By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story ran last year, as part of a series about the faith lives of the leading Republican presidential candidates. With the exception of an August interview done by CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger for her documentary “Romney Revealed: Family, Faith and the Road to Power,” which airs Sunday, October 28, and Saturday, November 3, at 8 p.m. ET on CNN, all other interviews were conducted in the fall of 2011. CNN has also profiled President Obama’s faith life during his time in the White House.
(CNN) – A cop arrived at the roadside wreckage of a June 1968 head-on collision in southern France, took one quick look at the Citroën’s unresponsive driver and scrawled into the young man’s American passport, “Il est mort” - “He is dead.”
The man at the Citroën’s wheel was Mitt Romney, who may have appeared dead but was very much alive – as is his hope to become the next president of the United States.
Romney was serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or the LDS Church, when tragedy struck. It was a time of turmoil both in France and in the United States. Protests against the Vietnam War raged on, as did French disdain for Americans. Robert Kennedy had recently been assassinated, as had Martin Luther King Jr. a couple months earlier. France was still reeling from a May marked by riots, student demonstrations and crippling worker strikes.
There were six people in the car Romney was driving when friends say an oncoming speeding Mercedes, driven by a Catholic priest, veered into his lane. Among the passengers was mission president Duane Anderson – Romney was serving as his assistant – and Anderson’s wife. Anderson was injured, and Leola Anderson, 57, was killed. Like her husband, she’d been a parent figure to the approximate 180 Mormon missionaries in the field - their surrogate mother away from home. Now, she was gone.
“I don’t think [Romney] went around blaming himself, but in talking about it he’d shed some tears,” remembered Dane McBride, a fellow missionary and Romney friend ever since. “It was a very heavy experience for a 21-year-old.”
The mission president left France for six weeks to bury his wife and heal. A gloom spread over the mission field. Conversions in the country dropped, along with Latter-day Saint spirits.
These young men and women, who were already deep in a trying spiritual rite of passage, had to grow up and prove themselves in new ways.
In spite of his grief and a broken arm, Romney and a missionary companion – they always work in pairs – took charge. They traveled around the country visiting the others. Romney lifted up deflated missionaries with silly made-up songs. He taught them to visualize all they could accomplish and challenged them to raise their expectations, McBride said.
Romney increased the conversion goal for the year by 40%, believing France’s Mormon missionaries could and would recharge. In the end they surpassed Romney’s goal of baptizing 200 new members into the church.
It wasn’t such a stretch, though, for Romney to distinguish himself. Throughout his life, he’s been rooted in a faith that – whether he talks about it or not – helped shape the man who would president.
‘An American running for president’
Romney hopes the nation is ready to embrace a president who happens to be Mormon.
But he has faced questions about his faith since first getting into politics in 1994, when he ran for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts against Democratic stalwart Ted Kennedy. When Kennedy’s nephew, Joe, attacked Romney’s Mormonism, the insult drew a strong public response from Romney’s father – a former governor of Michigan who’d himself run for president - and failed to gain traction.
Since then Romney, who was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2003, has played down his faith on the campaign trail. But he did address it in a December 2007 speech, hoping to stem voter concerns about his religion and how it might influence him as a president. It was a speech he likened to John F. Kennedy’s famous 1960 address, when Kennedy was running to be America’s first Catholic president.
“Almost 50 years ago another candidate from Massachusetts explained that he was an American running for president, not a Catholic running for president,” Romney said. “Like him, I am an American running for president. I do not define my candidacy by my religion. A person should not be elected because of his faith nor should he be rejected because of his faith.”
“No candidate should become the spokesman for his faith,” Romney said, declaring that if he was elected president, he would “serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause, and no one interest.”
“A president must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States,” he said. “I believe in my Mormon faith, and I endeavor to live by it. My faith is the faith of my fathers. I will be true to them and to my beliefs. Some believe that such a confession of my faith will sink my candidacy. If they are right, so be it.”
Whether Romney’s confession of faith helped sink him is a subject of debate. He hoped to deflect the focus on his religion while not speaking to Mormon doctrine or specific beliefs. In the whole speech, he mentioned the word Mormon only once.
This time around, Romney decided to forego a speech on his faith, but that doesn’t mean he was immune to pesky background noise about it. After introducing Texas Gov. Rick Perry at a Values Voter Summit last fall, Pastor Robert Jeffress said Republicans shouldn’t vote for Romney because Mormonism is a “cult.”
And only after a sit-down meeting earlier this month with the Rev. Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham, did the cult reference to Mormonism get scrubbed from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s website.
It’s hard to know how much Romney’s faith matters to the public, but recent polls suggest that at least to the majority of voters, it makes little or no difference.
A survey released in late July by the Pew Research Center showed that 60% of voters knew that he was Mormon, and of those who knew 8-out-of-10 were either comfortable with his faith or didn’t really care.
Another survey by Pew showed that only 16% of voters wished they knew more about Romney’s religious beliefs. Far more hungered for further details about his tax returns and his records as governor and at Bain Capital.
But in a tight election, if even a small minority of Americans withhold their votes from Romney because of his religion, it could cost him the White House.
For months, Romney’s campaign made it clear that it didn’t want to discuss his beliefs. Repeated attempts last fall to speak with the candidate, his wife, his children, his siblings - and, really, just anyone – about Romney’s faith journey were denied by campaign headquarters.
Even the reins it had on those outside the inner circle appeared tight. A local LDS Church leader in Michigan, contacted in hopes of finding childhood friends, forwarded CNN’s inquiry to campaign headquarters - prompting yet another slap down.
“What makes no sense to me is how you continue to push forward in writing about Gov. Romney’s faith journey when we’ve made it clear in every way possible that this is not a story we want to participate in,” campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul wrote in an email.
But Romney has been somewhat more open about his religion since then. He and his wife, Ann, sat down separately with CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger for her documentary, “Romney Revealed: Family, Faith and the Road to Power,” which first aired just before the Republican National Convention.
In the documentary, Romney shared how his mission in France fortified his faith and how church leadership roles in Boston would later strengthen his beliefs further.
He invited reporters to attend church with him in August, allowing the unremarkable typical Sunday service to speak for itself. People who’ve known him through the LDS Church took center stage at the convention, speaking to his character.
In August, Romney invited members of the press to join him for Sunday LDS Church services.
But Romney generally moved through the campaign guarding details about his Mormonism. He spoke about religion in broad strokes. He continued to avoid details and doctrine.
Explain it to me: Mormonism | Video: Mormonism defined
During a May commencement address at Liberty University, the Christian school founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, he didn’t utter the M-word. Under the watchful eyes of millions as he accepted the Republican nomination for president in August, he said it once.
Growing up while abroad
The 19-year-old Mitt Romney who showed up for missionary training was different than the rest.
“Mitt stood out from everyone else,” said Byron Hansen, who flew with Romney to France in July 1966. “He already spoke French pretty darn good, while the rest of us knew ‘bonjour’ and ‘au revoir.’ He immediately jumped out as a leader.”
Romney, like many of the other young men called by church leaders to serve, had finished a year of college before he got his missionary calling. But he’d gone to prestigious Stanford University and came from a privileged and powerful background.
He was worldly, not intimidated, and he was eager to interact with people of different backgrounds, said Hansen, who owns a car dealership in Brigham City, Utah. “All the rest of us from no-name Utah had never been more than 500 miles away from home.”
