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May 21st, 2012
03:58 PM ET

Truce between Obama and Romney on faith?

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Washington (CNN)– A political truce may be brewing between the Obama and Romney campaigns on the issue of the candidates' faith and religious practice.  An all-out war over such issues nearly erupted last week, but neither campaign would take up arms.

The controversy began after word got out of a Republican Super PAC's proposal to try to put a spotlight on President Barack Obama's fiery former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., just like in 2008. But Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee for president, slapped the effort down before it even got off the ground (and the Super PAC's leaders insisted the Wright campaign was just one of several ideas).

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

"I repudiate that effort," Romney told reporters on Thursday. "I think it's the wrong course for a PAC or a campaign. I hope that our campaigns can respectfully be about the future and about issues and about a vision for America."

Romney's lifelong membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is seen by some as a major liability, especially among evangelical voters and voters who don't know much about Mormonism.

After word of the proposed Wright campaign, Democratic pundits argued that if Obama's old pastor was back on the table, Romney's Mormonism should be, too, including the church's checkered history on the issue of race.

On Sunday, during CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley, senior Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod said that his camp repudiates attacks against Romney's faith.

“We've said that's not fair game. And we wish that Gov. Romney would stand up as strongly and as resolutely consistently to refute these kinds of things on his side,” the Obama strategist told Crowley.

"We both ought to take the right position," Axelrod said.  He proceeded to take a few shots at Romney, noting the former Massachusetts said in February that Wright was fair game.

Either way, both campaigns are now on the record saying the tinder box of their rival's faith is now off the table.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.


soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. Mike Tebow

    HECK NO!!! Obama spent his life at a racist, bigoted place of worship. Mitt came from a reverent worshiping church that loves this country and family values. Obama's pastor hates God, white men, and this country. ENOUGH SAID!!!!

    May 22, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • just sayin

      You are wrong about Mitt. You can get off your knees and step away from Mitt now. And clean off your mouth..there is mayo all over it.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • peter

      Mike i don't care what obama thinks or his racist preacher says. I never have nor will vote for obama. The problem with your so called white guy is we–christendom– rejects the claims of your cursed prophet. We put you people in utah in the 1800s because thats what we think of your religion. This republican will be sitting out the gen election. Ill vote for romney if he says publicly that he rejects the religion of his forfathers and their cursed christ.
      I voted for mccain/palin in 2008 and won't be voting at all this year. Hey mike,if your mormon loses just remember it was because of republicans like me who sat out.

      May 22, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Jackie

      "We put your people in utah in the 1800s because that's what we think of your religion"

      Interesting. So you willingly align yourselves with people who killed innocent women and children, blatantly disrespected this country's freedom of religion, and perescuted a religious group to the extent that they were forced to flee "the land of the free" across a thousand miles of frozen prairie, often dying along the way? I hope you're proud of yourself.

      May 23, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Wraith

      And what about the Mormon's slaying of, what was it, somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 Irish immigrants?

      May 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  2. jhalldor

    Hard to find something important that Rich Romney and Obama disagree on.

    Let's start with stopping the wars that are bankrupting our country and killing our brave soldiers. Surprising to me how people who claim to be Christian, Mormon, Jewish etc. are so supportive of these unending immoral wars.

    Bring our suffering soldiers home intact to their families. No soldier should die for a lie.

    Ron Paul 2012

    May 22, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  3. John

    I hate all minorities, gays, and atheists. If it was up to me I would have them all killed so the Christian and Jewish people could live without fear of persecution.

    May 22, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Have you considered seeking medical attention for those delusions? People like you are dangerous to society and should not be roaming the streets freely.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Huebert

      Are you trolling or just that dumb?

      May 22, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • just sayin

      Huebert

      Are you trolling or just that dumb?
      ---
      Actually he sounds "Southern"

      May 22, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Keith

      Just gp ahead and fire up the war machine John. I'm afraid the friends of the Devil have more guns.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Wraith

      John,

      So... you'd, actively, persecute several groups of individuals?
      Such a good Christian you are.

