Politics

Like St. Peter, Rick Perry Three Times Denies Mitt Romney is a Cultist Before the Cock Crows.

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At the Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C., Rev. Robert Jeffress, a Gov. Rick Perry loyalist who introduced the Texas Republican, made news by declaring Mormonism a cult and former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) a cultist:

"Mitt Romney's a good, moral person, but he's not a Christian. Mormonism is not Christianity. It has always been considered a cult by the mainstream of Christianity," said Jeffress.

At least that last part of Jeffress' statement is descriptively true: Evangelical Christians have long regarded Mormonism as heresy and a general no-goodism. Iin this, cartoon prosleytizer Jack T. Chick is joined by Arthur Conan Doyle (spoiler alert: the first Sherlock Holmes story, Study in Scarlet, is actually a study in Mormon deception) and Zane Grey (whose famous Riders of the Purple Sage revolves around a Warren Jeffs-style bad guy).

Perry is distancing himself from Rev. Jeffress as flagging would-be nominee (and nominal Mormon though probable secret Episcopalian), former Gov. Jon Huntsman (R-Utah) has called the episode "the most ridiculous sideshow in recent politics."

Here's the International Business Times' recap of Rick Perry's Peter-like denial (three times!) of Jeffress' comments:

Perry, who flew to Tiffin, Iowa, for a barbeque after his Washington speech, was asked three times whether he agreed with Jeffress' evaluation of Mormonism.

"No," Perry said to the first question, CBSNews.com reported Friday night. To the second, Perry said: "No, I've already answered that back there. I told him no." Asked by a third reporter whether he associated himself with the pastor's remarks, Perry said: "I already answered that question," before being whisked out the door.

Back in 2006, Slate's Jacob Weisberg boldly announced that he wouldn't vote for true-believing Scientologists: "Such views are disqualifying because they're dogmatic, irrational, and absurd. By holding them, someone indicates a basic failure to think for himself or see the world as it is."

He said the same about Latter Day Saints too:

I wouldn't vote for someone who truly believed in the founding whoppers of Mormonism. The LDS church holds that Joseph Smith, directed by the angel Moroni, unearthed a book of golden plates buried in a hillside in Western New York in 1827. The plates were inscribed in "reformed" Egyptian hieroglyphics—a nonexistent version of the ancient language that had yet to be decoded. If you don't know the story, it's worth spending some time with Fawn Brodie's wonderful biography No Man Knows My History. Smith was able to dictate his "translation" of the Book of Mormon first by looking through diamond-encrusted decoder glasses and then by burying his face in a hat with a brown rock at the bottom of it. He was an obvious con man. Romney has every right to believe in con men, but I want to know if he does, and if so, I don't want him running the country….

One may object that all religious beliefs are irrational—what's the difference between Smith's "seer stone" and the virgin birth or the parting of the Red Sea? But Mormonism is different because it is based on such a transparent and recent fraud. It's Scientology plus 125 years. Perhaps Christianity and Judaism are merely more venerable and poetic versions of the same. But a few eons makes a big difference. The world's greater religions have had time to splinter, moderate, and turn their myths into metaphor.

More here.

The objection there—that newer religions are more clearly fakes than older ones, which are made up too—strikes me as weak and situational. That is, it's more designed to call attention to a possible negative about a candidate who could go mainstream than express serious doubts about the Romney's reality testing. One may observe that people such as Rev. Jeffress at least really believe that Mormons are perpetrating a fraud that will land them in hell rather than the White House.

But as a lapsed Catholic (and if you think Jack T. Chick disses Mormons, check out what he's got to say about a church regularly identified by evangelicals as the Mother of Abominations) with a passing acquaintance with the Bible (St. Jerome and King James versions), I can tell you that I worry more about presidential wannabes's attitudes toward rendering unto Caesar than what version of Baal worship they may be in to.

The Atlantic's James Fallows offers up this gloss on the matter:

For people to come out and say that they won't back a candidate because he's Mormon and therefore a "cult" member is no better than saying "I'd never trust a Jew" or "a black could never do the job" or "women should stay in their place" or "Latinos? Let 'em go back home." Maybe it makes things more "honest" for people to be open about their anti-Mormonism and discreet about other prejudices. The only two biases people aren't embarrassed expressing publicly are anti-Southern (the "Bubba factor") and anti-Mormon. Still, it's bigotry.

