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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. frank

    Anyone who votes isn't worthy of voting.

    June 3, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Sean

      I would actually agree that a great deal of the people making comments here lack the knowledge that a voter should have. The lack of intelligence displayed here shows that people care less and less about the issues that candidates are aiming to affect and change. Being educated on the issues is part of the duty of an American voter, and it's terribly sad how many people have forsaken these American values.

      June 3, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • track

      @sean

      "american values" is such a cliche term. You mean WASP or white christian "old boy" values, right? because otherwise, america is such a diverse country with such differing cultures, religions, and morals, all valid, that your comment makes absolutely no sense. People have just as much right to criticize the aspects of mormonism that they find strange, as people do to actually be mormon. It's called freedom of speech. That's a true American value.

      June 3, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • Sean

      @Track

      I think you misunderstood what I meant by my comment. I definitely was in no way trying to allude by "American values" as to what, say, a WASP would classify as American values. In fact, the inability for Americans to understand the diversity in this country in great frustration of mine, but that is a separate conversation. No, I fully recognize that anyone has the right to criticize any religious belief or practice–why must they even find it far-fetched to do so? For example, you technically do not even need a reason to criticize Mormonism! I was getting at the problem that many people may jump-the-gun to rule out Mitt Romney for being a Mormon while they may have an entirely incorrect interpretation of what Mormonism is. They have every right say what they choose but what if perhaps, had they actually correctly understood some Mormon practices and values that they took out of context, they would see him in a different light? I stand by my comment that it is the DUTY of American voters to be educated on political issues and candidates, which entails having their facts generally straight, but yes, it is by no means a law. First Amendment trumps for sure.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:54 am |
  2. Muneef

    Think they might do well better than most as seen they are strict with religion practice and more belief than others...who knows they even might be the along waited Christ to return ?

    June 3, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Artist

      I don't know of any schizophrenics that come back from the dead.

      June 3, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • Muneef

      Not seeing that in movies as well? (Vampire/Zombies) ?

      June 4, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
  3. Superchik

    Any person who lets their religious teaching be the doctrine of the whole country is not ready to be President.

    June 3, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • Sean

      Superchik

      Yeah, Romney has really proven to do this in previous political positions he has held. Oh wait....

      June 3, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • Superchik

      @Sean He has admitted that he, "... believe(s) in (his) Mormon faith and (he) endeavor(s) to live by it,” and that, “(His) faith is the faith of (his) fathers — (he) will be true to them and to (his) beliefs.” He will lead the country according to his 'beliefs" not what is good and fair for the people. He has proved it during his time as governor of MA.

      June 3, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Chik, but by your own quotes he says that he just says that he will live by them. It is different than saying he will govern whole by them. You state that he has done such in Mass. are you able to give an example ?

      June 3, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • Superchik

      @Mark by the Middle River: He personally funded the caimpaings of republican candidates, using the ideasl of family values, in an effort reverse same-gender marriage in his state.
      I find it hard that he stated he will "live" by his religion but not be true to his beliefs. On the other hand, Huntsman has been able to do so.

      June 3, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Mister Spencer

      Superchik.....fil-A

      Bahahahahaha!

      Chik-fil-A...owned by mormons. any of you mormon-haters eat that dirty chikin?

      Next time you stay in a Marriott franchise hotel/motel, take a gander at the Book of Mormon in the nightstand. Be sure to read verses 3-5 on page 529;)

      June 4, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  4. Johnjon

    just 4 words................ It ain't gonna happen.

    June 3, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • Sean

      Well, technically three words and one grammatically incorrect contraction.

      June 3, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • Sean

      Strike that. Two words, one grammatically incorrect contraction, and one word that is wholly grammatically incorrect.

      June 3, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • Artist

      Sean

      Well, technically three words and one grammatically incorrect contraction.

      June 3, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
      Sean

      Strike that. Two words, one grammatically incorrect contraction, and one word that is wholly grammatically incorrect.
      ---------
      b@ll buster lol
      .
      Weekend almost here and I will be doing shots for baby jesus.

      June 3, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  5. frank

    What's the deal with this Giant Salamander rascal?

