Liberty University responds to Romney controversy, angers online students
April 23rd, 2012
04:43 PM ET

Liberty University responds to Romney controversy, angers online students

By Dan Merica and Laura Bernardini, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Liberty University reacted over the weekend to a brewing controversy over the fact that the evangelical school has selected Mitt Romney, a Mormon, to speak at the school’s graduation.

In a statement from Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr., the school says that the complaints have significantly died down and that many of those complaining “had no affiliation with the university.”

“We have also noticed over the last few days that students with reservations about Romney's appearance at Liberty basically fit into one of two categories,” Falwell, Jr. wrote. “They were either strong supporters of other candidates who were seeking the Republican nomination or they were online students who were not as familiar with Liberty University's traditions.”

After last week’s announcement, hundreds of comments were registered under the announcement on Liberty’s Facebook page. While some were supportive of the decision to invite Romney, a number of respondents were angered and posted their frustration to Facebook.

As of Monday morning, the announcement was deleted from the page, along with all the comments.

“Complaints died down because they took the ability to complain down from the website,” said Janet Loeffler, a 53-year old freshman at Liberty who takes classes online. Loeffler was a frequent poster to the Facebook page.

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

According Johnnie Moore, vice president of executive projects and spiritual programs, the post was removed because "people who had no affiliation with the university were using our Facebook page to air their grievances and to engage in conversations that violated our policies with regard to social media etiquette."

"We just decided to eliminate the post all together rather than let our page be the place where these arguments were taking place," Moore wrote in an e-mail to CNN. "With regard to our students, the university has a number of channels for our students and constituents to express feedback, and that feedback is attended to by Liberty staff who have input in, and understanding of, the university's operations and decision making."

Though the deletion of the post bothered Loeffler, it was the statement about online students familiarity with Liberty’s traditions that she says deeply offended her.

“It is just a complete lie. You cannot get through your first semester at Liberty Online without taking their Theology 101 and Apologetics 101,” Loeffler said.

Loeffler provided CNN with a copy of the page in the freshman textbook “The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics” which includes a number of passages on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly called Mormons. “Mormon doctrine stands in stark contrast to Jewish and Christian monotheism,” reads the passage, “which teaches that there is only one true God and that every other ‘God’ is a false god.”

Liberty's handling of the situation "has very much altered my thinking of Liberty,” Loeffler said. “I haven’t registered for my fall classes yet because of it. I am offended that they would talk to us like that, telling us that we just don’t understand.”

Many of the anti-Liberty comments, including Loeffler’s charged that Mormonism goes against the teachings of the school and claimed that the religion is a cult. The charge of Mormonism as a cult is not a new one for the church, however. In a 2011 column, Michael Otterson, head of public affairs for the LDS Church described 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.

Oyindamola Bankole, a 22-year old online psychology major at Liberty, said she was disappointed that the comments had been deleted from the website.

“I thought it was very cowardly,” Bankole said in an interview with CNN. “There were a lot of good conversations and debates and people were arguing both sides and I was shocked when they took it down.”

Bankole will be graduating this year from Liberty but has opted to walk in 2013. Though the school differs between online and on-campus students, all walk in the same graduation. This year, 14,000 students will walk and 35,000 are expected to attend as guests.

“Even though we're online students, it's still our graduation,” Bankole said. “The Liberty University Online students are going to be flying in, renting rooms in hotels, and going to the same graduation, so why does our opinion not matter as much? There are 70,000 online students compared to the 12,500 residential students, according to Liberty's website. Glad to know we're just numbers and income in their eyes.”

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.

This debate over Romney’s selection further tests the relationship between Mormons and evangelicals. 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.

Tony Perkins, a Liberty graduate and the president of the Family Research Council, said he sees the Romney speech as an opportunity.

"As Christians we can disagree strongly but we show respect and I think they will show respect for Mitt Romney," Perkins said on CNN's Starting Point Monday morning.

"They may not warmly applaud him and may continue to express differences and clearly there are differences theologically between Mormons and Christians, but here's an opportunity for Mitt Romney to talk about what he has in common with evangelicals and that is on the value issues," Perkins said.

But if the evangelical vote hinges on how evangelicals see Mormonism, Romney may need further outreach to the evangelical community. A recent Pew Research Center survey finds 47% of white evangelicals say that Mormonism is not a Christian religion, while 66% say Mormonism and their religion are “very or somewhat different.”

