Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Can Mitt Romney Serve Two Masters?

This evening on CNN's "In the Arena" Tricia Erickson stridently argued that Mitt Romney was unfit to be President of the United States because of the covenants he had made in the Mormon Temple.

Ms. Erickson, a former Mormon, has written a book entitled Can Mitt Romney Serve Two Masters, and argues that Romney's Mormon beliefs are an issue far more serious and threatening than Kennedy's Catholic beliefs when he ran and became president. As a former member of the LDS Church, she claims to understand the indoctrination to which members are subjected, and the extreme loyalty to the Church they promise to maintain.

As of this writing, the video of her interview on "In the Arena" was not yet posted on CNN, however, CNN blog posting with essentially the same discussion is available on CNN.

To read the CNN blog posting, click here.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Mormon Question

CNN's Religion blog has posted a story entitled "Explain it to me: Mormonism." The post is by Dan Gilgoff, CNN's Belief Blog Co-Editor.

The post lists 10 facts about Mormonism, including its official name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the persecution the Church endured in its early years, including the murder of its founder Joseph Smith.

Apparently this persecution continues to some degree even today.
As of this posting, some 12 hours after CNN posted its story, over 1,200 comments have been made to the story. One commenter, drjaz, noted:
The hate and vitrol towards the mormons is nothing short of amazing. I haven't seen anything else compare. You'd think the mormons were jews and this was the inquisition. . . . When Joseph Smith was just a poor young backwoods no name kid with no prospects for the future he said that the angel told him his name would be had for good and evil all across the world. That's one prophecy these mormon haters have ensured has been absolutely and undeniably fulfilled.
Beyond reading the original CNN posting, viewing the reader posts provides a glimpse into public attitudes toward Mormons.

To read the CNN post, click here.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Several interesting things are happening with the Catholic Church.

Several interesting things are happening with the Catholic Church.

First, in what could be considered a step backward in China / Vatican relations, China is set to ordain a new bishop who has not been approved by the Pope. In 1951, China instituted a Chinese version of the Roman Catholic church, and since then, Catholics are only allowed to worship in official state Catholic churches. The state-sponsored Catholic Church ordained its own clergy without approval from Rome. Recently, however, relations had improved, with the Chinese Catholic Church ordaining several bishops that had been quietly approved by the Holy See. That China now appears to be reversing course is, of course, of concern to the Vatican.

To read the AP story, click HERE.

This issue was a topic of discussion as the Cardinals met at the Vatican earlier Friday. According to a Vatican Information Service release, this meeting, part of the consistory at which twenty-four new cardinals will be created, also focused on religious freedom.

Of note in the article below, is the demographic description of the Cardinals. The article notes that 40% of the College of Cardinals have been chosen by Pope Benedict. By selecting “conservative, tradition-minded prelates” the Pope is virtually ensuring that the Catholic Church will continue along a conservative path. Also worth noting is that twenty-five of the one-hundred-twenty-one Cardinals who are eligible to vote are Italian.

To read the AP story, click HERE.

Finally, a previous TwoMinuteBriefing noted that several priests from the Church of England had announced that they were moving their church membership to the Catholic Church. The article notes that 50 Anglican priests have are planning to make this move. Under rules established by the Vatican, these priests, even if married, will be allowed to function as priests in the Catholic Church. This is a trend worth watching.

To read the Telegraph story, click HERE.

Monday, June 29, 2009

White House Support of Gays and Lesbians

Today, for the first time ever, the White House held a reception to commemorate the Stonewall riots, an event that is frequently cited as the beginning of the Gay rights movement in the United States.

Today's reception, in combination with other events, shows clear Presidential support for Gays and Lesbians. This support is coming not only in the form of rhetoric or pageantry, but through a very significant appointment in the area of education.

Kevin Jennings, the founder of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network has been appointed Assistant Deputy Secretary of Education.

Read more about these events and their implication in our latest TwoMinuteBriefing, available by clicking here, or by visiting

Monday, June 15, 2009

Why Transsexual/Transgender Rights Matter

On June 11th, various news sources announced that Chastity Bono, the only daughter of Sonny and Cher, had begun sex change procedures earlier this year.

Although the transsexual/transgender segment of the population is very small, their fight for rights, and the attention they are receiving in the media, are a significant assault both on the traditional family, and on those religious authorities and denominations that proclaim that gender is divinely assigned.

Read about this issue in the TwoMinuteBriefing - Why Transsexual/Transgender Rights Matter.

To access the PDF file, click here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Selling of Homosexuality

The din subsequent to the California Supreme Court decision on Proposition 8 to be issued May 26th at 10:00 a.m. may cause attention to focus on the protests, the protesters, their cause etc. and by doing so, two critical points may become lost: first, the legal decision itself, and second, and perhaps more important, how the protest or celebrations themselves fit into the broader plan of selling homosexuality to America.

Read about how a plan written in 1990 for selling Homosexuality to America is being implemented today in a new TwoMinuteBriefing entitled “The Selling of Homosexuality”.

To access this TwoMinuteBriefing, visit or simply click here.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Moral Right or Political Might?

The last few weeks have seen a flurry of news articles discussing the future of the Republican Party. Most have called for change and a move to a more moderate stance.

Steve Schmidt, senior strategist for Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign has said that Republicans are in danger of losing younger voters.

Meghan McCain, Senator McCain’s daughter has similarly called for a moderating of some of the Party’s positions.

Senator Arlen Specter, who this week switched to the Democratic Party, noted that groups who target moderate to liberal Republicans in state primaries, are costing the party wins in general elections. He specifically noted former Senator Lincoln Chafee who spent resources to fend off a conservative challenger in 2006, and then narrowly lost in the general election.

Although there is some agreement that the far right wing of the Republican Party, and its unwillingness to compromise, are hurting the Party’s electoral successes; there is perhaps less agreement on how much and where that compromise should take place.

Of concern to some is that there is more willingness to compromise on morals than on economics.

For example, Schmidt’s concern about losing younger voters is that the Party does not realize how they feel about same-sex marriage. “Republicans should re-examine the extent to which we are being defined by positions on issues that I don’t believe are among our core values . . . .”

Meghan McCain expressed similar feelings, hoping that the Republican Party could become an umbrella party, more inclusive, and broader in its appeal.

How will the Republican Party change? On what will it compromise? If, as Schmidt intimates, moral issues are not among its core values, what are its core values?

For a PDF version of this post, please visit