December 30th, 2007
04:30 PM ET
3 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. Berni A.

    Every religion is a question of belief – and thus of controversy.

    It comes as no surprise to me that politicians from a party which has made religion its creed come under scrutiny and attack for their beliefs!

    Nonetheless, it is not so much important what Romney believes (he's a Mormon), but what he thinks about religion (that it is a public matter):
    Americans who are concerned about their religion (Catholics, Evangelicals, Mormons, Muslims or any other religious community) would do well to vote for a president who does not mix faith and public affairs at all.

    Religion is a matter of religious belief – Politics is a matter of political preference. Please don't mix the two! Every candidate and party who does, bears their own responsibility for faith-based controversies...

    December 30, 2007 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  2. RB, from ther bay state

    Oh,oh. Republicans attacking a fellow republican. How low can you go?

    December 30, 2007 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  3. Lori

    "white" = "pure" in the Book of Mormon. This was also the connotation of the word back in the 1800's in the literature of the time.

    December 30, 2007 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  4. Dale Davis, Glendora, California

    Keep in mind, it has also been alleged that Huckabee was a keynote speaker in an anti-Mormon rally in Salt Lake City in 1998, under the auspices of the Southern Baptist Convention. His ilk are notorious for lying and waiting to deceive. Anti-Mormon stuff like this gets circulated many times to Mormon's doorsteps quite often. Now they are taking it to another level. These neferious junk peddlers are now trying to subterfuge the Presidential run. The perpetrators shuold be prosecuted for defamation.

    December 30, 2007 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  5. brandon

    maybe she was fair and white, who are you guys to press people on their religion. I have to hear how jesus was black all the time.

    December 30, 2007 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  6. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Theology occurs only in the mind. We can't see heaven through our telescopes, we can't photograph demons, we can't know the names of the angels, and we don't know why God is thought of as male. There are a thousand holy books associated with this faith or that one, and they all give different answers to every question. None of us has been to heaven or the afterlife and come back with photographs.

    So, if one faith says that after we die we go to Jupiter and the other faith say that we go to Pluto then who among us can prove the truth of either statement. If one says the chief angel's name is Leon and the other say's it's really Elroy, how can we argue with each other over "facts" that occur only in the mind and no where else? The only thing we can say for sure is that most of us do not practice the true faith, because there is no church or faith that a majority of Americans belong to.

    This Christmas Card is not about theology, Mormonism, Christianity, race, racism, the virginity of Mary, or the color of her skin (she probably looked like a middle-eastern woman since that's what she was). This card is about politics of the dirty variety. It was intended to stir up the hornets' nest that has all you hornets buzzing about with rage.

    It could have been sent by supporters of any of the Republican candidates, but most likely it was sent by the supporters of someone who would benefit from it in SC. Who could that be?

    Average of recent popularity polls in SC
    Poll Date Huckabee Romney Thompson McCain Giuliani Paul
    12/18 25.8 19.3 13.5 13.0 12.8 6.3

    If Romney support deteriorated, who would be the beneficiary? Presumably Huckabee, Thompson, or Giuliani. We can speculate that supporters of one of those three are the culprit, but the candidate himself may have no knowledge of the prank. If the Romney campaign fell apart, who would get most of the benefit?

    December 30, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  7. Leo

    Why does religion matter anyway? Is it not bigotry to judge someone by their race, skin color, RELIGION or gender? You would not stand out there and scream that you won't vote for someone because of the color of their skin, so why is it OK to discriminate on the basis of religion? Maybe Sir Elton John was right when he said that we should abolish religions. After all, all relgions do is create more hate, diision and death.

    December 30, 2007 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. Michael

    This sounds like the same low-class non-sense that George W. Bush pulled in South Carolina by insinuating that John McCain had adopted a dark skinned Asian child. That "Chrsitmas Card" showed McCain's family and highlighted the little girl, who appeared to have been enhanced to appear darker. This just shows the contempt that many Republicans have for Southerners in general and South Carolinians in particular. We deserve better than the GOP has to offer.

    December 30, 2007 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  9. Steve Blaine Washington

