home
RSS
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. EatYouAlive

    NO religion should EVER be tax exempt.

    January 24, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • Abinadi

      Well, I think they should!

      January 24, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • Ron

      I agree. We should tax groups like LDS Charities where 98% of the donations go to the people that need help rather than administration. Let's send that money to Washington so Gingrich and Freddie Mac execs can have more money... after all Frrddie Mac does need a "Historian".

      January 24, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • LibrePenseur

      Religion get rich by promising the gullible an imaginary heaven. They should be taxed at least at the same rate as used car salemen.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • Michelle Mormon

      First off, I appreciate your fervor "Abinadi" but cool the flames my friend. To EatYouAlive, I understand that it may seem frustrating, especially if you have not come much in contact with what the Mormon Church does. We use that money not only to build churches but also so that we can give food, supplies and the like to those in need internationally whether inside the religion or not. We were there to volunteer after Hurricane Katrina and many other dire situations. It is in massive part due to the money the Church has that we are able to help others so much. I hope that if you are ever in that kind of need, you will know that you can turn to the Church, member or not, and we will do the best we can for you.

      January 24, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
  2. jdog

    Kook....and he could be prez, typical for a kooky country

    January 24, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
  3. jeem

    This goes in the "SO WHAT! category. Members of many churches give 10% of their income. It's a pretty common practice.

    January 24, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • EatYouAlive

      All religion is self propagating. Mormonism does not hide its viral ways.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
  4. rinsac

    I don't think money given to any church should be a tax write off unless it can be proven that the church used it all to help others and not to finance their own existence. While we're at it, they should be taxed too. If corporations can be considered "persons" then so should they.

    January 24, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Abinadi

      So, if we don't pay for a church, where do we meet? I suppose you think we should meet in the street or not at all.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • mariosphere

      I agree, rinsac. Churches should be taxed like everybody else.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Fran

      Not an issue for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints since they disclose all finances to government in order to keep their status. Also LDS church does not have paid ministry and all contributions are accounted for.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Michelle Mormon

      Firstly, I appreciate you Abinadi. I really do. But walk away from the heat. As to taxing the Church to maintain its existence, you may not know that Mormons have no paid clergy. We all volunteer our efforts and give of our time to act as teachers, leaders, compassionate service coordinators and the like. We have used that money to rescue people from countless natural disasters and I sincerely hope that if you are ever in the midst of a disaster like Katrina or what have you, you will know that help will be on the way for you, member or not because we do all we can to aid all of God's children (that means everyone regardless of age, color, gender, religion, or creed).

      January 24, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
  5. Mark

    I'm not a Mormon, I believe in only Biblical truth. That said, Romney does believe in God, he is not his own God. He shares all my values. He knows how to debate and he is who he says he is. Gingrich is a lair, cheat and has no moral character. Not too hard for me to decide who to vote for in the primary..... Oh ya Gingrich forgot to pay by the Virginia rules. Isn't that too bad.

    January 24, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • The Phist

      Oh yeah. Gingrich is a "lair."

      January 24, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • danny

      Ron Paul is no liar and no flip-flopper either

      January 24, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  6. Snow

    Religious people denouncing another religion (oops.. same religion, different sect) as a cult and not to be trusted due to their beliefs is the most hilarious joke I heard all of today!!

    Oh oh.. I am ok if you follow whats written in this 2000yr old book. But if you read this 200 yr old book, you are going to BURN IN HELL!!!

    January 24, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • danny

      haha....yeah i always thought that was funny

      January 24, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • just sayin

      Mormonism is not Christianity. It was never intended to be.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Michelle Mormon

      True. In truth we worship the same God. I love many other Christian faiths and have defended many of them with the same passion and conviction as I defend my own. Quite nonsensical to take the loving religion of Christianity and seek to employ it to spout hatred. As to your commentator there, I fear he or she has something of a confused idea of what Mormonism was meant to be. From its earliest conception the idea of Jesus Christ being Master, Creator, Savior and Redeemer was there. The real name of the religion is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Now you know, my friend.

      January 24, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  7. Debb

    This campaign is scary with even scarier candidates.

    January 24, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Jim

      The scariest person is the one in the Whitehouse right now! His socialist beliefs are putting a huge strain on this country. Any one of the 4 republicans is better than this clown.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
  8. indaville

    What's 10% of the U.S. GDP? Just wondering.

