Liberty's choice of Romney leads to angry student response
Students at Liberty University bow in prayer during commencement in 2007. Current students were angered by the choice of Mitt Romney for the 2012 graduation speaker.
April 20th, 2012
06:16 PM ET

Liberty's choice of Romney leads to angry student response

By Laura Bernardini and Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Liberty University students and alumni are accusing the Christian school of violating its own teachings by asking Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints whose adherents are called Mormons, to deliver its 2012 commencement address.

By Friday morning, more than 700 comments had been posted on the school's Facebook page about the Thursday announcement - a majority of them decidedly against the Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr.’s invitation, citing that the school had taught them Mormonism isn’t part of the Christian faith.

“I can’t support Romney and I am happy I decided not to walk (in the commencement) this year,” wrote student Josh Bergmann. “Liberty University should have gotten a Christian to speak not someone who practices a cult. Shame on you Liberty University.”

Janet Loeffler, a 53-year-old freshman at Liberty, expressed her anger at the decision when contacted by CNN. She also sent a copy of the page of the freshman textbook “The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics” which includes the passage, “Mormon doctrine stands in stark contrast to Jewish and Christian monotheism, which teaches that there is only one true God and that every other ‘God’ is a false god.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Loeffler’s daughter, Sarah Misch, 33, of Unionville, Virginia, who is also a student at the school said, “I am glad I am not graduating this year. I would not want to end my studies at a Christian university by being sent in to the world at commencement by a Mormon. We came to Liberty because of our faith in Jesus; not for political reasons.”

Holly Stanton Morgan, another student, posted to Facebook, “I am glad that my husband and I won’t be attending his commencement. Mormonism is not Christianity. My commencement is next year. Hopefully they choose more wisely.”

Mark DeMoss, a Liberty graduate, member of the Board of Trustees and a senior adviser to the Romney campaign, said on Friday, “We have had a Jewish commencement speaker, we have had a Catholic commencement speaker, and so, I think people are certainly entitled to their opinion. Social Media certainly provides an outlet for people’s opinions, but I think it is a great thing for the university.”

DeMoss also noted that the night before graduation is the annual Baccalaureate and that event will feature an evangelical Christian speaker.

Liberty University was founded as Lynchburg Baptist College in 1971 by the influential pastor and Moral Majority co-founder Jerry Falwell. He founded the school to be a Christian university for evangelical believers, according to Liberty’s website.

Today, Liberty brands itself as the largest evangelical university in the world, with 82,500 students enrolled either on campus or online.

Liberty University would not comment beyond the press release it sent out Thursday announcing Romney would speak. There will be 14,000 graduates for the May 12th ceremony. The University announced that it expected 34,000 guests.

Previous commencement speakers included previous Republican presidential candidates Sen. John McCain in 2006 and Ronald Reagan in 1980.

The relationship between Mormons and evangelicals has been tested as of late. With Romney as the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party, many political commentators are asking whether the evangelical base, an important voting bloc to the GOP, will come out for Romney.

If those votes hinge on how evangelicals see Mormonism, Romney may need further outreach to the evangelical community. A recent Pew Research Center survey finds that nearly half (47%) of white evangelicals say that Mormonism is not a Christian religion. Sixty-six percent responded the Mormonism and their religion are “very or somewhat different.”

The charge of Mormonism as a cult is not a new one for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Michael Otterson, head of public affairs for the Church, wrote about the word in a 2011 column.

“As part of the rhetorical warfare that has come to characterize modern American political discourse, it was only a matter of time before someone once again used the term “cult” to describe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Otterson wrote. He went on to describe the word as a, “a neat, shorthand and rather lazy way of putting a whole group into a box.”

The nation’s largest evangelical denomination, the Southern Baptist Conference, lists the LDS Church as a cult. They specifically cite differences in theology surrounding salvation, baptism, belief in the Trinity, and marriage. A major sticking point between other Christian traditions and Mormons is the Book of Mormon, which Mormons believe is divinely inspired scripture and on par with the Bible. Other Christians do not recognize the Book of Mormon as scripture.

CNN reached out to a LDS church spokesman for further comment but they demurred, stating that the story was a political story.

