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. skeeve

    Well, if you ask me it performs a much needed public service... Namely, pointing out how ridiculous the Morman religion AND FOR THAT MATTER, ALL RELIGION is.

    The sooner we cast off the yoke of religion and focus that recovered energy, time and money on the real problems facing mankind, the better.

    December 30, 2007 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  2. Jenner

    Ths is a grand slam victory for Romney, his camp has been wishing someone would do this for months. But you’ll have to excuse me, I’m not sick and twisted enough to politicize bigotry. Huckabee’s embarrassments with Pakistan are nothing compared to this blunder, whether or not he is behind it, people know it is his supporters and this makes him look really bad.

    I’m not sure which cute little piece of propaganda I love more, this cozy anti-Mormon smear or those lovely pamphlets the Nazis distributed in 1936 that warn people about the evil Jews and how to spot one by the size of their noses. One wonders if any Jews ran for office in Germany and what sorts or propaganda was unleashed then. I wonder if Huck’s Gestapo paid extra for the full-color glossy sheets.

    You have to admire what the “christian” South has gift-wrapped for us over the years. The Slavery movement, The KKK and now this anti-semetic type anti-Mormonism. A real class act. Mormons need to bring the hammer down on this stuff. The NAACP & Anti-Defmation League would.

    Americans, and especially responsible evangelical christians, will reject this utterly. Huckabee needs to immediately condemn this act of bigotry or risk a backlash that could finish his campaign.

    I think I hear the devil cackling somewhere.

    December 30, 2007 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  3. Bill

    For those who don't get why his is wrong, it's because it's claiming to be from Romney and paid for by the Boston Temple. The people who actually are behind it aren't being honest and forthright about who they are and what their motives are.

    December 30, 2007 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  4. Amused, Richardson, TX

    Really? Why is everyone offended by this? When I read it I really cracked up. Maybe Mary was an albino from the Middle East. You never know. Yeah, an "exceedingly fair and white" Mary as funny as all the white Jesuses on crosses in Catholic churches or the blond Jesus depicted in evangelical Protestant literature, and the Latino and black Jesuses that appear throughout Christian churches in Latin America and Africa, respectfully.

    Pretty much all religions have things about them that are absurd or offensive. Personally, I don't think Mormonism is far below Scientology as far as whacked-out beliefs are concerned. I'm sure most Mormons are kind and normal people, but, like the Catholic church (in which I was brought up), there are a lot of cultish elements to the sect.

    I'm so sick of this culture of political correctness, and the Right is as bad about it as the Left is. Watch the Southpark episode about Mormons. It's pretty funny.If I were Romney, instead of whining about being attacked (alas, Romney is usually the candidate that can't do anything BUT attack others), I'd say "My religion, like most religions has its quirks and archaic worldviews, which I recognize as artifacts of their time instead of holding them to be perpetual truths. The culture has changed since the Book of Mormon was written but it's core values are still relevant today."

    Naturally, I would never expect for Romney to say something halfway intelegent; but until he clarifies his stance on these issues instead of trying to divert attention from them, I can only assume he actually believes them and is covering them up. Which is kinda scary...

    December 30, 2007 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  5. Aaron Shafovaloff

    This is probably a good time for people to get an overview of Mormonism from both sides, favorable and critical. For favorable information you can check out LDS.org and Mormon.org, for critical information you can check out MRM.org and IRR.org.

    The fact is that the Mormon Church today takes no official position on whether God is polygamous or whether God the Father was married to his spirit daughter Mary, so don't be deceived by the impression that the Orson Pratt quote is entirely false.

    December 30, 2007 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  6. Ajay Jain, Garland, TX

    Dirty tricks will serve noone this campaign cycle. I think Romney will get the benefit of the doubt and more people will vote for him.

    December 30, 2007 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  7. Ben, California

    Everyone . . . everywhere . . . ought to immediately condemn fraud. It is amazing to me that people feel like they have to steal his identity and claim to send cards sponsored by groups that would never do such a thing in order to try to undermine the man who is most qualified to lead our country.

    Shocking, sickening, and it ought to be investigated and prosecuted by the FBI as a religious hate crime and as a fraud. It is likely with the right incentives law enforcement can track the origin and whoever sent those out ought to spend 15 years in jail, and a lifetime if he or she ends up affecting the election and costing my kids the chance of living in a country governed by a man as incredible, articulate, brilliant, selfless, and noble as Mitt Romney.

