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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. jonathan

    I love when people act like they are serious about debt, but like to pretend that a pointless war that has lasted over a decade and a DoD that spends $700 billion a year aren't the number 1 reasons why we're in so much debt.

    It's that and the historically all time low tax rates. Let's buy more guns and pay for them by shooting all the elderly people on social security.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      Start with your hindu, ignorant parent's, if you had any.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  2. STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

    I am looking for independent investors for Camel Dealership in America. With current gas prices, and Obama's Federal Tax Credits for Green Technologies, I am projecting heavy ROI.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  3. Bob, NY

    Religious People, You tell me that God created you, etched right from wrong on your heart, free will to make choices, and a brain to make those choices. Use that brain to differentiate between "faith" and brain washing too. The afterlife may not be exactly as some leaders would have you believe. We laugh at the 72 virgins....which beliefs of ours do they laugh at? Ah, back to the why we have a brain thing.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      Lost in hind, darkness of hinduism, corruption of truth absolute, religion's,

      October 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      Bo ob, goon, 72 virgins are as real as your mother, corruption of truth absolute GAWD, my father, Sunni Jihadi, earned his 72 and his father, super Jihadi earned 72s when they both blow up in Pakistani Super Markets, took with them scores of Shia goons to Jinnat, ALLAH, truth absolute, was right there at the gate with 72 Jinnat Hoors lined up behind HIM.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  4. Charlotte

    As an African American, why should I vote for a Mormon? They believe we are the decendants of Ham...a man cursed by God with black skin. They just recently began to allow blacks into their religion...how noble. Why should I vote for him as a woman? He does not see us as equally yoked with mean in regards to pay and wants to tell me what to do with my body. No thank you!

    October 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      Do not worry about hinduism, absurdity of hindu, racist Mormon's, follower of Lucifer, self centered, secular's.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • The Truth

      There is no reason for you, or anyone, to vote for Mitt. It would be like electing one of Jeff Dunham's puppets President, a Mormon-on-a-Stick...

      October 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • tysonf

      You've actually got some of your information wrong. Check out http://www.blacklds.org

      October 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • James Thompson

      You should not base your vote on Romney's religion but his record and with that said I am not voting for Mitt. I also did not vote for Obama because he was black. Mormons also teach that we are all children of God and teach that we are all equal. This teaching hasn't changed. Are there racists? Sure. But they stand against the teachings of the church.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  5. ABM

    Dear Joanna,

    If you heard only two hard truths in that debate then I'm very glad and grateful you're not teaching my children.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  6. Lawrence

    Dead on M. Brooks. Thank you.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  7. John the Historian

    Well it is refreshing to hear that even mormon cult followers see reality and are not totally brainwashed. As we know the majority of Christian Right will never vote for a mormon because mormons are not even Christian. No Christian Church recognizes the book of mormon. It is historical proof that Jesus Christ did not preach to the American-Indians. Indians are not descendants of the 13th tribe of Israel, Jesus Christ was no a polygamist. Jesus was not the brother of Lucifer, there was not gold book of tablets, Joseph Smith was not able to translate Egyptian hieroglyphics, proven to have been wrong, and Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were both rapists. Willard needs to keep dreaming on. Maybe he will even discover a planrt kolob. Or he can go to Jackson County, Missouri and find the Garden of Eden. BTW havemormons ever recognized that 19th wife of Brigham Young who divorced him and wrote a book on her experiences with that lecherous pig.

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

      "It is historical proof that..."

      What does that even mean?

      October 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Southerner01

      If christians won't vote for romney, why is he polling at 51% to Obama's 45%? Jeremiah Wright makes anyone else's religion a non-issue.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • tysonf

      John the Historian.....was a misleading name. You're post is more of an ignorant portrayal of your miconceptions and lack of perspective. The claims you have expressed are the typical anti verbage which have been approach over and over.... yet you plug your ears and sing la-de-da. Honestly, make an effort to look into the claims you have made. I have done so with each item you have listed, and I disagree with your perspective and conclusions.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Meh