A Romney spokesman did not respond to questions about the issue.

Not all Facebook comments were negative, though. Tom Johnson added, “Mitt Romney has been invited to give a motivational speech, not a religious sermon. His religious beliefs do not have anything to do with his ability to give a motivational speech at commencement.”

And Kathy Creech added, “I, for one, am pleased that the future President of the United States will be speaking there!”

soundoff (1,597 Responses)
  1. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    April 21, 2012 at 7:26 am |
    • ...

      only the weak minded, you, Rainer, just saying, captain ass oops america, and anyone else to lazy to think for themselves thinks this

      April 21, 2012 at 7:41 am |
  2. Rainer Braendlein


    I wonder why you cannot love a kind Jewish carpenter from Nazareth, when you yet love everybody else.

    God is merely a friendly carpenter. Why should I not love a man, which is friendly?

    April 21, 2012 at 7:22 am |
    • martog

      Hard to love something that doesn't exist.

      April 21, 2012 at 7:26 am |
    • Mirosal

      How can I love something that does not, nor has never, existed in the first place? That would be like wearing garlic to ward off vampires, or going out to train my unicorn for the Kentucky Derby in 2 weeks.

      April 21, 2012 at 7:29 am |
    • Mirosal

      Even if I were to meet YOU, we might get along, until you start telling me that I am inherently bad because I don't believe as you do. THEN we're going to have an issue, because you think everyone is "not right" until they are right with YOUR "god" ... hey Herr Braendlein .. news flash ... Jews and Muslims think they are right with YOUR "god" as well, but since they don't go to YOUR church, they are wrong. So who's the bigot?

      April 21, 2012 at 7:32 am |
    • great intellect my ass

      The farther Mirosal goes the more it reveals it knows nothing of God.

      April 21, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • Mirosal

      well well "just spewing" .. at least I don't feel the need to change my screen name. Tell me ... you'll readily admit without hesitation that ALL the other "gods" worshipped throughout human history are false, not real, and have never existed. So why would yours be any different? There is as much evidence that says yours is real as there is to say that Zeus is real. So, what's the difference?

      April 21, 2012 at 7:39 am |
    • great intellect my ass


      April 21, 2012 at 7:41 am |
    • Mirosal

      Awww ... Did I use too many syllables for you to comprehend? Should I use a 2nd grade "reader" so you can relate better? Or would that be a little too advanced for you? You saw my question, now how about a response?

      April 21, 2012 at 7:44 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Mirosal (you err!)

      "Even if I were to meet YOU, we might get along, until you start telling me that I am inherently bad because I don't believe as you do." you said.

      You err. I would never tell you that you are bad, but that I am bad and received God's salutary grace, which improves my life and makes me able to love people.

      You may read John 4. The woman from Samaria was a proud Samaritan. She was really religious and called Jacob here spiritual father. However, Jesus destroyed here self-righteousness asking her for her husband (she lived in concubinage).
      After her talk with Jesus the woman did no longer profess that she was a perfect Samaritan believer, but that she had met Christ, who forgave her sins and gave her Water of Eternal Life, the Holy Spirit of Love.

      April 21, 2012 at 7:59 am |
  3. martog

    Top Ten Signs You're a Christian
    10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
    9 – You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
    8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
    7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!
    6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
    5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
    4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs – though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."
    3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.
    2 – You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
    1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history – but still call yourself a Christian.

    April 21, 2012 at 7:22 am |
    • tnfreethinker

      Best post I've seen! Can I borrow this?

      April 21, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • martog

      Please repost often

      April 21, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  4. ...

    "If you don't like gay people, don't marry one. If you don't like alcohol, don't drink it. If you don't like drugs, don't take them. If you don't like abortions, don't have one. If you don't like se/x, don't have any. If you don't like po/rn, don't look at it. If you don't like atheists, don't talk to them. If you don't like having your right taken away, DON'T TAKE OTHERS' RIGHTS AWAY!

    Waleed AL-husseini

    April 21, 2012 at 7:19 am |
  5. Rainer Braendlein

    Once the Jew Jesus met a woman from Samaria at the well of Jacob (John 4).

