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Romney’s loss closes out ‘Mormon moment’
Mitt Romney attending church on Sunday earlier this year.
November 8th, 2012
03:20 PM ET

Romney’s loss closes out ‘Mormon moment’

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.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

“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.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

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.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (1,823 Responses)
  1. Stan

    "Mormon moment". Sort of like a "Senior moment" except that the subject is best left forgotten.

    November 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  2. Reality

    Mormonism will slowly fade from society as will contemporary Christianity and Islam because of the obvious problems with the founders of these religions especially their angelic/satanic hallucinations and related prophecies.

    November 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      These beliefs are likely to remain as long as people fear death, which basically means forever.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • John

      Belief is not about fear, but the gift of life.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  3. Portland tony

    If he had run for office as an American of good Character instead of bowing to the garbage spewed by the extreme religious right he might have won. In the red states he would have won anyway because of the extreme hatred of Obama that exists even post election. The rest of us were concerned about the economy and the economy and the economy. By bringing religion into the campaign, he got too many zealots arguing social
    issues which took the steam out of his economic policies. The inclusion of religious dialog in his campaign killed any chance of his winning!

    November 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Evangelical

      I disagree. I believe that it is exactly the opposite.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Reality

      Romney is Mormon because he was born Mormon. Should we hold this against him? Actually in the 21st century, we should since he continues with this severe affliction of the Three B Syndrome i.e. Bred, Born and Brainwashed in Mormonism with no obvious change in his mental state which he could easily change with some rational thinking. Had he at least admitted that Mormonism has some significant theological and historic flaws, he might have won.

      BO also suffers from the same affliction as he believes in "pretty/ugly wingie thingies, bodily resurrections, atonement mumbo jumbo et al. And there has been no change in his version of the Three B Syndrome.

      One should be voting for leaders who can think rationally. Believing in angels, satans, bodily resurrections, atonement, and heavens of all kinds is irrational.

      Bottom line: BO and MR have been severely brainwashed in their theologically and historically flawed Christianity and they are too weak to escape its felonious grip. And we are still stuck with one of them for another four years of "god bless America" .

      November 9, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Stan

      Evangelicals will soon fade, and that is great news.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I agree with Tony. This country needs an immediate return to fiscal responsibility. However, this country doesn't need to return to Medievil social policy.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Sorry, Medieval

      November 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • John

      Reality, if you believe your life is by 'Chance' you are as flawed as the rest of us. Billions of people believe in God since the dawn of man for good reason. Every one of us has to go through the mental exercise of explaining existence to ourselves. Not one of us takes this mental exercise lightly. To over simplify our rational for existence is to over simplify your own existence. Having some empathy and respect for others belief systems shows an open mind of intelligence. Your very existence is proof that anything is possible and you should never take that gift for granted.

      November 9, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Reality

      After years of searching, a prayer that answers at least the god and Christianity questions:

      The Apostles' Creed 2012 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (References used are available upon request.)

      November 9, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
  4. Evangelical

    Good riddance to Romney. I carried the water for him through the election, but he is the reason we lost. We don't need any moderates in the GOP. We need conservatives who stand up for God and country.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Dippy

      Good, Vangie. Please do all you can to push that idea. That way the GOP can never win.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • sam

      Absolutely. The crazier, the better please, because it will make them easy to spot.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • John

      I believe your strategy has failed, and I fear that your failure will cause you and your party to become even more angery causing more hate and pain to those that oppose your views. The GOP has truely become the Taliban of the US.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Stan

      Appropriate job for Evangie is as a water boy, and now he even admits it.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Evangelical

      @John

      You damned right, I'm angry and not just me are angry. I'm angry because I feel like my party let me down. They had an excellent man in Santorum. But the party bosses were already grooming Romney for the general election and basically let Santorum hang out to dry. Santorum is the embodiment of Christian conservatism. So is Michelle Bachman. When will the party bosses learn that if you turn your back on your base, you lose. Period.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      LOL Bachmann and Santorum would have given Obama a 450+ electoral majority in the election. Those two, along with Palin, would have merely hastened the religious crazy vote into the annals of irrelevancy.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • John

      The country has obviously chosen a different direction. And where in the Bible does it teach us to be angry because we didn't get out way? My main takeaway from the lessons of the Bible is to lead by example and to show love and compasion to all of God's children. What lessons in the Bible are most important to you?

      November 9, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • sam

      "They had an excellent man in Santorum."

