Is America ready for a Mormon president?
Mitt Romney announcing his presidential candidacy in New Hampshire on Thursday.
June 2nd, 2011
03:04 PM ET

Is America ready for a Mormon president?

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Mitt Romney’s campaign team knows that his Mormon faith scared off Republican voters the last time he ran for president.

But they believe a lot has changed in the last four years.

For starters, Romney is now much better known. The former Massachusetts governor campaigned hard in the 2008 primaries – even addressing his Mormonism head-on in a major speech — and has stayed in the public eye since, popping up on late-night talk shows and on cable news channels.

Romney’s Mormonism, the thinking goes, is less exotic than it was four years ago because the candidate is more familiar.

Plus, unlike in 2008, there’s a Democrat in the White House for Republican voters to unite against. The Romney camp hopes the Obama factor will boost support for a battle-tested candidate who’s shown he can raise the hundreds of millions of dollars White House bids require, regardless of the candidate’s religious affiliation.

And unlike the 2008 Republican primaries, when George W. Bush was in the White House and debate over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan loomed large, next year’s elections are poised to hang on the economy. Not a bad time, maybe, for a guy with a Harvard MBA and a career spent turning around financially troubled companies and the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“The country’s really in a tough situation — the economy’s in a bad place and so people suddenly think that a guy with Mitt Romney’s capacity and experience looks a lot more attractive than he did four years ago,” says Mark DeMoss, a senior adviser to Romney’s campaign, which launched Thursday.

“That makes his faith much less of an issue than it was four years ago,” says DeMoss, who is tasked with helping Romney woo evangelical voters, a huge chunk of the GOP base and a constituency that’s historically been wary of Mormonism.

Whether DeMoss is right may make the difference in whether Romney, the current Republican frontrunner based on polls and fundraising, can actually win the Republican nomination and, ultimately, the White House.

But Romney may not be the only Mormon running for president. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is seriously flirting with a presidential bid.

Huntsman, Obama’s former ambassador to China, recently took a five-day swing through New Hampshire, site of the first-in-the-nation Republican primary, and has hired staff in South Carolina, another key primary state.

The prospect of a Huntsman campaign means the nation could see an unprecedented test of whether the GOP — and, perhaps, the rest of the country — is ready for a Mormon president in an era when candidates’ religious beliefs have become weighty campaign issues.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the Mormon Church is officially known, certainly seems eager for Mormonism to be less an issue in the presidential race than it was for Romney in 2008

“Recent media coverage seems to lean toward the conclusion that among many Americans, faith will be less of an issue in this election than it was in 2008,” church spokesman Michael Purdy said in a statement to CNN. “But it’s really for others to speculate on this.”

Public opinion polls suggest a lingering bias against Mormon candidates. A survey released Thursday by the Pew Research Center found that a quarter of American adults admit to being less likely to vote for a Mormon candidate for president.

The survey found that resistance to Mormon candidates was even higher among two groups: liberal Democrats and evangelicals, who overwhelmingly vote Republican. One in three white evangelicals said they were less likely to support a Mormon candidate.

That creates a stiff headwind for Romney and Huntsman, given evangelicals’ primary power. In 2008, evangelicals accounted for 60 percent of Republican voters in Iowa, home to the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses, and in South Carolina, whose primaries come hard on the heels of New Hampshire’s.

In 2008, Romney’s Mormonism “was a real factor in Iowa and South Carolina that predisposed many potential voters to never to consider Romney or hear his message,” said Gary Marx, who directed conservative outreach for Romney the last time he ran.

That year, Romney placed second in Iowa and fourth in South Carolina behind then-frontrunner Mike Huckabee – a Baptist preacher who won major evangelical support.

Though Mormons consider themselves to be Christians, many evangelicals consider the Latter-day Saints to be a cult.

Evangelicals object to the Mormon belief that the Book of Mormon is the revealed word of God and to such Mormon practices as proxy baptisms for the dead. Evangelicals and Mormons also compete for converts.

Many evangelical leaders have discouraged their followers from translating such differences into opposition to Mormon candidates. But that message isn’t always heeded.

