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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.”

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

“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. monarch811

    I bought into this lie for a while. sorry I ever did

    June 22, 2012 at 9:53 am |
  2. G. Zeus Kreiszchte

    Christian Scientist president anyone? How about a Heaven's Gate president? Or a Branch Davidian?

    June 22, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      or Catholic or Jewish or Zoroastrian ... same kool-aid different flavor!

      June 22, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Kristina

      There are 15 million Mormons worldwide. It is a global religion. The church is recognized all over the world as a great contributor to humanitarian causes. Harvard is known for the 3 "Ms" said to characterize the student body: "military, McCarthy, and Mormons." Mormons are also known for their disproportionate success in business–Google recent articles from The Economist and the New York Times. Hardly comparable to Branch Davidians, etc. or any other cult.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Kristina: Might does not make right. Large numbers of followers do not justify the existence of any cult (i.e., religion).

      June 22, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • nottolate

      @Kristina,

      "There are 15 million Mormons worldwide. It is a global religion. The church is recognized all over the world as a great contributor to humanitarian causes. Harvard is known for the 3 "Ms" said to characterize the student body: "military, McCarthy, and Mormons." Mormons are also known for their disproportionate success in business–Google recent articles from The Economist and the New York Times"

      Yeah and none of that will get you into heaven. Just as I suspected you're no authentic christian and a poor liar. You've just demonstrated that your reall allegiance is here.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • reality check

      You forget Scientology

      June 22, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      not, how do you know there IS a 'heaven' and why would you imagine you have a clue as to who will be admitted? You have no more facts on your side than the poster you're condemning.

      June 22, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  3. Hu Phart Ngau

    Someone, perhaps a journalist, needs to explain to me how the man's faith would play a role in the decision making processes as POTUS. I just don't see that as an issue. There are plenty of other issues I could find to question Romney on, but his religion just isn't one of them,

    June 22, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  4. steve

    When they find out Romney believes Joe Smith a 19 century con man convinced a group of his followers that he has a hand full of magic stones that allowed him to find buried treasure.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:51 am |
  5. nottolate

    There is no way an authentic Christian can vote for a Mormon, Can't vote for Obama either. The GOP establishment wanted their way in installing an establishment candidate. In getting their way they blew the election. Obama's a shoo-in for reelection.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Kristina

      I'm an authentic Christian. I go to church every week and have my entire life. I accept Christ as my savior. And I'll be voting for Romney sweetheart.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • gdf

      Interesting that Christians will take that stance. Of all the kings from the Old Testament that God allowed to have power, or put in power, the great majority were not faithful followers of God, they allowed the worship of idols.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • Dom

      An "Authentic Christian" believes in the roots of Christianity w/ the addition of materialism which would make the term "Authentic Christian" an oxymoron because the root of Christianity teaches against materialism.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • nottolate

      "I'm an authentic Christian. I go to church every week and have my entire life. I accept Christ as my savior. And I'll be voting for Romney sweetheart."

      I doubt that very seriously. You write as though your true allegiance is with this world in this life and not Heaven. Authentic Christians don't vote for people who subscribe to the exact same thing that got Satan kicked out of Heaven. Mormon blasphemy is on a scale hard to imagine. Furthermore, If Romney a husband and father can't protect his family from a cult, do you really expect him to protect the USA? If he's so lazy that he hasn't researched his own religion how else will he be lazy as president?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • Kristina

      notolate-if you'd like to make comments with actual arguments to support your views, I'd be happy to respond. But if your "arguments" consist solely of attacking me as a person, have a good day and our discussion will end here.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • nottolate

      @Dom,

      Wrong. An authentic christian is a person who is born again. Born from above by an act of God. Such a person is no longer a citizen of this world but his/her real citizenship lies in Heaven. I use the world AUTHENTIC because a clear distinction must be made between us and the cults and RCC.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • nottolate

      @Kristina,

      Can you not read? If you've been shown to be a liar by your statements then stop lying. You are here with a specific intention to deceive and I will call you on that every single time. You have no real complaint.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Kristina

      notolate-for my own understanding, please clarify how you feel I've been "shown to be a liar" by my own statements and am here "with the specific intent to deceive"? I'm honestly entirely baffled sweetheart.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • nottolate

      "I'm honestly entirely baffled sweetheart."

