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Bias against Mormon presidential candidate unchanged since 1967, poll finds
Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, is trying to become the first Mormon president.
June 21st, 2012
01:19 PM ET

Bias against Mormon presidential candidate unchanged since 1967, poll finds

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Bias against a Mormon presidential candidate hasn’t budged in 45 years, with 18% of Americans saying they would not vote for a well-qualified candidate who happened to be Mormon, according to a Gallup Poll released Thursday.

The survey points up potential challenges for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who is vying to be the first Mormon in the White House.

Gallup first asked Americans about support for a Mormon presidential candidate in 1967 when Romney’s father, George Romney, was running for president. That year, 17% of Americans said they would not vote for a well-qualified Mormon for president.

George Romney dropped out of the race after making a gaffe about the Vietnam War, and Richard Nixon won the GOP nomination in 1968.

The shaping of a candidate: A look at Mitt Romney's faith journey

“The stability of resistance to a Mormon presidential candidate over the past 45 years is an anomaly,” Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport wrote in a survey report, noting that “resistance to a candidate who is black, a woman, or Jewish has declined substantially over the same period of time.”

The survey also found that four in 10 Americans do not know that Romney is Mormon. Gallup found that those who know Romney is a Mormon are also the most likely to back the idea of a Mormon for president.

But the national learning curve on Romney's religion "suggests the possibility that as Romney's faith becomes better known this summer and fall, it could become more of a negative factor," Newport wrote in his report.

CNN Explains: What’s Mormonism?

"Those who resist the idea of a Mormon president will in theory become more likely to realize that Romney is a Mormon as the campaign unfolds," Newport wrote.

Bias against a Mormon candidate is significantly higher among Democrats and independents than among Republicans, Gallup found.

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

Twenty-four percent of Democrats and 18% of independents said they would not vote for a well-qualified Mormon who was nominated by their party, while 10% of Republicans expressed such opposition.

Resistance to a Mormon candidate was much higher among Americans with lower levels of education, with 23% of those without a high school diploma saying they would not support a well-qualified Mormon. Six percent of those with postgraduate education shared that view.

In his report, Newport said that it’s “unclear how the current level of resistance to the idea of voting for a Mormon presidential candidate will affect the election.”

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“History shows that these types of attitudes in and of themselves are not an impediment to victory,” Newport wrote, citing a 1960 poll that found 21% of Americans would not vote for a well-qualified Catholic candidate for the presidency.

Later that same year, John F. Kennedy won the White House.

The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In an interview earlier this year, Southern Baptist leader Richard Land predicted that Romney’s Mormonism would become a bigger political challenge for the candidate - not because of anti-Mormon bias among evangelicals but because of that bias among independents.

Most evangelicals already “know what Mormonism believes and most of them are prepared to vote for Mitt Romney in a general election against Barack Obama in spite of his Mormonism,” said Land, public policy chief for the country’s largest evangelical denomination.

“The 40% of electorate that’s independent, most of them have no idea what Mormons believe,” Land said. “But they will all know what Mormons believe by the general election.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (2,017 Responses)
  1. Bristol

    I don't know why people are down on Mormons. If someone wants to have more than one wife and the women are OK with it, I think that's fine. Limiting the priesthood to anglo's is part of their religious freedom.

    June 21, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Jewel

      Wrong church, Bristol. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon Church) has not allowed polygamy since 1890- that's 122 years ago. The FLDS, a break-off group of many, many years, is the group in Texas with Warren Jeffs who practice polygamy. Mitt Romney belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Also, the priesthood is not limited to anglos. You are either very misinformed or you are intentionally trying to spread malicious lies.

      To learn what the church teaches, go to www. Mormon.org instead of guessing. If you want a couple of references on all the good the church does, ask the American Red Cross, who has partnered with the church to work together on humanitarian and disaster relief. You can also ask the Boy Scouts of America, of whom the "Mormon" church is the biggest supporter in the country.

      June 21, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • meli

      If you would like to educate yourself more about mormoninsm, I invite you to go to mormon.org. You can learn a lot there....

      June 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • zacharye

      If you really want to know what mormons are all about watch the south park episode where the mormon family moves to town.

      June 21, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • msadr

      People like you who are "fine" with every filthy, debauched, immoral thing are what's wrong with this Country. You're a fool.

      June 21, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Dan

      It would have been a funny joke, 100 plus years ago...

      June 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • peninsula p

      Why is it that such a fair and equitable religion does not have a history of allowing women to have as many husbands as they can support? Our society has such a problem with unattached males of all ages. Would not a wise God provide this to everyone's satisfaction? I'm all for it as long as the males are of the age of consent and are not pressured or coerced into the marriage out of religious duty or lack of social status.

