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.”

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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. KWBaraka

    A 2x minority who's also a Morman?

    She'd fit in nicely as Mitten's VP running mate.....you betcha 😉 !

    May 1, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Breed11

      I don't think being a woman counts as a "minority", there are probably slightly more women than men.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • KWBaraka

      There are absolutely more women than men in this country......and women are still a minority.

      It ain't about numbers, it's about wealth and power......and who has it and who doesn't.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  2. T'sah from Virginia

    "...Being a Mormon is part of who he is as a person, and I don’t think it should deter from the issues.”
    If this is the case, then why doesn't R-Money speaks about his faith proudly? To each their own, if Kyra wants to be a Mormon and the first BLACK republican Congresswoman, at least be a good one.

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    May 1, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  3. Brainwashed Mornon


    May 1, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Brainwashed Mormon

      Brainwashed Mormon yep

      May 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • toad

      I am a mormon and cannot believe anyone would believe this.

      May 1, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • Allinyourface

      It looks like they picked up an out of work comic book writer to write this.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:49 am |
  4. Cannie

    Look what Brigham Young said about the Black race. Brigham was the second leader of the mormon church and wrote the Journal of Discourses...something the mormons rue to this day because they cannot speak against ONE single word that a Prophet of the church says.

    "You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind....Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 290).

    "In our first settlement in Missouri, it was said by our enemies that we intended to tamper with the slaves, not that we had any idea of the kind, for such a thing never entered our minds. We knew that the children of Ham were to be the "servant of servants," and no power under heaven could hinder it, so long as the Lord would permit them to welter under the curse and those were known to be our religious views concerning them." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 172).

    "Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110).

    Now if that last portion didn't strike you as unbelievably horrible, than imagine this....Mormons are taught to believe every word of their prophets as though they were the words of God: Unquestionable. And these are quotes from just one of their prophets.
    Now imagine the President of the USA being Mormon.....

    May 1, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Duane - St. Pete FLA

      "Now imagine the President of the USA being Mormon"......you mean without Obama??? I'm all for it!!! lets get that hack out of there.....

      May 1, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Cannie

      Thank you Duane the hill-billy....now moving on to someone that finds the postings about what Brigham Young said as not only offensive but against Christianity...

      May 1, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • KWBaraka

      LMAO at 'Hill-billy Duane' .......

      May 1, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Michael

      Oh, Cannie. I see you're also Stephanie23. And perhaps a dozen other screen names that post and repost this, in spite of it being an utterly false and misleading impression of the Mormon Church.


      May 1, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Joseph Smith

      Hey Michael, how is quoting the "Journal of Discourses" misleading? Those are the words of YOUR PROPHET...what do you not understand about that?

      May 1, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Pat

      Based on your analysis then black people should not even exist. If we can hold what the Mormons thought about blacks agaisnt them why not the founding fathers. After all, blacks were considered 3/5th of a human and were treated like cattle for quite a long time by Americans. Why don't we hold that agaisnt you as well.

      May 1, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • Spencer

      This is very misleading because the Journal of Discourses is not, and has never been considered church doctrine. Brigham Young, Joseph Smith, etc. had many flawed views and said things that were the popular opinion at the time, but obviously were false. Only one person who ever lived was perfect and that is Christ.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • Lois

      Spencer – if you say Brigham Young, Joseph Smith have many flawed views...what about their "revelations", their teaching etc..by your logic, they are also flawed, right?

      The problem with saying the Journals of Discourse is not scripture is simply wrong, because LDS members soak up everything that these guys said and the current General Authorities, even though the GA's who come to wards and try to put a disclaimer that their words do not represent the Church. That is just plain silly. When you call yourself a Prophet, Apostle etc everything you say is a representation of the Church.

      Btw. I am a Mormon.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:49 am |
  5. Nancy

    Moron? Oh Mormon....wait, whats the difference.

    I think people in this situation do this quite intentionally, especially now when they can get more attention due to the situation politically. And the GOP fiends will feed into this and use it as much as they can and then after the 15 minutes are up...on to the next ravenous feast for them

    May 1, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  6. Eileene

    there is not a black republician who will not vote for Obama. Blacks are blacks before a republician.

    May 1, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Mormon Expert

      So by that logic black people would vote for anyone black, like Flavor Flav or OJ?

      May 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Dragon68

      Wow. That is unusually racist. Are you saying that the black community is so feeble minded as to exclude any diversity of thought of belief among them? You are essentially stating that they all think and act alike, which is no better than saying that they all look alike.

      Honestly, dis you think about that statement before you spoke?

      May 1, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • ww

      Sooooo....you're also saying the opposite it true? Whites will only vote for whites?

