January 24th, 2012
04:50 PM ET

Romney tax returns shine light on Mormon tithing

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Although many Americans may have wondered just how much money Mitt Romney makes and how much he pays in taxes in the lead-up to the release Tuesday of his tax documents, there was little suspense around how much he gives to his church.

That's because all Mormons in good standing with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are required to give 10% of their salaries as a tithe.

"Mormon children are expected to begin tithing from their very first allowance," says Terryl Givens, an expert on Mormonism at the University of Richmond. "And there's never any variation on the 10%, whether you're on welfare or you're a millionaire."

Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, gave even more to their church last year. Tax documents released Tuesday show they gave $2.6 million, more than 12% of the roughly $21 million they earned. The Romneys also gave $1.4 million last year in cash and stock to their family foundation, which heavily supports the LDS Church.

In 2010, the other year for which the Romneys released a federal tax return, they gave $1.5 million to the LDS church, 7% of their earnings, plus $900,000 to their family foundation, called the Tyler Foundation.

The Tyler Foundation gave $145,000 to the LDS church in 2010, so the Romneys' church donations average out to 10% over the last two years.

Unlike in most Christian traditions, in which the decision about whether to tithe is made individually by each church member, giving to the LDS Church is enforced. Participation in important ceremonies at Mormon temples is contingent on being paid up.

"For Mormons, tithing is an article of faith, not an economic principal," said Givens, who is Mormon. "Some critics see it as tying worthiness to an economic contribution."

He calls it "an important differentiator between devout Mormons and nominal Mormons."

A survey of American Mormons released earlier this month by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that eight in 10 say they tithe to the church.

Tithing dates back to the earliest Mormons, with the LDS Church's 19th century founder, Joseph Smith, drawing on the Bible's Old Testament as precedent for 10% church support. Smith also wrote about tithing in the Doctrine and Covenants, a Mormon holy book comprising Smith's revelations from God.

For early Mormons, tithing was as much practical as theological. As the early Mormon community journeyed from state to state across America, often on the run from persecution, tithing was an important way for the community to sustain itself.

"Early Mormons were outcasts from society and suffered extreme deprivation and they needed to take care of themselves and take care of the church on a day-to-day basis," Givens said. "To this day, Mormons are known for taking care of their own."

Today, tithing finances the administration of the Salt Lake City, Utah-based LDS Church, the construction of Mormon temples - which are rapidly proliferating as Mormonism grows worldwide - and the church-owned Brigham Young University.

Mormons are also encouraged to give separately to their local congregations and to a church humanitarian fund that goes to international relief projects. The church urges Mormons to fast on the first Sunday of each month and to donate the cost of the food they would typically eat to the humanitarian fund.

An informal 2011 survey by the National Association of Evangelicals found that most evangelical leaders on its 100-person board of directors don't believe the Bible requires tithing. Just 42% of the board members said that is true.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Mitt Romney • Money & Faith • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (1,579 Responses)
  1. Rick

    If you are Christian read on:
    Evangelical Leader Richard Mouw (President of the Fuller Theological Seminary) stated,
    “I am now convinced that we... have often seriously misrepresented the beliefs and practices of the Mormon community. Indeed, let me state it bluntly to the LDS folks here this evening: we have sinned against you. The God of the Scriptures makes it clear that it is a terrible thing to bear false witness against our neighbors, and we have been guilty of that sort of transgression in things we have said about you. We have told you what you believe without making a sincere effort first of all to ask you what you believe...Indeed, we have even on occasion demonized you, weaving conspiracy theories about what the LDS community is 'really' trying to accomplish in the world.” yr. 2005

    January 25, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  2. Cuddles, Fluffy Kitten of DOOM!

    Joseph Smith made a slight boo-boo in his translation of the great angel Moron's tales. It seems that Mormons were not supposed to "tithe" but to all wear tit rings.

