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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. Creed

    This race is simple. Imagine an individual, family or a couple that have overspent and now owe more than they can pay on their credit cards. If you think that the solution to this problem is to try to qualify for just one more credit card, if you think this will solve the problem, then Obama is your man. Vote for him. But if you think that person, family or couple needs to start by cutting up their credit cards, canceling the cable, switching to prepaid emergency use cells phones only, eat spaghetti for awhile and dig in with weekend or night jobs at the local grocery store and thereby slowly fix the problem then your man is Romney.

    October 18, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • ;p;

      Wow, I didn't realize Romney was going to come in every house and get that done. What a trooper!

      October 18, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • KristaSeddique

      Creed: All of what you said was true, except of the American government is not a "couple" in debt. It is the richest country in the world and makes more money, than 2/3 of nations combined. Now, let me give you the real deal. Republicans ran up the credit cards (to the tune of 3 Trillion) in Iraq? Do you recall that we never did find WMD? WASTE of money. As someone with family in the ARab world, they've now turned 2/3 of the Arab world against us, over killing innocent people in Iraq. Now, we have a security issue, and Libya was no surprise. Your repbulicans buddies can blame "security requests being denied" all they want. The facts? Bush got us in a terrible problem in the Mid East by "taking out" Saddam for what even Allied countries like France, the UK, etc. will tell you was "no reason." So, Obama takes office and wants to spend money on Healthcare–something AMericans actually need? And he wants billionaires to pay their fare share so we can pay down the debt faster? Hmmm... Sounds good to me. You lousy billionaires elected Bush. Now your turn to pay for it. You got rich off Iraq, all of you, now ante up! It's pay day.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Creed

      You have made my point. I suggest both of you show up early, exercise your rights and vote for Obama. It is called a democracy.

      October 19, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  2. Harry 101

    Nice CNN Doing all they can and then some for OBama and the DNC. The only difference between CNN and FOX is which party they support. Yep a mormon can vote for who even they choose but when CNN can label them a cult well they don't miss the chance.

    October 18, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  3. GOMITT

    I think Joanna is upset she didn't get chose from Romneys Binder.

    October 18, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  4. Susie

    Can I answer "Joe" and "BG's" query??? Try going to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report of September 25, 2012. Pretty easy answer, don't ya think? Amazing what happens when you research the issues!!!!! AND...if you get really ambitious you can download it (PDF)! AMAZING!

    October 18, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  5. Joe in Kalispell

    goes to show you even some Mormons can ignore the fact that Obama is an attack dog with no plan. His whole platform is Romney is wrong and trust me. Liberal rubbish and stupid Mormon!

    October 18, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Joe in Kalispell

      And I forgot to add that my Border Collie is smarter than Obama.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Eric

      Joe – you are typical of what the right wing and GOP have to offer us – which is to say negativity, nastiness, name calling, dishonestly and a sense of overall decline in American civility. None of this makes me think "leadership". It just makes me think sad and pathetic.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Susie

      Wow...Joe....I'm hoping your Border Collie has more couth, respect, and social skills, too

      October 18, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Chris Turner

      Hey Eric, go watch teh 2nd debate again and get back to me on negativity and nastiness. Let me know where Obama actually talked about his own plan for fiscal policy at least one time, then how many times he simply attacked Romney's plan.

      Let me answer the first question for you: he did not mention his own plan even 1 time, because he has no record to speak of, and no idea how his plan can do anything but add another $4-5 Trillion in debt the next four years.

      Liberalism is killijng nations around hte world as we speak. Greece, Spain, and so mnay others. Let's not let America be next, because with Obama, we will be. He has no plan.

      This Preisdent has no clothes.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  6. Me

    I'm with you Joanna! I'm a Mormon and im voting for Obama.... Mitt Romney is an embarrassment to the LDS church I'm sorry to say that but i did.

    October 18, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • GOMITT

      If Obama is elected, you and joanna should be the first to sell your house, loose your job, give up your $ to start paying off the debt. STOP the Pain!!!!!

