Comments about ‘Huntsman says his Mormon church membership is 'tough to define'’

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Published: Thursday, May 12 2011 10:00 a.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

He will never get my vote. The last thing we need is another wishy washy politician!

McLean, VA

JHJ is too clever by half. His campaign will implode of its own weightlessness. Ever wonder why he is said to be the most feared GOP candidate among the democrats? As if!

Ogden, UT

Seems to me that anyone who has a "tough time" defining his religion doesn't have enough religion in him/her to be a significant factor to consider in the voting booth.

Salt Lake City, UT

As a former Mormon myself, if Huntsman really is in a transitioning period with his faith that truly is tough to define. Or rather, maybe he knows he is a former Mormon (or a name-only Mormon), but isn't ready to say it out loud because the ramifications can be so difficult. I don't even come from a strong line of Mormons, and it was tough for me to start calling myself a former Mormon out loud. Mormon friends and family think of you differently once they know and can become distrustful, and of course with the whole eternal family concept your close family members are extremely disappointed once they know. I can't imagine having to address such a personal topic in such a public manner, but of course that's part of the package when you become a politician (whether you like it or not).

Fort Worth, TX

His religion or lack there of isn't (shouldn't) be on trial here. I think the issue is whether he is being truthful or evading the question. The question that seems to be throughout the comments is whether he can be a "true" member of the LDS church. The Bible (New Testament) shows Christ to be an accepting person who took people at face value. He saw where they were and showed them the way He thought was the best way to live. There is no instance of force or condemnation of a person. Huntsman is where he is right now and that is non-committal on his beliefs. The question that should be asked is whether you (only you) can support someone who is non-committal. Condemnation and judgment of this choice should have no place in a discussion of his fitness for office. There is absolutely no one who has posted on this board who has the "authority" or "right" to condemn this man's actions. If you are a "true" member of the LDS church you realize only the proper authorities have that right and then it isn't something to be shared openly.

Woods Cross, UT

Anyone who does NOT have a tough time defining his religion probably does not know enough about that religion or the outside world to discern the dichotomies that exist.

When proclamations over an individual's religiosity enter the political square, both religious and political discourse are cheapened. Politicians making overt religious statements to win votes is something both parties should avoid.

Huntsman may possess a nuanced and discerning religious world view. It would be a tragedy if such people were alienated by the electorate or by their religious communities.

Salt Lake City, UT

All I know is that I really appreciated Huntsman as a governor. Despite being a republican, I thought he incorporated the strengths of both parties well in governing the state. He'll have my vote if he gets that far.

Saint George, UT

There is no shortcut to integrity. You either are Mormon or you are not. Even if you have you own idea of what constitutes a 'good' Mormon, there is no guess work about the expectations, standards, etc. of the church. Huntsman comes across as ashamed of his 'roots'. His cosmopolitan view shows an utter lack of conviction or an unwillingness to address whether he is a believer in LDS theology or not. I prefer someone with deeper convictions. I don't care what religion my president is, but I won't support someone who is running for office because he is trying to hide from figuring out what he believes! No thanks! I'll take a flaming socialist before I'd do that.

Phoenix, AZ

Jon Huntsman Jr. represents over fifty percent of the present Mormon church membership and is the typical member of the near future. Mormonism can not cling to the dark past in light of the present day access to new discovery of information and intelligence. Myths are now much easier to expose and explain; and to educate people about than in past years when communications and research were more limited. But, the real question is: can Mr. Huntsman best serve our nation. Is he the best choice for the job. That is what really matters.

DC Fan
Layton, UT

honestly, he isn't one bit better than Obama..he wouldn't carry Utah.

Moab, UT

Mr. Huntsman has lost my vote.....he is too undecided as to what he believes! Will he waffle on important moral issues? Does his religion define him....or do political aspirations??? I am not sure he is trustworthy to represent Republican issues..like supporting the Constitution; protecting our borders; and reign in spending!

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

Jon Huntsman is the only one who knows what he is talking about.

I could listen to him for hours and not know what he was talking about, and so could you. The author of the Time Magazine article knew less about Huntsman after he answered the question than before.

I don't know what he is talking about.
You don't know what he is talking about.

Jon Huntsman is the only one who knows what he is talking about.

