Campaigns/Elections

Romney: Mormon on A White Horse?

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Strictly in the interest of general study of indigenous American religions, I'm sure, a Giuliani campaign staffer alerts bloggers to a Salt Lake Tribune story on a bit of Mormon lore (not believed by all, or even most, members of the Church) regarding a supposed Joseph Smith prophecy regarding a Latter Day Saint who will ride in on a white horse to save the U.S. Constitution. Ryan Sager at the NY Sun has the details.

Update: Rudy's camp apologizes

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  1. In the latter days, the story goes, the U.S. Constitution will hang by a thread and a Mormon will ride in on a metaphorical white horse to save it.

    I didn’t know Ron Paul was a Mormon. Gee, you learn something new every day.

  2. I like the Romney campaign’s statement: “I sincerely hope that the Giuliani campaign did not send that e-mail out to reporters in an effort to provoke questions about a fellow candidate’s faith.”

    Heaven forfend, that someone seeking the Republican Party’s nomination for the presidency should question another candidate’s faith!

  3. So, by pointing this out, does this mean that Giuliani is determined to kill the U.S. Constitution? No big news there.

  4. Behold the pale horse.

    Romney will break the 4th Seal? Spooky!

  5. I call for even more religious scrutiny of all candidates. We’ll parse their positions on everything else, yet in matters which they claim think are even more important, we are supposed to back off. Maybe if we started to actually distinguish believing in religion from “believing” in religion, we could get rid of a lot of the hypocrisy.
    Either that or start a new era of each candidate being more fundamentalist than the last. I haven’t worked out all the bugs in this theory.

  6. Did Joseph Smith figure that out with his magic seeing stones, or were they only good for conning people who were prospecting for gold?

  7. In other news, Giuliani was found to believe that a man was nailed to a tree 2000 years ago and that this means that he is going to go to a perfect place after he dies, just as long as he eats crackers and drinks wine on Sunday and tells a man in a box everything that he has done wrong that week. And those crackers and wine? He believes that those are actually the body and blood of the man nailed to the tree.

  8. Well, I have ridden white horses ever since I was a child.

    OK, it wasn’t actually white, it was cream-colored.

    Actually, it was a pony.

    All right, I only rode it once.

    Let me clarify: it was actually a pig. But it was almost white.

  9. In Turkey, there is a political party called “Democrat.” The phrase in Turkish closest to that in pronunciation is “Demir Kirat,” or “White Horse.”

    It is thought by some that Adnan Menderes, the first Premier from the Democrat Party (ruled in the 1950s, was executed for treason during the 1960 military coup), will return on a white horse to save the Republic during a time of great crisis.

  10. But is he a Mormon?

    DIDN’T THINK SO!

  11. Actually, he was nailed to pieces of lumber. Just occurred to me that that is kinda ironic, considering he was a carpenter.

    (Oh, shit. Just occurred to me that Jesus is staring at me from the banner ad for the latest issue of Reason. I’m fucked.)

  12. Right after King Arthur returns to save Britain, which could use it right now.

    Not only will the Mormons save the Constitution, under the prediction, but the prophecy goes further, insinuating that Mormons will control the government.

    You can have one or the other, but not both.

    Perhaps they’re channeling Wild Country by Dean Ing.

  13. “Just occurred to me that that is kinda ironic, considering he was a carpenter.”

    URKOBOLD SHALL WHITHER YOUR SOUL AND TAINT FOR MAKING AN OBSERVATION THAT EVERY GOOD NICK CAVE FAN HAS KNOWN FOR YEARS!

  14. Actually, “carptenter” seems to be a mistranslation for “homebuilder.”

    Jewish homes were made of stone.

  15. urkobold beat me to the punch 🙁

  16. jb,
    I’m guessing you don’t speak turkish. Demir Kirat doesn’t mean white horse. It means iron carat. White horse would be beyaz at.

  17. joe,

    Their boats probably weren’t made of stone, though…and Nazareth was a fishing town.

  18. JB: Indeed I do not, and neither does the person who claimed to know Turkish and told me that.

    Bad me, next time I should do more research.

  19. Strictly in the interest of general study of indigenous American religions, I’m sure, a Giuliani campaign staffer alerts bloggers to a Salt Lake Tribune story on a bit of Mormon lore (not believed by all, or even most, members of the Church) regarding a supposed Joseph Smith prophecy regarding a Latter Day Saint who will ride in on a white horse to save the U.S. Constitution.

    Seems like our best hope for ever getting back to the founding.

  20. Joseph is right

    Beyaz at = white horse.

    Also, Turkish has no problem with the ‘kr’ sound. The name of the party is written as “Demokrat Parti” and pronounced just the way it was spelled.

    There was a documentary done about the party titled “Demir Kirat” whose title was translated into English as Iron White Horse.

    It’s not a literal translation: that would require breaking the title up into three words, “Demir Kir At”, which is an ungrammatical phrase meaning “Iron dirt horse”. “Demir Kirat”, however, does mean Iron Carat.

