Christian author: A Mormon should never be president
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks during last month's CNN presidential debate in New Hampshire.
July 7th, 2011
03:39 PM ET

Christian author: A Mormon should never be president

Tricia Erickson is author of the new book,"Can Mitt Romney Serve Two Masters? The Mormon Church Versus The Office Of  The Presidency of the United States of America". She runs a communications company, Crisis Management, Incorporated and Angel Pictures & Publicity, a political and entertainment publicity and consulting company that promotes conservative causes and personalities. In an off-set "In the Arena" interview, Erickson shares her insight on why Mormons should not be considered for the White House.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to the provocative–and in some cases, inflammatory– nature of Erickson's answers, we asked for a response from Mormon historian Richard Bushman, the Howard W. Hunter Visiting Professor of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University in California. His remarks follow the answers below, along with reactions from Corey P. Saylor, National Legislative Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and Ahmed M. Rehab, Executive Director, CAIR-Chicago.)

You ask, “Can Mitt Romney serve two masters?” He was governor of Massachusetts from 2003 – 2007 and his belief in Mormonism seems to have only served him well. Why would this be different if he were elected president?

Let me say that my book is divided in to two parts. Part I covers the spiritual aspect. Part II covers the political.  Both parts are important when considering voting for this possible front runner.

Read more about Tricia Erickson's allegations against Mormonism on CNN's In the Arena blog
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Mormonism • TV-In the Arena

soundoff (424 Responses)
  1. TeaTime

    Nope! Nascar is for rednecks.

    July 15, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  2. Tel

    This sort of manure was being shoveled back when John Kennedy was a candidate. Could he honestly take the oath of office, and still be faithful to the Church? Wouldn't that make the Pope the real head of the US? The argument was an embarrassment then, and it's an embarrassment now.

    July 15, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  3. bxgrrl

    As long as he keeps his religion out of it, no problem – hint, hint Ms. Erickson...

    July 15, 2011 at 9:12 am |
  4. Seer

    She missed the detail where Mormons are Christians. And she also missed the detail where Christians in office seem to serve themselves much more than the public, never mind God. I think we can agree that a good candidate for president is going to put the needs of the people ahead of his own needs, and respect the diversity of religion in our country by following the 1st amendment and keeping his relationship with God to himself, except for the part where he tries his hardest to follow Jesus/Buddha/Krishna/Mohammed's first teaching, which is to walk in love.

    July 15, 2011 at 4:03 am |
    • Frank

      Seer–What gave you the idea that Mormons are Christians? They have, "another Jesus", and "another gospel" to name just two deviant doctrines.

      July 15, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  5. Gavin Boothroyd

    That argument about "serving two masters" was used to stop Catholics from going into office too...

    July 15, 2011 at 2:58 am |
  6. evensteven

    Why in the land of the free and the brave are candidates measured by their religious affiliation? I long for the day when we as a country accept an atheist President, Native American, Scientologist, pagan, Jehovah's Witness, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and so on and so forth. We are sorely lacking in religious tolerance in a country that was supposed to be founded on religious tolerance. This is the big obstacle we must navigate if we are to survive as a country. Religions usually polarize people in ways that are destructive . . .

    July 14, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
    • Sarah

      Good point and well said, although I'd like to think that religions *can* polarize people, not usually *do* 🙂

      July 14, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
  7. Halospawn

    a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own.

    July 14, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Sarah

      I wish i could *like* your comment 🙂

      July 14, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
  8. Halospawn

    a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own

    July 14, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  9. TK

    I think Republicans and conservative christians better get used to and accept the idea of a Mormon President of the USA. He's the only candidate worth his salt that has thrown his hat into the primary race.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  10. malasangre

    if you said Napolean told you to do something you would be locked up. if you say an invisible old man who lives in the clouds tells you to do it "god" has spoken to you and you are now a wise person who should tell others what to do. if "god" does not actually speak then he has given you some magic plates only you can read with a rock in a magic hat. even according to the testament called the bible the rules of common "good" behavior is written on the heart of all. no wonder research shows atheists to generally be more intelligent and well educated.

    July 14, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Matthew

      Wooooooow. Sir, every man is welcome to his own opinion and thoughts. But that statement was incredibly generalistic and bordering on just plain stupid.

      July 14, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • dolores

      hqving had the opportunity to have married a practicing morman, experience the joy offered by the young elders who give 2 years of their life to serve in spreading what they believe to be the truth, helping anyone who needs help and having chosen to remain a non member of the morman church, i suggest those who choose to be critical of this group is not operating from a heart of love. Mark 9:38-40 " Teacher, said john, we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop because he was not one of us." "Do not stop him", Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next say anything bad about me, for who is not against us is for us. I tell you anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong t Christ will certainly not loose his reward." Hebrews 13:2 Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some have entertained angels unaware.

      July 14, 2011 at 2:21 pm |

    Religion is poison! EVOLVE!!!!

    July 14, 2011 at 10:26 am |
  12. Tracy

    Guess what? You have weird beliefs too! I guess no christian fundamentalists should never be president either.

    July 14, 2011 at 10:18 am |
  13. EllaCC

    Joseph Smith, the first president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said, "Teach righteous principles and let people govern themselves". Jesus Christ did not come to earth to hold political office but to save us spritually. I find it interesting that so many who label themselves "Christians" have an a la carte approach to principles taught by Jesus Christ and then apply their selected views as a litmus test for those seeking political office. Mitt Romney holds himself to a higher standard and his life and family testify to his devotion to the Savior.

