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As a Mormon, I think that I have an accurate take on what type of man Mr. Romney is.  Being raised in Utah, I know that Mormonism (as with other very conservative Christian religions) put heavy (although not exclusive) emphasis on familial – especially sexual – fidelity.  I have no doubt that Mr. Romney is a man of personal, religious consciousness who is completely dedicated to his religion and family.  I certainly think this is admirable.  However it has been noted that Mormonism places little emphasis upon general, social consciousness and business integrity.
A commenter in this same diary writes:
I had a college buddy who went to law school, then, because of the excellent skiing nearby, studied for and passed the Utah bar, and eventually established a practice in Salt Lake.

Many Mormons, he told me, are driven  to achieve professional and business success to such an extent that they often ignore the usual ethical and even legal standards. Their single mindedness and ethical blindness is born of their desire to provide security for their families and establish a place for themselves in the community. Any action can be overlooked or forgiven, if the reason is family, church and community.

The result is that too many Mormon business people end up in court, either suing or defending themselves from other Mormons in deals that have gone bad, or defending themselves against the government for more egregious errors.

And Mormons, my Catholic college buddy likes to say, don't want Mormons representing them in court. For that they turn to auslanders. Which is why my buddy with the Irish name was able to retire early and rich, with a house up at Alta, a place down in Mexico, and a fine appreciation for the people of Moroni.

I concur that Mitt Romney is a jerk. And I know there are many jerks on the right who share his religious faith.

Now, I happen to be Jewish, and I happen to think Joe Lieberman is a jerk, and I acknowledge (sadly) that there are many other jerks (further on the right than Lieberman) who are also Jewish, but surely it would be recognized as bigotry if I posted a diary that contained this:

As a Jew, I think that I have an accurate take on what type of man Mr. Lieberman is.  Being raised in New York City, I know that Orthodox Judaism (as with other very conservative religions) put heavy (although not exclusive) emphasis on familial – especially sexual – fidelity.  I have no doubt that Mr. Lieberman is a man of personal, religious consciousness who is completely dedicated to his religion and family.  I certainly think this is admirable.  However it has been noted that Judaism places little emphasis upon general, social consciousness and business integrity.
Similarly, we would recogize a comment like the following as bigotry:
I had a college buddy who went to law school and eventually established a practice in New York City.

Many Jews, he told me, are driven to achieve professional and business success to such an extent that they often ignore the usual ethical and even legal standards. Their single mindedness and ethical blindness is born of their desire to provide security for their families and establish a place for themselves in the community. Any action can be overlooked or forgiven, if the reason is family, church and community.

The result is that too many Jewish business people end up in court, either suing or defending themselves from other Jews in deals that have gone bad, or defending themselves against the government for more egregious errors.

And Jews, my Catholic college buddy likes to say, don't want Jews representing them in court. For that they turn to auslanders. Which is why my buddy with the Irish name was able to retire early and rich, with a house up in the Hamptons, a place down in Mexico, and a fine appreciation for the Children of Israel.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I hope you won't need a helmet (26+ / 0-)

    I'm 100% in agreement that any stereotyping of entire groups re: their business, social or familial norms or religious beliefs should be out of bounds. For some reason, it seems to be acceptable to many, and their opinions can be, well, blunt. Let's hope the holiday spirit brings people together on this issue.

    "Mitt Romney isn't a vulture capitalist: vultures only eat things that are dead." -S. Colbert

    by newinfluence on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 09:57:15 PM PST

    •  thanks (10+ / 0-)

      I kind of think at this hour of the day (especially on this particular day! :-)) my diary won't attract much attention. But it just irked me to see bigoted remarks that don't seem to raise any eyebrows, on this site.  

      •  Bigotry is bigotry. (15+ / 0-)

        There shouldn't be selective exemptions granted, as far as I'm concerned.




        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
        ~ Jerry Garcia

        by DeadHead on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 10:23:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bingo (10+ / 0-)

          But many argue that because people choose their religion (which I think is many times a debatable assumption in itself) that they are worthy of ridicule. It's an easy jump from mocking beliefs to stereotyping behavior. I personally believe that the individual should be judged by their words and deeds, and not ridiculed for believing in a higher power. I actually think that's the liberal ideal, and have really been dismayed at times by the tone when it comes to these issues. But then again, I've been accused at times of being too Kumbaya ;-)

          "Mitt Romney isn't a vulture capitalist: vultures only eat things that are dead." -S. Colbert

          by newinfluence on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 11:01:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  You seem to use an undirected comment... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MarEng, vcmvo2
        (...snip...)... Similarly, we would recogize a comment like the following as bigotry (...snip...)... by Rob in Vermont
        ...to draw a all inclusive conclusion about a diary's primary thrust i.e.

        mitt rMoney is a very flawed man and...presidential candidate.

        Enough with the comment substitution shigady

        -------------------------------------

        The original diary writer has little control over what comment(s) that are interred within the diary.

        We should be able to mention (write) 'bout religion, or sexual preferences or even race...without being inspected by the "political correctness" gendarmery.

        One person's bigotry may be just another person's limited experience and...limited knowledge.  

        I welcome any and..all comments including those (comments)...some may conclude has 'bigotry.

        I am General Maximus Decimus Meridius. Father of a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife and I shall have my vengeance in this life or the next.

        by 2questions on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 07:18:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  the diarist (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          2questions

          isn't responsible for what the commenter said, of course.