“I don’t think it’s much of an issue among the leadership in evangelical circles,” Michael Farris, an influential evangelical activist, says of Mormon candidates. “But I don’t know if that is always true at the grassroots level.”

Richard Land, who directs public policy for the Southern Baptist Convention, the country’s largest evangelical denomination, says evangelicals could coalesce around Romney but that the conditions would have to be just right.

“If Southern Baptists have a choice between an evangelical candidate, a Catholic and a Mormon and all three appear to be equally conservative and equally likely to beat Barack Obama, they’ll vote for the evangelical,” says Land, who has informally advised Romney on how to deal with his faith on the campaign trail.

“If there’s no such evangelical [in the] race, they’ll vote for the Catholic,” he says, “But if there’s no other candidate who’s likely to beat Obama, they’ll vote for the Mormon.”

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, an evangelical, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Catholic, are running for the GOP nomination.

Beyond theological challenges, conservative activists like Land and Farris say Romney faces skepticism among religious conservatives because he once supported abortion rights and signed a healthcare law in Massachusetts that critics say represented a dramatic government overreach.

But those close to Romney argue that Huckabee’s decision not to enter the 2012 race creates an opportunity for Romney to pick up more evangelical support. Or, they say, it could wind up splitting evangelical voters among multiple primary candidates, making evangelicals a less potent force.

DeMoss, a Christian public relations executive who also helped Romney with evangelical outreach in 2008, says one of the victories from the last campaign was that no big-name evangelical came out against Romney over his Mormonism. This time, DeMoss is working to get some evangelical leaders to go a step further and publicly support Romney.

After Romney’s 2008 defeat, one nationally known evangelical leader privately told DeMoss that he’d voted for Romney in the primaries.

“I remember thinking, it would have been nice if somebody else knew that,” says DeMoss, who believes such revelations would have made more evangelicals comfortable supporting a Mormon candidate.

Huntsman’s entry into the presidential race could make Mormonism less of an issue if it has a mainstreaming effect. But the two candidates’ religious affiliations could play out quite differently.

Romney has long been active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), having occupied Mormon leadership positions like bishop (the rough equivalent of a lay pastor) and stake president (someone who oversees groups of Mormon congregations).

“I believe in my Mormon faith and I endeavor to live by it,” Romney said in a December 2007 speech in which he addressed his Mormonism. “My faith is the faith of my fathers — I will be true to them and to my beliefs.”

Huntsman, like Romney, spent two years abroad as a Mormon missionary but has kept some distance from the LDS church. As governor of Utah, he loosened liquor laws that had been inspired by Mormon orthodoxy and broke with his church in signing a law allowing civil unions for gay couples.

In a recent television interview, Huntsman affirmed his Mormon faith but added that Mormonism is “a very diverse and heterogeneous cross-section of people. ... I probably add to that diversity somewhat.”

A Huntsman adviser who often deals with the media declined to respond to requests for comment.

Matthew Bowman, an editor at a Mormon studies journal called Dialogue, says Huntsman hails from a slightly younger generation of Mormons who are less defensive about their Mormonism.

“Huntsman is a Mormon who thinks of his faith not as something that separates him from American culture or as something he has to defend or explain away, which is what Romney did,” says Bowman. “Romney is always hyperaware of his Mormonism.”

That means Huntsman may face fewer questions about his Mormonism should he run.

The LDS church, for its part, says its policy is to steer clear of electoral politics. Some church observers say the controversy the church generated by supporting California’s 2008 gay marriage ban, Proposition 8, exacerbated its political reticence.

At the same time, the church has capitalized on increased attention paid to Mormonism - provoked by everything from Romney’s 2008 campaign to the current hit Broadway musical, “Book of Mormon” - with a succession of public awareness campaigns.

The church website Mormon.org, for example, was recently revamped with an eye toward educating non-Mormons about the religion. The site features video profiles of Mormons from different walks of life.

“The message of these ads is that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are your friends and neighbors,” says Purdy, the church spokesman. “We are professionals and tradespeople, artists and teachers and everything in between.”