Despite the comforts he’d known growing up, Romney wasn’t spoiled. Some apartments that housed missionaries around France lacked heat and water, but had plenty of fleas. Those sorts of conditions likely made Romney appreciate all the more the luxuries of the mission home, located in the ritziest part of Paris, where he worked and lived during the latter part of his two-and-a-half year mission. He and the others there were fed by a Spanish cook and enjoyed the benefits of maids.
What’s more, said fellow missionary and friend Dane McBride, the young men learned what time of day to peer through windows to watch Brigitte Bardot walk her poodles.
The scenery aside, “it was the nicest office I ever worked in,” said McBride, now an allergist and immunologist in Roanoke, Virginia.
Throughout his mission, Romney was the first to get out of bed each morning, forever focused on his goals and the lessons he’d teach, and he stayed gung-ho even when others faltered, Hansen said.
Romney didn’t shy away from approaching anyone. On Saturdays, a free day for missionaries, he’d be done with his laundry by 9 a.m. and coaxing everyone else out the door for bike rides in the mountains, tours in new places or football games.
“He was never one to sit around,” Hansen said. “You had to run to keep up with Mitt.”
He was both pragmatic and creative when it came to sharing Mormon teachings, McBride said.
“Neither of us cared for knocking on doors much,” said McBride, referring to the typical tact for Mormon proselytizing. “But we did it. We did it a lot.”
However, Romney was a big proponent of what McBride called “creative contacting.” In lieu of going door-to-door, he preferred to encourage conversations by building sidewalk kiosks or inviting French locals to play baseball or attend evening parties with American themes – complete with Western wear and guitar strumming.
Being a missionary in largely secular France deepened Romney’s faith because it forced him to wrestle with challenges, steep himself in study and prayer and face plenty of rejection, McBride said. Like others, Romney was no stranger to doors being slammed in his face or getting his behind kicked while heading down apartment stairwells.
“When you’re off in a foreign place and you only talk to your parents once or twice a year by phone – that’s all that’s allowed – and you’re out speaking to people day in and day out about your faith and your religion and differences between your faith and other faiths…you say, ‘OK, what’s important here? What do I believe? What’s truth? Is there a God? Is Jesus Christ the son of God?’” Romney said to Borger in August.
“These questions are no longer academic. They’re critical because you’re talking about that day in and day out. And so I read the Scripture with much more interest and concern and sought to draw closer to God through my own prayer,” he said. “And these things drew me closer to the eternal and convinced me that in fact there is a God. Jesus Christ is the son of God and my savior, and these are things that continue to be important in my life, of course.”
Religious roots that run deep and strong
The groundwork for Romney’s faith journey was laid long before he put on a suit and, armed with his Book of Mormon, boarded a flight for France.
He comes from a long line of Latter-day Saints. Those who like to highlight what makes him different might point to how one of his great-grandfathers fled to Mexico, about 125 years ago, amid U.S. government crackdowns on what Mormons refer to as “plural marriage.” But many multigenerational Mormon families have polygamists in their family tree.
Plural marriage was introduced by church founder Joseph Smith but was officially banned by the church in 1890. Some 38,000 people aligned with fundamentalist offshoots of the LDS Church still practice polygamy, but they are a far cry and completely separate from the 14 million worldwide members in Romney’s church.
Romney’s late father, George Romney, was from modest means. He was born in Mexico to monogamous U.S.-born parents and left during the Mexican Revolution when he was 5. He went on to be CEO and chairman of the now-defunct American Motors Corporation, governor of Michigan and a presidential candidate in 1968.
Mitt Romney with his father, George Romney, who made his own mark as a leader in business, the LDS Church and politics.
Growing up Mormon in Michigan made Mitt Romney a member of a distinct minority. There were fewer than 8,000 Mormons in the state in 1945, two years before he was born, according to the LDS Church. It’s been reported that he was the only Mormon in his high school. While Mormon students in Utah could simply stroll across the street from school to attend early morning seminary before the first bell, longtime friend McBride said Romney didn’t have that easy, built-in outlet to strengthen his faith amid peers.
“Neither of us had benefited from that,” said McBride, who also grew up as a Mormon minority, in Iowa and North Carolina. “We had been called on in school to defend our faith many times. … I remember from fifth grade on needing to defend my religion.”
But Romney, in his Republican nomination acceptance speech, shared a different take on growing up in the Mormon minority: “That might have seemed unusual or out of place, but I really don’t remember it that way. My friends cared more about what sports teams we followed than what church we went to.”
Romney’s family, though, was active in the church. In 1952, his father was named Michigan’s first stake president. A stake is comparable to a diocese and has under its umbrella multiple “wards” or congregations, much as a diocese consists of parishes.
The LDS Church does not rely on professional clergy. Instead, church members are called to serve as volunteer leaders while holding down paid jobs. Church leaders rely on other volunteers as advisers. For instance, a ward bishop has two counselors, while a stake president confers with a high council of 12.
Being Michigan’s sole stake president meant Romney’s father – in addition to his full-time corporate work – oversaw ward operations, was the spiritual guide for the Latter-day Saint community and relayed messages from church headquarters in Salt Lake City.
Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter
Like many practicing Mormons, the Romneys enjoyed “family home evening” every Monday, a time reserved to pray, study and sing together, McBride said.
Romney has spoken publicly about how his parents took him and his three siblings on mobile American history lessons, McBride said, loading up the family Rambler for cross-country tours to national parks, with stops at places like Mount Rushmore, Valley Forge and Williamsburg.
But McBride said the family also likely visited LDS historical sites, including points along the path westward traveled by Mormon pioneers who followed the call of Joseph Smith’s successor, Brigham Young, and trekked through treacherous conditions to arrive in 1847 in what is now Utah.
While Romney’s parents made sure their children were deeply connected to their country and their faith, Romney didn’t reside in a Mormon bubble. He was part of a bigger and more diverse world.
Ann Davies, the woman he fell for and now calls his wife, was Episcopalian when he met her during high school, and he knew she was the one for him.
After he left for college and then his mission, she began studying Mormonism, attended church with Romney’s parents and converted. Romney returned from France and proposed to her immediately. After a civil ceremony in Michigan, the two were married and “sealed” for eternity in 1969 during a sacred ceremony in the Salt Lake Temple.
The couple returned to college and began a family at church-owned Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, before moving to Boston, where Romney earned law and business degrees at Harvard.
Serving his LDS community
Romney rose in local church leadership while making his corporate mark. Along the way he applied many of the skills he’d displayed earlier, including his knack as a young missionary for turning challenges into possibilities.
In the 1980s and early 1990s, he served as a ward bishop – or part-time pastor – and stake president for the Boston area.
Romney delivered sermons, counseled couples, and made middle-of-the-night hospital runs. He monitored budgets, weighed welfare needs of immigrants and others, and drove outreach to different faith communities. He showed up at the homes of Latter-day Saints in need of help, taking on tasks such as removing bees’ nests.
“There’s… no one who is full-time with the church to care for the sick and visit the poor,” Romney told Borger. “And so the church comes and says, ‘We’d like you to do that, Mitt.’ … Talk about a growing-up experience and a learning experience.”
Philip Barlow, a professor of Mormon history and culture and the director of the religious studies program at Utah State University, served as a one of two counselors to Bishop Romney in the early 1980s.
Each Saturday, the counselors would meet with Romney in his home in Belmont, a suburb northwest of Boston. And while the work was serious, it didn’t mean Romney always was. Barlow recalled the time Romney busted out with a rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and did a formidable moonwalk across the floor.
“The media is always reporting that he can come across as too polished,” Barlow said. “But there’s a real person there.”
