My Take: Hard truths matter; I’m Mormon, and I’m voting for Obama
October 18th, 2012
07:37 AM ET

My Take: Hard truths matter; I’m Mormon, and I’m voting for Obama

Editor's Note: Joanna Brooks is a senior correspondent for ReligionDispatches.org and author of "The Book of Mormon Girl: A Memoir of an American Faith."

By Joanna Brooks, Special to CNN

(CNN)–There are two moments and two moments only that made my soul sit upright during Tuesday night’s presidential debate:

President Obama, speaking about the loss of manufacturing jobs to low-wage economies like China: “There are some jobs that are not coming back.”

Obama, speaking about four lives lost in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya: “I am the one who has to meet those coffins when they come home.”

Morbid? Not at all. I’m just a believer in the gospel of hard truths.

And as I am the mother of two school-age children, a teacher at an underfunded public university and a progressive Mormon, hard truths about the challenges our nation faces are all that makes sense to me.

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

As a mother, I am acutely aware that right now, our nation invests a smaller and smaller share of its resources in our children, the generation that will assume the debts my generation and our parents’ generation have incurred.

As an educator, I have witnessed firsthand how failure to generate responsible levels of public revenue has significantly compromised generations’ worth of investment in our public schools and universities.

And as a Mormon, I grew up with a healthy sense of respect for worst-case scenarios. I was raised, after all, with a religious aversion to debt and a year’s supply of canned wheat, beans and powdered milk in the garage, as instructed by LDS Church leaders. The Mormon food storage tradition isn’t about end-times-paranoia: It’s a lesson passed down from our pioneer ancestors, who knew the importance of being prepared for difficult seasons so you can do right by your family and community.

Profile of Brooks: Crossing the plains and kicking up dirt, a new Mormon pioneer

This nation is in a difficult season, and I listened carefully Tuesday night for a proper sense of respect for worst-case scenarios. What I heard instead were the usual rhetorical swerves.

Mitt Romney offered personal anecdotes about “binders full of women” that have nothing to do with economic security for American families. He promised allegedly revenue-neutral $5 trillion tax cuts but refused to provide solid details on how he’d balance the books. And he made throwaway references to all people being the “children of the same God” without substantial reflection on how that should translate in terms of budget and policy.

What I really wanted from the debate was more of the hard truths that Obama seemed to be on the verge of saying:

“This recession is fundamentally different than other recessions, and there are no short-term fixes.”

“Our old strategies for managing Middle Eastern conflict through military intervention or propped-up dictators don’t work. And there is no easy way forward.”

“The only thing the $3 trillion Iraq war produced for the United States was a mountain of debt and a legion of disabled Americans.”

“We need to have a serious discussion about Social Security.”

“Debts don’t get paid down without adjustments in revenues.”

These are the kind of hard truths that speak to the same part of me that took notice when Obama at his inauguration quoted the Scripture: “It is time to put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13: 11).

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And given the challenges we face in bringing down deficits while investing sensibly in the nation’s future, here are some other Scriptures I’d like to hear:

“Turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come to smite the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4: 6).

“Set your house in order, for you shall die” (2 Kings 20: 1)

Morbid? Not at all. But I do feel a sense of responsibility for keeping an eye on the worst-case scenarios. And a few months’ worth of rice and beans in the garage, like Mormon leaders teach me. And an ear out for the gospel of hard truths.

I have seen Obama work steadily, patiently through a difficult season. I have seen him face some hard truths and accept that there are no easy fixes. And I will vote to give him a second term.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Joanna Brooks.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Mitt Romney • Politics

soundoff (2,087 Responses)
  1. krupke

    "I have seen Obama work steadily, patiently through a difficult season. I have seen him face some hard truths and accept that there are no easy fixes. And I will vote to give him a second term."

    “The only thing the $3 trillion Iraq war produced for the United States was a mountain of debt and a legion of disabled Americans."

    I agree.

    October 18, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Epinoia

      True - but it made the right-wingers feel better. They were blinded by blood lust, and since they obviously couldn't go after the ones who flew the planes into the buildings (for obvious reasons) - they had to go after the next best thing....those who shared the same skin color and religious beliefs. They felt a need to send a message loud and clear: "If you kill our innocent people, we will kill your innocent people." In other words, they reverted back to the tribalistic "Eye for an Eye" mentality.