    January 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm |

      Ooooh, you debil... on several fronts 🙂

      January 25, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  3. rob

    Mormon's believe that you get to heaven through works.
    Mormon's believe there are three different levels of heaven, and if you are good enough to get to the first level. Then you become God and get your own planet.
    If you daugther marries a Morman, she will have to convert and you will not be allowed in the church for the wedding. You can wait at the reception!
    This is not some googlese reseach. FACTS.

    January 25, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Greg


      January 25, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  4. T$F%

    MILLIONS TO BE ASSASSINATED FOR THE SAKE OF $$$ LIABILITIES(mk-ultra, chip implants, electroshocks etc. performed on them) AND NEW WORLD ORDER(multiculturalism = terrorism) POLITICAL AGENDA KNOWN AS "YOU ARE NEXT"(financial liabilities are 2 expensive for the government and it is cheaper to get rid of you instead!!!)

    NOW YOU KNOW WHAT ORWELLIAN UNITED STATES CONGRESS(USSR#2 which consists of lawyers or what are liars and physicians...lawyers, so crime per physicians can get away with it) AND OTHER GOVERNMENTS WORLDWIDE ARE SO BUSY WITH WHEN PLAYING/CLOWNING(acting) IN FRONT OF CAMERAS ONLY HOW SOMETHING HAVE TO BE DONE(deliberately omitting/delaying facts of genocide as seen on this complain) ROMNEY'S FATHER ALIKE WHO EXCELLED AFTER GM WAS DELIBERATELY BANKRUPT(LIKE AMERICA TODAY = success based on deliberate sabotage = known as grand treason!!!!)



    January 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Observer

      You need to get that aluminum foil hat on. It blocks those brain chip implants. Spy beams too.

      January 25, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  5. Red

    Most Mormons are extremely ignorant of Mormon history outside the trimmed-down version presented by the church. When they finally read it from credible, unbiased sources, they often feel betrayed and lied to by the organization. Unfortunately, this happens late in life for many people. Mormons need to get acquainted with the scholarly history of the church, and then make an educated decision about whether or not they want to be a part of the organization. A good place to start is "Rough Stone Rolling", the biography of Joseph Smith by faithful Mormon scholar Richard Bushman.

    January 25, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Greg

      I think you're oversimplifying things. "Most" Mormons? Really? Overgeneralizing there?

      While I do know people who have left the church, their ultimate flaw was looking at the actions of the actual PEOPLE in the church, not the doctrine and church itself itself. President Clinton had an affair, and he was our ultimate ambassador and leader to our country. What kind of message did that send? Would it make you mad if another country based their opinion of YOU based off of HIS actions? That's basically what your doing with Mormons

      It's a flaw human beings can't seem to get passed. The Mormon church is fine, but people are imperfect and screw up.

      January 25, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Red

      When people turn a critical eye to Mormonism (and most other religions for that matter), they often find a lot more that doesn't make sense beyond the actions of leaders.

      January 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Greg

      I disagree. People usually base their opinions on a group, whether religious, political, or whatever – based on the actions of people in that group. This, to me, is a flawed way of reasoning. People are imperfect. People screw up. People make errors, and are generally not good ambassadors on specific rules, doctrine, or beliefs. I'm seeing a lot of it in these comments:

      "my friend knows a Mormon and he did this or that....therefore all Mormons are like that.."

      Or they read a snippet of Mormon doctrine from a website or book, and think they've got the gist of the entire religion.

      January 25, 2012 at 5:27 pm |

    Heads up folks - the nanny filter flags "t-it" words, so you must break up "t.ithe" in some manner for your post to show up.

    January 25, 2012 at 12:25 pm |

      p.s. That is, unless you know some html tricks to get around the filter...

      January 25, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  7. dinabq


    January 25, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Kev

      To Latter-Day Saints, it's a commandment (Malachi 3: 8-10).

      January 25, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  8. Reality

    More on t-ithing and the Mormon Empire:

    Don't want to pay your 10%? Incur the wrath of the prophet with a t-ithe settlement meeting!!!!

