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7 November 2012

First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles Congratulate President on Election Win
November 6, 2012

mormonnewsroom.org

We congratulate President Obama on winning a second term as President of the United States.

After a long campaign, this is now a time for Americans to come together. It is a long tradition among Latter-day Saints to pray for our national leaders in our personal prayers and in our congregations. We invite Americans everywhere, whatever their political persuasion, to pray for the President, for his administration and the new Congress as they lead us through difficult and turbulent times. May our national leaders reflect the best in wisdom and judgment as they fulfill the great trust afforded to them by the American people.

http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/statement-on-election-result

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Keeping the Faith 2: Michael Ash and Shaken Faith Syndrome, pt 1
November 7, 2012

FAIR Blog

As a young, faithful member of the Church, Mike Ash found his faith to be shaken by the anti-Mormon book The Kingdom of Cults. He worked through that experience and later found his faith to be challenged once more by the movie the God Makers, and later by Church historical documents that were being “discovered” by a man named Mark Hoffman. In this interview, Brother Ash discusses how he was able to overcome doubts that were created by his encounters with anti-Mormon material and the Hoffman forgeries. He talks about the role apologetics played in strengthening his faith, how he became involved in FAIR, and he offers advice for family members and friends of those who are struggling with their faith.

http://www.fairblog.org/2012/11/07/keeping-the-faith-2-michael-ash-and-shaken-faith-syndrome-pt-1/

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Keeping the Faith 2: Michael Ash and Shaken Faith Syndrome, pt 2
November 7, 2012

FAIR Blog

This is the second part of the two-part interview with Michael R. Ash.

http://www.fairblog.org/2012/11/07/keeping-the-faith-2-michael-ash-and-shaken-faith-syndrome-pt-2/

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‘Mormon moment’ ends with a loss – but Romney’s religion still won
November 7, 2012

Washington Post

“For many Latter-day Saints, it was a surprise that a Mormon candidate was able to make it as far as Mitt,” said Stuart Reid, a Mormon and a Republican state senator from Ogden, Utah. “He’s done more than any single person in recent church history to share with the general public what a Mormon is, putting up a very positive image about Mormons and creating interest in our faith that was unprecedented.”

Despite the defeat for Romney, Mormonism came out a winner, said Philip Barlow, chair of Mormon history and culture at Utah State University.

“It developed a thicker skin in the eyes of the world,” Barlow said, “and the world could see that a Mormon who runs for office isn’t, by definition, a nut case.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/mormon-moment-ends-with-a-loss—but-romneys-religion-still-won/2012/11/07/14f58d88-290f-11e2-aaa5-ac786110c486_story.html

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At Least a Degree of Validation for Mormons
November 7, 2012

New York Times

And as a professor of Islamic studies and Arabic at Brigham Young University here, Dr. Peterson has been confronted at academic conferences by scholars who “admonish me about the stupidity or the evil of my ways.” Once, he was turned down for a speaking engagement when the hosts discovered he is Mormon.

On Tuesday, Dr. Peterson, 59, did something that seemed wondrous and nearly unthinkable: he entered a voting booth and cast his ballot for a Mormon, Mitt Romney, for president.

“I have to say that when he first announced, I thought, ‘Not a chance, never going to happen,’ ” said Dr. Peterson of Mr. Romney’s nomination, still marveling that he was wrong. “I don’t want to sound too triumphalist about it, but Mormons have had a feeling of insecurity about their status in America; we were driven from state to state. I think a lot of us see this as maybe a kind of arrival on the American scene.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/08/us/politics/at-least-a-degree-of-validation-for-mormons.html?pagewanted=all

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After Romney’s Loss, Mormons Lament What Might Have Been
November 7, 2012

Capital Public Radio (California)

Given Utah’s Mormon majority, and its dominance of the Republican Party and most elected positions in the state, it’s safe to say the crowd was predominately Mormon. There was complete silence for the first time all night as Romney spoke. Some in the crowd choked back tears.

Utah gave Romney his biggest election victory Tuesday night with 73 percent of the vote.

“This is not about religion,” said Lara Marriott, a health and fitness saleswoman who attended Romney’s Mormon congregation in Massachusetts when he was the top local leader.

