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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. Ofcourse

    I think it's great that she's "black, female – and Mormon." She's the exception who proves the rule.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
  2. Reality

    Being a black, female Mormom does not change the following:

    ONLY FOR THE NEWBIES:

    Putting the kibosh on religion to include Mormonism:

    • There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    prob•a•bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "
    ===========================================================================================

    May 1, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • john

      Lifelong atheist here. You're a tool.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Kelly

      Any religion is about faith. Faith that even though not all things can be explained, you still believe. Someone like you who spouts hate for people of faith have no impact on them. So what is your purpose?

      May 1, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • marctheduck

      Wow! You've learned how to search Wikipedia! How impressive for the third century (AD).

      May 1, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Sven

      Create a comprehensive logical argument based on empirical evidence for your postulated list...

      May 1, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • Reality

      As requested:

      Only for the those interested in a religious update:
      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      “New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “
      prob•a•bly
      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current problems:

      The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

      5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      May 2, 2012 at 7:39 am |
  3. Hector Victorious

    One thing I love is when a Christian tells me to go to a service/meeting ect... on Sunday and I'll understand that there's nothing negative about it.... blah blah blah. What most people don't seem to realize is that I don't hate most christians (I really dislike the fundamentalists who go around trying to convert me, but I understand that's not most christians). I really don't like the theology and no matter how many nice, sincere people I meet who mean me no ill will it won't make me think their beliefs are any less ridiculous.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • schwarzey

      Just tell them you go to the big one when they ask which church you go to. That usually shuts them up. Or you tell them you're a buddhist. They are usually at a loss for words because of their own ignorance.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • Hector Victorious

      I think it's more important they know I'm an atheist. I'm not going to lie just to avoid them, I want to make sure they know that I am proud of being an atheist and I don't have any intention of becoming a christian. It just kills me when people think i'm an atheist because of the people and not the tenants themselves. I also have no issue debating the ins and outs of theology but sadly most people get too offended because they can't differentiate between when I criticize the beliefs vs. the person.

      My favorite of course is ask most mainstream christians some simple questions like, "So you believe that the earth was created in seven days", "so noah gathered every animal on earth and stuck them inside a small boat for 40 days without fresh water and food to feed everything and you think this actually happened?" etc... and see how most people today will scoff at the literal interpretation and how it's supposed to be figurative (though I don't see anywhere in the bible where it says to read each story with a grain of salt). They know on an analytical level that their beliefs are hogwash, but they still go on believing anyways because they've always done it.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • souptwins

      Funny Hector. I doubt too many Mormons would have a problem with those questions. We don't believe the earth was created in 7 24 hr. periods. While there's not official doctrines on the subject, most have no problem merging the idea of 7 creative "periods" that may have been many years in length and involved evolutionary aspects. LDS people are among the best scientists.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • Hector Victorious

      @Souptwins

      Ha! but that's my point. You're changing the content to suit what you scientifically already know! The bible says that the earth, sun and universe was created in 7 DAYS, That's not translation error, it wasn't meant to be considered periods or anything longer than 24 hour periods. Can you explain to me how the genesis story should be taken seriously at all even when it says that "light" , earth and plants were all created before the sun, as well as the sun and the moon being created at the same time? Or are those allusions too?

      May 2, 2012 at 12:11 am |
  4. venus

    How sad for this poor woman. being an African American from Utah, i know first hand about the Mormons and what they represent. This woman obviously has some self value issues. Yes,the Mormons are "nice acting" people, but give it a month or two and you'll have them figured out.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • TownC

      She has given it years and has it figured out. I'm sorry if you had a negative experience but she obviously has not. Why can't you believe her own words?

      May 1, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • robrodriguez

      Mormons used to say black people don't go to heaven.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Doveab

      Venus - no one is buying that dumb lie. Stop insulting Black Mormons.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • nairb247

      @ robrodriguez – You are sooooo wrong. Nothing you said was even close to true.

      Get the facts instead of hearsay.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
  5. TK

    Watts, Steel, Allen, Cain, now Mia. they all were used and discarded. Allen still in place, but that won't last long because he can manage to say some really stupid stuff.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • marctheduck

      Don't forget Colin Powell either!

      May 1, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Toto

      She's way hotter than Condi, she'll be around a while.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
  6. Santos Torres

    THIS MESSAGE IS FOR DOVEAB, I GOT A JOB, FUC-KING UR MAMA IN THE CRACK!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • marctheduck

      Yeah, you're real high end all right, Santos! Can't even spell.... LOL!

      May 1, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
  7. Dave

    When shes made a Church elder, I'll believe it's not faked.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
  8. Doveab

    Mia knows how bad Obama is and does not paly the race card. One Smart women who will go places!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
  9. Doveab

    "Daddy, Why is the democratic party full of stupid voters?"

