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Your take: Is Mormonism a cult?
The Rev. Robert Jeffress, who supports Texas Gov. Rick Perry, stirred a hornet's nest by saying he believes Mormonism is a cult.
October 11th, 2011
12:08 PM ET

Your take: Is Mormonism a cult?

(CNN) - We ran a column Monday from Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, an evangelical school in Pasadena, California, called "My Take: This evangelical says Mormonism isn’t a cult."

Mouw followed up on comments that the Rev. Robert Jeffress made at the Values Voter Summit, where he introduced and endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry.  After Perry spoke, Jeffress told reporters in the hallway and in subsequent interviews that he thought Mormonism is a cult and that evangelicals should not vote for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney because of his faith and a host of other reasons.

Mouw countered he did not think the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as Mormonism, was a cult. He also said he was not ready to say it fit in with orthodox Christianity but noted there was dialogue between evangelicals and Mormons on a broad range of issues.

The piece drew out the passions of readers on all sides of the issue and racked up 11,000 Facebook likes and 2,500 comments.

Here's a nonscientific collection of your thoughts on the matter:

There were a number of comments from Mormons who appreciated the article and shared their thanks.

Tanner

As a Mormon, I appreciate your fair synopsis in defense of my religion, Mr. Mouw.

Mynamesmiketoo

Being a Mormon myself, I can testify that our religion is not a cult and Joseph Smith is not our head. Jesus Christ is the leader and he is the cornerstone of His church "built on a foundation of prophets and apostles." I also know it is through the atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. Romney is (definitely) a Christian. We are "the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints"; we are just nicknamed "Mormon" because of another testament we hold sacred and true. I ask you visit mormon.org for more info.

There were also a number of comments from Christians who said the Church of Jesus Christ of  Latter-day Saints fell outside the bounds of historical Christianity.

Jeff

To a Christian who believes in the historical Jesus and His church, the Mormon church is by definition a cult. It is in no manner offensive to say that to a true believer of Mormonism, for he/she understands the essentials of their belief system and how they differ. Mainstream Christianity shares in the beliefs about the essentials of our faith - who God is, the three persons within the godhead and their roles, what we are called to, and how one must be saved and live their life. None of this takes away the earthly redeemable qualities of Mormonism such as their commitment to taking care of each other, purity in worship, the role of the church in all matters, etc. But it is not the historical Christianity we know. And btw, many large and small denominations that purport to be part of mainstream Christianity have also distorted the historical belief system of the church.

ThsIsNotReal22

Mormonism may not be a cult, but it is a major heresy.

And as always there was a hearty amount of feedback from atheists and nonbelievers about how all religions were cults by definition.

Nodack

All religions are cults. Sorry.

Because this issue was raised in a political spectrum, it got a lot of people thinking about the intersections between religion and politics.

TheTraveler

Don't even care. Every election year we get the same stupid side-tracking non-issues. ...

Don

It is really a non-issue. We can have a Mormon president as long as he puts the nation first and acts responsibly. We can have a Muslim president as long as he puts the nation first and acts responsibly. We can have a Jewish president as long as he puts the nation first and acts responsibly. Christians have no exclusive lock on love for country or responsible behavior. That should be obvious. I look forward (to) the day when our list of U.S. presidents is as diverse as our citizens. When we get to that point we will have been true to the promise of America that all men were created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights and among these are the right to run for political office and be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their religious beliefs.

David M.

Speaking as a Christian, I'm not concerned about Romney being a Mormon. Nor am I concerned that the next president has to be an evangelical Christian. Jimmy Carter is a devout Christian, but I disagreed with a lot of his politics. I don't vote for someone just because they are a Christian, or not vote for someone because they are not a Christian. I'm concerned about their political positions.

The evangelical church in America thinks if we just get the "right" people in office, then all will be well. Nothing could be further from the truth. God is very clear in Scripture, calling out His people to turn from their wicked ways, call on His name, humble themselves and pray, then He will hear from Heaven and heal their land. It's clearly in the lap of the church, not the lap of the president. Speaking again as a Christian, we in the church have failed miserably, and God will hold us to account.

You can read more from the CNN Belief Blog here and keep the conversation going.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Church and state • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Mitt Romney • Politics

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soundoff (693 Responses)
  1. duststorm

    1. Perry has too easily denied his Christian beliefs plus he has thrown the truth-speaking pastor under the bus.
    2. Cain lied, saying he is a" lifelong" Christian. It is doctrinally impossible, as a person needs to reach age of accountability.
    3. Romney has now also lied by masquerading as a true Christian, when Mormons are not Christians by the Bible definition.
    4. Newt likes Christians when he needs their vote. He left cancer patient wife #2, & wife #3 comes before his campaign.
    5. Michelle Bachman is the truest Christian, but her own Republicans give women short presidential shrift.
    6. Gary Johnson never postures religion. However, he sure left New Mexico in the black for 8 solid years.

    October 11, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  2. Central Scrutinizer

    Just to be clear, whoever the moron is who calls him or herself "Scrutinizer Central" is not me. Thank Sky Fairy.

    October 11, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • hippypoet

      its ok , there's some @ss licker who has stolen my name as well....take it as a complient...afterall imitation is the highest form of flattery.. and now i wanna get high!

      October 11, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      You go fire up that bowl crunchy groove!

