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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. Maria

    There's only one God! Religion in all religions = One God!

    November 5, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Judas is my homeboy

      saladandchips.com has the only known photo of Maria's god.

      November 5, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • fred

      @Maria

      What do you mean when you say “Religion in all religions = One God!”

      November 5, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Judge Mental

      There are thousands of gods Maria, and they all have at least one thing in common. They were all created by humans.

      November 5, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  2. Richard McBride

    It would be interresting to see Romney being subjected to the same cross-examination that Kennedy did with the 'ministers'.

    November 5, 2012 at 11:21 am |
  3. pastmorm

    Before tomorrow, you need to know what you might be getting into.
    This cartoon really makes mormons mad because it is true. They are embarrassed over how it's presented, but they will not deny that they believe they become Gods and that God was once a simple man on some planet out there... LOOK IT UP!!!!!

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7q6brMrFw0E&w=640&h=390]

    November 5, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  4. donner

    Do a Google search on "20 Truths about Mormonism" I guarantee you will not vote for Romney. Do some research. then tell your friends.

    November 5, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Maddy

      This is an anti-Mormon website. The 20 truths are not truths but accusations. If you want to do the research, and have the desire to truly know what Mormons and their practices are all about, visit an LDS church some Sunday and see for yourselves. The Spirit of God does not dwell with those who are unworthy. So many people are so quick to judge the LDS community. Why not visit them and learn first hand. Many untruths are floating around out there about the LDS church and it's only fair that you check it out for yourselves. Donner, how much do you truly know first hand? Jesus was so vilely persecuted, tormented, betrayed and finally crucified. What did He say while hanging on the cross? Father forgive them for they know not what they do. It's what we do as well. Forgive those who persecute us. Forgive those who judge us unfairly. Forgive them for their lack of knowledge and wisdom concerning our church. Many who accuse have never fully read the Bible or prayed for answers. Try praying and reading the scriptures and seek for understanding. Only then will you truly feel of the spirit and know that we are Christians and love God as much as anyone. We live the standards of our church seven days a week. We are not perfect. We sin. We also know that we can repent and move forward. All this is possible because Jesus suffered for us and died for us, and rose again to rejoin our Father in Heaven. How does that make us non-Christian???? What truths have you discovered?

      November 5, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • fred

      @Maddy

      #1 on that list is the book of Abraham. Is that fact or fiction in your opinion?

      November 5, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Maddy

      If you read about how the Book of Abraham was discovered, it's quite interesting. Joseph Smith Translated the papyrus scrolls and they turned out to be the books of Abraham and Moses. I believe the Pearl of Great Price is scripture that was meant to be revealed in these days. I also believe that more scriptures will be forthcoming. I also believe that someone will be chosen to do any translation that is required. They won't necessarily be LDS, but a devout person who was chosen of God to do so.

      November 5, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • fred

      @Maddy

      That about sums it up then? The translation of the book of Abraham is demonstrably false, and if you cared about the truth you would research it for yourself. We both know that you don't so just keep on living in fantasy land.

      November 5, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • taburere

      No need to do that Google search. Just go to Mormon.org and you can learn all the truths about Mormons from the source, not heresay and distortions of the truth by groups and individuals with other agendas.

      November 5, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • fred

      What is that, some sort of circular justification? Mormonism is true because Mormonism is true?

      November 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  5. BCJ

    "What BOOK will he use"??? Really? He would use the Bible, wouldn't he? In one of the Articles of Faith, it says "We believe the Bible to be the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly." There is no reason for him NOT to use it.

    November 5, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Nii

      Of course that means EITHER OR BOTH THE LDS BIBLE AND BOOK OF MORMON AS THEY ARE EQUAL TESTAMENTS ACCORDING TO YET ANOTHER ARTICLE OF THE MORMON FAITH. PLEASE SAY THE TRUTH.

      November 5, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Jesus Christ

      mormons are notorious for leaving out MUCH of the truth in their religion because they are ashamed of it.

