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. Dan

    The author was convicted of fraud in her pursuit of money. Should be enough said...can't believe anything she says, like Casey Anthony I wouldn't give her two cents for her opinion. Good luck with your book–if you were so concerned you'd publish it for free.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • Donna

      Agree with you Dan! The author is no doubt on Obama's payroll to discredit the forerunner that is neck and neck with him right now..soon he will be FAR behind as he continues to dramatize and terrorize the poor old folks about their SS checks!!

      Romney is sqweeky clean and GREAT for this country! Sure hope folks can see through all this lies that are being told about others. I'm offended that folks religion would be allowed to condemn someone when Obama is a MUSLIM and no one will touch him on that issue! Talk about being a hypocrit!!! GO ROMNEY!!

      July 29, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  2. ralk

    @herbert juarez...Sorry pal...The Mormons have very little in relation to the moslems...I don't know where you come up with that idea...but is isn't even close...one is a Chrstian and the other a moslem...Look at the history of the Mormons...they were the most persecuted religious group in this country and had to start from scratch evereal times all the while coming across the plains to settle in a desert that had nothing to offer and yet the rest of the country still wanted to destroy them...That is one of the greatest reason this country was formed was to get away from Kings and other leaders telling people how to worship...that is what made this country great and yet the Mormons are still looked at with distain...and for what reason? you tell me.One thing about Mr. Romney...he doesn't have a scandal that he has to have on his back like most politicians do...maybe you should take a better look at him instead of sounding like you know what you are talking about when you don't!

    July 28, 2011 at 2:45 am |
    • eric calderone

      Ralk: One must qualify the statement that Mormons were "persecuted." They contributed greatly to their unpopularity, by voting in blocks, and effectively nullifying the votes of non-mormons in the jurisdiction. Their Church bought up land in great tracts, causing non-mormon neighbors anxiety. Their vocal pronouncements about the utter depravity of non-mormon denominations, added to their unpopularity. Joseph Smith amassed a standing army of several thousand, which thoroughly troubled the Governor of Illinois and the towns people of Carthage and surrounding areas, and eventually led to his death.

      One cannot objectively conclude that Mormons were blameless in the violent events in Ohio, Missouri and Illinois, from the 1830s to the 1840s. Once in Utah, Brigham Young and the Mormons treated the State as if it were their private fifedom. Acts of great cruelty and violence ensued against non-mormons, as demonstrated by the Mountain Meadows massacre. It was only an invasion by Federal troops that curtailed such behavior. Finally, the teaching of polygamy incited non-mormons. It was only under great Federal pressure that the LDS Church stopped practicing polygamy in the 1890s, though the doctrine is still part of their Scriptures.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
  3. Berdule

    Hey, we are on to something here. I agree, no Mormons should serve in the White House. Now if we can just eliminate the Catholics, Jews, Muslims and Christians we might actually have something. Funny how a person of one silly faith can fine fault with all others but their own -).

    July 27, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • ralk

      Wait until next year...you might be surprised who is in the white house and he could be a Mormon...then what?

      July 28, 2011 at 2:30 am |
    • Jake

      It is pretty ridiculous. I wonder how long we'll have to wait to get our first atheist president. Unfortunately, we're quite a bit behind most of the western world in that regard!

      July 28, 2011 at 8:10 am |
    • eric calderone

      You left out atheists. By all means, they should be disqualified from voting. Someone who believes in nothing but himself, is best suited to live on an island all alone.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • @ Jake

      Jake, we have already had an atheist president.....His name was Abraham Lincoln. From what i have read, he was an atheist.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:18 am |
  4. Berdule

    Hey, we are on to something here. I agree, no Mormons should serve in the White House. Now if we can just eliminate the Catholics, Jews, Muslims and Christians we might actually have something.

    July 27, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
  5. MJF

    As long as he doesn't let his religion dictate government policy ( cutting stem cell research, creationist taught in schools ) and as long as he has a working plan to end the two wars immediately and BALANCE THE BUDGET i don't care if he worships Marvin Martian. America is in deep trouble and needs a solution that doesn't take any further from seniors or the disabled. if Mitt is able to fit that criteria – then he ll have my vote ( I think others are more likely fit the bill better personally- but hey you never know).

    July 27, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  6. johnnyLump

    Josh-you are funny. and right. but mostly funny.

    July 26, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  7. Phocus

    Tricia Erickson should be ashamed of herself. This will be one she will answer to the big guy for.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:51 am |
    • josh

      There is no big guy. She's fine.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:43 am |
    • One7777777

      She is a Deceiver so she is not really Christian.

      July 27, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • ralk

      @ josh and one7777777, she should be ashamed of herself...I always hear about church and state and you two hypocrites are obviously 2 libs that can't get that in your thik heads! All Ms. Erickson does is get by on her looks and not her air in between her ears.

