My Take: Romney should take reporters to church more often
Mitt Romney and his family attend church last weekend.
August 21st, 2012
09:20 AM ET

My Take: Romney should take reporters to church more often

Editor's note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

Mitt Romney’s team invited reporters to go to church with him last Sunday, and The New York Times is reporting that the upcoming Republican presidential convention will showcase Romney’s faith in an effort to humanize him. So are we finally going to get a Mormon candidate for president?

Romney has been widely criticized for running against his past - against what he did at Bain Capital and as governor of Massachusetts, and against his prior views on abortion and health care. And while he hasn’t flip-flopped on his membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he has been loathe even to mention it in public.

In his 2008 “Faith in America” speech, Romney boldly proclaimed his religious heritage. “I believe in my Mormon faith and I endeavor to live by it,” he said. “My faith is the faith of my fathers - I will be true to them and to my beliefs.”

But in recent years he has been hiding that faith under a basket. In fact, in a much anticipated speech to evangelicals at Liberty University in May, he never used the M-word.

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The concern is there is little to be gained (and much to be lost) by emphasizing his Mormonism.

Latter-day Saints founder Joseph Smith was assassinated during his run for president in 1844, and anti-Mormonism has a long and sordid history in American life. Today many on the secular left and the religious right alike are wary of a Mormon president, and according to a recent Gallup Poll roughly one in six Americans say they would not vote for an otherwise qualified Mormon.

For all these reasons, Romney's campaign strategy so far seems to have been two-fold:

1. Whenever possible, avoid talking about Mormonism.

2. When pressed, speak of the importance of religion in general and emphasize the common moral values shared by Mormons and evangelicals.

3. Emphasize the American heritage of religious liberty.

I have been arguing for months that this strategy is not sustainable. What self-respecting debate moderator wouldn’t jump at the chance to ask Romney about how his Mormonism might affect his policies on taxation or food stamps or war with Iran?

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And is it really plausible to do the two-step around the religion question all the way to November when the candidate in question may well be the most religious candidate in U.S. history - someone who spent two years as a missionary, followed by decades of church service, first as the Mormon equivalent of a Methodist pastor and then as the Mormon equivalent of an Episcopal priest?

It made sense for John Kennedy to draw a sharp line in 1960 between his private Catholic faith and his public life since he came from a Democratic Party that followed Thomas Jefferson arguing for the strict separation of church and state.

But Romney’s GOP has spent a generation attempting to overthrow the Jefferson/Kennedy consensus by bringing religion ever deeper into U.S. public life. So it just doesn't make sense for this Republican nominee to try to cordon off his private faith from his public policies.

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For all these reasons, I have argued repeatedly that Romney would be well advised to take the initiative - to define his faith in his own terms rather than awkwardly and defensively fielding (or fumbling) questions about it.

Now it seems like a faith offensive may be in the offing, not least at the upcoming convention.

But how to talk about Mormonism without unearthing all the awkward stuff - the history of polygamy and theocracy, the Mormon underwear?

One way, of course, is to try to emphasize the values similarities between evangelicals and Mormons - on questions like abortion and gay rights. But an even more effective way may be simply to invite reporters to church.

Like any religion, Mormonism has changed over time. And today Mormon services don’t look all that different from Methodist worship. In fact, the common theme coming out of much of the reporting about Romney’s church service Sunday seemed to be how unremarkable it was.

In Buzzfeed, reporter McKay Coppins, who also happens to be a Mormon, referred to that service as an example of “the fundamentally un-exotic Mormon experience.”

Admittedly, they serve bread and water rather than bread and wine, but Latter-day Saints worshippers praise Jesus in song as their “Redeemer” and send prayers up to their “Heavenly Father." And when their worship service is over they march off to Sunday school.

For generations, scholars of religion focused their research almost exclusively on Scriptures and belief. In recent years they have shifted their collective focus to religious practice. Perhaps that is the strategy of the Romney campaign, to shift the focus from the eccentricities of the Book of Mormon and the heterodoxy of Mormon beliefs to the ho-hum of hymns sung at 10 a.m. on a New Hampshire Sunday.

If I have the tune right, the message seems to be that Romney is one of us, and his religion is not so different from whatever yours might be.

Will that message resonate?

