
We UNDERSTAND that you are upset.. that you do not like the way the LDS members represented their own personal beliefs and that the church donated some time and money for it's defeat.
Well guess what???
We have the RIGHT to our opinions the same as you do!
We have the right as Americans to vote OUR conscience and not how YOU tell us to.
The church has the right to keep its fiances the way it chooses to. If the LDS people as a whole get uptight about it then let them deal with it.. Quit telling us how we should handle our leadership.. .it is not your business!
I have more faith in the American people as a whole to think that Romney could ever get away with running the country as the church. The government would not let him.
And, what the church does with it money is it business.

Jiggle
Clearfield, UT

@JKayDS

Because faith and religion is so influencial in society I feel that it must be scrutinized. I cannot accept a religion as being good that cannot hold up to that scrutiny. A churches finances should be open and honest if they have nothing to hide. As mostly tax-exempt entities they should have to justify that tax-exempt status to the public at large. Open records would confirm they are deserving of their tax-exempt status in all areas of operation. Just assuming they are honest in their financial dealings doesn't mean there should be no accountibility to either the members or the public....so yes....in my opinion....the Church should be obligated by law to open up its records because of its tax-exempt status. Any organization under a tax-free umbrella should be scrutized and made accountible. Why should the tax payers be held accountible for paying taxes, but the tax-exempt entities not be?

Most churches and denominations today are big businesses with vast financial holdings in television networks, real estate and stocks and are far from the traditional church in which tax-exempt status were in less need of being questioned or checked.

Petra
Sanpete County, UT

Wow. I just read Bloom's actual NYTimes article - whatever respect I may have had for him vanished with that reading. He has a great vocabulary and can build a wonderful sentence, but since the content of those sentences regarding "Mormonism" are so very flawed as to fact, what he has written is essentially worthless.

I mean, if you're going to argue something, you should at least get the facts straight. For me, he can have absolutely no insight into Mormonism unless and until he does this.

For sure, I now question everything else he has ever written about. Too bad for him.

Wally West
SLC, UT

re: jsf | 1:02 p.m. Nov. 16, 2011
Centerville, UT

Arguing about semantics is semantics.

"The UO as envisioned by the bretheren was a voluntary choice"

As envisioned? That sounds incredibly theoretical. Is that really feasible with the herd mentality that is so prevelant here in Zion?

"Socialism is... the taking of ownership and control by the state, by force,"

You've defined Communism, a variant of socialism.

Owl
Salt Lake City, UT

Professor Bloom might well ask his parent institution why all of wealth and power. Yale would answer that in order to fulfill their mission they require a certain amount of both. Skeptics and others disagree with the LDS church mission which is their right, but it is the LDS church's right to pursue their appointment. Living "successfully" in the world was not the reason that Jesus taught his doctrine.

John K
Carmichael, CA

And we thought the election of JFK ended religious bigotry in presidential elections.

Typical liberal - assault without giving sources.

What about the Marxist theocracy sitting in the Oval Office now?

I suppose Bloom, is one of the chief committee members.

jsf
Centerville, UT

"In a socialist system the people own and control the means of production and distribution through democratically controlled public agencies, cooperatives, or other collective groups." American Socialist Party

That sounds incredibly theoretical. Is that really feasible with the elitist mentality of a few and the blind allegence of many?

"Socialism is... the taking of ownership and control by the state, by force,"

"You've defined Communism, a variant of socialism." No communism just advocates violent revolution. Socialism just takes control by legislature, an over extended reach. The state still has to take control regardless of the minority's objections. Thus personal liberty is quashed for the sake of the "people".

Do you really believe the allocation of goods and services will be equal when a group in California by democratic vote can demand any or all of Utah's resources? If you say that could never happen, then you are saying it really is not a true democracy, and someone at some level is imposing an oppressive force to prevent it. A dictator, a ruling class, not a utopian socialist community. The UO and Socialism are not the same. You can't argue for it without denying the rights of the individual.

bigv56
Cottonwood, CA

Yalies, always babbling and never coming to a knowledge of the truth. Let's see, most of the bankers in power on wall street have helped our country implode and rigged the system. The last four presidents have been from Yale and under their leadership we are circling the drain. Frankly I will take someone from a non mainstream religion or someone from a community college. Any more of the vast intelligence of the ivy leaguers will finish us off.

BobP
Port Alice, B.C.

I find it vastly amusing to watch the aqirming of those who resent how the LDS church spends its money.

I wonder how much any of them gave to the church.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

Stop the persecution complex folks. Palin had her church and beliefs discussed. Obama his. Every candidate goes through this. Can an evangelical be president? Can someone have an out there preacher and be president? Every candidate has had to go through this.