      October 11, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I doubt this information is of any concern. To anyone.

      October 11, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Again, the previous post isn't mine.

      October 11, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
  3. THE BROWN NOTE

    by definition all religions are a cult

    a cult a particular system of religious worship especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies

    an instance of great veneration of a person ideal or thing especially as manifested by a body of admirers

    a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing person ideal etc

    a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols

    October 11, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  4. Reality

    NEWS ALERT !!!

    Putting the final touches to this blog. The moderators will now have to find new jobs.

    • There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    A quick Google, Bing or Yahoo search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    October 11, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  5. Brandon

    Paster Robert Jeffress is a lunatic. His comments make him look crazy and if he is speaking for all evangelical christians, they look like crazy lunatics. By saying LDS people are part of a cult. He is trying to say we are brainwashed and don't make decisions with our own concious. Truth be told. I make my own concious decisions. I work hard every day to help my neighbors, donate my time, my money, my thoughts, my prayers and all of my energies to help others. I'm proud of being a mormon. If he doesn't think I'm Christian. He is not Christian and has no spirit of Christ in him. As I have loved you, love one another. If you love Christ, you love your brother.

    October 11, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Martin Stillion

      So someone who uses the word "cult" is a crazy lunatic. But someone who uses the words "crazy lunatic" is a Christian. Gotcha.

      October 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      hey uh brandon

      if you are a morom

      you cant be a christian period

      you know about that whole second coming of jesus thing the bible claims

      it doesnt say theres a third coming

      jesus didnt show up and speak to the injuns or yetti or whatever

      theres no such thing as a mormon christian

      thats why you guys have your very own mythological religion called mormonism and not christianity

      i assure you

      your religion is one of the most diluted of all the myths

      think about it this way

      judaism is based on a book full of contradictions hate and lies and is scientifically inaccurate

      you know the whole creation thing didnt happen as the cavemen that wrote it

      they were about 13.699994000 billion years off

      christianity is based off of judaism plus greek mythology and we know for a fact that greek mythology wasnt real

      so we know that greek mythology judaism and christianity are all myths

      and the mormon cut is based on the myth of christianity

      then you know what that means

      but of course youll keep believing in it wont you

      October 11, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  6. William Demuth

    Yes it is.

    Just as ALL permutations of the Christ cult are.

    I mean are Aliens any more bizzaro than reanimated corpses and cannibalisim rituals?

    Magic Underwear or Virgin births? Both sides are equal pathetic.

    Simpletons defending their own version of the same stupidity as being sacred.

    What a national tragedy.

    October 11, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Samsword

      Almost as strange as particles that teleport, or exist in two places at once. Or even as strange as massive gravity wells that collapse into a point of singularity, bending time and space with them. It's almost as strange as infinite universes, each with their own dimensions and timeframes.

      (Now, I accept all of these notions as scientific... I'm just saying that the universe is a strange place eh?)

      October 11, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Well, No.

      You speak of nature, I speak of men.

      We all judge each other, its how we have civilization.

      Nature is unswayed.

      October 12, 2011 at 9:23 am |
  7. TheRationale

    Another fight over whose imaginary friend is actually real.

    October 11, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Ralph the Wonder Llama

      Another steaming pile of condescension from someone with nothing else to contribute.

      October 11, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • derp

      My magical sky fairy is better than your magical sky fairy because my magical sky fairy manual tells me so.

      October 11, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      @Derp,

      You're clearly reading your manual incorrectly. And taking it out of context. Your manual clearly states the opposite.

      October 11, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Mirosal

      I only have 2 things to say about all of this .... "Russel's Teapot" and long live the FSM!! 🙂

      October 15, 2011 at 2:43 am |
  8. Davis

    If you have any question about the LDS Church's belief in Christ check out these two pages. http://jesuschrist.lds.org/SonOfGod/eng/ and http://davisdailybread.blogspot.com/2011/05/mormon-may-are-mormons-christian.html

    October 11, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      if mormons were christians

      then they wouldnt be called mormons now would they

      my dogs are not cats

      just saying

      October 11, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm fairly certain that your dogs probably possess more skill in the art of grammar than you could possibly imagine.

      October 11, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      While that might be the case, the real Tom didn't write the previous post.

      Must be really dull for you if you get a woody by using another person's moniker, dufus.

      October 11, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
  9. Tomm Katt

    The fact that there is a debate that affects us all, over which made-up Sky God is the REAL Sky God, is INSANE to me. Religions help a lot a people that look for a simple answer to unanswerable questions to live happy and productive lives. For those of us that acknowledge that we only know for sure, that it will NEVER be possible to KNOW for certain if there is a Sky God, until our time on this earth is done it is a frightening proposition. Our country needs REAL answers that are not influenced by fairy-tales or fantasy worlds. Conservative Christians are much more of a threat to America than the Taliban or Al Qaeda every hope to be.

    October 11, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  10. Martin Stillion

    The name-calling began with the LDS church, not the other way around. As Joseph Smith himself tells it in one of the accounts of his "First Vision":

    18 My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.

    19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”

    From http://lds.org/scriptures/pgp/js-h/1?lang=eng

    So, a religion that is rooted in declaring all Christian denominations "wrong" and "an abomination" should not start acting persecuted when those Christian denominations respond in kind.

