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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. Aseries

    Let's be honest. Self-professed "Christians" write books for one reason. To make money. Just ask Tim LaHaye. What the country needs is a real atheist running for President. Then no one can take issue with "Two Masters".

    July 19, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
  2. RonFromNM

    This is the same kind of nonsense brought up when JFK ran for office in that he would be subservient to the pope as a catholic. Utter nonsense. However, I'd like to see an atheist as President!

    July 19, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  3. David

    Controversy is always a good way to sell a book, and that, in a nuthouse shell, is all that this is about.

    July 19, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  4. CC

    What motivates Tricia Erickson? I can't imagine her experience in the LDS Church was much different from mine. Since becoming an active Mormon in high school I've been surrounded by extremely decent, clean-living, caring people. Church activities are designed to promote faith, good character and service to others. Mitt Romney is by all accounts very honest, hard-working, clean-living and faithful to his wife. What exactly does she see as such a threat?

    As for the temple covenants she once made and now mocks, why doesn't she express the same concern about Masonry? As I understand it Masons make serious oaths. Should it matter that many of the founding fathers were Masons?

    Erickson's kind of zealotry / bigotry makes it easier for me to understand the irrational hatred of 911 terrorists who lived for a long enough period of time among Americans to see that they were for the most part caring and decent, and yet when the time came had no trouble stabbing them in the back. Tricia, if you've found a faith that suits you better good for you. Talk about that. Talk about why you disagree with LDS theology. No need for you to stab your former fellow Mormons in the back.

    July 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  5. GeorgeBos95

    What a load of crap. What's next? CNN going to provide a platform to neo-Nazis to spew their nonsense as well?

    July 19, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  6. Dave Harris

    This same argument was used to claim that Catholics shouldn't be elected to any public office, since they were clearly more loyal to the Pope, what with him being God's good buddy and all, than the American people. But you could say the same about any religious person who has a pastor or holy man. Perhaps only atheists should hold public office, but Christians don't like them either. Probably nobody should run for anything.

    July 19, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Nix

      Just as a matter of course, and I don't really believe this, but it would please me if only educated atheists held office. The gods can go sit down with the tooth fairy and the man in the moon.

      July 19, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  7. AddySadie

    Why does a person's personal/religious beliefs really even matter in the US Presidency? I can't think of a single example in history where a US President took their personal religious beliefs and forced them down the throats of the American People. Can we PUH-LEASE move on from this topic? Flogging a figurative dead horse.

    July 19, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • John Marshall

      CNN hates christian religions. Let's face it. They found someone who said something stupid and turned it into a headline.

      July 19, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Artist

      John Marshall

      CNN hates christian religions. Let's face it. They found someone who said something stupid and turned it into a headline.

      ---------
      Thank you for your entertainment value.

      July 19, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  8. guy from NM

    Actually anyone spouting off about their belief in whatever religious system should be out of the running. Separation of Church and State

    July 18, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • jjbay

      separation of church and state is false:

      "I feel it to be my duty to add, if a veneration for the religion of a people who profess and call themselves Christians, and a fixed resolution to consider a decent respect for Christianity among the best recommendations for the public service, can enable me in any degree to comply with your wishes, it shall be my strenuous endeavor that this sagacious injunction of the two Houses shall not be without effect."
      –John Adams, Inaugural Address

      July 18, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
  9. Chuck

    Mormon, Christian, Catholic, Muslim, Baptist, Jewish, Whatever. Everybody that believes in an invisible sky fairy is the same to me.

    July 18, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • spocksbrain

      Do you believe in magnatism? It's invisible. Are you privy to the nature of the universe? The big bang theory in which the universe came into existence from a non-dimensional singularity is pretty difficult to swallow. What about Einstien's theory of relativity and time dilation? My point is there is a thin line between what you call a "sky fairy" and reality sometimes. Many people of faith are not fundamentalists and know the difference between symbolism and history. But this universe is too rich in mystery to ignore the intelligence behind it.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Nix

      We don't pray to gravity in the hope that things will go our way. We don't kill other human beings in the name of the Theory of Relativity. Sky fairies and wizards are just stories. As allegory, symbolism.. they can have a lot of meaning, but then a person isn't saying they're real. What grown up people don't really expect Santa Claus.