    From: lds-mormon.com/time.shtml (Time Magazine review)

    "The first divergence between Mormon economics and that of other denominations is the t-ithe. Most churches take in the greater part of their income through donations. Very few, however, impose a compulsory 10% income tax on their members. Ti-thes are collected locally, with much of the money pas-sed on informally to local lay leaders at Sunday services. "By Monday," says Elbert Peck, editor of Sunstone, an independent Mormon magazine, the church authorities in Salt Lake City "know every cent that's been collected and have made sure the money is deposited in banks." There is a lot to deposit. Last year $5.2 billion in t-ithes flowed into Salt Lake City, $4.9 billion of which came from American Mormons."
    "The Mormons are stewards of a different str-ipe. Their charitable spending and temple building are prodi-gious. But where other churches spend most of what they receive in a given year, the Latter-day Saints employ vast amounts of money in investments that TIME estimates to be at least $6 billion strong. Even more unusual, most of this money is not in bonds or stock in other peoples' companies but is invested directly in church-owned, for-profit concerns, the largest of which are in agribusiness, media, insurance, travel and real estate. Deseret Management Corp., the company through which the church holds almost all its commercial as-sets, is one of the largest owners of farm and ranchland in the country, including 49 for-profit parcels in addition to the Deseret Ranch. Besides the Bonneville International chain and Beneficial Life, the church owns a 52% holding in ZCMI, Utah's largest department-store chain.

    All told, TIME estimates that the Latter-day Saints farmland and financial investments total some $11 billion, and that the church's nont-ithe income from its investments exceeds $600 million. "

    "Members of the church celebrate the Lord's Supper with water rather than wine or gra-pe juice. They believe their President is a prophet who receives new revelations from God. These can supplant older revelations, as in the case of the church's historically most controversial doctrine: Smith himself received God's sanctioning of pol-ygamy in 1831, but 49 years later, the church's President announced its recision. Similarly, an explicit policy barring black men from holding even the lowest church offices was overturned by a new revelation in 1978, opening the way to huge missionary activity in Africa and Brazil. "

    January 25, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  9. unbelievable

    People will always find bad in something that's good. What an awesome species we are....

    Mormons believe in a God? The same God that all Christians believe in?? NO, GET OUT OF HERE!!
    They build chapels and temples to practice their faith? HORRIBLE CULT!!
    They pay 10% of their income to help build those chapels and temples, and are one of the largest relief organizations in the world? WHAT A DISGRACE!!

    Some of the comments I'm reading about the Mormon church are so far out there. Come on people. Stop getting your information from Google and anti-Mormon websites, and learn to do proper research. I'm sure I can find slander and bad things on any religion, including yours (assuming you have one). Get your facts straight.

    Besides, why are we bringing someone's person faith into political views? Wasn't that like 2 centuries ago? Didn't we like...fight a war or something...to be able to practice any religion? Go back to Europe with your 200yr old value system.

    January 25, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  10. Max

    What's the point of bragging about the Freedom of religion in america, tolerance, the melting pot, the open society, the land of opportunities, the freedom of speech, In god we trust on the dollar bill, One Nation under god, the american dream, the ideal of capitalism, if it is to end up hating a successful man just because he is a MORMON! Romney is paying a shameful high price for being a Mormon: it is unamerican! This a great country, we should never diminish people because of their religion. Let's be fair to all the GOP candidates even to the TOXIC Newt!

    January 25, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

      Because are free to criticize him if we wish.

      January 25, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  11. BeVigilant

    ****AFRICAN AMERICANS PLEASE BEWARE!!***** You should know what the Mormon Church and Doctrine teaches about your skin color... Then ask yourself if this aligns with the God of Christianity. Mormonism NOT= Christianity.