      October 18, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Joe in Kalispell

      If you think Mitt is an embarrassment I'd love to know what you think of Harry Reid. I should be dis-fellowship at a minimum for not dealing fairly with your fellow man.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Eric

      GOMITT – putting Romney in the WH would be the reemergence of lots of pain, more of what the Bush years got us into in the first place.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • GOMITT

      ERIC, Hey Bush is gone.......Come to reality.........Obama couldn't make any changes with a democratic house and senate his first 2 years.........he didn't do anything for the hispanics or Gay's until 2 months before re-election.... lets see next he will tax the Rich(except hollywood). This guy and the the biased media will lie their way into office....once Romney is in office the first thing he put in place is to ban the media from the white house.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      "Romney is in office the first thing he put in place is to ban the media from the white house."

      As if that would EVER happen. Mittwit only cares about the rich, not the people struggling!

      October 18, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  7. jon gadel

    SHAME ON CNN for posting this article on it's website

    'religion' should NOT be an issue in politics

    CNN continues to reveal its bias against Mitt Romney ...

    October 18, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Chooch0253

      Who do you think you are kidding? You can pretend that religion is not an issue but even a blind man can see it most definitely is. The religious right is continually trying to instill it's beliefs on the entire country not only through speaking but in action in the legislature. Not to mention, I recall a number of Republicans supporters making the issue of Obama's father's religion as proof he was a Muslim... that is the mentality of the Republican when it comes to Obama but nary a word from Republicans in reference to polygamy because Romney's grandfather was one.....

      October 18, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Beth Carlin

      I voted for Obama in 2008. With 16$ trillion in debt that is $50,000 in debt per person in the USA. That's is not hard math to swallow. Mormon has nothing to do with it. I am Catholic and I will vote for GOP because he is a businessman. If Obama was CEO of some company, how long he would last if he incurred that much debt on the company 🙂

      October 18, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • KristaSeddique

      @jon: I think you lost the plot of the article. Johanna was saying she is NOT going to vote for Romney, just because of religion. In other words, religion has little to do with it, wasn't she?
      @C. Turner: 10 years of spending trillions on Iraq and Republicans dare to tell us that they are fiscally responsible? And you guys would rather go to Syria, and protect Israel, at all costs, then do Obamacare? What is the matter with taking care of AMericans, who don't even have the money now to go to the doctor? THINK. Romney is one of the wealthiest in America. And you think he cares about a balanced budget? If the Republicans did, they wouldn't have left Obama with so much debt. He's had to bail out banks now (or risk a Great Depression). Thanks for nothing, Republicans. You can go back to your golf course, after this is all over, and whine about your capital gains tax, the rest of us don't have!

      October 18, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • ;p;

      This is the 'belief' blog...idiot...opinion pieces are posted here. Since you can't read, please don't vote.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Beth Carlin: Do you honestly think that Mittwit will accomplish anything more than what Obama has been able to?? A president can only do as much as the economy allows and there is no way Mittwit will change the economy any faster...he only cares about the rich and not the poor. Do you not care about the poor? Do you not care about your rights as a woman??

      October 18, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
  8. Chris Turner

    I don't get it. I honestly do not. How can anyone in their right mind say they will vote for Obama due to fiscal policy decisions? $4Trillion "with a T" debt in 4 years, scheduled to go up another $4-5 Trillion in the next 4 years if reelcted due to Obamacare.

    Sorry, but fiscal he is not, in any way shape or form.

    And by the way, what is his plan, other than to do nothing more than attack Romney's plan. You realize that in the last debate, he gave exaclt 0 answers as to what his own plan was? Right? Because he really has no idea how to put a plan together that actually acccomplishes anything. The last 4 years proves it.

    Look, it you want to vote for Obama over the Obamacre, or perhaps because it makes you feel good that you can validate your own vote 4 years ago, go right ahead. But don;t use facts that do not exist to justify your vote.

