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Mitt and Faith

Mitt Romney, who the Republicans call “Him”, has a past that speaks to a matter of his soul, which I believe is the foundation of his core beliefs. Mitt spent 32 years in a religious organization that indoctrinated the idea that blacks were fundamentally cursed — by God — and that by virtue of their birth were unworthy of the highest spiritual affirmation. Being an African America and someone who believes in God this ideology is a huge problem for me.

Let me give just a brief historical background of his faith. The word Mormon most often refers to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because of their belief in the Book of Mormon, though members often refer to themselves as “Latter-day Saints” or sometimes just “Saints.”

The term has been embraced by most adherents of Mormonism, most notably the fundamentalists, while other Saints denominations, such as the Community of Christ, have rejected it. The term Latter-day Saints (LDS) was given to its founder Joseph Smith during an 1838 revelation mentioned in Doctrine and Covenants. The term “saint” was used by Paul the Apostle to refer to early members of the Christian church with “later-day” being added to differentiate the modern church from the early church.

Most people associate the Mormon religion with polygamy or sex with young girl through marriage which was a distinguishing practice of many early Mormons. However, it was renounced by the LDS Church in 1890, and now they say is discontinued. Today, polygamy is practiced only by fundamentalist groups that have broken with the LDS Church.

From the start, Mormons have tried to establish what they call Zion, a utopian society of the righteous. Mormon history can be divided into three broad time periods: (1) the early history during the lifetime of Joseph Smith, (2) a “pioneer era” under the leadership of Brigham Young and his successors, and (3) a modern era beginning around the turn of the 20th century.

Now back to the cult’s racial views. Romney was confronted during a NBC’s Meet the Press (12/07) appearance when the late Tim Russert brought up the ban on blacks and the fact that Romney was an adult before the ban was lifted. Russert pointedly asked if Romney had a problem with associating himself with an organization that was seen as racist. Romney answered, “I’m not going to distance myself in any way from my faith.”

Russert asked if Romney was willing to disavow the Church’s earlier teachings, and Romney refused — choosing instead to cite examples of how his father supported civil rights. Mitt even claimed that his father, George Romney, marched with Martin Luther King, Jr.; a statement that was later proven false and that Romney recanted.

There is “no religious test” for holding political office, but there is a moral one. As a leader in his church, a young Romney would have been compelled to teach the racist Mormon ideology to others. His curious answer to Russert affirms the belief that the church was infallible in its teachings. Romney cannot be excused of his own affiliation with an explicitly discriminatory organization without, at the very least, providing an acceptable answer.

Barack Obama was forced to disavow controversial statements by his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, during the 2008 campaign culminating in his now famous race speech. Romney cannot be given a pass especially when, unlike Obama’s situation, Romney remains in a church whose codified beliefs are sketched in proverbial stone. The priesthood ban may be gone, but the cursed text remains and is still taught as divinely inspired doctrine.

The former governor rarely discusses religion. But the recent controversy over the contraception clause of the new healthcare law and the Catholic Church’s public disagreement with the Obama administration precipitated comments from Romney that Obama was attacking freedom of religion. Romney spoke while campaigning ahead of the Michigan and Arizona primaries that he “knows a lot about being persecuted” for one’s faith.

There is a cognitive dissonance inherent in the idea that one can be a victim of religious persecution, while simultaneously adhering to a faith which does the same based on race.

It’s a complicated subject, with an equally complicated history, and though Romney may not now, or ever have held racist feelings or beliefs on a personal level, it is a public office that he seeks. And, as such, he must be compelled to offer an open and honest explanation. Frankly, with his well documented history of flip-flopping (lying) – is this the guy any American would want to be the next president of the United States.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pcw0woPX5VY

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

“Just a Season”

Legacy – A New Season is Coming!


Show us your Damn Returns

In 2009, former Senator Tom Daschle was nominated to head the Department of Health and Human Services. Mr. Daschle’s nomination was derailed, in part, because of issues with his tax returns. You cannot be considered for a position in the President’s cabinet or any other high-level government position without allowing your tax returns to be reviewed.