          •  Is that clear in your "piece"...? (0+ / 0-)
            ...the diarist isn't responsible for what the commenter (sp) said, of course. -- by Rob in Vermont
            ________

            If so...then where and...what was your point (again)...!?!?

            I am General Maximus Decimus Meridius. Father of a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife and I shall have my vengeance in this life or the next.

            by 2questions on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 10:30:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  As I said to newinfluence above (0+ / 0-)

              "it just irked me to see bigoted remarks that don't seem to raise any eyebrows, on this site."

              The point of my diary was to illustrate a couple examples of such remarks.

              •  I think everyone gets whats your real "point"... (0+ / 0-)
                The point of my diary was to illustrate a couple examples of such remarks. -- by Rob in Vermont
                _______

                I am General Maximus Decimus Meridius. Father of a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife and I shall have my vengeance in this life or the next.

                by 2questions on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 05:50:32 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Some generalizations are valid (5+ / 0-)

          Jews have been subjected to generalizations that are sometimes true, sometimes exaggerated, and sometimes false.  And, the same for probably all other groups.

          A few years back I bought a truck from a fellow who I later found out was a Mormon bishop.  He flat lied to me about the condition of the truck.  A good friend is a Mormon, and he said, perhaps jokingly, perhaps not, that he won't do business with another Mormon.

          Is this enough to establish a generalization?  No, but keep your radar on when dealing with anyone very deeply devoted to any cause (which of course is a generalization).  I give credence to the Utah lawyer's statement...family and church above all for Mormons.

    •  However... (8+ / 0-)

      I have to note that the substitution of Orthodox Judaism for Mormonism in this diary is a false equivalence in a couple of respects.

      The first one has already been noted by several comments here, which is that being Jewish is an ethnic identity as well as a religious identity.

      But the second one is that the Mormon Church isn't simply a church, but it is also a large commercial conglomerate.  Simply put, the Mormon Church has a rather sizeable for-profit subsidiary that operates in many, many industries.  The most visible are the radio stations, TV stations, and newspaper -- but my understanding is that those are really just the tip of the iceberg.

      And, to put it bluntly, I found the original diarist's premise to be pretty believable in view of the fact (as I commented in that diary) that the TV station that the Mormon Church -- not a member of the church, but the church itself -- owned and operated in Seattle when I was growing up was the shoddiest of the three network affiliate operations in Seattle.  When it was obvious even to a high school kid that the station was pretty much being milked and had no interest in actually serving the Puget Sound area...well, that's pretty bad.

      In contrast, does Orthodox (or any other variant of) Judaism operate a for-profit subsidiary?  I doubt it.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 08:55:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I was born and raised Mormon (11+ / 0-)

      In Washington State, if that matters.

      My upbringing both at home and at church taught me that I should be scrupulously honest, and extremely compassionate.

      "People first" was how I was raised.

      I agree with the diarist that claiming a certain type of upbringing for an entire religious group is ridiculous.

      Every message I got growing up was to be fair, honest, kind, and respectful of others.

      When I worked as a manager doing customer service, I fought hard to maintain the highest possible standards, and assure that our customers (and my fellow volunteers - none of us were being paid, as it was for a high school music department) got the best treatment possible. We had people coming from the far side of the stadium to our concession stand to buy food, because our service was well-known there. This is something that my customers told us at the end of the year - that they went out of their way to visit us because we went out of OUR way to treat them well.

      That is how I was raised. I was taught at home and at church that the worst thing you could do was treat someone with disrespect, or lie to them, or treat them poorly.

      So no, not all Mormons are raised to lie, or cheat, or treat others as merely a business opportunity.

      I'm an atheist now, but I have no regrets about what I learned growing up. I still cling to the core principles of common courtesy, honesty, and respect.

      By the way - my mother is an 80-year-old Mormon. And a Democrat. And a very decent human being. She also believes in gay marriage, among other things - and loathes Mitt Romney. She doesn't consider him a "True Mormon" because he doesn't uphold those core principles I mentioned.

      "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

      by Diogenes2008 on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 10:53:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you for this comment, Diogenes (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rob in Vermont, Diogenes2008

        I can't countenance such bigotry, especially on Christmas.

        It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

        by Radiowalla on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 11:01:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well said. Every religion has some components (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Diogenes2008

        that are far from admirable, but many adherents choose to ignore them and raise their children emphasizing only the more admirable components.  I was raised as a Catholic, which meant exposure to such contrasting traditions as Opus Dei and the Catholic Worker.  I too am now an atheist (well, an agnostic Buddhist), but I am still influenced by Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, and the movement they inspired, even if I no longer accept their theology and think the current hierarchy mostly execrable.  

  •  The [insert group of people] replacement test (27+ / 0-)

    is rather effective. Thanks.

    Tipped and recommended.




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 10:01:01 PM PST

    •  Even a few steps in someone else's moccassins (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rb608, Radiowalla

      is all it should take.

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 08:58:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Strongly Disagree (6+ / 0-)

      Judaism is an ethnic identity, as well as a religion.  Mormonism is not.

      Then there's the matter of the Mormon Church's for profit subsidiaries (which I address in another comment and won't repeat here).

