May 10, 2007

"They were trying to build a generation out there in the desert and so he took additional wives as he was told to do."

Mitt Romney on Mormons and polygamy. The spin is: 1. obedience, and 2. what do you think you would do if you were trying to survive in the desert?

ADDED: Much more on Romney's efforts to answer questions about his religion here.

42 comments:

EnigmatiCore said...

"In the desert, you can't remember your name, 'cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain."

Written by a man who had not been married yet at the time, natch.

cardeblu said...

...and build they did!

I am not Mormon. My mother was brought up LDS, although her father was more or less a "jack Mormon." It stopped with her (her mom wasn't LDS, either, just married to one). However, through my mother's father's side of the family, both Heber C. Kimball and Orson Pratt are my great-great-great grandfathers. These 2 men were contemporaries of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and were in the original Quorum of 12. They are both my g3-grandfathers because one of Heber's 65 children from one of his 45 wives (17 of whom he had children with, I believe) married one of Orson's 45 children from one of his 7 wives. I just found out the other day that the wife of Heber who is my g3-grandmother actually was practicing polyandry. Apparently she was married to a man who became disenchanted with the "church," so she then married Joseph Smith while she was still married to the other guy. She is said to have had 1 of Smith's kids. After Smith died, she then married Heber (still married to the other guy).

At that rate, I am related to a goodly portion of Utah and southern Idaho. BTW, that isn't from inbreeding; it's just....breeding. {shudder}

As far as I'm concerned, it's "church" sanctified adultry.

Seven Machos said...

Joseph Smith was an interesting character. He was a very good-looking man. I imagine he was very charismatic. And I have always suspected that charismatic men who start religious and quasi-religious movements have as one of their private motives to get laid a lot.

Daryl said...

I have a great-great grandfather

Jeez, I have 7 great-great grandfathers, and that's a little weird. Mitt's really redlining the inbreeding scale.

They were trying to build a generation out there in the desert and so he took additional wives as he was told to do

Sounds like Mohammed.

"Um, yeah, I'm just taking all these wives because that's the way Allah wants it. Especially little 9-year-old Aisha. Allah really wants me to marry her, he told me so himself. I'm just doing what I was told."

Before the primaries start, we're going to find out how old all of Mitt's ancestors' wives were. And we'll know exactly how many of them were uncle-niece pairs . . .

PatCA said...

I have a friend who grew up in Utah. She and her brother recently discovered some old albums from their grandfather's farm. Upon opening the album, there was Grandpa--and three wives! First time anyone in her generation heard a thing about it.

deb said...

Who the hell cares how many wives a Mormon has? His funny underwear is also his own business.

The problem with Mormons is that they keep trying to limit free speech and freedom of religion wherever they are in control, as in Salt Lake City. Same as Bush. Same as the Dems.

What the hell: Romney would just be a fascist in he mold of the Christianists!

Eli Blake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eli Blake said...

cardeblu:

As far as I'm concerned, it's "church" sanctified adultry.

It is, where there is a church which sanctions it. But that isn't the LDS church.

Fact: There are certainly offshoots and cults which practice it, but polygamy has been considered to be adultery and grounds for excommunication from the LDS church (the one which Mitt Romney and I both belong to) for over a century.

It was a part of church history, that is true, but the LDS church is no more practicing polygamy today than the Catholic church is still practicing the Inquisition.

Palladian said...

My great-great-great-grandfather had 11 wives and 57 children. He wrote a brief autobiography which you can read.

cardeblu said...

Fair enough, Eli. What you say is true, and I should have said was "church" sanctified adultery in the past. I did not mean to imply otherwise. In fact, my g2-grandparents (Heber's and Orson's kids) were most likely monogamous in their own marriage, but I'm not sure.

I just find myself both strangely fascinated and horrifingly repelled by it all when thinking of my family history.

Sloanasaurus said...

If Romney has to take responsibility for the past disgressions of his religion, shouldn't other politicians also be responsible. Nancy Pelosi should be answering for the Inquisition.

hdhouse said...

