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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. buzz

    Billy Graham and his son Jr. are not followers of Christ if they were they wouldn't be so judgemental towards anyone and that's a fact. They're fakes and hypocrites, and will be judged on judgement day. They need to read the book of Revelation, explains who they really are.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:20 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 fabricated Mithra, savior never existed.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Bob Jones

      It's true that they will be judged, but that final judge will not be me and it will definitely not be you.

      October 18, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  2. lou

    This is a very good article and the fact that Joanna is Mormon is irrelevant to the truth she speaks. Nothing Mitt said in either debate makes sense economically, socially or any other way.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:19 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 fabricated Mithra, savior never existed.
      .

      October 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  3. Pinewalker

    Yeah, I want to see the "I'm black and I'm voting for Romney" article on CNN. This is such BS, CNN becomes more of a laughing stock "news" organization every day.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:18 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 Gentile, ignorant slave

      October 18, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Greg

      There are black mormons that will probably vote for Romney....

      October 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  4. STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

    Billy Graham suddenly says Mormons are NOT a cult. Why? Because a black man is still running for office. Billy your faith in hinduism, racism is showing.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      and if I may add one more thing, black man has a funny middle name Hussein, like Mohammed Hussein, truth absolute GAWD. Billy"Free Willie" Graham goon of Evil Ge List.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      hinduism, absurdity of a hindu, absurd.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  5. majav

    Regardless of faith, or lack of faith, it is important to be reasonable when making choices on the ballot. Brooks is reasonable.
    She is voting with a conscience rather than simplistic alliances based on faith preferences alone.

    What baffles me to no end with Romney is how self serving he is. He treats his income, not as wages, but as passive income from investments. This is fine- he skims off the profits of businesses he owns through stocks. He does not contribute anything but money to these corporations. I don't have a problem with that.

    However, when he pays 14% on the income and other people who actually toil and go to work everyday (rather than just sitting back and reaping benefits passively) pay double that tax rate, it is obscene.

    And during the debate he said he wants to completely get rid of taxes on capital gains, for any gain of up to 1/4 million dollars! In essence, Romney wants to even pay less than 14% on his passive income. He is more interested in his own bottom line than the 47% who don't have massive stock portfolios- who actually work every day to make ends meet.

    He says his income is derived from a blind trust. That is true. Which further distances himself from any contribution other than cash to the operation of these businesses. That means he makes money off of other people's hard work and does absolutely nothing at all. Then he wants to bank that money and not pay a dime when he makes a profit off of it.

    The mortgage interest deduction is the saving grace for middle-class Americans who have an incentive to own a home. Romney wants to take this away which would demoralize hard working Americans who have mortgages now and it would discourage home ownership.

    How can you see Romney as anything but selfish, clueless, misguided and greedy? He is blatantly self serving. No man of any faith should act this way. Not even atheists act this way.

    Romney, by his actions as a corporate raider who has used bankruptcy laws to line his own pockets is not moral or ethical.
    He uses complex legal strategies and accounting loopholes to shutter businesses (research KB Toys and others). But first, he gets those businesses to take out huge loans to pay him and upper management. Then he does not pay back the loans by forcing the companies into bankruptcy.

    This is the passive approach to making money like an opportunistic infection. Instead of being the consultant who acts like a doctor to fix companies, Romney takes millions of dollars to be the grim reaper. Then, the hard working employees, who aren't upper management, are fired and left without company pensions that they had counted on- sometimes after decades of hard work.

    Romney earns money passively and through shenanigans. And the everyday worker ends up being a slave to his systematic destruction. A slave to forces beyond his control. A slave to a man that is only interested in huge payouts so he can take that money and repeat the process over and over again. And now, he doesn't want to pay a dime on those profits? What about the banks who loaned him the money in the first place? No wonder banks are in bad shape! Romney basically stole millions of dollars from banks, who borrowed that money from the American taxpayer via the Federal Reserve.

    Romney is Robin Hood in reverse! He steals from everyday Americans. This will not change. This is his modus operandi.

    Bain Capital did this dozens of times, according to him, because it was perfectly legal. And when Obama and other progressives who want to reign in Wall Street and such abuse, Romney has the gall to run for President just to make double sure that his blood money cash stream remains intact. Not only intact- but completely tax free!!