      He was an excellent SOMETHING, but man isn't the word. You're never going to get the crazycakes extremists in office that you want. Sooner or later the GOP will have to admit that pandering to the fundies is a losing bet, so expect more and more disappointment...or learn to live with others that don't hold your views.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Evangelical

      @John

      My main lesson from the Bible is simply this: Jesus is Lord and Redeemer who will save those sinners who turn to Him and repent. And yes, there is nothing wrong with righteous anger. Satan is in control of this world and Tuesday was his day. Jesus will return and we will have OUR day.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • sam

      Satan doesn't exist. Do your neighbors hide and pretend not to be home when they see you coming? I would.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • John

      If you are righteous, and lead by example people will follow and the people chose Obama. The people chose Obama and they were right. If the GOP continues down their Taliban path they will cease to be relevant.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Stan

      Evangie is frothing now just like his frothy friend Santorum. Evangie, you need to look here:
      http://spreadingsantorum.com/

      November 9, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  5. rationalgrrl

    The Billy Graham/Mitt Romney rapprochement was a pragmatic shotgun marriage to leverage the waning power of fundamentalist Christians, nothing more. Billy Graham did not spend his *94* years in a bunker–meeting with Romney did not give him any new information about Mormonism. Graham rose to national prominence in 1949 with the support of media moguls William Randolph Hearst and Henry Luce. Graham understands political alliances; he has been making them since–literally–Romney was in diapers.

    Graham is the Yoda of the Southern Baptists, the nation's largest Protestant denomination. Its membership dipped below 16 million in 2012, after 5 straight years of decline.

    I know whereof I speak: I was raised and went to University in the "Buckle of the Bible Belt," Nashville, Tennessee (3rd generation Tennessean), the nation's religious printing and publishing capital. Printing, not country music, is, and has been for a very long time, the #1 industry of "Music City USA."

    Nashville boasts Thomas Nelson Publishers, reportedly the biggest Bible publishing company; United Methodist Publishing House, the largest church-owned and operated publishing and printing plant in the world; Gideons International headquarters, the world's largest Bible distributor; and since 1891, Nashville has been home to nearly all of the Southern Baptist Convention's printing.

    Nasvillians know Southern Baptists like Utah's folks know Mormons. They employ us by the thousands and preach to us on Sundays.

    For 50 years, the Southern Baptist Convention aggressively, consistently preached the dangers of Mormonism, teaching that Mormonism is a cult. Full stop. "Latter Day Saints"–the new brand name of Mormonism says it all for Southern Baptists: self-sainted Joseph Smith is a blasphemer like Mohammad and The Book of Mormon is like the Koran.

    No wonder countless Mormons and Southern Baptists have reacted to the new "alliance" with visceral repulsion, writing volumes of material, the gist of which is "I am a Mormon, not a Christian/I am a Christian, Mormons are not Christians." Conservative site RedState.com reports that Bush got 80% of the Mormon vote in 2004 (and greater turnout), while uber-Mormon Romney got 78% of the Mormon vote.

    A trapped animal will chew off its own leg to survive. Survival is the common interest of Graham and Romney; both were happy to abandon "principles" in service of their respective self interests. Romney would make a deal with the devil himself, if he thought it would help him win the Presidency; he figured he could clean up the mess later. Graham would rather have a religious "severe" President–even a Mormon–than face the rising tide of secularism that is steadily eroding his flock.

    The hypocrisy of organized religion is the takeaway: A $250m Mormon ordained Bishop and president of the "Boston Stake " of the LDS, who spent the Vietnam years in France (supporting the war effort from afar, he says), who has five strapping middle-aged sons–none of whom have spent a day in military service–presumed to be the Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces, willing to spill the blood of real men and women like they little green plastic army men. At least W was in the *reserves.* Ambitious members of the well-to-do Bush political dynasty were not "above" service. Ambitious members of the well-to-do Kennedy political dynasty were not "above" service.

    But Romney, whose father was an ambitious politician (Michigan governor then US HUD Secretary for the decade when Romney was aged 16-26 and ran for President in 1968 when Romney was 21) apparently determined to follow in his father’s political footsteps but did not see fit to serve. Perhaps he thought he could “transfer the credit” he worked for in his substantial service to the LDS.

