Everybody Else is Doing It, so Why Can’t We?

Over at Volokh.com, there’s a fun little contest going on: Name the highest political figure of various minority groups. Thus, Eugene writes:

Who are now the highest-ranked, and who have been the highest-ranked [minority groups listed] in U.S. government positions, federal or state, appointed or elected. For our purposes, though, let’s say that the rank of an office is generally inversely proportional to the number of people who hold that sort of office, so the President (1) beats U.S. Supreme Court Justices (9) who beat Cabinet officials (15) who beat Governors (50) who beat U.S. Senators (100) who beat state Supreme Court Justices (roughly 350, I think) who beat U.S. Representatives (435) and so on. On the other hand, I reserve the right to downgrade un-influential offices — there are fewer state Secretaries of State than state Supreme Court Justices, but I say the latter beat the former, and I’ll brook no argument on that.

Eugene left Mormons off of his own contest (too easy), though some discussion of Mormons started anyway. I think it would be kind of fun to kick off our own Mormon-themed version of this contest, focusing both on church sects and other religious groups we’re often compared with.

So, please state in comments (if you know) who is the higest ranked (both current and/or ever):

1. LDS church member
4. Strangite
5. Any other LDS sects
6. Jehovah’s Witness
7. Seventh Day Adventist
8. Christian Scientist
9. Anti-Mormon (defined as being a member of a group whose primary focus is anti-Mormon, such as Utah Lighthouse Ministry)

Have fun!

34 comments for “Everybody Else is Doing It, so Why Can’t We?

  1. April 29, 2005 at 7:50 pm

    James Strang was a king. You can’t beat that really. (Unless you believe accounts that Joseph was anointed as a king.)

  2. April 29, 2005 at 8:11 pm

    Dude, that was Brigham.

  3. April 29, 2005 at 8:48 pm

    Well, President Ezra Taft Benson was secretary of agriculture for President Eisenhower (in fact, he was one of only two Cabinet members that lasted the whole eight years. And the other one was the Postmaster General, if I remember correctly). I don’t know how that ranks on your list, though. There have been a lot of ag secretaries.

  4. Bill
    April 29, 2005 at 9:36 pm

    Does Brent Scowcroft count? He probably had the most power, if not the highest rank. Haldeman and Erlichman were Christian Scientists.

  5. norm
    April 30, 2005 at 12:35 am

    There’s an RLDS member of Congress from Iowa.

  6. Derek
    April 30, 2005 at 12:40 am

    Does it count if the person was converted to Mormonism after he or she left office?

    If so, probably most if not all of the U.S. presidents who have passed on were baptized into the L.D.S. church postmortally. We win!

  7. Dan Richards
    April 30, 2005 at 7:32 am

    I thought that since the Jehovah’s Witnesses disavow all earthly governments (by not voting, etc.), we’re unlikely to find one in a high government position.

  8. Ivan Wolfe
    April 30, 2005 at 8:08 am

    Prince (AKA – the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince) recently converted to the Jehovah Witeness religion.

    Not sure if that counts, though.

  9. Taylor
    April 30, 2005 at 8:40 am

    What about mixing it up and trying to name the highest ranking LDS female or LDS minority?

  10. Kristine
    April 30, 2005 at 10:33 am

    Taylor, off the top of my head I’d guess Esther Peterson (Asst. Secretary of Labor) for LDS female.

  11. AH
    April 30, 2005 at 10:50 am

    Randy Bachman of BTO. Rock Star beats President or Supreme Court Justice in my opinion.

  12. Jenn
    April 30, 2005 at 10:52 am

    Well, between George Lucas, Steve Martin and Howard Jones, we’ve got the entertainment sector locked up! Our only competition are those darned Scientologists…

  13. James Mainord
    April 30, 2005 at 10:54 am

    I believe that Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, was raised Jehovah’s Witness.

    I bet the highest ranking LDS female would be either Bay Buchanan (US Treasurer under Reagan), Paula Hawkins (former Senator from Florida), or Olene Walker (Gov. of Utah).

  14. Blake
    April 30, 2005 at 11:08 am

    My wife, Christine, trumps them all. I’ll listen to her and follow her lead, but I don’t really care a fig for the others named. However, I heard that Abraham Lincoln has joined the Church so that should pretty well settle that.

  15. Bill
    April 30, 2005 at 1:06 pm

    It is little known that President Eisenhower was raised as a Jehovah’s witness (Russellite), but after 1915 no longer considered himself a member:


  16. VeritasLiberat
    April 30, 2005 at 4:23 pm

    “Well, President Ezra Taft Benson was secretary of agriculture for President Eisenhower (in fact, he was one of only two Cabinet members that lasted the whole eight years. And the other one was the Postmaster General, if I remember correctly).”

