Mormonism is more like Islam, says Southern Baptist president

Texas Gov. Rick Perry this morning called the controversy over GOP presidential rival Mitt Romney’s faith a campaign distraction, ]saying out of work Americans aren’t interested in “side issues and sideshows.”

Appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Perry again said he didn’t agree with a statement from one of his key Texas supporters, a Southern Baptist pastor who asserted that Romney is not a Christian, and that Mormonism is a cult.

“We clearly said we didn’t agree with that statement,” Perry said.

However, others do. Among them the Rev. Bryant Wright, pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta and president of the 16 million-member Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.

Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM) has posted this interview with Wright. Some excerpts:

”It is a cult, in the sense that it does not adhere to what would be traditional or orthodox biblical teaching. It’s really been kind of comical at the outrage of some folks when it’s called a cult….

“But the fact is, if a guy from Exxon said Apple was not in the energy business, everybody would understand what they were talking about. The only thing Apple and Exxon have in common is that they’re both corporations.

“Mormon and Christianity have in common that they’re two of the world’s religions, but the teaching from biblical or traditional Christianity is so different – that’s why it would be classified as a cult.”

On whether Baptist voters should take Romney’s religion into consideration at the polls:

”I think one thing we want to remember about the presidential election – I think Herman Cain is the one who made this remark – is we’re not electing a theologian-in-chief, we’re electing a commander-in-chief….

“It’s kind of like when I get on a plane to fly to L.A. I’m very thankful if the pilot’s a Christian, but I really hope he can fly the plane, most of all.”

And why not just call Latter Day Saints part of a larger Christian tent?

”They’re not a part of the big tent if you look at the founders. When you look at the life of Joseph Smith, he really had more in common with Mohammad than he did with Jesus Christ. Both men saw themselves as bringing a purification to what had been distorted in Judaism and Christianity [--a heretical position, Wright later declared]….

“Both of them were polygamists and taught polygamy and practiced polygamy. There’s some really radical differences. Both brought into existence new books of authority – the Book of Mormon, the Koran, versus the Bible being our authority.”

***
CBS News included this paragraph in a report of GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain’s doings in Ohio:

Outside, where his book was on sale, Cain told reporters he hasn’t ruled out become a Fox News Show host “in the unlikely event I don’t win the nomination or the presidency.” Where the former pizza executive’s true ambitions lie remains a subject of some speculation largely because of his unorthodox campaign schedule.

***
And the liberal group Think Progress points out that, in his days as head of the National Restaurant Association, Herman Cain struck an alliance with tobacco companies:

Blurring the lines between restaurant industry caretaker and tobacco company representative, Cain accepted hefty donations from tobacco corporations. Cain worked to snuff out a Senate bill that would have reigned in smoking at restaurants and other facilities around the country. The lobbying drive, which defeated the bill in 1998, occured just after the NRA started to see money coming in from tobacco firms.

***
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at Herman Cain’s contention that “Medicare will go bankrupt by 2017, while Social Security will bottom out by 2037.”

***
On Wednesday night, Gov. Nathan Deal and his wife Sandra hosted past governors and their spouses at the Mansion for dinner. Zell Miller and Sonny Perdue sent their regrets. Below are, from left to right, Roy Barnes, Carl Sanders, Deal, Jimmy Carter and Joe Frank Harris:

Special/Jennifer Talaber

Special/Jennifer Talaber

***
Shirley Franklin’s Blogging While Blue today reports that redistricting in the city of Atlanta is likely to produce a more conservative government:

[A] large part of the city’s growth over the last ten years has occurred in areas where people vote more conservatively. Districts 6 and 9 have traditionally been represented by progressives. However, with the heavy population growth of Buckhead these districts may gain enough conservative voters to tip the balance of the next election.

The city’s most Democratic leaning districts are 1, 3, 4, 10, 11, and 12. These districts voted Democrat over 90% in the 2008 US Senate elections. All of these districts, with the exception of 11, lost residents over the last ten years.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

234 comments Add your comment

Tom

October 14th, 2011
9:24 am

I gotta giggle to hear a BAPTIST refer to anything else as a ‘cult’.

Let’s get this striaght once and for all…..