    Obama's Middle East policy is a mess, the economy is a mess, he can not figure out how to get out of hte way to allow growth, as Clinton did, he has no idea how to balance a budget, he keeps adding expensive plans that we simply can not afford.

    But sure, if you don;t beleive me on how to get us out of this mess, go listen to JFK himself, 50 years ago. Amazing to me that Dems had it figured out then, and are so clueless on fiscal issues now.

    Enjoy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEdXrfIMdiU&feature=player_embedded

    October 18, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Boulderdash Gentile

      CT,

      It is no longer the president that rules the economic land-set. Hasn't been for quite a few presidencies.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Eric

      And you refuse to put blame where blame belongs or give credit where credit is due or acknowledge facts about the redistribution of wealth GOP style or the GOP penchant for obstructionism for fear of making the president look good. You know the one McConnell professed from the start would be the GOP's main mission to make a one term president. It is the GOP who harms the country and the majority of the people in America. Politics, like government are a mess in America but the GOP piles evil on top of it. They need to be removed.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Chris Turner

      Eric, Try again, with some facts next time. Obama had the House and Senate majority his first 2 years, and still did not do a dang thing right. THe Republicans had no shot to stop anything until after the first mid-term election when it was so painfully clear that the PResident was in over his head on fiscal policy.

      Explain to me again, what it is the JFK understood that Obama does not. Same issues-totally differnt prescriptions. And it is due to teh fact that teh Democratic PArty has gone off the rails to the left on tax and fiscal policies.

      JFK had it right then, just as Romney does now.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • ;p;

      Chris, Romney is not magical. You have some idiot idea that he'll get anything more done. Grow up.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  9. GOMITT

    Joanna, make sure you remain in Utah(so your vote won't be heard). Or better yet move to Hollywood and start up a LDS progressive reality show. Don't move to a Swing state where your vote or opinion might hurt the rest of us.

    October 18, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Or

      Or better yet, stay in Utah so that liberals and Independents can turn the State purple.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Zachariah

      Brooks lives and works in San Diego.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
  10. Joe

    What is president's plan to bring down the deficit?
    anyone?

    October 18, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • BG

      Pray 5 times a day....

      October 18, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      Tax everyone their fair share, close up loopholes and start cutting superfluous spending, especially in the defense budget.

      Anymore brain busters?

      October 18, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • jerry falwell

      Stop Histories oldest gang and their corrupted ways... Which Gang you say... Old White Money

      October 18, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • BG

      It's that easy, why didn't we do it years ago?

      I bet your favorite game is Candyland...

      October 18, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • BG

      earlier comment to CC.

      Now for the Rev. Falwell...

      Maybe the only group who's figured out how to concurrently make, spend and keep money are the old white guys...

      October 18, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Chooch0253

      Ask the same question of Romney's magnificent plan. Has anyone seen the details? "I can fix the economy". okay, how are you going to do that? I'll cut taxes 20%..the numbers do not add up, it doesn't matter if you think otherwise because too many people in the economics profession says it is not possible. You believe it is only because of one reason. That reason is not logic is it? It is because Romney has an (R) in front of his name. You can post all the long winded diatribes you want. The fact of the matter is Romney is a low life self serving egotist. He couldn't care less about anyone that is not in "class". Anyone that supports him is freaking fool...like you.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @BG

      It is that easy, except when you have millionaires, the DoD and repubs in congress blocking any hope of doing any of those things. The plans are there but millionaires don't want to pay their fair share and the DoD would rather have the money to buy an extra chopper or two to gather dust in a hanger instead of relying on what we already have (a.k.a. the biggest military in the world, larger than the next 6 countries combined).

      Do you pay attention at all?

      October 18, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • BG

      Yes, I did pay attention. I just didn't take you seriously.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • BG

      .. and still don't.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @BG

      Yeah, I guess the truth hurts huh? You repubs and your cognitive dissonance. It'd be adorable if it wasn't so pathetic.

      October 18, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • BG

      That's ok. We'll see who gets a reality check in November.

