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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. Another View

    Joanna,

    Thanks for your candor and your thoughtful reflections. I too am an educator and have children in school. I too worry about “our children, the generation that will assume the debts [of] my generation.” As an educator, I too “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.”

    These are the precise reasons I can no longer support Obama and his failed policies. What Obama either never learned in Economics 101 or has chosen to ignore is that real economic growth is the greatest hope for the federal revenue we need, not trickle down government that stagnates free enterprise. We need jobs and Romney’s plan will create the environment to do just that.

    When Obama quoted 1 Corinthians 13:11, “It is time to put away childish things,” I think that must include silly distractions including “Binders of women” and “Big Bird.” Obama is leading us right off the edge of a fiscal cliff that will have many casualties and undesirable consequences. With 16 trillion in debt, how could anyone in good conscience favor a path that will add substantially to the debt already strapped to the backs of our children?

    For the precise reasons you state, I will vote for Romney. A vote for Romney is a vote to help relieve the suffering of women and children all over the nation who, as children of God, deserve much, much better.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • usualone

      So some of you who are educators support vouchers? What if there is an Einstein out there who is starting out slowly in school, should he/she be dismissed to never getting a decent education. As far as children transferring out of poor performing schools, does one actually think everyone who wants to transfer will find a slot in a better school system? That really is a naive thinking which Romney has expressed. I guess then he is really not thinking about the 47%.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • jonathan

      I love it when people say Economics 101 and act like they're Adam Smith.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  2. Sana

    OK...I am having difficulty seeing how the Mormon value system and Joanna's opinions are collaborating and blending into a cohesive argument for Obama. This recession IS different. Our society went through a period of creating astronomical debt, not just the government, but also personal debt. We were/are bing very selfish and fiscally irresponsible. (which goes against the Mormon values, as reported.) As a country we currently don't even have a budget. (Which also goes against any Mormon, business or personal financial wisdom.) Currently, there is flagrant waste and leakage among government agencies that seem to get unreported or ignored. (See USPS, Secret Service, and many others). Under this president, our credit rating dropped. This is the first time in history. Its time we get someone qualified to run this business of government. Mitt has a proven track record of creating success out of failures. Look what he did for the SLC Olympics which was full of corruption and kickbacks....and he refused a salary. This demonstrates his skills and capabilities to work through corrupted and cankerous agencies, such as our current government. It also demonstrates integrity. (A character trait that is becoming a foreign notion.)

    I am also a teacher and a former union representative in the public school system, It isn't lack of funds that is the problem, but again the misappropriation and corruption that bleeds the money out of the system. The unions have prevented progress from moving forward on so many levels. I pay almost $100 a month in dues just to be inundated with beautiful, glossy politcal matter, using scare tactics and partial truths to inform me for whom I will vote...if I love children. If I choose another candidate, I am labeled a "hater" by my colleagues. (Another corrupt government run system) As an educated woman, this is insulting and insinuates that I am incapable of informing myself politically. It would be better if unions were out and the schools could be politacally free. As itis now, it creates a toxic biased environment where parents arre shoved out or bullied out of the educational process of their children. (Hence, more and more hoeschool families of ALL denominations and beliefs and famiy systems.)

    Joanna, this justification and rhetoric is getting stale. I hope you can bring some freshness and enlightenment of truth, objectivity, and courage to your work in the future. Our country is indesperate need of this at this time.

    We need Romney's unique talents and abilities to steer this economic mess into a debt free/corruption free horizon. (Not paranoid, just wise counsel.)