    ** “...for this people shall be scattered, and shall become a DARK skinned, a filthy, and a loathsome people, beyond the description of that which ever hath been amongst us,...” (Book of Mormon, page 468, Mormon 5, verse 15)

    ** “And the skins of the Lamanites were DARK, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which WAS A CURSE upon them because of their transgression...” (Book of Mormon, page 201, Alma 3, verse 6)

    ** “...wherefore, as they were white, and exceeding fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a SKIN OF BLACKNESS to come upon them.”
    (Book of Mormon, page 61, 2 Nephi 5, verse 21)

    “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the AFRICAN RACE? If the WHITE man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the PENALTY, under the LAW OF GOD, IS DEATH ON THE SPOT. THIS WILL ALWAYS BE SO.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 10, page 110)

    January 25, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Curious

      Mormon doctrine and beliefs is a work in progress. You really need to find out what the current iteration is.

      January 25, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • BeVigilant

      CURIOUS, that's the point as well. Doesn't it seem just a little strange that Mormons continually are altering their doctrine to fit with the times. If Mormonism were truly inspired by the one and only living God, it would remain relevant. Just like it was ok for joe smith to molest the young teenage girls, but some how that has been altered as well. Take the blinders off, friend...

      January 25, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • jimtanker


      And other Xtians arent constantly changing their doctrine?

      January 25, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Dave

      I think you are a fear monger. In my opinion, the Mormon church is the most racially and ethnically integrated church in America. ( If you don't believe me – go visit one in an ethinically diverse area.) There are key leaders in the church who are black- and almost every other color and ethnicity too.

      January 25, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Kev

      "For their abuse of [the Black African] race, the whites will be cursed, unless they repent." (Journal of Discourses, Vol.10, p.110) Meaning back in the 1800's when for the most party interacial relations was the result of a white man raping a black woman, then yes that white man would be cursed because he was rapist.

      January 25, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  12. BeVigilant


    January 25, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Curious

      They never do. You just need to get past the nanny filter.

      January 25, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Reality

      The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden-word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there are words like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".

      • Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.

      Sum Dude routinely updates the list of forbidden words/fragments.

      Two of the most filtered words are those containing the fragments "t-it" and "c-um". To quickly check your comments for these fragments, click on "Edit" on the Tool Bar and then "Find" on the menu. Add a fragment (without hyphens) one at a time in the "Find" slot and the offending fragment will be highlighted in your comments before you hit the Post button. Hyphenate the fragment(s) and then hit Post. And remember more than one full web address will also gain a "Waiting for Moderation".
      Zeb’s alphabetical listing

      o “bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN "awaiting moderation" filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ar-se.....as in Car-se, etc.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, lubco-ck, etc.
      co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sh-@t.....but shat is okay – don't use the @ symbol there.
      sp-ic.....as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!

      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.
      Allowed words / not blocked at all:
      raping (ra-pe is not ok)
      shat (sh-@t is not ok)

      The CNN / WordPress filter also filters your EMAIL address and NAME as well – so you might want to check those.

      January 25, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  13. Mormon Think

    The best online resource I have found in investigating Mormonism is http://www.mormonthink.com. There is an enormous wealth of information on there, most of it researched and compiled by practicing mormons or exmormons dating from Joseph Smith's First Vision, to the 1978 "revelation" that granted Blacks full priesthood authority. Check it out!


    January 25, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Jason

      And then after you read that, you can check out:




      January 25, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Frank

      I think it's even better to go directly to the source if you want to learn things: http://mormon.org or http://lds.org – We could sit here all day and spout off sites both directions, but I see some red flags right off the top of my head here when I visit that site and so I wouldn't trust what they have to say without having some level of bias one way or another.

      January 25, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Red

      @Frank You mean mormon.org doesn't have any bias? You've got to be kidding me. If you want good, unbiased information about an organization, the last place you go is their corporate website. Mormon Think isn't entirely friendly to the church, but it's fair and well-referenced. I understand that Mormons are uncomfortable with anything that paints the church in a less-than-favorable light, but it's time to realize that there is a big world outside the Mormon enclave, and there's much more to the story than what your Mormon leaders and teachers have told you. No need to remain ignorant.