The ONLY differences between a ‘religion’ and a ‘cult’ are (1)sales volume, and (2)longevity. Yes, even Christianity had to cross that line of demarcation at some point…..and it’s not even close to being the ‘oldest’ one out there.

reebok

October 14th, 2011
9:35 am

Dang, Roy’s gotten fat. Carter needs to spend more on his suits…that jacket doesn’t fit him. Joe Frank Harris has aged pretty well.

Rickster

October 14th, 2011
9:43 am

I just lost all respect for Bryant Wright and will never listen to another one of his “Right From The Heart” messages. I was thinking about buying his new book… but that’s out the window now.

Since local church leaders are “called” (i.e. volunteered) and receive no compensation for their service, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a threat to anyone who earns a living via religion like Wright does.

It’s in Wright’s financial best interest to demonize the church. If everyone joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, he’d lose his salary, home, book deals, etc.

To hear other sides of the equation, visit Mormon.org

Buck Hayek

October 14th, 2011
9:44 am

9-9-9 a job killer say business leaders

The National Retail Federation strongly opposes the Republican presidential candidate’s plan because it would institute a first-ever national sales tax of 9 percent that, the federation says, will dampen consumer spending.

“This will hurt demand and slow the economic recovery,” the federation’s tax policy expert, Rachelle Bernstein, said. “You definitely do not want to do this.”

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/10/14/2453651/business-groups-blast-cains-9.html#ixzz1alL7tJUJ

Raquel Morris

October 14th, 2011
9:45 am

That’s an interesting read on Shirley Franklin’s blog. The Council Members who’ve lost population shouldn’t be surprised, they represent the neighborhoods with some of the greatest foreclosures in the state. The houses are empty, the voters are gone. Same thing has happened to many of the intown legislative districts.

I can’t quite bring myself to the point of tears for any of them, though. If an incumbent Council Member faces tough opposition in a district that picks up new and different voters, that just means they need to work that much harder. Who says the politicians have a right to an easy reelection? Besides, how political are City issues. We’re talking about filling potholes and keeping police on the street. Is there really a “progressive” or “conservative” perspective on that?

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

October 14th, 2011
9:46 am

The Deist Founders solved the problem by worshipping only the Deity. G-d would appreciate our return to The Creed through which Our Covenant was received. Sectarian factionalism is treason.

Baptists, Black and White, may be a big part of America’s salvation. Much as I hate to say it, Bryant Wright is correct about Joseph Smith and Mohammed. Religions born of perversion are false religions.

Worship of the Deity, the Creator, G-d of the universe, infinite, eternal, perfect, and ineffable, is never incorrect. Let’s get back to our roots America, and end the psychopathy so evident in the Roman Catholics’ cheating the homosexual, draft-dodging son of one of JFK’s assassins into the White House (where he entertained his homosexual lover, James Guckert) to commit 9/11 to send us to false war and drain the treasury and the People on behalf of the Fifth Column of the Roman Anti-Christ.

Truth and Justice, like Atlanta’s “shortest string to Heaven,” is the direct path to G-d. Let us not waver in the pursuit of righteousness all of good conscience know is required.

td

October 14th, 2011
9:46 am

Yes Shirley, the city will be in the hands of Republicans in about ten more years.

Centrist

October 14th, 2011
9:48 am

More Mr. Jim Galloway partisan attack. He can’t ever mention his Democratic party in a bad light even though Obama’s ratings are historically low, has two scandals under investigation, the “Occupy” mess that Obama encourages is in a shambles, and can’t pass his ballyhooed legislation.

OldSnarkey

October 14th, 2011
9:50 am

Tom, it appears from your words that you don’t understand spirituality at all. I feel sad for you in that respect. If you would take the time to study and learn and pray, you would be more of a man of knowledge!

ByteMe

October 14th, 2011
9:50 am

So Bryant Wright is complaining that Greek mythology is a cult, but his own Roman mythology isn’t a cult? Do I have that wright? :roll:

Jerome Horwitz

October 14th, 2011
9:53 am

Where is Jeremiah Wright when you need him? Bryant and Jeremiah – brothers wearing the robes.