    Jesus was very thirsty from a long walk and said to her: "Give me to drink!" The woman refused, because Jesus was a Jew and the ordinary Jews despised the Samaritans (the Samaritans were somewhat supersti-tious).

    Yet the woman made a mistake, because Jesus was not a typical Jew, but a loveable Jew. He responded, he had given her Water of Eternal Life, if she had asked him.

    Jesus did not want to talk with the woman about the conflict of Jewish faith and Samaritan faith, but he showed her that she had a lack of love, which would be the consequence of the true faith.

    We can learn very much from this story.

    All false religions are bigoted. They tend to handicap believers of other religions (see how the woman handicaped Jesus by not giving him water, although he was in need). In contrast, Jesus had been ready to give her not only ordinary water, but living water. Jesus had not considered the religion of the woman, but only her need.

    Hence, if I am a Christian and born by Water and Spirit, I should help people in need independent from their belief. If my Muslim workmate needs an advice, I should give him an advice. If my Hindu neighbour is hungry, I should give him food. If my Mormon classmate is hurted, I should transport him to the hospital.

    The true Christian love is independent from belief, nationality, colour, social status, etc.. True Christian love is not bigoted, but sees the neighbour as a human being with full human dignity, which is loved by God and for which Jesus has died and resurrected or for which God delivered his Son and raised him from the dead.

    Concerning Romney:

    Romney is a Mormon bishop and they are of course bigoted. It is questionable, if Romney becomes president, if he will treat all poeple of America equal. I could imagine that he will prefer the Mormons (I cannot prove that).

    April 21, 2012 at 6:08 am |
    • Ting

      they are of course bigoted

      In that respect, how do they differ from your religion?

      April 21, 2012 at 6:20 am |
    • Mirosal

      You stated that all false religions are bigoted. So, what's your idea of a TRUE religion?

      April 21, 2012 at 6:27 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein


      True Christianity is not bigoted. I have Muslim next-door neighbours and ponder how I could get in touch with them a little. I don't despise them, because they are Muslims.

      The only thing, which they have to endure, if they want to get in touch with me, is that I will not deny the divine sonship of Jesus Christ (yet, I will not convert them).

      April 21, 2012 at 6:28 am |
    • Mirosal

      So. Muslims are false, and you think Jews are probably as well. Only TRUE X-tians have the right faith? Yours is the only true religion? Just want to be clear on your point of view

      April 21, 2012 at 6:30 am |
    • Ting

      The only thing, which they have to endure, if they want to get in touch with me, is that I will not deny the divine sonship of Jesus Christ

      If I'm not mistaken, I think you just defined the term bigot?

      April 21, 2012 at 6:35 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein


      Imagine, you would be a Muslim. Muslim or not, if you would start a new job, you would wish that your new workmates treat you kindly, give you tips, talk with you, etc.. If you indeed would meet workmates, which would behave like this, they would behave pretty Christian.

      Isn't Christianity a good faith? It causes love. Everybody wants to be loved.

      The only thing, which you could not require your Christian workmates to do, is, to deny their faith, which causes love.

      April 21, 2012 at 6:39 am |
    • Mirosal

      I'm an Atheist, and I DO work closely with a Muslim. We've gotten along since day one. One does not need religion to treat others with simple consideration. it's called being human. Your posts smack of bigotry, by telling us that YOURS is the only true religion. You are no different than the idiots on telelvision telling people to repent now, and dont forget to send in that check. Unlike you, someone's faith is NEVER, EVER a requirement for me to extend the hand of friendship. I couldn't care less how someone worships, if at all. It curries no favor from me, and I also do not hold it against them. It's called a non-issue, but you seem to want (or is that NEED?) to make it one.

      April 21, 2012 at 6:47 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein


      Sorry, don't get me wrong, I assume you only can stand your Muslim workmate, because like the whole current society you have degenerated to a human robot, denying all human feelings at workplace.

      It is clear that a Muslim robot and a Atheist robot can stand eachother, because their atti-tude is merely like the color on the sheet of a car.

      Please don't take this as offence.

