December 30th, 2007
04:30 PM ET
4 years ago

Mysterious holiday card spotlights Romney's religion

A bogus holiday card was sent to some South Carolina Republicans. 

A bogus holiday card was sent to some South Carolina Republicans.

(CNN) – A holiday card that falsely claims to be from "the Romney family" and highlights Mitt Romney's Mormon faith was anonymously sent to Republican mailboxes across South Carolina earlier this week.

The source of the card is unknown.

View entire card [PDF]

The mailer, which says it is "Paid for by the Boston Massachusetts Temple," displays a quote from Mormon apostle Orson Pratt saying that God had multiple wives:

"We have now clearly shown that God the father had a plurality of wives, one or more being eternity by whom he begat our spirits as well as the spirit of Jesus, his first born, and another being upon the earth by whom he begat the tabernacle of Jesus, as his only begotten in this world," the quote reads.

A copy of the glossy brochure obtained by CNN offers holiday wishes from "the Romney family": "We wish you and your family a happy holiday season and a joyful New Year," it says.

The card focuses on the Republican presidential candidate's home state of Massachusetts, displaying a photo of the Mormon Temple in Boston as well as a snowy photo of the Public Garden in Boston.

The mailing also quotes from the first Book of Nephi, part of the book of Mormon, in which the Virgin Mary is described as "exceedingly fair and white."

Romney spokesman Will Holley condemned the card.

"It is sad and unfortunate that this kind of deception and trickery has been employed," Holley said. "There is absolutely no place for it in American politics."

– CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby


Filed under: Mitt Romney • South Carolina
soundoff (444 Responses)
  1. xtina chicago IL

    If this card were directed at Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson , bringing their Christianity into play, and with a simliar ending referring to the color of their skin, what would the response be from Sharpton and Jackson?

    December 30, 2007 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  2. ben

    If only we knew what campaign party was in charge of this anti Mormon bigoted post card. They would for sure crumble!

    Southern Baptist are notorious Mormon Bashers who ridicule, persecute, and who seem to think they know more about the Mormon church then actual Mormon members. Its such a joke!

    Anti Mormon Bigots like the ones who sent out that post card need to focus on the teaching of their church. Unless of course their church teaches to persecute Mormons!

    December 30, 2007 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  3. Matt, Boulder Colorado

    To Dale E.:

    I am a life-long Mormon. In answer to your question: Any woman who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can be saved in heaven regardless of what her husband does in this life. Salvation for each person is an entirely individual process. The only connection we have to others is to do what we can to help them and support them along the way. There is absolutely no basis for what you have heard, either in church doctrine or church practice.

    In answer to your fist question: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is monotheistic. We believe in one God, the Eternal Father, and in his son Jesus Christ. The only way our doctrine can be construed to be polytheistic is that we know God and Jesus to be two distinct beings. But, since most Christian faiths worship God and Jesus, I would consider that monotheistic. However, their is no belief in worshiping multiple Gods (outside of God and Jesus Christ), which the term "polytheism" evokes. We do believe that as our Father, God wants us to become like him, just as any father on Earth would want his children to enjoy the blessings and opportunities he has (i.e., becoming like God). Personally, I find this to be one of the most beautiful and comforting doctrines of this faith. If you ponder it for a while and prayerfully consider it, you'll come to understand that it isn't so strange or even blasphemous as some say.

    The issue of Mormons having a different perception of God and Christ is a significant point of doctrine to understand, because there are differences and we are unapologetic about them. An official speech given by an Apostle (one of the most prominent Mormon leadership positions) at the most recent semi-annual world wide conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints clearly articulates these differences. If you are genuinely interested in knowing the differences, please go to:

    http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-775-15,00.html

    I think you'll find the speech enlightening.

    Finally, thanks for asking a straightforward, unloaded question. It was respectful and I appreciate that.

    December 30, 2007 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  4. matt

    That's sad that people do this. Nobody deserves this treatment.

    December 30, 2007 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  5. Sharon, GA

    I am a Mormon and just had a couple of thoughts to some of the posts.

    fabooj, Los Angeles, CA, I couldn't agree with you more. Many people feel a sense of comfort going through their life with blinders on. I have known many muslim people and have always been impressed with them.

