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13 March 2012

Religion’s Vital Place in Society: Part 5 in a Series on Religious Freedom

March 12, 2012

mormonnewsroom.org

Religious instruction and belief remain today the lifeblood of society’s moral ethos. Not only does religion teach virtue, it catalyzes moral action. As such, religion plays an essential societal role warranting special consideration. This role was rightly described by a Chinese economist studying democracy in America. “In your past,” the economist explained, “most Americans attended a church or synagogue every week. When you were there, from your youngest years, you were taught that you should voluntarily obey the law; that you should respect other people’s property, and not steal it. You were taught never to lie, and to respect the life and freedom of others the same as your own. Americans followed these rules because they had come to believe that even if the police didn’t catch them when they broke a law, God would catch them. Democracy works because most people most of the time voluntarily obey your laws.”

http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/religions-vital-place-society

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MormonVoices Calls on Rick Santorum to Denounce Anti-Mormon Preacher

March 13, 2012

mormonvoices.org

MormonVoices today called on Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum to condemn the anti-Mormon comments made by his supporter, and honorary Florida Chairman, Reverend O’Neal Dozier. The New York Daily News and multiple other media outlets have reported that Dozier proclaimed that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly referred to as the Mormon Church, is racist and said that the Church “is prejudiced against Blacks, Jews and the Native American Indians.” He therefore demanded that Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney publicly “renounce his racist Mormon Religion.” He claims that in so doing, he hopes “to foster and maintain good race relations here in America.”

Scott Gordon, a managing director of MormonVoices, and contributor to the Website Blacklds.org, counters that Dozier’s attacks on the Church do nothing to maintain good race relations and do serious harm to maintaining good religious relations in America. “Dozier’s comments represent a form of religious bigotry that should not be tolerated by any serious candidate for the Presidency of the United States. His comments are either ignorant or are willful misrepresentations for personal or political purposes.” Gordon also pointed out that Dozier’s challenge to Romney seems curiously behind the times, given that the Church’s restriction on priesthood for Blacks ended in 1978 and that today, all men of any race who meet minimum standards of worthiness are ordained.

http://mormonvoices.org/1039/mormonvoices-calls-on-rick-santorum-to-denounce-anti-mormon-preacher

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Mormonvoices Calls on Rick Santorum to Denounce Anti-Mormon Preacher

March 13, 2012

San Francisco Chronicle (California)

MormonVoices today called on Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum to condemn the anti-Mormon comments made by his supporter, and honorary Florida Chairman, Reverend O’Neal Dozier. The New York Daily News and multiple other media outlets have reported that Dozier proclaimed that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly referred to as the Mormon Church, is racist and said that the Church “is prejudiced against Blacks, Jews and the Native American Indians.” He therefore demanded that Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney publicly “renounce his racist Mormon Religion.” He claims that in so doing, he hopes “to foster and maintain good race relations here in America.”

Scott Gordon, a managing director of MormonVoices, and contributor to the Website Blacklds.org, counters that Dozier’s attacks on the Church do nothing to maintain good race relations and do serious harm to maintaining good religious relations in America. “Dozier’s comments represent a form of religious bigotry that should not be tolerated by any serious candidate for the Presidency of the United States. His comments are either ignorant or are willful misrepresentations for personal or political purposes.” Gordon also pointed out that Dozier’s challenge to Romney seems curiously behind the times, given that the Church’s restriction on priesthood for Blacks ended in 1978 and that today, all men of any race who meet minimum standards of worthiness are ordained.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/03/13/prweb9277008.DTL

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Mormonvoices Calls on Rick Santorum to Denounce Anti-Mormon Preacher

March 13, 2012

Daily Finance

MormonVoices today called on Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum to condemn the anti-Mormon comments made by his supporter, and honorary Florida Chairman, Reverend O’Neal Dozier. The New York Daily News and multiple other media outlets have reported that Dozier proclaimed that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly referred to as the Mormon Church, is racist and said that the Church “is prejudiced against Blacks, Jews and the Native American Indians.” He therefore demanded that Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney publicly “renounce his racist Mormon Religion.” He claims that in so doing, he hopes “to foster and maintain good race relations here in America.”