      But finally...different religions do differing emphasis and differing philosophies.  To observe what those philosophies and beliefs are and how those seem to be reflected in the followers of those religions is not just bigotry.  Because to claim that the tenets of what a religion espouses will somehow have no impact on how the religion's followers act is both preposterous and insulting to organized religion.   In essence, the argument here is that what a church teaches (both through words and more subtly) has no impact on it's followers.

      In fact, churches will have impact, and that impact can be both positive or negative.  

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 09:03:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can see why (15+ / 0-)

    The other diarist certainly did stereotype another group in a negative light, ignoring all exceptions and "progressive" Mormons. But I did wonder myself during the campaign why no one asked Romney about how his faith guided his life, including his work life. He seemed to have no difficulty lying again and again -- and I thought Mormons were pretty devout. If Mormons are indeed pressured to succeed (in business terms), that would explain the disconnect between his faith and his business practices.

    The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

    by LiberalLady on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 10:04:46 PM PST

    •  but why (8+ / 0-)

      should we want to probe into a candidate's religious faith, and how it "guides" them?  I certainly didn't like it when such questions were asked of Howard Dean when he was running for president.

      I get that Romney did use his experience as a bishop in his church as way of characterizing himself as someone we should trust to be a good leader. So therefore questions about how he viewed that experience as really pertinent might have been valid.

      But it should not be the media's place, at all, to define what a "devout Mormon" is, and then try to suggest that Romney did not live up to that.    

       

      •  Really? (31+ / 0-)

        Why should we want to probe into what is probably one of the fundamental forces that shapes a candidate?

        The 'no religious test' thing means that government an not apply a religious test.  Individual voters should indeed be concerned about the factors in a candidates life to which they ascribe motivation and beliefs.  And there are plenty of stories that did arise, even if they gained no mass media exposure, to show that Romney's religious beliefs, when he had power to use them, had him using them to bully those under his power into actions that progressives should find repugnant.

        •  Then non-believer presidents are doomed (6+ / 0-)

          for an even later date.

          Thank you to jayden, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, Aji and everyone in the Daily Kos community involved in gifting my subscription and gifting others!

          by Nulwee on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 07:44:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  They already are (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sychotic1, Lucy Montrose, madhaus

            Any non-believer who wants to be president has to put on at least a veneer of faith, that's not going to change any time soon.

            "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

            by Alice in Florida on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 09:52:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Same thing with singles who want to be president. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mkor7, Nulwee

              Everyone right now has to at least put on a veneer of being coupled/familied. We will probably elect a gay president before electing an unmarried president (or an atheist president).

              It really didn't help that the last bachelor president was Buchanan. Or that up till now, the most highly positioned out atheist has been Pete Stark. I really feel bad for "pioneers" of any minority group, because "being a role model" can be so onerous.

              Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

              by Lucy Montrose on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 10:23:47 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  if a reporter says (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          literatelib

          "Gov. Romney, what are you views on equal marriage rights for gay Americans? And as a followup, how did your religion guide you to that view?"

          I think the main question is a fine, relevant question to ask a presidential candidate. I think the followup question is, to say the least, unnecessary.

        •  Their religious beliefs are not relevant. (3+ / 0-)

          What they say and do is important; politicians may claim (or deny) that religious beliefs are a basis for their positions, but who knows if they really are? And who cares? Does it matter if they oppose, say, marriage equality if they say its based on religious belief? Does it matter if others advocate, say, gun control, if they say its based on religious belief? Who judges whether their political position is or isn't consistent w/ their religious belief? I only care about their positions, I don't care what their religious beliefs (professed or not) are.

          •  Up to a point (5+ / 0-)

            Admittedly, I also find myself wondering, "if this person is gullible enough to believe in [insert far-out supernatural fantasy here], how much do facts really matter to this person?"

            Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

            by winsock on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 09:03:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  their claims of faith are, and should be (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deejay Lyn, literatelib

            irrelevant.
            1) because few politicians actually follow the core teachings of their faith, at best they pay lip service and at worst, they use their churchiness as a powerbase. If they actually governed in a love-thy-neighbor manner, I'd be fine with that. Most often their faith is revealed in the breech.
            And 2) we don't elect a pope. I think Kennedy proved that. We expect the President to answer to US, not to a higher power, WE are the higher power!
            We can hardly insist on separation of church and state if we use religious affiliation as a litmus test, either positive or negative, Keith Ellison....

            If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

            by CwV on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 09:13:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That was Kennedy (0+ / 0-)

              I think Santorum would be guided by the Pope...it's not a matter of what religion someone belongs to, but rather their individual way of professing...the litmus test we use should be where they stand on the issues, but don't think that won't reflect religious beliefs...

              "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

              by Alice in Florida on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 09:57:35 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  i gotta disagree (5+ / 0-)

            Substitute 'philosophy of life's for religion. Either one informs our views. Opinions and beliefs stem from Some source, they don't just occur. A religion or philosophy of life also leads to a generally consistent group of views, not just isolated individual ones.

            Mormonism is one of the more aggressive forms of tribalism in contemporary America, and one that's most uniquely American.  To me it seems to combine the worst impulses of Christian and American exceptionalism.

            I don't object to someone making observations or sharing anecdotes that support my own conclusions in that regard, just as I am open to the contrary.

            I think the danger is in oversimplification, and in acting with hostility or prejudice.