Well said, though come on already: Being anti-Mormon and anti-Bubba are the last acceptable prejudices? If that's true, then what the hell am I, a half-Irish, half-Italian double-genetic loser doing working on Columbus Day? Because the last acceptable prejudice in America, as evidenced by the immense outpouring of contempt for the guidos and guidas (as it happens, my mother's maiden name) on Jersey Shore, is to make fun of spaghetti benders. Especially if they're in the Garden State (and let us be clear: the cast of Jersey Shore is mostly made up of filthy stinkin' New Yorkers).

Read Tim Cavanaugh's epic "E Pluribus Umbrage: The Long Happy Life of America's anti-defamation industry." Written in 2002 and a grand tour of an America still riven by debates over whether Irish need not apply, it reads like it was written this past weekend.

Or maybe next weekend.

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93 responses to “Like St. Peter, Rick Perry Three Times Denies Mitt Romney is a Cultist Before the Cock Crows.

  1. Thank you for the Death Cookie. Fun way to start my week.

    1. Religion is bunk; the religious are either bewildered or duplicitous.

  2. Let us be fair to the bystanders who questioned St. Peter about Jesus: They weren’t trying to manufacture an outrage-of-the-week to increase their audience share, not all the bystanders were around when the questions were asked, so that each questioner was unaware of what the other questioners had said – because they weren’t dumb enough to repeat the question even after they’d heard the answer.

  3. The LDS church holds that Joseph Smith, directed by the angel Moroni,

    Hey, an Italian angel!

    1. Holy Maroni!

      1. Hey, you steal-a my line!

    2. Tony…you’re a Moroni! (it’s actually pronounced Mah-rohn-eye, which is interesting)

    3. An Italian angel? No, you’re thinking of the Church of the Fonz.

  4. “Mitt Romney’s a good, moral person, but he’s not a Christian. Mormonism is not Christianity. It has always been considered a cult by the mainstream of Christianity.”

    Not that he should have said that, but what if a rabbi said this about Perry: “Perry is a good, moral person, but he’s not a Jew. Christianity is not Judaism. It has always been considered a cult by the mainstream of Judaism.”

    I would like to know the context in which the minister and the rabbi made their remarks (were they in a bar)?

  5. Me, I’d vote for a Mormon who was committed to the moral tenets of his faith. So, no, I wouldn’t vote for Romney.

  6. Well said, though come on already: Being anti-Mormon and anti-Bubba are the last acceptable prejudices?

    Well, there is The Fatties.

    If that’s true, then what the hell am I, a half-Irish, half-Italian double-genetic loser doing working on Columbus Day?

    Scarfing down a potato manicotti and washing it down with box of ros? wine and Murphy’s Irish Red? BTW, you do seem to be getting a bit paunchy, Nick.

    1. Don’t forget smokers and atheists in your list of acceptable prejudices.

      1. Jesus, I am fucked. I’m a fat atheist and I’m left handed.

        Anyway, every religion is on some level ridiculous. Often on many levels. Anybody who thinks the earth is 6000 years old should probably maintain a tactical silence when it comes to bagging on how silly Mormonism is.

        1. “Anybody who thinks the earth is 6000 years old should probably maintain a tactical silence when it comes to bagging on how silly Mormonism is.” Heh.

          1. That’d be me. Commencing silence.

    2. Potato manicotti.

      Nice. You know, I now have to try that. Instead of stuffing them with ricotta, use mashed potatoes? What kind of sauce would you use on that? A red marinara sauce or a brown gravy?

      1. Mix them together.

      2. Instead of stuffing them with ricotta, use mashed potatoes?

        Chips, you heathen!

        What kind of sauce would you use on that? A red marinara sauce or a brown gravy?

        Neither. Romesco, as it is Columbus Day.

  7. But a few eons makes a big difference. The world’s greater religions have had time to splinter, moderate, and turn their myths into metaphor.

    Soooo, Perry’s excuse is that his religion was made up a couple thousand years ago or so, so its OK, but anything recently created is obviously a fraud.