    October 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Ted

      I agree. Mr. Obama had two years of complete congressional control and then two years in which he could have reached out to congress....had he moved to the middle as Bill Clinton did. He chose not to do so, and in fact had been critical of Bill Clinton for his centrist views. He is still not really a centrist and has not worked with congress like Clinton did. He had his chance and it is now time for MR Obama to give it up and give someone else a chance.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @Ted

      That's about the most blind comment ever and ignores what actually happened. First of all, are you saying that since the Dems had complete congressional and white house control they should have passed whatever they wanted? What actually happened is this little thing called the filibuster, it allows for the minority to still stop congress and the white house in its tracks, regardless of how many votes the dems had in congress. He also reached out but since the GOP aka the party of no decided they would make it their mission to stop Obama at every turn, Obama had no other choice but to start getting tough with them. Actually pay attention, watch CSPAN and watch Congress. It's been disgusting the amount of nothing they've done just do put a blemish on Obamas record.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Kevin

      Hi Sana,

      It seems that you are saying that Obama is responsible for the debt ceiling fiasco. I have to disagree here. The House Republicans used the debt ceiling to try to force Obama to do what they wanted. Through the years, that have been people who voted against a debt ceiling bill, but this willingness to hold our credit rating hostage is unprecedented.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • h

      Mitt Romany is as former President Reagan budget director a financial speculator. Private Equity compamies lile Bain do not build anyhting and the only wealth they create is for themselves. They do not create jobs. He is like every used car salesman I ever met he will sau anyhting. Some peopl wat to hear everything is ok. It is not hopeless but if you think that electing him will change the economy and the realities od wht we face it will not. Not to mention he is in a time warp in termsw of womwn.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Sana

      I am saying that I feel Mitt Romney has the collaborative skills, and the skills business skills to heal the economic issues we are facing. He has had to break through the political walls that Obama has been unable to break through. He has created successfull businesses out of budgetary disaster. I feel he is more qualified, at this moment in history, when we need it the most. It isn't about who inherited what. We should be WAY beyond that by now. This is what it is. Let's consider this a job interview and base it on each applicant's resume. I would prefer to have Mitt Romney lead in this particular case.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Sana

      Thanks for all of your thoughts and insights. What I am saying, is that I feel Mitt Romney has the collaborative skills, and the skills business skills to heal the economic issues we are facing. He has had to break through the political walls that Obama has been unable to break through. He has created successful businesses out of budgetary disaster. I feel he is more qualified, at this moment in history, when we need it the most. It isn't about who inherited what. We should be WAY beyond that by now. This is what it is. Let's consider this a job interview and base it on each applicant's resume. I would prefer to have Mitt Romney lead in this particular case.

      October 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  3. Please do your research

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/07/the-chart-that-should-accompany-all-discussions-of-the-debt-ceiling/242484/

    October 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Kevin

      I'm glad you posted that. Just non partisan facts. No spin there.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  4. Steph

    Bluegrass, maybe you he should have reminded your Republican friends 7-8 years prior when they were pushing the country's economy off a cliff with their greed, lies and smoke screens to get us into two wars that benefitted only the gun makers, defense contractors, and n the mortgage debacle that only benefitted wall street and big banks. The whole world is suffering as a result of this greed. The impatience and arrogance of those like you who think that others should come in and fix their mess but not doing it fast enough for them is offensive. Additionally, having a "do nothing" congress with the lowest approval rate, ever blocking every progressive idea that would move the country forward is even more offensive to the citizens of this great nation. Put that kool aid down and really think.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Ted

      It was not the Republicans that shut down Mr. Obama, it was the American people in 2010. And with good reason. When the country elected Mr. Obama it wanted good, solid government, not a restructuring of the entire society. Mr. Obama far overinterpreted his mandate.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  5. JT

    You need to go back and LISTEN to what Romney said. You are not LISTENING if you don't think he made things clear. The binder comment was in reference to him gathering resumes of women to put on the boards. Why is it that every woman in Obamas cabinet is making 18% less than the male counter parts? That doesn't sound like he likes women to me...

    October 18, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      I listened, very carefully in fact.

      Apparently when Romney won there were absolutely 0 qualified women, because that's somehow a correct fact. So he made it a point to go out and recruit women just so he could say he had women working for him. I think you need to understand that what Romney did and what he said the other day at the debate was pretty much the lowest and dumbest form of pandering a guy could do.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Kevin

      You make a serious charge with your 18% less comment. Do you have any evidence?