            "FK the deficit. People got no jobs. People got no money." Charlie Pierce

            by RubDMC on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 09:22:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree with your first sentence, and your last. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vcmvo2

              But we don't need to have public figures articulate their philosophy of life, either. We can form opinions of them based on what they have said and done in the past- that's a better guide to what they are likely to say and do in the future.

              Making assumptions (positive or negative) based on someone's professed religion or philosopy of life (without considering actions) is where the danger arises, imo.

            •  I think Stephenie Meyer was definitely... (0+ / 0-)

              ... guided by Mormonism when she concocted a love story of wish fulfillment through aggressive embrace of traditional gender roles. Plus, the heroine stays young, hot and fashionable for all time, to boot!

              Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

              by Lucy Montrose on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 10:30:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  So, who opposes gay marriage (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Alice Venturi

            for reasons other than religious belief? I agree you don't have to ask whether they're guided by religious belief, they usually tell you in detail without prompting.

            "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

            by Alice in Florida on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 09:54:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  How do we tell whether their faith... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dave in Northridge, literatelib

            ... is liable to make them act on a policy decision?

            That's the question we need to answer, and I think the only way we can do it is by looking at the candidate's past actions. For instance, Bob McDonnell, as governor, has stuck pretty closely to his past right-wing actions.  On the other hand, Denver's mayor, Michael Hancock, doesn't seem to have let a past flirtation with creationism be anything more than a past flirtation.

            Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

            by Lucy Montrose on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 10:28:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  As long as y'all (10+ / 0-)

    ..don't mess with us Flying Spaghetti Monster acolytes and our "religious tradition" it's no skin off my sauce.

    I'm a Bernie Sanders Democrat. The real right kind.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 10:15:10 PM PST

  •  Yes, but no (5+ / 0-)

    Ethnicity and religious choice are different things. Practicing a religion does involve certain behaviors. Sharing ethnicity with people who practice a certain religion does not imply those behaviors.

    That said, the case you quite is gross generalization. I don't think it is fair.

    A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by notrouble on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 10:28:06 PM PST

    •  So it's only bigotry if you are (6+ / 0-)

      directing it towards someone's ethnicity?

      Or am I misunderstanding you?

      Bigotry applies to religion, too.




      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
      ~ Jerry Garcia

      by DeadHead on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 10:46:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Can you elaborate? (5+ / 0-)

      I'm not sure I get the point of your first paragraph. I agree certainly that (for example) being Jewish ethnically (i.e. identifying as a Jew whether by ancestry or conversion), and choosing the manner and degree to which you want to participate in various Jewish customs/traditions, are clearly different things.  In fact, even saying "So-and-so is Jewish, and he's very religious", doesn't tell me a whole lot about their religious practices, since of course there's a big spectrum of traditions, from Orthodox to Reform.

      •  So when can we speak to religion? (11+ / 0-)

        Religion is a powerful force in our lives. I was brought up in the evangelical Christian tradition and rejected that as an adult because of the way those traditions forced me to look at the issues of gay marriage and abortion. That gives you some insight into Geiiga the person. And I'm not even a member of the clergy except in the sense that I've been to the ULC web site.

        Romney, on the other hand, is a deacon; not just a member of his church as I was, but a powerful leader in the church hierarchy. What he believes and how his experiences as a Mormon leader formed him were of great interest back when he was a relevant person. We would not feel bad, for instance, about pointing out that a politician attended a white separatist church -- is that so different?

        Where, in short, is that line? First the line that separates a cult like Scientology from a mainline religion like Judaism, and second the line at which we can judge what is experienced by members of that group as healthy for society as a whole?

        "All things are true. Even false things. Don't ask me, man, I didn't do it." -Mitt Romney

        by Geiiga on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 07:29:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Do southerners count here? Mainline Christians? (11+ / 0-)

    How many secessionist diaries did we just go through that lumped all southerners into the idiot category and that were cheer-led in comment after comment.  So what about progressive southerners who constantly get thrown under the stereotypical bus.  What about all of those you "progressives" would disenfranchise is your cheer leading did leave to the resurrection of Dixie?    What about mainstream progressive Christians at least try to practice social responsibility, who have fought for civil rights for decades and who overwhelmingly voted for marriage equality in WA State.   Exactly why is it OK on this site to generically demean Christians when you are actually mean right-wing fundamentalist or evangelicals yet it happens time and again.  So in the spirit of Christmas morning, which just came, here's some breaking news.  Not all southerners check their brain at the door and belong to the clan.  Not all Christians are bigoted assholes who are sure only they are going to heaven whatever or wherever that is.  

    A bad idea isn't responsible for those who believe it. ---Stephen Cannell

    by YellerDog on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 01:31:44 AM PST

  •  Shrug. (8+ / 0-)

    All I can say is that the majority of internet scams that originate in the US arise in Utah, and that Mormons I know of at a 'name' level (ie, actual people, not generic ones) are all pretty sleazy businesswise.  Call it bigotry if you want, but finding out someone was a Mormon would make me extremely wary of doing any sort of business with them.

    •  not ready to generalize (4+ / 0-)

      but there was a time when I worked for a Mormon who was really good at passing himself off as the soul of integrity, but underneath that appearance it turned out the opposite was the case.

      OTOH on another occasion I had a Mormon boss who was a "jack Mormon", i.e. not religious, who was a great guy.

