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Church leadership post for an openly gay Mormon
Mitch Mayne, who is openly gay, hopes his newly assumed Mormon leadership position will increase understanding.
September 24th, 2011
10:00 PM ET

Church leadership post for an openly gay Mormon

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) - Early on in life, Mitch Mayne knew exactly who he was.

He would race home from school to watch reruns of “Star Trek” and swoon over his crush, Captain Kirk. At 8, after his parents converted, he was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a faith he embraced. Even after he drifted away from the LDS Church following his parents’ divorce, he came back to Mormonism on his own in his mid-20s.

It is where he feels spiritually at home, irrespective of the fact that, for the past 10 years, he’s been openly gay.

“I’m a man that lives in two worlds that a lot of people don’t think intersect,” Mayne said. “Both sides of myself exist in me. It’s part of my DNA, part of my makeup.”

Actively Mormon and openly gay: It's the sort of combo that might leave people wondering. After all, the LDS Church teaches that homosexuality, specifically if same-sex attractions are acted upon, is a sin. And the church has actively backed measures to ban same-sex marriages.

Now, Mayne finds himself in the spotlight as he embarks on a journey he says “belongs to all of us.” In mid-August he was selected, or called (as Mormons say) by local church officials to serve in an LDS Church leadership position in San Francisco.

Mayne’s appointment may have generated attention, but he’s not the first gay Mormon to assume a leadership role in the church.

In Seattle, Washington, and Oakland, California, gay men have reportedly served in LDS Church leadership roles, Peggy Fletcher Stack wrote in her piece about Mayne in The Salt Lake Tribune. What makes Mayne unique, Stack said, is that he "may be the first local LDS leader to announce his orientation over the pulpit.”

Late last month, from the pulpit, Mayne revealed - to anyone who didn't already know - who he is:

"I am a gay Latter-day Saint.

"I don't want pity. To pity me is to make me a victim. I want understanding. To understand me is to love me as an equal.

"I don't want tolerance. If I am tolerated, I am disliked in some way. I want respect as a fellow striving child of God - an equal in his eyes.

"I don't want acceptance. To accept me is to graciously grant me the favor of your company. To accept me is to marginalize me with the assumption that I am less than you. I am your peer. I am neither above you nor below you."

Mayne shared these words during a farewell address to the Oakland ward he long attended, amid an announcement that he would be leaving because he had been named the executive secretary to the bishop of the Bay Ward. It is a role in which he'll offer administrative help but also take part in shaping congregational work.

“While that’s not a big accomplishment in and of itself,” Mayne said, “it is a remarkable accomplishment for the simple fact that maybe for the first time, a man was called to a priesthood leadership position not in spite of the fact that he is gay, but partly because he is gay.”

For those unfamiliar with LDS Church vernacular, a ward is essentially a congregation or, to use Catholic terminology, a parish. Various wards fall under the auspices of a stake, the rough equivalent of a diocese. In this case, the Bay Ward is one of three wards that make up the San Francisco Stake.

The LDS Church, which entrusts local leaders to determine local callings, does not pay clergy, nor does it send would-be bishops to seminary. So Mayne, like the bishop who called him to serve, is a volunteer who works for the church on top of his full-time corporate communications job.

Don Fletcher, an ophthalmologist, said that when he was called last month to serve as the bishop and leader of the Bay Ward he wanted to make sure every Latter-day Saint in his ward knew they were welcome, including the vast majority who weren't showing up. Of the 950 members on the books, only 150 were appearing in the pews.

Because the Bay Ward serves a geographic area in San Francisco that includes the famously gay, rainbow-flag-waving Castro neighborhood, it stands to reason that a segment of those not attending church are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

Among those who have been absent are members who grew up steeped in Mormonism, faithfully served as missionaries and have families still active in the church. For Fletcher, making members of the LGBT community feel comfortable enough to walk through his congregation's doors is personal.

Fletcher has a gay family member with AIDS and says he has seen firsthand how isolating that can be in the Mormon world.

“I love my church and have a lot of faith, but culturally we haven’t done a good job in dealing with people who are gay when they face life challenges,” whether that be coming out, depression or struggles with suicide or illness, Fletcher said. “I wanted to address it in the ward I live in.”

The response in his ward, and from other Mormons he has heard from, has been nothing but positive, "uniformly, no exception," the bishop said. And, he added with a laugh, in the past month he’s broadened his own knowledge – or, rather, his lingo base - learning about “the ‘Moho community,' Mormons who are homosexual. That was a new one to me.”