    January 24, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  9. Jeremy

    The LDS (Mormon) Church has an incredible aid organization, as well as a welfare system. President Ronald Regan visited one of the welfare facilities and noted the following: "You know, there is a program that comes very close to being the most ideal way dealing with those who are poor and unfortunate; and that is the Mormon Welfare Program." Aid and welfare are not restricted to Church members. On the whole, most of the aid goes towards humanitarian efforts not related to members, and to be honest, most of the welfare does go to church members (since members are more likely to approach and ask for help as they know of the welfare program). Either way, the money is helping Americans (whether Mormon or not), as well as those in other contries (Again, Mormon or not).

    January 24, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • The Phist

      The money is being used to build more worthless churches.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Jeremy

      Yes, money is used to maintain buildings and structures (meetinghouses and temples). What religion does not require money to do this? However, one difference is that Mormons have a lay ministry, meaning that nobody gets paid. That means the there is very little overhead associated with weekly meetings. So your argument kind of sucks.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • The Phist

      I really don't care if they get paid or not. Nor did I ever state that they did. Your argument really, truly sucks. Why do idiot mormons keep pretending I'm saying things that I'm not? Reading comprehension, numbnuts. Learn it.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Jesus Saves

      Mormons are not Christians. And the book of Mormons is false doctrine. The Canon of the Scripture is complete... nothing shall be added unto or removed from the completed Scripture.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • Jeremy

      Comprehend this: Your initial statement implied "waste." You would be hard pressed to find an organization that has as little waste as the LDS church (it would have to be on a very small scale like a food bank or soup kitchen). Why is this? Because nobody is pocketing the money. Trust me, I've worked with those who have been in positions to write the checks, and participate in audits and every penny is closely scrutinized. On the flip side I have worked with government organizations and have seen real waste! I have seen states, counties, cities and the Federal Government buy things that they will never utilize or can not afford to implement just to protect their budget allocation for the next year!

      January 24, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • Jeremy

      @ Jesus Saves. For your edification (or to stop you from propogating lies...). Deuteronomy says that twice lol. Also, did you know that the Bible was not originally written start to finish? It is compiled of separate works, one of which is the Book of Revelation. The author did not know that the work would find itself at the end of a compilation of books and was clearly speaking to nobody adding or taking away from the Book of Revelation, and not the Bible as a whole (this I know because the Bible did not yet exist, the works yes, the Bible no). Just something to think about.

      January 24, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I have yet to see those followers of The Phist's donating to worldwide causes.

      Amen.

      January 24, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
  10. Hazel

    The LDS Church teaches that at the end of the world everyone will be resurrected. They also believe that almost everyone will go to heaven, which is divided up into three main levels. Bad people go to the lowest, the Telestial Kingdom (Doctrine and Covenants 76:81-86). Good people, who were not Mormons, will go to the middle level, the Terrestrial Kingdom (D&C 76:71-79). Mormons will go to the highest level, the Celestial Kingdom (D&C 76:50-70). However, only those who merit the highest part of the Celestial Kingdom will have Eternal Life [the ability to live in a marriage relationship and continue to beget children—see D&C 132:20-24, also see Mormons Hope to Become Gods of Their Own Worlds].

    January 24, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Jeremy

      And I suppose you'll just live on a cloud for eternity getting some practice with a bow and arrow? Or a trumpet? That do you think the whole point of getting to heaven is? Just curious. We look at God as our Father in Heaven. I don't know if you have kids, but I do. The one thing I know about being a Father is that I want my children to have everything that I have. So if fatherhood is universal, then God (creator of the universe) would want this for his children. He wouldn't be a very nice God if we had to play the trumpet for him for eternity. Jesus being his only begotten has shown that this is a true concept. Just sayin...

      January 24, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Michelle Mormon

      Close enough. I do not think your comment was intending anything evil or misleading. Jeremy my friend, cool your heels (though I read your other comments and appreciate them). Yes, we seek to do the best we can so that we can be with our Heavenly Father together and have our families with us forever. I am sure you want that as well. And your breakdown is quite logical. Not everyone seeks to obey the commands of God to the same degree so of course it makes sense that a loving God would ensure that each person would go to a place best suited for them. He does not seek to punish but to teach His children in an individual manner.

      January 24, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
  11. NHisMage

    I am a black conservative and I will NOT be voting for Romney for several reasons but one of the reason is because his "church" once taught that black skin was a curse from God. Actually, it's still in their doctrine although they don't teach it anymore. I know that racism was rampant during the era when Mormonism was founded by Joseph Smith within the Christian church as well as the Mormon church but I don't believe that any Christian church taught that it was from a command from God as Mormon "prophets" taught. If Romney gets the Republican nomination, I will vote independent. I can't in good conscience vote for him.

