Can Mitt Romney’s evangelical ambassador seal the deal before Election Day?
Mark DeMoss and Mitt Romney at Liberty University, where Romney delivered the commencement address in May.
September 1st, 2012
10:00 PM ET

Can Mitt Romney’s evangelical ambassador seal the deal before Election Day?

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Tampa, Florida (CNN) – The task of selling a Mormon presidential candidate to evangelical America has fallen to a public relations man who’s not even getting paid for what may be the toughest sales job of his career.

For six years, Mark DeMoss has served as Mitt Romney’s unofficial evangelical ambassador, making the case that born-again Christians should help elect the first Mormon to the White House.

It has often been a lonely job.

During this year’s primaries, DeMoss found himself addressing audiences of evangelical leaders in which nearly everyone was rooting for another candidate: Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry – anybody but Romney.

“It would have been tough for anyone other than Mark,” says Richard Land, the public policy chief for the Southern Baptist Convention, remembering how DeMoss performed in one hostile setting last January. “The audience was stacked for Santorum and Gingrich.

“But he has a lot of street cred with evangelicals,” Land says of DeMoss. “He understands us because he’s one of us. So he did great.”

CNN Explains: What’s Mormonism?

Now that Romney has outlasted the other candidates to become the Republican nominee for president, DeMoss is using that street cred to help the candidate close the deal with evangelical voters in the weeks before Election Day.

It’s unclear whether he will succeed.

Polls show that although most evangelicals have come around to Romney, there’s a sizable chunk who have not. With those voters making up a huge part of the GOP base in swing states like Ohio, Iowa and Virginia, whether DeMoss’ gambit works could mean the difference between an Obama or a Romney White House.

For DeMoss, who is officially a senior adviser to the Romney campaign, the stakes of his work go well beyond electoral politics. He’s trying to open the American evangelical mind.

“I took this on to tackle prejudicial attitudes,” DeMoss says, explaining how he approached Romney about running for president in 2006, convinced that the then-Massachusetts governor was the most qualified man for the presidency that he’d ever seen.

How Mormonism shaped Mitt Romney

“I discussed it with Romney the first time we met,” he continues, sitting in his room at the elegant Vinoy Resort and Golf Club in St. Petersburg, his home during the convention. “It bothered me that some evangelicals said they couldn’t support a Mormon for president. As a public relations guy, I wanted to change that mindset.”

Which is why DeMoss was in front of the North Carolina delegation at the convention Monday morning, arguing that it’s unfair for some Republicans to insist on a presidential nominee with whom they agree about everything.

“My advice to those folks is perhaps you should run yourself the next time,” DeMoss told the evangelical-heavy delegation in a Hilton Hotel ballroom, still abuzz about a powerhouse speech that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had delivered a few minutes earlier.

“My wife and I have been married for 24 years,” DeMoss said, “and I don’t agree with her on everything.”

Looking professorial in tortoiseshell glasses, a blue blazer and a white polo shirt tucked into khakis, DeMoss never mentioned religion or Romney’s Mormonism.

But you could tell it was a big part of what he was talking about.

It’s why he told the delegation that he has prayed with Mitt Romney and shared scripture with him and has even sought parenting advice from Romney and his wife, Ann.

After years of traveling and visiting with the Romney, DeMoss told the crowd, “I trust his values - for I’m fully convinced they mirror my own.”

It might not sound like much, but an evangelical Christian vouching for a Mormon’s values in front of ballroom full of fellow believers can be a powerful thing.

At least that’s the hope.

Lessons from the Moral Majority

DeMoss developed an appreciation for Mormons from a somewhat unlikely source: the evangelical giant Jerry Falwell.

He enrolled at Liberty University, Falwell’s school, in 1980, the year after his father died of a heart attack. Falwell, a fundamentalist preacher, would become like a second father.

DeMoss’s dad had been friends with Falwell – DeMoss says it’s unclear if the insurance marketing company his father founded, National Liberty Corp., helped give Liberty University its name – and Mark found work in Falwell’s office after graduation.

By the time he was 23, DeMoss was serving as Falwell’s chief of staff and spokesman, helping his boss run a growing evangelical empire that included the Lynchburg, Virginia, university and a new organization Falwell had helped found: the Moral Majority.

