May 12th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

With or without Romney, D.C. a surprising Mormon stronghold

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Alexandria, Virginia (CNN) – A few hundred Mormons filed into a chapel just outside the Washington Beltway one recent Sunday to hear a somewhat unusual presentation: an Obama administration official recounting his conversion to Mormonism.

“I have never in my life had a more powerful experience than that spiritual moment when the spirit of Christ testified to me that the Book of Mormon is true,” Larry Echo Hawk told the audience, which stretched back through the spacious sanctuary and into a gymnasium in the rear.

Echo Hawk’s tear-stained testimonial stands out for a couple of reasons: The White House normally doesn’t dispatch senior staff to bare their souls, and Mormons hew heavily Republican. It’s not every day a top Democrat speaks from a pulpit owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

And yet the presentation by Echo Hawk, then head of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, is also a perfect symbol of a phenomenon that could culminate in Mitt Romney’s arrival at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue next year: The nation’s capital has become a Mormon stronghold, with Latter-day Saints playing a big and growing role in the Washington establishment.

The well-dressed crowd gathered for Echo Hawk’s speech was dotted with examples of inside-the-beltway Mormon power.

In one pew sits a Mormon stake president – a regional Mormon leader – who came to Washington to write speeches for Ronald Reagan and now runs a lobbying firm downtown.

Behind him in the elegant but plain sanctuary – Mormon chapels are designed with an eye toward functionality and economy – is a retired executive secretary of the U.S. Supreme Court.

A few pews further back, the special assistant to the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan sits next to a local Mormon bishop who came to Washington to work for Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah and now leads a congressionally chartered foundation.

Mitt Romney, who would be the first Mormon president if elected, is the son of a Cabinet secretary under Richard Nixon.

“In a Republican administration, there will be even more Mormons here,” whispers the bishop, Lewis Larsen, pointing out prominent Washingtonians around the chapel. “Every Republican administration just loads up with them.”

Regardless of which party controls the White House, Mormonism in Washington has been growing for decades.

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

When Larsen arrived in Washington in the early ’80s, there were a just handful of Mormon meetinghouses in northern Virginia, where he lives. Today, there are more than 25, each housing three separate congregations, or wards, as they’re known in the LDS Church.

“There’s been an absolute explosion in Mormon growth inside the beltway,” Larsen says before slipping out of the pew to crank the air conditioning for the swelling crowd.

The LDS Church says there are 13,000 active members within a 10-mile radius of Washington, though the area’s Mormon temple serves a much larger population – 148,000 Latter-day Saints, stretching from parts of South Carolina to New Jersey.

Signs of the local Mormon population boom transcend the walls of the temple and meetinghouses.

Crystal City, a Virginia neighborhood just across the Potomac River from Washington, has become so popular with young Mormons that it’s known as “Little Provo,” after the Utah city that’s home to church-owned Brigham Young University.

Congress now counts 15 Mormon members, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. That means the 2% of the country that’s Mormon is slightly overrepresented on Capitol Hill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, is the highest-placed elected Mormon in Washington.

Even many Latter-day Saints joke about Washington’s “Mormon mafia” – referring to the number of well-placed LDS Church members across town – though they cringe at the thought of being seen as part of some cabal. (Echo Hawk, for his part, left the Obama administration a few weeks after his chapel presentation for a job in the LDS Church hierarchy).

“No one talks about Washington being an Episcopalian stronghold or a Jewish stronghold,” says Richard Bushman, a Mormon scholar at Columbia University. Talk of “Mormon Washington,” he says, “represents a kind of surprise that people who were thought of as provincial have turned up in sophisticated power positions.”

Bushman and other experts note that, despite Mormons’ growing political power, the official church mostly steers clear of politics. It’s hard to point to federal legislation or a White House initiative that bears distinctly Mormon fingerprints, while it’s easy to do the same for other faiths.

For example, the White House’s recent “compromise” on a rule that would have required religious groups to fund contraception for employees was mostly a reaction to pressure from Roman Catholic bishops.

Nonetheless, Mormon success in Washington is a testament to distinctly Mormon values, shedding light into the heart of one of America’s fastest-growing religions.

And though the official church is mostly apolitical, most rank-and-file Mormons have linked arms with the GOP. Romney’s own political evolution mirrors that trend.

Such forces help explain why Mormons’ beltway power is poised to grow even stronger in coming years, whether or not Romney wins the White House.

‘A ton of Mormon contacts’

For many Washington Mormons, religion plays a key role in explaining why they’re here.

Larsen, who sports a brown comb-over and tortoise shell glasses, arrived in Washington in the early 1980s as an intern for Hatch, also a Mormon.

He landed the internship courtesy of Brigham Young University, his alma mater. The Mormon school owns a four-story dorm on Pennsylvania Avenue, not too far from the White House, which houses 120 student interns each year. It’s the school’s largest such program in the nation.

“Part of our church’s tradition is to be connected with civic life, to make our communities better,” says BYU’s Scott Dunaway, who helps place students on Capitol Hill, at the Smithsonian and other Washington institutions. “We don’t believe in being reclusive.”

It’s a perfect characterization of Larsen. He grew up in Provo, in the shadow of BYU, and wanted to prove he could make it outside of Utah.

“Kids growing up in the LDS Church have been told, ‘Go ye out in the world and preach the gospel of Christ - don’t be afraid to be an example,’ ” Larsen said, sitting in the glass-doored conference room of the foundation he runs on K Street.

“So we are on our missions, converting people to Christianity,” he continued. “And coming to Washington, for me and probably for a lot of people, came out of that interest. We see it as our career, but also we’re going out to preach the word of Christ.”

For Larsen, that usually means correcting misinformation about Mormonism or explaining Mormon beliefs and practices – you really don’t drink coffee, ever? – over lunch with co-workers or at business functions, rather than on-the-job proselytizing.

He learned about integrating work and faith from Hatch. He was initially shocked to discover that the senator prays in his office each morning. Larsen and Hatch developed what the bishop calls a “father-son” relationship, with the intern rising up through the ranks to become Hatch’s chief Washington fundraiser.

“We would go on trips, and I’d quiz him on the plane: Why did the church do this? Why didn’t the church do this?” Larsen said. “He was like a tutor to me.”

Now, as the head of a foundation that educates teachers about the U.S. Constitution, the bishop helps other young Mormons with job leads and introductions. Larsen was appointed to the role by Hatch and the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Much of Washington’s Mormon professional network is still anchored by BYU, which operates a handful of big, well-connected alumni groups with major Washington chapters. The most prominent is BYU’s Management Society, a global organization whose biggest chapter is in Washington.

At the chapter’s recent alumni dinner, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was the guest of honor. She has strong ties to the Mormon community and has hired Mormons as top aides. Says Larsen: “Condi’s got a ton of Mormon contacts.”

Patrice Pederson also knows how to work a Rolodex. A lifelong political activist, she moved from Utah to Washington last year and soon tapped into BYU’s local network.

Pederson served as the U.S.-based campaign manager for Yeah Samake, a Mormon running for president in the West African nation of Mali.

