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Columnists say Mitt Romney's Mormonism matters

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  • rnoble Pendleton, OR
    Aug. 10, 2012 4:51 p.m.

    Regarding Dektol

    You brought up allegiance in a political world that demonstrates deficiencies in allegiance almost daily. Many overt and covert "fruits" are declaring that politicians hold most allegiance to themselves, then re-election, then to big donors, then to party, then to constituents and last to the Constitution and the Republic. In many cases the last is absent all-together with nothing visible showing what is good for the Nation.

    If that were not true why do we have politicians who leave office many times richer than when the enter after a lifetime of service? Why do we have politicians who are more willing to vote with the party than to think for themselves and find a solution that works for all? Why do we see total agreement that deficit spending is bad for the Nation but all parties continue the practice because "their" program is very important at any cost? Why do we need laws that "protect" us from unethical practices by our leaders? Why do we see pandering to causes and successful lobbying? Why are so many lined up at the public trough?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 10, 2012 4:16 p.m.

    @UtahBruin
    "I only assume you would agree with me that not paying your taxes would be a form of cheating."

    Not necessarily. Consider GE. They paid no taxes and did so legally. It's possible to not pay any income tax legally, heck, conservatives frequently note how many Americans are in that position. Personally, I assume that Romney is doing things legally, exploiting loopholes and things that maybe shouldn't be legal... but are currently legal. I don't believe that Romney has not paid taxes for 10 years, but I think the rates he paid most years were smaller than the 14% he paid last year and may have been as low as 0 for a year or two (like when the recession came, he may have had enough losses for it to drop to 0 that year, that year being 2009, the most recent year he refuses to disclose). Of course, not everyone interprets the statement the same way as I do but since Reid was noting how these are things the rich have available, I think he meant it as legal loopholes being exploited.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 10, 2012 1:40 p.m.

    MItt can't have it both ways. He can't use it like he did this week to back up a policy decision, and then on the other hand, claim it doesn't matter when people don't agree with him.

    It is a two edged sword, Mitt needs to own it, and show how it as a net positive, even if you don't agree with the nuances of his faith. His faith will matter, Mitt just needs to show why that is a good thing... not run from it.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 10, 2012 11:38 a.m.

    Why is it NEVER mentioned that Senator Harry Reid's an active member of the Mormon Faith? Is it because he's a democrat and there are different rules for democrats? I think so... The scutiny that republicans get over there personal affairs is unfair in comparison. Romney's religion should not be an issue.

    =========

    No, no different rules. If Harry Reid were running for President, I am sure he would be under the same scrutiny. As it stands, the only people who should really care about his religious standing/belief are the citizens of Nevada who have voted him into office. Not being a resident of Nevada, I am not sure how much, if at all his religion were brought into light during an election. The man has been repeatedly elected, so I would not be surprised that any objections would have resulted in his first election, and I am sure most voters in Nevada know he is LDS.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    Aug. 10, 2012 7:29 a.m.

    So when do we here the same thing about.Obama?

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 6:50 p.m.

    Of course it matter,

    to the left (just read the comments here),

    a recent survey revealed 43% of liberals would not vote for a Mormon!

    -
    -
    RE: one vote

    And left wants leftest academics (those with no practical experience, like Obama and most of his cabinet, czars, and advisors) making policy decisions.

    How is that working out?

    always the silly generalizations from the left.

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 6:49 p.m.

    How is Romney releasing his tax returns for the past 10 years going to bring unemployment down? If Romney releases his tax returns, Obama MUST release his college transcripts so we actually know where he was during those years and what kind of student he was. We might have an idiot in the White House and not even know it!

    There is no argument, no positive reason that an Obama supporter can point to as a reason why we need 4 more years.

  • WHAT NOW? Saint George, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 6:30 p.m.

    Republican/Severely Conservative's understand perfectly about the Republican/Severely Conservative strategy to deflect attention from their pathetic record of leadership and attempt to focus attention on meaningless and minute trivia from President Obama's records.

    Voters see nothing but continued obfuscation and disingenuity from the Republican/Severely Conservative campaign.

    In reality, pretty disgusting and beneath the dignity of a presumptive Republican/Severely Conservative nominee for the POTUS.

    Excellent points.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 6:26 p.m.

    Of course, the right wants religious leaders to make the policy decisions.

  • Kathy Dana ALPINE, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 6:26 p.m.

    Why is it NEVER mentioned that Senator Harry Reid's an active member of the Mormon Faith? Is it because he's a democrat and there are different rules for democrats? I think so... The scutiny that republicans get over there personal affairs is unfair in comparison. Romney's religion should not be an issue.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 4:47 p.m.