      October 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Ted

      You are right and concerned citizen is only hearing and not listening. The 'listening' is through a filter. Mr. Romney clearly indicated he is supportive of working women and women in general. He hired a lot of women. A good thing. All the rest of this empty hullaballoo is a desperate attempt to discredit him with women because Mr. Obama is slipping badly in the polls and at present appears poised to lose the election. And he should lose. He had his chance and failed economically. We simply cannot afford another two years of this and everyone knows it.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • usualone

      Actually Concerned Citizen, the group who had the binders of women approached Romney and the other candidate who was running for the governorship to see if they would choose women.for their administration. Romney did not approach the women. They were the pro-active group. BTW, as his term went longer, there were less women working for him than when he first started.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @Ted

      The polls don't mean a thing and you and I both know it. Obama being up or down in a national poll is irrelevant as long as he wins the electoral votes he needs. If you really want to pay attention and understand what polls are important, look at the swing state polls and see where Obama and Romney are in contention. Bush already proved you can become president and still lose the popular vote.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  6. johnny

    The only hard truth that isn't excepted is the fact that there is no supreme being that created us.

    It never ceases to amaze me that people are so gullible to the concepts of god, creator and whatever religious beliefs that have interwoven themselves into the fabric of humankind.

    All these biblical quotes do make sense, but they are not from a god, but rather from intelligent people that had a grasp on the reality of a socially structured society. We need to be controlled to a certain degree and morals have to be implanted at a very young age in order to allow us to live as "civilized" animals. So what better than an absolutely correct and righteous being to be the one who imposes these beliefs on we mere mortals. (Confusing though since Judaism, Christianity and Mormonism all claim to be worshiping the same god).

    So Ms Brooks, a confessed Mormon, thinks that she is above all and so righteous because she can be critical of Romney even though he is Mormon himself. Self promotion is what it is.

    The last sentence in the article is "The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Joanna Brooks". I will thank your "god" that they are YOUR opinions and not any others. Except of course for the sheep that believe everything they read.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Kevin

      Johnny, I'm not religious either but I have to disagree with your assessment. I don't think she's trying to sound "holier-than-thou". I think she is saying that she won't allow the simple fact that she's a mormon to determine who she'll vote for.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  7. STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

    Human I have an used camel for sale. It has low millage and runs good. I have all service records. When gas prices are 4 dollars a gallon, camel is the way to save some money. It also qualifies under Obama's Green Energy Program! Asking price is $1750 or BO.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  8. Arbogast

    Why would we want a revenue-neutral restructuring of income taxes? Doesn't the federal government need to increase revenues to pay off what we owe now? Wouldn't a revenue-neutral tax reduction increase the tax burden on the middle class and lower it for the wealthy, effectively furthering the redistribution of wealth to the rich (a trend effectively started by the Reagan tax cuts)?

    October 18, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  9. RJC

    Three cheers for Joanna!! She is a person of sound judgement, clear vision, and undeniable compassion.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Ted

      Because she is a democrat and agrees with you. Lots of Mormons are democrats. So? She says she grew up with a healthy respect for debt. Then perhaps she can explain why under Obama our debt has escalated far more than with any other President, even on a proportional basis. And Mitt Romney is trying to have a serious discussion about Medicare. To say that it can continue to be wholly subsidized by the government when our population is aging rapidly is simply naive. Soon we will get to the point where taxes will need to rise by 12% (our of every dollar earned) to pay for social security. Not sustainable.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • James Thompson

      Ted,
      Our debt has increased because our GDP has decreased and people are paying less in taxes. Obama has cut spending but the cuts aren't sufficient to make up for the loss in revenue. That is why he wants a balanced approach, to cut spending and increase revenue. I supported it when Reagan did it and I support it when Obama wanted to do it. How about you?