Loeffler and Bankole both look at this as a way for Liberty to help Romney with evangelical voters.

“This is nothing more than a political rally, at a time when graduates are having their lives dedicated to the work they were trained to do at Liberty,” Loeffler said.

In their statement, though, Falwell Jr. said over the past 25 years, many people have been invited to speak at graduation and “most of them did not share Liberty’s doctrinal beliefs.”

Graduation at Liberty, like at most colleges and universities, features a baccalaureate event before the final graduation. This year, Liberty has invited Luis Palau, a preacher that Liberty bills as "among the most influential Christian leaders of all time."

Mark DeMoss, a Liberty graduate, member of the Board of Trustees and a senior adviser to the Romney campaign, when reached on Monday made mention of Glenn Beck being the first Mormon to address Liberty graduates at commencement and added some background to how the decisions have been made.

“I remember the first time Falwell, Sr. decided to use a commencement speaker that was not evangelical because it was controversial to some at the time," Demoss said of Liberty's founder Jerry Falwell Sr. "And he explained, or justified it, by virtue of us having a baccalaureate service that was a decidedly Christian service. And commencement could feature a prominent figure from politics or business – evangelical or not evangelical.”

“Liberty has never held a commencement that did not include a strong gospel message from a evangelical leader at baccalaureate,” Falwell Jr. wrote.

- CNN's Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Christianity • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics • Virginia

soundoff (688 Responses)
  1. chimpo

    Do a Wikipedia search on Parley P. Pratt. He was Mitt Romney's great grandfather. He was a founder of the Mormon church. He was also killed by a man for stealing the man's wife and kids and making her his 12th wife. He is considered a hero by the church. Do some research before you vote. It matters.

    April 24, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Kev

      Actually the Wikipedia reference to Parley P. Pratt was "Pratt practiced polygamy, and was murdered in 1857 by the former husband of his twelfth wife". There is no reference to wife stealing.

      April 24, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  2. biologixco

    MItt Romney is an alien from KOLOB
    He's not even eligible to be President
    I wanna see a BIRTH CERTIFICATE!

    April 24, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Rick Ron Tantrum

      BITTER, BITTER biter

      April 24, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  3. jimtanker

    OK BoldGeorge, I'll say it again. Where in there is that SPECIFICALLY stating that marriage is between ONE woman and ONE man? It doesn't.

    April 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  4. biologixco

    Gee, Mormons are so lucky. (?)
    They can just cast a wife aside like an old boot.
    Ive been stuck for 32 years with my only wife
    But I still love her
    Maybe for another 32 years!

    April 24, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for the offering plate

      Lucky her. :0

      April 24, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Rick Ron Tantrum

      BITTER, BITTER, biter!

      April 24, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  5. biologixco

    Whats wrong with having an extra wife or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5?

    April 24, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • jimtanker

      People had lots of wives in the bible. Nowhere in either the OT or the NT does it say that marriage is between ONE women and ONE man.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
      • biologixco

        Thats right!
        More the merrier?

        April 24, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Jimmy

      What if a woman want's to have more than one husband? They work now, and can afford just as much as men can, so why not?

      April 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • fred

      as long as all participants are willing, I say hell yeah!

      April 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      @ jimtanker: PLEASE READ BELOW!

      Ephesians 5:33 – ...let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
      1 Timothy 3:2 – Therefore an overseer (as in a CHURCH-LEADER) must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable...
      1 Timothy 3:12 – Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well.
      Matthew 19:4 – He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female...
      Mark 10:6 – But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’
      1 Corinthians 7:2 – But because of the temptation to immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.
      Ephesians 5:33 – However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

      Genesis 1:27 – So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
      Genesis 5:2 – Male and female he created them, and he blessed them...


      April 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • jimtanker

      That is exactly right Fred. As long as all persons involved are of age and it is consensual then what is the problem? Why do these religious bigots need to get into our lives so much? Why are they so scared?

      April 24, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • sam

      @BoldGeorge – hmm, it's only been translated a thousand times, wonder how much plurality was or was not ever there. Doesn't say anything about ONE husband, all the same. Ladies, start that harem.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • All The Single Ladies


      April 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • fred

      Genesis 4:19
      And Lamech took unto him two wives.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • fred

      Genesis 16:1-4
      Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai ... gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • fred

      Genesis 26:34
      Esau ... took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hit ti te, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hit ti te.