    January 24, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • The Phist

      The mormon cult is in fact racist. They simply pretend like they aren't when questioned about their doctrine, which was founded by a scam artist named joseph smith who died exactly as he deserved to die.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Carl

      My guess is you are a black racist looking for an excuse not to vote for a white man.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • Jeremy

      May I ask what religion are you? Just curious because it so happens that every Protestant Religion, as well as Catholicisim participated in actual slave trade and ownership. Mormons were actually Abolishinists. Mitt's dad was actually very oustpoken about civil rights. I wonder where Newt's dad or Santorum's dad was at the time?

      January 24, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • LibrePenseur

      Actually, in the Bible, there are many passages that support slavery. Please do a quick check online.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Spence

      Cadillac used to refuse to sell cars to black people. Do you buy Chevy/Cadillac products?

      January 24, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Abinadi

      We are sorry if we offended you. I feel that we have corrected the problem and today all races are treated with equal respect. Will you forgive us?

      January 24, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • cwelch

      You do realize that at the same time that was custom in this country. African Americans could not sit in the front of the bus, they could not eat at the same restaurants, they could not vote. As unfortunate as that is, it is a reality of our past. Rather than dwell on things past, the Mormon church should be commended for moving forward from that.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • Ron

      Just curious... did you know that the "mormons" had an extermination order issued against them in Missouri? Did you know that the people who persecuted them were afraid the mormons would vote to make Missouri a "free" state since they were against slavery and were becoming large in number. There are many other things you might want to learn about the "mormons" before you send them to the back of the bus.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • danny

      cadillac used to refuse blacks?? That's hillarious. They seem to be their biggest customers...imagine that today they would be out of business (even faster then they are already headed that way)

      January 24, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Dusty Johnson

      Actually, this concept is held in most Christian religions, though most have distanced themselves from any reference to it. The fact is that nearly every religion has codes and beliefs that oppose anyone of a foreign race or outside of their sect. This is nothing new nor strange. Well, not stranger than what is normally passed as religious codes.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      NHisMage, all races were created on the 6th day. Read scriptures from the Bible at http://biblestudysite.com/creation.htm

      Amen.

      January 24, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Dusty Johnson, for someone who's bent on bashing Jesus, how would you know what every Christian thinks?

      Amen.

      January 24, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • NHisMage

      Carl, your "guess" would be wrong on all accounts.

      January 24, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • NHisMage

      Heavensent, I am a Christian and I know what Genesis says. There is only ONE race and that is the human race. However, this has nothing to do with what I posted, other than the fact that the founders of Mormonism ignored it when they (or rather their God) pronounced that black skin was a curse from God.

      January 24, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • NHisMage

      Spence – no, I do not. And Cadillac never claimed that their racism was from God either.

      January 24, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Michelle Mormon

      @Abinadi. Nicely done.

      January 24, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
  12. Joe Smith

    Drink the cool aid from my golden cup I found in upstate NY!

    January 24, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • Michelle Mormon

      My father, who is a convert to Mormonism, is named Joe Smith. And he grew up in South Carolina.

      January 24, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
  13. Gary

    I want to know how much he spends on the magic underwear...

    January 24, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Even Mormons can find God in prayer
    And convert to Christianity
    Prayer changes things

    January 24, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • TownC

      Your prayer has been answered, Mormons are Christians!

      January 24, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Jeremy

      I am praying that you get a mind of your own, and not listen to the poison others pour in your ear. If you knew the first thing about what Mormons believe, you would erase those comments.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Gary

      Fantasy/magical religions/beliefs are not healthy for children and other living things.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • just sayin

      Mormons by definition are not Christians and never have been. The last few decades the LDS has attempted to move closer to main stream Christianity but in truth Mormon doctrine is in conflict with true Christianity. The uninformed and ignorant have been taken in by the concept and think that Mormonism is compatible with Christianity, sadly it is not.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Spence

      There are more than 2000 flavors of Christian religion in America. Which one is "true" Christianity?

