What would a Mormon White House look like?
If Mitt Romney is elected president, the White House will likely see some new traditions.
November 2nd, 2012
11:00 PM ET

What would a Mormon White House look like?

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Should Mitt Romney win the presidency next Tuesday, it will mark an historic first: a Mormon couple moving into the White House.

What would this mean and look like?

Would there be “dry” state dinners, since faithful Mormons don’t do alcohol? Would Secret Service tag along to sacred ceremonies only open to worthy church members? What book would a President Mitt Romney use to take his oath of office?

We can’t be absolutely sure about all the answers. But if the practices and homes of devout Mormons like the Romneys – not to mention his history as governor of Massachusetts – are any indication, we can begin to paint a picture of what a Romney-inhabited White House might look like.

First things first: About that oath

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe the Bible is the word of God. But they also believe this about the Book of Mormon, which is subtitled “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.”

Given the importance of the Book of Mormon, this question seemed worth asking: Any chance Romney would place his hand on a Book of Mormon at his swearing-in ceremony?

“No, no way Romney would do that,” Jana Riess, a religion scholar, co-author of “Mormonism for Dummies,” and blogger for Religion News Service, wrote in an e-mail message. “I’m not aware of any Mormon who has sworn on the Book of Mormon instead of the Bible for national office. (I’m not aware of any local officials who have done this either.)”

Most likely, Romney would go back to the Bible he used in 2003 when he was sworn in as governor of Massachusetts – the same one his father, George Romney, reportedly used when he was sworn in as Michigan’s governor in the 1960s.

Beyond paint and fabric swatches

Having never been invited over for a meal, we can’t pretend to know anything about the Romney aesthetic when it comes to home decoration. But we wondered and asked about specific items that tend to hang in Mormon households.

Randall Balmer, an award-winning historian, author and chair of the Department of Religion at Dartmouth College, speculated that the Romneys – like plenty of Mormons – might display artwork featuring a depiction of Jesus and a photograph of LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson, considered a “prophet, seer and revelator” by members of the church.

Another possibility, said Riess, would be a photo of the Salt Lake Temple where Mitt and Ann Romney were married and “sealed” for eternity in a sacred ceremony in 1969.

Then there’s something commonly known as the “Proclamation on the Family,” which is often framed and displayed in homes – though rarely in upper-class households, said Joanna Brooks, author of “The Book of Mormon Girl: Stories from an American Faith.”

The proclamation features words set forth by LDS Church leadership in 1995, highlighting family and gender responsibilities. Among the points made: Marriage is between a man and woman; the primary responsibility of fathers is to oversee and provide for families; and mothers must first and foremost care for the children.

All of these items could show up in the White House, said Grant Bennett, an old Romney friend who spoke at the Republican National Convention and has known the Romney family since they met through church in 1978.

But he said, “the most quintessential Mormon item would be pictures of their family,” including those of ancestors, because “families are forever” and bound for eternity in the Mormon view.

Ann and Mitt Romney are surrounded by family before the October 22 presidential debate at Lynn University.

Bennett also suggested that a verse or two of Scripture that is particularly meaningful to the Romneys might be framed and on display.

If any of these things would hang in the White House, they would likely appear in the private quarters where first families are free to do what they please.

That doesn’t mean Romney wouldn’t be allowed to honor his faith in some way in the Oval Office, but decorative decisions in public rooms – the spaces visited on tours – are subject to committee discussions and advisers on historic preservation, explained Melissa Naulin, assistant curator in the Curator's Office of the White House Museum.

Can I get a cup of coffee? How about something stronger?

In accordance with a revelation received in 1833 by LDS Church founder Joseph Smith, something known as the “Word of Wisdom,” faithful Latter-day Saints abstain from coffee, tea and alcohol.

Does this mean a return to the days of “Lemonade Lucy,” the posthumous nickname given to the wife of Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th U.S. president, who banned alcohol from the White House?

No, said Cabinet members from Romney’s gubernatorial era and a current top aide. They said this health-related observance is not one the Romneys would impose on or expect of others.

