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What would a Mormon White House look like?
If Mitt Romney is elected president, the White House will likely see some new traditions.
November 2nd, 2012
11:00 PM ET

What would a Mormon White House look like?

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Should Mitt Romney win the presidency next Tuesday, it will mark an historic first: a Mormon couple moving into the White House.

What would this mean and look like?

Would there be “dry” state dinners, since faithful Mormons don’t do alcohol? Would Secret Service tag along to sacred ceremonies only open to worthy church members? What book would a President Mitt Romney use to take his oath of office?

We can’t be absolutely sure about all the answers. But if the practices and homes of devout Mormons like the Romneys – not to mention his history as governor of Massachusetts – are any indication, we can begin to paint a picture of what a Romney-inhabited White House might look like.

First things first: About that oath

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe the Bible is the word of God. But they also believe this about the Book of Mormon, which is subtitled “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.”

Given the importance of the Book of Mormon, this question seemed worth asking: Any chance Romney would place his hand on a Book of Mormon at his swearing-in ceremony?

“No, no way Romney would do that,” Jana Riess, a religion scholar, co-author of “Mormonism for Dummies,” and blogger for Religion News Service, wrote in an e-mail message. “I’m not aware of any Mormon who has sworn on the Book of Mormon instead of the Bible for national office. (I’m not aware of any local officials who have done this either.)”

Most likely, Romney would go back to the Bible he used in 2003 when he was sworn in as governor of Massachusetts – the same one his father, George Romney, reportedly used when he was sworn in as Michigan’s governor in the 1960s.

Beyond paint and fabric swatches

Having never been invited over for a meal, we can’t pretend to know anything about the Romney aesthetic when it comes to home decoration. But we wondered and asked about specific items that tend to hang in Mormon households.

Randall Balmer, an award-winning historian, author and chair of the Department of Religion at Dartmouth College, speculated that the Romneys – like plenty of Mormons – might display artwork featuring a depiction of Jesus and a photograph of LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson, considered a “prophet, seer and revelator” by members of the church.

Another possibility, said Riess, would be a photo of the Salt Lake Temple where Mitt and Ann Romney were married and “sealed” for eternity in a sacred ceremony in 1969.

Then there’s something commonly known as the “Proclamation on the Family,” which is often framed and displayed in homes – though rarely in upper-class households, said Joanna Brooks, author of “The Book of Mormon Girl: Stories from an American Faith.”

The proclamation features words set forth by LDS Church leadership in 1995, highlighting family and gender responsibilities. Among the points made: Marriage is between a man and woman; the primary responsibility of fathers is to oversee and provide for families; and mothers must first and foremost care for the children.

All of these items could show up in the White House, said Grant Bennett, an old Romney friend who spoke at the Republican National Convention and has known the Romney family since they met through church in 1978.

But he said, “the most quintessential Mormon item would be pictures of their family,” including those of ancestors, because “families are forever” and bound for eternity in the Mormon view.

Ann and Mitt Romney are surrounded by family before the October 22 presidential debate at Lynn University.

Bennett also suggested that a verse or two of Scripture that is particularly meaningful to the Romneys might be framed and on display.

If any of these things would hang in the White House, they would likely appear in the private quarters where first families are free to do what they please.

That doesn’t mean Romney wouldn’t be allowed to honor his faith in some way in the Oval Office, but decorative decisions in public rooms – the spaces visited on tours – are subject to committee discussions and advisers on historic preservation, explained Melissa Naulin, assistant curator in the Curator's Office of the White House Museum.

Can I get a cup of coffee? How about something stronger?

In accordance with a revelation received in 1833 by LDS Church founder Joseph Smith, something known as the “Word of Wisdom,” faithful Latter-day Saints abstain from coffee, tea and alcohol.

Does this mean a return to the days of “Lemonade Lucy,” the posthumous nickname given to the wife of Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th U.S. president, who banned alcohol from the White House?

No, said Cabinet members from Romney’s gubernatorial era and a current top aide. They said this health-related observance is not one the Romneys would impose on or expect of others.