      October 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  2. LDSinSC

    Alma Chapter 10- verse heading: Lawyers and hypocrites will be the down fall of the world. We get one candidate that is both a lawyer and hypocrite, and one who is just a hypocrite. Makes for a difficult choice. And, sorry, but voting for Rossane Barr is out of the question!
    I knew I would never vote for Obama when shortly after taking office he said the only jobs we are loosing to other countries are unskilled, low paying jobs. This comment happened a few short weeks after several companies in our area announced they were shutting down due to the economy and those jobs were going over seas. Many of these jobs paid $10-20 more an hour than the 'unskilled, low paying jobs' these people were forced to work at. Pres. Obama only cares about his friends in Hollywood and in the music business. The rest of us are just annoying pests to him.

    October 18, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • noXcuses

      Due your research....Romney is a lawyer as well...get a grip

      October 18, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • A Progressive Mormon

      Hey LDSinSC – Read 3 Nephi 6:10-14 and then think about what you wrote.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • LDSinSC

      @A Progressive Mormon
      I fail to see why you are using this. Yes, money can destroy us, but so can greed and hate. Which is worse? Someone can use money for good, like education for example, or to fund a run for public office so they can help others. Yes, that could be for Romney, or for Harry Reid and the Udall's.
      Notice I didn't label myself to a party or a political agenda. I have voted for more Democrats in my life than Republicans. I even considered myself a Democrat until I moved to the South. I have noticed that people here are slaves to the government. They exchange votes for food stamps, unemployment and Social Security checks. I won't and can't live my life like that. I am now an Independent. Mitt Romney was not my first choice to run against the President. He just happens to be, in my opinion, the best of the two.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Epinoia

      Try learning how Romney made his many millions of dollars asset-stripping businesses, and then throwing the stripped husk (and the pension fund liabilities) to the bankruptcy court to wind everything down.

      Romney also sent companies overseas. He did nothing but DESTROY for money. But in his mind, "Creative Destruction" is a type of creation, not a type of destruction. He's a sociopath. And he added NOTHING to the companies he acquired via leveraged buyouts. He destroyed them. There are THOUSANDS of people out there right now who had their pensions taken away from them because of Romney. He even screwed the FDIC to the tune of $0.30 on the dollar. I'd suggest you go read the reports from Matt Taibbi - especially the ones from about a month or so ago. Romney is bad news. And he has NO conscience at all.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • LDSinSC

      Matt Taibbi? Really? That's like someone from the right using Glenn Beck in an argument. Wow!
      Well, since you are so offended at the way Romeny made money, it must be safe to assume that you would be equally as offended by someone who takes campaign donations from someone from Bain. Oh, wait. That's different.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • BlackMormon2012

      I'm Mormon and I can't wait for the election to end. I'm tired of being offended on a regular basis. Although Mormon church does not officially support any candidate or party, the majority of the members do. Most follow orders and do not directly bring politics into church, but most also engage in wink wink politics, which is actually more annoying and offensive. You know, when the crazy lady gets up to bear testimony every month, and no one can pull her from the podium. Or when Brother So and So, the high priest, does his philosophical rant without mentioning a single scripture, or worst yet manipulates some passage of scripture to meet his ill conceived notions.

      God is in this somehow...but it's rather painful to watch. Will a Mormon that I can be proud of please step on the political stage. Please! Democrat or Republican, I don't care. Just don't stain yourself by embracing the hype of the extremes. Be true. Stand for your principles. Love God and man and it will show.

      In the meantime, I'm voting for Obama.

      I'm voting for Obama. Thanks for your article Joanna-you've got guts.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:40 am |
  3. A Mormon for Romney

    Joanna, when you say you are a "Progressive Mormon" I'm going to assume that means you support abortions and gay marriage? If so, you are much more a Progressive, and much less a Mormon.

    It's one thing to support honesty and a straightforward approach to governing, but another to support a candidate who believes in welfare as a right......centralized government managing all.....FORCED redistribution of wealth (Jesus was all about voluntary actions not compelling behavior....that was his brother's plan.)

