Politics, Technology, and Language

If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought — George Orwell

When religous nut cases fight, everybody wins

Posted by metaphorical on 20 May 2007

This year, watching the Republican side of the presidential race just never stops being fun. When Giuliani was leading in the polls, his views on abortion went under the microscope—and the scalpel. Now maybe it’s Mitt Romney’s turn.

Mitt Romney has sprinted ahead of presidential competitors John McCain and Rudy Giuliani in a new Iowa Poll of likely Republican caucus participants.

The Des Moines Register poll shows Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, is the top choice of 30 percent of those who say they definitely or probably will attend the leadoff Iowa caucuses in January.

(I looked at Giuliani’s flip-flopping on abortion last week; and the political complexities of Romney’s Mormonism back in April.)

According to The Politico, the poll has McCain and Giuliani vying for second place. It places McCain ahead, 18 percent to 17, but it has a margin of error of almost 5 percent. That’s not enough to put anyone close to them: “None of the other eight GOP candidates on the Iowa Poll list have support in double digits.”

Last week, Romney gave the commencement address at Pat Robertson’s Regent University. Are Christians ready to vote for a Mormon?

That’s the question facing legions of evangelicals as they gird their loins for battle in the Bible Belt political primaries. They are waiting to see if Romney will publicly address their concerns about his deep Mormon faith.

As Terry Mattingly, a “senior fellow for journalism at the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities” noted this week, he’s not addressing them yet. So when it comes to accepting his Mormonism, maybe not.

Robertson’s own Christian Broadcasting Network which is headquartered on the Regent campus, apparently includes Mormonism on its “How Do I Recognize a Cult?” Web-site page:

It states, for example, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a “prosperous, growing organization that has produced many people of exemplary character. But when it comes to spiritual matters, the Mormons are far from the truth.”

It’s not just the fundamentalist nutjobs who place Mormonism outside the bounds of Christian faith. Mattingly notes, “The Vatican, for example, refuses to recognize the validity of Mormon baptisms.”

The feelings are apparently reciprocated.

Mormons do believe that the Old and New Testaments — as read by traditional Christians — are packed with errors and that Mormonism is the one true faith. Mormons believe that their president is a living prophet and that faithful mortals, in the next life, can achieve godhood. Thus, Mormons reject or redefine the Trinity, teaching that this world’s Father God has both a literal body and a literal wife.

So it seems that there’s plenty of tinder, and we can only hope that Romney’s new poll standing will be the spark that sets it off. If so, here’s a taste of the religious right-wing conflagration we can only hope for:

Bill Keller of LivePrayer.com, for example, bluntly states that the teachings of the “Mormon cult are doctrinally and theologically in complete opposition to the Absolute Truth of God’s Word. There is no common ground. If Mormonism is true, then the Christian faith is a complete lie.”

One Response to “When religous nut cases fight, everybody wins”

  1. Bot said

    The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) is often misunderstood. Some accuse the Church of not believing in Christ and, therefore, not being a Christian religion. This article helps to clarify such misconceptions

    Baptism:

    Early Christian churches, practiced baptism of youth (not infants) by immersion by the father of the family. The local congregation had a lay ministry. An early Christian Church has been re-constructed at the Israel Museum, and the above can be verified. http://www.imj.org.il/eng/exhibitions/2000/christianity/ancientchurch/structure/index.html
    The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) continues baptism and a lay ministry as taught by Jesus’ Apostles. Early Christians were persecuted for keeping their practices sacred, and not allowing non-Christians to witness them

    The Trinity:

    A literal reading of the New Testament points to God and Jesus Christ, His Son, being separate, divine beings, united in purpose. . To whom was Jesus praying in Gethsemane, and Who was speaking to Him and his apostles on the Mount of Transfiguration?

    The Nicene Creed”s definition of the Trinity was influenced by scribes translating the Greek manuscripts into Latin. The scribes embellished on a passage explaining the Trinity, which is the Catholic and Protestant belief that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The oldest versions of the epistle of 1 John, read: “There are three that bear witness: the Spirit, the water and the blood and these three are one.”

    Scribes later added “the Father, the Word and the Spirit,” and it remained in the epistle when it was translated into English for the King James Version, according to Dr. Bart Ehrman, Chairman of the Religion Department at UNC- Chapel Hill. . . .He no longer believes in the Nicene Trinity.
    The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) views the Trinity as three separate beings, in accord with the earliest Greek New Testament manuscripts.

    The Cross:

    The Cross became popular as a Christian symbol in the Fifth Century A.D. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) believe the proper Christian symbol is Christ’s resurrection, not his crucifixion on the Cross. Many Mormon chapels feature paintings of the resurrected Christ or His Second Coming.

    Christ’s Atonement:

    But Mormons don”t term Catholics and Protestants “non-Christian”. They believe Christ’s atonement in Gethsemane and on the Cross applies to all mankind. The dictionary definition of a Christian is “of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to a religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ”:. All of the above denominations are followers of Christ, and consider him divine, and the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament.

    It”s important to understand the difference between Reformation and Restoration when we consider who might be authentic Christians. If members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) embrace early Christian theology, they are likely more “Christian” than their detractors.

    * * *

    And the 2005 National Study of Youth and Religion published by UNC-Chapel Hill found that Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) youth (ages 13 to 17) were more likely to exhibit these Christian characteristics than Evangelicals (the next most observant group):
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . LDS Evangelical
    Attend Religious Services weekly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71% . . . . 55%
    Importance of Religious Faith in shaping daily life –
    extremely important .. 52. . . . . . . 28
    Believes in life after death . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 . . . . . . 62
    Believes in psychics or fortune-tellers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 . . . . . . 5
    Has taught religious education classes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 . . . . . . 28
    Has fasted or denied something as spiritual discipline . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 . . . . . . 22
    Sabbath Observance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 . . . . . . 40
    Shared religious faith with someone not of their faith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 . . . . . . 56
    Family talks about God, scriptures, prayer daily . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 . . . . . . 19
    Supportiveness of church for parent in trying to raise teen
    (very supportive) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65 . . . . . . 26
    Church congregation has done an excellent job in helping
    Teens better understand their own sexuality and sexual morality . . . . . 84 . . . . . . 35

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