“As governor, when Mitt Romney entertained at official functions in the evening, alcohol was served along with soft beverages,” said a senior aide who asked not to be identified in stories about religion.

“There was always a healthy cup of coffee for anyone who wanted it,” said Renee Fry, a former Cabinet member.

“Cabinet dinner gatherings were not dry,” wrote Douglas Foy, who also served in Governor Romney’s Cabinet. “Although the governor and his wife did not partake – which the governor often joked about, since he sponsored the gatherings and paid for the wine!”

Storing – and refraining from – food

The LDS Church advises its members to store enough food to feed a family for a year.

Food storage is viewed as a practical measure, one that can come in handy during, say, a crippling superstorm, massive power outages or unforeseen financial hardships.

The practice is rooted in Mormon history. The church’s early pioneers, on their trek westward to what is now Utah, experienced great suffering and starvation. They also endured their share of persecution and couldn’t rely on the help of others. So having resources squirreled away became a collective comfort.

Any chance that the Romneys would institute White House food storage?

Not because they would need it for themselves or likely anyone else at the White House, but Riess said in these uncertain times, it could be a good lesson in preparedness to showcase to the nation.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see that,” she said.

Mitt Romney gathers donations in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Even if a family storing it doesn’t need the food, by having it available that family is poised to help others. Serving those less fortunate or in crisis is big in the LDS Church, and it is a part of another practice that may find its way into the White House if the Romneys move in.

The first Sunday of every month is Fast Sunday, when committed Mormons who are able forgo food and drink for about 24 hours. Coupled with prayer, it has spiritual meaning. It also serves to instill compassion for those who are in need, and to that end Mormons are encouraged to minimally donate what they would have spent on food to the church’s welfare fund.

Fast Sunday, or calls to fast at other times, can also bind Mormons together when they pray and fast for a common cause.

A Utah woman created buzz earlier this fall when an e-mail she sent out to friends and family, suggesting they fast to help Romney before the debates, began making the rounds in Mormon circles across the country. A new website, romneyfast.org, also the brainchild of private citizens – and not a church-sanctioned effort – asks people to fast and pray for Romney and his wife Ann this Sunday before America goes to the polls.

When he was governor of Massachusetts, and in general, Mitt and Ann Romney observed Fast Sunday and “always contributed very generously to the fast offering fund,” said Bennett, who held church leadership roles with Romney in the Boston area.

What’s more, Bennett said that when Romney served as their congregation's bishop – the equivalent of an unpaid pastor – it wasn’t uncommon for the two friends to fast more than once a month. At the time, Bennett was one of Romney's two counselors, or advisers.

“Occasionally he would invite me and the other counselor to join him in fasting on a weekday for a specific purpose,” Bennett wrote in an e-mail. “For example, one purpose would be to seek inspiration regarding an important decision, another purpose would be to express love, support and solidarity to someone who was ill or going through very difficult times.”

Whether Romney would maintain this observance from the nation’s highest office, we can’t know. But it looks like the White House kitchen staff may be in for a little downtime each month, if they’re lucky.

Honoring the Sabbath, going to church and other Mormon observances

Sunday is a holy day for active LDS Church members. It’s a time when Mormons attend their local congregation - it's known as a ward, which in Catholic-speak would be comparable to a parish - and worship with their families and community.

The ward closest to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., and likely the one the Romneys would be assigned to, is the Washington D.C. 3rd Ward, which gathers in what Mormons call a “meetinghouse” or chapel on 16th Street NW. The Washington Post described this ward as consisting of mostly Democrats, half who are nonwhite (including plenty of Spanish speakers), and having openly gay members in its leadership.

Riess said while ward assignments are almost always determined geographically, sometimes there are exceptions. And the truth is there just isn’t any precedent for how this would be handled for a U.S. president.

With or without Romney, D.C. a surprising Mormon stronghold

How much of his Sundays a President Romney could set aside for his faith is obviously uncertain. We already know he’s been hard at work on the campaign trail, Sundays included – though the senior aide we spoke to said he makes efforts to get to church when he can.