    June 3, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  6. BJohnson

    Growing up and living in the Mormon Mecca (Utah) I strongly believe that with the LDS faith there is absoulutley no seperation of Church & State. Our State legistature, governor, etc do not make a move with out a non-verbal ok from the church. The church is above all of man's laws. So a President under the long-arm of the church... hell to the no!

    June 3, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • Erik

      But if the teachings are good and clearly for the benefit of the people, why would it be a bad thing. I still think that individuals would have plenty of free choice.

      June 4, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • Mister Spencer

      FYI, Pres. Bush consulted the President of the mormon church and prominent leaders from other churches in the country before deciding to attack Afghanistan and Iraq. Other past presidents have done the same while facing similar huge decisions. They have also publicly declared that they prayed to God about such decisions.

      June 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  7. Brian - Milwaukee

    Why not. We have an Islam for one now.

    June 3, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Johnjon

      Islam?

      June 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • Sean

      Good one Brian! You are one heck of a funny guy!

      June 3, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Superchik

      You mean Muslim – not Islam. Islam is what you say when you're referring to the religion. A person who follows the Islamic faith is called a Muslim. You give people from Milwaukee a bad name, you Christianism!

      June 3, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  8. dscotty

    It doesn't matter what you believe or do not believe in – you should still have respect for others' beliefs. We're all going to disagree with what others people believe in (because it's different from what we believe in!). If a person publicly attacks a religion – such as in a cnn sound off- it says much more about that person's credibility and character than the religion they are trying to discredit.

    June 3, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • dscotty

      *other

      June 3, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Artist

      I have no problem with people having different delusions. It is when they try to impose their delusion on others that I take issue.

      June 3, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Brandon

      Sorry, no, Mormon is beyond the stupidity of most religions. It was invented by a genuine crook, and we cannot have someone that believes such idiotic nonsense controlling a country.

      Religion destroys lives and civilizations. To say that we should respect it and not tell the truth about it is nonsense.

      June 3, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • dscotty

      Agreed, but realize that Mormons and people in many other faiths invite other people to learn about their beliefs because they believe it will help people. Their intent is usually good – and most are (hopefully) respectful in their invitations. You're right about imposing, but not all religious people are trying to impose their beliefs – many are just trying to share something they feel is important. If you don't want a gift someone is trying to give you – be respectful enough not to throw it back at their face.

      June 3, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • dscotty

      (agreeing with artist, not brandon...)

      June 3, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  9. Joe

    Wrong question! -should be – Is America ready for a real president instead of the present one that has an enormous ego completely beyond his capability. Are there still people that have not caught on to his charade? If he is relected those that elect him deserve everything they do not get until we as a country are smart enough to make a better choice!

    June 3, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • Emigdio

      A more viable question is "is America ready to stop caring about a candidate's religion and care more on the values of the individual?"

      June 3, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  10. Nathan

    "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."

    mormon.org was never "revamped"; it was always aimed to educate the public. lds.org is the site used by those within the church for resources. Misleading.

    June 3, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  11. Be Tolerant

    If you support the First Amendent and I hope that all American's would, you have to be tolerant of all religious opinions, including those with which you differ, those that may believe they are set above all others and includes those that believe all relgious beliefs are unsupportable, chosing to not believe in any. This is not to say you have to agree with or approve of or embrace or celebrate all or any. But to defend their and your First Amendment rights you have to support all of right to be different from each other, a government that does not impede reglious opinion or set one as the "national religion".

    So with that in mind. The religion of past, current and future presidents in not important as long as they support the rights of all Americans.

    June 3, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  12. matt

    Check out this article

    June 3, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Mister Spencer

      we just did

      June 4, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  13. Truth Teller

    FACT: As prestiges as the Mormons are. They are in total darkness with their occult teachings. They got Jesus on their marque, but its not the same Jesus in the Bible. These new world order occultest are headed for the hot place.

    All the past presidents are members of the illuiminatti, whats one more?

    June 3, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Johnny

      Who is the Jesus in the Bible?