      January 25, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  14. Open Minded

    When I'm choosing a public leader to follow I'm less concerned about his religion than his experience and character. I think it's admirable that Mitt is charitable. Joe Biden gave $900 in his released tax return to charity and no one said anything about his lack of charity to others. I need the economy to turn around for work and I don't need a hand-out from the government. That is why I want a non-washington outsider to make some changes there. Let's leave religion out of it.

    January 25, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Max

      AMEN! WELL SAID! People are free to believe in whatever they want in this great nation. Religion should be left aside in deciding who can turn this economy around. People a suffering and they need jobs! Why should we worry if a successful mormon can get the job done?

      January 25, 2012 at 11:21 am |
  15. Helen

    Mormonism is a cult plain and simple. As much as the country has issues with our current President I could not in good conscious vote for a man that allies himself with a cult led by one man and his suppossed pipeline straight to God. But his faith is not inclusive they are the chosen ones. So how is that he could rule our nation if most of us are not to be saved. The paradox in this goes against everything that is what our nation is founded on. I can not defend a man that is elitist and gives to promote those ideals. Why doesn't that church give to the national debt if they are so concerned about a better America. Open your doors your hearts and your faith to all mankind, dont isolate and declare you to be the only way!

    January 25, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • proud

      So you couldn't allign yourself with someone who follows one man, say Jesus, and his supposed pipeline straight to God?

      January 25, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Kev

      So then you beleive that the president of the LDS church is an actual prophet with a pipeline to God? If you don't believe that then what are you afraid of? That the "false prophet" will control the puppet strings of an LDS POTUS? Considering that Romney was a governor of a state that was most certainly not LDS dominate, just how well did the president of the LDS church control Romney's puppet strings while in office as governor? Considering how often he's flip-flopped on some moral-based political issues, just how tight were those puppet strings?

      January 25, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Frank

      It's obvious, whenever anyone throws out the term "cult" that the person writing doesn't know any degree of religious history. Think about this for a moment: Jesus was a cult. Look at the definition and then look at the early church that He established. Would you consider Catholics a cult? Sure. Would baptists be a cult? Definitely. Are methodists a cult? Yup. What about any protestant church (get it? protest-ant – they protested against the Catholic regime)? Well yeah, they are. What about other religions that don't claim to be offshoots from Catholics? Absolutely.

      Try to understand what you say a little better because you've got all kinds of red flags flying out of your butt right now in your statement as do others who beat down genuinely good people who are trying to make the world a better place for both you and I.

      January 25, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Lacy Douglas

      Helen. We are open to all. If you would like to know more, visit the local church or contact mormon.org.

      January 25, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  16. proud

    Interesting how the authors here didn't get any of their information from the Mormon church itself?

    January 25, 2012 at 10:00 am |
  17. Bill

    A serious question. I understand the Mormon church is a corporation. I did a quick google search and noticed that the only other church that I could find that was a corporation was Scientology. Do any of you know of any other church that is incorporated in such a way? I know the official name of their church is The Corporation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Does this mean that they are a "for profit" corporation?

    January 25, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • jmf

      "Corporation" is not included in the actual name of the church. The corporation is owned by the church.

      January 25, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • RobertC

      Nearly all churches in this country are incorporated. Dioceses in the Episcopal and Catholic churches are separate corporations.

      January 25, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  18. William Demuth

    Tax the damn cult!

    This is RIDICULOUS.

    He avoids taxes so he can give to the cult.

    January 25, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Curious

      I thought you favored the nuclear option, William.

      January 25, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • Frank

      Tax those who have saved friends from foreclosure with literally 2 years of financial aid? Tax those who have saved millions of lives and have done more in the past decade than even Red Cross for relief? Tax those who keep political banter off the pulpits unlike some other enormous baptist and such churches that have done literally illegal things recently with regards to this the 2012 election?

      No, I think you're grossly wrong here.

      January 25, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • *facepalm*

      " Tax those who keep political banter off the pulpits"

      That's a joke right? Can you say Prop 8? And THAT is the reason to tax the LDS. Keep religion out of politics.