      June 22, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • melissa

      sweetie if you didnt notice little girls arent given a choice when their parents are giving them to these perverts as sacrifices to better their standing in the "church"....also any religion that discriminates against any race should be ashamed and they will always put their personal beliefs above the betterment of society at large

      June 28, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  2. sam

    We just need a president willing to practice safe sects.

    June 21, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • v_mag

      I agree. For instance, I don't think we ought to allow a snake-handling preacher to be president. He might have a reptile dysfunction.

      June 21, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • sam

      Ok, for that you get the rimshot. That was a good one.

      June 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • GSHOES

      best posts of the day

      June 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • laughing

      hahaha

      June 22, 2012 at 1:20 am |
  3. Doc Vestibule

    "If a dest.itute family is faced with the decision of paying their ti.thing or eating, they should pay their t.ithing." (Lynn Robbins, General Conference, April 2005).
    "From the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith even until now, it is has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by any of the Church leaders, that the Neg.roes are not ent.itled to the full blessings of the Gospel.
    "Furthermore your ideas, as we understand them, appear to contemplate the intermarriage of the Neg.ro and White races, a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient partiarchs till now. God's rule for Israel, His Chosen People, has been endogamous."
    – George Albert Smith J. Reuben Clark, Jr. David O. McKay

    How could anyone have an unfavourable opinion of Mormons with statements like these out there?

    June 21, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Whew..thanks goodness none of those people are running for the Presidency.

      June 21, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  4. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    In 1960, Jack Kennedy was able to do what Al Smith had not been able to do in 1928. He was able to convince voters that a Roman Catholic could be elected President without being answerable to Rome. Neither George nor Mitt Romney has convinced voters that a Mormon President would not be answerable to Salt Lake City. The majority of resistance to a Mormon President comes from Republican voters. The irony is most Mormons are die-hard Republicans who would never think of voting against their party preference, or stay home on election day out of protest.
    Both Kennedy and Romney have similar backgrounds in their family histories. The one thing Jack Kennedy was able to bring out that Romney cannot match is his record as a WW2 Vet recognized for heroism. Mitt spent too much time avoiding being sent to Vietnam to have the same credentials.
    Ever since the San Patricio incident in the Mexican War, Catholics have had to go the extra mile to prove they are loyal Americans, especially during times of war. Mormons originally eschewed violence, and requested Conscientious Objector status during most wars. It is only in the past 50 or so years that we have seen Mormons entering the military, so they don't have a demonstrated history of supporting national defense to the same level as Catholics. That translates still into a general lack of trust of the Church members.

    June 21, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Joe,

      did you read the article? The survey results seem to indicate that despite popular expectations, Republicans got over their reluctance.

      Quoting the article: "Bias against a Mormon candidate is significantly higher among Democrats and independents than among Republicans, Gallup found. ... Twenty-four percent of Democrats and 18% of independents said they would not vote for a well-qualified Mormon who was nominated by their party, while 10% of Republicans expressed such opposition."

      June 21, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • William Demuth

      GOP

      All that means is if forced to choose between a black guy or a white cult member, the the republicans will choose the cult member.

      Race will get Romney far more votes than his Mormonisim will lose.

      June 21, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "All that means is if forced to choose between a black guy or a white cult member, the the republicans will choose the cult member."

      Don't you mean to say, "black cult guy"? You do consider Christianity a cult don't you?

      June 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • wow

      Several of the senior leadership of the LDS Church served in WW2. The Mormon battalion was part of the Mexican American War and marched to San Diego in 1846-1847. I’d say your facts are fiction.

      June 21, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  5. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    In the Pew Research Forum report on religion in the US, I noticed a curious coincidence. Mormonism and Judaism are each expresed by 1.7% of US adults.

    It is entirely coincidental and doesn't mean anything, other than I was surprised to learn that there are just as many Mormons as Jews. (As someone living in a western state I shouldn't be surprised but there it is.)

    A more meaningful questsion to me is how many people would refuse to vote for a professed atheist as President.

    June 21, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  6. crappygovernment

    I know this is a lot to read, but I'm a 7th generation mormon (ex by my own choice) and I know that mormons HAVE to OBEY everything their prophets, past and present say. They are the mouthpieces of God and cannot be doubted. The following quotes are taken from the Prophet Brigham Young's journals. You can find the complete journals on ebay. Don't let Mormons tell you they are taken out of context...they are EXACT quotes.

    Brigham Young said your own blood must atone for some sins.

    "There is not a man or woman, who violates the covenants made with their God, that will not be required to pay the debt. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out, your own blood must atone for it . . . " (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 247; see also, vol. 4, p. 53-54, 219-220).

    Brigham Young said you must confess Joseph Smith as a prophet of God in order to be saved.

    "...and he that confesseth not that Jesus has come in the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fullness of the Gospel to this generation, is not of God, but is Antichrist," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 9, p. 312).