    What good is a man of faith if he has no integrity? What good is a rich man if his ill-gotten gains were obtained unethically?
    What good is a politician who serves himself and neglects the most vulnerable in society?

    Romney is wrong for America. Romney thinks bankruptcy is a good thing! Of course he does- that is how he made his fortune- obscene profits for "consultations" that lasted a few months in which companies were intentionally destroyed!!
    This was not a once off event- this was his business model. This is what he routinely did time and time again. I can just hear him chuckle every time he did it as he voiced to himself, "I can't believe I can do this! Ha ha ha!"

    Bain Capital was started with blood money. Romney went to Miami in the 1980s and got money from sketchy families from Central America who ran death squads who killed 30,000 innocent hard working farmers and their families who wanted land reform and the same rights that Americans enjoy. It is estimated that 40% of Romney's initial start up funds where from nefarious sources. Romney took blood money to make more blood money. And who was bled dry? Hard working everyday people who just want a decent life- not an opulent life like his.

    Thank you Ms Brooks for your perspective. It is honest, well thought out, and spot on.
    I am glad you are voting for Obama. I have faith in Obama. I trust him. He truly is interested in uplifting people rather than skimming profits off the backs of hard working Americans. Obama is not criminally minded. He is a good man with a heart.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Gigi

      Clear and beautifully written post. Thank you.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:23 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 Gentile, ignorant slave. .

      October 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Greg

      Outstanding post.

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

      LDS businessmen shake your hand on Sunday, stab you in the back on Monday. Well known in Utah.

      October 18, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Bodacious

      Romney's option is to invest his money in trusts and or other companies or keep it in the bank, mattress or elsewhere. Which would be better for the economy? When money is invested it allows companies to grow, which puts people to work. Do you really think that Obama has no money invested in trusts and or other companies? Of course he does. How about your retirment plan or pension fund? where do you think it is invested? Yours, Romeny, Obamas and everyone's REinvestment of money is taxed at the capital gains rate. Yes, it is at a lower rate; as it should be, it has already been taxed once at the higher rates. OR have everyone take the cash out of the system (not reinvested) and then see how many people will be impacted....for the worse.

      Just be fair! We all are in the same tax system. Don't pick on a guy that has made a fortune (all on his own) and is obeying the laws.

      October 18, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  6. buzz

    antioboma: so what's your opinion about human beings of other religious groups such as: morman, evangelical, catholic, budhism, hindu, jewish, presbyterian, baptist, jehova witness, etc? so does that mean you hate everybody that are muslim/man made religon like all listed above etc? You're a bigotted moron, President Obama is a devoute Christian, has faith in God Almight, that means he believes Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Religon nor denomination will not get anybody into heaven you.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  7. ABM

    As a Lib Dem Mormon, Joanna is obviously a true believer.

    BTW, what else was Obama on the verge of saying...?

    (And, does your website include a comprehensive list of your favorite scriptures?)

    October 18, 2012 at 2:15 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 Gentile, ignorant slave

      ,

      October 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Pinewalker

      a "true" believer that aligns herself witha party of upholding the legalized killing of unborn babies while legalizing protection of baby seals, turning federal assistance from a bridge-gap for families in crisis to a sustainable revenue source for 13 million families, for a party who had to call a vote on their convention floor several times about wether they would even admit to believing in "a god".....not a Christian God, just a god because it wasn't passing. It would seem there is a whole lot of blind eye turning going on here. You better be careful not to keep angering our God......your path to your own planet just took a u-turn it would seem.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  8. rosie

    Billy Graham suddenly says Mormons are NOT a cult. Why? Because a black man is still running for office. Billy your whiteness is showing.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:15 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 Gentile, ignorant slave, goon.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • amazing55

      How about....because Mormonism is NOT a cult, nor is being a Jehovah's Witness, Seventh-Day Adventist, etc. These are all good, God loving faiths who never deserved to be labeled "cults" in the first place. Old dog's do learn new tricks, and hat's off to Mr. Graham who while in his 90's was able to have a change of heart and mind!

