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. unshrub, Walcott, ND

    Even though I am not a Romney fan, I think it would be nice for him to win the same way it would be for Hilary to win. To let people see that neither one of them is the devil. What is interesting is those who feel that way are the same group of people, namely the conservatives who call themselves “real Christians.”

    December 30, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. Chris

    Should anyone doubt what is meant by "white and delightsome" in Mormon scripture, please do not let a Mormon pass this off as white = pure.

    White means white.

    See this insightful commentary regarding Native American people by Mormon prophet Spencer W Kimball. This leaves no doubt as to what Mormons mean they speak the words "white and delightsome." You will see the word "Lamanite" which is a group of people in the LDS scriptures Book of Mormon, who Mormons believe are today's Native Americans.

    (If this offends you, good, it should. If it doesn't, there is something very wrong with your sensibilities).

    "I saw a striking contrast in the progress of the Indian people today…. The day of the Lamanites is nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised. In this picture of the twenty Lamanite missionaries, fifteen of the twenty were as light as Anglos, five were darker but equally delightsome The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation.

    At one meeting a father and mother and their sixteen-year-old daughter were present, the little member girl–sixteen–sitting between the dark father and mother, and it was evident she was several shades lighter than her parents–on the same reservation, in the same hogan, subject to the same sun and wind and weather….These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness. One white elder jokingly said that he and his companion were donating blood regularly to the hospital in the hope that the process might be accelerated. "
    -Spencer W Kimball, Mormon Prophet

    December 30, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. Steve, Seattle, WA

    Here is the lens I read this article/these posts through: I would not be quick to categorically reject religion, but I would not be quick to uncritically accept religious beliefs either. I personally find tremendous value in reading/studying the Christian Bible, but accept that all humans fail at times, ergo, there are/will be no utopian human organizations. If we reject every organization with a stain (i.e., every organization), how do we avoid a nihilistic existence? This view can be distinguished from placing an organization on the balance and evaluating the strengths and weaknesses and, ultimately, the overall merit of that organization. Republicans should recognize that Democrats have some good ideas, and visa-versa. Informed debate on specific issues may get us farther as a society than focusing on the success of a specific political party. Likewise, we should be willing to recognize both the positive and negative contributions of a religion and build on that.

    That said, I likely would have skipped over this news article and the related posts had I not recently finished reading Krakauer's "Under the Banner of Heaven." Admittedly, about all I know of Mormonism comes from this book, but Krakauer seems to present a well researched and accurate picture of Mormonism and it's history and there are some disconcerting points. Based on that history, there are religious questions that seem fair to ask a Mormon presidential candidate: When does he/she believe it is acceptable to lie/deceive? What is their position on "bleeding the beast?" What role(s) do they or their immediate family hold within the church and what Mormon group are they affiliated with? Again, based on the history of the Mormon Church and politics as presented by Krakauer, these are fair and important questions.

    If the Christmas card at hand was fraudulent or criminal, then it should be treated as such and those involved should be treated justly. However, in a democratic society, should we not examine the issues it raises?

    December 30, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. Bill, Manhattan, NYC

    What is it about this Mormon "Christian" cult/sect which buys into quotes such as these? No matter what, Romney will have to address this issue because our religious beliefs always effect our world view.

    December 30, 2007 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  5. Robert Bell

    Here's the problem. Things like this, WORK.

    The "Obama is a muslim terrorist" bogus e-mail worked.

    The "Kerry was a Vietnam Coward and GW was a draft-dodging hero" worked.

    They all work.

    The only people who these things don't seem to work against are people who really have records. Dirty tricks serve only to insulate such folks.

    The Memogate/Rather scandal, using clearly forged documents, served only to quash any further discussion of GW's service record. After all, if those records were faked, then the whole issue is bogus, right?

    People in this country are so stupid and lazy they will believe anything, and will believe a rumor or mass-forwarded e-mail wihtout bothering to investigate at all.

    This election will turn on nasty rumors, bogus e-mails, faux Christmas cards, and the like. It will be like 2004 only worse

    December 30, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. Kristy Sanborn, Buckhorn, Mo.