“This is about our country,” Marriott added.

http://www.capradio.org/news/npr/story?storyid=164628206

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How Mormonism is playing a role on Election Day
November 6, 2012

Washington Post

Sure, there will be celebrating or mourning among Mormons who describe themselves as political conservatives (which is to say, most of them). But most members of Mitt Romney’s faith won’t even be at results-watching events; church officials are barely acknowledging Tuesday’s vote (the top item on the LDS Web site says: “members invited to share the gospel through magazine subscriptions”); and even at the Northwest D.C. Mormon church a President Romney would attend, regular weekly classes are all that’s scheduled Tuesday night.

I’ve interviewed many Mormons in recent weeks about the campaign (and the previous Romney campaign in 2008, when the media-declared Mormon Moment began), and their views on what has been a historic period for Mormonism sound remarkably unaffected. Despite growing up in a period when the word “cult” is the one most associated with Mormonism, Mormons largely downplay what a big deal Romney’s race (and win, or loss) has been.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/decision2012/how-mormonism-is-playing-a-role-on-election-day/2012/11/06/994c3252-285c-11e2-b4e0-346287b7e56c_story.html

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Mormon press office: Church’s image survived the campaign
November 6, 2012

Washington Post

The Mormon Church’s press office is allowing itself a brief sigh of relief.

“Overall we’re relatively pleased,” Michael Otterson, the head of worldwide public affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said in his office on the eve of Election Day. “Plenty of exceptions, but we are relatively pleased that we got through this campaign without the church being dragged into the middle of politics.”

Ever since Mitt Romney started running for president nearly six years ago, the second floor office of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building has acted as the church’s frontline against media coverage that reflected badly upon, or wildly distorted, the church’s image.

“For people like us it’s been incredibly intense because of all the media interest,” Otterson said.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/wp/2012/11/06/mormon-press-office-churchs-image-survived-the-campaign/

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Radio host defends Mormon video
November 6, 2012

Politico

The radio host who grilled Mitt Romney about his Mormon faith in a 2007 interview is expressing dismay that a clip of that conversation has gone viral as Election Day arrives and says whoever put it out was trying to make the GOP nominee “look weird.”

“I’d say, No. One, it wasn’t a gotcha interview,” Jan Mickelson, the host of a conservative-leaning radio talk show based in Des Moines, Iowa, told POLITICO. “It wasn’t designed as an ambush for Romney.”

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/83389.html

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Myths About Mormonism That Persist Despite The ‘Mormon Moment’
November 6, 2012

Huffington Post

As Americans cast their ballots and the clock ticks toward midnight in Mitt Romney’s quest for the White House, this much is clear: Americans didn’t know much about Romney’s Mormon faith when this “Mormon moment” began.

Now, thousands of headlines, dozens of TV newscasts and one Tony-winning Broadway musical later, Americans still don’t know much about Latter-day Saints and their beliefs.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/06/myths-about-mormonism-tha_n_2079379.html

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Romney’s bid brings Mormons to political forefront
November 6, 2012

Washington Times

Mitt Romney’s run for president in 2012 has blazed a new path for Mormons, making him the first member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) to fight his way to the top of a major-party ticket and into the hearts of millions of Americans on the biggest of political stages.
When he launched his bid 17 months ago on a New Hampshire farm, some still questioned whether his religion would be a unique hurdle that could stunt his political rise.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/nov/6/election-2012-romneys-bid-brings-mormons-political/

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Romney’s grace after defeat may mitigate pain for many LDS supporters
November 7, 2012

Standard Examiner (Utah)

Mitt Romney’s concession speech (here) was gracious, generous and conciliatory. It even impressed MSNBC talker Chris Matthews, who has spent the better part of a year accusing the Republican presidential candidate of being a racist. I urge Romney supporters to watch the concession speech. It shows a decent, good, honest man handling defeat with class and wishing his opponent, after a hard-fought battle, the best of luck during his second term.

There’s no doubt that a huge majority of of active Mormons were invested heavily in seeing Mitt Romney become president of the United States. And the fact that he would have been the first LDS president was no doubt a huge factor. Instead, Mitt Romney has become the Mormon version of Al Smith, the first Catholic to be nominated for president by a major party. Smith, in 1928, lost badly to Herbert Hoover.

http://blogs.standard.net/the-political-surf/2012/11/07/romneys-grace-after-defeat-may-mitigate-pain-for-many-lds-supporters/

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Mitt Romney’s pants
November 7, 2012

The Sun (United Kingdom)

MORMON Mitt Romney is said to wear special “magic underwear” in keeping with the rules of his faith.
The frumpy white undergarments — thought to protect believers from danger — cover the shoulders and extend right down to the knees.