Scott Gordon, a managing director of MormonVoices, and contributor to the Website Blacklds.org, counters that Dozier’s attacks on the Church do nothing to maintain good race relations and do serious harm to maintaining good religious relations in America. “Dozier’s comments represent a form of religious bigotry that should not be tolerated by any serious candidate for the Presidency of the United States. His comments are either ignorant or are willful misrepresentations for personal or political purposes.” Gordon also pointed out that Dozier’s challenge to Romney seems curiously behind the times, given that the Church’s restriction on priesthood for Blacks ended in 1978 and that today, all men of any race who meet minimum standards of worthiness are ordained.

http://www.dailyfinance.com/rtn/pr/mormonvoices-calls-on-rick-santorum-to-denounce-anti-mormon-preacher/rfid540771258/?channel=pscope

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Mormonvoices Calls on Rick Santorum to Denounce Anti-Mormon Preacher

March 13, 2012

Houston Chronicle (Texas)

MormonVoices today called on Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum to condemn the anti-Mormon comments made by his supporter, and honorary Florida Chairman, Reverend O’Neal Dozier. The New York Daily News and multiple other media outlets have reported that Dozier proclaimed that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly referred to as the Mormon Church, is racist and said that the Church “is prejudiced against Blacks, Jews and the Native American Indians.” He therefore demanded that Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney publicly “renounce his racist Mormon Religion.” He claims that in so doing, he hopes “to foster and maintain good race relations here in America.”

Scott Gordon, a managing director of MormonVoices, and contributor to the Website Blacklds.org, counters that Dozier’s attacks on the Church do nothing to maintain good race relations and do serious harm to maintaining good religious relations in America. “Dozier’s comments represent a form of religious bigotry that should not be tolerated by any serious candidate for the Presidency of the United States. His comments are either ignorant or are willful misrepresentations for personal or political purposes.” Gordon also pointed out that Dozier’s challenge to Romney seems curiously behind the times, given that the Church’s restriction on priesthood for Blacks ended in 1978 and that today, all men of any race who meet minimum standards of worthiness are ordained.

http://www.chron.com/business/press-releases/article/Mormonvoices-Calls-on-Rick-Santorum-to-Denounce-3401585.php

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Mormonvoices Calls on Rick Santorum to Denounce Anti-Mormon Preacher

March 13, 2012

FindLaw

Dozier’s comments represent a form of religious bigotry that should not be tolerated by any serious candidate for the Presidency of the United States. MormonVoices today called on Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum to condemn the anti-Mormon

http://legalnews.findlaw.com/article/064EaQd31N3kA?q=U.S.+Republican+Party

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Romney and the Mormon factor

March 13, 2012

Los Angeles Times (California)

Romney’s evangelical problem is easy to understand. Last October, the Rev. Robert Jeffress, a Rick Perry supporter, denounced Mormonism as a “cult.” In Michigan, 44% of prospective primary voters told pollsters that they did not regard Mormons as Christians. While such voters may well have found other reasons to reject Romney, his inability to appeal to many voters on the basis of religion puts him at a distinct disadvantage.

The national media have hardly helped to erase Romney’s Mormon problem in recent weeks. Journalists and Romney’s opponents have mostly avoided questioning him directly on the fine points of Mormon theology. (His standard response: Questions about Mormonism should be directed to the church, not to him.) Still, articles about two controversial aspects of the religion have been pervasive in recent weeks: Mormon proxy baptisms of Jews, and the church’s historical ban on black men in the Mormon priesthood (the ban was lifted in 1978). There are few African Americans and Jews among the GOP primary electorate, but such talk reinforces Americans’ unease about Romney’s faith.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-turner-mormonvote-20120313,0,6055871.story

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Can a Mormon From the Northeast Connect With Dixie’s Protestants?