      October 18, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • ;p;

      @amazing55 – that's cute, but the problem here is that Graham still thinks they're a cult. He's just temporarily pretending not to to please a power structure.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • amazing55

      ;-):
      Maybe someday...maybe when you're in your 90's...you'll have a bit of the wisdom Mr. Graham has to admit when you were wrong, and make the necessary changes. Anyone who is the least bit familiar with the Rev. Billy Graham and his family know, that although they are cordial to all that visit with them, that alone does not change their minds on religous beliefs. Since his website has removed the "cult" reference, I can assure you that came directly from the top – Mr. Billy Graham himself. He could not be coerced to do this for any reason other than he has had a change of heart, and mind. I respect him immensly for that.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • ;p;

      Those rose colored glasses are awesome, but Franklin has been running the show for some while now.

      He's using his dad as a puppet – Billy never used to weigh in on devisive, polarizing stuff, but Franklin's had him doing it while he's still got the old man to prop in front of a camera.

      Mormons don't fit Billy's description of christian. He better get himself straight before he finds out whether his god cares or not.

      October 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  9. beezers

    Here's the hard truth... “There are some jobs that are not coming back.” That's right. Obama even said he doesn't care about those jobs. Instead of low wage low skill jobs, we should be looking to high wage high skill jobs. Well, that's just sounds hunky dory, doesn't it?

    Whatever happened to the Democratic Party being for the working class? Oops.. we don't use that term anymore. Everyone's a "middle income family" right?

    The hard truth, Ms. Brooks, is that we NEED low wage low skill jobs, because half of Americans aren't capable of high skill jobs. That's politically incorrect, though, and no one will get elected by saying it, but that is the hard truth. If you truly care about 100% of Americans, then maybe you should care about those low wage low skill jobs. You know, the kind that small businesses often create. Of course, if you want 47% of Americans to remain dependent on government, perhaps those jobs aren't that important to you after all.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      what ever sells, way of hindu's crooks.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • rosie

      Whatever happened to understanding the reality of the world. Some jobs WILL NEVER come back to America. Period.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • ;p;

      Most Americans are too snooty to do the lower wage jobs that need to be done. And you know it.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  10. Rainer Braendlein

    "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", Mrs. Brooks said.

    We have the same problem in Germany. Many voters of today are pensioners or will be pensioners soon. Hence, politicans have to make sure that they fulfill the wishes of the pensioners in order to get their votes again. And, of course, every Dollar which you use for the pensioner's wealth you cannot use anymore for the education of the children. This is the harsh reality.

    This problem is a structural problem of democracy because assumed Mr. Obama would reduce the funds for the pensioners he would not get elected again.

    Hence, this problem can only be solved by a monarch, and that is what the US needs right now and also Europe.

    We need a pious, faithful monarch like Frederic the Great, King of Pruzzia, Promoter of Enlightenment or a man like Benjamin Franklin, who doesn't consider the demands of any special group but the wealth or happiness of the whole people.

    So, dear Americans, seek for a righteous, virtuous man from your midst, make him your ruler, and your problems will be solved in the twinkling of an eye.

    http://confessingchurch.wordpress.com

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

      Ben Franklin couldn't even get elected today because he liked to get his D wet in parisian coquettes

      October 18, 2012 at 2:22 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 Gentile, ignorant slave, goon, stupid.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  11. jobless numbers out today and up sharply, but CNN isnt on it???????

    how strange is that?!

    last months unemployment dip seems to have been because california, the countries most liberal and pro obama state somehow didn't enter their jobless numbers properly? is that what I am hearing????

    seems the people responsible for reporting these numbers were contacted and have offered a 'no comment' response.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  12. Bob

    Romney says his experience is what should get him the job. Why? His experience as governor led to the state being 47th in job creation. If Romney thinks the U.S. as a whole has had a lousy employment history over the last decade then he has himself to blame because he was one the main people dragging down the average. And do we really want Romney to use his experience at Bain capital on the country? This was a company that used the Romney family's political connections to find vulnerable companies, get in good with them, take them over from the inside, and finally wreck them and sell off the assets and ship the U.S. jobs overseas. And he's proud of that! This kid must have been read the fairy tale "The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg" by someone who didn't speak English. Perhaps by a maid in his dad's mansion in Mexico? He just saw the pictures and said "If you have something that gives you something valuable, you gut it immediately!" Another "innovation" that Romney invented was inventing fake tax losses in order to scam the IRS out of tens of millions of dollars. Again, he's PROUD of that! He also had the government bail out his Olympics in Salt Lake City and took tax payer money to do it. So all of Romney business experience is in taking money from tax payers- not something that helps the country get out of debt. And if Romney wants to be CEO of this country then why doesn't he do what every CEO of a major corporation insists on and open up a decade's worth of tax records (like his dad did)? Shouldn't the guy running the last great superpower have to meet at least the same requirements and the guy who runs Krispy Kreme?