    The other one was Ivy Baker Priest, US Treasurer under Eisenhower.


  17. Mark B.
    April 30, 2005 at 6:35 pm

    Some people used to say that Adolf Hitler attended Primary when he was a young boy–but if that happened, he was never baptized. If he had been, then he certainly would take the prize.

  18. Frank McIntyre
    April 30, 2005 at 10:21 pm

    For female, I don’t know who is higher, a Senator or Asst. secretary of labor, but you can add Paula Hawkins (Florida, 80’s) to the list.

  19. RoughRider
    May 1, 2005 at 9:17 am

    Ummm…since no one has mentioned the absolutely obvious:

    Harry Reid (D – NV) is the Senate Minority Leader

    Other Mormon Senators:
    Orrin Hatch (R – UT) on the Senate Intelligence Committee
    Mike Crapo (R – ID)
    Gordon Smith (R – OR)
    Robert Bennett (R – UT)

    Mitt Romney (R) is the Governor of Massachusetts

    Did I miss any?

  20. May 1, 2005 at 3:03 pm

    O.K., so this is not a political office, but Gordon Jump did play Mr. Carlson, the manager of WKRP! THAT has to count for something! Right?

  21. May 1, 2005 at 5:53 pm

    Have you seen this article, it has alot of this information:

    For a Canadian perspective, N. Eldon Tanner was a Cabinet Minister (minister of lands and mines) in Alberta’s provincial legislature.

  22. Mark B.
    May 1, 2005 at 7:09 pm

    Ivy Baker Priest may well have been Treasurer of the US for the full eight years of the Eisenhower administration, but that didn’t make her a cabinet member. It’s the Secretary of the Treasury who sits in the cabinet, not the Treasurer.

    Angela Bay Buchanan, was another Mormon woman treasurer of the US, during the Reagan administration. Her brother Pat isn’t a Mormon.

  23. Jarom
    May 1, 2005 at 9:09 pm

    Here’s a (somewhat) related question: How many Mormons have been candidates for the US Presidency? I ask this because a few years back someone told me that Orrin Hatch was the first Latter-day Saint to seriously run for President since Joseph Smith, but I wasn’t sure how accurate a statement that was…

  24. Hans Hansen
    May 1, 2005 at 9:40 pm

    George Romney, former Governor of Michigan and Mitt’s father, ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 1968. He withdrew from the race after some misfortunate comments he made that he had been “brainwashed” during a visit to Vietnam during the war.

  25. Last lemming
    May 2, 2005 at 9:42 am

    Milton Young, a member of the RLDS church, was senator from North Dakota for decades, ending in 1980.

  26. Kaimi
    May 2, 2005 at 10:23 am

    By the way, I’m deeply disappointed that no one has worked the word “Linger” or perhaps “Zombie” into any of the comments. (Especially since discussing politicians makes it easy to use the word Zombie — “Senator X, who looks kind of like a zombie . . .”).

    After our commenters showed their astounding collective ability to work song titles into comments on Rosalynde’s thread, I had high hopes for this one.

    Alas, ’twas not to be . . .

  27. Steve Evans
    May 2, 2005 at 10:26 am

    Kaimi, you really think we all want to start spouting lines from the Cranberries? Ugh.

  28. Frank McIntyre
    May 2, 2005 at 10:50 am

    Steve’s right. Pick a better artist.

  29. May 2, 2005 at 12:36 pm

    From FamousMormons.net…

    Here are some Mormons in the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches.

  30. May 2, 2005 at 7:52 pm

    Though he’s a captian of industry rather than a public official, Hank Paulson, the Chairman & CEO of Goldman Sachs, is arguably one of the most powerful men in the country. He’s a Christian Scientist.

  31. May 2, 2005 at 8:51 pm

    What about Andrew Card, President Bush’s chief of staff?

  32. Kaimi
    May 3, 2005 at 7:10 am

    Wow, my throwaway comment inspires agreement between Frank Montague and Steve Capulet. I must truly be a great peacemaker.

  33. Sal
    May 3, 2005 at 4:03 pm

    The obvious — Mike Leavitt is currently Health & Social Services Secretary in the Bush cabinet. Not so obvious — the King of Tonga is a member. That’s got to take the cake.

  34. annegb
    May 3, 2005 at 4:08 pm

    I don’t think the king of Tonga is a member of the church. My neighbor was married to his son, and his two granddaughters went to visit him, I’m pretty sure they said their grandfather wasn’t LDS. I’ll ask again.

Comments are closed.