    Brigham Young said his discourses are as good as Scripture.

    "I say now, when they [his discourses] are copied and approved by me they are as good Scripture as is couched in this Bible . . . " (Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 264; see also p. 95).

    Brigham Young said he had never given any counsel that was wrong.

    "I am here to answer. I shall be on hand to answer when I am called upon, for all the counsel and for all the instruction that I have given to this people. If there is an Elder here, or any member of this Church, called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who can bring up the first idea, the first sentence that I have delivered to the people as counsel that is wrong, I really wish they would do it; but they cannot do it, for the simple reason that I have never given counsel that is wrong; this is the reason." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 16, p. 161).

    Brigham Young compared his sermons with scripture.

    "I know just as well what to teach this people and just what to say to them and what to do in order to bring them into the celestial kingdom...I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture. Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon, and it is as good Scripture as they deserve. The people have the oracles of God continually." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 95).

    Brigham Young said you are damned if you deny polygamy.

    "Now if any of you will deny the plurality of wives, and continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 266). Also, "The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 11, p. 269).

    Brigham Young said you can't get to the highest heaven without Joseph Smith's consent.

    "...no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 289).

    Brigham Young boasted.

    "What man or woman on earth, what spirit in the spirit-world can say truthfully that I ever gave a wrong word of counsel, or a word of advice that could not be sanctioned by the heavens? The success which has attended me in my presidency is owing to the blessings and mercy of the Almighty . . . " (Journal of Discourses, vol. 12, p. 127).

    Brigham Young said Jesus' birth was as natural as ours.

    "The birth of the Savior was as natural as the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood–was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115).

    Brigham Young said that God the Father and Mary 'do it.'

    "When the time came that His first-born, the Saviour, should come into the world and take a tabernacle, the Father came Himself and favoured that spirit with a tabernacle instead of letting any other man do it," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, p. 218). "The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood – was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115). Note: the late Bruce McConkie who was a member of the First Council of the Seventy stated "There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events..." (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie, p. 742).

    Brigham Young said that Jesus was not begotten by the Holy Spirit.

    "I have given you a few leading items upon this subject, but a great deal more remains to be told. Now, remember from this time forth, and for ever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 51).

    Brigham Young taught that Adam was God.

    "Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, Saint and sinner! When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days! about whom holy men have written and spoken – He is our Father, and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do. Every man upon the earth, professing Christians or non professing, must hear it, and will know it sooner or later." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 50).

    Brigham Young made a false prophecy?

    "In the days of Joseph [Smith] it was considered a great privilege to be permitted to speak to a member of Congress, but twenty-six years will not pass away before the Elders of this Church will be as much thought of as the kings on their thrones," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, p. 40).

    Brigham Young comments about blacks

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

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

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

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

    June 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • TawandaK9

      What a bunch of hogwash.

      June 21, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • jon

      Sorry dude...I don't believe you were ever mormon. If you were mormon you would know that to even be baptized we had to pray for "ourselves" to know the prophet was ineed the prophet. Think "missionaries." Nobody ever asks anyone to blindly believe . Did you forget about the sustaining vote??? We ask the congregations two times a year if they sustain the prophet and other church leaders...if a person doesn't sustain a leader, then that person's name is quietly written down...and they speak to officials after the meeting concerning "why". The reason is because if the church officials happened to committ some awful offense...other church authorites want to know about it. So they ask the people. So please don't try to say something that is completely false.

      June 21, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Dan

      Dude, criticize Mormism all you want, but to pretend you were one, that's just lame. It's clear you have never set a foot inside an LDS edifice.

      June 21, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • JM

      Honestly Scientology is the less obvious fraud. The Native Americans are a lost tribe of Israel....those of darker skin tones were peoples who were "cursed" by God, and if they repented their skin would lighten.....oh and the magic underwear, too. X D

      June 22, 2012 at 2:32 am |
    • njemnu

      An eye-opener. I am glad you used quotations. Whether you were part of the church is inconsequential. The facts are a treasure trove. These guys were villains.

      June 22, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  7. Adriana Birmingham, Al

    Too bad we don't have a well qualified Mormon running for president. I think it is funny that evangelicals will vote for Romney, who is NOT a christion but will not vote for Obama who is actually a christian.

    June 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      I think if you look at Christianity in a broad sense...you'll find that Mormonism is within Christianity just like Gnostic, Orthodox, Catholic, Coptic and Protestantism is.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Jesus Christ Superstar

      @Uncouth Swain

      Yeah, just like how if you look at America in a broad sense, we're technically British. And if you look at humans in a broad sense, we're also all African. Things are easier when they're easy

      June 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Ok JCS...perhaps you would like to tell us why Mormons are not true Christians.
      Then you can tell us why Macduff isn't a true scotsman.