      June 3, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • Sean

      @Truth Teller

      I hate to tell you the sad truth that you have no grasp on the English language. Why don't you try this handy tip next time you submit a comment: re-read what you wrote. That way we can actually understand what you are trying to convey. That being said, I'm not sure that using correct grammar would really have helped us understand this mess of a comment anyways.

      June 3, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • Artist

      Johnny

      Who is the Jesus in the Bible?
      =======================
      Somebody that suffered from 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 3, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Mister Spencer

      One of the problems with some "evangelical christians" is that they want to keep Jesus contained "in the bible"

      btw, where is "the hot place" located?

      June 4, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
  14. dinak

    I can't believe that the press would ask such a stupid, irrelevant question – are we not the land of freedom of religion? The press didn't care that Obama sat in a racist, enemy-of-the-U.S. church for 20 years that vilified Italian-Americans, Jews, and Caucasions, in general, but lauded Hamas and other terror groups. Oh, that wasn't relevant to the press, but Mormonism is – give me a break.

    June 3, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Patrick

      "The press didn't care that Obama sat in a racist, enemy-of-the-U.S. church for 20 "

      Yeah he wasn't an enemy of America...but you can portray him any way you wish. Certainly he had issues with the ways things are here ... so do alot of people.

      Also the press did care... it was all over the news in case you missed it.

      June 3, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  15. RobW.

    I would just like to share a few thoughts.

    First, I am a mormon and I am a Christian. I believe that Christ is my Savior. I know what I believe and I know what I practice. It is illogical that a complete stranger would know better than I do whether or not I am a Christian.

    Second, There have been some comments written that essentially say that mormons are stuck up, weird, and going to hell. That is an odd thing to say about a Church that donates millions of dollars in medical and relief supplies to several different areas of the world for assistance after natural disasters, and that puts so much emphasis on strong marriage, dedicated parenting, forgiveness, and striving to be like Christ.

    Third, as some people have already commented, John F. Kennedy, while running for president, dealt with tons of criticism from anti catholics. The fact that he was elected president after so much hate simply because of his religion should put the religion/White House question to rest. Even the late Ted Kennedy, when he was running against Mitt Romney for Senate, said that Romney's mormon faith should not be an issue.

    I may or may not vote for Mitt Romney, I have not yet decided. But my vote will have absolutely nothing to do with his religious affiliation. It will be based on how I feel he measures up to the office of the presidency of the United States according to his public service record, his political beliefs, and how he wants to move this country forward.

    June 3, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Interesting point on number three, however, I would suggest going the other direction. Instead of claiming it has been taken care of perhaps we should require all candidates to give a speech on how there religion or lack thereof will not influence there decisions, in the same manner as JFK. The Christians shouldn't get a pass, just because most are more familiar with them.
      (By require I mean public pressure, not by law, since that would violate the "no religious test" portion of the Consti.tution.)

      June 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Nonimus

      ..."there" should be "their" of course
      (sheesh, can't believe I did that)

      June 3, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Truth Teller

      Sorry brother. You can't be a Mormon AND a Christian. To be a Christian you have to be born again. That means have the Holy Spirit. You guys are in it for the loaves and fishes. I pray my brother that you throw that book of Mormon, which came from the pits of hell. Give your heart to Christ, and so He can be Lord of your life.

      I hope you and others come out of darkness, so you dont have to suffer the doom of the second death

      June 3, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Aww, come on Truth Teller, who's to say the Mormons are wrong and they're book isn't also inspired by God? The Jewish Bible is apparently.

      June 3, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Patrick

      "pray my brother that you throw that book of Mormon, which came from the pits of hell. Give your heart to Christ, and so He can be Lord of your life.

      I hope you and others come out of darkness, so you dont have to suffer the doom of the second death"

      ....and I hope both of you like living in your world of fantasy make believe.

      June 3, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Nathan

      Truth Teller–You're embarrassing the rest of us Christians. Stop the ignorance! Christ said we would know his followers by their fruits. Many Mormons more faithfully love God and their neighbors than we do. Let's get back to our focus on the cross and the empty tomb and let God judge all of us according to his time and pleasure.

