Perry Ally: Mormonism “A Cult”


After introducing Rick Perry as a “genuine follower of Jesus Christ” at the 2011 Values Voter Summit on Friday, a Baptist megachurch pastor, Robert Jeffress of Dallas, called the Mormon Church a cult and said that Mitt Romney is “not a Christian.” Perry’s campaign responded that he does not consider Mormonism a cult but declined to condemn the attacks on Mormonism and said that the organizers of the VVS were responsible for the choice of Jeffress. But Family Research Council president, Tony Perkins, said that Perry had approved the choice of Jeffress to introduce him.

Denying that his remarks were coordinated with the Perry campaign, Jeffress himself has gone on to say that, if Romney were a presidential candidate, he would vote for him, though he felt that, in those circumstances, many evangelical voters would stay home and not case their vote for the GOP. The minister’s statement brings Romney’s religion — which, along with his changing stance over the years on social issues including abortion and gay rights, he has long tried to push to the side — into the limelight.

On the schedule at VVS after Romney was Bryan Fischer, a Baptist pastor and official at the Mississippi-based American Family Association who has said that Mormons don’t have the same Constitutional rights as those of other faiths, blamed homosexuals for the Holocaust and called for a ban on Muslims in the military.  Romney “took a defensive posture” and, after saying that “our government should respect religious values, not silence them,” Romney continued:

Our values ennoble the citizen, and strengthen the nation. We should remember that decency and civility are values too. One of the speakers who will follow me today, has crossed that line. Poisonous language does not advance our cause. It has never softened a single heart nor changed a single mind.

As Evan McMorris-Santoro writes, Romney also “took a roundabout shot at Jeffress — and at Perry for standing with him Friday.”

In his address following Romney at VVS, Fischer stated that a “genuine Christian” must lead the nation.

Jeffress’ statement has revealed the unease many social conservatives feel about Romney’s faith, which they are attacking in the same way they have Obama’s Christianity by asserting that the US is a Christian nation and must therefore be led by someone who is a (“genuine”) Christian. At issue for Romney is how much of a defensive posture he chooses to take in addressing these attacks on his faith, says McMorris-Santoro:

Though somewhat subtle, there was no mistaking that Romney was pushing back on the Mormon attacks hard. There’s a good reason for that: polling shows they could be a problem for Romney in the base if they catch fire, but most Americans are ready for a Mormon president.

Four years ago when he was in the race to be the GOP candidate, Romney discussed his Mormon faith in a major address. Romney declined to comment about Jeffress’ actual remarks, saying that he had explained his views about his faith in that 2007 speech. His response to critics of his religion suggest that he is “happy to be viewed as a candidate who stands up to extreme elements of his own party.”

Besides Perry, two other contenders for the GOP presidential nomination, Rick Santorum and Herman Cain, have declined to condemn Jeffress’ statement that Mormonism is a cult. Newt Gingrich has declined to comment at all.


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Photo by Gage Skidmore


Pamela H5 years ago

I agree with Mr. Romney that poisonous speech and misinformation and hysteria never wins anyone one over to anyone's side. If you wish to know what the Latter Day Saint faith is about, read up on them at rather than take other people's words for it. It is sad that some people take everyone in a faith to be identical. There are extremists, sadly, and those who are ignorant and not acting like Christians, in every faith out there. I've been a member for 35 years of the Latter Day Saint faith and never once, anywhere I have lived run into any church member like the ones described in posts here. If there are some then shame on them, for they are not acting like decent human beings anymore than some Catholics or Jews or Baptists are. That being said, I have good friends in all those faiths, and Wiccan, and gay as well as straight. There is a lot of bafflegab going around, do try to find a balanced view. Hysteria solves nothing. As for ex members being hounded, we have many where I live and they are treated with nothing but Christian kindness, as all people should be.

Diane R.
Diane Reno5 years ago

I am sorry but I have known someone who wanted to defect from the Morman church, after doing so they have had threats, and total intimidatin! This is so twisted that the person I speak of had a mental breakdown because of the pressure and intimidation. Now living under psyciatric care and keeps saying. Mormans are after me! This is so twisted and people are brainwashed. NO on Romney and I do think that this twisted thinking will be running the White house. Yes church and state don't mix. But behind closed doors if Romney is as tried and true he will follow the churches advice........this is the Morman way!

