Harold Bloom: On Mormon Cosmology and Mitt Romney

According to Harold Bloom, Mormon observer and Yale University scholar, wrote the following as an op-ed piece in The New York Times (12 Nov 2011):

Our political satirists, with Mr. Romney evidently imminent, delight in describing the apparent weirdness of Mormon cosmology and allied speculations, but they forget the equal strangeness of Christian mythology, now worn familiar by repetition. Jorge Luis Borges shrewdly classified all theology as fantastic literature, and Joseph Smith’s adventures in the spiritual realm are at least refreshingly original, and were even in 19th-century America, when homegrown systems of belief sprouted prodigiously. Smith was not a good writer, except for one or two of his sermons, as reported in transcriptions by his auditors, but his mythmaking faculty was fecund.

The accurate critique of Mormonism is that Smith’s religion is not even monotheistic, let alone democratic. Though the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints no longer openly describes their innermost beliefs, they clearly hold on to the notion of a plurality of gods. Indeed, they themselves expect to become gods, following the path of Joseph Smith.

Bloom continues:

Mormons earn godhead though their own efforts, hoping to join the plurality of gods, even as they insist they are not polytheists. No Mormon need fall into the fundamentalist denial of evolution, because the Mormon God is not a creator. Imaginatively liberating as this may be, its political implications are troublesome. The Mormon patriarch, secure in his marriage and large family, is promised by his faith a final ascension to godhead, with a planet all his own separate from the earth and nation where he now dwells. From the perspective of the White House, how would the nation and the world appear to President Romney? How would he represent the other 98 percent of his citizens?

Source:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/13/opinion/sunday/will-this-election-be-the-mormon-breakthrough.html?pagewanted=2

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5 Responses to Harold Bloom: On Mormon Cosmology and Mitt Romney

  1. rogerdhansen says:

    Mark writing on getreligion.org comments on the last paragraph:

    “As for the time Bloom spends on Mormon cosmology, I’m just kind of godsmacked. Bloom is basically insinuating that Mormons teach taking care of each other and are biding time until they all get their own planet, so in a political context they might exhibit little desire to look out for their fellow, non-Mormon citizens. The is insulting. As for the actual details of Mormon cosmology, planets and all of that–it is tricky stuff. One would hope to be treated with more care, but Bloom seems to be wielding it cavalierly to paint Mormons as The Other.”


  2. dieta says:

    Although they believe that numerous gods exist, Mormons consider themselves to be monotheists because they focus their worship exclusively on the Godhead of this earth. With this being the case, a more accurate description of Mormon practice is henotheism, a form of polytheism that stresses a central deity.

  3. john bocchetti says:

    I respect Mr. Bloom, however I’m a BYU grad, italian and a native san franciscan. The mormons are as fraudulent as their book of mormon, a ripoff from Ethan Smith’s “View of the Hebrews, and Solomon Spaulding, “Manuscruipt Found.” Mormons are racsists, abusers of women and children.
    They will indeed inherit a world, it’s called “hell.”

    • rogerdhansen says:

      Gee John, most religions have their quirks. Were you raised Mormon? Why did you go to BYU? To imply that all Mormons are racist and abusers seems rather harsh.

      • john bocchetti says:

        Harsh? I joined the church while in Yosemite, 1974. Went to byu, graduated in 1977. Got married in the slc temple. I remained niavely committed for about five years. Resigned in 1994. I was indifferent until this last winter when i went to the aid of a mormon friend in st. george. My eyes were opened, and with the candidancy of mitt romney it was sealed. The mormon in utah was married to a cousin of mitt romney. He along with so many mormon men abuse their wives. And mount elaborate hoaxes, as is their creed. After some research which i ignore until this winter, although i suspected all along, that the bofm was a literary hoax…there you have it, a religion gone to mammon because it’s foundations are utterly false and corrupt..

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