      Genesis 31:17
      Then Jacob rose up, and set ... his wives upon camels.

      Exodus 21:10
      If he take him another wife....

      Deuteronomy 21:15
      If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated....

      Judges 8:30
      And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives.

      I could go on and on, but I think you get the point right George?

      April 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • One one

      Do you really want to come home from work and have 5 wives greeting you at the door with, "pick up your socks"' " the toilet is leaking", "the lawn needs mowing", "we need a new washer and dryer", "you need to loose weight". Etc.

      April 24, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  6. EW88

    There are better sources of information about the Mormons than textbooks and the media. Mormon.org and mormonnewsroom.org are great resources for fact-checking or for your own enlightenment. Isn't it time in this information age to embrace our commonalities and work together and respect each other by understanding more about each other? Fear divides. Love unifies.
    Thanks for listening.

    April 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • jimtanker

      So you want people to go to a Mormon web site to get an objective look at Momonism? Not likely. It's just a sales pitch just like every other religion.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Jimmy

      Considering how evangelicals reject what the Catholic Church says about itself, what the Jewish people say about their own scriptures, and what evolutionary scientists have to say about their field, all in favor of what their own people like to say about these subjects I'd say you are pleading upon deaf ears. They will believe what they want to, and trying to reason with them is a waste of time.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • EW89

      … and believing in fairy tales breeds ignorance, intolerance and fear.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • fred

      Would you also recommend nazi.org as a good fact checking site for Nazi party?

      April 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • HitLenPotMaoLin

      Did you say, atheism.org? Fred?

      April 24, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  7. BoldGeorge

    Modern evangelicalism is all for tolerance of other belief systems and compromise. A true Christian is not. Simple as that. Now, if Mr. Romney is speaking solely for politics' sake, then that's a totally different story.

    April 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • biologixco

      You're a deceitful moromn.
      Don't lie

      April 24, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      Mormon, who said I was a Mormon??? No where near a Mormon.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • One one

      Not true. You should read your good book. It clearly says if you don't believe, you burn. And your claim of anything different has zero credibility.

      2 Thessalonians, 8-9:"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power."

      April 24, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  8. zip

    This is an honest question. Did Mitt Romney's great grandfather have 25 wives? Not a joke. honest question.

    April 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Honest Question

      Don't know...what does it have to do with Mitt? Honest question.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Michael

      It's possible. It's an interesting question. But it's not relevant in any way to Romney's candidacy for president.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • poquimoqui

      Mitt Romney and I (along with thousands of others) share the same great-grandfather: Miles Romney who had 5 wives in the late 1800's.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Steve

      I have an even better question for you...what is the average number of wives for each man in the tribe that Obama's father came from in Africa? Bet you didn't know about Obama's polygamist past? So my next question is....why does it even matter if neither Obama or Romney have ever practiced polygamy?

      April 24, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  9. biologixco

    Brothers can still be friends.
    Time to heal the rift between brothers of the FLDS and the LDS.
    Polygamy can once again rule the land

    April 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • biologixco

      You know polygamy takes care of that inbred problem.
      Doesn't it?

      April 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Rick Ron Tantrum

      Better, BITTER, biter?

      April 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
      • biologixco

        blah blah blah?

        April 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  10. Nii

    1)De original Biologixco being a Xtian won't use such language.
    2) Cult has several meanings including
    a)spiritually abusiVe religious group. Some ex Mormons accuse de LDS as such. Some psychaitrists concur.
    2)Worship rituals-Here Xtians n Jews have de same cults but Mormons don't.

    April 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • biologixco

      Io non capische
      Io non parlo Italiano
      Parla Inglese?

      April 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Nii


      April 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  11. biologixco

    Mormoons need to join up with Catholics and exorcise MItt Romney out of their church.
    (Exorcise those pedophiles out while you're at it too)

    April 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • abinadi

      Brothers and sisters, I do not think we need to respond to biotoxico. He is a knat – bothersome, but of no consequence. He seems very much like the Baptist minister that yells obscenities at us as we walk to conference, if he isn't the same guy. Just ignore him and let him mutter and peep to himself.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • biologixco

      mutter mutter
      peep peep

      April 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • biologixco

      PS: Thats GNAT to you buddy.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Jimmy

      Exorcise the hypocritical, gay-bashing pastors, the televangelists, the faith healers, the evolution deniers, and the anti-semetic Graham boys too. Why stop at making a clean sweep?

