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. Brian

    Actually, to be clear this isn't religious bigotry. It's a calculated political trick designed to play on the assumed bigotry of southern voters.

    Think of the Dylan song: "Only a pawn in their game." If bigots react to this fake holiday card by voting against Romney, they will fulfill of the mission of the people who fabricated the trick.

    Don't be fooled.

    December 30, 2007 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  2. Sharon, IA

    response to 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 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. Jenny from Washington State

    Why do Mormon beliefs scare everyone? I know Mormons and they don't scare me in the least. Pretty decent people.

    December 30, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  4. Bob

    This is very interesting since the LDS church does not endorse any political parties. The church encourages all its members to study the issues and to vote, but never tells them how to vote. None of its buildings are allowed to have any political speeches given in them or in any way to give the impression it supports any candidate. And to say the cards or messages were paid for by one of it's temples is absurd. Whoever sent this card out does not know the policies of the LDS church.

    December 30, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. LQ Rochester MN

    I am not a fan of Romney's by any means – I find his "seeing his father walking with MLK" and his "lifetime hunter" stories a riot. Plus I feel as if he flip flopped on his true beliefs to become governor of Massachusetts, possibly the most liberal state in the country.

    But this is devious. Someone sending this around including the quote about God having many wives. Of course it was designed to get those in the "bible belt" pissed off against Romney. I hope the FBI discover who was behind this and it wouldn't surprise me if it was the Huckster. How "Christian" of him! I haven't heard any explanations of what he had said at an "anti-Mormon" rally some years ago.

    I was brought up Catholic but religion isn't a big part of my life anymore. At least organized religion. I became disillusioned with the Catholic Church many years ago and am disgusted with so-called Christians who spew hate and intolerance. Or try to force their beliefs on me. I have been to lds.org because I am interested in what this religion is. What I have read so far is pretty different from what I was taught, but who knows.

    I just want someone to be president who is intelligent, honest, compassionate and fearless. Someone who can undo what Bush has done to this country, and possibly to this world. Whether that person is white or black, male or female, Catholic, Baptist, Mormon, Muslim or ATHEIST, I really don't care. Just let me be proud of my country again.

    December 30, 2007 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  6. Gene

    You want to know what the Mormons believe in. Its quite a simple find. Just Search for the 13 Articles of Faith LDS. The last 3 should calm any of your fears regarding "Mormons" Isn't it sad that others don't have these articles to live by.

    December 30, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. Sara Joyce

    Compared to all the negative campaigning Romney's been doing against McCain, Huckabee and anyone else that stands in this megalomaniac's quest to buy himself the Presidency, this card thing is pretty mild. Romney's the slimey one and I wouldn't be surprised if it came to light that his campaign was behind this to generate sympathy!

    As for the dolt who wrote this:

    "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?"

    Many people, especially the Jews, believe that the name of God should not be written out entirely or spoken. So it's possible this person was trying not to defame the word God by throwing it around like any other word. Get a grip, please!

    December 30, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. John Novak

    Even if it is what Mormon's think, so what?? The question is or should be how his policies whould impact our lives and can we support him. Seeing that some christians in the past have had some strange life styles, maybe they had better get their own house in order first. It's sad to see that hate is alive and well in our country, guess hate doesn't take a break during christmas.

    December 30, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  9. Grant Vaughn

    As a practicing and believing Latter-day Saint (Mormon) who does not support Romney politically, I state that we don't know who sent this but it seems to be as much an attack on my faith as it is on Romney's candidacy. The quotes are out of context and distorted. Early church leaders said all kinds of things that are not official doctrines of the church. "Temples" do not send out Christmas cards (at least I never got one) or engage in politics in any way. Chapter 11 of I Nephi is one of my favorite passages full of testimony of the divinity of the Savior Jesus Christ and his Atonement. I invite all to read the chapter in its entirety (go to mormon.org) and then go on to read the whole book. It is sacred scripture, like the Bible, and a second witness of Jesus Christ and his Gospel which has and should have nothing to do with a political contest. Peace!

    December 30, 2007 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. Mike

    At Sean Allen: you said "Mormons treat their "religion" with extreme secrecy as if they fear some repercussion if the truth became known."

    If you'd like to know what we teach in our Ward Buildings, then go read it. It's available online at http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=b3a4bd90517da010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0
    That's a hideous URL, so you can get to the "secret" Mormon lesson manuals by visiting http://www.lds.org/ and clicking on "Prepare a Lesson" near the top on on the right side.