      October 18, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  10. ABM

    Here's a hard truth for you Joanna: 99% of Mormons (in the US) disagree with your political beliefs, and they think their political beliefs are just as much based on their faith as you do. Uh-oh! Now what...?! How do we resolve this quandary???

    Note: You didn't already know that some of those jobs aren't coming back? Seriously?! And you're a teacher? Pretty cluesless admission if you ask me. Oh well, I guess every soul is unique and uniquely touched, just like we believe. Your other soul-moving example is just merely sentimental...again nothing informative and insightful.

    (PS – How is your state of CA doing these days after all these years of Lib Dem policies? Go read some Victor Davis Hanson, if you're as open minded as you claim to be.)

    (PPS – Is Brother Reid hiding out at your house?)

    October 18, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Bill

      Making the California remark is uncalled for when the 10 poorest states are Republican. I think you're mad because somebody has an opinion other than yours.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Bosco

      A couple of quarts of Wax-B-Gone should clear up your hearing problems there, bud. I love it when people ask "what makes you think", don't you?

      October 18, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • ABM

      @Bill, in that case I'll make it again...

      Cali is bankrupt. Cali is in the toilet. Go read some VDH.

      Lib Dem Teacher in CA supporting Obama is not a story. (But wait! She's a Mormon too!)

      October 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • ric

      99%? How many Mormons do you know? You are tying to make Joanna and Harry Reid sound like the Code Pink of the LDS faith when that is just not the case. Even if your number is correct, which it isn't, the point of the article is to show Mormons aren't totally in lock-step with Romney.

      Note: Romney would have you believe with a wave of his Anti-China big stick all those manufacturing jobs are gonna come right back over the Pacific to Ohio and/or any swing state he is campaigning in.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • James Thompson

      99% really? Well then I will stand proud and proclaim I am a member of the 1%! Have a nice day.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  11. CNM

    Maybe, "as a mother," the author might consider for a moment the number of children that Obama has killed through his drone strikes.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • The Truth

      Or the number of American children he has saved by not sending them into extremely dangerous regions that house armed terrorists and instead sends unmanned drones...

      October 18, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Oliver Cowdy

      Your support for Romney/Ryan will not only escalate those drone strikes, buy may include putting American forces on the ground in Syria? I think your barking up the wrong tree.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      hindu's, Butcher's of innocent around the globe, pretending to be Messiah to hind, fool humanity, they profess to GOD, truth absolute, foundation of American consti tution by word's but follow hindu Lucifer filthy secular as their hindu filthy god. Way of hindu gentiles, criminal slave Christian's of hindu Jew's, filthy self centered, secular's.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      Hello, I am from middle east, I have an used camel for sale. It has low millage and runs good. Asking $1750 or OB.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  12. tommyboy

    Well, good for you for voting for Obama. We do live in America and you can vote for whomever you want. How is this a story?? Sad.....

    October 18, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      Did you eat paint chips as a kid?

      October 18, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • ABM

      Exactly. Who cares what Ms. Brooks believes, what makes her soul sit up, how much wheat she's stored, or who she's voting for...? Where's the story here? CNN doesn't even pretend to be even-handed/fair any more. And it is sad.

      Who pays her salary (as a public university teacher)? And she's supporting which policital party and candidate? Yawn......................................................................................................................................................................

      October 18, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • tommyboy

      LOTS of paint chips. Grew up in the inner city. Good catch! 🙂

      October 18, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  13. pc

    Have you seen the latest data out today about how much federal and state governments spend on welfare?
    The dollar amounts are truly stunning and show how off-base this criticism really is.

    Of course Americans want to help the poor. But missing in this reporting is exactly how U.S. taxpayers do just that.

    The Senate Budget Committee is out with a new report today that shows there are 83 overlapping government welfare programs that together represent $1.03 trillion in fiscal 2011 spending by federal and state governments, based on data from the Congressional Research Service (CRS). The report says “total means-tested welfare spending is currently the single-largest category of spending in the federal budget.”