      John, sorry but you are wrong. Unfortunately to many christians – even evangelicals – Mitts version of theology (although very different than their own), is – in their minds – better than Obamas. Simply because Mittens is pandering to their causes. When Mittens visits Billy Graham and then all of a sudden their website pulls the reference of Mormonism as a cult down and gives him their support – you can see how earnest and noble their faith actually is.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Dave Roberts

      @John the Historian Unfortunately you are wrong. Christians are lining up to vote for Romney against their better judgement and many years of church teaching against the Mormon Church. It seems they are more racist than doctrinal. Even Billy Graham has removed the Mormonism is a cult stuff from his website and ministry. Politics before religion has become the norm for Christians in America. At least for the majority. I find it refreshing this lady is this truthful and honest about her convictions. Kudos Miss Brooks!

      October 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  8. How Many Jehovah's Witnesses Will Vote For Romney?

    ?

    October 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  9. STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

    Can some wants to make me an offer for my used camel with low miles? It runs good and qualifies under Obama's Green Energy initiatives.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      Brain child of a hindu, copy cat.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  10. Post Christian

    All religions are equal

    October 18, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      Religion's are hinduism, corruption of truth absolute GOD.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • adam white

      So eloquent and so true. People don't want to believe reality that there are no easy fixes. Romney wants people to believe there is an easy fix...OBama is telling the truth and many people don't want to accept it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and what I believe to be quite accurate views and beliefs

      October 18, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  11. Andy

    I am also a Mormon not voting for Romney and there are plenty of us out there. Most won't vote for either. I do believe that Romney could fix the budget but he is not in charge of his own campaign. He has sold out his beliefs to people that stood beside him in the primary debates and denounced his faith because they think they can prove theirs any better. I think that Obama has compromised far more against his own party and will continue to do so if re-elected. Congress is our real problem but who can see it through all the Presidential smoke? I will be voting Obama along with other Dems and Republicans as I see them as compitent people.

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

      Most wont vote for Romney? Wow, you are so crazy to think that most Mormons won't vote for Romney! Polls in Utah suggest you are the most disillusioned person in history. You probably think the holocaust never happened too!

      October 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Another View

      And what was your rationale for voting for Romeny? I must have missed it.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • ABM

      This is fascinating. You should make a TV commercial.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Andy

      ryanwin, try to read a little closer. I think that most mormons that won't vote for Ryan won't vote for either. I don't know this but that's what I think. you sound very tense and angry. I hope you can let some of that anger go. I still won't tell you how to vote or what religion to practice, just how I vote and what religion I practice.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Andy

      Another View...my rationale is that I don't think that Romney is making his own choices at all. I believe that he is toting the party line. If he wins, which I'm not saying he won't, we will see.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Southerner01

      There is a certain irony in the fact that you misspelled competent, since you seem to be implying that those who disagree with you are incompetent, yet you lack the competence to spell competent.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Meh

      Southerner – Ahh, the typical internet response. Dont discuss the actual intent of Andy's position, rather... attack his spelling.
      Comment boards are rife with misspellings and often written more "off the cuff" than, say a term-paper. I mean, you GOTTA know that, right??

      October 18, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  12. 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. Neither of God truth absolute, nor of America.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  13. freddiebrown

    I'm a born Catholic and I am voting for Mitt Romney.
    God created us all and no one should shun another based on their religion.

    This is basic. Is it your God's teaching to make you hate another person because
    of a difference in religious belief. If that is the case, count me out as a catholic...I refuse
    to be part of a religion that is so divisive and un-tolerant. We may as well consider ourself
    Muslims...they hardly like any other religion.

    It's not like Romney is going to be part of my family and coming for Thanksgiving dinner.
    He is a capable, solutions person who also happens to be very smart and decent.
    I embrace him as a person and our next President.