      April 21, 2012 at 6:57 am |
    • Mirosal

      I see him outside of work as well. I've had dinner at his house, his wife is a GOOD cook, I have had them at my house as well. I also have Jewish friends, I was raised Catholic, and I still carry on with people I've known for over 40 years when I started school. Someone's faith is a non-issue to me, but you stated that to have your friendship, one has to endure your spouting off about some illiterate Jewish carpenter, someone who wasn't that important in his own life, because not a sngle person decided to take note and record what he was saying as he said it. You tend to believe stuff that was written decades AFTER he died by 5th and 6th hand orally passed-down info. Yea, like THAT'S accurate. You are the bigot, and all it took was for you to crack open a 2000 year old collection of fables. You NEVER need a bible, or any other "holy" book, to justify love for anyone. But, no greater tools have ever been invented to justify someone's hate.

      April 21, 2012 at 7:04 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Mirosal: Isn't that the wonderful thing about being an Atheist? We don't tend to be bigoted about what type of person you are based on the church you follow. We accept people for who they are and how they treat others regardless of s.exual orientation, belief, color, gender, age, etc.

      April 21, 2012 at 7:15 am |
    • Ting

      Amazing. The premiss of your post is that unlike your religion, Mormonism practices bigotry towards others Tell us more.

      April 21, 2012 at 7:17 am |
    • Mirosal

      Hush m'lady Truth 😉 ... you'll give away the classified secret of living a happy life without the use of "holy" texts or worrying about some invisible fairy watching your every move, then threatening to punish you if you don't obey lol ... by the way .. hello my friend 🙂

      April 21, 2012 at 7:20 am |
    • brownies4breakfast

      I agree with the first part of your post that true Christianity is not the respecter of persons as the Apostle Peter states before he teaches Cornelius an African convert to Christianity. A loving God is accepts all that come unto him regardless of race or religion. The more fully they emulate Him, the more blessings they receive.

      However, your bigoted speech about Romney negates anything positive that you stated. Romney was a Bishop years ago but was released from that calling and is no longer a Bishop. The lay ministry with in the LDS church is different then the paid ministry of your church. He was basically asked to volunteer his time to help and shepherd other Christians who needed help while still holding down a full time job and raising five boys. A Bishop usually serves fro 3 to 5 years and then some else is called to serve as Bishop giving others an opportunity to serve and lead. To call him bigoted makes you your self a bigot.

      You should explore your own Christian background. If you did, you would see the racist background of your own faith and wouldn't be throwing stones at other faiths that you don't approve of.

      April 24, 2012 at 9:16 pm |

    Another Mitt McCain gut punch at the perfect time. Religion has no place in politics but GOBP wingnuts insist that it does. November 6 2012 will turn them into the new Whig party.

    April 21, 2012 at 6:04 am |
  7. flatbushfred

    What's the difference between Christians vs. Mormons and Shiites vs. Sunnis? Answer: Nothing. The division is petty and political, and far from the teachings of their founders.

    April 21, 2012 at 5:11 am |
    • Zog, Caveman Extraordinaire

      You give too much credit to the "founders" for simply being "founders" when, in the case of religious delusions, they could more accurately be described as the "original criminals" whose legacy is entirely dependent upon indoctrination of gullible people / children.

      Zog not like founders of religions. Mormon founder Smith was rightly hunted by an angry mob. Mormons are the sort of people who should be put in a place where they cannot have any contact with non-Mormons in any manner. Ug.

      April 21, 2012 at 5:17 am |
    • Frank Bund

      Originally, religion had a purpose. It's what explained what early humans didn't understand. To that extent, I understand that at one time it was the only logical means of why natural events occurred. Now that we have science, we can discard all of the trash (religion) and progress forward. Well, we COULD, but religion still has a hold on a lot of idiots out there that refuse to let it go.

      April 21, 2012 at 5:28 am |
    • Jim

      Ah yes the religion of science, the worship of man and nature. Please, science changes faster than any religion and has more people with there own opinions and theories ( very few facts) which change from day to day. One of the main argument I hear on here all the time is the bible was written by man so it not true. So then what does that make of science? Dont get me wrong, science is a good thing. But science has enslaved and killed more people in the name of humanism than so called "christians" ever have. Yeah Hitler liked to twist bible verses around to try and sell his garbage, but he also had scientists that were more than happy to help in the extermination and mutilation of millions of people.