    BTW, there is more than one meaning of the term "cult." All religions are cults in one sense, but in another sense the term is often used to distinguish between Christian and non-Christian religions.

    October 11, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Samsword

      That's fair, but it didn't legitimize the Christian sects of the day to then murder, ra-pe, and drive Mormons from the state. Whether they "started it" shouldn't matter, they certainly suffered for it... The Christians should have "turned the other ch-eek" eh? Somehow that got mistranslated as "repay them 100 fold."

      October 11, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Ed

      its unfrotunate Sam but its true

      October 11, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Martin Stillion

      @Samsword: Read up on the "Mountain Meadows Massacre" sometime.

      But anyway, just because LDS members were mistreated doesn't mean they are not a cult.

      October 11, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • inTheDogHouse

      I like the part of the Book of Mormon where it criticizes the evils of having a paid clergy. I think that is the main problem clergy have with the Mormon Church.

      October 11, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Samsword

      I have read up on the Massacre. That was a decision made by a group of people, not the Mormon church as a whole. (So I think it's unfair to pin it on all of them.) And I'm not saying it's not a "cult." It's a relative term anyway. Technically to the Jews, Christianity is an apostate "cult." Protestants are a "cult" to Catholics. Mormons are a "cult" protestants... silly isn't it?

      October 11, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Martin Stillion

      OK Sam, if it's unfair to pin the Massacre on all Mormons, then it's also unfair to pin violence against Mormons on all Christians. I could be wrong, but I thought the persecution of Mormons in the 1800s had as much to do with them breaking the law (by practicing polygamy) as it did with theology.

      It's interesting that a group which began by defining itself as outside the umbrella of Christianity now wants to get in under the umbrella. I'm not even saying that it couldn't happen ... but some major doctrinal reforms would have to take place first.

      October 11, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Ed

      There was a doctrinal change in 1896 in order to can state hood The Mormon church officially banned polygamy. Allow it was still praticed it was offical against the law. Alos the US was wrong to require the change it violated freedom of religion. But it was done any way

      Don't take that to imply I agree with the practice just pointing forcing to ban it violates freedom of religion

      October 11, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Samsword

      Oh I totally agree. I'm sorry, I wasn't pinning it on "all Christians," simply those Christians... I was just trying to say, that the Mormons deserve respect as much as anyone else.

      October 11, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Martin Stillion

      Well then, Sam, if everybody's a cult to somebody else, as you say ... then calling Mormonism a cult does in fact accord Mormons as much respect as everyone else gets.

      October 11, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Samsword

      Yep... it's all relative. =)

      October 11, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Samsword

      Although, perhaps we should stop calling each other names just because we think differently... That really was my point.

      October 11, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • xgirl360

      To be fair, the Mountain Meadow Massacre was a result of the mob at Carthage killing Joseph Smith. There were rumors flying around the group that killed them, that there were members of the wagon train bragging they had been at Carthage. This was false, but fear and violence beget fear and violence.

      However, for those so quick to judge, I actually suggest you read up about the Haun's Mill Massacre that happend BEFORE the death of Joseph Smith and BEFORE the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

      Also, there have been many heresies and cults that have gained legitimacy and respect over time. The Puritans, The Quakers, the Amish and the Pentacostals. Also, if you go back far enough, you have the Lutherans and the Church of England. Jeffrees said that the reason the Mormons were a cult is they had an earthly founders. But, every church after about 33AD was founded by a man. So, that doesn't hold up.

      The basic doctrine of the Mormon Church is that Christianity lost its way after all the Apostles died. If you look at the history of Christianity from post-Roman persecution until the Reformation, you can see their point in many ways. Mormonism is not a Protestant movement. They aren't protesting anything. Its a Restorationist Movement. Jeffrees is right when he said they are not part of Historical Christianity. They aren't, they reject historical christianity as having become corrupted and twisted. So, those that believe in the Nicean Creed, the Trinity and the lineage of the Catholic Church (even if they split from it) are not going to take kindly to a faith that teaches this is all false.

      I liken it to this. If you ask who was George W Bush, you are going to get a very different answer based on if the person is conservative, liberal or moderate. But, whether they say strong leader or war criminal, they are still talking about the same man. Same with Jesus. Mormons, Jews, Muslims and "mainstream" Christians have different beliefs about the same 1st Century Jew. But, lets not kid ourselves, its the same person. Jesus of Nazareth. The only requirement to be a "Christian" is to accept him as your one and only savior and Messiah. That's it. So, Mormons are Christians, even if they are off the beaten path.

      October 11, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      if mormons were christians

      then why do they call themselves mormons

      not very logical

      and also

      a true christian isnt going to use another religious text

      the book of mormon is pretty much an addition to the bible and that goes outside of christianity

      the book of mormon like the bible has some contradictions as well as lies

      joseph smith made a few claims that never came true just like what jesus did

      these are really the only similarities between the cults of christianity and moronism

      if mormons wants to be called christians then they need to ditch the book of mormon

      the name of the cult is really the important thing amongst all these myths to these followers

      October 11, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      seriously

      why do mormons want to be called christians so bad

      as if it actually means something significant

      oh no the sky fairy wont let me go to heaven if i am called a mormon

      no wonder theyre mormon

      stupid enough to belief the liar joseph smith

      stupid enough to think that the name of the religion matters

      October 11, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
    • Martin Stillion

      xgirl360: Regarding various massacres (Carthage, Mountain Meadows and whatnot), the point would seem to be that Mormons and Christians are equally capable of spilling blood. People in every religion have been persecuted; their suffering is not what decides whether their faith is legitimate.