      May 30, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  4. kolob

    Damn right Romney doesn't want to start talking about religion. Because the Mormon church is a cult. Do a wiki search on the Book of Mormon. Or Parley P. Pratt. Or the White Horse Prophecy. Or Brigham Young. Or planet Kolob. Mitt Romney is a cult member. Educate yourself.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Huebert

      All religious people are cult members. You're just more comfortable with talking snakes and a zombie Jew, than you are with magic plates and god living on planet Kolob. Once you start believing in dragons, does it matter what color you believe they are?

      May 22, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • flfx

      Ah Huebert, and your cult of atheism has what proof of non existence again?

      May 22, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • Huebert

      @flfx

      If your only criteria for believing something is that it haven't been proven not to exist you could argue for belief in anything. Smurfs haven't been proven to not exist, neither have unicorns, Pokemon, or Santa Clause. It is completely impossible to prove that something does not exist. Unicorns, Pokemon, Santa Clause, and god all have something in common though; none of them have any evidence supporting their existence, and until that particular fact changes I'll go with the logically supportable position of atheism.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • BRC

      @flfx,
      All religions are technically cults, some are just larger and more accepted (typically sless radical).

      Atheism is not a religion, it is at most a belief. Therefore, atheism is not a cult. I'm sure there are atheist cults out there, there are lots of cults out there, but Atheism, as a whole, is not a cult. It just means you don't believe there are any gods.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • adghsd

      @flfx Burden of proof fallacy. Also, you have the assumption that just because the guy you're talking to denounces religion, he must be an athiest; a dogmatic one at that. Oh, uneducated garbage.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • scottd

      @Huebert – "Once you start believing in dragons, does it matter what color you believe they are?"

      +1!!

      I'm stealing that!

      May 22, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Doug

      While you are looking at all of the Mormon-hater, bigoted filth on the Internet about Mormonism, check out mormon.org to see what Mormons believe, not what anti-Mormon bigots want you to think Mormons believe.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • just sayin

      Doug

      While you are looking at all of the Mormon-hater, bigoted filth on the Internet about Mormonism, check out mormon.org to see what Mormons believe, not what anti-Mormon bigots want you to think Mormons believe.
      ---
      Doug the Cult Member, because one believes Mormonism to be a cult, does not make them bigoted. You are not a Christian, rather you are a Mormon. Like the billboards say ....I AM MORMON...be proud cult follower.

      May 22, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Keith

      Which Cult do you belong to?

      May 22, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
  5. Myth Busted!

    Huh right. Like leaving a baby in a bathtub with a shark. Blood on the water and guess what? AMERICA LOSES

    If obama wins the gays are Gonna sweep the nation starting in San Francisco and New York City gonna raze the country to the ground on their way to St. Louis missouri.

    If romney wins his is gonna Make everyone subscribe to his mumbo jumbo knocking down the Lincoln Memorial putting up another temple to Joseph Smith and the magic snake in a hat. Caffeine will be outlawed! Hope you like magic underwear folks!

    May 22, 2012 at 5:49 am |
    • TJeff1776

      Romney was Governor and no statues of Joseph Smith was seen being erected AND the "magic underwear" propaganda is an invention of bigots. Where they popped THAT out of the air is known only to them because it certainly isn't Mormon doctrine. They invent these lies, then point to them as being actual fact.

      May 22, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • XCW530

      @ TJeff1776

      Are you saying that devout Mormons don’t wear religiously significant underwear, aka ‘garments’?

      May 22, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Ting

      I'm no Mormon expert but from what I've read, the religious underwear is not a myth.

      May 22, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • db

      yes, faithful LDS wear 'garments' as a reminder of faith and commitment to God. When people use the term 'magic underwear' it just reveals their level of bigotry towards mormons

      May 22, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Portland tony

      You ever take a close look at the "fashion statement" the Pope and other church leaders try to make. At least Mormons wear theirs under something!