    So the difference between Perry and Romney is basically time.

    Nice!

    1. Perry didn’t say that. Jacob Weisberg did.

      1. what, i feel bait and switched.

    2. I agree that it is pretty weak sauce, but still, I can really see no other reason why (to a non-believer) older religions should be taken more seriously than newer, seemingly crazier ones. Though I suppose with Christianity, it is harder to pinpoint an obviously fraudulent event at the founding of the religion than with Mormonism or Scientology. But that may again just be because of the separation in time.

      1. It reminds me of the rush to condemn that guy who predicted the date of the Rapture as a lunatic and a charlatan. Many of these people, including some of my own family and friends, believe the Rapture will happen – one day the true believers will all vanish up to heaven. But you know what’s really crazy? Thinking you know when.

        You can play this game with any religion. “I believe that the only way for my god to forgive humanity was to become a human and be killed so he could resurrect himself. Oh, and you have to eat his flesh, which conveniently looks and tastes exactly like bread. But you believe the Indians are exiled Jews and that the final revelation came ~150 years ago? You must be some kind of idiot!”

        1. Reminds me of the Onion headline from the last primary season. Something along the lines of “Candidate’s space god religion too weird for nation of 2000 year old zombie worshipers.”

  8. All stereotypes have a basis in reality, and the fact is that all Southerners are violent racists. The schools here are little more than containment areas for younger sociopaths until they are old enough to form their own lynch mobs. The politicians make Chicago ward-heelers look like the beginners they are. The roads are little more than paved donkey paths and the environment filled with toxins of every description. Don’t move here.

    1. Violent RACIST!!

      1. “*all* Southerners are violent racists”

    2. all Southerners are violent racists

      Even the black ones?

      1. They’re the worst.

  9. A politician’s religion should not be held against him. A moment’s sober reflection reveals why: most people (including most Americans) throughout history have accepted (to one extent or another) the religion into which they were born. It’s usually seen as – at best – gravely disrespectful to one’s parents to change or disavow one’s religion. Why should politicians be held to a higher standard than anyone else here?

    What I’m saying, among other things, is that the Jacob Weisberg condition is patently unfair.

    The only exception I’d make is when the person has converted to a religion in adulthood, thus demonstrating some willing acceptance of its particular beliefs.

    1. That doesn’t work for born again Christians though. They just opt to go batshit crazy, rather than just accept batshit crazy as a family tradition.

      Evangelicals like Perry are scarier than Mormons like Romney.

      1. “Evangelicals like Perry are scarier than Mormons like Romney.”

        Exactly. Don’t get me wrong: I have zero affection for Romney as a politician, but Romney hasn’t been holding large public prayer services for economic recovery (as though God should take a break from moving celestial bodies to stimulate the economy of the richest country in human history).

  10. If that’s true, then what the hell am I, a half-Irish, half-Italian double-genetic loser doing working on Columbus Day?

    “All right, we’ll give some land to the niggers and the chinks, but we don’t want the Irish.”

  11. “At least that last part of Jeffress’ statement is descriptively true: Evangelical Christians have long regarded Mormonism as heresy and a general no-goodism.”

    I suspect most evangelicals feel better about Mormonism today than your Evangelical felt about Catholicism in the 1960s.

    If it didn’t matter enough to stop the country from voting JFK into office back then, it shouldn’t matter enough to stop America from voting for WMR.

    It would be shameful if we’ve regressed to the point that it mattered that much. Freakin’ Obama believes in the church of Progressivism. If Mitt Romney were a member of Obama’s weird Progressive cult–now that would be somethin’ to worry about!

    1. Obama’s wierd chuch experience (who goes to church to hear a whacko preacher say that we had it coming on 9/11?) certainly didn’t hinder his election.

    2. ” If Mitt Romney were a member of Obama’s weird Progressive cult–now that would be somethin’ to worry about!”

      Better start worrying then.

    3. “If Mitt Romney were a member of Obama’s weird Progressive cult–now that would be somethin’ to worry about!” I believe he is.

  12. The objection there – that newer religions are more clearly fakes than older ones, which are made up too – strikes me as weak and situational.