      The idea of the LDS church as a "restoration" movement is interesting, given that among the teachings it supposedly "restores" are:

      polytheism;
      apotheosis;
      salvation by works;
      belief in a corporeal God.

      No evidence exists, or ever has existed, to support the idea that Jesus or the apostles taught any of these things, so the idea of their being "restored" is utter nonsense.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  11. Caveman73

    All religions are cults, just a matter of numbers is all.

    October 11, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Samsword

      Actually it's true. The older use of the word cult simply meant sect. (As in the cult of Zeus, the cult of Athena, what have you.) It's simply, that modern usage has come to be derogatory. So it's just not a kind way to say anything. It's the same as making a racial slur against someone... so really, it's just not nice.

      October 11, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • inTheDogHouse

      Modern connotations of the word "cult" seem to imply that people blindly follow a leader, such as a suicide cult. Mormons are highly educated on the scriptures and do not just blindly follow a leader. They are encouraged to ask of God, and receive personal revelation as to the validity of the scriptures and what to do.

      October 11, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Martin Stillion

      inTheDogHouse: You're attacking a straw man. The term "cult" has at least three distinct connotations, only one of which implies blind obedience to a leader. As applied to the LDS church, the term simply points out that LDS theology differs significantly from Christian theology, to the extent that they are properly regarded as separate religions. For example, I don't know of any Christian sect, denomination or group which teaches apotheosis - the idea that human beings can become deities. This teaching is unique to the LDS church; it violates the underpinnings of every monotheistic faith, not just Christianity. Apotheosis alone is enough to classify the LDS church as a "cult" in a theological sense.

      As for "blindly following," this stuff about receiving a "personal revelation" is just as dangerous as blindly following a leader. Tossing aside twenty centuries of development in Christian thought in favor of a "personal revelation" ... that's how cults get started in the first place.

      October 11, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      a cult a particular system of religious worship especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies

      an instance of great veneration of a person ideal or thing especially as manifested by a body of admirers

      a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing person ideal etc

      a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols

      October 11, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  12. John Smith

    The general public need to be aware of how to recognize destructive Cults and what dangers Cults can pose to individuals and families. The Cult Avoidance Society have useful information on their website at http://www.cultavoidancesociety.org

    October 11, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Easy, at the first mention of the word "god", find the nearest exit. Cult avoided.

      October 11, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  13. Rick Perry

    You can borrow my cd's. Not one every day. You can try my Kwanzaa cd's. They're not yours and you don't have to try any of 'em. "Save a pretzel for the gas jets" -Vote for perry!

    October 11, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  14. C.Cantu

    Mormons are good people but that does not exclude their religion is basically an ideology based on a science-fiction novel (The Book of Mormon). We can say the same thing about Hinduism whose followers are also good people but that does not mean I will worship a cow, or monkey or elephant.

    October 11, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Well yes, that is basic to all religions. Most people are at heart good people. Religious or not.

      October 11, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Samsword

      If this is how they interact with the Divine, I say more power to 'em. Obviously they perceive something profound out there. (Like any of us.) They have a description of God that fits in their worldview. Whether it's true or not, is irrelevant. If it helps them want to be good, genuine, honest people, then great!! I'm even okay with them sending missionaries to preach their gospel (as long as their civil about other's beliefs.) Nobody's required to accept what they say, but if you do, and it helps you, then that's cool. I'd vote for a Mormon, an Atheist, a Hindu or whatever if I felt their presidency would lead our country to a better state.

      October 11, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      why do people say mormons are good people

      my niece is in college in utah

      and its a mormon school

      and all the kids are sleeping with each other and doing drugs

      which is obviously a sin

      so about this good people thing

      what is your definition of good people

      October 11, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • Samsword

      @Brown I guess that depends on which school she's going to... LOL UofU is pretty secular these days... actually most of the schools are. Really BYU is the only school where you get intense Mormon culture.

      October 11, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
  15. hippypoet

    every religion is a cult. find the definition of cult and read it with as much passion as you do the book you base your pointless lives over. Once its read, can you really say that any religion is not a cult?

    October 11, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Scrutinizer Central

      What do you base your pointless life on?

      October 11, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @central scrutinizer
      Do you believe that everyone needs to pick a myth on which to base their lives?
      I know! Let's put the names of all the gods into an enormous hat and pick at random.
      I got Quetzalcoatl, which is a bit disappointing. I was hoping for Bacchus.

      October 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i base my pointless life on being happy. I search for truth where others search for answers, there is a difference. But i find that being happy comes second to survival, so at the moment, i am content, but not happy. happy would be a world away from this one.

      October 11, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • hippypoet

      by accecpting ones true ant-like existence you can then move on past what would normally hold others back, such as death.

      October 11, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Scrutinizer Central

      Vestibule Doc- I didn't ask what god now did I? I just asked what he based his pointless life on. Why does it always come down to religion with you ppl?

      October 11, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Scrutinizer Central

      @hippypoet- perhaps absurdism then

      October 11, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • hippypoet

      whats absurd about knowing that we are but ants to our planet, and out planet is but an ant of its own to the space around it. Once one comes to terms with this and doesn't try to explain it away thru a made up belief system true understanding can begin!