      June 3, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  16. Frogist

    Whether Mormon, evangelical, Catholic, or otherwise, the religion of a candidate doesn't bother me. People can call themselves whatever they like. The label doesn't matter to me. What I think is significant about a person's faith is the degree of belief in whatever it is. And I think this is very true for a number of things beyond religion. The more casual a person is about their say sports team, the more they are willing to admit the positives of another team or the negatives about their own. And the more a clear headed decision about which team is better can be made. But the more fanatical a person is, the less smart their decision-making process becomes.
    In this light, Romney's being a mormon seems less problematic to me. I do find his high position in his church to possibly be a problem because of course it means he is more adherent and less casual about his religion which could mean he would let his religion color his duties as president. I also wonder about his flip-flopping on his previous actions. That definitely adds to my question of whether I can trust what he is saying to be what he will actually do.

    June 3, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  17. snowboarder

    i will not vote for anyone that wears their religion on their sleeve. i prefer those who make decisions based on rational thought.

    June 3, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Sean

      He wears his religion on his sleeve no more than other Christian Republicans have in the past. Obviously, his faith has proven to be a non-issue amongst his electorate in the past. I mean, I don't see how he could have been a GOVERNOR otherwise. Not you in particular snowboarder, but so very many people on here believe that Romney is going bring his faith into his position so much more as president than he did as governor. Why the hell would he do that?

      June 3, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  18. Nick

    What does religion have to do with being elected? We elected Obama but I didn't hear anyone questioning his Black Theology religion. We elected Kennedy and his Catholicism didn't get in the way. Romney may have a religous label (and no doubt liberals will be all up in arms over that) but you don't know what that means – from all the Rev. Wright hullabalu you would have thought Obama was a weird radical – but in reality he's not very (publicly) religous at all.

    Stop trying to sink the guy just because he is visbly religious.

    June 3, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • RobW.

      Well written.

      June 3, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  19. viva7

    The founder of the LDS, Joseph Smith , stated that he spoke to Jesus and God the father (separate individuals) in the woods outside his home as a young man. BUT their are 7 DIFFERENT versions of his story and they all contradict each other. His original account of his "meeting with god" is clearly a Fraud.

    June 3, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Artist

      "His original account of his "meeting with god" is clearly a Fraud." as apposed to the other accounts not being?
      .
      Seeing how Mormonism has come about, we can see how Christianity evolved. Man says he spoke to god etc, followers start to believe him. Man wrote accounts and laws and deemed it word from god. Mormonism is really not all that different, just twist the stories a little and walllaaahhhh new religion. Perhaps mormonism will replace christianity as it fades out in the centuries to come. Key to mormonism success is not here, rather in South America etc. America will crumble, every empire does....a big chunk of christianity will fail with it. House of cards coming down. Catholic church is already on the downturn. Europe will change along with the religious strong hold. Major players will be Islam and Mormonism perhaps.

      June 3, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Aren't there two written versions of the creation of the world in the Bible. Hell, how many version of the Bible are there, not including OT vs. NT.

      June 3, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Artist

      The founder of the Mormon church was clearly:
      .
      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 3, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • Artist

      and his followers believe him. With the cult being less than 200 years old....you would think there would be obvious evidence. Of course there isn't only he saw the magical things etc. lol The followers like other cults (Christianity) self imposed a form of Schizophrenia it seems. They believe their gods talk to them and perform miracles. OF course they clair delusion is real while pointing the finger at the other cults. lol

      June 3, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Artist

      The Adelina's and HeavenSent's of the world are no different than these magic underwear wearing freaks. While the delusional are in power the rest of us must deal with this sickness around us.

      June 3, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Free

      Nomimus
      At least in science, when a new idea comes up, it is possible to abandon older ideas. Not so with religion, especially after an idea gets placed in a holy book. Then all new ideas have to conform to the old ones, even if this leads to utterly stupid contradictions, or the continuation of beliefs and practices that no longer make any sense in our society.

      June 3, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  20. Xperm Killer

    When I read que poll question, I read "Is America ready for a MORON president?" what got Bush in my mind!

    June 3, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
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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.