Put another way, the message is that Mormons are normal, everyday Americans.

With the Republican primary race finally starting in earnest, the nation is about get a major glimpse into whether GOP voters agree.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (3,046 Responses)
  1. james

    I believe most Americans are sufficiently open-minded to accept a Mormon President. I do not believe most Americans are interested in somebody who changes his policies and his values to fit the audience. This latter problem (pandering) will be a much bigger problem for Romney than his religion. He simply is not a man who holds fast to his principles--which is what we need more than ever.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • shades

      Amen, this pandering to the audience president we got now is embarrasing

      June 2, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Tom G

      His principles are VERY questionable. And how do you know he sticks by them? You don't. He's a politician which means he has NO principles worth speaking of to begin with. If he was so great we would have heard about it. He isn't. He's another schmuck. He talks, acts, and looks like a shmuck. I guess he's a shmuck.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Jared Hodges

      Are you ignorant man? Every politician running for office say's what needs to be said to get elected. Unfortunately, most American's have little education and are willing to vote for who ever say's the right thing. Doesn't necessarily mean that they will follow though with it. We have seen this time — after time. Mr. Romney is a good man who want's to take his experience and qualifications to Washington and make a difference. However, because most Americana's would rather vote Brad Pitt as our next President than someone actually qualified; Romney has to play their stupid game. Also, with regards to all you "Mormon haters". You say you dislike them now and consider them a cult. However, you are the first one's with your hands out when the LDS church comes to rescue your community or country after a natural disaster. Much of the relief that comes in times of these unfortunate events, comes from the LDS's welfare organization, not the government.
      This is what makes me sick with this country, people who judge based off of fame, fortune, religion and looks. Maybe Michael Jordan is available, I am sure you would vote for him. Not Michael? How about Oprah? Where is Oprah? There is the answer!

      June 2, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Charles Mills

      Jared... What drugs are smoking or injecting or whatevering??? Have you seen ANY of the people you so blithely accused of accepting Mormon handouts take any such handout? I bet not, you simply assume.

      June 2, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Jesus

      Most religions are benign. Certain religions put forth dogma that is very destructive and cult like. Mormonism is one of them. Read the Book of Mormon. Native Americans come from Israel, black people can turn white if they're righteous, and it's OK for men to take on many wives (especially child brides)-Ooops, that last thing was omitted and traded off when Utah wanted to become a State. If Romney got up there and said that Mormonism does not govern his life or decision making, I'd be likely to consider voting for him. Other than that, not a chance!

      June 2, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
    • Jared

      Hey, Charles... As a matter of fact I have seen those individuals who go to LDS Bishops and ask for handouts and then want nothing to do with the religion. In most cases, the LDS church is graciously willing to assist them with their immediate needs. The LDS church considers all people regardless of race or religion a child of God. This is the reason you can go back 200+ years and find the LDS church assisting the needy and desolate; during good times and during times of devastation. Go to Joplin, MS right know. You will find hundreds of LDS volunteers that have been asked by church leadership to assist in the cleanup, recovery and rebuilding of that town. These are good people who answered the call. How many of your religious brethren are living in tents away from their homes and helping out? I would bet the numbers are pretty low.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:19 am |
    • Don

      I would simply ask everyone to visit a great website on Mormon beliefs. The site is very informative and can answer all your questions about this group. Simply look at mrm.org

      June 3, 2011 at 12:37 am |
    • Lanny

      Actually, Don has the website wrong. For more info on Mormons, visit Mormon.org

      June 3, 2011 at 5:12 am |
    • IsThereADog?

      Jared, you say "The LDS church considers all people regardless of race or religion a child of God." The Mormon church was officially a racist organization until 1978 when Romney was an adult, and supposedly capable of thinking for himself.

      How can we trust a leader to make rational decisions based on critical thinking when they follow the precepts of a religion that is so obviously a fraud that it insults the intelligence of a third-grader?