      October 11, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @scrutinizer
      Generally speaking, when someone on these boards accuses another of having a "pointless life", they are implying that God is needed for life to have purpose.
      Apologies if I inferred what was not implied.

      October 11, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @DOC, well when i say pointless life, i truly mean pointless life. there is no reason for our existence and so we have no purpose on this planet. We don't even play a part in the circle of life besides killing off those creatures who are easily killed, dumb, or just taste really really good. AS worded in the movie "the matrix" we are a cancer to this planet.

      October 11, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Ed

      @hippypoet, the way you write about find truth sounds an a lot like a relegion. May be you created a new if so good luck. Just keep in mind whence you get followers your group will also get labeled as a cult. Fair or not.

      October 11, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Ed

      @hippypoet, I'm sorry you think your life is "pointless" Its not never mind the discussion of God. The point of life is life itself. If you beleive in the after life its an add on but life itself is meaningfull regardless of your relegious beleif or lack there of

      October 11, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • hippypoet

      followers, ..... i have them already. But label me as you will, i care not. My understanding of things is based all on sciencific laws. And so having followers and being labeled as anything but a seeker of truth is well, beyond the rational person. IF however you wish to label me... HIPPYPOET please. 🙂 and yes i do write poetry.

      October 11, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @hippypoet
      If you seek some grand, ultimate purpose to existence, then I'm afraid you won't find it.
      Stick your hand in the Ocean and pull it out. See the impact you made?
      That's the best way I've been able to articulate the meaning of our lives.
      But don't become despondant becuase the best answer we have for the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything is '42'.
      After all, 'cogito ergo sum' – I know for certain that I exist and I intend on taking in as much of this grand Unvierse as I can while I have time to play in it.
      And who are you to say that we haven't a part to play in the natural world?
      Perhaps you're the type of misanthropist who believes that all we do is despoil nature – but would you consider a beaver's dam to be part of the natural world?
      It is an artificial constuct built by beavers for beavers' purposes.
      Our contructs are just grander in scale, but the principle is the same.

      October 11, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Ed

      @hippypoet I wasn't labeling you myself I try to avoid doing that to people I find it arrogant. Just pointing out whence you have a beleif based on anything and gain followers then you can and will eventually be labeled by some to be a cult. Has for labeling you Hippypoet. Thats the name you post under so when I responded to I addressed as such again not labeling you. Enjoy your poetry though its a great talent to have.

      October 11, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i can't argue "have a reason to exist on the planet" but i guess i can say that we have a purpose if we wish to keep on keepin on... that is to keep the planet as healthy as it was 6 million years ago, first homid fossil i think.

      October 11, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Ed

      @Doc tell Ford and Arthur I said hi haven' read that book in years

      October 11, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Samsword

      Just curious... (this isn't meant to be antagonistic or anything, just a question) You say that happiness is second to survival. So would you say that survival is of prime importance?

      So here's the hypothetical, would you give your life up to save a child? If for some reason, you were in a situation where only you or the child would survive... what would you do?

      October 11, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @Doc, The beaver and out dams are yes the exact same princible but the materials used and the use of the damn is not. so again i am forced to look at the overall purpose of us as humans, i find distain in us. Truth be told, i see no merrit to our contiuned existence! yet i have kids... walking hypocrit... sry, i suck at spelling.

      October 11, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @Samsword... Now thats an interesting question. Myself, i would gather all the information i had at hand to properly judge the situation and then make my choice. I am too rational as my wife says – I really would measure out the pros and cons of death of myself and or my child. This would really p!ss off my wife, but its true to me. If I die then as a result he, my son, may also die due to lack of money for food and shelter. Not a very good answer, but its at a seconds thought, if you'd like i can get back to on that with more detail.

      October 11, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Ed

      @hippypoet, Unfortunately man behavior towards our on race and others and to the world itself leaves cause for disdain. Hopefully one we will move beyond that, perhaps that is at least in part the meaning of life.

      October 11, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Altruism is a natural human instinct. Under certain circu.mstances some people will give their lives to save another or to further a cause. More often people will put themselves at risk to save a life. You can see from the number of people that die trying to save other people that this is not such a rare event. It is all very situational. A child will more frequently generate an altruistic response than would an adult. Your own child especially.

      October 11, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Ed

      and if you take to long to rational decide it may be becoem irrelevant

      October 11, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @hippypoet
      Then I suggest you join The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, whose motto is "May we live long and die out".
      vhemt.org

      October 11, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • AGuest9

      The point of life is to have se.x before you die. The point of life is to have offspring. Eating and drinking are essential, but learning and being merry is up to the higher life forms. If you are looking for anything beyond that, you will be disappointed. All of these trappings and comforts that we've created are either adornments to show off to others, or are literally traps. (However, a debate on the economy is for another topic.)

      October 11, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Samsword

      Hmm Interesting responses... So here's the second question.. What if it were between you and another adult? or even an elderly person, or infirm person? (Good discussion btw guys)

      October 11, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @DOC, lol, i will stick to me and my thoughts on such matters. They have something different going on over there, but i have heard of them before this.

