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29 April 2012

Mormon FAIR-Cast 85: Foundations of fundamentalist polygamy

April 26, 2012


What is the connection between some of the modern polygamist groups and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? In this episode of Religion Today that originally aired on February 26, 2012, Martin Tanner discusses the arguments used by some fundamentalist groups to justify their practice of polygamy, and why these arguments are inconsistent with the modern doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


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David Jones on Why Mitt Romney’s Mormonism Does Matter

April 29, 2012

Catholic Online

Mormons believe and teach that the soul pre-exists prior to entering the human body. The soul enters at birth.

That is why Mormon politicians can be either Pro-Choice or Pro-Life. That is why Mormons support embryonic stem research. That is why Mormons are typically weak on the Life issues. That is why Mitt Romney was Pro-Choice but now claims to be Pro-Life. It was politically expedient to be Pro-Choice in Massachusetts but now it is fine to be Pro-Life for his national campaign. More on this fact later.

Mitt Romney not only served as a Mormon missionary in France but was also considered a high priest, the equivalent of bishop to Catholics. He actually led his own local Mormon congregation at one time. It is impossible to reach that level without being a very serious, a very devout Mormon. To claim that Mitt Romney is not a real Mormon is simply not a credible argument if you know anything about Mormon culture and religious practices.


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Romney makes the time ripe for shattering Mormon myths

April 29, 2012

Maine Sunday Telegram

I agree, but the dialogue needs to deal with serious issues. For example, Mormons see Jesus as a separate being from God the Father. How does that theological distinction square with traditional Christian theology about the Trinity?

Also, how does the Book of Mormon fit in with the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures? Is that sacred text “over and above” other sacred texts?

And what about the afterlife? What is the purpose of, say, baptizing the dead?

These are theological issues, but they are the sorts of topics that a genuine dialogue should include. And the discussion needs to involve those who have no religious faith, if Mormons are going to reach across the broader society.


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Ignorant Maher: Romney Only Gives to Mormons – ‘His Cult’; ‘That’s Not a Charity – They’re Not Poor People’

April 28, 2012

News Busters

On HBO’s Real Time, the vulgar anti-theist said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney doesn’t give to charity. “All his charitable donations are to Mormons. He gives to his cult. That’s not a charity. They’re not poor people”

S.E. CUPP: Let’s make the distinguish though, just real quick, between Mitt Romney the person and Mitt Romney the politician, because Mitt Romney the person has donated millions of dollars to poor people.

BILL MAHER: To Mormons.

CUPP: To poor people.


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Bill Maher Lies About Mormons–No Problem for Obama

April 29, 2012

Gather Politics

Bill Maher is a ‘comedian’, an entertainer and a commentator. Fans of Maher’s won’t be surprised to hear that on his Friday night HBO show, Real Time, he attacked Mormons, properly known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). It certainly wasn’t the first time, but this time the significance is that Maher is President Obama’s biggest Priorities USA Action donor (at $1 million). Free speech and all that aside, Obama will be running against a member of the LDS Church, Mitt Romney.

Maher, talking about Romney, began his vulgar attack with a lie. He claimed that Romney doesn’t give to charity, “All his charitable donations are to Mormons. He gives to his cult. That’s not a charity. They’re not poor people.” Refuting his claim against Romney is a simple thing to do. NewsBusters cites facts that blow Maher’s comments out of the water. Beyond that, his comment about there being no poor people in the Church is just ignorant! He managed to tell several more lies during the show.


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Maher On Romney Donating To Mormon Charities: “He Gives To His Cult”

April 28, 2012

Real Clear Politics

Bill Maher responds to S.E. Cupp who claims Mitt Romney gives a lot of his money to charity every year: “I got to call bullshit on that one. All his charitable donations are to Mormons. He gives to his cult.”

“They’re not poor people,” Maher said on “Real Time” this week. “Name one poor Mormon.”


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Largest Donor to Obama Super PAC Calls Mormonism a ‘Cult’

April 28, 2012

Weekly Standard

Bill Maher, the largest donor to President Obama’s super PAC, called Mormonism a “cult” on his HBO show last night, and said that donating money to that religion doesn’t count as charity because it’s “bulls—.”


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Mormons help spruce up county’s Steckel Park

April 28, 2012

Ventura County Star (California)

Swarming like bees all over Steckel Park in Santa Paula in bright yellow vests, 196 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ventura Stake, sanded, painted, poured cement, cleaned and otherwise spruced up the area as part of the group’s Community Day of Service.

Ventura Stake President Greg Jones explained that on Mormon Helping Hands Day, which was Saturday, almost 60,000 volunteers were expected to work on hundreds of projects throughout Southern California.


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Mormons lend a hand to spruce up Valley parks

April 29, 2012

Fresno Bee (California)

About 1,100 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints converged on Woodward Park in northeast Fresno on Saturday morning to clean and spruce up the popular picnic and recreational spot.