It depends. It depends on what Americans know about Mormonism and about their own creeds. However, it also depends on how much they think faith should matter in presidential politics. Ironically, if voters follow the Republican line on that one, Romney might well lose. If they follow Jefferson and Kennedy, he has at least a fighting chance.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Church and state • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Opinion • Politics • United States

soundoff (1,105 Responses)
  1. Dana

    Please leave religion out of politics and everything else for that matter. I've had enough of your imaginary friend.

    August 31, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  2. ..


    August 31, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Jonah

      LOL. I suppose there are a few young mormons in the church who have not felt that mighty change in their hearts. The musical does not portray the real true blue, dyed in the wool ones like myself who know without any doubt the church is true. I have seen many miracles. I was sved from a horrible motorcycle accident by direct intervention by the Lord. I have seen the sick healed. I have spoken fluently a foreign language by the gift of tongues. You probably missed it, but the spirit whispered that Hurricane Isaac would divert around the republican convention and I posted it. The Spirit whispers to me daily and guides my life. I know without any doubt the gospel is true and I also know that any one else can know for his or her self if they just make the effort. Not knowing is just plain laziness and is not the Lords fault, it is ours!

      August 31, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Jonah

      god sent the hurricane because he does not like republicans.
      Prove me wrong.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      Maybe. Let's see if he diverts it at the last moment.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |

      August 31, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Jonah

      Don't think for one moment that I am a high official or leader in the church. I am an ordinary, obscure member, a complete nobody outside my own ward and stake. Millions can testify with even greater witness than I have. The strength of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not in our great leaders, and we have some great ones, but in the individual testimonies of millions of saints the world over who each take their turns being the leaders and serve each other without pay or compensation but out of love. I know God lives and that this is his church!

      August 31, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  3. Marcia

    I was elected to public office twice. I am a Mormon woman. I ran to give service and improve my community. I didn't feel a need to make my religion a centerpiece of my political career. I would imagine Mitt Romney operates the same way. Mormons are teachers, entrepreneurs, doctors and soccer coaches. Our professional life is not run by our church. Rather, following the teachings of Jesus Christ should be reflected in our character and ethics.

    The anti-Mormon crowd judge harshly and unfairly at a church that has grown line upon line like the primitive church.

    The atheists don't consider the reason and witness of the writers of the Bible.

    Religious ridicule and persecution historically has had devastating results.

    August 31, 2012 at 12:58 am |
  4. Jonah

    I know I'm full of it. In reality, Mormons stink and their Book of Mormon does too.

    August 29, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Drew

      Johah, I am confused are you defending the Mormon Church or not. You are quoting scriptures but you are not acting like a follower of Christ.

      August 31, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  5. Tim


    August 29, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  6. Jonah

    8 And he had sworn in his wrath unto the brother of Jared, that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and forever, should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of his wrath should come upon them.
    9 And now, we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity.
    10 For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off.
    11 And this cometh unto you, O ye Gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of God—that ye may repent, and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness come, that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God upon you as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done. (Book of Mormon, Ether, Chapter 2)

    August 29, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Everyman

      Unless you have something to say on topic Jonah, keep this dribble to yourself.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Jonah

      Everyman, the reason you are uncomfortable with the words of Christ and want them to go away is because you follow Satan and you say and do the things he whispers in your ear.

      19 For the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, and they be stirred up to anger, and perish;
      20 For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good. (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi, Chapter 28)

      August 29, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Jonah

      The ultimate end of any person or nation which takes its inspiration from the devil is destruction!

      August 29, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Everyman

      Nope, sorry Jonah, your wrong. He must be whispering in your ear telling you lies about me.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Jonah

      21 And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.
      22 And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance. (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi, Chapter 28)

      August 29, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Jesus Christ

      Jonah, your words aren't my words, they are the words of your supposed prophet and his friend Oliver. Together the two of them stole most of their verses from the bible and the rest they made up from fairy tales and long nights drinking bootlegged liquor. That's how you got your Book of Mormon. Pure fiction based on tripe and created by crooks.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Jonah

      1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. (New Testament, Revelation, Chapter 13)

      August 29, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
  7. citizen bob

    I really don't want to go here, but, why are some Mormans quoting their religious texts, that Christians and non- Mormans, believe is fiction, as proof for their beliefs?
    It is written, Chubacca said "Arrrgh! therefore I am right".
    Can we stick to this blog? Romney is scared loco that he will loose evangelical votes if they perceive Mormans aren't main stream Christians. Do Mormans feel they are mainstream Protestants? Am I in error?

