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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Rick Perry was introduced by Robert Jeffress, a Baptist church leader, at the Values Voter Summit in Washington Friday. Jeffress later that day called Mormonism a “cult” and said he did not believe Mitt Romney was a Christian. Check out the video:

And so the issue of the Republican establishment favorite’s religion — Romney is a Mormon — which had largely stayed off the radar of this campaign, is poised to reemerge as a serious issue just when Republican primary voters start to settle on their choices.

Romney’s camp was quick to punch back. His introducer at the Summit, Bill Bennett, rebuked Jeffress before the candidate took the stage.

“Do not give voice to bigotry. Do not give voice to bigotry,” Bennett said. “I would say to Pastor Jeffress: You stepped on and obscured the words of Perry and Santorum and Cain and Bachmann and everyone else who has spoken here. You did Rick Perry no good, sir, in what you had to say.”

Romney’s speech was well-received, and as this is the second story in as many weeks painting Perry as a bigot (the first being the now-infamous name of his hunting ranch), the Texan’s backers have to be worried that the electability argument might start to pull (even more) establishment Republicans into Romney’s camp.

The spat also opens a bigger debate: is the Republican Evangelical community too intolerant, too prone to judgments and even prejudice — whether toward Mormons, Islam, or homosexuality?

Romney himself gently rebuked another hard right social conservative speaker at the Summit, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association.

“We should remember that decency and civility are values too,” Romney said when he took the stage Saturday. “One of the speakers who will follow me today has crossed that line, I think. Poisonous language doesn’t advance our cause.”

Romney, then, is expanding his push for a more moderate, practical Republican Party to the lion’s den — the religious Right. His new strategy carries risks, though: he may not need their whole-hearted support to win the primary, but as Karl Rove can tell you, a fired-up Evangelical community is key to the Republican Party winning national elections these days.

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Copyright 2011 The National Memo
  • Shaun Costello

    It’s a sad commentary to the state of our Republic, that these GOP Presidential hopefuls feel the need to come crawling before a gathering of Evangelicals in the hope of gaining approval and support. Evangelicals, most of whom seem to have one foot in a staight jacket, have taken over the selection process for the Republican Party. This is exactly the kind of political mahem that Jefferson warned us about, and took action to prevent. The nominee of the Republican Party has to cowtow to religious fanatics in order to get nominated. The Evangelical agenda includes; the reversal of Roe v Wade, prayer in public schools, the end of stem cell research, making homosexuality a crime, and legislating a National Religion – theirs. Oh, and influencing Cabinet appointments. For Secretary of State – how about Robert Tilton, or Jimmy Swaggert, or Pat Robertson, whichever one of them isn’t under current indictment for tax fraud. The clock is ticking for the Christian Storybook. Only right wing America takes them seriously. The rest of the world is laughing.
    Read this:

  • Shaun Costello

    In a startling new interview, the former Vice President talks about the GOP field,
    and their chances for 2012. He also answers the tough Condi questions about Gaddafi.
    Say’s he thought Colin Powell was Armenian, and finally reveals the truth about his
    “hunting accident”. Mr. Cheney is unusually forthcoming and chatty in what must be his
    most contraversial interview yet. Grab this:

  • bear112153

    Every religion by definition “IS” a cult. You are required to believe in the unbelievable, and everything depends on faith. Take Christianity itself. You have to believe in a book that 95% of it’s content cannot be proven by any kind of archeological evidence whatsoever! But yet it’s the word of God. But how do you know this? You have to have faith. Religion is nothing more than a security blanket, and Robert Heinlein said it best; “The cool comfort of faith, or the cold uncertainty of reason.

  • jerry

    A candidates beliefs have no place in government. Whether they are “christian”, Jew, Hindu or athest has no bearing on their ability to serve.
    Next, we will have sparring over a Baptist being more christian than a Methodist, or a Buddhist being anti-christian.
    How absurd this whole issue is and how fragile the process when we are subjected to “men of faith”, christain faith that is, deciding who should or should not be able to run for President.

  • LmD73158

    Sad, sad day on the right winged pundits , including Perry and his gang who have nothing to give this country except conflict. How many people do we have in Politics all over this country including Washington who are other then professing Christians? Take Congress for example, Jews , Mormons agnostics etc etc. Reminds of the bad ,sad days when Kennedy was ‘unelectable” because he was Catholic. this criteria is really a bad sad day in American politics.

  • jerry

    If one is born into a Catholic family, they are raised Catholic and most will accept the dogma as fact. If one is born into a Baptist household, they will probably come to believe that dancing is a sin.
    In conversation with “believers”, it is interesting to note the responses to the question “What is the origin of the Bible?”. To a person, I have heard “It is the word of god”. Again, the question was cncerning the ORIGIN. Factually, the origin of the Bible is 4th century Turkey and the Emperor Constantine who, though Muslim, created 50 christian churches and ordered 50 books of law with which to control the “followers”. The author of the books was a scribe named Eusifias (sp) and he, in concert with the Emperor, determined what myths would be included.
    As to the 10 Commandments, superstition has Moses(c. 1,500bc) climbing a mountain and returning with stones onto which god zotted “laws” with bolts of lightning, again with the intent of controlling the wandering tribes.
    In actuality, the commandments, attributed to devine inscription, were taken from the Pyramid Texts (c. 3,500bc), also known as the Egyptian Book of the Dead which contains 29 negative confessions one must recite as one progresses towards the afterlife. As Moses was raised in the house of the Pharaoh Radames, as a Prince of Egypt, he would have had intimate knowledge of the Book of the Dead, and saw an easy way out. Plagerizing has a long history.