      June 3, 2011 at 8:45 am |
    • Daioni

      1836: In March, Elijah Abel, a black man, is ordained to the office of Elder.
      1836: In December, Elijah Abel, is ordained to the office of Seventy.
      1844: Walker Lewis, a black man, is ordained to the office of Elder.
      1846: William McCary, a black man, is ordained to the office of Elder.
      1900: Enoch Abel, the son of Elijah Abel, is ordained to the office of Elder.
      1935: Elijah Abel, grandson of Elijah Abel, is ordained to the office of Elder.
      1958: All black Melanesians (Fijians) are given the priesthood (blacks in the Philippines even earlier)

      Yeah LDS are SOOOOO racist until 1978. Consider this, most other churches wouldn't even allow a mixed congragation, let alone allow black leadership positions. In comparison, LDS were FAR more liberal then was common for the day. Try applying a context of time, instead of comparing today to the past, or else do the same with everyone today else and see how many people and groups you accuse of being murderers for the past misdeeds of a past age.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  2. Frank

    Seems that Liberals only take one's religion into account when the person is a Republican. What a anti-White Muslim is running...oh wait they are a Democrat...nevermind we don't care what he has said, what his beliefs are or what those he associates with state. Hypocrites thy name is liberal..

    June 2, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • JohnR

      You need to readjust your tin foil hat. Your channels are getting scrambled.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Maine

      You are ignorant.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Nurse Lisa

      why not answer the question about whether you think America is ready for a Mormon president instead of using your partisan post to bash Dems? Maybe Faux News articles would be more to your liking.

      June 2, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • FLOP

      Frank...got a news flash for you. ALL politicians regardless of what party they are..are ALL hypocrites. Go back to your rightful place which is the Faux news site.

      June 2, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Charles Mills

      Um Geee... probably because Republicans are a bit more known for ACTING based on their religion. For the record I think both parties are full of morons but that does not mean we ignore the individual litmus test for "is this candidate sane enough for consideration?". Candidate is a Mormon = Instant Fail. Candidate is wearing a straight jacket = Instant Fail. You don't sit there after you see the candidate in a straight jacket and then start listening to his points... He is wearing a straight jacket for Christs' sake (Yes pun WAS intended)

      June 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • he's watching you from the ceiling

      what's all this muttering from conservatives about obama's race? Race and religion are not the same thing. One you choose, one you don't. Plus, barely-concealed racism is so 30 years ago.

      June 3, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
  3. Jon

    Ready for a Mormon president? Sure, why not. Ready for another Republican president? ... meh.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Jesus

      Do you know what is on the top of the list of religious beliefs of candidates that would turn off voters? Jews, Mormons, Muslims, but the very top of that list are Atheists! The most rational and logical get mixed with the most bizarre, Very interesting!

      June 2, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • TBR

      Quit trolling Jesus, you are wasting space on here.

      June 3, 2011 at 2:29 am |
  4. Nobama

    Since we can accept a muslim for a president, I don’t see why a Mormon would be a problem.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Nurse Lisa

      since we've not yet elected a muslim president your post seems misinformed.

      June 2, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • Rob J.

      Obama is a Christian, so it seems you're lettin' your ignorant flag fly. Sigh.

      June 2, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • hitobito

      Really? Are you referring to the current President of the United States? FYI, he's not muslim and has never been a Muslim.

      June 2, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • FLOP

      Another Faux news dingbat drinking that Tea crap! You people are if anything but hysterical.

      June 2, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • InFormed99

      Fool. What a stupid comment to make.

      June 2, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • yesbama

      you seem to have been living in a cave for the last five years, sir. Perhaps you should watch something other than fox news!

      June 3, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  5. Praetorian

    I'm just not sure that America is ready for a President who wears Magical Mystical Mormon Underoos to bed.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • GregB

      Why, if I had magical underwear, I'd wear them too, but unfortunately all I have is Hanes.

      Since we at least pretend to have a separation of church and state, how about we pretend as such on these forums as well.

      And no, I'm not Mormon, but I've served in Iraq with plenty. Anyone who has the drive to defend people's freedoms, including speech, is fine by me. Whether they're Christian, Muslim, Mormon, Hindu, Buddhist, or believe in tin foil hats and Martian invasions.