    October 18, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      Truth is not one of high priority for hindu lair Romany by faith.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Kevin Lenihan

      Can we stop this silly stuff about Romney and job creation in Massachusetts? Of course it was low, because the state, which I live in, was near full employment. That's why it was ranked 47. Come an, man, there are real things to discuss, we don't need the silly stuff.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  13. Randy

    Why don't you inquire of the Lord on this?? FYI Obama is a criminal since using a false Soc Sec number is a federal crime, ie. a felony and that's just the tip of the iceberg. BHO has never operated so much as a lemonade stand and you trust him to run the country, yeah right.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      hinduism, absurdity of a hindu, lair

      October 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • guesswho22

      Obama has kept this nation safe while the Republican Congress has obstructed the Jobs Bill put forth while not creating any jobs as well. Mitt pioneered outsourcing, that's a cold hard fact. Also, Joseph Smith, the Mormon founder, was a convicted con artists and his Church of Later Day Stupidity believes that God sits on a solid gold throne on the planet Kolob. I'm sorry, your religion is laughable and if any Mormon gets the White House, its the doom of America as we know it.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • James Thompson

      You need to repent. Thou shalt not bear false witness.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  14. enderwi

    Would CNN ever put up a piece about the Black case for Mitt Romney? Because that's as likely as the Mormon case for Obama. Of course not, CNN keeps putting up shill propaganda pieces for Obama's reelection campaign.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • guesswho22

      Have you ever took a gander at Fox News Channel? My goodness! According to those self-dignified reports, Obama is a Muslim who immigrated from Kenya, has not real birth certificate, is a bona fide socialist, caused the Great Recession, wants all guns banned, and lies ever time he opens his mouth. The trouble is that the Fox News junkies actually believe it due to the Fox News propaganda campaign began during the Obama 2008 primary. He pals-around with terrorists and has a foreign view on every issue. Wow! Can a network be more biased than Fox? Nope.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  15. ABM

    Joanna,

    Your references to your soul are throw-away pablum.

    Has Romney "sullied his religion" as Lib Dem Mormon Harry Reid said?

    October 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  16. Roger

    Your blog was well thought out and articulated. It is nice to see there are people left that look to what is good and right for the country, not just specific groups or religions. I am leaning toward Obama because I think in todays time, a President needs two terms to accomplish his/her goals. You made my day.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Argh

      You ascribe way too much righteousness to your opinions. Saying that your opinions on political matters represent what is "good and right" is dramatic and ill-conceived. You might believe certain policies will result in more positive outcomes, but to call them "good" and the opposing opinion "evil" is part of what is wrong with the political divide these days. Because everyone knows it's wrong to compromise with "evil."

      October 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • ;p;

      @Argh – what the hell are you even talking about? Did you post in the wrong place?

      October 18, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  17. Antiobama

    Obama is a Muslim who wants to see America destroyed. You people had better wake up before you are under Islamic rule. 26 states have already adopted parts of the Islamic rule. Look it up. Obama did nothing in the Benghazi Attack.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Two possibilities here :
      1. Purposely trolling.
      2. Delusional idiot.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Peter

      Antiobama: What evidence do you have that Obama is a Muslim and that he wants to destroy America? Yeah, that's what I thought. None. No go put on some clothes.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • gfromchicago

      And you are stupid and destroying the country right now. Get an education beyond third grade.People like you are an embarrassment to America.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • guesswho22

      Wow, Obama is to blame for an embassy being overrun by terrorists? Then GW Bush is responsible for 3000 deaths on 9/11. You people better wake up. Republicans are neo-cons set on the total destruction of America so they won't have to pay taxes yet enjoy the benefits of the middle class' tax revenues. Cheap lies are a dime a dozen, buddy. Get a life and get your green teeth fixe at your local Dixie shade-tree dentist from Devry Univ.