    Dale E, what you have been told about Mormons is wrong. You probably already know this, but always check your sources. If you want to know what Mormons believe, ask a Mormon.

    BlackEvangelical, it's unfortunate that you were taught to hate another for their beliefs. Contrary to what you were taught, Mormons aren't racist. In fact there are a couple of posts on this forum from Blacks who are also members that corroborate this truth. If you walked into a church service today you would be welcomed with open arms – regardless of your color. And yes, anyone is free to go – no strings attached. Again, it's unfortunate that you were taught this, but it's understanding considering the profession of your father. The Book of Mormon doesn't preach racism. In fact if you have problems with the Book of Mormon you'd also have problems with passages in the Bible (Dan 12:10). Both can be taken out of context, and this is exactly what this mailer is trying to do. This may help to explain things a bit (assuming you really want to know and don't just want to perpetuate falsehoods) By the way, I find the internet to be very helpful too, but as in all things, just because it's out there, doesn't make it true. http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=508

    FYI, Joseph Smith, the found of the Mormon Church ran for Presidency on an abolitionist position. Unfortunately many of his predecessors weren't as open minded and reversed course, but this was the attitude back then. Sure, today we would be quick to condemn it, but it's dangerous to try and impose our current morals on people in the past and try to judge them based on what we know now.

    Here's a recent quote from our current Prophet on race: "I remind you that no man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ. Nor can he consider himself to be in harmony with the teachings of (this Church)."

    I would invite you to look at the Church with "new eyes" in light of this.

    kathy from Sarasota, I followed the link you have and 95% of it is a lie – the other 5% is just stuff taken out of context. If you choose to believe a lie that is your choice, but it doesn't make it truth. Bearing false witness against your neighbor is still a sin in the Bible I believe in.

    Pete, how would any of this make Romney awful? It wasn't from him, nor does any active member of the Church believe this. What if this were your beliefs that were maligned and taken out of context? How would you feel?

    Bottom line, be careful what you read or believe. If you want to know what a Mormon believes, talk to a Mormon. If you want to find out what a Catholic believes, talk to a Catholic. If you want to find out what a Muslim believes, talk to a Muslim. If you want to find out what a Jew believes, talk to a Jew. Do you see the pattern here? God bless you all.

    December 30, 2007 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  6. Ryan, Orem UT

    Re: kathy from Sarasota

    Unbelievable. How much time was spent researching the information contained in that website?

    Having served a mission for the "Mormon" church, we are not trained to conceal any information from the people that we teach. We go out and sacrifice 2 years of our lives to share a message about Jesus Christ. We don't go around trying to tear down and destroy the beliefs of others. Sure, we may have beliefs that others find peculiar, but they are in no way "secret" or "satanic." Look up the words "secret" and "sacred" in the dictionary and tell me what you find. We have many beliefs that we hold "sacred," meaning that we respect them and therefore do not talk about them. Don't confuse secret with sacred, to do so is an err in judgment.

    And regarding the tearing down of another's beliefs, when, can you tell me, in the entire ministry of the Savior, did he go around trying to destroy the beliefs of others? Never, He spent His time sharing a message of love, not hatred and destruction. He tried to make the lives of those around Him better. He didn't point His finger at everybody who had a different belief than He did, rather He taught them and allowed them to decide for themselves whether or not they were going to believe His message. Surely you can see that if one is truly following the example of the Savior, then you would not try to destroy what someone else believes.

    What is being done on that website is not even remotely Christ-like. There is no "love" involved in what is being done on that site, or any anti-mormon, anti-semite, anti-scientology or any anti-anything website or organization.

    I feel sorry that there are so many hate-filled people out there that would rather desparage another's beliefs and point out the fact that their beliefs don't coincide with their own rather than trying to look within yourself to see what you can do to become a better person and make this world a better place to live.

    Hatred begets hatred. Love begets love. Do unto others......you know the rest

    December 30, 2007 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  7. Dale E

    Don't be so defensive Oscar, I also believe things that are "crazy". The difference between mainstream Christianity is that we spout our crazy beliefs from the rooftops. Mitt and other Mormons seam to feel they are being persecuted when their "crazy" beliefs are mentioned.

    Mormons need to start spouting their own craziness from the rooftops and quit saying they are the same as Christians. That would be like Christians claiming to be Jews or Muslims just because of the Abraham association. Mormons should take pride in their own craziness. It is all good; I live in Utah and have nothing but respect for a great majority of all the Mormons I am acquainted with.

    December 30, 2007 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  8. marcparella

    Sorry Mitt, but what you believe in as a religion is every bit as important as what you believe in with respect to public policy. The LDS faith contains racist statements in its scriptures along with opprobrious conduct among its elders. I just think you are not going to be successful in separating yourself from the conduct of the Mormon church unless you come out, like Kennedy did in 1960, and clearly denounce religion as a legitimate influence in public policy decisions.

    December 30, 2007 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  9. Lori

    Dale E

    "quit saying they are the same as Christians." Hello? Mormons are Christians. No faithful LDS will ever deny the Christ. You or any other evangelical religion do not have a monopoly on the title "Christian" or exclusive rights to Jesus Christ.

    The arrogance of "I'm a Christian and you're not because you don't believe some narrowly defined piece of doctrine that I believe" is a shallow excuse for what you profess.

    Evangelicals believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost as three persons of one substance. That is the Trinity.

    LDS believe in the Father, The Son and the Holy Ghost as three persons of one purpose. That is the Godhead.

    The Bible has just as many quotes that seem to support one idea over the other. You could Bible bash forever on that topic.

    To condemn others that don't share your same exact doctrine with the "I'm a Christian and you're not" is simply arrogance and bigotry. Nothing more.

    December 30, 2007 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  10. Jon W.

    "any adult who claims to be a believer is either a liar or unfit to be president."

    Faulting someone who has faith in any religion is equally as loony. Although I must say I have lost faith in both the republicans and democrats. More interested in being in office and figuring new ways to blow money then anything else. While I dont believe in any one faith I do see value in some of the very basic ideals of most. One should have respect for others beliefs or lack of.

    December 30, 2007 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  11. David

    Mormans are "NOT" Christian, but nor are they crazy. I have no problem with a Mormon president. Romney's issues are that he is a liar and a flip flopper for political motivations. Both parties have excellent people running that are not in the top three. Dems have Biden and Richardson who are good and the Reps have Hunter and Paul who are good. But Romney, Guliani, Huckabee, Clinton, Edwards and Obama are not trustworthy.

    December 30, 2007 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  12. JERMAINE

    GOVERNOR, GOVERNOR, GOVERNOR – PRESIDENT, PRESIDENT, PRESIDENT? DO WE WANT ANOTHER DIVISIVE PERSON IN THE WHITE HOUSE?

    December 30, 2007 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  13. Tim in Utah

    As Mormons we believe that there are 15 men who are prophets, seers and revelators. These include the current prophet, his two counselors and the 12 apostles.

    These men speak for God and speak WITH God. This concept of ongoing revelation is how and why the church exists.

    Comments here about this being an “old” quote from an “old” apostle is ridiculous. If they spoke for God as Mormons believe do their modern counterparts, the date of the quote shouldn’t matter. Unless God changes his mind… a lot.

    Still, here are some more recent quotes specific to race issues:

    "For behold, the Lord shall curse the land with much heat, and the barrenness thereof shall go forth forever; and there was a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised among all people."
    Mormon Scripture as translated by Joseph Smith, Pearl of Great Price, Moses 7:8

    "Those who were less valiant in the pre-existence and who thereby had certain spiritual restrictions imposed upon them during mortality are known to us as the Negroes. This inequality is not of man's origin. It is the Lord’s doing based on His eternal laws of justice.”
    Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, 1966

    "Now we are generous with the Negro. We are willing that the Negro have the highest kind of education. I would be willing to let every Negro drive a Cadillac if they could afford it. But let them enjoy these things among themselves. Think of the Negro, In spite of all he did in the pre-existent life, the Lord is willing to give him the blessings of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. If that Negro is faithful all his days, he can and will enter the celestial kingdom. He will go there as a servant but he will get celestial glory.” (The celestial kingdom is what Mormons believe to be the highest degree of heaven.)
    Mormon Apostle Mark E. Petersen,1954

    "Millions of souls have come into this world cursed with a black skin and have been denied the priviledge of the Priesthood. Moreover, they have been made to feel their inferiority and have been separated from the rest of mankind from the beginning.
    Mormon Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, 1931

    "And why did this curse pass through the flood? Because it was necessary that the Devil should have a representation upon the earth as well as God."
    Mormon Prophet John Taylor, 1881

    Sorry I went back to the 19th century for that last one. But as one of the current Mormon “prophets” says,“Once the prophet has spoken, the debate is over.”

    December 30, 2007 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  14. Todd

    I just have the following to say: Judge not... If someone tells me their a christian then I'll take their word for it. If someone says "they have been saved" then i'll take their word for it. If I see someone doing something that I do not believe is right then i'll make my stand by turning the other way and not taking part or showing that I approve of that act.

    If talking about religion brings contention in your heart then obviously your words are not influenced by the holy spirit. Tis the Season, Stop your bickering and focus on the true meaning of the holidays. Go do some community service, go feed the hungry, cloth the naked, and for christ sake stop fighting.

    I hope everyone has a Happy New Year!

    December 30, 2007 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  15. Some Guy

    Sure, all religions are a crock, but Mormonism is especially stupid and Joseph Smith was a con man

    December 30, 2007 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  16. Sharon, GA

    Dale E, you mean to tell me we send out 60,000 missionaries each year to just about every corner of the world and we are trying to be secretive? We've been sending out missionaries since the day our Church was founded. In fact, if you talk to an active member of the Church you'll find you can't get them to shut up! (Actually that's not entirely the case as we do NOT want to shove our beliefs down anyone's throat). There are things we think are sacred though, but there were things so sacred during the time of Christ that they were intentionally left out of the Bible (2 Cor. 12:4).

    I agree with you though, we are not the same "type" of Christians as mainstream Christianity, we do have our differences. In fact, based on the responses of many people here who say they are mainstream Christian, I'm GLAD I'm not one of them. Many of these responses are anything but Christ-like. However, you need to realize that in the 177 year history of our church there have been things written about us both from people inside and outside of the church. None of which we consider doctrine or beliefs of the church. Heck, some of the early leaders of the church thought there were people living on the sun. Do we teach that today? Of course not, we've NEVER taught that. You can go to lds.org or mormon.org and find out all about our "crazy doctrine" Just realize, unless it's official, it's not doctrine. We don't claim that our leaders are or ever we infallible like some churches. Can you see the significance of this?

    As far as Mitt and the Mormons go, yes we get a little sensitive when our beliefs are completely taken out of context and paraded around, but you must not know the history of our church. If you did, you would know that we are the only church in America that has ever had an Extermination Order issued against us by a sitting Governor. And it wasn't even rescinded until 1975! So basically, up until 1975 you could legally go shoot a Mormon and take their property. So you can imagine why we get a little testy. Believe me though, none of that means that we are uncomfortable talking about our beliefs, you just need to get us in the right situation to do it. Again, ask an active member and they would be glad to explain what our real doctrine is.

    You may be interrested in this too:
    http://www.christiancentury.org/article.lasso?id=3594

    It's from a non-Mormon historian that I feel really "gets" us – as much as that is possible considering she's not Mormon – but I don't hold that against her one bit! :) Thanks for putting up with my ramblings. Have a Happy New Year everyone!

    December 30, 2007 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  17. Stanton

    First of all, Mormon temples do not pay for Christmas cards. Secondly, this is anti-Mormon work at its best! The timing is critical as his opponents well know.

