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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.”

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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.”

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- 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. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    The Republicans need their token few. Last time I watch the National Republican Convention....I saw a black man and maybe a Mexican woman. Why is that? Now would be the time to step up as a black or Mexican, or Asian...as they need to prove that they are All-American.

    May 1, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  2. zip

    Get ready. The alarm bells are going off in Salt Lake City. Prepare for a flood of pro Mormon posters. Have fun by trying to identify them. Maybe even a drinking game.

    May 1, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  3. Brett

    Seriously, where do you get this crap? We believe blacks can't get into heaven? Really? You are painfully ignorant, and I feel sorry for you.

    May 1, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • zip

      Actually Mormon heaven is called planet Kolob. Another fun wiki search.

      May 1, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • Brett

      Oh, now I see. Wiki, the source of all knowledge. What difference does it make where heaven is? It has to be somewhere... Is that really that interesting to you?

      May 1, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Norman

      the book of Mormon describes black skin as a curse-pretty sick: And [God] had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them. And thus saith the Lord God; I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities." (2 Nephi 5:21)

      May 1, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
  4. sybaris

    More evidence that religion require ignorance to perpetuate.

    May 1, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
  5. Jeb

    The Mormon church doesn't even believe black people can get into heaven.

    May 1, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • souptwins

      Wow! You win the insane post of the day– okay, maybe the hour.

      May 1, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Norman

      souptwins-ok, maybe not excluded form heaven, but teh Mormon religion teaches that black skin is a curse form God-here it is: And [God] had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them. And thus saith the Lord God; I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities." (2 Nephi 5:21)

      May 1, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • souptwins

      Do you really think there's space here to go through all the outdated statements in every ancient scripture ever written? Ever read the Bible? It's full of them.

      May 1, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
  6. 2BtoleratedONLY

    The Mormon belief is that black people are cursed because of Ham, the son of Abraham. Therefore, I feel she is being used for political reason and not because they feel she's an intellectual or spiritual equal. And when the use for her is no longer required they will be through with her too. Throw her under the bus like they Republican party and tea party have done to so many other blacks who thought they were one of the "chosen" few. These individuals not long to America have little to no knowledge of America's brutal history against blacks. Therefore, they wrongly believe they are accepted and not being used. Mormon beliefs are blacks are to be pitied and tolerated, but they can never rise to the level of being a TRUE Mormon. That's been the understanding for quite sometime.

    May 1, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
  7. Brett

    Things you can always count on... Liberals will be the first to play the race card or call someone a bigot, intolerant, or hateful, but are also the first to act bigoted, intolerant, and hateful.

    You all clearly know nothing about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Keep spewing hate though. That's what you do best.

    May 1, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Norman

      ok, dumdum-what abotu teh Mormon book of Nephi? heres teh quote-And [God] had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them. And thus saith the Lord God; I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities." (2 Nephi 5:21)

      May 1, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • Angela

      Seriously Brett, Liberals play the race card. I guess you haven't seen how the republicans are anti-black, anti-immigration, anti-obama (birthcertificate) because he's not one of US and of course the ignorant tea party who want to take their country back.
      Give us all a break. You are so blind and stupid.

      May 1, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • Brett

      dumdum... nice one! It's always nice when someone calls you dumdum and then writes like a 5 year old. The passage you show doesn't indicate racism. It doesn't say to hate black people. It prophesies what happens to them in the future, which is certainly true for a long time in history.

      I certainly don't hate blacks and I don't know a single person who is Mormon that does. I'm sure their are some, as we are all imperfect. In fact, I have an adopted black child that I love very much, and who is very well accepted in our community. Incidentally, I believe he has just as much opportunity to go to heaven as anyone else in the world.

      May 1, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
  8. Jeb

    She belongs to two groups that hate black people. What is she going to do next, join the KKK?

    May 1, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • souptwins

      Jeb– you have no idea what you're talking about since there are millions of non-white LDS members.