      January 24, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • just sayin

      True Christianity is in the true followers of Jesus Christ. Christians may be found in any of the various Christian denominations.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • stta

      Just Sayin- what is your definition of Christian. The definition I believe in is "one that believes in Christ" not "one that believes in Christ from one sects perspective". Now maybe because the Mormons followed one individual just like the other sects did like Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley, etc. It is all about belief and funny that the ignorant believe theirs is the only truth. I bet if you were born in Iraq to a Muslim family or Israel to a Jewish family, you wouldn't be practicing the same religion that you do today. So I guess if you were born in those other countries to different religions you would be doomed. Think about it.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Dusty Johnson

      And again, which ones are Christian? Your "Jesus Christ" was not even named Jesus Christ in his life. Christianity has been so many things to so many people. For that matter, why do you say the Mormons do not fit the definition of Christianity? They are called The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints; members must declare their faith in God, Jesus Christ, and The Holly Ghost in order to be eligible for full membership; they take a sacrament every Sunday in acceptance of the Grace of God in repentance. Just what definition are you talking about?

      January 24, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      just sayin, you posted "True Christianity is in the true followers of Jesus Christ. Christians may be found in any of the various Christian denominations."

      Amen.

      January 24, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Dusty, you need to start reading the Bible on your own instead of going to your non-believers site to feed you their lies.

      And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

      Matthew 1:21

      Amen.

      January 24, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Michelle Mormon

      I appreciate your interest in saving all souls, even those who many seek to injure and bad mouth. You are truly a Christian. You may find this difficult to believe but I am as well. The real name of the Church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I love the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my best friend and my reason for living. He is the light and life of every waking hour of my day. Jeremy dear, I think you are quite exhausted. Please log off for the night and recover your patience. Your sister in Christ, Michelle

      January 24, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
  15. uisignorant

    This article is nothing more than asking an Evangelical Baptist what a Buddhist believes.

    January 24, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Blayze Kohime

      You're right. If you want to know what another religion believes, the last person you should ask is a member of your own religion. I remember some of the outlandish things I was told as a child about other religions/denominations.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
  16. roos

    The man's well over 50. Hasn't he already gotten his teeth?

    January 24, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Gary

      Ouch!!

      January 24, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  17. zizix

    Pointless article is pointless

    January 24, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
  18. scary

    Do we really want a president that has to answer to a "prophet"? I know that I DO NOT. Being Mormon means that you follow the rules the "prophet" lays down. So I take that as meaning if Romney becomes president that he would be consulting with this "prophet" about the direction of the country which is a HUGE violation a separation of church and state!

    January 24, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • The Phist

      You mean a scam artist? I wouldn't call smith a prophet.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • zizix

      You could extend that argument to apply to any president or elected official who is affiliated with any religious organization.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Reload

      I am an active Mormon and have received no orders on how to vote or what my political views should be. Your points are absolutely, completely wrong and reflect nothing but ignorance and bigotry. This is no more true than the statement that JFK was being directed by the Pope. Really, are you that stupid? I'd like to give you a kind answer but I am so sick of the lies, and falsehoods being spread by the press and by fools that don't know any better.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • Snow

      wasn't Jesus also a prophet? and yet people have no problems following what he said like 2000 yrs ago.. is his bronze age wisdom any better than another prophet's?

      January 24, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Carl

      Streeeeeeeeetching it a bit aren't we? I hate to tell you this, but in Christianity there are numerous prophets...Abraham, David, Ezekiel, the other big guy (Jesus), Moses and Noah to name a few. Never concerned the public with previous presidents.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • The Phist

      No, jesus was not a prophet. He was just another guy that died and his remains were found along with that of his family's a few decades ago. For christ's stupid sake, I really wish information made it to the streets more often.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • M

      No he would not. We follow the prophet in our personal lives. Our prophet would not be his 'US Advisor'. Many of you really need to get your facts straight.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • justcap

      Isn't Ron Paul an actual prophet?

      January 24, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • msadr

      better than a president who answers to no one.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • stta

      Reading some of the bigoted remarks I can see why our country is in trouble. Ignorance is bliss out here. We have too many Forest Gumps, stupid is as stupid does. I wish all the church leaders would get out there and teach their followers the truth about other religions. They won't because they would lose the power they have over the ignorant blind followers and Newt wouldn't get off the hook so much because he "asked God for forgiveness" for his adulterous life. Funny he doesn't say that he asked his former wives for forgiveness. So he can continue his path of lying and manipulating because "he is forgiven".

      January 24, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Dusty Johnson

      Saw this same argument before with Kennedy over the Pope. Still a flat argument.

