published Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

"'Cult' label misused for Mormon faith" and other letters to the editor

'Cult' label misused for Mormon faith

I was surprised by the front-page article (Oct. 7) written by Clint Cooper. Cooper said, "Chattanooga-area evangelical church pastors may believe the Mormon faith is a cult and may not consider Gov. Mitt Romney a Christian ..."

Mormons do not belong to a cult. Sadly, the label of "cult" is often used to criticize or demean the faith of others with different opinions. Many people apply this label out of ignorance.

I was appalled to read, "Mormonism is a cult," said Jeremy Roberts, pastor of Highland Park Baptist Church. "Mormons are polytheistic universalists who deny that Jesus is the eternal son of God."

Neither statement is true. Mormons belong to the fourth largest Christian faith in the United States. The Mormon Church aligns closely to other religions such as Baptist, Methodist, etc. Mormons are Christian and believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world.

I would suggest that Mr. Cooper and Mr. Roberts not denigrate the Mormon Church by implying that it might be or is a cult. By the way, I am a Baptist not a Mormon, but understanding their beliefs I might change.

DONALD STEWART, Signal Mountain

Emissions policy needs investigation

One wonders why one of your writers has not investigated at least some of the aspects of Hamilton County's mandatory emissions testing program. It is said that this program occurred when "EPA" found the air quality in this county to be "substandard."

So, is our air now above standard? Who did the testing? Who does it now? Could it be that forcing every car and light truck to drive to test sites yearly is causing more emissions than the program is alleviating? How many wrecks and traffic tickets are generated by all this mandatory driving?

Then there is the financial side of the program. Why does one company (Envirotest) apparently have a monopoly in this business? Seems that, with a small investment, any gas station could set up to do it. How much of the cash money generated by this testing leaves this county? At best, it leaves consumers here with less to spend.

Finally, why just us? Not a single other county bordering Hamilton is being forced to do this, including North Georgia. Has anyone on your staff heard of "wind"? It is moving air ... If this program were nationwide, it might make more sense. As is, could this become a issue in upcoming elections?


EDITOR'S NOTE: The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Bureau monitors the county's air quality. Go to its web page,

Is paper following Mormon 'issue' line?

I find it interesting that the day after the first presidential debate which, according to polls, Gov. Romney won, that a prominent conservative talk-show host predicted that the President Obama campaign, through the media, would start playing the "Mormon" card. The reason: polling shows that some Christian evangelicals are bothered by this "issue." So, If the Obama campaign can use press "Mormon Issue" articles, much like the phony "War on Women," to deflate the Romney vote, they can possibly tip the razor-thin election.

I was then incredibly surprised to see in the following Sunday (Oct. 7) Times Free Press that the front-page headline was on the "Mormon Issue." Where did this lead come from? And, why? Is it an "issue"? A front- page headline? Is the Times Free Press really "fair and balanced?"


Government needs religion's morality

One writer's opinion is that Republicans are distorting separation of church and state. I'm amazed by the anger of the writer and at the targets; now the Southern Baptists are complicit in distorting this separation principle. He attacks with such hatred that I rejoice at not being a member of his denomination. I'll rebuff with paraphrased excerpts from Washington's Farwell Address:

"Of everything one can do to become a successful politician, religion and morality are indispensable supports. You cannot claim yourself a patriot if you try to subvert these pillars, which are the duties of men and citizens. Politicians especially ought to respect and cherish them. Let it simply be asked: Where is security for your property, reputation, and life if religion and morality are abandoned by government? Morality cannot be maintained without religion. Whatever education you may have, we cannot expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles."

Washington writes that government should stay out of religion but doesn't mention that religion must stay out of government. Quite the opposite, government cannot be successful without the morality that religion brings to it.

I'm one Catholic who proudly stands aside the Southern Baptists as the target du jour.


Letter to Romney is outstanding

I want to thank, commend and honor retired Marine officer Thomas Lloyd for his marvelous letter to Mitt Romney that appeared in commentary in the Oct. 6 edition of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Mr. Lloyd's narrative dealt with the unfortunate and uncalled for "47 percent" comment by Mr. Romney.

I, too, am a retired military officer with 22-years of service, including a year flying combat in Vietnam. By the grace of God, I finished my tour there without serious injury. Like Mr. Lloyd, I pay some federal income tax on the money I receive from the government.

My son is retired military with some flying time over enemy territory. My grandson is still on active military duty after two tours in Iraq and carries small bits of shrapnel in his body compliments of a suicide bomber.

I, my son, and my grandson share the feelings of Mr. Lloyd and agree with his outstanding and appropriate letter to Mr. Romney.

RICHARD HUGHES, Lt. Col. USAF (Ret.), Cleveland, Tenn.

