Mormon pride?

I was listening to Glenn Beck on the radio today, and he had a long segment where he discussed his reaction, as a Mormon, to Mitt Romney’s nomination. Beck had to pause several times because he was choked up. He said he was talking to his son and his son asked about Romney, and Beck said: “he’s the same religion we are. He’s a Mormon.”

Beck said it was an incredible thing and the sign of yet another barrier broken to have a Mormon nominated for a major party’s nomination for president. Just as Obama’s election is a sign that the United States is putting behind its racist past, the fact that people are willing to vote for a Mormon is a sign that we are finally being accepted as a people and is a sign of new religious tolerance, Beck said.

Now it is worth pointing out that Beck supported Rick Santorum during the primaries and has been extremely critical of Romney over the years. So Beck may have his faults, but he is not a long-time shill for Romney. Personally, I thought he was speaking from the heart. He repeated several times how touching it was to hear Romney talk about his family and kids during his acceptance speech.

Here’s the thing: I didn’t have any feelings of “Mormon pride” during Romney’s speech. My wife and I watched it last night after the kids went to bed, and we both said, “well, I hope he can fix some of the mess created in the last 10 years,” but we both also have our doubts that Romney will make any big changes. Both of us like Romney as a common-sense problem-solver. We feel comfortable with him as a person because he has an aura of competence. But we also worry that, like President Bush during the TARP debate, Romney will abandon principle at crucial times.

I should point out that the Republican candidate is my third cousin once removed. My grandmother’s maiden name is Romney, and she grew up in Mexico with the Romney clan. So, if anybody should be feeling some nostalgia for this Mormon moment, I should, right?

But somehow I don’t feel that way. Should I? Do you feel Mormon pride?

Please note: I would ask that this thread not become an insult-fest regarding Glenn Beck or Romney for that matter. Most people are aware of their faults. Concentrate instead on the question: should we Mormons be feeling that an important barrier has been breached? Should be be feeling proud that a fellow Mormon has been nominated as president?

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

37 thoughts on “Mormon pride?

  1. I’ve always had misgivings about the corrupting nature of power and prestige, particularly that awful strain of it located in Washington, D.C. I view our nation’s capitol as a heart of darkness.

    There is a part of me that wants to be pleased and happy, and there is another part of me that is deeply concerned. I’m not convinced that Mormonism and modern politics is a good mix. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be engaged; I’m merely saying that in the quest for temporal power, truth is usually the first casualty. Politics is extraordinarily nasty and brutal.

    If Romney can make a positive difference and do some good, then more power to him. Four more years of the Apology Tour would be far, far worse.

  2. I don’t really care if there is a Mormon moment or not, truthfully. I’ve read many LDS bloggers disappointment that they were not feeling like Mittens was living up to that Mormon Moment. I’m just happy that an honest man is running and someone with whom I agree on most things. This will be the first time 20 years that I am not plugging my nose while voting for POTUS. The fact that he’s LDS is a bonus. However, I do think that it is kind of ground breaking that within a four year span we’ve elected a black man and possibly a Mormon. When it comes down to it though, I think the Media are hung up more on these labels than regular people are.

  3. I will say as well, I listened to Beck’s analysis also. I agree the most with him when he said the most touching moment of Mitt’s RNC speech was when he said they would give anything to have those days of kids on the bed again. Being in the middle of small children and all of their associated work I sometimes forget that I need to enjoy them while they are little and all mine. They’ll go out into the world soon enough.

  4. I am actually enjoying the public and journalist responses to this. I honestly think it made the less extreme Christians to ask searching questions of how fair they have been to Mormons. They see how the media has treated Mormons and proclaim, there for the grace of God go I. They have not defended, but they have for the most part shut their mouths.

  5. I am extremely proud. I love the Gospel and the Church. I love the good people of the world. The Romneys are good people. I pray for his success, God willing.

  6. Nope, no pride at all. And I see only bad for the church coming from Romney being President if he is elected.

  7. I dunno, I kinda hoped that the first Mormon nominee would be, at the least, known for his honesty and straight shooting. I think this is hampering my sense of pride. I’m not of course expecting perfection out of the guy, and we could’ve certainly done much worse than Mitt, but still…

    I think Mitt’s father would’ve been a great “first Mormon candidate”.

  8. It is encouraging to see tolerance to Mormons increase in the press and the population at large. The same kind of reasonable coverage of the church is also apparent in many places outside the US. The whole process has helped lots of LDS get over their persecution complex.

    But, Mitt has chosen to say many things that are not true on the campaign trail. It is important not to tolerate sin in the Church of God. And lying has particularly corrosive effects on one’s soul and on society. If I were his bishop I would take his temple recommend. I don’t feel pride in him. When one consciously mixes sin into one’s work it cannot produce good results but only enmity and more decay. Honesty is the most critical of virtues for a real leader.

