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Sharron Angle pastor: As a Mormon, Harry Reid is cult member

Updated Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010 | 7:33 p.m.

Sharron Angle

Sharron Angle

Harry Reid

Harry Reid

Sun Coverage

Sharron Angle’s pastor made incendiary statements about Sen. Harry Reid’s Mormon faith, accusing Reid’s religion of being a cult with “kooky” practices and having “hit squads” that “kill Mormons that go against them,” according to an article in a Reno weekly newspaper published today.

Pastor John Reed of Sonrise Church in Reno, which Angle stated was her church in her official legislative bio, told the Reno News and Review’s Dennis Myers that as Senate majority leader Reid answers to Salt Lake City, where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is headquartered.

Angle spokesman Jarrod Agen issued a statement today saying the Republican candidate has not been a member of Reed's church "for over six years."

"She strongly disavows any disparaging remarks against Mormons. As a Christian, Sharron shares the same values with other active Christians, including those of the Latter Day Saints community," Agen wrote in the statement. "Her former pastor in no way speaks for Sharron."

But in July 2008, as a candidate for state Senate, Angle included "music ministry, Sonrise Church" on a candidate questionnaire published by the Reno Gazette-Journal, listing it as one of three ways in which she was involved in the community. In the same survey, she also listed herself as a member of the Fellowship Community Church, also in Reno.

In an interview with the Sun, Reed said that Angle, a Southern Baptist, had been a member of his church for "over a dozen years" and for the past year has had "dual membership" in the two congregations. She attended his church as recently as a couple of months ago, he said. He attributed her recent absence to the busy campaign.

Reed confirmed that he was quoted accurately in the article and stood by his statements about the Mormon religion. The pastor said he was surprised that Angle, whom he described as "the perfect candidate," was attempting to distance herself from him and his statements about the LDS church.

Reid spokesman Kelly Steele called the statements  “disturbing and hateful expressions of extreme religious bigotry.”

In the story that initiated the controversy, Myers wrote, “Pastor Reed, of course, does not speak for Angle any more than Barack Obama is responsible for Jeremiah Wright’s pronouncements,” referring to the controversial Chicago pastor whose utterances became endless fodder for cable news during the 2008 presidential campaign. But, Myers wrote, it raises questions about whether Angle and her church believe a line should be drawn between church and state.

The remarks could hurt Angle with Nevada Mormons, who as a group are more aligned politically with Angle's conservative Republicanism than Reid's Democratic positions. The Mormon vote in Nevada is significant, making up a quarter of the turnout in the 2008 Republican presidential caucus.

Angle has described her run against Reid in Biblical terms, and said she does not believe the country’s founding father’s wanted a wall between church and state.

In referring to Mormonism, Reed, Angle’s pastor, said:

“His religion’s a cult. The Christian community — all the Christians, theologians and scholars, all recognize that, that Mormonism is a cult. I have books in my library on cults, and it lists Mormonism right there with all these bizarre cults.

Well, there must be a reason. I mean, here a member of a cult is one of the most powerful people in the United States. Doesn’t that alarm you? And his allegiance is to Salt Lake City. Something is up with that. Something’s weird. But nobody touches that — Harry Reid’s allegiance is to Salt Lake City. The Mormon church is rich, powerful, they do illegal things. They do secretive things. They’ve got all this money. They own American businesses. There’s weirdness going on there. Churches are not multi-millionaire organizations like the Mormon church.

"You know, there’s some weirdness with that, but nobody questions it, nobody asks one question to Harry Reid and says, 'Tell us about your faith. What does a Mormon believe?’ Ask him about the holy garments that he wears that protect him from evil. Isn’t that kooky? Ask him about getting his body parts anointed by oil. Isn’t that kooky? Ask him about when he goes to the temple and he gets baptized for dead people. Isn’t that kooky? Ask him about the hit squad of the Mormon church and why they need people to kill Mormons that go against them. Isn’t that controlling? Ask him how they shun people, then they get their family members to disown them and divorce them if they dare leave the Mormon church. Isn’t that cultish? I mean, I could go on and on.

"The Mormon church is a cult, and Harry Reid is a powerful person in a cult, and nobody even questions it.”

Myers, a veteran Northern Nevada journalist, said in an e-mail that he recorded his conversation with Reed and may post the audio soon on his blog.

Despite the Senate majority leader's prominent position on the national stage, he has an uneasy, sometimes contentious relationship with the conservative base, including members of his church. A scheduled appearance by Reid at a Mormon chapel earlier this year had to be canceled after members expressed anger over him potentially using the venue to gain votes.

In the 2008 Republican presidential caucus, Mitt Romney, also a Mormon, captured almost the entire LDS vote to coast to an easy victory here, according to exit polls conducted for the Associated Press and television networks. Mormons made up a quarter of the GOP turnout.

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  1. This is not newsworthy. A former pastor?

    What about the President's former pastor?

    The only thing I see in the whole thing is that people say stupid things and the clergy is not exempt from people or stupid.

