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.
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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.
I dare the religious to read Sam Harris' books or Richard Dawkins' books. They won't. They can't handle being wrong. It's so much easier to be a sheep, snuggled in the delusional mental straight-jacket know as religion. Force yourself to visit Godisimaginary.com and join the new age. The age of reason.
The fool has said in his heart 'there is no God'.
The age of reason is nothing but self-deification and delusion.
Richard doesn't says their is no god. He says he doesn't know. The only proof you guys have is unsubstantiated texts, from the age of very low human intellect.
If non-mormons take time to actually read the Book of Mormon, they usually get a shock of their life.
Go modern not mormon, switch to Scientology it is updated.
Did you know that Mitt Romney's favorite book is L. Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth? Seriously. It's on YouTube. HOW CLOSE WE CAME to electing this nutty cultist. Phew!
Yeah, people would be shocked to find out that the Book of Mormon is actually pretty good!
If you look at the origins of both religions they have strong parallels.
For that matter, the angel golden tablet story of the Mormons is almost a complete ripoff of the Muslim golden tablet story, which is: one day the prophet (pick religion) is out in the country (wood or caves) and finds some golden tablets written in the script of God. At the very same time of this discovery God sends an Angel to retrieve those golden tablets (lost? or somebody checked them out of the heaven library and did not return them, not sure on this). But those angels are going to spend time instructing the prophet (pick religion) how to read those ancient golden tablets, putting God on hold while this impromptu class is in session for weeks. Considering how many pages were translated, the gold tablets would have been the size of a large car. Enough, sorry late, got to go, and take the gold tablets. Got to give it to the Muslims, it is a little more original, Joseph Smith copied it, L.Ron Hubbard copied Joseph Smith; all men of similar dispositions.
You know that Kurt, my goat loves it with milk in the morning.
You nailed that NorwoodX. NPR radio interview May 3, 2007. News to me.
I avoid Scientology like the plague, makes my stomach turn.
Total ripoff lie for a name, as a sociopath Hubbard was.
Him and Nixon should have gone to jail. criminals like OJ Simpson.
My name is Mitt Romney and I am a Mormon and I failed.
The other question in waiting is "will the twit try it a third time?"
Now that their Great White Horse Prophecy failed, maybe we will stop seeing the stupid ads.
The other question in waiting is "will the twit try it a third time?"
I dont think the GOP will allow it. He is the reason why they lost and he showed he cannot get the Evangelical vote.
If he does we won't be needing the comments of some canadian slug. There's your sign
Well I wouldn't discount it.. the way of the world is "money". I'm sure the mormon cult will fork over more of their riches to pump into the political system.
What was the total amount spent this time around for both sides anyways? Wasn't it around 4 or 4.5 billion for both sides?
Anyone who says "There's your sign" is a douche.
Just wanted to point out that name of this thread's originiator is totally false. Christianity is not a mental disorder according to the DSM-IV.
Did you mormons get a call or something to come to the internet in defense of your magic underwear bs?
No, I just like to respond to articles on cnn that are about mormons. There are usually a lot of misinformed people here. I figure I better put my 2 cents in as well!
Well your two cents don't cut it. You're still a cult member.
Answer: Fine, I'm a cult member. Call me what you want. I kind of consider myself Christian.
Hes' a better man than you, Answer, because he isn't a mean-spirited bigot.
No, but this Mormon has no problem telling you that you are a pos liberal bigot.
You can 'consider' yourself whatever you want.
"Better than you.." oh yeah that's rich. XD
You want to go to that kind of arena and throw out insults because I mock you religious tools so much. LOL
answer talks bs when in fact it couldn't even vote here one way or the other it is a BULL SH IT canadian. There's your sign
Answer: Fine, I'm a cult member. Call me what you want. I kind of consider myself Christian.
You follow a different and made up Christ per a con man and common criminal Mr Smith.
There's the leader of the circle j-e-r-k party.. how are ya capt?
42 million ideots voted for a Kenyen madman. How stoopid do you have to be?
We metaphorically spit in the faces of conservatives who acted like ignorant clowns and who lied.
You'll get over it...A******.