Tom

October 14th, 2011
9:54 am

Allowing yourself to get drawn into an argument of “MY mythology-based faith is better than YOUR mythology-based faith!” is somewhat analogous to argiuing over who has the sharper spoon.

Bucky

October 14th, 2011
9:54 am

Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Solomon, David etc. were all “Polygamists” as well.
Hardly a disqualifier.
Pretty sure even the Southern Baptists consider those men to have been Prophets of God.

The most amusing thing to come from Jeffres was when he stated “Mormonism can’t be true because it came about 1800 years after Christ.

Really, Pastor Jeffres, your Protestant Faith came on the scene 1600 years after Christ.

And Protestants were considered, and still are by many, to be heretics themselves.

And we all know how the SBC feels about Catholics (the Oldest Christian Faith), Jews and “Non-Believers” as they define them.

They are destined for an all consuming, painfull, Eternal Hell fire.

What are you doing Reverand Jeffres, if not being on your own “Purification Quest”?
With your Church, it’s all about You.

With those of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, well, it’s in their name.

In fact, was not Pastor Jeffres’ Dallas Church, the very same Church which campaigned that Senator Kennedy was not worthy to be President of the United States ,because he was Catholic?

LDS (Mormons) are not 4th Century Creedal Christians.
They claim to be 1st Century Christians, which is, in their minds, actually closer to Biblical teachings.

These Pastors ignorance is simply stunning.

KID

October 14th, 2011
9:54 am

Not to worry…Obama all the way back in 2012! You can count on it!

ByteMe

October 14th, 2011
9:54 am

Tom, it appears from your words that you don’t understand spirituality at all

Perhaps some reading comprehension is in order. He didn’t comment on “spirituality”, only “corporate religion” (as a pastor friend calls it).

Centrist

October 14th, 2011
10:00 am

The whole reason Mr. Jim Galloway puts out this religious disagreement is to divide Republicans. The candidates themselves are mostly staying away from it – only the instigators like Mr. Jim Galloway take pleasure in their divide to conquer strategy.

Tom

October 14th, 2011
10:02 am

Or, Snarkey, perhaps….just perhaps…I actually understand the concept of spirituality only too well? ;-)

laney

October 14th, 2011
10:03 am

Soutern Baptists are as much a cult as Mormons. Repubs are religious bigots. Cain is too right wing to ever be elected President. Once people get to know what his positions are, his popularity will plummet.

redcoat

October 14th, 2011
10:04 am

Buck Hayek……….Have you read the plan presented on Mr. Cain’s website? Might be good to read that first and then direct people to other who have an opinion. I have found that most that are critical conveniently leave out some important details. Critics are either uninformed, or purposely misleading. Everyone should read his plan first.

martha

October 14th, 2011
10:10 am

am so disappointed in bryant wright’s comments too — southern baptists if they don’t think it now –thought roman catholics were a cult — when kennedy was running for president — my baptist friends thought we worshiped the virgin mary — they may still but we don’t talk about religious beliefs anymore — also what we don’t need in the white house is a bible thumping yokel from texas!

yuzeyurbrane

October 14th, 2011
10:10 am

So much Christian love. Kind of hurts the whole brand.

redcoat

October 14th, 2011
10:11 am

The Baptist guy said Mormonism is a cult…………So!? Mormons can call Baptist a cult if they like. But do they all want Obama to keep raising taxes and killing jobs!?

John

October 14th, 2011
10:13 am

If Mormonism is a cult, Southern baptist is Nazism, since they want total control of your life

Centrist

October 14th, 2011
10:17 am

This is called the “Political Insider” and our Founding Fathers wisely set up separation of Church and State. But those partisans who seek division keep using religion as a battering ram ignoring the wall meant to avoid this. I’m and atheist, but I don’t attack anyone else’s faith. LEAVE IT ALONE.

DannyX

October 14th, 2011
10:19 am

When asked when why he hasn’t released his 999 plan Herman said he was still editing the final version. “We have to get it down to 3 pages, like I said I will only sign 3 page bills when I’m president. We have it down to 999 pages, we are making a lot of progress, it should be ready by the time I’m inaugurated. Trust me it’s a great plan.”