    August 28, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Jonah

      13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
      14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (New Testament, John, Chapter 4)

      Jesus is the light of the world. This nation was built on his teachings. It is "one nation, under God" and as long as we adhere to those teachings, we will remain a great nation. I quote scripture to teach and to uplift people such as yourself who sit in darkness.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Tom

      I am a Mormon. We believe that it is only through Christ that we can be saved. We try to live as Christ taught and exemplified, with love, kindness, and service. People say that we are not Christian, or that we believe in a different Jesus Christ than the one in the New Testament, but that just doesn't make sense to me.

      I think that Romney has not talked a lot about his religion partially because talking a lot about it is not required to be a great president and partially because opposition always tries to twist a nominee's religion to make it look bad. He doesn't want to waste his time addressing every misunderstanding about every point of doctrine. His focus is on winning the election so he can set the country back on course.

      August 31, 2012 at 3:07 am |
  8. vvaughn

    Hey, I just want to say that I am a Mormon and I've heard all the insults, all of the reasons why what we believe is absurd, and all the reasons why we are a false religion – a cult even. I just have to say three things: 1. that I, personally, would never say such mean spirited about your religion or beliefs, and 2. I'm only a Mormon because I believe in my heart it brings me and my family closer to God and Jesus Christ, it makes me happy, and I believe its teachings are true because I've asked God many times in prayer. I have nothing to be ashamed of. It's an awesome life.

    August 28, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • citizen bob

      I agree, you should be proud to be a Morman, if this is your choice. Why not? However, this blog is about Romney trying to secure Christian votes by portraying Mormanism as a Christian religion, it is not, by definition a Christian religion. Its OK by me if Mormans aren't Christian, peace to all. My contention is the amount of pandering Romney will do, even to the point of compensating his religion, to gain votes. The GOP is freaked that their evangelical voting block will realize that Morman "Christianity" is very different from what they (evangelicals) see as Christian and not vote for them. He is a pathetic liar selling out his own faith. When he ran for gov. in Mass. not many people cared about him being a Morman. People voted for his platform (ironically the health care reform, resembling "obama care"). Now he feels the need to show media, and his evangelical voting block how "main stream" Protestant Mormans are. They aren't. So what, worship a rock I don't care, but stop lying to the people. This is not about Mormans and Christianity, it is about Romney lying to the people.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
  9. Stan A

    Jonah, I read about Africa having a fastly growing mormon religion. However, I do know that all that I have read says black people are considered as evil and offsprings of the devil, steering back to Cain killing Abel and Hamm and such. It is out there and it is mormans that are writing some of these articles. You may want to go and do some research. neither will black people hold an important position in the mormon church, less alone a priest.

    August 28, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • APO_AE_09173

      Ok it is not that Blacks are descended from the devil. It is complicated and a matter of faith for all members expecially Black memeber to wrestle with. Similar to Catholics who support abortion & divorce with the doctrine doesn't.

      August 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Jonah

      Joseph Sitati is a seventy. That is only one step away from being an apostle.

      August 28, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • courtney

      Regardless of his faith,it's the new religion on the block. It was founded on unfounded beliefs. Do I care that "missionaries" are turning Africans to Mormonism, only because the real "intention" of missionaries is debateable at best. I cite history as my rationale, not some books with a TRULY unknown authors.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • vvaughn

      @ Stan A. In response to your claim that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints "believe that black people are considered as evil offspring of the devil", that is completely false. Please refer to this verse in the Book of Mormon, a book of scripture viewed by Mormons to be a companion scripture to the Bible:

      "For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile." 2 Nephi 26:33

      Also, many blacks hold very high prominent positions in the Church. For example, please visit these links:
      1. http://www.lds.org/church/leader/joseph-w-sitati?lang=eng
      2. http://www.lds.org/pages/mormon-messages?lang=eng#a-book-of-mormon-story

      August 28, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  10. shawbrooke

    I am not Mormon, but it's hard to fault a system in which people actually want families, and kids are not left until last. There are plenty of leftists out there who are wondering why they must wait until the kids are 40 before having grandchildren. I know some of them. Bet some of them take a look and think that maybe their own leftist positions are pretty dysfunctional.