The LDS Church's top leadership, and by extension many Mormons sitting in pews, heavily supported the campaign behind Proposition 8, the 2008 California initiative to ban same-sex marriage, which is currently tied up in the state’s high court.

Church doctrine says members should avoid sexual relations until marriage, which only can exist between a man and a woman. But the church’s involvement in the Prop 8 battle, and the Mormons who financially fueled the effort, created rifts in wards, spawned protests outside LDS temples and pushed some members, likely already on the churchgoing fence, out the door.

The Oakland First Ward, which Mayne attended for more than a decade, held a series of meetings to help heal those post-Prop 8 wounds. He said he sees his new church position in San Francisco’s Bay Ward as an extension of such bridge-building and a positive evolution from where he once was. The appointment will allow him to do extensive outreach in the LGBT and Mormon communities.

“It’s been hard to be a gay Mormon,” Mayne said. In the course of his life, he said he came out "no less than three times to bishops and stake presidents, and each time I was pushed back into the closet. … This is an opportunity to take my own pain and challenges and make it an opportunity to help. How can I not do that?”

He and Fletcher have already seen dividends from Mayne's calling. On a recent Sunday, Fletcher said he looked out to see seven formerly absent members take their seats in the pews because Mayne is there.

“I talked to a couple that hadn’t been to church in 20 years,” Fletcher said. “I’m not reinventing doctrine. I’m just trying to put in place what Jesus Christ would have us doing. … Even if you’re in a gay relationship and have no interest in living all the commandments, you’re still welcome in church, by all means.”

The development has stirred up discussion far beyond California. In one week, Mayne said, his personal website, which links to a blog in which he writes openly about who he is, received 30,000 views from 67 countries.

“I’m not a lone wolf on this,” he said. “I just happen to be a face of it. … There is a place for everyone at our savior’s table.”

But not everyone is as confident that Mayne’s calling will make a difference.

“I’m conflicted about this,” said Eric Ethington of Salt Lake City, the founder of the LGBT blog PRIDEinUtah.

“On the one hand, I view this as a positive step forward for the church, a church that has a history of extreme persecutions against the LGBT community,” he said. “But on the other hand,  I worry about LGBT people … because the church teaches you that you cannot reach your full potential and have full acceptance in the church unless you marry someone of the opposite sex.”

Ethington was raised in the LDS Church and says he was kicked out of the house when he came out at 17. He later closeted himself and married a woman in an LDS temple, only to divorce a couple of years later after realizing he was kidding himself.

“I can’t share (Mitch’s) optimism, but I share his hope,” he said. “Whether the church is ever going to change its policies, that’s a question for (LDS Church President) Thomas Monson. But one thing I hope the church will do, and maybe Mitch can help with this, is educate local leadership. Some kids are gay. … And that’s OK.”

Ethington pointed out, though, that Mayne, who was in a longtime monogamous relationship until a year ago, was only able to get his church calling because he’s not currently with someone.

“If he falls in love again and wants to be with that man, he won’t be allowed to serve,” he said.

Matt Mosman, a high councilor with the San Francisco Stake, said that if Mayne were to find himself in another romantic relationship, there would be an expectation that he would step down.

But the expectation that Mayne will abstain from premarital sex while in a leadership role, Mosman added, is no different from what would be expected of a single man who is not gay.

“The idea that a gay man who is not currently active in a gay relationship could serve actively in a high-ranking calling – that is a policy in the Mormon church that you could argue has been around since the church’s inception,” said Mosman, who works in corporate development.

For now, Mayne looks forward to his service and to promoting conversations and understanding. He will not, however, commit to a life of celibacy and hopes, “for all my gay brothers and sisters,” that same-sex marriage will someday be an option.

“I’m not saying I have an intent to go out and sin,” he said. “Here’s where I am; I am able and willing to serve. But I don’t have a crystal ball and don’t know what the future holds.”

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Homosexuality • Mormonism • Same-sex marriage

soundoff (1,700 Responses)
  1. Dawn

    I found the article to be enlightening, and I think that the author did a good job of highlighting the issues with gay LDS members.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:46 am |
  2. dan

    I agree

    September 25, 2011 at 10:46 am |
  3. Truth

    l

    September 25, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  4. dan

    He can want to be a leader in the church, my point is that he shouldnt be... he isnt setting an example for his church... if he can be gay and a leader of a congregation... why isnt it ok for others in the church to embrace their sin

    September 25, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  5. wanda

    why is this headline news? Pathetic...

