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22 July 2012

How does Mormonism shape Romney’s foreign policy?

July 22, 2012

Religion Dispatches

Romney observers have sometimes tried to sniff out ties between fringe elements of Mormonism and his foreign policy, but to review his foreign policy is to find religion conspicuous in its absence.

After all, his unapologetically exceptionalist outlook on the role of America in the twenty-first century world could be tied to Mormon teachings about America’s sacred significance as the setting for the Book of Mormon and the founding of the LDS faith, but it’s just as much redolent of Ronald Reagan, the former president to whom Romney would most like to be compared.

http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/joannabrooks/6209/how_does_mormonism_shape_romney‘s_foreign_policy/

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The Hidden Mitt

July 22, 2012

New York Magazine

My own guess, however, is that apart from one or more of these elements, what the Romney tax returns would lay bare is the extent of his donations to his church. In this case and all others, charitable donations are something to be proud of, an entirely honorable thing. But for a candidate who has taken extravagant pains to avoid discussion of his supremely prominent role in contemporary Mormonism, the idea of a wave of news stories detailing the tens of millions of dollars that he has given to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints–surely making him among its most generous funders in the modern era–must be a kind of nightmare. The kind that would open a can of worms that has little to do with money and everything to do with an aspect of his life that might humanize him and be reassuring or even inspiring to millions of Americans, but that he evidently regards as a strict no-go zone.

http://nymag.com/news/politics/powergrid/mitt-romney-2012-7/index1.html

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Schmidt: Romney tax returns different

July 22, 2012

Politico

“I don’t care about the issue. Can you think about a president who was qualified or disqualified about taxes? What’s relevant is who the guy is,” Brooks said. “His family had gone across the west, poverty, building an empire, poverty, building an empire. He can’t talk about it because it involves Mormonism. He is a decent guy but he is not willing to talk about it. He’s a hidden man, so one of the turning points in this campaign is when he comes out and if he can come out. and I don’t know why they’re waiting so long.”

http://www.politico.com/blogs/politico-live/2012/07/steve-schmidt-romney-tax-returns-do-not-look-anything-129713.html

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The Mormon Church sells unregulated guns

July 22, 2012

Detroit News (Michigan)

The Mormon Church isn’t just a house of worship, it’s a business too. In fact it’s a huge corporate conglomerate with many commericial subsidiaries, including “one of the most active and unregulated gun sale websites in America.”

The site, KSL.com, is owned by Deseret Media, one of the for-profit enterprises of the Mormon Church. It runs classified ads “which allow individuals to buy and sell handguns and other firearms without proper background checks and no questions asked.”

http://blogs.detroitnews.com/politics/2012/07/22/the-mormon-church-sells-unregulated-guns/

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Secrets of a Gay Mormon Felon adds spice to KC Fringe Fest

July 22, 2012

Examiner

Allen leads off the play with the scene of his arrest (in which he plays both himself and the arresting officer, in a bathrobe for both roles), and then spends most of the rest of the play telling us how he arrived there.

He begins with his childhood, raised in an “Orthodox” Mormon family with 10 children in small town Idaho. “My family is very unique,” 10-year old Allen realizes, “The verdict is out on whether I want to be unique with them.”

http://www.examiner.com/review/secrets-of-a-gay-mormon-felon-adds-spice-to-kc-fringe-fest

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Being Mormon in Walton County

July 22, 2012

Walton Tribune (Georgia)

Mormonism — the faith of Mormons, often called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints — has been scrutinized and analyzed for decades, but still many have no idea what the Christian offshoot believes or practices.

But for local Mormons, the answer is fairly simple. They say they believe what most Christians believe and just want to share that with others in the community.