    August 28, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Max Udargo

      Is that the standard for belief in a religion? If it's good for the kids? That explains a lot about the goofy things people believe, I guess. Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the holy revelations of Moroni the angel – all good for the kids.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • barbraS

      Mormons say "It's all about the children" but it isn't. Or else Utah would be leading in funding for education and healthcare. They wouldn't shun and throw out their gay children.

      August 31, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  11. Jonah

    You know alot of people are making fun of us Mormons, calling us a cult, making fun of our underwear, our leaders, our sacred beliefs. I have a question. None of the protestant churches could possibly be the true church because they all apostatized from the Catholic church and can claim no authority (Isn't that why we call them protestants?) Christ founded his church on priesthood authority. Hebrews 5 says, " 4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.
    5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee." Aaron was ordained to the priesthood by Moses, the prophet, and Moses received the priesthood from his father in law, Jethro. John 15:16 says: "16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit," Christ never intended that minsters and pastors run helter skelter preaching whatever they please and taking priesthood authority "unto themselves". He intended that his church be run by revelation administered by a prophet. Only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the organization of the original church and is administered by a prophet of God. It is the only church today that is administered by verifiable priesthood authority with most churches not even bothering with authority at all!

    There is only true church. Paul said that. My question is, how can you protestants possibly claim to have the truth when you obviously do not have a leg to stand on?

    August 28, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Mitchell Moore

      You say the Protestants don't have a leg to stand on? Moroni the Angel? Golden tablets given to a kid to translate into the Book of Mormon? Your religion sounds completely ridiculous and the followers a bunch of fools.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Talon

      @mitchell moore

      almost as rediculous sounding as anyone who believes that one man crammed two of every animal onto a boat while the entire world was flooded, or that a man named moses received revelation and direction from a burning bush and then proceeded to do a bunch of other crazy things like turning a staff into a snake, turning a river to blood, and making it rain fireballs. who cares if that accounts for 70 percent of the people in the world and every U.S. president and the vast majority of political leaders in our country today

      August 28, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Marcus Walker

      Jonah there never was a prophet in the bible or the book of Mormon that God did not vindicate by signs and wonders. There was never any prophet that rose up out of an orginization. Joseph Smith was not a prophet. The bible says if what a man says says comes to pass then hear him but if it does not then I am not with him. In other words no matter if a man fortell anything and it comes to pass. He if he is a prophet then he can NEVER error because God speaks through him and God cannot make an error. What then if a man both fortell the future and it comes to pass and fortells and it comes not to pass, then that man does not know the voice of God and how is he then a prophet of God if he does not know the voice of the Lord and can confuse the voice of the Devil and call it the voice of God.
      Joseph Smith indeed did have the gift of interpretation of tongues, which is the least of the gifts. The book of Mormon says in itself that interpretation of tongues is not done away. Who in their correct mind would say Joseph Smith did not have the gift of interpretation of unknown tongues. He had also the urim and thummin so that he could not get the interpretation wrong.
      Prophets spoke the word of the Lord and had no need of the urim. The urim was in use when there was no prophet in the land. Saul prophecied but consulted the urim after the anounting was taken from him. Saul was a king not a prophet. No where in the bible or the book of Mormon did any prophet ever consult the Urim and Thummin to vindicte their words.
      If Joseph Smith then was no prophet and had only the gift of interpretation of tongues he was not the prophet head of the church any more than the Pope is the head of the church.
      The Mormon church is the very image of the Catholic. Each has the priesthood each claims the succession of high priest 1 with a high prophet the other with a high Pope. Each holding the office of vicar of christ and each having a high temple and lower priesthood.
      What do I conclude then? The bible is true because the devil forms a church most abomitable and he , the devil is proof of the truth of the bible because he find it needful to prevert the right way. What then the Book of Mormon? Simple, is there another church to prevert the words of the Book of Mormon to establish the Devil find it needful to prevert the truth of the book? I say yes and the Mormon church is an image of the Catholic to prevert the truth contained in the book. Why is the Mormon the image of the Catholic, because the Book of mormon says the same thing as the bible.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Jonah

      1 Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls;
      2 And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place.
      3 For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations.
      4 And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war. (Doctrine and Covenants, Doctrine and Covenants, Section 87)

