Is Mitt Romney The White Horse?

Since I am almost as fair and balanced as Fox “News,” I will give some free pub to, uh, Jesus:

I have wondered out loud whether “Evangelicals Hate Obama More Than They Love Jesus.” As a former evangelical Christian, my curiosity is the result of knowing that most, if not all, conservative evangelicals have been taught that Mormonism, the religion of Mitt Romney, is a cult.

And some folks take such things seriously:

The author of this funny-but-serious stuff is a televangelist named Bill Keller, a man who got a degree from Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University while cooling his heels in prison, the result of getting caught doing a little insider trading.

Keller says:

This election is NOT about politics, but a choice between two son’s of Satan, and the fact that this choice is nothing but a furtherance of God’s judgment on this nation for our sin.

A “news” distributor, Christian Newswire, featured this article in August:

Republicans Pray to Satan at the GOP Convention as Romney and His Surrogates Lie to Make Mainstream the Mormon Cult

The article begins:

Bill Keller, the world’s leading Internet Evangelist and the founder of LivePrayer.com, with over 2.4 million subscribers worldwide…was horrified as he watched a Mormon cult member lead mostly Biblical Christians at the Republican Convention last night in a prayer to Satan, since Mormons do not pray to the God of the Bible, but to a mythical “god” they believe who was once a man!

No one knows just how many evangelicals out there take Keller seriously (there’s no way to verify the claim on the Vote for Jesus website that over a million folks pledge to, well, vote for Jesus) and feel so disgusted by Mormonism that they will stay at home rather than vote for Romney-Satan (a recent Pew Forum poll found that 19% were “uncomfortable” with Romney’s faith), but I did find something interesting on the site, something I admit I was not familiar with in detail:

If Mitt Romney is elected, he will be the fulfillment of his cult’s polygamist, pedophile, racist, con artist, murdering founder Joseph Smith’s “White Horse” prophecy that Romney and all Mormon’s believe. That prophecy says that the United States will facing great economic and social unrest, a Mormon will be elected President, declare a national emergency and set aside the US Constitution and enact a Mormon theocracy. That may sound impossible, but ever since he was at BYU, Romney was called by his inner circle “the chosen one” to fulfill their cult’s prophecy.

Mitt Romney is known as “the chosen one”? And what the hell is the “White Horse” prophecy”?

It turns out that Brigham Young’s great-great granddaughter, Sue Emmett, has addressed this weird stuff about that weird prophecy. Emmett, who left the Mormon church because she considered it harmful to women (another issue that needs exploration), did an extensive interview with The Daily Beast, which revealed:

Regarding Romney and the presidency, Emmett cites a bit of Mormon lore called the White Horse Prophecy that has floated around since the time of Mormon founder Joseph Smith. It suggests that Mormons believe a time will come when the U.S. Constitution is eroding and Mormon leaders will save it and usher in a new theocracy with Mormons in charge. Emmett’s great-great-grandfather talked about it. In a discourse from 1855, Young wrote that “when the Constitution hangs, as it were, upon a single thread, they will have to call for the ‘Mormon’ Elders to save it from utter destruction; and they will step forth and do it.”

Romney has said that he considers the White Horse Prophecy just a matter of speculation by church members. “I haven’t heard my name associated with it or anything of that nature,” he told The Salt Lake Tribune in 2007. “That’s not official church doctrine…I don’t put that at the heart of my religious belief.”

But Emmett begs to differ. “I can guarantee you that there are millions of Mormons who believe this prophecy and see Romney as potential fulfillment of it,” she says. “As a Mormon, you grow up hearing about this prophecy. I think Mitt believes he has a mandate from God to become president so he can help move this along. I don’t know if it’s a conscious thought, but it’s in his subconscious.”

So, there are “millions of Mormons” who believe the White Horse Prophecy about an eroding Constitution and who believe Romney is its fulfillment. Well, the so-called erosion of the Constitution has been, of course, a constant theme of the Republican attack on Barack Obama. Rush Limbaugh summarized this attack:

The Constitution doesn’t matter to the [Obama] regime. The regime is simply saying, ‘To hell with the Constitution. We’re gonna implement this regardless what the Constitution says!’

Is it possible that the reason Romney is so willing to lie (“lying for the Lord” is justified in much Mormon thinking), to obfuscate, to abandon his principles and then embrace them again only to abandon them once more, is because he has a view of our Constitution that sees him, a Mormon, as its rescuer? And anything said or done in service to saving the Constitution is legitimate?

It so happens that the Mormon church, through its scriptures, explicitly states that our Constitution was not just a document created by men, but “a sacred document,” one that was, according to James Rogers, “established by God by men whom God raised for that purpose.