      June 2, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • Jesus

      The magical underwear repels skid marks, prevents cancer, as well as premature night spillage.

      June 2, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • Johnny

      You are so silly! jijiji

      June 2, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
    • Taylor

      Right on GregB. I know LOTS of Mormons- my sister ( not Mormon) went to a medical school with 50% Mormons. They are all nice, helpful, and fun individuals who are now great doctors. Each guy has ONE wife and a normal number of kids (2). I don't see what is so horrible about a peaceful religion that praises morality.

      Also all politicians suck so....

      June 3, 2011 at 8:56 am |
  6. fishbowl

    Are we doomed to another four years of Obama? Shheesh, bring back the actor.That may have been the last time this country had any respect (fear?) in this world

    June 2, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • dabein marga

      The actor? You mean the retard who got shot at?

      June 2, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Ed

      so we are blaming people becasue some nut case shots at them now?

      June 2, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • fishbowl

      Yep, that was him, the guy who rescued this country after Carter ruined it, the guy who gave us a decent economy and the same guy who got the Russians to TEAR DOWN THAT WALL. For all his faults, he gave us that. If you disagree, I clearly think you are a delusional liberal, probably not that old either.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Chat

      No, Ed, Reagan was stupid. Retarded. He also had half his brain removed after the assassination attempt. You didn't notice much difference because you were all slobbering, drooling fans of his countrified shtick. You are a sucker for anything stupid I guess.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Ed

      @Chat, can't be a sucker for anything stupir becasue I'm not a sucker for you.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Reagan got a bullet through his lung...
      I think your doctor is the only one who prescribed a lobotomy for asthma.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Tom G

      Reagan was also shot in the head. Why don't you look it up?

      June 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Nurse Lisa

      if you search for National debt by U.S. presidential terms you'll be surprised to learn your hero Reagan made it far worse than it was under Carter' and Cliinton's improvements were ruined by you know who too.

      June 2, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • TBR

      Uh Fishbowl, what wall did the Russians tear down out of curisoity. The Leningrad Wall? Maybe the Sochi wall? Or maybe you think Reagan sent the Russian army into Germany to tear down the Berlin Wall?

      June 3, 2011 at 2:32 am |
  7. DrPaul

    I bet you his special mormon underwear he does not stand a chance vs me, Ron Paul! lol

    June 2, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  8. us1776

    America's not ready for "Magic Underpants".


    June 2, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Ed

      depends of whose wearing them and what else they're wearing

      June 2, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • RobertW

      You've got to be kidding. People are still make magic underpants comments as if they were the first to think of that? It's time to think of something original, or maybe just make an intelligent comment about the contents of the article.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • us1776

      Yes, because it's important that people know that he believes in these "Magic Underpants".

      I mean do you want the president to be putting on his "Magic Underpants" to deal with tough situations?

      I don't.


      June 2, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • RobertW

      The only problem with your argument is that Mormons don't believe their underwear have magical powers. It's just another ignorant stereotype.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Tom G

      It's well established that Mormons believe their underwear to have "magical" properties, although they don't use the word "magical" of course. They couch it in religious terms. Which equates to "magical" very easily and accurately.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • RobertW

      Well established by whom? Few if any Mormons believe their underwear has magical properties. It is merely symbolic and serves to remind them of covenants made in the temple. There may be a few Mormons who believe that the temple garments offer some sort of literal physical protection, but that is certainly not the norm, nor is it doctrine. The "protection" it offers is in reminding one of convenants made, and it's value is not in the properties of the garment itself, but in the covenants it represents. The "magic underpants" bit is a disingenuous distortion of Mormon belief.

      June 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • JSLaw

      No serious Mormon believes in mystical, magical underpants any more than a Christian would believe in mystical, magical crosses. What would you rather him do? Proudly display symbols of his faith on his outer clothing to catch tail? :p

      June 2, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • Drew

      Probably should go to a better source for your information. The underpants aren't magical. They help Mormons remember covenants that they've made with God. Pretty sure that other religions have items like that.