    President Obama is not a Progressive, his marxist/communist environment growing up instilled in him a cradle to grave, can't live without government mentality. His FIRST REACTION is to seek government solutions, not individual choices and changes in behavior. That runs counter to Christianity and the LDS Church.

    So once again, if you support the core of the President's philosphy, I find it hard to believe you can honestly find happiness within the LDS Church since so much of what the President and his Party is fighting for is absolutely counter to Christianity and LDS doctrine.

    October 18, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Teresa Judd

      You sound like some of the mormon members in my mother-in-laws ward in Utah. My mother-in-law has informed me that the only reason the members don't support President Barack Obama is because they are racist.....My mother-in-law is a mormon and republican- she voted for Barack Obama will vote for him again.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • James Thompson

      She never stated her belief on abortion policy. But don't let this wedge issue enslave you to one party. The Republicans use Gay marriage and abortion to ensure the evangelical vote but they care little for either issue. If you care about abortion then vote Democrat. Their policies have done more to lower the abortion rates. Education, contraception, employment, increased wages, taking care of the mother and the child all decrease the abortion rate. Once Republicans support efforts that are proven to decrease abortion then we can talk about forcing the issue through laws. As for gay marriage, the church's stance is to respect all people including LBGT. Do not let wedge issues vote against your values. No party represents 100% of your values.

      October 18, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • dallas alphonso

      That's just ridiculous, no one supports welfare as a Right, seriously 'D

      October 18, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  4. zanzabar

    The latest Gallup poll shows Romney ahead by 4 points.....Just saying.

    October 18, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • dmo

      Yea that means a lot...only you are forgetting a little thing called the electoral college and basically the snake oil salesman known as "rmoney" cause that is what he is going to take....is mathematically impossible to win every swing state...so gallup or not....i expect mitt to gallop off into the sunset come november 6th

      October 18, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  5. jbol316

    Realisitic appraisals of our situation? Thats crazy talk. We dont need to worry. Just elect Mitt and he will bring in magic revenue trees from his goofy, faraway planet, park them in the White House garden and pay for all his tax cuts he keeps talking about. I hope they have some that grow gold bars.

    October 18, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  6. Mike

    Joanna's faith is in line with most Americans. She stated fiscal reasons for re-electing the President rather than hard truths about whether the President actions are consistant with her religion's moral code. Thus she is correctly applying Matthew 6:21 and should be commended for her honesty.

    October 18, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • John 3:16

      what has that verse got to do with anything? nice try though....

      October 18, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Louis

      Matthew 6:21
      "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

      Perhaps she is saying that Romney's "treasure", or love, is money, not people? Seems about right to me.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  7. Bluewhale

    Thank you Ms. Brooks for seeing through the rhetoric. Obama is certainly not perfect, but I feel that he has ALL the people's interests in mind. He couldn't stop the downhill rollercoaster of our economy on day one, but he certainly worked hard to pull it up from its trajectory when he took office. It's unfair to look at promises he made as a candidate for the turnaround when the recession became drastically worse to everyone's shock after he made those promises. Obama talks and has dealt with reality.

    October 18, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • dmo

      My exact thoughts...you could not have stated it better...go Bluewhale!

      October 18, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  8. floridamom1

    Progressive Mormons need to repent and get on the train. Obama does not stand for anything that Mormons believe in including marriage, debt, and free agency. To me, voting for Obama means turning away from the teachings of the Church. And progressive Mormon is just a code word for apostate.

    October 18, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Mac

      And to me Mormon is just a code word for zealot.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • sam stone

      how is obama turning away from marriage?

      October 18, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • sam stone

      also, obama is running for head of the country, not head of the church

      October 18, 2012 at 10:22 am |

      Floridamom1 you are the biggest hypocryte of all time. Because you are a mormon does that means you should force your religion on others? There are people living in this country that are muslim, catholic, anglican, and all other types of religion. So as a mormon youre expected to rule the country with your church principles by throwing the rest people under the bus?. You are a big fool, I am a mormon born and raised, but I must say I am voting for Obama, Romney just is a disgrace to Mormonism!

      October 18, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Primewonk

      floridamom wrote, " To me, voting for Obama means turning away from the teachings of the Church. "

      Sounds like you think a "religious means" test should be applied to determine who should hold public office?

