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May 1st, 2012
02:41 PM ET

House candidate and rising GOP star is black, female - and Mormon

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - To call Mia Love a minority is an understatement. She’s a black woman who won an upset primary race to become the Republican candidate in Utah’s 4th Congressional District. If elected, she’d be the first black Republican congresswoman in the House of Representatives.

Love, who has attracted lots of national Republican support, also stands out because of her religion: She’s a Mormon. The politician is a poster child for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ campaign to present a more diverse face to a historically very white church.

“There are a lot of people who have tried to define me as a person,” Love, a daughter of Haitian immigrants, told CNN’s Kyra Phillips in an interview Tuesday. “I’m not a victim, and I don’t allow anybody to put me in a box.”

Speaking from Salt Lake City, she said, “There may be some challenges. But ... I love this place and love the people that are here, and I represent their beliefs and values.”

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

Love is featured in a video series produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as part of its “I’m a Mormon” campaign, which aims to bring the faith of about 14 million members worldwide into the mainstream.

In the CNN interview, Love talked about how Mormonism would affect Mitt Romney’s candidacy more than her own, which is happening in the most Mormon state in the nation.

“You know I don’t think those are the issues that Americans really care about,” Love said when asked about the role of Romney’s religion in the presidential campaign. “I think Americans care about jobs, the economy; they care about the debt and deficit spending. … Being a Mormon is part of who he is as a person, and I don’t think it should deter from the issues.”

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Love’s “I’m a Mormon” video shows her working as the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, her current job.

“I am the mayor of Saratoga Springs and I love it,” she says in the video. “I get to make this life better for me and better for others.

“My friends from back home are always saying, ‘What are you doing in Utah?'” she says in the video, referring to her East Coast upbringing. “What they don’t know is that when I came here I felt accepted.”

Watch CNN Newsroom weekdays 9am to 3pm ET and weekends. For the latest from the CNN Newsroom click here.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Mormonism • Politics • TV-CNN Newsroom

soundoff (2,038 Responses)
  1. longshot

    good for her...still doesn't change the policies of the GOP that hurt the middle class, women, minorities, gays, working class, students, the elderly, the poor, the sick. And the mormon religion is simply the latest newcomer in the fairy tales, showing how they are all equally absurd, drawing into question the critical thinking skills of the "true believers"

    May 1, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  2. AMP

    Seen this movie before. Use what you have to your advantage. Calculated alliance with the GOP will get you as a black person into the limelight. We have the likes of Alan West, Harman Cain and the rest as prove. But deep down, do we really think this people really believe in the policies of the RNC? I believe some will argue the alliance is just a mere opportunistic move to gain ground with a political party thats so desperate to absorb a black candidate to counter the labels they have earned as a party that does not subscribe to Blacks interest.

    May 1, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  3. Shaniqua Faquisha Monisha

    THATS MY NlGGA!! YOU GO GIRLFRIEND!!!

    BLACK POWER!!! GANGSTA NlGGA.

    May 1, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Tyrone Dwayne

      Yea boyyyyyyy. DONT EFF WITH THE NlGGAS.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Anderon P00Per

      How do you get the million man march to disperse?

      Drop a bunch of job applications overhead hahahaha

      May 1, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • tefereeres

      I know your not black and so does everyone else. Kudos to you or doing the racists thing you know.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Reese

      LMAO!!! YALL SILLY!!! [:))]

      May 1, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
  4. sybaris

    ..........and throughout the Mormon enclave we here a collective, "But she's not a true Mormon"

    May 1, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Michael

      Um, what?

      May 1, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Travis

      Exactly!!!! LOL

      May 1, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • TheLord

      30 years ago black people couldn't join the church because they came from the devil so what do you mean by um what? Michael???

      May 1, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
  5. longshot

    this is perfect for the GOP, they can fit all their token representatives into one person and claim they're the "big tent" party...what a joke, the GOP has a minority "rising star" in a state the size of most minor cities on the coast, and it's big news...

    May 1, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  6. Travis

    Oh please. Where do they find these lost black folk?!?!? The things people will do for...

    May 1, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  7. vancouverron

    The only thing missing...she should be a lesbian?

    May 1, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  8. KTinCV

    "also stands out because of her religion: She’s a Mormon." Wow, a morman in Utah?!? I'm shocked.

    May 1, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  9. Political Gods

    Can someone remind Ted Nugent of his promise, looks like hell is freezing over.

