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. Umberto

    Charlotte: the only real solution to he jobs issue is the retirement and eventual demise of the baby boomers . The jobs are gone and they ain't coming back. Technology not Barack Obama not even George w bush is responsible . Nitwit robme has no solution unless it is take away all the laptops, wifi, iPhones iPads and shut down Microsoft and apple . why elect a nitwit to make us all poorer and sicker while the kochs, , jack welsh , Donald trump get wealthier. Support the middle class for th time us baby boomers still have here on earth .

    November 4, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  2. Scholar

    The United States is protected from the Mormon Church and from the influence of all religions by the First Amendment. What the President may do as an individual, he may not impose on the nation.

    Those who parade their piety in public are those that Jesus described for us very clearly in Matthew 6:6.

    November 4, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    November 4, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Softship

      Atheism is very healthy for all living things. That's why the vast majority of all living things is atheist.
      (Or was the carrot you ate yesterday "Christian"?

      November 4, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  4. PDM

    Seems like Obama's father was a polygamist as well. He had more than one wife at a time according to Obama himself, brilliantly narrated by Obama in his own words, from his own book. What a POS hypocrite. Is there a Mormon Senate under Harry Reid? Time to rid the country of these liberal clowns!! THREE MORE DAYS

    November 4, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Jenny Porter

      PDM, you sound like a very angry mental patient. I'm not calling you a name, but if you read your post, it certainly tells me that you don't have a lot of friends and you sound like you're going to go knock of a 7-11 when Obama wins this Tuesday.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  5. Umberto

    Joseph smith was a psychotic and a rapist. The whole religion is moronic. Jesus came back to indoctrinate the Indians . What rubbish. Joseph smith prophesized that a mormon would aomeday be president and notwit believes he is the chosen one. He is a member of the mormon elite. Nitwits grandpa was a polygamist . That's why they had to run to Mexico . His dad George was a stand up guy . The son nitwit is a weak pathetic self serving liar. Don't let Joseph smiths psychotic rant become a reality.

    November 4, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  6. History Teacher

    An earlier post by Mei cited support for Romney because he wanted to abolish planned parenthood. It's ironic that the Republicans routinely complain that there are too many people on wellfare but then when a program like Planned Parenthood comes along that could actually help shrink the number of people on wellfare they are against that too. Oy! Planned Parenthood is a non-profit organization. Mei – they don't make "profits" as you claimed. They seek to educate people about the consequences of reproducing. Surely something that we all wish someone would have warned your parents about. Now, as for your comments about gays: there was another group of second class citizens once upon a time. Many people of the day favored segregation – they were supposedly the god fearing, good, and faithful conservatives of the day. They didn't want African Americans to have the same rights as white people. Well – the struggle for equality that African-Americans had in the 50's and 60's sure seems to resemble the struggle for equality that we see today for gays. People like you don't want Gays to have the same rights as you. History does not paint an attractive picture of the people that were in favor of segregation of second class citizens in the 50's and 60's. In fact – they are portrayed as monsters. Someday, will you too Mei, be portrayed as a monster of a bygone era? Look around – do you really think that you will stop equality from happening? Monster.

    November 4, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  7. Charlotte

    Haters are bigots on this! All religion flies in the face of reality; get over it. It's about jobs this time around, not who has to pay $7/month for my birth control. Romney 2012.

    November 4, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Jenny Porter

      Haters are bigots? Wow, what a genius statement...and yet, isn't there something about those that live in glass houses, not throwing stones???

      November 4, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  8. Umberto

    Omg what rubbish. How about a big love white house ??? Multiple first ladies . Of course Ann would be the number one wife but mitwit is probably getting itchy for wife number 2 – someone younger and hotter who doesn't have MS. Nitwit would pardon warren jeffs. Lost boys would become common on streets of Washington metro area. Did anyone else see the connection between binders of women and the joy book – the book of attractive young women that the old successful Mormon men can marry later in life??? What a pathetic president nitwit wold be