    September 25, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • Brian

      Cuz it's awesome?

      September 25, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • Bryan

      The reason it's headlines is because CNN makes it a habit of putting stories on their site that contradicts the Bible (I know, I know...this is a bad word to some people) but whether you believe it (the Bible) or not this is our foundation....Your not going to see stories on this site that talk about pastors like that bring reason to our whole worldview and talk about the tough issues in society...never, never.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Norma

      You are so right Bryan. CNN continues to put this crap at the top. why not be unbiased and print the other side, like you suggested? Why not print about the pastor that believes the Bible? and his message about salvation through Jesus Christ.

      September 25, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Norma You mean "fair and balanced" would mean printing all the crud about gays that was spouted with impunity and no response allowed for centuries and centuries on end for the purpose of furthering their persecution?

      September 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  6. Jim sullivan

    What? Gay and a Mormon. These bums spent million to overturn our right to marry our loved ones because we are gay and this guy is one of their head people. He better get a reality check OR better yet stop his self loathing and see a head-shrink.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:42 am |
  7. Truth

    Fact is poeple have to stop running away from Christ and make up their own religion. Islam, mormonism, jehova's witnessses haave to sttop creating their own gospel, coz from the moment u claim the Bible false, u r moving towards lies.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • Charles

      Sorry, Islam is older then Christianity.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      Oh, Charles, it's sad that you're so typical of the ignorance displayed on these fora on anything religious or historical.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Alan

      Charles, Islam started around 1500 years ago. Christianity started around 2000 years ago. They both suck.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • LOL

      Islam is older than Christianity??? Bwahahahahaha!!! What have you been smokin'?

      Let's see. Islam began in the 7th century AD. Wait. What's that AD part? Anno Domini? The Year of Our Lord? What Lord? Oh. That must be the Christ of the Christians.

      Of course, there is the pre-Islam, Arab moon worship which probably pre-dates Christianity, but that's PRE-Islam.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Herig

      Mormon's don't claim the Bible is false, they follow it as doctrine

      September 25, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Veritas

      Look, it's all the same old fairy tale, the Torah was made up as a compilation of old local folklore from many thousands of years ago, then the new testament fairy tale was added. Then came the Muslims version of the same cr@p around 1,400 years ago, and finally a con man named Joseph Smith invented his own bible based on the other fairy tale books. They are all interesting to understand how people were thinking back then, but has no role in today's supposedly enlightened society.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Judas

      You are an atheist when it comes to all religions except yours, but you don't think others believe you are sinning too? Hypocrisy all around, and on and on it goes...

      September 25, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • Fred1

      So if the bible has nothing false in it, explain how in one part it says Noah brought 2 of each type of animal aboard the arch and in another place it says 7?

      Also explain how Christ said he’d be back within 1 generation but is about 2000 years late?

      September 27, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  8. Reality

    Gay or straight, Mormonism is still a business cult fronting as a religion !!! And it was founded by one of the great con artists of all time, one Joe Smith with his mythical horn-blowing friend Moroni.

    Next topic !!!

    September 25, 2011 at 10:41 am |
  9. DaveX

    LOL Mormons....seriously? You have to wake up every day and decide to be insane. Unless you ARE already insane. Then it's ok I guess. Why do we talk about these things like they are ok? I could not care less about someone being gay...but mormon...or christian...or muslim? Get this man the help he needs.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:40 am |
  10. Rainer Braendlein

    OMG!

    Motivated by the above article, I made same small research on the LDS in the Internet. It was the first time in my life that I occupied myself with this "belief". I got shaken and shocked.

    Incredible: The LDS believe that Jesus Christ was conceived by real physical se-xual intercourse of God with Mary. That is pure blasphemy. The LDS believe God is nothing more than an advanced human being. That is outrageous. Moreover they believe every Mormon could become like God himself.

    Yet this is enough to condemn the LDS as a horrible cult. A Christian bishop would say the following: "I condemn the LDS-heresy in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!"

    Mr. Mayne is twofold guilty:

    First, he is member of an awful cult.

    Secondly, he is gay.

    (the Christian God condemns gayness as a most heavy sin. Every gay should repent right now (this second) and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, in order to get set free by the releasing power of Jesus' death and resurrection. Dear reader, maybe you will die this evening and then it will be too late to believe in Jesus, who can make you righteous. Do it right now, when you read this lines. By any other action (delay) you put at risk your soul's health.)