The organization aimed to bring evangelicals back into the political fold, after millions of them had spent decades sitting out elections, convinced that politics were a dirty, ungodly business.

“We traveled the country, challenging pastors to get involved. He outworked staff  that were half his age” DeMoss says of Falwell, who died at 73 in 2007.

Mark DeMoss with Jerry Falwell at 1992 Republican Convention in San Diego, California.

Falwell taught him how political organizing works, from the grassroots to the very top. He took him to meetings with President Ronald Reagan, whom the Moral Majority had helped elect, and President George H.W. Bush.

Among the most important lessons Falwell taught, DeMoss says, is that politics is the art of the possible.

“You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who was more politically conservative than Falwell, but he became increasingly pragmatic,” DeMoss says, eating blueberries from a plastic cup in his hotel room. “He was more practical and open-minded than a lot of people saw.”

As he waged crusades against abortion and for prayer in schools, Falwell proudly linked arms with non-evangelicals. While others in the burgeoning Christian Right wanted to organize only among their own flocks, the Moral Majority chief pushed an idea called co-belligerency: people of different religious backgrounds setting aside theological differences to pursue common political goals.

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

“A lot of people forget this or didn’t know it to begin with, but the Moral Majority was a coalition of evangelicals, Catholics, Jews and Mormons,” DeMoss says. “It was not an evangelical organization.”

Mormons consider themselves to be Christians, but some evangelicals and other traditional Christians disagree. While Mormons treat the Bible as Scripture, they also consider the Book of Mormon to be a holy book

There are other big differences between Mormonism and traditional Christianity, including the Mormon belief that the modern prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can receive revelations from God. Traditional Christians believe that the period for such revelations is over.

But Falwell’s insistence on coalition building with Mormons and others stuck with DeMoss long after he left the Lynchburg in 1991 to start his own Christian PR firm in Atlanta.

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The firm, called the DeMoss Group, took Falwell as its first client and quickly added business from big Christian groups like Chuck Colson’s Prison Ministries, Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse and Christian Crusade for Christ.

More than 20 years later, those groups are still with DeMoss.

“What makes Mark different than a lot other guys in this business is that he’s independently wealthy,” says Graham, who notes that DeMoss’ wife, April, is also from a family that started an insurance company.

“I find him to shoot straight because he’s not trying to keep my business,” Graham says. “I think he’s more concerned with trying to be honest. He will bill you and then at the same time he’ll make a big contribution back to you.”

Mark DeMoss with the Rev. Franklin Graham, a client since 1991.

Though DeMoss has kept his work for Romney, which is unpaid, separate from the DeMoss Group, the relationships he built over decades through his PR work are key to selling Romney to evangelical leaders.

Graham had never met Romney before DeMoss arranged for 15 conservative Christian leaders to visit Romney’s Massachusetts home in 2007, when he was preparing to make his first run for president.

As the leaders took turns introducing themselves, many volunteered that they had traveled to Romney’s home mostly because DeMoss had asked them.

By the end of the meeting, Romney had made some new friends.

“Sometimes on TV someone can appear one way but when you meet them face to face you see the personal side of him,” says Graham, recalling the meeting. “After I met Governor Romney I liked him very much and even more l liked his wife and his marriage and his commitment to family.”

As for theological issues that interested some of the evangelicals, Graham says Romney “answered those questions extremely well.”

Since then, DeMoss has helped evangelical leaders not only become more comfortable with the idea of a Mormon in the White House but also with Romney’s evolving position on issues like gay marriage and abortion.

“He’s absolutely trusted as a pro-life person,” Land says of DeMoss. “When he says Governor Romney is pro-life, that means something. That helps.”

Land is among the many evangelical leaders who use DeMoss to relay concerns or advice to the governor.

“Mark’s a trusted negotiator,” says Land, who had dinner with Romney and DeMoss last year.

Though Romney’s 2008 campaign was unsuccessful, DeMoss counted it as a victory that no major evangelical figure came out against him over his faith, even if few publicly endorsed his campaign.

Four years later, there still aren’t many prominent evangelicals who’ve come out publicly for Romney.