      June 21, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Jesus Christ Superstar

      @Uncouth Swain

      Well, the first reason I can come up with, is that Christianity is a religion based on a jewish man from the middle east, while Mormonism is based on a white guy who was visited by UFO's in New York. So they're kinda different. Unless you want to say Christianity is part of Judaism, then we might be able to start agreeing.

      June 21, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "Well, the first reason I can come up with, is that Christianity is a religion based on a jewish man from the middle east,"

      I believe that the Mormons also have that same jewish man in their faith. Kind of explains the whole "Church of Jesus Christ" in their ti_tle.

      Also, the head/founder of a certain avenue of christianity doesn't make it separate from christianity. That would be like saying Catholics aren't Christian because a great deal of thr focus is on the Pope.

      June 21, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  8. Marcia J.

    Anyone here ever see the movie September Dawn about the massacre of settlers going west, including women and children?? Apparently Joseph Smith ordered it. What's sad is we could have another Jim Jones on our hands but this time in the White House.

    Oh yeah and being black IMO, is a blessing and in no way a curse. I love being black and I would NEVER want to give up my permanent tan.

    June 21, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Mike D

      That's right! The ghost of Joseph Smith (because he had been dead for several years) ordered the Mormons to kill women and children because that would be soooo cool for the Mormons to do and then they would be ghosts like him!!!!!

      June 21, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Craig

      Marcia, You are close. Joseph Smith did not order it but it was Brigham Young, the 2nd President, Prophet, Seer and Revelator at that time. The church blamed it on the Natives for 100 years until it was widely publicized on PBS 3 years ago. The church then came out and publicly admitted that it was in fact Brigham Young who issued the kill order and apologized for it. Still a huge mark for a church that claims that it is the only true and living church to issue kill order toward innocent men, women and children.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Blake

      Umm, Craig.... you crazy man! Yeas, Brigham Young was the prophet of the LDS church at the time of the MMM. No, he did not order it and the LDS faith has never stated such. They have apologized for the fact that LDS members commited to horendous act but that is all. There has never been any proof given or found that points to Brigham Young being the mastermind behind it all. It is only based on speculation, and hearsay that people have formulated that theory. Do you know what was going on at the time it occured? Do you know what the Mormons had suffered? Did you know the fear that they were experiencing and the treat they were under when it occured? Of course you don't because you have done no research on it. Now, I am not defending what those few LDS members did. They will be judged for their crimes. I am just stating that you might understand how something like that could happen if you knew the events preceeding and surrounding it.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Commonman

      Best Book on this terrible act, peer reviewed by non-LDS historians:

      http://www.amazon.com/Massacre-at-Mountain-Meadows-ebook/dp/product-description/B004JU1WJ0

      http://www.rickross.com/reference/mormon/mormon393.html

      I'm guessing the movie was not reviewed by historians, as it perpetuates a large number of inaccuracies.

      June 22, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  9. republican grandma

    Romney will abolish Social security and Medicare. It is good reason for me to vote for another guy. O yeah he is Mormon so he is out for Good!

    June 21, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Lol....I love it when ppl bring out the old "abolish Social Security" line. No one is going to do that anytime soon. Not Obama and not Romney.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Doug

      ahem, 'privitize' social security. Because private investing firms have shown their ability to grow funds in the past 10 years...either by ponzi schemes or default swaps betting against their clients interest.

      June 21, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  10. v_mag

    If Flip Rob-money thinks it'll help his campaign, heck, he'll become a Baptist.

    As for people not able to bring themselves to vote for a Mormon, that is most often the affliction of right wingers, no matter what the poll says. That is because Repugnants have a Mormon candidate right now, so it looks like more Dems are opposed to Mormons. In actuality, a lot of evangelicals, who despise Mormons, will still vote for Rob-money because they are more Repugnant/racist than they are evangelical. If the devil himself were running against Obama, (and many believe he is), R's would still check the R column.

    June 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  11. Luke

    Gov. Romney is NOT well qualified to be President of the United States. The man is a manager not a leader,who is the perfect candidate for the 1%.

    June 21, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Well..Mitt has more executive experience than a certain Senator did before becoming the Prez.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • republican grandma

      He will abolish Social security and Medicare! So no Sir! Thank you very much!

      June 21, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • v_mag

      Uncouth, President Obama has over 3 years experience as President. Rob-money has limited experience as governor, and many say he performed badly in that job. The last thing any intelligent person would want is a businessman in the White House. Government is not the same as business, but Romney = Bush = disaster.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "President Obama has over 3 years experience as President. Rob-money has limited experience as governor, and many say he performed badly in that job."

      And of course I was referencing Senator and not Pres. Obama before. Romney has more executive expereince than Obama did when he was running for Pres. No shame in that, it's just a fact.

      "The last thing any intelligent person would want is a businessman.."