      July 28, 2011 at 2:33 am |
  8. pthor

    It beats the muslim-extremist we have now !

    July 25, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • josh

      How's that cool-aid taste?

      July 26, 2011 at 2:44 am |
    • Syl

      Idiot.. people like you are the reason why we had Gerge W Bush as president in this country– remember him? The "christian" that ruined the United States of America?

      July 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  9. Ganymede

    I agree, but then why let anyone who believes in Fundamentalist Christianity (and Armageddon) near the button that launches nuclear warheads? The Mormon Church is in no way Christian, and is right up there on the loony cult meter with Scientologists.

    July 25, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
    • One7777777

      It'll be a satanist who pushes the button.

      July 27, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
    • ralk

      @ ganymeade...The Mormons are christian...you are the typical lib who has no idea what he/she is talking about when it comes to faith and beliefs...I would rather have a Mormon in the White house than a lunatic moslem!

      July 28, 2011 at 2:36 am |
    • Jake

      @ralk Why would thinking people have any need to know how religious people structure their fantasy worlds? They're all equally wrong and degenerative to the moral well-being of our species.

      July 28, 2011 at 8:13 am |
  10. josh

    I don't think any one religious should be president, no matter which religion they profess to. They all show an ability to simply believe anything, true, substantiated or not. Once one is used to believing in something so profoundly ridiculous, when someone says to them, "these guys are our enemies" "those guys have WMD's" or whatever, they are much more likely to believe these people without additional evidence. The stronger ones "faith" the weaker their grasp on actual reality. Mormon's have to have some of the most faith because the book of Mormon is more easy to pick apart than many other religious texts. I mean, at least we have found many of the cities mentioned in the old testament, but try to find evidence of the tribes in the book of Mormon... good luck with that.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  11. jaizez

    Can Mitt Romney Serve Two Masters??? I recall reading a historical reference many years ago that this same concern was raised during the Presidential campaign of John F Kennedy because he was a Catholic.

    July 25, 2011 at 12:11 am |
  12. Michael Neely

    I am a Christian and an independent thinker that leans to the conservative side of issues. It is a very good idea for her to have a crisis management company, this article will, I hope, create one helluva crisis for her. Foolishness like this will push Mitt Romney higher in the polls and that is a real blessing for all of us. As a final thought, I wouldn't' dream of reading any book authored by a writer with such prejudice and bias.

    July 24, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  13. evy

    who cares if hes a mormon?

    July 24, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • gwf

      I think just the idea of him being a Mormon isn't that big of a deal, of course ask any American what they think about a Muslim being a President and they may cringe at the idea. But I don't want to get into that point.

      The issue some may have with him being Mormon would require first that you know something about Latter Day Saints. Unlike Christians, Mormons believe there are continually prophets and apostles appointed by God with direct communication to God, who speak the word of God, and who direct the Mormon church. So let's give you this scenario. First, for there to be a prophet/apostle, that would mean they would have authority over a person in that they speak the word of God. So that would mean direct access to the president whenever they want ... if the prophet calls, you answer.

      Next, let's say that the prophet disagreed about something the President was choosing to do, or the prophet wanted the President to do something specifically. How could the President refuse? For Christians and others who obviously do not think there are prophets or apostles today, this would mean then that either these "prophets" are knowingly lying, in which case what's to stop them from directing the President for their own gain or the gain of the church ... or, this would mean they're not knowingly lying but are either self-deceived or (if you believe in this) being deceived by Satan, in which case that would give either Satan authority over a "prophet" who has authority over the President, or it would give a person who's self-deceived and lost their mind authority over the President.

      All that's to say if Romney is a good Mormon who follows the ways of the LDS church, or a bad Mormon (Jack Mormon) who's sort of involved but not really. And whatever he is today, we have no guarantees of what he'll be tomorrow.

      July 25, 2011 at 12:22 am |
    • tom

      Many christians, myself included believe in present day prophets and apostles. God is constantly speaking to us, most of us just don't take the time to quiet our spirits in order to listen; or are too dense and obtuse. BTW, i generally vote democratic.

      July 25, 2011 at 10:58 am |
  14. MB

    I find Sasnfire's comments on a Muslim vs. Mormon pretty amusing. Why should Mulims be castigated given that their atrocities will never match those of Christians in the past, considering the slaying of the Muslims during the Crusade and the slaughter of the Native Americans in millions. Even now in the name of Christianity, innocent people are murdered in abortion clinics.