Ummm ..... I believe that would 61,000,000 and it's spelled "Kenyan."
slighlty less stupid then the people who voted for a Mormon who thought God wanted him to be prez
Frank, now you know why we voted for OBAMA... He needs to invest more in education. It's not "ideots" it's Idiots...It's not "Kenyen" It's Kenyan... It's not Stoopid ... It's Stupid. and By the way Rmoney's father was born in Mexico and Obama's father was born in Kenya what is the difference ? Now who's stupid now
Mormonism is a creepy secretive cult that believes that the God of the Bible is a "local" God, and not the God of all Creation. Mormons believe that the God of all creation is a man who lives on a planet named Kolob, yet Mormons LIE about this to outsiders. WHAT THIS COUNTRY DOES NOT NEED IS A MORMON – or the member of any cult – BECOMING PRESIDENT.
Oh, come on. We're not the scary. And we don't believe God lives on Kolob. How about a little focus on the things we actually believe? Not just the stuff you read for anti-mormons on the internet.
You believe that Pee Wee Herman is the god of all creation, but you lie about it to outsiders.
Is that how it works?
Kurt, what have you been trained to say to outsiders when asked about KOLOB. Tell us.
We don't get "trained" on what to tell "outsiders" about Kolob. That would be stupid. And I'm not an expert on Kolob or anything. What I read in our scriptures is that it is the planet nearest to the throne of God. I've always believed that to be a symbol for Jesus Christ. Kind of like the star on the christmas tree, reminding us of the star at His birth. Any other questions?
Secretive? Yea, that's why we have 40,000 missionaries telling the world what we believe. Bigot.
KURT, if you're saying that Mormons are not trained on how to answer questions about Mormonism, you're lying. BY THE WAY, ARE YOU WEARING MAGIC UNDERWEAR RIGHT NOW?
I am not a Mormon but I object to your comments.
The beliefs of all religions are based unsubstantiated texts. If they were proved real the whole world would believed them and we would only have one religion. Look at your own religious texts and think rationally and you will find a lot of discrepancies.
A well-known saying in the business world is if you put a Mormon in charge of a business venture, stand back. It will prosper like gangbusters. Too bad we won't get to see that happen to our country.
'A well-known saying in the business world is if you put a Mormon in charge of a business venture, stand back. It will prosper like gangbusters'
in what business world is this well known saying used because it certainly isnt this one.
Funny the only thing I heard was that once you have a Mormon in management you will soon have an all Mormon staff.
Well known saying? Well that's an established lie if you actually have to say it is "well known".
Your boy lost. The Mormon PR machine can take some time off. Really.
They will promote only Mormons while they pay dirt wages.
Fabjan, besides quoting your self, put up or shut up.
How about one or two references in the Harvard Business Review? Oops like the Guv of Texass says it?
I am really beginning to think its is mythological that conservatives are any better at business.
By definition conservatives are risk adverse, hunker down. Some businesses are like that, and must be that way to succeed. But a lot of business is risky and involves massive failure, not something typical conservatives want to deal with.
Give them status to push around like trump or welch, and some servant-slaves like L Ron Hubbard had, then they are usually done with business work, something they delegate off to their portfolio managers who they can scream at, threaten, and fire.
I guess a better way to say it is Mormons have more than nepotism issues.
I was totally baffled when the "Christian" denominations TRIPPED all over themselves in embracing Mormons as a Christian religion. The 100+ years of considering them a CULT were conviniently ERASED for Political GAIN. I stand in
awe in Obama's POWER in bringing these two former religious enemies together.
As a product of an academically sound and moral christian education, I was ALWAYS taught that the Mormon Church was a Cult. ?????
My only remaining question now is... Now that Romney has lost, do we continue to sing Kumbaya with them... OR, do they go back to being a CULT?
they have always been a cult in the eye of Christians. They are not Christians, they are Mormons. They have a warped view of Jesus. The founder was a con artist and common criminal. Mormonism will always be flawed in the eyes of Christians.
I don't care what Mormons believe. What I don't like is that they lie about what they believe, PLUS they try to INTIMIDATE people by calling them "bigots," when all people are doing is telling the truth about the secretive belief system and practices of Mormonism.