      June 2, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Charles Mills

      TomG they need an AWESOME button for your post!!!!!!!!!!!

      June 2, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Jesus

      Word is that he wears a cod piece under those magic undies. Romney is after the ladies' vote.

      June 2, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • Rachel

      Mormons don't believe they're magical – they're there to remind them about modesty in clothing.

      June 3, 2011 at 2:19 am |
  9. josh

    religion should disqualify a person from being president. Keep the hocus pocus out of the white house.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • Brent

      Obama is Muslim so your point is wrong.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • streetcar01

      I'm going to guess that Obama isn't religious at all. I bet the most he would admit to in a private conversation is that he is agnostic. Romney may be a non-believer as well. Many people get trapped into religion once they get married, have children, etc... It's easier in this country to stay in rather than go through whatever personal issues are necessary to extract oneself.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @streetcar01: Couple that with the political suicide that admitting non-belief would entail, and it only makes sense that any professional politician is forced to choose a religion to run behind regardless of their true opinions on the matter.

      Sad, really.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • JSLaw

      Yes, becuase belief in magical hocus pocus primordial pools where DNA strands magically populate at random from inanimate rocks is much better.

      June 2, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Nurse Lisa

      Writer Cathleen Falsani interviewed a young congressman Obama yrs ago about his strong Christian faith – The God Factor – look it up.

      June 2, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Charles Mills

      No Josh.. it should not QUALIFY people for it. It is most definitely a GREAT reason to DISQAULIFY a lunatic from reaching office.

      June 2, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • Charles Mills

      Oops misread.. sorry Josh, as you can see I AGREE with ya LOL

      June 2, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • Jesus

      Great idea, but well before its time. To get elected in this country you've got to end all speeches with "God bless America" and profess some religious affiliation (preferably some mainstream Christian sect). Ironically, if we were in Sweden, being religious is a negative. One day maybe that will be here as well.

      June 2, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • AB Guy

      If or when that happens, God help us all.

      June 2, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
  10. CW

    Don't agree with Rom's faith...like "some" of his ideas but his faith needs to be changed....

    John Smith....I mean really?...com'on....Jesus Christ is the one.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Joe

      and all that matters exactly how? How will it affect his performance as president? if that's an issue for you, then people like you are too stupid to see beyond your nose. Just don't vote. You are part of the problem. I'm not a romney supporter. But his religion has absolutely no impact on how his performance as president would be. Get over it, stupid.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Ed

      @joe, you could have said that better but I agree with you in principle. Religion is less important the performance

      June 2, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Tom G

      All three of you are retarded. Of course his actions are going to be influenced by his religious delusions!
      How can anyone be so stupid as to think otherwise?

      June 2, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • KM

      "Jesus Christ is the one" – A MAJORITY of the planet disagrees with you; including millions of Americans. Americans are just dumb enough to believe what is on the TV/Radio/Internet. There is more misinformation than information in the world. Pick and choose carefully what to believe in, especially when it comes to religion.

      June 2, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • ndrew

      Did this article just dredge up all of the retards in our nation? I hope this is it – otherwise our nation has bigger problems than what religion the president belongs to. The amount of religious bigotry here astounds me.

      June 2, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • Jono

      @CW- Hey buddy, just have to say it...it's Joseph Smith, not Jon, and Mormons don't worship Smith. We see him as a prophet. We worship Jesus Christ. I have no problem with people disliking or disagreeing with my religion so long as they have their facts straight. But you are absolutely right: Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life.

      June 3, 2011 at 2:24 am |
  11. Artist

    Glen Beck is Mormon is he pushing for Rom?

    June 2, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Ed

      thats a vote against romney then can't stand glen beck

      June 2, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Artist

      Glen Beck has turned into a ranting religious nut. I used to listen to him until he went off on the deep end. He has lost his mind.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • josh

      I dont thinkj too many conservatives are for romney he is way to liberal.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @josh: I would agree with you, except it puts the Republican Party in quite a pickle. I don't see another candidate that they can run that won't immediately alienate 60% of the independent voters.