    For the past 30 years every piece of anti Mormon propaganda that I ever seem came from a Baptist Book store. Just go into one and look for yourself.
    If you want to discover what Mormonism is all about go to the Bible.
    Look at Acts 3 verses 19,20, and 21. God is telling you straight out that in the days of refreshing he will send Jesus Christ again to preach upon you. Why because
    he cares about all his spirit children on earth. If you look closely at Bible verses in the New Testement you will discover that the Mormon Church is just a restoration of the Church Jesus Christ established almost 2,000 years ago. Jesus Christ himself sits at the head of the Mormon Church and all its Doctrine came directly from him and he directs the Church today.
    If you want to know what Mormon temples are about go to the last two verses of the old Testement Malachi 4 verses 5 & 6. The salvation of all mankind from Adam down to the judgement day are in these verses for everyone that wants them.
    When Jesus was baptized who baptized him and by what priesthood was he baptized. John the Baptist held the Levelical Priesthood from his father the High Priest of Isreal. Then God mentioned from heaven "This is my son in whom I am well pleased" and then the Holy Ghost decinded upon him like a dove.
    God's Priesthood and the authority to baptize has always came from God and Jehovah who is Jesus Christ in the flesh from Adam on down. It does not come from Mankind and has never came from mankind. The people that think this
    will find themselves where they do not want to be on judgement day and it is not far away. You can see it coming in the news you see every day.
    There were Black people in the Church in the early days and there were Black
    people that went west in the early days with the Mormons. Some held the Priesthood for awhile until Jesus Christ asked them not to use it at the time for some reason unknown but he gave it back in 1978. all you have to do is look at the hatred the Black people have to deal with in the South from the White people
    and I think you will have the reason. When I lived in the south in the early 90's I attended the Jackson Mississippi ward. There were Black people who attended the ward and there were Black people who held the High Priesthood. There were a few White people in the Ward but most departed and attended other wards in other cities because they did not want to attend any Church with a Bloack person.
    The Book of Mormon is a 2nd witness to the bible in line with the Law of two witnesses. Unlike the Bible which has endured many translations throughout the years the Book of Mormon came with one and only one Translation by use of a Urim and Thumin from Jehovah. The term is in the Bible. Look it up.

    December 30, 2007 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  10. Frederick

    The Book of Mormon. People need to know about it and read it. If you are dumb enough to elect Mitt Romney, you might be wise to know what you are getting in to.

    This is amazing. Put a shiny enough polish on any turd and Americans will vote for it.

    Wake up people.

    December 30, 2007 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  11. molly

    how are people even taking the republican candidates seriously at this point? i am from massachusetts and (1) can assure you romney was the worst governor we have seen in a long time, spending less that 100 days per year in the state (2) have conservative beliefs but am consistently disgusted by republican politicians.

    BUSH IS NOT A REPUBLICAN HE IS A BIGOT!
    IMPEACH!

    December 30, 2007 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  12. Thom Harrop

    I don't like Mitt Romney or the Mormons but anyone who knows anything about the Mormon Church would knows that a Temple would never do this. I sense Karl Rove's invisible hand here. At least it is in the spirit of the man who has done more damage to Democracy than anyone in the history of the republic.

    December 30, 2007 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  13. K Wilkinson Texas

    To Al from San Francisco,

    Are you kidding me? How ignorant can you possibly be? Romney deserves to have his religion attacked by the worst kind of bigot because he has, "Run a dirty campaign"? Romney has run a variety of tactful compare and contrast ads in which he simply states the facts of political positions and records.

    How you can even compare the two shows your complete lack of intelligence. Romney is perhaps the most presidential candidate that is running on either side. His opponents know that and the only ammunition they have is to bash his religion. It makes me sick. What's next for these good Christian bigots? I shudder to think.

    December 30, 2007 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  14. margaret thomas

    I do not believe it beneath Mitt to have sent these cards and then deny it.He seems a little less than honest to me. I guess because big business men can put the screws tous with a smile and we feel like they did us a favor.think about it.

    December 30, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  15. JohnC

    I also think it's from Huckster. He can't challenge anyone on past performance because he was pen palls with convicted rapist Wayne DuMond.

    "Dear Wayne. . . . My desire is that you be released from prison," the governor wrote. "I feel now that parole is the best way. . . ."

    I'm in Charleston SC and haven't received any political mailings.

    Everyone knows Mitt is a Morman.

    This will have a negative impact on Huckster, beacuse he can't stand up and fight for his own convictions and has to attack his opponents with strange post cards.

    I'm sure most people receiving this card will be more offended by the person who sent it to their house and disrupted their holiday.

    December 30, 2007 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. Patrick, Chicago, IL

    When JFK (A Roman Catholic) ran everyone was terrified that he would make decisions by the bible and influence of the Pope, and he was asked about this, and he answered.
    Now Mormonism is a odd form of Christianity which holds beliefs that no other branch of Christianity does; and if Romney is a devote Mormon then it is absolutely fair to ask him questions about the beliefs he holds and how they might affect his decisions in the white house.
    For him to call 'foul' on this, saying that its slanderous that people are reading quotes which he, as a mormon, professes to believe in is ridiculous.
    To me, it sounds like he's hoping that most voters don't know anything about mormonism so they won't care to ask any questions.

    December 30, 2007 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. Brad, Stockton, CA

    "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."

    DECEPTION AND TRICKERY... but lots of places for them in American business and American government; American business shapes the ethics or lack of ethics in American government, and American government mirrors the ethics or lack of ethics in American politics. Don't blame the church or whatever group sent out the fraudulent cards; blame the political culture that we have created within our own country; the corrupted culture that grows stronger with each passing day.

    December 30, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  18. jenjen

    huck says that if everything romney said about him was true, huck would not even vote for himself, well, if everything that was said about the mormons was true, there would be no mormons. wake up people and see the brainwashing that antimormon material feeds you. that is exactly what it is doing feeding you with goofy things like this. this is beyond obvious that it is antimormon material. i am an african american in the south and i love my mormon neighbors. honest and accepting me as a neighbor. i know they would not be ashamed to sit by me in church or have me over for dinner, because i have been, i cant say that about huck.