      August 30, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Jonah

      7 And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies.
      8 And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill.
      9 And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly. (Doctrine and Covenants, Doctrine and Covenants, Section 89)

      August 30, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Jonah

      88 And after your testimony cometh wrath and indignation upon the people.
      89 For after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, that shall cause groanings in the midst of her, and men shall fall upon the ground and shall not be able to stand.
      90 And also cometh the testimony of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds.
      91 And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people. (Doctrine and Covenants, Doctrine and Covenants, Section 88)

      August 30, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Jonah

      16 Then shall ye, who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, go forth among them; and ye shall be in the midst of them who shall be many; and ye shall be among them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, and as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, (Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi, Chapter 20)

      August 30, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Drew

      My goodness Jonah my friend, you are not helping anything. Where is your Christ like spirit?

      August 31, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  12. Stan A

    Why is it that Mitt Romney does not speak on his religion and how it feels about black people or people of dark skin. I have did research on it and it appears no matter what literature I read, it is always that black people are considered evil in the mormon faith and they are not considered for higher positions in the church or a priest, if there are some blacks in a mormon church, which I don't know why there would be given the mormon faith and it's practice for years.

    August 28, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Jonah

      You are way off base. I served a mission to Mexico and recently served as a member in a Latino congregation. The church calls whites to serve Latinos to promote mutual respect and understanding. I love Latinos passionately and never miss an opportunity to promote them among my white neighbors and friends. Many whites, whether mormon or not, are frankly a bit clueless when it comes to other races. We are arrogant, but the pathetic thing is we don't even realize we are arrogant. This is not a mormon thing, it is a white thing.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Jonah

      By the way, the fastest growth of the church is occurring in black Africa at this time.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Jason

      Actually, my Mormon bishop (pastor), who comes from Fiji, has darker skin than mine. So your statement about blacks or people with dark skin not being "considered for higher positions in the church" is not accurate.

      August 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Chris

      Than every shred of literature you've read is wrong. Go to the source.

      August 31, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  13. jholland27

    It's time to let go of the fantasy. The grown up version of Santa Claus watching over you and responding to requests for assistance is becoming laughable 12 years into a new millenium. The mysterious world that long ago prompted man to create and worship gods for sense and order is no longer a neccessity. it's time to stop wishing and looking for comfort in a celestial divine power and start looking to science for explanation and comfort.

    August 28, 2012 at 6:50 am |
    • Jonah

      It is I who am laughing. You atheists are arrogant and think you are know-it-alls when I happen to know you are way off base and know nothing. To me you will always be supersti tious heathens dancing around a bon fire.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Everyman

      But the question Jonah is are they dancing around the campfire in Magic Mormon underwear?

      August 28, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  14. Bob

    Oh so that's why Obama doesn't talk about his Islam?

    August 28, 2012 at 4:07 am |
    • Sancfran& Sons

      Dumb comment

      August 28, 2012 at 8:09 am |
  15. Lauren

    Religion should in no way, shape, or form be involved with politics. Your personal relationship with your "God" has nothing to do with the best interest for the American people. End of story.

    August 28, 2012 at 1:33 am |
  16. Majesty Rider

    It doesn't matter which way you try to change its colors, Mormonism (LDS) is STILL A CULT!!!

    August 28, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • Jonah

      Your comment is offensive, ignorant, and lacks ettiquette. Were you raised in the swamp?

      August 28, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Everyman

      That's funny that you say this Jonah, but it is okay for you to make comment about people being heathens dancing around a campfire? Seems pretty hypocritical to me.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Jonah

      Well, all right. Greetings from one ignorant, backward swine to another, then.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Talon

      a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
      an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
      the object of such devotion.
      a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
      Sociology . a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.

      tell me, what makes mormonism any more of a cult than mainstream Christianity, Islam, or any other veneration of God?

      August 28, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Marcus Walker

      In order even to join the church you must confess you believe Joseph Smith was a prophet. Where in the bible does Paul or anyone else say you have to confess a prophet. Silly people. Sounds like a cult of personality.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Jonah

      Marcus, you are full of baloney. We are not like the Catholics or Evangelists. We don't get up in front of people and "profess" things.

      August 31, 2012 at 9:57 am |
  17. Da King

    Not that church!

    August 28, 2012 at 12:43 am |
  18. Steve Wilson

    Religiion is the biggest problem that we have in the world today, period. I wish it was never "invented."