“As governor, when Mitt Romney entertained at official functions in the evening, alcohol was served along with soft beverages,” said a senior aide who asked not to be identified in stories about religion.

“There was always a healthy cup of coffee for anyone who wanted it,” said Renee Fry, a former Cabinet member.

“Cabinet dinner gatherings were not dry,” wrote Douglas Foy, who also served in Governor Romney’s Cabinet. “Although the governor and his wife did not partake – which the governor often joked about, since he sponsored the gatherings and paid for the wine!”

Storing – and refraining from – food

The LDS Church advises its members to store enough food to feed a family for a year.

Food storage is viewed as a practical measure, one that can come in handy during, say, a crippling superstorm, massive power outages or unforeseen financial hardships.

The practice is rooted in Mormon history. The church’s early pioneers, on their trek westward to what is now Utah, experienced great suffering and starvation. They also endured their share of persecution and couldn’t rely on the help of others. So having resources squirreled away became a collective comfort.

Any chance that the Romneys would institute White House food storage?

Not because they would need it for themselves or likely anyone else at the White House, but Riess said in these uncertain times, it could be a good lesson in preparedness to showcase to the nation.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see that,” she said.

Mitt Romney gathers donations in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Even if a family storing it doesn’t need the food, by having it available that family is poised to help others. Serving those less fortunate or in crisis is big in the LDS Church, and it is a part of another practice that may find its way into the White House if the Romneys move in.

The first Sunday of every month is Fast Sunday, when committed Mormons who are able forgo food and drink for about 24 hours. Coupled with prayer, it has spiritual meaning. It also serves to instill compassion for those who are in need, and to that end Mormons are encouraged to minimally donate what they would have spent on food to the church’s welfare fund.

Fast Sunday, or calls to fast at other times, can also bind Mormons together when they pray and fast for a common cause.

A Utah woman created buzz earlier this fall when an e-mail she sent out to friends and family, suggesting they fast to help Romney before the debates, began making the rounds in Mormon circles across the country. A new website, romneyfast.org, also the brainchild of private citizens – and not a church-sanctioned effort – asks people to fast and pray for Romney and his wife Ann this Sunday before America goes to the polls.

When he was governor of Massachusetts, and in general, Mitt and Ann Romney observed Fast Sunday and “always contributed very generously to the fast offering fund,” said Bennett, who held church leadership roles with Romney in the Boston area.

What’s more, Bennett said that when Romney served as their congregation's bishop – the equivalent of an unpaid pastor – it wasn’t uncommon for the two friends to fast more than once a month. At the time, Bennett was one of Romney's two counselors, or advisers.

“Occasionally he would invite me and the other counselor to join him in fasting on a weekday for a specific purpose,” Bennett wrote in an e-mail. “For example, one purpose would be to seek inspiration regarding an important decision, another purpose would be to express love, support and solidarity to someone who was ill or going through very difficult times.”

Whether Romney would maintain this observance from the nation’s highest office, we can’t know. But it looks like the White House kitchen staff may be in for a little downtime each month, if they’re lucky.

Honoring the Sabbath, going to church and other Mormon observances

Sunday is a holy day for active LDS Church members. It’s a time when Mormons attend their local congregation - it's known as a ward, which in Catholic-speak would be comparable to a parish - and worship with their families and community.

The ward closest to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., and likely the one the Romneys would be assigned to, is the Washington D.C. 3rd Ward, which gathers in what Mormons call a “meetinghouse” or chapel on 16th Street NW. The Washington Post described this ward as consisting of mostly Democrats, half who are nonwhite (including plenty of Spanish speakers), and having openly gay members in its leadership.

Riess said while ward assignments are almost always determined geographically, sometimes there are exceptions. And the truth is there just isn’t any precedent for how this would be handled for a U.S. president.

With or without Romney, D.C. a surprising Mormon stronghold

How much of his Sundays a President Romney could set aside for his faith is obviously uncertain. We already know he’s been hard at work on the campaign trail, Sundays included – though the senior aide we spoke to said he makes efforts to get to church when he can.