Pictures of Romney often appear to show the outline of the garment’s plunging neckline through his shirt.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4631729/Mitt-Romneys-pants.html

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The Speech Mitt Romney Never Gave
November 7, 2012

Religion Dispatches

What if he had said something like this:

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Mormon. This has been the faith of my family for generations. My ancestors were common people–laborers in the industrial towns of England, American farmers scraping by–who felt a deep hunger to experience something sacred in their lives. That hunger is in all of us, I think. They joined an American-born Christian movement called Mormonism that promised that all people could know truth for themselves and experience God immediately in their own lives. And because the pull of faith was so strong, they left their towns and their farms and moved into Mormon communities in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois–to practice their faith as a way of life. They dreamed that old biblical dream of building “Zion”–a place where, as the Old Testament teaches, there would be no strangers. It’s a dream that shares so much in common with the American dream: of starting over, of building on this beautiful continent a place of opportunity.

http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/joannabrooks/6594/the_speech_mitt_romney_never_gave/

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The Man We Never Saw
November 6, 2012

Slate

A five-minute video of Mitt Romney losing his temper has lit up the Internet. The clip, excerpted from an off-air conversation with an Iowa radio host in 2007, has been viewed nearly 2 million times since it was posted a few days ago. Democrats think it exposes Romney as an anti-choice Mormon fanatic. They’re completely wrong. It’s the best five minutes of Romney I’ve ever seen. It’s Romney without the pandering and the phony smile. It’s a man defending his church and his integrity with conviction, nuance, and even an ironic edge. If this is the real Romney, the tragedy of this election is that he didn’t run as himself.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/frame_game/2012/11/romney_s_mormon_abortion_video_he_shows_his_real_self_only_when_no_one_is.html

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The magic behind Mormon underwear: from powerful symbols to Mitt Romney’s connection
November 6, 2012

Voice of Russia

They’re frumpy, unflattering and must be strictly worn every day – Mormon underwear have been one of many reasons for Mormons to leave the church. These sacred undergarments though protect its followers from danger, according to the Mormon religion. However, ex-Mormons Micah McAllister and Richard Packham speak of the real truth surrounding these spiritual clothes along with if Romney is wearing his or not. In this year’s 2012 US presidential election, Mitt Romney is of the Mormon religion, which has sparked some controversy, raising concern from the public.

With over 14 million Mormons worldwide and 21 thousand of those being in Russia, Mormonism is here to stay and preach its word. But beyond the prayers and practices of this church, a particular religious article of clothing must be worn for adults, known as undergarments or simply the garments.

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_11_06/The-magic-behind-Mormon-underwear-from-powerful-symbols-to-Mitt-Romney-s-connection/

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Viral video: Unscripted Romney passionately advocates pro-life position
November 6, 2012

Life Site News

Romney, then a presidential candidate in the 2008 election cycle, took offense to questions during the interview about his Mormon faith and converting from pro-abortion to pro-life.

Headlines since yesterday are focused on how “testy” Romney became about the tenets of Mormonism. My take-away was, “Wow, this guy is passionately pro-life”

http://www.lifesitenews.com/blog/viral-video-unscripted-romney-passionately-advocates-pro-life-position/

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‘Mormon Moment’ RIP
November 7, 2012

Washington Post

Now that the country has voted the highest Mormon in the land back to Boston or Wolfeboro or wherever, I’m looking forward to a well-earned break from the country’s daily construction of my identity.

For the past several months, I’ve hardly been able to leave my house without encountering some new and disparaging theory about what I am, why I am, and how I am. From moment to moment, lo, these many months, I’ve been a dolt, a savage, a dupe, a bigot, a heretic, a criminal, a prude, even a communist, a traitor, a miscreant, a rogue, and a wastrel. And my protestations have meant that I’m also a liar.

This bedlam of accusations came from every direction while the Nominee was on the trail. The religious right , of course, was already ready when the Moment began. Evangelical America has been flogging Mormonism as Satan’s own retail outlet for decades. But the suddenly ubiquitous appearances of the word cult on the eleven o’clock news and in ostensibly serious political conversations in the early primary days gave legitimacy on the national stage to the characterization of me as a glassy-eyed, reclusive loon from whom the neighborhood alley cats run in fear.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/guest-voices/post/mormon-moment-rip/2012/11/07/de77bcca-2915-11e2-bab2-eda299503684_blog.html

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Mormonism’s cultural rise likely to continue
November 7, 2012

Baptist Press

Although Mitt Romney lost his presidential bid, Christians should be prepared for higher Mormon visibility and credibility in America, an interfaith witness expert and a seminary professor told Baptist Press.