    I don't cling to my religion to make all my decisions in life.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  14. Harry M

    I am independent and was undecided until the last debate. Now I am for Romney, he said he would on very first day of the job declare China currency manipulator, and get tough on them, something I wanted to hear for long long time. Hope he sticks to his words.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • freddiebrown

      Romney will get tough on China and its intellectual piracy problems. No one has the guts to tackle China.
      I think Romney will. And that alone is half our economys problems.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Harry M

      I agree.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Xman

      Wow, what introspection! And here I thought the bigger problems were actually at home; a do-nothing Congress, a Mormon candidate, that despite his faith and teachings to be honest, insults half the country with labels such as "victims" and "won't take responsibility for themselves". I also thought it was Wall St firms, excesses of greed and apathy towards our culture, and reprehensible actions on the part of the previous GOP administration that helped get us here, along with 5000+ dead American soldiers and 30,000 wounded, many of which permanently.

      Thanks for pointing out our problems after all these years were the Chinese.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • The Truth

      You both know how stupid you sound right? And half our problems? They don't even own a quarter of our debt. And Romney will do something about it the day he gets elected? BULL SHlT and you know it!! If he did what he claims he would do you would see Wallmart prices jump 40% overnight and you know the billionaire Waltons won't be letting their buddy Romney do that. Why oh Why are there sooooo many stupid people in America and why oh why do we let them vote? I am all for a standardized poly sci test that would require at least a basic understanding of how the government works before you can vote. That would at least cut half of Fox news watchers out of the electorate.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • ccw

      that's what you are basing you vote on...just that? seriously?

      October 18, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Colleen

      Too bad he's made a fortune off outsourcing to China and investing in China. Romney is a business man who desperately wants to be President. He will say anything he thinks will get him elected. But once in power, he'll push the same package of trade partnerships, open markets, and follow-the-money capitalism that all Republicans have for decades.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Meh

      Thats a pretty ill-informed way to vote.
      History lesson. ALL CANDIDATES "say" they are going to "get tough" with china because china is an easy punching bag when you are not in power. Once they get in power they realize that we can not afford to get into any sort of financial dispute (trade or otherwise), with the people who hold such a large portion of our debt. Its a good sound-byte, but anyone paying attention to politics in the past, oh.... DECADES, knows that getting as tough as Romney talks is plain B.S.
      BTW: Obama did make some calls and get something done about Chinese Tire exports – much to the delight of US Tire makers, saving many many us jobs. At the time Romeny said he would NOT have done that. Romney wants to have his cake and eat it to. He is out of his league.
      Running a company where you get to call the shots is not like running a country where you decidedly do NOT get to call all the shots, ANd need to work with other countries. Just about ALL of our foreign partners prefer Obama over Romney, that's gotta tell you something. Romney is not a statesman, or a leader.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • James Thompson

      Wow, I've been calling them a money manipulator for years but they aren't listening. But Mitt is much better looking so maybe he will get a response. LOL.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  15. Randy

    What if we reverse the president and made Mitt Romney the President for the past four years were would the country be using his ideas and business sense:
    Auto companies – gone
    Stimulus Plan – didn't happen. Because it would adds to the debt
    Women rights – be at home having babies or working and being paid less
    Social Security – left to fail, not his fault.
    Wall Street bailout – everybody money gone, total ruin for all pensions and savings except for the CEOs who bail
    Job Creation – we all will be working for the 1% at lower wages and less health insurance or none.
    Energy production- No renewal power from solar or wind farms, he pushed GAS, OIL and Coal which adds to pollution
    Does this made sense? Where would this country be under Mitt Romney leadership. Left to fail!

    October 18, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • mbliss81

      Randy, that is so wrong it's ridiculous! The truth is that if you had left the White House vacant the past 4 years, things would be better than they have been. The so-called stimulus didn't do anything to help the economy recover any faster than it would have naturally done, except that we are out more than a trillion dollars. The auto industry would have had to deal with their own issues, as all other companies have to do, and would have come out of bankruptcy (which they did go through) stronger than they have with government intervention. The budget would not be under trillions of dollars more debt than ever before. And we would not have had a terrible, expensive health-care monstrosity shoved down our throats with no understanding, debate, or transparency. Our children and grandchildren would not be saddled with unprecedented levels of new debt. Let's not even mention the fact that Romney has very impressive credentials as one who understands finance and all the good he could have done. The simple fact is that Obama has been a disaster of epic proportions!