    I think Ben is right, the FBI needs to definately look into this. Its fraud in using our U.S. Postal Service for one, and for two, if this isn't a religious 'hate crime' against Mormons, what is? Not to mention election fraud.
    Is this what our country is coming to? Attacking someone for their religious beliefs? Through our Federal Government Postal system no less.
    Doesn't put whoever did this too much below the terrorists in my opinion.
    It seems like too many people in America are running too many people down for their religious beliefs instead of being thankful they believe.
    Can anyone see how this going on in our own country, looks to other countries?
    The terrorists are probably thinking good, now Americans are fighting in their
    own homeland about Religion.
    Just last night in our little local paper, I read an 'opinion' letter to the Editor and when the person referred to God, they put 'g-d'..... how pathetic is that?

    December 30, 2007 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. Rick, Washington DC

    Screams Huck a Bigot

    December 30, 2007 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. Cache

    This is why I am proud to be an atheist. I do not care in particular what religion a person is, but it is interesting that religious people have maintained a never-ending war of words against one another in a battle to see who will win at the end. Of course it is inevitable that this religious fervor breeds into every facet of human life–the politics we share are no different in the end than the rabid Muslims and their more obvious campaign of genocide.

    Does anyone else find it ironic that the same religious that claim to be peaceful, honest, and loving of their fellow man are the same ones behind trickery like this? It's time for people to grow the hell up and learn to behave more responsibly. Clearly, just because you can claim to believe in some random god does not make you a better human being, and it never has.

    December 30, 2007 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. Aaron Shafovaloff

    “Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:1-2)

    While I’m glad non-Mormons were exposed to a piece of history that the Mormon Church would rather bury, I also wish the exposure had been more direct without “cunning”.

    December 30, 2007 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. Roger

    What a beautiful card. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Mitt.

    December 30, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  11. Jon, Charlotte NC

    how is this bigoted when its exactly what the Book of Mormonism says?

    December 30, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  12. Anne Westchester NY

    What if the idea was to get more sympathy for Romney and to turn people against Huckabee in Iowa? I would not vote for either of them but it's not because of religion.

    Huckabee said he admires Bolton and that was enough for me to change my mind about him; and, I think Romney is a big liar who would say or do anything to win the presidency.

    I wish the Republican Party could get the candidate called "SOMEBODY ELSE."

    December 30, 2007 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  13. James P.

    I think the card is fantastic. you see, I only have three problems with this religion.

    first: there is no other religion on the face of the planet is so easily discredited with hard science, archeology, genealogy, logic, and documented history both secular and religious.

    second: most people who think they have the only true religion tend to get the smug superiority complex. how can we expect anyone to represent the United States as a whole to cultures and religions across the world, and be respectful to their history and beliefs when he (or she) thinks they are the only one leader with the path to salvation? it's disrespectful.

    third: i'm really worried that anyone would be in the White House who actually thinks that the bible should be taken somewhat literally, and that the book of Revelation's prophecy of the "end of days" is happening right now. it actually makes me ill that someone would be in control of the presidency while simultaneously trying to usher in the apocalypse. hasn't W. taught us anything? if you have an "end of the world" mentality, everything is always in panic mode. i'm tired of that.

    the history of the Mormon religion (as pointed out by the card) is really messed up – but no more so than any other religion on the face of the earth. they have grown, yes... learned and adapted to the times and i find that very Darwinian of them.

    December 30, 2007 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  14. John

    Leave by the sword, die by the sword. Romney's campaign itself is built on falsehoods and deception – so he isn't entitled to his "outrage." And although I'd like to see the Clinton machine demolish him in the general election, I hope Republican primary voters actually nominate someone who we independents can actually consider supporting in the general election.

    December 30, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. MJ Westport CT

    Ajay Jain, Garland, TX December 30, 2007 2:32 am ET

    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.
    __
    To Ajay:
    Is this really the idea? Who benefits? Who has the most to gain from a backlash?
    Just thought I would ask.