CNN you really need to stop censoring people when they use words in a non profane manner. The labeling of Mary by the Church at the First Council of Nicaea is a critical subject when it comes to understanding Christianity.
You are an ideot.
"You are an ideot."
Well demonstrated, Frank.
Frank, you are a penis.
Big_D thanks for you input, however, your request has been denied.
Whaaaa waaaaa WHAAAAAA !
To all the brainwashed sheep who voted for Obama, you loose. It was probably better a wonderful person like Romney does not need to deal with 42 million ideots plus foreign leaders. But Obonga can just ask Colorado and Washington that passed legal rec pot use. Os his real name BARRY whats his face?
Proof reading is your friend.
What a whiner you are Frank.
wow you have issues dont you frank?
With Frank's education and illiteracy being a conservative fits him like a glove.
Wow, first off Frank...ideot is not a word. Try learning to spell before debating with adults.
Second, Barry a short form of Barrack.
As for legalization...if you do not understand the basics of pot then shut up. It is a natural plant that is no more dangerous than alcohol (in many ways less dangerous) and in fact has more medicinal benefits. If you don't like it, feel free not to ingest it but don't start thinking that you have any right to tell anyone else what they can and can't do with their own body.
Now Apple Bush, pass the bong :-)
NO ONE knows what happens when we die, and ANYONE claiming such knowledge is a LIAR who probably wants your money... or in this case, they want to baptize your dead relatives.
I'm a Mormon. We believe things. We have faith. I don't have a clue what it will be like when I die. But my beliefs shape my ideas. But the application of our beliefs is also beneficial to life here. So we try to share our message. To benefit this life and the next! I'm sorry you think we're all a bunch of a liars.
thats the problem with the religious kurt, you dont want to keep your personal belief personal.
Yeah, I get your point, cedar rapids. We don't try to force-feed people our religion, though. We just share it with those interested. But on the internet, when others are stating their hatred of my own beliefs, I figure I better say something.
I think that Kurt is well within his rights to respond on a message board. He's not proselytizing. This is the Belief Blog, after, where such topics are discussed.
I'm glad Momronism got out there a little bit. While it's not a shy religion, it seems everyone has their facts wrong!
Prayer changes things .
If all things are predestined, how can prayer change anything?
People are predestined, things are scheduled.
If people are predestined then all things must be predestined. Otherwise people would be acting according to events that haven't occurred yet. Sorry, but if you believe in predestination, prayer CAN'T change anything, nothing can.
It is apparent that you can't be changed to intelligent. Sorry, hubie starkist only wants the finest tuna.
It is ok if a mormon, or scientologist, or whomever wants to run for president. But it should also be ok to ask them to explain their faith. Their religious beliefs are a reflection of their ability to make informed decisions and as such it should be fair game to question it. If Romney believes in magic underwear, the planet kolob and israelite indians that is his choice. But he should have to answer for it in a public forum.
Funny. I'm Mormon, and we don't really believe in the things you talk about. "Magic underwear?" How about an outward symbol of inner convictions. Most religions do it. Kolob? Planet nearest to the throne of good in scripture is also a symbol for Jesus Christ. You should try reading our scriptures. They're not that bad...
I think he pretty much did that to the extent he was comfortable with it. Reporters and others could also ask the Church of LDS itself, or other Mormons, about their beliefs. It's not top secret info or anything. They have missionaries willing to answer questions all over the world.
I love the way the modern mormon tries to rationalize their way around this bunk. I have news for you. Joseph Smith, who was a known charlatan, made all of this stuff up. It is about as transparent a fraud as one could find. Christianity has the advantage of being invented by humans 2000 years ago. It is simply too easy to fact check a fabrication that only dates to the 19th century.
'Kolob? Planet nearest to the throne of good in scripture is also a symbol for Jesus Christ'
yeah, dont seem to find much in the way of the idea that kolob meant jesus argument being put forward as the mainstream by mormons there kurt, it seems to be pretty much the idea that its a physical planet.