    December 30, 2007 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  8. Blanko

    A good working definition of a cult is a religion that keeps a large part of its rites and beliefs secrets. Mormonism fits this to the bill. It is only in hushed words that you hear about the magic underwear, the death pacts, the weird "baptisms" of dead people... and, hell, my friends parents couldn't even attend his wedding (because he is Mormon and they aren't!)... don't believe me? Try to walk into any Mormon "temple" and see if you are cheerily invited in...

    December 30, 2007 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  9. Paul

    "Maybe Romney "saw" MLK marching with Jesus and his dad down in South America?"

    LOL, mormons 'see' a lot of things...they are following a guy who was chased out of a jail in illinois ( for fraud, people were about to kill him ), he ran out of the second floor of a jail in nauvoo (sp?) illinois, ran west, wrote a bizarro book to 'complement' the Bible *cough cough* – and we are not even getting to the 'own your own planet' or the 'heritage of polygymy' – yes, those mormons 'see' a lot of things, like i said....

    anyway, ron paul sent the mormon Christmas cards out i bet LOL

    December 30, 2007 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  10. Defense Dem

    An exceedingly white Mary? OK. When one examines the teachings of the Mormon church, its hard to imagine anyone actually believing in that nonsense. Its totally alien to the Christian Bible. What's even more troubling is we have a Mormon actually seeking the highest office in the land, and leading in many polls! Mormonism will not play well in the Bible Belt South, which can make or break a campaign. The more liberal eastern seaboard states may embrace Romney but once more of these revealing cards are sent out, and a broader discussion of Romney's actual religious beliefs is undertaken, he'll flop. No doubt about it. Bizarre religious views aside, Romney is unfit to be president. He's a hopeless flip flopper without even an iota of character. He looks stiff, unlikeable and overly rehearsed. And he stubbornly clings to the embattled George Bush as if he's the pope. Give me a break please.

    December 30, 2007 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  11. Jason, Saint Louis, Missouri

    So, first I hear that Mormons are so secretive and "cult"-ish and won't let anyone know anything about their religion. Then I hear that Mormons are so pushy and overbearing with their religion and trying to shove it down everyone's throats. If we're going to have oversimplified generalizations, can we at least make them consistent?

    December 30, 2007 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  12. Sara

    Personally I'm an Obama supporter, but I am saddened by the religious bigotry so evident in the sending of this card (and, sadly, in many of these posts). This is obviously an attempt to smear Romney and portray Mormons as both racist and wacko through the emphasis of words which are, quite frankly, probably more figurative than anything, and a 100+ year old quote which is by no means accepted doctrine among Mormons (and as others have pointed out, Mormons are hardly secretive about what their doctrine really is).

    I had the opportunity while in Salt Lake City to attend a few meetings held by the LDS Genesis group, an organization formed within the Mormon church in the early 1970's for the benefit of its black members. I learned some fascinating things. At a time when many whites in America were blatantly racist, Joseph Smith put up members of a needy black family in his home for an extended period of time, donated some of his personal property to help buy the freedom of a black brother's son, and ordained at least one black man as a general authority in the Mormon church. His friendship toward blacks is part of the reason why many whites of his time hated him. I have many black friends who are devout members of the Mormon faith, who have encountered no racism there.

    In the meantime I find Huckabee's behavior to be far from Christian–shall we talk about his response to Bhutto's assassination as an opportunity to spread fear and prejudice towards Pakistanis, never mind actual facts or common sense? The man claims to be a Christian? Has he ever read what Jesus actually taught?

    December 30, 2007 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  13. Sam IA

    If you really think a Baptist is going to vote for Romney you probably believe in the tooth fairy, Santa, and Rush Limbaugh too. Bwahahaha

    December 30, 2007 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
  14. BruceatCDoST

    IF Romney wins, does he take the Oath of Office with his hand on The Book of Mormon? That's an important question and goes to the heart of the matter.

    I blieve that he should do just that. An oath given on someone else's Book of Faith is worthless. If Mitt Romney believes the Book of Mormon, then his oath should be given upon it.