Romney also was the kind of leader who built bridges with those suspicious of Mormons. When a chapel under construction in Belmont burned to the ground amid ongoing anti-Mormon sentiment, he turned the perceived arson attack into opportunity.
CNN's Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories
“It was an inspired move,” said Grant Bennett, who at one time served as a counselor to Romney when he was a bishop and later served on the Boston stake’s high council under Romney when he was president.
Non-Mormon houses of worship offered their buildings to accommodate the needs of the displaced Latter-day Saints during the chapel’s reconstruction. While it would have been easier to pick one place to call a temporary home for services, classes and meetings, Romney accepted every viable offer he received – thereby forcing a rotation of interaction with different faith communities.
Experiencing the kindness of strangers offered relief to Mormons who had been feeling “a little under siege,” said Bennett, who first got to know Romney through church in 1978 and worked with him for five years at Bain & Company, the global consulting firm that Romney eventually led as CEO.
“In a religious context, Mormons are very good at serving each other and are often hesitant to accept help,” he said. “I think Mitt had the fundamental insight … that we’d be better off and [the other churches would] be blessed by helping us.”
It was the sort of decision perhaps born of being in the minority in Michigan and learning early to honor religious pluralism, said Bennett, now president and CEO of CPS Technologies, a high-tech manufacturing firm in the Boston area.
On the campaign trail and with media, Romney has tried to focus on matters other than faith.
In his religious roles, Romney had to delegate and call others to serve. Sometimes he believed in people more than they believed in themselves.
Andy Anderson, a retired researcher and writer in Kaysville, Utah, first got to know Romney amid tragedy. It was Anderson’s mother who was killed in the 1968 car wreck in France, and when his father returned to Paris, Anderson, his wife and children went along.
When Romney later moved to Anderson’s neighborhood in Massachusetts, Anderson said he helped Romney and his family settle in.
In 1989, Anderson said he was minding his own research business when Romney, then the Boston stake president, called him for a meeting. A group of new converts Anderson described as “Cambodian boat people” – united formally as a “branch,” which is smaller and less developed than a ward - had suddenly lost its president without warning.
In shock, he listened as Romney said, “Guess who’s the next branch president?”
Anderson said he’d been raised to accept church callings. But between the language barrier with the Cambodians, the cultural differences, the poverty and the responsibility, this one seemed too much. He begged and pleaded with Romney. He told him he was unqualified, that he’d “never been president of anything.” He said, “It sounds like a really bad fit, Mitt.” But Romney wasn’t swayed.
“Andy, you know where this comes from,” Romney answered, referring to the Mormon belief that God can reveal truths to individuals. “It’s not me. You go talk to Him and tell me when you’re ready.”
For the next three years Anderson said he oversaw the poorest people in the Boston stake. The overwhelming task “nearly killed me,” he said. But along the way he not only fell in love with the community, he learned to believe in himself and see that he could be a leader.
“I count Mitt as a friend, and it has been a real pleasure to work under him,” he said. “If he was a real pain to work for, I’d know it. I’ve worked for people in the church I couldn’t stand.”
Women’s view of Romney
The Romney reviews from Latter-day Saint women in the Boston area were more mixed.
In the early 1970s, as the feminist movement gained steam, a group of Mormon women began gathering in Cambridge to explore the history of women in their church. They were looking for role models, stories that would inspire them.
With the help of LDS Church historians, they learned about their female ancestors and wrote a book, “Mormon Sisters: Women in Early Utah.” They discovered that a women’s newspaper, Women’s Exponent, was published in the late-19th and early-20th centuries and featured women’s writings that Judy Dushku described as “very feminist in their views.”
“We were reading about women we’d never heard of before,” said Dushku, a Suffolk University professor of government with an interest in gender and comparative politics. She and other “founding mothers” were moved to start a new publication, now a quarterly magazine: Exponent II.
That decision, however, was not received well by the LDS Church, Dushku said. She said the fact that it was independent and had no stamp of approval from church higher-ups, all of them men, rubbed some - including Romney - the wrong way.
Dushku said Romney encouraged friends to tell their wives not to participate. He made it clear he didn’t want the women behind the publication holding meetings on church property. Dushku and the others suspected it was under his direction that copies of the magazine displayed in congregations got dumped in wastebaskets.
The LDS Church is patriarchal in nature. Only men can serve as bishops, stake presidents and in higher leadership roles, including the combined post of church president and prophet. Only men are welcome in the priesthood, which in Mormon circles means having the authority, for example, to perform baptisms and offer sacramental blessings.
Dushku decided she could live with this and remains a faithful Mormon. She said she and the others simply wanted an outlet for women to discuss issues unique to them. And while what they created may have seemed “radical” back then, she says there are Mormon women bloggers today who push boundaries much more than Exponent II ever did.
What got to Dushku about Romney was less his reaction to the magazine and more how she saw him treat women he was in a position to comfort and support as a local church leader.
Dushku has told the story of a woman, a mother of four, who was pressured by then-Bishop Romney to go forward with a pregnancy despite advice from doctors that a medical complication made it too dangerous.
She also recalled the story of a meeting between Romney and a woman whose ex-husband had been excommunicated from the church because of numerous affairs he’d had while serving as a bishop.
The woman asked Dushku to accompany her to the meeting, where Romney encouraged the woman to forgive her philandering ex so he could be re-baptized into the church and marry another woman.
The problem, Dushku said, is that the husband had never bothered to apologize to the wife he’d hurt, a fact she said Romney didn’t seem to care much about.
When she began speaking out to media, Dushku said she was flooded with responses from Facebook friends. Most of the reactions were positive, thanking her for her courage.
But some friends suggested she back off.
“How can you blame someone who has so many responsibilities?” one friend wrote. “He was young,” said another. “People change.”
Dushku said she affords Romney the possibility he may have changed, that he might handle such situations differently today.
“But compassion is a character quality,” she said. “I doubt he’s much different now.”
Her take on Romney, though, doesn’t jibe with that of Helen Claire Sievers, executive director of Harvard’s WorldTeach program, which brings volunteer teachers to developing countries.
Sievers, who’s been involved with Exponent II on and off since its inception, was the Boston stake activity director when Romney was stake president. She recalled being at a meeting in Dushku’s house in Watertown, outside of Boston, when women began wondering aloud about how their local church might better empower women.
“Often leadership in the Mormon church tends to pull far to the right, to out-orthodox the orthodox,” said Sievers, who later proposed to Romney that he should meet with the Boston LDS women to hear their frustrations and suggestions. Romney was willing to have such a meeting, even though it bucked the comfort level of church headquarters.
“I was really impressed that Mitt felt strongly that even if he could get in trouble with the hierarchy, he really wanted to hear what the women that were under his stewardship had to say so that they would feel as comfortable as possible in church,” Sievers said.
As a result of the meeting, which drew more than 150 participants, Sievers said adjustments were made, including allowing women to say opening prayers at church meetings. Romney didn’t have the power to change church doctrine, but Sievers said he could and did bend the norm to make women feel heard and more respected.
“Many Mormon men wouldn’t make that choice,” she said.
Serving outside the stake and ward
In his fulltime work life, Romney showed that his commitment to serving others extended beyond those in his ward or stake. His religious values came through in business decisions – sometimes trumping opportunities for financial gain.
Robert Gay, who was once a managing partner at Bain Capital, the venture capital firm Romney founded, recalled how Romney refused to put investment dollars into a deal with Artisan Entertainment because he didn’t want to profit from R-rated films.
