By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) – Mitt Romney’s defeat appears to close out a years-long “Mormon moment,” a period of national fascination with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It has also provoked Mormon disappointment; Romney would have been first Latter-day Saint in the White House, culminating a decades-long process of growing Mormon acceptance and influence.
But prominent Mormons and religion experts say Mormons should be heartened that Romney’s candidacy appeared to help mainstream the relatively young faith, which was founded in 1830 in upstate New York.
“Part of the Mormon moment was curiosity and much of that curiosity has been satisfied,” said John Green, professor of political science at the University of Akron.
“There will always be people who disagree with them,” Green said, “but the sense is that this community is part of the broad middle of American society.”
As stories about the LDS Church graced the covers of magazines and front pages of newspapers, the church’s press office was working overtime to answer questions from around the globe. A church that prefers to keep private became very public.
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“Without question there has been an increase in interest in the Church over the past several years,” church spokesman Michael Purdy told CNN. “Although there have been exceptions, this attention has given people the opportunity to know who we are and what we believe.”
It also meant more publicity for aspects of the church that many Mormons would prefer not dwell on, like the church’s onetime practice of polygamy (the church banned the practice more than 100 years ago) and its denial of the priesthood to black members until the late 1970s.
But even the uncomfortable questions were good for the church, said Richard Bushman, a Mormon scholar who has served as a local Mormon leader.
“So long as those objections and criticisms were kept under wraps, they just sort of festered there,” Bushman said. “Getting them out in the open where people could speak candidly, that in a way clears the atmosphere.”
Coverage of Mormonism also led to some level of misinformation. One example: On the TV show “The View,” on October 18, 2012, Whoopi Goldberg asked Ann Romney, Mitt Romney’s wife, about how she would relate to soldiers.
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“As first lady, if you get the job, it’s going to entail a lot of things, and one of those things is going to be talking to the mothers whose children are coming home in bags, you know, from wars,” Goldberg said. “Now, I know - I believe that your religion doesn’t allow you to go fight.”
Goldberg was wrong. Mormons are actually known to enlist in the military at higher levels than others. “No, that's not correct,” Ann Romney told Goldberg. “We have many, many members of our faith that are serving in armed services.”
Purdy, the church spokesman, says such exchanges were ultimately beneficial.
“A good deal of misinformation has been replaced with a more accurate picture of the Church, its doctrines, and its members across the world,” Purdy said. “That is a good thing for all involved and we look forward to these opportunities continuing.”
But with Romney’s loss, interest in Mormonism is expected to dwindle. Joanna Brooks, a well known Mormon blogger and author says it’s only a matter of time until that interest returns.
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“There have been many Mormon moments, and there will be many more to come,” she said. “Mormonism remains a vibrant and distinctive force on the American religious landscape, and as a young religion with a new global reach, the Mormon story is still unfolding.”
The last Mormon moment, she said, was a good one: “This is a moment in which the nation proved that it was capable of having a discussion about candidates and platforms without openly subjecting either candidate to a religious test.”
Though Romney’s faith garnered plenty of coverage - from Time’s cover story “The Mormon Identity,” to New York Magazine’s “Where is the Mormonism in Mitt Romney?,” - neither the campaigns nor outside groups made much, if any, mention of it.
Romney’s bid seemed to improve relations between Mormons and evangelical Christians, many of whom have long seen the LDS Church as a cult. In May, Romney spoke at Liberty University, founded by Jerry Falwell.
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Weeks before the election, too, the Rev. Billy Graham met with Romney for the first time and removed “Mormonism” from a section of his website devoted to cults.
“The Billy Graham business, for me that was symbolic that evangelicals instead of just dismissing Mormonism, (they) now need to talk a little more about what they mean,” Bushman said.
According to exit polls on Tuesday, 79% of white evangelical Christians voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. That’s an even higher share of the white evangelical vote than John McCain got in 2008, when he was the Republican presidential nominee.
“From the point of view of religious tolerance and acceptance, there were some really positive trends,” Green said. “It does suggest that the path towards greater religious tolerance has continued.”
