Mitt Romney – a typical Mormon?

Book of Mormon Romney

I caught a rather interesting letter-to-the-editor in the SLTrib taking Mormons to task for disregarding their own scripture. The letter basically noted that the Book of Mormon condemns those who despise the poor. Here are the relevant cites from the Book of Mormon:

2 Nephi 9:30

But wo unto the rich, who are rich as to the things of the world. For because they are rich they despise the poor, and they persecute the meek, and their hearts are upon their treasures; wherefore, their treasure is their god. And behold, their treasure shall perish with them also.

3 Nephi 6:12

And the people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning; yea, some were ignorant because of their poverty, and others did receive great learning because of their riches.

Mosiah 4: 16-19

And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are justBut I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

 

Now contrast that with what Mitt Romney said when he didn’t think the cameras were rolling (from MotherJones):

Romney: There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. And I mean, the president starts off with 48, 49, 48he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect. And he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean that’s what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those peopleI’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

 

Is Mitt Romney a bad Mormon? Or is this typical for Mormons – focus on the parts of the Book of Mormon you like (e.g., Jesus came to America and Moroni’s promise) and ignore the parts you don’t (dark skin is a curse and don’t demean the poor)?

11 thoughts on “Mitt Romney – a typical Mormon?

  1. You sure are looking for a bone to pick… Romney’s comments are not demeaning the poor, simply stating a significant factor in the upcoming election- people who are not paying taxes don’t care much about tax cuts, unless they believe it will reduce their own handouts.. then they are against it.

    You claim Romney “despises the poor”… really? Even with taking out the 10% tithing, his 2011 giving to charity was over $2.5M, almost 20% of his income. You’d be hard pressed to suggest that I bet a lot of poor were helped by that, and you’d be hard-pressed to find many other politicians (or business people) that give that high of a percentage). Certainly not Biden – In the decade before the 2008 elections, the Bidens donated an average of just $369 a year! That’s an average of 0.2% per year. (USA Today, 9/12/2008)

  2. people who are not paying taxes dont care much about tax cuts, unless they believe it will reduce their own handouts.. then they are against it.

    Actually, that is demeaning. Considering that a lot of these 47% are combat veterans, and even more of them are seniors who paid into Social Security — to imply that they’re simply looking for unearned handouts of someone else’s dime is a little insulting.

    Youd be hard pressed to suggest that I bet a lot of poor were helped by that

    Not at all. I think it would be very easy to suggest that you bet a lot of poor were helped by that. How many poor were actually helped by it would, naturally, depend on which charities he gave to.

  3. I’m not looking for a bone to pick. I just thought it interesting that Mitt doesn’t like poor people, despite the Book of Mormon saying you shouldn’t demean the less fortunate.

    Also, ditto what chanson said – Mitt gives a lot of money, but most of it goes to the LDS Church, which is remarkably miserly when it comes to giving to the poor. So, sure, he gives money, but not to poor people.

    And I’m not going to defend Biden. Doesn’t matter. Not what I was posting about here.

  4. >> Considering that a lot of these 47% are combat veterans, and even more of them are seniors who paid into Social Security to imply that theyre simply looking for unearned handouts of someone elses dime is a little insulting.

    That’s a fair point… I shouldn’t suggest that it’s all (or even the majority), so thanks for calling me out on that.

    It is concerning though, that our country seems to be heading (slow or fast, depending on your perspective) toward a welfare state… for example, under Obama the number of *able-bodied* American adults on food stamps has doubled (source: Congressional Research Service). Removing the work requirement is bad policy and encourages entitlement. Similar situation with unemployment, where the requirement of 3 job-seeking contacts a week requires very little effort (I know this from experience, having been on unemployment two different times over the past 4 years). Just seems like the government often makes it too easy for people to get assistance without really being “in need”… and it’s hard not to like the hand that feeds you.

  5. @profxm- are you able to cite references?
    – “most of it goes to the LDS Church”
    – “which is remarkably miserly when it comes to giving to the poor”

    Thanks!

  6. Sure.

    Mitt gives a lot to the LDS Church (whether it is most of his donations, I can’t say for certain, but it’s a big chunk):
    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/mitt-romney-millions-mormon-church/story?id=15380149#.UGH7MYoaPpY
    http://www.businessinsider.com/mitt-romneys-charitable-donations-mormon-church-2012-7
    The second link says 80% of his donations go to the LDS Church.

    See this article for the miserly giving of the LDS Church:
    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BzZBZGq02g8ZaXpldnhGMnRsQk0/edit

  7. @profxm-
    Thanks for the info on where Mitt donates, I appreciate the info.

    As for the church’s “miserly giving”, the article states that it: “gave about $1 billion
    to charitable causes between 1985 and 2008”. I wonder what “give” means… and if it covers all humanitarian aid, disaster assistance, community programs (like unemployment training, etc.)… both domestic and internationally?

  8. We don’t know everything that was included in that estimate, but my sense is that it is cash and donated goods, but does not include things like service by individuals. The reason I suggest it is “miserly” is because that represents about 0.7% of the annual tithing revenue the religion receives every year. In contrast, the United Methodist church donates about 29% of its revenue to charitable causes every year.

  9. for example, under Obama the number of *able-bodied* American adults on food stamps has doubled (source: Congressional Research Service).

    hardly surprising, given the recession that Republican economic policies plunged the country into.

    Similar situation with unemployment, where the requirement of 3 job-seeking contacts a week requires very little effort (I know this from experience, having been on unemployment two different times over the past 4 years). Just seems like the government often makes it too easy for people to get assistance without really being in need

    Define “need.” Just because YOU might have taken advantage of the situation and taken benefits you were entitled to but apparently didn’t really “need,” is that adequate proof that the majority of other recipients do the same thing?

    and its hard not to like the hand that feeds you.

    Sure. Which is one reason the military industrial complex likes politicians who support financially its bloated mass: they are the hand that feeds it.

    As Jesus and others have pointed out, however, it’s more noble to give to people to can’t give much back.

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