Samake traveled frequently to the U.S. to raise money and build political support, so Pederson enlisted the help of BYU’s Management Society and other groups to host events for the candidate.

Both in Washington and across the U.S., many Mormons are watching his candidacy.

“Members of the church on Capital Hill were anxious to introduce the candidate to other members of Congress,” says Pederson, sipping an herbal tea (Mormons eschew black leaf teas) in a strip mall Starbucks near her apartment in Alexandria, Virginia.

“It’s cool to have a member of the church running for president in Africa.”

Beyond making connections, many Washington Mormons say the LDS Church provides an ideal proving ground for careers here.

Unlike most churches, it has no professional clergy; from the bishop to the organist, each role is filled by everyday Mormons, most of whom have other day jobs. As a result, Mormons take church leadership roles at an early age, speaking publicly at Sunday services almost as soon they learn to talk.

“My kids grew up in the church, and we get together for three hours on Sundays, and each member needs to get up and speak,” says U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah. “By the time they graduate, they have all these speaking assignments that other teenagers just don’t have.

U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, says Mormonism provides ideal training for aspiring politicians.

“For those who grow up in the Mormon church, they are taught skills that allow them to be successful in a tough city like Washington,” says Chaffetz, who converted to Mormonism shortly after college.

Young Mormons also hone leadership skills by serving missions away from home. The missions last from one and half to two years and happen when Mormons are in their late teens and early 20s and often include intensive foreign language training.

“Young Mormons are more formidable in public settings and international settings than others,” says Terryl Givens, a Mormon scholar at the University of Richmond. “Normally you would have to acquire more age and work experience before you feel comfortable and useful at NGOs and think tanks.”

Chaffetz, whose son is serving a mission in Ghana, says the experience is the perfect preparation for political careers.

“They learn rejection early on,” he says. “If you’re going to be in politics, that’s a pretty good attribute.”

Christina Tomlinson served her mission in nonexotic Fresno, California. But working with the Laotian community there, she acquired the foreign language skills that landed her first internship at the U.S. State Department.

“I look back at that and it’s nothing but divine providence,” Tomlinson says one night at an office building-turned-chapel in Crystal City, after a weekly discussion about Mormon teachings. “I would have never made those choices.”

When she arrived at her foreign service orientation in the late 1990s, Tomlinson was surprised to find that a half-dozen of her State Department colleagues were also Mormon. The thriving LDS community at State even runs its own e-mail list server so Latter-day Saints can find each other wherever in the world they’re stationed.

Like former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, who used the Mandarin language skills acquired through a Mormon mission to Taiwan to help secure his job as President Barack Obama’s previous ambassador to China, Tomlinson leveraged her mission to get ahead at State, where she now serves as special assistant to the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“I’m basically the chief of staff for the president’s representative charged with implementing U.S. foreign policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan,” she e-mailed on a recent plane ride back from the region.

Language skills acquired on a Mormon mission helped Christina Tomlinson get her start at the State Department.

At the point of a bayonet

Like many Mormons, Tomlinson says her professional life is driven by a faith-based patriotism that sounds old-fashioned to modern ears: “I just really wanted to serve my country.”

But that distinctly Mormon patriotism was hard-won. From their very beginning, Mormons had tried to forge a special relationship with Washington. And for decades, they failed.

Joseph Smith, who founded Mormonism in the 1830s, petitioned the U.S. government to protect his fledgling religious community from the violent persecution it was experiencing, even meeting repeatedly with President Martin Van Buren.

But Washington refused, provoking Smith – who Mormons consider their founding prophet – to run for president himself in 1844. He was assassinated by an anti-Mormon mob in Illinois well before Election Day.

In the face of such attacks, Mormons fled west, to the territory that’s now Utah. But they continued to seek ties with Washington, dispatching representatives to the capital to lobby for statehood.

Congress refused to grant it. Instead, Uncle Sam disincorporated the LDS Church and sent the U.S. Army to police Mormon territory.

In the eyes of Washington, Latter-day Saints were flouting federal law by practicing polygamy. The feds saw the LDS Church as an undemocratic rival government that threatened Washington’s power.

Joseph Smith, Mormonism’s founding prophet, ran for president in 1844 but was killed before Election Day.

Mormons would eventually ban polygamy, paving the way for Utah statehood in 1896. But Congress nonetheless refused to seat the new state’s Mormon senator, who also served as a top church official.

For four years, the U.S. Senate held hearings to grill U.S. Sen. Reed Smoot and other church leaders, alleging that Mormons continued to practice polygamy despite promises to the contrary.

“The political trial was as much a galvanizing cultural moment as was Watergate,” says Kathleen Flake, a scholar of Mormonism at Vanderbilt University in Tenneessee.

When Smoot was eventually seated – after the LDS Church took further steps to stamp out polygamy – he managed to become a Washington powerbroker. He would chair the Senate Finance Committee and act as a presidential adviser.

“He was Mr. Republican,” says Flake. “For a while there, he was the Republican Party.”

Smoot’s unflagging pursuit of legitimacy in Washington, despite the city’s bias against him and his faith, symbolizes what many call a uniquely Mormon appreciation for American civic life. It helps explain the Mormon fascination with Washington to this day.

It may seen counterintuitive, but Mormons’ early exposure to persecution at the hands of other Americans – aided, Mormons say, by the U.S. government – wound up strengthening their patriotic streak.

In the face of attacks, Mormons clung to the U.S. Constitution and its unprecedented guarantee of religious freedom. They distinguished between the document and those charged with implementing it.

Mormon scripture goes so far as to describe the U.S. Constitution as divinely inspired, establishing a unique environment in which Mormonism could emerge.

“Mormons are superpatriots,” says Columbia University’s Bushman. “Joseph Smith said that if the government was doing its job as laid out in the Constitution, it would protect Mormons from their enemies.”

Mormons began to shed their Utah-only siege mentality and fanned out in the early part of the 20th century. Their patriotic streak, which translated into military enlistments and applications for government jobs, led many to Washington.

That wave included J. Willard Marriott, the hotel chain founder, who launched his business career by opening an A&W root beer stand here. He would go on to forge the kind of deep political connections that would help make Willard “Mitt” Romney his namesake.

Washington’s Mormon community got another boost in the 1950s when President Dwight Eisenhower appointed a top church official, Ezra Taft Benson, as his agriculture secretary.

“Mormons took it as a sign of maybe, just maybe, we’re being accepted,” says Flake. “It signified a cultural acceptance of Mormonism. People thought Mormons believed weird things, but also that they were self-reliant, moral and good neighbors.”

As Mormons became more accepted, they became more upwardly mobile, landing in parts of the country that could sustain careers in commerce, academia and government - another reason Washington was a big draw.

By the time there were enough Mormons in the eastern U.S. to justify the construction of the first Mormon temple east of the Mississippi River, the church chose a site just outside Washington.