      October 18, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • A Progressive Mormon

      You, floridamom1, need to put down the Glenn Beck kool-aid and think an independent thought. Use your agency and stop believing everything that you are told by your (also misinformed) sheeple friends at church. I too, am a Mormon, and have been my entire life. I served a mission. I am very active in my ward.

      You statement is offensive to me on so many levels. Read 3 Nephi 6:10-14 and get back to me. And you do realize that some of the brethren you listened to during General Conference are staunch democrats, right? Larry Echohawk – democrat. I had classes from him in law school.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Jeremy

      Well said. From what I know about Mormons, Obama doesn't seem to support many of their beliefs. It's pretty pathetic that when you have a real candidate running for president you can't get behind him. What is wrong with your church members? I thought Mormons were like the Jews – they seemed like they stick together no matter what – I guess I was wrong.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • LDSinSC

      Please remember that we have the right to vote for whomever we would like. The Church will not support any candidate, even if they are a member of our church. I would ask that you do not judge others for their political affiliation or leanings. This too is against the teaching of our church. I don't support Pres Obama, but I fail to see how someone who does support him is going against the teachings. I feel you owe Ms. Brooks an apology.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • david

      FloridaMom1, when you married in an LDS temple you accepted the law of consecration. You realize the law of consecration is a term that predates Communism, but means the same thing? First, how are you going to adjust if this law is enacted by your religious leadership? Second, the fact that you accepted, and promise to abide by this law (and others) makes me question your own free agency.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Netscanr

      Mormons don't have free agency. They must only think the way the old men at the top say they should...

      October 18, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • James Thompson

      Listen with an open heart and you will hear your values being represented by Obama not Romney.

      October 18, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  9. Paul P. Valtos

    I have to agree with the Mormon lady. I'm 71 and all "women" are ladies. It seems that Romney can aggrevate by telling us no details. We Americans know what the next President will face and it isn't fun to be your brother's keeper after so much was squandered previously. A war in Iraq only to wind up witheliminating the Ayatollah's chief enemy so he can concentrate on his "devil" the United states. Idleness is the devil"s workshop and that's exactly what the "shrub" made for the ayatollah.

    October 18, 2012 at 10:14 am |
  10. Hard Times

    Your write up is right on the money!! Hard truths are hard to face!

    October 18, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • John 3:16

      unfortunately, hard 'truths' are based upon deception!

      October 18, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • floridamom1

      Yes, and the hard truth is that Obama does not stand for any of the truths of the gospel.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • sam stone

      john: and yours are based on edited, translated iron age hearsay

      floridamom: he is running for president, not head of the church

      October 18, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Primewonk

      floridamom wrote, " the hard truth is that Obama does not stand for any of the truths of the gospel."

      Hummmm. I thought Obama was running for President of the United States – a secular nation, not Pastor-in-Chief of a theocracy.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  11. John 3:16

    go ahead and throw your vote away then. you obviously have NO loyalty or allegiance to your fellow LDS brothers and sisters. does the mormon church excommunicate members for unfaithful desertion of political affiliation? as an american you can cast your vote for whomever, but as a mormon you are obligated to vote romney! get it?

    October 18, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • tacostand


      October 18, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Just Me

      Hey John...this isn't a team sport we are talking about here...:Vote for my guy 'cause he's the Mormon" mentality. Mitt Romney would be a disaster for the United States on the world stage...He would be an embaraasment...People need to stop thinking of our politcal system as "my side and your side" sporting events......It is a real world with real problems, and Mitt Romney is not up to the task...plain and simple...

      October 18, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • James

      Nope, not true. Many think that we Mormons are obligated to vote a certain way. It's just not fact. We can vote however we want. I think that many of the social welfare and equal rights platforms of the democratic party are very in line with what the LDS church teaches, and are also in line with what I would call scripture within the Book of Mormon. There's other issues that people in the church seem to latch onto heavily to make the entire LDS vote go Republican.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Mac

      WOW. Talk about A CULT!!

      DO as WE SAY, or you are out? If that was proposed to me I would find the door as fast as I could.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Henry

      If the LSD...er...LDS Church is ordering members to vote for fellow Mormon Romney, maybe the IRS should revisit the Church's tax-exempt status...get it?

