My Take: How Romney could transcend Mormonism with civil religion
Mitt Romney in Illinois, which holds its primary on Tuesday.
March 20th, 2012
08:13 AM ET

My Take: How Romney could transcend Mormonism with civil religion

Editor's Note: Dan Birdsong is a political science lecturer at the University of Dayton, teaching courses on the presidency, campaigns and elections and media.

By Dan Birdsong, Special to CNN

(CNN) - There has been a deliberate and concerted effort on the part of the Mitt Romney campaign, even before it officially began, to divert attention from the presidential candidate’s Mormonism by attempting to connect with primary voters by talking about a shared civil religion. But to be effective Romney must take this strategy much further.

What’s civil religion? It’s patriotism’s kissing cousin. It’s a kind of deeper version of nationalistic pride. It is an effort to link patriotism to morality and virtue. Think the phrase “God and country,” or the solemn reverence so many Americans have for our nation’s founding documents.

Romney puts himself at a disadvantage to his rivals and past presidents because he cannot, or is unwilling to, seamlessly link his faith to his patriotism.

Such a strategy would enhance what media types call his “personal narrative” and would go a long way toward forging a strong emotional connection with voters. Here’s how he can do it:

1. Talk about a sacred Constitution

Consider this: For some, the Bill of Rights is seen as analogous to the Ten Commandments. And even though the Bill of Rights is a human creation - and thus imperfect - many see the Constitution as sacred, beyond reproach.

Recently in Arizona, Romney used this sentiment on the campaign trail, saying the nation’s founding documents “were either inspired by God or they were written by brilliant people or perhaps a combination of both. …”

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Here we see Romney attempting to preach a version of American exceptionalism that many believe, but it comes off as soft, and fits into the troubled “Which Mitt?” brand.

A year ago, before Romney officially announced his candidacy, he said President Obama didn’t “understand what it is that makes this nation so successful, so powerful, so good.”

These rhetorical choices go beyond normal patriotic rhetoric and reveal Romney’s belief in America as good and the Constitution as sacred. They have the flavor of civil religion, but Romney remains too vague and needs to be more declarative.

2. Present himself as America’s patriarch

In the current campaign, Romney sings a song of American greatness.

After his win in New Hampshire, Romney tried to culturally connect with voters by defining his campaign as “... saving the soul of America.”

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“We want to restore America to the founding principles that made this country great,” Romney said. “This election, let’s fight for the America we love. We believe in America.”

Romney’s words paint the election as a moral imperative and a redemptive narrative.  By giving America human qualities, Romney makes himself the patriarch who can lead America back to a redemptive path.

Yet his rhetoric rings hollow because he does not define those founding principles, nor does he share a personal anecdote to connect to voters. You preach to the choir to get them to sing, but Romney needs to preach to the unconvinced.

3. Use civil religion to compensate for his Mormonism.

The former Massachusetts governor must convince the GOP primary voters that he is enough like them to rally the suburban warriors to join his campaign, and he must quell the quiet queries about his religion.

You see, Romney is facing a political reality: people don’t know much about Mormons. And as Ishmael reminds us in "Moby Dick," “Ignorance is the parent of fear.”

A recent Pew study found that when asked for one-word descriptions of presidential candidates, “Mormon” was the most common answer when describing Mitt Romney.

In June, a Gallup Poll found that only 76% of Americans would vote for a Mormon. The Pew Center found that while 68% say being a Mormon wouldn’t matter to their vote, 25% say they would be less likely to vote for a Mormon candidate.

While these perceptions are troubling for a country that values religious freedom, they are a political reality for the Romney campaign.

Indeed, these perceptions may help explain why Romney failed to win evangelical voters in Iowa, South Carolina, Missouri, Minnesota, or Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.

4. Follow the lead of previous presidents

Past presidents have spoken with civil religion rhetoric, some more directly than others.

Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were masterful in their weaving of civil religion into their rhetoric, allowing them to connect emotionally with the American public.

In comforting the nation after the Oklahoma City bombing, President Clinton called on the American people, “…to purge [themselves] of the dark forces which gave rise to this evil.  They are forces that threaten our common peace, our freedom, our way of life.”

President Bush in 2004 made this appeal tied to the War in Iraq: “… one of the Iraqi men used his new prosthetic hand to slowly write out, in Arabic, a prayer for God to bless America. I am proud that our country remains the hope of the oppressed and the greatest force for good on this Earth.”

Both Clinton and Bush authentically tie a sense of religion to what it means to be American and what America means to the world.

A 1980 campaign ad for Jimmy Carter strikes an overtly religious chord as the commercial pans from the spine of a Bible to a shot of Carter sitting behind his desk.

The message is clear: Carter’s religion is part of his character.

Twenty years earlier, John Kennedy, our first Catholic president, went to great lengths to reassure the public that he could separate his religion from his governing.  Times have changed.