Is it so far-fetched that a man so dedicated to his church, so loyal to its principles (if you doubt this see the video posted below and watch the fierceness with which he defends his church), would, along with millions of Mormons, see himself as The One who could save America and its Constitution?

I won’t pretend to know or won’t claim that Romney sees himself that way. I don’t know, and judging by his multiple positions perhaps he doesn’t know, what is in his mind at any given moment. But Mitt Romney said in February of this year:

I happen to believe that the principles and the values of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence are not just foundational and defining but they’re powerful. And they’re either inspired by God or they were written by brilliant people or perhaps a combination of both those things. But we have in those documents the way forward for America.

And then a few minutes later:

This is really a battle for the soul of America. It’s essential, it’s essential that we win this election and we get Barack Obama out of the White House and we get America back on course. I think the President is slowly but surely changing us into a European-style welfare state. That is not the kind of America we’ve known; that’s not the kind of America that my grandfather came…here for and that’s not the kind of America my dad was able to build his success in. And it’s not the kind of America that will allow your children and their children to have prosperity and freedom. We need America to remain as a merit society, an opportunity society. We need the principles of the Declaration and the Constitution to continue to be strong and guide America.

What does “a battle for the soul of America” mean to a committed Mormon, whose church believes that the Constitution is a sacred document given to us by God? Whose church continues entertaining a “White Horse Prophecy” the core of which is: “a time will come when the U.S. Constitution is eroding and Mormon leaders will save it and usher in a new theocracy with Mormons in charge“? What does that mean to Mr. Romney, who said the prophecy was not “at the heart” of his “religious belief.” If not the heart, then where is it? Perhaps someone should ask him.

James Rogers’ article I cited above is fascinating and includes this appeal to reporters reluctant to ask Romney about his religion:

The upshot to this credo is that LDS politicians serious about their beliefs have a significantly different understanding of the relationship of their religion to the U.S. government than almost any other religious politician in the U.S. I do not at all suggest that this disqualifies LDS members from holding political office. But it does raise honest and legitimate questions about unique implications of LDS scriptures for the U.S. Constitution, the American project, and the vocations of LDS politicians. What’s more, because of the highly political nature of these beliefs, these questions cannot be waved aside as unrelated to public life. Campaign reporters need to ask Romney to expand on LDS political theory and its implications when he suggests his belief in the LDS doctrine that the Constitution is divinely inspired.

Yes, reporters should do that. Now, who among us believes any of them ever will?

_________________________

Watch Mittens battle with WHO radio’s Jan Mickelson of Des Moines about his Mormon faith:

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10 Comments

  1. It seems like Mormonism has not been the issue it might have been.

    I was born in Idaho and grew up with many Mormons. I think it’s a non-issue.

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    • Bruce,

      It’s only an issue because of Romney’s unprecedented involvement with the hierarchy of his church. What has been called by folks who know Romney’s “rather exalted state within the church.” If he were just another pew-setter that wouldn’t be worth much as an issue. But in his life he has held some rather high positions, like Stake President.

      If, say, Obama were an official in a church that preached a religious form of liberation theology (which is a political movement), it would be unthinkable that the press wouldn’t ask him questions about it and thereby make it an issue. I am wondering why Romney’s official capacity in the Mormon church isn’t an issue.

      Duane

      Like

  2. Treeske

     /  October 14, 2012

    An informative read about the Mormon’s History is Jon Krakauer’s “Under the banner of God”
    Likewise a good read: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/10481

    Like

    • I liked this line:

      We liked Mitt as well, in that he was married to Ann. Mitt would offer a firm, robotic handshake on Sunday mornings, but he managed to make his “Good morning, it’s great to see you,” feel condescending and superficial.

      Just like a crass salesman who has no real interest in you other than what you can do for him. But another important quote, and one that expresses a sentiment I tried to emphasize in my earlier piece on evangelicals and Mormonism, is this:

      Within the Mormon faithful his ascendancy to the doorstep of the presidency is viewed with almost as much anticipation as the Second Coming of Jesus. They look to a Mitt presidency as validation of their belief system and a golden opportunity to disseminate it worldwide. To them, Mitt embodies simultaneous theological and political triumph.

      That triumph is what many theologically serious evangelical leaders, apart from their disdain for President Obama, actually fear about a Romney win. It will validate the “cult” of Mormonism.