      January 24, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Mike

      Yeah, rules like hard work, honesty, integrity, doing good to all men, marital fidelity, commitment to family...essentially following Christ's example. Very scary indeed.

      January 24, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Dan

      Just about every president we've had in the history of this nation has counseled with leaders of a variety of religions. JFK met with Pope Paul VI, Reagan with Pat Robertson, Carter and Clinton attended churches in DC. Government for the people by the people, and people come from all sorts of religious backgrounds. Scared of the Mormons? Go to mormon.org and pull up their periodic conventions called General Conference. Read what they're saying and see what they're about.

      January 24, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • scary

      Really Reload. So you can go see a R rated movie tomorrow????? Cause none of my Mormon friends can because the "prophet" said so, they would be breaking the rules. I don't want a president that is limited by such narrow views. Romney has to wear his magic underwear to even get to "heaven". And NONE of our other presidents were intrenched in a religion like Romney is. YES I would choose a president that believes in NOTHING any day over one that believes in fairy tales.

      January 24, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • scary

      I find interesting that no religious people see the control their religion has over them. How it dictates their own opinion, veiw and fabric of being. Until you find true freedom and have a clear mind you can't see what is right before you.

      January 24, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      scary, as if you atheists have a mind of your own ... conditioned by other miserable spiritually dead walking among us. You all sound the same, from the same cookie cutter ... while spending your lives bashing every thing with the exception of science which you worship. M I S E R A B L E.

      Amen.

      January 24, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Michelle Mormon

      There is a separation between church and state within the Mormon church as well. The church leaders never endorse any candidate. Period. It goes against their belief system. Any president or human being answers to his or her own conscience. If Romney doesn't agree with the prophet he is free to walk away from Mormonism if he likes. He isn't held here at gunpoint.

      January 24, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
  19. Hazel

    Coming from an area of the country that is highly mormon I have a few things to say about mormons that most people are not aware of:
    1. Mormon prophecy states that the United States will be on the brink of destruction, when a mormon is elected president and will call on "the church" and save the United States.
    2. The state of Idaho had a candidate run for president who wanted to hold political meetings that only male "members" who are "worthy" (have a temple recommend) could attend. This candidate received more than 30% of the vote.
    3. Yes the mormons do take care of their own and have an internal welfare system, however, only members in good standing may receive help. In addition, "members", no matter how poor, must pay their 10%. This means if a person is on SSI and receiving benefits, 10% goes to "the church".
    4. A good mormon wife strives to stay home and raise the children. This is god’s calling for her.
    5. Male mormons who lived they life in accordance with the word of wisdom are exhaulted in the afterlife and become gods. Their married wives only join them if they were good and faithful wives on earth.
    6. Most members are really good people who blindly follow their faith, not un-like most religious people. They don’t stand out any more or less then any active Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist or Bahia I’ve ever met.

    So does all of this make Romney a bad candidate because he’s mormon? Maybe, if he believes 1 and 2, it could be a real problem. Over and above that if he believes 3 and only takes care of his own, you can expect an all mormon candidate; and if he believes 4, they will all be male. And if he believes #5, more power to him. Who doesn’t want to become a god and bring his wife along, only if he wants her to join him? Oh yea, and they get more than one wife producing spirit babies. But they are the only ones in heaven so there is room.

    Even if Mr. (not brother as he’s referred to here) Romney is not influenced by his church, consider this do you want to cast your vote for a man who gives more money to his multi-billion dollar church then he pays in taxes?

    January 24, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • The Phist

      Reason enough not to vote for the guy.

      That and the magical mormon underwear.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • TownC

      Your "facts" are incorrect. The best way to find out about Mormons is to ask Mormons or go to Mormon.org.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Reload

      As a Mormon, I have to tell you how stupid and downright wrong your comment is. What's really scary to me is that you are this uninformed and you vote and drive. I'll leave it at that.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • Hazel

      http://www.rickross.com/reference/mormon/mormon665.html

      Idaho gubernatorial candidate Rex Rammell's call for a meeting of Mormon elders to discuss the so-called "White Horse Prophecy" attributed by some people to church founder Joseph Smith has gained national attention.

      As a result of media criticism that the meeting would include only members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

      January 24, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • John

      Sounds like you need to talk to those neighbors of yours a bit more in that "highly mormon" place you live because your "facts" are not correct.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Jeremy

      Hazel, you sound like you are from Rexburg. Sounds like you are Mormon but not active. Do you believe Obama's church that spewed hate and called for God to damn the USA? I didn't know that to be president, you had to espouse all of your religious beliefs.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • L

      And your sources are???