Green raised the subject with his students after Tuesday’s election. At the end of the conversation, Green said one non-Mormon student’s comment encapsulated the strides Mormonism made in the last year.
“They aren’t any stranger,” the student joked, “than anyone else.”
– CNN’s Allison Brennan contributed to this report.
Mormons may serve in the military – but Mitt Romney spent over 4 years in France on his LDS mission (proselytizing) while thousands of our young men died in Vietnam. And, NOT ONE of his FIVE sons served in the military. As for increased awareness of teachings of the LDS church – google "role of women in mormonism" for an eye-opening paper from an ex-Mormon.
Mit was a coward & dodged the draft. None of his sons served in the military because 'rich kids' don't join the military.
all organizations have those who leave with "horror stories". Why don't you ask directly the 7 million women who are current members? Wouldn't that be a better polling of opinions?
You are wrong on so many levels. I am a Mormon woman that has held several leadership and teaching positions in the church in the last 50+ years. Not once have I been treated less than any other man, woman, or child. Oh, and you are wrong about Romney spending more than 4 years on a mission. Missions only last 2 years. While Romney and his children did not serve in the military, many Mormon men and women serve and are encouraged to serve. My nephew is currently serving in Afghanistan. My son-in-law and niece are in the National Guard. I have several Mormon friends and neighbors currently serving. My brother is a veteran of the Iraqi war. I recommend you and every other reader here visit http://www.fairlds.com for the truth.
CTR, it seems to me that Beadles is trying to present the truth. He got the number of years of Romney's France service wrong, but I had heard 4 years from other sources, too. (Apparently it was 2 1/2 years.)
The point is, he was avoiding the draft, while other people were dying for him.
I don't think Beadles is saying either that Mormons avoid military service, just that Romney did. And all of his brothers.
As for "being wrong on so many levels" ... stop handwaving. Mormonism is a cult, on so many levels.
If you're comfortable with an organization that regularly rewrites the "truth" for its convenience, that's your business. I prefer to stick with truths that aren't rewritten when it's discovered what a silly obvious mess they made of the last version.
There are NO archeological sites, to my knowledge that support a single thing "The Book of Mormon" claims is history. I prefer Disney's lies, and the Catholic Church's truths.
As noted previously. (scroll down the page to 4:14 PM)
"During the U.S. military draft for the Vietnam War, Romney sought and received two 2-S student deferments, then a 4-D ministerial deferment while living in France as a Mormon missionary. He later sought and received two additional student deferments. When those ran out, the result of the December 1969 draft lottery ensured he would not be selected. "
Bill Clinton also lucked out with a high draft number.
And did any of the Kennedy kids join the military?
OK, So I guess Barry Satorro, I mean Barak Obama was ahhh in the military?
I don't think so. Lets talk about J Wright, Obama's minister. I guess you don't want to.
By the way, America was founded on Christian principals. The election was decided by 42 million ideots who
don't have any idea what they have done, to 42 million sheep that can't get off the government sugar t-t. Voted that they don't want to work or ween off the sugar t-t, but bash the mormon religion because they don' have the capacity to understand what Christianity is all about.
Mitt & Tagg, well all the Romney men are cowards.
Riddley, you're plain wrong about archeological evidence that supports the Book of Mormon. The Hopewell Indians left huge mound structures that precisely fit the descriptions of defensive fortifications used by Chief Captain Moroni in the Book of Mormon. The evidence is massive, truly overwhelming, and doesn't end with that simple example. Modern technology and evidence-gathering is validating the Book of Mormon as what it claims to be: a record of the dealings of the Lord's people in ancient America, and another testament of Jesus Christ.
I think I'll have Romney baptised post-mortem into a satanic cult. Oh wait, he's 1/2 way there already!
BeAezelBub – not funny, not witty, not cool
I wonder how the evangelicals are going to handle the fallout of their blurring the lines of biblical dogma.
Is Billy Graham going to put the Mormon Church back on the list of Religious Cults since the election is over??
Indeed he will.
He probably did it when they lost Ohio.