Volunteers from throughout the central San Joaquin Valley painted signs and restrooms, raked leaves and cleared debris as part of Mormon Helping Hands Day.

“We give our service all year long, but this one day we do a really big project,” said church member Kristine Splan, an event organizer.

Hundreds of other church members did the same at parks in the area, including Lost Lake north of Fresno, Dry Creek, Rotary and San Gabriel — all in Clovis — and Sanger Youth Center and Pioneer in Selma.


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Mormon Helping Hands

April 28, 2012

KESQ (California)

People around the desert spent their day giving service as part of the “Mormon Helping Hands” project.

The Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints organized a number of projects helping out local cities today.

Volunteers met in Palm Desert, then spread out around the valley.


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Helping Hands clean up lake

April 29, 2012

Santa Clarita Valley Signal (California)

Nearly 400 helping hands of all ages were stained with soil or paint during a Saturday morning renovation project at Castaic Lake, sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

“We wanted to serve the community and we found a project that could accommodate a lot of people,” local church official Carolyn Hill said. “It would take the Castaic Lake staff a year to do what we can do here in a day.”


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Utah storehouse at top of Mormon food chain

April 28, 2012

Christian Century

The new storehouse, which opened in January, is the centerpiece of the Mormon church’s intricate network for taking care of its members and lending a hand to others in times of natural disasters, putting scriptural encouragements into action in the aftermath of hardship.

“As I walk through, I (don’t) think,’What a beautiful building’ but how the Lord must truly love the poor to provide this building to take care of their needs,” Humpherys said during a tour of the facility, built with members’ donations.

Since its inception, the LDS Church has viewed looking after its members’ well-being as part of its core mission. During the Great Depression, when unemployment ran 30 percent among members, the church formalized its welfare system. It opened the first regional storehouse in 1937 in Salt Lake City and began to buy orchards, farms and cattle ranches to provide commodities to redistribute to those in need.


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Religious Leader: Anti-Mormon Bias May Affect Proposal for Queens Church

April 28, 2012

DNA Info (New York)

A top Queens religious leader fears that anti-Mormon bias may help squash plans to build a house of worship with a 94-foot steeple for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Rev. Skip L’Heureux, executive director of the Queens Federation of Churches, said he was concerned that both Community Board 7 and Borough President Helen Marshall rejected plans for the Mormon church at 145-13 33rd Avenue.

The proposal heads next to the city’s zoning authority, the Board of Standards and Appeals, which insiders said could weigh in on the church plans as soon as early April.
Mormon leaders need three zoning variances for the 2 1/2-story church that would include a worship area and community room on the ground floor with classrooms and office space on an upper level. Community leaders have argued the building would be out of character in a neighborhood with mostly detached single-family homes.

But L’Heureux said he wondered if an underlying suspicion about Mormons also played a role in the rejections.


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The Politics of Faith and American Exceptionalism

April 29, 2012

Huffington Post

Two major objects of attention during this election season reflect a key dimension of American exceptionalism: religion. First, America may soon have a president of Mormon faith, Mitt Romney, who served as a Mormon missionary and bishop before becoming a politician. Second, Rick Santorum, the runner-up in the G.O.P. primaries, led a campaign focused on religious moralizing. Santorum notably declared that “Satan” is threatening America, and decried the evils of secularism, pre-marital sex, contraception, abortion, and homosexuality. Against this backdrop, Barack Obama is often depicted as a secular candidate, although that is not accurate, especially by international standards. For instance, Obama mentioned “God” five times during his inauguration speech, regularly proclaims “God bless America,” and has sporadically expressed specifically Christian beliefs, such as: “We are thankful for the sacrifice [Jesus] gave for the sins of humanity. And we glory in the promise of redemption in the resurrection.”

As for Mormons, they represent less than 2% of the U.S. population but form an increasingly established community. Joseph Smith (1805-44), the faith’s founder, reported that he was visited by an angel who led him to ancient golden plates that were buried in upstate New York. According to Smith, the plates revealed that Native Americans are of Jewish origin and were visited by Jesus after his crucifixion. Smith said that they were written in an unknown language, “Reformed Egyptian,” although he was able to translate them into the Book of Mormon by using supernatural seer stones. The angel later took the plates away. Smith persuaded numerous followers that he was a divine prophet. While Mormon convictions may come across as peculiar, it is important to note that they arise out of a society where faith is celebrated and religious skepticism often frowned upon.


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William Hopoate’s younger brother Jamil says he is only focussing on making Parramatta’s first grade side

April 30, 2012

Herald Sun (Australia)

JAMIL Hopoate says he has given no thought to completing a Mormon mission and insists his only focus is on becoming good enough to join older brother Will in Parramatta’s NRL side in 2014.

