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Blog of Mass Destruction

The Cult of Personality

By The Reverend Published: August 1, 2007


Mitt Romney is a Mormon. That is his personal

drug religion of choice and so there has been some interest in how the evangelical right, so instrumental now in GOP politics, would respond to this fact. Would Mitt's being a Mormon, instead of, say, being a Southern Baptist, make a difference in his candidacy, his electability?

The Reverend is keenly interested in stuff like this. So I found out what the Southern Baptist Convention had to say about our friends, the Mormons.

1. Cults and sects usually claim to be biblically-based, Christian organizations. For example, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) maintains that it is a Christian church centered on Christ and His teachings. The Christian Science church also often refers to itself as a Christian movement. Link A Southern Baptist Convention enitity.

Clearly, at least as far as the Southern Baptists are concerned, the LDS Mormons are an example of a cult.

Cult. Ominous sounding, isn't it? But what does it really mean? Off to we go.....

There are 10 entries given under's descriptions of the word "cult". These two apply to this specific discussion....

1. a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies.

6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.

Aside: Many Southern Baptists (over 16 million total members) are instrumental in today's evangelical right political machine and that's why this cult information is important.... I know Romney thinks it's important.

Number 1 definition above describes the entire Christian religion and is often referred to as such in theological works. A question is begged: Don't you find it odd that people who belong to a cult accuse others of being in a cult? Wouldn't it be more accurate if the Southern Baptists simply said the LDS group was a cult within a larger cult?

Oh, but that wouldn't give the Baptists full use of the number 6 definition which of course describes

Jesus and his early followers those quirky offshoot movements that had, from what I've read, a charismatic leader. As opposed to the solemn, reverent and serious establishment Christian religion, in this case the Southern (Fried) Baptist evangelical Protestant version of the larger cult called Christianity.

You see, the Southern Baptists, for your information, do not belong to a "false, unorthodox, or extremist" group, nosiree. They do not live outside of "conventional society" and they sure as heck don't have any "charismatic" leaders. So number 6 certainly wouldn't apply to the Southern Baptists.... but the Mormons?? That, of course, is a horse-cult of a different color.

Richard Land, public policy head of the Southern Baptist Convention, in a discussion dealing with Mitt Romney's acceptance by evangelical Southern Baptists, had this to say about Mormonism....

“Trying to sell Mormonism as an acceptable orthodox Christian faith is a huge mistake. It’s not going to work with evangelicals."

Winning Southern states will be a challenge for Romney, he said, because surveys indicate that more than 30 percent of Southern evangelicals are skeptical about voting for a Mormon. Link

Southern Baptists are evangelicals but not all evangelicals claim to be Southern Baptists. One such evangelical, Bill Keller, who claims 2.4 million "Live Prayer" members, has had a few interesting comments about Mormonism and Mitt Romney.

Keller's website gives this brief profile alongside of a picture of he and Mr. Bill O'Reilly splitscreen on the "Factor".....

The press has crowned him the "Dr. Phil of prayer" and "The next big thing in mass media religion." "Live" for an hour every Mon-Fri you can meet the man behind the headlines, Bill Keller who is taking on the rulers of late night TV with his groundbreaking program "Live Prayer with Bill Keller." Link

.....and then here's what "Live Prayer" Bill thinks about Mormons and Romney....

If you vote for Mitt Romney, you are voting for satan! This message today is not about Mitt Romney. Romney is an unashamed and proud member of the Mormon cult founded by a murdering polygamist pedophile named Joseph Smith nearly 200 years ago. The teachings of the Mormon cult are doctrinally and theologically in complete opposition to the Absolute Truth of God's Word. There is no common ground. If Mormonism is true, then the Christian faith is a complete lie. Link

Subtlety, apparently, is not one of "Live Prayer" Bill's strengths.

The comments by Land and Keller seem at first glance to be comments lacking self-awareness, perhaps comments that could be interpreted as a bit condescending, triumphalistic or self-righteous. This, of course, has to be a misinterpretation, a misunderstanding. These men have given serious and solemn prayer and meditation time to the subject of Mormonism. The Reverend should rest easy knowing Land and Keller are simply protecting the faith.

Rest in the assurance that evangelicals, like Richard Land or like Bill Keller, are not extremist, unorthodox people belonging to some unconventional false cult of a charismatic personality.



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