    July 14, 2011 at 8:33 am |

      Wait a minute! Are you actually quoting the guy with the magic hat? Believing in palid incompetence nailed to a tree is one thing, but the Joe Smith story is the most ridiculous fairy tale religion (except maybe scientology) ever. Let's get all religion out of our politics. Vote for rationality instead of belief in the big fairy tale boogie-man in the sky. Religion is destroying this country!!! EVOLVE!!!

      July 14, 2011 at 10:33 am |
  14. Steve

    Third class minds think with the majority.
    Second class minds think with the minority.
    First class minds think.

    July 13, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
  15. TSIndiana

    There are undrpinnings of our society that while often said to be religion (commandments) are also the foundations of law. But our court system has determined they do not apply and that lying in court is OK. Read about the rising tide of NIHILISM in court, where it is the will of all powerful judges that decides cases, not law. That works great for attorneys, that can now put multiple lies before the judge (giving him ample room to fabricate about anything), aka "alternative defense", but society pays dearly for this job security for the bar.

    We have more problems with a functioning government that is made up of nearly all lawyers, than a religious zelot.

    July 13, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  16. Judy

    Why do these narrow minded people feel they are complelled to dictate what is best for someone else. I raised our children without a religion. Raise your children to honour and respect other people, to treat others like they would want to be treated. To be honest, and to serve mankind. To have love and have compassion for all things. To believe in themselves. I have raised two beautiful souls who respect others and are natural leaders and great followers of, great men and woman who have made a difference in our world, without preaching their religious views on others. Yes, Mike, these people are 'screwing up our society with their prejudices, and bigotry" and extreme religious views. Living together on this planet is all about being kind, loving and just a great human being who accepts people for who they are. Wow! Imagine the possibilities!!

    July 13, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • Alex Gessong

      @Judy: sounds like your kids have a great mom. Your message is a far better statement of "family values" than we hear from the right-wing yahoos who get so much media time.

      July 13, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Mayflower

      Judy, I have raised my children to be all those things. I also have raised them in the religion in which I was raised, and I think it helps ground me and makes me a better parent. Your argument that the world would be the beautiful place you describe if we had no religion holds no water. There are just as many asshats outside organized religion as in it.

      The trick is to stop blindly pointing fingers and just live by the rules we have taught our children.

      July 14, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
  17. Ott 2 B 4 USA

    The Muslim lover we got now , hows that working for ya ?

    July 13, 2011 at 7:37 am |
    • Alex Gessong

      @Ott 2B 4 USA: What "Muslim lover" are you talking about? We should *all* love Muslims. I'm assuming you consider yourself a Christian. Christ said that we should *all* love one another. One cannot be a Christian while hating Christ's message. Christianity isn't about hate. Christ's message was all about tolerance, understanding, and forgiveness. But don't take my word for. Read all about it in the New Testament if any of this seems unclear to you. If more "Christians" would actually read Christ's words, there'd be a lot less hatred posted on these web sites.

      July 13, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • TSIndiana

      Alex, I have read the New Testiment several times over and seek to live by it, just as Judy states. But my experience with Disciples of Christ and other protestant religion is that they refuse to weed out the leaders who are simply there to hide their own evil.

      We have a judge and attorney who alternate as chairman of the board, yet they are breaking court rules, defrauding the court and openly assisting thieves. Because I stand up against their bad behavior (in court), I have been slandered by them in the church and community (specifically the bar). They are evil men, representing what was for 50 years "my church".

      July 13, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  18. CNP

    Of course that makes perfect sense because Christians are so much more rational and level headed.

    July 13, 2011 at 1:49 am |
    • Alex Gessong

      @CNP: rational + level-headed = atheist or agnostic. Anyone who truly understands religion knows that, but few will admit it. I'm a Christian because Jesus' philosophy makes sense even if we strip off the religious aspects of it. Jesus said "treat others as you would like to be treated," "love one another," "be as wise as serpents but as harmless as doves", and "judge not, lest you be judged." Jesus' message is all about tolerance, mutual respect, and peace. The message simply makes good sense. It forms a basis for an ethical, harmonious life. Many who call themselves "Christians" just don't understand Christ's words. Many who call themselves atheists follow the philosophy that Christ preached. So ironic.

      July 13, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  19. W

    I'll take a Mormon over a Muslim any day...

    July 13, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • Alex Gessong

      @W: no you wouldn't. You're too full of hate to accept either a Mormon or a Muslim. I'll bet you're so full of hate that you think a man who has attended Christian churches his entire life, states very clearly that he is a Christian, and doesn't follow Muslim laws or customs, is a Muslim because he has an Arabic name. Life is so much better without mindless hate.

      July 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  20. Will


    July 12, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Kevin

      I think we need a law that anyone that claims any religious affiliation is ineligible for public office. I feel strongly that whether a person is Christian, Jewish, Moron, Muslim, Buddist, Hindu or any other religion is absolutely their own personal belief. It should never be promoted as a reason to vote for or against someone running for office. I consider myself a Christian, but I will never vote for any politican touting their Christian or other religious values, Those religious values should be internal and not shouted about as a reason to "vote for me" or vote against him. The problem with religion is differing church doctrines for each different church, and every single church thinks that their church doctrine is the right one. My doctrine is religion has NO place in politics!

      July 12, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • Alex Gessong

      @Kevin: BRAVO!!!!

      July 13, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • TSIndiana

      Kevin, Do you mean like George Bush 2?

      July 13, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.