      October 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  16. hj

    I think it's pretty clear from the countless flips flops on nearly every issue, Mitt Romney has no consistency. He is not a PRINCIPLED person. Both parties have their positives and negatives. Yet, a closer inspection of the PERSON leads me to steer well clear of Mitt Romney. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2x2W4GhSLlQ

    I like to think I'm an independent voter, but with the radicalism that seems to be growing in the Republican Party (think Tea Party), I certainly lean well left of that philosophy. I ask you to consider the far right's stances on science.....on healthcare.... on Syria... .on Iran... on women's rights... on public assistance.... on education.... on corporate influence ... etc.

    Remember... it's about being PRINCIPLED. Mitt Romney doesn't have a clue.

    I enjoyed this article.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  17. ryanwin

    The democratic party is diametrically opposed to Mormon teachings, on the role of God and religion in government, abortion, gay marriage, living within our means, etc.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • James Thompson

      That is your opinion. I disagree.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
      • ryanwin

        it is a fact. look at the platform and then look at LDS teachings. They are opposites.

        October 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • jonathan

      And the republican party is diametrically opposed to Jesus' teachings, so what does that say about Mormons?

      October 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
      • ryanwin

        wrong. The republican party espouses agency. It was Satan's plan to force everyone. That is the liberal plan.

        October 25, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  18. MC_in_BigD

    "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."

    Hope you got a rifle or handgun with plenty of ammo and know how to use them – and yes, your second amendment right to bare arms still exists (for now). Once people find out you got that supply, you better believe in one-shot-one-kill to defend your family.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  19. Michelle

    I'm also a Mormon voting for Obama. I don't ever vote based on religious conviction, so I certainly wouldn't start now. I believe Barack Obama takes a more long-term approach to problem-solving, which demonstrates wisdom. He social views are also much more in line with my very Christian beliefs about taking care of those in need. I also can't put much stock in someone claiming that the president is ruining the economy when he makes one hundred times the income that I make and pays less as a percentage of his income in taxes. The argument that this somehow enables him to hire more people is weak. Any person bringing in $10 million a year should consider cutting their salary in half and using the savings to hire a small army of people who would spend all of their money in our economy as opposed to stashing it away overseas.

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

      Why should someone who makes more money be responsible for more taxes? How is that fair. Should a doctor who works 70 hours a week support those who work 20 hours a week because they are lazy? Do you profess that everyone who is poor is only poor because they weren't given the opportunity? Because that is total BS! There are many, yes, but there are many who are poor because they are lazy too. You can't lump everyone together who are the have nots because they are underprivileged, because that is not true. People who work twice as hard do in fact deserve twice as much, I believe.

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

      Michelle, you are speaking like a true believer of fairy tales. You are so convinced of your own reality, there is no point in changing your mind or making you see another point of view. That, in itself is very sad. I feel that you have shut yourself down in order to keep your beliefs intact and un-shaken.

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

      Ryanwin – My husband and I are in the middle class income bracket. Compared to Romney we would probably be considered poor. But, we pay about 30% of our lower income to taxes every year, while Romney pays 14%. So every year when I'm writing our check to the IRS I wonder why is this fair????? It's the middle class that is always hit the hardest and have to sometimes struggle to keep up while the wealthy are given loopholes to reduce what they can afford to pay while the rest of us make up for what they don't pay. You must be one of the wealthy!!!!

      October 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • James Thompson

      Ryan,
      Do you support tax dollars helping families that work 40+ hours a week and still need a little help? How about if they are going to school? How about supporting research? Infrastructure? Don't fall into the pit that Romney is in where you assume the 47% are all lazy. I know a few people in the 47% who work harder than you or I. Don't do it.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      ryanwin -

      "Why should someone who makes more money be responsible for more taxes?"

      Erm. actually, they are. – 13% of 13 million is a larger amount of taxes than 20% of 55K. Basic math But the weathy should, probably, at least pay (as a percentage of taxable income) a rate = to or higher than the average/mean. percentage.

      "How is that fair."

      You wanted a questionmark here.

      " Should a doctor who works 70 hours a week support those who work 20 hours a week because they are lazy?"