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

      Well, If Obama is a Muslim, then why did he capture and kill Bin Laden that YOUR Christian-White Bush and Cheney did not do for 8 years?
      If Obama is a Muslim, why is he striking unmanned drone attacks into Islamic Territory Pakistan's tribal areas that Bush and Cheney never thought of doing during their time?
      Please answer these questions you RACIST, that you obviously hate to see a Black, Christian man being the President of US.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  18. Mormon America

    Reader Beware: Joanna Brooks is a culturally a Mormon but not a practicing Mormon. She doesn't speak for Mormons let alone the Mormon Church which is strictly politically neutral.

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

      Interesting.....explain why mitt called himself a "pastor to his congregation" and not the correct name used in the Mormon religion ...Bishop???? He could have said he was a Mormon bishop, which is like a pastor in other religions..but no he did not! I was an undecided woman voter until after the second debate.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • enderwi

      I doubt you were undecided anything Jen.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Bob

      She definitely is a faux Mormon. She does not really believe that the President of the Church is a Prophet who speaks for God or that the Apostles are "Prophets, Seers, and Revelators."

      October 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Pan3

      Politically neutral!?!?!? LOL!!! What about Prop 8?

      October 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Peter

      I don't think she ever said she was speaking for other Mormons. I think she's speaking for herself, and she's doing a good job of it!

      October 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • beezers

      Jen, if you knew anything about the Mormon religion, maybe you could read their 13 articles of faith, one of which mentions their belief in pastors (who can be called either bishops or pastors). So it was completely accurate for Romney to refer to himself as having been a pastor.

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

      "strictly politically neutral" by whose standards? The church leadership has already been caught red-handed on the Prop 8 thing. And if you think the church is "politically neutral" in Utah, then either you don't live here in Utah, or you're just delusional.

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

      @ Bob – mitt is a faux mormon, in a tv interview he said he doesn't think anyone has spoken to God since Moses and the burning bush. How exactly could he reconcile that with his Mormon faith?

      October 18, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • skeptically...

      Since when is the Mormon church politically neutral? And why would you suppose it is your role to judge someone else's faith?

      October 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • James Thompson

      Both myself and Harry Reid are practicing, in good standing, Mormons. We do not speak for the church either. Why don't you let people speak for themselves and stop judging people?

      October 18, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Stumptowner

      That is not true. The LDS church donated I believe it was $8million to help defeat Prop 8 in California. How is that not considered political advocacy?

      October 18, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • newt

      Jen, I would think Romney said "Pastor," because he didn't want to use his time or waste his words explaining what a Bishop is. I would also assume he wanted to avoid confusing other people from other faiths. A "pastor" is universally recognized as one who leads and watches over his congregation. A Bishop means something very different, depending on which religion you follow.

      Why would that sway you to vote for Obama?

      October 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  19. Argh

    Joanna is voting for her teacher's union and her pocket book, just trying to clothe it in robes of self-righteousness.

    And it's interesting that she is seeking to further subdivide Mormons and set herself apart as a "progressive" Mormon. As if she's a white knight is some sort enlightened faction that is morally superior to regular old Mormons.

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

      I totally agree. As a Mormon I don't think progressive and mormon should be used together.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • gfromchicago

      She is morally superior and you are no doubt clueless about a lot of things.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • ThaGerm

      Yea, she probably hates her kids and knows nothing of who the current generation of kids are and the hardships they face. I very much dislike Mormons, but your comment is pathetic.

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

      BTW, it is also clear you know nothing of Mormons. The fact she even wrote this sets her apart as she will surely be judged harshly by many Mormons in her own Temple. You DO NOT speak against other Mormons or you will be ostracized.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Argh

      ThaGerm... you very much dislike Mormons? How is that different than saying you very much dislike Jews? Or Latinos? Or white people? Or black people? If you keep talking like a bigot, people might accidentally come to the conclusion that you are a bigot.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Argh

      gfromchicago... careful, your ego is showing. Thinking your political opinions make you morally superior is ego-based folly that makes compromise impossible. And politics don't work without compromise.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • ;p;

      Well, Mormons are the only folks in the groups you listed who can stop being what they are if they choose. But I guess it's more fun for you to throw the word 'bigot' around like you know what it actually means.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  20. Southerner01

    So let me get this straight, you plan to vote for Obama because of the things he seemed to be on the verge of saying? You realize that he said in his own book that he was a blank slate and people would write the things on him that they wanted to hear? You're being suckered by a professional con man.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:01 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.