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. acb

    Hey, If a Scientologist was running for President, people would have the same intrepidation. I think more Americans know more about L. Ron Hubbard than they know about Joseph Smith. Alot of Christians still believe Mormans to be a cult.

    December 29, 2007 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  2. K. A. Noone

    I am deeply offended by this attack on Romney's faith, even though i support Obama.

    We need hope and change. People should look past these differences and it is the hateful smear campaigners we need to be worried about – Clinton and Huckabee both!

    Even foreigners want Obama as our president because he is beyond this type of bigotry:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuTtflCcjg4&w=640&h=390]

    OBAMA '08!!

    December 29, 2007 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  3. Debrar

    From my experience as a Mormon living amidst Southern Baptists in Texas, this is the type of antic they commonly use. Partial truths, complete falsehoods, and some sprinkling of truth. When things are taken out of context the entire meaning can be rearranged. Shame of them, and shame on Huckabee .. they are interrelated. He has been following this same Baptist training while pretending to be clueless. Huckabee is both anti-Mormon AND anti-Catholic. Do the research, he speaks and/or participates in both forums. Rather than being inclusive, he is a very divisive candidate.

    December 29, 2007 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  4. Terry Carr

    Don't blame Huckabee, it was probably put out by the Clinton machine. What better way to get the GOP in a mess.

    December 29, 2007 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  5. Tyrone

    Mitt Romney has a Christmas Tree like everybody else. Thatis good enough for me. Even if he snuck a touch or spiced rum intohis egg nog or had a glass of wine it is ok with me.

    Mitt not perfect, but he is passionate about America and thats ok with me to.

    Lets not get the Clintons a sleep at the switch againwith the usual verbage for then to do nothing.

    December 29, 2007 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  6. Greg

    I don't know who would send this out, but it seems like another attempt to make the Mormons seem impossibly bizarre to voters. The Irony is that those behind this attempted smear are likely some of the same people who would like to argue that Mormons aren't Christians; so it is odd that they would chose a passage from the Book of Mormon that references a vision of the birth of Christ. I imagine that most voters will look at this card and stare at it blankly for a few seconds before they throw it in the trash with the other 100 ads they got today. This is one of the strangest attacks I've heard of yet.

    Here are some links that readers might find useful.

    The first is a link to the Newsroom site of the Mormon Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints):

    http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/

    There wasn’t any story there that looked like an official response from the Church when I checked, but one might appear there if one is drafted.

    The second is a link to Nephi 11 in the html version of the Book of Mormon for those who want to read the quote from the front of the card in context:

    http://scriptures.lds.org/en/1_ne/11

    As for the other quote by Orson Pratt, It isn’t in the Churches online resources; if you do a search there for “plurality of wives” all you come up with is references to polygamy written in the 1870’s. This quote is not part of Mormon scripture, and because it’s not referenced on the card it might be tricky to figure out where it is from, or whether it is legitimate.

    December 29, 2007 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  7. Sean Allen

    This stunt surely looks like below-the-belt politics, but it does carry information about Romney's Mormonism that Romney and the Mormons appear unwilling to share in the public sphere. They use rhetoric shared with Christianity to describe their beliefs without ever exposing the basic differentiators. Mormons treat their "religion" with extreme secrecy as if they fear some repercussion if the truth became known. If they weren't so closed about it all, sneak attacks like this Christmas card would not be possible. And "NO THANK YOU" Mormon readers, the answer is not to bring America into your Ward buildings for a good old fashioned teach along. If you want acceptance and/or tolerance, you will have to come clean about your beliefs in public. When and if you do, please be thorough from the pro and con side when explaining your Book of Abraham. And remember, when Romney started playing the faith card in his campaign he opened this religious can of worms in the most dishonest way imaginable. Best of luck to Romney and a sincere wish that he one day find truthfulness.

    December 29, 2007 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  8. Mike

    It's easy to automatically point the fingers at any given candidate. The way politics go these days, it could be someone completely unassociated with the campaigns yet still supportive of one, even Mitt's. Organizations such as MoveOn.org and Swiftboat... have taken increasingly active roles in the primaries as well as the general elections, so we should not count them out as possible perpetrators of the mailer.