One need only look at President Jimmy Carter, who went so far as to teach Sunday school at his local Baptist church, to see how a sitting president can make room for faith, said Balmer of Dartmouth, who counts among his many books “God in the White House: How Faith Shaped the Presidency from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush.”

Romney faithfully showed up at church on Sundays while he was governor, unless an official function got in the way, Bennett said. And when Romney ran for U.S. Senate in 1994 against Ted Kennedy, Bennett – then the ward’s bishop – assigned Romney to teach the weekly adult Sunday school class.

“He was in church virtually every Sunday teaching this class throughout the campaign, only occasionally arranging for a substitute teacher,” his friend said.

Beyond church, Riess speculated about other observances Romney would uphold.

Mormons reserve Monday evenings for “family home evening,” a time when families pray, study and sing together.

Someone serving in church leadership, who didn’t want to be named because of the sensitivity of the subject matter, said he doubted the Romneys would observe family home evening since their kids are grown and gone. But Riess suspected that Romney and his wife, especially given the size of their brood – five sons; 18 grandchildren – and the likelihood that family would be passing through, would honor the Monday tradition in some way, even if it was just the two of them.

There’s also a practice in LDS Church wards in which men who hold the priesthood – which means the authority, for example, to perform baptisms and offer sacramental blessings – are partnered up to visit other congregation members, ideally once a month, as home teachers.

The LDS Church does not have paid clergy, and this is one way that volunteer ward pastors, or the bishops, can make sure members get personal attention and lessons as needed.

So could home teachers come knocking on the White House doors?

It’s possible, said Riess, though obviously there’d be background checks and no unannounced knockings.

But a U.S. president couldn’t possibly be expected to regularly home teach others, right?

Probably not. But Romney did step up as governor, Bennett said.

“He both had home teachers, and he was assigned as a home teacher, when he was governor,” Bennett said. “He and Ann would ensure they were available for their home teachers to visit, and he was faithful in doing his home teaching.”

And then there’s the big question: What about the temple?

Many non-Mormons falsely assume the large and often magnificent white LDS temples they see in their cities are where Latter-day Saints go for church. But Mormons gather for Sunday services in meetinghouses or chapels, which are usually plain, unimpressive structures.

The Washington D.C. Temple, not too far from the White House, is considered by Mormons to be a house of the Lord.

The 140 temples currently in operation across the globe are actually closed on Sundays. Mormons view their temples as houses of the Lord, as Riess explained in her book, and they are not places for run-of-the-mill worship. Temples, instead, are reserved for the most sacred rituals – the details of which are not to be discussed outside temple walls.

The temples are so sacred that the doors are not even open for all Mormons; only those deemed sufficiently worthy by local church leadership are granted a “temple recommend” or an entry card.

While sacred ceremonies or “ordinances” for the living – such as weddings, during which couples are “sealed” for eternity – happen inside, there are also rituals performed by living substitutes or proxies for those who have died. These rituals include baptisms, which have been at times a subject of controversy for the LDS Church.

Romney, who long served in church leadership, surely has a temple recommend. But does that mean he’d actually go to the Washington D.C. Temple, which sits about 10 miles north of the White House in Kensington, Maryland?

“If I were him, I’d probably just not go while I was president, if only out of courtesy to other patrons,” said our source in church leadership who didn’t want to be named. “It’s not like it’s some kind of ‘go often or you’ll go to hell’ thing. It’s just a standard part of being a committed Mormon, which you do if you can find the time.”

And a President Romney couldn’t go there, let alone anywhere else, without Secret Service. So if he wanted to go, would he be able to? Even Secret Service agents would be turned away from the temple without the right access card.

Not a problem, speculated Balmer of Dartmouth. He said finding qualified agents, if Romney hasn’t found them already, would be easy.

It’s well-known that the CIA, FBI and, by extension, he said he assumes, the Secret Service recruit at LDS Church-run Brigham Young University. All these agencies, Balmer said, are “looking for people who are good, loyal, patriotic Americans,” and many Latter-day Saints, who believe in the divinity of the U.S. Constitution, fit that bill.