But of greater note to Gay - who once served on the Boston stake’s high council with Romney - was something Romney did for him in 1996.
After Gay’s 14-year-old daughter went missing for three days in New York, Romney shut down Bain Capital in Boston and flew about 50 employees to New York to help find her.
The girl, who lived with her family in Connecticut, disappeared after going to a concert in Manhattan. Romney and the other Bain Capital executives put their “$1 billion investment firm” on hold, created a “war room” at a hotel, paid to print 200,000 fliers, set up a toll free hotline number and enlisted the help of a private investigator, the Boston Globe reported at the time.
They canvassed streets and talked to runaways. The girl was found in a New Jersey home, “dazed from a disorienting dose of a drug,” the Globe reported.
It’s not a story Gay likes to retell, though he did record a video testimonial for a campaign ad about it during Romney’s 2008 presidential bid and the story resurfaced in ads this election season, too. But Gay would rather offer other insights, including the time another Bain Capital partner suddenly fell very ill and was hospitalized. Romney was the first person to show up for a visit at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Gay managed an equity fund with Jon Huntsman Sr., father of another former GOP Mormon presidential, but is now serving the LDS Church. Gay called Romney “a devout Christian,” someone who has always been committed to “leading a good and purposeful life.”
Whether Romney’s next purpose will have him sitting in America’s highest political office is now up to voters.
And when they cast their ballots on November 6, friends like McBride said where Romney prays on Sundays should make no difference.
“The issues of his church are not the issues of this country,” he said. “Those are personal issues.”
Mormons believe that the man is the chief priest of the family and the woman is for bringing more Gods into the world. They believe that they become higher Gods as the mature and have the ability to become as Jesus/. And of course when the woman dies she must be called up from the grave by the husband or remain in the grave because she was not worthy to join her husband in paradise. Jerry Falwell turned over in his grave when MItt came to lIberty university to speak at their commencement! Billy and Franklin Graham know that Mormonism is a cult yet they removed the cult material from their web site. God is in control and He will judge who he judges and those who lead others from God will receive their reward from God! Mormons work hard because they have to earn their salvation to become better Gods. They relly do work hard and many of them never know if they have worked hard enough to receive the glory they desire!
I'm in agreement with you that Mormonism is not a form of Christianity. Joseph Smith must be rolling in his grave (put there courtesy of other Mormons) by the whitewashing of Mormonism into just another form of Christianity.
If you're one of those people who think President Obama is a "disappointment," I have to strongly disagree.
We have TWO choices for president; it's not a smorgasbord. You can either work with Obama or you can sit back and watch Romney complete the job of taking apart the social fabric of the country that was first undertaken by Ronald Reagan and perfected by George W. Bush. That is your choice.
What makes the "disappointment" argument even more irritating is that it's simply not true. He's done nearly everything we elect a president to do, and he did it all with little support from the left, and massive obstruction from the right.
Is he perfect? No, he's human. Does he deserve some criticism? Of course.
But what matters is that the president has compiled a STELLAR record given the circ.u.mstances under which he took office. If you can look at this list of the president's accomplishments and not be excited, you have a serious problem with perspective.
1. Within his first week, he signed an Executive Order ordering an audit of government contracts, and combating waste and abuse.
2. Created the post of Chief Performance Officer, whose job it is to make operations more efficient to save the federal government money.
3. On his first full day, he froze White House salaries.
4. He appointed the first Federal Chief Information Officer to oversee federal IT spending.
5. He committed to phasing out unnecessary and outdated weapons systems. To that end, he also signed the Democratic-sponsored Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act, which attempted to put a stop to waste, fraud and abuse in the defense procurement and contracting system.
6. Through an executive order, he created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.
He Improved the Economy, Preventing a Bush Depression
7. Pushed through and signed the Democratic-sponsored American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as “the stimulus package.” The bill passed, even though only three Republicans voted for it. In a major departure from the previous administration, he launched recovery.gov, a website that allows taxpayers to track spending from the Act.
8. The Bush-led Great Recession was costing the economy nearly 800,000 jobs per month by the time President Obama took office. But by the end of his first year, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created and sustained 2.1 million jobs and stimulated the economy by 3.5%.
9. Not only did he complete the massive TARP financial and banking rescue plan, he also leaned on the banks and others, and recovered virtually all of the bail-out money.
10. He created the Making Home Affordable home refinancing plan.
11. Oversaw the creation of more jobs in 2010 alone than Bush did in eight years.
12. Along with Democrats, and almost no Republicans, implemented an auto industry rescue plan, and saved as many as 1 million jobs. Many are of the opinion that he saved the entire auto industry, and even the economy of the entire Midwest, returning to its place as the top car company in the world. Willard Romney, on the other hand, advocated for the entire industry to go belly-up.
13. Doubled funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which is designed to improve manufacturing efficiency.
14. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act giving the federal government more tools to investigate and prosecute fraud in every corner of the financial system, and create a bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to investigate the financial fraud that led to the economic meltdown.
15. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, which was designed to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive credit card practices.
16. Increased infrastructure spending after years of neglect.
17. Signed the Democratic-sponsored and passed Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, expanding on the Making Home Affordable Program to help millions of Americans avoid preventable foreclosures. The bill also provided $2.2 billion to help combat homelessness, and to stabilize the housing market.
18. Through the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009, he and Congressional Democrats provided tax credits to first-time home buyers, which helped the U.S. housing market recovery.
19. Initiated a $15 billion plan designed to encourage increased lending to small businesses.
20. Created business.gov, which allows for online collaboration between small businesses and experts re managing a business. (The program has since merged with SBA.gov.)
21. Played a lead role in getting the G-20 Summit to commit to a $1.1 trillion deal to combat the global financial crisis.
22. Took steps to improve minority access to capital.
23. Signed an Executive Order instructing federal agencies to review all federal regulations and remove any unnecessary and/or burdensome regulations from the books.
24. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, saved at least 300,000 education jobs, such as teachers, principals, librarians, and counselors that would have otherwise been lost.
25. Dismantled the Minerals Management Service, thereby cutting ties between energy companies and the government.
26. Along with Congressional Democrats, provided funding to states and the Department of Homeland Security to save thousands of police and firefighter jobs from being cut during the recession.
27. Used recovered TARP money to fund programs at local housing finance agencies in California, Florida, Nevada, Arizona and Michigan.
28. Crafted an Executive order establishing the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability to assist in financial education for all Americans
He Fostered Greater Transparency and Better Government, After the Excesses of the Bush Years
29. Signed an order banning gifts from lobbyists to anyone in the Executive Branch.
30. Signed an order banning anyone from working in an agency they had lobbied in previous years, and put strict limits on lobbyists’ access to the White House.
31. Held the first-ever first online town hall from the White House, and took questions from the public.
32. Became the first to stream every White House event, live.
33. Established a central portal for Americans to find service opportunities.
34. Provided the first voluntary disclosure of the White House Visitors Log in history.
35. Issued an Executive Order on Presidential Records, which restored the 30-day time frame for former presidents to review records, and eliminated the right for the vice president or family members of former presidents to do the reviews. Provides the public with greater access to historic White House doc.u.ments, and severely curtails the ability to use executive privilege to shield them.
36. Improved aspects of the Freedom of Information Act, and issued new guidelines to make FOIA more open and transparent when processing FOIA requests.
Wall Street Reforms and Consumer Protection
37. Ordered 65 executives who took bailout money to cut their own pay until they paid back all bailout money.
38. Along with Congressional Democrats, pushed through and got passed Dodd-Frank, one of the largest and most comprehensive Wall Street reforms since the Great Depression.