    We look secret to you because you are looking very hard for something which isn't there. So to you it looks like a conspiracy. All good conspiracy theories require a covert effort to conceal the truth (otherwise it wouldn't be a conspiracy).

    Those who read racism in the Book of Mormon often ignore 2 Nephi 26:33, which reads (in part, you can get the whole thing at scriptures.lds.org) .... 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 30, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. case, norfolk va

    Why is everyone so ready to believe Huckabee is responsible for this. Why not Thompson, McCain or here is a twist Romney himself to paint himself as the victim. (based on the negative campaign Romney has run is that hard to believe) . I am not a Huckabee supporter or even a Republican but is seem pretty clear that the Republican establishment will stop at nothing to derail his campaign.

    Does Huckabee even have the funds or capacity to pull this off? this is chess not checkers folks don't assume the most obvious is correct.

    December 30, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  12. Marc, Boston, MA

    This only furthers my belief that all organized religion is a fantasy made up of man. The divine energy that I call God, if you will, would never be a part of this insanity and absurdity that is most assuredly man made...If peace is ever to come to the world it will be in the absence of religion! May the new year begin the process of the illimination of this great fantasy...

    December 30, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. Jarom, VA

    This is just an attempt to put doubt in the minds of voters on some religious basis which points at Huckabee since he is the only one who has the base to do it. That may turn out to be false, but strategically it makes sense.

    Just because an apostle states his opinion does not make it the doctrine of the church. I know of nothing by way of scripture or any official declaration stating anything like unto what Orson Pratt may have said.

    December 30, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  14. TrevorSmith, SC

    BruceatCDoST, Romney has already addressed this. He's already said that he would use the Bible. Mormons believe the Bible to be the word of God, they just beleive there's more that God has spoken to other people and they beleive he speaks today through a living Prophet.

    If you want to know what other books they consider scripture or what constitutes "Doctrine" in the Church, this will answer it completely:

    http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/approaching-mormon-doctrine

    December 30, 2007 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. Willy

    Romney is a Mormon, and make no mistake about it if he becomes President then the Mormons will gain A LOT more power in the United States. This is not a good thing people ! The Mormons are very exclusionary and 'holier than thou', trust me I know quite a few and that religion is nothing but a freakish cult.

    The Catholic church doesn't even recognize them and won't accept their baptismal certs !!! But they accept Jews ! What does that tell you?

    The Mormon 'religion' is nothing but a cult started by some whack job in the 1800's. GEE of course they believed in multiple wives! What red-blooded male wouldn't want to sleep with a bunch of different women every week !! Why didn't God give women the right to have multiple husbands ? lol !

    Personally I can only handle one wife, lol.

    Read the Old and New Testament – those are the words of God. Not this nonsense called the 'book of Mormon' !!!

    Anyway this is my opinion. The Mormons have a right to religious freedom in this country – however do not believe for a second that they are in any way shape or form 'Christians'. They are NOT.

    December 30, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  16. Steve Hill

    Dee Cook – Don't tell me that this is what "Mormons honestly believe." You and others that believe this have obviously read anti-Mormon books and base your belief on the lies found in those books.

    If anyone wants to know what members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believe, read the Book of Mormon. Look up our beliefs in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism.

    Contrary to anti-Mormon nosense, we don't hide our beliefs. We're not afraid to have the come under scrutiny. We just ask they be judged on what we believe, not what some professional anti-Mormon (who makes a living by attacking the Church of Jesus Christ) say.

    December 30, 2007 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  17. Dale E

    Thought the card is not from Romney the card does depict Mormon belief and teaching. Does anyone argue the content of the letter?

    December 30, 2007 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  18. sparkyVA

    Disappointing, but not surprising, to see that some folks would defend the dishonest (if not criminal) tactics of the card-senders. This is nasty social engineering, an impersonation and a fraud. If you're hung up on the religious details then you're not getting it... somebody is commiting mail fraud folks! Lately it's been ironic to see that those who work hardest to portray the Mormons as dishonest are themselves the ones who are most inclined to use nasty and dishonest methods for getting their opinion heard.

