Thursday, August 23, 2012

Romney's lies: Do Mormons approve?

I've been really annoyed at the lies pouring out of the Romney campaign.  For example, the "welfare work requirement".  He claims the Obama administration has eliminated it, when every major fact checking organization points out that is just NOT TRUE. NPR:
Republican Mitt Romney keeps saying that President Obama has gutted the law, even though every major fact-checking organization says the attacks are false.
Even CNN.
 [T]he essential goal of pushing welfare recipients to work remains in place. That's pretty much it. This is clearly not an effort by the President to kill off the welfare work requirements. That's why even some Republicans backed away. Governor Romney's claim doesn't work. And we rate it false.
Why is he lying?  Well, first of all a the NPR story tells us, because it works.  It's a dog whistle to the right, hearkening back to the Reagan presidency where there was a myth of "welfare queens" (generally imagined as black women) pulling up in a Cadillac to collect their check.  Or having more babies just so they could get the food stamps.  The idea that a black president is siphoning money to Those People is part of the implicit racism that runs throughout the Romney campaign and the cynical  New Republican party.  And it's disgusting.

But Romney is supposed to be a man of great faith.  A Bishop in his church, chosen by God. So should't he reject lies as beneath him and beneath his faith?

I mean, I grew up being told that lies were wrong.  Honesty was a HUGE deal in my family, and wrongs were to be admitted.  It wasn't just growing up Catholic with a Christian ethos  (Thou shalt not bear false witness....)  It was fundamental morality, like being a Girl Scout.  Lying was a cardinal sin.

But apparently lying is a Mormon thing.  From the Daily Beast:
[Brigham Young's gt-gt-granddaughter] Emmett says she thinks Romney’s biggest fault is that he has a “serious problem telling the truth. ….This kind of thing has sadly been a part of the church from the very beginning. Some modern apostles actually taught that it is not always the best thing to tell the truth if it interferes with preaching gospel.” 
Emmett says the notion of “Lying for the Lord,” as it has been called, implies that teaching the whole truth about the church should be avoided. … [Ken] Clark, who worked as a teacher for the LDS Church Education System (CES) for 27 years....tells The Daily Beast, “Lying has become an institutionalized method of administrative control with the church….Every Mormon grows up with the idea that it’s OK to lie if it’s for a higher cause".
Even Joanna Brooks, Mormon columnist at Religion Dispatches admits
[I]n some Mormon circles one does hear bitter accusations of “lying for the Lord,” and sometimes one does witness among Mormon people today the remnants of a deep-seated sense that telling a complete, straightforward story is not always good for LDS interests. 
The most penetrating assessment of this Mormon cultural phenomenon comes from linguistic anthropologist Daymon Smith, who ties defensive communication mechanisms—telling outsiders one story in order to protect another version of the story for insiders—to Mormon polygamy and particularly to the decades in the late nineteenth century when federal prosecution of polygamy sent many Mormon men on the “underground.” … 
Double-speaking on polygamy continues. I myself wrestle with it whenever I’m obliged to talk about Mormon polygamy in public. …. 
Was I lying for the Lord? Or was I a regular Mormon struggling to tell a complicated story to a world that often reduces us to stereotypes? What should I have said? 
How about the truth?  Messy, complicated, but.... well, TRUE.

It's quite something to think that Romney's mendacity is not in spite of his faith, but because of it.  (I am sure that many good Mormons are disturbed by this as well--and as Brooks points out, many are clearly discomfited by other behaviors of their hierarchy.  As with the Roman Catholic laity, I call on rank-and-file Mormons to SPEAK OUT.)

But regardless of its source, Romney's mendacity disqualifies him for the office he seeks.  and it CERTAINLY disqualifies him from receiving my vote, or that of anyone else who values the truth.


Brother David said...

Actually Romney was more than a bishop in his church, he was a stake president. In the LDS Church a bishop is the local pastor of one congregation, while a stake president is the leader of a group of congregations. So Romney was the equivalent of a diocesan/regional/annual conference bishop in Roman, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist or Orthodox churches.

Anonymous said...

Of course mormons approve. The entire cult is based on a lie. Take it from a "gentile" who lived amongst them for 16 years. I've never seen such a bunch of hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

I also can verify that Mormons lie at the drop of a hat in addition to being self absorbed and uncaring about family. Case in point - I have a brother who was quite successful in business and donates a large percentage to the Mormon church regularly - now on the other side of the coin, he never gave his Mother a penny as she grew old and was unable to live on her meager social security check which was her only income. She never stopped loving him, but both myself and our Sister resent him for this abominable behavior. I did not have extra monies, but I made sure Mom always had what she needed first. My Brother would lie about his "contributions" to help Mom and brag abut his large donations to the church. Mom died 2 years ago at the age of 92 and guess who paid the funeral expenses all $12,000 - I did - my Sister had taken Mom in the last two years of her life and did not have any extra money to spare and I didn't expect it - on the pother hand, my Brother and his wife showed up at the family home in their matching Corvettes and for the funeral they used their Cadillac Escalade. I can only hope that Karma gives them their just deserve.

cordeliasgreenplace said...

There are some mormons taking Romney's words at face value. I live in Logan, Utah, and there's this boy in my workplace who keeps picking fights with me over Mitt Romney and arguing that he's a good person, and I call it like I see it. But I also have mormon friends who are campaigning against him. Not everyone is an idiot, and not all "cult" members believe everything they hear.