“It’s not that different,” said Matt Allred, of Loganville, who attends the Mormon church in Walton County. “I have a good friend who’s a Baptist deacon and it’s amazing how much they’re alike.”

http://waltontribune.com/news/article_9a75936a-d291-11e1-8e08-001a4bcf887a.html

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How the Mormon Church makes its money

July 22, 2012

National Post

Watching a religious leader celebrate a mall may seem surreal, but City Creek reflects the spirit of enterprise that animates modern-day Mormonism. The mall is part of a sprawling church-owned corporate empire that the Mormon leadership says is helping spread its message, increasing economic self-reliance, and building the Kingdom of God on earth. “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attends to the total needs of its members,” says Keith B. McMullin, who for 37 years served within the Mormon leadership and now heads a church-owned holding company, Deseret Management Corp. (DMC), an umbrella organization for many of the church’s for-profit businesses.

http://life.nationalpost.com/2012/07/22/how-the-mormon-church-makes-its-money/

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Local Mormons caring for the needy

July 22, 2012

Akron Beacon Journal (Ohio)

Stencil and her husband, Rick, help struggling individuals and families with food and household supplies as managers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Bishop’s Storehouse in Brecksville. The storehouse, which is much like a grocery store without cash registers, is part of what the LDS church — commonly known as the Mormon church — calls its welfare system.

The storehouse, located at 6900 Southpointe Parkway, includes a warehouse with canned goods and nonperishables (most produced by the church) stocked on shelves, coolers containing dairy products and other perishable items, and a freezer where meat is stored.

http://www.ohio.com/news/local-news/local-mormons-caring-for-the-needy-1.321974

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Mitt Romney’s tenure as Mormon Church leader gives clues to his ability to relate to average people

July 22, 2012

The Republican (Massachusetts)

Though Romney talks little about his faith on the campaign trail, he grew up in the Mormon Church and spent years as a top church leader in Massachusetts. From 1986 to 1994, he was president of the Boston stake, an entity similar to a Catholic diocese. Before that, Romney was bishop, similar to a lay pastor, of congregations in Belmont and Cambridge. Each job included both organizational work and counseling.
After leaving the stake president position, Romney taught Sunday school for a year, then oversaw the church’s programs for teenagers for around two years. Romney continues to tithe – giving 10 percent of his income to his church. In accordance with Mormon teachings, he does not drink alcohol, tea or coffee. He attends church services when he can. Romney’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment on this story.

http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/07/parishioners_have_mixed_feelin.html

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You’ll like them – I promise

July 22, 2012

Walton Tribune (Georgia)

Some people think Mormons are weird.

That’s probably because they don’t know any.

If anything, the only reason Mormons might be considered weird is because they’re way too nice. I’ve known a lot of belligerent Baptists and a few cranky Catholics, but the Mormons I’ve known are all almost preternaturally polite.

With the increased scrutiny on the Mormon faith, thanks to Mormon presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s constant presence in the news, we decided to do a little spotlight on them for today’s paper. I talked to several Mormons for the story, went into their homes, met their kids, shared dessert with them.
They were all very nice. Not very weird, though.

http://waltontribune.com/opinion/columns/stephen_milligan/article_51a4c50c-d291-11e1-9076-001a4bcf887a.html

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Evangelicals for Jef: Emily Maynard and Jef Holm had “Religion Chat”

July 22, 2012

Patheos

Jef has already said he is no longer a “practicing Mormon” though he attends church regularly. Since Emily has said that her evangelical Christian faith is important to her, will is-he-or-isn’t-he-a-Mormon-Jef be eliminated due to religious differences?

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/frenchrevolution/2012/07/22/evangelicals-for-jef/

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Guest column: Church, schools thankfully leaving seminary issue be

July 22, 2012

Herald Journal News (Utah)

In 1981, the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union sued the Logan City School District in federal court because Logan High was doing the same. In fact, high schools all over the state were giving students academic credit for some seminary classes.

After hearing the arguments, a judge in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the practice on the grounds it violated the First Amendment to the Constitution, which says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

I’d assumed that would be the end of it, but I was wrong. Earlier this month, a different federal court ruled a South Carolina program that gives academic credit for religious instruction is constitutional. The South Carolina decision doesn’t affect Utah because we’re under a different federal court’s jurisdiction.

http://news.hjnews.com/opinion/article_2da61136-d3a6-11e1-b711-001a4bcf887a.html

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