    November 4, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • pastmorm

      I love how mormons constantly say they don't practice polygamy anymore. But they do! They still "seal" multiple women to a different men in their post-humous temple rituals. Look it up!
      So that means that they disagree with the law against polygamy, because fundamentally, they are still practicing it and believe that each man MUST have multiple wives in the next life for when they all become GODS. Look it up.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • USA

      Do you think gay marriage is ok? But plural marriage isn't? Obama's father practiced plural marriage because of his religion, is that ok? Did you question Obama having more than one wife because his father did? You can hate someone because of their religion? Yet out of the same mouth condemn a someone who is racist? Hypocrisy is an amazing thing.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Jenny Porter

      @ us...whatever....Mormons practice polygamy in their temples NOW by sealing multiple women to men. That means they practice it now. NOW. THAT is ILLEGAL in AMERICA you GIT!

      November 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  9. zapper

    It will be a dark day for America when Romney needs to deal with an international incident and consults Monson, the LDS "living prophet" for guidance. Then we will have a non-elected religious (some would say cult) leader making decisions for our great country which was intentionally founded as secular. Romney is a threat to our first amendment, and to what is best about America. Please vote for Barack Obama on Tuesday.

    November 4, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • paranoid

      you're paranoid. Does Harry Reid do any of these things? No. John Huntsman? No. Did Kennedy? no. Neither will Romney.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Mormons are Christians?

      In Romney we trust. After all he will be a God someday.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Jenny Porter

      @ paranoid, um...yes, all the people you mentioned (except the Catholic JFK) do indeed obey their mormon leader without any question, and they do indeed make every decision based on the leadership (the prophet and quorum of the twelve apostles...yes, the mormons actually believe they have 12 current LIVING apostles) of the mormon church.

      Look it up.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Iggy

      What has been your favorite part of Obama's last 4 years in office? He is terrible and ignorant people like yourself is what's wrong with this country.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Jenny Porter

      @ iggy...and what did you say in your post that was remotely intelligent or contributed to the comment? Nothing except your angry, hateful comment. You're upset because we're showing the rest of the country what mormons are really like and you can't deny it. How sad you are.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  10. 1freethinkr

    Mormonism is not Christian. This are the quotes from Joseph Smith on what God told him, in person, during the "First Vision":

    When Smith asked which Christian teachings he should follow, He said God told him:
    "all religious denominations were believing in incorrect doctrines, and that none of them was acknowledged of God as his church and kingdom" and that "all their creeds were an abomination in his sight." So that all of Christianity was wrong except for Mormonism. Now how should Christian voters feel when Mormon doctrine says they are wrong and an abomination?

    November 4, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • zapper

      You are correct. Joseph Smith taught that Catholicism, Protestantism, and certainly all non-Christian religions were wrong. The Mormon church is the only true church according to Mormons.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • paranoid

      most christian churches, inherently and by implication, say theirs is the only true church. Nothing strange there...at least if you accept the premise.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  11. GrowUp

    @Mei–you are probably the best argument in favor of abortion.

    November 4, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  12. GrowUp

    The thought of a Mormon White House is disgusting. They make me puke.

    November 4, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Actually

      A Mormon in the Whitehouse looks great! I'm not a Mormon but see nothing wrong with a sober president who loves not only his family but extends charity to others, even those outside oh his own denomination, and knows more about how to get this country up and running than the Marxist who is in the Whitehouse now.

      Mormon Romney/Ryan 2012 to restore freedom and prosperity in America!!!

      November 4, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Unhappy is as unhappy does

      So much hatred... for so little reason.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • pastmorm

      @ Actually....you sound like a mormon to me. Why do all the mormons on these talk boards say they aren't members and then use the dialect and typical commercial responses? Are you ashamed of your religion?
      It's so often, "I'm not mormon, BUT," or "I'm not a mormon, but my neighbors are and I love them,,,," Just say you're a mormon and you like your church. Don't be afraid to be asked about your temple rituals and why you believe you are going to become a god or why you think GOD was once a man from a distant planet...

      November 4, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Cari

      @growup.....grow up! You are exactly the type of person that creates hate and intolerance in our country!