He should have never taken them off. Another leader in the church who compromised..... Just cause ut was taken off the list means nothing.....
It was a pretty shallow trick, wasn't it, conning a 94 year old man? I felt a little disgust at that.
Angry, ignorant comments made by one with the emotional maturity of a 5 year old.
No one should have a list of cults! What is wrong with people? Spreading religious bigotry...I hope everyone is more educated by the time my kids are grown enough to read these forums. My 9 yr old daughter is so proud to wear her "I'm a Mormon" shirt. I am raising my children to stand for what they believe, to be kind to others, and not judge. Are you guys raising your children to be bullies..that is exactly what this forum seems to be full of.
Maybe people's curiosity will lead them to investigate the LDS church. Let's just hope they don't simply rely on what 'the church' will feed them. The church is incredibly skilled in brainwashing and deception. If individuals take the time to learn about the history of Joseph Smith, founder of the LDS church and a convicted criminal, they might start to recognize the smoke & mirrors. Read up on JoJo's 'Non Bank' in Ohio, where he swindled people out of their real money, in exchange for his fake money. Read up on the 'Mormon Extermination Law' implemented in Missouri, when the LDS were out-voting the surrounding communities & the locals had had enough.
Then RUN AWAY!
I'm sorry for the brainwashing and deceptive lies you have been told.
So being falsely convicted means one is guilty; for having a bank that railed during the national ban crisis of 1837 when many banks failed proves anything; and winning an election is grounds for your governor to issue an order for you to be forced from your home and threatened with death? Your "facts" are off and your bigotry out for all to see.
Jesus taught us that "by their works ye shall know them". Our church teaches us to serve others and love others of all faiths and to not judge others. This is very Christlike and helps us get along with people of all nationalities and religions. We are taught to be charitable and to live our lives free from bad habits that would inhibit our utility to society. We are taught to strive for success in our vocations so we can serve our families and others better. We are taught to value our families and to sacrifice for their growth and success. This lifestyle makes us healthy, happy and successful in almost every way. Surely God would smile on these traits that are taught to us. Although I am weak and cannot live all the standards taught to me by my church, I can assure you, that I would be less of a father, employee, husband etc., without my beliefs. Have there been errors made during the Church's history? Yes! Has there ever been a church where none of its leaders or members have sinned over a several hundred year time span? I don't think so.
I think it's really sad that this country that was once founded on religious freedom now no longer considers a person with faith and ideals normal. Why is alright to embrace whatever feels good at the moment but not religious convictions. And the saddest part of all is that those without faith get down right nasty when you share that faith whatever it might be. Rock on all believers in whatever faith you have. Thank God for your moral compass.
There is no god, so just thank yourselves.
And G-d is certainly thankful for those that lay aside opportunism to actually utilize that compass.
The fact is, atheists just find people like pathetic. Your arguments are not based in reality. You add nothing to the conversation.
"this country that was once founded on religious freedom now no longer considers a person with faith and ideals normal"
Which country are you referring to? It is certainly not the United States. The majority of adults are religious and attend worship. Public figures frequently talk about their religion and political campaigns that don't include a lot of religious talk are unusual.
You mean like Voo Dooism?
Interestingly enough, I welcome your sympathy and accept your disagreement. Unless you're going to prove a negative, there is no need to destroy each other in word, nor get into a circular argument. Champions of atheism, deism, theism, or the like have all this is common: none of them escape logical fallacies when they needlessly fight with one another. It is better to be thought a |=ool than to open one's mouth to remove all doubt.
The problem with the *faithful* is that no one else's faith is of merit. If it makes you happy to feel superior to others – go for it. Meanwhile, I'll *judge* people based on their actions not their words.
Being faithful has nothing to do with being a bigot, although there are plenty that find ways to excuse it, when it concerns their own actions. Bigoted behavior is a tendency all people must struggle with, regardless of what they believe. What is most apparent is that people are often desire social acceptance so much that they suffer illusory superiority.
'I think it's really sad that this country that was once founded on religious freedom now no longer considers a person with faith and ideals normal'
either you are deluding yourself or lying. i will give you the benefit of the doubt and claim you dont know what you are on about.
