Politics

Bishop apologizes for calling Harry Reid unfit to enter Mormon temples

(RNS) Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, was called unfit to enter Mormon temples by an LDS bishop because of Reid's political positions. RNS photo courtesy Office of Sen. Harry Reid.

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) A Mormon bishop in Los Angeles set off political fireworks by asserting that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was not worthy to enter one of the faith’s temples for his support of Democratic Party stances.

The response to the piece, “Good Riddance to Harry Reid, the Mormon Senate leader,” from many Latter-day Saints on social media — and even the Utah-based faith’s public-affairs arm — was immediate and critical.

(RNS) Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, was called unfit to enter Mormon temples by an LDS bishop because of Reid's political positions. RNS photo courtesy Office of Sen. Harry Reid.

Office of Sen. Harry Reid

(RNS) Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, was called unfit to enter Mormon temples by an LDS bishop because of Reid’s political positions.

“Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are, of course, entitled to express their own political opinions,” spokesman Dale Jones said in a statement. “However, publishing such views while using a title of a church officer, even if only as a leader of a local congregation as in this case, is entirely inappropriate.”

On Sunday (Nov. 9), LDS bishop Mark Paredes apologized but stood by his criticism of his fellow Mormon.

“I do apologize for the tone of the article, for giving the impression that I was criticizing Sen. Reid in my role as an LDS bishop, and for implying that I am in a position to judge the senator’s temple worthiness,” Paredes told The Associated Press by email.

“However, I can’t apologize for criticizing his advocacy of certain issues and on behalf of certain interests … Any criticism I had of Senator Reid was based on his actions (e.g., defense of the gaming industry, advocacy of a certain social agenda), not his political affiliation,” he added.

Paredes’ original post appeared on his blog at the Jewish Journal, where he described the questions asked of Mormons before they can receive a “temple recommend” for admission to the faith’s sacred temples. Paredes said members are asked if they “support, affiliate with or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the (LDS Church).”

Paredes said Democrats’ support for same-sex marriage and abortion rights — along with Reid’s shilling for the gambling industry — ran in opposition to the church’s positions on those issues.

“I have no problem with an average Mormon in the pew who supports the Democratic Party because one of its issues or positions appeals to him,” Paredes wrote. “However, occupying a national Democratic leadership position is an entirely different matter.”

Reid may be a “wonderful man,” Paredes added, but not “a man of serious religious faith.”

With the Republicans capturing the Senate, Reid, a Nevada Democrat, will lose his position as Senate majority leader. No other Mormon has held a higher elective national office.

(Peggy Fletcher Stack writes for The Salt Lake Tribune. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

KRE END STACK

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26 Comments

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  • Everyone is welcome at church and then they are told that we must Repent!
    This is why works don’t save and why the Bible is clear only Repenting and
    trusting in Christ saves us not good works because tons of non-believers do
    many good works. Luke 13 says we must bear good fruit and that fruit is the
    fruit of Repentance. This guy needs to read a Bible because Jesus was not
    created/was there from the beginning/eternal as part of the Godhead/Trinity.

    Bible says even if an angel appears to you and preaches something different
    don’t listen. Bible says says if anyone does not continue in the teachings of
    the Bible/preaches another/different Gospel they will be eternally condemned!
    Bible says Repent and believe the Gospel to be saved. We all must Repent!

  • Everyone knows you’re not welcome at church if you’re not a Republican. The Bishop’s only sin was in saying it out loud, and using his title of “Bishop.” The LDS Church wan’t desperately to be viewed as normal, and nothing spoils that more than a loud-mouthed Bishop who lets it slip that Democrats aren’t “worthy” to enter the temple.

  • Is Harry Reid allowed in the temple? I thought there were strict guidelines (covenants?) to follow if you wanted to enter the temple. I am not mormon so not sure.

  • Do you think the new pope is preaching the gospel? He is hard to read, but sometimes it seems as if he is trying to change the gospel? What do you think?

  • Tracy-Whoever chooses to follow Jesus must follow the Bible so if someone
    doesn’t stick to what the Bible says they are not preachin/teaching the Truth.
    Bible says Repent and believe the Gospel to be saved. We all must Repent!

  • That’s a very good question Tracy.

    Actually, both Pope Francis and President Obama need some REALLY serious questioning by the media as to what they actually think “the gospel” really is (and is not). They need to be made to say it out loud and to spell it out too, with no fakery, no fluff, and no fillers. Period. They should not be automatically trusted at face value until they do so.

    But such straightforward questioning is simply not going to happen. Both men are powerful enough to make sure it never happens, and the secular liberal media has always given Obama and Francis a free pass anyway.

  • Karla- If there’s one Bible people are following, why are there 41,000 different Christian denominations in the world. They’re all not following the same thing….

  • David-It’s because we didn’t stick to what God said. It all started in
    the Garden of Eden and we see the results of not sticking to what
    God said. If we would have just stuck to what God said we wouldn’t
    be in this mess. There is only one God/one Bible/Truth but man is
    very disobedient and now the world is in a mess. That’s why we need
    Jesus. Bible says Repent or perish! We all must Repent! God bless.

  • Thanks for breaking this story. I am glad someone had the guts to speak up about Harry Reid, everything Mark Paredes said is true, and everyone who reads his words will know that.

    Mark Paredes stands his ground, this is good, he knows he’s right, God Bless Mark Paredes!