Frank Hanline
Frank Hanline5 years ago

For those who are interested:

Mormon Orthodoxy hold that Joseph Smith Jr, received the "Golden Plates" from the "Angel Moroni" in the "Cumorah Hills"

I invite all to go here:,_Comoros

Now before anyone goes off the deep end, Joseph Smith Sr. was a merchant. You'll hear "The Smiths were farmers!" from the Mormon faithful but by all accounts so was Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and more. Early 19th Century meant if you could, you grew food

Now the Comoros were not unknown to the Smiths. Joe Sr. lost a shipment to pirates late 1810s/early 20s

That the Comoros were known as a pirate haven is in literature, check out the setting for "Treasure Island"One last thing, there was a commercially available map of the area (no doubt due to pirates) available by 1812

Young Joe Jr, active imagination, the lure of gold, really neat sounding names, you do the math

Dee P.
Dee P5 years ago

I will not vote for Romney for two reasons: 1) he is a republican and 2) he is LDS. I am quite familiar with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. My former husband is a member. I know how the church functions. It is involved in every aspect of one's life. If elected, a tithing of at least 10% of Romney's salary will go to the church. If Romney seeks advice from the President of the church, no doubt he (being a good Mormon) will follow it. The LDS church is unlike any other I've come across in my lifetime.

I recall as a kid when JFK ran for president. He was Catholic (as I am) and many were concerned that the Vatican would be running this country. It did not happen for in Catholocism, it is a well known fact the "church and state do NOT mix". I am not so sure about this concerning LDS. I could be wrong, but I doubt it from past experiences with the LDS.

Helen Delahunt-Avila
Helen Avila5 years ago

I live in the middle of a very conservative mormon area.. I have lived around mormons in other areas and the ones here are more judgmental and the concept that many believe they can lie, cheat, and steal from non mormons is the same as lying, cheating and stealing from the devil. While some mormons deny that, there is no denying they are brainwashed to behave like vanilla extract.. bland bland bland until you make a comment about some of their stupid behavior like brainwashing little girls into thinking they must 'rescue' little baby souls from the ether, so no birth control and early early marriages are more than encouraged. Baptizing the dead since they do not remove the dead from the membership rolls, thus all of the holocaust victims are now mormon, as are all of our dead presidents or anyone else in an obituary anywhere in the world, creating this weird concept of it being the fastest growing religion in the world. A way of lying to the devil so to speak .. Now a guy in Utah distills a vodka called 5 wives vodka and it was banned in Idaho because the church didn't want to offend anyone.. meaning they support polygamy despite their denial.And polygamy is sanctioned rape of 13 year old girls by fat old men..Every mormon, including Romney, puts the church first, and that means above the nation and every other non mormon interest.. beware who and what you vote for.

annelies j.
annelies j6 years ago

Frank H:
As an atheist I would like to know what would happen if a person with no faith or belief in one less god than most people were to run for the PoTUS"

I think, unfortunately, America hasn't evolved enough, to let anyone, but a those who claim to believe in a god, preferably the christian/jewish God, run for political positions.

annelies j.
annelies j6 years ago

Ron G. I think the "idiotic debating" Scarlett is talking about is the one the GOP is doing every couple of weeks. They are wasting way too much time on what religion any candidate has. Who really gives a crap what religion??? Oh yeah, the GOP does, because they still think that christianity is the religion for this country.

Jane Barton
Jane Barton6 years ago

All religions are cults, some are just more ridiculous than others. Mormonism has magic underwear and the sphaghetti monster has two meat balls. The only difference is in the details.
And anybody who believes in any of that crap isn't fit to run their own lives, much less a country's.

Lin Penrose
Lin Penrose6 years ago

This will be my 2nd attempt for my comment. the 1st. disappeared! Question: Where in the job descriptions of Presidents to small town politicians does it state that the potential leaders Must belong to Any religion or "cult"?

Lin Penrose
Lin Penrose6 years ago

Why does one (presidential to small town politics) have to belong to Any religion or "cult", to have the intelligence, commonsense, logic, strength and empathy, for humans And all the world's inhabitants, in order to be a good and succesful leader? Where, in a this country's (U.S.A) presidential and other political positions job descriptions, is that stated?