Manti, UT

I think it is politically wise for Jon Huntsman not to make an issue of religion. That should not be an issue. What should be the issue is if he can get this country out of its downward slide. Can he put our economy back on track? Is he wise enough to be president of this great nation? Can he fix the housing, the gas prices, the cuts in pay for many, and the unemployment? Could he fix the illegal alien issues? He is a brilliant politician. Religion should not be an issue if he can fix America. Why should Jon Huntsman have to explain his religion? Is it because he is a Mormon? Is that not being bigoted and unfair? The media feeding-frenzy about Jon Huntsmans comments is totally ridiculous. No one talks about his talents for fixing America. They only talk about whether he is a Mormon or not. Why dont they have some newsworthy stories like how Jon Huntsman will fix our broken country if he gets elected.

West Valley City, Ut

Mormon Faith: hard to define = Since I am affiliated with the Church, I am hoping to cash in on the LDS vote AND now since I can distance myself from the faith, I hope to cash in on the anti-Mormon vote too!

Opportunistic politicians.

I'm voting for Romney. At least he's willing to stand up and be counted as LDS.

Springville, UT

OK, for me the plot does not thicken, it only sets into concrete. This story has reached all around the country. I am on several other political and economic blogs/webgroups and what is amazingly consistent is how the battle lines have been drawn. The Left is in love with Huntsman and the Right either was never there or kicking him to the curb. The most vocal defense and adoration of Huntsman yet comes from a couple of my friends who are self-identified marxists and communists. I kid you not! It simply cannot get better then this. I have a marxist buddy of 10+ years bragging that with Huntsman the GOP will finally be on the right path.

I now want to adopt a little Chicago style politik'n myself. How many dead people can I line up to vote NO on this one?!

Politics is mostly frustrating but every now and then its a real pleasure.

Idaho Coug
Meridian, Idaho

This is so incredibly interesting. Mormons were so upset that people would even consider Romney's religion in the last election. But now that Huntsman is getting exposure as potentially a less than a full believing member many LDS are ready to eat him alive.

Do we recognize how important our perception is in the church? It is the reason the PR and apologetics arm of the church has so much influence. It is why we love to announce our numbers. So what that less than half continue to have anything to do with the church, 13 million and growing makes us feel so good! It is why we love to drop famous Mormon names. A lot of it is normal and okay. But when we won't vote for JH because he is not devout enough we are being phenominally hypocritical.

I truly hope JH recognizes that the MAJORITY of the 6 million US Mormons relate more to him than Romney. JH, if you do not believe everything LDS please don't be afraid to be honest about that. You may be shocked at how many Mormons both respect and relate to that.

Burke, VA

UtahBlueDevil - I appreciate your thoughtful comment but I can't say I agree with everything you said. Since you live in North Carolina I'm sure you must be familiar with the general disdain evangelicals have for Mormons. According to my son's former girlfriend who attended his church, one local minister here in Northern Virginia literally spends 15 minutes of each sermon, each Sunday blasting the Mormons and warning against their enticing message.

In the Senate today, the most influential Republican Senator is not the Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell. It is Jim Demint from South Carolina who often mixes his evangelical ferver with his political speeches. I know evangeicals appreciate the support they receive from Mormons when it comes to social issues but it seems they are quick to point out their religious differences so as not to assume any association (ever listen to the Bible Answer man on radio?)

Abortion and gay rights - those two issues are what keeps most Mormons from embracing more of the Democratic platform. The compassion in the beliefs of the Democratic platform more accurately reflect the things I've learned over a lifetime in the Mormon church than anything the Republicans have presented.

Junction city, Oregon

I guess i will avoid voting for him. If he wasnt mormon from the begining, then i would possibly vote for him. But knowing he is, and acting this way, answers all the questions i have for him.

Durham, NC

ECR - and it is for the exact reason you state that I went from Republican to Independent, and haven't regretted it ever.

Provo, UT

I like Huntsman.

I really dislike the fanatic LDS reactions to what Huntsman said.

It is typical of LDS to try to "shame" those who do not agree with them, and they are especially judgmental of those "vile betrayers" who were among the flock and appear to be nonconformists.

What a complete and absolute confirmation that LDS are actually "sheeple" after all.

That is pretty pathetic.

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