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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. 1freethinkr

    For all of the racist imbeciles who keep saying Obama is a Muslim, there is exactly the same amount of evidence that you are a Muslim as there is for Obama. Namely none. So put up or shut up. Lets see your evidence. He says he is and always was Christian.

    On the other hand, there is absolutely no question the Romney is a member of the Mormon cult. No question.

    November 4, 2012 at 1:24 am |
  2. rev101

    Chuchterzella... One of the reversals that we will not see is the gender role law in Mormonism. Sorry girls. Your equality is not, and will never be on the Mormon radar. This is not a happy place. Just ask the Amish.

    November 4, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • LinSea

      You don't know what you are talking about. The article wasn't entirely accurate in its representation of the church's statement on families, and it neither mentioned the part of the statement that very clearly states that we are ALL, male and female, beloved spirit children of God; nor does the article mention the portion of the statment that states mothers and fathers are EQUAL partners. It is certainly not part of our doctrine that women are inferior or subservient to men. I realize those points are not the purpose of the article, which is probably why those things are not mentioned, but you are spreading a false, ignorant stereotype.

      November 4, 2012 at 2:56 am |
  3. OPEN CHALLENGE TO hINDU'S, ATHEIST, PROVE YOUR hINDUISM, RACISM, OR SHUT UP FOR GOOD.

    Why scholar thinks Mormons should support Ground Zero Mosque
    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700118077/Why-scholar-thinks-Mormons-should-support-Ground-Zero-Mosque.html?pg=all

    November 4, 2012 at 1:19 am |
  4. 1freethinkr

    If you are voting for Romney you are just going to have to accept the fact that you would be voting for the first cult member President of the United States.

    November 4, 2012 at 1:18 am |
  5. sarah

    I'm starting to wonder what it might be like if there is a tie and we wind up with Romney in the White House, but with Joe Biden still as VP. What an odd situation that would be.

    November 4, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • FYI

      Oh my, sarah, I hope that you are only 14 years old or something and have not yet learned about the election process! I certainly hope that you are not a voter!

      (the candidates run as a pair)

      November 4, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • sarah

      As I understand it – if the electoral college ties at 269 each, and give the current mix in the house and senate, the house (1 vote each state) would vote for Romney, but the senate (also a by state even vote) would vote the vice-presidency – which would be Biden. This has not happened last since JQAdams with his VP John Calhoun.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • sarah

      I saw some places saying using the current battleground states, there are something like 32 ways you could still wind up with a 269/269 tie.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • sarah

      Of course you wouldn't know exactly how the electoral college votes until sometime in December, because there have been cases where the vote cast didn't reflect the popular vote. But if it wound up in a tie – wow – Ryan would be out of the picture.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • sarah

      Now – what was your problem, FYI?

      November 4, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • sarah

      Also, although it happened two times so far (Jefferson and JQA), I think both of those were different because back then the VP was selected as the runner-up rather than on the same party ticket. (Well the first occurrence was certainly like that – not sure about JQA – so if this winds up an electoral college tie – it might really be the first of its kind under the current electoral process.)

      November 4, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • sarah

      Interesting notion, though. You would think a VP of a different party in the administration would be for the most part ignored, but in this case where the experienced VP (ceremonially President of Senate) might prove to be a useful bargaining key between a new Repub pres and the Dem-majority Senate.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:58 am |
    • FYI

      sarah,

      "The separate ballots for President and Vice President became something of a moot issue later in the 19th century when it became the norm for popular elections to determine a state's Electoral College delegation. Electors chosen this way are pledged to vote for a particular presidential and vice presidential candidate (offered by the same political party). So, while the Const'itution says that the President and Vice President are chosen separately, in practice they are chosen together."

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vice_President_of_the_United_States#Original_election_process_and_reform

      So, I suppose that your scenario *could* possibly happen according to the 12th Amendment, it is not at all likely to happen.

      Sorry that I popped off at you before I looked into the minute details.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:05 am |
    • FYI

      Couldn't figure out why my post was timestamped 1:05am after replying to a 1:58am... Daylight Savings Time is over!

      November 4, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • sarah

      Yes, FYI – very unlikely, but somewhere someone was claiming about 32 possibilities to arrive at that still based on the up-for-grabs states.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • sarah

      oh – lol i thought it went into effect at like 2am ET, but anyway I see what you mean about the time stamp.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • sarah

      Oddly it actually seems more likely that an elector would cast a vote against what the popular vote was than for there to be a tie. Well – it has just happened more recently, but I don't know how many times.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • FYI

      Yes... but is IS 2:00am Eastern Time (or was anyway, before it got zapped).