'47 percent' remark will doom Romney

Mitt Romney's debate performance was all style and no substance. He offered no concrete solutions to the problems.

Obama was right not to mention Romney's "47 percent" remark. That statement coming out of the horse's mouth was priceless. And not one could ever top it. You can't say you don't care about "47 percent" of the population to anyone, anywhere, at anytime, unless you truly believe it.

Just as John McCain's pick of Sarah Palin doomed him, the "47 percent" remark has doomed Romney.

Four more years for President Barack Obama.


CARES growing to meet challenges

Chattanooga CARES is a 26-year-old public health, advocacy and support agency. Our services are available to any and every person in Hamilton and its 27 surrounding counties. Our client and community services are provided free or at reduced cost to recipients.

Early on we were known as an agency addressing the health and support needs of persons with "HIV/AIDS." Now our public health services are needed for and provided to a multi-dimensional population. Our challenges are as broad as our mission.

What we now know is that HIV/AIDS does not have one face but many and at all ages. Virtually every person in our area can be touched by this threat. That's why CARES' prevention, education and advocacy efforts go hand in hand with our primary health/medical care and support goals. The environment in which we function knows no barriers: black or white; rich or in need; gay or straight; in jail or not; young and old; of faith or not; or male or female.

Our home community's growth is accelerating at an ever-increasing pace, as does its diversity. In the midst of this, Chattanooga CARES grows to successfully meet the many challenges before us.


MATT McADOO, Executive Director

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
jtthomas16 said...

Mr. Stewart, you couldn't be more wrong. The Mormon church is in no way Christian. You said that it is closely aligned with Baptists and other protestants. This is a fantasy. You refute the claim that they are polytheistic, which is also quite erroneous. The Mormon church does not believe in God the way Christians do. Christians believe in The Trinity. Meaning, there is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirt, three different manifestations of one (1) God. Mormons, on the other hand, believe that these three incarnations are completely separate entities; Jesus being separate from The Father, inheriting his "godly" power from The Father in a lineal fashion, i.e. "The New God". Also, Mormons believe that Christ and Satan were brothers, but one won out, hence our current situation... I guess I must have been sick that Sunday(?)... If one really wishes to find out what the Mormons believe, bypass "The Bood of Mormon", and go straight for "Pearl of Great Price" and "Doctrine and Covenants". After a brief encounter with these two, one could never mistake Mormonism for Christianity, again.

October 10, 2012 at 12:49 a.m.
ToHoldNothing said...

Not sure where we get this nonsensical view that morality has to come from religion. Part of it is that people refuse to think for themselves and let famous people or otherwise "wise" people tell them how to believe, or they try to appear philosophical and fail at being critical of their own thoughts and get to the root. And morality's roots are not in religion, but in psychology and philosophy.

October 10, 2012 at 1:35 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Southern Baptists calling Mormons a cult is like the Easter Bunny calling the Tooth Fairy a fraud.

Both are as laughable as Scientology.

Joseph Smith, Ron Hubbard, Constantine, and John Calvin — con men all.

October 10, 2012 at 3:27 a.m.

DONALD STEWART, Signal Mountain

JESUS CHRIST of NAZARETH IS THE BROTHER OF sATAN? So, this is what You choose to believe? Jesus Christ is a created angel, like satan? No! Jesus Christ is The Lord God of Hosts, Incarnate. He is The Uncreated One, our Creator!

Discourses of Brigham Young, on Pg.53-54 "Who will redeem the earth, who will go forth and make the sacrifice for the earth and all things it contains?" The Eldest Son said: "Here am I"; and then he added, "Send me." But the second one, which was "Lucifer, Son of the Morning," said, "Lord, here am I, send me, I will redeem every son and daughter of Adam and Eve that lives on the earth, or that ever goes on the earth."

Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, Pg.87 "Satan, also a son of God, had rebelled and had been cast out of heaven and not permitted an earthly body as had his brother Jehovah."

"In the wilderness of Judaea, on the temple's pinnacles and on the high mountain, a momentous contest took place between two brothers, Jehovah and Lucifer, sons of Elohim. When physically weak from fasting, Christ was tempted by Lucifer: "If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread."


October 10, 2012 at 6:39 a.m.

If You serve the 'wrong' Jesus, then, You serve the 'wrong' god.


October 10, 2012 at 6:50 a.m.

daytonsdarwin, stay in the background! Well, after You read this, then, stay in the background:

"...Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?... answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof...Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death? Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all. Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof, That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof? Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great? Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail...By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?... Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons? Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?...Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it."


October 10, 2012 at 6:56 a.m.
dao1980 said...

Ken is a cult leader.. but only his cult is the right one.. errebody else goes to HAIL!!