    Since the 1990s when Mitt Romney ran for U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, his life has been an open book. He is not hiding anything. It is the media and especially his Chicago group that are making everything appear that Governor Romney is hiding something. The Chicago group and the President's campaigners need to look at what the President may be hiding. When Mitt was running for Governor he had a lot of the same type of anti-Romney campaigning but still won the election as a Republican in one of the most liberal and especially Kennedy states. He was able to work with the very liberal Legislature and their government was successful, working together. They made their laboratory on healthcare attempt and figured out it may not be the best thing for the national scene. The Governor learned from that experience as Massachusetts chief executive. Our President became an executive, not from college training nor business experience. He did not have that kind of experience in making the hard decisions. As such he chose the wrong people as his Cabinet and staff to lead us and Congress through difficult times. Mitt's life long convictions are USA true

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Aug. 9, 2012 4:21 p.m.

    I think four years ago, Romney's religion was more important in the political discourse than it is today. The same seems to be true of President Obama. A third of Americans still erroneously believe he's a Muslim, but apparently it doesn't bother them. Maybe the "religion" card has been played out in both parties and people are concentrating on different things. At the end of the day it may be good for those of the Mormon faith. Maybe its a compliment that so many don't seem concerned directly with Romney's religion.

  • UtahBruin Saratoga Springs, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 1:54 p.m.

    @atl134

    I am under the thought that if someone accuses me of not paying taxes, quoting a source or a direct statement then I am apt to think that is an accusation of cheating on my taxes. I only assume you would agree with me that not paying your taxes would be a form of cheating. I am not saying that I am correct in this case, it is merely my opinion. I hear you on the legalities of loopholes, I am self employed and if I am presented with an opportunity to reduce my taxes, I take it. If it is in the gray I stay away, I don't need the trouble. Black or white, I do it, or not. But I hear ya.

    Patriotism. I am not saying other faiths are not patriotic. I am saying Mormons are a patriotic bunch. Just because you don't serve does not mean you are not patriotic. Also, only my visual opinion, but with your statement, maybe I have an oversight as I live in Utah where I see more Mormons than other faiths. Also, having served myself overseas, patriotism takes on maybe a little different meaning to me.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 9, 2012 1:46 p.m.

    The way Romney won’t open up makes it look like he’s hiding more than his Mormon faith. He doesn’t want to talk about his taxes, his religion, a reported bullying incident from his youth, his personal wealth, his erratic policy positions on abortion, gays, immigration and gun control, and his record at Bain Capitol. His policy ideas are so vague that they are obviously still unformulated.

    What Romney does want to talk about all too eagerly, is Barack Obama in terms too absurd to be taken seriously by anyone of sound critical and analytical faculties. Romney charges Obama with waging a war on faith, a war on job creators, and wanting the election to be a referendum on the free enterprise system!

    It’s starting to sound like Romney’s true belief is that truth matters less than what he can gull people into believing.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 1:18 p.m.

    @UtahBruin
    Reid never said that Romney is cheating on his taxes. He's only suggested that his source told him Romney paid no taxes for 10 years... after all GE paid no taxes using legal means. It's assumed that Romney has done legal things with his taxes through intricate exploitation of every loophole possible some of which would probably beg the question of "okay that was legal, but why in the world should that be legal"?

    "There is probably no more patriotic of a faith than Mormon members."

    Isn't Utah dead last for rate of enlisting in the armed forces? Pioneer Day is a bigger deal in this state than the 4th of July. I don't think LDS members are any more or less patriotic than other churches.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 1:13 p.m.

    I agree that it would be better for Romney to be more open about his religion since that's a large part of his life, but unfortunately he can't because a bunch of idiots will use that as a reason to vote against him. There's plenty of good reasons to vote against him, religion isn't one of them.

  • UtahBruin Saratoga Springs, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 1:04 p.m.

    @ no fit in SG - Really again, same general post everyday. Doesn't matter the article.

    @ ECR - Are you sure you want to go there? Your giving Obama credit for jobs, the stock market, etc. You cry about the bailout money Bush gave out and yet use that here to tout the claims for Obama who reaped the rewards of it. You also say "Nobody is claiming that Mr. Romney is cheating on his taxes." What about Harry Reid and the DNC, have you forgot about them already. You say the public just wants to know how the Tax System treats those like the wealth of Romney. Do your own research, it is available, you can find out on your own and create your own opinion. Don't wait for the media to do it for you.