      @ED, well i am very quick to think, and most who consider themselves as fast thinkers when it matters...i am normally equal to or greater then in speed of thought and then follow thru reaction. So with that, i would have thought about what if i take too long coming up with an idea based on rational thoughts.

      @Samsword- Now thats an easy one... sick, they die as they can spread the sickness and by which kill off there reason for living , old- they die – unless more useful to society as a whole then me... now if it was a person who was around my age, health and, intelligence – then i'd say we could both survive given we work together, however, lets argue that only one will get out – its a fight to the death or a race to be the first one to get out.

      October 11, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Ed

      Who decidies whose more useful

      October 11, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • hippypoet

      well ED thats a good question, i guess i'd ask what the are thinking at that very moment... given its answer one should be able to judge that person as a thinker or a do-er.... i value thinkers over doers because there are less pholsophers around these days. A true thinker will do as nessasary, but a doer just does, normally only after being told by a thinker.

      October 11, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Ed

      and if they are both thinkers

      October 11, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Scrutinizer Central

      @hippy- "well when i say pointless life, i truly mean pointless life."

      Again..absurdism (reference Albert Camus)

      October 11, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @ED, well if we are both thinkers and unwilling to allow the other to live in place of the latter. Then as i said, i believe we could come up with an idea to allow both to live by working together. lets say one HAS TO DIE, then ok – i'll die, no big deal, been dead before, twice...as long as i get that guy/girl to drag my lifeless body out with them as to not break the rules of the situation, one must die while the other lives (sounds like harry potter now 🙂 ) but after the dragging, i am brought back.. of course this requires a time table of exacting nature, this is afterall a hypothetical conversation. or vice verse, they die, i live and drag the body.

      October 11, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @Scrutinizer Central
      ... dude, camus is an amazing dude... every quote i read is a mirror image of mine that i have written at my house...creepy for some of them, while others are refreshing.

      October 11, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Samsword

      Thanks for humoring me! Interesting discussion.

      October 11, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Ed

      @hippypoet you may find your fellow thinker has a difference of opinon on who is more useful

      October 11, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • hippypoet

      LOL yes ED they most likely will hold themselves above any other as most do, but i do not. so if they wish to live over me, then as i said, its fight to the death, or to most injured... hehe, i also have studied Fung Fu amounst other martial arts... i love over all them, Tai Chi, it flows like my mind.

      October 11, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Samsword

      It's interesting to see our responses. Here in the west we idolize individualism. Yet if I were to ask a Chinese person, I bet the answer would likely be to let the other live. Which is interesting, because China is not really a religious country, they simply traditionally value the whole over themselves... just an interesting thought experiment.

      @HIppy, how long have you studied MA? I'm also a student of martial arts. What styles do you follow? I'm interested in taking up Silat, and was curious if anyone has had experience with it.

      October 11, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i have studied all 5 forms of Tai Chi.... the oringal Fung Fu as taught and created by the Sholin Monks.... Kendo....Tai Kwon Do... and finally Bushido.. which isn't really a martial art, more of a life style....it is the art of the warrior. Never tried Silat.

      October 11, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Samsword

      Wait... if you practice Bushido.. then technically you shouldn't be trying to "outlive" your fellow thinker. A true Bushido follower looks for opportunities to die "honorably." It also means you should adhere unquestioningly to your authority figure... so technically that might require you to give your life to the elderly fellow too... Just a thought...

      Anyway, that's cool. I've studied Shotokan, Hapkido, and XingyiChuan.

      October 11, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • hippypoet

      very true, however i said i have studied them, not practice them... view me as a collective of everything i can learn and be taught. nothing is practiced execpt my own view of things at the moment because as thoughts do with new knowledge, they change – and therefore, as do i ... ok so i seem to practice Tai Chi a bit but whatever – u get my point .lol

      October 11, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Scrutinizer Central

      I am a Master of only one Asian art
      *walks up to Hippy and stick a needle in his neck, watch as he falls in a heap*
      Acupuncture
      (sorry..couldn't resist)

      October 11, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Ed

      @hippypoet, Study Tae kwon do years ago but I'm plannig on bringing my friens smith and wesson as soon I I actually buy one which hasn't happened in 40 years may be time to get e new plan

      October 11, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Samsword

      @Scrutinizer lol that's awsome. @Hippy okay lol that's valid! BTW I'm curious as to your view on Qi

      October 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • Samsword

      @Ed Smith and Wesson eh? lol yeah, that's a pretty effective "martial art."

      October 11, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @ED, well i personal find guns to be to easy... i have a collection of swords and am very skilled at the bow... plus you only have so many shots with a gun. if you know how to pick up anything, you are as deadly as anyone – at a certain range..lol

      @Samsword... did you mean IQ or QI... i have no clue what my IQ is but would totally love to find out. If its Qi then agan, no clue what that is... another MA?

      October 11, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Samsword

      @hippy lol no I said "qi" sorry, I'm used to the pinyin spelling. Usually it's spelled as "chi" in America. As in, chi – or "life force" or whatever. I know that Tai Chi is an internal style, which usually stresses on "chi cultivation," I was just curious as to your viewpoint on that. Most skeptics refute the notion of chi, so I was just curious what your opinion on the matter is.