      Supposition and assumption. That the person working 20 hours a week is lazy. That the doctor would 'support' him. no. The doctor would pay the taxes they owe.

      " Do you profess that everyone who is poor is only poor because they weren't given the opportunity? Because that is total BS!"

      No, but you seem to profess that everyone who is poor is lazy. That's just as wrong a belief.

      "There are many, yes, but there are many who are poor because they are lazy too. You can't lump everyone together who are the have nots because they are underprivileged, because that is not true."

      But you do. Your first assumption is 'lazy'

      " People who work twice as hard do in fact deserve twice as much, I believe"

      So you don't think that the man who works two jobs at a little over minimum wage doesn't work twice as hard? You really think that the CEO of an investment company works harder than that man?

      I really all comes down to this. What you believe. Are more poor people lazy, or lacking in opportunity? Where does the percentage lie? 50/50, 60/40, 70/30? Are there more unfortunate people than there are lazy, or more lazy than unfortunate?

      And it comes down to what you can accept.

      If you are a pessimist and truly believe that there are more lazy people than needful people out there, Can you accept 3 needful people not getting the help they need and deserve because 7 less than needful people will also get help? You can accept that? What if it is actually the other way around? what if it's 7 people who get the help they desperately need and 3 lazys also get things?

      What is acceptable to you. Put it in CONCRETE terms. Think about it.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  20. David

    As a baptized and confirmed Mormon, I have to ask how a supposedly devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can justify choosing a Catholic as his running mate. I was taught by my church Elders that the Catholic Church is the Church of Satan, built on seven hills, and that the Pope is an emissary of Satan. My conclusion is that Mitt Romney is just another hypocrite who will do or say anything to get elected. I suppose that shouldn't come as a surprise, hypocrisy is by far the world's largest religion, but is is disappointing how often testimonies of faith are nothing more than lip service.

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

      You are so obviously not Mormon, and what you profess to have been taught is an obvious lie to every church going Mormon.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Michelle

      David, I'm assuming you aren't a member of the church at all...or at least you are a very jaded, inactive member. Never in my life have I ever been taught in church that the Catholic Church is the church of Satan. As a former seminary teacher, I know that isn't the church's stance. To the contrary, we are taught to respect other faiths (it's even in our Articles of Faith) and recognize that there is truth in most religious doctrine. If someone actually said that to you as a youth, they weren't espousing church doctrine. Please don't post such offensive and misleading statements about the LDS church. It just perpetuates stereotypes and animosity.

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

      totally agree w/ Michelle and ryanwin. please stop false-flaggin the LDS church.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Another View

      Get a clue, David. Nice try, but it is obvious you don't know what you are talking about.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Nathan

      Mormons do not believe that, nor is it taught in church. Nice try buddy.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • jonathan

      Ryan and Michelle must have never read anything from Bruce R McConkie who said the Catholic Church was the great and abominable church. But choosing a Catholic running mate isn't the biggest issue. Mitt said that he doesn't think anybody has spoken to God since Moses and the burning bush, clearly betraying a supposed belief in Joseph Smith and modern day prophets.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • jonathan

      @ Michelle,

      either you haven't listened very well or you are spinning it as "that isn't the church's stance". At one point it was, but I guess maybe the church taught Mitt something about flip flopping?

      October 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • James Thompson

      If that is truly what your "church leaders" taught you then you need to report them to their higher ups. I too am a Mormon, voting for Obama, but have no problem with Ryan's religion. I don't know who told you this but you shouldn't believe everything you hear. If you are a member then you should know the articles of faith as well. Article 11 "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."

      October 18, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • BT

      I'm a Catholic and married to a Mormon. My husband does not practice the faith that he was raised with and if he did we would not be married. His entire family is mormon and from what I have experienced watching how they treat people that are non mormon is not what you would expect. They want you to believe they will help anyone of any faith. NOT!!! They are the clickiest group I have ever met and because I am not one of them and my husband does not practice, we are treated totally different. Just like John Huntsman's daughter said, "you are either in or you are out." If they were truly nice people it wouldn't matter if you are Catholic or any other religion. Besides I don't see being a Mormon as a religion, it's a lifestyle that I have no use for.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.