The temple opened in 1974, shortly after another high-profile Mormon – George Romney, Mitt’s father – left his post as Richard Nixon’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

“The Washington temple served as a symbol of the triumphant return of Mormonism to the east,” says Givens, the University of Richmond professor. “Mormons left from the point of a bayonet in the 1800s and the temple is this gigantic symbol that says ‘We’re back – and we’re back in the nation’s capital.’ ”

The Mormon temple outside Washington was the first such temple built east of the Mississippi River.

Unlike Mormon meetinghouses, where members meet for Sunday worship, temples are grander buildings reserved for certain rites, such as proxy baptisms for the dead.

To this day, the first monument many Washington visitors see isn’t a federal landmark. It’s the massive Mormon temple, its Georgian marble towers and gold-leafed spires looming above the trees on the Washington Beltway like an otherworldly castle.

The temple houses a J. Willard Marriott-financed mural of Jesus Christ’s second coming, which features a picture of the Washington temple itself in the background.

“Are you implying that the millennium will begin in Washington?” a temple visitor once asked Marriott, referring to Jesus’ return.

Replied Marriott: “What better place is there?”

Good at organizing

These days, the Mormon impulse toward Washington is often as much political as patriotic.

Patrice Pederson - the campaign manager for the Mormon running for president in Mali - made her first foray into politics at 15, hopping the bus from her home in the suburbs of Salt Lake City into town to intern with a Republican candidate for the U.S. House.

“I remember that when Bill Clinton was elected, I wore all black to school that day,” says Pederson, who was in junior high at the time. “I was mourning the death of liberty.”

When then-Vice President Al Gore visited Utah, Pederson protested his speech with a homemade poster that said “Blood, Guts & Gore – Healthcare’94.” (She can’t recall the poster’s exact meaning).

Pederson’s activism as a “total hardcore right-winger” continued into her 20s. She put off college at BYU to start a “pro-family” advocacy group aimed at lobbying foreign governments and the United Nations. The work brought her to Washington so frequently that she decided to relocate last year: “I had more friends here than in Utah.”

Pederson’s path to D.C. speaks to the growing Mormon/Republican alliance since the 1960s, driven largely by the emergence of social issues such as abortion and gay marriage and the rise of the Christian Right.

“In the 1950s and ’60s, Utah became Republican,” says Bushman. “It’s partly about being anti-communist, but it’s also a response to the 1960s and the decay of old-fashioned moral virtues. It’s an anti-1960s movement, and the Republicans seemed to be the party of old-fashioned virtues.”

Pederson’s roommate, Kodie Ruzicka, grew up squarely in that movement, with her mom heading the Utah chapter of Eagle Forum, a conservative Christian group founded by rightwing icon Phyllis Schlafly.

In the 1970s, when the Catholic Schlafly led a successful grassroots campaign against the Equal Rights Amendment, which would have made gender-based discrimination unconstitutional, she enlisted the help of Mormons.

To its opponents, including the LDS Church, the ERA was the work of radical feminists who wanted to upend traditional gender roles.

Much of Schlafly’s organizing was among evangelicals, and “given the sometimes hostile evangelical line on Mormons, [Schlafly’s] Mormon outreach was kind of revolutionary,” says Ruzicka, who now works at the Justice Department. “But we’re good at organizing, and we have a lot of useful structures for it, so that was useful to her.”

Today, Mormons head Eagle Forum chapters across the West, including California, Arizona and Nevada, as well as Utah.

Bridge-building between Mormons and the conservative movement helps explain the Reagan administration’s push to hire many Mormons into the White House - which further cemented the alliance. That bond continues to lure Mormons to D.C.

Ruzicka, for one, continued in the political footsteps of her mother, arriving in Washington in her mid-20s to lead a nonprofit that promotes safe haven laws, which allow young mothers to legally abandon young children at fire stations.

Beyond hot-button social issues, U.S. Rep. Chaffetz says the Mormon faith engenders support for limited government.

“The church is very adamant about personal responsibility, and for people to voluntarily participate in service,” the Utah Republican says. “There’s this feeling that service is not something that should be mandated by government.”

The LDS Church, for its part, insists it is politically neutral and that it avoids pressuring Mormon elected officials to tow a church line. “The church’s mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, not to elect politicians,” the church’s website says.

Mormon experts say the church’s support for a relatively strict separation of church and state is born of the U.S. government’s refusal to help Mormons in the face of early persecution.

And after being accused of setting up a rival government around the turn of the last century, the church is loath to be seen giving marching orders to LDS politicians.

The church did, however, play a leading role in passing Prop 8, California’s gay marriage ban, in 2008. Church officials called it a moral cause, not a political one.

Plenty of critics disagree. But neither Mormon bishops nor church officials are known to lead the kind of church-based legislative lobbying efforts that Catholic bishops or evangelical leaders do.

Mitt Romney himself embodies the reluctance of Mormon politicians to connect their religion and their public policy positions, in contrast to politicians of other faiths.

That reluctance also appears to be born of anxiety over Americans’ lingering questions and doubts about Mormonism. When Pew asked Americans last year what word they associated with the Mormon faith, the most common response was “cult.”

In recent weeks, Romney’s newfound position as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has produced a mix of excitement and worry among Mormons. That’s especially true in Washington, where politically savvy Latter-day Saints send out frequent e-mail round-ups of Mormon media coverage to their LDS networks.

“A lot of us know it’s ultimately a good thing, but it’s hard to feel like it’s a good thing because so much of the publicity is about things you wouldn’t talk about in polite company, like my underwear,” says Pederson, referring to the enduring fascination with Mormon undergarments.

Like many conservatives, Pederson is suspicious of Romney.

“I don’t like his waffling, to put it gently, on life and family issues,” she says. “But if it comes down to Romney versus Obama, hand me the pom-poms. I’ll be president of the Romney-Is-the-Best-We-Can-Come-Up-With-for-President Club.”

For now, Pederson is working with the National Right to Life Committee’s political action committee to raise money for the Romney effort, even as she makes up her mind about how actively she wants to promote his candidacy.

Some of her calculus is about weighing political reality against her conservative idealism. And some of it is about her next professional move. It’s a very Washington place to be.

- Video by CNN photojournalist Jeremy Moorhead

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • DC • Jon Huntsman • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (3,419 Responses)
  1. Hawkeyez

    I wonder if Romney is going to try to pay off his pastor to keep his mouth shut like Obama did. I'm guessing not.

    May 14, 2012 at 4:05 am |
  2. eMars

    "I understand how difficult it can be for an African-American in today’s society. In fact, I can relate to black people very well indeed. My ancestors once owned slaves, and it is in my lineage to work closely with the black community. However, just because they were freed over a century ago doesn’t mean they can now be freeloaders. They need to be told to work hard, and the incentives just aren’t there for them anymore. When I’m president I plan to work closely with the black community to bring a sense of pride and work ethic back into view for them." Mitt Romney_still harboring archaic views in a progressively inter-racial, inter-gender Nation. “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin

    May 14, 2012 at 3:38 am |
    • peter

      i don't believe a word you put in romney's mouth–the man isn't stupid

      May 14, 2012 at 3:42 am |
    • toughcrowd

      "My father joined our party because the Democrats in Jim Crow Alabama of 1952 would not register him to vote. The Republicans did." – Condoleeza Rice

      eMars, it looks like the race card in your deck is one big JOKER.