One need only look at President Jimmy Carter, who went so far as to teach Sunday school at his local Baptist church, to see how a sitting president can make room for faith, said Balmer of Dartmouth, who counts among his many books “God in the White House: How Faith Shaped the Presidency from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush.”

Romney faithfully showed up at church on Sundays while he was governor, unless an official function got in the way, Bennett said. And when Romney ran for U.S. Senate in 1994 against Ted Kennedy, Bennett – then the ward’s bishop – assigned Romney to teach the weekly adult Sunday school class.

“He was in church virtually every Sunday teaching this class throughout the campaign, only occasionally arranging for a substitute teacher,” his friend said.

Beyond church, Riess speculated about other observances Romney would uphold.

Mormons reserve Monday evenings for “family home evening,” a time when families pray, study and sing together.

Someone serving in church leadership, who didn’t want to be named because of the sensitivity of the subject matter, said he doubted the Romneys would observe family home evening since their kids are grown and gone. But Riess suspected that Romney and his wife, especially given the size of their brood – five sons; 18 grandchildren – and the likelihood that family would be passing through, would honor the Monday tradition in some way, even if it was just the two of them.

There’s also a practice in LDS Church wards in which men who hold the priesthood – which means the authority, for example, to perform baptisms and offer sacramental blessings – are partnered up to visit other congregation members, ideally once a month, as home teachers.

The LDS Church does not have paid clergy, and this is one way that volunteer ward pastors, or the bishops, can make sure members get personal attention and lessons as needed.

So could home teachers come knocking on the White House doors?

It’s possible, said Riess, though obviously there’d be background checks and no unannounced knockings.

But a U.S. president couldn’t possibly be expected to regularly home teach others, right?

Probably not. But Romney did step up as governor, Bennett said.

“He both had home teachers, and he was assigned as a home teacher, when he was governor,” Bennett said. “He and Ann would ensure they were available for their home teachers to visit, and he was faithful in doing his home teaching.”

And then there’s the big question: What about the temple?

Many non-Mormons falsely assume the large and often magnificent white LDS temples they see in their cities are where Latter-day Saints go for church. But Mormons gather for Sunday services in meetinghouses or chapels, which are usually plain, unimpressive structures.

The Washington D.C. Temple, not too far from the White House, is considered by Mormons to be a house of the Lord.

The 140 temples currently in operation across the globe are actually closed on Sundays. Mormons view their temples as houses of the Lord, as Riess explained in her book, and they are not places for run-of-the-mill worship. Temples, instead, are reserved for the most sacred rituals – the details of which are not to be discussed outside temple walls.

The temples are so sacred that the doors are not even open for all Mormons; only those deemed sufficiently worthy by local church leadership are granted a “temple recommend” or an entry card.

While sacred ceremonies or “ordinances” for the living – such as weddings, during which couples are “sealed” for eternity – happen inside, there are also rituals performed by living substitutes or proxies for those who have died. These rituals include baptisms, which have been at times a subject of controversy for the LDS Church.

Romney, who long served in church leadership, surely has a temple recommend. But does that mean he’d actually go to the Washington D.C. Temple, which sits about 10 miles north of the White House in Kensington, Maryland?

“If I were him, I’d probably just not go while I was president, if only out of courtesy to other patrons,” said our source in church leadership who didn’t want to be named. “It’s not like it’s some kind of ‘go often or you’ll go to hell’ thing. It’s just a standard part of being a committed Mormon, which you do if you can find the time.”

And a President Romney couldn’t go there, let alone anywhere else, without Secret Service. So if he wanted to go, would he be able to? Even Secret Service agents would be turned away from the temple without the right access card.

Not a problem, speculated Balmer of Dartmouth. He said finding qualified agents, if Romney hasn’t found them already, would be easy.

It’s well-known that the CIA, FBI and, by extension, he said he assumes, the Secret Service recruit at LDS Church-run Brigham Young University. All these agencies, Balmer said, are “looking for people who are good, loyal, patriotic Americans,” and many Latter-day Saints, who believe in the divinity of the U.S. Constitution, fit that bill.

So if it would be important for Romney and the first lady to go to the temple, it should be possible.

