Steve Benson takes flak for comments about Mitt Romney

When you are blogging, cartooning, or writing about the Mormon world, and your viewpoint is not one of “Mormonism is the answer to all the world’s problems,” then you have painted a big fat target on your ass. Be prepared to have shots aimed in your direction, and not well thought out, rational thoughts either. I get them regularly, as most people will note. As does Steve Benson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist and grandson of a deceased Mormon prophet.

The angry Mormons who disagree with me RARELY, if ever, address the actual comments or questions or theological concerns I have. Instead, they go on the personal, and attack ME, suggesting there is something wrong with ME, because I don’t believe Mormonism to be true. Never mind that Joseph Smith “translated” the Book of Mormon with his head stuck in a hat. Let’s talk about my “bitterness” problem. The fact that Joseph Smith was not farsighted enough to realize that sooner or later someone would REALLY translate the Book of Abraham, and realize it is actually a pagan funerary text, The Book of Breathings–doesn’t matter, because somebody at CHURCH must have MADE ME MAD.

Now for logical people, The revelations about the Book of Abraham should have been the decimation of Mormonism. But Mormons have been rationalizing for years. And rationalize they did. The average Mormon knows absolutely NOTHING about the false nature of the Book of Abraham, and does not WISH to know. One would also think that DNA proof that “Lamanites,” or Native Americans, are not descendants of ancient Jews, and rather descendants of Asia, would have been the nail in the proverbial coffin. Nope. More rationalizing.

Because these things cannot be argued, except in very circular logic that makes people dizzy, instead of Mormons coming here and attacking my opinions and postings as bogus, they choose to attack me personally.

They offer vague comments like, “Wow, shouldn’t you do something better with your time?” like our friend Shining, who suggested an animal charity. Or they accuse me of being “bitter,” with an ax to grind. Or they get even nastier, like the immature little snotwads who have more testosterone and Priesthood-filled machismo than brains or common sense.

The real truth is, they cannot argue against my claims. I don’t pick arguments that I can’t win. I’ve never really understand stating something publicly that you can’t defend. Why would anyone do that? I also don’t “distort” things, or “take them out of context,” as others have claimed. There really is no reason to do this. All on their own, they do a wonderful job of illustrating the great illogical mind leaps it requires to be an active and believing Mormon.

My mind does not work that way, hence the “former” Mormon thingie. You want to rationalize your way into the Celestial Kingdom, you go baby! Just don’t ask me along for the ride. And don’t say it’s not rationalizing. It IS. You have to rationalize it in order to swallow it. That’s just reality. If that works for you, okay then. It doesn’t work for me.

Back to Benson. He criticized Romney for his “flip flopping” on Mormon issues and questioned whether or not a temple-endowed, believing Mormon could effectively run the country without being influenced by his church.

He has a valid point. I personally don’t think George Bush has run the country without being influenced by his faith, either. And I also believe Romney has made it very clear that he intends to run on the “religion” ticket, especially after his latest speech. So nothing Benson said was really surprising, except to the upset Mormons who regularly email me as well as attack anyone who doesn’t bear their testimony of the Church’s truthfulness.

I don’t really understand this. Why on earth would you go from door to door, telling people you have the ONLY TRUE THING (that’s for you, Shining) and then get upset when people disagree?

And why would you go on the personal attack rather than address the issue at hand. Let’s talk doctrine, people. This isn’t personal.


About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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23 Responses to Steve Benson takes flak for comments about Mitt Romney

  1. Renee says:

    Jeffrey Nielson who used to teach at BYU (probably spelling that wrong) had a great piece in the Trib a few weeks back about the Romney question and not particularly the Mormon thing but the fact the Founding Fathers were really backing away from the whole religion thing – which I agree with. I like him so much. That is the type of person I say I can live in Utah or anywhere with. It’s not about Mormons, non Mormons etc. It’s about calling a spade a spade.

    I have a deep faith in a church that isn’t LDS. I do not pretend to say that I can say it’s the ONE TRUE CHURCH. Is that so incompatible? I really don’t think so. It means I’ve committed myself without damning everyone else.


  2. handmaiden says:

    I just found your site! Bravo!!!!
    Your right on the money.
    I’ll keep your blog in mind.


  3. rainey says:

    Once again Romney refuses to be candid about what he believes even though he wants people to vote for him. What responsible voter casts a vote without knowing what someone stand for? And when the politician in question has stood, publicly, for and against every issue of public policy isn’t it even more important to get an idea what the core beliefs that will guide him are?!?