      Yeah, because having a neighborhood organizer has worked out soooo much better.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Jesus Christ Superstar

      @Uncouth Swain

      Your point would be valid if he were running for CEO of America INC., or Amercia as Romney likes to say. But since Obama has actual political experience, and Romney was an awful Governor, plus a Mormon, he isn't qualified, just like his Mormon father.

      June 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      I have to disagree JCS....mostly because being Mormon has nothing to do with him becoming President.

      June 21, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Jesus Christ Superstar

      @Uncouth Swain

      THat is until he starts to take government money and put them into his Church, as he does with tax payer money now. Oh yeah, and that whole polygamy thing that he would want to instate as national law. I mean, since he is religious, I can only assume he's going to put some of his religious views behind his decisions, like Rick Santorum wanted to do, and like the GOP says Obama does.

      June 21, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • v_mag

      @Uncouth: "Yeah, because having a neighborhood organizer has worked out soooo much better."

      Exactly! He worked out soooo much better than that "businessman" George W Bush! Glad you agree.

      June 21, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "THat is until he starts to take government money and put them into his Church, as he does with tax payer money now."

      There is some pretty big differences from Mitt giving to charity and using it as a tax write off and the crazy notion of him giving gov money to a Church. He wouldn't do it and there is no evidence that he ever would.
      Did you think JFK gave govt money to the Pope?

      June 21, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "Exactly! He worked out soooo much better than that "businessman" George W Bush! Glad you agree."

      Oy..sarcasm is wasted on the liberal.
      Yeah...with 9-10% unemployment...it has been so much better with Obama. You aren't going to bring up the tired old inherited from Bush stuff are you now? That was so 2009.

      June 21, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Jesus Christ Superstar

      @Uncouth Swain

      Ok, well, the "charity" Mitt gives to is called the charity of the Mormon Church. That's in his tax records. ANd when he gets a tax break for giving money to his church, the TAX PAYERS end up making up for that money not going to the government. So if he's doing that already, what's stopping him once he's the president? Maybe he'll even make Mormonism the official religion of America, or Amercia as Romney says, and we'll all have to wear magic underwear

      June 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "the TAX PAYERS end up making up for that money not going to the government."

      Sounds like you have more of a problem with the way the govt is than with Mitt. If the tax system is flawed...don't complain about those that use it to their advantage. That's like the Dems complaining about SuperPacs but yet donates to them for their side.

      June 21, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  12. Uncouth Swain

    From personal experience I can say that I've known many people that have opened up to those of the Mormon faith. Too many people have this idea about them and once they get to know them, figure they are nothing like what they thought.

    June 21, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Yabba Dabba Don't

      Not my experience. Getting to know them, especially getting past that phony Utah smile facade and hearing what they really think, no, that did not improve my respect for them at all.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Well..can't say much for those in Utah. Was speaking more on those in the Ohio/West Virginia region.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • William Demuth

      True, because just like all the other Christians, few of them practice what they preach.

      Even less of them understand the ridiculous fraud that lays at the core of their church.

      Most of them just go along to get along. Just like the Hitler Youth did.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • republican grandma

      Mormon is not Christian. Once again I need to straight this up: Mormon is not Christian!

      June 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Hitler Youth?
      My go Billy you went off the tracks with that one. I think it's better to say that they might try to get along like all Americans are suppose to do and not be bigots.
      As for following their faith, I don't think that all Mormons follow the exact teachings passed down from the main church in Utah. In fact, I know they don't here in my region.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Yabba Dabba Don't

      You clearly do not know what you are talking about, Swain. Mormonism is completely orthodox and subject to Salt Lake City. All attempts at creating various sects were harshly crushed in the mid- to late 1800s by Brigham Young, and that remains in effect today. They are kept in line by the center. Mormonism is NOT a heterogenous faith, not at all.

      June 21, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Uncouth Swain

      Most Mormons are in denial of the actions of their cult. They deny the church spent HUGE sums to influence the rights of gays due to their religious bigotry.

      Most theists deny any accountability for the sins of their churches, but most non believers hold them directly accountable.

      My post is spot on.

      June 21, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Yabba Dabba Don't- "You clearly do not know what you are talking about, Swain."

      Actually I do.

      "Mormonism is completely orthodox and subject to Salt Lake City."

      Umm..no. There are the Restorationist churches and the Prairie Saint breakaways. Clearly you do not know what you are talking about.

      "All attempts at creating various sects were harshly crushed in the mid- to late 1800s by Brigham Young, and that remains in effect today. They are kept in line by the center. Mormonism is NOT a heterogenous faith, not at all."

      Still no. There have been many breakaway churches of the Mormon faith.

      June 21, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @William Demuth- No William...your Hitler Youth crap was just foolishness.