      You're not baffled in the least. You're a Mormon plant and we've seen your kind many times in the past. Your sole mission in to deceive. This is why those in the secular should be very afraid of having a Mormon as pres among other things.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Dom

      @nottolate

      You appear extremely confused.

      June 22, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      not, what is wrong with you?

      June 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  6. Peter

    Entirely understandable. If you choose to believe in wacky stuff your judgment in all areas deserves to be questioned.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Kristina

      What is "wacky stuff" is up for personal interpretation, Peter. Doctors, scientists, lawyers, etc. in the highest academic circles agree, and every one of these circles includes people of faith, non-faith, and Mormons. So while it is your right to make ignorant, simplistic, one-sided statements, it is also my right to say perhaps YOUR judgment should be questioned for doing so.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • nottolate

      "What is "wacky stuff" is up for personal interpretation"

      No its not. That statement tells us you don't have a clue as to whats in the bible. You can't write a book, then come along 1800 years later and contradict virtually every single thing that you previously wrote. That is what the Book of Mormon does in relation to the bible. You especially can't do that with essential doctrines which the Book of Mormon also does. It is fake.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Kristina

      notolate: please cite the contradictions you note, so that others might understand the basis of your assertions and be able to go research the truth for themselves.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • nottolate

      @Kristina,

      "nottolate–the Bible is Mormon scripture, as well as the Book of Mormon. Mormons believe both books are scripture. There is nothing in them that contradicts. Rather, there are NUMEROUS things in the Book of Mormon that support the Bible as scripture, and vice-versa."

      Well let's see if you're telling the truth or lying shall we?

      BiBle: There is only one God. (Dt 6:4; 33:26-27; Isa 43:10; 45:5; 46:9; 1Ti 2:5)
      Mormons:There are many Gods. Brigham Young-Journal of Discourses 7:333 "How many Gods there are, I do not know. But there never was a time when there were not Gods.

      BLASPHEMY!

      Bible: The Bible is most explicit in stating that God is not a man (Nu 23:19; 1Sa 15:29; Hos 11:9). God the Father, the eternal God is Spirit (Isa 55:8-9; 6:1-5; 57:15; Pss 90:2; 113:5-6; 123:1; Jn 4:24: 8:23) Jesus said that a spirit does not have flesh and bones (Lk 24:39)
      Mormons: God the Father is an exalted man (a man who has progressed to godhood) with a body of flesh and bones.

      Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 1973 ed., p. 346 – "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man...I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in a form-like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man."
      D & C 130:22 "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; the Son also."

      BLASPHEMY!

      Bible: God the Father has always existed as such (Dt 33:27; Isa 43:10; 44:6; 45:5, 21; 46:9; Mal 3:6; 1Co 8:4; 1Ti 2:5; Rev 1:8; 21:6; 22:13).
      As Psalms 90:2 and 93:2 state, God has been God "from eternity to eternity."
      Mormons: God the Father became a God after learning truth, aggressively pursuing godhood, and being obedient to the laws of the gospel.

      BLASPHEMY!

      So we find that you are in fact lying. Want more?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Kristina

      nolate-

      1) Mormons believe in and worship one God.
      2) Mormons believe God is omniscient and omnipresent. Mormons do NOT believe God is a man.
      3) Mormons do not have an official doctrine on how God came to be God-i.e. any assertion that Mormon doctrine includes that God used to be a man and "worked his way" to being God is silly and NOT accurate.

      What you've done is what some commonly due, not really understanding the church's believes. Basically you've taken things from the Internet that a Mormon may, or may not, have said at some point in time, and asserted them as the church's beliefs. The church has very established doctrine-it is available at lds.org. But anything that a Mormon says (or in some cases, doesn't say–there are a lot of made up quotes out there) is NOT church doctrine.