    I personally see Huckabee as above this sort of act, especially since he has been defending other candidates from personal attacks. Incidentally those attacks mostly seem to be coming from our victim, Mr. Romney, who also has exponentially more capital than Huckabee or any other candidate (except Mr. Guliani). Again, personally, I don't think pulling the victim card is above Mr. Romney as I do not see him as especially trustworthy in speech or deed. But that is neither here nor there, I suppose.

    Point being, I think it would be hubris to automatically attack people willie-nillie without any real idea of where it truly came from. This is the reason I dislike negative campaigning – it polarizes our nation in the worst possible fashion. Just research people's campaign platforms and decide based on that, not the commercials.

    It is late for me, so please excuse any typing errors. I'm not proofreading.

    Happy New Years!

    December 29, 2007 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  9. Kathie, FL

    I really want to know who is responsible for these adds so I don't end up voting for that person. I would hate to think one of the other candidates is behind this but I have learned not to be surprised at what people do.

    December 29, 2007 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  10. erika morgan black dimond wa

    Sounds like a run away Mormon to me, maybe we should pay some attention.

    December 29, 2007 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  11. Eli, Arizona

    Just remember that this is South Carolina. In 2000 they smeared John McCain (at the time supporting George W. Bush) by telling people that McCain had a 'black baby' (the implication of course being that he had sired a baby with a black woman, who he has never been married to.) The truth was far, far different (John and Cindy McCain adopted an orphan from Bangladesh and raised her). But that didn't stop the 'black baby' smear.

    We don't necessarily know if the people behind this are supporting Huckabee this year, but I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it is the same crew in S.C. who did the hit job on McCain eight years ago.

    December 29, 2007 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  12. K Wilkinson Texas

    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 29, 2007 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  13. Mormons Are Christian, Cambridge, Mass.

    The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) is often accused by Evangelical pastors of not believing in Christ and, therefore, not being a Christian religion. This article http://mormonsarechristian.blogspot.com/ helps to clarify such misconceptions by examining early Christianity's comprehension of baptism, the Godhead, the deity of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.

    The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) adheres more closely to First Century Christianity and the New Testament than any other denomination. For example, Harper’s Bible Dictionary entry on the Trinity says “the formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the New Testament.”

    One Baptist blogger stated “99 percent of the members of his Baptist church believe in the Mormon (and Early Christian) view of the Trinity. It is the preachers who insist on the Nicene Creed definition.” It is the Evangelical preachers who push the anti-Mormon propaganda on their congregations. It seems to me the reason the pastors denigrate the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) is to protect their flock (and their livelihood).

    December 29, 2007 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  14. Greg

    To Sean Allen:

    As Mitt Romney stated in his speech:

    "There are some who would have a presidential candidate describe and explain his church's distinctive doctrines. To do so would enable the very religious test the founders prohibited in the Constitution. No candidate should become the spokesman for his faith. For if he becomes President he will need the prayers of the people of all faiths."

    I'm not sure what type of venue you had in mind for the Mormon Church to "come clean" about our beliefs, but Mitt Romney is not the one responsible for clearing it up for you. I suggest that you look through a http://mormon.org/mormonorg/eng/ if you want to know what we believe. The truth of the matter is that the Mormon Church is not shy about what doctrine we believe in, that information is readily available to those who take the time.

    The Mormon Church also has online archives of all of its conferences available to anyone with an internet connection. (too bad the same is not true of the SBC, I spent hours looking for the transcript of Mike Huckabee at the 1998 Convention in SLC to see if what he said was anti-Mormon or not).

    December 29, 2007 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  15. Greg

    To Sean Allen:

    As Mitt Romney stated in his speech:

    "There are some who would have a presidential candidate describe and explain his church's distinctive doctrines. To do so would enable the very religious test the founders prohibited in the Constitution. No candidate should become the spokesman for his faith. For if he becomes President he will need the prayers of the people of all faiths."

    I'm not sure what type of venue you had in mind for the Mormon Church to "come clean" about our beliefs, but Mitt Romney is not the one responsible for clearing it up for you. I suggest that you look through a website of the Mormon Church if you want to know what we believe. The truth of the matter is that the Mormon Church is not shy about what doctrine we believe in, that information is readily available to those who take the time.

    The Mormon Church also has online archives of all of its conferences available to anyone with an internet connection. (too bad the same is not true of the SBC, I spent hours looking for the transcript of Mike Huckabee at the 1998 Convention in SLC to see if what he said was anti-Mormon or not).