    I’ll never know what Romney purports to think because I’m not going to buy the book. Seeing the bit about America being a beacon of “decency” and his shiny new “simple” government on his alternate-reality “Romney Victory” webpage that got out tells me all I need to know. I was tallying the number of times the Speaker of the House said “simple” during his televised statements today, but I lost count. Whomever was “behind the curtain” is still there. Somebody needs to tell The Great And Powerful GOP that they’re not in Kansas anymore.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  6. Sane Person

    I am convinced that Mormonism only survives due to childhood brainwashing.. How does a grown adult hear about planet kolob, Jesus and satan being brothers, god living on an unknown planet with his wife, secret underwear, black people being cursed..... And decide to themselves "yeah, this all seems logical and true"?

    November 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • John

      Because it's not about the doctorine, but fellowship. Many won't admit it, but that is how I feel and the same for others in our ward.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Sane Person

      Well I'm glad at least one Mormon can admit they don't really believe this stuff. If the fellowship makes you feel good, go for it. Thanks for your honesty.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • John

      It is a journey, a calling from the Lord that I be in the positiion that I am today. None of us can say for certain what is true unless God reveals to us what is true. There is scripture that I know to be true, and what I'm unsure about I pray for guidance, and the Lord gives me the knowledge that I need when I need it. Human nature is to learn the hard way, but when you find God life's lessons can be learned through the Holy Spirit which can be much less painful.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Dippy

      John, you are delusional. Get a grip on yourself.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • John

      Dippy, what do you believe? I'm always open to new ideas.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      It has nothing to do with belief. You either accept the fact that all religions are BS or you're delusional. Belief doesn't enter the equation.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Sane Person

      I believe that if such a thing as "god" exists, we know nothing about it, and all religions are false. I assume that if this god REALLY cared about what we believe, think or do, it would have a better means of telling us than books or random prophets. I also believe that a loving god would be NOTHING like the Abrahamic faiths describe him/her/it.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • lala4u

      @Sane,
      I joined the church when I was 36 yrs old. Many of my family members followed suit once they got past their fear and actually listened to what the church is about. It is a beautiful Christian religion. This is the first church where I feel like I am worthy. I came to my bishop with a horrible weight on my shoulders about some really bad choices I made in life. He told me that God knows what is in my heart and he knows that I am a different person now than I was then and that I had the right to hold my head as high as any one else. I was so blown away by his lack of judgement and I was able to finally let go of that guilt. That is exactly the way it is supposed to be. That is the way ALL Christian people should be, Accept one another. I respect that you guys don't like my church..for whatever reason. But understand this..the reason people stay in the church is because it is true. You feel it in your heart. You may have never felt something like this and for that I am sorry for you. I pray that all of you feel that someday, whether because of religion or just because of your conscience. Would you say these things to a person of Jewish faith, or Catholic? This is the 21st century. No religions should be persecuted...we are not that ignorant anymore..are we?

      November 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Sane Person

      No religion is any more "true" than any other. You found a church when you were in a time of need, and it made you feel great. And that's great, good for you. But that doesn't make Mormonism true. And actually I think all religions are fair to criticize. I don't see why believing in fairy tales automatically should be respected. I especially do not respect the Abrahamic religions which have caused a disgusting amount of violence and death and hatred over the past 2000+ years.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • John

      I believe that God will be much different than the way religion portrays God to be. I pray that God is good and loving. I believe because our father has called me to serve as he has called billions around the world to serve. Yes, we are sheep, and the Master has spoken. To believe to have hope and faith in the universe that there is much, much more than meets the eye. I see that magic everyday, and everywhere. The fact that I breath this breath is a miracle so powerful I have no option but to search for answeres. I sit her and ponder my relevance as our planet circles our sun at 66,000 mph along the fabric of space. I not only see intelligent design, but unfathomable miraculously amazingly incredible design that forces me to ask how and why? And as I pray and those prayers are answered I now know that my existence is a gift that cannot be wasted. Thank you father for this blessing of life.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  7. B_guy

    If you don't believe in God or religion whatsoever then that's fine. That's your choice. I respect that. However, if you are a person that is open minded and can accept the fact that maybe there is more to be understood and perhaps there really is a God and you have felt his influence in your life then consider this from the Apostle Paul:

    "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14.

    I accept the possibility that all things cannot be explained and proved by man. I have felt the Spirit of God in my own life and I know that every person can know the truth for themselves through His Spirit. Some people will call it "brainwashing", some people will call it crazy, because to them it is crazy because they have not experienced the Spirit of God. Once you experience it you realize that it is something deeply personal between you and God. Nothing created or invented by man. A connection between you and your creator.