39. Through Dodd-Frank legislation, created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
40. Through Dodd-Frank, the Executive Branch fashioned rules that reduce the influence of speculators in the oil market.
41. Fashioned rules so that banks can no longer use YOUR money to invest in high-risk financial instruments that work against their own customers' interests.
42. Supported the concept of allowing stockholders to vote on executive compensation.
43. Endorsed and supported the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2009 that would close offshore tax avoidance loopholes.
44. Negotiated a deal with Swiss banks that now permit the US government to gain access to the records of criminals and tax evaders.
45. Signed the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act, which closed many of the loopholes that allowed companies to send jobs overseas, and avoid paying US taxes by moving money offshore.
46. Established a Consumer Protection Financial Bureau designed to protect consumers from financial sector excesses.
47. Oversaw and then signed a Democratic bill const.i.tuting the most sweeping food safety legislation since the Great Depression.
48. Through the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act, extended the False Claims Act to combat fraud by companies and individuals using money from the TARP and Stimulus programs.
He Ushered Through Many Changes That Enhanced Civil Rights and Anti-Discrimination
49. Along with Congressional Democrats, advocated for and signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which made it a federal crime to assault anyone based on his or her s.e.xual orientation or gender ident.i.ty.
50. Pushed through, signed and demanded the Pentagon enact a repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy that forced soldiers to lie in order to be eligible to fight for their country, and put our troops at risk by disqualifying many qualified soldiers from helping
51. Extended benefits to same-s.e.x partners of federal employees.
52. Appointed more openly g.a.y officials than anyone in history.
53. Appointed first openly transgender Cabinet Official in History.
54. Changed HUD rules to prohibit gender and s.e.xual orientation-based discrimination in housing.
55. Changed his mind and publicly expressed support for the right to enter into a same-s.e.x marriage.
56. Issued a Presidential Memorandum reaffirming the rights of g.a.y couples to make medical decisions for each other.
57. Wrote and signed an Executive Order establishing a White House Council on Women and Girls to ensure that all Cabinet and Cabinet-level agencies evaluate the effect of their policies and programs on women and families.
58. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which restored basic protections against pay discrimination for women and other workers. This was after the GOP blocked the bill in 2007. Only 5 Republican Senators voted for the bill.
59. Expanded funding for the Violence Against Women Act.
60. Under his guidance, National Labor Relations Board issued final rules that require all employers to prominently post employees' rights where all employees or prospective employees can see it, including websites and intranets, beginning November 2011.
61. Advocated that United Nations adopt a policy supporting g.a.y rights worldwide.
62. Issued an order requiring hospitals to allow visitation by same-s.e.x couples.
63. Appointed Kareem Dale as the first ever Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy.
64. Helped Democrats in Congress pass and signed the Civil Rights History Act.
He Made Major Improvements in Foreign Relations and American Status Around the World
65. Visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any previous president during his first six months in office.
66. As he promised, he gave a speech at a major Islamic forum in Cairo early in his administration.
67. Helped to restore America's reputation around the world as a global leader that does the "right thing" in world affairs, at least according to the rest of the world.
68. Re-established and reinforced our partnership with NATO and other allies on strategic international issues.
69. Closed a number of secret detention facilities.
70. Improved relations with Middle East countries by appointing special envoys.
71. Pushed for military to emphasize development of foreign language skills.
72. Offered $400 million to the people living in Gaza, called on both Israel and the Palestinians to stop inciting violence.
73. Refused to give Israel the green light to attack Iran over their possible nuclear program, and thus avoid another war that Republicans wanted.
74. Worked with Democratic Congress to make donations to Haiti tax deductible in 2009.
75. Established a new U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.
76. Issued Executive Order blocking interference and helping to stabilize Somalia.
77. Established new, more reasonable policies in our relations with Cuba, such as allowing Cuban-Americans to visit their families and send money to support them.
78. Ordered the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay. It was Republicans (and, unfortunately, progressive Democrats) who prevented follow through.
79. Ordered a review of our detention and interrogation policy, and prohibited the use of torture, or what Bush called "enhanced interrogation." He ordered interrogators to limit their actions to the Army Field manual.
80. Ordered all secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere to be closed.
81. Released the Bush torture memos.
82. On his second day in office, he signed a detailed Executive Order that banned torture, reversed all Bush torture policies, and put the United States in compliance with the Geneva Convention.
83. In response to the emerging "Arab Spring," he created a Rapid Response fund, to assist emerging democracies with foreign aid, debt relief, and technical assistance and investment packages in order to show that the United States stands with them.
84. Passed the Iran Sanctions Act, to prevent war, and to encourage Iran to give up their nuclear program.
85. Ended the Iraq War.
86. Authorized and oversaw a secret mission by SEAL Team Six to rescue two hostages held by Somali pirates.
He Took a More Realistic Approach to “Defense”
87. Created a comprehensive new strategy for dealing with the international nuclear threat.
88. Authorized a $1.4 billion reduction in Star Wars program in 2010.
89. Restarted nuclear nonproliferation talks and built up the nuclear inspection infrastructure/protocols to where they had been before Bush.
90. Signed and pushed through ratification a new SALT Treaty.
91. Negotiated and signed a new START Treaty that will last until at least 2021.
92. Through the Defense Authorization Act, reversed the Bush Administration and committed to no permanent military bases in Iraq.
93. Developed first comprehensive strategy with regard to Afghanistan and Pakistan designed to facilitate the defeat of al Qaeda and the withdrawal of most troops, as well as the rebuilding of Afghanistan.
94. Returned our focus to Afghanistan, stabilized the country, and began the process of withdrawing our troops from the country.
95. Negotiated a deal with Afghan government, to withdraw troops and military support, while assisting in rebuilding and modernizing of the country.
96. Took steps to severely weaken al Qaeda and limited their ability to terrorize the world.
97. Negotiated and signed a nuclear nonproliferation treaty with India.
98. Took decisive action to use NATO to limit the slaughter of innocents in Libya, so that the Libyan people could topple a despotic government and determine their own fate.
His Administration Treated Soldiers and Veterans with Respect That Was Missing Previously
99. Along with Congressional Democrats, not only reauthorized families of fallen soldiers to be able to visit when the body arrives at Dover AFB, but also provided funding for it. Ended the media blackout on coverage of the return of fallen soldiers.
100. Funded Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with an extra $1.4 billion to improve veterans’ services.
101. Provided active combat troops with better body armor.
102. Created Joint Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record program for military personnel, in order to improve the quality of their medical care.
103. Put an end to the Bush-era stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan beyond their enlistment date.
104. Along with Congressional Democrats, supported and signed Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act, which made more money available to enable better medical care for veterans.
105. Along with Congressional Democrats, ushered through largest spending increase in 30 years for Department of Veterans Affairs, with money to go to improved medical facilities, and to assist states in acquiring or constructing state nursing homes and extended care facilities.
106. Created the Green Vet Initiative, which provided special funding to the Labor Department to provide veterans with training in green jobs.
107. Initiated and signed a recruitment and employment plan to get more veterans into government jobs.
108. Oversaw a $4.6 billion expansion of the Veterans Administration budget to pay for more mental health professionals.
109. Signed the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act, which ensures that spouses of military personnel who are forced to move because their spouse is posted for military duty will be able to avoid state taxes in their temporary residence.
He Refocused the Federal Government on Education
110. Repeatedly increased funding for student financial aid, and at the same time cut the banks completely out of the process.