    May 1, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  10. Political Gods

    There goes the GOP neighborhood,
    BAWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    May 1, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  11. Lew

    after being in the Mormon church since 1975, served a 2 yr mission, i bought a book back in 1976, called the Story of the Latter saints, in that book on page 620 it says the following," it has been church policy since the early days of the church not to allow blacks to hold the priesthood", Yet the two authors both from BYU, never once mentioned Ejiah Abel or Walker Lewis, another of many many ways the Mormon church covers it past. So iam a free man from a cult , i feel sorry for any person in that church , black , white, dosnt matter the color

    May 1, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  12. Nerfl

    Since the Mormon church has never disavowed the teaching that if one has a dark skin, but is a true believer in Mormonism, their skin will gradually – but noticably – get lighter (look it up before you comment on this ! ) then I guess it would only be a matter of time before she'll be just another white Mormon Republican.

    May 1, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Michael

      The Church has never formally disavowed it, because the Church never formally taught it. It was, at most, speculative folk doctrine, completely at odds with what the church *does* formally teach: The condemnation of racism by church members and leaders, in all forms, past and present.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Travis

      Michael,

      Utter nonsense. The church not only formally support the "Cain Doctrine" it silently supported and in some case actively condoned slavery. Buy a clue. In my opinion all black mormons overtly suffer a form of Stockholm syndrome.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Rockgod28

      Mormons shed racist ideas and opinions the same as the abominal Christian creeds created by committes and pagan Roman Emperors: By divine revelation. When opinion and speculation is proven wrong it is in humility we repent and forsake racist opinions and embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ.

      Ultimate fact and lesson from the Book of Mormon

      The fair, white skin of the Nephites did not save them. God did not save the fair white skinned people as the made their last stand against the dark skinned Lamanites. It is right there at the end of the Book of Mormon. So much for it being a book about racism when the whitest race was destroyed. Not to mention the numerous times that although the Lamanites did not follow the same religion of the Nephites, the fair white skinned people, the Lamanites demonstrated over and over why God spared them from destruction even when they were 'cursed'.

      The dark skinned Lamanite loved their wife and children better than the white fair skinned Nephite. The Nephites would fall away from their religion in pride while the dark skinned Lamanite coverted to the Nephite Christian religion would never depart from it.

      The dark skinned Lamanites at one point worshipped a religion of warfare (confirmed by archeology of Mesoamerica) according to the Book of Mormon converted from their blood-thirsty religion and as a sign of their conversion to not return to their old ways buried their blood stained weapons and vowed to never shed blood again. Their conversion and faith was tested immediately as those Lamanites still practicing their religion of war slaughtered those converted Christians.

      They died without raising a weapon and in humble prayer held true to their faith.

      If you actually read the Book of Mormon instead of picking out what you think is damning proof against Mormons you would realize there is no racism in the Book of Mormon. That the Book of Mormon condemns racism and proves that skin color saves no one which again is how the Book of Mormon ended.

      This leads us to Moses in the Pearl of Great Price scripture. Dark skin had nothing to do with the seed of Cain not having a place among the sons of Adam. Cain spread the oath he made with Satan and the curse is disobedience to God by willful choice. The children of Cain proved this by killing for the sake of oaths they made, not because of skin color. Opposition to God brings down the curse of Cain who are in willful rebellion against God.

      That is how the Nephites were destroyed. Chief Captain Mormon, the last military leader of the Nephites, heard the Nephites pray before their last great battle. At first he had hope for his people until he heard what they said. The once great people, fair and delightsome were now blood-thirsty, depraved, horrible, vicious people who prayed to die or kill their enemies. They did not call upon God in fear, but that He would uphold them in their aweful state of rebellion.

      God did not and the Nephites were destroyed as a nation because their pride and racism against who they knew to be their brothers and sisters, the Lamanites. That is one of many messages of the Book of Mormon and one you clearly missed in your attempt to accuse Mormons of racism when in fact the Book of Mormon teaches the exact opposite to the Mormon Church and the world.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Nerfl

      Wow! Defensive much? Not sure who you are addressing, but since it is under my original comment I feel inclined to answer. I never said Mormons were racist. I said that the Mormon Church taught that dark skinned believers would become noticably lighter. No where in your response did you deny that – or prove the statement wrong. In one of his addresses, the then President of the Church, Spencer Kimball, even made a big deal about how anyone could see that the Native Americans that were missionaries for the Church were lighter than their non-Mormon relatives. But that was in 1960. I doubt that anyone says that much anymore....or that the younger Mormons even know about the teaching. Just saying the Church never has backed off on the claim, either. I'm not saying it was racist, just non-scientific bull poop. However, if this fine young woman starts getting lighter, I may change my thoughts about Mormon "doctrine". We'll have to wait and see. Oh, and I have read the BOM. My entire family on my mother's side are LDS. She chose not to continue in the Church before I was ever born, but I have PLENTY of exposure and knowledge of the church. I don't hold ANY religion to be "Truth", so I'm not picking on you, just pointing out a fact about the church's doctrine.