      May 14, 2012 at 3:57 am |
    • peter

      toughcrowd–white america doesn't want your people–stay in utah where you belong-remember this -what we did to you in the 1800s- and it can happen again–and don't think were going to vote for your guy just to get the black guy out-what i think is going to happen is that romney is going to lose because of republicans like me who are going to sit out this election–but even if romney wins just remeber it proves nothing about your book of mormon and that no one cares about your "clean"lives

      May 14, 2012 at 4:03 am |
    • Orwell seen it before

      Peter- in your religion do you still burn witches?

      May 14, 2012 at 4:20 am |
    • toughcrowd

      Awww, peter...you're angry, aren't you? You're also wrong.

      I don't live in Utah, I'm not a racist, and I really don't care if you sit in a corner and cry on Election Day or not. You can shake your fist at me and promise that I will "rue the day" I called you out on your biases all you want, but it still doesn't justify your hatred towards people based solely on their religion.

      I'm guessing you're this cranky because you're tired. It's ok if you want to leave the party early and head to bed. I'm sure you have a big day ahead of you what with being so angry and hateful towards people you don't even know. I bet that takes a lot out of you!

      May 14, 2012 at 4:25 am |
    • peter

      toughcrowd–im not angry, you are the one sending missionaries to peoples houses and you been rejected time after time–the country has a choice either obumo or the mormon–ill be on the beach on voting day–When people reject mormonism or scientology it doesn't mean they are angry-unless you knock on their door at dinner time

      May 14, 2012 at 4:36 am |
    • Orwell seen it before

      Toughcrowd – funny how things turned out in 40 or 150 years.

      In the 60s the Democrats pushed through federal civil rights laws, and the Republicans did their best to block them.

      1860 the Republican party led the war against the confederacy making slavery illegal, today the Republican Party is controlled by the neo-confederacy and religious nuts who have a whole new take on slavery, who characterizes their opponents as communists, socialists, and anti Americans just like Senator Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon did.

      Reasonable thinking left the Republican Party some time ago, as evidenced by their voting record on nuclear proliferation. With Lugar leaving, Kyl taking over? Why not, he is not much different from the rest of the GOP LEADERSHIP, or lack of.

      Romney can be Mormon, Muslim or catholic, it is irrelevant; his political views are irrelevant, out of step, and dangerous.

      May 14, 2012 at 4:41 am |
    • toughcrowd

      peter, I don't send anyone to people's houses...they volunteer to do that by signing up for a misson.

      Orwell seen it before, what's particularly funny is how people pick and choose what they want to fit their agenda. I can play that game, too! Remember when Regan's signature made MLK Day a holiday? Remember when Sen. Byrd, a Democrat, filibustered against the 1964 Civil Rights Act? Wasn't he the same one who was a member of the KKK in the 1940's?

      Come on...we could do this forever. If you think you have me pegged for whatever picture of Conservatives/Republicans you have painted in your head, you have been foiled again. Good try, though...

      May 14, 2012 at 5:52 am |
  3. Mutt Nominee

    I tried to Post the Mormon Rituals, and CNN hasnt posted yet. Maybe theres a Mormon in CNN woodpile. But expected it out of repeaters.

    May 14, 2012 at 3:31 am |
    • peter

      Their rituals is not the problem --the book of mormon,another testament of jesus christ is not the word of God–It was written by a cursed man joeseph smith in the 1800s–they are not christians and cursed is the christ that joeseph smith wrote about and preached about

      May 14, 2012 at 3:38 am |
    • toughcrowd

      peter, Matthew 7:1 says: "Judge not, that ye be not judged."

      You have no idea what is in the hearts and minds of others who accept Jesus as their savior and try their best to follow the example he set. You are mocking God and just being plain uncool by casting judgement upon others you don't even know, but I doubt that you care all that much. Good luck.

      May 14, 2012 at 4:10 am |
    • peter

      toughcrowd-"judge not, that ye be not judged" Joeseph smith is cursed as is the book of mormon,another testament of jesus christ–The jesus christ that joeseph smith is judged and always will be cursed as his prophet-What you need to do is say to yourself,"either the book of mormon is the word of God or it is not" I judge you as preaching a false christ–my proof–the book of mormon,another testament of jesus christ–cursed is the mormon for every generation till they reject the book of mormon

      May 14, 2012 at 4:20 am |
    • Orwell seen it before

      Toughcrowd – are you saying one should make no judgement. Use that biblical quote is sure to get you off a jury, kind of like jury nullification.

      I pre-judge, judge, post-judge, and most of the time I can make no judgement. I call it the way I see it, feel it, and think it. I definitely do not claim divine priority, and do acknowledge my fallibility which requires ongoing correction and apologies.

      May 14, 2012 at 4:52 am |
    • toughcrowd

      Orwell seen it before, you can split hairs all you want, but a jury judges a person's ACTIONS as far as whether or not they are guilty of committing a crime under the law. Their job is NOT to decide what that person's beliefs are based on what they THINK they know about that person and condemn them to hell for all time and eternity.

      We all make judgements every day about people and situations. That's fine if the information obtained is used to make decisions about such things as the safety, security, and/or betterment of your family, for example. What's NOT acceptable is to assume the role of God and proclaim someone else a sinner based on pure ignorance and hate.

      May 14, 2012 at 6:20 am |
  4. theend

    bishop romney or obozo. i prey that amerika ends before we have to make this "choice"

    May 14, 2012 at 3:13 am |
    • Orwell seen it before

      And what religion do you subscribe to?
      Sounds like you got a lot of anger and fear going on.

      The End, are Timothy McVeigh and Ted Kazinsky your heroes?

      What country do you come from?

      May 14, 2012 at 3:18 am |
    • toughcrowd

      Why would you ever pray for the greatest country the world has ever known to come to an end?!?

      May I suggest instead that you pray on behalf of the POTUS, whoever it is, that they will be blessed with the strength, wisdom, and courage to get us through this horrible time in our history?

      At least TRY to be positive and do something constructive...

      May 14, 2012 at 3:23 am |
    • peter

      orwell-i read yourt story below–im suprised you even gave those people the time of day–They knocked on my door before–i chased them off my property as i urinated on their book of mormon,another testament of jesus christ as they were running away

      May 14, 2012 at 3:27 am |
    • Orwell seen it before

      Peter they were friendly enough, I have met people from many religions. Being able to civilly discuss religion is better than being fearful of it, or disrespecting the messenger. They maybe wrong, but does that mean they are automatically the incarnation of evil? People can be fundamentally wrong on their religion, but still be descent people.

      During the time Jehovah's witness had a similar audience. In hindsight I regret not having them meet at the same time so they could debate and refute their merits directly. Jehovah's lost me when they claimed the earth being 5000 years. LDS missionaries had nice film strips to show, but could not read Mayan hieroglyphs, and I could; what they claimed did not match reality. Add years more of research, both became difficult for me to subscribe to.