Buck Hayek

October 14th, 2011
10:19 am

redcoat-

I read the few details of Cain’s plan but better yet I read Republican Bruce Bartlett’s total teardown of this awful plan.

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/11/inside-the-cain-tax-plan/

yellowdog

October 14th, 2011
10:20 am

shades of JFK and the catholicism debate 50 years ago! These people are neanderthals, and they need to grow a brain. there are a myriad of reasons i wont vote for mitt romney, but none of them have to do with his religious beliefs. come on people lets not continue to feed the idea of stupid Americans any more than it already has. how about more cohesive plans for improving the economy stopping two wars, creating
jobs, as opposed to the simple-mindedness of “lets get rid of President Obama.” show us why.

redcoat

October 14th, 2011
10:22 am

John…………..Do you feel the same ( “they want total control of your life”) about our government and the current President?

DannyX

October 14th, 2011
10:23 am

Herman Cain thinks his Jesus scar is looking out for him, he must be part of some cult.

Fervently independent

October 14th, 2011
10:23 am

A friend and I stopped in at a religious shop to select a gift for an ill family member. We selected a gift and my friend asked the sales clerk about another item. She was told that item was a Catholic item and they did not carry it because Catholics are not Christians and hers was a Christian shop. I asked where she went to church and was told Johnson Ferry Baptist. So I am not surprised that the pastor of that church says that Mormans are not Christians. He appears to be as much of a religious bigot as he could possibly be.

I could not help but wonder about what other misinformation is being taught at that church about other religions. Tolerance and truth seem to be two of the major items not being taught there.

Perry should completely sever ties with the preacher in Texas. This is a presidential election and not a popularity party for religion. I do not vote for candidates based on religion but will vote against a candidate who feels that religious beliefs are superior to the needs of the voters.

BIg Hat

October 14th, 2011
10:24 am

If Romney is elected President, how many First Ladies will we have?

Greg

October 14th, 2011
10:26 am

WOW, proof no one here actually read what Jeffres said. There are a lot of closed minds (ironically what you blame Baptists to have) and cant even bear to consider the correlations he proposed make sense. if you solely believe in teh Bible.
I was raised baptist and the theory I was always taught led me straight and narrow which we need more of in society where the “Im ok, you’re ok” theory is leading us to a modern day Sodam and Gemorah.
The liberals here need to stop and think, life is’t about stretching every boundary til you can see thru to the other side. I do not like all Baptist beliefs, but I’d like the guard rails that Baptists set up in their faith. Yo uall have to admit the world needs reigning in A LOT. The “freedoms” have lead to historic levels of oppression ironically.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

October 14th, 2011
10:29 am

“southern baptists if they don’t think it now –thought roman catholics were a cult — when kennedy was running for president”

When he ordered us out of Vietnam, where we were to be catspaw for the five percent Roman Catholic colonial, Golden Triangle, “elite,” which owned 95% of the wealth, and the rest as slaves, the Roman Catholic, Knight of Malta-led CIA, under the oversight of Knight of Malta Prescott Bush’s son, GHW Bush, and protege Richard Nixon, assassinated him.

The “rest” is revealed history confirming Our Deist Founder Thomas Jefferson’s calling Rome “the real Anti-Christ,” as a true and anointed Prophet of G-d.

Frederick Douglass

October 14th, 2011
10:31 am

Roy Barnes has gotten a little plump, thank goodness he’s still about half Chris Christie’s size though.

reebok

October 14th, 2011
10:33 am

It’s never a good idea to judge any institution…a country, a church, a religion, a political system, a philosophy…by the worst and most abusive of its’ adherents. I am an American, a Christian and a capitalist…while I do not condone the abuses my country, my religion and my economic system have wrought, I also won’t be defined by those abuses.

Everyone have a great Friday.

honested

October 14th, 2011
10:34 am

Tell me why I should rank any superstition higher than another?

redcoat

October 14th, 2011
10:34 am

Buck………..Do you like the way things are now? Don’t you think it is time to change?

Centrist

October 14th, 2011
10:37 am

Well put reebok.