Reporters are paid to find stories, uncover controversy, create headlines, and shock people. If you read up on early American politics, it went on then. This is absolutely nothing new nor unique to Romney.

Stop being so sensitive.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

jsf | 6:02 p.m. Nov. 16, 2011
Centerville, UT

The UO and Socialism are not the same. You can't argue for it without denying the rights of the individual.

=================

Agreed - UO and Socialism are not the same.

UO is more Marxist/Communist, less Socialist.
UO you relinquish your ownership of everything - including your property, time, and talents (i.e., work) to the Church.
Think: Consecration; i.e., "Everything with which the Lord has blessed you...and MAY bless you (i.e., future tense)"
100% Collective

In Socialism -- personal property and Companies are still privately owned - think Canada, England, Japan, Germany.

Rationalizing what something IS or ISN'T just to satisfy Glenn Beck's warped take on it is simply lying to yourself.

Be honest with all mankind, including yourself.

kathyn
Salt Lake City, UT

Professor Bloom gets some things right, but boy, when he's wrong, he's really wrong. It's a shame he is looking through a "glass darkly" or he would have found a truer picture of the LDS church. I would not vote for anyone just because they are LDS; I look at their character and their track record before deciding how I will vote. The only time we'll have a theocracy is when Jesus Christ himself returns and runs things. And I 'm totally down with that!

Mr. Bean
Salt Lake, UTah

@Vanka: "When Bloom was praising the LDS Church and founder, Deseret News published an article on it, and members were virtually gloating! Now the same Professor Bloom elaborates on what he meant, and it is a scathing critique or Mormonism, so members attack Dr. Bloom!"

Huh? Would you have members praise condemnation and condemn praises?

@Jared: "His praise of Joseph Smith is not a scathing critique of Mormonism; his praise of Joseph Smith is just that - praise of Joseph Smith."

No. no. His praise of Joseph Smith is a disguised condemnation. He's calling Smith a religious genius meaning he fooled alotta people into believing he actually communicated with God.

defibman
Syracuse, UT

"The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it's difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine." - Abraham Lincoln

Just thought that I would put that in there for Pagan.

AnH
Salt Lake City, Utah

I suppose a question we all could ask, is the Mormon Church materialistic? And if so, how does that translate into power? Open questions, for sure, and something to consider. It's clear that our legislature is dominated by Mormons, and as we have seen with redistricting and many other issues, Mormon politicians aren't any more enlightened than those of other faiths, and I doubt they're any more corrupt. So maybe Bloom is right in that sense, that Mormons, as a group, are simply mainstream. The one danger here is to stereotype individual Mormons. Romney and Huntsman are very different men regardless of their faith.

JM
Lehi, UT

Read an edited version on Associated Baptist Press, where they focused on the comparison between Baptists and Mormons (Bloom saying baptists are proudly stupid, and LDS are educated, both similar to gnostics, etc) Seems Bloom doesn't understand much about LDS of Baptists.... LDS are closer to original Christianity than any other faith I know of. The doctrines of Deification (gods), Temples etc were central to ancient mainstream Christianity, and have continued in Christ's restored Church...

AZguy
Phoenix, AZ

I am too stupid to know if he was insulting me or complimenting me.

I am not offended at all. Folks have said worse things about my religion from inside and out.

So, is he blasting what he sees as a push toward money and power from a position of educational arrogancy? I am not saying he is wrong. I don't look at it that way, but he is entitled to his opinion and I am entitled to understand where his point of view originates from...an educational system that puts secular education above all other pursuits. Anyone who looks at faith from a scientific point of view will always find holes in the critical thinking of the faithful.

I also find it amusing that someone working at Harvard with its $500 billion dollar endownment would accuse anyone of being focused on money and power without accepting the fact that his institution is based upon that same principle. I hope he also tells Harvard to gives its' money to the poor and to help the needy.

gcrobmd
GADSDEN, AL

Harold Blooms article is disappointing for trying to deceive. A favorite tactic of LDS critics is to unearth some obscure and ancient quote and claim it represents secret ambitions of the Church. His quote by Orson Pratt has never been taught in my lifetime. Why didnt Bloom provide a reference? What was the context of the quote? Why would the church search out such quotes and repudiate them?

Very pertinent to Blooms topic is D&C 134. Why did he not quote it? Verse 7 is most appropriate and authoritative.

"We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied."

How one religion relates to another religion is a specific case of the general principle here stated. Sadly, the specific case on Josephs mind 176 years ago is still very pertinent today.

carman
Wasatch Front, UT

I think Skull and Bones is scarier...

AnH
Salt Lake City, Utah

gcrobmd, yours is a classic case of one missing the forest for the trees.

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