    Perhaps the most important comment was made by Gloria: "Christian fundamentalism promotes division as does fundamentalism from any other religious influences." As I said, religion is based on dictatorship and it has no place in our democratic system. Thank you Gloria– you hit the nail on its head. –MB

    July 23, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • One7777777

      "religion is based on dictatorship"....you have SO much to learn. If everyone walked Jesus' path, we would be living in a beautiful world. It's the satanists and psychopaths following them that are doing the damage. The Bible CLEARLY spells out who to watch for:

      those who LIE, DECEIVE, DEGRADE, DESTROY, falsely FLATTER, treat others as NOT EQUAL, those who "want to sit on the upper floor" and believe their "workers" are NOT EQUAL to them, those who are HYPOCRITES, those who believe their fellow man is NOT EQUAL to themselves, those who claim to be religious and are NOT, those who do NOT respect others.

      July 27, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
  15. MB

    Religion should not be dragged into politics. Period. What we are interested as citizens is one's behavior based on evidence, logic and science in a public position. As an example, creationism is NOT science and should not be taught in a science class. Any view that is predecided and not open to question, testing, and the right to be wrong is not science. What religion an official practices at home or church should not be our business. Our political system is based on democracy, but religion is based on dictatorship. –MB

    July 23, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  16. MB

    I have tried hard, but failed, to understand why religion–a personal choice–should be dragged to politics. It is true, most religious people are just robots to whatever their Holy Book says. But that personal matter should be cast aside as long as a person's behavior as a President is rational and evidence-based. Think of Michele Bachmann's idea of teaching creationism alongside evolution in the science class. Europeans think this is simply insane. Creationism is NOT science. Anything where the conclusion is pre-reached is not science; anything that is not testable and quantifiable is not science; anything that is stuck in the stone with no openness to change is not science.

    Whether we like it or not, God is not science (until we discover the genome of God). There is no difference between a theist and an atheist, since both doctrines are based on faith. We should keep the dictatorship of religion at home and churches and not force it to our democratic process of politics. Before we know, our country will be ruled by "Christian Ayatollahs" if we do not halt this madness of mixing religion and politics. –MB

    July 23, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  17. Civiloutside

    If the central argument is that "Mormons shouldn't be President because they have illogical beliefs and practices that they cannot abandon," well, ahem...

    July 22, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
  18. Gloria

    Right now, Christian fundamentalism has too much influences in American politics. So why should they have sole previleges of influencing the rest of America?

    There is too much bigotry in American politics just like the pharoahs had in Jesus' time.

    A politian's religious background should not be considered as long as it promotes unity instead of division among all American citizens. Christian fundamentalism promotes division as does fundamentalism from any other religious influences.

    Jesus was right, he promoted unity and respect for all people.

    July 22, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • AK

      I think you mean Pharisees.

      July 24, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • One7777777

      "Right now, Christian fundamentalism has too much influences in American politics"

      Ahemmm...they aren't Christians. Ever hear of wolves in sheep's clothing....? Think you need to read the Bible ASAP.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
  19. sasnfire

    What's better? A Mormon or a Muslim?

    July 21, 2011 at 9:04 am |
    • herbert juarez

      actually mormons and muslims have more in common than you might expect.

      July 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • josh

      An atheist.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:46 am |
  20. Hartley Anderson

    No genuine Christian could ever be President. Let's look at the logic. Christians are to emulate Jesus Christ, right? So let's say Jesus was President. Can you imagine him signing off on a CIA hit that is in the interests of the country?
    Consider this quote from Jesus: "You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you." (Matthew 5:38 – 42) In other words, Jesus is commanding us to not protect ourselves or property, that that is God's job but he'll probably never protect property, as that is going away in the end, right? But protecting the lives of the nation's citizen's and their property, plus the nation's property, is precisely the President's job, right?
    Far too many "christians" believe in a god who possesses their value system, as opposed to believing in God whose value system we need to adopt. Consequently, they'll never reside with God, despite what their pastor tells them. (Read Isaiah 2:22 & Psalm 146. Then read 1 John 2:26 & 27)

    July 21, 2011 at 12:13 am |
    • Rick Dusenbury

      A true Christian does not adopt God's value system, for it is not by works alone that we may enter heaven, it is by a true belief in Him and the miracle of his Son, Jesus who was resurrected from death. In that miracle we are also resurrected from sin and shame, for sin IS death, eternal death. Merely adopting a value system of Christianity is at best a very hollow interpretation. God's value system was created by Him for a sinful man, for we have all sinned. As for giving it all away, you are merely talking about material, worldly things. There is a far greater richness in the spiritual world, that I, myself, a Christian, could never give away. Money is merely a way to make it in a society that we all occupy. Like the rest of the non-Christian worldliness, there is no popularity in being humble. It is laughed at and scorned by "the world". If we all practiced some humility, the world would be a far better place. That is what Jesus intended in that verse.

      July 25, 2011 at 4:52 am |
    • One7777777

      " But protecting the lives of the nation's citizen's and their property, plus the nation's property, is precisely the President's job, right? "

      Is our Pres and Congress doing that? NOOOOOOOOOOO

      July 27, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • One7777777

      Would you rather have a SATANIST????????

      July 27, 2011 at 8:58 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.