“When Mormon missionaries knock on people’s doors, they will be seen in a more positive light when people know that [Romney] was once a Mormon missionary,” said Tal Davis, executive vice president of MarketFaith Ministries in Tallahassee, Fla., who served with the North American Mission Board for more than 20 years training Christians in interfaith witness.

http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/BPnews.asp?ID=39107

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Romney’s Mexican cousins rooting for him in election
November 6, 2012

Chicago Tribune (Illinois)

In a lush desert oasis in northern Mexico that Republican challenger Mitt Romney has never visited, his Mormon cousins are praying he will win the keys to the White House – and once in the door, rethink his immigration policies.

Kent Romney, 67, a fruit grower and distributor of fruit-packing supplies, said as Americans voted on Tuesday that his second cousin Mitt would make a good president.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-11-06/news/sns-rt-us-usa-campaign-mexicobre8a60dz-20121106_1_mitt-romney-s-mormon-romney-and-obama-george-romney

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Mormons plan a student oasis in Manchester
November 7, 2012

The Guardian (United Kingdom)

The Mormons are in the news in northern England because their north west congregation is turning the site of a former student bar on Manchester’s Oxford Road into a church and social centre. You can read a full report in the Manchester Evening News here. One notable feature is that the five storey building, complete with rooftop basketball court, will not serve alcohol which Mormons do not take.

The church hopes that the building will help Mormon students who may feel isolated in a UK student culture which is often awash with drink. They’re also looking to spread the word among worshippers’ families that Manchester’s universities will have this facility up and running from 2014

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/the-northerner/2012/nov/07/mormonism-manchester

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Mormon church to be booze-free oasis in heart of Oxford Road student land
November 6, 2012

Manchester Evening News (United Kingdom)

A new Mormon church in the heart of Britain’s student capital promises to be an alcohol-free oasis.

The five-storey chapel for the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints will occupy a prominent spot on Manchester’s Oxford Road – on the former site of a popular student bar.

The landmark building will be used by Mormons aged 18-30, offering sports and social activities, as well as regular services.

James Holt, a north west spokesman for the church, said dozens of young followers currently worshipping at a church in Wythenshawe would switch to the city centre spot – and expected it would appeal to others across the region.

http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/s/1593063_mormon-church-to-be-booze-free-oasis-in-heart-of-oxford-road-student-land

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Election 2012: Mormons and Memories
November 7, 2012

Boise Weekly (Idaho)

Old, young, black, white, Mormon and atheist. Idaho Democrats came out in full force Tuesday night to watch the evening’s election results at the state party’s headquarters, set up at the Boise Hotel and Convention Center. Shortly after 9:15 p.m. Mountain Time, when broadcasters trumpeted President Barack Obama’s re-election victory, the crowd broke out in cheers, applause and a chant of “four more years.”

http://www.boiseweekly.com/CityDesk/archives/2012/11/07/election-2012-mormons-and-memories

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Mormon Sexologist Melissa Jones
November 7, 2012

Salt Lake City Weekly (Utah)

I like to call myself an adult sex educator, or an intimacy coach. I’m different than sex therapy or marriage and family therapy in that we start where couples or women are right now, and we go forward–we don’t go into the past a lot. So, the clients that I see are often referred to me from gynecologists, urology and family-practice doctors–I get referrals from ecclesiastical leaders also. [I help] people that are suffering anorgamia, or couples that need to spice up their marriage, men that have erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation issues–things like that. So we work on those issues.

Can you be a Mormon and still enjoy sex?

That’s exactly why I went into the whole field of sexology. Sexology is fairly new. A lot of people who go into sexology go into the academic end of sexology and research it. But I really felt like my calling was to go into sexology to help couples [and] to help parents be able to education their children and talk to them about sex so we can break this stigma that we have that you don’t talk about sex. We need to fix that. I really truly feel like sex is this great gift that we’ve been given to bond couples, to make us stronger, to make us better, and enrich us.

http://www.cityweekly.net/utah/article-16705-mormon-sexologist-me.html

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Mormonism Cost Romney the Election (But It’s Not What You Think)
November 6, 2012

Religion Dispatches

Mitt Romney didn’t lose the election because he’s a Mormon, he lost because he isn’t Mormon enough.