    Of course, there are a lot of other serious sins beside gayness, which cause God's wrath. Nobody should condem gays, but offer them the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are a lot of other sins beside gayness, which cause God's wrath. We are all sinners and need the gift of God's righteousness. Nobody should point a finger on gays and condemn them, but repent of his own sins like gays should repent of gayness.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • Reality

      "Abrahamics" believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

      To wit:

      o The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

      “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

      "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

      Of course, those g-ays who belong to Abrahamic religions abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

      And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-se-x unions not same-s-ex marriages.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Sarakenobi

      How is the beliefs of the Mormon church any less believable than those of other Christian religions? just because they are newer doesn't mean they are any crazier than other religious beliefs. Studying LDS made me realize that it is all bs.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Hern

      Whack job – nuto! You contradict yourself. No "sin" is less or more than another in Gods eye. You should repent right now as you read these words. I wonder why "gayness" is not even mentioned in the Ten Commandments but yet the "straight" break many of them everyday. Hypocrites! You won't get to heaven any faster than anyone else by your judgmental and ignorant beliefs, you just might end up in hell for thinking your sins are less in Gods eye than the sins you are JUDGING others of. You're distracted to say the least.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:10 am |
  11. Brian

    I'd hit that 🙂

    September 25, 2011 at 10:39 am |
  12. Jelly Bean

    Seems to make just about as much sense as a very black person trying to get accepted into the KKK. How about doing like the Reorganized LDS and the FLDS churches and branching off to become the HLDS. Then the leaders can receive their own divine inspiration and create their own rules accordingly.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:39 am |
  13. Lloyd

    I'm LDS and this story is filled with inaccuracies most of which could have been cleared up by actually calling up church's PR department. Why wasn't the church asked for comment on a story like this? To me it seems at the very best to be very sloppy journalism

    September 25, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • interested

      what inaccuracies did you find? I do not know much abt LDS so wanted to know.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  14. The True Gospel

    Jesus was proclaims wholesome acceptance in his teachings but also clearly made it known that though in HIM there is acceptance toward all men with degrees, "YOU and I as sinners MUST turn from our chosen lifestyles (SELF-GRATIFICATION and PLEASURE) and by daily living RECEIVE his own lifestyle. Matthew 15 verse 8 are the WORDS of Jesus, "These people worship me with their lips but their hearts are far from me". Luke 6:46 this same Jesus said, "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? The ONE and ONLY goal of Jesus is for us men to be like HIM and when YOU filled with the lust of your heart denounce that CALL and leave by your own standards then have you denied a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Jesus as your Lord and Savior. That personal relationship is VERY vital if you claim to have received CHRIST. Its like you want to come into his house (HEAVEN) and you've refused to leave by HIS standards. God is not mocked, whatever a man sows that also he would reap. You surely would not allow a drug addict to come leave in your house if his refuses to meet the standards of your home and that is if you have room for him for shelter? Certainly you would not because you know that his poor CHOSEN habits in your house would become contagious or infectious in the lives of other precious ones who leave in your home. Its the same lesson Jesus wants us all to understand though HIS loves each and everyone of us without degrees. You get to know someone you love by having a relationship with them and without a mutual relationship there is no bond existent between two persons. "Believing with Doing what HE says is not Believing at all". Luke 6:46 says "But I will reply, 'I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God's laws.' These are the WORDS of Jesus.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • Jon

      Why on earth would anyone want to be like Jesus? He was a poor homeless bum who was nailed to a cross before he turned 40. That's just a sad sad existence.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Brian

      You don't know what the heck Jesus said. The bible was written by man... Which is why there are so many inconsistencies are in the bible and also why so many parts have been removed over the years. Stop being a lemming and learn to think for yourself.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • HuhWha?

      Exactly what parts were removed from the Bible? Most liberal scholars will say stuff was added to the Bible. If you're talking about "lost gospels", as dubious scholars like to refer to them, they mostly all date hundreds of years after the death of Jesus.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • EZG427

      What a ding dong you are. He never said anything about being gay. You all make that up because you secretly have gay in you that you hide. Jesus was GAY. Think about it: 30-something, never married, no kids, kind and gentle, chillin in the desert with 12 other dudes. HELLO???? You silly people, get a grip, if that aint gay nothing is. PS-Drug addiction is a disease and good christians help people with disease, they dont turn them away.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • Yet another Steve

      "Jesus was proclaims wholesome acceptance...." That's as far as I got. What does that even mean??????