      California here, so it's a ways off 'til fall-back time.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • sarah

      oh gosh – i just didn't realize it was that late – my dvr does say 1:25 so i guess i've used up the extra hour i got :)

      November 4, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • FYI

      The machinations of the Electoral College are quite complex. I can't say that I have any expertise on it. There are movements to dump it... and here's an interesting tidbit that I did not know:

      National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which changes some states' type of participation in the process.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Interstate_Compact

      November 4, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • sarah

      I wonder if by end of popular election is did equate to a 269/269 tie. do you think one elector would concede their vote in dec just to allow the obvious pres. party (what looks like would be the vote in the house) keep their VP? If it were me, I'd say hell no – you have to work with the VP the senate would select from a tie as well. I don't know how they are getting 32 combinations for that tie to still happen, but it does seem highly unlikely.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • FYI

      Heh. Well then there's the dilemma of whether to let the sitting VP, who presides over the Senate, be able to be the tie-breaking vote!

      November 4, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • sarah

      Oh yes, it could definitely use some improvement. Also, based on our current population size, in addition to improvements to campaign finance control (I am against the last SC "companies are people too" decision), I think it might be helpful to extend the presidential term by a couple of years as well.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:35 am |
    • sarah

      Oh my yes, I hadn't even thought of that. And I haven't seen anything that addresses the validity of his vote in that situation. Hmm. I'll have to dig around later in the am and check that out.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:37 am |
  6. Brian

    The Mormon "church" actively supported slavery before the Civil War. The White House was built with slave labor. Historians could find some interesting reading if they look up the primary sources on this.

    November 4, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • John

      You're misinformed. The LDS church NEVER supported slavery and in fact was very much opposed. It is one reason it's founder, Joseph Smith, was killed.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:30 am |
  7. Bill Buckley

    Jessica Ravitz is a bigot!

    November 4, 2012 at 12:55 am |
  8. Marla

    I'm glad to see this article. It is good for voters to see this and realize that if they vote for this guy, this is what will be happening in "our" White House. Also, we should consider the fact that this is what visiting dignitaries would be seeing as an example of "American culture".
    This is frightening to contemplate. It certainly would not represent me, or most of the citizens of this country.
    Think before you vote!

    November 4, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • Bill Fitzgerald

      Then Maria, Do you represent the people of Missouri and their extermination order against the Mormons in 1846 when they were driven from their homes as they were in Illinois and Ohio? Is that the America you represent becase it sure sounds like it.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • jdi

      Yep...smart read articles by CNN...busted for being paid by the Obama administration. Just because the Owebama trys to force his crap on us doesnt mean any other president has or plans on it. Look at unbiased sources or just keep stupid comments to yourself because stupidity is unbecoming...

      November 4, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • John

      Really!? A family man that believes in god and lives his faith doesn't represent America? If that's true, what a sad day for America.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:33 am |
    • Dan

      Oh god are you serious? So, unless Romney (or any president) puts up EXACTLY what you in your uneducated, bigoted, self righteous opinion deem worthy of portraying the "average American" it isn't allowed?

      You're a real classy lady. I can tell.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:33 am |
  9. df

    I don't recall an article in 2008 asking what traditions might be different with an African American in the White House.

    November 4, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • JPopNC

      Not to mention a Muslim

      November 4, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • 1freethinkr

      In case you haven't noticed, black is not a religion. Just thought I'd let you know. Also the sky is blue and water is wet. Just some fundamentals for you.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:14 am |
  10. Jim Herr

    Trust a Morman or a Muslim? I go with John Smith any day.

    November 4, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • Jesus freaker

      John Smith? The founder of Jamestown, VA?

      November 4, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • Evangel

      As an Evangelical, I pray for you that you give up your soul to a cult leader than following a man that attends a Christian church. You are beeter off not voting then surrending your soul to a cult.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • Elaine

      I think you mean Joseph Smith the American Prophet.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • sarah

      LOL – John Smith – oh thank you – i needed to laugh.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • I laughed and farted

      joseph smith was a white supremacist cult leader who was know for telling tall tales.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • Dan

      Man...anyone who can't take "i laughed and farted" seriously shouldn't even be in the discussion...

      November 4, 2012 at 1:35 am |
  11. lolwut

    Don't worry, it's ok to make fun of Mormons. It's only Muslims everyone is scared to talk about because they'll kill you if they get mad.

    November 4, 2012 at 12:30 am |
  12. Louis

    So now CNN is prejudiced and biggotted against Mormons.

    November 4, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • Steve

      Did you read the article? I'm a very active LDS member, very conservative and not really a CNN fan, but found the article to be mostly accurate and not biased.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • Dippy

      And you can probably spell bigoted correctly.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • Dan

      I've been Mormon for 32 years, and to be honest articles like this tend to be cringe worthy with how far off they are. However, I was pleasantly surprised with how very accurate and unbiased the information here was.

      Well done, even.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:36 am |
  13. sqeptiq

    The most extreme new tradition accompanying the election of Romney would be ice skating and skiing in hell.

    November 4, 2012 at 12:24 am |
  14. Martin

    The Book of Mormon is a joke. It would be funny to see it used at the inauguration.