      Just like you can't speak on behalf of your employer, or newspapers frequently include disclaimers on articles saying the view is the view of the author not the paper, I can't speak on behalf of all Americans, etc. It is the same principle. Just because a Mormon may have said it at one point, does not mean it is official Mormon doctrine.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  7. OldSchool

    This guy's cult is so outlandish that even people in other cults dismiss it as absurd...

    June 22, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  8. lol

    their faith is nothing more than a lie, a ruse to garner more voters.

    Politicians only have two religions Money and Power

    June 22, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  9. scoto

    Count me in as a "never" vote for a Mormon. Also anybody else with extreme wacky nonsensical beliefs.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • joe schmo

      If you base your vote strictly on religion rather than their actual qualifications for office, you shouldn't vote at all.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • Dom

      Joe Schmo, who are you to dictate what factors people use to decide? If there is a possibility that a candidate's religion could possibly interfere with their duty as a Government official than the people should absolutely consider religion when choosing who to vote for.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:09 am |
  10. reality check

    Christianity (although it is really a rather morbid fairy tale) is, at least, a two thousand year old spiritual tradition with deep roots in the foundation of Western civilization. Mormonism is a 19th century cult started by a con-man.

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

      And 2,000 years ago christianity was in the same place as mormonism is today.

      Sorry.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • nottolate

      @Primework,

      If that is you contention then you have no real understanding of Christianity. We are talking about the most important event in the history of mankind where God actually visited man.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • reality check

      Thousands of years before Jesus the Egyptian God Osiris, who was murdered, would be resurrected each year at Spring time (representing the renewal of life and the Nile floods) sound familiar?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      nottolate .. "We are talking about the most important event in the history of mankind where God actually visited man."
      Now that's the kind of thinking we need to avoid voting into any office!

      June 22, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Herman

      @Nottolate:

      "We are talking about the most important event in the history of mankind where God actually visited man."

      Your quoted statement in no way refutes (or even addresses) Primewonks assertion. Perhaps a little more reasoned argument and less non-sequitur.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • joe schmo

      nottolate- God never visited man. The SON of God did.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • reality check

      My point was that Christianity is part of the culture and is based on the teachings of the real Jesus as well as older mythical traditions that were popular in the Hellenistic city-states of the first century. Mormonism was just made-up by one man, the hall-mark of a cult.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • nottolate

      @joe schmo

      "nottolate- God never visited man. The SON of God did."

      Jesus is God incarnate. Who do you think created this planet you live on anyway? That was his doing.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:23 am |
  11. Jim

    It absolutely makes a difference to me; I would make the same bias as a candidate with extreme Christian faith. Let’s face it; the next President has the potential to nominate three Supreme Court Justices. Do we really want a Orthodox Mormon or Radical Christian benching our next Supreme Court Justices? At least with Obama, he has proven to take issue against his faith to do the proper thing for civil rights for ALL Americans and not to let his faith cloud his decisions.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  12. Randy

    Mormonism is a lie. People probably feel that anybody who believes in Mormon doctrine has a problem with their thought processes (I would agree). But given the choice of the Mormon and the Narcissistic Community Organizer, I'll go with the Mormon.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • peter

      im not voting for obumo or the mormon.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • scoto

      So narcissism and community organizing is much worse than "someone who has problems with their thought processes"?

      June 22, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Jamesa

      I'm sorry you feel that way. Keep your opinion to yourself. All the Mormons I know are perfectly sane and probably the best, kindest people out there.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • PAUL

      People like you regardless of faith, religion an ethics will not vote for Obama, no matter what you say or how you try to hide your biases and racism for not voting for a Black man ..and oh before you say it has to do with his policies is coded!!!!