      November 4, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Jenny Porter

      @ cari...do you know grow so well that you can say such a thing? Wow, what a huge judgement you place on a person that is practicing his or her right to free speech. Amazing. You must be a mormon.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Cari

      Yep that's me....I'm a Mormon. And the Popes not Catholic.....I have no religious affiliation. I am Christian but not dedicated to any church. 🙂

      November 4, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Iggy

      What did Mormons do to you again?

      November 4, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Iggy

      @postmorm Are you afraid of having a president who actually believes in God? No one cares what you think of Mormons. It's people like you who divide this country. Show some respect for all religions and quit trying to bash on others/religions to make your sorry self feel important. NO ONE CARES

      November 4, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  13. pastmorm

    A mormon White House would have a family in it that believes that each and every one of them will become a GOD, eventually, after they die.

    Don't believe it? Look it up.

    Mormons work toward Godhood.

    November 4, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • MCR

      Not a Mormon, not voting for Romney, but I've got to say that part doesn't bother me. The souls existing before birth is also a logical improvement on most versions of Christianity. The religion has some issues with race and metaphysics, and some issues with its origins, but I think the guy came up with a few cool ideas too...and thats one of them. If I create a religion I'll co nsider incorporating it.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • pastmorm

      LOL....Ok...great that you are also a megalomaniac and believe that becoming a GOD is what everyone should be able to do....
      However, with today's current level of spiritual, mental and emotional intellect, it's not an ideal climate to have a leader from a cult that believes himself to be a God. Not now, not for another thousand years.
      If you want to become a God, kudos to you. Most other people try to get by living the life they are given, while hoping that anything after this life is kind and good. Godhood? Really? Crazy and by today's psychological standards, unhealthy and simply mental.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • So...

      Better than all the Godless people who worship themselves, now.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • paranoid

      Becoming a god? certainly a high bar to aim for...better than believing we are all a complex mass of primordial goo that coalesced into something intelligent.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Iggy

      What's so wrong with this? Makes a lot more sense than no life after death. Why do you spend your time criticizing other religions rather than promote your own ideas/beliefs? SAD

      November 4, 2012 at 1:52 pm |

    VOTE FOR TRUTH ABSOLUTE, NOT hINDUISM, RACISM, FOUNDATION OF hINDUISM, racism, denial of truth absolute GOD, religions, Truth absolute GOD, THE ROCK OF AMERICA.

    November 4, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  15. WillyNilly

    Nothing like a little religious animosity to begin an administration. Why did so many of you jump on this effort to divide? You've had your buttons pushed but good and now you're trying to push some yourselves. Isn't there enough of a religious divide throughout the country and the world? Can't we all just try to get along?

    November 4, 2012 at 12:38 pm |

      Unity is in truth absolute, not in hinduism, denial of truth absolute GOD, rock of America and humanity.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  16. Don Butler

    This is a not very well disguised attempt to drum up bigotry and Ravitz should be ashamed of herself. Would she do this report about what a Jewish White House would look like? Not likely. Shameful stuff.

    November 4, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • John M.

      Actually, she raised and answered several questions that I, and I am sure others, have had about how thing might be impacted at the White House. Her answer seems to be, "not much at all." Even the "going to the Temple with the Secret Service" and "alcohol at official functions" questions that i had in my mind (just out of curiosity) were answered. Man, you are really way to touchy about this type of discussion. Please excuse us non-Mormons for wondering about some of these things. But my questions were answered and now I am satisfied. And which has nothing whatsoever to do with which of the two candidates I will vote for - that's a completely different set of issues.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • MCR

      I didn't see anything insulting to Mormonism in here, and given the ignorance of the religion displayed by many posters here, I think the information would be educational. The conclusion seems to be "not much different from a Christian White House" so I don't see the issue. By most definitions Jefferson wasn't a Christian, and no one has freaked out about that. Yes, religion is relevant, but this story doesn't even hit on the hot button political implications. Pretty much a mildly educational fluff piece.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • GrowUp

      You're a moron.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:01 pm |

    A Mormon White House would look just like that thing they call "the Temple" in Salt Lake City, because that's where all the decision making would be happening.