    That means that welfare costs in this country have reached a point where they account for more than the sums the nation spends on Social Security, Medicare, or national defense — the amounts spent on welfare equal the budget for defense and Medicare combined.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Parley

      I agree. again...
      An important truth: I cannot delegate to the government a right I never had in the first place. None of us can.

      If I want my neighbor's horse or house or money I cannot take it. I cannot delegate to the sherif or government the job of going to my neighbor and taking those things from him to give (redistribute) to me because I did not have the right to do it in the first place. A group of us cannot get together and delegate to the sherif or government to take from one and give to another on our behalf for the same reason: we did not hold (individually or collectively) the right to do this in the first place.

      Obama's plan includes monumental redistribution of wealth. I lived in Russia, it was a bad idea there (look at the fruit) and it is a terrible unamerican idea here.

      Please see Ezra Taft Benson's (former US secretary of agriculture and patriot) talk on YOUTUBE "The Proper Role of Government." Your eyes will be opened about what is really at stake with this election.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Greater Good

      That is just outright hogwash, and follows in the tradition of Mitt's exaggerations, pivots, and lies.
      Mr. Romney also wants to increase the military budget by 2 trillion (yes, trillion) and somehow magically cut our deficit.
      How? Apparently by slashing funding for education and Sesame Street.

      You tell me which candidate has a darker vision for our children and their future?

      October 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  14. ryanwin

    Where was Obama when intel suggested violence in Libya was increasing in the past year? Why didn't that draw his attention to the need for added security? He should have asked about the conditions there. If those details slipped by him, he is incompetent. If he knew the details and still chose to allow funds to instead finance non critical items like electric cars in Vienna, he is complicit in the deaths of those 4 men in Benghazi. Instead of studying the intelligence so he could keep his ambassadors from saying things that weren't true, he was off campaigning instead of running the country. That is not the kind of leadership we want as a nation.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      That's just simply not true and you're an idiot for believing in such nonsense.

      First of all, Libya is violent, we saw that with Gaddafi, when the rebels rose and killed Gaddafi and in the ensuing months. Saying violence in Libya is rising is the same as saying that the pope is catholic. That's not to say the president shouldn't be worried about his people overseas or disregard intel like that all the time, but its not exactly like these people weren't protected. Secondly, it was up with Clinton for adding security to the libyan embassy, not Obama's. Lastly, if this was a coordinated attack by Al Qaeda under the guise of an angry mob, added security wouldn't have been better and we might have lost more people to the violence.

      Get your head out of your as.s

      October 18, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • longtooth

      Karl Rove is a brilliant political assassin, whose strategy got GW Bush elected twice, incredibly. Part of his method is to attack your opponent's strength. Obama has nullified Al Qaeda and killed bin Laden. Therefore, you must attack foreign policy and military moves. If you ask the average American how he or she feels about the Benghazi assault, they'll shrug and say they don't know. The GOP is desperately flailing about, trying to create an issue where there is none. Repeat the lie. Repeat the lie. The lie becomes truth. The lie is truth.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
      • ryanwin

        Nullified al Qaeda? It has doubled in Libya! You are a moron.

        October 25, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Greater Good

      Where was the intel on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction? Where was the uproar from the right back then? Nada...cone of silence. And yet hundreds of thousands went on to die because of that foolish war.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
      • ryanwin

        Obama apparently didn't think it was foolish, or he would have pulled out immediately. Just because you can't find the WMD's doesn't mean they never existed. It took years to find Bin Laden, and he existed. Be patient.

        October 25, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • jordans

      With your logic GWB was incompetent for ignoring the warnings and intel that was screaming imminent attack. ( see Condie Rice testimony.) unfortunately we cant always keep attacks from happening, they have happened throughout history.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
      • ryanwin

        you would agree with that assessment, then.

        October 25, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  15. some chick

    I too am born and raised Morman, as well as a very large extended
    Morman family who, ALL of us are voting for President Obama.