    •  "Mormon business ethics" is really right-wing... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      madhaus

      ... business ethics, IMO.

      I have made this case for a long time, ever since I found out that Utah was the capital of MLM schemes and boiler room scams. It's not "Mormon" business philosophy, so much as right-wing, RTW business philosophy.

      Eclectablog said it most beautifully in http://www.eclectablog.com/... The United States of Amway], the best-known MLM. It is NOT a coincidence that MLM is a more attractive money-making alternative in states where unions are weak and workers have few rights.

      There's more incentive to have a side business, since wages are lower in RTW states. Plus, to be a success in MLM schemes, it helps you to have a evangelical recruiter's take on friendships and community relations: they're your friends and neighbors, but more important, they're prospective customers. Every person you meet is first and foremost a markcustomer. And the pressure is put on you to always be "on", always be selling; which is why in Amway, the Mormon church, and so many boiler-room industries there's such a tone of compulsory positivity, even personal mysticism. That fits perfectly in, too, with a right-wing business and social climate that says "Who needs the government? Let God handle it for you."

      Another reason we need unions, and probably the most important one: we do NOT want to have to act like sleazy used car salesmen or evangelical preachers to be viable businesspeople.

      Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

      by Lucy Montrose on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 10:44:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  its jewishness that's the ethical exception. (0+ / 0-)

    broadly generalizing and stereotyping is, as a general matter, ethically fine; we carve out a few exceptions that are not permitted to be subject of generalizations and stereotypes.  (jewish people, black people, etc.)

  •  I do think there's a difference (11+ / 0-)

    between criticizing someone based on ethnicity and criticizing someone based on a belief system.  I don't know much about Mormonism per se, but I do know that people who share a belief system tend to behave according to that system.

    Evangelical fundamentalist Christians tend to oppose marriage equality and reproductive choice, and they behave accordingly.  Quakers tend to support peace initiatives and consensus, and they behave accordingly.  Would anyone expect people from a Buddhist or Baha'i temple to behave like people from a Mormon temple?

    •  Be careful of using statistics to judge people (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lucy Montrose

      "Evangelical fundamentalist Christians tend to oppose marriage equality and reproductive choice, and they behave accordingly."

      But individuals are individuals.  They are not statistics.  Judging people based on group tendencies is not a good idea.  Mitt Romney's father was, from what I've read, a pretty decent guy.

      •  I'm not judging anyone, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, Lucy Montrose

        I have no idea how Romney's Mormonism impacted his behavior in any specific way. But that's not to say it had no impact. From what I've read about Mormonism, individualism takes a back seat to doctrine and is discouraged rather than encouraged.

        And I read your diary as being more about refuting the concept of group tendencies than about Romney specifically.
        Your examples read as being about groups.

        •  Sorry, I didn't mean you (4+ / 0-)

          I meant that people should be careful not to prejudge folks based on "group tendencies".  I think there tends to be far more variation within groups than people generally realize.  For example, the documentary "Trembling before G-d", is about gay and lesbian Orthodox Jews.  Before seeing that film, I hadn't even really considered that that branch of my religion (many of whose members are not liberal-minded about homosexuality) would also have adherents who happen to be gay.  It was my bad to prejudge.

          •  i think you underestimate... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gramofsam1, Lucy Montrose

            ...the purpose and power of tribalism and shared identity. People join, or remain in, groups (mormon church, specific synagogue, tight knit community, etc), and openly identify as such, for a reason.

            "FK the deficit. People got no jobs. People got no money." Charlie Pierce

            by RubDMC on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 09:31:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  So those evangelical pastors and politicians who (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund, Lucy Montrose, vcmvo2

      have been discovered in affairs w/ women not their wives, or with other men, were behaving "according to that system?"

      We can judge actions without also evaluating the underlying religious beliefs of the actors.

  •  i don't know. It seems believable that mormons, (8+ / 0-)

    a religion started and focused on familial issues, would place that highest in the hierarchy - even if it means less "ethical" business practices employed to care for said family.

    I can believe that. And while generalizations are usually not a good thing, at some point we do get to make some. There ARE differences in religious groups and their cultures; ethnic groups and their cultures; nations and their cultures; differences DO exist. So what?

    I don't personally know enough Mormons to contribute to the conversation. But the diarist did and contributed his/her observation and opinion. If your experience is different, contribute.

    And BTW, the substitution of "Jews" for "Mormons" didn't both me at all until I laughed out loud here:  "However it has been noted that Judaism places little emphasis upon general, social consciousness and business integrity."

    The Jews I know are some of the most socially conscious folks around. And damned proud of it.

    Then, as for who represents whom in court, again, I laughed. Gotta say, there are a LOT of groups who wouldn't want "one of their own" representing them in court - for any number of reasons. No big deal there, to me, either.

    •  "it has been noted" (5+ / 0-)

      "It has been noted that Mormonism places little emphasis upon general, social consciousness and business integrity."

      Noted by whom? That is just a blanket generalization, to say nothing of a completely unsourced blanket generalization.  I don't have to have any personal experience with Mormons to be able to recognize that.

      However, to contribute something personal, I have a coworker who is a practicing Mormon, and he is  ostensibly socially conscious with regard to the environment. I don't know what his other social/political views are. I do know that he and his wife are super nice folks.  I  have no reason whatsoever to suspect that if he happened to be a businessman, he would be an unethical businessman.  But judging from some of the comments here, apparently some people would suspect that.  There's a word for that type of suspicion: bigotry.