    May 1, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • marctheduck

      Doveab, you already know the answer. If you're smart you're not going to vote for Democrats. You already have a good job and are getting taxed to death so they can payoff the dumb voters who never had what it takes to get off the teet.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
  10. Santos Torres

    DOVEAB=FUC-K BOY/GIRL

    May 1, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • Doveab

      Santos is an illegalsalien who should be arrested and deported to his/her third world sewer. You are not welcome in America.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
  11. Bob

    There are so many falsehoods spread about the Mormon faith both intentionally and unintentionally that I would invite anyone who has a negative impression about Mormons to attend a Mormon Sacrament meeting on any given Sunday. You may be shocked at how many sincere friends you will make that day as you learn that Mormons are just trying to live their lives following the Savior as the supreme example. I believe that the Spirit in that meeting will soften your negative feelings toward Ms. Love and toward Mormons in general while helping to clear up any misconceptions you might have about our religion.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • Doveab

      Untrue!! No stop spreading lies, Bob! We know you are a lefty but at least be truthful with yourself.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Martin

      I agree. Many people would be surprised and that would be becasue of ignorance.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • Chad

      Do you believe in the historicity of the Book of Mormon?

      May 1, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
  12. Doveab

    Liberals is panic mode. Haha! Go Mia! You sound amazing!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
  13. Santos Torres

    THIS IS FOR DOVEAB, PLEASE SHUT THE FUC-K UP, YOU BRAIN DEAD B-ACH

    May 1, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • Doveab

      Go back to the sewer, Santos! Oh and get a job, would ya?

      May 1, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
  14. Doveab

    Message to Hispanics, Blacks + Unsuspecting Women:
    The Dem party (of today) is not your friend....their agenda is to keep you stupid and dependent....unable to make your own decisions and create your own wealth (I.e. jobs, economy). Wake up, folks, and break from the evil government chains of doom! The government ruins just about everything it touches. Read up and see that you are being used and you (we all) are better than a welfare mentality hell. Godless libs have an agenda that is not in your best interest. READ UP!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
  15. Santos Torres

    SELLOUT

    May 1, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Doveab

      SELLOUT = Santos the lib

      May 1, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
  16. Bob Loblaw

    Not sure if i'm being censored by cnn (are we in China?!), but why do i get a message stating "you have submitted a similar comment already" when it clearly is not being shown. I can say with absolute certainty that the message was not profane, but may reflect a little poorly on CNN

    May 1, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • souptwins

      Same here and I think we submitted comment with a similar message questioning the professionalism of this interview.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Hector Victorious

      are you lobbing law bombs? Or maybe it's because the filter picks up words like consti.tution or va.gue etc... because there are naughty words within words. You may not be saying anything filthy but since CNN uses a wordpress censor program, no one is purposefully censoring you Geddit?

      May 2, 2012 at 12:08 am |
  17. Doveab

    Many Blacks happen to be proud Mormons, you racist liberal idiots!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • dave

      why any african american would belong to that ridiculous cult is beyond me. you are aware that there wasn't full membership for blacks because they basically embody sin according to the former views of your church? just like they invented two tribes of nonexistent people in the americas and apparently all indigenous people of the americas are descended from the victorious evil tribe? retarded.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Rob

      There are not many afrian american mormons. it is idiotic to join a religion that at its core says that you don't go to heaven. there will always be idiots

      May 1, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
  18. zip

    Is America really ready for a diaper wearing, draft dodging cult member in the White House?

    May 1, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • Joel

      Wow, you are really bigoted, and go at it with such zeal, zip. Get help!

      May 1, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • nairb247

      Pretty much the dumbest comment ever made on these posts. I am now dumber for having read it.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Boo

      Who are you referring to? Barack? Michelle? Yourself?

      May 1, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • marctheduck

      Now you're complaining about Obama? Which is it? Oh yeah, he's America's greatest Hawk now. Riiiiiiiiiggghhhhttttttt.....

      May 1, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • Kelly

      Better then a scholl dropout posting hate on liberal websites..

      May 1, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
  19. Doveab

    Religious Hispanic on a whole love God and believedeeply in Jesus Christi .....and will vote for Romney in very large numbers. Never underestimate those who are living a spirited life and trust in God. Now what will the God-Less Libs do?

    May 1, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • dave

      wow. you are very intelligent my fellow hispanic... how are you going to vote for him in very large numbers when you only get one vote. i hope all the vendidos like you cry when romney gets manhandled in the elections. if you don't understand the word "manhandled" it means he is going to lose very badly.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
  20. Greg

    Read about Obama's church while you are at it. No racial preference here.

    http://www.trinitychicago.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=114

    May 1, 2012 at 10:58 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.