So if it would be important for Romney and the first lady to go to the temple, it should be possible.

And Riess said, given Romney's level of faith and church involvement over the years, she can’t imagine that he wouldn’t want to go. Minimally, she pointed out, there’s bound to be a family member’s wedding or “temple sealing” he’d want to attend.

“It would be a logistical problem,” she said. “But I’m pretty sure they’d find a way.”

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: 2012 Election • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • DC • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (2,237 Responses)
  1. Romney Lies about Chrysler Jobs so bad it freaks Chrysler workers out.


    November 3, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Evangelical

      No Chrysler is lying to save their reputation.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • sally

      Ahhh, no, Evan. Nice try. I'm afraid Romney was caught with his pants down on this one. Which probably explains why his poll numbers are so poor in Ohio. He's been lying through his teeth and finally people are starting to catch on. Chrysler has been expanding and he has completely lied.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • The Mighty Paw of Dog

      No Evangelical you are a liar and follower of the devil. You preach hate and bigotry.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Newt Gingrich

      It is very rare for a major US corporation to get involve in politics.

      VERY RARE ... like next to ZERO.

      Mormon Bishop Mittens wasn't expecting Chrysler to fight back. He thought it would have been just a he-said vs she-said argument between them and Obama's campaign.

      So its unprecedented that Chrysler did fight back against Mormon Bishop Mitten's lies.

      In other words, when a MAJOR CORPORATION calls a POLITICIAN a LIAR ... that POLITICIAN just lost a lot of credibility.

      It's GAME OVER for Mittens!

      November 3, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    November 3, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book can help you:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      November 3, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Newt Gingrich

      YouTube: Jesus Camp Brain Washing Kids

      November 3, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Matt

      Sorry, but Science and every single moment in the history of mankind would beg to differ with your assertion.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Malkah55

      David, I'm not Mormon, but I'll tell you, if you speak about your religion that way, your Bishop better grab your a-s, and get you to repent, or what ever the Mormons do. In devout Judaism, we partake in the Mikvah Bath. As sanctified as your church requires, you have a lot of thinking to do.

      Sorry for preaching here.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Malkah55

      Gee, Hal. Was all that advanced verbiage a way to show just how intelligent you are, and how dumb we are, the 47%. You are not the only one here who has some intelligence. You don't need to lord it over us to make you feel special. You sound like Romney's Mini Me.

      November 3, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
  3. justsane

    not worrying about it because it isn't gonna happen!

    November 3, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
  4. Newt Gingrich

    Mormon Bishop Mittens dodged the Vietnam War Draft for 9 years under the excuse of doing Mormon stuff in FOREIGN COUNTRIES!

    Either he was a chicken ... or he truly believed following in the footsteps of his idol, "JOSEPH SMITH" (a convicted con-artist) and becoming a MORMON BISHOP was a more honorable way to serve his country.

    November 3, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Evangelical

      Where was it ever alleged that Romney dodged the Vietnam War draft?

      November 3, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Matt


      November 3, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Newt Gingrich

      Google is your BFF.

      Google: Mitt Romney Mormon Vietnam War Draft Dodger

      November 3, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Malkah55

      I do hope you are not the real Newt Gingrich. I wouldn't want such a petty person in the White House. At least, with everything that Romney is, I can't say I've seen pettiness yet.

      November 3, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Malkah55

      Evangelical, obviously you have't been reading thoroughly.

      November 3, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
  5. Hugh Mann

    Would they hang the dead Catholics on the walls and "baptise" them?

    November 3, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
  6. Dan

    Mormons are not permitted to work on Sundays – does that mean romney will work only 6 of 7 days per week?

    Im still aghast why romney didnt not choose mormon leader warren jeffs as his VP mate.

    November 3, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Lucha

      Even if he took every Sunday off he would work Obama under the table because Romney doesn't golf or shoot hoops.