  9. I watched his speech. I am not a Romney supporter, but I have to admit, I did have a moment where I really wanted him to win, and part of that was the Mormon in me. We spend so much time identifying with our persecuted forbearers; the saints in Missouri, Nauvoo, and the Willie and Martin handcart companies. The thought of a Mormon president, and a good one, opens the door to where the stories of obscurity and persecution will one day be behind us.

    Again, I’m not a Romney supporter. He has some impressive goals, but I had to remind myself that the devil is in the details, and so I won’t be voting for him. But there is still part of me that would be sad if he lost. I guess I’m afflicted with Mormon pride.

  10. I feel proud of Romney the same way Jews would have felt proud of Esther for winning a beauty contest and becoming the king’s wife. Of course, we’ll make lots of enemies along the way, but we will win some friends too.

    I believe God wants Romney to run, and to try to win the best he can, and I think God is OK with Romney’s political machinations, and all his “making friends with the Mammon of unrighteousness.” Romney is “digging pits for his neighbor with his words” and he is going to fall in the pit himself, as he already has lots of times, but that is the nature of politics.

    Our nation’s capital is a heart of darkness, because it reflects the hearts of the people of our country: a diverse, unruly, hateful, fearful, hopeful, good people. It’s a perfect democracy, precisely because it’s imperfections reflect the imperfections of the people. It’s a great, humanist compromise. I admire Romney for making this treacherous journeying into the belly of the beast, this frightening and soul destroying contraption of the Gentiles. But Romney will come out unscathed, cleansed by the blood of the Lamb he believes in, in spite of all the compromising things he says. God knows his heart, and he knows the games the Gentiles play.

  11. I have to admit that I feel a certain degree of Mormon pride over Romney’s nomination, in spite of my dislike of Romney and my libertarian political sympathies. What can I say? We have a former bishop running for president and that’s pretty freaking cool. In all honesty, I really hope he doesn’t win the presidency, but yes, I am proud – proud that one of our own has made it this far and become this successful, proud that the faith tradition which is so much a part of me has created a man who just might become the most powerful man in the world, and proud that as a people we have finally found a way to emerge into the public view, force society to consider us, and make society accept us and tolerate us to a greater degree. So yes, I’m experiencing a little bit of mormon pride, despite my best attempts to suppress it.

  12. I wasn’t raised LDS, and I’ve been politically left of center since long before I joined the church, so I don’t have much of an identification with Mormon Republicans. I don’t particularly like him, but I’d probably share some level of pride if Harry Reid were running for president, but Romney no. I don’t have anything against Romney, and I don’t think he’d be a terrible president, but I can’t really connect with him.

  13. Fine, I’ll break with comments so far. I am proud of Romney’s run as President and always have been. I don’t buy into the idea that he has any of those bad character flaws as a person or as a politician. Frankly, I think all the negative statements said about him here and elsewhere are pure fantasy and itself political posturing. He has said and done nothing that other politicians haven’t said or done on a regular basis. But, he gets called out for them ten times more than any other candidates on both sides of the isle. He was a Bishop and Stake President who still loves his family and church, giving me confidence that (regardless of his politicking) he is a fine man and will be a fine President. The Lord will bless him to bless this nation both despite and because of him, as the Lord honors his faithfulness.

    For a turn around, I am ashamed of Harry Reid and think he has done worse than Romney. He has actually spoken out against the LDS Church on a few occasions. Either he has no heart or he is pandering to his own liberal Democrat constituents. I was excited when he was first put in the position he was as I thought finally the Democrats would be moderated. Not so, as he became the most divisive Senate majority leader I have ever heard about. The horrible names he has called people, and the lies and innuendos he has hurled have caused me and many other Mormons to question his religious devotion and even sanity.

  14. He’s my third cousin twice removed, and I consider that more significant than shared Church membership. (Does your typical Church member in some relatively remote island or jungle care about this?)

  15. If anything I think if Romney is elected it will be pretty amazing to have two of the most powerful men in Washington both be LDS and on opposite sides when it comes to political ideologies.

    P.S Harry Reid is at church every Sunday and is a nice guy, my brother is in his Georgetown Ward. Let’s not get into the “devoutness” game…it’s a waste of time and incredibly annoying.

  16. Tell your brother to tell him to stop with the demonization of people I respect and support. If he has any heart he will repent of his monsterous behavior! He can go to church every week, but what he says and does forces me to question his devoutness and heart.