      June 22, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • joe schmo

      Too bad you base your vote on everything BUT what actually matters for defining qualifications for office. By the way, there are other Mormons in office but nobody says a word about them.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Dom

      Now that's funny ... you would pick "the Mormon over the "Narcissistic community organizer"

      Someone needs to be educated. The Mormon religion is one of the most Narcissistic religions ever created ... so.... yeah.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  13. GLW

    I won't be voting for Romney. It has nothing to do with his religion and everything to do with his politics. However, I find it unbelievable that there is so much antagonism toward the Mormon faith. People won't vote for him because he is Mormon? Really??? I live in an AZ which has a large Mormon population. The Mormons I have I have come across in my day to day life are some of the kindest people it has been my pleasure to meet, work with and befriend. While they often vote right and I lean more to the left, I have great respect for this community whose beliefs shape the qualities I most admire in them. If you are voting then presumably you are American, and prejudice against another's faith is not congruent with American values.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • joe schmo

      I'm Mormon, however, I don't care for Romney simply because of his political views. I won't vote for or against someone merely for the fact they're "Mormon". That's ludicrous, not objective at all, and shows that a person bases their choice of political candidate on things that have nothing to do with a candidates actual qualifications in office.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • peter

      GLW–give me some reasons why you don't believe in their prophet or that the book of mormon,another testament of jesus christ is the word of God

      June 22, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Bill the Cat

      Mormons are now villified by the Dumbocrats because of their support for the Boy Scouts and Prop 8.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Phil S

      I'm so glad there are people out there that see it this way! Listen to this guy, people, because he is the epitome of unbias.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • nottolate

      "GLW–give me some reasons why you don't believe in their prophet or that the book of mormon,another testament of jesus christ is the word of God"

      I'll answer that. Because the doctrines and contentions of the Mormon Church are in direct contradiction with what the bible says in so many areas that its ridiculous.. If the Mornon church were legit then that of course couldn't be. Had you read a bible first ints entirety you'd know this. IN fact, the perpetrators of this massive fraud should have gotten their story straight by reading the bible first.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Kristina

      nottolate--the Bible is Mormon scripture, as well as the Book of Mormon. Mormons believe both books are scripture. There is nothing in them that contradicts. Rather, there are NUMEROUS things in the Book of Mormon that support the Bible as scripture, and vice-versa.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Kristina

      nottolate-do you realize that your "method" of arguments is essentially self-fulfilling propecy?
      For example, "If Romney a husband and father can't protect his family from a cult..." This argument only works if Mormonism is a cult, which you haven't demonstrated, and many people don't agree on.
      Another example, "If he's so lazy that he hasn't researched his own religion how else will he be lazy as president?"
      Do you know that Mormons go to church for 3 hours every Sunday? Do you know Romney spent 2 years of his life serving a FULL TIME proselytizing mission for the church? Do you know that Mormon teenagers, through 4 years of high school, go to a 1-2 hour long scripture study seminar EVERY DAY? Do you know that active Mormons are encouraged to read the scriptures and study the religion daily–and often do so for an hour a day or more. Does all of this count as "researching" a religion, or do you expect something more?
      Bottom line: You can't be a persuasive arguer when you use your own biases as the only support for your arguments.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • nottolate

      @Kristina,

      "Do you know that Mormons go to church for 3 hours every Sunday? Do you know Romney spent 2 years of his life serving a FULL TIME proselytizing mission for the church? Do you know that Mormon teenagers, through 4 years of high school, go to a 1-2 hour long scripture study seminar EVERY DAY? Do you know that active Mormons are encouraged to read the scriptures and study the religion daily–and often do so for an hour a day or more. Does all of this count as "researching" a religion, or do you expect something more? Bottom line: You can't be a persuasive arguer when you use your own biases as the only support for your arguments."

      And yet not one Mormon has done that which is most needful above all: Investigate as to whether the teachings of the Mormons are authentic. Romney along with every other Mormon failed to do that most elementary thing.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  14. Reginald

    Romney being a Mormon should not be an issue, unless his religion will interfere with his judgement and ability to lead this nation. More important considerations should be integrity, leadership, and intelligence . Those are qualityies that Romney's record demonstrates – Governor of Massachusetts, Founder of Bain Capital, 2 Degres from Harvard, Head of the Salt Lake Winter Oplymic committee, etc.

