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Mitt's family tree and polygamy roils The Base again


Romney family tree has polygamy branch. This was probably not the best news that could come out for Multiple Choice Mitt at this time. The whole Mormons-and-polygamy thing has stirred up the Base again. Try as he might, the issue of his religion has been a sore spot as he tries to nail down the fundie vote.

Polygamy was not just a historical footnote, but a prominent element in the family tree of the former Massachusetts governor now seeking to become the first Mormon president.

Romney’s great-grandfather, Miles Park Romney, married his fifth wife in 1897. That was more than six years after Mormon leaders banned polygamy and more than three decades after a federal law barred the practice.

Romney’s great-grandmother, Hannah Hood Hill, was the daughter of polygamists. She wrote vividly in her autobiography about how she “used to walk the floor and shed tears of sorrow” over her own husband’s multiple marriages.

…Romney’s father, former Michigan Gov. George Romney, was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, where Mormons fled in the 1800s to escape religious persecution and U.S. laws forbidding polygamy. He and his family did not return to the United States until 1912, more than two decades after the church issued “The Manifesto” banning polygamy.

It’s been a dicey courtship, and there have been calls for him to either address the issue of his faith directly (as John Kennedy did in 1960) or basically ignore it and hope it goes away (what Mitt’s doing now). Will the Base allow him to skirt it?

The odd thing is that Mitt’s folks have practically dared for someone to bring up his faith by telling offhand jokes about it. He and his wife (they’ve been married for 37 years) have been out on the campaign trail with coy statements about the lack of marital fidelity and divorce among the rest of the top-tier GOP contenders  —  McCain has been married twice; Giuliani three times, and heaven knows what they could say about Newt Gingrich if he tosses his hat in the ring.

So far neither the Romneys nor the campaign have commented on this new story.

The Freepi are all over the map on this one, but note that some of them are more peeved at his flip-flopping…

Actual Freeper QuotesTM

He’s in big big trouble, because it’s not like Catholics vs. Protestants, that’s an inter-Christian debate. But no Christian church acknowleges the Morman church as being anything but Joseph Smith’s world-class hoax. Mormans are very nice people, great neighbors, but they are not Christians and shouldn’t pretend to be so.

It isn’t his religion that has him in trouble with the religious right. It’s his history of liberalism and a suspicion that his current social conservatism is simply a ploy to get votes.

Protestants were seen as heathens by the Catholic Church during the reformation. I can’t say one way or the other what Mormonism is, but I dont think any of us has the authority to declare what is and isn’t Christian.

There’s really not much to address regarding his faith IMHO. He believes in Christ, accepts Him as his Savior, and seems to hold his moral convictions strongly.

Or does he? My problem is that he has really vascillated on major moral issues…some of which have set him in opposition to his faith at earlier times. Now, regarding abortion, gay support, gun control, etc., he seems to be changing his tune based on the political environment he is seeking and I cannot countenance that at all.

For someone doing that, I do not care if the are Mormon (LDS), Baptist, Catholic, agnostic, or atheist, or anything else…a whole lot more time will have to pass with him sticking to his supposed new found beliefs before I would be willing to vote for him.

Frankly, I don’t really have a problem with him being a Morman. It can’t be any worse than Jimmy Carter and Bubba Clinton’s version of being a Southern Baptist. I just don’t see any reason to vote for him. I’m not sure I can trust him to maintain a position on anything if the political winds shift. We certainly don’t need anymore of that in the White House.

Very true. That is evangelicals’ essential problem with Romney – not only is he not a Christian, he actually belongs to a cult.

That’s my issue with it. I wouldn’t vote for someone who was Jehovah Witness, or a Moonie, or Islamic for that matter – that doesn’t mean I would vote for someone who’s Baptist, or Nazarene or any other denomination – but cults are completely out of the running in my book.

I say that Jesus was who He said He was. That makes me a Christian. Mormons don’t believe that He was who He said He was. That means that they are not Christians. That being said, the Mormons that I know are good, decent people and I don’t really have a problem with voting for one for President. I just don’t think Romney is the one I would be willing to vote for.

When will Rudy’s religious practice be put under the microscope? Of course, he is in the sorry tradition of the pro-abort Catholics that the sorry-ass bishops allow to run rampant. Does Rudy even go to Mass?

What is it exactly that makes Mormons non-Christian? The belief in Jesus Christ as the Savior? The acceptance of the Bible as scripture? I am “Mormon” and am really rather tired of religious bigots telling me what we are and aren’t. We talk about and try to imitate the Savior in everything we do. What is so wrong with that?

…Do you know that the Mormon god lives on the planet Kolob according to the second Mormon prophet, Brigham Young, who had 28 wives? Do you know that the Mormon church didn’t allow blacks into the priesthood until 1978 because their skin wasn’t a “bright and delightsome” color – and the feds were cracking down on them again?

How petty. So they have a different name for Heaven. Brigham Young, who had 28 wives? So what. Rudy had three wives following the Kennedy tradition like Ted having two wives and hundreds of concubines.

WOW! This is my last comment. Getting in to the mud with a pig just gets you dirty and the pig loves it. Do you want to know the truth? (obviously not) Then go to the below link. Again, going to an anti-Mormon website (Full of lies and half truths by the way) is like asking Hillary to give you a fair assessment of George Bush. As for being a sheep… thank you. I am a sheep and Jesus is my Shepard and I will follow him any where.

Awww, did I hit a little too close to home? It’s great to be one of God’s sheep – it’s rather pathetic to be a lower case god’s sheep. Blindly going where your religion – not the Word of God leads you.

I used to think that there was a clear delineation between liberals and conservatives when it came to tolerance, intellect, and morals. But after reading the holier-than-thou, bigoted comments of so many on this board toward a religion that teaches service to man and love of the Savior I am seriously rethinking that thought. Or could it be that conservatism is just a label some people wear to make themselves feel better? I admire people who hold to principles of the Savior. Perhaps that is the problem…for some people the teachings of Christ are just a Sunday coat they wear once a week while for some of us it is truly a way of life.

If you’re going to take the discussion to the gutter, it would be most helpful that you identify your religion or set of beliefs so that all of the rest of us good “Christians” can ridicule you and point out all of the warts and hypocrisies of your faith.


A recent poll by Gallup reported on by the Christian Science Monitor found he’s still got an uphill with the general population. But the other candidates have similar issues to contend with.

In all questions, Gallup posed it with a generic candidate “described as “a generally well-qualified person for president who happened to be [fill in the blank].” Findings:

* 24% couldn’t vote for a Mormon (a recent WaPo-ABC News poll found 35% would be “less likely” to vote for a candidate who is Mormon).
* 11% polled say they would not vote for a woman if their party nominated one
* 87% are willing to vote for an unnamed Hispanic nominee (e.g. Bill Richardson), 12% not
* 42% wouldn’t vote for someone 72 years or older (McCain’s got a big problem)
* 5% said no to a black candidate (I think this is low — and depends on the candidate, which Gallup expands on below).

For the candidates, generic polls go only so far. Voters probably react differently to Senator Obama than, say, to the Rev. Al Sharpton, both of whom are black Democrats. McCain can counter questions about his age by presenting a vigorous profile on the campaign trail. And when a generic question is asked after a person who fits the profile comes to the fore, it is possible that person is skewing the result.

In the Gallup poll, which has been asking the woman president question since 1937, the number has dropped in recent years – likely a reaction to Senator Clinton, who was a subject of presidential speculation for years before she announced. The portion of Americans willing to vote for a qualified woman nominee of their own party reached a high of 92 percent in 1999, and is now at 88 percent.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding