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. Dale E

    Annette,
    Don't be to brash or your husband may not call you from the grave!

    December 31, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. McKay

    The Book of Mormon was written under the assumption that those who read it would be educated in literature and symbolism. White traditionally means pure, sacred, and clean. To say that a Mary was white is to say that she was pure, sacred, and clean.

    Does it really matter if Mormons believe that God has multiple wives? How does a belief such as this qualify or disqualify a candidate for the office of President? It doesn't unless you are a close minded bigot that refuses to support someone with ideas that are unfathomable to you.

    Mormons are clearly not racist- That is why they spend millions of dollars in sending thousands of missionaries to Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America.

    December 31, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. David

    Who cares if Romney is a Mormon? He said he marched with MLK, oh wait, he did not. He said he is a long time hunter, oh wait, he is not. He said, oh wait, it does not matter because he is prolific liar, that is what matters. If we get the choice of Romney or Clinton for president we can call it the battle of the liars.

    December 31, 2007 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  4. Cephas

    Cherry, you're confusing "New and Ever Lasting Covenant of Marriage" and "Plural Marriage". As most non-members and frankly even some Mormons do.

    "The New and Ever Lasting Covenant of Marriage" is in a nut shell; The belief that Marriage is intended to endure beyond the grave. That it is in fact, when appropriately administered and then maintained by a loving and devoted couple (man and woman), ever lasting.

    "Plural Marriage" was an acceptable practice within The New and Ever Lasting Covenant of Marriage. A family that included plural wives could have that relationship last forever. And if you will take a look at Old Testiment, New Testiment and Mormon history and the parallels between them, you might come to understand why it was permitted

    It might also interest you to know that never at any time in LDS history did more than 3% of Latter-day Saints practice Plural Marriage (Ref: Encyclopedia Britanica). It was never doctrine that a man had to have more than one wife in order to get to heaven. If it was then that percentage would have been more like 80 or 90%.

    So one is a part of the other, but neither concept is mutually exclusive or inclusive of the other.

    December 31, 2007 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  5. Adam

    In reply to those you commented on my post, those 2 quotes were from LDS "Apostles" in 1954 and 1966

    They were posted here by a LDS member. Here they are as posted.

    "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

    As I said, these quotes speak for themselves....

    Many LDS members took issue in this fourm that the quotes were not credited, well there are the original quotes with credits.

    Some readers also implied that these quotes were my feelings about the subject, they are not. I was simply showing how bigoted and appaling the teachings of the LDS was back when Mr Rommey was growing up as a LDS member.

    and as I said... "Good luck with that America"
    Meaning that this country needs men and women with good hearts and strong minds to lead it forward... not leaders who "pray" and are directed by "God" or "Gods teachings".

    To "pray" is to wish, to listen to "God" is hearing voices, to follow "Gods Teachings" is to follow the writings of simpleminded ordinary men who said they heard "Gods Voice"...

    Is it any wonder that so much of yesterdays and todays history is littered with the dead and oppressed due to "God", "Gods Teachings" and those who pray?

    The founders of this country got it right.
    Belive whatever you want, just keep it to yourself and never impose your religon or beliefs on others...

    If only we would be true to that standard.

    December 31, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. Cephas

    Dale E: See you didn't read my entries before you went and embarrassed yourself, did you? Sorry Dale E, no points this round, thanks for playing.

    David, David, David: Do you actually read anything before you start spouting off your opinions via your keyboard? So quick to type, before you know what your saying. Try typing this: C L U E L E S S. Like the X-Files, the answer is out there – but it aint coming to you kid, you got to go to it.

    December 31, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. jessie, West Virginia

    Charles in Salt Lake City–Basicly, your writing (undocumented context) is just a matter of your unbiased opinion about the Mormons. The whole context is very manipulative in a sense that you are trying to "enslave" peoples mind against the Mormons. Indeed, it is an "Old old Story" and it is not true. You can proved it how you want, but that is not going to affect the "heart and mind" of the American people as a whole. Yes.:) You are waisting your time making negative slars about the Mormons. Why don't you "humble yourself before Heavenly Father and Savious Jesus Christ to make a better and meaningful life for you. I am a Mormon myself, and I am "Brown." but I never felt any discrimination" in the Mormon Church. Let's us do what the Saviour has said. "To love one another." and truly that will "help the world" a peaceful place to live. This is the bottomline: Wherefore we must press forward with steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, is ye shall press forward feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold thus saith the Father: ye shall have eternal life (BOM–2 Ne 31:20). The word "feasting upon the word of Christ" is undeniably a significant principle to follow for those–who truly believe in Christ. The tone does not make any refference of any racial color: white, black , brown, yellow or red. We are all Heavely Father Children. Have a delightful day. :)

    December 31, 2007 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  8. AS

    Not exactly shocking that one set of cult members are attacking another set of cult members. That's what these cults are for, codifying hate. And yes I meant cult; religion is just a cult plus time.

    Virgin Births, Flying Horses, Parting Rivers and Golden Plates all make just about as much sense. None.

    Bunch of fools arguing about which way to position an egg before eating it.

    December 31, 2007 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  9. Tanner, IN

    David, who's lying now? He never said he marched with MLK. He said he saw his father march with him, which his father did do. Mitt Romney just didn't see it with his own eyes, he saw it in the figurative sense. Also, I consider myself a lifelong hunter too, but don't go all that much either. By who's standard are you judging him against? You bearing false witness against your neighbor?

    December 31, 2007 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  10. Rob J.

    Mitt Romney is undoubtedly the best candidate in either party to lead us through these perilous times, especially with the war in iraq and the situation in Pakistan. He has a long list of foreign policy advisors, and is in touch with today's realities.
    I've met Mitt on 2 occasions, and I can vouch for the fact that this man has the character, integrity, intelligence, and convictions to qualify for President of the United States. God help us all should someone else be elected.

    December 31, 2007 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. Colonel Danite

    I don't understand why this is considered a bigoted act. I can see it as a dirty trick in that someone is trying to highlight some of the LDS faith's most controversial beliefs. All of the quotes and statements are acurate and Mormons really do believe that God has multiple wives and that they may also become gods and goddesses if they live faithful lives.

    The problem, as I see it, is that politicians have injected religion far too much into politics. Romney himself has made a point of pointing out his belief in Christ as his savior. Who cares? There is no Constitutional requirement for candidates for public office to believe in Jesus, Mohammed or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Romney, and to a lesser extent Huckabee, are now just reaping what they and others have sown. Since Romney has made his faith such a central part of his campaign, it is, in my opinion, perfectly fair to highlight the details of his faith and how they may differ from orthodox Christianity.

    December 31, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  12. Dennis

    This card is absolutely innocuous to Mitt Romney's campaign. Polygamy and racism are old doctrines that the church of the LDS has since corrected. Besides Mitt has already addressed his position on these issues numerous times. So, there is no real damaging info here. Anyone who has studied Mormonism can tell you that there are many more bizarre present-day teachings of the LDS which could potentially cause greater scrutiny and wariness of Mitt's faith.

    I seriously don't think that cash-strapped Mike Huckabee would foolishly waste his limited resources on a lame trick that does not help him at all. In fact, it hurts HIS image, not Romney's. The only real damage this holiday card does is raise the outcry against Huckabee as a religious bigot, while Romney is sits back playing the poor, persecuted victim.

    I admit that this is a slick ploy that seems to be effective in getting the public to demonize Huckabee. It is more likely that Romney or Romney supporters orchestrated this propaganda garbage. IMO, Mitt's prints are all over it.

    December 31, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  13. KHarris

    I agree. Let's not be so quick to judge. The quotes are accurate. I'm really not sure why folks are so up in arms. I don't think there would be such concern about a "slam" if someone was quoting the Bible accurately.

    December 31, 2007 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  14. KIZITON

    We can sum up: Obama is the best for this task. He knows what he will do. Remember that Bill Clinton does not run. Therefore, Hillary believes she has experience for this job. This is a real illusion. We do not take that. By the way, we know that Edwards is changing every time... We do not know his position about vital topics ( aborption, foreign policy, health insurance....). Only Obama does the real and practical purposes for all America... In short , Obama is the symbol of change we are waiting for and asking for...