      May 22, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Doug

      The great thing about this election is that it's getting out all of the absurd beliefs that people have about Mormonism so we can finally display on a large scale how desperate some social fringe elements are to rehash tired old misconceptions in an attempt to slander a people who are probably the last group you would expect to commit a crime in your neighborhood. Myth Buster and other angry outcasts are getting desperate and it shows.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • just sayin

      Doug

      The great thing about this election is that it's getting out all of the absurd beliefs that people have about Mormonism so we can finally display on a large scale how desperate some social fringe elements are to rehash tired old misconceptions in an attempt to slander a people who are probably the last group you would expect to commit a crime in your neighborhood. Myth Buster and other angry outcasts are getting desperate and it shows.

      --
      And again the Cult Followers offers nothing other than ...it isnt true. I find this quite revealing. Ignore the wierd writings, stories and criminal activities of the founder......we are nice an dgood family values.

      May 22, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  6. HITLER WAS A CHRISTIAN

    CASE CLOSED.

    May 22, 2012 at 5:15 am |
    • Skip the Bible

      Yes!

      May 22, 2012 at 5:19 am |
    • Dave

      Actually Hilter would be more closely called a Wiccan. The theology of the Nazi party was Germanic in nature and followed the occult and the ancient Saxon people. He was only baptized Catholic but was never a follower or even an attender. He also radically changed the German church to one that worshiped him and him only.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • flfx

      And Jeffery Dahmer, Stalin and Jim Jones were athirst. Your point?

      May 22, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Wraith

      Actually, Dave, no, he wouldn't. "Wicca," wasn't created until the 70's. Hitler would have been described more as a, "neo-pagan." Not that there's anything wrong with neo-paganism, but it just further proves all faiths have their monsters.

      May 30, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  7. peter

    The book of mormon,another testament of jesus christ written by their cursed prophet joeseph smith in the 1800s is not the word of God. Christendom rejects joeseph smith. his book of mormon and his cursed christ. Mormons are not christians and their religion is blasphemy.

    May 22, 2012 at 5:14 am |
    • TJeff1776

      Doubtful that you have ever so much as picked up a Book of Mormon in your life. But....rave on.

      May 22, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • Doug

      Whoa, Peter slow down. We don't want you getting fitted for a suicide vest. Sounds like you are on the lunatic fringe yourself.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Keith

      Most of you silly Christians don't even know where your book came from. Your Bible has no more value than the book of Mormon.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
  8. CAPTAIN CONUNDRUM

    A TRUCE HUH? DID THEY BOTH FINALLY COME TO THE LOGICAL CONCLUSION THAT FAIRY TALES HAVE NO PLACE IN POLITICS?

    May 22, 2012 at 1:30 am |
  9. Bill Fitzgerald

    Thank you JustSayin. You hit the nail on the head. By their works ye shall know them. Go investigate the works of Mormonism and wallah, you have your answer. 100% Latter day saints. FYI, Saints is the term used in the Bible for followers of The Savior. The word Christian is used about three times.

    May 21, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • CAPTAIN CONUNDRUM

      WHO GIVES A CRAP.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • Keith

      The word Christian is never used

      May 22, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
  10. momoya

    Smart move on the part of both parties.. Keep the silliness of religion out of the game.. I only wish more people were as embarrassed of their stupid myth beliefs as these two just proved themselves to be.

    May 21, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  11. Michael

    I hope they both stay away from playing the "God card", to borrow a hackneyed jingoistic expression. We are not electing a "Pastor in Chief" and the election should not be a proxy theological debate.

    The real challenge for Romney will be whether he can keep the leash on the right wing SuperPACs (without coordinating with them of course, since that would be a Federal offence.) If they go into the weeds, the left will respond in kind and things will be very ugly.