      October 18, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @BG

      Indeed we will, though you still completely ignored the statement you proposed earlier. What is the best way to get rid of the debt and help the economy recover?

      Is it to spend more on military and cut taxes on the wealthy or raise taxes on the super wealthy and cut military funding and either redirect it towards paying down the debt or increase in education budget?

      October 18, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
  11. Berylene Rogers

    It is unacceptable and shameful for one human being to call another an idiot. Shame on you.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • ;p;

      It's ok for you to call yourself an idiot though

      October 18, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  12. 3511danny

    Oh, the pain.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  13. GOMITT

    Joanna, you started out with the following "There are two moments and two moments only that made my soul sit upright during Tuesday night’s presidential debate" . As a Mormon you were also talk how to discern the truth. Be sure you discern where your answer is coming from. Maybe Harry Reed can hire you as his next campaign manager, because he will need it. I hope your soul not only stood up, but knocked you on the floor when Obama and Candy mislead the viewers on what was really said in the rose garden on Sept 12.......read the script....and keep the food storage up because if Obama is elected your one year supply won't sustain you for the next 4 years.......

    October 18, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • ;p;

      Boring troll

      October 18, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • jerry falwell

      The script is on CNN's main page...
      Please go read it...you're looking really bad.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  14. Brian

    The Mormon church actively supported slavery before the Civil War. I'm surprised our "journalists" never mention that.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • CA Conservative

      Brian, you're very mis-informed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_people_and_early_Mormonism

      October 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • ;p;

      Black people could not hold certain positions in the church until the 70's. Then they apparently got a special message from god that they were wrong! Super convenient.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Mike

      Actually, they didn't support slavery and were persecuted for being a large minority in Missouri that did not support slavery. The mobs eventually forced them to leave the state because they were afraid of their political influence on their "pro slave" state.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_people_and_early_Mormonism

      October 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • jerry falwell

      So did the Christian Church...
      Slavery was justified, enforced, promoted and benefited from regular, normal everyday GOD fearing Bible Thumper s.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  15. Evangelical

    We must ask ourselves which of these two men is more likely to lead America back to God. It is clear that it is not Hussein Obama. Romney is not the best, but he is our only hope to stem the growing tide of secularism that is assaulting America. We need a leader who will proudly proclaim that we are "one nation under God" and put God back in government. I believe Romney is that man.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • ;p;

      The religious types are so desperate they'll kiss any ass no matter how far it strays from their bible, so long as god is mentioned in some context.

      Hypocrites.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Lizzy10

      Whoa-I don't live in a theocracy, nor do I want to. If you're so gung ho for that, move to the middle east.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • lizzyrn

      Whoa-I don't live in a theocracy, nor do I want to. If you're so gung ho for that, move to the middle east.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • mmm

      You are pure evil. How can you judge someone you do not know. How can you proclaim such hateful things inspite of the fact that President Obama is a church-going Christian, father of two who shows compassion for poor.

      I don't need someone pandering to my faith. I don't need someone who thinks that their value judgments are better than another's. I want someone who can tell the truth, who can speak truth to power, who can do more than make promises that he cannot keep.

      Perhaps President Obama was a wild-eyed idealist 4 years ago. But that's not the case now. He's a grounded, responsible person.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • LTB

      No, we must NOT ask ourselves who will lead us back to God. I do not look to politicians for spiritual guidance, nor do I expect them to lead our great diverse nation, with many religions, including those who practice no religion, to their one God. You wouldn't go to Walmart to buy a car, and you should not look to government to lead a free country to God.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Pete Clarke

      Obama has nothing for someone like you; you are one of a number of evangelical bigots no better than radical muslims. I hate the likes of you and those like you from around the world.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Considering the constitution protects the country from that, the 'one nation under god' doesn't matter! Try doing some research before sounding like a complete moron...that saying was not put on money until 1956 and is not at all representative of what the USA originally stood for.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Evangelical

      Lizzy,

      Perhaps you should learn what a theocracy really means before throwing up that strawman.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • jerry falwell

      This nation does NOT need to be led back to YOUR view of GOD.
      It needs to be led out of the HELL that the last Evangelical who sat in the White House put it.
      The HELL of Bankruptcy, Warmongering, Hate and Religious Intolerance.