      May 14, 2012 at 3:42 am |
    • peter

      orwell–im pretty much right wing who voted for santorum–with that said i have intolerance for big time bs–If i came to your door and with the book of seedom,another testament of jesus christ and told you the prophet john jenkenson is a prophet and you have to believe it is the word of God who lived in the 1920s would you believe me? why did you give the joeseph smith religion the time of the fay> That jesus christ that he preached is cursed as he is–mormons are cursed to the 7th generation

      May 14, 2012 at 3:49 am |
    • Orwell seen it before

      Peter- my condolence on that Santorum vote, unless you wanted Opus Dei. The religious group recognized by the same pope who had ongoing dealings and coverups with the German Nazis, Italian Facsists, and the Spanish Franco. Something the catholic church still can't explain; now if that does not get evangelical conspiracy juices going, stick with Romney. The illuminati may or may not exist, Opus Dei does and they are official. Since you declare yourself right wing conservative, if you are not Catholic Opus Dei, look into it, maybe time to switch and trade up.

      May 14, 2012 at 5:45 am |
  5. big love

    I firmly believe that the Mormons believe that since we elected a black president, they have a chance. Wrong, and so much so, that we are willing to re-elect the same disgraceful president again, before we let some child molesting cult Mormon become president!

    May 14, 2012 at 2:28 am |
    • MikeB

      No scruples?
      That is such malicious B.S.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:37 am |
    • toughcrowd

      big love, I firmly believe you would be embarrassed if you really knew what people thought about that.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:45 am |
    • Orwell seen it before

      Tough crowd has me pegged: I am a bigot, I will not vote for a Bishop or any high officer of any religion regardless. A view I have had before I knew of Bishop Romney.

      The fact or his claim that he is a Mormon has about as much relevance as him being a Scientologist, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or Atheist. Which is to say, it depends what he believes in and if he is a hypocrite of his religion.

      As for Mormons, I am not one. I have read the book of Mormon, gave some missionaries several months to make their case, and discovered they could not answer specific questions as to their faith. So I passed, the LDS origins reminded of the origins of Islam (gold plates, interpreting angels, etc). This is not to say I hate Mormons or Muslims, I have met a few and found them reliable, and I have little idea what they think about their religion. Having been to SLC, I was surprised by the jack-Mormons antipathy toward their former religion. As for Glenn Beck, Mormon's problem, if he represents the true thinking you are sunk.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:56 am |
    • Blair2000

      That is false and you need to remove it!!!!!

      May 14, 2012 at 2:59 am |
    • Orwell seen it before

      Be precise Blair 2000.
      Remove what?

      May 14, 2012 at 3:02 am |
    • Blair2000

      Seen It Before: What are your questions? I maybe able to answer them. I might not be but I know I can and will get answers for you. I am not trying to convert you but I will try my best to give you your answers.

      May 14, 2012 at 3:04 am |
    • Blair2000

      I accidently put that comment in the wrong post. Sorry

      May 14, 2012 at 3:07 am |
    • Orwell seen it before

      Blair 2000 are you a Mormon or a jack-Mormon or something else?

      May 14, 2012 at 3:07 am |
    • Orwell seen it before

      Blair 2000 what post were you responding to ?

      May 14, 2012 at 3:09 am |
    • peter

      Big love–you are right--mormons don't realize how much they are hated by white america and christian america–In my opinion any of the republicans we had would of won in 2012-i voted for santorum myself-As much as i dislike obaumo for obvious reasons i will not vote for a mormon-

      May 14, 2012 at 3:20 am |
    • Orwell seen it before

      Looks like Blair 2000 is not coming back with answers.
      Modest apology accepted.

      How about you toughcrowd, any answers? So far just crickets chirping...

      May 14, 2012 at 3:21 am |
    • toughcrowd

      Orwell seen it before, was multi-tasking...The good news is that recognizing your problem is half the battle. The bad news is that between the comment regarding your previous experiences and the question regarding Glenn Beck, there is a stubborn streak that remains intent on making generalizations about an entire group of people based on a few unfortunate encounters. Why that is acceptable in the case of Mormons in particular is beyond me. There are nuts/jerks/apathetic members in every religion/profession/group on Earth; that's life. If anything, people should be happy they are attending church because being around people who believe in and strive to follow the example set forth by Jesus, work hard, refrain from drinking/smoking/illicit drug use, adore their families, etc. is EXACTLY where they need to be, right?!? I understand many people leave; those are tough standards to live by day after day and some people just can't hang.

      peter, peter, peter! If you had ANY idea just how many Mormons preferred Santorum over Romney, you would (or at least should) be feeling pretty stupid right about now...why would you throw them under the bus?

      May 14, 2012 at 3:52 am |
    • Orwell seen it before

      Big love- if you think america voting for a disgraceful black president is entree to have the first Mormon president, think again wrong party.

      Huntsman as a democrat in 2016 would seem a better shot, but not in the cards. Mormons in the Republican party will have to cowtow to the extreme evangelicals and prove their Jesus credentials. But the Romney lovefest at liberty U. Is a start and could do the trick.

      Senators Reid and Hatch seem to recognize that compromise and cooperation are in the national interest. Unfortunately those are the qualities hated by the GOP leadership. Sign of weakness, forget meak will inherit the earth, different Jesus.

      Still have not got a Jew, chinese, and Hindu presidents, so if Romney does ot pull it off, could be a long wait in line.

      May 14, 2012 at 5:20 am |
  6. ansrc

    Wow. After reading just 20 comments, I can see that hatred and bigotry is still alive and well in the nation.. funny thing is that usually the nastiest, most heartless ones Are from so called "Christian" people.

    May 14, 2012 at 2:22 am |
    • MikeB

      Many of them claiming to be Christians are posers that are just being agitators.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:38 am |
    • toughcrowd

      I agree with both of you and will readily admit that I am agitating in an attempt to make people see that attacking the beliefs of any group is wrong.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:48 am |
  7. A Mormon Democrat

    Why is there nothing about Mormon Democrats? The majority of members in DC are democrats. Attend any service in DC and you will find the majority of those in the congregation are not republican. This article was poorly researched with an obvious agenda.

    May 14, 2012 at 2:18 am |
    • MikeB

      If you are a Mormon then you know about the Nehors. Mormons are not monolithic. And then there are the Gadianton Robbers; which I suspect Harry Reid can identify with.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:44 am |
    • toughcrowd

      A Mormon Democrat, it might be because after attaining wealth, people on both sides – regardless of religion – have nothing left to gain but power. They will do anything to get it and keep it, including making accusations that a certain group of people are power-hungry and trying to take over Washington. While it is true that most Mormons self-identify as Conservative, there is a growing percentage that consider themselves Democrats, but I'm betting you don't hear about the Harry Reids in Washington because they have learned that if they keep mum about the attacks on other Mormons, they will get a pass. I have hung out on this thread for quite a while tonight just for fun to see who I can catch being biased and I can't recall a single post that has railed on Reid, yet Romney catches all the heat for being Mormon. I doubt that upwards of half the people who have posted negative things about Romney are even aware that the Senate Majority Leader is LDS.