      April 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
      • biologixco

        Jimmy, go back and check your IQ.
        It appears mormonism causes a brain drain

        April 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Jimmy

      I'm not Mormon. I just don't like the hypocrisy. All have their dirty side. Having the gaul to point fingers just adds another.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
      • biologixco

        You face has a dirty side
        Better go wash up

        April 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  12. Michelle

    Its makes me sad that people of this school are tarring us with the same brush.

    I'm a mormon but didn't join till I was 20 because I believed for years that the LDS church was a cult thanks to living in the bible belt. We are just like any other group and wish we could all have respect for each others religions. We aren't perfect, and like every group, we have some good ones and some bad ones. If you want to learn about us, ask us. It wasn't till I read the book of mormon myself, not just going off of half truths and what others think, that I found myself no longer thinking the church is cult.

    Let's stop ranking ourselves against other people and think we are holier than thou. All religions have more in common than you may think.

    April 24, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • biologixco

      What are YOU whining about?
      IN 1840, they tarred and feathered mormoons and ran em out of town.
      You got it ez, hon

      April 24, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • fred

      Sorry to break this to you Michelle, but It is a cult. Don’t feel bad though, all religions are cults.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      michelle sez:
      "If you want to learn about us, ask us"
      OK ... let's start here:
      what is the curse of Cain ?
      what is the Adam-God Doctrine?
      What is the United Order?
      What is Blood atonement? What sins qualify ?
      What is the name of the star where God lives?
      True or False – Jesus was conceived by God the Father by having s.ex with Mary
      true or false – In the hiest degre of he celestianl kindom some men will hae more than one wife
      How can a dark skinned person become light skinned?

      April 24, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Jimmy

      All of the religions spring from Abraham's alien encounter have had their murderous periods, why should Mormonism be any different? None are innocent, all have burned and killed.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Michelle

      what is the curse of Cain ? The curse of Cain orginated in early america by theological groups that wanted to have a clean conscience about having slaves. This idea was prominant before mormons came along but some did theorize using their own knownledge in civil war and post civil war time that was deeply racist. In our church, lots of people have ideas about what certain doctrines mean, doesn't always mean they are true and its unfortunate.

      what is the Adam-God Doctrine?
      same as above that some people speculated but this is not doctrine.

      What is the United Order?
      In our church, we believe in the law of consecration, which is to basically use what we have to help others in need. In the 1800s camps, were set up as an extreme form of living this but they didn't prove successful and were not needed. We make promises in the temple to live the law of consecration if needed, but most people are just asked 10 percent of income

      What is Blood atonement? What sins qualify ?
      We believe that murder is the worst sin anyone can commit and for a while some believed we needed to averge our martyrs. This is why pioneers felt they should fight instead of remain passive when opposition occured on their own lands. This theory did not subsist as the church established itself and worked out all the kinks. We don't believe in murder except in the case of soldiers fighting for their own country.

      What is the name of the star where God lives?
      Kolob is the symbolic representation of the nearest star near where God resides. It represents a celestial, heavenly place, allowing us to visualize that God is real and lives. The hymn 'if you could hie to kolob' is one of my favorite hymns

      True or False – Jesus was conceived by God the Father by having s.ex with Mary
      false, this may have been theorized by a pioneer member who was a little too zealous.

      true or false – In the hiest degre of he celestianl kindom some men will hae more than one wife
      false, I have studied polygamy and haven't found anything related to this so far. Might just be in someone's journal as speculation, but thats it

      How can a dark skinned person become light skinned?
      At with previous posts, this was an interpretation that was probably influences by racist america and certainly is not doctrine today. I believe racist int he church was of human error and the 1978 revelation came when members of the church finally humbled themselves and ask God what he thinks.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The 1978 "revelation" did nothing to address the core principles of what it means to be black.
      There are Church members today who continue to summon and teach at every level of Church education the racial discourse that black people are descendants of Cain, that they merited lesser earthly privilege because they were "fence-sitters" in the War in Heaven, and that, science and climatic factors aside, there is a link between skin color and righteousness.
      The Prophet who preceded Spencer Kimbal said ""From the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith even until now, it is has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by any of the Church leaders, that the Neg.roes are not ent.itled to the full blessings of the Gospel."