      May 2, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  13. joe

    But do her husband and several co-wives approve?

    May 1, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
  14. ronbry

    A very wise man once said something about having a dream that we would "one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

    It seems that many people have lost that dream and want to keep segregating individuals into stereotypical categories.

    May 1, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Gorn, Meta-being

      You idiot. Nobody here is judging her because of her skin, they're judging her on her clear character faults that led her to become a shill for the right as well as a "token" black. Just because her skin caused the GOP to select her is their fault and not hers beyond acquiescing to being a token black.
      We all know that the GOP is racist. That's why we point out the clearly bs reasons for them to have her in the party.
      Michael Steele was nothing but a servant who they shoved into the limelight because of Obama.
      If Obama had never run, Steele would never have been given a token position in the first dam place.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
  15. helloeyes

    This is sad and she is being used. I am not surprised the San Francisco Bay ferry passengers protested !!!

    May 1, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Michael

      You can't comprehend a black woman having the intelligence to know her own mind?

      May 1, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  16. tone7de

    “You know I don’t think those are the issues that Americans really care about,” Love said when asked about the role of Romney’s religion in the presidential campaign...they certainly cared about it with President Obama and many still believe he is a closeted muslim.

    May 1, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  17. Luke

    Who said black folks couldn't be brainwashed, remember Jamestown,Guyana. Study the mormon faith and you will be quite surprised.

    May 1, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • helloeyes

      right? The look on her face saysit all.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Michael

      Again - You can't believe that a black woman can know her own mind and stand by her convictions?

      May 1, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Rockgod28

      Study Time:

      Ultimate fact and lesson from the Book of Mormon

      The fair, white skin of the Nephites did not save them. God did not save the fair white skinned people as the made their last stand against the dark skinned Lamanites. It is right there at the end of the Book of Mormon. So much for it being a book about racism when the whitest race was destroyed. Not to mention the numerous times that although the Lamanites did not follow the same religion of the Nephites, the fair white skinned people, the Lamanites demonstrated over and over why God spared them from destruction even when they were 'cursed'.

      The dark skinned Lamanite loved their wife and children better than the white fair skinned Nephite. The Nephites would fall away from their religion in pride while the dark skinned Lamanite coverted to the Nephite Christian religion would never depart from it.

      The dark skinned Lamanites at one point worshipped a religion of warfare (confirmed by archeology of Mesoamerica) according to the Book of Mormon converted from their blood-thirsty religion and as a sign of their conversion to not return to their old ways buried their blood stained weapons and vowed to never shed blood again. Their conversion and faith was tested immediately as those Lamanites still practicing their religion of war slaughtered those converted Christians.

      They died without raising a weapon and in humble prayer held true to their faith.

      If you actually read the Book of Mormon instead of picking out what you think is damning proof against Mormons you would realize there is no racism in the Book of Mormon. That the Book of Mormon condemns racism and proves that skin color saves no one which again is how the Book of Mormon ended.

      This leads us to Moses in the Pearl of Great Price scripture. Dark skin had nothing to do with the seed of Cain not having a place among the sons of Adam. Cain spread the oath he made with Satan and the curse is disobedience to God by willful choice. The children of Cain proved this by killing for the sake of oaths they made, not because of skin color. Opposition to God brings down the curse of Cain who are in willful rebellion against God.

      That is how the Nephites were destroyed. Chief Captain Mormon, the last military leader of the Nephites, heard the Nephites pray before their last great battle. At first he had hope for his people until he heard what they said. The once great people, fair and delightsome were now blood-thirsty, depraved, horrible, vicious people who prayed to die or kill their enemies. They did not call upon God in fear, but that He would uphold them in their aweful state of rebellion.

      God did not and the Nephites were destroyed as a nation because their pride and racism against who they knew to be their brothers and sisters, the Lamanites. That is one of many messages of the Book of Mormon and one you clearly missed in your attempt to accuse Mormons of racism when in fact the Book of Mormon teaches the exact opposite to the Mormon Church and the world.