      May 1, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Norman

      souptwins-you are a mindless sheep who hasnt ecven read teh Book of Mormon-what abotu the book of Nephi? And [God] had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them. And thus saith the Lord God; I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities." (2 Nephi 5:21)

      May 1, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • souptwins

      Norman– you sure do like those verses, don't you? There are many things in ancient scriptures that may not be applicable now. Are you saying that prophecy was never true during the history of the world? Has there ever been a time when Blacks were not treated as equals? How about Jews? Irish or Italians? Many minorities have faces times of prejudice. That doesn't excuse it nor does it mean we shouldn't be trying to do better today. Mia Love has been a mayor and I'm quite sure she didn't ask anyone from the LDS church for their approval for her run for congress. Personally, if living in her district, I'd vote for her opponent. She's a bit too Tea Party for my taste but it would have nothing to do with her race, gender, or religion.

      May 1, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
  9. ronbry

    There sure a lot of bigots on this board – leftist bigots.

    May 1, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  10. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    prayer changes things .

    May 1, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • edwardo

      Hi Troll !!

      May 1, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  11. Bob

    Wow, they must have had to search long and hard to find such an outlier. I wonder how all the fat uneducated hillbillies, racists, and cult members in her state feel about that.

    May 1, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Septimus Jack

      Bob... You obviously have never been to Utah. I have lived everywhere in the United States(Except the North-East) and I have to say that the most fat, bigoted, hillbillies came from states along the Bible belt. I'd guess you live somewhere around there too.

      May 1, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    prayer changes things .

    May 1, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • sybaris

      Prayer never helped an amputee.

      May 1, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • edwardo

      I lost my arm in a farm accident. I prayed and it grew back! Thanks so much for posting this every chance you get. I love my new arm. The old one wasn't near as nice as this new one.

      May 1, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • Brett

      Actually, prayer helps amputees all of the time. Just because you didn't get your arm back doesn't mean it didn't help! And liberals think we are closed minded. LOL.

      May 1, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
  13. Solomon Davis

    Crazy mixed up kid.

    May 1, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
  14. zip

    Do a wiki search on Parley P. Pratt, Mitt Romney's great grandfather. Find out why he was killed by a jealous husband. Oh yeah. He also had 12 wives.

    May 1, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • souptwins

      Why are you worried about ancestors from 3 generations back? Are you looking into Obama's ancestors too?

      May 1, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
  15. Conartist

    This is weirder than a conservative atheist.

    May 1, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Bob

      Or a Southerner with a high school education

      May 1, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  16. Lies

    Shes a gangster thug who is nothin but a ghetto nucka.

    May 1, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
  17. NukeTim

    Herman Cain's love child possibly?????

    May 1, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • souptwins

      Trying to be funny but you're just sick.

      May 1, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
  18. Dave, Central Illinois

    Hateful little Lib m o n k e y s say such funny things. The hilarious thing is that most can't even come up with an original thought. Daily Show quotes and hateful rants don't take much thought.

    May 1, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • Bob

      Yes, we're literally primates.

      May 1, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
  19. Get at me bro

    I WILL OUT DEBATE ANYONE ON HERE!!! SIMPLY CHOOSE YOUR SIDE AND PRESENT YOUR BEST ARGUMENT AND I WILL TEAR YOU TO SHREDS. ESPECIALLY ATHEISTS, THEY'RE SO EASY ITS NOT EVEN FUNNY

    May 1, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • edwardo

      Bring it... you really think your fairy tale littered brain is a match for true reality. Bring it!

      May 1, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • zoonib

      You may have a little spunk under caps lock key there hero.

      May 1, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • Norman

      youre an imbecile-atheists are the most intelligent people in the world-theyre the few who escaped the brainwashing of religion

      May 1, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  20. citizenmn

    The GOP spin machine is trying to present this woman as the beginning of a trend of blacks voting GOP; that nonsense. This woman is a complete oddity and will be rejected by the overwhelming majority of blacks. Furthermore, it wasn't that long ago that the Mormon church wouldn't allow blacks in their church.

    May 1, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • souptwins

      Actually blacks have always been allowed membership. It was just the priesthood they didn't hold until 1978. Name one other religion that allows common members to hold "the priesthood". Good luck!

      May 1, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Guest

      Wow. Didn't know that racism ran that deep. Actually asking the black community to reject someone over their personal beliefs. That is very sad.

      May 1, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
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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.