    December 29, 2007 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  16. David, Columbia MD

    Sean Allen:

    I find it very interesting that your comment follows Greg's. You accuse Mormons of secrecy and needing to "come clean in public", and yet Greg provides everyone with the information (or at least the means to get the information) you're saying is being held secret. For a secret church, the LDS have an incredible amount of information available at their website, available to anyone who's willing to go and see.

    As for your implied question about the Book of Abraham, I suggest going to the church's website and seeing for yourself. I believe you might even find the entire text of this book available there for your perusal.

    My experience is that most LDS people are more than willing to talk about their beliefs, and though there are many zealous members, they are happy to allow you to make your own choices and won't push you into anything you're not willing to accept. Yes, there are some topics considered sacred that they might not discuss entirely, but I'm sure they can give you a satisfying explanation if they see you're willing to hold a civil conversation with them and not hold their beliefs in ridicule and contempt.

    December 29, 2007 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  17. xtina chicago IL

    This is totally a moveon.org type thing. No one with a brain would take it seriously. Happy New Year !

    December 29, 2007 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  18. CE, Wisconsin, USA

    Jeez! I am not voting for any republican. They have been playing the "God is on our side" card for too long and it is bringing out some pretty ugly bigotry and will ultimately be the undoing of the party.

    December 29, 2007 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  19. Carl Loeber

    I had a friend who was a Black Panther spokesman and leader in the sixties .. after a road to Damascus experience I joined the church and I met him in 1979 and told him about it .. he later joined the church too in Oakland ..

    He used to quote this scripture from the Book of Mormon ..

    2 Ne. 26: 33

    For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.

    December 29, 2007 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  20. SSG ONeil

    As a Mormon it cracks me up that some posters think that Mormons are secretive or unwilling to "come clean" about our beliefs. I will always answer a question that is posed to me to the best of my abilities. But lets be clear, there are things that some people simply will not listen to or want to hear. No matter what Mitt Romney says about faith, God, Jesus Christ some people will simply say "Romney is a Mormon and I won't vote for a Mormon."
    Simple ignorance.

    December 29, 2007 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  21. Theo

    where was the outrage when the Bush campaign had its whisper campaign against McCain back in 2000 about his supposedly fathering a non-white child

    one of his adopted kids isn't white

    December 29, 2007 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  22. Douglas - Tucson

    Why is this bigotry? The card might have bad intentions, but it is completely accurate when it comes to what Mormons believe. Romy implied he was a better candidate because of his Christian background. Well, it is now time to expose exactly what that is. It was just a matter of time before Christains turned on on another. The following is an exact quote from Luke. I wouldn't consider it bigotry is someone would send out the text on a postcard. So, I question why Romeny would be upset out a quote taken from the book of Mormon, or from Church Teachings. He should be asked if he believes this at the next news conference.

    For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

    And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

    And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

    Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

    December 29, 2007 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  23. Ben

    Reply to Sean Allen:

    I don't know where you get the idea that Mormons are secretive. Have you ever heard of Mormon missionaries? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) is one of the most active modern practitioners of missionary work, with over 50,000 full-time missionaries worldwide.

    If Mormons are so secretive, why do they have all these missionaries trying to spread the Mormon message? And why do they have websites such as http://www.mormon.org where they try to explain their faith and answer any questions someone may have?

    Doesn't seem very secretive to me.

    December 30, 2007 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  24. Chris, CA

    Let's not forget that the Mormon religion is a religion that was built on the belief that blacks were less than and inferior. Blacks were considered evil and punished by God with black skin.

    December 30, 2007 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  25. Jake

    I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon). If anyone has any questions about our beliefs, I would be happy to answer them. I don't know who sent out these cards, but my guess is someone who supports another candidate – not any of the candidates themselves. Most concerns about any faith come stem from unanswered questions and misunderstandings. I don't claim to know everything about other faiths, and I would be happy to answer tough questions or any questions at all about my own. I don't fear people finding out what my church teaches, and if I had a question about another faith, I would ask a member of that faith, so I invite others to ask me any questions they have about my own. I would rather explain than leave it to others who may think they know, or who may just be repeating what they have heard, to explain. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone!

    December 30, 2007 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
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