    *************************************************OBAMA 2012*****************************************************************************

    November 4, 2012 at 12:13 pm |

      A temple, dungeon of hinduism, illegality.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Dr. G

      Prejudice happens on the far left too, I see. How about a little grace...people can and are different from us...that is what liberals used to call diversity. Now it seems even that word had regulations on who is and who is not protected by diversity definitions. Jesus was a liberal...He proclaimed that He came to set men free...that freedom certainly ought to include freedom from prejudice. Oops – I forgot, only conservative people can be prejudice, right??? Dr. Gary Hartman

      November 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Webster

      Dr. G,

      One cannot be prejudice. One can be prejudiced, however.

      (the same goes for "bias" and "biased")

      Where did you folks go to school?

      November 4, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  18. Mei

    I will be voting for Romney because religious liberty, life and marriage (between a man and woman) are the foundations of the American society. They are important and Obama has continually proved that he is a push-over for any extremist group (Planned Parenthood which makes 90% of its profit from aborting babies) and the gay-right groups (who no doubt donate a lot to Obama). Obama does not care about respect for life, religious freedom (which is being destroyed with the HHS mandate) or the family in general.

    November 4, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • End Religion

      You will be voting for Romney because you are an ignorant racist and a hypocritical fool. Those are the only people voting for Romney.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm |

      Right on END RELIGION!!!!

      *************************************************OBAMA 2012********************************************************************

      November 4, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • GrowUp

      You are an ignorant blight on humanity.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Cari

      @endreligon, thanks for grouping all Christians in the same category! Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy listening to any of your comments. That's like grouping all blacks as rappers.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  19. Nala

    Yet again, CNN in a poorly veiled attempt to discredit a candidate while shilling for Obama.

    Seriously folks, when did journalism die in the USA?

    November 4, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Mei

      Nala, very true. CNN is always kissing Obama's shoes. Most of the media did that during the debates as well. As soon as the debate was over, they were playing up Obama while constantly discrediting Romeny or Ryan despite the fact that Obama had some really poor responses to the majority of the questions.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • End Religion

      And yet you folks who feel CNN is so biased continue to flock here to read such horrible news. Makes perfect sense: idiots will do idiotic things.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Lewis

      I agree with you Nala. I'm voting for Romney.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Regular Joe

      Right on the money, Nala. It always pays to keep your reading broad, even checking in to see what CNN is selling today. This piece on Romney is so transparently biased. And if you get hate filled responses from the Radical Left, you know you are on the the right track.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • John M.

      Discredit? My, my . . . getting a little sensitive there, aren't we? Nothing in that article "discredited" Romney. If any message at all is intended by the article, it is that his being a Mormon would have little impact on anything happening at the White House, and that any issues that some people may think could be a problem would in fact not be a problem. It answered a few questions I had in my mind in that regard, so I found it interesting. So exactly how was Romney discredited by this article, in your view? There may be plenty of other reasons not to vote for Romney, but the "Mormon thing" would not seem to be one of them.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Kathy

      This article appears th be factual. The Mormon belief system changes the culture where it exists. Check out the Polynesian Culture Center in Hawaii where those islanders are funded by the Mormon church. I found it to be very surprising, and I think we would most definitely see the impact of a Mormon president.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • zapper

      The story is factually correct, and the questions raised are legitimate ones.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Cari

      Fox, CNN, ABC, NBC are all that way....we come back to read just how out of control the Obamas news zombies are. Actually I read CNN to get a laugh at the stories they can create to cause fear and panic to their blind readers. Love the above article...trying to cause panic that all the traditions we hold dear Romney will destroy! Really? How stupid.....
      I actually found a lot of the article was what I favor in Romney.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  20. edward

    A Mormon White House? What the hell does an ISLAMIC White House look like NOW?

    November 4, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      As we've never had a muslim in the White House, nobody would know.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Mei

      Good point Edward. While I don't really know what Obama professes, I do know that he has promoted Islamic religious rights as much as possible since being in office, including having a grande Islamic prayer service for the Democratic Convention. And someone who supports abortion and gay marriage is not practicing a Christian faith.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • zapper

      Birther troll.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:19 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.