    I know, I know, and as an atheist I probably should agree, but I can’t. The difference, I guess, is that I can forgive the older religions a bit on their myth-making, since their narratives essentially represent attempts by people to impose order and meaning on their world and make sense of events for which they had no better explanation. They may have got it wrong, but they were trying to get it right, using all the knowledge available to them at that time and in that place. I may have difficulty understanding why that sort of magical thinking still appeals to people, but I can accept it in its context as being a description of perceived reality.

    I can’t extend that same courtesy to the LDS church or Scientology because their founding myths were, to a near certainty, invented by men who were aware of the fantastic, preposterous nature of their claims. That in addition to money and power they seem also to have been seeking through their frauds to make fools of as many people as possible does not, to me, speak well of these prophets. That in the 19th and 20th centuries, the founding years of these religions, any child with a grade school education would have been insulted to be offered such delusional fairy tales as fact, and would surely know better than to make up a similar story for their parents in hopes of explaining being out past their curfew, does not speak well for their followers.

    To me this seems obvious, so much so that I have difficulty articulating it, as it doesn’t seem to require explanation. If that seems arbitrary, or every bit as irrational as I accuse others of being, have at it. For the moment that’s as clear as I’m capable of being, especially on the Monday of a three day weekend.

    1. This is a good way to put it. The old religions are leftovers from a pre-scientific time. In the case of Scientology, we know for sure that Hubbard invented it from whole cloth so he could make money. I can only believe that Smith did the same. There was never any honest attempt to explain the world, just a scheme to make himself important and influential.

      1. “The old religions are leftovers from a pre-scientific time.”

        But how is this relevant to current believers who have the benefit of a scientific explanation of the world?

        There is no way to render immune the founders of older religions from the accusation of insincerity you make of Joseph Smith. And regardless, your assessment of their sincerity says little about the truth of their claims.

        1. A lot of followers of old religions accept modern science as the “how” and religion as the “why”. Most Christians are not young Earth creationists. Almost zero Jews are.

          1. Mormons are fairly science-friendly and like Matt and Trey kind of demonstrate with South Park, maybe the founding beliefs are absurd, but the people are generally good and better behaved than your run of the mill evangelist.

            There are many scriptural supports for the religion, even if the North American testament strikes me as absurd. I think it came out of that milieu of religiosity and mysticism, similar to what produced the Moorish Science Temple and eventually Nation of Islam and 5 Percent Nation.

            1. “[M]aybe the founding beliefs are absurd, but the people are generally good and better behaved than your run of the mill evangelist.” Unless, that is, you’re a homosexual. Then they will do everything in their power to make sure you remain a second-class citizen.

              1. They are far more tolerant and civil to gays than evangelicals. Also, their opposition to gay marriage is probably based on the fact that is an innovation and deem it detrimental to family and marriage. Considering that they seem to live cleanly, I think they can be forgiven being behind the curve for linking homosexuality with other ills.

                1. “They are far more tolerant and civil to gays than evangelicals.” Underachievement of the century. “Considering that they seem to live cleanly, I think they can be forgiven being behind the curve for linking homosexuality with other ills.” Considering their opposition to civil-rights for African-Americans, being behind the curve seems to be the Mormon MO.

        2. But how is this relevant to current believers who have the benefit of a scientific explanation of the world?

          I know; as I said, I don’t understand the continued appeal of the older religions. I would, however, make the minor point that it has only been within the last 300 years that anybody had the benefit of even a very fragmented and partial scientific explanation of the world. Even in post-Enlightenment Western Europe and the US, only a very small minority had access to any sort of scientific education, or to the materials necessary to teach themselves (books have not always been as widely available and easily attained as they are now), until well into the 19th century, and especially in Europe such education as was available was provided through the church. Given all of that, clinging to the beliefs handed down by tens of generations of ancestors was not a completely irrational response, even as late as the dawn of the 20th century. That in the course of one century not everyone has abandoned the accepted truths of the previous few millenia, while a bit depressing, isn’t really surprising.

          There is no way to render immune the founders of older religions from the accusation of insincerity you make of Joseph Smith.