    The choice is very simple for us.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • tommyboy

      ..sure you're MormOn? MORMON, not MormAN. Funny you can't spell the religion of you family. 🙁

      October 18, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • ryanwin

      Yeah right, you can't even spell Mormon. Your ability to misspell something so purportedly close to you is only matched by your attempt at logic in connecting your so called "morman" upbringing with the values Obama espouses.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • James Thompson

      Thank you for standing up against all the haters. I too am a Mormon and voting for Obama.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  16. Just-In

    Obama has no record to run on; he has excuses to run on. Romney's record is brilliant in both his business career and as the governor of Massachusetts. When is America going to start making rational decisions? It does not make sense to reward failure and ignore success. Give prosperity a chance and vote for Romney!

    October 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Just-In

      Also, I was dropped on my head as a baby... a lot...

      October 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Shayna

      Massachusetts was 47th in the COUNTY for job creation under Romney .

      October 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • TRUTH

      True, he has had practice hiring and firing people because he GREW UP with money. He came into this world already a millionaire.
      Fact check: He has had many businesses that he gave jobs to, but he also put alot of people on the streets for closing down factories.
      Im not debating with you about who to elect as our next president. Im simply saying that its hard to vote for someone that has no idea what the word STRUGGLE means.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Lisa

      Brilliant? BRILLIANT? Good Lord, what criteria are you using to judge him. As governor he had approvals in the low 30%, and will lose that state in November. That state knows what he can't and can't do. His "brilliant" strategy as businessman? Buy a company, sell off all the assets and make a short term profit. Yeah, that's absolutely "brillant" all right!

      October 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Dave

      How do you figure? The state of Massachusetts was in a horrible financial bind after Robmey left and his history of buying distressed companies, stripping their profits, and sending the jobs overseas before bankrupting them, is hardly "sucessful". He is an imperious elitist whose idea of leadership is demand and response, he has no understanding of building a company from the bottom up.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • tommyboy

      @Shana – It's Country. Just sayin.. 🙂

      October 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • longtooth

      I'm from Massachusetts. Romney will lose this state, as well as his real home state of Michigan. Think about it.
      The GOP held their noses and accepted Mitt as their nominee, only because the other candidates were comically impossible to elect. RIP, GOP.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  17. JT

    I am a mormon as well, and I did support Obama in 2008 because I fell for his speeches about unity and resolving our debt. But I cannot deny the record that the President has had over the last 4 years. This writer spoke about her concern for the rising generation and about Mitt's remarks about us all being children of God being flippant. Yet in the same breath she praises Obama's use of scripture that spoke to her soul. I was just like her in 2008, I wanted a change, I wanted unity, I wanted hope for the United States to be brought back to the beacon it was. President Obama has FAILED. He has worried more about Obamacare than my jobs opportunities once I graduate college next year. And after what Benghazi showed us, how the President can cut defense spending is mind boggling. Obama had my support in 2008, BUT I WILL NOT FALL FOR THAT TRICK AGAIN. ROMNEY2012!!!

    October 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Vin

      dude, if Mitt ran in 2008 you would have voted for him at that time. All your reasons you just gave are all propaganda but I dont want to waste my time explaining you that as you will always vote for the mormon in the race no matter what..

      October 18, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • The Truth

      I'm sorry that you can't see past all the bogus rhetoric that Faux & Friends spews every second of every day, but you cannot claim we are as a nation worse off than we were four years ago. You can say as Romney has and seems to be his only complaint with our president that "He hasn't lived up to all his promises from 4 years ago!!" No, he hasn't, he got saddled with an even worse economy than expected while he was running for president last time, you sniveling ingrate. Only a moron would ignore the progress made and only focus on the 1% off employment numbers he had promised. Only a republican stooge trying to lie through his teeth would focus on "when did the president call Benghazi a terrosist attack" as if that fvcking matters at all, you useless piece of trash. Try to get an education that goes beyond your local Fox network and you might actully find out whats going on around you.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  18. Pretty Convenient

    The spin in this article is very disappointing. I'm a Mormon as well, but lets be honest about things (I'm also undecided). Romney changes his views on reproductive rights he flip flops. Obama changes his views is "an evolution." Romney doesn't go far enough with his explanation of promises, Obama is "on the verge...of saying hard truths." Are you kidding me? The only thing that can't sway one way or the other is a persons record. Half of Romney's staff were women, the comment about Binders of Women is definitely Bush-esque but he at least has a track record of coming through.