    I would not be surprised if Huckabee or his Huckabots are behind this. It is extremely hateful, and it is well known that Huckabee and much of the Christian right are hateful towards the Mormon church. I don't know why. Mormons are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. They are moral, family oriented, hard working, and honest. Even more importantly, they don't go around attacking other people's religion. I'm sure everyone knows by now that Huckabee was the key note speaker at an anti-Mormon rally in '98. Can you imagine? Why this man has not been made to answer to his bigotry is beyond me.

    I bet you won't find Romney inserting little jabs about Huckabee's Southern Baptist religion. He sticks to the facts of Huckabee's appalling record. Huckabee and his followers can only answer back with religious bigotry.

    My vote goes to Mitt Romney.

    December 30, 2007 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  18. Dean

    Is it just me or do these anti-Mormon/Romney things actualy help him? look at all the media Romney gets from this.

    December 30, 2007 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  19. Miholer

    Of course the Mormons see the Virgin Mary as fair and white. Does anyone know any black mormons?

    December 30, 2007 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  20. annette

    People who condemn anothers religion, IS NOT A CHRISTIAN!

    Lori, yes you are correct. I'm amazed that people don't spend more time reading the Bible, there are MANY references in the New Testament where it reads that Christ and God are individuals...

    December 30, 2007 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  21. Defense Dem

    There have been many sub-issues brought forth in this particular forum. Indeed, it was inappropriate and apparently unlawful for someone to forge the Romneys' signatures on greeting cards without their knowledge or approval; were I in their position, I would undoubtedly feel equally infuriated. But I think what is truly bothering Mormons-and thus the Romneys- is that their beliefs have been unsheathed in such a public and embarrassing way in South Carolina. Mormons are well aware that their beliefs are not by any means aligned with traditional, historically sound aspects of the Christian faith. Content with that, Mormons have always shown a tendency to appear very charismatic, emphasizing the things in which they have in common with other Christians, which are very few, thus downplaying the alarming differences in doctrinal theory that seperate us. The fact of the matter is, according to Biblical standards, Mormonism is a cult. Which means Romney is a cultist. I will not vote for him. Religion aside, I do not agree with his often waffling view of governing. We need consistency and integrity in the White House, something that's been missing for quite some time.

    December 30, 2007 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  22. milo janus

    Leave it to the Republicans to attack each other in this manner. What a suprise....

    December 30, 2007 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  23. propagandapress

    john mc cain could tell him great stories about his experiences with the famous w. 2 time fraudulent president of jesusland usa

    December 30, 2007 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  24. ?

    Who cares! We all are aware that mormons are members of a large cult. I pray to God that Romney does not become next President.

    December 30, 2007 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  25. Stan

    By defining Christianity to fit your own view, even mainstream Christians are not Christians by other Christians standards. I've known Baptists that only considered Baptists and some Presbyterians to be Christian. I've known non-denoms who state that only people who accept Christ and are baptized are Christians. I've known people who professed to be Christians, whose actions were not anything that as a Christian I would want associated with Christianity or Christ.

    What this all boils down to is this, Mitt Romney is a Mormon. If you are going to base a secular vote only on his religion rather than on who he is as a person then you are not a person that I want voting. The same goes for people who vote for only vote for Romney because he is a Mormon, I don't want these people voting. Obviously they are not willing to take the time to study the different candidates and the issues and do their best to make an informed decision.

    Also, a good quote about Mormon church leaders past and present.
    "The Catholic church teaches that the pope is infallible and no one believes them, the Mormon church teaches that their leaders are men and subject to human errors and no one believes them either." As pertaining to the Christmas card and the quote, church leaders are allowed to preach what they want over the pulpit, but that does not make it scripture or doctrine. Mitt Romney does not need to say whether he believes what another Mormon believes any more than we need to question Huckabee whether he thinks that Missouri had a good thing going with the Mormon extermination order. Or go back in time and ask JFK if he felt the Inquisition directly resulted in positive outcomes. Heck, ask Rudy why he keeps getting married in a church "till death do us part", when it is more along the lines of "until 5 years till we part".

    Religious beliefs are not what being president is about, rather the ability to lead this country in a positive direction. Now go do some research so you can pick a candidate based on things that matter rather than religion, height, or hair style.

    December 30, 2007 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
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