Faith is still everything in the US, you will NEVER get elected by claiming to be an atheist today. All the candidates made constant reference to their faith because they know how much influence the religious demographic has in the country.
as for moral compass......you dont need religion to have one.
I'm, reminded of a song, I'll sing it for you...Mormon, Doorman...Mormon Doorman...
I don't remember the rest, but, there you are.
I like Mitt Romney. He has a pretty smile and nice ties.
Ö.K. copain, qui sont tous les noms que vous détachement dans le cadre aujourd'hui?
Oui, mon ami, je suis Christopher Walken, Meatwad, Shake, Apple Bush lol
I thought CW was you the other day. BTW... I can just picture and hear CW saying those things with his mannerisms and tone/inflection. Cra cks me up.
Normal people don't feel comfortable around Mormons.
Mormonism isn't natural.
That is very closed minded of you! Some of my closest friends are LDS AND they don't shove their religion down my throat AND they are very normal. Spread your hate somewhere else!
Wow your bigotry is extremely evident ... where in the world did you get that ... I love my Mormon neighbors, in fact, I would trust them with anything I own. They are incredible, yes I am sure that there are Mormons that are not so wonderful, but to say that people are uncomfortable with them ... you are nuts. Even my gay neighbor loves the Mormons in our neighborhood. So please crawl back under that rock you hide under and grow a reality bone. You need something to give you a back bone, and something to give you a dose of reality.
So - you're saying that Romney is the Morman Alf Landon? I think that fits.
Well, I guess, mormon doorman, if you no what, I mean.
Whoopi Goldberg worded her question incorrectly on the View or she didn;t have the nerve to watch Anne Romney squirm. The LDS church in the past was able to have their young "missionaries" get waivers from being drafted. This is why Mitt did not serve while many thousands his age did serve as a result of the draft during the Vietnam War. This is true. Not a myth.
Would you rather have a Soldier that is inspired to teach religion to their peers or one that will follow orders such as, "Fire!"?
How about neither one?
Ideally, Athy, that would be the case. However, since I do believe in God, our reasons for the prior are much different. In any case, I would imagine we can agree on the latter.
Mitt Romney's draft number was an even 300. You can look that up on the selective service website for Mitt's birth date of Mach 12, 1947.
If you aren't familiar with how the draft worked, each birthday was drawn from a basket. Those birthday drawn first, from 1 to about 120 were the first to be drafted. Because Romney's number was high (300 out of 365) he was way down the list from ever being drafted.
Private church? So private it sends out 60,000 missionaries to spread the word?
Non temple-recommend holding individuals are NOT allowed in LDS temples. Look around & see if any other faith/church prevents 'outsiders' from attending. Now, of course, if you knew what actually goes on in these temples, you probably wouldn't want to go to begin with ;)
I didn't mind the Mormonism. It was the Romneyism I couldn't stand.
I didn't mind the devestation, it was the storm I couldn't stand.
mr. romney in your commericals you said you could create 12 million jobs. well sir i need a job could you pls help.
This is something I find interesting about political campaigns. There are so many people that say they can fix our problems. What confuses me is that they stop trying, if they're not elected. Even more confusing is the when they haven't begun the process, before announcing their candidacy. The only truly wealthy man is the man that makes those around him wealthy. In the context I'm speaking of, it includes monetary wealth, but that means nothing without spiritual and physical health. Having all the money in circulation is useless, as a dollar in your pocket (until it is given away or used for a purchase). In any case, 'need a job', I can sympathize with what you say–I could use one too.
you can go and apply to AMC Entertainment, Aspen Education Group, Brookstone, Burger King, Burlington Coat Factory, Clear Channel Communications, Domino's Pizza, DoubleClick, Dunkin' Donuts, D&M Holdings, Guitar Center, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Sealy, The Sports Authority, Staples, Toys "R" Us, Warner Music Group and The Weather Channel.
It is ignorance to think that Romeny hasn't already tried to get America working. American truly lost a great opportunity to restart the economic engine, which powers all other services.