      November 5, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Judge Mental

      We believe the Bible to be the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly

      Who determines if it’s translated correctly or not?

      November 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Kev

      To JC, That's why there's all the Missionaries and ads out there by the LDS encouraging to become members and eventually go to the temple; because of shame.

      November 5, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  6. Donn Ianuzi

    Mitt Romney is a wonderful example of a person getting involved in the community. We should all do more.

    November 5, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Jesus Christ

      Really? What has Romney done? And instead of saying, "We should all do more," why don't you?

      November 5, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Maria

      I agree. There's nothing wrong with mormonism. I believe in every faith should not be rejected to run the highest job in the office. Mormon believe in Jesu Christ. I have nothing agains this religion. I voted for Mitt Romney not his religion but because I wanted it a real change the real change for America and I believe he's the man to lead by the examples. America is in serious trouble and we need a smart leader like Mitt Romney that can govern the country.

      November 5, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  7. erika

    I think this is actually a good basic, comprehensive explanation of the functionalities of the Mormon faith and culture. A couple statements were a little off, but as a whole, well written. I think something people are missing is the statement that things would change in the PRIVATE quarters, not as much in public areas of the White House it's functionality.

    November 5, 2012 at 10:38 am |
  8. Rummy Pirate Times-Dispatch

    "IN GREED WE TRUST"

    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."

    November 5, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  9. LDS in NYC

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnSnQNGMRWU&w=640&h=390]

    What many non-mormons are unaware of, is that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) do not endorse any politial party.

    November 5, 2012 at 9:50 am |
  10. LDS in NYC

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FO2O6nkMsFk&w=640&h=390]

    Great movie depicting the true life of Joseph Smith Jr.

    November 5, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Chad

      I'll save you all 1 hour and 25 minutes. He was a racist, con-man, polygamist who started a cult that is still going strong nearly 170 years after members of his own cult stepped aside and allowed an angry mob to kill him while he was in jail.

      November 5, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • OTOH

      Chad,

      Sure, Joseph Smith was probably all that you say, but there were lots of those around back then (and now, of course). Who were his killers?... and why did he warrant being killed? Christians... including many Baptists, who resented the power he was amassing.

      Another instance of "my interpretation of an imaginary superhero is better than yours".

      November 5, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  11. Atheism is great for everyone. Pets too!

    November 5, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  12. sharon

    Wow, is this best news you can cover? I was wondering how did you cover Pres. Obama when he took over White House? Because he openly admitted that he is a muslim. One of media biased.. CNN you are know for your dignity and integrity around the world, You cover almost everything but attacking someone's religion is way far from everyone's expectations. Some people's understanding of LDS is really wacky. If you think your religion can save you, then so be it, but attacking someone's religion that doesn't harm you, that makes you better than nothing. Did mormonism harm you in a way? did it hurt you? did it give you trouble? did it hinders your salvation? If your answer is no., then you're judge mental. If you don't believe in God, that is our right. As an LDS, we respect everyone's beliefs and rights. We don't mocked anyone because of their faith, views and way of life. At the end, we all stand in front our God and be judge... Have a happy life!

    November 5, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Amalasan

      No he didn't
      Stop lying
      "We don't mocked anyone because of their faith, views and way of life."
      But you just did in your first few sentences

      November 5, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Obama openly admitted to be a Muslim?
      Cite your reference.

      November 5, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • sharon

      In what way did I mock? I was asking how did she cover our President's faith, since his faith is Islam. Is that mocking to you? I find you very ignorant.

      November 5, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Sane Person

      Stop trolling , Sharon. We all know that nobody is gullible or stupid enough to believe that Obama is actually a muslim.

      November 5, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • sharon

      Obama's speech in Cairo Egypt. The most controversial speech and you don't know about it.

      November 5, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Sharon
      You mean the speech from 2009 wherein Obama said:
      "I am a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims."

      "So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, and who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity."

