A mental representation that has been fabricated from organizing, identifying, and interpreting sensory information is known as perception. The information collected to contrive perception does not necessarily have to be real or true, but if it is repeated with high frequency and related to preconceived notions, it can certainly become factual in a weak or un-inquisitive mind. Fox News depends on, and utilizes, frequent repetition of blatant lies to convince addle-minded viewers that their lunatic assertions are true, and they account for most of the misperceptions about President Obama among their audience. One of the GOP’s favorite memes to cast aspersion on the President is not openly supported by nationally recognized legislators, but their deliberately ambiguous remarks have perpetuated the lie that the President is a Muslim.
The GOP started the fallacious accusation during the 2008 presidential campaign, and it resulted in 16% of self-described “conservative Republicans” positively identifying then-Senator Barack Obama as a Muslim. After four years and no reason to believe otherwise, a new Pew Research Center poll revealed that now, 34% of conservative Republicans believe the President is a Muslim. Whether it is the President’s racial makeup, his father’s heritage, or perpetual assertions by members of the fanatical Christian clergy questioning the President’s religion, the perception he is a Muslim continues unabated. It is curious then, that conservative Republicans, who are also evangelical Christians, are supporting presumptive Republican presidential nominee Willard Romney when he belongs to a religious cult that has more in common with Islam than it does Christianity. That’s right, the Mormon cult shares a similar founding and beliefs with Islam, and the Republican National Committee is lining up millionaire and billionaire donors to elect a man whose religion closely follows Muslim teaching.
The Muslim religion and Mormon cult both acknowledge the Christian bible as historically accurate, and both recognize characters in the collection of stories as prophets speaking to, and for, their supreme being, including Christians’ namesake Jesus Christ. However, they both fail to recognize that at the very end of the book known as “The Revelation to John” given to him by Jesus Christ, the verse that says, “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book that if one puts anything on to it god will put on him the scourges that are written in this book, and if one takes anything away from the words of the book of this prophecy, god will take his portion away from the trees of life, and from the sacred city, that are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18-19). For those unfamiliar with Islam or Mormonism, it is important to comprehend that both are founded in teachings of so-called “latter-day” prophets who “added to and took away” from the words of the bible as the basis of their respective faiths.
Apparently for latter day prophets, the bible was only a starting point that god intended to be amended to suit their philosophy of what the ideal, and solely truthful, belief system was to guarantee immortality after their physical life on Earth came to an end. The only difference between Islam and Mormonism was the duration between the end of the bible and the “revelation” of new information.
In Islam, the latter day (after the bible) prophet is Mohammad who added to teachings of recognized prophets such as Moses, Abraham, and yes, Jesus Christ to fit his new religion, Islam. The prophet Muhammad first received a visit from the angel Gabriel, and then later during Ramadan when the Qur’an was revealed to him in several parts. In Mormonism, the latter day prophet was an American charlatan named Joseph Smith (seriously, Joe Smith) who concocted a fantastic story of an angel Moroni (not to be confused with moronic) who revealed, only to him, the location of special golden plates and an equally special seer stone that allowed him to translate the strange symbols on the plates into a bastardization of American English that is curiously reminiscent of “King James-era” English. Now the important point is that both latter-day prophets added “new” information, or revelations, to the bible to clarify god’s new message necessary for a new religion.
Many Americans cite Islam’s intent to conquer the world to establish an Islamic theocracy as proof it is dangerous, and a reason to eradicate Muslims off the face of the Earth. However, the same Islamophobic conservatives who believe President Obama is a Muslim support Willard Romney whose religion proselytizes the entire world in advance of a “Mormon-ruled theocracy divinely ordained to not only direct the political affairs of the Mormon community, but eventually the United States and ultimately the world.” So far, two latter day prophets receive revelations from angels, and two religions with the goal of world domination and government by theocracy. Conservative Republicans abhor Islam and its intent to rule the world, and 34% of them believe President Obama is an adherent and oppose him vehemently, and yet they support Willard Romney who does adhere to a faith intent on ruling the world.
The similarities between Islam and Mormonism do not stop at angelic revelations and latter day prophets with a belief in the bible, but the point is clear; both religions reject the bible as the complete word of god and required a latter day prophet to add information god either forgot or changed millennia after the original dispensation of truth. What is interesting is that both religions have an entirely different afterlife story than the bible. Muslims believe heaven (Paradise) is a place of physical and spiritual pleasure, with lofty mansions, delicious food and drink, and virgin companions, and Mormons believe obedient servants become gods replete with their own universe and planets, and for men, a wealth of wives. The bible is not as detailed as the Qur’an or the Book of Mormon, and only assures the faithful resurrection or rapture to heavenly life in god’s presence, or everlasting life on a cleansed Earth. Christianity, Islam, and Mormonism all foretell of a world-shattering war between good and evil with victory going to god’s true servants that are either Christians, Muslims, or Mormons exclusively; there is no room for sharing in the victory celebration.
This article is not a treatise on religion, or a condemnation of Mormonism or Islam, it is simply to point out that between the two presidential candidates, Willard Romney’s beliefs align closer to the Muslim faith than Christianity. Although Mormons, like Muslims, recognize certain parts of the Christian bible as god’s word, their entire belief system is farther afield from Christianity and violates Christ’s warning in Revelation that anyone who “puts anything on to it,” or “takes anything away from” the bible is in serious trouble. The hopes here are that with some rudimentary information, conservative Republicans will take a closer look at Romney’s cult and determine for themselves the similarities between Muslim and Mormon teachings. Perhaps with a little knowledge, the perception that President Obama is a Muslim will seem as ridiculous as thinking Willard is a Christian, and that perception based on innuendo and propaganda is flawed.
The message for conservative Republicans is thus; if 34% believe President Obama, a moderate Christian, is a Muslim, it behooves them to investigate Willard Romney, a Mormon, and determine for themselves whose religion is closer to Islam. Unless their perception is completely polluted by sensory information organized, identified, and interpreted by liars at Fox News and Republican propaganda, they may find they are supporting a candidate who is closer to a Muslim than he is a Christian.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.