      November 3, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • jean m.

      I would have to say that Romney wil get more accomplished in one 6 day work week than Obama has in an entire 4 year term. Add to my sentiment, I would rather see a morman in the White House than the Muslim that "occupies" it now!!!

      November 3, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
  7. The Mighty Paw of Dog

    Oh evangelical is here. How's it feel following Satan?

    November 3, 2012 at 8:55 pm |

    where will they hide the gold tablets?

    November 3, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • The Mighty Paw of Dog

      How big are they? They could put them in their prison purses.

      November 3, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Matt

      In their magic underwear?

      November 3, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
  9. Mormons are Christians?

    Why doesn't the Mormon website have any of this information?

    Mormons believe that God created multiple worlds and each world has people living on it. They also believe that multiple Gods exist but each has their own universe. We are only subject to our God and if we obtain the highest level of heaven we can become gods ourselves.

    In LDS theology you can be forgiven for any sin, save two. First, denying the Holy Spirit, and second, murder. Also, God is infinitely forgiving, until the second coming. After that, you end up where you end up, no matter what. There are no second chances. Period.

    In LDS doctrine there are three heavens: the Celestial Kingdom, Terrestrial Kingdom, and Telestial Kingdom. The Celestial is the highest, where God and the ones who followed his law reside. The Terrestrial is the middle, where people who followed the Law of Moses reside. The Telestial is the lowest, where the ones who followed carnal law reside.

    While most religions believe in God, the LDS religion believes in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as separate beings. They also believe that God, Jesus and resurrected beings have bodies of “flesh and bone.”

    The Book of Mormon is a book of LDS scripture that takes place during the same time as the Bible and takes place on the American continent. It follows the stories of two tribes who descended from the family of Lehi. After Jesus’ resurrection LDS people believe he visited the peoples of the Americas.

    This one is very unique to the LDS faith. Basically, everyone on earth now was a spirit in the pre-existence. When we die, our spirits are separated from our bodies and if we were good they go to “spirit paradise.” If we were bad they go to “spirit prison.” The spirit world exists as a place for spirits to go while awaiting the second coming.

    November 3, 2012 at 8:52 pm |

      Mormons are NOT Christians.

      November 3, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • MCR

      Howmanytimes have you posted this?Haveyou doneanything else withyour day?

      November 3, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • david

      we mormons believe you are gay

      November 3, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Mormons are Christians?

      Put it on the website and I wouldn't have to. Your website is purposefully misleading. It is an attempt by Mormons to look like Christians. There is little to no mention of beliefs that contradict the bible.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • jean m.

      Isn't America a place where we can worship in our "own kind of pews"??

      November 3, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  10. Ken

    Bigots and idiots abound everywhere. Apparently, many of them subscribe and share their anti-Mormon views on this web page.

    November 3, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Matt

      I am definitely anti-moron. So please stop posting.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • jean m.

      This is CNN!!!

      November 3, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
  11. Robert Spear

    My voting against Romney has nothing to do with his being a Mormon. It is because he is part of the Republican Party who in the last 4 years has not advanced a SINGLE leadership position whose purpose was to help America's economic position, individual health care position, world status position or the immigration situation. The party of "NO" had a sole purpose to limit the current administration to one term. They have contributed nothing to our country in the past 4 years.

    November 3, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Lucha

      hahhahahHHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAA riiiiiiight. Keep your vote. We need intelligent people in the GOP.

      November 3, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Matt

      "We need intelligent people in the GOP."
      That's true, because right now the GOP is suffering from a severe lack of them. It's so sad when an entire party has chosen Mysticism over Science.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Romnesia

      Lucha, when you get some, come back and tell us all about it.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • jean m.

      Robert, look at the blue states like Michigan, California, etc. They are on the brink of financial destruction due to their Democrat leadership and policies. Look at Ohio! Since Republican John Kacich took over they are actually turning that state around. Unemployment has decreased significantly and take home pay has risen!! We need that same kind of leadership in the White House. We need good paying jobs nationwide!! Romney will provide that. I wish people could stop drinking the kool-aide!