    @ Dektol - You really need to visit other websites than those that give false information. First allegiance to the church, are you kidding me. There is probably no more patriotic of a faith than Mormon members. Ehh! Try again.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Aug. 9, 2012 12:45 p.m.

    zoar63 said, "Conservatives for the most part do not care about Romney’s tax returns ..."

    Not so. A recent article cited 20 prominent Republicans who are calling for that very thing. The list includes George Will, Bill Kristol, Ron Paul, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentle, Michael Steele, Rep. Walter Jones, Ana Navarro, Rep. Pete Sessions, Gov. Haley Barbour, Matthew Dowd, Rick Tyler, John Weaver, Brit Hume, David Frum, John Feehery, Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Chuck Grassley, Sen. Dick Lugar, Wayne MacDonald, Mike Murphy.

    Their comments included everything from calling Romney arrogant to saying he should just release the darns things. Probably the most common concern among everyone who wants to see the returns was voiced by conservative columnist George Will, “The costs of not releasing the returns are clear, therefore he must have calculated that there are higher costs in releasing them.”

    That's the only conclusion I can come to.

  • merich39 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 12:34 p.m.

    zoar63
    You're pretty much correct. Most liberals are still going to vote for Obama. Most conservatives are still going to vote for Romney. It's the independents / undecideds who are going to swing this election. And essentially what you are saying is that those undecideds will have to choose between the candidate they know, Obama, versus the candidate they don't know, Romney. They might take a leap of faith with Romney. But when he makes it look like he is hiding something absolutely terrible... something so bad that he knows he would not be elected if he made it public, I imagine there are going to be a lot of those undecideds who will vote against Romney not wanting to take that chance.

    Romney's polling numbers against Obama haven't changed much the last 3-4 months. He's been consistently a little behind nationally in most polls and more than just a little behind in the swing states. If he falls further behind in the next month or two, I think you can safely blame at least some of that on his unwillingness to be completely open about his personal finances. Time will tell.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Aug. 9, 2012 12:26 p.m.

    @zoar63

    "By public do you mean the liberals, the conservatives or the undecided’s."

    Why do so many on this board do this? Not everybody is a liberal or conservative or undecided. Nor is everybody a left winger or a right winger … there’s a middle ground for a vast portion of the American public! Most have some left ideas, some right, but are generally somewhere in the middle. It’s a scale, not an absolute! It’s not black and white, there’s shades of grey.

    It’s ridiculous. Stop generalizing about people and realize everyone has completely different views, positions, stances, reasons, and everything else. You can’t pidgeonhold people into groups …. It doesn’t work.

  • merich39 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 12:23 p.m.

    Alpine Blue
    "We know everything we need to know about Romney."

    No, we don't know all we need to know about Romney. You know all you need to know. There are others who haven't yet made up their minds and want more information about the candidates. You don't get to decide for the rest of us how much we should feel we need to know in order to cast our vote.

  • John20000 Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 12:22 p.m.

    @Dektol in Ohio:

    It is genuinely unfortunate that you have such a terrible opinion of all Mormons. I can tell you that the Mormons I know are some of the most sane, stable, and nice people I know. They don't all believe the same things regarding politics, but they do have strong family values and a visible love for their neighbors. These are just the Mormons I know, but I don't know all 14 million of them, especially the half that aren't living in the US. It doesn't bother me to have Mormon elected officials. They do a pretty good job.

  • Stephen Kent Ehat Lindon, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 11:43 a.m.

    Quick quiz:

    What was the religious affiliation of, say, Herbert Hoover?

    Following the release in 1930 of the Clark Memorandum (written on December 17, 1928 by a Mormon, J. Reuben Clark, Calvin Coolidge’s undersecretary of state), Hoover began formulating what would become Roosevelt's Good Neighbor policy. He began withdrawing American troops from Nicaragua and Haiti; he also proposed an arms embargo on Latin America and a one-third reduction of the world’s naval power, which was called the Hoover Plan. The Roosevelt Corollary ceased being part of U.S. foreign policy. In response to the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, Hoover and Secretary of State Henry Stimson outlined the Hoover–Stimson Doctrine which held that the United States would not recognize territories gained by force.

    Hoover was a Quaker (Religious Society of Friends). The First World War and Second World War (before and after his administration) put to the test the Friends’ opposition to war. Many became conscientious objectors and some formed the Friends Ambulance Unit, which had the aim of co-operating to build up a new world rather than fighting to destroy the old.

    Just saying.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 9, 2012 11:23 a.m.