      October 11, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i completely believe in Chi. if one has energy in any form, it can then also be called Chi. I have a form..its like a branch of Tai Chi called Qigong... it is a masternig of ones life force to a point where it can be used externally... like when you think really hard then all the sudden your hands get warm then hot. If one has a basic understand of blood flow and how that works it can be a foundation to this. It is also easier to (mentally) view the Chi as blood flowing. But one must also understand if one needs uses logic as much as i the law of conservation of matter and energy. That was a martial art in china before it was a physics law, in essence only! lol Whats your take on Chi?

      October 11, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Samsword

      thats cool!.. me? Yeah, I totally accept chi as legitimate. And I like your description of it. (Though I'd still consider myself far from mastery over it, but I'm trying!)

      October 11, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      survival

      at the root of it all that is why we are here

      just like every other living thing we do what we can to survive and continue our species

      theres nothing special about us

      we are no more special than dogs or birds

      the only differences are our ability communicate use tools and how we reason

      the human need for a belief in god is an evolutionary flaw

      thankfully some of us have been able to overcome it

      October 11, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • hippypoet

      mr brown note, if you nothing to add to the conversation then you move and and post else where... do you have anything to add?

      October 11, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • apostate

      @Scrutinizer Central

      REALITY

      October 11, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      hippy

      i was taking part in the conversation

      this question was asked from

      Scrutinizer Central

      What do you base your pointless life on?

      that is the question i answered from this very comment thread

      now before you make any more moronic assumptions

      read the entire thread first

      i know youre itching to hurt someones internet feelings

      but its not going to be mine nancyboy

      October 11, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      i should apologize

      i should have quoted him first

      spastic little people are not able to use logic prior to making judgment calls

      nor do they make sure they arent making fools of themselves before posting comments

      i will be sure next time to address the question directly in my answer

      so your kind dont freak out

      i hope we have a deal

      just kidding

      i really dont care what you think

      October 11, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
  16. Doc Vestibule

    Whether a cult or not, inst/iutionalized racism is part of their creed.

    Mormon scripture specifically referencing race includes (from the Book of Mormon):
    1 Nephi 11:8
    1 Nephi 11:13
    1 Nephi 12:23
    1 Nephi 13:15
    2 Nephi 5:21
    2 Nephi 30:6 (1830 edition)
    Jacob 3:8
    Alma 3:6
    3 Nephi 2:15
    Mormon 5:15

    None of the above are very accepting of anyone who isn't white.

    1. "The Juvenile Instructor" is an LDS tome used to indoctrinate children.
    Here is an excerpt from an early edition:
    "We will first inquire into the results of the approbation or displeasure of God upon a people, starting with the belief that a black skin is a mark of the curse of Heaven placed upon some portions of mankind. Some, however, will argue that a black skin is not a curse, nor a white skin a blessing. In fact, some have been so foolish as to believe and say that a black skin is a blessing, and that the ne.gro is the finest type of a perfect man that exists on the earth; but to us such teachings are foolishness.
    We understand that when God made man in his own image and pronounced him very good, that he made him white. We have no record of any of God's favored servants being of a black race...every angel who ever brought a message of God's mercy to man was beautiful to look upon, clad in the purest white and with a countenance bright as the noonday sun. (Juvenile Instructor, Vol. 3, page 157)
    100 years later, LDS followers became more "tolerant" and published statements like this:
    "I would not want you to believe that we bear any animosity toward the Neg.ro. Dar.kies are wonderful people, and they have their place in our church."
    – Joseph Fielding Smith, Look magazine, October 22, 1963, page 79
    In 1947, Dr. Lowry Nelson – a Mormon himself – sent a letter to the Mormon First Presidency questioning the official racist doctrines.
    The reply he received said, in part:
    "From the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith even until now, it is has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by any of the Church leaders, that the Neg.roes are not ent.itled to the full blessings of the Gospel.
    "Furthermore your ideas, as we understand them, appear to contemplate the intermarriage of the Neg.ro and White races, a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient partiarchs till now. God's rule for Israel, His Chosen People, has been endogamous."
    – George Albert Smith J. Reuben Clark, Jr. David O. McKay
    Finally, in 1978 the Mormons had a revelation allowing blacks into the priesthood – conveniently at the exact time that they were expanding beyond the U.S. into countries full of "cursed" people, like Brazil.
    Today, while there is no official policy of segregation, the old prejudices still exist.
    Black LDS church member Darron Smith wrote in 2003:
    "Even though the priesthood ban was repealed in 1978, the discourse that constructs what blackness means is still very much intact today. Under the direction of President Spencer W. Kimball, the First Presidency and the Twelve removed the policy that denied black people the priesthood but did very little to disrupt the multiple discourses that had fostered the policy in the first place. Hence there are Church members today who continue to summon and teach at every level of Church education the racial discourse that black people are descendants of Cain, that they merited lesser earthly privilege because they were "fence-sitters" in the War in Heaven, and that, science and climatic factors aside, there is a link between skin color and righteousness"

    October 11, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      A full day an nobody has refuted my assertion that the LDS are racist.
      This means that either
      1) the diatribe is too long to read for short attentions spans
      2) I am right becuase you can't debate the facts presented.

      I'd like to believe it's the latter, but probably not.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  17. Renats

    I'm LDS and I kind of have to agree with Nodack. By Jefress' definition of a cult, all religions are cults. I'm very glad that there are educated and independent people in this country who understand separation of church and state. Who cares what religion one belongs to, leave it aside and concentrate on what policies they want to instate and vote for or against.