    If we are so concerned about the Mormon religion and its potential impact on the leadership of our country, then why are we not as equally concerned about Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, being a Mormon?

    June 22, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • joe schmo

      Think of Beauty and the Beast. People are easily swayed and join the bandwagon of Gaston. In this case, Mormons are the beast and Gaston is represented by the populous against Mormons without realizing their actions are misplaced and rather they should focus on the true subject, qualifications for office.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • Bloggs

      His judgment is EXACTLY what is in question as a Mormon. Have you seen what Mormons believe and why? Their "prophet" and founder Joseph Smith was a cultist who wanted to be a theocratic king. He said he could read a made-up language on nonexistent "golden plates" that no-one actually saw but him, by staring at a rock at the bottom of his hat. You want a president who would fall for that?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  15. td

    4 out of 10 Americans do not know romney is president? Haha. An American who is not politically active is not an American.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Herman

      4 out of 10 Americans do not know td is an idiot for thinking romney is president? Haha. An American who does not consider td an ignoramus is not an American.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  16. Dan

    Being an active Latter-Day-Saint (Mormon) I think the attention the Church is receiving during this election period wonderful. Open minded conversation discussing all viewpoints is both invigorating and enlightening as long as there does not have to be a winner and a loser. It increases education. Amen to this country so we can all discuss these topics openly. At the end of the day time will always tell the truth and reveal the "fruit of the tree" so to speak.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:26 am |
  17. Patiat

    Does Romney qualify as a "well-qualified" candidate? Among mormons, Huntsman seemed far more qualified than Romney.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • mandarax

      Huntsman is smart, worldly, and a supporter of science. He had no chance with the Republican voters. Seriously, they preferred Michele Bachmann to him by a wide margin, which is both ridiculous and frightening.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • steve

      Huntsman has too much sense to be a Republican.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  18. Little tommy

    Some of our greatest Presidents have been super rich... George Washington 525 million, Thomas Jefferson 212 million, Theodore Roosevelt 125 million, Andrew Jackson 119 million, John F Kennedy 1 billion dollars in total worth.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • td

      DERP!

      June 22, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  19. joe schmo

    It seems no matter who comes up as the next President nobody seems to like him. Give an example of what you consider to be a good President. What qualities? Who? Be realistic, please.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Bill the Cat

      Our country is too fragmented to be united by anything short of a 9-11, and even then, it only lasts a short period of time. There will never be a unanimous choice for President, nor will there be one who is liked by all.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:50 am |
  20. AtheistSteve

    This makes me laugh. Christians are adamant that the Book of Mormon cannot be the Word of God yet in the same breath are absolutely certain that the Bible IS the Word of God. How exactly is the distinction justified? God certainly could have...if he wanted to...also have sent his continuing message to Joseph Smith. Both accounts....the Bible or the Book of Mormon are equally implausible.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • Little tommy

      I think its just the history of how the book of Mormon came to be, South parks Matt Stone and Trey Parker actually protray it very accurately.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • BU2B

      It's amazing what years of child indoctrination can do.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Claudius

      Yes and no. The major difference is obviously that there is much more source material for the Bible than the Book of Mormon, which is, after all, purely the invention of Joseph Smith who miraculously found the tablets AND managed to learn the language in which they were written so that he could produce a translation. This on its own is so incredibly dumb that I honestly cannot understand how any half way intelligent person could conceivably believe it. And here's the crux: can we, in all honesty, put a person who believes in the Book of Mormon, put into the White House? This is not prejudice against Mormons, this is pure common sense.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • joe schmo