      January 25, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Frank

      LOL, you're funny. Prop 8 was religious. Are you beating down the Catholics because they supported it just as much. But yeah, that's not political, that's a core belief in the way of life. There's a line there that you're really not seeing in an unbiased manner. Being in California, I don't want my children to get this message with regards to their morals. But more importantly, I don't want my friends families who don't have as strong of moral convictions to start to think it's okay. We're talking about something that compromises our species here buddy. You think that accepting something like that is okay biologically; "just because the apes do it?" Heck no.

      But back to the topic, no, they never beat a political drum in their meetings. Period. I have Mormon friends who vote for democrats and even openly supported Obama. Do I agree with their political views? Not those ones. But their church is definitely not involved in politics and I'd say you're just sore over a "contest" of popular vote more than you are unbiased in your thoughts.

      January 25, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      "Being in California, I don't want my children to get this message with regards to their morals. But more importantly, I don't want my friends families who don't have as strong of moral convictions to start to think it's okay."

      There are hundred of thousands of experts that disagree with you, it's why they have stated that being gay is not a mental illness, it's not a choice and it can't be voluntarily changed. It's a NORMAL part of human sexuality. Plus it is found throughout nature since 1500 other species have been documented in having gay relationships. It's prejudice, bigoted people like you that are immoral and corrupt part of our society by spreading your hatred and lies.

      January 25, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  19. Colin

    Which of the following is a silly story only a naïve child would believe and which is a "cherished religious belief"that must never be questioned or criticized?

    Harry Potter stared into the big black hat. Inside were magic gold tablets – which nobody else would ever see- which told Harry the secrets of the Universe, of life, death and the afterlife. They explained to him how, if he wore certain magic underwear, he would be protected from evil spirits in this life and in the end times. And

    Joseph Smith stared into the big black hat. Inside were magic gold tablets – which nobody else would ever see- which told Joseph the secrets of the Universe, of life, death and the afterlife. They explained to him how, if he wore certain sacred underwear, he would be protected from evil spirits in this life and in the end times.

    January 25, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Curious

      The second story involves a non-fictional character so is preferable over the first, but their claims are probably equally fict*itious.

      January 25, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Lacy Douglas

      You obviously have never read the history of the church or the Book of Mormon. You are cordially invited to do both

      January 25, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  20. Reality

    Romney has been conned just like all followers of religion.

    To wit:

    The Infamous Angelic Cons:

    Joe Smith had his mythical Moroni.

    "Latter-day Saints also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus and the mythical Michael the archangel, the first angelic being supposedly created by God;

    Mohammed had his mythical Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

    Jesus and his family had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day dem-on of the de-mented.

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

    And eliminating these and analogous cons will result in the following:

    • There was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    January 25, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • ......

      the only sensible response to reality posts hit report abuse and walk away

      January 25, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • Brad

      "Reality" repeats himself quite a bit, but he's not offensive. Save Report abuse for the trolls and propagandists – not that I think Report abuse actually does anything.

      January 25, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • Rumugus

      Your post was irrelevant to the article. Mitt Romney releases his tax information and it turns out he donates generously to his church. You may disagree with religious beliefs generally or Mr. Romney's reasons for his charitable donations, but I don't see how your opinion on religion is relevant to this discussion.

      January 25, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Antonius Magnus

      If you hate religion, why are you posting on a belief blog, other than to be annoying and foist your opinions on others who don't want to hear it?

      January 25, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • -----

      Those who think they have been offended by any religion seem to never be able to let it go.
      Obviously he has an ongoing inner struggle!

      January 25, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Lacy Douglas

      Wow. What planet have you been living on.

      January 25, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Reality

      If Romney were not a Mormon, he would save all that ti-the/temple-building money hopefully donating it to non-religious causes like the Gates Foundation or the Red Cross. Better yet, he could donate it the USA i.e.

      Gifts to the United States
      U.S. Department of the Treasury
      Credit Accounting Branch
      3700 East-West Highway, Room 622D
      Hyattsville, MD 20782

      January 25, 2012 at 11:39 am |
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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.