      The great inclusionist revelation in 1978 conveniently happened at exactly the same time that the LDS finished construction on their first Temple outside of a lily white area. Before expanding to Brazil in 78, they had only gone to England, Alberta and Switzerland – pretty hard to get whiter than that!
      Once the prophet saught profit in a land full of dark-skinned people, they were allowed to work for the Church.

      The "spirit-wife" doctrine still exists in the LDS teachings.
      A man may have as many spirit wives as he wishes to bring along to the Celestial Kingdom, but women may be joined to only one man – so it's kind of a "soul polygyny" thing....

      At the end of the day, it's all about the money though.
      To make sure congregants are paying up, each year they must go before a Bishop for a Ti.thing Settlement.
      A member is questioned in a one-on-one interview with the Bishop to ensure the member is paying a full 10%.
      Those members who are not paying a full 10% lose their temple recommendations and therefore are in serious jeopardy of losing their Celestial blessings.
      If a member cannot get into the temple, they cannot learn the secret handshake, secret password, secret "new name" and special “sealings”.
      Without these, the member will be unable to pass Joseph Smith and the angels who guard the entrance to the Celestial Kingdom.

      And where does the money go?
      According to the Deseret News Agency, the propaganda arm of the LDS, the Church has spent some $750 million internationally on charitable works since 1984.
      They have also spent 4 times that amount (approx $3 BILLION) in ¼ of the time to build a mall in Salt Lake City.
      Mormons are told: "if a dest.itute family is faced with the decision of paying their ti.thing or eating, they should pay their t.ithing." (Lynn Robbins, General Conference, April 2005).

      April 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      Michelle –
      I'm actually impressed that you answered.
      Now the rub. In every single one of your answers you state something to the effect that " this is not doctrine anymore"
      So basically Mormons practice a religion of moral relativism. What once was the law of the land is now not.
      Begs the question as to what you will "believe" about g.ays and g.ay rights – as the you clearly oppose – in 5 – 10 years.
      Hmmm now that I think about it Romney really does practice what he preaches. That guy has changed his stance on everything he has ever done. Think health insurance, abortion and g.ay rights.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Great answers

      Great answers Michelle. Unfortunately, some people will hear what they want to hear regardless of what you say.

      April 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  13. biologixco

    I sense an impending

    April 24, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • biologixco

      Egg that nasty polygamist heathen right off the stage

      April 24, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      But life begins at ovulation! Every egg is sacred...

      April 24, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
      • biologixco

        We must sacrifice our sacred eggs to throw at Romney

        April 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • closet atheist

      That's only human eggs, silly Doc... (j/k... hilarious comment!)

      ....and only those of the same faith as the judging party, of course. Other eggs are inferior and doomed to an eternity of suffering.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  14. zip

    Thank you for inviting me to speak here at Liberty. My name is Mitt, and I'm a Mormon. I'd like to tell you the story of my ancestors. About 150 years ago, polygamy was rampant in Utah. The United States government thought that polygamy was perverted, so they threatened to invade Utah if it didn't stop. Many Mormons refused to give up polygamy, so they fled to Mexico. My family was among them. In fact, my father was born in Mexico. So not only would I be the first Mormon president, I would be the first Mexican American president. You can't make this stuff up!!!!

    April 24, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      In fact, the US Gov't sent troops to Utah where they were slaughtered by Mormons.

      April 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • abinadi

      zip is probably a hypocrite, right? Because unless he has been totally faithful to his wife, as Mitt has been, and has never had relations with any woman besides his wife, he is a hypocrite. So, what right has he to poke fun at Mitt?

      April 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I believe that regardless of Zip's relationship history, they have every right to make fun of someone who believes that underwear can protect the soul and that melanin is a curse from God.

      April 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • poquimoqui

      @zip – "Polygamy was rampant in Utah" If 5-7% of the population is rampant, then so be it. The truth is that the majority of Mormons never practiced polygamy. It had too many requirements for the average Mormon.

      @Vestibule – "..where they were slaughtered by Mormons." Nope, wrong. The troops marched into Salt Lake City peacefully and then set up camp southwest of town. Eventually an army post was built in town. No fighting, no war, no slaughter. Sorry to disappoint you.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Mountain Meadow Massacre?