Cedar Rapids: It could be a physical plant. I don't know. It could also be a symbol. You tell me, expert. What do I believe about Kolob? And note: this is not exactly a pillar of our faith. It's like criticizing any Christian for believing there was a star in the heaven as a sign of Christ's birth. Not that important, to be honest.
Frank: Having a J Wright moment? Having a J Wright moment? Having a J Wright moment?
Is that ALL you can say? And you can't even spell "idiots"? Oh my, you do need to get a life, and an education....
He lost not because he was a Mormon, but mainly because the GOP's anti-immigration platform alienated Latinos. They also lost out to women. For me, personally, I was also put off because of Romney's background as a venture-capitalist. I'm sorry, but on balance, he didn't create more jobs than he got rid of (according to an LA Times article). On balance it comes out to be about 0. I also didn't think he could relate as well to the middle class, considering he never was one of us. And, finally, I really really dislike Paul Ryan.
Romney's Mormon faith was actually a big plus with me. Every Mormon I've met has been very kind and friendly to me. They have great families and strong faith. I do believe he's a good man, father, grandfather, and obviously a smart and sucessful business man.
And don't forget to mention the voters in the youngest age bracket. Unless if America's youth suddenly becomes conservative again, which will not happen unless the Internet and media is destroyed, Republicans are going to be forced from 2016 and on to take on more socially liberal policies as more and more of the young population gets old enough to vote.
I'm a pretty liberal person (more left than the left in this country), but I'm ok with a moderate Republican as president. I hope this election opens the eyes of the GOP so that they realize that fear mongering and bigotry will no longer get you votes. Although, it's kind of scary that people like Karl Rove think that Romney wasn't conservative -enough-. Talk about delusion.
Thanks for the good response, Jay. Yeah, I forgot the younger vote too. Anyway, my feeling is, it wasn't so much Mitt Romney who failed, it was the Republican party. They do need to make some changes, changes that have been obvious over the last few years.
I like these posts. I'm a Mormon and a Republican. I appreciate your comments. While I would have liked to have seen Romney as president, I wish Obama the best!
Until Republicans can throw the Evangelical Christians out of the party, or the non crazy republicans can somehow form a new party I won't be voting for a Republican.
God punished the mormons with defeat after what they did to the gays....
Yeah, God punished them by almost getting one of them elected to the highest elected office in the USA. What a failure that billionare Mitt Romney is with his lovely wife, houses in New Hampshire and La Jolla, 5 boys, 18 beautiful grandchildren, etc.
What did Mormons do to the qu.eers?
well yea... it was a failure. by definition. by his definition.
Why should anybody cared about what his religious be? that his religious. You can follow any cults you like Why can he chose his? You chose to follows a criminal who got to be hang on a cross by his own people, then what wrong with mormonism?
Read the book "Citizen Hughes". It is about Howard Hughes, one of the wealthiest, most powerful men of his day, and see what role the Mormons played in his last days. They are a cult! I have been a Christian my whole life and this whole "magic underwear", "planet to rule after death" stuff is not Christian. I've also studied world religions, and Mormonism is scary.
I found it odd that people thought for sure President Obama was the Anti-Christ. I think we just dodged a bullett with Romney, who I believe could have been the Real Anti-Christ!
I'm a Mormon (I keep saying that!). I don't think we're a cult. I've believed in Christ my whole life (like you). I don't get why we're scary. I don't believe in magic underwear. I don't believe in ruling a planet after I die. You've been misinformed. But feel free to talk to a Mormon if you ever have any questions. The internet may not be telling you the truth.
"Mormonism" isn't scary. Yeah, it's different and has some unique customs and the like, but I find the differences really interesting. I enjoy learning more about it from my wife, who's Mormon.
I don't really find the Church of LDS's practices any stranger than my own Catholic Church's or my buddy's Jewish faith. I like that we all have our own faiths and practices and are free to worship (or not) as we choose in this great country of ours, but then, I'm not a bigot.
The Mormon Christ is an impostor. Mormons are not Christians.
Amazed by "your Christianity".... "Dodge" judgment by living by the two great Commandments... Love God and Love thy neighbor....
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.