March 13, 2012

Christian Post

Few stories about life in the Deep South are without some reference to the region’s conservative politics or Protestant religions. And now Mitt Romney finds himself smack-dab in the middle of back-slapping, good ole’ boy politics that have defined these two southern states for decades. The question is, can a Mormon from the northeast connect with Protestants from Dixieland?

GOP leader and self-defined Southern Baptist A.B. Lowther thinks voters in Alabama and Mississippi will look past religion and region to find the best candidate who can defeat President Obama in November.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/can-a-mormon-from-the-northeast-connect-with-dixies-protestants-71289/

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Pompano pastor calls Mormon Church ‘racist,’ calls on Romney to renounce religion

March 12, 2012

Sun Sentinel (Florida)

The Rev. O’Neal Dozier has frequently warned about the threats he sees from abortion, gays and radical Islam.

On Monday, he denounced the Mormon Church and demanded that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney “renounce his racist Mormon religion.”

Dozier, who is black, declared that his intent was to “foster and maintain good race relations here in America. The Mormon religion is prejudiced against blacks, Jews and native Americans.”

He stood next to signs showing the faces of men he said were the top leaders of the Mormon Church, formally known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-03-12/news/fl-dozier-romney-mormon-20120312_1_mormon-church-pompano-pastor-mormon-religion

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Ask A Mormon: Am I Going to Be Baptized After I’m Dead?

March 12, 2012

Huffington Post

The most recent religious controversy in the Romney campaign cropped up late last month when it was reported that some Mormons were posthumously baptizing Jewish Holocaust victims. Elie Wiesel, the Nobel Prize laureate and prominent Holocaust survivor, found this practice so egregious that he has actually publicly asked Mitt Romney to denounce it altogether. Luckily, Stephen Colbert was able to reverse the damage by posthumously circumcising all dead Mormons… or at least the ones who were Jewish to begin with. But just in case this ritual en mass didn’t soothe your fears, here are a few things you should know about Mormons and the practice of baptizing those who have died.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/death-race-/mormon-baptism_b_1339270.html

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Broward pastor blasts Mitt Romney, Mormon religion

March 12, 2012

Sun Sentinel (Florida)

The Rev. O’Neal Dozier, the outspoken and often controversial Pompano Beach pastor, sharply criticized the Mormon religion for its racist past at a Monday news conference and said presidential candidate Mitt Romney should “renounce his racist Mormon religion.”

“The purpose of this request is to foster and maintain good race relations here in America,” Dozier said. “The Mormon religion is prejudiced against blacks, Jews and native Americans.”

The Mormon Church rejects allegations of racism.

“People of all races have always been welcomed and baptized into the Church since its beginning,” reports an official church statement on race. “The Church unequivocally condemns racism, including any and all past racism by individuals both inside and outside the Church.”

Dozier, who is black, said the purpose of his event, at which he was joined by three other Broward ministers, was to highlight the past racism of the Mormon Church.

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-03-12/news/sfl-racism-mormon-romney-20120312_1_mormon-religion-mormon-church-mitt-romney

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How has Romney’s candidacy affected local Mormons?

March 13, 2012

Telegraph Herald (Iowa)

Mitt Romney continues to steadily accumulate delegates in his bid to be the Republican Party’s presidential nominee. Along the way, his religion has been alternately a hot topic and a nonissue.

Romney is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one of the fastest growing denominations in the world, with 14 million members. His presidential bid has focused attention on the church because, if elected, Romney would be the first Mormon president. While some, mostly conservative, evangelical, religious leaders decry Mormonism as a non-Christian cult, Mormons issue an open invitation to anyone who questions their faith.

http://www.thonline.com/news/tri-state/article_97aba03a-dfeb-5970-9971-e8c1ff33ab0b.html

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Axelrod Goes After Mormons

March 13, 2012

Fox News

Obama strategist David Axelrod tweeted a not-quite-decipherable message Monday that included a link to a story about Mormon women being erroneously barred from some official ceremonies because they were menstruating. Then he deleted the tweet. What does it all mean?!