      November 3, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
  12. Rummy Pirate Times-Dispatch

    (from Boston's NPR News Radio)

    November 3, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Evangelical

      Quit spamming. Who cares about the Times-Dispatch?

      November 3, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Romnesia

      Eve, why is the truth so disturbing to you?

      November 3, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
  13. dezep

    These undercover and exclusive videos filmed secretly in Mormon Temples this year, expose the real truth about why Mitt Romney always refuses to talk about his religion. He and the Mormon church have much to hide. They willl never discuss these Temple Rituals, citing they are sacred. They believe that God will exalt only Temple attending Mormons with religious power under a Mormon controlled governance. They believe that only Mormons will become Gods in Heaven. Try asking Mitt Romney about this side of his religion and he will refuse to answer you. He believes, as all Mormons believe, that they are God's chosen people of the modern day, who will receive their exaltation in Heaven if they continue to obey these Temple Oaths and Rituals. America wake up to the hidden dangers to your freedoms that you enjoy and vote for freedom for all Americans

    November 3, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      I would rather lay claims to sub atomic world being mine then lay claims to a celestial planet like these mormonites do falsely prophess.

      It is best for mankind to simmer in their juvenile pottages never rationalizingly 'a.s.saying' one's diffuse detriments the very smallest of life's grains. As smitten breeds, our splendors reveal one's characters to be traitorous to one's analogous fold. Where then does Life end and living begin?

      November 3, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • david

      I'm a Mormon and I can tell we do not believe on any of your words as said in your comment, But, I will tell you and everybody else what we do in the temple. We have fun with your mother and grandmother. Good?

      November 3, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Lucha

      What are you talking about refuses? He just spoke about it on 60 minutes and on the stump. Are you under a rock?

      November 3, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • suemac47

      Catholics believe that only they will enter heaven. All others are doomed to hell or purgatory. Jews believe that they are the chosen people. Muslims believe that only Muslims can enter paradise. Let's not forget the Seventh day folks, the Baptists, the Calvinists, the Lutherans, the Episcopalians, Scientologists, and on and on and on. Mormons believe stuff, but so do billions of others. One thing I do know is that Mormons firmly believe in freedom of religion. They call it "agency", or free will. So please stop talking about stuff you obviously know nothing about.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • suemac47

      To God's Oldest Dreamer. Please please see a doctor. You need some serious help. You cannot write a sentence that makes sense.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Malkah55

      I grew up in Kensington, MD, and watched this temple being built. It was an amazing undertaking, in a very secluded and treed area. At first, when the main wall was completed, but before paint and pretties, I was waiting for the Wicked Witch of the West to fly by on her broom stick. It was the scene where the witch is melted by Dorothy. It is an astounding structure. The people of the neighborhood, who had been inconvenienced, were invited to visit limited areas of the Sanctuary, prior to their Sanctification. It was amazing, growing up near DC, and being exposed to so many people from other countries.

      I do believe if we bother to find out a little about others, the mano ye mano thing, the anger and fear would subside. Hopefully, after Tuesday, people will look and realize what it's like without constantly being angry all the time..I think of Abigale, the gorgeous little redhead. who is tired of Romney and Bronc Obamma..

      That little face says it all. We MUST start acting civilly towards each other.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
  14. Rummy Pirate Times-Dispatch

    "In Greed We Trust"

    In 1994, Bain invested $27 million as part of a deal with other firms to acquire Dade International, a medical-diagnostics-equipment firm, from its parent company, Baxter International. Bain ultimately made nearly 10 times its money, getting back $230 million. But Dade wound up laying off more than 1,600 people and filed for bankruptcy protection in 2002, amid crushing debt and rising interest rates. The company, with Bain in charge, had borrowed heavily to do acquisitions, accumulating $1.6 billion in debt by 2000. The company cut benefits for some workers at the acquired firms and laid off others. When it merged with Behring Diagnostics, a German company, Dade shut down three U.S. plants. At the same time, Dade paid out $421 million to Bain Capital’s investors and investing partners.