    Mormonism is a large part of who Romney is and he seems to not want to go there. In 2008, Obama didn’t want to talk about Jeremiah Wright until it became such a distraction to his campaign that he had to address it. Despite LDS paranoia about Romney being picked apart as a national indicator on Mormonism, the media has been respectful to a fault about probing in that area in which Romney’s aloofness is glaringly manifested.

    As for me, I don’t see Romney’s Mormonism as terribly relevant. I have enough good reasons why I won’t vote for him.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Aug. 9, 2012 11:20 a.m.

    @ECR

    "The public wants to know how the tax system treats those who make significant amounts of money, believing that it favors those folks. That's all. When will Mr. Romney show us?"

    By public do you mean the liberals, the conservatives or the undecided’s. if Romney should release all his tax records and be more open with his religious beliefs, liberals will still vote for Obama. Conservatives for the most part do not care about Romney’s tax returns or what religion he espouses and will still vote for him. So that just leaves the those who have not made up their mind yet who they are going to vote for. It is the liberals that are fanning the flames hoping to get this group to vote for Obama.

    If the undecided’s are not comfortable with voting for Romney they will just have to vote for Obama and four more years of the same if not worse. There might be one ray of hope however; many people who voted for Obama the first time have sworn they will not make the same mistake this time.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 9, 2012 10:41 a.m.

    re:Alpine Blue
    "We know everything we need to know about Romney. He is what he portrays-an honest,straight arrow who follows the letter of the tax code. He certainly did not create it as some imply."

    Actually, we don't know everything we need to know. If he is such a "straight arrow" who follows the tax code what does he have to hide? We should know about his investments? Were/are they will foreign countries? It all reveals who he is and what his core values are doesn't it?

    The "straight arrow" part isn't replicated in his campaign. His campaign has repeatedly misrepresented, distorted and lied about opponents--GOP and Democratic alike. Romney's position on issues shifts with the wind.

    Actually, I don't want Romney to talk about his religion. I don't consider him a good role model.

  • Dektol Powell, OH
    Aug. 9, 2012 10:37 a.m.

    Yes, it matters. Romney changes his stance on Abortion - AFTER talking with and(per him) getting permission to do so.
    Romney believes American Indians came from Hebrews. He believes other fairy tales that make his sanity questionable.
    His first allegiance is to his church, NOT the Constitution of the United States.
    He should never hold elected office. No believing Mormon should as their allegiance is not to their constituants but to their church.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Aug. 9, 2012 10:32 a.m.

    Alpine Blue - The United States, along with the rest of the world, continues to struggle with an economic crisis that has not been seen since the Great Depression. Last month our economy added 165,000 new jobs - not enough to meet demands but a far cry better than the 900,00 jobs lost in January of 2009 - in other words, what President Obama inherited. The stock market is is over 13,000, up from the 7,000 in January 2009. The President does not obfuscate, he talks about all of that every day. His budget proposal for the coming year gives great detail about his policy proposals. Mr. Romney has given no such detail for us to examine.

    You state "He is what he portrays-an honest,straight arrow who follows the letter of the tax code. He certainly did not create it as some imply." Talk about obfuscation. Nobody is claiming that Mr. Romney is cheating on his taxes. The public wants to know how the tax system treats those who make significant amounts of money, believing that it favors those folks. That's all. When will Mr. Romney show us?

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 10:17 a.m.

    no fit anywhere:
    just what do we know about obama?.....nothing other than his history is sealed. good luck on trying to convince intelligent people that romney is secretive.

  • Alpine Blue Alpine, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 9:41 a.m.

    Wise counsel from astute observers. Mitt's reticence to speak only in the most generic terms about his Mormon heritage and values is somewhat disconcerting. Apparently concerned about any theological backlash from the evangelical voting base, he really needs to lighten up and let go of his over cautious inhibitions about sharing more of himself. For such a brilliant and self confident man to hide such an integral part of his character is off-putting and counterproductive.

    @ no fit in SG

    We know everything we need to know about Romney. He is what he portrays-an honest,straight arrow who follows the letter of the tax code. He certainly did not create it as some imply.

    What don't you understand about the Demo strategy to deflect attention from their pathetic record of leadership and attempt to focus attention on meaningless and minute trivia from his records? Nothing but continued obfuscation and disingenuity from the Obama campaign. In reality pretty disgusting and beneath the dignity of our POTUS.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Aug. 9, 2012 9:05 a.m.

    Difficult to imagine Romney discussing his private religious beliefs, when he is unwilling to discuss his previous business history, his complicated finances, and his tax return secrecy.