      October 18, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • floridamom1

      No, she is not obligated to vote for Romney because we believe in free agency. But a vote for Obama is a vote against certain principles of the gospel.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • John

      The obligation is not to Romney but to GOD. Jesus cared about the poor and told us to do the same. Romney said it is not his concern. You need to read the scriptures.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Louis

      Who's your personal pope, John? Whose opinion would you never dare to sway from? Rick Warren, William Lane Craig, James Dobson, Jimmy Swaggart, Ravi Zacharias, Billy Graham, Kenneth Copeland, Ted Haggard, Tim Lahaye, Jack Van Impe, Pat Robertson ...?

      October 18, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • sam stone

      they are voting as citizens, not as members of the church. what is this so hard for you to understand?

      October 18, 2012 at 10:25 am |


      October 18, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • CNG


      October 18, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • iEatYellowPickles

      John, Mitt Romney has give more of his time, money and service to others than you would in 3 lifetimes, so you can't say he doesn't care about the poor. He just doesn't feel it's the responsibility of the government to take money from the rich and give to the poor. Jesus didn't MAKE the rich young man give up all his money and give it to the poor, he INVITED him to do it. We need to make the decision as people to help each other out. Not be made to do it by self-serving politicians.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Boytjie

      "as a mormon you are obligated to vote romney! get it?"

      This is not an LSD election, it is for the federal government. What kind of religion forces its followers to vote the was some guys in charge decide is right? It sounds un-American to me.

      October 18, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Netscanr

      John 3:16 Thanks for demonstrating the pervasive CULT mentality of the LDS church! It shows just how dangerous the MORG are!

      October 18, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • RJ

      John 3:16 shoudl be banned on here.

      October 18, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
  12. clubschadenfreude

    I'm sorry, Ms. Brooks, but calling yourself a "progressive Mormon" is just as much nonsense as someone calling themselves a "progressive Catholic" or a "conservative Catholic" or a "conservative Mormon". You all make up your own religions based on what you like and don't like, picking and choosing from your religion like it's a salad bar. You're all sure that your repective gods are agreeing with you and only you and those "others" are wrong, but none of you have any evidence to support you.

    October 18, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Angela Lee

      I think you have missed the point. Her column is about politics and what makes sense to her, not about whose religion is/might be the correct one. Its is really not about religion at all.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:12 am |
      • clubschadenfreude

        No, I have not missed the point. Her religion is changed by her politics and her decent humanity. That's my point, that religion tells no one any truths, but only serves to support the opinions of the person. the LDS has people like her and Warren Jeffs. Jeffs isn't complying with modern American values and the author is so now magically the author wants to claim that her god is with her and not him. She has no more evidence than Jeffs that her god even exists much less agrees with her 21st version.

        October 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • James

      I'm a progressive Mormon too. There's a minority in the LDS church that have a more liberal sway. But hey, thanks for discounting our existence. Hey Joanna, I would love to write one of these! Someone needs to write an opinion piece more about why the Mormon vote will definitely not go all Romney, and also have it come from a Mormon. PhD here, would love to talk.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:13 am |
      • clubschadenfreude

        I'm not discounting your existence. I'm pointing out that your version of LDS is no more or less true or valid than the conservative version of LDS. You've just decided that you magically know more than they do, just like every theist. Please do tell me how you know that your version is the right one, James. Tell me why Warren Jeffs shouldn't be considered the true Mormon here. As usual, people do indeed grow and advance, but their religion is always changed by secular humanity, always lagging behind, just like the LDS when they finally got around to recognizign that skin color wasn't the big deal they initially claimed their god thought it was. These god sure do mumble a lot, with all of the rewriting of religion going on, with the LDS, the Roman Catholics, etc all suddenly changing things that they originally claimed as the "HOLY TRUTH" to catch up with decent humans.

        October 18, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Cross45

      The Trolls are out in force today! How much are they paying you to be stupid and spew your hate?