Jamil is in regular contact with 19-year-old William, who is in the first 12 months of a two-year Mormon mission in Queensland, but says he hasn’t yet made a decision on whether he’ll follow in those footsteps.

“It hasn’t crossed my mind yet, but I’ll look into it soon enough. I haven’t really thought about it yet because I just want to focus on my footy,” the 17-year-old said after making his Toyota Cup debut yesterday.


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LAKE ELSINORE: Serving others

April 29, 2012

North County Times (California)

Mormon volunteers spread out across Southwest County on Saturday and tackled a variety of community service projects to show some love to their neighbors.

Nearly 1,000 members of local Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints wards took on different efforts as part of the church’s annual Mormon Helping Hands day of service.

They planted vegetation in Lake Elsinore’s wetlands and painted homes for the elderly in Sun City. They collected huge piles of canned food in Murrieta for pantries and spruced up a Temecula historical site.


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Volunteers spruce up Effie Yeaw Center during service day

April 29, 2012

Sacramento Bee (California)

More than 5,000 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other volunteers did service throughout the region Saturday, painting curbs, fixing benches, sprucing up playgrounds and pulling weeds.

LDS officials estimated 60,000 church members statewide were doing volunteer work as part of the “Mormon Helping Hands – Serving Our Communities” day of service.


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Volunteers dig into work at Effie Yeaw Nature Center

April 28, 2012

Modesto Bee (California)

More than 5,000 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other volunteers are doing service throughout the region today, doing chores that included painting curbs, fixing benches, sprucing up playgrounds and pulling weeds.
It’s part of the “Mormon Helping Hands-Serving Our Communities” day of service. Statewide, LDS officials estimate that 60,000 church members were doing volunteer work, backed by thousands more.


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Wikinews interviews Fred Karger, U.S. Republican Party presidential candidate

April 28, 2012


You have been very critical of the Mormon Church for its support of Proposition 8, and you created a website titled, “the Top Ten Craziest Mormon beliefs”. Some of your followers on Facebook wrote comments that this went too far. What is your response to them?

Fred Karger: Well, the Mormon Church as I discovered by documents that were given to me, official Mormon Chuch documents going back to 1995, has led the way on all the anti-Gay initiatives, constitutional amendments in the country. All thirty one that have been successful, the Mormon Church was instrumental in efforts. So I have announced. I don’t do things secretly like they do. I’ve been very up front about it. I signed my name to everything.

And I am determined to try and get them to reconsider their vehement opposition, not just to gay marriage, but the way they treat gay and lesbian members of the Mormon faith. And there’s a wonderful new video out with a dozen students from BYU talking about that and how difficult it is to be gay and Mormon. And this church, which is on the cusp of having a President of the United States, is cruel [through] activities that have been done to LGBT members and followers and as well as all of us non-members, who have been critical of their activism.

I think it is the wrong direction and I will continue to shadow that and keep them honest in politics, which they have not been as we found in California. And I think as their public affairs director had invited, which is why I put that website up, the public doesn’t know enough about the Mormon Church, so I wanted to help make them aware because there are some very interesting parts of that religion that I think it’s certainly open for discussion with Mitt Romney as the likely Republican nominee.


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Graduation speakers draw protests at UR, Liberty

April 29, 2012

Richmond Times-Dispatch (Virginia)

Liberty spokesman Johnnie Moore said Friday that the university has received more positive than negative feedback, and that many of those who objected were not affiliated with the university.

The university took down the Facebook page because of that, he said by email. “A number of people who had no affiliation with the university” used the page “to air their grievances and to engage in conversations that violated our policies with regard to social media etiquette.”

Loeffler said she objects to the platform the commencement address will give to Romney’s Mormon religion.

“My objection is religious. It’s not political,” she said. “Liberty trained us that Mormonism is a cult.”


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On some Virginia campuses, commencement speakers stirring complaints

April 29, 2012

The Republic (Indiana)

At Liberty University, for example, the selection of a Mormon — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney — is stirring opposition from some students at the Christian university in Lynchburg founded by the late Jerry Falwell.

Liberty spokesman Johnnie Moore said the university has received more positive than negative feedback. He said many of those who objected are not affiliated with the university.


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Man on a mission

April 29, 2012

Brisbane Times (Australia)

“Our message centres around Jesus Christ and having Him at the centre of the home and the family is very inspiring and uplifting. We all make mistakes in our life and they can cause feelings of guilt and regret, but through Jesus Christ they can be substituted with feelings of peace and happiness. People are seeking true peace and happiness throughout the world and we know the things we share offer that.”

Hopoate is into the sixth month of his two-year-mission. His decision to put faith ahead of fame, God against the game, made headlines last year and for every person who applauded his commitment, others openly questioned the wisdom of putting his career – and a $1.7 million, two-year deal with Parramatta – on hold.


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