  •  Now that you put it that way (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    newinfluence, Quicklund

    I see your point.  

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 06:43:16 AM PST

  •  Refreshing diary, thanks. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, literatelib, Deejay Lyn

    There are plenty of reasons to be down on Mitt Romney. His religious beliefs are shared by many people--many political conservatives, but some progressives and nascent progressives, as well.

    I agree that it's better to leave that out.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 07:17:41 AM PST

  •  Generalizing about one's own "kind" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, Quicklund, Alice in Florida

    has a very different tenor than generalizing about "the other."  We Lutherans make Lutheran jokes that would leave most of you scratching your heads.  If a Baptist told the very same jokes, some of them would be really mean-spirited.

    I found the Mormon thread really thought-provoking.  I have had a few Mormon friends over the years, but none in a very long time.  I asked a few questions, I hope respectfully, but didn't really get an answer.

    I get the impression there are very few Mormon Kossacks.

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 07:31:17 AM PST

    •  Interesting, because I couldn't tell (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave in Northridge, literatelib

      a Lutheran from a Baptist from a Pentecostal from an Episcopalian from a Scientology unless they volunteered the information.  Where I live we pretty much never ask where or if people attend Church, so unless the information is volunteered we dun care.

      I worked for one boss for a year before I realized he was Jewish (he mentioned getting ready for his daughter's Batmitzvah).  I worked for another boss for 6 years before he straight up told me his was an Atheist.  A year later found out a co-worker was ex-Mormon and was brought up in the faith.

      Seriously, none of us knows more about the other's personal life than we want to share...unless we are willing to stalk them in their off time.

      I guess my point is, I wouldn't know if it was a Lutheran or a Baptist making the joke :p

      "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

      by Sychotic1 on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 10:17:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Me either! I remember how shocked I was when I (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sychotic1, madhaus

        moved to a place where it was quite common for even casual acquaintances, when they first met me, to ask which church I belonged to. I'm glad I don't live there anymore!

      •  That's not the point. (0+ / 0-)

        My point is, maybe a Mormon can make very pointed observations about other Mormons which, if you or I said the very same things, would be terribly offensive.

        Imagine a white comedian delivering Richard Pryor's routine.  It wouldn't be funny.

        Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

        by Boundegar on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 11:05:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You miss my point (0+ / 0-)

          There is very little different between any of the people mentioned (physically) beyond their belief system.  Unless they choose to share that belief system with me, I wouldn't know what their belief system is.

          I would think that making fun or making conclusions about genetic differences (IQ, hair color, skin color, height) would be more offensive than by life choices (smoking, religion, type of car).  We can make inferences based on behavior.

          My family is Episcopalian.  What they say about Episcopalians has never offended me unless it is dead wrong or overtly twisted from true.  No one would know my family was Episcopalian unless it was volunteered.

          Anyway, your mileage may vary.

          "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

          by Sychotic1 on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 11:34:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I WOULD like to see empirical data on ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, winsock
    The result is that too many Mormon business people end up in court, either suing or defending themselves from other Mormons in deals that have gone bad, or defending themselves against the government for more egregious errors.
    .

    I really DOES feel that the conversation tends to veer towards ... "It's okay, we're talking about Mormons"

  •  It's fair game to discuss Mormonism (5+ / 0-)

    and public policy.  How, for example, the church tries to influence elections and regulate civic affairs.  Discussing imagined personal characteristics of Mormons is a dangerous pursuit.  I feel quite uncomfortable with it.

    I did not read the above-referenced diary, but the quotes from it are enough to make me shake my head in dismay.  If I had seen the diary I could have easily contributed anecdotes of superior ethical behavior on the part of Mormons that I know.

    Just sayin'

    Merry Christmas to all of us.

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 07:58:48 AM PST

  •  Perhaps a trained sociologist... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deejay Lyn, winsock, Rob in Vermont

    or cultural anthropologist could make some assertions on guiding principles of a group like the Mormons, principles such as putting family, church & community first. But I don't know that a social scientist would predict how individuals in the group would behave if adhering strictly to the group principle would go against the larger cultural ethic.  In my opinion, we non-social scientists also follow that logic. For instance, I was raised Catholic. It's my opinion and "conventional wisdom" that Catholics have a relatively liberal view of drinking and gambling compared to say, Baptists. But would anyone ever say - don't hire a Catholic to be in charge of the liquor or slots at a casino because, you know, the person is Catholic? I don't think so.  So, maybe we should give Mormons their due respect and just agree that Romney was despicable.  

  •  Anti-religious bigotry is common here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coffeetalk

    I do not mean most Kossacks are religious bigots, but those that are seem entirely comfortable expressing thir bigotry in public. There seems to be a particularly virulent strain aimed against Mormons. This is entirely at odds with the inclusive nature of America democracy and progressive thought.

    (Written as 53 year-old in his 50th year as an agnostic.)

  •  I'm conflicted (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deejay Lyn, Lucy Montrose, mkor7

    Because I do think that insular, conservative social groups ARE inclined to place the "good" of the family/group ABOVE the good of the larger community (whether that be a town, a state, or a country).

    It's not an ethnic thing, though, yes, I'm inclined to see it as an outgrowth of conservative religious beliefs of whatever stripe -- right-wing Jews, Christians (including Mormons), Muslims...