    December 31, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. CJ

    I just wanted to make some historical observations here...remember me? I am the LDS one of Jewish lineage from a previous post? Well, first of all, the Israelites, who were the children of Abraham and were led out of bondage by Moses, were a white race.....Judaism is a religion, Jewish is a race or more commonly called Hebrew. Hebrews/Jews were white. They may have been dark haired or dark eyed, but believe it or not, blue eyes were extremely common. Jews were also quite racist, if you will forgive that usage. They were not tolerant of "gentiles" or "heathens", anyone not of their ancestry or their faith....as evidenced by their rejection of Christ (of course, not all of them, but many more than embraced him). Interracial or interfaith marriage was strictly forbidden, so I would challenge anyone who thinks that any other racial aspects in their common bloodlines was typical. Their physical appearance was in sharp contrast from the other middle eastern cultures, most importantly the "Ishmaelites" who were more commonly referred to as Persian, Syrian, Jordanian, Egyptian....etc. The Ismaelites were also the descendants of Abraham, just as the Jews, but were from his wife's servant, Hagar (yes, like it or not, the Jews were known to practice servitude....I don't know if it went to the full extent of slavery or not), whom we know was an Egyptian. Therefore, there were two distinct "races", coexisting in close proximity in that region. OH, I almost forgot, there were also the Romans, who were of a clearly decided European appearance.

    I really don't know what all this hubbub has to do with Romney, Christmas cards of a questionable origin, politics in general, or any other tangent that this post seems to be running to.

    As I stated before, I am in the John Edwards quarter and there has been nothing I've seen here that would change my mind there. I would like to say though, that I have seen the Romney ads and I am struck by the way he expresses his admiration for the men that he is running against, but points out their political track record as being different from his. I just don't see how this is dirty politics. Isn't this what a candidate is supposed to do? Aren't they supposed to show you how they have distinguished themselves from their opponents? I also agree that he has flip-flopped and I don't have a problem with that because he as admitted that he "changed his position" once he was shown that he was wrong or was convinced otherwise. This tells me that the man is teachable, which I think is an extremely desirable quality in a President. Aren't we all torqued about Bush's inability to admit he acted on false information and was unwilling to adjust his policies to fall into line with his newer more accurate information? I for one, would have had more admiration for him if he were to have done so. I don't want someone in office who will cling to a misguided course, just to save face. I don't consider citing political track records as mudslinging, but I do consider attacks on one's religion, lifestyle, or character as mudslinging. I have not seen that from Romney. I have seen that from Clinton, Huckabee and McCain. Just deplorable in my book. I WANT to know how a candidate has acted with respect to crime and immigration and abortion and equal rights for gays/lesbians, even polygamists, because after all, isn't that also a lifestyle choice? I'm not saying that I endorse polygamy, because I certainly don't, but I do not believe you can protect by law one lifestyle choice and not others.

    Just in case you are wondering why a Mormon would not support another Mormon, i.e. Romney? Simply this: He just rubs me the wrong way....can't put my finger on it. And for the record, I would vote for a Scientologist if that Scientologist were, say, Will Smith, but absolutely not for, oh, say Tom Cruise. See the difference? People can be of one religion or another and be presidential material and others would be disastrous! And if King Hussein I of Jordan or his son Abdullah II were running for president, either one would have my vote because they are men of integrity who place an emphasis on the value of the people as their greatest asset. So much for religion in my voting preferences

    December 31, 2007 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  16. Cephas

    Tim you're being dishonest with the rest of the class, you are NOT a Mormon. At least not a practicing Mormon. You indicated as much in your first entry. In fact I wouldn't be surprised to find out that you were involved either directly or indirectly with this whole Christmas Card thing. And I hope the FBI is monitoring this blog becuse the vain and mode of your comments is exactly that of the card in question.

    All you've really done is to prove that anyone can learn how to "cut and paste".

    Sir, you too are confusing the utterances of any Mormon Leader with doctrine. You're taking their comments out of context and out of time and place.