      But the most telling quote from the piece you linked to is this:

      Mitt’s significant leadership positions in the Mormon Church evokes a much deeper connection to his religion than any other presidential candidate in modern history has had to their religion. Reaching this rather exalted state within the church is supposed to manifest not just one’s extraordinary commitment to the church, but also to behavior and a value system beyond reproach. A Mormon Stake President is expected to live an exemplary, Christ-like life. Therefore, it is not only fair, but important to ask: does Mitt’s behavior and value system meet those lofty expectations?

      Moench obviously believes Romney does not live up to those lofty expectations. And I confess that Moench’s piece has made me reconsider how I look at Romney’s Mormonism, which has always appered to me to be a genuinely zealous and frightening faith. Oddly, it was this quote that gave me pause:

      Romney apparently has no problem accepting tens of millions of dollars from people like casino magnates Steven Wynn and Sheldon Adelson, despite the fact that Mormonism considers gambling a sin.

      While I had thought about that hypocrisy before, I never thought about it quite the way Moench put it. Moench said, “I’m sure Romney hasn’t asked either billionaire if any of the money they donated might have also come from the proceeds of any of other sins that go on in Las Vegas casinos, any of which would also violate Mormon standards.” Why not? I wonder. If a man is so enamored by his Mormon faith that he abstains from alcohol and other socially prevalent chemicals, why wouldn’t he at least shy away from such sinful money?

      Rethinking this I have to at least submit that maybe, when it comes to politics and political power, there is no greater God in Romney’s life than ambition. Greater even than the God of his Mormon faith. And I’m not sure if that scares me more or less about a potential Romney presidency.

      Duane

      Like

  3. Treeske

     /  October 14, 2012

    bruce,- Romney’s flip-flopping and right out lying, brings back Brigham Young’s motto: Lying for the Lord”.

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    • I mentioned “lying for the Lord” in the piece and I find it a very disturbing part of the Mormon phenomenon. Of course, given their history, Mormons had a lot to lie about.

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  4. I watched the clip of Romney at the Iowa radio station, and it was indeed very interesting. I find his position relative to the dichotomy of secular rule and LDS Church doctrine quite believable, and in fact it is the only position he can take and still run a credible political race. His reasoning is consistent with my understanding of Mormonism in that it views its own church members as distinct from non-Mormans. They are the chosen people and the rest of humanity are, what’s the word? Heathens? Heretics? Apostates? This was so when at the instructions from Brigham Young, Mormons dressed as Native Americans slaughtered an innocent wagon train, men, women and children above the age of 8, in the Mountain Meadows massacre of 1857. Now just think about the enormity of that act. These were people who professed a love of Jesus Christ, who embraced the Golden Rule. So how could they do that heinous act? They were able to do it as professed and passionate Christians, I submit, because of just that distinction, and I see no evidence that that has changed in the years since.

    The Mormon practice of baptizing everyone (whether they want it or not, in absentia and even post-mortem!) would indicate a belief that all of humanity has only two possible destinies, become Mormon or go to hell. All the evidence indicates that Mormons are more serious about their religion than any other Christian denomination. I believe a President Romney would accede to instructions from his church, and would of course do all that he could to mold government to his Church’s liking. He was a Mormon “Bishop”, for heaven’s sake, so why should we expect anything different? And, speaking of that, Treeske’s link is worth a read. It is a written opinion by a Utah physician and former Mormon who knew Romney and it is very critical of his honesty. All I can figure is that the mental distinction between Mormons and the rest of humanity is what enables him to rationalize being disingenuous in his politics. It fits.

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    • Jim,

      What I came away with more than anything from the clip is Romney’s passion and apparent sincerity about his religious faith. That is one thing that scares me about him. I have no doubt that he is a dedicated Mormon, and I find Mormonism a very strange faith, stranger even than the faith it is a corruption of. It would be like electing Glenn Beck, for God’s sake (and you will notice that Romney has never criticized the craziness of Glenn Beck). All this, for me, convinces that despite his multitudinous political personalities, his belief system has a bedrock of “severe conservatism.”

      Duane

      Like

    • Treeske

       /  October 15, 2012

      The Meadows massacre also gave the Mormons a big (free) boost to their cattle Industry! Something to consider is the enormous wealth and power this group has acquired (and how) in such a short time. Little of this is known to the public. My distrust comes from living among and participating in social activities with LDS members. Most, especially the young are a pleasure to deal with but unless you convert, the secrecy shroud remains.
      Your blog and comments are among the best. Thanks

      Like

  5. ansonburlingame

     /  October 14, 2012

    Bruce,

    I lived in Nevada and worked with lots of Mormons and agree, Mormonism is a nonissue except for those that have to pick at anything other than defend their own records.

    Anson

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