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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. Brampt

    They are, in fact, expressions inspired by demons and perform signs, and they go forth to the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty.Rev 16:14

    an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice and said to all the birds that fly in midheaven: “Come here, be gathered together to the great evening meal of God,that ​YOU​ may eat the fleshy parts of kings and the fleshy parts of military commanders and the fleshy parts of strong men... Rev 19:17,18

    November 5, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Sounds delicious! I've always preferred the "fleshy parts" of kings. It's a delicacy in my country of origin.

      November 5, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Ball licker!!!!!!

      November 5, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  2. 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? 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, moving production overseas 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."

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

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

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

    November 5, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
  3. Brampt

    Jesus answered: “My kingdom is no part of this world. If my kingdom were part of this world, my attendants would have fought that I should not be delivered up to the Jews. But, as it is, my kingdom is not from this source.” John 18:36

    November 5, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
  4. John the Historian

    Willard Romney will lose and everyone knows it. This mormon cult created by a con man, rapist, and murderer will never get near the White House.Willard your planet kolob awaits you. Have the 12 prophets of mormon decided if you will get 70 wives like rapist Brigham Young or 87 like murderer Joseph Smith. Hope you get to see the gold tablets.

    November 5, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  5. recovering Republician

    great aritcle it's too bad women who have voted for Romney didn't read it !!

    November 5, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  6. donner

    Do a Google search on "20 Truths about Mormonism" I guarantee you will not vote Romney. In fact, you will probably want to invade Utah.

    November 5, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • The Truth

      The Mormons might want to remember that Treason is still punishable by death.

      November 5, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  7. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    I haven't trawled through 2,000 posts on this topic, but to answer the question:

    What would a Mormon White House look like?

    How many people have said:
    "Mostly rhe same, except for the golden angel Moroni with trumpet at the peak of the Pennsylvania Avenue facing pediment*."

    * The triangular shape supported by the four columns at the formal entry.

    November 5, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  8. WVLady63

    The same as it has looked since George Washington.

    November 5, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      It didn't exist when George Washington was President!

      November 5, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  9. Reality

    AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

    Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

    "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

    Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

    Some added references to "tink-erbells".

    newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

    "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."
    Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

    "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

    And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

    "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

    "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

    "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

    November 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |

    November 5, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • gfg

      Well Done. It's amazing what anylical thinking exposes 'Reality'. Blind Faith is ........ Highest Regards^

      November 6, 2012 at 12:44 am |
  10. John Brown

    What would a Mormon White House look like? I think it would look much better than Zulu White House anyway.

    November 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • John Brown

      Of course with my bigoted comment, you can tell that I'm only voting republican because I am a bigot. Bigots are very ignorant people.

      November 5, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • asdrel

      Gee, there isn't any racism present in that comment, is there?

      November 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      With your level of bigotry you chose a strange pseudonym.

      November 5, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  11. Being Agnostic is swell!

    It's great not believing in a "superior" being, while still believing in something "out there" that doesn't require a punishment or reward system. At least it's not evangelism where one has to go to heaven or hell and it's not atheism where one believes in ones total annihilation after death.

    November 5, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      1) Atheism only deals with god claims, not afterlife claims.
      2) I'm having trouble determining what it is you're saying other than that. Do you believe in a higher power? Or just "some thing"? That's pretty vague.

      November 5, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Being Agnostic is swell!

      I think you can look up what Agnostic means, but the best part is that we don't have to argue and try to convert people to our sides like Atheists and Christians. Why would you care about there not being a God now, but you....might...after death? Atheists believe in NO god or afterlife. Look it up.

      November 5, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Being Agnostic is swell!,
      Your general statement is not very well informed. As Hawaiiguest states, atheism has nothing to do with belief of an afterlife. You must first assume that there has to be a god, for there to be an afterlife to believe this. You may find atheists that believe both, but the two things are mutually exclusive.

      I'm glad you've found peace in your agnosticism and thank you for taking the time to evangelize about it on an open-forum blog.

      November 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Jenny Porter

      Godfree...LOL!!! What a hypocrite you are. You JUST went on about Atheism and you accuse Being Agnostic of being evangelical with this beliefs. Do you Atheists ever look in the mirror or is Narcissism the only answer for you? You're clueless...and you're losing popularity amongst those of us that might have considered your way if it weren't as extreme and angry and Christians.
      These chat boards have really opened up the reality of both sides.

      November 5, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @GodFreeNow

      Afterlife and gods are not mutually exclusive. Take traditional Buddhism for instance. As far as I'm aware, there is no concept, merely Karma and Nirvana. There is no explanation as to why these things are, they just are.

      November 5, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Being Agnostic is swell!