      GOD does not love ONLY you....
      Arrogant bible thumper...

      October 18, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Evangelical: from one evangelical to another... check church history.
      Christianity rarely thrives through pursuing political power. More often it is corrupted by it.
      Let's abandon this flawed argument.

      Jesus did not teach "getting the right man in power."
      He gave power away to save those without the power to save themselves.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • mulehead

      Romney will bring you closer to his god....which is really not discernibly different from yours or any other man made god. I'll vote for the President again as he acknowledges and supports evolution and pure science. Have a nice stroll off the edge of the planet.....

      October 18, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Evangelical

      @LTB

      The most important leadership role of any person from a boy scout leader to the President of the United States is to be a leader for God. And, yes, God should inform all areas of government. This is not a theocracy where the clergy rules. It is a democratic republic where men of conscience rule.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Evangelical, that is disingenuous nonsense.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Deva

      I am surprised, when it comes to party-affiliations, the Gospel seems to become irrelevant to some of you, and Christ who gave His life for us, becomes irrelevant too. Right? All along, the so called "Evangelicals" (including Billy Graham) have branded Mormonism as a "cult", and declared anyone who follows the Mormon faith is not a Christian. Now, with no alternative to Mitt Romney, the Republican Evangelicals readily embrace a Mormon as one of them. Further, Mitt is even lifted up to the position of saving the Christian faith which he has none! I am not surprised that this Country is losing it's Christian core. Sad!

      October 18, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Carbonman

      I must disagree. America is supposed to be a democracy, not a theocracy. Morality is not the exclusive purview of people believing a particular religion .
      Religious rhetoric won't save the nation and fill the coffers. Hard work, living with our financial means and everyone paying their share to buy down the national debt are the only things that will save the US. Personal taxes need to be increased to 1950's levels, along with a 20% devaluation of the dollar for the international markets. A decade or so of this will completely rebuild the financial market and nearly wipe out the national debt. It will be very tough but doable. Other nations have done this and are in excellent shape now (Australia, Canada).

      October 18, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      "God should inform all areas of government"

      Wow, delusional statement and thankfully no modern country would ever go by that. There is no damn evidence that your imaginary friend even exists, so how the hell do you expect it to inform all areas of government???

      October 18, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Evangelical

      @Truth Prevails,

      There is an abundance of evidence that God exists. If you are too blind to see it, well, that's your problem.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • ;p;

      Evangelical believes 'theocracy' actually means 'everyday life'.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • segen