      September 25, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  15. turtlez

    the only reason they are embracing openly gay people is because of what has always been said "it's just about the numbers, don't worry about anything else". we all know what they are saying...."we need their money". this was told to my sister as she served on a mission for the mormon church in Indonesia!! a statement that haunted her until she finally denounced the cult and became a true Christian.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • Abraxas

      "Renounced the cult and became a true Christian?" BWAHAHAHA! Christianity is just another messianic martyr cult. They come and go like rain. Read a little history.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      Regrettably, your sister is still making the same CLASS of mistake. The only difference between a religion, a sect, and a cult is the sucker count.
       
      And, in case you hadn't noticed, EVERY Christian claims to be a "true" Christian, yet there are 5,000 different flavors of them, each thinking all the others are heretics and apostates and that they themselves, the sole receivers of God's inspired word, are the only ones who are 100% correct. They can't all be right, but they CAN all be wrong. That's where the smart money bets.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  16. Michael

    Who cares? Keep it to yourself. Nobody really cares do they?

    September 25, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • Brian

      One would think that people do care since it keeps popping up.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • Hmm

      Ever stop to think, Brian, that there are a lot of people in the media pushing their political agendas and that is why it pops up so frequently in proportion to the actual number of people who give a rat's but-t about such issues?

      September 25, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  17. adamthefirst

    why does cnn have to do a gay story everyday? oh yeah, because cnn is run by gays who are pushing there own selfish agenda.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • steve g

      here's a thought, quit reading the stories and commenting on them, which in turn, gives them ratings as the more that read the more views they get hence the more publicity it gains. you're only hurting yourself.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • jb

      I am sure CNN does at least 10 stories per day. If one story concerns gays – that is fair since at least 10% of us are gay.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Duh

      Maybe CNN should be more intelligent, Steve, and realize that a lot of people come in here to comment simply because they're sick and tired of all the disproportionately represented gay stories. Popular? NO! Annoying? YES! I used to think that CNN was relatively unbiased, but over the past several years it has become almost as bad as MSNBC.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      CNN doesn't particularly care WHY you come here. They're in the business of reselling your eyeballs. Any reason is a good reason to their bookkeepers.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Duh

      Ah, so the gay stuff coming up all the time is all about money and politics. Our country is doomed I tell you, doomed.

      September 25, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  18. SCAtheist

    Why is he wasting his time following the biggest con man in American history.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      It would be interesting to put Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy, and L. Ron Hubbard up to a vote for Top Charlatan. Of course Ron had the advantage of being able to crib from the other 2, so it might not be a fair fight.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:47 am |
  19. Atheists don't believe in anything

    A mental disorder by whom exactly?

    Or is that merely your view of things?

    September 25, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      Your user name is false.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:56 am |
  20. Mander1

    I don't understand the point of this article. Is CNN trying to promote Mitt Romney? Just because there is a gay mormon doesn't mean that Mitt Romney is going to be an advocate for gay rights if we let a mormon in the White House. Gay people have just as much right to chose a crapy religion as the rest of us do, it doesn't make that religion more liberal. If you read about the fundamentals of the Mormon religion and then imagine someone that misguided leading our country, you may be ready to pack up and move to... wow idk the worlds a mess... lets find a candidate who doesn't believe that men become God's of their of their own planets when they die, and can invite their wives if they want to. Please please please isn't their someone out there that would be better suited for the White House then a reality T.V. show?

    September 25, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • Atheists don't believe in anything

      Apparently you haven't read about the fundamentas of the Mormon religion otherwise you wouldn't be saying that. I find it interesting how people state their opinion as if it were fact as you do.

      Try actually opening the book of Mormon and reading (just of curiousity as you would any other book) it to see for yourself with an objective mind.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • steve g

      hooray for people that make everything political....even when its not.

      September 25, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • Mander1

      I HAVE read the book of Mormon. I was in Utah for six years and lived surrounded by pretty much nothing but Mormons. I think South Park described them best.

      Yaay for people who question the motivations behind why they put things like this headlines on CNN.

      September 26, 2011 at 9:11 am |
    • Mander1

      Joseph Smith, Mormonism’s founder, taught the doctrine of a "plurality of gods"—polytheism—as the bedrock belief of his church. He developed this doctrine over a period of years to reflect his belief that not only are there many gods, but they once were mortal men who had developed in righteousness until they had learned enough and merited godhood. If you want to be specific about it. It's also in the book of Mormon that when men die they become gods of their own universe and women, if they are submissive and good wives will join them. I think "Atheists don't believe in anything" is an interesting name for someone who supposedly opposes people not doing their homework.

      September 26, 2011 at 9:19 am |
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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.