A former Mormon 'cohort' speaks out >> Romney: "Gold Medal in Dishonesty"

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    Jul 21, 2012 4:56 PM GMT
    Published on Friday, July 20, 2012 by Common Dreams
    by Brian Moench

    Mitt and Ann Romney will soon be heading to the London Summer Olympics in pursuit of a gold medal with their dressage horse, Rafalca. I think Mitt already has a gold medal wrapped up. Maybe not for horse dancing, but for mental gymnastics, and by that I mean lying. And not just for lying about his Bain Capital tenure, or being deliberately deceitful about Obama. I think a serious fundamental defect in Mitt Romney has been on display for a long time.

    photo: midiman In 1969, at age 19, I went on a Mormon mission just like Mitt. I eventually supervised about 200 other missionaries. A few years later while living in Boston during my medical residency I also attended the same church as Mitt and Ann Romney. Mitt had several high callings from the Mormon Church hierarchy during his time in Boston eventually supervising the ecclesiastic affairs of about 4,000 Boston Mormons, much like a shepherd watching over his flock. Ann and my wife shared positions of responsibility in our local "ward" and in that capacity Ann was in our home several times.

    My wife and I both thought highly of Ann and liked her as a friend and a fellow church member. We liked Mitt as well, in that he was married to Ann. Mitt would offer a firm, robotic handshake on Sunday mornings, but he managed to make his "Good morning, it's great to see you," feel condescending and superficial.

    Mitt was distinctly impersonal and it seemed his interest in me was only to the degree that I could further his career, which I couldn't--I had no pedigree to enhance the value of my Harvard appointment. He was nakedly ambitious and it was widely assumed he would eventually run for President.

    Mitt went on to climb quickly up the Mormon Church ladder, becoming a "Stake President" at a very young age, while simultaneously laying the foundation of his high profile political career. Within the Mormon community his ascendency to the door step of the Presidency is viewed with almost as much anticipation as the Second Coming of Jesus. They look to a Romney Presidency as validation of their belief system, and a golden opportunity to disseminate it worldwide. To them Romney embodies simultaneous theological and political triumph.

    In contrast to Mitt, I have distanced myself from the Mormon Church after a personal battle between critical thinking and the origins and doctrines of the Church. Nonetheless, I still respect and admire its culture and social strengths and most of my friends and family are active Mormons. But I will not be warmly regarded for divulging anything unflattering about Mitt.

    Mitt's interaction with his religion is indeed a legitimate issue for voters, but not for the reasons that have been raised by evangelicals. It is not because Mormonism is a non-Christian cult. Mitt's significant leadership positions in the Mormon Church evokes a much deeper connection to his religion than any other presidential candidate in modern history has had to their religion. Reaching this rather exhalted state within the Church hierarchy is supposed to manifest not just one's extraordinary commitment to the Church, but also to behavior and a value system beyond reproach. A Mormon Stake President is expected to live an exemplary, Christ-like life. Therefore it is not only fair, but important to ask: does Mitt's behavior and value system meet those lofty expectations?

    As a Bishop and a Stake President in the Mormon Church, Mitt would have interviewed thousands of Church members to sign off on their worthiness to attend ceremonies in the ultra-sacred and exclusive Mormon temples. One of the key questions he would have been required to ask in those interviews would have been, “Are you honest in your dealings with your fellow man?” That question is intentionally vague but is supposed to weed out people who tell lies, cheat on their taxes, or are dishonest in business transactions. If Mitt would be unable to truthfully answer yes to that question of honesty, then he is not just someone who we would cynically write off as just another dishonest politician, but he would qualify also as an extraordinary hypocrite. It would be like John Edwards sitting in judgement on someone else's marital fidelity.

    Even mainstream journalists have written about Mitt taking political lying and disdain for the facts to a new art form on campaign issues ranging from his tenure at Bain to blatantly dishonest ads about his opponents, first in the Republican primaries, and now about President Obama. Michael Cohen of the Guardian typified many of these observations with the statement, "Romney is doing something very different and far more pernicious. Quite simply, the United States has never been witness to a presidential candidate, in modern American history, who lies as frequently, as flagrantly and as brazenly as Mitt Romney." Jonathan Chait, columnist for New York Magazine says Romney is, "Just making stuff up now."

    Even worse, Romney repeats the same lies over and over, even after they've been debunked. He appears completely unconcerned about being caught. That's a new level of mendacity. MSNBC's Steve Benen observed,"Romney gets away with it because he and his team realize contemporary political journalism isn't equipped to deal with a candidate who lies this much, about so many topics, so often." It reminds me of Linda Obst’s book, “Hello, He Lied.”

    The most disturbing part of the story of Mitt, as a high school senior, assaulting a gay classmate and butchering his hair, is not the story itself--many responsible adults did regrettable things as teenagers--but the almost guaranteed lie last month that he couldn't remember ever having done it. His cohorts in crime remembered it vividly and later became deeply disturbed about taking part in it.