There is nothing ignorant about saying that Brother Romney hasn't already tried. In context, it says that nobody should need a position in society that is elevated over others, or with greatly desired benefits, to lead the charge in fixing problems that affect everyone. If 'those who matter', including him, are so concerned about fixing problems, they would loosen their grip on broken traditions that freezes human achievement into a local minimum. No matter which ideologies hold the greatest influence over any branch of government–it is ignorant to think nothing can be done to fix our problems without having all of that or some combination thereof. Romney does not have complete influence over his peers, however it is apparent their influence over him was overwhelming–considering his core values did not remain unfettered.
Nobody in their right mind, if they desire social affluence, is going to really work to fix the problems that are perpetuated by accepting our working contradictions. If you force a man to think, he will kill you. While arriving at a local minimum may be accidental, remaining there is not. The reasons are many, but a great deal of economic stasis is caused by ephemeral valuations of the USD, rather than basing its value on a tangible commodity. Nobody that uses divers weights and divers measures are going to admit that their deals are one-sided. The only one to complain of that is the person hold the short end of the stick.
What I would consider ignorant is to say that the result everyone is looking for could be laid upon the shoulders of one person. We're all in this together.
The country missed that boat; check back in four years.
Charity isn't about finances. Charity more like Equal Protection.
Certainly this is something most people in the LDS Church had been hoping for. Everyone I know there planned on voting for him. What disappoints me is the reactions I received when I said that I was not going to. Just because you share a common belief with people shouldn't dictate you become their clone. Unity doesn't have to mean we all wear the same clothes and yell, "Heil." Unity means that although we have differences, we come together as a family, to set them aside. This race certainly was in discordance with the Father's plan. Even Romney knows in his gut–this was the worst display of what it means to lack charity by those that should represent their beliefs, be they physical or spiritual in nature. On either side of the political spectrum, for so many within it that profess to be Christian, it amazes me how much modern believers understand in principle and how little they come to understand in Spirit.
There are a lot of Mormons that did not vote for Romney.
I've seen that, scanning the social postings online and talking with others, Bryan. However, in my locale, it was quickly apparent that if you didn't support him, you're an outsider; for it, it seems I might as well be an apostate. What bothers me, as it concerns a fellowship: if a fellowship does not follow their own doctrine, it is a false doctrine, regardless of the principle's purity. In an open society, when a group of people (in a church, a town, etc.) drive outsiders away, there is usually something they're doing wrong they don't want others to know about. When that happens, it's probably best to dust one's shoes and walk away. \o_^_o/
The Mormons I know that did not vote for Romeny, voted Libertarian.
The Mormon church is part of the religious landscape of America.
What they may have lost in politics in this past election, they've gained in acceptance by their neighbours.
The acceptance they've gained is from Christians who rarely go to church, haven't read the Bible for years, and never saw "The Book of Mormon" in their life.
The Bible is pretty tough for a new reader to understand, but as I remember "The Book of Mormon" it was just a bunch of silly inept fantasy. Of course it's been changed over 3,000 times since it was first published, so I may not be up-to-date there.
If Christians understood that a book that's full of fantasies about places that never existed, based on "lost" golden tablets is considered to be an equal of the Bible ... I think they might change their minds.
Too bad they're spending so much time on Facebook they'll never bother to find out.
Not only does it close out the "Mormon Moment", it also continues closing out Christianity in general. Bravo !!!
Mormons are not Christians.
Only for the new members of this blog-
Putting the kibosh on religion to include Mormonism: (and one does this in less than 10 seconds)
• As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.
• As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.
• There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.
• There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.
• There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.
• Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.
• Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.
Added details available upon written request.
A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.
"The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.
Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "
Mormons are not Christins, that's true.
Mormons believe in Christ and accept Christ as their savior. What more does it take to be "Christian"? Whatever else you don't like about Moromns, don't tell them that they don't believe in Christ. They do.
Sounds like they are just people too. No need to tear them down to boost my own cause. Wish America was not as shallow as many antagonists make us out to be.
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.