          I sort of disagree. I say sort of because I’m not entirely sure of the purity of Mohammed’s motives, and to the best of our knowledge Islam is the only one of the monotheistic, Abrahamic religions that can be said to have been intentionally, consciously “founded” by one individual, and even that’s on pretty shaky ground. The collection of writings we think of as The Bible, after all, or even just the pentateuch, is not the cohesive product of one writer. Putting aside translation issues, the original texts were the work of probably hundreds of individuals over the course of more than a thousand years, widely varying in style and tone from dry-as-dust genealogies to erotic poetry to collections of instructional sayings to prophecies of sometimes ecstatic and mystical, sometimes fiery and damning, and sometimes quite matter-of-fact natures to…well, you get the point. This is true not only of the old testament but the new testament. Both Judaism and Christianity evolved gradually, in fits and starts, alternately added to and pruned by successive generations of believers, story-tellers and religious teachers. To speak of the sincerity of the founders is meaningless, since each contributor may have had a different motive and perspective.

          There is also the issue of evidence– while the Bible offers at best a flawed and at times cryptic version of history, we have archaeological evidence of the existence of many of the people and places in the Bible; we know next to nothing about its featured players, cannot say for sure if and when Abraham,Noah, Moses, David and the rest ever existed, but many of the foreign rulers most assuredly did. Likewise, we have some independent verification, in the form of writings by Roman contemporaries, for the existence of Jesus and John the Baptist. None of this speaks to the veracity of the religions themselves, only to their nature as both product and reflection of life in a small part of the Middle East in ancient, but not prehistoric times.

          All the religions under discussion are collections of superstition and myth, but only Smith and Hubbard claim to have stumbled onto previously secret artifacts and knowledge of an allegedly ancient but historically unmentioned and unsupported nature and to which nobody but themselves would ever be able to gain access. There was no evolutionary growth and no cultural tradition there– Mormon culture and life are outgrowths of the founding myths, not the incubator of them. Modern day believers in the newer religions don’t have the excuse of following the ancient traditions handed down through centuries of their ancestors’ existence in their historic place of origin, they have only founding stories cut from whole cloth on which to base their faith. I see a difference.

          I’d be much happier if some, or most, or all, of the candidates available were non-theists, because I’d be more comfortable in evaluating the rational basis and philosophical cohesion of their political beliefs if we had that in common. Absent that, yes, I choose to judge their religious beliefs on a sliding scale, though in this day and age I do cut a college-educated believer in young-earth creationism considerably less slack than I do a lukewarm Mormon.

          1. Thanks for your thoughtful response.

            “but only Smith and Hubbard claim to have stumbled onto previously secret artifacts and knowledge of an allegedly ancient but historically unmentioned and unsupported nature and to which nobody but themselves would ever be able to gain access.”

            But ultimately all religions depend on supernatural events that only the founders experienced. Anytime I hear someone lay into the golden tablet business that Mormons accept, I can’t help but think of Moses seeing the burning bush or receiving the ten commandments.

        3. I personally don’t think there is much difference. I think all religions are made up stories, sometimes with a little bit of actual history mixed in. I’m just trying to explain why new religions tend to be widely seen as crazier than old ones.

      2. we know for sure that Hubbard invented it from whole cloth so he could make money. I can only believe that Smith did the same

        I think mostly he wanted to get laid.

        I don’t really see the difference, though. Is there really a difference between believing in 2000 year old myths, 150 year old myths, or brand new myths for that matter? Does the motivation of the creator of the religion really matter? In all cases, the religious impulse for the individual is the same.

      3. Smith was interested in pussy. Ditto Glenn Beck.

        1. Come on now, everybody knows Glenn Beck is gay.

    2. This is a really excellent explanantion.

    3. Some large, old religious denominations (like the one in which I was brought up) have forged documents to prop up their power. That is, they were not even trying to get it right.

  13. I think the cock is going to crow before we see any morning links.

    dude, he just said cock /her de der

  14. I’m 99% behind you, Nick, but puleeze stop playin’ the victim card re the Irish (and, thanks to the Jersey Shore, Italian) prejudice. If you talk southern, sophisticated folks will laugh at you. If you talk black (“Let me ast you a question”), a lot of white folks will laugh at you. If you’re “Mexican,” Republican governors will accuse you of beheading people. And if you’re Jewish, a lot of people will still think you only care about money. Sorry, dude! You’re not the only vic left standing!