      Agnosticism deals with knowledge or claims to knowledge. I asked about belief, which agnosticism does not address. So I think that my question is quite valid. Also, which dictionary are you using for the definition of atheist that you're railing against? Some define it as professing a negative position (there is no god), which doesn't really make sense since it's a claim to knowledge and would fall under gnosticism, and some define it as disbelief or lack of belief, which is much more in keeping with the etymology of the word.

      November 5, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Jenny

      Really? I've seen many calm and rational responses here from atheists and theists, and very nasty and crazy responses from both sides as well. The tone of an argument is irrelevant to the argument itself, however, since a claim stands or falls on its own merits.

      November 5, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @HG,

      sounds like SBNR to me! ;)

      November 5, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @not a GOPer

      Maybe, but I'd rather he/she define what they believe, as well as properly defining the terms being used.

      November 5, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Jenny Porter, I don't deny evangelizing. If I did that in my post please point it out.
      hypocrisy |hiˈpäkrisē|
      noun ( pl. hypocrisies )
      the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform; pretense.

      I'm actually a proud evangelist of atheism. I think that everyone deserves to hear about the freedom they can obtain from illusion by living a lift guided by reason and critical thinking. In fact, I feel like I have a moral responsibility to show people that they actually have a choice and are not confined to the limited thinking that they may have been indoctrinated with as children.

      I was merely pointing out how the original poster went to great lengths to show us how agnostics don't need to evangelize, which I found ironic.

      November 5, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @hawaiiguest
      "Afterlife and gods are not mutually exclusive" Did you mean ARE mutually exclusive? I would consider reincarnation to be an after life that doesn't require a god.

      November 5, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @GodFreeNow

      If they were mutually exclusive, then you could only have one at a time, and having both would be logically inconsistent (either an afterlife, or a god, never both). I think we agree, but I think you're using mutually exclusive in the wrong way.

      November 5, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @hawaiiguest
      "mutually exclusive" Yeah, you are right. Thank you for the correction.

      Maybe I should say that they are non-interdependent concepts?

      November 5, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @GodFreeNow

      That would work.

      November 5, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Jesus Christ

      Wow, now that HG and GFN have stroked each other to completion in their mutual admiration of each others understanding of Atheism I have to say that they sound like two little school bullies that do nothing all day (I gather they don't work...they are on these posts ALL the time) but point out why Atheism only attracts people that THINK they are intellectual and yet the lack the emotional maturity to really be at peace with their belief of choice. How unfortunate.

      November 5, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Jesus Christ,

      Thank you for your input. You seem to know us both so well.

      November 5, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
  12. Atheism is good for everyone. Pets too!
    November 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  13. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    November 5, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • livingfreeofmomos

      Prayer hasn't made Romney a good person and it certainly hasn't gotten rid of you and your pathological harassing. However, medication can and DOES change things for the right people. Give it a thought.

      November 5, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • 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 4:25 pm |
    • TrollAlert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
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      "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:
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      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian. .

      November 6, 2012 at 11:42 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 6, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  14. Melissa C

    I really appreciate this article. It's very accurate and gives a good look at what a Mormon president would be like. I'm a Mormon and I give my stamp of approval.

    For more info about Mormons from Mormons, take a look at this website:
    http://www.mormon.org

    November 5, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • WXO

      I agree.

      November 5, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Jesus Christ

      mormon.org is mormon propaganda.

      Did you know that Mormons believe that God has a wife, but she is too sacred to mention? That means she's a Goddess... That's polytheistic...not Christian.

      Look it up!!

      November 5, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      JC, How is that better than impregnating a woman married to someone else?

      November 5, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
  15. 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.

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

    November 5, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  16. WXO

    As a member of the LDS church, this article was overall fine. The only issue is the ignorant comments being made from supposed "experts" on something they really don't know much about (as their sources are usually anti-Mormon sources with half-truths and twisted "facts").

    But I think I can speak for a good portion of people when I say that there'll be a collective sigh of relief when all this campaigning finally ends.

    November 5, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Mitt Romney

      Hey buddy, don't forget that most people would freak out if they knew we Mormons believe that we're going to become GODS and GODDESSES after we die and go to the Celestial Kingdom. If a lot of people knew that we believe that GOD himself was once an ordinary man on some distant planet, then they'd freak out and realize that Mormons believe in PLUAL GODS which makes us NON-CHRISTIAN!!!

      Look it up!!!

      November 5, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Jesus Christ

      Yes, Mormons do believe they will become gods and goddesses. They also believe that Lucifer is the brother of Jesus. They also believe that Joseph Smith was once the Archangel Michael.

      Look it up!!

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

      November 5, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Melissa C

      My friend, I think you've got some misunderstanding of doctrine there. We believe that God the Father is and always has been God, a perfect and supreme being. We also believe that His son, Jesus Christ, Atoned and died for the sins of this world, and that through Him we can come closer to our Heavenly Father.

