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For the Record, Huckabee apologized for the remarks and said they were taken out of context.

I still think he is doing some slimy anti-mormon push poll stuff though.

Yeah, he apologized for them conveniently after he had already sent the message he wanted to send, loud and clear.

As a guy with a degree in theology, an ordained minister, and one of the keynote speakers at that Southern Baptist Convention in Salt Lake City a couple years back, Huckabee knew exactly what he was doing. The statement was coldly premeditated, however disarming he managed to be in delivery.

It is premature to equate Huckabee with the Republican party. His chances of being nominated are slim - he has been going out of his way to offend many (economic conservatives come to mind) whose support he will need to have a hope of winning the nomination. It is hard to take a Republican candidate seriously who on numerous issues appears to be to the left of Bill Clinton.

There was a time when Mormons in Utah were glad to support moderate Democrats like Calvin Rampton and Scott Matheson Sr. That's the way my family always voted. If Huckabee is the future of the GOP, that time may come again and I will be heartily glad to see the Republican chokehold on the LDS vote broken.

For the record, Huckabee left seminary after only one year, so I don't think he has any sort of theological degree.

The news media sources I've read have stated that he is an ordained Baptist minister and has a degree in theology. And I've read it in more than one source.

Seth R.-

Those news sources have it wrong. Huckabee is an ordained minister, but he does not have a theological degree.

The reason so many reporters get it confused is because they are only familiar with mainstream liberal Protestants, where an academic degree is required for the ministry, and so many assume that since Huckabee went to theological school and is a pastor, he must have a degree.

But for Huckabee's brand of Baptists - each congregation elects whoever they want to be pastor, regardless of whether that person has a degree or not. The only requirement is winning the vote of the congregation.

"Much of Mormon theology remains relatively inaccessible even to insiders."

Uhh... You can buy The Seer at DesBooks, read TONS of books online at GospeLink.com, and the full JD is online for free. Every anti-Mormon site in the business has all the access they want. You're telling me that Mormon Theology is inaccessible to insiders?

We don't sit around and talk about whether God has multiple wives in Gospel Doctrine or Elder's Quorum: I've sat through some of those. They're unfruitful, and everyone has their own opinion on the matter. However, when it comes to the basic "Doctrine" of the Church, there isn't much room for opinion.

Nothing against the JD or The Seer. In fact, next to Key to the Science of Theology, The Seer is my favorite book. I find it inspiring and enlightening.

This quote from the article is typical of media assumptions:

"Although this formulation is unlikely to satisfy those evangelicals who deny that the LDS church is Christian, Romney _presumably calculated_ that speaking about Jesus Christ in terms that _sound_ consistent with ordinary American Protestantism would reassure voters that there was in the end nothing especially unusual about Mormonism."

Or, maybe...just maybe he was actually stating the truth of what he believes. Maybe, perhaps he wasn't putting spin on anything at all.

That, of course, is not the norm in politics. Lies are the new truth. So, I can see how they would think that Romney stating in plain and simple language that he is a Christian in the very core sense of the word is "dishonest".

I suspect "inaccessible" he simply means simple and commonly discussed. I think most Mormons have a rather superficial knowledge of Mormon theology. That's not bad, I should say, since I think most of what gets labeled Mormon theology is more speculation and interpretations common at one time or an other but hardly stuff terribly fixed and sure. Plus I'm not sure those theological debates get at the heart of what's important in Mormonism to Mormons. (Not to mention God, who I tend to think will judge us by something other than a theological exam)


What struck my wife and me as we read the article were the repeated references to Mormon doctrine/theology/practice as being something that Mormons simply don't talk about with non-Mormons. I don't remember being too secretive about what Mormons believe when I was a missionary. But I can imagine the Brethren reading that and shaking their heads; "Even the New York Times noticed that we can't get Mormons to be member-missionaries!"

This is a very interesting discussion. But its clear the article, like most, wasn't scholarly, correct, or definitive. That's typical in the press, in my opinion. However, amidst all the negative press coverage and opinions of Mormonism in the USA, there are also a lot of positive feelings about Mormonism in the non-Mormon community. However, it seems the negative are emphasized more.

Anyhow, last year when I (a Mormon) entered a Masters program for history at the College of William & Mary, Virginia, three of the 12 candidates accepted were Mormon (rather significant I felt). I asked the dean of graduate studies, and a fellow professor who happened to be in the room, why this was. They replied that Mormons are "the next Jews" of the world and they make great historians. This was a great compliment and significant in an understanding of Mormonism in the wider world. I felt that being the 'next Jews', meaning being a group of culturally specific people who are successful and often well educated, was a great compliment. ont he path towards being 'the next Jews' perhaps in a few more generations people will stop believing and spreading all the garbage around about Mormonism, and see it more clearly. A plague of lies, hate, and false reports against Jews circulated commonly for centuries by Christendom in Europe, until it took some terrible events, like the Holocaust, to publicize the extent of this irrational hatred. Perhaps not to the same extent, but similar in some ways, Mormons are treated as todays Jews more ways than others.

Zach - good comment.

I've heard elsewhere recently that theologians are starting to classify Mormonism as the Fourth Prominent Abrahamic Religion - after Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

(They just can bring themselves to classify it as Christianity?)

Zach - I'm curious what you found about the article that was not scholarly or correct. I found myself thinking that it was both. I don't think that the point of the article was to smear the Church, but rather to comment on the sadness of the fact that it may be Romney's Mormonism that prevents him from being nominated (or elected). I thought that it did that remarkably well.

Brock, I agree with you. Without doubt the most scholarly, correct and insightful piece I've ever seen from a major media outlet.

In fact, beyond being scholarly, correct and insightful--I daresay it's something that all Mormons should read--not so they can have kneejerk reactions or nurture our well-groomed persecution complex, but because we might actually learn something about ourselves and about our neighbors as well.

Upon reading the article, I immediately wanted to forward it to all my Mormon friends--forgetting the non-Mormon ones who might also benefit.

It's rare that anyone--Mormon or not--can so crisply and lucidly sketch out the relationship of Mormons with non-Mormons in America. Bravo to Feldman.

(Lest someone try to "nail" me with some single quote from the article--no one's perfect and neither is any article--but I defy you to find a more. . . what were the words, "scholarly or correct" one. As for "definitive". . . what exactly does that have to do with anything? "No Man Knows My History" was "definitive" for a while--but neither particularly scholarly nor correct.)

I have to sound in that I found the article exceptional as well. I'd also be interested as to what it was that made Zach think otherwise (I'm in science, and history is my hobby, not my training).

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