  17. I’m of the opinion that he can be a jerkwad all he wants. Just pass an honest budget for heaven’s sake.

  18. I’m surprised at some of the comments about both Romney and Reid. Calling someone’s devotion to Christ is a pretty serious accusation in my book. Guess what, some people aren’t perfect, but that doesn’t mean, overall, they don’t care.

    Let’s face it, politics is a really dirty game. The amount of pressure both of these men have on them at all times from all sides must be staggering, and I’ll be da%@ed if I could be in their shoes, playing the game they have to, and measure up to other people’s standards of sufficient holiness.

  19. I am very pleased that Romney has secured the nomination. I personally believe he has the experience and wisdom to begin to turn things around in D.C. His being Mormon is a bonus. I would support him if he were Evanelical, Catholic, or Jewish. However, I do believe that the mud slinging has only begun. In my opinion, the worst is yet to come. I hope it is all worth it. We will see.

  20. Tell your brother to tell him to stop with the demonization of people I respect and support. If he has any heart he will repent of his monsterous behavior! He can go to church every week, but what he says and does forces me to question his devoutness and heart.

    The way you describe Reid is exactly what many of us believe about Romney. Maybe somebody needs to tell Mitt to stop with the demonization of people I respect and support. Unlike you though, I don’t question his devoutness and heart because I don’t get off on judging the worthiness of Mormons, especially when I’m not their bishop or stake president.

  21. Does anyone else see a striking difference between Mitt the man and Mitt the politician? I feel like I could totally trust Mitt in a one-to-one, personal scenario. But I feel like I should pretty much discount most of what he says on the campaign trail. That disappoints me, but in reality, I suppose I can’t expect a Mormon politician to get as far as he did without playing the game.

  22. I can only hope that Reid is saying the things he is so he doesn’t look like he is being soft on a fellow Mormon and can stay in power and hopefully make some pragmatic decisions with Romney. That’s quite frankly the only possibly string left that holds Reid in my mind as a good person. (ie. he’s playing the political game as a double agent so to speak to affect some good later on)

    I feel perfectly comfortable saying that no true latter-day saint wOuld double down and continue making that kind of baseless accusation. It’s truly mind boggling. It also reveals how good a man Romney is if thats the kind of mud people need to throw at him…

    More to the subject of this post, I’m extremely proud of him. He’s had to walk a fine line, occasionally needing to dial it back down, but the simple fact that all those who have worked with him are supportive of him and speak well of him is a great indicator. I have no doubt that he will not be able to reform America the way God ultimately intends for it to be… But Romney will make some very positive changes.

  23. I don’t think Romney is perfect, but he should be an okay president. I will vote for him simply because I do not like Obama at all. I even voted for McCain last time although I thought he would lose simply because he chose that ditzy Palin woman as his running mate. I liked Ryan’s convention speech (at least the part I heard), so think Romney made a better choice.

  24. Whether he wins or not, Ryan was definitely a smart choice.

    Off topic (sorta, sorry): For all my liberal idealistic rhetoric (which I don’t spout off that much, comparatively), if Chris Christie runs for president next time, I’ll jump back on the GOP bandwagon in a heart beat. If I were to pick a politician in whom I hold very deep respect, and in whom I would have an immense amount of pride as my president, it’s Christie.

  25. So is Romney even with his more SoCon rhetoric. I think his pick of Ryan proves he is serious about economic issues. There might be a long hard battle, and a balanced budget might be at this point improbably in one term. But, I do think he will (if he can get his agenda passed) come a long way to repairing things. I’ve read even his getting elected is going to be a boost in business confidence that is lacking right now out of distrust of Obama and the liberal left.

  26. I’m a mormon, and I try to don’t be proud of anything. (See: Beware of Pride, by Pres. Benson). As a left leaning guy, obviously I don’t support Romney, but in a way I think all LDS are happy a mormon can be a candidate. I think it’s like all Afroamericans (regardless of politics) were happy to see Obama become Pres.

  27. I agree with Glen Beck, Mitt’s nomination bodes well for public acceptance of Mormons. If he’s not elected, it won’t be because he’s Mormon. It will more likely be because he’s seen as a one-percenter who wrecked the economy and left taxpayers holding the bag.

    But is being popular a good thing? As a Mormon, should I be proud that the world accepts me? Or does it mean that we have sunk to gutter level?

  28. Mike, I have actually defended Reid much as I don’t like him from non-Mormons who asked why he hasn’t been ex-ed over his defending abortion as legal. The response was the LDS Church was even more evil for inaction and a rejection of absolutism on the issue. Never mind that the Catholic Church hasn’t done anything to its SOB members. I just wish Reid would tone down his rhetoric and party loyalty, and show at least a little public (statements to the press) respect for the LDS Church he belongs.