    Or perhaps there should be no Holy Book at all, since it is really the Constitution of the United States that the President swears to uphold.

    December 30, 2007 04:06 am at 4:06 am |
  15. SHU

    A bumbling attempt to smear Romney. The card tries to trick people into thinking that the Mormon church is pushing and funding parts of Romney's campaign. But I checked. The church website doesn't say a word about the campaign. I asked some Mormon friends, and they say their church does not suggest who to vote for, and doesn't allow church facilities, activities, or funds to be used to support political candidates. They say they feel free to be a member of any party, and to vote for any candidate. Best evidence of that, I suppose, is the fact that the senate majority leader, Harry Reid, is both a Mormon and a life-long Democrat.

    December 30, 2007 04:10 am at 4:10 am |
  16. Jared AZ

    good job huck I was at your anti mormon speech in 98...next time come with facts cuz it seems like you cant respond back to the truth with your issues as governor. Mitt is statin facts congrats on the low blow card

    December 30, 2007 04:31 am at 4:31 am |
  17. Jenner

    I'm completely speechless but what I just read.

    Someone has broken Federal election law by attributing funding for these cards to the Mormon Church. It is interesting that the FBI is now investigating. Should this trace back to Huck in ANY way his candidacy would be disqualified by law. Even if it is just a supporter, don't we have to consider Huckabee's campaign to be unethical and controversial should this in any way affect voting in SC? If he wins SC we won't be able to escape the feeling that his side cheated badly.

    Is anyone blasting Romney's "neg ads" seriously going ot be able to live down what has just been illegally done by Huckabee's camp? WOW. Unbelievable.

    December 30, 2007 04:36 am at 4:36 am |
  18. Jenner

    Craig Grant in Carlsbad:

    The theology and veracity of the card are irrelevant. Mormons are comfortbale with the doctrinal differences of evangelicals and are not interested in debating obscure, out of context qoutations from the 1800's.

    The reason the FBI is now investigating this malicious attempt is because it is illegal. Make no mistake, should this trace back to Huckabee in any way his run will be finished, by law.

    Anyone who is wondering what the big deal does not appreciate how devious this was.

    December 30, 2007 04:42 am at 4:42 am |
  19. Trang, Fremont CA

    Why are you get so worked up over this? Can anyone know for certainty how many wives God has, so why fight over this? So what if God has many wives, are you going to say no to Him? Maybe that explains why Mormons see nothing wrong with a man having many wives. It's just a distraction. There are more important issues to deal with here.

    December 30, 2007 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  20. Dee Cook

    The card may not be from the Romney's but what it says is true.

    The Mormon God is a polygamist god and Mitt Romney's goal is to become a GOD and spend eternity in the celestial kingdom with Ann Romney and all the other goddess wives he will have.

    Honest, this really is what Mormons believe!

    December 30, 2007 06:01 am at 6:01 am |
  21. al, San Francisco, CA

    Though it is dirty, Romney deserves it, because he has run a very negative campaign against his rivals, dem or repub. He is simply not presidential.

    December 30, 2007 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  22. Trang, Fremont CA

    Okay, I miss out the part that says the card is from the Romney family.

    It's one thing to frighten people with the Mormon religion, but it's another thing to send out a card, claiming it's from Romney while it is not. Now, that would be wrong and should be investigated.

    December 30, 2007 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  23. Kerry, San Jose, CA

    To Defense Dem:

    The quote is "exceedingly fair and white", not "exceedingly white". If you understand white to be "not black, asian, etc" then where is the controversy? Were the Jews not a white race?

    December 30, 2007 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  24. Gloria

    No, Kerry in San Diego, Judaism is not a race, it's a religion. Jews have lived in many countries, in Europe, South America, North America, even India and China, and their skin hasn't always been "white." In any case, the controversy is about the fact that the Republicans in South Carolina continue to practice politics at a gutter level where one's opponent is destroyed by any means possible. Push polling is an art down there. I know very little about Mormonism, but I wouldn't not vote for him because he is a Mormon, but because he is flip-flopper of monumental proportions.

    December 30, 2007 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  25. Shelly

    We are looking more and more like the Sunni's and Shiites. When will the homicide bombings start because one particular brand of Christianity doesn't like the other?

    December 30, 2007 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
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