      So my guess is that your question can be answered by taking into consideration power, politics, and politicians. Mormons seem to be mere casualties.

      May 14, 2012 at 3:15 am |
  8. FreeAtLast

    LD$ Inc. – the Mormon Church – is "one of America’s fastest-growing religions", huh? LOL! Here's the headline of an ABC News (Salt Lake City) report 3.5 months ago: "Number of faithful Mormons rapidly declining" (ref. http://www.abc4.com/content/news/top_stories/story/Number-of-faithful-Mormons-rapidly-declining/rvih3gOKxEm5om9IYJYnRA.cspx ). Here's how the report started:

    "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is losing a record number of its membership. A new report quotes an LDS general authority who said more members are falling away today than any time in the past 175 years.

    "At meetings like General Conference, Utahns may be used to seeing members of the LDS Church show up in record numbers. But according to a recent Reuters article citing LDS General Authority Marlin K. Jensen, for the church as a whole, the record in going in a different direction.

    Elder Jensen told the news outlet times have changed, and 'attrition has accelerated in the last five or 10 years.'"

    In the linked Reuters Special Report, "Mormonism besieged by the modern age", Jensen confirmed to an all-LDS audience late last year that people are leaving the Morg (Mormon Church) "in droves."

    (Ref. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/31/us-mormonchurch-idUSTRE80T1CM20120131 )

    This CNN piece says that Smith was killed by an "anti-Mormon mob." Actually, he was killed by an anti-Smith band of men. Why? Well, during the 1830s to the early 1840s, Smith made married women, single women, and teenage girls, some young enough to be his daughters, his plural wives (ref. http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org ), an 'inconvenient' truth that the secretive LD$ Church doesn't inform naive Mormons or unsuspecting potential converts, like Hawk, to the cultic religion of Romney et al.

    The "keystone" of Mormonism, the Book of Mormon, is a DEMONSTRABLE WORK of FICTION! It says that God "cursed" some seafaring Jews with dark skin and they became the ancestors of American Indians! The 'true' BoM says that in ancient America (~2200 BCE to 421 CE), there were elephants, domesticated horses & cattle, sheep, donkeys, millions of lighter-skinned people, cities w/ synagogues & buildings constructed w/ cement, people who wrote in "reformed Egyptian" (thank polygamist Smith for that one!), ancient Hebrews who knew how to make steel swords, at least one ancient American 'prophet' who knew French, a calendar system based on the 7-day week (w/ a Sabbath!) & many other bits of DEMONSTRABLE NONSENSE!

    The late English-American author, essayist and journalist Christopher Hitchens described Smith as “a fraud and conjurer” and “a gifted opportunist.” In his April 2007 article in Slate Magazine, “Mormonism: A Racket Becomes a Religion”, Hitchens wrote that “more than one hundred” names in the Book of Mormon “come straight from the Bible and a hundred more are as near stolen as makes no difference.”

    (Ref. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/features/2007/god_is_not_great/mormonism_a_racket_becomes_a_religion.html )

    There are TOO MANY BRAINWASHED Mormons in Washington! Please, do America a REALLY BIG FAVOR and don't add Mitt 'The Bully' Romney to the list!

    May 14, 2012 at 1:58 am |
    • toughcrowd

      Sorry, but ABC lost credibility with me for their use of creative editing a while back. You can cite Reuters all you want, and I'm willing to check that source, but getting anything honest from ABC is not something I expect. The fact that you noted the affiliate was out of Salt Lake City is meaningless to me as SLC is actually turning quite liberal, so I question the motives...ALWAYS question the motives!

      I have never heard of the website or magazine you referenced, so I have no way of knowing if they can be trusted. Until I can verify veracity, I will refrain from obtaining my information from anywhere other than primary sources.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:16 am |
    • Orwell seen it before

      Tough crowd, good point
      "ALWAYS question the motives."
      Including LDS.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:19 am |
    • toughcrowd

      Orwell seen it before: yes, ALWAYS question motives, including LDS. Why wouldn't you?!?

      My main point all evening has been that there are tons of false statements being spread around here, spewed by people who hate a particular group based solely on their beliefs. I do not recall trying to convert anyone; just trying to keep people fair and honest.

      So what's your beef?

      May 14, 2012 at 6:33 am |
  9. matt in nw

    i smile when i see or hear tearful testemonials – lets me know that at the least, that person is delusional, but more likely that person has no proplem lieing to themseves or anyone else. .... therefore not to be trusted in the least.

    mormons like all religions -need numbers = political power so tthey can build a nice strong cabal that will unquestionly do as they re told because its 'god's will'. used car salesmen have nothing on these guys.

    Science >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>religion

    ... and the Mormon religion is one of the most obvious as a sham..... Angel appears to boy in the early 1800s -tells boy about a lost tribe of Israel ... in 16th century English no less that found its way across the Med...out into the Atlantic and made it to the Americas... a voyage that would have made the Polynesians and the Vikings green with envy (both sea fairing curltures that could have sailed rings around a desert tribe) and started populating the americas- even though the oldest settlements in the Americas we ve found so far predate the Jews by some 4000 years (9210 bc – Norte Chico).

    pretty obvious to me that their founder was a con man...and they ve done an impressive job growing it.

    May 14, 2012 at 1:52 am |
    • Mike Belcher


      May 14, 2012 at 1:56 am |
    • Hollie8

      I'm in Australia and am so fascinated at all these myths and rumours that people come up with about Mormons in the U.S. It is pretty obvious to me that you've never actually really read the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I guess it's not worth the argument at all, it's just hard to not say anything when people say really false and distorted things about something they know nothing about.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:04 am |
    • matt in nw

      Hollie8 .... feel free to Educate me then:) I had to listen to this stuff for 17 years...as a child it didnt even make sense....and the overview i gave is accurate..... Read your book of mormon.... it all in there.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:14 am |
    • toughcrowd

      matt in nw, I'm sorry you seem so jaded. Hopefully you will have better experiences in the future and things will turn around.

      Having kept an open mind over the years, I believe science and Christianity go hand in hand. I'm guessing you will disagree with that, but my experiences in life have lead me to that conclusion.

      I understand your stance on testimonies. Many people out there, regardless of religion, recite them in very robotic ways. Fortunately, I am not among them. I am someone who has faced serious challenges in life and view those experiences as positive because they have allowed me to clearly see and experience the truth first hand vs. being taught to believe something all my life. I teach my children to think critically despite my positions because I know that they will attain true happiness when they figure it out for themselves. Hopefully, I will be lucky enough to be around when that happens.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:40 am |
    • matt in nw

      Toughcrowd – Its not about being jaded.... Religion through the centuries, has been sold to the masses as truth, the way.
      God is real or he isnt...there is really no gray area. Watch you church leaders closely....to a man these guys are savy business leaders.

      next time you are in church, pay close attention to how the leaders treat the poorer members- you ll notice the normal cliques you find in social gatherings.... the poor get far less handshake time:) – i think they are only tolerated because they are a vote..nothing more.