And there are questions about where Romney stands with rank-and-file evangelicals. A recent Pew poll found that, while most white evangelicals support Romney, a quarter are uncomfortable with his religion. Just one in five in that group are strongly pro-Romney.

Ten weeks before Election Day, it’s not where a Republican nominee wants a key part of his base to be.

Visiting Salt Lake

DeMoss’ case for why evangelicals can enthusiastically support a Mormon candidate echo Falwell’s arguments about why evangelicals and Mormons should be political allies.

It goes like this: If evangelicals are OK with seeing a Mormon doctor or flying with a Mormon pilot, DeMoss reasons, shouldn’t they be OK with a Mormon president? We’re electing a commander-in-chief, not a pastor-in-chief, right?

Plus, fixing the national economy – the No.1 issue in this election – doesn’t really have anything to do with religion.

In fact, DeMoss was drawn to Romney because of the candidate’s unusual breadth of experience as a businessman, governor and Olympics Committee chief with dual degrees from Harvard.

“On a personal level and a spiritual level, I might care a great deal about what somebody believes doctrinally,” he tells NPR during a phone interview from his room at the Vinroy. “In the case of presidential election, I don’t care.”

After hanging up, DeMoss stays on that point: “I hope I’ve shifted a conversation about the religion of a candidate to one about the values of a candidate.”

DeMoss says that voting on the basis of a candidate’s faith is dangerous and inane. He notes that three of the most successful politicians from his own denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, are all Democrats whom many evangelical loathe: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

Since January, DeMoss has spent about half his time making such arguments, stressing to clients that the work is not official firm business. Still, he suspects that some potential clients have skipped signing up with the DeMoss Group because its founder and president is pushing a Mormon candidate.

April, his wife, who’s checking her iPhone on the bed of DeMoss’ hotel room, says they’ve lost a few friends over Romney, too. But they’ve also made new Mormons friends, and have developed a deep appreciation for the Mormon faith.

On the van to the hotel to address the North Carolina delegation, Mark and April trade stories with their Mormon driver, a convention staffer, about their respective visits to Salt Lake City, where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is headquartered.

Later, DeMoss talks about being turned off by the evangelical street preachers he’d seen on the street corners there, preaching to Mormons in town for the church’s annual general assembly. How could such evangelizers hope to convert anybody in the 30 or so seconds it takes to wait for the light to change?

For DeMoss, the episode represents a civility deficit when it comes to the evangelical treatment of Mormons. He sees his work with Romney partly as a corrective.

Whether DeMoss can help soften the evangelical line toward Mormons is an open question. So is whether he can get enough of his brethren to go a giant step further and vote for a Mormon for president.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Christianity • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (1,426 Responses)
  1. Joe

    I don't know what is more disgusting crooked religious leaders or crooked political leaders that use the church for power?

    September 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • edweird69

      Yeh, same ol' story, different day. It's been going on since time began, most likely. Part of the human condition?

      September 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • mitch

      Greed is so good! Ratzinger had some outside auditors make a report on financial transparency, but it is secret; can't have the sheepies learning the truth. The politicians are beholden to the corporations; old Dwight had it right, the military industrial complex rules, that is why the good old USofA has been in some sort of war most of the time.

      September 2, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • HeavenSent Blog

      Stay Carnal!

      Hello and welcome to the HeavenSent blog. This is YOUR opportunity to voice your HeavenSent opinions!

      Please frame your posts to best preach to Atheists about the dangers of a Godless life-style.

      Here are some suggested key words to get you started:

      Personal worm that feeds off them, is never quenched, for eternity
      Believing the lies of satan that they will be collectively mini-gods
      Do as the atheists do in this country to ensure the USA goes belly up
      Too blind to see His truth whether I write it in street language or scripture form
      Jesus told us to send r-apists and murderers back to Him
      Atheists lie when they talk about freedom of speech
      He ran off all the Christians from the other site he oversaw
      That will be the end of you
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      Stay on the wrong side of the gulf until you are blotted out for eternity
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      Jesus Christ's truth are resurrected to eternity
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      I know from Moe Curly of the 3 stooges that nothing works
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      You atheists
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      Notice who is most quoted in the Golden rule. Jesus Christ's wisdom
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      Jesus told us he would give you reprobate minds
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      Atheists write this garbage
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      You are fooling yourself if you don't tell gays they suffer for eternity
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      Blame it on the Christians for having the guts to tell idiots God's truth
      Your father Satan
      End of days taught in Jesus' truth is nothing new to Christians
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      You are still a pigeon
      The entire MO behind the atheist is to throw out as many lies and see what sticks
      Debating is the atheists game
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      Serpent is just one of the multiple names of Lucifer aka satan
      The big bang and evolution are lies against Jesus’ truth to cause doubt, creating confusion
      Satan's lies are built on quick sand foundation
      What part of Jesus' truth is clarity and satan's lies are confusion do you not comprehend?
      There are no flaws in His word
      Jesus' truth stands for eternity
      Get over your obsession with me
      Lions and tigers and bears, oh my
      Rocks, everywhere on this site, rocks
      Seeds of Jesus falling on rock.
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      Go back to posting under my handle and answering yourself
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      I've posted the answer numerous times
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      It makes me smile to know that people will be tortured in hell for eternity
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      You atheists steal my handle to post your evil will
      Reap the sword of the Lord Jesus when He returns
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      I expect foolish thinking from an atheist
      Jesus’ wisdom is roaring it's ugly head throughout the world
      Another Pharisees jealous that Jesus is God and not them
      The atheist that hijacks my handle to spew their lies
      Hhmmm, confused?

      Remember….Muslims, Jews and Atheists need not apply!


      September 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  2. doctormelgar

    This is always so sad. Atheists have been voting for leaders who don't share their beliefs for centuries but believers are to close minded to vote for someone even if that person beleives 90% of what they do. That's the problem with many hard core believers. They are too close minded to accept anything that doesn't fit into their black an white world.

    September 2, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    September 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • HeavenSense

      Hi prayerbot.

      September 2, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • hal 9000

      I'm sorry "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but you statements regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. I see that you repeat these unfounded statements frequently. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to... by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • nope

      @hal (former phony jesus)

      September 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • yup


      September 2, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • nope

      @yup (hal)

      September 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  4. HeavenSent

    Thank you my God for providing for me once again and I know you will forgive me, my Lord and Saviour Jesus, but I am going to miss the revival meeting. I had found my hymnal and was on my way to the revival when I came across some fresh road kill, a large fat possum, that I took back to the trailer for sunday dinner; the cats are feasting on the guts and brains right now. The filthy atheists on this blog will get their due come judgement day and their love of satan ensures they will not see the bounty of God but will suffer for eternity in the flames of hell.

    PS: You know my Lord Jesus, I have an issue with hoarding but am to weak to stop, help me Jesus. It just takes so long to find things and the cats can't find the litter box and pee and sh*it all over the trailer, help me Jesus.

    September 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Phony HeavenSent, cough tommie tom. You are in rare form following me on these blogs and stealing my handle to spew your filth. Stay on the wrong side of the gulf until you are blotted out for eternity. I let my twelve year old daughter smoke at the dinner table in front of her kids. The entire MO behind the atheist is to throw out as many lies and see what sticks.


      September 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  5. HeavenSent

    There's a secret Mormon practice known as the Kolob-job. Ask for it next time they show up on your doorstep.

    September 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Phony HeavenSent *cough Scotty *dummy, you steal my handle to do the work of the devil and his minions. Satan's lies cause confusion. I have to keep flea and tick soap in the shower. After their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.


      September 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  6. E B

    Thank you for this article. I am a Mormon and I found all the values and the beliefs mentioned to be accurate and I deeply appreciate that. Accuracy in representing Mormons is rare in this political arena. I realize this article is largely about evangelicals, but one should probably understand that the LDS Church has a Public Relations office with local members serving locally in that capacity, coordinating service activities and other common interests with other local churches. The only thing missing from the article that might be helpful to add about Mormon beliefs is that the core belief in the LDS Church is to follow Jesus Christ. All else is peripheral. Thanks for listening.

    September 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  7. cigarlover6

    CNN stop filtering my comments!!

