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Mitt Romney for President -- Part Something plus One

Discussion in 'Elections' started by argentine soccer fan, Sep 14, 2012.

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  1. Mr. Warmth

    Mr. Warmth Red Card

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    +1
     


  2. charlie15

    charlie15 Member+

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    Thanks for your willingness to discuss your religion here. Appreciated. While born and raised catholic, I have developed a particular aversion for organized religions though. I have to confess I am not overly familiar with Mormonism (I am more familiar with the Jehovah Witness, having dated one follower, I found that some (if not most) of their beliefs defy common sense and are simply scary, but that is an other story).
    If I may ask a few questions:
    - Were you born Mormon?
    - How do you feel being part of a religion that was until 40 years
    openly discriminatory against blacks?
    - How do you feel about this practice of baptizing the dead into the mormon religion?
    -
     
  3. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator Staff Member

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    - Nope, not born Mormon. Convert in college. I consider myself a "heterodox Mormon" which may appear to be something of an anomaly for a hierarchical, doctrinal church. I don't believe I have to believe everything the church preaches or teaches, and can make up my own mind about anything. But I generally know what the church teaches and what is cultural/a cultural practice by many/most members.

    - Re the questions of Blacks and the Priesthood, I would not have joined the church at that time. But as a historian (I have a PhD), I recognize some remarkably slimy crap in every organized religion on the planet. For many people, this sort of recognition drives them away from organized religion altogether. For someone like me still interested in a church and a doctrine, it means accepting historical accountability, and acknowledging it rather than trying to explain it away. As it would if I affiliated with any religion.

    - Baptism for the dead is tied to my favorite Mormon doctrine. Basically, heaven is for almost everyone. It's a three-tiered setup drawn from a scripture in Corinthians. We differentiate between eternal life - granted to to everyone via Christ's atonement for our sins - and exaltation - granted to those who obey the commandments and accept Christ as their savior. Eternal life is possible in any of the three tiers (kingdoms or degrees of glory in Mormon parlance) but exaltation only in the top tier where God dwells. Even the lowest degree of glory is to be far better than this life. And when I was looking at Christian churches (I did not look outside sects which were Christian, perhaps a shortcoming, perhaps not), my main focus was who gets saved and who gets damned to hell. I wanted to find a combo of mercy and justice somewhere. I hated every answer I got - a deity who automatically casts nonbelievers, people with other Christian doctrines, and minor sinners into eternal torment always struck me as a remarkably crappy deity, unless it was just the doctrine and not the deity. So first off, the heaven doctrine means y'all will be saved in my heaven, even if you believe me hopelessly hell-bound. :)

    The top tier, though - this requires adherence with all of the commandments, which means a mandate from Jesus that that no one can enter the Kingdom of God except being born of water and the spirit is taken literally - no one can do so (that'd be John 3:5). But rather than approaching it as tough crap if you weren't born in a Mormon family or flukily bumped into Mormon missionaries and converted, it's believed everyone will have a chance to accept or reject Christ (and because we're no different than other religions that believe they have all the truth, accept or reject Mormonism) in the afterlife. Related to that: they can accept or reject a proxy baptism done on their behalf. And if you/they reject it, good news, the other cool kingdoms of heaven await you.

    On the one hand, I understand the discomfort with the practice of baptism for the dead. But it doesn't make the person Mormon; only that individual could. And I don't think the people discomforted by the practice think it makes their loved ones Mormon either.
     
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  4. onefineesq

    onefineesq Member+

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    Wow, that's just amazing. So now I understand where Romney is coming from when he says that Obama is going to raise taxes on the "middle class" while he will lower taxes for them. Using his parameters, he is right. Of course if Obama focuses on the actual numbers here, and quotes Romney on what he means with these classifications, Romney is going to look REALLY REALLY bad.
     


  5. onefineesq

    onefineesq Member+

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    Looked up Heineman and that's pretty .... nutty. He believed that 300K-750K were the parameters of the "middle class." To say that is out of touch is an understatement.
     
  6. taosjohn

    taosjohn Member+

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    Glad you understand it, because I never have. It seems awfully mean-spirited to me.

    Even if I don't believe the Great Spaghetti Monster in the Sky is going to provide eternal Apple Pie A LaMode to the true believers in the afterbanquet-- for those that do believe to expend time and effort and resources to try to obtain a slice for everybody else who ever lived seems to me to demonstrate generosity or tolerance or some sort of something folks should admire not condemn.
     
  7. Cosmo_Kid

    Cosmo_Kid Member

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    i'm curious what Romney supporters have to say about Romney's statement that Obama sympathizes with the attackers of the US embassy?
     
  8. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I disagree with their stance but can respect where it comes from. After all, people can be pretty sensitive about whatever is sacred to them - and if your honored dead are sacred to you, then I can see where/why the discomfort with baptism for the dead comes from. But then I tend to the position my Great Grandpappy William Henry Harrison Smith espoused when he was in his late 90s in regards to folks he knew who did not want a 21 Gun Salute over their grave at their funeral (their memories of war being too harsh to want that honor extended to them): I don't care if they drive a tank over my grave, he said, because I will be dead (and off to a better place besides). They can do whatever they want.
     