    When Mitt was in Salt Lake City in 2002 managing the Olympics he apparently told another whopper. During a traffic jam going to one of the Olympic events, Mitt was outraged at what he viewed as an incompetent volunteer directing traffic. As reported in the Salt Lake Tribune, during several articles that became a hot topic of conversation in Utah, the volunteer and several witnesses, including a captain in the Sheriff's department, said he let out a profanity laced tirade directed at that volunteer that included dropping the "f-bomb." Use of that kind of language may not seem like much of an offense now, but for a high ranking Mormon official to use that kind of language anywhere, let alone in a public venue, would be as shocking and disillusioning to the Mormon faithful as if it had been uttered by the prophet Joseph Smith himself. Never apologetic, Mitt vehemently denied that it ever happened.

    But there is more dishonesty to Mitt than has been printed so far. There is a stark failure to live his religion, at least to the level of what should be expected of one who has risen to the upper echelons of Mormon ecclesiastical authority.

    First, Mitt's recent statements about believing that marriage is "an enduring institution only between a man and a woman" is not what the Mormon Church believes. The history of the Mormon Church's practice of polygamy during the 19th century is well known, slightly less well known is its official renouncement of the practice in 1890.

    But what is not publicly known is that Mormon men can still marry, for "time and all eternity" in Mormon temples, sequentially more than one wife. If a Mormon male gets divorced, or becomes a widower, he can marry another woman in the temple and be sealed for eternity to multiple wives. This option is available to males, Church leaders and laity alike, but not to women. Those subsequent “temple” marriages are considered as eternally binding as first marriages. In other words, the most sacred of Mormon rituals--holy, eternal marriage--implies that polygamy is still practiced in the highest stations of glory in heaven.

    Mitt k
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    Jul 21, 2012 5:06 PM GMT
    Interesting to read about the real man behind the thin veneer of respectability.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jul 21, 2012 5:17 PM GMT
    The Term "Empty Suit" comes to mind whenever I hear him talk
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    Jul 21, 2012 8:37 PM GMT
    Oh this ex Mormon may well be bitter and have an axe to grind too; Ill take it with a grain of salt.
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    Jul 21, 2012 9:26 PM GMT
    I noted no such sour grapes from this writer, not even a hint at it, but plenty of examples to back up his statements.

    We don't need such an obvious liar as Romney leading our nation, expecially with his 'bent' toward 'bending' to his highest bidders desires and wish lists, that primarily suit them, their ideology and that of their chronies, and not the American plublic.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Jul 21, 2012 11:43 PM GMT
    What really jumped out at me, besides the strong impression that he's a liar, was the statement that Romney acted condescending and superficial. That really comes across, whenever he's speaking.

    As for the Mormon "religion," it's hard and fast rules and beliefs are suddenly changed whenever it's convenient for them.

    When the Mormons wanted Utah to become a state, but the United States government forbade polygamy, the Mormons were quick to end polygamy.

    When the Mormons stood to lose their tax exempt status because they didn't allow African Americans to join their "religion," they suddenly welcomed African Americans.

    So, just like most other religions, their "beliefs" are pretty hypocritical.

    I'm wondering if a President Romney would make national decisions by consulting a magic hat while wearing his magic underwear.
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    Jul 21, 2012 11:46 PM GMT
    Webster666 saidWhat really jumped out at me, besides the strong impression that he's a liar, was the statement that Romney acted condescending and superficial. That really comes across, whenever he's speaking.

    As for the Mormon "religion," it's hard and fast rules and beliefs are suddenly changed whenever it's convenient for them.

    When the Mormons wanted Utah to become a state, but the United States government forbade polygamy, the Mormons were quick to end polygamy.

    When the Mormons stood to lose their tax exempt status because they didn't allow African Americans to join their "religion," they suddenly welcomed African Americans.

    So, just like most other religions, their "beliefs" are pretty hypocritical.

    I'm wondering if a President Romney would make national decisions by consulting a magic hat while wearing his magic underwear.
    Probably not but Ill bet the entire farm the 'elders' will be consulted!
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    Jul 22, 2012 1:37 AM GMT
    realifedad said I noted no such sour grapes from this writer, not even a hint at it, but plenty of examples to back up his statements.

    We don't need such an obvious liar as Romney leading our nation, expecially with his 'bent' toward 'bending' to his highest bidders desires and wish lists, that primarily suit them, their ideology and that of their chronies, and not the American plublic.


    But then he may well of been saying what you wanted to hear.
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    Jul 22, 2012 1:46 AM GMT
    Webster666 saidWhat really jumped out at me, besides the strong impression that he's a liar, was the statement that Romney acted condescending and superficial. That really comes across, whenever he's speaking.