      The Republican Party needs to temper its socially conservative platform to be considered viable in the general election, and it appears they're actually headed the other way. If Democratic candidates started campaigning on platforms of fiscal restraint, a Republican might never see a national office again.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  12. Ed

    better him than Trump or Palin

    June 2, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Artist

      Neither of them as well...this is why the Dems are going to win. I am not a Dem but I sure as heck don't want those 3.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I'd rather someone who believes in magic rocks than one who claims she can see Russia from Alaska. At least the first belief, though ridiculous, can't be disproven by anybody with eyes.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Artist

      Ed if I had to pick 1 of those 3 with no other choices, then Trump. I don't want the Mormon agenda in the WH or the babbling idiot with NICE breasts pushing her morals and agenda in the WH.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Jon

      Sometimes, I wonder if the only reason Palin and Trump exist is to make the GOP's other candidates look good.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • RobertW

      What exactly is the Mormon agenda and how do you know?

      June 2, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > What exactly is the Mormon agenda and how do you know?

      The mormon agenda is like all other religions. To spread their nonsense as far as they can. Their goal is to limit thought to their holy books and to replace critical inquiry with a unknown answer that they claim is known.

      These people must be stopped. They have already cost us years of scientific research (stem cells for example) due to their nonsense.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • RobertW

      "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." – 11th Article of Faith of the LDS Church

      "One of the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism is to receive truth, let it come from whence it may." – Joseph Smith, Jr.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • TBR

      Yes Bobinator, you have it right. We need to stop all this foolish religion. Let's make laws against it. That sounds exactly like what the Founding Fathers would have wanted. Or at least what the Communists wanted in any case.

      June 3, 2011 at 2:36 am |
  13. Artist

    You can see the plague from Utah in Nevada and we are seeing it more in Arizona. Cult is a kind way fo describing the Mormon church.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • JSLaw

      Better get out your tin foil hat then. Heaven forbid you catch the Mormon cooties.

      June 2, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • sensitive bunch

      don't forget your pastor told you that mormons have horns, drink all of your beer while you sleep, will Jedi mind trick you into thinking they are your friend, AND STILL be your friend after the trick is over. Just a disclaimer, we don't have horns, don't drink beer, but do use Jedi Mind tricks.

      June 2, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
  14. stejo

    I'm guessing you mean Joseph? Unless you're talking about the guy at the Jamestown Colony, and I'm pretty sure he never claimed that.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • stejo

      oops, this was for bobinator

      June 2, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  15. Artist

    Not to mention their fantasy beliefs....talk about this:
    Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that makes it difficult to tell the difference between real and unreal experiences, to think logically, to have normal emotional responses, and to behave normally in social situations.
    As the illness continues, psychotic symptoms develop:
    • False beliefs or thoughts that are not based in reality (delusions)
    • Hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not there (hallucinations)

    June 2, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • KM

      By your descriptions I would deduce ALL religious people are schizophrenics.

      June 2, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
  16. Pa Poodinski

    That our country is infested with religious cults is just par for the course. Moronism is a cult, as is every other "christian" cult.
    ALL religions are cults. There is no religion with any authoritative basis with which to avoid a "cult" label.
    Romney with his magic underwear needs to stay out of politics. We don't need any more crazies in charge. We need to drive them out of office and out of their jobs that affect the rest of us.
    America is in danger from religious delusions. Having a Mormon President is more likely to accelerate the corruption in DC.
    We don't need more corruption! AT ALL!

    June 2, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Ed

      because the current politicians reguardless of faith are so lacking in corruption.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Artist


      because the current politicians reguardless of faith are so lacking in corruption.
      Most politicians are corrupt, lets not make it worse by throwing in people pushing their religious agenda. Oh and the Mormon church is very serious about getting a Mormon president in office. This plays into their agenda and plans.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • scieng

      A cult is an organization who calls itself one thing, but has beliefs and practices that are counter to what they say they associate with. Whether this is done to hide from social justice, collect money from the ignorant, or become socially acceptable, it is simply a use of labels to escape the consequences of honesty.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • JSLaw

      Yes, the diabolical plans of the Mormons. WE MUST UNITE to counter those good charming looks and healthy living styles! I like my presidents to wear their faith on their outer clothing so they can catch tail...if you know what I mean. Right up there on my list with Parchezee nights for seniors and the fact that toilet tissue is so dry. (Seriously, it doesn't even work.) Oooh, I hate them lots and lots.