    November 4, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Ben

      Martin, please don't talk about the Book of Mormon that way. It's sacred to me.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • Jesus freaker

      So that people don't freakout about the Book of Mormon, Romney has agreed to place his hand on a stack of "Bejamins" for the swearing in ceremony.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • Frank

      Even sacred cows eventually die.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:10 am |
  15. like the muslim white house for the last 4?

    eom

    November 4, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • sqeptiq

      That was a BIBLE Obama used at his inauguration.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • Patrice

      you're right about that – we have no proof, yes – but how do we know what goes on behind closed doors? also there's the name, like osamahussein. if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck it must be eom, genius of the free world.

      god I hate that dumb chick on the ads

      November 4, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • Lenny Pincus

      Like the maroon who posted this?

      November 4, 2012 at 12:50 am |
  16. Joshua

    Why did CNN run this article today, 3 days prior to the election? Romney has been careful to leave his religious beliefs out of the campaign, and has not brought up religion except when asked, and then he says only that it is important.

    November 3, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Andrew

      When you represent the crazy Evangelicals you need to down play your religion if you want any hope in getting elected.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • pattysboi

      No, Rmoney has NOT "left his religious" out of the campaign. It's been flaunted at every single step, his VP set up a FAKE photoshoot supposedly at a soup kitchen AFTER the guests had left, and mitty wants to slash federal funding for PBS, NPR, Amtrak, and Planned Parenthood. All of these programs are desperately needed.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • 1freethinkr

      News flash: CNN has about a dozen articles on Mormonism over the past many months. Just read.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • LinSea

      Are you serious, patti? Romney has hardly mentioned his faith. It is the MEDIA that "flaunted" it at every possible opportunity. It is the media that constantly injects a reference to his religion even in news stories which have nothing to do about religion, and it is the media that has posted commentaries and editorials like this one non-stop throughout the campaign.

      November 4, 2012 at 3:11 am |
  17. God's Oldest Dreamer

    A scattering is upon us in these trying days and Age. Leave your wantings behind and never take wind of one's longings for the weightiness of one's longings will smite even the most influential. Carry away nothing and leave. Head to the places inside one's being and do not keep ajar your door for many will want to enter in and cannot. Your loving this Life is for the world to have and you should not heed the rumors from others as to just what is truly right. It is therefore best for mankind to simmer in their juvenile pottages never rationalizingly 'assaying' one's diffuse detriments, the very smallest of life's grains. As smitten breeds, our splendors reveal one's characters to be traitorous to one's analogous fold. Where then does Life end and living begin?

    Let US Love,
    Lettuce Love,
    G.O.D.

    November 3, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Lewis Carroll you are not.

      November 3, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      Tom,

      Never ever did I say that I was,,,
      Well ain't she special ! ?

      November 3, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
  18. jesushateschristians

    oh, yeah, jesus is really offended by tea and coffee drinkers while his floods kill hundeds and cause untold suffering on innocent people. why i'm not a christian is christianity and insane belief in this devine power that's watching over you to the detriment of others.

    November 3, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Elaine

      Mormons were given a code to live by, like the Jews in the Old Testament. It is a guideline to live a better life, FYI Mormons tend to live longer because of the Word of Wisdom. We don't demand anyone to live by Church rules. The only people that are asked to live it are the members, You learn what is expected of you and are asked to live by the precepts of the Church. We don't believe that just because a member of your family leaves the Church that they are dead to their family or members. Outsiders don't really know what it means to be LDS and those that have left the Church have issues so you don't get a reasonable answer to questions. If you want to know the answer to a LDS question ask one.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:23 am |
  19. Question Mark

    I ask you this question: How many Americans would vote and believe in the current system of government if it were discovered that both candidates did not really believe in God? If their "religion" was all for show, and behind closed doors they privately thought it was all a bunch of crap? I ask this because the majority of Americans believe in some sort of God or a religion – - would most Americans vote if they knew both candidates were atheists?

    November 3, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If there were two atheist candidates, it only have occurred because the majority of the population was also atheist. If the majority of voters are believers, it is unlikely in the extreme that an atheist would be nominated.

      November 3, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      edit: "only would have occurred"

      November 3, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • sarah

      That's an interesting question, but you pose the question oddly, imho. You seem to be implying that if there were only those two choices that that in itself might cause some to not only not vote, but also cease to believe in the current system of government. Is that what you are implying or am I reading too much into the question?

      November 3, 2012 at 11:32 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.

    BAIN'S INVESTOR "SUCCESSES" WERE PRIMARILY CONTINGENT ON MASS LAY-OFFS OF AMERICAN WORKERS

    November 3, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • Joshua

      And Obama and his gang wasted $500,000,000 US taxpayer dollars paying off Solyndra's management for supporting his campaign for president. And now all those employees are out of work too. At least Romney clearly knows how the game of Capitalism is played and can use his expertise to get the US back to work.

      November 3, 2012 at 11:51 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.