And Riess said, given Romney's level of faith and church involvement over the years, she can’t imagine that he wouldn’t want to go. Minimally, she pointed out, there’s bound to be a family member’s wedding or “temple sealing” he’d want to attend.

“It would be a logistical problem,” she said. “But I’m pretty sure they’d find a way.”

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: 2012 Election • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • DC • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (2,237 Responses)
  1. Dakotaxile

    If Romney wins the election it will NOT be President Romney leading this country...it will Be President Monson who will be calling the shots. The fact is that Romney first answers to the leadership of his church because of the promises he made in the temple. Every thing else is second or does not rate at all. His role in the Mormon church puts him direct conflict with the office of President of the United States.

    November 3, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Evangelical

      They told the same lie about Kennedy and the pope. Wasn't true then and it's not true now.

      November 3, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Dakotaxile

      Evangelical I have been through the LDS temple. I know for a fact he made a promise to put the church first before everything else. It is call The Law of Consecration. You better wake up because that promise does not say a thing about loyaltly to the US.

      "...and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion."

      November 3, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  2. WHO NEEDS AN ENEMY, WITH A hINDU, INFIDEL FRIEND CHRISTIAN.

    hindu's blinded leading hindu, blinded, game of hindu Magi's, criminal tricksters to stay in business of hinduism, denial of truth absolute, let it be hindu's, ignorant preachers, speaking not of truth absolute GOD, nor hindu atheist, ignorant self centered, secular s. rode with a hindu blinded driver, BET ON A WRACK, YOU WILL NEVER LOOSE.

    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. Foundation of American consti tution.
    Shiaism
    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
    word hindu is based on Latin word hindered, negative, Hun, great, Han, to be in greatness, hin, to be negative to both of them, hindu, a noun in negativity, hinduism, way of negativity.
    Visit limitisthetruth.com to learn about hinduism, criminality of hindu's, criminals to impose hinduism, racism on humanity by hinduism, corruption of truth absolute by force.

    November 3, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • snowboarder

      you really are a loon.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • david esmay

      What the hell are you babbling about?

      November 3, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Wraith

      Hindu fart hindu whistle hindu cheese hindu textiles hindu jar hindu stopwatch.

      The point of this game is to think of random words prefaced with, "hindu," right?

      My gods, Who Needs an Enemy, you fail as a human being.

      November 3, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  3. David

    I just don't think the United States is ready for a muslim president. I just don't think Mitt would be able to get over his islamic bias. Not that there's anything wrong with islam, I just feel we're not ready for Mitt to bring it to the White House.

    November 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Evangelical

      What are you smoking?

      November 3, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • truth be told

      Islam more closely resembles Mormonism than any other religion. The parallels are eye opening. Mormons are not Christian, a vote for a Mormon is an anti – Christ vote.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Even better stuff than you are, apparently, Evaturd.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Madeline

      Hey everyone, I am Mormon. I know Christ is my

      November 3, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • truth be told

      @madeline
      If you are Mormon then you do not know Christ at all and Christ does not know you. You are by biblical definition anti- Christ.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Ting

      David, well played sir.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • gingerpeach

      I am LDS (Mormon) and you people should look into things before you make a statement about something you know nothing about. Do your homework then you have a right to talk. MORMONS ARE CHRISTIAN. WE BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRITS IS OUR LORD AND SAVIOR. Look it up on lds.org and learnsomething.

      November 3, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  4. Evangelical

    The whole issue as to whether Mormons are Christians or not is a red herring. The real issue is their stance on the issues important to conservative Christians. Why should conservative Christians vote for Romney? Let's take a look at the candidates:

    Romney – opposes abortion, opposes ho.mos.exual rights, believes in bringing God back to the public square

    Obama – favors abortion rights, favors ho.mos.exual rights, never heard a word about God until the election approached

    Which one is more in line with conservative Christianity? The choice is clear.

    Vote Romney/Ryan 2012!

    November 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nope, dope.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • truth be told

      When you do vote Romney be warned you are voting anti- Christ. There is no middle ground there. Mormons by nature are anti – Christ and liars.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • david esmay

      Why should anyone take an evangitard seriously?