      "Most Mormons are in denial of the actions of their cult. They deny the church spent HUGE sums to influence the rights of gays due to their religious bigotry."

      Not all Mormons pay directly into the main church in Utah. I've already shown that there are many breakaway churches in Mormonism. To hold them accountable is silly.

      "Most theists deny any accountability for the sins of their churches, but most non believers hold them directly accountable."

      Not exactly true. Most theists deny any personal accountablity for the actions of others in the faith. I wouldn't hold a Catholic here in the US accountable for the actions of a misbeaving priest in Ireland.

      "My post is spot on."

      Nope.

      June 21, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  13. William Demuth

    It takes a cult to recognize a cult.

    The Protestants are dying, and the mormons are rising, and the Fundies can have either a Mormon or a Black guy from the city. They are in mental meltdown!

    Wait till Romney puts one on the Supreme Court! The Bible Thumpers will wet themselves!

    June 21, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Or not..and all will be well.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  14. Marcia J.

    This shouldn't have anything to do with Mittens, they say bias against a qualified candidate, and Mittens isn't qualified to scoop ice cream. Go ahead cnn, keep showing everyone that you're non biased. You make every excuse in the world for Mittens when the dems tell the truth, but you're quiet as a church mouse when Mittens blatantly lies on President Obama. Will any news ever give the man a fair shake??

    OBAMA 2012!

    June 21, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      How about MSNBC...they lie for Obama all the time and lie about Mitt quite a bit.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • republican grandma

      I have no problem with his character. The only problem I have with him is his agreement with Ryan plan to abolish Social security and medicare. Thats about it.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Oy..social security is safe.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • sam

      Eh, Swain, I wouldn't say 'safe'. It's got its problems. I'm not counting on it being around by the time I'm old enough for it. But we'll see.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Well..what I mean Sam is that no politician is going to eliminate Social Security. Just look how hard it is for them to even overhaul it. Old Voters get upset easily. It's safe from an incoming President that would try to shut it down fully.

      June 21, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • sam

      I'm not so sure, once the baby boomers are gone...

      June 21, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      I've always felt that if social security can survive the baby boomers then perhaps it will smooth out and become more manageable. After all, the last thirty years has had the US population level out.

      June 21, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  15. becauseIcare

    I know this is a lot to read, but I'm a 7th generation mormon (ex by my own choice) and I know that mormons HAVE to OBEY everything their prophets, past and present say. They are the mouthpieces of God and cannot be doubted. The following quotes are taken from the Prophet Brigham Young's journals. You can find the complete journals on ebay. Don't let Mormons tell you they are taken out of context...they are EXACT quotes.

    Brigham Young said your own blood must atone for some sins.

    "There is not a man or woman, who violates the covenants made with their God, that will not be required to pay the debt. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out, your own blood must atone for it . . . " (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 247; see also, vol. 4, p. 53-54, 219-220).

    Brigham Young said you must confess Joseph Smith as a prophet of God in order to be saved.

    "...and he that confesseth not that Jesus has come in the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fullness of the Gospel to this generation, is not of God, but is Antichrist," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 9, p. 312).

    Brigham Young said his discourses are as good as Scripture.

    "I say now, when they [his discourses] are copied and approved by me they are as good Scripture as is couched in this Bible . . . " (Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 264; see also p. 95).

    Brigham Young said he had never given any counsel that was wrong.

    "I am here to answer. I shall be on hand to answer when I am called upon, for all the counsel and for all the instruction that I have given to this people. If there is an Elder here, or any member of this Church, called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who can bring up the first idea, the first sentence that I have delivered to the people as counsel that is wrong, I really wish they would do it; but they cannot do it, for the simple reason that I have never given counsel that is wrong; this is the reason." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 16, p. 161).

    Brigham Young compared his sermons with scripture.

    "I know just as well what to teach this people and just what to say to them and what to do in order to bring them into the celestial kingdom...I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture. Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon, and it is as good Scripture as they deserve. The people have the oracles of God continually." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 95).

    Brigham Young said you are damned if you deny polygamy.

    "Now if any of you will deny the plurality of wives, and continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 266). Also, "The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 11, p. 269).

    Brigham Young said you can't get to the highest heaven without Joseph Smith's consent.

    "...no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 289).

    Brigham Young boasted.

    "What man or woman on earth, what spirit in the spirit-world can say truthfully that I ever gave a wrong word of counsel, or a word of advice that could not be sanctioned by the heavens? The success which has attended me in my presidency is owing to the blessings and mercy of the Almighty . . . " (Journal of Discourses, vol. 12, p. 127).

    Brigham Young said Jesus' birth was as natural as ours.

    "The birth of the Savior was as natural as the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood–was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115).

    Brigham Young said that God the Father and Mary 'do it.'

