“ . . . blood on the escutcheon of the State of Illinois, with the broken faith of the State as pledged by the governor, is a witness to the truth of the everlasting gospel that all the world cannot impeach; and their innocent blood on the banner of liberty, and on the magna charta of the United States, is an ambassador for the religion of Jesus Christ, that will touch the hearts of honest men among all nations; and their innocent blood,with the innocent blood of all the martyrs under the altar that John saw, will cry unto the Lord of Hosts till he avenges that blood on the earth. Amen”—Doctrine And Covenants of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Section 135
According to a 2010 census conducted by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies, there are 150 million Americans who believe in some form of myth worship (religion) ranging from mainline Christianity to Tao.
There are some 76 million protestants of various stripes, 59 million or so Catholics, 6.3 million Mormons (Church of Latter Day Saints of varying orthodoxy) and 6.5 million Jews. One in three Mormon’s live in Utah and the Mormons are increasing their numbers along with Muslims. Eastern Orthodox religions are on the rise, as well.
All the myths are peculiar in their own way. It’s all right to make fun of Jesus but do not take the Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH) name in vain. No problem funnin’ with the Bible, God and Yahweh over at the Brick Testament. Even the United States Air Force Academy has recognized the Wiccans and Druids and have provided a place for their followers to worship nature.
No question about America’s religious tolerance. Hell, there is even the Landover Baptist Church where no religion is spared a humor attack. Latest headlines there include Landover Ladies Discover Depraved Cult in Utah and “Baptist Congregation Stripped Naked in Mormon Underwear Bust!
Seriously though, what is the gig with the Mormon religion? Do they have a sense of humor when it comes to the Prophet Smith being gunned down in a jail in Illinois in 1844? It seems strange thinking about a Prophet being thwacked in a jail and that the State of Illinois is damned because of the murder. But so goes religion and worship.
So what matters to the Mormons? And is Romney typical of Mormons in his own way?
Show me the money!
It is money that matters, of course. The Mormon church is a cash machine. They really do Trust in God. And they would feel better about the 47 to 99 percent of Americans who are freeloaders if they joined the Mormon Corporate Church.
According to Bloomberg Business Week’s very insightful How the Mormon’s Make Money (July 2012) the Mormon Church built and owns a $2 billion shopping mall in Utah named the City Creek Center.
But that is literally the tip of the iceberg.
“Mormons make up only 1.4 percent of the U.S. population, but the church’s holdings are vast. First among its for-profit enterprises is DMC, which reaps estimated annual revenue of $1.2 billion from six subsidiaries, according to the business information and analysis firm Hoovers. Those subsidiaries run a newspaper, 11 radio stations, a TV station, a publishing and distribution company, a digital media company, a hospitality business, and an insurance business with assets worth $3.3 billion . . .
AgReserves, another for-profit Mormon umbrella company, together with other church-run agricultural affiliates, reportedly owns about 1 million acres in the continental US, on which the church has farms, hunting preserves, orchards, and ranches. These include the $1 billion, 290,000-acre Deseret Ranches in Florida, which, in addition to keeping 44,000 cows and 1,300 bulls, also has citrus, sod, and timber operations. Outside the US, AgReserves operates in Britain, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil. Its Australian property, valued at $61 million in 1997, has estimated annual sales of $276 million, according to Dun & Bradstreet. . . . As a religious organization, the LDS Church enjoys several tax advantages. Like other churches, it is often exempt from paying taxes on the real estate properties it leases out, even to commercial entities . . .
The church also doesn’t pay taxes on donated funds and holdings. Mitt Romney and others at Bain Capital, the private equity firm he co-founded in 1984, gave the Mormon Church millions’ worth of stock holdings obtained through Bain deals, according to Reuters. Between 1997 and 2009, these included $2 million in Burger King and $1 million in Domino’s Pizza shares. Under U.S. law, churches can legally turn around and sell donated stock without paying capital-gains taxes, a clear advantage for both donor and receiver. The church also makes money through various investment vehicles, including a trust company and an investment fund called Ensign Peak Advisors, which employs managers who specialize in international equities, cash management, fixed income, quantitative investment, and emerging markets . . .”
No wonder the finance and banking industries like the Mormon buy in Romney. According to Open Secrets, Romney’s largest organizational contributors (see definition at the link) are: Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase and Credit Suisse Group.
Obama’s are the paltry University of California, Microsoft, Google, Harvard and the US Government. Of note is the lineup that Ron Paul came in with: the US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, Google, and the US Department of Defense (Paul wanted the US out of Iraq and Afghanistan, took a no-war/sanction position with Iran and, well, the rest will be history in a couple of weeks). What does the military know that US voters don’t?
President George W, Bush was once asked who his favorite philosopher was? His response was Jesus Christ.
What would Romney’s response to such a question be? Joseph Smith the Prophet? Hyrum Smith the Patriarch? Where in the Book of Mormon or the Doctrines and Covenants would Romney turn to for guidance, inspiration or action?
How would Romney’s Mormonism affect his decision-making duties as president of the USA? The revered Prophet Joseph Smith was shot to death in Carthage, Illinois, in 1844. Would Romney seek revenge in some form? According to Section 135, Doctrines and Covenants:
“Hyrum Smith was forty-four years old in February, 1844, and Joseph Smith was thirty-eight in December, 1843; and henceforward their names will be classed among the martyrs of religion; and the reader in every nation will be reminded that the Book of Mormon, and this book of Doctrine and Covenants of the church, cost the best blood of the nineteenth century to bring them forth for the salvation of a ruined world; and that if the fire can scathe a green tree for the glory of God, how easy it will burn up the dry trees to purify the vineyard of corruption. They lived for glory; they died for glory; and glory is their eternal reward. From age to age shall their names go down to posterity as gems for the sanctified.
“They were innocent of any crime, as they had often been proved before, and were only confined in jail by the conspiracy of traitors and wicked men; and their innocent blood on the floor of Carthage jail is a broad seal affixed to ‘Mormonism’ that cannot be rejected by any court on earth, and their innocent blood on the escutcheon of the State of Illinois, with the broken faith of the State as pledged by the governor, is a witness to the truth of the everlasting gospel that all the world cannot impeach; and their innocent blood on the banner of liberty, and on the magna charta of the United States, is an ambassador for the religion of Jesus Christ, that will touch the hearts of honest men among all nations; and their innocent blood,with the innocent blood of all the martyrs under the altar that John saw, will cry unto the Lord of Hosts till he avenges that blood on the earth. Amen.”
John Stanton is a Virginia based writer speculating in national security. Reach him at email@example.com.