Sloane....does that comment make any sense to you or was that an attempt at humor? I have, as many people have, no issues with the Mormom aspect of Mr. Romney's life. I lived in Michigan when his dad was governor and although he was a bit emptyheaded he did no real damage.

The L. Ron Hubbard should give yo more concern.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Mitt Romney says:

"And I must admit I can't imagine anything more awful than polygamy."

Umm, murder? Rape? Pedophilia? Having your eyes eaten by ants while you're having a wisdom tooth extracted?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

I recommend Jon Krakauer's book "Under the Banner of Heaven" to anyone interested in the history of Mormonism and, more specifically, the FLDS.

Peter Palladas said...

Multiple mothers-in-law.

...Polygamy is only for the deeply penitential, who demands a degree of self-imposed suffering not experienced by ordinary sinners.

And sex in the desert? Great in films but hellish in reality. The heat, the dust, the grit, sunburnt genitals, rubbed raw elbows, knees and shoulders...

I won't even do it on a beach.

ricpic said...

Why should the religious answer any questions from hostile secularists?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

ricpic wrote:

Why should the religious answer any questions from hostile secularists?


In the case of Romney, I'm going to take a wild guess and say it's because he wants to convince people
that

A.) he's not a kook, and
B.) he deserves their vote.

I'm not convinced on either count.

hdhouse said...

PS...we called them Mormoms(sic) growing up...as in More Moms...which is bad and I apologize.

As to the original thread posting, I will admit that women are indespensible to life but on a practical level, 1 wife in the desert seems fine but if you want one wife to flourish she gets the 1/2 share of water. To reduce anyone's share to 1/3 or less for whatever reason doesn't seem fair does it?

Does that equate to, when in power, splitting the resources thinner and thinner...everyone getting a drink without increasing the supply of water...just now everyone gets a sip instead of a drink.

that may take some thought.

Ann Althouse said...

Palladian: That's pretty cool. If we're doing ancestor links, let me say that I'm a direct descendant of Cotton Mather.

Peter Palladas said...

"...let me say that I'm a direct descendant of Cotton Mather."

Mather - great wig. Althouse - great hair.

It's a genes thing.

MadisonMan said...

I'm related to This guy.

Palladian said...

Althouse: Impressive! He's one of my favorite Puritans and my absolute favorite person named Cotton.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

"...I can't imagine anything more awful than polygamy."

Doesn't that say a lot about his opinion of the one wife he does have?

rsb said...

I'm my own Grandpa.

Oligonicella said...

rsb -- by his own bootstraps

Bruce Hayden said...

Not being Mormon, but having had a number of Mormon friends, my view is that polygamy now days is one of the worst sins that a Mormon can commit. The reason I suspect is that the church is run on prophesy, and the Prophet at the time ordained that the time for polygamy was over. But those who wanted to continue the practice, or for whatever other reasons, disavowed the LDS Prophet, and found their own who claimed to have had prophesies to the contrary. And the LDS offshoots practicing polygamy to this day deny the legitimacy of the LDS Prophet, and instead follow their own. In other words, they are not just heretics, but also apostates.

Having lived in Salt Lake and lived around a number of Mormons then, I have no doubt that Utah would be one of the last states to legalize polygamy.

Of course, all those Mormons who so roundly condem polygamy now ruefully admit, as did Romney and several here, to having had polygamists in their family tree a hundred or so years ago.

Julie said...

Palladian: So who are some of your other favorite Puritans? Is there a top 10 list?

I'm a William Bradford fan, myself.

Bruce Hayden said...

Best that I can do is claim more great-great grandmothers, etc. than great-great grandfathers. But none of the second wives seem to have ever had kids. Rather, invariably the first wife died young, likely in childbirth, and the second one was married later and didn't have kids.

Closest I can come to any notoriety here is being related to the Adoniram Judson in the book "Lives of the Three Mrs. Judsons". Judson managed to bury three wives during his missionary work to Burma. It was the Judsons in my family who tended to bury wives and then remarry.