      October 18, 2012 at 10:19 am |
      • clubschadenfreude

        Ah, so you want to call me a troll. Sorry, telling the truth about religion isn't being a troll. Can you please tell me that I'm wrong and that you can point me to the one real true religion, not the tens of thousands that exist with no evidence at all. It is hilarious to watch you "cross" and your fellow theists tell each other that they are damned and that they don't have the right imaginary friend. I've watched such antics for years, protestants hating Catholics, evangelicals hating Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses hating everyone and everyone hating them, Muslims killing other sects of Muslims, etc. It's just such a pity that you waste so much effort on each other and imaginary nonsense.

        October 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  13. SPower

    Laughable! These CNN articles are very entertaining. Keep trying.

    October 18, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  14. PrimeNumber

    When Obama said "we saved the auto industry" I hesitated at that word "we". Obviously, Obama meant "we" to be his administration. THe truth is that "we" the working, producing taxpayers saved that industry.

    October 18, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Louis

      It was his decision to try to save the auto industry. Romney and most of the GOP didn't want to even try. If he failed then ALL the blame would have been on him, and not the taxpayers. That's why he gets to take credit.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • owenj

      Not without a healthy infusion of government funds at a time when there was no private sector money available to the car companies. The companies would have been forced to close and the employees would have lost their jobs without the funding, no matter how hard they worked.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Josephus Allen

      You sound just like the Navy Seals that say that they killed Osama Bin Laden, and which they did, but if Obama is the Prresident...not us, he is the one that has to give the go head. Remember, he has to take the blame for good and bad ! So, what ever to you!

      October 18, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  15. PrimeNumber

    "The gospel of hard truths", she said. Here are some hard truths. After World War 2, the Unites States was the only economy standing. It went from producing guns, tanks, airplanes, bombs, and submarines, to producing TV's, luxury autos, suburbia, washing machines, everything. How could one fail in an economy like that? It continues. An endless supply of must-have products are urged onto Americans as well as a credit card. So we founder ourselves like a horse given too much feed. How long did we hope to sustain this? Hummers, big-beyond-all-reason houses, big screen TVs, all the best of everything. We need lots of money to buy this stuff so we need bigger wages. Of course factories went overseas. Average Joe and Jane American drove away it's own industry. But no candidate who wants to get elected is going to point out this "gospel of hard truths".

    October 18, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Louis

      The economies of Canada, Australia and a bunch of other countries were also standing pretty tall just after WWII.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      America has been operating on a war time economy since WWII.
      Gadgets, cars and houses do not match even a fraction of the pofits the US gets from weapons manufacturing.
      The US economy is very heavily reliant on the Pentagon.
      All the nify gadets you name were originally designed for military uses. The justification for continuing extreme pentagon funding after the Cold War and before the War on Terrorism was "dual use technology".
      The guidance system in a Patriot missile can be modified to work in your cell phone.
      The primary goal of the technology is war – but if it has a commercial potential, then that's just peachy too.
      Without the machines of war quietly holding the centre of the economy, the US would collapse.
      Just prior to 9/11, a republican think tank full of prominent players (many of whom would go on to form Bush IIs cabinet) wrote a paper called The Project for A New American Century (PNAC).
      It it pretty well an 80 page manual for enforcing a global "Pax Americana" through military might. At the core of the plan is the need to increase military spending, which they postulated could more easily get past negative public opinion if there was another huge, menacing, enemy like the USSR – but it would be better if said enemy were de-centralized, expansive and essentially untargetable. Al Qaeda anyone?

      October 18, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  16. Bill Deacon

    Hard truths? How about this hard truth, you're $16,000,000,000,000.00 in debt. One hundred years of mortgaging the nations prosperity to the Rothschild International banking cartel has left not only no wheat, beans and powdered milk in the garage but the rations you will be getting for the next 200 years you already owe to the bond holders who financed your entiitlement/expansionist policies. But you seem prepared to re-elect the Borrow-in-Chief to double down on the American Visa because you want a nicer school for your kids.

    October 18, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • sam stone

      Expecting fiscal restraint from government is sort of like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys

      October 18, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Which is why the government should stay very far away from the economy.

      October 18, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • midwstrngrl

      i do find that comment kinda funny...hows does the government stay away from our economy exactly?