      April 21, 2012 at 5:59 am |
    • Frank Bund

      Jim, you're an ignorant dolt.

      Science welcomes change. Why? Because it gets us closer to answers.

      Religion denies everything but itself and claims fabrication as fact, no questions asked. Change in religion? Don't think so. The bible for example claims that it was written via divine inspiration. If that's the case, there shouldn't be any mistakes. But, there are plenty of those. Plenty of contradictions, etc.

      If a scientific theory contradicts another theory, then scientists work to understand where the contradiction is and how to resolve it. Christians on the other hand, pretend the contradiction doesn't exist.

      You think science has "very few facts," but at least it has facts to work from. What does religion have? NOTHING. And by the way, science isn't the worship of nature, man or anything else for that matter. It's merely a tool used for understanding how things work. Believers fear and hate science because deep down, they all know it proves their primitive texts to be nothing more than fairy tales, which you can kindly shove up your ignorant asses.

      Turn to Genesis and read the first two chapters. Tell me, did you notice anything peculiar?

      Perhaps, if you were paying attention (but I doubt it), you noticed that the order of creation contradicts itself in those first two chapters. Funny. If the first two chapters in the bible are botched up, what does the rest of this book have in store? Not much. Just more of the same trash mistakes. You'd think if god was so perfect, it could get a decent editor to get the magical book of fairy tales straight.

      Science proves the first chapter in genesis wrong. You know, the whole creation story and the time it allegedly took god to construct everything. Many christians claim that it's not to be taken literally. Which I don't. Each "day" to god, according to the bible is a thousand years. The bible outlines this later on. If you don't believe me, do some of your own research. So, this claim is that the Universe was created in six days, to include all life, as well as mankind. Then there was a thousand year break, and then a bunch of other garbage happened (according to the bible).

      If you follow the timeline, this makes the Universe approximately 13,000 years old, give or take. Keep in mind, I'm taking the information from the bible as it is written and using the information from the bible, this is what it states. Yet, we've got plenty of evidence and rock solid proof that the Earth alone is much, much older.

      Care to post another stupid comment making light of science?

      April 21, 2012 at 7:00 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Jim: Science changing is a good thing. As for the buybull, it has never changed. Any rational minded, free thinking person will follow the updated information over bronze age stories written in a book of horror. 'Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings'.

      April 21, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • juxtaposer

      In the comments someone said that science changes. The physical laws do not change, that is, the responses of physical systems. It is our understanding of them that changes. If the physics changed, we'd have a harder time understanding.

      April 21, 2012 at 10:47 am |


    April 21, 2012 at 4:48 am |
    • Zog, Caveman Extraordinaire

      Yes! Zog agree! What is case?

      April 21, 2012 at 5:26 am |
  9. Colin

    That has to be an interesting intellectual debate. Mormons v. Evangelicals. A bit like two cavemen debating nuclear physics.

    April 21, 2012 at 4:39 am |
    • Zog, Caveman Extraordinaire

      Quantum foam's fizzy aspect is the basis for gravity, EM, QED, all the other nuclear forces, chemical bonds, and black holes.

      Zog happy discussing quantum gravity with Colin.

      Physics is so easy a caveman like me could discuss it.

      April 21, 2012 at 5:12 am |
    • Zog, Caveman Extraordinaire

      A better analogy would be two psychotics in strait jackets screaming at each other from their rubber rooms where they go to great lengths to remind themselves that their delusions are holy truths. Then, we should hope, a nurse comes along and gives them some good meds so everyone else can get some sleep.

      April 21, 2012 at 5:24 am |
  10. Frank Bund

    Perhaps Josh Bergmann should look up the definition of CULT, which defines ALL religions. What a fucking idiot!