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

Julie: In no particular order:

Johnathan Edwards, John Bunyan, Isaac Watts, John Foxe and John Davenport.

Of course, I'll always have a soft spot for Cotton (and Increase!) Mather, as he was one of the early founders of my alma mater.

John said...

That is B.S. Joseph Smith was a philandering piece of garbage who when when his wife caught him dreamed up the idea that "God told him that men should have more than one wife". Incredible amounts of pain and suffering were inflicted on Mormon women becuase of polygomy. Romney ought to admit that, but if he did, they would probably kick him out of the church.

I am sorry, I would never vote for a Mormon for President.

Synova said...

"Incredible amounts of pain and suffering were inflicted on Mormon women becuase of polygomy. Romney ought to admit that, but if he did, they would probably kick him out of the church."

But...

I thought that's what he did? As cyrus quoted, "And I must admit I can't imagine anything more awful than polygamy."

That's what Romney said about polygamy. He doesn't have to say his great grandpa was a bad person for following the teaching of the church at that time to say that polygamy is awful. (And obviously there are things that are much worse but he was talking in the context of family life.)

John said...

That is B.S. Joseph Smith was a philandering piece of garbage who when when his wife caught him dreamed up the idea that "God told him that men should have more than one wife". Incredible amounts of pain and suffering were inflicted on Mormon women becuase of polygomy. Romney ought to admit that, but if he did, they would probably kick him out of the church.

I am sorry, I would never vote for a Mormon for President.

Eugene said...

My great-great-grandfather had three wives. Unlike modern-day polygamous communities such as Hilldale, during the 19th century inbreeding was mitigated against by vigorous in-migration, under a program initiated by Brigham Young known as the Perpetual Immigration Fund. This brought in a flood of immigrants (such as my great-great-grandfather and his second wife) from Northern Europe and especially Great Britain. Mapped according to country of origin, Utah is the most "English" state in the United States.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_American

Incidentally, while I think polygamy is a perfectly lousy idea sociologically, I don't rue it. After all, it's why I'm here. And, besides, considering the kinds of things one's ancestors could have been up to in the mid-19th century, I have to consider polygamy pretty low on the list of hereditary original sins. Most polygamists did not have zillions of wives--they couldn't afford to. In one respect, polygamy simply legalized and brought into the light the relationships that Victorian men of means carried on with their mistresses.

dmfoiemjsof said...

I was raised LDS, and my great-great grandfather had three wives.

I went on a mission, graduated from BYU, and got married in the temple. All my family going back for generations are Mormon. They were with Joseph Smith, crossed the plains, etc. So its a huge thing with my family. Really big.

But I haven't been to church in over 10 years. With Mormonism, you are either in or out. You can't do it half-way, like with Catholicism. I decided when I was 23 that I was sick of it, and I was getting out. It was difficult for my family, but it was the best decision I ever made.

Cedarford said...

Before the primaries start, we're going to find out how old all of Mitt's ancestors' wives were. And we'll know exactly how many of them were uncle-niece pairs . .

From a "probing media" that would do so only to "better inform voters" that of course maintained a strict code of silence about Jesse Jackson, Mosely-Braun and Al Sharptons family tree when they were running for President.

Synova said...
"Incredible amounts of pain and suffering were inflicted on Mormon women because of polygomy. Romney ought to admit that, but if he did, they would probably kick him out of the church."


That's pretty ignorant. Polygamy is denounced by the LDS Church today and polygamists barred. The Mormon Church is a reminder, as with any Catholics punished here or in the UK for having a higher sectarian loyalty than to their nation - that for most of American history common sense won out over "religious freedom". There are some forms of religious expression that are incompatable with being an American. Islam has several and we have not had the balls to tell them that. If the Aztecs came back tomorrow, in our self-interest we could not permit them to exist amongst us. We gave the Mormons that choice. No statehood or being Americans or access to markets unless you clean up your religion, mainly by prohibiting polygamy. They did. We also once had the vision and confidence that the 1st Amendment and "religious freedom" was not so absolute as to bar us from wiping out Suttee and other noxious Hindu practices, Pacific Islander religious cannibalism, and we told the Japanese at gunpoint to wipe out the deathcult aspects of Shinto Buddhism, which they did.