      June 2, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • RLP1509

      Shall we "seek" them all out of the woodwork and haul them to Salem, MA to be burned?? Good grief!!! The guy doesn't have the bubonic plague. Some of us think that most religions have their strange peculiarities. So what! Those "non-believers" also are peculiar. It is what makes this nation what it is. Black/white/chinese/Latino/catholic/baptist/mormon/ agnostic/athiest, what does it matter. Listen to all candidates and decide for yourself based on the person and not all the gift wrapping whether good or bad!!

      June 2, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  17. Ed

    we've had an actor why not a mormon

    June 2, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      And a senile actor at that (at least in his second term).
      I feel kind of bad for doubting Reagan during the Iran/Contra hearings when he claimed not to remember anything about it. In retrospect, it seems quite plausible given his rapidly declining mental state.

      The 43rd president was a moron, so why not add an extra 'm' for the 45th?

      June 2, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Ed

      and yet he was better then some f the others we've had

      June 2, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > we've had an actor why not a mormon

      Because not all actors believe in stupid crap.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Ed

      have you read interviews with actors many of them seem to believe in stupid crap

      June 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  18. Artist

    God I hope not. In Arizona we are seeing what this plague from Utah is like. They are like co c kroaches with bibles. America, do not vote for this man.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • JC

      Wow Artist. Your hatred needs help

      June 2, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Artist


      Wow Artist. Your hatred needs help
      I meant that in a good way

      June 2, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  19. The Bobinator

    If there's any religion that shows you can be completely brainwashed to believe any sort of nonsense incluidng having to wear "Special underwear" for services, it's mormonism.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Do crotchless panties qualify as atheist underwear?

      June 2, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Artist


      June 2, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Tal Blevins

      Doc Vestibule? Now I don't mean to toot my 2-inch horn, but do you happen to be from my website: IGN?

      June 2, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Tel Belvins
      I am not, though I am curious as to what would make you think so...
      Perhaps my only other digital footprints are a seldom visited myspace page, highlighting minimally talented bits of musical masturbation and sporadic contributions to a fansite for a particular brand of Les Paul knockoff.

      June 2, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
  20. The Bobinator

    John Smith claimed he had done more for humanity then even Jesus Christ.

    This guy doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of making it in.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • gerald

      I am not mormon but I do hate when religions are misrepresented by those who are clearly bigots. You can't even get their founders name right Bobinator. Stop making a fool of yourself.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Artist

      I thought the founder was John Holmes?????

      June 2, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > I am not mormon but I do hate when religions are misrepresented by those who are clearly bigots. You can't even get their founders name right Bobinator. Stop making a fool of yourself.

      That's right, the entire tone of my post is changed given that it's Joseph Smith instead of John Smith. Clearly the typo on the name invalidates my claim and totally negates the point I was trying to make.

      Wait, it doesn't? Oh, I guess that would make your objection moronic and pointless.

      Cudos on that by the way.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • nate

      That is a flat out lie. First of all I have no clue who John Smith is so you must mean Joseph Smith. Secondly, if you knew anything about Mormons and their beliefs you would know they worship Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith NEVER said that. If you attend a Mormon church service it is VERY centered on worshiping Jesus Christ.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • dirkK

      Um ... you spelled kudos wrong too.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > Um ... you spelled kudos wrong too.

      That was sort of the point. Geez.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • TBR

      Now come on Bobi, you did not mean to misspell kudos, you are just ashamed that you did. Own up to it man.

      June 3, 2011 at 2:39 am |
    • Andrewski

      Quit trolling bobinator. I feel dumber for reading your uneducated bigoted comments.

      June 3, 2011 at 3:25 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63
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.