      All the evidence i ve encounted thus far is that there is no higher power- and its growing. and good news for you, you seem like a nice guy... guess what, religion has nothing to do with that.... that is all you...always has been. – we all choose to be the way we are....

      May 14, 2012 at 3:09 am |
    • toughcrowd

      I don't disagree with you in general regarding organized religion.

      I personally have not witnessed what you have, and I am not a member of my church to carry anyone's water. It just so happens that most (but not all) of my personal beliefs match with the church I chose.

      You will still be in my thoughts. For anyone to experience what you have under the banner of faith is wrong, and I hope you find true happiness in life regardless.

      May 14, 2012 at 6:41 am |
  10. Dakota2000

    I am so confused, when Donny and Marie were singing we were supposed to like mormons, now we hate them? And the Musilums, George Washington looked forward to trading with them since we where not a christian country at the time and had no cause to hate them, but now, it turns out that the we were a christian nation after all? Do we need to send the stuff back to Tripoli that we traded?

    I am so confused. Do we like jews now or not? I forget.
    And is it ok to rub a Buddah's tummy for good luck or is that frowned upon.

    And First People/Native American/Indian shamans.. do we still think its cool to do peyote or did that sweat lodge incident in Arizona make that a no-no.

    I just don't know who I am supposed to hate any more... I am so confused.

    Can someone write this all down so I don't forget...

    May 14, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • toughcrowd

      Dakota2000, this is basically the point I've been trying to make tonight for those who haven't caught on yet.

      We shouldn't be hating anyone; we should be focused on making America stronger and better for ourselves and our children. Some may think I've been picking on them, but if they are truly honest with themselves, they will realize that making scapegoats out of Mormons will do little to accomplish that.

      I wonder if those who show such vitriol towards this religion are supporters of the Civil Rights movement? If so, how is it acceptable to claim a lack of bias against one group while being so hateful towards another?

      May 14, 2012 at 2:01 am |
  11. I'm a Mormon

    I wasn't born a mormon but I am one now and the fact that we get so much grife is both sad and worrisome... Now I have never asked anyone to accept my beliefs, including my family, but I am asked to accept theirs or I'm the one who is closed minded, that's funny... We're not seceretive, we allow everyone entrance into our temples before we dedicate them and they become sacred, we serve all those we can and never expect anything in return. Mormons are usually the first ones on the scene with reliefe in the most horrific disasters... Some "cult" right?
    Anyway the real issue isn't Mormons, it's our debt and the fact that me, my children and my children's, children will be in REAL DANGER if we dont fix it! So I have a good idea, let's shut up and start focusing on what really matters! Both sides dems and reps! Its rediculous the state we're in, we're better than this, this is the United States of America and we are acting anything but "United!"

    May 14, 2012 at 1:37 am |
    • Mike Belcher

      I'm fine with that, and if this country gets any worse if Romney wins, are you willing to accept the fact that "It's the Mormon's Fault"?

      May 14, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • toughcrowd

      Beautiful post. Thank you!

      May 14, 2012 at 1:49 am |
    • Craig

      Not secretive? Recount the temple ceremony please. Or, tell me the name you received in the temple when/if you went through the temple ceremony. Please recount how much money the chuch made last year (or any year). It's very secretive, which is fine. I just wish LDS folks would man up and say, "Yep, we're secretive." The dodginess about it is off-putting.

      May 14, 2012 at 1:53 am |
    • Doxop

      Craig, while I understand how you feel I ask do you freely talk about your social security number and financial information? You are evidently very informed about our practices and while we can explain generalities we dont talk about specifics, just as anyone would about their finances. Might sound weird but it the best analogy i could quickly come up with.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:12 am |
    • Blair2000

      I absolutely love it. It's a great response. I know that the church is true. I know that an angel did visit Joseph Smith I know that he saw god the father and Jesus Christ. I can't tell you how but I truly know.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:23 am |
    • I'm a Mormon

      @ mike, i would love to give Mormon's a chance, being that Utah has weather the recession better than the majority of the states did, I like my chances... You can't deny what Utah has accomplished over the last 5 years, and if our country was running at the same pace, well then my friend, I for one would be very please. My question to you, if this was all turned around by a Mormon, would you then give us the credit we deserve?
      @ Craig, we really are not secretive, we do hold some thing scared but not secret, big difference... There is nothing about our ceremonies in the Temple that would harm, you, your family or your friends, past or present, so I don't understand your concern? And yes the church is known for its wealth, but maybe that is because we do something right, the country could learn something here, a flat tax may just be an answer, I wish I had the time and space to explain... also I ask one question; how much water have you brought to thrid world countires in Africa? Well we have brought water to Millions, and you haven't heard a word about it, again scared not secret... Craig, that's just the tip of the iceberg brother, if you had a clue, you would never think ill of the Mormons, I can guarantee you that!
      I appreciate your responses, and allowing me the chance to share my views, isn't America Amazing! Let's try and Keep it that WAY!
      One Love!

      May 14, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  12. Mike Belcher

    Romney is not going to beat Obama, the only thing Romney will do is make americans hate Mormons even more. Obama did the same for blacks

    May 14, 2012 at 1:30 am |
  13. MandoZink

    I seriously question the decision-making logic of these people. Why? The DNA of people who have been in the Americas for thousands of years undeniably shows they migrated from Asia. Ruins and artifacts clearly indicate their unique spiritual and cultural traditions. There are NO ties whatsoever to any Christian culture or beliefs. Yet Mormons believe the American Indians descend from a lost tribe of Israel. The facts says absolutely NO WAY! Not to mention they believe it is possible to redeem the "souls" of long dead humans.

    How can a person whose beliefs defy facts and logic even be in consideration to run the country? I think it's insane.

    May 14, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • toughcrowd

      Hmmm...I think it's insane for someone to assume that what others do and/or believe is zany (to coin a phrase) without asking them what their reasons are for doing/believing it in the first place.

      Here's a tip: if you ask questions that you sincerely want the answers to in a nice, non-condescending way, you might be pleasantly surprised at the responses and reasoning...oh, and here's another: Sea-Biscuit in the 5th!

      May 14, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • Blair2000

      Wow!!! Actually you guys and girls are all wrong. We as Latter Day Saints Read the Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. We Believe in God the Eternal Father and in his son Jesus Christ and we believe in the Holy Ghost. So I think you guys should stay away from that anti literature thats teaching you who and what we are. If you have a question ask a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Finally, We are not a cult.If your real question is are we an organized religion the answer would be yes. But you guys are just assuming and making up things. http://www.mormon.org if you have more questions just helping you out so you don't make a mistake and use google.com for the answers. Have a blessed day people.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:35 am |
    • Blair2000

      I think I posted on your post but I meant to comment under that one so I truly appologize.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:39 am |
  14. HarryPelham

    I rightly have NO problem with Mr. Romney becoming our next President come next January 20th of 2013. I am now a church-going man myself but I pray and believe in God Almighty and his only son the Lord Jesus Christ Our Savior and I rightly believe that Mr. Romney does too I reckon! I actually welcome the thought of getting up on the morning of January the 21st 2013 and smiling saying to myself "WHY GOOD MORNING PRESIDENT ROMNEY GOOD MORNING INDEED KIND SIR" I reckon after over 3-years of this so-called Muslim who professed to be a Christian I rightly will whole-heartedly welcome a Mormon like Mr. Romney least with Mitt I believe that at least he is 100% a REAL CHRISTIAN NO BOUT ADOUBT IT!!!!!