    As for the Mormon "religion," it's hard and fast rules and beliefs are suddenly changed whenever it's convenient for them.

    When the Mormons wanted Utah to become a state, but the United States government forbade polygamy, the Mormons were quick to end polygamy.

    Oh poligammy may well not ended as quicly as you promoted, it just went under ground. But the church still promotes it in Section I32 of the D & C, thus in chuch law it never ended, just in the law of the land.

    When the Mormons stood to lose their tax exempt status because they didn't allow African Americans to join their "religion," they suddenly welcomed African Americans.

    So, just like most other religions, their "beliefs" are pretty hypocritical.
    But then thats the way man is, and religion can never be perfect as man is not. Look how Obama promoted marriage was between one man and one women, then hallelujah, just as another election is on the horizon, he has a change of heart, and supports gay marriage; but then flip flops, and puts it in the hands of the states so he does not have to back up his words with action.icon_wink.gif

    I'm wondering if a President Romney would make national decisions by consulting a magic hat while wearing his magic underwear.


    Oh now members do not do that.icon_lol.gif
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jul 22, 2012 1:49 AM GMT
    tru_blu_auzzie said
    realifedad said I noted no such sour grapes from this writer, not even a hint at it, but plenty of examples to back up his statements.

    We don't need such an obvious liar as Romney leading our nation, expecially with his 'bent' toward 'bending' to his highest bidders desires and wish lists, that primarily suit them, their ideology and that of their chronies, and not the American plublic.


    But then he may well of been saying what you wanted to hear.


    No one likes to hear that a contender for the white house is a cheap liar in an overpriced suit. It's disheartening, really. His true character shows that he has very little integrity to be in such a high position, and his bald face lies are brazenly condescending to voting Americans.

    The only thing that could possibly be pleasing in all of this, would be if it becomes a rally cry to defeat this guy. (not that he stands a chance... But in theory, lol.)
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    Jul 22, 2012 2:47 AM GMT
    HottJoe said
    tru_blu_auzzie said
    realifedad said I noted no such sour grapes from this writer, not even a hint at it, but plenty of examples to back up his statements.

    We don't need such an obvious liar as Romney leading our nation, expecially with his 'bent' toward 'bending' to his highest bidders desires and wish lists, that primarily suit them, their ideology and that of their chronies, and not the American plublic.


    But then he may well of been saying what you wanted to hear.


    No one likes to hear that a contender for the white house is a cheap liar in an overpriced suit. It's disheartening, really. His true character shows that he has very little integrity to be in such a high position, and his bald face lies are brazenly condescending to voting Americans.

    The only thing that could possibly be pleasing in all of this, would be if it becomes a rally cry to defeat this guy. (not that he stands a chance... But in theory, lol.)


    Oh look at the lies Free willy Bill Clinton got away with, for turning the White House into the dirtiest little whorehouse in Washington; Monica, Monica, Monica. Now if a Mormon conservative President had done that, it would never be forgotten or overlookedicon_wink.gif

    Also many people here overlook the damage Obama has done to America over the past 4 years and that people are worse off, and only hear that he supports gay marriage; allegedly.
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    Jul 22, 2012 4:14 AM GMT
    tru_blu_auzzie said
    HottJoe said
    tru_blu_auzzie said
    realifedad said I noted no such sour grapes from this writer, not even a hint at it, but plenty of examples to back up his statements.

    We don't need such an obvious liar as Romney leading our nation, expecially with his 'bent' toward 'bending' to his highest bidders desires and wish lists, that primarily suit them, their ideology and that of their chronies, and not the American plublic.


    But then he may well of been saying what you wanted to hear.


    No one likes to hear that a contender for the white house is a cheap liar in an overpriced suit. It's disheartening, really. His true character shows that he has very little integrity to be in such a high position, and his bald face lies are brazenly condescending to voting Americans.

    The only thing that could possibly be pleasing in all of this, would be if it becomes a rally cry to defeat this guy. (not that he stands a chance... But in theory, lol.)


    Oh look at the lies Free willy Bill Clinton got away with, for turning the White House into the dirtiest little whorehouse in Washington; Monica, Monica, Monica. Now if a Mormon conservative President had done that, it would never be forgotten or overlookedicon_wink.gif

    Also many people here overlook the damage Obama has done to America over the past 4 years and that people are worse off, and only hear that he supports gay marriage; allegedly.





    As for Clinton's daliance's with Monica, the very person who led that witch hunt was doing as bad or worse, but still was shameless enough to go forward to spending an estimated 75 milliong dollars over whether or not Clinton Lied. Tell us which act cost the public more, Clintons or Gingrich's ?

    As far as Obama goes, all you have to base your theory on is Republican talking points, most of those points are just Republicans trying to cast the blame on the Dems for what a mess they started.