    I have been trying to find out what LDS beliefs are since my daughter (now 30) was in a co-op preschool with 2 LDS families. I’m not looking for the “dirt”; I’d like an unbiased, knowledgeable assessment of why people have to have so many kids. Why women are driven to distraction and pharmaceuticals. Why 18yo boys are called “Elders” — give me a break! Why someone would be baptized before they were fully aware of all the beliefs they’d be expected to embrace.

    Every time I think I’ve got a handle on something, some LDS person tells me I’m getting erroneous info from biased sources. And yet the only information from official sources comes from the 18yos and after baptism.

    Every other church puts its beliefs out for all to embrace. Every other candidate doesn’t *have* to discuss their beliefs because it’s so easy to find out about them if it isn’t already common knowledge. And yet Romney stands in front of his little backdrop that says “Ask Mitt anything” and vilifies anyone who dares to ask him simple questions about his beliefs.

    Where is a non-Mormon to go to get some simple, direct answers?


  4. Wayne says:

    rainey: You posed this question:
    Where is a non-Mormon to go to get some simple, direct answers?


  5. Wayne says:

    Sorry, I pushed the wrong button and ‘sent’ before I was finished.
    I am taking your word that you are really trying to find unbiased information about what the LDS Church teaches and its doctrine. The website I sent you was put together by the Church so all who were interested could find out from the correct source without going through the less informed members. I have to admit I am possibly one of those less informed members and would be reluctant to give you what you seem to desire. There are other sites that will help you with your questions from those that understand it more fully. You will find other links there that should help you. Please overlook my grammar, phraseology and punctuating skills, as there are some on this ‘blog’ that are a little picky about such things.


  6. rainey says:

    Thanks and all but if I want to know the truth about Donald Trump he’s not where I go first. KWIM? The key word is “unbiased”.


  7. Wayne says:


    More of what you requested. Hope it helps.

    By the way: These are not from an LDS site. It is from a site that also sells books that are very much apposed to the Church. These are discussions between those that are honestly trying to understand what Latter-Day Saints really believe. I tried to find my copy of the “Another Jesus?” in LDS book stores and it wasn’t to be found.


  8. Wayne says:

    Rainey: So you weren’t really being honest about wanting to know where to get your ‘simple, direct answers??’ Well OK, I guess you are in the right place with your kind of crowd. You can’t say I didn’t try.


  9. Wayne says:

    Rainey: I apparently sent you the wrong reference on one of the books.


  10. rainey says:

    “So you weren’t really being honest about wanting to know where to get your ’simple, direct answers??’”

    This is someone else’s site so I won’t get into a protracted argument with you about my motives here but the “Basic Beliefs” described on are identical with almost every other religion I can think of. Not entirely open disclosure of the belief system…

    Not to be offended, but this is the brick wall I run into every time and why I am looking for other knowledgeable sources as well.

    Beyond unwillingness to disclose the body of the core beliefs for sincere examination, to say that the LDS has a bias that prevents it from seeing the full truth about itself with anymore lucidity and even-handedness than an ex-Mormon is simply evident.

    That said I will see if you have provided a source that I haven’t explored before and have no reason to respond further out of respect for the fact that we are both guests on someone else’s blog and no wish to be further insulted.


  11. Natalie says:

    Give me a break, Wayne. In FACT, give yourself a break. Admit it. We fascinate you. Unless you’ve just been hanging around, waiting to save possible converts from the Evil Natalie? You like us. Admit it. Why ELSE would you be lurking in our “company?”

    And quite FRANKLY, I refer people to the Web site all the time. Look back at the links, and you’ll see that I am not afraid to tell people where to go to get the Church’s opinion on something. I also link to FAIR, and to Jeff Lindsay’s site. Did you SOMEHOW miss that? Sheesh. I wonder about you, Wayne…..


  12. Wayne says:

    Natalie: Have a very Merry Christmas!!


  13. Natalie says:

    Hi Rainey, I will attempt to answer your questions.

    “I’m not looking for the “dirt”; I’d like an unbiased, knowledgeable assessment of why people have to have so many kids. Why women are driven to distraction and pharmaceuticals. Why 18yo boys are called “Elders” — give me a break! Why someone would be baptized before they were fully aware of all the beliefs they’d be expected to embrace.”

    Not all Mormons have tons of kids, but those that do often have more than one reason. One is the belief that there are many spirits that need bodies, and often Mormons feel that they are providing them. Also, in the LDS religion there is a big emphasis on families. I know lots of Mormons who don’t have big families though, so I don’t really think it’s a requirement. Maybe more of a personal interpretation of what is required to be a faithful Saint.