    Hope and Change was so 2008. If "hard truths" is the new message Obama is trying to sell, I think he's going to have a hard time with it. At least tell it how it is without the spin.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Kevin

      When did Obama change his views on reproductive rights?

      October 18, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Muzak

      Obama changed his views – once. Gay marriage. That's it. People in general are willing to accept changes in views, but when you're first a moderate-right governer, then campaign as a far-right presidential candiate, then suddenly shift all of your views back closer to a moderate-right as you get closer to the election, something is stinky there. It's transparent. Obama's change of views on gay marriage appeared far more genuine. Romney's change of views appear far more calculated.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • jonathan

      How can you stick up for Mitt? He said nobody has talked to God since Moses in the burning bush. He was a stake president, yet he doesn't even believe Joseph Smith was a prophet. Denying your supposed faith for political gain is the ultimate flip flop. A mormon like you should be offended at that

      October 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  19. Parley

    An important truth: I cannot delegate to the government a right I never had in the first place. None of us can.

    If I want my neighbor's horse or house or money I cannot take it. I cannot delegate to the sherif or government the job of going to my neighbor and taking those things from him to give (redistribute) to me because I did not have the right to do it in the first place. A group of us cannot get together and delegate to the sherif or government to take from one and give to another on our behalf for the same reason: we did not hold (individually or collectively) the right to do this in the first place.

    Obama's plan includes monumental redistribution of wealth. I lived in Russia, it was a bad idea there (look at the fruit) and it is a terrible unamerican idea here.

    Please see Ezra Taft Benson's (former US secretary of agriculture and patriot) talk on YOUTUBE "The Proper Role of Government." Your eyes will be opened about what is really at stake with this election.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Kevin

      You make it sound like Obama is trying to raise all kinds of taxes. He wants the Bush Tax Cuts to expire (as they always were set to) for the highest tax bracket. A conversation can be had about taxes and the role of government, but you imply that Obama is the only one who wants taxes when every serious politician in the history of this country is for taxes at one rate or another.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • BD70

      I got news for you. Wealth is redistributed whenever we pay our taxes.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • jonathan

      when did you live in Russia? I don't think you know what you're talking about. And don't you think an lds prophet's opinion on the role of government is a little biased?

      Also, laws change all the time, so we can in fact delegate based on who we elect to vote on issues.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  20. dmo

    Please people wake up and smell the coffee....this guy, the one with the slick hair and stupid look on his face, is going to ruin this country...he will take us right back to the George Bush years...you have got to know that...and workers of America don't be disuaded by your bosses threats...vote your conscious...do you really believe this snake oil salesman cares about you?...please read all about Bain and what he did there...and he still has not in any way shape or form told anyone how is going to pay for his 5 trillion dollar tax cut?....believe me it will be on our backs not the rich...and how nasty and disrespectful was he to our commander in chief?...you don't have to like the man but you have to respect the office....he has the audacity to say "I'm speaking you'll get your turn"? is this guy kidding? you don't talk to the most powerful man in the world like that,....and now his son Tagg is saying he would like to "take a swing" at Obama....this is a very angry man who is used to getting his way and when he doesn't he acts like a belligerent bully...and it is exactly what happened the other night...also like most of the people in that party who think facts are nothing more than window dressing...he was wrong about the activity in the rose garden the following day of the Benghazi attack...and he put his chin right up there for the 47%....he does not care about middle America....make no mistake about that...he is going to make the rich even richer...you have got to know that in your heart...so please vote your conscious on 11/06/2012....the day we keep sanity in America

    October 18, 2012 at 1:25 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.