    "When the time came that His first-born, the Saviour, should come into the world and take a tabernacle, the Father came Himself and favoured that spirit with a tabernacle instead of letting any other man do it," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, p. 218). "The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood - was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115). Note: the late Bruce McConkie who was a member of the First Council of the Seventy stated "There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events..." (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie, p. 742).

    Brigham Young said that Jesus was not begotten by the Holy Spirit.

    "I have given you a few leading items upon this subject, but a great deal more remains to be told. Now, remember from this time forth, and for ever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 51).

    Brigham Young taught that Adam was God.

    "Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, Saint and sinner! When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days! about whom holy men have written and spoken - He is our Father, and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do. Every man upon the earth, professing Christians or non professing, must hear it, and will know it sooner or later." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 50).

    Brigham Young made a false prophecy?

    "In the days of Joseph [Smith] it was considered a great privilege to be permitted to speak to a member of Congress, but twenty-six years will not pass away before the Elders of this Church will be as much thought of as the kings on their thrones," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, p. 40).

    Brigham Young comments about blacks

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

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

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

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

    June 21, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Jeremy Jensen

      You lie when you imply that these things are taught in the Mormon church now. It would be equally valid to call all Roman Catholics anti-semites by cherry picking quotes from the pope that date from the middle ages.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • crappygovernment

      Jeremy...you've obviously not EVERY been worthy enough to go to the MORMON temple...so you wouldn't know your own beliefs.....LOL!

      June 21, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Mike D

      Yeah cause in the temple you have to recite all those quotes... and then have to kill people who drink coffee... and also a kitty cat, because that is what the Mormon God (the different Jesus) requires. Plus my inexhaustive study of the Mormon church proves that they believe a flying snake is their God!

      June 21, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Craig

      Jeremy and Mike D, I know you are making fun of all these comments but deep down inside you know these things are true because the church was established through the words and revelation of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. I feel sad to see people like you.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
  16. Cat Springs

    The ONLY way THEY could get Obama elected again, was to run someone un-electable like Romney. Once again the THEY are playing both ends against the middle (class).

    June 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • sam

      Ok, let me take a flying guess, just for fun...Illuminati?

      June 21, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Jesus Christ Superstar

      Ummm... who?

      The people under your bed?

      June 21, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  17. 1twinsfan

    I have to say nonsense. Gov. John Huntsman is someone I'd certainly consider. Gov. Mitt Romeny – never.

    June 21, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • republican grandma

      I agree. I would vote for Huntsman. But wait. He is a mormon too. lol..

      June 21, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Todd

      I agree, I am a democrat but Huntsman was a good guy, level headed, smart, listened, considerate, reasonable.

      If a candidate politically satisfies people then those people will not go as deep into criticizing their religion, but when a candidate is like Romney and people still don't feel like they know a single true thing about him, well then religion starts to play a bigger and bigger role.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • ARaine

      Ditto to Todd. I was sad to see Huntsman not do so well in the race. I'm actually surprised that Democrats are less likely to vote for a Mormon who is a Democrat than Republicans are to vote for a Mormon in their party. I thought it's supposed to be the "more tolerant of differences" party.

      June 21, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  18. Yabba Dabba Don't

    Ad hominem is a misunderstood concept, because while it usually is a failure to debate honestly and to the point – a fallacy – it actually is a legitimate approach if the character of beliefs of the person in question are relevant. For example, if a potential presidential candidate believes that gays are evil and women are inferior and blacks are a cursed race, are those not legitimate issues in whether or not he should become president of a country that is founded on equality and liberty for all?

    Is it not legitimate to question the codgnitive skills of a presidential candidate who cannot see the obvious untruths of his religion, like the phony archaeology and ampossible history and the obviously phony origin of the Book of Abraham? If a presidential candidate cannot look at the history of Joseph Smith jr and see that he was a con man, then how is this same person qualified to analize and respond to a whole host of people and leaders of dubious agendas?

    Ad hominem is legitimate if the character or beliefs of the person is important to the matter at hand.

    June 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • wow

      Mormons don’t believe blacks and women are inferior, try again.

      June 21, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Snow

      because, they rewrote their doctrine a few tens of times over the last century.. how can the truth as revealed by god change in such short period of time?

      June 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  19. ejktexas

    Here's a bias for you: CNN against 3rd party candidates. How about a few articles or even an updated profile on Gary Johnson?

    June 21, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • sam

      He hasn't done anything to get attention yet. Until then, he's just not news, apparently.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • ejktexas

      He's not news by the choice of the news network. But maybe you're right, if he stopped talking about issues and solutions and started talking about how the other guys are garbage, he'd likely get the media attention. CNN is showing legitimate bias, not even showing that Gary is in the race. His profile shows "out" of the race, so they could at least get the simple things right.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • sam

      True. He needs a small scandal, maybe something harmless like Clinton went through with the whole 'I didn't inhale' thing. Remember that? Johnson's team needs to get on the ball.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  20. Mike A

    As a Mormon I must say that it is quite hilarious to see how many misconceptions there are about our church. You know, if you actually ask a Mormon what we believe instead of anything you just read on the internet or what someone else told you, you would really be surprised. All this mumbo jumbo about aliens and Jesus being American – who comes up with this stuff? We sure don't.