    “I do apologize for the tone of the article, for giving the impression that I was criticizing Sen. Reid in my role as an LDS bishop, and for implying that I am in a position to judge the senator’s temple worthiness,” Paredes told The Associated Press by email.

    “However, I can’t apologize for criticizing his advocacy of certain issues and on behalf of certain interests … Any criticism I had of Senator Reid was based on his actions (e.g., defense of the gaming industry, advocacy of a certain social agenda), not his political affiliation,” he added.

  • Thank you Bishop Mark Paredes for showing openly what most people knew but left unspoken. That the LDS is truly a petty and venal, political social club.

    Way to cheapen both your politics and your religious belief at the same time.

  • I disagree with Mark. We are all welcome to enjoy the religious and cultural benefits of the LDS church whether Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, etc. And we are all invited to take part in the Atonement, as the Lord is no respecter of persons. Publicly shaming Harry Reid does nothing to uplift or edify the LDS Church or actually support a Christian morality.

  • @ Karka:

    “It all started in the Garden of Eden.”

    Really Karla? You really believe there was an actual Garden of Eden?

    Evolution ruled that silly and juvenile idea out over 150 years ago.

    With the most respect I can muster, I must tell you that you are a perfect example of what the indoctrination of young minds does to our critical thinking skills.

    If you were accidentally switched at birth and sent home with a Catholic mother you would believe altogether different (but equally delusional) things.

    The mind is a terrible thing to waste, or to destroy, before we reach the age when we are capable of rational thought. This is what religion does to us.

  • Charlie-How did the whole world/universe get here? Read Romans 1:18-32.
    To look at the world and say that it formed out of nothing then became this
    big universe with design takes more faith to believe in that than to believe in
    God. I don’t believe anything just becuae someone tells me. I did the Bible
    studying/research. God/Jesus are real if you open your heart to the Truth
    and read all Bible the prophecy such as Psalm 22:16-18 and Isaiah 53:3-5.
    If the sun was any closer we would burn/any further we’d freeze. Chance?
    The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel is a good book to read too. God bless.

  • In other words it was a nasty minded non-apology. He still felt Sen. Reid was unworthy of the LDS church but thought it was impolite to mention his position within the statement, rather than just imply it.

    Nothing undermines authority and credibility of a religious institution than entangling it with petty politics.

  • I thought JFK settled this question long ago. Can a religious person serve in politics without being controlled by his church leaders?
    This sure gives ammo to the anti-Romney crowd…
    Why does an LDS Bishop have a Blog on the Jewish Journal upon which he says bad things of his brother in faith???
    Should quit blogging and keep his own council… now his Ward will distrust his discretion, and his judgment.
    For us Nevadans, most of us think Reid does a fine job.

  • Harry Reid sold his soul to the false gospel of the Left and its alien world view a long, long time ago. It is way past time for someone to call a spade a spade and call Reid out. Every day with his own mouth he contradicts the teachings of the church he claims membership in. Reid is a leftist first and above all else. The only temple Reid belongs in is the Pantheon of the Left.

  • Doc Anthony–It seems to me that Pope Francis and President Obama seem to be the only political or pastoral persons who seem to want to follow the bible and it’s teachings, by trying to follow Christ and His love for mankind,by trying to help those in need,no matter what the pundits and politicians say,and not to just cherrypick scripture to fit their personal .or political needs

  • Bob Shields -The Super Sate is not the hands and feet of Christ. The roots of poverty and moral and spiritual, not material. The Super Sate can not address the causes of poverty with a check book. In fact the Super State by deliberately avoiding issues of morality makes the issues of poverty worse. As christians we have a duty to be both head smart and heart smart. We have to dig deeper beyond the rhetoric of politicians and the popular press and measure social spending inputs and outcomes. So when we hear politicians preaching compassion we have to dig deeper and ask questions not only about ends and means but also about nuts and bolts.

  • Debbie, I must respectfully disagree. I was truly appalled by Paredes’ comments (Mark, if you see this, sorry but I stand by it), and I would estimate that the critical response that I saw by Church members was at least 10 to 1 against, not in the sense of “Shut up, you’re giving us away” but genuine, sharp disagreement on his attitude toward liberal Mormons and his abuse of his title to give weight to his positions. I have no problem contradicting the assumption that all conservative positions are in harmony with those of the Church, especially when I can back it up with scriptures and/or quotes from Church leaders to the contrary (and there are plenty). We’ve had committed (though few) Democrats all the way up the hierarchy, and President Hinckley publicly state that he had voted across party lines. (I also recommend the video of Sen. Bob Bennett defending Harry Reid as a legitimate Mormon and saying that if either party completely had its way on the economic role of government we’d be in big trouble.)

    Mind you, I am no firebrand by any stretch, nor even an outlier, even though I never voted for either Bush and I voted for Obama the first time, as I’m sure half of my congregation did (in Indiana, a state no less conservative than Utah). It IS disturbing how many American/Utah Mormons assume that political liberalism is incompatible with our belief system (and are sometimes obnoxiously vocal about it), but this trend only began in the last 50-60 years and in my lifetime I’ve seen it begin to swing back in the other direction.

  • I have no use for any man or woman that will get on the Senate floor and LIE like Harry Reid has and then claim to be a Christian OF ANY RELIGION. AND if that religion doesn’t deny him or her then I have no use for that religion.

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