      November 3, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • truth be told

      @david
      There is 1% of you and the better part of 80% of evangelicals. When it comes to election numbers matter. Why don't you try and antagonize as many potential swing voters as you can in these last couple days?

      November 3, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them

      "Truth Be Told", you are a democrat for sure. Because regardless of faith, Mitt Romney's practice of faith over a lifetime, is better than the faithless President we currently have. Obama is a mockery to Christianity, and his policies, if studied in any Biblical context, are truly anti-Christ. Step aside "Truth Be Told," you don't care about the Bible either.

      November 3, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Wraith

      To vote for or against a candidate solely on the basis of their religion is to strictly vote against intelligence.

      November 3, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Brooke Brockbank

      I am a mormon and I would like to tell the people reading this about what i believe about Jesus Christ and how i follow Him. I believe Jesus is my Savior and my Redeemer. He was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem. He came into the world not to condemn the world, but to save all people from their sins if they repent. He Loved us so much that he died not just for me, but for all people. All our brothers and sisters. He then rose from the dead on the third day and broke the bands of death which will allow all of us to be resurrected someday. He is always there to help us especially in times of need, we need only ask. He won't always take our trials away, because trials ultimately help us if we choose to let them. But he is always there. When he suffered in Gethsemane, he not only suffered for our sins, but also for our infirmities. He knows how we are feeling and knows how best to comfort us because he experienced it as well. The knowledge I have of my Savior makes me happy and wants me to live to become more like Him. I strive to be more Christlike everyday. Most of the time I fall short, but my desire is there and I do try. Please don't say that mormons are anti-christ. I am a mormon and I Love my Savior more than anything.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:14 am |
  5. hoosier

    first lady, second lady ... fifteenth lady

    November 3, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  6. WHO NEEDS AN ENEMY, WITH A hINDU, INFIDEL FRIEND CHRISTIAN.

    mormoncandidate dot com

    Ya he will renews his commitment to hinduism, racism every SUN DAY in a Church, dengue of illegality, by his faith in hinduism, denial of truth absolute GOD

    November 3, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  7. works4me

    Mitt Romney's business experience: He ran a business, who's business it was to destroy others business' and make his business; millions. Wow, I'm impressed!
    America is not a business and no one should try to run it as such. America is a country. MY country and I'll never vote for someone that wants to buy the White House, only to sell it to the highest bidder.
    This guy is a sleazy used car salesman and will say anything to achieve the brass ring. Just ask 70% of the people in Mass. There are many good reasons why he didn't make a second term. America needs to wake up to that fact... before it's too late.

    November 3, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Evangelical

      President Calvin Coolidge said that the business of America is business.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, he's a really good example to cite.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  8. MattG

    In a Mormon White House, everyone will be issued magic underwear.

    November 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  9. Bob C.

    Are you f-ing kidding me? A thinly-veiled religious bigotry article if ever there was one. Unbelievable.

    November 3, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Joe

      I found nothing negative about the article. No negativity about the LDS nor any other religion. It actually shows great goodness in what Mitt follows in his faith.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • twinmomcville

      Correct!I cannot imagine such an article about the Obama's current faith, nor the Muslim religion that Obama experienced as a childs .
      People fear what is unknown, and this article does more to incite fear, and to highlight the Romneys as "different" from the rest of the US than it does to educate and inform/

      Shame on CNN for pubishing this bigotry and hatred.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • MCR

      @bob, Can you give an example of what you found bigoted?

      @twinmomcville, There is currently two articles right here on CNN on Obama's faith. It's not inherently bigoted to discuss culture and religion, otherwise we'd dump the whole field of anthropology. We learn and grow as people by discussing these things.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  10. Jimmy

    Well, it can't be worse than a Muslim one. Let's be open to change.

    November 3, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Are you REALLY that stupid? Do you honestly think Obama is Muslim, you ninny? Or are you just another Captain Azzhole clone?

      November 3, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Jesus freaker

      You bought Glenn Beck's survival seeds didn't you?