October 10, 2012 at 7:27 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Ken, a word: using the bible to argue a point with people who don't accept the bible's authority is a waste of your time. Sorry. If you mean to change someone's mind, you'll have to expand your sources to reality.

October 10, 2012 at 7:55 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

No Jesus-No Yahweh-No Holy Spook! Just King Loony-Tunes Orr off on another adventure in la-la land. Orr would be a cult leader, except he can't even get his shadow to follow him.

Still telling lies, Orr? Some things never change.

October 10, 2012 at 9:06 a.m.
JustOneWoman said...

Christianity is just as much an occult as any other religion.

oc·cult (-klt, klt) adj. 1. Of, relating to, or dealing with supernatural influences, agencies, or phenomena. 2. Beyond the realm of human comprehension; inscrutable. 3. Available only to the initiate; secret: occult lore. See Synonyms at mysterious. 4. Hidden from view; concealed. 5. a. Medicine Detectable only by microscopic examination or chemical analysis, as a minute blood sample. b. Not accompanied by readily detectable signs or symptoms: occult carcinoma.

October 10, 2012 at 9:12 a.m.
jimcarwest said...

The "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" is not a Christian church. In fact, from its beginning it has denounced every other Christian church. Joseph Smith, their founder, said in his autobiography that an angel told him that he should not unite with any denomination at all, for they were all "corrupted and abhorrent in the eyes of the Lord." This is the same approach to other churches that is taught by Mormon missionaries in their door-to-door activity. A studied consideration of Mormon doctrine reveals it is a cult because it deviates from every article of the Christian faith, employing just enough of the dialectical terminology to deceive those who are uninitiated in the teachings of Christ Using the name of Jesus Christ is no proof of true identification. Jesus foretold that some would come, using His name, while being "workers of iniquity," and He said: "I never knew you” (Matthew 7:21-23). Christians may vote for a Mormon, avoiding a religious litmus test, but they should not be deceived into believing that they are voting for a Christian any more than voting for Obama because he professes to be a Christian. Voters should examine the policies each candidate puts forward on social values, economic philosophy, Constitutional fidelity, and foreign affairs.

October 10, 2012 at 9:20 a.m.
dao1980 said...

"should not unite with any denomination at all, for they were all "corrupted and abhorrent in the eyes of the Lord""

You got that dern straight!... if "he" exists... and he's a slave to human emotions like vanity, anger, and jealousy... and he's involved in the daily lives of planetary inhabitants.. and he rewards or punishes the results of his creation... and, and, and, and, (it could go on forever)

October 10, 2012 at 10:03 a.m.
Fendrel said...

OMG I agree with Orr!! If ever there was a sign that the end of the earth is near..this must be it! :)

The word "Cult" and it's definition is a matter of perspective. But in general it refers to a group which purports to be part of a larger organization but whose beliefs/philosophy etc. is at odds with the larger organization's beliefs. Thus from the perspective of the Mormons, most Christian churches are cults, and from the perspective of evangelical churches the Mormons (and Jehovah's Witness, etc.) are cults.

From a strictly objective viewpoint, it is fair to say that Mormon theology is at odds with traditional orthodox Christianity as currently practiced by both the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches.

As much as Mormons would like to claim the title of "Christian" for political and evangelical reasons, the truth is that their theology bears little if any resemblance to what the Catholic and Protestant churches teach and that theology has been pretty consistent for the last 1500 years or so.

October 10, 2012 at 10:43 a.m.
raygunz said...

"Mormon,Schmormon,, don't matter 'cause Mitt "AINT OBAMA"!

Fixed that for ya,huh?

October 10, 2012 at 12:17 p.m.
dao1980 said...

Why don't we just make raygun president, he seems to have all the deep answers to all of our countries complicated problems.

October 10, 2012 at 12:40 p.m.

OMG I agree with Fendrel!! Somebody help me out. I can't understand/discover Fendrel. Maybe I'm not supposed to. Maybe that's what Fendrel wants? U R right Fendrel. I still have the Love of Christ Jesus for daytonsdarwin, JustOneWoman, dao1980, lkeithlu, Rickaroo, and, others who viscously oppose me on.......kwo

October 10, 2012 at 1:03 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

You can take your great Christ love and shove it where the sepulcher don't shine. You're a proven liar for Jesus.

October 10, 2012 at 1:15 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

others who "viscously" oppose me

You really are thick, Ken.

(I crack myself up)

October 10, 2012 at 3:56 p.m.
CathyB3 said...

I have no problem about anyone's faith. BUT I want why and how just one faith in the USA got excused from military service so they could play missionary in Paris. The rest went into battle regardless of what they believed.

October 10, 2012 at 10:23 p.m.
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