      Interesting read. I am a little confused at the kind of authority you place on those whom you are supposed to lead (i am presuming that Evangelical means you may be in the Body of Christ). Remember that you are not voting for the next pastor or imam for that matter any other spiritual leader. if you are an apt bible reader you will recognize that the leaders always had the prophets and priests to guide them on matters spiritual. It was not in their place to come and lead the people to God directly (Good King Uzziah did try to do some priestly work and got leprosy for it). Leaders were to represent Him as directed by the prophets around them. when the prophets were godly, the kings went in the right way, when they were ungodly, they went in the wrong way. too many examples to cite here. The body of Christ is His government on earth (Isa 9:6). They guide the affairs of men on behalf of the LORD thus they are to hold that key place on national matters. I believe the US started off that way a few hundred years ago and intermittently through the ages. The US has been quite an example as the body of Christ directed the affairs of teh nation and pushed for justice and righteousness, until like Jeshurun you "grew fat and kicked...(Deuteronomy 32:15)" until you prospered and began to forget the same God who put you in that exalted position when you were but a little (1 Samuel 15:17). You slept and forgot the big picture..(Matt 13:24-30). Hebrews 7:12 says for when there is a change in the priesthood there is a change in the law... and i quote in context... when you slept and another priesthood took over namely secular (from the root word secloro – meaning without God) humanism, then the laws began to change. While men slept the enemy came in and sowed tares. What do you do.. pull out the wheat with the tares just because there are a few bad with plenty good? You let them grow together praying for discernment for how you will notice and then pull out the bad without throwing out the good. However before you even go there, you go back to your knees and remember the height from which you have fallen as guides and ask for another chance to guide the next leadership of that nation to God. They already have wheat with tares too. You cannot see the tares for the wheat has not produced its heads of grain. WAIT. PRAY. Your leaders are only acting according to a priesthood that is over the nation... Prov 21:1.. the heart of the king is in the hand of the LORD and like a river he turns it wherever he pleases...where is the hand? on the BODY (of Christ who is the Head), then please do your part. You have or will choose a leader. it is a good thing because they both have a done a noble thing to desire the office of overseers (of the nation). However, after the new leader comes, starting with me and you and anyone who calls themselves a part of the Body... let us pray for the leader as commanded so that he may lead the nation to where God wants... that si your full duty if you want the nation led to God... rather than bicker or point out their errors... but try to take these to the LORD and then let the LORD give solutions so when we speak they will hear. if they do not then it is not upon our heads... Happy voting! sorry for the lengthy write... your comment just stirred something that bothers me not only in the Western world but also here in Africa. If i am wrong or have misunderstood kindly forgive and correct me. I too am learning and yearn to see a world where people give God His place... led by His only reps on earth (no compromise on this one...) the Body of Christ! and it starts with me.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      "There is an abundance of evidence that God exists. If you are too blind to see it, well, that's your problem"

      No there isn't!! Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence! Back up your claims or stop sounding like an idiot!! Which god are you referring to because throughout history there have been a great many that have been believed in and not one can be proven to have existed. All gods are man-made concepts presently and until science is able to provide sufficient evidence to support the claim, the claim fails.

      October 18, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  16. Jano

    Hey you people – if Obama is reelected he won't spend the next 4 years running for reeclection. Not true with Mitt Romney. He has been running for 5 years and will continue to pander his contributors 'cause he will need money next time!!!

    October 18, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  17. Barry G.

    The Jesus Christ which Christians follow taught that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

    What does Mitt Romney's leader teach about this?

    October 18, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • DS

      His religous leader (and mine) teach the same thing. However, Christ didn't say it was impossible did he? No, he said it would be harder. It's a good thing Christ will judge us and not you. Romney's life has overwhelmingly been spent in the service of others, both with his time and check book.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Barry G.: if you're writing on this blog, you probably are the worldwide rich.
      your question applies to ALL of us.

      avg annual worldwide income is $1,225.
      If you make more than $34,000/yr, you are in the global 1%.
      And the vast majority of that global 1% is in America.
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2082385/We-1–You-need-34k-income-global-elite–half-worlds-richest-live-U-S.html

      October 18, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • CA Conservative

      Barry, I suggest you get cliff notes for the Bible, since the metaphors and teachings are escaping you.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • jerry falwell

      Muhammad said that...

      October 18, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Boulderdash Gentile

      "Rich" folks want the riches that life offers them, therefore they have their rewards. The poor have little riches the world offers them hence the rewards of the poor and poorest are held for them in heavenly places. As the world turns aside and gives but a pittance to the poor of mind and low in spirit, the riches of the wealthiest are gathering rust and dust with no real goals to heal the poorest of peoples' woes and forlornments. They who are rich in this world will be the poorest in the next and the poorest in this world will be of the richest in the next. Life equates to its' yearnings and no riches are needed in the now nor in the next of Life. Life is a never ending cycle for the living.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
  18. Zachariah

    Joanna: Thanks for writing this. I feel the same way. Here in Salt Lake there is a sizable group of progressive LDS members, many voting for Obama because he's more honest (as you describe), will preserve our environment and won't sweep the needy under a rug. While I applaud Romney's success in business, it is a very different skill set needed to run an investment company compared to leading a democratic nation. I hope people will keep that in mind on November 6.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • BG

      Isn't it incredible how many seemingly disenfranchised LDS members there are on this blog? And they all hate Romney! Now we've got a "progressive" LDS cloister hiding in, of all places, Salt Lake!! Tell me you all get together every Wednesday night for a little dollar poker and to bítch about Romney....