  21. Not just the Guiliani campaign spreading this smear. An obnoxious evangelical Protestant who claimed he was from the Brownback campaign came into my workplace a few months ago and tried to make a big deal out of this White Horse deal, in between making disparaging remarks about Romney and all the nonsense Mormons allegedly believe. After about five minutes of this, my office manager (a non-Mormon Romney supporter) mildly pointed out that I was Mormon. So this a**h**e rounds on me and demands to know if I really believed all the “common-sense defying claptrap” that Mormons believe. I innocently asked if he was referring to virgin births, or dead guys coming to life, or water coming out of nowhere to cover the entire Earth and then receding into nowhere, or a Jew three centuries ago lacking rapid means of transportation capturing two penguins from the Antarctic and two polar bears from the Arctic … about this time the guy decided to change the subject, just when I was getting a full head of steam built up.

    Never did get around to mentioning that the Mormon in the room was a Ron Paul supporter, the non-Mormon was a Romney supporter, and that any chance of either of us voting for Brownback vanished a few minutes into this clown’s tirade.

  22. Jews were capturing penguins and polar bears in 1707?

    You do believe some weird shit.

  23. Plus, penguins swim and polar bears live on top of the Arctic Ocean. So I’m not impressed.

  24. 1) “Jews were capturing penguins and polar bears in 1707?

    You do believe some weird shit.”

    AND

    2) “Plus, penguins swim and polar bears live on top of the Arctic Ocean. So I’m not impressed.”

    1) Ummm, that was a botched joke about Noah’s ark. Try substituting “several thousand years ago” for “three hundred years ago”. My bad.

    2) Doubt polar bears could swim nonstop for 40 days (wouldn’t be a lot of ice to perch on off the drowned Mideastern coastline.) Penguins, maybe. Ask a biologist. Feel free to substitute any number of species living thousands of miles away from biblical Palestine, unobtainable to a Jew of the time, if this makes what should have been a snappy comeback work better for you.

  25. I think it would make a great campaign poster, a photo of Romney on a white horse, with a copy of the Constitution in his hand. I’d vote for Paul ahead of Romney, but for Romney well ahead of Guiliani

  26. Well, penguins and polar bears, and all the other animals not found in the Middle East, are not mentioned anywhere in Genesis before Noah, so it’s possible they evolved afterward from animals that were readily available to him.

  27. The only reason Romney would ride a horse with the Constitution in his hand would be if he thought the beast’s diaper was going to need changing. Period.

  28. Harry Reid?

  29. Maybe he rides his white horse to hunt varmints?

  30. crimethink,

    You do believe some weird shit.

    From the perspective of many so do you.

  31. …if he was referring to virgin births, or dead guys coming to life, or water coming out of nowhere to cover the entire Earth and then receding into nowhere…

    Only time gives such claims credibility.

  32. jh,

    Or to loosely paraphrase Justin Martyr, that stuff you “pagans” think about Jupiter is similar to what we write about Jesus.

  33. Only time gives such claims credibility

    Really? What is it about the passage of time that makes the transparently made-up tenets of Mormonism less believable than the equally invented tenets of Catholicism?

    Granted, evidence of fraud and deceit is harder to find for older claims, but how does that make the claims themselves more credible (worthy of belief)?

  34. Less time has passed.

    In 500 years, people will nod politely at the metion of Xenu and thetans.

  35. A close friend was flying out of SLC to New York and just so happened to ride first class with Sharpton and entourage. He tells me they were passing around “Mormonism for Dummies”. No, really.

  36. Less time has passed

    That’s kind of circular, isn’t it? I was asking why or how the passage of time could affect the inherent credibility of religious claims.

    It doesn’t, of course. I’m sure it feels better to be taken in by claims that have been believed by generations before you, but that speaks to credulousness, not to credibility.

  37. Oh, it doesn’t effect the claims’ “inherent” credibility.

    But the point is, this isn’t about why adherents to the religion believe the stories – they believe them because they are believers. It’s about why non-believers, those from another religion or no religion at all, treat those who do believe as reasonable people vs. weird cultists.

    I suspect it has something to do with new religions tending to involved wild-eyed messiahs who sometimes order their followers to do some nasty business, vs. older religions, which have demonstrated that their believers can get along without being overly-disruptive to society.

  38. The irony in all of this is that there’s no chance of this happening anyway.

    For starters, as the article makes clear, this isn’t an official Church doctrine, nor is it proven that Joseph Smith even said such a thing.

    For seconds, to save the Constitution, one must actually understand and believe in it, and Romney clear fails on both counts. 😉

  39. The depressing part of the whole episode, of course, is that the Constitution is hanging by a thread, and no candidate but Ron Paul seems interested in even pretending to be concerned.

  40. Doctor Duck,

    I was asking why or how the passage of time could affect the inherent credibility of religious claims.

    Length of adherence (tradition in other words) adds credibility to all sorts of human activities. Why it does that is another matter.

  41. joe,

    …vs. older religions, which have demonstrated that their believers can get along without being overly-disruptive to society.

    Older religions have the same ability to be disruptive and do so frequently.

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