All political candidates must prove that they’re just like us, yet this requires some demystification: you cannot just tell us that you’re like us, you must also explain how the strangest part of you makes sense to us.

http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/election2012/6578/mormonism_cost_romney_the_election_(but_it%E2%80%99s_not_what_you_think)

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REVIEW: ‘The Whale’ offers a sad tale
November 7, 2012

New Jersey Newsroom

Every breath a rasping wheeze, every movement a struggle, nearly every sentence an apology, Charlie is a homebound behemoth who makes a living by teaching English composition online. So references to “Moby Dick” and Jonah pop up during the drama’s span of several days.

The middle-aged Charlie’s mortal hunger stems from the demise sometime earlier of his boyfriend, a lapsed Mormon who fatally wasted away after attending one last church service. Towards the play’s conclusion, Charlie and viewers alike finally learn what caused the lover to perish.

In addition to the immensely sorrowful Charlie, viewers will meet the poor guy’s wonderfully sour teen daughter (Reyna De Courcy), his loyal best friend (Cassie Beck), his stormy former wife (Tasha Lawrence) and a squeaky-clean Mormon missionary (Cory Michael Smith) who really is not all that clean.

http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/new-york-theater/review-the-whale-offers-a-sad-tale

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Double trouble for McGregor after Mormon joke backfires
November 7, 2012

Deadline

HOLLYWOOD star Ewan McGregor has blundered into the US election by making a “rude” and “offensive” joke about losing candidate Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith.

The Trainspotting star, who lives in Los Angeles, was forced to apologise after he attempted a gag comparing Mormons’ multiple marriages with the presidential poll.

The 41-year-old actor tweeted: “Mitt won Utah!!! The men in that state are allowed more than one vote each though, so it shouldn’t really be taken into account.

http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2012/11/07/double-trouble-for-mcgregor-after-mormon-joke-backfires/

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The lure of Mormon romance
November 7, 2012

Christian Century

The fifth and final movie installment of the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn, Part 2, closes the circle on a seven-year obsession with Bella Swan and her journey toward immortal life and eternal love. In case you haven’t caught up on the series, which is based on the young adult romance books by Stephenie Meyer, let me bring you up to speed.

http://www.christiancentury.org/reviews/2012-10/lure-mormon-romance

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Women Won This Election: The End of ‘Mad Men’ Politics
November 7, 2012

Huffington Post

It’s striking that Murphy called out the Republicans by the name that most truthfully defines them — “priests.” Though little was made of it during his candidacy, Romney was a bishop in a Mormon priesthood that allows boys to become priests at age 12; but Mormon dogma forbids women that so-called God-given authority. Other faiths that, like Mormonism, mostly exclude women from priesthood or leadership positions are Catholics, Baptists and Muslims. Very few reporters, except PBS’s Jim Lehrer, ever asked Romney about how his Mormon faith influenced his view of women and their rights or roles. And Romney was mum on most of his more patriarchal Mormon beliefs.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brenda-peterson/women-voters_b_2088932.html

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Ambassador Dr. Palitha Kohona visits Utah as Guest of the State Government
November 8, 2012

Asian Tribune

On 2 November he called on the Lieutenant Governor, Bell, and Senior Apostle of the Mormon Church, Elder Oaks. Elder Oaks was a Judge of the Supreme Court of Utah previously. Subsequently, Dr. Kohona was hosted to lunch by the President of the Brigham Young University (a large private University named after the leader of the original Mormon settler group in Utah) and the Model United Nations Class.

http://www.asiantribune.com/news/2012/11/07/ambassador-dr-palitha-kohona-visits-utah-guest-state-government

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Did you fall prey to a religious, political double standard?
November 7, 2012

Holland Sentinel (Michigan)

But today’s issue is not about Obama or his religious beliefs. The issue is about you. At least it’s about you if you thought Obama was unworthy of support because you believe he is not a Christian.

Here’s why.

Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and of that there is no doubt. Mormonism has long been considered and declared a cult by nearly every significant Christian denomination. That is fact.

If you discounted Obama’s religious claims and suspected he is a Muslim, and if your vote in any way was shaped by your perceptions concerning his faith, then how could you, in good conscience and without hypocrisy, have supported Romney for president?

http://www.hollandsentinel.com/opinions/x1831587934/COMMUNITY-COLUMNIST-Did-you-fall-prey-to-a-religious-political-double-standard

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