    October 11, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  18. Kearns

    Jeff, you are misinformed. Just because "Mainstream Christianity shares in the beliefs about the essentials of our faith – who God is, the three persons within the godhead and their roles, what we are called to, and how one must be saved and live their life." doesn't mean that is the definition of a Christian. Putting aside the issue of the Book of Mormon, the Church of Latter Day Saints is much closer to his definition of Christianity than Unitarian Christians, Coptic Christians, Orthodox Christians and possibly even Catholics.

    October 11, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      No True Scotsman

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/No_True_Scotsman

      October 11, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • Madtown

      how one must be saved
      ---
      Does a primitive African tribesman who has never heard of Jesus or the bible, and has no concept of christianity have any chance of being "saved"?

      October 11, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      You are way off base about your comment about Catholics. From what I recall, protestantism/evangelical christians grew out of the Catholic Church. For one to say that they don't fit the definition of christianity is not only ironic but irrational as well since it came ahead of all others. Let's get the history of the church right before be apply the definitions of what is a cult versus what is a mainstream christian religion.

      October 11, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      Madtown,
      The tribesmen in Africa or elsewhere who have never heard of Jesus Christ will be saved by the Grace of God. For everyone else who has heard of Jesus but reject him, they may be at hreater risk.

      October 11, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Ed

      @Madtown, "Does a primitive African tribesman who has never heard of Jesus or the bible, and has no concept of christianity have any chance of being "saved"?"

      Short answer, yes

      God would not punish some one who never had a chance to learn. Frankly it more about how you act than which church you attend, and what you say when everyone can hear.

      October 11, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      If he is lucky, then no.

      October 11, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Ed, you read the same bible as me? God seems perfectly capable of punishing innocents.

      October 11, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Ed

      @markinfl Based on your oreceding commnet then I would guess we are at the very least not on the same page

      October 11, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Pretty much any page of the old testament (the ones that aren't droning on and on about trivialities)

      October 11, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Ed

      Sorry not jewish try the new testament

      October 11, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      @Ed,

      Maybe you didn't notice, but its the same god.

      October 11, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Ed

      Really....wow...well I gues I just give up my faith then thanks

      October 11, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      If your faith is based upon ignoring half of your religious text, then it wouldn't surprised me if you dropped it so easily.

      October 11, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • inTheDogHouse

      All those of you who preach the Godhead is one God need to do is show us exactly where in Scripture it says this. Since it doesn't, it's just opinion. In fact, it's all just opinion based on traditions.

      October 11, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Ed

      @think that was sarcasm. The question was would tribesmen in africa who had never heard of Christ or the Christain deity be 'saved' I answered it based on numerous conversation with members of the Christian faith and a part of our over all beleif. Then I was told I was wrong because of the old testament. I'm a traditionalist not a literalist so I don't beleive the the Bible is the end all and be all of Christianity just a guide. In either case prehaps you follow the advice the name you post by suggests and stop judgeing people you simply don't know

      October 11, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      the bible itself states that no scripture is a matter of personal interpretation

      its not meant to be interpreted

      and jesus also said he wasnt around to abolish the old law

      christians will say he was here to end it but he wasnt as he said so himself

      christians misinterpret the bible often so they got that part wrong

      the claim is that jesus landing on earth was a fulfillment of a prophecy of judaism

      jesus was saying that he wasnt here to abolish the old testament instead he was fulfilling that prophecy

      but of course its not perfectly clear

      the bible is like toilet water when youve got the runs

      you cant see all of the chunks that have sunk to the bottom

      so you never know if youve passed that diamond ring you accidentally swallowed and then you flush it accidentally

      and if you go and stick your hand down there and dig for it

      all youre going to end up with is feces all over yourself

      which is pretty much what the bible is made out of

      October 11, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • Ed

      I may be wrong but I don't know of a verse in the Bibile that states the book itself is God o rthe Bible is the end all and be all of human knowledge and history.

      As for Christians thinking Christ ablished the old law you obviously don't know as much about us as you think.

      As for interpretating the Bible the Christian church predates the new testament and traditions were created during the period the church exist before the new testament was writing and compiled traditionlist try to follow those. We believe the Bible to be an invaluable guide to our faith in God and in life. But the Bible is not God and it is not the entire sum of all human knowledge. It can not be followed as if it was.

      October 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  19. The Bobinator

    All religions are cults. Welcome to reality.

    October 11, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • BRC

      You're attempting to have a word recognized and used correctly based on its deffinition. You've been here long enough to know that's not going to happen.

      Religions are cults, that's a simple fact. It is also true that some people use the word cult as an insult, so people try to eschew its use when applied to their religion.

      October 11, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      believers often fear language that simplifies their belief system

      especially if it lumps them in with all the other myths

      can you imagine how much life would suck living in fear of a word

      glad im not a believer

      October 11, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
  20. DamianKnight

    Dangit, JW, neither of us were quoted AGAIN!

    October 11, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • J.W

      Yeah honestly though I did not have much to say on this one. I do not know enough about Mormonism to really add to the conversation I dont think.

      October 11, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • J.W

      Hopefully there is an article I have a lot to add to and I can just go crazy and they will have to quote me. Did Chuckles get quoted when he changed his name?

      October 11, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.