5. Look for a “Book of Mormon” moment

When Romney downplays his religion and speaks vaguely about his love of country and Constitution, he fails to seamlessly link his faith to his patriotism in creating his personal narrative. I’m not convinced that this is a smart strategy for Romney.

He appears to lack a core belief in something, thus we voters lack information to connect with Romney.

What he needs is a “Book of Mormon” moment.  In the Tony Award winning Broadway musical, Elder Price reaffirms his core beliefs via song.

But Romney shouldn’t just sing, as he did with "America the Beautiful" last month.

Romney could start by saying: “I believe that my faith in God led me through the tough times. I believe this because I’ve lived it. I’ve doubted myself as a young missionary, but my faith was my anchor. And, I believe that I would not be the person I am today if it weren’t for my faith, my family and this country.”

Without a statement of his core beliefs linking to his life experience, Romney’s personal narrative is shallow and his civil religion rhetoric will continue to ring hollow.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Dan Birdsong.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 2012 Election • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Opinion • Politics

soundoff (440 Responses)
  1. Ray

    When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Ron

      You're trying way too hard.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • O.S. Bird

      I agree completely.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • O.S. Bird

      Ray: I agree completely with you, not the previous poster.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • And Now It's Springtime For Hitler And Jesus!!!!

      It will be New Wave fascism, with just enough differences to make people swear that they aren't doing what they are really doing.

      March 21, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • Ned

      Are you saying that the Christian tradition of America, since the Pilgrims came for religious freedom, has been fascist? The Christianity that Presidents and leaders valued for over 200 years? The very first cornerstone of this country is religious freedom, recognizing that every person has the right to their own religious journey, whether it takes them to aethism or to a religion of their choice. That's religious freedom and it should be respected, not squashed.

      March 21, 2012 at 3:32 am |
  2. JoJo

    “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca

    March 20, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Chad

      "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." – James 1

      March 20, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Quote Miner

      "I shall make it my endeavour to preserve the government in Church and State as it is by law established." – James II

      March 20, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
  3. john

    Let's see what the voice of reason has to say on this matter.....
    "Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and
    irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause. Of all the
    animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by the
    difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and
    distressing, and ought most to be depreciated. I was in hopes that the
    enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least
    have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never
    again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the
    peace of society."- George Washington

    March 20, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Ned

      The other thing that causes such dispute and acrimony is politics. Does that mean we should do away with politics and become an autocracy, just because people disagree? No, because we have freedom, both religious and political.

      March 21, 2012 at 3:38 am |
  4. Truthquark

    Ummmm...everyone does realize that the musical "The Book of Mormon" is satirical right? So...what is this guy trying to say? I'm confused.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  5. whatshisnamemedia

    just by reading a small portion of this thread it is clear that NONE of you have a clue what you are talking about.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • JoJo

      You only read your own comment.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • HereticX

      You sure didn't say anything.... at least nothing that had any meaning except to suggest you're a know-it-all since nobody else knows what they're talking about. That says a lot about you. You're obviously better than anyone else. You should be a leader. I wonder what you do for a living. Watch TV?

      March 20, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
  6. HereticX

    I want a candidate – any candidate – that puts aside the religious BS. Belief in God is fine (and I'm not talking about Jesus or the dude on the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel), but all that crap between us and him/her/it needs to go. Empathy, law abiding citizens, and leaders who unite is all a nation needs. Humans don't need dogma to know compassion and to do right by their fellow man.... it sure hasn't helped the GOP. All religion does is divide, divide, divide. Mormons, Catholics, Jews, Baptists.... all frickin' afraid someone of a different BS faith will be in charge fearing they will impose their beliefs on them. What about the rest of us that don't want any faith-based beliefs push on us?!?! Bigotry hides behind religion and their so called 'faith'. I hope I live to see the day when a candidate boldly says faith and religion is irrelevant to govern a righteous country.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • TrueBlue42

      Beautifully put and well stated, Heretic X!

      March 20, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • O.S. Bird

      Well said, HereticX.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Ned

      And that same bigotry can be found in aethism. Just sayin.

      March 21, 2012 at 3:39 am |
    • s1ster jud1th

      And I want a candidate who can openly acknowledge and sustain their religious commitment, without fear of what others are going to say or do. It just should not be an issue in our country.

      March 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • FreedomFromReligion

      Way to go, my senitments exactly. Keep thy religion to thine own self! (Hate to break it to the religious zealots...IT'S ALL FAKE!!!