    There's so much name calling and disrespectful language flying around these comment boards. Let's bring back the respect!

    November 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • brad

      Why would I EVER show respect to a group, not just mormons, but all religions, that demonize people who do not follow their ways, have a history of murder and abuse, who to this day insiste on telling everyone, even those outeside their faith, how they can and cannot live. No thanks, I will continue to look at these type of people, not all of them, I know truly good religiouse people, with disgust and loathing.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  8. ettuhealy

    Mormons believe without question that the Garden of Eden is in Missouri...that God lives on the planent Kolob and that Native Americans are a lost and fallen tribe of Israel. Mormonism is a cult founded by a failed treasure hunter.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • lala4u

      Really? : /

      November 9, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Huebert

      Christianity is a cult founded by a failed revolutionary.

      Islam is a cult founded by a successful warlord.

      Judaism is a cult so old that its founder is a mystery.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  9. GianCarlo

    The Mormon religion is not ligit. They change their beliefs like Rommney changed his magic underwear. If you look at Rommney's sons. They are like robots, very little expression, not much thought.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Sue

      There is not a single religion that is legit.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  10. Dave Harris

    Mormonism is a good religion for people who love authority and just want to be told what to do. At least they don't blow people up for their god.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  11. Lori Hale

    Thank you Mr. Romney for your example and service to our country through your campaign. There will always be those who vilify no matter how good the person or religion is that they are attacking. For me, I saw an exemplary man who happened to be a Mormon. Neither man nor church are perfect but both contribute a great deal of good to our nation.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • brad

      In the mean time, on planet reality, even though gay marriage has absolutly no effect on them, they went out of their way to strike it down, to persecute a people different then them. So so kind, they just make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • rationalgrrl

      He was not "serving the country" with his campaign; he was trying to serve himself.

      If he wasn't in it for himself, if it wasn't rank ambition, then he is a pitiful creature indeed.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • lala4u

      @rationgrrl,
      Are you aware that Romney was not going to accept the $700k salary for presidency but was going to donate it to charity. Sounds exactly like serving our country to me. He didn't accept pay for being governor either. He also donated his entire inheritance to charity. In fact 19% of hi income went to charity. Terrible self serving guy!

      November 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  12. George

    It was so interesting the way Evangelicals and Catholics dropped their objections to LDS Church, stopped calling it a cult and saying it was not a Christian Church because they could not abide a President who was not white. They chose the platform off cutting Medicaid and phasing out Medicare (taking care of the poor and aged) in favor of making sure women would have less choice in whether they carry babies full term. Interesting fact, until the 1870s nuns performed both abortions and infancides. So much for holding true to their faith. Controlling women's reproductive rights trumps carrying for the poor and aged. WWJD?

    November 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • John

      Very, very true, and in my opinion an admission of fear, hate, and racism. This election brought out the absolute evil in our hearts, and again exposed the motives of the conservative right. I just hope this time the damage done to the GOP is longer lasting, but if you look at how Bush killed America and how fast the GOP rebuilt after 8 years of torement I'm very skeptical that America has learned anything especially the Tea Party conservatives.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  13. Cody

    It is sad to see that bigotry is still alive and well in our country. Shame on all of you. I can't believe that there are people that have made it such a point to hate someone because they believe in God in a different way. Seriously- GROW UP! Who trolls religious articles to criticize religions different than their own????? Can we be a little bit more mature than this? I have had friends from many religions and Mormons are VERY GOOD people. Catholics are good people. Baptists are good people. Atheists are good people. We have such a short time here on Earth together. There is no time for hate! Stop the hate!

    November 9, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      All those religions are a bunch of fairy tale hooey. I'm still disgusted that my polling place where I cast my vote was in a church building. How do you get an atheist in church? Force him to vote there. Separate church and state. SO happy the insane religious GOP lost.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • brad

      You are absolutly right Cody, we do not have time for hate in our brief moment of life, that is why I steer clear of churches.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • rationalgrrl

      Cody, I totally agree with you.

      But civility has a limit.

      I would be civil to my warden if I were in prison because it would be sensible. I would think of him/her as a person with a job to do and a family they love. Moreover, why make it harder than it has to be?

      But when someone threatens to take my life away, I will go down fighting if I have to.

      My choices ARE my life. Without my two abortions, I never would have had the child I have now and love so much. My first abortion-partner wouldn't have the life he now enjoys. My second abortion-partner wouldn't have his three children. None of the men, women and children involved would have the lives they do, if not for the ability to choose to end an unintended pregnancy.

