December 3rd, 2007
08:32 AM ET
15 years ago

Romney ready to address Mormon religion head-on

Romney plans an address on his faith later this week.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will make a much anticipated speech on his Mormon faith this week.

Romney's campaign says that the address, entitled "Faith In America," will take place Thursday, December 6 at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station Texas at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Romney campaign spokesman Kevin Madden, in a statement, says, "This speech is an opportunity for Governor Romney to share his views on religious liberty, the grand tradition religious tolerance has played in the progress of our nation and how the governor's own faith would inform his presidency if he were elected. Governor Romney understands that faith is an important issue to many Americans, and he personally feels this moment is the right moment for him to share his views with the nation."

As for the decision-making process, Madden says that "Governor Romney personally made the decision to deliver this speech sometime last week."

A senior Romney Campaign official tells CNN the speech has been on the table for some time and that there were lots of pros and cons to giving such an address. The official says that Romney believed that the speech was important and that once he "became comfortable with the construct of the speech" he gave the go ahead.

Full story

- CNN's John King and Paul Steinhauser


Filed under: Mitt Romney • Race to '08
soundoff (226 Responses)
  1. Eve, Beaverton OR

    Oh good, he can address some issues that Mormons really like to sweep under the rug. For instance their claims that Lamanites (American Indians) are descendants of the Jewish prophet Lehi and the DNA evidence doesn't support that that claim at all. Or the fact that the translated pearl of great price came off of what we now know to be funerary papyrus common with Egyptian burials and are in fact not the books of Moses and Abraham. They can thank the Rosetta stone for that OZ pay no attention to the man behind the curtain moment.

    Or better yet, I wanna hear him explain Joseph Smith's fraud conviction and how that fraud conviction includes mention of the use of a "seeing stone" to search for treasure. Polygamy, funny underwear, and racist's beliefs are just the tip of the iceberg.

    How about an explanation of the Adam/God Doctrine that Brigham Young taught, or the Mountain Meadow Massacre.

    Hope everyone blocked out about a week's worth of time cause that's what it's going to take.

    December 3, 2007 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  2. Carolyn Todd

    14 million every 24 hrs in Irag/Blackwater crimes/abuse of your tax dollars-the "dollar at an all time low/American infrastuctkure crumbling/the huge deficit-we owe China,Saudi Arabia-no,they own us/then there is global warming and the illegal immagration issue-I keep thinking Bush/Cheney cannot think of more horrible things to do-they must have had their kick by now-but still more-and yet the right keeps talking about religion-what is it with republicans/conservatives-you are not conserving this republic-you are detached from reality.ct

    December 3, 2007 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  3. John, Cleveland, OH

    The mormon faith is ridiculous. I don’t want a president who seriously believes that Joseph Smith, who states he discovered "divine golden plates" in his back yard in up state NY about 150 years ago, was a religious prophet! People, mostly christians, tend to focus on the polygamy issue, but that’s not even the most absurd part about this “faith”. Take the time to read about the origins of this faith and the charlatan Joseph smith who concocted this doctrine. To think we could have a president who subscribed to such contrived doctrine is an insult to thinking people. Maybe if we are lucky we can get a candidate running with a strong background in astrology or even witchcraft.

    Let’s clarify some things here. Yes, we have religious freedom in this country, which is a good thing. Mormons have the right to practice their interesting belief system, just as jews and christians do. I see liberals saying its bigotry to criticize Romney for his "faith", but liberals seem to call everything bigotry, if you in any way point out a difference in people. I am a democrat myself, but do not blindly follow party lines like some myopic robotic idiot. Why is that we always have to respect others beliefs no matter what? Yes, the mormon religion is absurd. I am not uninformed, I have read a lot about Joseph Smith and momornsim, as well as other world religions. I can’t believe people on here actually say it doesn’t matter what someone believes, as if it has no relevance to being the president, or being an intelligent thinking person. Yes, Christianity is also absurd, as well as the other monotheistic religions. I'm not simply some christian on here putting down a rival religion, its all supernatural antiquated hog wash in my opinion. However, Christianity has been around for a long time, and has thoroughly indoctrinated so many.

    December 3, 2007 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  4. JO, COLUMBIA, MS

    IT IS SAD THAT HE HAS TO DO SUCH A THING. HOWEVER, I RESPECT HIS CHOICE AND WILL STAND BEHIND HIM ALL THE WAY. RELIGION PLAYS NO PART IN POLITICS-SAYS THE CONSTITUTION WE LIVE UNDER.
    MORMONS ARE CHRISTIANS AND HAVE THE RIGHT TO PRACTICE THIER FAITH WITHOUT ANYONES JUDGEMENT. WHAT WOULD THOSE OF YOU WHO SAY OTHERWISE DO IF SUDDENLY OUR COUNTRY CHANGED FROM A MAJORITY CHRISTIAN FAITH TO A MAJORITY BABTIST ONLY FAITH AND THE BABTIST DECIDED YOU AS A CATHOLIC, METHODIST ETC WERE NOT A CHRISTIAN? THINK ABOUT IT! IF WE ALLOW ONE GROUP SUCH AS MORMONS WHO BELIEVE IN ACCORDANCE TO THE DEFINITION OF CHRISTIAN TO BE MISLABELED AND BIGOTED THEN WE SOON WILL ALLOW ALL RELIGIONS TO BE OPEN TO SUCH HATE.