      The Church of the "Progressive Latter Day Saints." Now -there's- an oxymoron waiting to pop up in the American religious whack-a-mole game.

      Gotta hate that hypocrite Romney, though. It's amazing he's a bishop (or high priest, grand poobah, or whatever it is you people call him...) Hey, how did he ever get that high up in the LDS hierarchy? Didn't you people vote him in?

      October 18, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Zachariah

      BG: I didn't say I was disenfranchised.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Anne Salter

      Unreal comments, as a Mormon I don't see how being buried in trillions of dollars of debt and
      passing that on to our children is a principle to be embraced and we have yet to hear Obamas plan forward, hope and
      change didn't work to well for him.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • ;p;

      It's the only big word BG knows.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • BG

      @ Zack

      Sure you are. You and your 'sizable group of progressive LDS'ers' think one of your own is an unworthy liar. He's Mormon, but he certainly doesn't represent you and your little cloister of "progressives."

      How exactly is it that you describe a "progressive LDS'er?" One that's broke? You can't have too much money to be a part of your group? No secret handshake in the fancy room if you're rich, 'eh?

      You're a confused little contradiction, aren't you, Zack?

      October 18, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • BG

      @ ;p;

      I guess it's a good sign that you can at least recognize it's a 'big word.' Here's a way to make it simple for you... more than 3 syllables and you should look it up. Good luck, Webster.

      Hmm? What's a syllable? Better ask that at your next ESL class.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Zachariah

      BG: 35% of Utah voters voted Obama in 2008. We're not that small a group.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • BG

      Are all Utah voters LDS, i.e., what percentage of that 35% are LDS?

      October 18, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • GOMITT

      Zach the only reason Obama came in second place at 35% was because Ross Perot, Rosanne Barr or hey better yet that idiot that tried to stop the legacy highway.....whats his name.....oh #@$! Rocky Anderson wasn't on the ballot back then. he would of ended up coming in 3rd. Maybe you need to move to San Diego (Joanna my have a spare room, or ask for handouts from Obama)

      October 18, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • segen

      Zechariah thanks alot for your comments. Ann salter its very interesting that you speak of a trillion debt as though it appeared only 4 years ago. He inherited one of the biggest economic failures engendered by George Bush government that sent Americans to Afghanistan, Iraq and came up with nothing but crippled and dead young American soldiers who were fighting a war they did not even comprehend. until Obama came and in his watch flashed out Osama in one fell swoop and a host of his strong men. and has looked for ways and means to patch up the absolutely atrocious economy. George Bush Sr started the wars in the middle east and took the economy of the nation to near breakdown until Clinton stepped in. You enjoyed one of the finest economic seasons in America during Clinton's era which was handed down to George Bush thriving and ready to go to the next level. He did a fine job of bungling it further, creating even more wars in the middle east and fuelling the rise of the likes of Osama and the horrendous 9/11. The nation's economy and systems crushed the middle class even more and in his watch your labour unions were detoothed to remain quite toothless and unable to stand for the ever shrinking middle class america. Obama has stepped in and in 4 very short years has been able to patch up the worst of your bleeding nation... and the vicious cycle of american politics continues to play itself out....we watch from a distance and pray that it shall be well

      October 18, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • BG

      @ segen

      You sound like just another liberal foreigner quick to castigate Bush, et.al, and to demagogue the left. Simple truth is that Obama has lied to the American public by obfuscating the actions of his administration. Fast & Furious was a debacle which continues to be masked by "executive privilege." The "Arab Spring" encouraged, aided, and abetted by Obama has turned into the Islamic Winter resulting (to date) in the death of American diplomatic staff because of warnings and requests ignored by Obama.