    December 30, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  16. Jeff Burke

    Romney may have not sent the card, but he will never condemn or reject the contents of it. He believes it hook, line, and sinker. The card is a quote of the Mormon father god getting the hots for Mary just before they had physical sex. The ultimate goal of Mormonism is the Mormon church to take over the USA government after a period of chaos. Every Mormon stores food to see them through this time that will come just before the takeover. This doesn't even include the weirdness of the "holy underwear" that they wear.

    December 30, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  17. Dean

    It is because of crazy storys like this one that i look forward to reading the ticker each day. I say that as clear faced as that Christmas card.

    December 30, 2007 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  18. Tom, ALBUQUERQUE, NM

    Why is this considered a smear? The content and writings on this card are a direct quotation of Mormon dogma. What is there to be ashame of, isn't Romney a Mormon and are the words of nephi not true. Romney should embrace his faith, the good, the bad, and the ugly. All religion is suspect and contain incredulous dogmas and beliefs.

    December 30, 2007 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  19. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    This whole episode would be hillarious if not for the fact that some people in this country actually think that a superstitious fool that has a mental deficiency could possibly become president. Who cares about whose imaginary friend had how many wives or what color they might have been? It's all fiction!

    December 30, 2007 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  20. Freddy Bartholomew

    The Neocons are at it again. Wonder when they'll dig up the "evidence" of Mitts illegitimate black child?

    December 30, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  21. JERMAINE

    NO THE ORIGINAL JEW WERE NOT WHITE. THE JEWS WE SEE TODAY IN ISRAEL ARE EUROPEAN AS THE FRENCH. THEY ARE THE VICTIMS OF EUROPEAN BIOGTRY. THEY ARE CAUCASAINS. ORIGINAL PEOPLE ARE INDIGNEGOUS TO A LAND. YOU TELL ME WHERE CAUCASIANS CAN CLAIM TO BE THE NATIVE PEOPLE OF ANY LAND? MORMONS BELIEVE PEOPLE ARE COLOR BECAUSE THEY WERE INDECISIVE ABOUT GOD. EXPLAINING WHY 99.99999999 OF THEIR MEMBERS ARE CAUCASIANS. WHY ARE CAUCASIANS CALLED CAUCASIANS?

    December 30, 2007 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  22. Mike, SC

    While I didn't get this card, I have to say that this is the EXACT kind of dirty tricks that G. W. Bush used against McCain right here in S.C. before the Primary in 2000 and it worked grandly. Who ever sent this card is just betting on past success that the GOP in this state will close their eyes, blindly follow the hatefu message in this card (as in the McCain flier) and vote their prejudices...again.

    December 30, 2007 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  23. JR - Northern California

    It is truly a sad day for America when we see so much hate and ignorance across our society. We see that hate continue in the posts on this site. Mitt Romney, win or lose, should be judged on his ability to effectively run this country and improve the lives of American, not what he believes or doesn't believe.

    This country was founded on religious freedom yet we see so much intolerance even on this very board by hate-mongering people who are unable to look past their own pride to recognize that all of God's children have a right to worship in whatever manner they choose.

    Any person in the entire world can find out exactly what a Mormon believes from simply ready the discourses of its leaders over the past 30 years. 100% of every word spoken by any leader of the church is available for public review.

    Most people would rather hang on to their hate rather than truly investigating truth.

    I do believe this act came from someone in the Huckabee camp but until there is proof we can only know for sure it was NOT someone who wants Romney to succeed and they used lies and falsehoods wrapped with a small number of facts to try and perpetuate their hate.

    December 30, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. Tony, Wilton, ME

    Reminds me of the whisper campaign in 2000 in SC. McCain had recently trounced George W. Bush in NH and suddenly voters at the next stop were being told that McCain had an illegitimate child of color. Not mentioned was the fact that the child was a Bangladeshi McCain and his wife adopted. Of course that would have destroyed the effect in this southern state.

    If it is Huckabee, he's been reading Karl Rove's primer on Texas politics.

    December 30, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  25. Tony

    With Utah having the distinction of being the reddest State I think the people attacking the Mormons had better tread very lightly. We as Republicans should think about the long-term ramifications attacking 13 Million Republican voters. The party does not even have to spend any advertising resources in Utah. What if the Mormons decided that the Republican Party has left them?

    December 30, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
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