    September 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Helpful Hints


      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-oters…as in sho-oters
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-oon… as in sp-oon, lamp-oon, harp-oon
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, t-itle, ent-ity, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, salt-water, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).

      September 2, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      cigarlover6, Scotty is the webmaster of this blog and he and CNN filter my comments all the time. He was already kicked off two other sites for running off all the Christians. When my dog takes me for a walk we both use the same tree. The atheists are too deaf to see His truth whether I write it in street language or scripture form.


      September 2, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  8. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Romney follows the teachings of Joseph Smith, a pervert, who had s–e-x with his maid and was caught in the act by his wife, Smith, who was guilty of adultery at that point, convinced his distraught wife and reassured her that it was Ok because God told him to do it. Then, like that – BAAM! – – – suddenly a new religion is born called Mormonism, which allows converts to have as many 17 year old wives as they choose. Yes, that's Romney. The fake Christian trying to fool everybody else.

    September 2, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • E B

      If any of that were true, this would be a concern. But they're not true. Try reading mormonnewsroom.org for fact-checking what you might hear elsewhere. Just like you can't trust the media to represent politicians accurately (or even parties) they don't represent Mormonism accurately most of the time. Read both sides because both sides leave stuff out. How can you make an informed opinion with only one viewpoint?

      September 2, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Who wouldn't want a bunch of 17 year old wives?

      September 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  9. HeavenSent

    Phony HeavenSent *cough tommie tom has been stalking me on these articles and stealing my handle to spew satan's lies about Jesus who does not lie. Why does my couch cusion "swish" when I move? I will keep delivering the message of God's truth and His son who loves us and will see you burn.


    September 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • One one

      God loves us and will see us burn ?

      That makes sense to you ?

      September 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Heads Up

      One one,

      This is a HeavenSent parody. Read more carefully.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      @One one

      You athiests think you have the crystal ball to see the lies of satan, who is the devil, in what Jesus telsl us in his truth. I can't find my lady parts. You have snakes in your belly. I hope you like worms because you will of your own for all eternity.


      September 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • One one

      Do your handlers allow you access to sharp objects ?

      September 2, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Sharp objects? You never asked for anything like that before, One One. But I'm completely devoted to your pleasure as long as you pay well.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Heads Up

      One one,

      Save it for the real HS. She/he hasn't been around for over a week.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      @One one

      I know you atheists to be fools Pay no attention to the small minded fools that got their brain fried. My camel-toe is home to a litter of feral cats. Notice who is most quoted in the Golden rule. Jesus Christ's wisdom.


      September 2, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Joe

      It's absolutely sick that these corporate business heads use religion to influence politics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! UNBELIEVABLE

      Profit from power by using people's belief in God

      Where does the shamefulness end in American politics?

      September 2, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  10. Kolob guest

    One of the unusual things in Kolob is that there are no teenagers around in the sense that once children grow a few pubic hairs they are encouraged to screw their brains off. Getting 12 year olds through pregnancy is one of the planets main problems and the boys don't understand the concept of master*bation, they move right into fornic*ation. I have seen Romney in pictures with maybe his grand daughter about the age when she should be married off to some LDS believer, must be 10 years old or so!!!!

    September 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Hour of Power

      Kolob guest, I see that you are angry and finding it difficult to understand why some people have a different world view than you do. Indeed, it can be confusing, but if you rise above and gently yet firmly stroke that belief you will find God's wonderful release.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I stroke my belief all the time, and if god is some sticky white stuff, I find him quite often while stroking.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Hour of Power

      Rational Libertarian, you have an interesting interpretation of my words but you are humorous.I am simply saying that the firmness of your beliefs is directly proportional to the size of your resolution to cover the world in God's spirit and have a smoke.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I'm resolute in covering the world in scientism and rationalism.

      Also, I don't smoke.

      September 2, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  11. πολεμικός

    We mustn't tire or be diverted. We must by any means keep this amorphous, stealthed representative of the people of wealth, Romney, propped up by the most outrageous religious fiction of modern times, from taking the White House.

    He has a flaw – he comes out of Mormonism. Expose that for what it is and you will go far in showing how ridiculous it is that anyone ever entertained the idea of making him President.