      November 5, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • sharon

      Do yo have a problem with him being an Islam? I don't think this matters to me. Faith is faith and I don't care much of it as long it doesn't affect me, my family and my country. What matters most is who you are and how you represent your faith. Your faith defines you. I don't care if your antagonist, atheist, Islam Christians or just believe in coincidence as long you respect yourself, people around you and even those people you don't know. RESPECT is a big word and most of us doesn't know what this is.

      November 5, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Sharon
      You are the one who claimed that Obama openly admitted to being a Muslim and when asked for a reference, pointed to a speech wherein he explicitly stated that he is a Christian.
      Please refrain from inferring anything about my beliefs simply becuase I pointed out an error in your statement.

      November 5, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • MCR

      @Sharon, You earn respect through honesty, and you are clearly just making things up. If you really had some secret speech in which Obama, in contrast to the other hundreds of statements he's made about being a Christian, said he was Muslim you would be able to post it with a date and line by line text. Trying to cover up your intentional lies with faux claims of tolerance isn't fooling anyone.

      November 5, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Just sayin'

      Wow! I don't think Obama ever said he was Muslin, EVER! And when he ran 4 years ago, all folks could say to try to bring him down was that he was Muslin, a terrorist, and Rev. Wright, etc. I think, for one, think that the media has been totally respectful of Romney's mormonism. They have not lingered on it, which I think they should do more of, personally, because it's the reality. They are mormons, which means that the Romney's wholeheartedly support that doctrine 1000000%, etc.

      November 5, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Judge Mental

      @Sharon

      I hereby sentence you to one year of GED training.

      November 5, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Jamison Slade

      I'm LDS and found this story completely accurate except for the Joanna Brooks comment about upper-class families which isn't really CNN's fault. I don't know what made Sharon so upset. And although I do support Romney, I think it's plain that Obama has declared his Christianity. Can we leave it at that? Does it matter if he is a Muslim? We should be looking at his qualifications and not judging his faith. I have to admit, Sharon, that I'm blown away by your response to this article. CNN did a good job of covering our faith. I just don't get it.

      November 5, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  13. MIke

    DIssappointing how the left is SO quick to mock the relegious beliefs of President-elect Romney.

    November 5, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • fred

      As a Mormon, Governor Romney deserves to have his ridiculous religious beliefs mocked and exposed.

      November 5, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • Primewonk

      I mock fundamentalist religious idiocy and nuttery of all stripes. The Mormons are no more, nor no less, batshit crazy than any other group of wingnuts.

      November 5, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Amalasan

      Yet the right wing keep whining that there is a 'war on Christianity' and always shove their religion in everyone's face.
      And how if you are not an extreme fundamentalist christian you are some how less than american and unpatriotic.
      Hypocrites.

      November 5, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Dr. Democrat

      Who is mocking his religion? Certainly not Republicans. My you have a short memory span. If I recall the GOP primaries, all of his opponents were mocking his religion.

      November 5, 2012 at 9:04 am |
  14. MIke

    WOW! What a consistently snotty article, but then, you gotta consider the source ...CNN, what a joke .

    The only thing worse is the litany of snotty and hate-filled comments here – but please know that you are forgiven for your hate.

    November 5, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • fred

      How is it 'snotty'

      November 5, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Amalasan

      A centrist opinion is always 'snotty' to the far far far far right wing.
      Funny how it is seen that all but f ox news is seen a liberal and wrong.
      Occam's razor, the simplest explanation is that only one is wrong not dozens.

      November 5, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  15. GlueBall

    ...Religion is a destructive social absurdity.

    November 5, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  16. Jim

    Could someone explain something to me. If you believe that you are going to be picked up by aliens really soon or that when you die your soul is going to be reincarnated on another planet, people think you are nutty. However you believe golden tablets were translated with the aide of angels and that magic underwear will protect you from evil spirits, you are "normal". Would it be "normal" if I believed in magic underwear AND aliens?

    November 5, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • fred

      It's only 'normal' if the alien's name is Jesus.