      April 25, 2012 at 7:55 am |
  15. biologixco

    Mitt Romney is an alien from Kolob.
    How can he run for President?
    You have to be born in the USA!
    He was born on Kolob?

    April 24, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • So What?

      If you'd stop flailing around angrily and foaming at the mouth when you think about Mormons maybe a psych tech can tranquilize you and get you back to your padded room.

      April 24, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
      • biologixco

        Id bet ROMNEYS blood isnt even red!

        April 24, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • So What?

      Maybe we need to call a priest and perform an exorcism... Failing that we'll just try to distract you with something shiny. You like shinies, right?

      April 24, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
      • biologixco

        Shiny little spaceships from Kolob.
        Take me to your leader.
        Nanoo Nanoo

        April 24, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • abinadi

      Brothers and sisters, I don't think we need to respond to biotoxico. He is a knat – bothersome, but of no consequence. He seems very much like the Baptist minister that yells obscenities at us as we walk to conference, if he isn't the same guy. Just ignore him and let him mutter and peep to himself.

      April 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
      • biologixco

        Mutter mutter
        Peep peep

        April 24, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Rick Ron Tantrum

      Better, BITTER, biter!!

      April 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
      • biologixco

        Three word Ricky is baaack!

        April 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
      • biologixco

        You should go back to school.
        Your vocabulary is extremely limited.

        April 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Rick Ron Tantrum

      Bitter, BITTER, biter!!!

      April 24, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  16. So What?

    Schools request speakers that don't pertain to their particular group all the time. Students who still are closed-minded idiots will inevitably protest. The school almost always ignores them and the speaker speaks. For most of the students it doesn't matter anyways, as for most the speeches are just wasting time and they just want to walk and leave.

    April 24, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  17. Paul Brown

    Do not strive to create contention over the points of Christ Doctrine
    Jesus Said:
    28 ... There shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been.

    29 For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.

    30 Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.

    31 Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will declare unto you my doctrine.

    32 And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me.

    33 And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.

    April 24, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • momoya

      Matthew 10:

      34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn

      “‘a man against his father,
      a daughter against her mother,
      a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
      36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’[c]

      April 24, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Well ... he might have said those things. Or, more likely, he didn't given that it took a decades-long game of telephone before what he said was actually written down by people that never met him.

      April 24, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Arnold


      How does one play the game of telephone?

      April 24, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • *facepalm*


      I make a statement that you hear. You then repeat that statement to someone else, who repeats it to someone else, etc. It a court of law, the term for this would be hearsay. There's a reason why it's inadmissible in court. Try this with a simple phrase with just a few people over a matter of a few minutes and you'll see how much the original message can radically change. Now try to imagine this going on with an unknown amount of people for decades.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • closet atheist

      @ *facepalm* ~~ Funny analogy... and soooo true!!

      April 24, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  18. Reality

    Bottom line: Romney is Mormon because he was born Mormon. Should we hold this against him? After all, BO also believes in "pretty/ugly wingie thingies, bodily resurrections and atonement mumbo jumbo.

    Warren Buffett, THE AGNOSTIC, for President !!!!

    Bill Gates, THE AGNOSTIC for VP !!!!

    April 24, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Honest Question

      My gosh, is this what we have now become? It's bad enough to vote for someone based on their religious belief system. Now we got people that want to vote on a person's unbelief system!

      April 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Reality

      Au contraire, one should be voting based on rational thinking. Believing in angels, bodily resurrections, atonement, heavens of all kinds is irrational.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  19. Stevo

    STOP THE HATE AND BIGOTRY! Even tho your slavemaster Obama tells you otherwise.

    April 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • momoya

      Right.... Because Obama is always talking about how we should hate and bigotate.... sure.....

      April 24, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      "STOP THE HATE AND BIGOTRY! Even tho your slavemaster Obama"

      I'll just give you the benefit of the doubt that you were trying to be ironic.

      April 24, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • fred

      Isn’t there a rock somewhere waiting for you to crawl back under it?

      April 24, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  20. Mithead

    A comment board of whose fairytale makes more sense.... fun!

    April 24, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Believer fight! Believer fight!

      April 24, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • PAK!



      April 24, 2012 at 2:04 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.