    May 21, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  12. Portland tony

    Do ya think if they were both closet atheists they would admit it and lose the religious vote?

    May 21, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
  13. AtheistSteve

    So just sayin' is an atheist with respect to Mormonism. The funny thing is that his knee-jerk reaction to Mormons is exactly the same as mine towards all the other cults of Christianity. The reason he rejects Mormons are the same as my rejection of all faiths. He just believes in one more god than I do because he won't apply the same logic to his own myth.

    May 21, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • just sayin

      Steve,

      No am Agnostic. Mormonism is jsut a cult branching off of Christianity. Christianity is just acult branching off from the Jews. The Jews is a self created cult borrowing from other beliefs in the region.

      Mormons are no more Christian than a Christian being Jews.

      May 21, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • just sayin

      I see no reason to trust man's different stories of magic sky gods. I also see no reason to rule out origins from an intelligent being or beings. I go though life not worrying about such trivial things.

      May 21, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  14. just sayin

    Shame they werent wiped out in the 1838 Mormon War. ****Sigh****

    May 21, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • just sighin

      agreed

      May 21, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Kenjitheman

      Shame the jews werent wiped out during WWII either. or the muslims in bosnia in the 90's. Lets just kill off half of the worlds population just to justify your stupid ideas. EPIC fail!!!

      May 22, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Doug

      I'm glad to hear of your discouragement that Mormons weren't exterminated. It makes the success of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that much sweeter.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • just sayin

      Doug

      I'm glad to hear of your discouragement that Mormons weren't exterminated. It makes the success of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that much sweeter.

      --–
      Mormonism is the most successful cult to date I believe.

      May 22, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Jackie

      Yeah, it's totally a shame that the USA didn't commit genocide against a religious group. That would have been awesome! Oh, wait...

      May 23, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  15. Reality

    ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS:

    Why there will be no debate about religion (minus the abortion issue) by Messrs. Obama and Romney.

    Bottom line: Romney is Mormon because he was born Mormon. Should we/BO hold this against him? After all, BO (born Christian or Muslim?) also believes in "pretty/ugly wingie thingies, bodily resurrections and atonement mumbo jumbo.

    One should be voting and governing based on rational thinking. Believing in angels, satans, bodily resurrections, atonement, and heavens of all kinds is irrational.

    Apparently, BO and MR have been severely brainwashed in their theologically and historically flawed Christianity and they are too weak to escape its felonious grip and therefore pros and cons of religion will not be debated until the subject of abortion is brought up.

    Then BO will win the vote!! And why is that?

    Obama "mouths" that he is Christian i.e. believes in gay Gabriel and war-mongering Michael the Archangel and Satan. BO's support of abortion/choice however vitiates has Christianity as he is the leader of the Immoral Majority who are now the largest voting bloc in the country. Immoral Majority you ask??

    The 78 million voting "mothers and fathers" of aborted womb babies !!! (2012 -1973 Rowe vs. Wade = 39.)

    39 x 2 million = 78 million. Abortion rate in the USA as per the CDC is one million/yr.

    And the presidential popular vote in 2008?

    69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM. The population of the Immoral Majority in 2008? ~ 70 million !!!!!!

    May 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
  16. just sayin

    "The Joseph Smith Papyri have been dated to the late Ptolemaic or early Roman period, 1500 years after Abraham’s supposed lifetime.[85] Critics feel this is relevant because of Joseph Smith's statement that the papyri were "written by [Abraham's] own hand upon papyrus."

    May 21, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • CAPTAIN CONUNDRUM

      IT'S BECAUSE THAT IDIOT DIDN'T KNOW THAT REAL PEOPLE WOULD BE ABLE TO USE CARBON DATING. JOSEPH SMITH WAS A LYING CON ARTIST PIECE OF CRAP AND I'M GLAD HE GOT WHAT HE DESERVED.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:05 am |
  17. just sayin

    According to several LDS writers (such as Cleon Skousen in his book The First 2000 Years), the earth was created near Kolob over a period of 6000 years (six "days" in Kolob time), and then moved to its present position in our solar system

    According to Joseph Smith, Jr. biographer Fawn Brodie, Smith's idea of Kolob may have been derived from the "throne of God" idea found in Thomas Dick's The Philosophy of a Future State,[48] which Brodie said Smith "had recently been reading" before dictating the Book of Abraham, and which "made a lasting impression" on him.