      November 3, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Synapse

      Because my sister married into the Mormon "faith"- and she used to insist on holding holiday meals at her house.
      My 80+ year old grandmother [when she was alive] was required to bring her own Thanksgiving and Christmas post-dinner coffee in a thermos- and drink it outside in the cold, on the driveway.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • snowboarder

      synapse – nothing particularly odd about that. i brought a jewish friend of mine some smoked salmon from a trip to the pacific northwest and because it was not kosher, i was not even allowed to bring it into his house.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  11. jac999

    Very interesting article!
    Now I think it would be equally interesting to write another article just like this one and give our President equal time.
    It might be entltied, "What Does an Obama White House Look Like" since the president is already living there, or "What Would an Obama White House Look Like" if he wins another term. I think people would be interested to know all the same questions answered for Obama, such as what decor exists, what pictures on the wall, what family traditions, what days of worship, etc. Thank you.

    November 3, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  12. TODAY

    MORON WHITE HOUSE

    November 3, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  13. nflboy

    Here we go..... LOL The same people commenting on this article were, no doubt, totally absent 4 years ago and had nothing to say about Obama's Haters and domestic terrorists that he "worshiped" with. Dems should try being intellectually honest once in a great while. The only reason for these comments is because Romney is a Republican.

    I have have seen no such comments as these about Harry Ried, also Mormon. The venom in these posts is only the tip of the iceberg of what we are going to see after November 6th. The left will get hysterical!

    November 3, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  14. Anna

    I could care less what his religion is. It's his politics that concern me.

    November 3, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Dippy

      Could care less, or couldn't care less. Which is it, Anna?

      November 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • snowboarder

      "couldn't care less" always seemed more logical to me. to say that you "could care less" about something doesn't seem significant.

      November 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Dav

      How much less could you care Anna?

      November 3, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Hyrax

      Here's a old tradition that can be new again! Women dying from medical complications during a pregnancy.

      http://www.showbizspy.com/article/253275/mitt-romney-in-abortion-shocker.html

      November 3, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  15. snowboarder

    i guess i can understand mainstream christianity, because it began during a time of such ignorance of the natural world, holding onto adherents through a combination of indoctrination, fear of the "afterlife" and community compulsion.

    mormonism still defies understanding, considering it began during relatively modern times.

    November 3, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  16. OPEN CHALLENGE TO MORMON IN WHITE HOUSE, MITHRA ISM,savior ism, Christians, Jesus or Judas

    Gone with the wind, Romney's, deniers of truth absolute, out to Massachusetts, fool every one in to following of dumb Lucifer, criminal atheist, self centered, denier of truth absolute, PROVE YOUR JOSEPH SMIT ISM, DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD IN PUBLIC, OR ACCEPT ISLAM ISM, HUMANITY TO LIVE IN PEACE, ADOPT ISLAM,

    November 3, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  17. ivan bial

    Facts are tough for the Romney followers to accept;

    Try theses on:

    People who know Romney best don't want him;

    Israel's most influential daily newspaper, Haaretz, endorsed President Obama.

    In Massachusetts Romney is trailing by over 30 points.

    Utah's "Salt Lake Tribune" endorses President Obama

    November 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • MattG

      "Utah's "Salt Lake Tribune" endorses President Obama"

      Really!? I would have assumed he'd at least have the Mormon vote..

      November 3, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Wyoming

      Apparently, your 'facts' aren't very factual:

      * Many people who know Romney best want him in the White House
      * Many Israeli's support Romney
      * A hard left liberal state like MA supporting Obama?
      * Even a small amount of research would show that the left-learning Salt Lake Tribune, Utah's Democrat Party mouthpiece, would endorse Obama.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Colorado Girl

      Which people are you referring to? The Salt Lake Tribune (much smaller circulation than the Deseret News) is owned by Dean Singleton who also owns the Denver Post. A very left, liberal paper here in Colorado. Trying to mislead on that one!

      November 3, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Luna

      OMG, you are such a liar.
      Are you pants on fire yet by any chance?)