As for everyone from Romney to Bobby Jindal to Chuck Schumer to Pelosi being required to apologize for "woman's pain" or other past noxious aspects of their religions? Why bother? It's long into the past.
The present we should be concerned with is spontaneous Jihadi explosion, Taxi Driver Sharia, and a fire in Brooklyn that killed the smuggled-in 3 wives and 12 children of a Somali refugee with a full-time job, full-time welfare on 2 of his 3 fake IDs.

Wasting our time concerned what various people's ancestors did while studiously ignoring present religious ideologies that are incompatable with our civilization and culture is the idiotic move.

ricpic said...
Why should the religious answer any questions from hostile secularists?


Because if we say any religious belief goes and freely allowed in the name of the God of MultiCulti and society is obligated to "tolerate" it, even if it is completely as dangerous and intolerant of others & incompatable as certain secular groups, we set ourselves up for serious bloodshed and warfare.

As is, there is no evidence despite their religions or ancestor's religions that Chuck Schumer, John Kerry, Mitt Romney, Bobby Jindal, Daniel Inouye are anything but Americans on the same page. And Pelosi a San Franciscan-American on the same page as those folks.

Joe said...

And we'll know exactly how many of them were uncle-niece pairs...

After a quick perusal of his genealogy, none. That's not how polygamy worked at the time.

Of note is that his great-grandfather was Orson Pratt, an early and extremely influential leader in the LDS church. (By extremely, I mean that the modern Mormon church by and large follows his interpretation of Mormon doctrine and theology)

Incidentally, the biggest Mormon problem is that they tend to be thin-skinned to criticism. This is evidenced in Romney's massive over-reaction to Sharpton being his normal idiot self.

cardeblu said...

Joe: "After a quick perusal of his genealogy, none. That's not how polygamy worked at the time."

Correct. Also, not all of their wives lived with them all of the time. Some were in different states and even different countries, like England. With the number of missions the men went on, they practically had a wife in every port, as it were. Of course, they also had "spiritual" wives and, I'm sure, their property as well.

"Of note is that his great-grandfather was Orson Pratt..."

Ha!! Then Mitt and I are related. My mom and I were joking about that the other day.

Revenant said...

Incidentally, the biggest Mormon problem is that they tend to be thin-skinned to criticism.

I think it is just that they get criticized a lot more often than most people do.

On a related note, I find it ironic that the LDS church complained about the HBO series "Big Love". The portrayal of mainstream Mormons on that show is actually pretty flattering, and nobody who watches it is left with the impression that polygamy is (a) acceptable to the LDS or (b) a good idea.

Synova said...

What looks like a quote from me in Cedarford's 12:47 post was me quoting someone else.

Synova said...

"...fire in Brooklyn that killed the smuggled-in 3 wives and 12 children of a Somali refugee..."

That's a different sort of problem, assuming that he had three wives *before* he got here as a refugee.

I had a friend at Bible School (college, sorta) who's parents were missionaries in Africa who's sponsoring denomination required an convert to *get rid of* extra wives. Consequently those with any decency who wanted to convert to Christianity wouldn't do it because they understood the consequences to their wives of being cast off that way. They were in the process of changing that rule.

Following our rules *here* would seem a minimum requirement once someone arrives but what is the just way of handling pre-existing polygamy? (And in such a way that going back to the old country and picking up additional wives after coming here is not acceptable.)

Thorley Winston said...

Of course, all those Mormons who so roundly condem polygamy now ruefully admit, as did Romney and several here, to having had polygamists in their family tree a hundred or so years ago.

I don’t get it, are you suggesting that today’s Mormons who condemn polygamy had previously they denied having “polygamists in their family tree a hundred or so years ago”?