      May 1, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • lib

      As a black I voted for president Obama because of his intelligence and he still is the most intelligent Had I voted for him because he was half Black I would have voted for sharpton or jackson which I didn't

      May 1, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Roosevelt Moore

      This is the kind of cripple minded comment you get when people CHOOSE TO BE VICTIMS INSTEAD OF VICTORS!! I am an american who happens to be black. I have chosen to be a republican because I think for myself. That seems to be missing from the many blacks who constantly vote democrat. If obama ran UNOPPOSED, I would vote for my dog!

      May 2, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  7. Jim

    And why is she a rising star? Black and female. Need I say more?

    May 1, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Duane - St. Pete FLA

      right....see Obama....hahahaha

      May 1, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Jeanine

      All I care about is: Will she do a good job of representing everyone and not just vote the straight party line of rich bigotry the GOP is known for.
      I don't care what sort of junk she has or what she looks like. I just want to see equal representation for the people she represents...and that is NOT the GOP.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • KWBaraka

      She's a 'rising star' because she's Black.....female.....and won a primary.

      None of which points to her having any leadership qualities.....or qualities as a stateswoman. We'll just have cross our fingers on that one....

      May 1, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • nairb247

      And the fact that she has done some pretty impressive things in a very fast growing city.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Cannie

      And Duane, you just proved that you're nothing more than a white-trash bigot...the very kind of person that has been tearing this country apart like a terrorist for the last 3 and a half years.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • KWBaraka

      @ nairb247..................impressive things.....such as?

      May 1, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Kyle

      Wow. That is extremely offensive. Back off and respect others beliefs.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  8. Diena

    ....and confused.

    May 1, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  9. cameron

    Wow so many racist liberal comments here already. What a woman cant make up here own mind and believe what she wants to in America. She has to fit sometime type of profile you made for her? Looks like we have liberal Teliban raging in the USA.

    May 1, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Duane - St. Pete FLA


      May 1, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Mtheumer

      Kinda like those Gay Republicans. How are you treating them these days?

      May 1, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      Enjoying that pay-off, are you?

      May 1, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • hokiethug

      How about when Santorum said that gays were destroying society? Jam it, pal.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  10. Felix El Gato

    Like the 1970s are ancient history. I guess "continuing revelation" means writing your own bible. The more one knows about the Mormon cult the more one's skin crawls. To think, we have an organization like this in the U.S. It is organized crime and a violation of the RICO Law but the cult is wealthy and has its tentacles in all levels of government – not just in the state of Utah, which they own.

    May 1, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Slovensko

      Spot on.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • jsolo

      Ignorant much?

      May 1, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • nairb247

      And it has one of the largest welfare services in the world. It is one of the very first organizations to respond world wide when there is a catastrophe. After Hurricane Katrina, they opened up their churches so displaced people had a place to stay. Every day they are shipping quilts, and hygiene kits to third world countries to help keep babies warm and children safe.

      What a terrible organization they should be condemned.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  11. Jackie

    What an awesome role model for young girls and minority children! What a great person! I really hope she wins. We need more people like her in the GOP!

    May 1, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • KWBaraka

      You need more people of REASON in the Republican Party.......

      May 1, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      yes, you do. sadly, there is a reason you don't normally get them.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  12. Chitown Jason

    Dear CNN:

    I don't care what a politician's race, gender, religion is. Heck, I don't even care what party they are. What I care about is how they plan to make an impact on the issues.

    Candidates running for office are essentially interviewing for a job. Let's keep the contents of their resume relevant to the job they are applying for.

    May 1, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Francis

      Straight on point. I share your view on this topic

      May 1, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Jeanine

      Wow! I just got saying much the same thing on here. Great minds think alike, I guess. )

      May 1, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  13. Ethics Board

    I don't care if she's Mormon or Muslim or Jewish or Catholic or a Nihilist, but when you use your own beliefs to pass laws that dictate the social well being of others, all that makes you is a fascist.

    May 1, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • cheapseats2

      And if you don't have your own belief system to make your own decisions, you are a robot. Which are you?

      May 1, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  14. Duane - St. Pete FLA

    This is a liberals nightmare.....black, smart, independent and wants nothing to do with hand outs and big government.......yikes!!!!!!!! I'm sure you liberals want to remind her that at some point her relatives were slaves and she should hate America....hahahahahahaha

    May 1, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Cannie

      Actually Duane, you're an American's nightmare. Dumb, gun toting and living in an alligator infested trailer-court, bringing in your welfare checks while you insult intelligent liberals.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Duane - St. Pete FLA

      That's right.....we all have guns down here......hahahaha

      May 1, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • innkahoots

      Sorry, Nice try though. We allready know about Condaleesa Rice, A woman we libs have a great respect for. A woman that would have made abetter candidate then anyone you rubes brought out this time. Its the morman angle that is the essance of this story, and for that we libs believe that it is more of a nightmare for the evangelical right. If shes capable then bring her on, we'll listen to her. which is more than we can say about most repubs. But thanks for playing our game of Wac-a-Troll....