  • Ralph

    So,sure does not look RINO Willard Mittens Romney special secret underwear protected
    RINO & LDS Cult Member Willard Mittens Romney from being exposed as a member the
    whacko LDS Cult now then. Yep,you just gave this Independent Voter yet another good
    reason to vote for you in 2012 RINO Willard Mittens Romney as you told us so yourself so just sit down,shut up and pack up your Mormon hand cart and go back to
    your LDS Magic Underwear Cult Headquarters in Salt Lake City here and now.

  • Bridget

    I DO NOT BELONG TO ANY ORGANIZED RELIGION. But from what I see Pastor Jeffress is the head of a cult. I’ve had to learn recently that everyone has the right to Religious Freedom.

  • jwozniak

    This is the same lunacy about Sharia law subverting truth, justice, and the American way. I suppose they’re trying to eliminate any supposed competition for their coming fantasy revolution and takeover. It’s like fantasy football. Except with real-world consequences for bystanders.

  • facerra1

    After nearly three quarters of a century on this planet called Earth, and in this time of science and technology, I am utterly amazed that 95% of the worlds population “Believe” in some sort of magical “Being” AKA God, Allah, etc.
    Yes,the Pastor was only partially right, he should have stated ALL religions are a CULT!
    I was born into this life by Catholic parents and when I would question it, I was told that was not for me to question. I went to Catholic school and when I would write (I am left handed) the sisters would beat my knuckles with a ruler telling me that was a sign of the devil! It had taken 21 years for me to finally have the courage to face up to family and friends and break away from that BS.
    The good news is I now see a lot more people questioning and abandoning religion.

  • facerra1

    Question: What ever happened to “Separation of Church & State”?????

  • Long Story Short

    This is a DISGUSTING non-issue. Disgusting.

  • Summertime

    The official name of the Mormon Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I guess anyone who is a Christian including Jesus can be accused of being in a cult. If the Mormon Church is a cult, I’d far rather be in that cult than the cult of any fundamentalist eg. Southern Baptist, but any fundamentalist of any persuasion. The LDS Church (Mormon) is a fine religion that truly enbraces family values and walks the talk.

  • Laura Stdenis

    Anything good coming from religion is great, but we can be great without organized religion. I’m not sure why these religious people think they are the only ones who are good in this society. Some of us just don’t need to be told how to act and think. We do have brains and know how to treat our fellow human. We have been doing it without religion for years.

  • GaryBeene

    Bill Bennett introduced Mitt Romney with these words, “Do not give voice to bigotry. Do not give voice to bigotry…”

    Well, asking that group not to give voice to bigotry is somewhat akin to asking the KKK to open its membership to persons who are black, gay, immigrants, etc. etc. etc.

    Mr. Bennett, I have a great deal of respect for you, but on this one you gotta give me a break.

  • Regina

    So today this Christian leader thinks that the Latter Day Saints are a cult. Today, Mormons; tomorrow, Jews? How much religious freedom does the United States Constitution protect? We need freedom from evangelism.

  • nycbruce

    This simply proves what those who oppose the far-right wing of the GOP have said all along: they want to “rule America” by their own bigoted, VERY narrow definition of “morality”, and all else be damned! Even other “Christians” who don’t swallow the evangelical kool-aid don’t make the cut with them. I guess that leaves out “The Church of JESUS CHRIST (!) of Latter Day Saints, Catholics, Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, Quakers, and even the Amish as “not Christian enough”. What total blarney. But it certainly does beg ONE important question: Why would ANY member of these “non-Christian” denominations vote for a candidate touted by these self-important, hatred-filled yahoos? It simply boggles the mind…

  • AshleyWilkes

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. All religions are cults. Cults are “them and us” groups, with their own cultspeak, rituals, and “fairy tale” belief systems. Beliefs are theories that attempt to explain the unknown. Faith is hope that a believer’s beliefs are true. Belief and faith IMPLY lack of knowledge. As far as Christians, any credibility they allegedly have is sabotaged by the various Christian denominations calling each other “not true Christians”. Tell me, Robert Jeffress, what is a TRUE Christian? Rhetorical question, however, I would like an answer and if Robert Jeffress represents a TRUE Christian (as he has self-proclaimed) he acts about as spiritual as a Wall St. broker after a big loss.

  • gvomend

    Leave religion out of politics, the time of Inquisition is long over. Please don’t return to the time of witch-hunting. The political system must be characterized by the exclusion of ecclesiastical control and influence, i.e. laicism should prevail.
    United States is not Iran.