    The idea that the earth was formed elsewhere and then migrated to orbit around the sun differs from the scientific explanation of the earth's formation.
    ----
    Interesting notes and further demonstration of "borrowed" stories and ideas to create a religion

    May 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • just sayin

      And a man running for office believes in this cult.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • trueno

      Fawm Brodie was a huge anti-Mormon. Quoting her book gives your argument no credibility.

      May 22, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • just sayin

      trueno

      Fawm Brodie was a huge anti-Mormon. Quoting her book gives your argument no credibility.

      ---

      Thats nice, care to offer anything to counter? Perhaps you cant see past your Mormon biases? Your founder had zero credibility. It would have been impossible for him to know about carbon dating....DNA....other things called "evidence". If the founder has zero credibility..then the whol foundation has zero credibility. Nice people do not justify a religion. Let me guess you were going to say but Mormons have good morals and family values to by pass your founder?

      May 22, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Jackie

      Have you ever read Fawn Brodie's biography of Lincoln? It's total crap, anyone who reads it can obviously recognize that. Yet anti-Mormons seem to think that she magically gained credibility when writing equally false and ridiculous things about Joseph Smith. I'd suggest you check out Hugh Nibley's "No Ma'am, That's Not History" for a marvelous and academic rebuttal against Brodie. I don't have time to go over it myself.

      May 23, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  18. just sayin

    He was a master of stealing b i ts and pieces from many to create his religion. Example he stole from the Masons their temple design and the oaths. He stole from the scr olls he bought...He lit erally built his religion like you builld a used car with used parts from this and that. Note "used" . He had a history of cons...well docu mented. He used magic sti c k s to con people..he used magic stones as well on previous cons then used them in his religion. He operated much like you see how modern day cult leaders operate. Cons like his has been played out many times....his con has just grown.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      2 John 7-11.

      Amen.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • just sayin

      HeavenSent

      2 John 7-11.

      Amen.

      --–

      Don't forget about

      2 John 6-9.

      May 22, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  19. just sayin

    America is not ready for a cult follower to be President.

    May 21, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Keith

      We have had many of them, one more won't hurt

      May 22, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
  20. just sayin

    One is Christian and one is part of a cult.why a truce?

    May 21, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • russell

      um mormomism is christian. have you ever talked with mormon missionaries or gone to a church of theirs? I think you should insstead of saying things you don't know. All i'm gonna say is that they believe in jesus christ, god the father, and the holy ghost. they believe they are all SEPERATE which makes perfect sense instead of them being all the same-i.e. the holy trinity.
      i suggest you visit mormon.org to see what mormons really believe instead of posting insulting comments that have offended me and probably many other people.

      May 21, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • just sayin

      The last place to find the truth about Mormons is Mormon.org. There are plenty of cults that believe in Jesus....Mormonism is just one of many.

      May 21, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • just sayin

      All the Pepsi sales/$ and number of followers saying I believe in Jesus in the world does not make Mormonism truly Christian or legit.

      May 21, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Christian

      Obama hides beneath the Christian banner but you can tell from his actions that he is only a proffessing Christian and not a practicing one. So to re-word your argument: one is a hypocritical supposed follower of God blaspheming Him by going against His will, and the other is part of a cult that think they can become gods of their own planet and people if they are good Mormons. Yep, they think God used to be some random guy on another planet...

      May 22, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • Huebert

      One is a cult and the other is an older cult. Why not call a truce?

      May 22, 2012 at 9:43 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.