    Regardless, vote for a candidate based on his merits, not his religion. I myself have not yet decided who to vote for, but I won't just give my vote to Romney for being a member of my church, so why exclude him just because he doesn't agree with everything that you do religiously?

    June 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Tony

      Careful Mike. After your cult shoved Prop H8 down our throats, your "Prophet" ordered his minions to retreat from public discussion. Certainly other cult members are monitoring this article and will see you have engaged in non-approved civic dialog. I fear for your family. But don't worry. There is a way out of the Mormon Lifestyle Choice. You do not need to continue to live this empty life of obeying a man who claims to speak for God. Wake up and get your family out, before the "Prophet" figures out what you're up to. There is life after the Mormon lifestyle. You do not need to be a thoughtless bigot all your life.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • sam

      It is kind of hard to overlook the massive support for prop 8. That was messing with politics in a way no religion should.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Yabba Dabba Don't

      Okay Mike, let's hear your beliefs.

      Do you actually believe that Native Americans are descendants of Israelites?

      Do you believe that Ancient Egyptian papyri contained the Book of Abraham when archaeologists all translated it as the Book of the Dead?

      Do you believe that women are equal to men in every respect?

      What are your views on the longstanding racism of your church against blacks?

      Do you actually believe that the dead can be baptized and married, and have you participated in such activities?

      June 21, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Mike

      Get a grip. We know its a cult, you know its a cult.

      Believe what you will, but by trying to deny the absurdity of the faith, you indicate doubt.

      Get yourself out and then we can talk.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Jeremy Jensen

      Tony, you're illustrating Mike A's point because of how full of it you are. The church has not ordered anyone to retreat from public discussion. On the contrary, they issued messages about 3 years ago telling members to become more engaged on the internet.

      "Certainly other cult members are monitoring this article and will see you have engaged in non-approved civic dialog."

      You're ridiculous. No member would be upset with Mike for trying to dispel the nonsense on this thread. They would be applauding him for it. Furthermore, scary "cult members" are not monitoring this article, and "civic dialog" does not have to be "approved." Do you enjoy lying, or is it just a "necessary evil" for you to further the cause of paranoid anti-Mormonism?

      "I fear for your family."

      I fear for your sanity. You seem to think that scary Mormon cultists are everywhere, monitoring our every move. Tell me when you reach the tinfoil hat stage. After all, it's only a matter of time before scary Mormon scientists start monitoring your thoughts via their Moroni-shaped space satellite.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • republican grandma

      Yupe he is a mormon. A mormon is not a christian. So No thank you!

      June 21, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Jeremy Jensen

      "Get a grip. We know its a cult, you know its a cult."
      Wow. I wish I was naive enough to think I could win a debate by stating my premise and then saying "you know it too" without having to provide any real argument. Life would be so much easier that way.

      "Believe what you will, but by trying to deny the absurdity of the faith, you indicate doubt."
      Believing in democracy is absurd. After all, the voters could choose an irresponsible leader? Care to deny that democracy is absurd? Well, according to your logic, doing so indicates "doubt" about the validity of democracy. Do you see how absurd you're being?

      "Get yourself out and then we can talk."
      The only good Mormon is a non-Mormon. That makes sense. Not bigoted at all.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Primewonk

      @ Tony & Sam – it was even funnier to watch them lie about dumping money into Prop Hate, and then get caught by the CA election commission in that lie.

      Their god must be so freaking proud of their behavior.

      June 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Jeremy Jensen

      Denocracy does NOT claim to be divine.

      Ridiculous beliefs must be challenged, and should NEVER be embraced as being as legitimate as mainstream ones.

      Clearly Mormonisim is a cult (as are all Christian sects) but this one is still small enough to be crushed before the infection spreads.

      We owe it to the future to kill it now, BEFORE it grows.

      June 21, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "as legitimate as mainstream ones."

      You mean mainstream ones like Nazism was in late 1930's Germany?

      June 21, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • v_mag

      Mike, Jeremy and the rest of you guys, the cat is so far out of the bag, there ain't no possibilty that you will stuff it back in. Mormon teachings have been rolling around in the public domain a long time. You can follow Nixon's example and "deny, deny, deny" all you want. You won't convince anybody that Mormonism is not a really weird 19th century cult that survived because it formed its own state and enforced discipline. And you won't change anybody's mind about the creepy nature of Flip Rob-money.

      June 21, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.