      Alot of what you said are libelous half truths. You are either knowingly lying or is just plain ignorant.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Jeremy

      I'd rather vote for a man who can actually fix the economy, balance the budget, create jobs, and who is a man of honor. I guess you like the job killing socialist.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Ironicus

      The only "job-killing" that's been done has been by Republitards who refuse to do their damn jobs!

      January 24, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Justin C

      No offense, but you really don't know what you are talking about. Your "facts" aren't even close to accurate. There is no prophecy or belief that a Mormon will save the country when it is on the verge of destruction. Nothing even resembling that. The rest of you bullet points are equally strange and false.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • NHisMage

      Great post, Hazel! I've noticed that the Mormons who claim that "your facts are not correct", "alot of what you said are libelous half truths. You are either knowingly lying or is just plain ignorant" and called your comments "stupid and downright wrong" did not correct you on those facts (which is exactly what they are). I think that Mormonism breeds flip-floppers just like Romney. If you check their doctrine since Smith started their religion and how their god has constantly changed his/her/its mind, it's pretty obvious that it does.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • The Phist

      WHITE HORSE PROPHECY:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Horse_Prophecy

      Why do mormons continue denying facts when you show them? Incredible idiots they are. Justin, read the article.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Ex-Mormon

      I was raised mormon and practiced for many many years.. eventually my studies and search for God led me to understand all religion and the world for that matter very different from the LDS church.. That being said.. nearly all the statements I have read about the mormon religion are inaccurate.. in addition most of the statement do not have any Christian spirit associated with the comments. Even comments that seem to come from the perspective of an athiest or non Christian position seem extreamly uneducated and closed minded.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • The Phist

      Oh yes, "extreamly" uneducated indeed. Thank you for your words of wisdom.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Joel

      I am amused by how people are using a Wikipedia article (whose first line uses the word "purport") as fact, and a homemade looking webpage reminiscent of the geocities freepages of the 90's, as fact. Hilarious.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • uisignorant

      White Horse is not an accepted prophecy. It was written by 2 guys years after it was supposedly said. Only those 2 guys knew about it. Joseph's scribes, who were always with him, never recorded it.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Spence

      Poor Hazel, you don't have a clue what you are talking about.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • Mulehead

      @TownC – Mormon.org....now there's an unbiased source. I've had neighbors that are mormon for over ten years. Have seen their kids grow up alongside mine. And have had to watch those kids be brainwashed DAILY. The boys leave each morning to pray or whatever they do, before school....and their girls hoping to be married off once they leave highshool. So sad.... And they should tax the church and all churches.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • The Phist

      So, let's get this straight then, shall we?

      You don't like the word "purported" yet it's ok to believe in the scam artist joseph smith's contention that he had a couple magical gold tablets, translated them, and then they disappeared. Am I right?

      January 24, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • The Phist

      What amuses me even more, people believe in the book of mormon as fact, but discount wikipedia as a valid source of information. Talk about irony.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • Christian

      Wow, I'm constantly amazed at the new "facts" people come up with about what our church teaches. All of your information is incorrect. Women are encouraged to make raising their children a priority but Men are also encouraged to put family first. Read "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" at lds.org and you will understand that husband and wife are equal partners who share responsibilities and support each other. If you think that is extreme than I am glad to be extreme. I'm grateful for a husband who is willing to help me with everything from cooking to changing diapers to running kids to music lessons and is also able to provide for our children.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • Ex-Mormon

      @Phist,, yep your right,, I do not spell very well.. Thanks for your understanding....and may you feel peace in your heart and may your labors bear good fruit...

      January 24, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Clarity

      Being a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I consider my self a devout "mormon" I am a working mother of two. My husband also works. I politely need you to recheck your facts before boldy posting. Much of your information is incorrect.
      Thank you.

      January 24, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Michelle Mormon

      @reload. My friend, cool your heels and log off for a moment. I appreciate your valor but such behavior hardly does our beloved religion any credit.

      January 24, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
  20. koga

    I certainly hope that Mormonish isn't allowed to be Tax exempt. I know they are, but i hope they aren't anyway.

    January 24, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • TownC

      Religion has always held a special place in American society. A tax exemption for religious organizations recognizes the intrinsic value of religion in the lives of American's. If you take it away and treat religion as every other business, then religions should have the rights of businesses to actively participate in partisan politics. Be careful what you wish for.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
Advertisement
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.