      May 1, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  15. Breed11

    Don't see why it matters if she is a Mormon, it's her choice. This is a country of individuals not collectives. Each person makes their choice. Why CNN or the other commentators find that surprising is beyond me.

    May 1, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Joseph Smith

      Because the LDS doctrine claims that people with dark skin are cursed...any more questions?

      May 1, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Cannie

      CNN is pushing the mormon agenda. So they are trying to make the mormons look really good. It's common knowledge that the mormon church used to think black people were the mark of cain and good for nothing but slavery. The mormons must be paying CNN a LOT of money for articles like this.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Chitown Jason

      CNN creates labels for people, in order to keep us divided.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Kristina

      Joseph: no, the LDS doctrine does not claim dark skinned people are cursed. Rather, this is a myth frequently perpetuated about the church, and unfortunately believed by many. Any more questions?

      May 1, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Daniel in Denver

      Joseph Smith, I beg to differ. LDS doctrine no longer "claims that people with dark skin are cursed." I was LDS when that changed, and it was coincident to the time when church leaders realized that 10% of dark skinned people's income spent just like 10% of light skinned people's income. Funny how god can just up and change his mind like that, eh?

      May 1, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Breed11

      Even if all those things are true about the Mormon Church, she is an adult and she has made a choice. If she thinks that they have changed and are trying to make amends, like the Catholic Church, which played a role in the extermination of the jews, what's wrong with that?

      May 1, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • KWBaraka

      @ Kristina.....so what DOES the doctrine of LDS have to say about Black people?

      Please.....enlighten us 🙂 .

      May 1, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Joseph Smith

      Do you LDS not read your doctrine like good Mormon boys and girls?:

      2 Nephi 5:21
      21 And the Lord 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.

      Alma 3: 6 "And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men."

      3 Nephi 2:14-15
      14 And it came to pass that those Lamanites who had united with the Nephites were numbered among the Nephites;
      15 And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites;

      Moses 7:22
      22 And Enoch also beheld the residue of the people which were the sons of Adam; and they were a mixture of all the seed of Adam save it was the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and had not place among them.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Joseph Smith

      Oh and Daniel...do you really think that God would change his mind about people of color for some mysterious reason in 1978? NO! It was the LDS church trying to go mainstream...the ultimate hypocrisy, blasphemy, and bigotry possible.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Rockgod28

      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 6:12 pm |
  16. Joseph Smith

    Why would anyone want to belong to a "religion" that thinks they are cursed and inferior? Doesn't speak too highly of her intellect or the LDS church is paying her a lot of $$$.

    May 1, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Felix El Gato

      or both.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • nairb247

      Your comment doesn't reflect to highly of yours. Blacks have always had full fellowship in the church. There was a point where they couldn't hold the priesthood, but that is it. The LDS Church was one of the biggest supporters of civil rights and Joseph Smith himself used to purchase slaves only to immediately free them.

      FYI – Through the history of the Bible there were many who were not allowed to hold the priesthood. At one point only descendents of Levi were able to do so.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Joseph Smith

      Why don't you share some Bible verses with us nairb247?

      May 1, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • nairb247

      If I did would it shut you up?

      May 1, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Rockgod28

      Second nairb247's motion!

      May 1, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  17. Bob

    "Being a Mormon is part of who he is as a person, and I don’t think it should deter from the issues"

    And would you say the same if he was a Muslim?

    Don't bother, we already KNOW the answer.

    May 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • neoritter

      Really you do?

      I'd like to see that citation of what she'd think of a muslim candidate. But I doubt you'll deliver, you're just a bigot dressing up their statements to look like they care about people.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • KWBaraka

      Yes! Anyone who calls out a Republican on racial or religious issues are IMMEDIATELY tagged as being bigots 😉 .

      It's the 'Republican Way'.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  18. tony

    I would suspect that there was a directive from high in the church to get this lady "elected" to her current position, as a very PR exercise to help Mitt overcome the very understandable national mainstream rejection of Mormon Politicians due to their very bizarre faith beliefs.

    May 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • willowcreekhf

      I would agree.... read on about the actual town... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saratoga_Springs,_Utah

      May 1, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  19. Bob

    Wow, now the GOP'ers have someone else besides that complete idiot Allen West to point to.

    Big tent, my ass.

    May 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Francis

      For you to refer to Allen West as an idiot shows how ignorant you are. Just listen to the message instead of drawing conclusion with a sound bit.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • KWBaraka

      As a retired Army officer myself, I'll tell you in no uncertain terms that Alan West.....IS.....an idiot!

      May 1, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  20. j

    Classic case of Stockholm Syndrome.

    May 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • tony

      Very thoughtful

      May 1, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • patiat

      Impressive, sir!

      May 1, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • ohmygod50


      May 1, 2012 at 4:57 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.