      I have no problem with the consequences of my choices. If a "God" ever stands in judgment of me, I'll be as surprised as Mitt Romney on election night if that God disapproves of me. I know who I am, and I approve.

      When someone threatens to take away what little control a person has over their own destiny, they should expect a fight.

      Mitt Romney said he'd be "delighted" to take my choices away. I was mortally terrified for my young child that he would win and keep his word. The outcome suggests to me that there might be a God, after all.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Hate and cynicism are both necessary tools in the modern world.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • lala4u

      Well put, Cody. Thank you!

      November 9, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  14. T-Bag

    LOL so many stupid ppl–obviously Mormons have some weird beliefs, but ppl on here are saying the most ridiculous things as if it is simply a matter-of-fact–Mormons believe in tall aliens on the moon, are you stupid as shi*t? You heard something that one person said another person said and come on here swinging your dick around as if you are the authority on what mormons believe? that is why the republican party is dead, so much intolerance and uninformed opinions, please join the democrat party you morons.

    yeah mormons believe in some weird shi*t, but is anything they believe weirder than believing in some Zombie that walked on water and could fly (ascended into heaven) grow a brain.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  15. Ryan

    Mormonism and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are not a part of christianity. The LDS church has been a cult since it began, and it will continue as a cult. I didn't really want to vote for Obama but when the option was Obama or a cult leader there was really no choice.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Martin

      Excuse me, but the Christian Encyclopedia categorized mormonism as part of Christianity.

      The Christian Encyclopedia also says that there are more than 38,000 versions of Christianity in our world today "Most of which believes that they are the only true Christians".

      November 9, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • mr. butters

      I don't think there should be 38,000 versions of a religion.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Jeremy

      Wow...perfect example of ignorance in it's finest.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • betty marr

      absolutely accurate and true

      November 9, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • John

      Betty, truth is what you believe.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Ralf

      Wow, Ryan, you are clearly an idiot!

      November 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  16. pax3

    "A church that prefers to keep private became very public." 'Secret' is probably a better descriptive word to use than 'private'.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Such is the irony of Mormonism.

      For a church with such an aggressive missionary outreach to convert as many people as possible, they are not at all open about the tenets of the religion – until you have donated a sufficient share for a 'temple recommend'.

      There's another 'religion' that behaves very similarly. What is it again I wonder? Oh, that's right Scientology!

      Religions that only share their secrets after you make considerable donations will always be viewed with healthy skepticism.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  17. Muzak

    “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.”

    What part of "Obama is a Muslim", when he is actually a Christian, doesn't fit into openly subjecting either candidate to a religious tst?

    November 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  18. calvin v. henderson

    I do believe that the mormon religion is a dangerous cult and here is why. Their founder and prophet, Joeseph Smith, was a convicted felon and a known con man who would read from stones placed in a stovepipe hat and who demanded that his follower's simply take him at his word. Also, a part of his belief system was that tall aliens existed on the moon. He was shot and killed while in a jail cell but not before he shot and killed 2 men and wounded 1. Plus, do not forget the 120 or so men, women and children that were massacred because they were preceived as a threat to their dogma. And yes, i expect you all to just take my word that this information is accurate.

    November 9, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  19. ThaGerm

    After their "Moment" the bulk of America still doesn't know much about Mormonism. Heck, you have to be in the church for years before you even find out the really weird stuff. They know from experience that if you start talking about a God that lives on planet Kolob, magical glasses, magical underwear, secret handshakes, secret names, the original book of Mormon referring to blacks as "the black devils", the fact that Joseph Smith was a known con and the fact that Mormons only gave up polygamy in THIS life, they still believe in polygamy in the after-life and only banned the practice because the federal government threatened to cut funding for the state of Utah.

    My highly educated wife spent 12 years as a Mormon, so this comes from inside the church. And BTW, she is expressly forbidden to share this information. THAT is why they consider themselves a private religion. True story people, do your research.

    November 9, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • John

      There is not a religion, belief, or person on this earth that doesn't come with baggage which is why my focus is less on judging belief systems and more about judging the actions of those in my circle.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  20. Jim in PA

    I find it very odd that this article doesn't mention that the Mormon church already has a man in a very prominent position of power – Harry Reid, Majority Leader of the United States Senate. Many people are not aware that Reid is a Mormon, because as a Democrat he is not prone to jamming his religion down other people's throats.

    November 9, 2012 at 2:48 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.