In the scheme of things, the AJC and this blog are not going to change any minds. Georgia is going to give its electoral votes to the Republican nominee, will have two Republican Senators, a Republican Governor, Republican legislature, and a Republican Congressional delegation. Only a few numbers will change in the last two entities.

redcoat

October 14th, 2011
10:40 am

Liberalism is a cult!

William Smith

October 14th, 2011
10:40 am

No wonder we are in this financial disaster we are in. High unemployment, no growth, millions without insurance,etc etc etc. The major issue is faith of different people. In my opinion who cares! I would vote for Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck if they could turn this thing around.I have a solution to end the abortion issue. The children not aborted will in many instances become either mistreated or a ward of the state. All the pastors who do the preaching could donate 70% of there income to make a better life for those not aborted. I believe the issue would then fad away.

DannyX

October 14th, 2011
10:47 am

“In the scheme of things, the AJC and this blog are not going to change any minds.”

So why do you whine about it all day and night?

DannyX

October 14th, 2011
10:50 am

“Liberalism is a cult!”

Wow, I didn’t realize Jesus was in a cult.

Red

October 14th, 2011
10:51 am

I love how people just throw out the word “hate” so frivolously. If someone disagrees with you, just use “hate”. Wright points out differences and you throw out the word “hate”. You’d think he said “start stoning the infidels” or something. He didn’t advocate hatred or violence. He just pointed out differences. And he is right on the parallels with Islam and Mormonism. Both claimed a parent faith was corrupted, both received visions of revelation, both recorded all of this in a new holy book, both proclaimed this as a new final doctrine, both claimed to be the final voice of God. There are many other parallels between the two. Lay off the hate pill for a change and not only read something in context but research it to see the facts. Too many thin skinned people who are set off too easily and start shouting ‘hate, hate’ over everything.

As for Herman’s schedule, he is traveling through states that are far down the list of importance for the primaries. He is not running a tight plan in early primary states at all. I do think there is credence to other motives here – not to mention no desire for campaign fundraising. This is why Romney is silently cheering him on and trying to drive the stake into Perry. Perry is the only one who can compete with him for an extended period of time.

As for the 999 plan, non-starter for me as it raises my taxes.

Buck Hayek

October 14th, 2011
10:53 am

If liberalism is a cult then Jefferson and the father of liberalism, John Locke, are our founders, Ayn Rand is our Virgin Mary and FA Hayek is our Pastor.

I reread Hayek’s ‘Why I am not a Conservative’ every year or so for inspiration.

Oh, and Warren Buffett is our Treasurer.

td

October 14th, 2011
10:57 am

honested

October 14th, 2011
10:34 am
Tell me why I should rank any superstition higher than another?

So where do you rate your Secular Humanism religion?

Centrist

October 14th, 2011
11:04 am

@ td posted “So where do you rate your Secular Humanism religion?”

I do NOT defend honested in any way. But Secular Humanism is NOT a religion.

Secular Humanism is a comprehensive life stance that focuses on the way human beings can lead happy and functional lives. Though it posits that human beings are capable of being ethical and moral without religion or God, it neither assumes humans to be inherently or innately good, nor presents humans as “above nature” or superior to it. Rather, the Humanist life stance emphasizes the unique responsibility facing humanity and the ethical consequences of human decisions. Fundamental to the concept of Secular Humanism is the strongly held viewpoint that ideology — be it religious or political — must be thoroughly examined by each individual and not simply accepted or rejected on faith. Along with this, an essential part of Secular Humanism is a continually adapting search for truth, primarily through science and philosophy.

Buck Hayek

October 14th, 2011
11:06 am

“secular” means ‘without religion’ and Humanism is the belief humans are responsible for their condition and future.

You walked right into the trap, pal – and hit your head on the frame.

redcoat

October 14th, 2011
11:09 am

Buck………….So where does Obama stand?

JDG

October 14th, 2011
11:11 am

Nothing warms my heart to watch one group of religious nuts yell and scream why a different group of religious nuts suck so badly. Please, keep it up – with all the bad news out there, I need the humorous diversion it provides…

Centrist

October 14th, 2011
11:14 am

@ JDG – Strange, although I don’t subscribe to any religion, I don’t enjoy or find it a humorous diversion to see arguments over varying religions.