    For 15 years, Romney had been in the business of creative destruction and wealth creation. But what about his claims of job creation? Though Bain Capital surely helped expand some companies that had created jobs, the layoffs and closures at other firms would lead Romney’s political opponents to say that he had amassed a fortune in part by putting people out of work. The lucrative deals that made Romney wealthy could exact a cost. Maximizing financial return to investors could mean slashing jobs, closing plants, and moving production overseas. It could also mean clashing with union workers, serving on the board of a company that ran afoul of federal laws, and loading up already struggling companies with debt.

    Marc Wolpow, a former Bain partner who worked with Romney on many deals, said the discussion at buyout companies typically does not focus on whether jobs will be created. “It’s the opposite—what jobs we can cut,” Wolpow said. “Because you had to document how you were going to create value. Eliminating redundancy, or the elimination of people, is a very valid way."

    A couple of examples (it's pretty easy to find more):

    Bain closed GST Steel plant in 2001 laying off 750 workers.

    Controlling share owner Bain Capital closes BRP plant (Southern Illinois) so the 340 jobs there could be outsourced to Mexico.

    Also, this is disconcerting:



    November 3, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Evangelical

      First of all, the post is too long.
      Second of all, it is a hatchet job.
      And finally,

      Vote Romney/Ryan 2012!

      November 3, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • sally

      Say Evantardical – your critique didn't say much, but I'm not surprised you would have difficulty reading a few paragraphs. is there some part of the post you found to be not true? Hmmmm?

      November 3, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Lucha

      Romney 2012. Bain is a great example for what needs to happen to this country. Amen.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Romnesia

      Eve, So size does matter!. It's the truth. Selective, but the truth. Venture Capital is primarily to make money, sometimes a side effect is job creation, often it is not. I've personally been involved in three companies where the VCs bought the company with borrowed money, then transferred the loan to the company (plus a "dividend" for themselves); from that point on they're golden. The company with the additional debt and the requirement to have books in the black for resale then move to being at least expenses/earnings neutral which quickly leads to job losses. I know that's only one side, Amazon for example was a good example of VCs growing a business. But the purpose of VCs is to make money not jobs.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Malkah55

      Romnesia, you are so right. Romney is like a horse with blinders. He is only seeing one path, so he doesn't wander off. It is a lack of being able to do more than one at a time. My brother and I have that problem. The thing is, we aren't running for Office.

      November 3, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
  15. Derak

    Wow CNN, last ditch effort to make the presidency about Romney's unusual faith, but 0bama's support of the the Muslim Brotherhood's Arab Winter: Nothing to see here, folks!

    I thought libs were the tolerant ones, but since the race card is getting old, they will play the bigot card. I guess CNN couldn't stay above the fray, and had to make up for the whole Stephens' diary thing.

    They accidently discovered that Stephens had repeatedly requested additional security from the administration from the US military due to terrorist activity, and had been repeatedly denied. For those of you too drunk on koolaid to comprehend, that made 0bama look like an incompetent liar, and so, CNN had to pull some bigotry to get back in The One's good graces.

    November 3, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Romnesia

      Dude, you watch too much Fox "News". Isn't the USA about democracy and freedom. Most regimes in the Arab world are not democratic, but you'd prefer that than a religion other than yours be in charge?
      You're spouting half-truths at best.

      November 3, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Steven B

      So you're falling back on the great lie regarding Obama being Muslim?

      Truly pathetic. May your god judge you harshly.

      November 3, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Derak

      I'm sorry. I hate myself and my life. This somehow makes me feel better.

      November 3, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Lucha

      Sadly, Obama really doesn't have a faith except some faux Christianity. I guess if you package crap up good enough, the left will think it's good.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  16. Mormons are Christians?

    The cult of LDS is active tonight trying to convince everyone they aren't liars.

    November 3, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
  17. Newt Gingrich

    I still stand by my statement that Mormon Bishop Mittens is a LIAR and FAKE Conservative. That means a lot coming from someone like me.