  2. Judy,
    Couldn't agree more strongly.
    Well said!

  3. I have to say as a Mormon, it's pretty sad that this paper and that religion has to come into play during a campaign. Even though it's a former Pastor, I think it's pretty disgusting that this is considered newsworthy. The comments by the Pastor are frankly nothing new. I am not really even phased by them. I actually find it a bit amusing that a Pastor would claim my faith is weird and kooky when the Bible mentions that Christ would give his flesh and blood to eat and drink. To others who might not be Christian, wouldn't this sound weird and kooky as well?

    But I seriously doubt this will shake the Mormon community that much. They'll probably vote for Angle anyway, regardless of what some other person states. Course, I could be wrong.

  4. Funny... right-wing people still bring up Reverend Wright to this day on the pages of the Sun in their criticism of President Obama.

    But when the tables are turned and it's Sharron's pastor that is the guy who is off his rocker, suddenly it's not a big deal?


  5. Well...

    I know that if wanted timely, up to date information about a sitting U. S. Senator's fitness to serve, the very first place I'd go would be to his opponents former preacher.

  6. I'm confused - the right wing made President Obama's pastor one of their center pieces for him not to get elected. And now that Sharron Angle's pastor comes out and says mormons are a kooky - you don't think it's newsworthy. For the record, I don't think anyones church pastor has anything to do with the candidate, but the right wing are HYPOCRITES!

  7. I think any pastor that uses religion to divide people needs to re-read the new testament, then repent.

  8. First of all, I have been in the presence of Jeremiah Wright and know him to be a kind and gentle man. He was a Navy corpsman in attendance at the death of President Kennedy and later became a generous wonderful pastor. All the demonization of him is absolutely wrong. As for the narrowmindedness of Angle's pastor - well each person should read and consider what is said as a whole body of work and not anyone's sound bites. There are far too many religious letters who exhibit extreme bigotry and are dangerous. May God save us all!

  9. KSand - so right.

    And all of these folks saying that Reid does nothing for Nevada so they won't vote for him do not have their facts straight.

    Angle is a prime example of a politician who could not... would not ever work for compromise. She just voted NO to everything. A lot of good that will do us. We need someone who knows how to work with others, how to compromise.

    Rather they think putting an airhead in Washington will some how benefit them> They would cut off their own nose to spite their face.

  10. The Sun benefits from sensational items like this. Look at the number of hits on the article and the comments. That is the stuff advertisers want.

  11. "I have books in my library on cults, and it lists Mormonism right there with all these bizarre cults" quoth Pastor John Reed

    Right -- and all probably from the old Moody Bible Press.

    I'm quite familiar with the ex-Mormons and other detractors. They don't get, it either -- organized religion itself is the problem. Almost as bad is people with tolerance for others' beliefs.

    "Christians call it faith -- I call it the herd." -- a bumper sticker quoting Nietzsche

  12. Note to pastor: all religions are cults.

  13. sunnyside...
    Ain't THAT the truth!!!

  14. Now, I do think that Angle is is as crazy as one can be running for office, but WHO CARES about what this idiot has to say? A former pastor? So what?

  15. I appreciate the concerns over the proximity of Sharron Angle to this pastor. We shared those concerns as well and before posting the story did additional reporting -- beyond that of the Reno newspaper that first had the story. As you see in our story this is a pastor with whom she has had a relationship for more than a decade. Her campaign is trying to characterize him as a former pastor, one she hasn't worshiped with in a half-dozen years, but ample evidence indicates she has been associated with his congregation more recently.

  16. Hurry up November so we can stop hearing about Sharron Mangle!

  17. This stinks to high heaven. Religion should be kept out of politics and elections, and the pastor should have his church's tax exemption revoked. Angle started this with her "biblical law" and "entitlements are idolotry" and "sharia law" baloney.
    This pastor has a bat in his belfry and its name is Sharron Angle.

  18. Christian Preachers are great, ain't they? Certainly the way G-d wants them to be, denigrate every other religion but theirs. YEAH RIGHT.

    And now because of politics, Angle disavows being a member of his church even though she attended his services for over 12 years and as late as a couple of months ago. Good honest,truthful politician, just what the Senate needs. Once again---YEAH RIGHT!

    Anyone who votes for this two faced idiot is a numbskull.

  19. Based on the comments of her Pastor, and the widely held beliefs of her religious persuasion, Angle probably believes Mormons are in the same boat as gays, abortionists, and murderers. So these comments don't really surprise me. What does surprise me is that Angle is so willing to forsake her religious friends (and probably her beliefs) for a few votes.

  20. Harry Reid believes in the seperation of church
    and state.

    I'm voting for Harry Reid.

  21. Unless the pastor is totally ignorant of politics or wants Angle to lose her bid for the U.S. senate, I don't understand why he would try to alienate 25% of the voters in southern Nevada who more than likely are going to vote for her. His overwhelming desire to paint Harry as a great Satan because of his Mormon beliefs could cause Angle some real grief. Maybe it was said off the record, or maybe the Reid Campaign made a donation to pastor Reed's Church, a last ditch effort to ralley the Mormon vote back to the Reid camp. Politics has become so dirty and disgusting its to bad we all have to exercise our voting rights and become a part of it. Is pastor Reed a Angle friend or foe, you be the judge.

