Perry on pastor's Mormonism remark: 'I don't think it is' a cult
October 7th, 2011
10:00 PM ET
3 years ago

Perry on pastor's Mormonism remark: 'I don't think it is' a cult

Tiffin, Iowa (CNN) – On Friday evening, Rick Perry stepped into the controversy surrounding comments made by a prominent pastor who said Republicans should vote against Mitt Romney because of his Mormonism and who called the Mormon faith a "cult."

Making his first public comments since the controversy erupted earlier Friday, the Republican presidential candidate disagreed with Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas.

"No. I don't think it is," Perry said when asked by a reporter if he believes the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a cult. Perry was also asked if he associated himself with Jeffress' comments.

Though the Texas governor disagreed with Jeffress' words, he did not outright denounce them. Reporters attempted to ask Perry more questions, but were unsuccessful. Instead, Perry was ushered out with his wife, Anita Perry, and his campaign staff.

Perry spoke at an event in Tiffin, Iowa, sponsored by the Johnson County Republican Party. The governor sounded familiar campaign themes: raising the specter of China's rising power, his ability to create jobs, and the cost of "Obamacare" on the U.S. economy.

– Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @ShanTravisCNN


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Rick Perry
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. DonBeal

    It may not be a cult. It might be a stretch to characterize a religious group with 14 million adherents as a cult, but it surely has some peculiar beliefs. For the most part, Mormons seem to have respectable morals and ethics, but a study of Mormonisms founding and its history in the 19th century shows a story that only the most imaginative author would dare put in print.

    October 8, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  2. Sonnie2

    Perry is a good man for the support of the mornan religion. I don't think it is a cult either, However it is differant than the normal catholic or prodistant religion.

    October 8, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  3. Tired of the nonsense

    All religions are cults.
    All religions start out as cults.
    Some religions gain 'acceptance' as a mainstream belief system and gets called a religion but it's still a cult.
    Look up the definition, and then look at how each belief system came to be. They ALL started out as cults.

    Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Mormonism, Baptists, Evangelicals, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Catholics, Scientologists, Unitarians, belief systems that prayed to Zeus, Thor, Apollo, Pele - EVERY single belief system that has ever existed started out as a cult and is considered a cult by every other belief system.

    October 8, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  4. Anonymous

    The word cult is normally used to describe a group of people the share the same path or following ,belief etc but that is in odds with popular acceptance. All religion and clubs can based on perspective be considered a cult. This shows that there is a lack of intellect in this statement. Should that be worrisome in its on right??

    October 8, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  5. FIELD1stSGT

    This is the most ridiculous statement I've heard. The shame of it all it came from a Pastor of my faith. The Southern Baptist Organization. I am a Baptist but I doubt very seriously this so called pastor has any faith, but the most shocking thing is this Church is paying him to represent them. Surely you Deacons have a committee formed to replace this degenerate ASAP. He is almost as stupid as Obama and his followerers.

    October 8, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. JP

    The pastor is right. It is a cult. What was seen as the major threat to the security of the United States after the Civil War? Mormonism.

    October 8, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  7. EdSantaFe

    All organized religions are cults.

    October 8, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  8. lynn

    The Mormons consider Joseph Smith a prophet, same as Jim Jones was a prophet, taking believers to the jungles of Guyana, and Brian Mitchell considered himself a prophet, kidnapping Elizabeth Smart in Salt Lake City. The Mormons worship the prophet first, by all definitions a cult. The leader is worshipped, not the Lord.

    October 8, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  9. Fiona Howell

    Has it really come to all of this. It is 2011 and we are talking about an election for President of the United States and instead of worrying about the integrity and honesty of a candidate , this preacher from Dallas who I would ahve assumed would have an intelligent bone in his body, says that Mormonism is a cult. Really??? Really??? Grow up, get an education for once about the people that you are slamming. Is it that hard to do a little research about a Religion, yep I said it a religion and then form your opinion. You sound stupid and have absolutely no credibility when you say things like that. Ask a mormon or ask someone who knows a mormon and they will set you straight, but until you find out for yourself, stop making such ignorant remarks.

    October 8, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  10. rick

    all religions are cults. they start brainwashing you from the day you are born to believe in one fantasy book or another.

