Larry Pressler has now been baptized as a Mormon. Really.

I did a double take, as I thought someone was referring to him as a moron, but no. The Tweet was that Larry Pressler was now a Mormon.

Having observed him over the past few decades, if someone was referring to him as a moron, I could understand where they were coming from.  But, you got me with this one. Apparently, former US Senator Larry Pressler has now officially been baptized as a Mormon:

The announcement was ordinary and without fanfare. Larry Pressler would be confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the weekly services of the Chevy Chase congregation.

But those who know the man from his three terms in the U.S. Senate and who have shared in his spiritual journey count Pressler — whether referring to him as “senator,” “brother” or just “Larry” — as extraordinary.

On Sunday, April 19, Pressler was confirmed as a church member by Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, a Mormon who introduced him to the faith’s signature book of scripture. He was baptized earlier in the day by Clayton Christensen, whose conviction of the Book of Mormon detailed in The New Yorker magazine compelled the former senator to seriously study the book.

Read it here.

Ooookay.  Not something I expected to see. Or read in the paper.

His Wikipedia reference refers to him as a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints, It had noted his religion as “Christianity” prior to it’s most recent change, and to be more specific, most bios note his religion as Roman Catholic.

It’s not often you see someone in his 70’s changing religions.

Since he’s leaving the Catholic faith, is this a bad time to ask if he’s going to hell?

33 Replies to “Larry Pressler has now been baptized as a Mormon. Really.”

  1. Anonymous

    Oh come on now! He will convert to something else in 6 months. Larry likes to change his mind often these days.

    1. Adultery & Pedophilia

      “In an essay posted without fanfare to its website in late October (2014), the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said for the first time that Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church, had as many as 40 wives. Some of those women were also married to friends of his. And one was only 14 when she became Smith’s wife.”
      http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/11/11/363324816/mormon-church-admits-founder-joseph-smith-had-up-to-40-wives

      So six months after Mormons finally admit to these widely known historical facts about their founder’s multiple adulteries and pedophilia, Pressler converts.

      Coincidence?

  2. Steve Hickey

    Maybe someone told him Mormon salvation was that each Mormon man gets his own planet and to spend eternity on having sex with his wives and populating said planet with spirit babies. Wish I was kidding. To each his own.

    1. Sodak No.1

      Steve is right … to each their own… After all what Religion on Earth does not have some goofy beliefs… Except my Religion of course,,, in which case all the goofy beliefs are actually sacred beliefs.

      1. enquirer

        being mormon didn’t seem to hurt mr & mrs mitt romney at all. what, did we all read ‘a study in scarlet’ again or something? look at romney btw – pressler obviously hasn’t done this for any political gain.

    2. Winston

      Hum? The Republican nominee for President in 2012 was a Mormon. Didn’t you support him? Or were you just kidding then?

      But seriously, I don’t think we should be in the business of making fun of other religions. Who are we to judge? As a Christian, I have been told of many miracles by my Redeemer. Miracles I believe in because I have been told to have faith. Unfortunately, some have obviously lost their faith in the 1st Amendment through their lack of understanding of how we should all be tolerant of others religious or non-religious beliefs; and we should not use the shield of freedom of speech as a way to justify and express such an intolerance.

    3. Anonymous

      Did you hear about the odd pastor who told him that Jesus opposed the death penalty.

      To each his own I guess.

  3. Troy Jones

    Maybe I don’t remember it right but didn’t Pressler make reference to being a Catholic during the campaign with regard to his views on abortion?

    If so, in light of the fact he was contemplating leaving the Church, in my opinion, inferring one is Catholic would have an element of being disingenuous.

  4. Troy Jones

    P.S. I’ve never heard the Pressler attended a Catholic parish in Sioux Falls for the nearly 20 years since he “moved back to SD” after his election defeat almost 20 years ago. By most common vernacular of being Catholic, he left the Church a long time ago.

    1. enquirer2

      Pressler did tout that he was a Catholic and I did get the impression he was a practicing Catholic. during this last Senate campaign. I can’t help but wonder if he used it to get votes knowing he would convert soon. I’m dissappointed in Larry for doing so.

  5. Winston

    Lately, you guys sure have been obsessing on Pressler. You must fear a further candidacy by him in 2016 against Thune or Noem.

    His chances of winning would be slim, but he could turn “slam dunk” re-elections into potential competitive races. If he ran as an Independent that is.

    You are missing the real story, here are you not? People change religions all the time. Ronald Reagan was raised a Catholic, but he did not die a Catholic. In fact, he never went to church on a regular basis while President, but he had a Christain burial. But this is also beside the point, the real story is the relationship between Pressler and Reid. I ask, was Pressler?….. Reid’s 2014 end-around strategy to hold on to the South Dakota senate seat that year for the Democratic caucus in Washington?…. And does this alleged strategy further explain why Weiland showed such public disdain for Reid in the final weeks of the 2014 senate race?

  6. Anonymous

    This dude is a flake and a clown. Now that he’s done this, will he be announcing his intent to run for mayor of D.C.?

  7. mhs

    Actually, Reagan was not Catholic. His father was, but Reagan’s faith came early from his mother, a follower of the Disciples of Christ. Kengor’s book “God and Ronald Reagan” is a fascinating study of how the practical Christianity the Disciples teach formed nearly every action he took, supported by his many speeches and writings. They eschewed pomp, ceremony and even music in worship, instead focusing on doing things in life that reflected their faith. The book makes a strong case that Reagan was taught not to go to church but rather to spread faith with acts.

    Really great read.

  8. Winston

    MHS, I appreciate your in-depth research on this matter.

    However, through further investigation I have found that Reagan was indeed a Catholic as I thought. He was baptized into the Disciples of Christ, while his brother Neil was baptized Catholic, but at age 19 Reagan joined the Catholic church.