  22. Hm, Reverand Wright right, Pastor Reed wrong. Yet the fact is that both have 1st amendment rights that none of the objectors to either man can abrogate. I am not a Mormon but admire much of what their religion requires of them and do not admire some other requirements. They, like all religions, enjoy a freedom almost unparalleled elsewhere in the world and we should respect that. And for non-believers, you are similarily protected by the U.S. & Nevada Constitutions.

  23. I applaud Sharron Angle for her reverse psychology strategy.

    So far, she has alienated Nevada Hispanic American voters, unwed mothers, raped women who get pregnant and are forced to have their child, gamblers, people who drink alcohol, autism children, disabled people, everyone who lives in southern Nevada (Yucca), senior citizens, veterans, and most sane people.

    Now, she is focusing on alienating herself from religious leaning voters, particularly the Mormons.

    I think she has accomplished driving everyone in the entire Sovereign State of Nevada away from her.

    But she has made sure she holds on to the prison population vote though. They like that Scientology and massage idea.

    I used to think her campaign slogan was... "That's not what I said."

    I think it's now... "DeStruction or DeMint!"

    Not much difference... If you ask me.....

  24. As someone who has in the past frequented many christian churches of all types, and seen my friends get swooped up in the phenomena that is "born again". I can assure you that most Christians view Mormonism as a cult, and as wrong. Also most "Christians" seem to be anti-mormon.

    Please dont misconstrue my words. When I say "Christian" I mean the ones who say God 1st Family 2nd, or constantly talk about God. So do I believe Saron Angle feels the same way "You Betcha"
    to think she believes otherwise when you look at all her views, would be illogical and go against everything that Ive experienced in my life. I dont care who her pastor is. I can gaurantee when there is no election, she believes Mormonism is a cult and that they are going against Gods way and that they are not Christians and infact were started by a man who took hallucinogenic drugs.

    Thats why I wlays found it strange that mormons were coming out supporting her at first, only due to their dislike of what Reid represents. Thats where I get lost. Somehow the conservative media, which for some reason is associated with religious people, has been able to portray the policies of the left as so evil, like satan evil, that these people would vote for someone, just because they are not someone else.
    Then they portray their candidates as people of God. Then I look at the policies of the republicans and I wonder why these people dont realize that multi national corporations are using their religion to psychologicaly manipulate their demographic? Not saying this is not happening to some degree on the left. Both sides are using narcississim as applied to demographic projections to emotionally fuel this election, but to use religion and to portray ones philosophy as that of the devil...sounds like the devil's work to me.

  25. where is all this former pastor nonsense coming from? "She attended his church as recently as a couple of months ago, he said. He attributed her recent absence to the busy campaign."

    true colors are being shown by the conservative right.

    "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." Mahatma Ghandi

    If you're a Christian act like it.

  26. OH NO, DAVINTHEBOX! You just let the cat out of the bag.

    Don't bring up "Sharronia Law!" You'll give them ideas and then there will be these card carrying members of the Nevada Flat Earth Society will leave in droves to join the OrAngle Juice Sharronia Law sect! They'll wear robes and cowls and look like leftovers from some cheap low budget horror movie.

    Don't encourage them! Because if you do, it will spell doom for Nevada! I say doom!

  27. OH NO AGAIN, LVpravdaFan! You're giving her ANOTHER idea. Instead of Sharronia Law, we got Baphomet Luminati Anglo Nazoid Islamo Socialism Sect With A Twist of Glenn Beckoidism!

    Doom for Nevada! Doom I say!

  28. This is just what I was saying yesterday, when I pointed out the teabigots didn't like Mormons like Mitt "Romneycare" Romney.

    They talk about "Judeo - Christian" - as a smoke screen...they don't like Jews either. (The 2/3rds of Jews that don't convert to Christianity will go to hell when Armageddon comes.)

    Glen Buck is next.

  29. mred: you are kidding, aren't you? You worship a Jew as the "Son of God" and you bad mouth them at the same time? By the way, I am a member, supporter & contributor of the Tea Party and, as I wrote yesterday, I am not a Mormon but I admire the Mormon religion for much of what it stands for. Maybe you ought to check the "facts" you believe in before you generalize about those with whom you disagree.

  30. Fink, the teabags don't make any sense. So don't ask me to analyze them. So the fact they hate Mormons, but like Glen Buck, worship a Jew, but say that 2/3rds of them will go to hell, complain about Islamics who recognize the Bible and Jesus as a spiritual leader, etc. They like Social Security and Medicare but complain about government health care. Say government is part of the problem not part of the solution, but expect their government to solve the problems of Iraq and Afghanistan, so on and on ...

    Doesn't Sean Insannity yak about the connections of Rev. Wright and Obama, Glen Buck talks about "Bill Ayres and Obama?"

    So what is the big deal about "Angle's connections" with another wacko religious NUT.

    Also Fink, don't Mormons say that people aren't supposed to marry outside their race, "son on Hamm" and all, so it is not surprising that you admire them.

    The teabags are the ultimate hypocrites and bigots don't ask me to explain their nuttiness.

    Angl Government medicalcare bad as long as I have mine throught the BLM.