    May 14, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • toughcrowd

      I was with you until the Muslim comment.

      Resist the urge to take pot-shots at ANY group and you will preserve your credibility.

      May 14, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • MandoZink

      That is intentional ignorance. Obama is in no way a Muslim. Or are you just plain stupid?

      May 14, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • Dakota2000

      Ah, Harry, you do realize that mormons are not christian, right?

      And you do know that Musilims believe Jesus was a prophet.?Is this getting through ??

      May 14, 2012 at 1:35 am |
    • Blair2000

      Wow!!! Actually you guys and girls are all wrong. We as Latter Day Saints Read the Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. We Believe in God the Eternal Father and in his son Jesus Christ and we believe in the Holy Ghost. So I think you guys should stay away from that anti literature thats teaching you who and what we are. If you have a question ask a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Finally, We are not a cult.If your real question is are we an organized religion the answer would be yes. But you guys are just assuming and making up things. http://www.mormon.org if you have more questions just helping you out so you don't make a mistake and use google.com for the answers. Have a blessed day people.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:37 am |
  15. nolimits3333

    Mormonism is a crazy cult.

    May 14, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • Blair2000

      What religion are you?

      May 14, 2012 at 3:13 am |
    • I'm Mormon

      A cult is a secretive group that keeps to themselves and has little to do with the outside world. This article is about members of the church involved in politics! A Mormon is running for president for goodness' sake! Would a cult allow its members to do that? I don't think so. Our church responds to emergencies and sends supplies around the globe to those in need. We donate time, money, and resources to bettering our communities and the world at large. Does that sound like a cult to you? I don't think so.

      May 14, 2012 at 3:35 am |
  16. intel

    Do a google search on the White Horse Prophecy. You won't believe it.

    May 14, 2012 at 1:05 am |
  17. Orwell seen it before

    Getting a Scientologist as POTUS could be the needed fix for the country. We need a secretive religion running the USA.


    May 14, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • Orwell seen it before

      Think of the movie rights. It could pay off the national debt!

      Yes the TRAVOLTA-CRUISE unity government can bring Republicans, Democrats, Christians, Mormons, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and Tamils together.

      May 14, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • toughcrowd

      Crickets chirping...

      May 14, 2012 at 1:19 am |
  18. Bonnie Cage

    This is a very irresponsible article, Editors . . . facts, not sensationalims is what the people want in the news. Look at this tag headline for this article. "morons" really? Cults? come on . . . I expect more from CNN

    "nothing surprising about DC being a moron stronghold."
    CNN (blog) – ‎2 hours ago‎
    "The mormons are mad because we know they are a cult and we know they commit crimes against women and children.Warren Jeffs is their hero!"

    May 14, 2012 at 1:02 am |
    • Abinadi

      Warren Jeffs is no more a Mormon than Billy Graham is a Catholic.

      May 14, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • Orwell seen it before

      OMG! There are morons inside the capital beltway??? The communists have invaded, this the end days, be fearful.

      Morons having attacked the country since 1776, are now inside DC!!! Get the word out!

      May 14, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • I'm Mormon

      Warren Jeffs was the prophet of the FLDS church, which broke off from the Mormon church over 100 years ago. We have no association with them. In fact most Mormons despise Jeffs. Please get your facts right before you accuse us of things we haven't done. A cult is a secretive group that keeps to themselves and has little to do with the outside world. This article is about members of the church involved in politics! A Mormon is running for president for goodness' sake! Would a cult allow its members to do that? I don't think so. Our church responds to emergencies and sends supplies around the globe to those in need. We donate time, money, and resources to bettering our communities and the world at large. Does that sound like a cult to you? I don't think so.

      May 14, 2012 at 3:38 am |
  19. Tiny

    Mormons may not be a cult but they are DEFINITELY NOT CHRISTIAN. Believe what you will but don't mix the facts. The BIBLE is the inerrant Word of God and the only one. And if you are christian and look into the beliefs of mormons you will see that they are not christian. If the Spirit of God resides in you then you can recognize His TRUE Word.

    May 14, 2012 at 1:02 am |
    • Bonnie Cage

      so how are they Not christian? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints . . . They use the King James version of the Bible, the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. What is your "christian" religion, lets all take some pot shots at what you believe.

      May 14, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • toughcrowd

      Tiny, who the heck are YOU to say what others believe?!?

      Mormons use The Book of Mormon in addition to, NOT instead of, the Bible. Run along and gather true facts, not just the ones that fit the mold that someone has built up in your head...then get back to me.

      This is getting tedious! Sigh....

      May 14, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • golds

      They're not EVANGELICAL christians, but they are Christians.

      May 14, 2012 at 1:59 am |
    • Blair2000

      Wow!!! Actually you guys and girls are all wrong. We as Latter Day Saints Read the Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. We Believe in God the Eternal Father and in his son Jesus Christ and we believe in the Holy Ghost. So I think you guys should stay away from that anti literature thats teaching you who and what we are. If you have a question ask a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Finally, We are not a cult.If your real question is are we an organized religion the answer would be yes. But you guys are just assuming and making up things. http://www.mormon.org if you have more questions just helping you out so you don't make a mistake and use google.com for the answers. Have a blessed day.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:43 am |
    • toughcrowd

      Blair2000, although my response wasn't as detailed as yours, I am having a hard time seeing what is incorrect about my statement...

      May 14, 2012 at 6:52 am |
  20. petemg

    And what about Islam, a growing "religion" in America?

    May 14, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • Bonnie Cage

      What about it? It is a free country, we came here for religious freedom, including the freedom from religion. We are talking about choosing a president, someone qualified to lead our country, we all know he has no personal power, what difference some a persons religion make? Do you want to be judged by your religion? Are you an excellent representative of your religion? Let those without sin cast the 1st stone . . .

      May 14, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • toughcrowd

      Ditto Bonnie.

      What can I say? She must type faster than I do!

      May 14, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • Blair2000

      Why all this Mormon Bashing? Are Latter Day Saints Christian? Yes, We absolutely are? Do we read the Bible? Of couse we are Christians. Only difference is that we believe that we have the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If you really want to know if the Book of Mormon is true pray about it.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:50 am |
    • toughcrowd

      Blair2000, maybe I'm missing something or a couple of your posts have been put in the wrong place. Are you reading the posts? There is nothing in this section bashing Mormons...

      May 14, 2012 at 6:56 am |
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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.