  9. Boloni86

    Boloni86 Member+

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    Sympathizes? I think half his party probably thinks Obama was there in the Lybian desert with a Turban and a Kalashnikov doing the shooting.
     
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  10. Iaquinta

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    If you don't mind me asking, do Mormons actually believe that God is a flesh being who lives on the planet Kolob?
     
  11. That Phat Hat

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    "Democrats sympathizes with _____ (insert sworn enemy du jour)" has been a standard right wing canard for like 40 years now. It's practically out of habit for right wing and right wing-pandering candidates.
     
  12. Iaquinta

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    They want the public to think that Democrats are "weak" on foreign policy. Maybe we should pull a Bush and invade Yemen, or some other country completely un-related to the attacks.
     
  13. purojogo

    purojogo Member

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  14. dark knight

    dark knight Super Moderator Staff Member

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    FWIW - I think it's pretty over-rated. (I saw it for free.).
     
  15. ratdog

    ratdog Member+

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    Ah, so you're a Unitarian Universalist in disguise. :D
     
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  16. ratdog

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    I think it's the intentional mislabeling that sets a lot of people off.

    That point was made by this bunch:

    http://alldeadmormonsarenowgay.com/

    Obviously, the website is silly and nobody believes that calling someone gay after they're dead actually makes them gay but the point (aside from being a smartass and offending some Mormons) is why try to change what someone actually was, especially after they're no longer around to dispute it. Why not just "baptize" all people alive now and tell them that they're "saved" whether they like it or not (Or just be a Universalist and believe that they're saved without the hassle of all those "baptisms")? And if it doesn't make them "saved" or have any other impact, then why bother with the "baptisms" in the first place? There's just something shady about the whole thing that sounds like something the Moonies would do if they'd thought of it sooner. Not that other religions or belief systems don't engage in practices that seem a bit off, of course.
     
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  17. superdave

    superdave Member+

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    Have you read Rob Bell's book, Love Wins? He has a similar take on the afterlife. Particularly interesting is his take on the evolution of the concept of hell.
     
  18. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Sooo much easier to just say "heaven" and be done with it. Which is what most Mormons do - I doubt most folks know the doctrine there. God lives in heaven (though how much less-weird is it to believe God lives on a planet than on a throne floating on a cloud? It's all rather odd). And yes, a perfected human, in the flesh.
     
  19. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I though that website was pretty funny. But the practice is rooted in the idea that the commandments are immutable, and even more so, that everyone has free will - even after death.
     
  20. ratdog

    ratdog Member+

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    In a sophmoric way, I suppose.

    Thus rendering "baptisms" extraneous, I'd have thought. Oh well, nobody ever said that human social customs had to make sense.
     
  21. Iaquinta

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    So, heaven and planet Kolob are the same place? Sorry if I am coming off as a dick, but I can never seem to narrow down what Mormon doctrine actually says.
     
  22. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep. But it's one of those things folks don't talk about - they just use heaven - because Kolob sounds weird, and because people genuinely don't know or remember it being discussed. Certainly in most church manuals "heaven" and "celestial kingdom" are used instead.
     
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  23. American Brummie

    American Brummie Member+

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    Two questions (and not just for Ismitje):

    Do a plurality or majority LDS members (or for others, your own faith) believe we live in apocalyptic times? A great deal of American Christians believe that the Rapture is very close at hand, and I didn't know if that was concentrated amongst evangelicals or if it was more widespread. I know the mainstream Old-World denominations (Methodists, Lutherans, Catholics) don't articulate any plans for an immediate rapture, but haven't got a clue for the rest of the country.

    2) Do LDS members (or for others, your own faith) believe that a day in Genesis is 24 hours long by our reckoning, or does the Mormon clergy state what the Catholics state: it's not our goddamn business to know how long God thinks a day is.
     
  24. Dr. Wankler

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    Psalm 90, verse 4, begs to differ
     
  25. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Re number one, we've had a prophet recently talk about the signs of the times also say in his same talk that he just planted an oak in his yard, and he looked forward to it providing shade for his grand kids. Folks tend to be pragmatic about the end times - we're in the latter days, and we ought to be prepared (akin to the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25), but we also ought to live our lives in this world here and now.

    Re the second one, here's a two part answer. First, much more like it not being our business, just pitched the other way - we ought to be fine with however that worked, and that it probably wasn't anything like a 24 hour day - but if it was, so what? Some leaders have opined what Psalms says - what is time like in heaven? But none have spoken officially. Related to that - Mormonism teaches that religion and science will line up perfectly, that miracles denote an equal dose of us not understanding the majesty of God and us not understanding the principles of the universe the way God does. Think of it is being miraculous because we don't understand/know how to work with scientific principles or universal patterns rather than them being impossible things only God can do (so given a millennium or two, we might begin to figure it out - we're very big on intelligence and learning continuing for eternity). Whether God created in the world in six 24 hour days or helped oversee/organize things as they developed over super-long periods of time are both possible. And while cool to think about, probably not worth worrying over.
     
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