      This is where ignorance comes into play. Both the Bible and the Book of Mormon are based on "faith", something it seem that a lot of people can't comprehend or don't care and simply want to join the crowd of "That's just stupid". I'm Mormon and one of my oldest boys is Atheist like you. He was baptized Mormon as a child by his mom. He is my stepson. He is firm in his belief that Mormonism is a crock and tries to force it down our throats. We are okay with him believing what he does as that is his right. Nobody can prove or disprove God actually exists. That's where FAITH comes into play. I don't care what my neighbor believes in as long as he/she is happy in life.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • other david

      Claudius- if you believe the book of mormon is the 'invention of joseph smith' then how do you explain the inclusion of detail and literary complexity that was not known during his time? The book of mormon has been scrutinized for over 180 years and the deeper people look the more implausible the story of Joseph Smith writing it becomes. Or perhaps he knew in advance about the dead sea scrolls and how they would refute many of the claims against the book of mormon? Perhaps you should instead focus on the witnesses to the gold plates...the validation of inscribed characters by known linguists of the day...the actuality of the book itself rather than your 'common sense' which clearly ignores well established facts in favor of petty insults.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • abcdxyz

      It's interesting that when asked to produce the golden tablets with the Book of Mormon inscribed on them, Joseph Smith found that they had mysteriously disappeared. No one but Joseph Smith ever saw them. Likewise, no one has ever seen the tablets that Moses brought down from Sinai. They were supposedly kept in the Ark of the Covenant, but no one was allowed to see them, and the Ark has long since disappeared. I'm with Thomas Paine, who maintained that if there is a revelation from God to me, I am obliged to believe that, but if you tell me that God revealed himself to YOU, I am not obliged to believe it.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Bill the Cat

      Other David... nothing you said is true. All of those "evidences" you list are fabrications.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • chris

      The problem with what you just said is that there is linguistic, archaeological, genetic, and historical proof for many things in the bible. Whether or not Jesus was god or god exists is not proven, i agree.

      There is no physical evidence to support the book of mormon. NONE. There is not one artifact tied to the nephites, lamanites or anything else.. they supposedly had large cities, money, and millions died on the hill comora in new york which is now owned by the church. All genetic evidence has been refuted and there is no linguistic evidence with NO writing ever being found that could be the reformed egyptian that joseph smith claimed was written on the golden plates.

      so the bible has far more clout and is certainly less ridiculous than the book of mormon.

      -another atheist

      June 22, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • whorhay

      abcdxyz – There actually were a few people who saw the tablets/plates what have you. Their written witness of it is recorded at the begining of every copy of the book of mormon. Interestingly enough several of those witnesses later left the mormon church on less than happy terms but so far as I'm aware none of them ever refuted their claim to having seen the plates. And I believe the story goes that once the translation was finished the plates were given to an angel for their safe keeping, not that they suddenly vanished.

      In the end though I've always felt that the bible and the book of mormon are equally implausible. Like others have said it will always boil down to a question of personal faith, which is an opinion about facts which by definition are impossible to prove or disprove. So pick the religion and world view that works the best for yourself, hopefully without negatively affecting those around you, and move on with living you life.

      Personally I'm not supporting Romney because I disagree with him on enough political issues that I'd rather go another four years with the president we already have, not that I agree very much with Obama either.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • otherdavid

      @Bill the cat– none of what I said was true? Should I just take your word for it or would you like to provide some evidence?

      For years critics had cited a phrase in the book as evidence that the book was false and made up. It states the Christ would be born 'at Jerusalem, the land of our forefathers'. Of course everyone knows that Christ was born in bethlehem, clearly Smith is an idiot for stating he was born in the land of Jerusalem. Such an obvious 'mistake' means Smith was a charlatan.

      Fast forward 100 years or so and you have the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. And guess what the phrase 'land of jerusalem' is used to reference many of the smaller cities/suburbs of the area generally. What? For 100 years Smith was mocked for making such an elementary mistake and only after those detractors have died has the truth come out that the phrase 'land of jerusalem' was commonly used by the locals. But how would Joseph Smith know that? The answer is he didn't. He did what he claimed he did and that was translate an ancient record....with accounts from people who were from Jerusalem.

      I could go on...but I suspect it would matter very little.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:35 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.