    December 30, 2007 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  19. Truye

    Cry a Catholic a River... Really? Everyone is acting so shocked like this is NEW. Anyone remember the "tunnel to the Vatican"? (JFK reference for those who don't). The U.S. has elected 11 Episcopalians, 10 Presbyterians, 5 Methodists, 4 Baptists, 4 Unitarians, 3 Disciples of Christ, 2 Dutch Reformists, 2 Quakers, 2 Congregationalists, 1 Catholic, and 1 Jehovah's Witness (though I am not sure many know that that was Ike's religious affiliation). Jack Kennedy had to face peoples' fears about his religion head on. Because of fear and well, lets be honest there are some crazy things in the Book of Mormon (like all religious texts, Transubstantiation anyone?). Candidates from all walks of life have had to answer the question of what they believe in spiritually.

    Plus this is the country that Swiftboated John Kerry (among many many other dirty politics) I am shocked everyone is so shocked at these politics as usual.

    December 30, 2007 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  20. Dee Ward Mena, AR

    Seems like the Republicans are after Romney like they were in South Carolina after McCain. Calling and asking if you would vote for McCain if he had an illegitimate black child. Never saying he had one but suggesting it and that is all it took for some Southerners to believe it . Now it is go after Romney on his religion. His religion should not play a part in his campaign. IF THEY BELIEVED IN SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE, which the republicans DO NOT. I hope the South Carolinians are smart enough to know that the card DID NOT come from the Romney campaign. By the way, although I am taking up for Romney, I am Democrat but fair is fair, no matter what your party affiliation.

    December 30, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  21. CJ

    WHOA!!!! I am for the strong, silent type......John Edwards, save us from this garbage!!

    I happen to be "Mormon" and I am a staunch Edwards backer! GASP!

    What's the problem with Mary being white??? Let's see....Jewish, Israelite, descendant of David....OH YEAH, that would be.....WHITE!!! If you don't believe me you need to explore my own family roots that are also Jewish. Besides, who cares if she was exceedingly fair and PURPLE. She was the mother of the Savior and highly favored, not because of her skin color, but because she was a pure and righteous woman!

    I haven't read, heard or seen Romney saying that he is "offended" by the card's statement, only a member of his campaign crew saying it is not appropriate politics. I don't see him or anyone else denying the quote.....just that it was NOT sent from the Romney's and certainly NOT from the Boston Temple......if you knew anything at all about the "Mormon" church, you would know just how absurd that is.

    Not secretive....not a cult....definitely Christian....don't care whether my president is or not. Get a grip people!

    December 30, 2007 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  22. David W. Davis

    Could this not be the work of Hitlery Klinton? She gets to make s everyone look bad and keep her hands looking clean if she did this.

    December 30, 2007 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  23. Citizen3591

    To the previous comment of Terry, from El Paso:

    You are a very rational person, and your remarks are quite sensible. This act is indeed nothing but dirty politics. Very dirty.

    But the calculation in this dastardly act is superb. Whoever did it is exploiting the ugly side of the Mormon faith, which, as you point out, came of age during a very racist period in American history.

    Now, perpetrators aside, as one of "those whose skins are not white and fair " I am completely alienated, not to mention offended, by the quotes from the book of Mormon.

    Romney, as a believer in a racist religious philosophy, should not even THINK of getting my vote. I doubt that he'll get any votes from people like me.

    What was not particularly well calculated, though, was who will get my vote as a result of this strategy.

    December 30, 2007 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  24. A

    This really raises two substantial issues. First, since the Republicans have made religion such a cornerstone of their party, they should not be surprised when candidates try to out-christian each other. And second, aren't the quotes from the book of Mormon and the apostle actually correct? Romney chose to run as a republican, and he should have known this would happen in that party.

    December 30, 2007 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  25. BlackEvangelical

    I am a (Black Evangelical ), raised by a Bible Believing Preacher who also knows EXACTLY what the Book of Mormon teaches as well as some other religions declared to be "cults" because I researched them. I do happen to have a dog in this fight and I am certain there is no confusion where I stand in my opinion of the Mormon Church.

    But reading all of these comments by seculars and those uninformed about what the Book of Mormon really teaches , as well as reading comments by those well aware of the Book of Mormon and those defending or masking the teachings found there in, I'd say there is not only a lot of ignorance floating around, but some serious deception being spread by apologists.

    I encourage everyone who is confused about the Mormon religion to do the research themselves. We all have access to Google. Read the text yourselves and read what has actually come out of the mouths of the Church Leaders and "Church Fathers" that Mitt Romney said he will take with him into the White House. If you do that, there will be no doubt what the Mormon Religion really is . As far as the mailer. I think , all things considered, whoever was behind it , well, look at my first comment.

    December 30, 2007 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
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