    By your reasoning, if the Prophet were to walk up to the podium in the conference center during General Conference and order a "Tuna Melt Combo with a large Coke" that would then become doctrine and all Mormoms would be eating Tuna Melts and drinking coke for lunch. (coke joke intended)

    Now might I suggest you stop inciting confusion and discontent. Or we'll have to send you to the principal's office and call your parents.

    *** FOLKS, If this guy really is a member of the LDS Church then someone please ask him for his secret decoder ring back!

    December 31, 2007 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. Cephas

    Folks, I offer as evidence of my suspecting Tim's involvement in the mess, the over use of UPPER CASE lettering for emphasis, just like the bolded characters in the card mailed to SC Republicans. Common practice in some circles, I know, but very coincidental if you ask me. It would be like the criminal keeping an eye on the scene of the crime.

    December 31, 2007 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  18. Ryan R., Chicago IL

    Funny how the pot calls the kettle black....how many members of the KKK in the 1950s and 1960s were Southern Baptist? I don't recall hearing of any Catholics or Mormons participating in hangings and lynchings. It took the Southern Baptists until the mid 1980's to acknowledge their sinful past. Seems like Huckabee and the Baptists have issues too....not sure why all the "Christians" are pointing the fingers.

    December 31, 2007 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  19. CJ

    To Colonel, I just want to clarify that Romney DID NOT bring his religion into this: That was forced upon him by pundits insisting he address it. He did everything he could to make this election about the issues and NOT about religion. When people like yourself say that he brought this on himself, you would be dead wrong about that! He tried to keep his religious beliefs and his political views separate....people like you insisted otherwise and now we have this mess!

    December 31, 2007 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. wendy

    I think the "exceedingly fair and white" part was referring more as a metaphor, as in – fair meaning "good" and white – "pure" or something of the like.

    There are many, many things in the scriptures – bible, book of mormon, etc. – that are written in this way and not meant to be taken so literally, as many of us mistakenly do.
    I hope we are all smart enough to realize that a politician such as Romney, or any politician running for President and who is in the eye of the public, would never make a racial slur such as that. . . seriously sad that some one would stoop so low...

    December 31, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  21. David

    Haha, I love how all these Mormons say "go to lds.org to find out about our church". They probably point you there so there vists go up and they can claim that more people are interested in their church. As far as this goes..its public life, deal with it. Politics is a dirty place..

    December 31, 2007 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. annette

    Dale E ,

    Shhh, you might give my husband that idea! LOL

    December 31, 2007 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  23. Cephas

    Adam,

    Like Tim you are not impressing anyone here either. Apparently you are either too young to remember or are not a student of history. The comments quoted on this blog as being made by LDS leaders in the 1950's and 60's are tame compared with that made by the leaders of other denominations during that same time. It was a turbulent time for our country and there is plenty of blame to go around. What is appalling is your continued insistence that something is true when it clearly isn’t. It would be like me saying that all Baptists are racist because the predominant religion of choice among members of the KKK is Baptist ergo all Baptists are racist.

    By the way, I don’t believe it has been independently verified but it is apparently true that most KKK members also consider themselves Baptists. – Now see, what good did that statement do – none?

    It is easy to use the words of others to create inflametory impressions. Grow up a little – please.

    December 31, 2007 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  24. Lorax

    I wonder if one of these bloggers is a party to it and is promoting it here. What a go! How much blood do you want in America's streets because you promote intolerance, bigotry, and hate. We don't need your kind of hate mentality in this country. The ignorant will surely take up your banner to persecute or kill those that seek peace.

    December 31, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  25. JT

    Thanks CNN for making sure the majority of these postings are anti-Republican, it's nice to see that the liberals have their claws dug tight into the media.

    This Christmas letter has as much, or as little, meaning as people give it. Regardless of the content of this letter, if it did not come from the Romney family, shame on those who sent it. If it did come from the Romney camp, shame on them for this underhanded tactic. In either case, it's not going to effect who I'm voting for.

    Personally, I only care about a candidate's religion to the extent that I don't want to live in a country where decisions are made based upon one person's religious beliefs. If I am confident a candidate will make decisions based upon what is best for the country, all groups and religions, and not strictly according to his/her spiritual beliefs, then it doesn't matter what their religion is to me.

    December 31, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18