    And there IS a difference between Mormons and Jews -- Mormons, while predominantly white, do not comprise an ethnic and cultural group in the same way as those who are Jewish.

    •  I'm not getting (0+ / 0-)

      that there's any important difference between ethnicity vs. religious affiliation when it comes to the type of statements I'm criticizing. Whether someone says Mormons - or Jews - or Koreans - tend not to be as honest as other folks in their business dealings - how does it make a difference?  

      •  It's not WHICH religion (0+ / 0-)

        it's how far right on the spectrum it is.

        Ethnicity and religion often overlap but the Jewish faith is the only one that requires faith be passed through the matrilineal line. Therefore, it's hard to criticize either Judaism as a religion or the Jewish culture without the 2 being conflated -- even though there are major differences among sects and those that are culturally Jewish but not religious pe se. Most other religions accept converts and are not restricted to a particular ethnicity.

        Meanwhile, a discussion of the commonalities among all rightwing religions.

        http://www.uuworld.org/...

         

        •  Jews accept converts too (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          renska

          They just don't make it easy.  You need to study under a rabbi for a year to begin converting.

          Reform Judaism will also accept membership via the patrilineal line without requiring conversion.

          •  I didn't know that about the patrilineal line (0+ / 0-)

            Though I did know that about accepting converts. Forgot, though, while I was making my argument. ;-)

            Still, Jewish culture/ethnicity/religion are still far more intertwined than for most other religions (even given the split between Ashkenazi and Sephardic).

          •  More accurate would be... (0+ / 0-)

            Jews do not seek to convert people. Christian do; do Muslims proselytize?

            Evangeligal Buddhists seems like an oxymoron ;-)

            •  Jews don't seek to convert people because (0+ / 0-)

              Too many places they lived made it not just illegal but a capital crime to do so.  It's a survival strategy from their history as a religious minority.  When they were the majority religion in Jerusalem 2000 years ago they did indeed encourage converts.

  •  A side point ... (0+ / 0-)
    I acknowledge (sadly) that there are many other jerks (further on the right than Lieberman) who are also Jewish,
    I acknowledge that there are many jerks on the left of Lieberman who are also Jewish.  In fact, being a jerk is not limited by political ideology or religion.  It's just the ones on the right are jerks of a different color.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 09:15:08 AM PST

  •  Wow! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shrike, ShoshannaD, BigDuck

    I didn't see the Mormon paragraph as bigotry and although I agree with you in theory, I still don't. I guess I don't have a good opinion of Mormons, whereas I do have a good opinion of Jews. I don't like cults, in general. And I can't forgive the Mormons for their role in passing Prop 8 in California. I know more than a handful of Mormons. Most are gay. All are fugitives from the Mormon church.  I know a lot of Jews and have for my entire life. Only one  them was a fugitive from organized Religion. He fled  the Hasidim. And they actually did pursue him.

    I don't like Mitt Romney. I don't like the fact that he tortured his dog and I concluded from his business history and his tax evasion that he is a sociopathic miser with a huge deficit in empathy. In my view Mormons are a cult who give their allegiance to the Mormon Church period. They don't have much allegiance to the idea of a United States of America. I believe the other diarist, although I have only seen the diary filtered through your lens.

    I have great admiration for Jews. They have done much to make the world and the U.S. a better place.  
    . I can't think of a single thing Mormons have done to make the world and the U.S. a better place.

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam> "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Edna St.V. Millay

    by slouching on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 09:19:32 AM PST

  •  Thank you! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winsock, Lucy Montrose

    There are, indeed, many Mormons who are different than the stereotype you mentioned.  While some cultures DO stress certain types of behavior and achievement (I often think of the Asians with their ideas of the high importance of education), none of them are monocultures and even within this idea, there are many variants.

  •  Your word substitution makes your point well (2+ / 0-)

    I've never felt it's OK for someone to use a stereotype just because it applies to that person. As an Asian American, I feel that "Jap" and "Chink" are never OK terms to use, especially if you're of Japanese or Chinese descent. When someone tries to defend the practice, using word substitution generally drives home the point.

    Unfortunately, our culture is often disrespectful of "others." Jokes about race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation are so prevalent in our society that some people get desensitized to them. People who I know to have good hearts, who are staunch liberals, sometimes apply a derogatory stereotype, like a fake accent or lisp, to someone, then apologize for the "slip-up." And while I believe the apology is sincere, I don't feel confident that it's the last "slip-up" that person will utter because slurs are so commonplace in our society.

    So thank you for pointing this out. I'd tipped that diary's tip jar and now wish I hadn't. You've shown me my own insensitivity. I'm as subject to it as the friends I described above. I now have a New Year's resolution - to strive even harder to be sensitive to how my words and actions reflect my values. I strive to have only one prejudice - and it's strongly engrained. I'm deeply prejudiced against bigots of all stripes.

    Even those that reside within me.

    I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

    by 1BQ on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 09:43:42 AM PST

    •  Make that "especially those that reside within me" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave in Northridge

      I refuse be more forgiving of myself than I am of other people.

      Great diary. Lots to think about.