    Mormon Bishop Mittens recently staged a FAKE Walmart food drive for the victims of Sandy.

    The RED CROSS prefers money where ever possible. Instead of donating money, Mitten's bought $5000 worth of food and created a PHOTO-OP opportunity under the guise of food drive. PATHETHIC!

    Google: Mitt Romney FAKE Walmart Food Drive $5000 Sandy

    I should have been the GOP nominee!

    Yours Truly,
    Newt the Toot

    November 3, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • sharon09

      I hope that this is not the Newt Gingrich I had respect for. What a terrible statement to make. I think that giving food is far more admirable that giving money to the Red Cross which pays its people such outlandish money. Giving food makes it way into the people who need it most. How disappointing Newt. I have lost all respect for you.

      November 3, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Jewl

      Sad to read how you are using religion, Newt try being honest to the party.

      November 3, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Newt Gingrich

      Let's try this again:

      Google: Mitt Romney FAKE $5000 Walmart Food Drive Sandy

      November 3, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Romnesia

      Sharon, is there a reputable link to Red Cross abuse. Charities often prefer money as it gives more flexibilty (and does make corruption easier); but in principle money is better. Certainly for their foreign work, choice of food and clothing would differ in different countries, temporary housing would differ in different climates, certain medicines vary by region – such as malaria drugs, etc.

      November 3, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Malkah55

      Newt, it is so obvious what has been going on, if people don't see it by now, they will never see it in 3 days. I do believe you are preaching to the choir. Go talk to the other side. I totally agree with your argument, but, if the "blind ones" haven't seen it yet, there are not going to pick it up now. They have their noses stuffed into Fox News. The one consolation? Ann Romney said that there would be NO more campaigning.

      November 3, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Malkah55

      Shannon, Romney bought $5,000.00 worth of groceries at WalMart, because his requirement to get into his rally the next day, was nonperishable food. Those who didn't have the food? They gave them one at the gate, from the previous night's shopping trip, and had a lot of photo ops. The thing about Romney? EVERYTHING is staged and choreographed. I just wonder if he went back and spent another $5,000 dollars on blankets and other needs, for those people, trying to survive, after his rally. I would like to think so.

      November 3, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Malkah55

      BTW, I am registered with the Red Cross, to assist in disasters. My health does not allow me to do these types of emergencies. I am doing this voluntarily. I receive nothing except knowing that I may have made a positive dent in someone's life.

      November 3, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  18. Louis

    Any man who can't or won't drink a healthy cup of coffee is not even human.

    November 3, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • MikeB

      Jim Jones had his people drink Kool-Aid.
      What's your point?

      November 3, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Matt

      I think his point is that he likes coffee.

      November 3, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Louis

      My point is that a real man is not afraid to take a few belts of expresso.

      November 3, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • Romnesia

      For all the problems that religions bring, I think being drug-free is not one of them.

      November 3, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Matt

      I think the more important question is, if Romney's "faith" controls him enough EXTERNALLY to keep him from drinking a normal beverage that most people find pleasant, to what degree is Romney's "faith" controlling him INTERNALLY to cause him to make decisions that are not in the best for America, but for his Church, instead.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  19. MikeB

    The Obama cult of derision is really active tonight.

    November 3, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Matt

      Why shouldn't full grown adults who believe in a magical worlds of make believe be derided, exactly?

      November 3, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • Romnesia

      While Obama supporters oppose Romney, I think the most vitriol has come from the GOP and evangelicals. Billy Graham, among others, derided mormonism as a cult until it was politically expedient to support Romney.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
  20. sgb

    I think a mormon white house would look like any Christian white house. It won't look like Obama's since he is a Muslim.

    November 3, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Romnesia

      Pants on fire

      November 3, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Peter Trainor

      Obama who got osama is more christian than you or Bush or Cheney. He sure didnt invaded Iraq and killed over 100,000 innocent iraqi women, babies and men. WHo wants to be Christian like that?

      November 3, 2012 at 9:00 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.