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

Archive for May 20th, 2007

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.”

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