      There's much more, including Obama's overuse of Executive Orders thwarting and circu mventing the American democratic process, misuse of $750M of Medicare money to fund Obamacare, covering only 27M of 47M "underserved" at the expense of American seniors.

      Then there's that pesky $15 Trillion dollar deficit over the last 4 years...

      Sorry, libby, but Bush didn't do all of this.

      The U.S. is different from any other country on earth. We're proud of that. If American exceptional-ism is a realty difficult for the rest of the world to stomach – tough. We have guns. We have capitalism. We eschew socialism and communism. We've saved the collective worlds' ass too many times to count. We have the means to ensure our own continued existence.

      Maybe that's offensive to you, but that's the way we like it....

      ... and we don't like arrogant politicians with mysterious pasts and questionable motives screwing with it.

      October 18, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  19. Brandon Howard

    I don't share your view on Obama's ability to deal with our economy but I respect your opinion, as I do anyone's who can look at a situation and assess it differently. To be honest, I'm not thrilled with voting for Obama, but truly believe he has demonstrated that he and his administration is not capable of coming up with effective economic strategies. I hope Mitt can. Time will tell...if he's elected.

    What blows my mind, as a follower of Christ, is that you can throw your weight publicly behind a man who is hellbent on campaigning for "women's rights." He's campaigning for a woman's right to choose, yet if you believe as I do that our rights are given to us by our Creator, a woman's right to choose is not a right that exists at all. It's murder. It's the Great American Holocaust whose victims have far exceeded those horrible acts perpetrated in Germany many years ago. And while I don't believe Obama believe he's supporting the murder of children, I believe he and his administration and his party's inability to use God-given sense and conviction to recognize something so obvious is proof that they don't possess the type of scruples that I want someone to have who is making landmark decisions for my country.

    Mitt Romney is not my ideal candidate. The Republicans are not *my* party, nor do they always take the moral high ground. There are MANY issues beyond social that are very important, however, until Obama and the Democrats start making decisions with compassion for ALL people, born and unborn, my ability to support them can't exist.

    How you as a member of the LDS church can publicly campaign for a man who supports the right to continue this holocaust, I will never understand.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Brandon Howard

      I meant to say, I'm not thrill with voting for Romney*

      October 18, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Zachariah

      Brandon: Nowhere in the four Gospels is Jesus reported to take a position on, or discuss abortion (or gays, for that matter). If it wasn't important to Christ, why have you made it so important? Better perhaps to focus on his very clear messages of tolerance, love and being non-judgmental.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Michelle

      Brandon, you or anyone else doesn't the right to tell a woman what they can or can't do with their body. You also have no right to impose your religious beliefs on anyone. There is that separation of church and state thingy.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • LTB

      This country gives you the right to choose your religion, not the right to impose your religion's rights, or lack thereof, on others.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Brandon: Can your imaginary friend's rules be used to make laws in the country? Do you think that women should be seen and not heard? That they should obey their man?
      If this is how you feel, you are not a MAN but an abuser and you should seek help immediately. No decent woman would ever support having her rights taken away by backwoods thinking like yours.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  20. Rani McBride

    I am a mormon too and I have never heard of a Pastor in the mormon religion. Since when has a bishop been a pastor. Mitt Romney told the American people he has been a Pastor for his church. No, he was a bishop. Why won't he call the position as it really is? Is he ashamed of it? This is classic Romney, misleading people, manipulating the facts to protect his politcal agenda. He is clearly an opportunist. He will never get my vote and he will never be my president!

    October 18, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • DS

      You are an idiot. He was trying to build on common beliefs by saying "Pastor" because the vast majority of Christians know what that is. They don't understand what "Bishop" means.

      However, You are more of an idiot for voting for Obama than for your remark.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • ;p;

      He knows most of the idiots who will vote for him are mostly too dumb to understand.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • jerry falwell

      Mormonism is a cult...so says the Christian Right.
      Obama is a secret Muslim....so says the Christian Right.

      Vote for the Libertarian Party!

      October 18, 2012 at 6:04 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.