      October 18, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • The Cold Hard Truth

      Republicans I want to take you seriously. I am a conservative at heart. But you won't even admit that this debt cliff we are falling through is also your fault. Your main man George Bush killed this country. His leadership lead to the banking collapse and overall economy collapse. We had to spend money so you wouldn't be standing in bread lines right now. Talk about tough times.. Knowing jobs aren't coming back because of failed republican polices. Before you criticize someone for trying to fix what you broke.... First admit you broke it to begin with. And then put forth a plan that is different than the one that broke it in the first place. Until you do that no one that has an education can take you seriously. Because you are living in a world that doesn't exist.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • owenj

      To The Cold Hard Truth, Well said!

      October 18, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • stevenak

      It is about priorities. The reason Romney will not say where he will cut is because he will cut education, health care, environmental regulation, financial regulation and consumer protection, and provide Medicare vouchers to EVERYONE. (The "only if your under 55" is a scam–the vouchers he wants will be for all.) Then he will cut taxes on millionaires who receive capitol gains from stock investments and raise taxes on the lowest income earners. He said this ("Distribute the tax burden.." ) and this will wreck the economy for all but the very wealthy.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:26 am |


      October 18, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      You can blame Bush, Johnson, FDR or Reagan but the President who instiituted the Federal Reserve System and the IRS is Woodrow Wilson. A Democrat. The history of America goes back further than 2004.

      October 18, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • dmo

      and you think this snake oil salesman cares?...trust me my friend he could care less...him and his giant ego want to be commander in cheif and that is all plain and simple....and he still has never ever explained how is going to pay for his 5 trillion dollar tax cut....and btw every economist says the number just don't add up no matter how you do the math....and by the GOP's own admission..."our only job in the last 4 years is making sure Obama does not get 4 more year"....sounds pretty divisive to me....

      October 18, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  17. Colin

    The belief that an infinitely old, all-knowing sky-god, powerful enough to create the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, picked a small nomadic group of Jews from the 200 million people then alive to be his "chosen people" provided they followed some rural laws laid down in Bronze Age Palestine equals Judaism.

    Judaism PLUS a belief that the same god impregnated a virgin with himself to give birth to himself, so he could sacrifice himself to himself to negate a rule he himself made equals Christianity.

    Christianity PLUS a belief that aliens from other planets mated with humans who will one day be gods, that post mortem baptisms send people to a heaven, that the Israelis colonized America and that magic underwear will protect you from evil equals Mormonism.

    I guess Mormons take the gold for utterly stupid beliefs. One can imagine Brigham Young standing on a pedestal, accepting his medal and humbly proclaiming, “If my beliefs are even more ridiculous than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants”.

    October 18, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Thunder

      No, the one that takes the gold are those who believe that a lump of bacteria evolved into fish, which evolved into monkeys, which evolved into humans. Wait, we still have monkeys and bacteria...why havent they evolved?

      October 18, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Mike

      It takes more faith to believe that something came from nothing rather than believe in creation. Well put Thunder!

      October 18, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • A Frayed Knot

      " which evolved into monkeys, which evolved into humans."

      You sound like you are in the 6th grade. Please read something about evolution. Monkeys did NOT evolve into humans. Monkeys and humans share a common extinct ancestor from MILLIONS of years ago.

      "It takes more faith to believe that something came from nothing rather than believe in creation."

      Ah, but you believe that your god came from nothing.

      October 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Epinoia

      Mormons actually believe that God (The Father) is a physical being (ie. in time and space) who lives near the Planet/Star Kolob. They also believe that god also had his own Father. It's absolutely incompatible with Christianity, which is why it's considered heretical.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  18. Reality

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

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

    Apparently, BO and MR (and Joanna Brooks) have been severely brainwashed in their theologically and historically flawed Christianity and they are too weak to escape its felonious grip.

    “It is time to put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13: 11).- YES INDEED AND THAT INCLUDES CHRISTIANITY IN ALL ITS FORMS !!!

    October 18, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • Nii

      Repeating the same things over and over again in the hope that someone will finally believe it is an irrational delusion. How many months are u going to post the same things over and over again? We got it the first time that you are not very bright

      October 18, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Whether Reality is bright or not is debatable. However, he/she does not believe in magic carpenters, divine child molesters, elephant headed deities and one particularly nasty god with an obsession with infanticide. He/she should at least be given some credit for this.