      I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

      by 1BQ on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 09:47:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  being a law student and reading many cases (4+ / 0-)

    from different parts of the country, and even some outside the country, it strikes me that many people of many different faiths for many different reasons act unethically in their business and personal dealings and end up in court.  In Utah there would be a disproportionate number of Mormons in court, though, but probably not because of anything particular about Mormonism.

    ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

    by James Allen on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 10:21:09 AM PST

  •  I'm so proud of myself (0+ / 0-)

    I went back and looked at the other diary, which I knew I had read, and I HADN'T tipped or rec'd it. I'm getting so many things wrong as I negotiate this period of grief that I'm glad I still recognize soft bigotry when I see it.

    You know the response from the other diarist to what you had to say (I don't think you'll have one) will be about hip-hop and its practitioners' use of the "n" word, and that will tell you all you need to know about the diarist's motives.

    -7.75, -8.10; Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Dave in Northridge on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 10:23:23 AM PST

  •  a religion or a cult? Who's to say (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madhaus

    certainly, discussion about how, according to former members, Scientology directs its adherents to lie to potential converts and lower level Scientologists would not be considered "bigotry" would it?

    similarly, you can find info online from former Mormons, who talk about how they were directed to lie to potential converts or lower level Mormons about the Mormon tenets.

    Why would discussing that apparent reality be bigotry?

    Saying that anyone who is a Mormon must by definition be unethical in his dealings outside the church is bigotry, certainly.

     

  •  My daughter married into a Mormon family. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    literatelib

    Generalization of their particulars is not a pretty sight.

    In my religious/spiritual group it was popular for a time to preface every statement with "my guidance tells me".  Finally one speaker got real tired of this. He said, "If your guidance tells you to wear the red shoes, then wear the red shoes, but shut up about it.  Everyone will know because the world will be a better place because you are following your guidance."

    Pretty much how I feel about religion.  They should just do what their guidance tells them to do and not be all braggy about it.

  •  Thank you for this (0+ / 0-)

    I found it curious that the other diarist buries this line

    As someone well acquainted with Mr. Romney, I was never confused about what type of man Mr. Romney was.
    after this line:
    As a Mormon, I think that I have an accurate take on what type of man Mr. Romney is.
    It makes it seem as if the other diarist is claiming "acquaintanceship" solely on the basis of shared Mormonism, not through direct personal familiarity. And if the diarist does know Romney personally, why not lead with that?

    Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

    by Nowhere Man on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 11:30:51 AM PST

  •  ...I will tell you that my personal experience... (0+ / 0-)

    ...with Mormons has been very, very painful personally.

    I grew up in Denver.  South of Denver were where "the Mormons lived."  They had one of there, at the time, less than two dozen Mormon Temples in the entire world there.

    I will say that Mormons are the nicest folks you'd ever want to meet...as long as you keep things superficial and simply neighborly.

    Every time I have gotten more involved with Mormons...in my ENTIRE life...I have been used and abused.

    Put simply ---> Mormon's lie.  They are taught to lie.  They are taught to "manipulate and control."  Church and family is all that truly matters so much so that the "end justifies ANY means."

    I have loved and cared for Mormons...giving and helping Mormons.  I have personally financially supported Mormons and taken them into my family as family.

    BIG MISTAKE!  In ever instance, I was completely taken for a ride and THEN thrown away while being told quite clearly the whole thing was a ruse.  

    The last time this happened was at the end of a 4 nearly four year friendship that resulted in a Mormon couple becoming my wife and my "best friends."

    They (the Mormon man and his wife) suddenly one day ended the friendship by stating, "battle lines have been drawn and we are at war."  They stated, "what we are now going to do to you is total betrayal."

    This they really liked.  They informed us the whole thing had been a manipulation.  They went around to my neighbors and told them 1) I sneak all around their property; 2) I have their phones tapped; 3) I had their homes bugged;)  I stand outside their bedroom windows at night listening to them have sex while I masterbate.

    All of my neighbors thought these guys were nuts...except one who is truly dangerous and violent...he grows pot and has never worked while being my neighbor.  He spent years in prison for having severely hurt someone in the commission of a robbery.  He got drunk and attacked me in the night...hitting me in the head, face and eye with a beer bottle which resulted in a maimed left eye.

    My Mormons "friends" loved that.  They had successfully manipulated this dangerous man into believing their lies and attacking me.

    I was told, yet again, by my Mormon "friends" that is was their duty to do what they'd done because, "anyone who isn't a Mormon is a gentile and exists solely to be manipulated and taken advantage of."

    Each of these "friends" was born and raised in Utah and were the first born of their families.  It was all Mormon all the time.  Until they moved to California, 100% of all their friends were Mormons.

    My ex-Mormon friends made out like bandits...ripping me off for substantial money...and all the care and support and love and concern they'd receive by us as well.

    They truly believe it is their "Elohim given duty" to do to us (gentiles) exactly what they did.  If we were stupid enough to believe their ceaseless lies...all the better.

    Mormons in business and in politics have the same philosophy.  And Mormon's, as my "friend" informed me, have it made.  As he said, "if you're Mormon you're set."

    Sorry Rob...my personal experience for over 40 years dealing directly with Mormons is in total agreement with the diarist that wrote the diary that you are railing against.

    Bottom line = if you aren't Mormon, keep an arm's distance from Mormons.  Do NOT allow them to get too close to you.  If you do so, you do so at your own peril.

    Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

    by paradise50 on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 12:32:53 PM PST

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