111. Reformed student loan program, to make it possible for students to refinance at a lower rate.
112. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, invested heavily in elementary, secondary and post-secondary education.
113. Created the Race to the Top program, which encouraged states to come up with effective school reforms and rewards the best of them.
114. Oversaw major expansion of broadband availability in K-12 schools nationwide
115. Oversaw major expansion in school construction.
116. Also through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he put $5 billion into early education, including Head Start.
117. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Post-9/11 GI Bill, also known as GI Bill 2.0
118. Oversaw expansion of the Pell Grants program, to expand opportunity for low income students to go to college.
119. Along with Democratic Congress, passed and signed Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which provided an extra $12.2 billion in funds.
120. Took major new steps to protect students from ineffective for-profit colleges through "gainful employment" measures, whereby schools have to demonstrate that its students actually find work to get federal aid.
121. With First Lady Michelle Obama, passed the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, which will improve nutrition in schools and make children healthier.
He Pushed Through Improvements in National Safety and Security
122. Restored federal agencies such as FEMA to the point that they have been able to manage a huge number of natural disasters successfully.
123. Authorized Navy SEALS to successfully secure the release of a US captain held by Somali pirates and increased patrols off the Somali coast.
124. Has repeatedly beefed up border security.
125. Ordered and oversaw the Navy SEALS operation that killed Osama bin Laden.
Reoriented Government to an Adult View on Science, Technology and Health Care
126. Created a Presidential Memorandum to restore scientific integrity in government decision-making.
127. Opened up process for fast-tracking patent approval for green energy projects.
128. Eliminated Bush-era restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, and provided increased federal support for biomedical and stem cell research.
129. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, committed more federal funding, about $18 billion, to support non-defense science and research labs.
130. Signed Democratic-sponsored Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, the first comprehensive attempt to improve the lives of Americans living with paralysis.
131. Expanded the Nurse-Family Partnership program, which provides home visits by trained registered nurses to low-income expectant mothers and their families, to cover more first-time mothers.
132. Obama EPA reversed research ethics standards which allowed humans to be used as "guinea pigs" in tests of the effects of chemicals, to comply with numerous codes of medical ethics.
133. Conducted a cyberspace policy review.
134. Provided financial support for private sector space programs.
135. Oversaw enhanced earth mapping, to provide valuable data for agricultural, educational, scientific, and government use.
136. Along with Democrats in Congress, ushered through and signed a bill authorizing FDA to regulate tobacco. As a result, the FDA has Ordered Tobacco Companies to Disclose Cigarette Ingredients and banned sale of cigarettes falsely labeled as “light.”
137. Through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, provided $500 million for Health Professions Training Programs.
138. Increased funding for community-based prevention programs.
139. Over-saw a 50% de-crease in cost of pre-scription drugs for seniors.
140. Eliminated the Bush-era practice of forbidding Medicare from negotiating with drug companies on price.
141. Two weeks after taking office, signed Democratic-sponsored Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act, which increased the number of children covered by health insurance by 4 million.
142. Urged Congress to investigate Anthem Blue Cross for raising premiums 39% without explanation. Democratic Rep. Waxman responded by launching a probe, and Anthem Blue Cross put increase on hold for two months.
143. Ushered through and signed Affordable Care Act, which expanded health insurance coverage to at least 30 million more people, ended many common insurance company practices that are often detrimental to those with coverage. He also established healthcare.gov, so that taxpayers could keep up with developments.
144. Through ACA, allowed children to be covered under their parents’ policy until they turned 26.
145. Through the ACA, provided tax breaks to allow 3.5 million small businesses to provide health insurance to their employees, and 29 million people will receive tax breaks to help them afford health insurance.
146. Through the ACA, expanded Medicaid to those making up to 133% of the federal poverty level.
147. Through the ACA, health insurance companies now have to disclose how much of your premium actually goes to pay for patient care.
148. Provisions in the ACA have already resulted in Medicare costs actually declining slightly this fiscal year, for the first time in many years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The increase in 2011 was 4%, which is very low compared to the average 12% annual inflation rate during previous 40 years.
149. Through the ACA, expanded space exploration and discovery options to more players
150. Through the Connect America Fund, pushed through and received FCC approval for a move of $8 billion in subsidies away from telephone landlines to assist lower-income rural families in accessing broadband.
He Took Steps to Strengthen the Middle Class and Families, and to Fight Poverty
151. Worked to provide affordable, high-quality child care to working families.
152. Cracked down on companies that were previously denying sick pay, vacation and health insurance, and Social Security and Medicare tax payments through abuse of the employee classification of independent contractor.
153. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, cut taxes for 95% of America's working families.
154. Tax rates for average working families are the lowest since 1950.
155. Extended and fully funded the patch for the Alternative Minimum Tax for 10 years.
156. Extended discounted COBRA health coverage for the unemployed from 9 months to 15 months, and he’s extended unemployment benefits several times.
157. Provided a $20 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps).
158. Signed an Executive Order that established the White House Office of Urban Affairs.
He Took Concrete Steps to Improve Our Environment and Address Our Energy Needs
159. Fast-tracked regulations to allow states to enact fuel efficiency standards that exceeded federal standards.
160. Fast-tracked increased fuel economy standards for vehicles beginning with the 2011 model year. It was the first time such standards had been increased in a decade.
161. Oversaw establishment of an Energy Partnership for the Americas, to create more markets for American-made biofuels and green energy technologies.
162. Obama EPA reversed a Bush-era decision to allow the largest mountaintop removal project in US history.
163. Ordered the Department of Energy to implement more aggressive efficiency standards for common household appliances.
164. Ordered energy plants to prepare to produce at least 15% of all energy through renewable resources like wind and solar, by 2021.
165. Oversaw the creation of an initiative that converts old factories and manufacturing centers into new clean technology centers.
166. Bypassed Republican opposition in Congress and ordered EPA to begin regulating and measuring carbon emissions.
167. Obama EPA ruled that CO2 is a pollutant.
168. Oversaw doubling federal spending on clean energy research.
169. Pushed through a tax credit to help people buy plug-in hybrid cars.
170. Created a program to develop renewable energy projects on the waters of our Outer Continental Shelf that will produce electricity from wind, wave, and ocean currents.
171. Reengaged in the climate change and greenhouse gas emissions agreements talks, and proposed one himself. He also addressed the U.N. Climate Change Conference, officially reversing the Bush era stance that climate change was a “hoax.”
172. Fully supported the initial phase of the creation of a legally-binding treaty to reduce mercury emissions worldwide
173. Required states to provide incentives to utilities to reduce their energy consumption.
174. Following the neglect of Bush’s eight year reign, he reengaged in a number of treaties and agreements designed to protect the Antarctic.
175. Created tax write-offs for purchases of hybrid automobiles, and later he and Democrats morphed that program into one that includes electric cars.
176. Mandated that federal government fleet purchases be for fuel-efficient American vehicles, and encouraged that federal agencies support experimental, fuel-efficient vehicles.
177. Oversaw and pushed through amendment to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 authorizing advances from Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
178. Actively tried to amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to eliminate the liability limits for those companies responsible for large oil spills.
179. Initiated Criminal and Civil inquiries into the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
180. Through his EPA, he asserted federal legal supremacy, and barred Texas from authorizing new refinery permits on its own.
181. Strengthened the Endangered Species Act.
182. Obama EPA improved boiler safety standards to improve air quality, and save 6500 lives per year.
183. Through the EPA, attempted to take steps to severely limit the use of antibiotics in livestock feed, to increase their efficacy in humans.