      April 3, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • old golfer

      Great post and I agree. God gave man reason. Man gave man religion.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
  7. rinsac

    There are many Faiths in America and apparently you missed the point on the Founding Fathers and no State Religion. This will NEVER be a Mormon country I'm positive.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Chris

      It's not ever going to be a country of any religion, and it isn't going to be one of no religion. That's the thing about the U.S.: we are able to worship (or not worship) as we please. If Romney wins the Presidency, it doesn't mean that the country will be converted to the LDS faith, and this applies to all faith, whether it's a Jew or Catholic or Atheist who becomes President.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
  8. JoJo

    Romney? I don't trust anyone who puts ANYTHING (e.g., faux patriotism and faith) above human reason and compassion. I wouldn't buy a used car from such a person and I certainly wouldn't give him the power to start a thermo-nuclear war on his say-so. Add to that, that Romney is a hypocritical chickenhawk war loving faux believer in the Prince of Peace, and pays less taxes for the millions he made firing people than most middle class Americans pay of the money they work hard for, and there's no way I'm voting for him. He's a flip-flopper on everything but his magic folklore phantasms. Other than those minor points, I hear he plays a fine game of golf.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • whatshisnamemedia

      God IS compassion.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • JoJo

      "God IS Compassion"?

      “My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. ….. As a Christian ……I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice. …….I am convinced that I am acting as the agent of our Creator….., I am doing the Lord’s work.” Adolf Hitler

      “Deo Vindice” (“God Our Vindicator”) , “God Save the South” - mottos of the Confederacy in the Civil War.

      The 9/11 terrorists no doubt shouted "God is Great" before flying into the Towers. They and Osama Bin Laden were deeply religious people who believed unquestionably in God.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
  9. Matt

    Nothing "civil" about religion – the only difference between the Taliban and Christianists like Romney and Santorum is a different invisible friend and a slight sense of self-control.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • TR6

      No, do your research, it's actually the same invisable friend

      March 20, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  10. Newyorker

    "Ignorance is the parent of fear". And it don't get any more "ignorant" than the average GOP voter.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
  11. Jenny

    This man is forgetting a fundamental point of being an American citizen – separation of church and state. Romney is correct to keep the two apart.

    March 20, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  12. Tweet, Tweet

    Wonder if the poor college students in Dayton find Birdsong's lectures as tedious and boring as this article.

    March 20, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  13. Tom

    I think people should pack a gun when they go to church just in case they are attacked by nonbelievers.

    March 20, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • pogojo

      As an american citizen you do have the right to carry,,,, its what seperates us from the animals, look at Mexico, they are not allowed to protect them selves, look at whats happening down there.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
  14. pogojo

    so our choice is either a mormon or a muslum....

    March 20, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Alpa Chino

      Took you all day to come up with that, huh?

      March 20, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Yawn

      Didn't take long for the lunatic fringe to weigh in tonight. Muslim: that's how you spell it when you're past third grade. You can also capitalize Mormon. The Teatards didn't like Obama when he was the wrong kind of Christian either–cf. Jeremiah Wright flap, but he wasn't a Muslim then. Not that this makes any difference to the truly unwilling but here: http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/ramadan.asp *sigh

      March 20, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • GodPot

      The Teatards as you eloquently put it, just can't stand having a "boy" telling them what to do...

      Their racism is deep and strong and they will mask it however they can because they know in their dark little hearts how unpopular it really is.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • The Dude

      "Muslim." Your comment is an intimate look into why this country will eventually implode.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • JoJo

      No, it's between a believer in magic and war versus a rational human being who fortunately for us is President.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • TrueBlue42

      Muslim? No, the choice is between Mormon Romney and Christian Obama. I don't know of this "Muslim" candidate of which you speak. Neither does the rest of America.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
  15. Christianity is not healthy for children and other living things

    Christianity makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Read about it at http://santorum.com
    Christianity takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Christian prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
    Christianity prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Christianity makes you fat.
    Christianity wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Christianity contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Christianity fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Christianity can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Christianity makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. See http://santorum.com to learn more.
    Christianity reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Christianity exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Christianity makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Christianity makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
    Christianity makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Christianity gives you knobbly knees.
    Christianity dulls your senses.
    Christianity makes you post really stupid shit.
    Christianity makes you hoard cats.
    Christianity wastes time.

    March 20, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  16. Christianity is not healthy for children and other living things

    Christianity makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Read about it at http://santorum.com
    Christianity takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Christian prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
    Christianity prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Christianity makes you fat.
    Christianity wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Christianity contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Christianity fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Christianity can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Christianity makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. See http://santorum.com to learn more.
    Christianity reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Christianity exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Christianity makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Christianity makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
    Christianity makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Christianity gives you knobbly knees.
    Christianity dulls your senses.
    Christianity makes you post really stupid shit.
    Christianity makes you hoard cats.
    Christianity makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Christianity wastes time.

    March 20, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
  17. Spears

    Do these comments get censored? I posted a very valid point earlier and it never made it never was posted.