    August 28, 2012 at 12:34 am |
  19. survivaltimes

    @Citizen Bob: Come on now, Bob. Jonah couldn't have messed with your mind so much that you already have first prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints "Joseph" Smith confused with some "John" Smith. You need to do a wee bit more homework before you pontificate on the subject of Mormonism.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • citizen bob

      Whatever the guy's name is, who cares? The point is I'm trying to make is that the GOP wants evangelical votes. So they are painting Mormanism as a like religion. It is not and don't put the onus of that statement on me. The Catholic Church, Orthodox religions and major Protestant denominations do not accept Mormon baptisms as Christian baptisms. I didn't make the rules, nor do I care. I want to point out that Mr. Romney is distorting his religion to gain evangelical votes. Do we want a person that twists facts so early on to be our president? I'm not saying that other politicians don't twist facts either. I am just pointing out this one because he is making it such a political concern.
      But since I am not a Mormon scholar, no one answered me, why did J. Smith write in Elizabethian English when he lived in the 19th century? Methinks mischief has been afoot.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • Jonah

      Joseph Smith wrote down what the Lord told him to. Most people used the King James version of the Bible at the time and were comfortable with it. I think the Lord saw no need to change that. The point of the BOM was not the language, but the teachings it contained. Joseph Smith was a 21 year old farm boy with no formal education. I seriously doubt he knew much Elizabethan english.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  20. citizen bob

    I personally don't care what, if any religion Mr. Romney adheres to. I just want to point out that Mormonism is not Christian, but is based in Christianity. There are too many differences such as John Smith as a prophet, other holy books like the book of Mormon, interpretations of the Trinity, etc. Yes, there are similarities such as the four gospels, old testament, Jesus was special, but that's like saying Christianity is Jewish because both regard similar Holy texts, like the five books of Moses and the prophets. But the split comes with the four gospels and how Jesus is viewed. Christianity is based in Judaism, it is not Jewish.
    Again, i don't care which faith people find comforting, and I don't want to belittle someone's faith. Just stop the political white wash to convince the evangelicals that Mr. Romney will not become the first non-Christian US president, (again I don't care if he is atheist, i prefer someone who is competent beyond anything else)

    August 27, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Jonah

      Could it be possible, could it be possible, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Christian church and the others are not? What makes the protestants think they own the word Christian? They don't adhere to the teachings of the Bible. Shouldn't they adhere to the Bible first and then they can call themselves Christian?

      August 27, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • citizen bob

      Of course its possible. its also possible Greek Orthodox is the Christian church and others are not. It's also possible that Paganism is the Christian church. Anything is possible. Why are you upset with Protestants?
      Question: why does John Smith write in Elizabethian English? Didn't he live in the 1820's?

      August 27, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Marcus Walker


      Could it be possible, could it be possible, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Christian church and the others are not? What makes the protestants think they own the word Christian? They don't adhere to the teachings of the Bible. Shouldn't they adhere to the Bible first and then they can call themselves Christian?

      Jonah the bible is the word of God and the BOM claims it is a witness the bible is true. Therefore the witness and the bible have to say the same thing. If the witness say more or less then it is no more witness but stands alone without witness.
      The bible says a woman is not to teach, it says also a woman is not to cut her hair, The christian churches all but totally ingore this as though it was never even written. The Mormon church is exactly in line with the unbelieving churches concerning the place of women. If a woman is supposed to be silent in the church and not to hold any position of authority but is commanded to be in silence why then If the Mormon is the true church doesit ignore the commandments of the Lord?

      August 29, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Jonah

      Marcus, you don't understand prophets nor do you understand Paul. Prophets are ordinary men with personalities who are called by the Lord to serve. The reason we need a prophet today is because times change. Paul's advice to women was probably good advice in Roman times. It is not good advice today – things are different. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have a living prophet who gives modern day revelation fit for our times. In ancient times, the prophet couseled people to not eat pork. Today, things are different. Pork is prepared under clean conditions and is healthy. In its place, the Lord has given us the word of wisdom which prohibits alcohol, tobacco, and tea and coffee. I have sat in many cousels of the church where women are equally represented and have an equal voice in the affairs of our ward. Women teach and speak and are held in high regard. Our mormon relief society is the largest womans organization in the world.

      August 31, 2012 at 10:18 am |
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About this blog

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