      July 19, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  10. KShanks

    So....a muslim can be Pres., but a Morman can't??????

    July 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  11. james

    Ms. Erickson clearly does not understand her own religion, basics of the Mormon faith, or the clearly and unequivocally written guidelines regarding who is qualified to be President of our nation. Three strikes and she is OUT. What in the world was CNN thinking by publishing such ignorant material?

    July 18, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  12. Sassy

    Discrimination is alive and well in this country...hating people because of religion, skin color..ect. I would rather have a religious man in office (whether Mormon, peaceful Muslim, whatever) then a non God Fearing Atheist....hypocrits run rampant on this site.

    July 18, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • Mojojuju

      Now now, you're just as discriminatory as she is if you think that atheists are bad people because they don't share your beliefs. Speaking as a person who was raised in a secular household, I have very good values of community service, education, charity, and kindness. Yet you wouldn't vote for me because I don't believe in your religion?

      Most atheists I know personally are pretty much like me. Maybe a bit bitter from being so demonized, but still very good people.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  13. Richard

    A Christian should never be president either. The warped, twisted and hypocritical teachings of so-called "god's" word is really nothing but rules of submission, slavery and mental imprisonment. and lets not forget war and death either

    July 18, 2011 at 8:21 am |
  14. Greenman

    Many said the same thing about JFK (a Catholic) and the Pope Tricia Erickson is wrong; history will reveal that.

    July 17, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  15. Offended

    I wouldn't vote for a member of the Mormon cult for the same reason I wouldn't vote for a member of the KKK or Heaven's Gate or any other wacko, or racist or extremist group. Mormons openly discriminated against Blacks until the late 1970's and the Utah Mormon church today is spending vast sums promoting bigotry in other states. That makes them a racist, vile and, frankly, obscene cult.

    Yes, the Grand Dragon of the KKK would make a lousy POTUS and, yes, anyone who proudly touts their membership in the Mormon cult would make a lousy POTUS.

    That is vile and obscene and I won't

    July 17, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  16. EMC

    You have a right to your freedom of religion in this country. I grew up in a Yale feminist atheist household. There is nothing to be envious in that upbringing, but last century the intellectuals did an outstanding job in bringing in the most heinous dictators in world history. This society is certainly is much worse than it was when I was a child, and I am for Civil Rights too.

    I do not think this woman is right – Mormon's have the right to run and I am an Evangelical Christian.

    July 17, 2011 at 9:12 am |
  17. mascmen7

    Evangelicals follow one aspect of Christianity separating themselves from the Church Christ established on Peter the Rock who was the first Bishop of Rome where he was crucified upside down.

    July 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  18. mascmen7

    August 2 deadline for debt decision is because Ramadan begins August 1 and Obama will be fasting during day and eating at sunset after he says his Muslim prayers at sunset which prayers Obama states are the most beautiful thing at sunset.

    July 16, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • hitobito

      Obama has never been a Muslim. Where do you get this nonsense? This is the type of ignorance that is pervasive among the uneducated in this country.

      July 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  19. mascmen7

    How about a Muslim as president who states and recites in Arabic the Muslim prayers at sunset stating those Islamic prayers are the most beautiful thing at sunset. So said Barck Hussein Obama II to Nicholas Kristoff, NY Times reporter. Which do you want? A Muslim or a Mormon for president? Or a Lutheran Michele Bachmann?

    July 16, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Mojojuju

      Oh brother. Not this again.

      Even if he WERE a "seekrit mooslim" as you, in your ignorance, claim, what harm has that done you? Has he tried to convert you? No? Then stop kvetching. Have your delusions if you must, but stop worrying so much. 😀

      July 18, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • RonFromNM

      Michelle Bachmann as President? I'll take the Mormon over the Moron anyday.

      July 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  20. Rob Floyd

    I don't necessarily support the Author
    view, but it is something for Republicans to think about...

    July 15, 2011 at 8:07 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.