      Now get to educating yourself and study the work of the Mormon Church instead of repeating bigoted views of Mormons that aren't true.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
  18. Reese

    idont believe Romney's racist. But the mormon faith once believed that black people were cursed by God and thats how we got our dark skin (Cain and Abel). they since flip floped and denounced it, but come on that sorta leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

    May 1, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Michael

      Of course. Those beliefs are utterly reprehensible. But virtually *all* Christian religions in America taught the false idea that black skin was the "curse of Cain." It wasn't a Mormon problem, it was an ignorant white Christian problem.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Billy

      We're all cursed by God, that's why he invented liqueur.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Nolabelle

      Very true Michael!

      May 1, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Reese

      @MICHAEL not all 'Christians' was on that, Catholics were always against that Cain doctrine and fiercly fought against slavery!

      May 1, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Rockgod28

      The Mormon Faith never taught that. It was speculation and opinion that was proven false, not divine revelation or official teaching. Here is an official teaching.

      Ultimate fact and lesson from the Book of Mormon

      The fair, white skin of the Nephites did not save them. God did not save the fair white skinned people as the made their last stand against the dark skinned Lamanites. It is right there at the end of the Book of Mormon. So much for it being a book about racism when the whitest race was destroyed. Not to mention the numerous times that although the Lamanites did not follow the same religion of the Nephites, the fair white skinned people, the Lamanites demonstrated over and over why God spared them from destruction even when they were 'cursed'.

      The dark skinned Lamanite loved their wife and children better than the white fair skinned Nephite. The Nephites would fall away from their religion in pride while the dark skinned Lamanite coverted to the Nephite Christian religion would never depart from it.

      The dark skinned Lamanites at one point worshipped a religion of warfare (confirmed by archeology of Mesoamerica) according to the Book of Mormon converted from their blood-thirsty religion and as a sign of their conversion to not return to their old ways buried their blood stained weapons and vowed to never shed blood again. Their conversion and faith was tested immediately as those Lamanites still practicing their religion of war slaughtered those converted Christians.

      They died without raising a weapon and in humble prayer held true to their faith.

      If you actually read the Book of Mormon instead of picking out what you think is damning proof against Mormons you would realize there is no racism in the Book of Mormon. That the Book of Mormon condemns racism and proves that skin color saves no one which again is how the Book of Mormon ended.

      This leads us to Moses in the Pearl of Great Price scripture. Dark skin had nothing to do with the seed of Cain not having a place among the sons of Adam. Cain spread the oath he made with Satan and the curse is disobedience to God by willful choice. The children of Cain proved this by killing for the sake of oaths they made, not because of skin color. Opposition to God brings down the curse of Cain who are in willful rebellion against God.

      That is how the Nephites were destroyed. Chief Captain Mormon, the last military leader of the Nephites, heard the Nephites pray before their last great battle. At first he had hope for his people until he heard what they said. The once great people, fair and delightsome were now blood-thirsty, depraved, horrible, vicious people who prayed to die or kill their enemies. They did not call upon God in fear, but that He would uphold them in their aweful state of rebellion.

      God did not and the Nephites were destroyed as a nation because their pride and racism against who they knew to be their brothers and sisters, the Lamanites. That is one of many messages of the Book of Mormon and one you clearly missed in your attempt to accuse Mormons of racism when in fact the Book of Mormon teaches the exact opposite to the Mormon Church and the world.

      Let the bitter become sweet since this is the truth from the Mormon Faith.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
  19. Jim Crow

    tokinism. only reason she rises is her skin color and not content of her heart though I am sure the latter is good. GOP using race/religion card when it suits them fail

    May 1, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • MalcolmXcrement

      Racist much??.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • dave rable

      When you mentioned tokenism, I figued you were talking about Obama.....

      May 1, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • cheapseats2

      So, if a Republican votes for a black woman to represent them in public office, it is a token. And, if a Democrat votes for a black man to represent them as President of the United States, it is the height of diversity and progressivism. I think I get it now Jim. You're delusional.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • ratwaffles

      Yes, the citizens of Saratoga Springs elected a token black woman to be their mayor just to have a token minority in their city government. Good thing you caught them. /sarcasm

      May 1, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  20. anka

    I am a liberal woman (not a mormon) but I commend her for choosing the faith that fits her best and the political leanings that meet ner needs. I may have opposing points of view from her but I respect her right to choose and our right to disagree. That is what I have always understood liberalism to be and that is the way my parents raised me.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Michael

      +1 for rational, considerate, compassionate thought. Thanks.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:08 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.