  29. I think that by acting exactly how he is, Reid is doing the best thing possible for the the nation, the Church, and Mitt Romney. By not being friendly towards Romney, a fellow Mormon, he is showing that “Democratism” is the god he worships, moreso than treating a brother in the gospel as such. This lets the hateful world, know that Mormons are not above worshipping hate a division, thus making it tmore likely that “the world” can vote for a Mormon. It is good for the nation, because the honest in heart will say, “What a Jack-donkey those democrats are, I’m voting republican”. It’s good for the church, because, then people will know, “If as imperfect as a person as Harry Reid is allowed t be a Mormon, there might be hope for me.”

  30. Romney is a great man, especially as a businessman. As a politician he’s left me a lot to be desired with. I don’t see eye to eye with him and I don’t understand why he refuses to follow some of the church’s counsel on some of the policy’s at play ( immigration comes to mind, and let me not dig into foreign policy), but it’s clear that he’s pandering into a given crowd in order to be elected. A side of me is happy that a fellow Mormon is running for Presidency, at the same time I’m scared and at times ashamed of some of the things done for political gain. In other words, I love Romney the bishop, stake president, business man and person, but can’t stand him as a politician. It’s a strange sentiment.

  31. I liked him a lot as my stake president in Boston. I find him mostly phony, unoriginal, and uninspiring as a politician. I would choose him over Obama, though, based on O’s performance in first term. My favorite president of my lifetime has been Bill Clinton (Mormons, see Ether 10:11). Whether R wins or not, I love what his campaign has done for Mormonism and can even imagine the Lord’s hand in that part of it. Our new unity with the rest of Christianity will prove vital in decades to come, as America goes more secular and anti-religious.

  32. I’m proud of Romney/Ryan just like I was proud of Reagan/Bush. Romney’s religion has little to do with that.

    Our nation is a great baseball field. Sometimes the play is in right field and sometimes it is in center field or left field, etc. Our current president has betrayed his left field position, retreated into the stadium, bankrupted the concessions stand, turned out the lights down in the locker rooms, left the stadium, and is now down among the scalpers in the parking lot (I think he’s performing a marriage of two of them down there). The only thing to do at this late date is to convince our democratic friends that Obama is not one of them. He has completely abandoned the American political spectrum.

    I say thank goodness Romney is a center fielder. These idealogues with their supposed principles might catch an occasional foul ball past the baseline, but it is the Romney’s, Lieberman’s, Bennett’s (as in Bob), and the Rice’s of the world that keep us moving in the right direction. We have a good right fielder and an amazing center fielder running against someone who doesn’t give a damn about our system.

    Yes, I am proud of Romney. I’d be perfectly happy to sit between Romney and Reid in the temple with Glenn Beck next to us, but that doesn’t inform my voting decision much either way.

  33. My prediction is that Romney has very little influence even if elected. He doesn’t seem to have the political backbone. And his campaign is basically, “I’m not Obama”. Notice my lilywhite skin? My humble childhood mansion? Because my dad’s rich I could ask him to finance my Harvard education and then some. So I didn’t have to be a parasite and ask the government. Just doesn’t convince anyone, who isn’t in that train wreck to start with.

    I guess they’re trusting the Big Bucks to buy this one? They’re certainly not telling how those millions of new jobs are going to materialise, beside further billionaire tax cuts. And they have “imaginary” numbers. Bubba had real numbers in his Convention speech. Surprise?

    There are fewer Mormons where I live now, outside the US. As a Mormon I feel a little queasy about the suggestion that someone should vote for Romney because he’s a Mormon, too. Or that Reid cannot be a real Mormon, if he’s a Democrat! Will all Roman Catholics vote Romney, because his running-mate believes in Ayn Rand, I mean is Catholic, too? If Obama is a weasel, these guys expose him as a rank amateur.

    But is all the carping about Obama even very Christian any more? I mean, you can disagree on policies and such, but a lot of crap around the chat rooms is to the tune of the teenage girl who tweeted: “Someone please kill Obama, soon!”

    All that hateful talk has consequences. And any outsider is mystified why such anger is aimed at O. He hasn’t done almost anything he promised to do, which a lot of progressively-thinking folks were hoping for. So he’s got some disappointment to deal with. The only thing basically different about him is his skin colour. And that he’s too well educated, and since he’s black he obviously didn’t belong to Harvard et.c.

    Otherwise, it’s just party politics and filibustering. The Constitution was shredded in the post-9/11 hysteria, and NDAA enacted the new laws about indefinite detention, which cannot be challenged based on its simple illegality any longer. Hope someone takes that to SCOTUS.

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