    March 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      Spears, There is an automatic word filter here – hope this helps:

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic 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 ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, 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, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      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..!
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      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.
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      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.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  18. Reality

    Romney believes that the horn-blowing angel Moroni appeared to the con artist Joe Smith. Not good for someone who wants to be president of any group !!!

    Obama "mouths" that he is Christian i.e. believes in gay Gabriel and war-mongering Michael the Archangel and Satan. BO's support of abortion however vitiates has Christianity as he is the leader of the Immoral Majority who are now the largest voting block in the country. Immoral Majority you ask??

    The 78 million voting "mothers and fathers" of aborted womb babies !!! (2012 -1973 Rowe vs. Wade = 39.

    39 x 2 million = 78 million. Abortion rate in the USA as per the CDC is one million/yr.

    And the presidential popular vote in 2008? 69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM. The population of the Immoral Majority in 2008? ~ 70 million !!!!!!

    With the Immoral Majority numbering 78 million in 2012, Obama cannot lose no matter how much Romney hides or civilizes his religion.

    March 20, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Endow

      Abortion wasn't considered immoral until very recently. This belief in life beginning at conception has no biblical origin.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • A Mormon

      @Reality, by your "logic" anyone who professes to believe the miraculous stories of the Bible (including the story of a carpenter who died and came back to life 2,000 years ago to save all of humanity from sin) would be unfit for office. Please never post again, you make it difficult to see the truly thoughtful and insightful comments.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Maya

      Fetuses are not babies, so you lose.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Greg

      Your logic is off for the count. I am sure many of the fathers and some mothers are part of multiple abortions so you can't double the number to define the "immoral" majority.

      In 2008 many of those votes were not based upon the abortion vote. I was undecided until Sarah Palin...

      March 20, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Reality

      The real "Obamacare" i.e. getting re-elected on the backs of 39 million aborted womb babies by using the votes of the 78 million voters involved in said abortions,

      There are roughly 55 million registered Republicans. There are roughly 72 million Democrats. And there are roughly 42 million registered independents

      Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_registered_republican_voters_are_there_in_America#ixzz1n7ShWVn4

      And from the Guttmacher Inst-itute- August 2011

      "In 2008, 1.21 million abortions were performed, down from 1.31 million in 2000. However, between 2005 and 2008, the long-term decline in abortions stalled. From 1973 through 2008, nearly 50 million legal abortions occurred.[2]"

      i.e. making the number of Immoral Majority members more like 108 million in 2012.

      More from Guttmacher:

      "• Fifty-four percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant. Among those women, 76% of pill users and 49% of condom users report having used their method inconsistently, while 13% of pill users and 14% of condom users report correct use.["

      And if half of these aborting "mothers and fathers" have had two abortions, the Immoral Majority would still be a huge voting bloc i.e. ~50 million, enough votes to give any presidential candidate the differential votes needed considering many voters vote straight Democratic or Republican tickets no matter what the issues are.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    March 20, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Romans 12

      9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Jesus

      More lies on top of more lies. You've been proven a liar over and over again on this blog. A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested Friday morning...

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!! .. .. .. ... .. . ..

      March 20, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • just sayin

      Romans 12
      Music to our ears. God bless you !

      March 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Snow

      so.. is this music to your ears too?

      1) If one curses his father or mother, his lamp will go out at the coming of darkness. (Proverbs 20:20 NAB)
      2) All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense. (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)

      March 20, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • just sayin


      March 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Janine

      just sayin isn't getting any, and has more than too much time on its hands as a result. A sticky mess, so to speak.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • just sayin

      Which just sayin are you refering to?

      March 20, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Maya

      Prove it.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
  20. Snow

    It is so funny watching the debate between the traditional christians and mormons.. one cult arguing with another cult about whose fairy tales are more accurate..

    March 20, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • just sayin

      Mormons are not Christians and Christians are not a cult. The Truth of the Son of God is the measure by which all mankind will be measured. Never study the false study the True.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Snow

      Thanks for validating my point, my friend.. 🙂 and unless you fail at logic with an "F minus" you should be able to see that you just defined cult..

      Cult (from websters): great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book)

      March 20, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • just sayin

      I follow Jesus, you follow Webster, let us see where we end up shall we?

      March 20, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Snow

      say, why the fascination with the "end"? Are you so tired of living that you can not wait long for death? I am sorry, but I happen to like living and hope to do so for a long time. So, if you get your way and reach the end fast, please buy me a popcorn and hold a seat far away from you.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • just sayin

      Forever begins at judgement.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • just sayin

      Or in my pants.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Jenna K.

      @just saying

      You are one crazy nutter!

      March 20, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • dont you understand

      @just sayin. Mormons ARE Christians. Their church is called The Church of Jesus CHRIST of Latter Day Saints. What part of Christ dont you understand?

      March 20, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
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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.