    September 2, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • LeeAT

      This Christian/Mormon union is the hiht of hypocrisy. For years Evangelicals has preached loud and clear that Mormonism is a cult, and now because many of these same church leaders have become wealthy themselves, they will simply hold their noses and push as hard as they can to get Romney elected. Rest assured; Romney will finish what Bush started, and America will again become the laughing stock of what is left of the world. It's sad that we are left to choose between Obama and Romney, however; this country has voted in the lesser of two evils in the majority of presidential elections. Romney had it right in his acceptance speech, America does deserve better. We certainly deserve better than him, and if this country is blinded enough to vote him into office, then we get deserve what we get. To set the record straight, I never have and never will be a Democrat, however; I am also not a fool and I see right through what the Republicans are up to.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  12. Orwell prefers Guyana punch

    It is a toss up for me, LDS Mormon or scientology.

    But, the snake-handling-poison-drinking sheep will do as they are told election time.

    September 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  13. bonkin

    Very strange bed fellows. Raised Baptist, we were taught in no uncertain terms that Momons were a cult of the devil. Guess the religious right will vote for anyone before a black man with an education.

    September 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • John

      To be a Christian one must always modify their stance to change with reality. It's always been this way.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Jesus freaker

      Baby steps for the religious right. They are still getting used to a black man voting.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • mama kindless

      John – "To be a Christian one must always modify their stance to change with reality. It's always been this way."

      Yes, Christians are experts at speaking with a forked tongue – it comes natural to them because it is built into the religion from ground up. Their tenets may not change quickly, but they can jump fence politically instantaneously. They just need to cross-reference and find the right part of the conflicted bible to meet their most immediate need. (The Mormons, because it is such a relatively recent religion, have been very clever at changing their stance more quickly on issues – that's why they are growing so fast in this "gimme gimme gimme I want" society today.)

      September 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  14. If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

    The day we have an openly Atheist President or at least a candidate, that will be a great day for the US. Not because she/he is Atheist but because it signals the maturing of the general public when people will vote for a qualified candidate & not because she/he shares their belief in the same brand of mythology.

    September 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • mama kindless

      Absolutely. My goodness.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • James

      We are sick of you satanists, no matter what you call yourselves.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Bill

      You had better hope it's mythology. Eternity is a long time to be wrong. You see, if I'm wrong, it won't matter. But if you're wrong ..... So in the mean time I will continue to follow the teachings of Jesus. Love, kindness, peace, mercy, Grace, forgiveness, hope. Feed the hungry, help the poor, clothe the naked.

      September 2, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • What IF

      "You had better hope it's mythology. Eternity is a long time to be wrong. You see, if I'm wrong, it won't matter."

      This is another tired repeti.tion of Pascal's Wager - thoroughly refuted since the 17th century, even by the Church.

      - What if the real "God" is Allah, or Vishnu, or Zeus, or Quetzalcoatl, or any of the other of thousands which have been dreamed up over the centuries? Some of them are very jealous and vengeful and will relegate you to nasty places for not worshiping them. You'd better cover your butt by believing in ALL of them and fulfill their wishes and demands.

      - What if the real "God" prefers those who use logic and reason and punishes you as a silly sycophant?

      - What if the real "God" detests those who believe something just to cover their butts in eternity?

      September 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  15. David

    Very misleading article. Mormonisem has nothing to do with christianity as we know it. Following is a paragraph from mormonwiki site: "The "Mormon Prophet" is a prophet of God and is also known as the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
    Latter-day Saints believe that God has an interest in talking to man, and does so through His prophets, whether ancient or modern. The Bible contains a record of God's dealings with prophets in the past, as do the Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price. Modern scripture, such as the Doctrine and Covenants, contains a record of God’s dealings with prophets in modern days.

    As of February 2008, the current prophet is Thomas S. Monson."

    Mormons have a living prophet. Do you get it? They follow Mr. Thomas S. Monson and not Jesus. Personally I do not care about either Jesus or Thomas or any other man sent by God. But I expect a little more facts ...