    Women are driven to distraction and pharmaceuticals because there is so much pressure in Mormonism, and very little release. (This is my opinion.) Keeping up with the Smiths is pretty tough, and if you aren’t inclined to be “the perfect housewife, and the perfect mother,” it’s even tougher. Because in Mormonism, that is your role. But I think that some people take this more “seriously” than others. Many Mormon women make this work for them, without feeling the pressure. I think a lot of it depends on the person.

    Why do they call boys Elder? Ya got me. Something to do with the Melchizedek priesthood. I found this answer on the Mormon Wiki site.

    Offices and Functions Just as in the Aaronic Priesthood, a man retains all the keys and authority of his previous ordinations. For example, if no Aaronic Priesthood members are present, the Melchizedek Priesthood can bless and pass the sacrament.

    * Elder as Title: The title “Elder” can be used for any holder of the Melchizedek Priesthood. As a title it is typically used to refer to male Mormon missionaries (e.g. Elder Smith or Elder Jones) or to General Authorities (such as Elder Russell M. Nelson or Elder Merrill J. Bateman).

    * Elder as Office: Men are ordained as elders beginning at either age 18 or 19. The duties of an elder are to baptize, confirm members of the Church and give the gift of the Holy Ghost, administer the sacrament, give blessings of comfort and healing, and generally watch over the Church.


  14. Natalie says:

    Ah, Wayne, you have a Merry Christmas, too. And look, Wayne. I just quoted from the Mormon Wiki site, see?


  15. azteclady says:

    Natalie, your patience just amazes me!

    Happy Holidays!


  16. PMP says:

    Ditto. Merry Christmas, Natalie!



  17. Renee says:

    Merry Christmas to all.


  18. Sheyedaisy says:

    Merry Christmas everyone!!!

    I don’t know if you happened to see the documentary that PBS did called “The Mormons”. It was not done by mormons or exmormons so it is a great unbiased look at the LDS church and its history. It is just a brief overview, but does not go very far into the more bizarre doctrines of mormonism. If you have not seen it I would recommend taking some time to check it out. Here is the link to their website where you can watch the movie in its entirety.

    Hope this helps.


  19. Jim says:

    Yes, I would agree with you that Romney would not be unbiased. I don’t think anyone is unbiased. Recent radio coverage indicates that he is having troubles with questions about LDS history and racism. He overstated some particular family involvement in the civil rights movement. I am glad he did, but a lot of people are wondering why he overstated things.

    Personally I would like to see someone run that is agnostic or atheist. Apparently this is just as suspect to alot of people.


  20. hucktunes says:

    I honestly believe that the Mormon Church was founded by members of E Clampus Vitus in order to mock the Roman Catholics and pull off the greatest of all hoaxes. And to get a bunch of babes to boot. Credo Quia Absurdum.


  21. Glo says:

    Natalie, you said, “The angry Mormons who disagree with me RARELY, if ever, address the actual comments or questions or theological concerns I have.”

    I was wondering about that as well. I am a first generation non Mormon and I have found the same thing. I think that because for the most part Mormons can not refute the evidence against their religion they hold tighter to the one thing they think they can trust. The infamous Burning in the Bosom. So when issues are brought up (theological or other wise) they feel as if they are being told that their spiritual encounter is fake. And sense this is the one thing they can look at to say that their religion is true then they lash out in the way they feel they have been attacked, which is who they are as a person.

    This is just my hypothesis.

    The funny thing is that when someone does ask God to show them if the book of Mormon is his farther revelation and they get the answer that it is not then the Mormon will say that you were not asking with an undivided heart.


  22. Lauren says:

    It seems clear to me that “Victim Syndrome” runs rampant on this site. “Oh poor me! Those damn Mormons. They’re ruining my life. Whaaaa!” Would you like me to call the Whaaambulance for you?

    This crap is no more justifiable than the Aryan Nations or the KKK. It’s founded in hate and intolerance. If all of you are soooo bothered by the Mormons, THEN DON’T BE AROUND THEM!!! If you can’t stand living in a “Mormon” community, THEN MOVE AWAY! To live in a place where you are outnumbered by another culture, and cry and bitch and whine about them is an attention getting measure. It’s stupid and immature.

    The fact of the matter is that there are deviants in all religions, just as there are people in all religions who believe that their’s is true. That’s life. Ever heard of religious freedom?

    Move on.


  23. Altept says:

    It is really a nice post, its always great reading such posts, this post is good in regards of both knowledge as well as information. Thanks for the post.


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