      November 5, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Primewonk

      But I guess it's perfectly logical and sane to believe an invisible, magical, skydaddy poofed the universe into existence 6000 years ago. And that there were talking snakes and donkeys, and talking bushes. That a woman was made from the rib of a man, that all humans descended from one breeding pair, and that a guy lived in the belly of a fish for 3 days. Not to mention that it rained 30 feet of water each and every hour for 40 days.

      Those are perfectly logical and sane, right?

      November 5, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  17. Spider pig

    What ever happened to the separation of church and state?

    November 5, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • Mirosal

      That ended when the moronic church.. oops I mean the Mormom Church, started using all their money gathered from their immense business empire (Deseret holdings) to buy the state.

      November 5, 2012 at 7:53 am |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    November 5, 2012 at 6:28 am |
    • Jim

      As much as letter to Santa Claus do.

      November 5, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • Amalasan

      Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and eats for a lifetime, show a man how to pray for a fish and he DIES HUNGRY

      November 5, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.

      November 5, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book can help you:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      November 5, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • TrollAlert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian.

      November 5, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  19. Diana Huffman

    I find it ironic that you comment about how willing people are to bash Romney, yet you criticize Obama in the next sentence. I am LDS, yet I find LDS people to be the most critical, disrespectful, even angry people, when they talk about our current president. They give no respect to the current leader of our nation. And heaven forbid if you don't agree with them and are openly something other than a Republican. I frankly find most Mormons political behavior and demeanor reprehensible.

    November 5, 2012 at 5:43 am |
    • MIke

      YOU are not a Mormon, I'm very sure of that.

      November 5, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • sharon

      Then you are not LDS.

      November 5, 2012 at 9:09 am |
  20. Cheri

    So many misconceptions about Romney's faith, Is America that afraid of an honest, clean morally sound family man and his love of God, that they are willing to bash him? How sad have we become as humans that we do this to one another. How Un-American. It saddens me to see this. The White House will not change, well except Obama's brewery will be gone, Mormons are very respectful of others ways of life and faiths, and the Bible is the most important book to them, the Book of Mormon is an extension to it, much like other books of other faiths. there is also the Pearl of Great Price, and the Doctrine of Covenants which gives Mormons guidance in these days. Many blessings will come upon our country, setting an example of good clean living, importance of family,. being prepared and if you look at the organizations of volunteerism, emergency action and the financial and welfare system of the LDS, you might find some good answers how to best run this country more efficiently. At least Romney has a better answer, and is more experienced at this than any other. Give him a chance... he wont fail.

    November 5, 2012 at 3:09 am |
    • therealpeace2all

      This programming is brought to you by the LDS Church, the RNC & Mitt Romney

      November 5, 2012 at 5:50 am |
    • saggyroy

      The religious are of 2 types: Hypocrites or Fools. Now about that magic underwear.......

      November 5, 2012 at 6:08 am |
    • Sergio Roa Prado

      saggyroy: And the non- religious are of 2 types: 1 with a big ego (The more educated) 2 Unrespectful (The less educated).

      November 5, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • fred

      @ Sergio Roa Prado

      Not believing in fairy tales has nothing to do ego, and it’s ‘disrespectful’, not ‘unrespectful’, so I guess that puts you in the ‘fools’ category.

      November 5, 2012 at 7:27 am |
    • Sane Person

      I have a very clear understanding of Romney's faith... it's a wacky cult loosely based on Christianity. Polygamy, racism, people becoming gods, ancient jews in America, imaginary planets, secret underwear, post-mortm baptisms.

      November 5, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • Primewonk

      " Mormons are very respectful of others ways of life and faiths"

      Well, unless you're gay. Or black. Or female. Or Muslim. Or liberal.

      November 5, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • MCR

      Could you please cite the line or lines in this story that you see as "bashing". I see several people saying this, but no examples of what it is that is offensive or inaccurate. There are two stories right now on this same site on Obama's faith. What is more offensive about this one than those two?

      November 5, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • Sergio Roa Prado

      Fred: You are in Nº 2

      November 5, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
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About this blog

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.