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Viral and profane pro-Obama ads channel tradition of Jewish humor
Sarah Silverman in her 2008 video "The Great Schlep."
October 1st, 2012
02:24 PM ET

Viral and profane pro-Obama ads channel tradition of Jewish humor

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – When it comes to reaching voters, the co-founders of a Jewish super PAC aimed at re-electing President Barack Obama have this tip for you: Use humor, even if it isn’t kosher.

Two campaign videos produced by the Jewish Council for Education and Research – one featuring actor Samuel L. Jackson, the other comedian Sarah Silverman – have received a flood of attention over the past few weeks. A foul-mouthed Silverman pushes people to do whatever it takes to make it to the polls in spite of voter ID laws, while an uncensored Jackson orders disenchanted Obama supporters to “wake the f*** up” and get to work.

While Silverman warns viewers about being kept out of the polls, introducing herself as “your Jewish friend Sarah," Jackson, who voiced the recent bedtime story for parents “Go the F**k to Sleep,” rhymes his warning to voters, in a video that's been seen over a million times on YouTube.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Florida • Judaism • Mitt Romney • Politics

Personal e-mail urging Mormons to fast and pray for Romney goes national
Though not sanctioned by the LDS Church, an email chain is asking Mormons to fast and pray for Mitt Romney before debates.
September 28th, 2012
11:18 AM ET

Personal e-mail urging Mormons to fast and pray for Romney goes national

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) - A Utah woman unwittingly started a grassroots campaign when an e-mail she sent to her five children and a handful of friends urging a day of prayer and fasting for Mitt Romney started making the Mormon rounds.

Mona Williams, a Price, Utah, member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wrote last Sunday evening to tell people closest to her how frustrated she is with the state of the country.

“A lot of my frustration is because I feel I don’t know what to do to really make a change. Well, this time I do,” she wrote. “I am asking you to join me and my family on Sunday Sept. 30 by fasting and praying for Mitt Romney. That he will be blessed in the debates,” the first of which is next Wednesday.

FULL POST

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

September 27th, 2012
11:40 AM ET

Pastor: Romney should talk social issues

CNN's Erin Burnett talks to Pastor Robert Jeffress about the Evangelical vote being key to a Romney victory.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Mitt Romney • Politics

Pew poll: Obama opens up lead over Romney among Catholics
Obama has substantially widened his lead among Catholic voters since June, the Pew poll found.
September 27th, 2012
11:24 AM ET

Pew poll: Obama opens up lead over Romney among Catholics

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama has opened up a significant lead among Catholic voters, a crucial swing voting bloc, according to a recent Pew poll.

Obama leads opponent Mitt Romney among Catholic voters by 54% to 39%, according to the survey, conducted from September 12 to 16 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

Obama’s lead in the Pew survey comes despite outspoken recent criticism of the Obama administration from America’s Catholic bishops and despite Mitt Romney’s selection of a Catholic running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Bishops • Catholic Church • Mitt Romney • Politics

Reid calls out Romney on their shared Mormon faith
September 25th, 2012
05:25 PM ET

Reid calls out Romney on their shared Mormon faith

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – The nation's highest ranking Mormon in elected office said Monday that Republican presidential candidate  is “not the face of Mormonism.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made the remarks in a conference call Monday, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

“He’s coming to a state where there are a lot of members of the LDS Church,” Reid said about Romney coming to Nevada. “They understand that he is not the face of Mormonism.”

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

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

Mormon blogger says he faces church slap-down, possible excommunication
The Mormon temple in Salt Lake City, where the church is headquartered.
September 24th, 2012
04:03 PM ET

Mormon blogger says he faces church slap-down, possible excommunication

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) - A Mormon blogger in Florida typed his way into national headlines when he recently went public about facing possible disciplinary action from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

David Twede, who says he’s a fifth-generation Mormon, is the managing editor of MormonThink.com, an online publication that invites debate and open discussion about the LDS Church.

Late last week, The Daily Beast reported that after writing articles critical of GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Twede, 47, said he was called into church offices in Orlando, Florida, where he was “interrogated” and given “cease and desist” orders.

FULL POST

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

On campaign trail, Romney ratchets ups God rhetoric
Early in his campaign, Mitt Romney spoke at Liberty University, the largest evangelical Christian university in the world.
September 14th, 2012
03:14 PM ET

On campaign trail, Romney ratchets ups God rhetoric

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – At campaign events these days, Mitt Romney often says that if he is elected president, he will emphasize the role of God in American society and will not “take God out of the public square.”

That kind of rhetoric is a departure from earlier less God-focused versions of the Republican candidate’s stump speech and his early apprehension with discussing his Mormon faith.

According to Mark DeMoss, Romney’s adviser to the evangelical community, such lines are designed to create a contrast with a Democratic Party that had to fight to get God into its platform at its recent convention.

“I will not take God out of my heart, I will not take God out of the public square, and I will not take it out of the platform of my party,” Romney has been saying in his stump speech since the Democratic platform fight this month.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • God • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

Marriott head praises Romney for bringing Mormonism ‘out of obscurity’
September 2nd, 2012
03:57 PM ET

Marriott head praises Romney for bringing Mormonism ‘out of obscurity’

By Rachel Streitfeld, CNN Political Producer

Boston (CNN) - The head of the Marriott hotel chain, in deeply personal and reflective remarks at a New Hampshire church Sunday, credited Mitt Romney with changing Americans' perceptions about Mormonism.

J.W. Marriott Jr., a hotel magnate from one of America's most prominent Mormon families, spoke during services at the Wolfeboro branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - where Mitt and Ann Romney were also in attendance.

In his testimony, Marriott said he saw the church "coming out of obscurity" thanks to Romney's prominence as the GOP presidential nominee, and marveled that 90% of the media reports on Romney's Mormon faith had "been favorable."

Read the full story on CNN's Political Ticker.

- shirleyhenrycnn

Filed under: Mitt Romney • Mormonism

Can Mitt Romney’s evangelical ambassador seal the deal before Election Day?
Mark DeMoss and Mitt Romney at Liberty University, where Romney delivered the commencement address in May.
September 1st, 2012
10:00 PM ET

Can Mitt Romney’s evangelical ambassador seal the deal before Election Day?

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Tampa, Florida (CNN) – The task of selling a Mormon presidential candidate to evangelical America has fallen to a public relations man who’s not even getting paid for what may be the toughest sales job of his career.

For six years, Mark DeMoss has served as Mitt Romney’s unofficial evangelical ambassador, making the case that born-again Christians should help elect the first Mormon to the White House.

It has often been a lonely job.

During this year’s primaries, DeMoss found himself addressing audiences of evangelical leaders in which nearly everyone was rooting for another candidate: Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry – anybody but Romney.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

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

September 1st, 2012
11:08 AM ET

My Take: Give me Bali's empty chair over Eastwood's

An empty chair in Bali.

Editor's note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

When I went to Bali a few years ago, I didn’t go, like most tourists, for the beaches or, like Elizabeth Gilbert, for love. I went for the religion. I wanted to learn something about the unique brand of Hinduism practiced there.

Balinese Hinduism differs from Indian Hinduism in many ways. For example, in Balinese temples there are often no images of God. But for me the most arresting religious image I encountered was the empty chair.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Church and state • Hinduism • Mitt Romney • Politics • United States

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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

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