    December 30, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  19. In Boston

    A synonym for "fair" is beautiful.

    A synonym for "white" is morally pure.

    The Book of Mormon quotes the prophet Nephi as seeing a beautiful and pure woman who becomes Christ's mother.

    Do other Christians disagree that Mary was not morally pure? Maybe it was Nephi's opinion that Mary was beautiful (ie fair) but let's not smear Mary by being offended by the idea that she was a pretty girl.

    This card plays on people's willful ignorance. You can choose to see racism in anything. Anything. The passage quoted from the Book of Mormon is a portion of the Book of Mormon that records Christ's birth – since the Book of Mormon is ANOTHER TESTAMENT OF JESUS CHRIST. In the quoted passage Mary is referred to as morally pure and beautiful in synonymous words.

    I don't know whose the bigger fool: The people who sent out this card with the idea that this passage is somehow racist or the people who have read it and assume it must be racist. Insert rolling eyes here.

    Instead, what it brings to light is that the Book of Mormon is, I repeat, another testament of Jesus Christ.

    December 30, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  20. Dallen, IA

    Dee Cook, you may THINK you are being honest, but you are not being FACTUAL. Isn't there something in the Bible about not bearing false witness against your neighbor? If you say that someone else believes something when you've been told time and time again that they don't, wouldn't this fall into that category?

    However, since it didn't sink in the first, or second, or third time...what you said is NOT what we believe nor is what you said the doctrine or teachings of the Church. Period!!! End of discussion. ANYONE in the church can say ANYTHING that they want, and I mean anyone. Do you understand that? That doesn't make it doctrine and doesn't mean we have to all believe it.

    Actually if you've been told that's not what they believe and you still say they do then you're also breaking the commandment about not lying. But hey, isn't repentance great?

    December 30, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  21. fabooj, Los Angeles, CA

    I'd like to tsk-tsk, but as a Muslim in this incredibly ignorant country, it's hard for me to feel bad for Mormons or Romney. Probably because I've read and heard the words that have the GOP and Mormons have used for black people like me, for Liberals like me, for Muslims like me. You reap what you sow. You want to support a guy who is for persecuting someone because they are in the minority fine. Have fun with that. Good luck.

    The GOP peddles in hate and the faithful minions lap it up instead of actually thinking for themselves. How else to do you explain the stupidity that these people spout of Obama being "half-Muslim". I mean, can someone be "half-Lutheran"? Or when they insist he's Muslim because of his name. As if large chunks of the populations of Palestine, Egypt, or Syrian aren't some sort of Christian. Willful ignorance and suppression of critical thinking skills is what the GOP wants in their voters and they got them.

    To all the LDS people posting, you're wasting your time. The type of people who'd bash your religion (especially anonymously on a comment board) are not the type of people who are interested in actually learning. Do you realize that those people would rather quote at me, some hatemonger's site, and in the same breath, when I explain a passage from the Qur'an tell me I'm being selective? Nevermind that they have no idea about Islam and have never actually talked to a Muslim before. Nope, some hateful lies on a website hold more water than a discussion from an actual Muslim.

    December 30, 2007 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. david c.

    what is it about south carolina that republican candidates get "swift-boated"?
    that is the same thing that happened to john mccain in 2000, with the vicious lies perpetrated about him as with this card...very interesting...looking like romney's about to take iowa and new hampshire though...

    December 30, 2007 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  23. To Kerry San Jose

    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?

    To Kerry: The context of the quote is still the same. I never mentioned anything about race, so there is no need for your racial hyper-sensitivity regarding this issue. Further, I didn't write the Book Of Mormon so if you want to challenege anyone regarding that passage, then go to the 'celelstial kingdom' and discuss it with Ol' Joseph Smith.

    I am not sure why you brought the Jews into this. But the controversy, duh, is that these are religious views that Romney holds. Mormonism is not Christian, no mater what kind of spin any of you put on it. My Bible says one faith, one God, one baptism. The Mormons claim Jesus did not die on the cross. My Bible says differently. And because these doctrines are contrary to traditional Christian belief, many people who identify themselves as Christian will not vote for a Mormon. For the record, people are sworn into office by the Bible because that Book is the religious standard in America, always has been and assumably always will be.

    Yoy are obviously an obverzealous Mormon or sympathizer. That's fine. But please know that your sentimentality and emotionalism perhaps would be better served at the polls or on the campaign stump with your candidate, Romney, whose campiagn is gonna sink faster than the Titanic.

    December 30, 2007 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  24. Paul, Tampa, FL

    Wait a minute, I thought the GOP was the PARTY OF INCLUSION? The Republican candidates are trying to drive a wedge between voters on a non-issue like religion or say the paternity of McCain's adopted children? Ohh my. And the sad truth is there are few members of the Republican party smart enough not to be taken in by this play to their deep seated xenophobia and need to hate others.

    December 30, 2007 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  25. Seattle Sue Seattle, Wa.

    The only people that would believe Romney would send these cards out are the same people that would believe that John Kerry would intentionaly say that American troops are stupid. Both men are career politicians and would not make mistakes like this.

    December 30, 2007 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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