    April 21, 2012 at 4:14 am |
  11. mormonsarechristian

    If Conservative Christians would do their own research, instead of simply accepting the self-serving views of their preachers, they would realize Mormons’ theology is based on New Testament Christianity, not the preachers' Fourth Century Creeds. For example, the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) views on Baptism, Lay Ministry, the Trinity, Theosis, Grace vs. Works, the Divinity of Jesus Christ are closer to Early Christianity than any other denomination. And Mormon teenagers have been judged to “top the charts” in Christian Characteristics by a UNC-Chapel Hill study. Read about it here:


    According to a 2012 Pew Forum poll of members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) 98 percent said they believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and 97 percent say their church is a Christian religion. They volunteer 7 times as many hours as does the general population, according to a 2012 University of Pennsylvania study. Mormons have a better understanding of Christianity than any other denomination, according to a 2010 Pew Forum poll:


    11 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence (including several presidents) were non-Trinitarian Christians. Those who now insist on their narrow Trinitarian and salvation-only- by-grace definition of Christianity for candidates for public office are doing our Republic an injustice.

    April 21, 2012 at 3:59 am |
    • Frank Bund

      And just like christians, mormons are idiots.

      April 21, 2012 at 4:17 am |
    • Mirosal

      Yeah, read that survey, and see just who really TOPS that list. Hint: it isn't the morons .. oops I mean Mormons.

      April 21, 2012 at 4:23 am |
  12. EJ in Tacoma

    I lived in Utah for many years among the Mormons and found no one offensive, crude, rude or disgusting. They are the most Christian like people I have ever met always busy in service to others. Caring for their sick and praying for one another, calling each other brothers and sisters and greeting each other with a hug or smile. These angry so called Christians at this school certainly are not displaying anything close to what Christ would be teaching. He went among ALL the people the Jews, Gentiles, and Samaritans as well as the rich tax collectors and the poor in spirit who had nothing. Shame on all of you for your ignorance and intolerance for someones faith you know nothing about.
    EJ in Tacoma

    April 21, 2012 at 3:42 am |
    • Bubbah Dubbah

      Let me guess: You're white, conservative, and rich. You are also very likely to be one of the many Mormon propagandists running around like scalded water buffalos during Romney's campaign.

      April 21, 2012 at 4:14 am |
    • Frank Bund

      It's true. Every moron living in utah is brainwashed.

      April 21, 2012 at 4:18 am |
    • Mirosal

      I've been to Utah several times. One of the most censored places in the entire country. The moron church... sorry .. the Mormon church is so politically involved it needs to have its tax-exempt staus removed.

      April 21, 2012 at 4:26 am |
    • Ting

      Bubba .

      Are you voting for Obama? Just curious...

      April 21, 2012 at 5:07 am |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      I dunno. I asked a friend of mine what it was like growing up in Salt Lake City as a blond-hair, blue-eyed Hispanic Roman Catholic, and he told me that it sucked. Everyone assumed he was a fellow Mormon until A, he said his last name (somethin about names ending in -ez not being well liked), and B, he admitted to being a RC. Then, it was if a 50 foot high, 20 foot thick wall was erected between him and the others.

      April 21, 2012 at 5:53 am |
  13. Franz

    Mitt Romney is a fabulous speaker. He is a professional and will deliver a first-rate speech. If Liberty students are able to get past their religious prejudices long enough to actually listen to what he has to say they may find themselves pleasantly surprised on graduation day.

    April 21, 2012 at 2:20 am |
    • RevMum

      Romney isn't going to Liberty, nor was he invited there, to encourage the kids.

      It's about using the students for political purpose, and about the school associating itself with political power.

      It's unholy all around.

      April 21, 2012 at 2:35 am |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      I have heard Willard speak. If you consider a bunch of hesitations, missed inflections, mediocre vocabulary, and a "deer-in-the-headlights" look to be the marks of a good speaker, then you probably spend a lot of your late nights watching the 700 club. No, all Falwell wants to do is to hitch his wagon to the presumed Republican Nominee. This small level of recognition beats Franklin Graham's anti-LDS rants, and is an attempt by Fallwell Fils to raise himself to the level his father tried to occupy.

      April 21, 2012 at 5:57 am |
  14. Raymond Takashi Swenson

    Do those who are complaining about this think that they are going to be able to graduate into a world whete they never have to have any contact with a Mormon? Where they can devalue the opinions of six million of their fellow citizens and discriminate against them, in violation of the Civil Rights Act? Do they think that they could join the Air Force and.not have a commander who is a Mormon? Do they think they could work at a major corporation and avoid working for a boss who us Mormon? Do they think they could be involved in politics and never have to deal with Mormon members of the House or Senate, or heaven forbid, a Mormon president?