      October 18, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • John 3:16

      all religions are based on intellectualism my friend. when one gets to the point that he/she can NOT intellectually reconcile the fact that our finite minds can not comprehend the vast truths of the universe, well that's where faith kicks in. simply believing in something you can not explain. so faith is much more intellectual than any argument claiming that belief in the unknown si nonsense or myth. conclusion: people of faith = intellectually superior to others.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • sam stone

      john: that is nonsense doublespeak....people of faith are not intellectually superior than those of no faith, and vice-versa

      October 18, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Damocles


      Fantastic! I sure as hell hope you never pull jury duty. I can see it now.... you let a murderer go free because you take his claim that he won't do it again on faith.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • chris

      as an atheist, I can say this argument is not a good one when talking about christianity and mormonism. The problem is that there is no evidence for the book of mormon, while there is evidence to prove validity of the bible. There are historical events in the bible that have been proven to have actually happened. There is coinage, cities, and people referenced in the bible that all exist.. even the language of the bible actually existed.

      the book of mormon has no provable points.. the language of the book is an unknown language never seen in history besides by joseph smith on the plates. Huge cities and battles and weapons and coins are talked about in the book of mormon but not a single piece of evidence has ever been collected to prove any of it true. A mormon may try to tell you that the mayans are proof of the book of mormon.. this is silly nonsense.

      so while anyone who believes in god is irrational in my book.. there is at least proof of many things in the bible while mormons have nothing but "faith" (burning in the bosom) to prove their scripture is true.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Reality

      As good students, you have read the reiterations of the "fems" (flaws, errors, muck and stench) of religion. Therefore the seeds have been planted in rich soil. Go therefore and preach the truth to all nations, reiterating as you go amongst the lost, bred, born and brainwashed souls of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism as Rational Thinking makes its triumphant return all because of you!!!!

      A prayer to start your journey:

      Only for the new members of this blog:

      The Apostles' Creed 2012 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      (References used are available upon request.)

      October 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Epinoia

      These theological beliefs are not just fluff - they affect the way the adherents THINK.

      True Christians are required, whether they understand it or not, to always give priority to the Logos (Logic/Reason) over Pathos (emotionalism) and Ethos (authoritarianism). Mormons, however, do not believe in a triune God - they separate the Logos from The Father. This has the end result, philosophically speaking, of permitting The Father (a physical being near Kolob) to act irrationally. It allows for a flippant, capricious, and logically inconsistent Father. And since The Father is the ARCHETYPE for all legitimate RULERS and AUTHORITY figures, it allows for the absolute worst kind of tyranny - a ruler who is flippant, capricious, and logically inconsistent.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  19. Reality


    October 18, 2012 at 8:39 am |
  20. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    President Obama, speaking about the loss of manufacturing jobs to low-wage economies like China: “There are some jobs that are not coming back.”

    He is right and we must recognize that this nation has to grow or it will fail. We have to be the innovators and not the assemblers and repackagers of old technology. Shrinking Government involvement in math and science research and education as the Republicans want to do – as they must do if they want to solve our economic problems while defending the wealth of the upper class and the profits of the moribund corporations they hold stock in – will ensure that this nation will not be able to contribute to the advancement of global society as other nations who can assume the forefront will.

    October 18, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • Foghorn

      I agree whole heartedly with you and have been saying this for years.. Innovation is what made this country thrive, it is only when we stopped finding new ways to become properous and just settle for what was available is what keeps us in this fix. assemblers and repackagers, and manufacturing jobs are the thing of the past for the US, with technology and internet being in it's infancy stages, We need to find ways to become the personal business We have always dreamed of being.. Let the other countries build our products and We be the boss! there is so much possibilities that We have yet to scratch the surface of when it comes to internet based job creation and communication and connection that We as a nation could rise once again to a proud state if only We think outside the very old box that We have been in since the 1940's and 50's.. industry of old philosophy to garner our future will only keep us in the past, We need to move forward and help others to move forward as well.. I have a lot of great ideas to help this happen, but lack programming ability to create it.. but someone will someday, and the future can be a bright thing when it is finally realized..

      October 18, 2012 at 10:22 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.