At last night’s Republican Presidential Debate, Senator Tom Daschle was asked if he intended to release his tax return. After stuttering and rambling around an answer, Mitt implied that he would release his return sometime around April.

I suppose that he wants to give his accountants the opportunity to produce a return that will be more palatable to the American electorate. I mean really, didn’t you file a tax return last year, Mitt? Why won’t you show us that one?

What could Romney’s return possibly show that would turn off the American voter. Could it be that his effective tax rate is 15% or lower? And, how is it possible that us regular working stiffs could be taxed at a higher rate than the uber-rich Mr. Romney. Couldn’t that be considered a “transfer of wealth” from the poor to the rich? Did he pay any taxes at all? Without the release of his returns, these and other questions will never be answered.

It is amazing that a person cannot hold a high-level government position without showing their tax returns to the American people and yet, a man who wants to hold the highest office in the land is, shall we say, reluctant to disclose.

By Jackie Lambert
Co-Host of “Let’s Talk About It”

http://johntwills.com

http:thoughtprovokingperspectives.wordpress.com


“If You Really Want to Live, Be Extraordinary”

I have moved “Thought Provoking Perspectives” to The John T. Wills Chronicles information portal @ http://johntwillschronicles.com I want to share a profound message taken from a novel Chapter Excerpt FROM “If You Really Want to Live, Be Extraordinary” written by Jo Lena Johnson & Dr. Lee Roy Jefferson. I encourage you to read the featured article on the The John T. Wills Chronicles in its entirety.

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Whether you are a student, parent, teacher, church leader, business owner, or simply a concerned citizen, Mrs. Raglin demonstrates honor, commitment, leadership, integrity, love of teaching and learning. A few pages of her wisdom are worth their weight in gold!

Six Things I Really Want Teachers to Know

1. As a teacher, you are always a learner.

2. You can’t teach kids you don’t take opportunity to know—and for whom you don’t allow opportunity to know you.

3. Because people and actions are always connected, there is no way for you to mistreat a child and not have it come back to you.

4. Students should be prepared to take care of the world one day, just as you and I as children were taught to do our part in taking care of the world. Teaching should be a revered position. It’s not to be taken lightly when you are training a mind for optimal results in knowing, being, and doing.

5. Students have the right to learn how to think. If you don’t teach them how to think, they won’t know how to live. Thinking is what is going to save them—and all of us. It’s not always all about teaching subject matter at the start. What is ultimately important for your students is that they master the ability to process information: to know through understanding. Once exposed to information, knowledge comes as a result of analyzing, synthesizing, and never failing to evaluate what one hears, sees, and even thinks.

Students can’t learn how to think by simply memorizing someone else’s ideas. If you teach them how to think and imagine they will be able to choose what information will be useful for their own future…livelihood, well-being, career, citizenship, humanity. Students need to have a point of reference in the things taught and required to learn, to be able to relate those things to something they already know, care about—have already “studied”—or can use. What they read and learn—and the way it is presented—should be something that will forever help students make good decisions. And, believe me; that is your grave responsibility.

6. Low self-esteem leads to rebellion. There is probably nothing worse in school for a child than sitting in a room where everyone else knows “stuff” he/she doesn’t know. When children don’t know such things as decorum and are doubly embarrassed by not having academic skills, it makes them unable to think logically in the moment. Yes, they act out in the classroom, but they will act out even more so in life without mastery of big and little things. You are creating a monster when you don’t teach a child. There is joy for children in learning, and there is a joy for real teachers in watching children learn—watching them become able to understand and explore…observe someone else’s creativity and, in doing so, gain access to their own. To teach is to help a child discover self, personal talents, goals—along with connections to others and the use of the gift of life only for good.”

Mrs. Raglin explains in detail in the feature. It is a must read.

Chapter Excerpt FROM “If You Really Want to Live, Be Extraordinary”
Jo Lena Johnson & Dr. Lee Roy Jefferson
http://www.jolenajohnson.com


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