      According to our doctrine, we do believe that one day we will receive "all that the Father hath," which means, under His direction, we will have the ability to have greater knowledge and have power to create, because we believe progression is eternal. But never would we take His role as the Father, as the supreme God, and as the Father of our Spirits. Never will we have people pray to us or become deities like Him.

      I hope that clears up some misconceptions about our doctrine concerning progression after Judgement day.

      For more information:
      http://www.mormon.org

      November 5, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Jenny Porter

      Melissa...you're a flat out liar. Anyone can look up what was mentioned about your belief in becoming a God. If you have not yet been through one of your Temple ceremonies, you don't know about it yet. I have and I do know. Don't call me friend. You don't know me and I don't know you. As a psychologist I am very aware that calling a total stranger "friend" is a manipulative, belittling button, pushed to control people.

      Now educate yourself.

      November 5, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Melissa C

      Also, that video you posted is forever old and incredibly inaccurate. I had a good laugh while watching it. I honestly hope that people who watch it do not think that is what Mormons believe.

      November 5, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Andtherearemoreofus

      mormon.org is a propaganda machine. It will not tell you what they do in the temples and it will not tell you anything that the mormon commercials don't already say...but it will get the missionaries at your door.

      November 5, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Andtherearemoreofus

      Melissa, you sound like a very manipulative person. It's great you laughed at your own beliefs when you watched the video. What part of it isn't true? What part would you like to point out that isn't true that ANYONE can google and find out differently? Why do you mormons lie and keep secrets? If your religion gives you so much shame, why not leave it?

      November 5, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Melissa C

      Jenny,

      I am sorry to have offended you, and I am sorry if you misunderstood what I meant. We do believe that someday we will become gods and goddesses, but like I said, not in the sense that most people think.

      We will never be the same as God, but rather like him, in that we will acquire attributes and knowledge that he has, but never will we be worshipped or have the power that He has.

      For a more clear understanding of what we believe according to us and not biased, anti-Mormon sources, take a look at our website:
      http://www.mormon.org

      November 5, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • caringlawyer

      Wow Melissa, you'll notice that WXO has not denied anything from the video or the mentioning of your possible mormon Godhood...he's probably been through the temple and he may actually be more honest than you are.

      November 5, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • caringlawyer

      Yeah, so being a lawyer....I have to say that your original comment totally denied that you would become Gods or Goddesses in any way and now you turn around and say that you will...just not in the way we think you will....
      Um...WOW. You're just like Romney. A flip-flopper AND a liar. He learned it by being Mormon! WOW!! Thank you for enlightening me. I've been trying to figure out my Mormon friend and his wife because they say contradictory things all the time. It's like you people have personality disorders, and you don't even see it. Amazing.

      So just for laughs, do tell us how you can be a Goddess, but not be a Goddess that we would understand. Small minds like us common people would like to know.

      November 5, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Jenny Porter

      mormon.org does NOT mention ANYTHING about mormons and their possible godhood. Melissa is obviously either a recent convert or she has not been to the mormon temple or she is a pathological liar. Either way, she s simply spreading the mormon website around so that you can get missionaries at your door that will harass you non-stop until they "dust their feet of you."

      Look it up.

      November 5, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • livingfreeofmomos

      Hello Melissa....I'm dying to hear your response to caringlawyer and Jenny...where are you? Was your dishonesty discovered? Did the kitchen get to hot and you had to run?

      Mormons do believe in plural gods.

      Look it up.

      November 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  17. Byrd

    All religions are cults. Period. Some are just a little bigger than others, but any cult that worships a being they perceive as being more powerful, wise and benevolent than they are themselves aren't followers, but slaves who have surrendered their place in Existence to that of others, if they do exist, whom none have met face to face, but have only read about in the fictional books they revere in delusion.

    November 5, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  18. Vet4America

    This story has Axelrod's fingerprints all over it. It is called the "nuclear option" and was to be used as a last ditch attack if Obama's re-election was in doubt. The strategy is to unleash an attack on Romney's faith through the media. Times magazine broke the story in August. I guess the Obama team is now desperate to the point of pushing the Nuclear Option button. So, now we are witnessing it.

    Sad commentary of just how low the election has gone.

    November 5, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • MCR

      It's interesting that most of the Mormon's on hear are responding that this was a fairly fair story and representation while others are freaking and calling it a bigoted attack. There's nothing offensive in here unless you have a really narrow mind as to what is acceptable in a religion.

      November 5, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  19. 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."

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

    November 5, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  20. Harry 101

    I think it says something about arrogant bigots but your not worried about that your bigger and above all that BS church stuff.

    November 5, 2012 at 3:06 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.