    1. Via Alan Vanneman: Sherlock Holmes and the Giant Mackerel Snappers of Sumatra.

    2. its *aks*

      1. I find ‘axe’ is usually the preferred transcription down here.

  15. But a few eons makes a big difference.

    O rly

    But he has no difficulty accepting the Gospel According to Maynard.

    1. Maynard James Keenan released a gospel album?

      1. It was a self-help book called, “Prying Open Your Third Eye: One DAy at a Time.”

  16. and let us be clear: the cast of Jersey Shore is mostly made up of filthy stinkin’ New Yorkers).

    And Snooki isn’t even a real guida, she’s Chilean!

    1. So is she the one Herman Cain keeps talking about?

  17. I don’t care if they practice Santeria and sacrifice chickens on the White House lawn. If they commit to balancing the budget or vetoing every bill introduced, they have my vote.

    Gary Johnson, that’s what I’m talking ’bout.

  18. First off, why not pick on New Jersey…
    Second, the cult remark was probably the least offensive thing that jackass had to say. Mormon, Hindu or Athiest, who cares? A person’s religion is supposed to be a matter of personal conscience, not a disqualifier for office. What would be scary is if someone who actually agrred with Jeffress was running the show. With $14T in debt and real, actual problems the candidates should be saying that policies for stuffing the gays back in the closet and banning Muslims from the country aren’t actually on the table for anybody but ignorant, petty little bigots. Of course telling the SoCons to go screw isn’t going to happen, but it is a nice thought.
    http://www.libertariansjustlik…..hobic.html

  19. For people to come out and say that they won’t back a candidate because he’s Mormon and therefore a “cult” member is no better than saying “I’d never trust a Jew” or “a black could never do the job” or “women should stay in their place” or “Latinos? Let ’em go back home.”

    What a load of horseshit. Discriminating based on beliefs is in no way comparable to discriminating based on genetic ancestry. How the fuck are we supposed to choose amongst politicians if not for their beliefs? I am of the More Recent = More Moonbat school.

    1. How the fuck are we supposed to choose amongst politicians if not for their beliefs?

      Well said.

      How, on the one hand, can people claim that their religion is the most important thing in their life and, on the other, say it will not affect their politics or civil service? At least the Muslims are apparently honest about this.

    2. Except that time and again, politicians may be informed by their religious beliefs but are hardly controlled by them. UNless you think Ted Kennedy was an exemplar of Catholicism (or any of his brothers for that matter)?

    3. The real reason it’s wrong is because the author is full of shit.

      If he was introduced to a candidate who had experimented with a succession of crazy Swamis, had hung out with David Koresh for a while, had almost killed himself to go on board that spaceship in that comet, etc., he’d judge that candidate negatively.

      What he really means is that he’s identified for himself a set of “mainstream” beliefs that he assumes people just kind of muddle along in, and that are not the product of choice or conscious thought and are therefore the equivalent of an ethnic or gender identity.

  20. Weisberg would vote for Scientologist or a Mormon in a second, just as long as he or she were a socialist.

    1. Harry Reid’s a Mormon. Betcha Weisberg would drop to his knees and kiss Reid’s ring in a heartbeat if he ran for higher office.

  21. What do blacks qua blacks believe?

    1. I believe I’ll have another one of these.

  22. Fallows demonstrates the depth of his idiocy by comparing a belief system with a genetic trait.

    1. A prejudice against someone’s philosophy (LDS, Catholic, Islam, Pentecostal, Wiccan, etc.) is categorically superior to a prejudice against genes (white, black, latin, Hamitic, etc.).

      You can make good arguments against both, but they are not equivalent.

  23. The Mormon church almost certainly started as a cult – as did Christianity – but it no longer is. It is no more cultish now than the Catholic Church. It would be better to classify it with a more neutral term, such as “new religion”.