    In fact, if you investigate Reagan’s memoir “Dutch,” you will find in the first page of the prologue a reference to Reagan’s first true love, who was the daughter of a pastor. Apparently, catholicism versus protestantism played a part in its ending, especially when you read further into the memoir and read of Reagans distinctions between Anglo and Roman Catholicism and his allegiances to the former in reference to his interest in potentially attending Eureka College, a Disciples of Christ college.

    But while we are on the topic of religion, Reagan, and politics. Let us not forget Nancy Reagan’s interest in astrology. How this interest influenced family decisions and perhaps public policy as well as many have suggested.

  9. Anne Beal

    The misogyny of the Mormon faith should alarm everybody. Women can’t get into Heaven unless their husbands call them by their secret names and pull them through the veil into the afterlife. If a woman does not please her husband in this temporal life he won’t pull her through the veil. If she pre-deceases him she is stuck…somewhere…until he dies. If he chooses not to pull her through the veil she remains stuck wherever she is. This indoctrination of unquestioning, unconditional obedience to their husbands is ideal for abuse and explains why Mormon wives put up with a lot of shit.

    1. enquirer2

      Anne are you speaking from first hand experience? My Morman friends have never mentioned this and never seen any issues regarding how either were treated.

    2. Anonymous

      I’m more concerned about home-grown misogynists like C. Heidelberger and his disciples of hate.

    3. Jason Trumbull

      You are full of it, Anne Beal. Did you get dumped by a Mormon boyfriend? Why so much vitriol and lying?

  10. Troy Jones

    Winston,

    I’d like to see you evidence/information Reagan was ever a Catholic.

    1) As MHS points out he was baptized in the Christian family at a Disciple of Christ baptism.

    2) To ever be a Catholic (for someone beyond childhood), one must freely submit to an level of catechesis appropriate for their age, receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession), freely assent to the follow the tenets of the Church, receive Holy Communion, and be validly confirmed. If this “conversion” occurred as you state at the age of 19, Reagan would have submitted to these requirements. As far as I know, there is no circumstantial evidence he did any of these (including attending a Mass in adulthood not associated with a funeral or wedding). Further, there would be a record of his Confirmation at the parish where it occurred. This record is the ultimate “confirmation” he ever was Catholic.

    In short, I’m a doubting Thomas with regard to Reagan ever being Catholic. Either show me the holes in his hands/piercing of his stomach (evidence) or I will wholly dismiss any assertion for Reagan being Catholic by any definition (Formal Catholic requirements, a temporary assent to being Catholic or being “Catholic” only as related to a family connection to the faith of his father and whatever influence that might have had in his outlook.

    I say the latter because many of Reagan’s views on forgiveness/mercy and human dignity are marks commonly associated with a Catholic way of life and thus indicate an influence but I think it mostly subconscious.

  11. mhs

    I don’t know if we need that level of detail Troy, but, one has to at least consider the source material. Edmund Morris was perhaps the greatest historical fraud of our lives. He certainly squandered the greatest opportunity ever given an historian: to actually be in the room as Reagan changed the world. Ever since “Dutch” came out, the Reagan Library has hosted dozens of historians who delight in pointing out the multitude of factual errors Morris made, without even getting in to the bizarre way he wrote the book.

    There is quite of bit of evidence supporting Reagan’s involvement with the Catholic church. There is even a fascinating line of evidence he had connections to the Dunker faith, which was not uncommon in the German Midwest. At a point in time, the young adult Reagan made his choice, sealed with his picking Eureka College, a DOC institution. The rest, they say, is history.

  12. Troy Jones

    MHS,

    I know you are one of the most informed people in SD with regard to the historical Reagan. But, historical information must always be seen in context.

    First, I’m pretty sure Reagan was never Catholic as strictly required by the Church or even understood in the broader community. And, I would like to see any evidence Reagan himself thought of himself Catholic beyond a familial connection similar to thinking of himself Irish because his father was of Irish stock.

    For example, my dad was Episcopal. I attended a lot of services with him or my Grandmother. I was influenced by those experiences. But I never considered myself Episcopal. One of my childhood friends was Lutheran and I attended their summer Vacation Bible School every year. I was influenced by those experiences. But I never considered myself Lutheran.

    I don’t think Reagan’s Catholicism is much more than my Episcopalism or Lutheranism- intimate experiences because he just lived his life among people who were Catholic. And, I don’t think he ever called himself Catholic (I could be wrong here but I’d like to see it).

  13. Winston

    Goggle “Michael Reagan” and find out what Michael says about his father’s Catholicism. Michael claims his father use to take him to Mass during his parents separation and eventual divorce.

    But regardless, why can’t Reagan be Catholic or had been Catholic? What’s the big deal?

    He also use to be a Democrat and an Union leader, but ended-up a Republican President who fired federal union air traffic controllers.

    As far as the controversy over “Dutch.” That is nothing more than the President’s men protecting his legacy, when he was no longer capable of doing it himself.

  14. Troy Jones

    Winston,

    First, a lot of divorced parents take their child to their regular church during the weekend they have custody. We have a few in my parish. Not really even out of the ordinary. Reagan was just honoring the agreement he had with his ex-wife when they got married.

    Second, I don’t know why it is a big deal. You are the one who brought it up in this thread, relevance I never understood.

    Third, it is false. There is virtually no evidence Reagan was Catholic but only very respectful of Catholics and the Church (which is a good thing and makes him a model for ecumenical attitude in society).

    Fourth, I just like talking about Reagan and it is easy to sucker me into the conversation.

  15. Anonymous

    What was it that Reagan’s confidants use to say about him?….. “Let Reagan be Reagan…..” 😉