    October 8, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  11. GI Joe

    They should have stopped that statement after "I don't think", because that's Perry. He feels the need to get wealthy at the expense of hispanics, the poor, the underprivileged.

    He's a big bag of hot air that blows with the wind and will say or do anything to be Bush Light (without the brain).

    October 8, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  12. Nare

    Good cop; Bad cop. Pretty transparent slick rick.

    October 8, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  13. beevee

    All this sounds like a political gimmick. Perry speaks against the pastor who said mormonism is a cult. Romeny is pleased with this and picks up Perry to be his VP nominee.. They may ( a big may) get elected. WH occupancy continues for the GOP after Romney. Just dreams and scams.

    October 8, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. Cult Member

    Ignorant "born again bigots" worse than Nazi's!

    October 8, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  15. Martha in CF

    What? You don't think Mormonism is a cult!!! Shouldn't your statement be, Mr Parry, that Mormonism isn't a cult........

    October 8, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. Mike from MN

    Don't be fooled!

    The mere fact of just talking about *Momonism* is CLEARLY a strategy to attack Mitt Romney's front runner status. It's too remind people – the evangelicals – that Mitt is not a *true* Christian – whatever that may be.

    It's just the same as how they attack Obama for being black by saying he is not Christian, or is not a real American citizen, or is a Muslim.

    It's a strategy being used by Perry.

    October 8, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  17. BJ Bell

    He's wrong ALL religions are a cult - and they use torture, theft and murder to seize power and spread their ideology.

    October 8, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  18. E=MC2

    Fact: Mormonism is a cult plain and simple. It was a myth conjured up by a two bit early American. Joseph Smith was into sorcery and other occult things before stumbling upon these gold plates. Every thing he claims to have happened can not be substantiated with a grain of evidence. No archeological evidence at all. The whole "thing" is as goofy as any other cult like Heavens Gate or Jim Jones etc. If you understand the Bible, it is abundently clear that any one like Smith is a false prophet and is simply a follower of satan. Mormons are genuinely nice good people who have been lead very far astray. I could never vote for someone who falls into the cult trap.

    October 8, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  19. Jay

    Perry's version of pPC'd Christianity, in word only!? Clearly the problem with professional politicians; they appear to be incapable of speaking the truth.

    October 8, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  20. The High Prophet Priest Jimmy, Overlord of Every Planet Except This One

    What's wrong with cults? I live in the desert with 283 eunuchs who eat only bark (which is hard to come by in the desert), awaiting the alien invasion that will destroy all life on earth, except for us chosen ones that will fly away in the space fleet, as prophesied in the Book of Larry, the patron saint of gas-station attendants. I could say I'm happier than I ever have been in my life, mostly because of the unquestioning servitude of my followers.

    Hey, anyone want the secret to eternal happiness? Here's a hint. It involves giving me a lot of money.

    October 8, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  21. Larry

    The anti-christ will start another world war, maybe armageddon.

    Maybe Herman Monster should attack him instead of Bush on steroids and twice as dumb.

    Herman is looking at the VP nod.

    October 8, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  22. fred

    Although the pastor shouldn't have said that, what is dumb is that with this economy, the media likes to hype up little things like this. If one person unrelated to a campaign tells people something, that doesn't mean the candidate feels the same way. I'm a supporter of Herman Cain, and he had an interview with Lawrence O'donnell the other day, where Lawrence wanted to talk about everything but the economy. It's about time these reporters asking the questions we want answered (how are you going to fix this economic mess?), rather than focusing on petty things like this.

    October 8, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  23. Jake

    This isn't so complicated. Look up the word "cult". All religions are cults, by definition. If you don't like being part of a cult, stop being religious. Otherwise, you're in a cult. Why can't two people running for president figure out this simple fact?

    October 8, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  24. Herp Derp

    cult   [kuhlt] Show IPA
    noun
    1. a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
    2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
    3. the object of such devotion.
    4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
    5. Sociology . a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.

    What's the problem. Isn't Christianity also a cult? I fail to see the issue here.

    October 8, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  25. Marv

    I remember many Baptist Church sermons on keeping a Catholic out of the White House.

    October 8, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
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