“Wring URS. This is the Medicare story,” Axelrod tweeted at 2:36p.m. with a link to the Salt Lake Tribune story, “Menstruating Mormons barred from temple proxy baptisms?” In that story, Peggy Fletcher Stack, reports:

Mormon feminists recently learned that some young women were wrongly blocked from doing LDS proxy baptisms – which include wearing all-white clothing and being fully immersed in water – because they were menstruating… Trouble is, such a ban is bogus.

http://nation.foxnews.com/david-axelrod/2012/03/13/axelrod-goes-after-mormons

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Newt Gingrich Sits Through a Subtly Mormon-Bashing Sermon

March 13, 2012

Slate

My latest piece from the Deep South mega-primary us Newt Gingrich’s run as a kaleidoscope; I look at the rest of the election through Newt. At the end of the piece, I take note of the sermon Gingrich heard on Sunday, in a pleasant suburb of Jackson, Miss.

In his sermon, [Pastor Scott Thomas] had compared the son of man to some unnamed nonsavior. “Jesus is not just someone who had multiple wives and claimed he ascended into heaven!” After the speech, I want to check in: Was he talking about Mohammed?
“No,” he says, “that was specifically about Joseph Smith. My point was that we’re in election time. You need to know what people believe. Mitt Romney doesn’t believe Jesus is God. From a spiritual perspective, he might as well be Muslim.”
That’s cental Mississippi, where I expect Romney to come in third place. If he pulls out a win there — which polling doesn’t rule out — it will happen because newer Southern arrivals, Republican retirees along the coast, come out in droves for him and out-vote the Mormon-skeptics.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2012/03/13/newt_gingrich_sits_through_a_subtly_mormon_bashing_sermon.html

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Should A Controversial Mormon Church Be Allowed In Flushing?

March 12, 2012

Bayside Patch (New York)

Bayside activists are dogmatic in their opposition to the construction of a Latter Day Saints Church in Flushing, but not, purportedly, for religious reasons.

If the church were to be built at 145-15 33rd Ave. as planned, it would account for 23,000 square feet of its neighborhood in Flushing, and have a 94-foot steeple. A protest held on March 8 drew many neighborhood preservationists, including Bayside Hills Civic Association President Michael Feiner. In Feiner’s words:

http://bayside.patch.com/articles/should-the-controversial-mormon-church-be-allowed-in-flushing

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Man ‘blackmailed engaged student for sex and money’ at ultra-strict Mormon university attended by Mitt Romney

March 13, 2012

Daily Mail (United Kingdom)

A man has been arrested for blackmailing a Mormon student for sex and money by threatening to reveal his homosexuality to his strictly religious family including his fiancee, according to police.

Brad Adams, 36, is due to appear in court in Provo, Utah, later this week charged with extortion and attempted serious sexual assault.

He met his alleged victim, a student at Brigham Young University, once attended by Mitt Romney, on the Craigslist website last month.

Their first sexual encounter was mutual, but the unnamed student worried that he had violated the Mormon university’s ‘Honor Code’ and tried to call off their relationship.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2114301/Brad-Adams-blackmailed-student-sex-money-Mitt-Romneys-Mormon-university.html

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Despite protests over the Pratt murder, Utah also allowed cuckolds to kill seducers

March 12, 2012

Standard Examiner (Utah)

The murder of Mormon apostle Parley P. Pratt, slain by the husband of a woman Pratt had taken as a plural wife, was national news in 1857. Most media sympathized with the killer, cuckold Hector McLean, who literally chased Pratt across much of the country before catching him and killing the LDS leader in Arkansas. The small Mormon media defended Pratt, pointing out that McLean was a drunk and wife-beater long estranged from his wife.

However, defenders of Pratt also, not surprisingly, criticized the motives of murderer Hector McLean, who was never legally punished. The strongest published condemnation of McLean came from the wife who abandoned him for Pratt, Eleanor McComb Pratt. One argument was that to kill Pratt, or to spend a long time seeking Pratt and finally murdering him, was the work of a brutal, godless man consumed by thoughts of revenge, hate and killing.

http://blogs.standard.net/the-political-surf/2012/03/12/despite-protests-over-the-pratt-murder-utah-also-allowed-cuckolds-to-kill-seducers/

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ALLOTT: Separation of church and scrutiny

March 12, 2012

Washington Times

There has been a lot of talk about the prejudice and discrimination Mitt Romney would have to endure as the first viable Mormon presidential candidate, but details of the presidential front-runner’s faith have barely been discussed.