184. Through new EPA regulations, he created a pretext for closing the dirtiest power plants in the country, by limiting emissions of mercury and other toxic gasses.
185. Increased funding for National Parks and Forests by 10%
186. Announced greatly improved commercial fuel efficiency standards.
187. Announced a huge increase in average fuel economy standards from 27.5mpg in 2010 to 35.5mpg starting in 2016 and 54.5 starting in 2025
But That's Not All...
188. Expanded trade agreements to include stricter labor and environmental agreements such as NAFTA.
189. Oversaw funding of the design of a new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History, which is scheduled to open on the National Mall in 2015. He protected the funding during the recent budget negotiations.
190. Oversaw and passed increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
191. Nominated Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Sotomayor is the first Hispanic Justice in the court’s history, and the women represent only the third and fourth women to serve on the court, out of a total of 112 justices.
192. Appointed the most diverse Cabinet in history, including more women than any other incoming president.
193. Eliminated federal funding for abstinence-only education, and rescinded the global gag rule.
194. Loosened the rules and allowed the 14 states that legalized medical marijuana to regulate themselves without federal interference.
195. Signed national service legislation, increasing funding for national service groups, including triple the size of the Americorps program.
196. Signed an Executive Order that will speed up deployment of a more comprehensive broadband infrastructure.
197. Signed an Executive Order creating jobs immediately by instructing them to reduce the time needed for review and permitting of infrastructure projects.
198. Signed a bill that provided $4.3 billion in additional assistance to 9/11 first responders.
199. Signed an Executive Order pledging support for efforts to end the global problem of violence against women and girls.
And Did You Know?
200. Despite the characterizations of some, Obama’s success rate in winning congressional votes on issues was an unprecedented 96.7% for his first year in office. Though he is often cited as superior to Obama, President Lyndon Johnson’s success rate in 1965 was only 93%.
Didn't read that behemoth. Massive cut-and-pastes are such a bore . . . even if you agree
Why the Christian Right no longer matters in presidential elections:
Once again, all the conservative votes in the country "ain't" going to help a "pro-life" presidential candidate, i.e Mitt Romney, in 2012 as the "Immoral Majority" rules the country and will be doing so for awhile. The "Immoral Majority" you ask?
The fastest growing USA voting bloc: In 2008, the 70+ million "Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers" of aborted womb-babies" whose ranks grow by two million per year i.e. 78+ million "IM" voters in 2012.
2008 Presidential popular vote results:
69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM.
And the irony:
And all because many women fail to take the Pill once a day or men fail to use a condom even though in most cases these men have them in their pockets. (maybe they should be called the "Stupid Majority"?)
The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions ( one million/yr) and S-TDs (19 million/yr) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use other safer birth control methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.
i.e. IF THE PILL AND MALE CONDOMS WERE USED PROPERLY, ABORTION WOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE AND OBAMA WOULD NOT BE PRESIDENT.
@Think, then vote.
" the Christian Right no longer matters in presidential elections: "
*Very* glad to hear it. Thanks for pointing that out, -Reality !
First, this laundry list of Obama accomplishments is a load of crap...but if, for some reason, they were actual accomplishments, we should be very, very afraid. Lets have the President, after more than a month, explain his failure to act and defend Americans in Lybia. That would be a great start.
Magic undies work.
My magic underwear had a hash mark that looked like jeebus....I never wash them.
I love the mod of "Atheism is not"'s sig.
If you let Mitt drive the car, a big crash will follow.
If you let Mitt drive the country, a big crash will follow.
Yes, but it seems that half the country will have to realize that if they elect Romney. If he unravels the social safety net, he will bring extreme civil unrest and there will be no way he government can handle that with the amount of firearms the American people have
Vote Romney/Ryan on November 6th!
I bet that was really effective in swaying . . . no voters.
Obama / Biden 2012
No way Romneys winning this one. I can't wait for Obamas photo on Nov 7th sitting like a Boss in the Oval office smoking a cigar, while the Neo cons will be licking their wounds for their a bad investment in Flip Twit Romney
Your comment epitomizes exactly why I am not voting for Obama... I don't want a dictator in the oval office. Thank you.
Effigy of Mitt Romney hanging President Barack Obama from a tree:
I have always believed that race played a fairly big part in the hatred shown toward the President and now we see lately that it is in fact the case. It is the ignorance and belief systems of people that cause them to vote against their own self interests, economic otherwise. That's not so bad for those who do it, but for those who actually vote with their heart and minds, it's unfortunate.
President Obama has stirred up racial tension during his tenure. He has personally called white people racist. Remember the Harvard professor incident? If people of one color (i.e Black) put down people of another color (i.e. white) then you have to expect a little anamosity towards the name callers even if you try to look past it.
um, Jeff? He didn't call "white people" "racist." He called the actions of one particular white person stupid. Kind of a different story.
But hey, if overgeneralizing to the absurd makes you feel comfortable in your little world, more power to you.
Definitely yes. My Mom lives in the South. She says that many have hated him because he is black all along. And every far right winger (and she knows plenty of them) think he is a Muslim. Every single one.
One should be voting based on rational thinking. Believing in angels, satans, bodily resurrections, atonement, and heavens of all kinds is irrational.
Apparently, BO and MR have been severely brainwashed in their theologically and historically flawed Christianity and they are too weak to escape its felonious grip so we will have another four years making sure they keep their craziness personal.
You can think rationally on secular issues while having hope that the unprovable exists. 84% of the world adheres to a religion that depends on the irrationality of faith. And more people that that hold a belief in the supernatural, or unprovable concepts, such as soul-mates, personal destiny, that your life has a meaning, to do good is morally better than to do bad, that works of art have a meaning. Only a robot is completely rational if you think of it in those terms.
Having belief in that which you cannot prove doesn't preclude being able to do a job well and base your worldly decisions on rationality. Stop strawmanning all us believers up.
There is little doubt that society would be better off without those who vote with such ignorance.
Christianity ……………………..2.1 billion
Islam…………………………… 1.5 billion
Irreligious/agnostic/atheism…… 1.1 billion and growing
Hinduism 900 million
Chinese traditional religion 394 million
Buddhism 376 million
Animist religions 300 million
African traditional/diasporic religions 100 million
Sikhism 23 million
Juche 19 million
Spiritism 15 million
Judaism…………………………………….. 14 million
Baha'i 7 million
Jainism 4.2 million
Shinto 4 million
Cao Dai 4 million
Zoroastrianism 2.6 million
Tenrikyo 2 million
Neo-Paganism 1 million
Unitarian Universalism 800,000
Rastafari Movement 600,000
Please vote for the least delusional candidate – Obama.
McVeigh was a muslim?
Expect nothing better but mayhem among humanity by following of hinduism, denial of truth absolute, Allah, and following of hindu pagan Mithra ism, savior ism, neither commanded, nor allowed in Islam as a religion, but Theen Allah, consti tution of truth absolute.
hindu Mithra ism, savior ism invented little over 100 years after Sydana Mohammad pbh by tribes of Kujar of north Africa and imposition as Fatmid Khalaphit by force by denial of Hidth and Quran, justified by hindu Judaism, pagan secularism to impose hinduism, racism by hindu, fabricated relationship with Family of Syadana Mohammad pbh to justify existence of hindu criminal Kings, a violation of fundamental commandment, human equality under the LA. truth absolute Allah. Cause of conflict among Muslim's and cause of down fall of Muslim's and Islam in Spain.