      November 3, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • sahm9

      hmmmm...... my family knows the Romney's and we are all voting for Mitt.

      November 3, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  18. Jimmy

    This article makes me sick.

    November 3, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  19. mormoncandidate dot com

    If a Mormon were elected, "the White House will likely see some new traditions"? Yeah, like someone who actually attends church on a regular basis.

    November 3, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • truth be told

      Mormons are not Christians. A vote for a Mormon is a vote for an anti-Christ. Do not equate Republicans with biblical values.

      November 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Karen

      truthbetold.......

      Mormons ARE Christians.....the full and correct name of our church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. If that doesn't tell you that we believe in Jesus Christ, I don't know what would prove it to you. Yes, we believe ALSO in the Book of Mormon...but also teach from the Bible...the King James Version even. Those who think otherwise need to have some good missionaries knocking on your doors and teaching you exactly what we believe in.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • truth be told

      @karen
      lots of people take the Lords name in vain. Mormons do it all the time. The Mormon Jesus Christ is not the Christ of the Holy Bible. As such Mormons are many things but Mormons are not Christians. Mormons are by biblical definition anti- Christ. You are deceived sorry.

      November 3, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them

      "Truth Be Told", you are a democrat for sure. Because regardless of faith, Mitt Romney's practice of faith over a lifetime, is better than the faithless President we currently have. He is a mockery to Christianity, and his policies if studied in any Biblical context, are truly anti-Christ. Step aside "Truth Be Told," you don't care about the Bible either.

      November 3, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Nope

      Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan were brothers. I can't think of a more disgusting comparison except maybe Hitler. Mormons are NOT followers of Jesus despite the name of their church.

      November 3, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • gingerpeach

      Oh but Mormons ARE Christians, We believe Christ is our savior.

      November 3, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
  20. Rummy Pirate Times-Dispatch

    "In Greed We Trust"

    In 1994, Bain invested $27 million as part of a deal with other firms to acquire Dade International, a medical-diagnostics-equipment firm, from its parent company, Baxter International. Bain ultimately made nearly 10 times its money, getting back $230 million. But Dade wound up laying off more than 1,600 people and filed for bankruptcy protection in 2002, amid crushing debt and rising interest rates. The company, with Bain in charge, had borrowed heavily to do acquisitions, accumulating $1.6 billion in debt by 2000. The company cut benefits for some workers at the acquired firms and laid off others. When it merged with Behring Diagnostics, a German company, Dade shut down three U.S. plants. At the same time, Dade paid out $421 million to Bain Capital’s investors and investing partners.

    For 15 years, Romney had been in the business of creative destruction and wealth creation. But what about his claims of job creation? Though Bain Capital surely helped expand some companies that had created jobs, the layoffs and closures at other firms would lead Romney’s political opponents to say that he had amassed a fortune in part by putting people out of work. The lucrative deals that made Romney wealthy could exact a cost. Maximizing financial return to investors could mean slashing jobs, closing plants, and moving production overseas. It could also mean clashing with union workers, serving on the board of a company that ran afoul of federal laws, and loading up already struggling companies with debt.

    Marc Wolpow, a former Bain partner who worked with Romney on many deals, said the discussion at buyout companies typically does not focus on whether jobs will be created. “It’s the opposite—what jobs we can cut,” Wolpow said. “Because you had to document how you were going to create value. Eliminating redundancy, or the elimination of people, is a very valid way."

    A couple of examples (it's pretty easy to find more):

    Bain closed GST Steel plant in 2001 laying off 750 workers.

    Controlling share owner Bain Capital closes BRP plant (Southern Illinois) so the 340 jobs there could be outsourced to Mexico.

    Also, this is disconcerting:

    http://www.examiner.com/article/mitt-romney-implicated-perjury-and-stock-fraud-made-millions-process
    http://globalgrind.com/news/mitt-romney-lied-perjury-under-oath-divorce-court-case-tom-stemberg-details

    BAIN'S "SUCCESSES" WERE PRIMARILY RESTRUCTURING COMPANIES AND MASS LAY-OFFS!

    November 3, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
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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.