    It sounds like Liberty University has failed to teach the most impirtant prerequisite for learning: an appreciation for one's own ignorance and a willingness to learn new things from every other human being. Those who think they alteady know everything are certifiably ignorant.

    April 21, 2012 at 2:18 am |
    • RevMum

      "It sounds like Liberty University has failed to teach the most impirtant prerequisite for learning: an appreciation for one's own ignorance and a willingness to learn new things from every other human being."

      Of course they have. They are fundamentalists. They do not respect differences, nor think they can learn anything from others who do not believe as they do. Do you KNOW about Liberty U?

      That being said, tho, this is not about an exchange of ideas, Raymond.

      Romney isn't going to Liberty, nor was he invited there, for that purpose..

      It's about using the students for political ends, and about the school associating itself with political power.

      It's unholy all around.

      April 21, 2012 at 2:39 am |
  15. RevMum


    Romney isn't going to Liberty, nor was he invited there, to encourage the kids.

    It's about using the students for political purpose, and about the school associating itself with political power.

    It's unholy all around.

    (And the talking snake thing, etal? It's really just the Liberty U flavor of Christianity which feels you must believe this literally so in order to be a Christian. Many Christians understand the distinction between Truth and Fact, and seek to follow the teachings of Jesus absent any passions about people living inside fish. Honest.)

    April 21, 2012 at 2:12 am |
  16. cjgaumer

    Factual Error – McCain spoke at the 2006 graduation, not 2007.

    April 21, 2012 at 2:08 am |
  17. biologixco

    Earth to Kolob Earth to Kolob
    Kolob come in please.
    These pesky Americans are on to us!
    What shall we do O Great commander Smith?

    April 21, 2012 at 2:00 am |
    • Ting

      The funny thing is, the same people that joke about the Mormons have no problem believing that someone was resurrected and then floated up into the clouds.

      April 21, 2012 at 5:53 am |
  18. biologixco

    Mitt Romney / Warren Jeffs
    Feel the excitement!

    April 21, 2012 at 1:56 am |
    • Voice of reason

      Also false. Jeff's is a member of FLDS and is no way associated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Do a little research before making ignorant comments.

      April 21, 2012 at 2:45 am |
    • Ting

      Jeff's is a member of FLDS and is no way associated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

      Also, pick any religion, they each have their share of pedophiles.
      Obama/Pope Benedict 2012. Holy pedophilia Batman!!!

      April 21, 2012 at 3:31 am |
  19. J.V.Hodgson

    I for one irrespective of Religious beliefs of any political activist Republican democrat in either house senate or white house, that any politician has no place giving commencement speeches at any university. They should be chosen either from the universities own staff other universities staffs or the global academic community.
    Both religion and politics should not be permitted to enter into commencement addresses. Those if taught in the curriculum have already been defined. The fact that this university chooses to define itself as Evangelical also seems to me to be wrong irrespective of who founded it.

    April 21, 2012 at 1:46 am |
  20. Guess What

    Does anyone really need to be told why Romney is doomed? Hint: It isn't the Democrats!

    April 21, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • biologixco

      The Kolobian aliens will seek their revenge...

      April 21, 2012 at 1:58 am |
    • Romney is Roadkill

      Ron Paul will do pretty well this year thanks to the splintering of the right. Tea Party will prefer him, Religious Right will prefer him, anti-Obamacare Republicans will prefer him because of Romneycare.

      That's enough vote splitting to pretty much guarantee Obama's victory. The moderates who actually decide the Presidential elections are not going to be attracted to Romney sufficiently to offset that mutiny.

      For good or for evil, Obama has pretty well got it.

      April 21, 2012 at 2:08 am |
    • Mirosal

      If you want precedent on party splitting, look at the election 100 years ago in 1912. See how Teddy Roosevelt split the Republican party, and then look at the result.

      April 21, 2012 at 2:24 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
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.