    September 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • mama kindless

      The self-proclaimed "apostle" Paul, attributed with writing a good chunk of the NT, twisted and distorted Jesbub so bad, why get so uptight with Joe Smith's version? It's all political sales literature from centuries long gone anyway.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • mama kindless

      OK, David, almost missed your last line. Yes – we need more info, but of course we are not expecting any regarding these kooky made-up religions including all of Christianity.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Daniel

      You atheists crucified Paul too. Now you want to distort his writings? There is no shame in any of you.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Bill

      Spot on David. I think Mr. deMoss will have some major explaining to do at the Great White Throne judgment.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I find it hysterical that a christian demands "facts" from a mormon. Pot, meet kettle.

      September 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • What IF

      "You atheists crucified Paul too."

      - Paul was not crucified. He was beheaded.
      - Paul was sentenced to death by Emperor Nero. Nero was not an atheist. He apparently worshipped several gods.

      September 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  16. Dust to dust

    Satan has so many religious bigots in hell with him, he is probably getting a jesus complex.

    September 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      According to Dante, Hell is where many of the most influential Popes reside.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Daniel

      Don't worry, you atheists are the first to fry.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Of course, there are no "facts" to substantiate the existence of hell, just a book written, edited and translated by men, with much of it's doctrine written by a man who never actually met the guy he claims to speak for.

      September 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  17. Kingofthenet

    So what happened in the Mountain Meadows Massacre?

    September 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  18. bible is B---S---

    Satan was the good guy, he thought all were equal. Makes sense that the racist religionist, they like the wrong guy.

    September 2, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • .

      You are mistaken.


      September 2, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Evangelical

      Satan, in the common myth, thought that he could be like the most high god and promised Eve that humans could likewise. Mormons believe like Satan.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      . Your rebuttle is not from your own sense of right and wrong but from a propaganda website?! Are you so indoctrinated that you can't see the inherant problem with not having your own opinion based on reality? Instead you just copy and paste someone elses contrived propaganda?

      September 2, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • mama kindless

      I see HS is now be on her period again (although we all know she's too old for that)

      September 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Daniel

      Worshiping Satan is why you democrats are going to loose.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  19. bible is B---S---

    What really isn't fair is that satan didn't have a chance to write his version, yet they make him the bad guy. Typical believers, they have to discriminate to feel they have some false sense of worth.

    September 2, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Truth and common sense always seem to be blasphemous.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • .

      Pride is the downfall of not only Satan, but you.


      September 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • mama kindless

      Maybe satan is just "mother nature" and that the earliest men created the earliest gods thinking they could get an edge on that whole dying and withering away business that seems so bothersome to many.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • One one

      Every good story needs a bad guy. That's SATAN'S role in the bible.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • mama kindless

      "." blabbed: "Pride is the downfall of not only Satan, but you."

      Pride is a double-edge sword. There's the one bad side – which is how overly proud and obnoxious Christians are, and then there is the other side – ha! – also bad, which is how overly proud and obnoxious other Americans are.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Daniel

      More Satanist lies.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  20. Bob Loblaw

    This article, like others on the issue, very artfully dodges the elephant in the room regarding the difference with Mormon candidates for President or Congress from other denominations or religions: the LDS Church recognizes a LIVING PROPHET in Salt Lake City who takes his commandments immediately from God and cannot be refuted or disobeyed. Handing the executive office to someone who believes that God has a Batphone to the Oval Office in the form of another unelected, unaccountable person is incredibly disconcerting. It is also something that Romney has refused to address. I'm a Republican, not an Evangelical, and he won't have mine until he at least acknowledges the issue. Articles like this seeking to obfuscate the issue and make it about "tolerance" are only making it worse.

    September 2, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Major Tom

      George W. Bush also had an imaginary friend who gave him orders. He just had a different imaginary friend from Romney. I'm guessing you had no problem with Bush. Your issue seems to be whose imaginary friend is better.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Daniel

      Maybe you idiots would prefer the rest of the major cities to topple. Ingrates.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Bob Loblaw

      @ Major: If you can't see the problem I've described in a purely sectarian sense, you are blinded by your own extremist dogma. I am not making an argument that one religion is better than another. My issue is that having a Mormon in the White House is problematic for the reason having a Jihadi in the White House is.

      September 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
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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.