    It is also pretty clear that, although the Mormon church uses symbols and teachings of Christianity, it is different enough from any other Christian sect to be its own religion. The difference in theology between the Mormon church and any branch of Christianity is substantially greater than the difference between any two branches of Christianity, even between orthodox Christianity and many historical heresies. That is enough to say that the Mormon church ought to be thought as something different than Christianity, although there is no hard and fast rule about what is and isn’t a Christian. At some point, if you lighten black enough, you get gray. What’s the dividing line? I don’t know. But that doesn’t mean black and gray are the same thing. Same thing with the Mormon church and orthodox Christianity.

    As for Mitt Romney for President, lol no.

  24. New Orleans was once the most heavily Italian city in America, before NY hogged the glory. You’ll never see them on TV, because Italian southerners cause cognitive dissonance in yankee television producers. N.O. was also heavily Irish, which is why the accent sounds Boston-esque.

    1. WTF?

      Next you’ll be telling me that N.O. was also heavily German, which is where they got the accordian from in their music.

  25. Mormonism has mainstreamed, but it definitely started as a “cult” in the sense we think of them (I suppose you could say the same of a lot of larger world religions, but not in recent history). And some breakaway factions (Jeffs, etc.) still seem to operate like a cult.

    And it’s definitely so theologically divergent from standard Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox beliefs that it’s reasonable to say that it’s a different religion, even if it features a few of the same characters. I mean, I don’t think anyone would really classify Santeria as a sect of Christianity, given that it’s just traditional African religion with a little translation.

    Much ado about nothing, really.

    1. Sorry about plagiarizing JP.

  26. ? But Mormonism is different because it is based on such a transparent and recent fraud. It’s Scientology plus 125 years.

    What a dick. So tell us, at what age does transparent religious fraud become acceptable? 200 years? 1803 years? W

    1. 1500 years. Islam still has a little while to go, but in another few hundred years, they’ll all be Unitarians.

    2. I wish to live to be 300 years old…if only to see The giant flying spaghetti monster become a full blown religion.

      http://www.af.mil/shared/media…..2C-956.JPG

  27. “One man’s theology is another man’s belly-laugh.”
    — Lazarus Long

    … Hobbit

  28. as a christian who used to hand out Chick tracts, seriously speaking… Ive always found it laughable that non-christians believe the church is so crazy. Its composed of people….just like Team Red & team Blue. People who acknowledge their sin at the onset and surprise no one when they sin. Sure they’re crazy, but no crazier than any other group.

    Church Leadership says stuff for one reason, to garner support for their agenda.

    As a cynic, I go the the Scriptures trying to make sense of the world. If I attempt the same thing with a party platform, it falls apart in my hands.

    Is the world 600 yrs old? I dont know, but I know enough not to accept what the billion-years crowd submits on the basis of their faith on face value.
    As for president, I wouldnt reject Mitt for his faith unless we’re talking about his faith in govt.

    1. I think you mean 6,000 years old.

  29. Because the last acceptable prejudice in America, as evidenced by the immense outpouring of contempt for the guidos and guidas (as it happens, my mother’s maiden name) on Jersey Shore, is to make fun of spaghetti benders.

    Oh bullshit!

    Italians are soooooo self loathing the rest of us only have to watch.

    You have Mario, you have Pizza Hut in every shit town in America, you have Anthony Scalia…

    What the fuck will make you people fucking happy?!?!

  30. Can someone in the media please conduct the least bit of research!
    Romney and any Mormon offended by being referred to as cultists needs to be asked why they adhere to a religion whose prophet, Joseph Smith, referred to Christianity, in general, as being cultic?actually, claimed that God Himself referred to Christianity, in general, as being cultic, specifically “all wrong,” an “abomination,” “all corrupt” and “far from me.”
    See:
    http://www.examiner.com/messia…..sm-as-cult

  31. Mariano Grinbank styles himself a “Messianic Jew.”

    A so-called “Messianic Jew” is, in fact, an evangelical Christian who uses Jewish vocabulary and imitates Jewish liturgy and traditions, in order to deceive Jews into becoming evangelical Christians, all the while promising that they can retain their “Jewish identify.”

    Here is what actual Jews have to say about their deceptive practices: http://www.stayjewish.org/the_messianic_threat

    Jews and Mormons are together on this: A “Messianic Jews” is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Don’t believe a word that Grinbank has to say about either Judaism or Mormonism.

    Tracy Hall Jr
    hthalljr’gmail’com

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