There seems to be an unspoken agreement in the media that Mormonism, which even Mr. Romney recently acknowledged “is an unusual religion in a number of respects” – is off-limits.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/mar/12/separation-of-church-and-scrutiny/

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Why the Major Mainstream Media Hate Mitt Romney

March 13, 2012

Daily Beast

The clear implication seemed to be that the Mittster’s deeply conservative taste in pop music revealed his sexist and racist outlook, especially since the playlist also featured two songs (count ‘em–two!) by the Las Vegas band the Killers, whose lead singer has become a national spokesman for (wait for it) … the Mormon Church.

As if this expose didn’t count as damaging enough, a front-page story on the same day highlighted Romney’s allegedly geeky, cold, and off-putting personality. Under the headline “Legislators Recall a Governor Who Didn’t Mingle,” Michael Barbaro noted that “Mr. Romney’s “awkward style and aloof manner” spoiled his relationships with the members of the Massachusetts Legislature who found him “an emotionally remote figure who tended not to socialize–and because of his Mormon religion did not drink.” The lengthy report rehearses a long list of petty slights from a legislature that was at the time more than 85 percent Democratic, while noting that “two former Romney aides said they pushed their boss to extend himself more to lawmakers, sensing his style was counterproductive.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/12/why-the-major-mainstream-media-hates-mitt-romney.html

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The Heavenly Logic of Proxy Baptism

March 12, 2012

First Things

By mid-eighteenth century, two religious titans of the Anglo-Saxon world, erstwhile allies, were at loggerheads over the question of just how many people were destined for an eternity in hell. George Whitefield attacked John Wesley in 1740 for asserting “God’s grace is free to all.” Wesley had agonized over “How uncomfortable a thought is this, that thousands and millions of men, without any preceding offence or fault of theirs were unchangeably doomed to everlasting burnings!” Some, like Francis Okely, simply abandoned the restrictive hell: “Neither doeth it damn any Man, that he hath not the Word of God, if it is not given to him.” And some went on trial for so doing: Robert Breck was charged with believing “the heathen who obeyed the light of nature could be saved.”

In 1823, Joseph Smith claimed a visitation from an angelic messenger, who called himself Moroni. He recited to Smith a number of scriptures, one of which bore rich fruit in the early years of Mormonism. The book of Malachi ends with a cryptic prophecy of Elijah’s return to the earth, when he will “turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents, so that [the Lord] will not come and strike the land with a curse.”

http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2012/03/the-heavenly-logic-of-proxy-baptism

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Contraception: Affordability is Accessibility

March 12, 2012

City Watch (California)

Is Boehner coming out against anti-Sharia laws?! Or is he just conveniently forgetting the government isn’t always so deferential to the pious? Mormons had to forsake polygamy to gain statehood, for one. In 1862 the then-General Ulysses S. Grant expelled Jews from his district of Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky. And there were plenty of states where you couldn’t hold public office if you didn’t swear to believe in God (as opposed to Allah, Buddha or a flying plate of spaghetti) until the Torcaso v. Watkins decision in 1961.

http://www.citywatchla.com/component/content/article/317-8box-right/2910-contraception-affordability-is-accessibility

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1st Black Harvard Grad: Documents Uncovered

March 12, 2012

The Root

Santorum backer to Romney: “Drop Your Racist Religion”: “The purpose of this request is to foster and maintain good race relations here in America,” the Rev. O’Neal Dozier’s press release says. “The Mormon religion is prejudiced against Blacks, Jews and the Native American Indians. These allegations are substantiated and validated by the writings of the former Prophets and Seers of the Mormon Church.”

http://www.theroot.com/buzz/first-black-harvard-grad-documents-uncovered

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