Sunisim, invented by Turk's by corruption of Quran and hidth to justify existence of hindu King's as Khalipha, after death of Ruler Mohammad, but later renamed, Mehmmat, wisdom of spirit of truth by siblings from his Armenian wife, follower of hindu pagan Mithra ism, savior ism in 13th century.
Christianity, invented by hinduism,. corruption of truth absolute by hindu Pharisees, pagan self centered, follower of hindu filthy pig ism by corrupted Torah, known as Greek Torah, translated and commented by Ben Asheer in 250 AD in Yiddish, secularist, self centered language, also known as Old Testament, part of book of Mithra ism labeled as Bible. A way to justify hindu criminal Kings and self proclaimed Prophets, fortune tellers as god's to rule over humanity.
JUDAISM, Self center ism, pig ism, or Atheism, invented by hindu's pagan's of Egypt by corruption of truth absolute in Torah to Justify hindu pagan Pharaoh's and their hindu pagan Santans, goons as god's to rule over humanity with impunity.
HAVE hINDUISM, CORRUPTION OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE, RELIGIONS AND LIVE WITH MAYHEM, AS HAS BEEN THE CASE FROM hIND, DARK AGES TILL TODAY. FOLLOW THEEN ALLAH, CONSTI TUTION OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE, ALLAH , GOD AND THE LORD, FOUNDATION OF CONSTI TUTION OF AMERICA TO HAVE PEACE AMONG HUMANITY. To learn more please visit truthisthelimit.com
hindu Magi, lair trickster flipper, flipping hard to hind American public, way of hindu Jew's, filthy self centered to hind fool humanity.
Romney's faith is basically irrelevant; evangelicals are lining up behind him right and left, and may turn out in record numbers; meanwhile the only ones uncomfortable with his faith who would discriminate their votes based on it, are athiests who would be voting democrat anyway.
I'd love to see an article on Obama's faith journey though. That would be a bit less vanilla and a bit more interesting.
Go down on me America. Show me I've earned your trust.
If Mittens Rmoney's momentum continues we Kolobians will have our comfort station on Earth soon. No more overloading our Magic Underwear enroute to holidays in Venus.
You jest but Mormons like R-money really believe that Kolob sh!t (or claim to. I'm not sure which is worse). At least Obama's claimed religious beliefs are a little more mainstream, even if also wrong.
You seem to be SICK! What's with all the hate?
Very good article. Romney really is an amazing man. We need him as our president. This article points out a few of the things Romney has done but there are hundreds more stories of his kindness and generosity.
God bless Mit Romney and God bless America.
We actually are all gods on Kolob as far as you little earthlings are concerned. Get ready to service our Magic Underwear when our servant Mittens Rmoney takes over your United Flakes.
The only amazing thing about R-money is how many times he has flipflopped.
Thank you to Golob and Tiger for your well reasoned and salient responses. After all, it's only the future of our nation that is at stake so obviously you guys have really done your homework and understand the important issues that will affect our country for generations to come. And what are those all important issues? Apparently what kind of underwear the president of our country should wear and what he will get after he dies.
Obviously sinking us into 6 trillion in new debt, lying about terrorist attacks on our own country, socializing medicine, failing to sign a single budget in 4 years and the down grade of our national credit rating are all perfectly sane and wonderful things so long as you wear either boxers or briefs.
Thank you both for your meaningful contribution to society.
"there are hundreds more stories of his kindness and generosity. "
and kindness and generosity are why we elect a president
You can't know how wrong you are.
tell me, rhino, are you seeking to elect a president or santa fvcking claus?
"Dushku has told the story of a woman, a mother of four, who was pressured by then-Bishop Romney to go forward with a pregnancy despite advice from doctors that a medical complication made it too dangerous.
The problem, Dushku said, is that the husband had never bothered to apologize to the wife he’d hurt, a fact she said Romney didn’t seem to care much about."
Yeah, rhino – let's hear some more about those stories of kindness and generosity!
He also tormented his dog. Great guy.
@Rick, I believe it is a qualification yes. Don't you? Of course there are many others but I think kindness is a valuable quality in a leader.
@Ann, I was not in that hospital room and neither were you. It does sound to me like Mitt probably got it wrong on this occassion, but then again, he was very young. Can you imagine being asked to step in as the spiritual guide for hundreds of people with no formal training. You are bound to make a few mistakes. As to the woman asked to forgive her husband, you know that door swings both ways. Yes, they were asking her to forgive as Christ taught us that we should. But they were also saying that if you cannot forgive, then out of respect for you and your feelings, we will deny him his request to be admitted back into the church because of the harm he has caused you. In other words, they gave her the power. Think about that.
Then please remember the stories about: the young boy with cancer, the old man with the bees nest, the old women with the leaky roof, the two boys crippled in a car accident, the hundreds of viatnamese imigrants, the thousands of kids in Mass. that he has sent to college, the family he cooked thanks giving dinner for when their daughter was in the hospital, the time he shut down his entire company to fly everyone to NY to find the lost daughter of a co-worker (whiched saved her life by the way) and on and on and on.
Romney is not perfect, but he is most definately a very good man. To say otherwise it to just lie to yourself.
I prefer my kind and generous men to keep US jobs in the US, not shut down business after business for the almighty dollar, and actually care about people who don't have his millions but struggle every day. Like me. I have 2 jobs, do not accept any government or charitable assistance, and some weeks only have cereal for lunch and dinner. But I am still vilified as being a slacker until the public outcries force the candidate to "change his mind". I also do not accept any man as a man who spent his youth bullying (multiple accounts- you can find them at every news source except FOX). And then continues the trend. I also will not vote for any man or woman that will take rights away from the American public. And give millionaires more millions. I have no problem if they actually EARN them. They deserve them and they shouldn't be taken in any "wealth spreading". Very happy for the money they have made for themselves, but when money is made by unemploying workers and closing businesses that are a family's only means of support- this is not making money- it is a different kind of war on poverty- driving more people into it. This is taking from the poor and making the rich richer. And then having the b*lls to tell Americans that social supports should be scaled back or cut. I hear a great deal about followers of whatever God in this country but when it comes down to it, people like Mittens don't want to give up their somewhat dubiously earned cash to assist other less fortunate. This is just my opinion, of course, but I do not see any of these actions as that of a kind and generous man.
Romany is very attentive to his Gowd, belly and his God, mighty Dollar, ready to say any thing and do every thing to please his hindu soul, filthy desire like a hindu hungry dog, justified not by truth absolute GOD, but by his hindu sanatan Jews, filth secular self centered goon man god's, with faith in hindu Judaism, filthy secularism, End justifies the means, every thing is permissible to please hindu soul. filthy desire to hind fool American public. Visit limitisthetruth.com to learn hinduism, criminality of hindu Mithra ism, racist savior ism, labeled as Christianity.
Mitt Romney caused this wreck, it was a tragic accident, but then and to this day Mitt Romney has slandered a Catholic Bishop, (not a drunk priest) who was slowing to make a turn when Romney swerved into his lane and struck the Bishop, killing Leola Anderson. Despite Romney's lies, the Bishop is still alive today. How can CNN not address this accident about this accident as something that forged his faith, without first investigating the case?
I agree why was this simply rerun without any correction? Whether or not Mitt Romney did not or did cause the accident, there are a lot of questions around this. 1) Did the Priest actually die? 2) Who said he was drunk?
Remember this is Mr. Etch a Sketch.
Suck my hind t it, troll.
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.