    December 3, 2007 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  5. ASHLEY DALLAS TX

    Gov. Romney took an oath in the Mormon Temple and vowed to consecrate all that he does and will ever to building up the kingdom of his church here on earth. He pantomined slashing his throat and disembowling himself during this "covenant".
    You don't think the Mormon religion is going to influence his decision making. Come on. Get real.

    -----–
    YOU HAVE BEEN WATCHING TOO MANY SCI FI MOVIES. I WAS MARRIED IN THE LDS TEMPLE, AS WERE MY PARENTS, MY HUSBANDS PARENTS, MY SISTER, MY BROTHER IN LAW, MY GRANDPARENTS, MY GREATGRANDPARENTS,ETC... NONE OF US HAVE SLIT OUR THROATS OR PROMISED ANY SUCH FOOLISHNESS. GROW UP AND STOP SPREADING LIES AND BIGOTRY. I AM SO SICK OF PEOPLE WRITTING THIS CRAZY STUFF ABOUT A RELIGION THATS CORE IS LIVING A CLEAN LIFE AND OBEYING GODS COMMANDMENTS.

    December 3, 2007 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  6. Brianne,Seattle,Wa

    After reading this entire string of comments part of me wants to be angry at the MANY misinformed individuals who have decided to grace us with their comments. If you are going to slander someone's beliefs makes sure you have the correct information. Obviously there are all kinds of OPINIONS floating out there. If you really want to know what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints believes go to the source and figure it out for yourself. Don't subject yourself to the ridiculous game of "telephone" where things get so distorted that there isn't much truth left.
    Go to the churches official website:
    http://www.lds.org
    or
    http://www.mormon.org/mormonorg/eng/

    December 3, 2007 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  7. Steve Blaine Washington

    I would like a member of the Christian Right to define the doctrines that made the Chritians 2000 years ago Christians.
    Again by what authority was Jesus Christ Baptized and where is the Authority for baptism that the Christians of the Bible held today?

    December 3, 2007 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  8. Daniel, Seattle, WA

    Honestly, I don't think Mitt Romney has decided to make this speech because he really wants to. There are many who feel "lets focus on the important issues", or "these Mormons are wackos and not Christians as all".

    If you think about it, Mitt doesn't have much of a choice. He knows that in order for the huge number of Americans that have closed-mindedly decided I cannot vote for this man because of his religion, he needs to try an put their minds at ease. If he avoids questions about his church, people think he is hiding something.

    This is a difficult step, even though it shouldn't be the main thing considered for his candidacy. He is not trying to convert the U.S. Maybe though, he can help a huge chunk of people out there, that when it boils down to it, hardly know anything other than rumors about his church, or really any religion for that matter.

    The real issue here is can this man lead the country and make the best decisions on tough issues that will reform our nation. I am a Mormon, but I would not vote for someone just because they are Mormon, there are good and bad people out there from any background. I do feel that his qualities would make him an excellent leader for our country. Lets at least understand the situation here.

    December 3, 2007 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  9. Daniel, NY

    Some major congressional news tonight, as the DCCC did a huge ad buy in OH-05 where there is a special election in nine days. OH-05 is very conservative but Dems apparently believe they have a shot. Full analysis here.

    December 3, 2007 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  10. Serving God and Country overseas

    I find the comments below very disturbing. Obviously there are a lot of folks in the world that are very ignorant to what Mormons really believe. The only real way to find out about someone's religion is to ask them. We shouldn't judge something we don't understand by reading material published by folks who preach against a particular faith. How ignorant and simple minded can we be? Like the commercial says, "Ask your Mormon neighbor" Thank you, Governor, for trying to help American see what we really stand for....

    December 3, 2007 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  11. Ryan

    Holy Crap there is so much misinformation about Mormonism on this thread its nauseating. I am not a Mormon but I was one for several years and I studied the faith voraciously.

    I can tell you honestly that the vast majority of the claims on this board are totally false. There is not nearly enough time to address each of them but it shouldn't take more than a quick glance at an objective website to find the flaws here.

    Don't believe every word your Christian pastor tells you about Mormonism guys! That's like letting a Ford salesman teach you about Toyotas and believing it will be accurate.

    I'm no longer Mormon because I no longer believe in God. But Mormonism is no more ridiculous than any other sect of Christianity (and yes it is Christian by any normal definition). And it is probably the most misunderstood faith I've encountered.

    But what does it matter anyway? I'm not voting for Romney because I don't agree with his political stances but he's clearly demonstrated his intelligence in other ways. If you agree with his stances, you'd be foolish (not to mention going against the constitution) to let his faith stop you from voting for him.

    December 3, 2007 03:54 am at 3:54 am |
  12. Veganman, Glendale, AZ

    Yuck! Anyone who believes that a "magic" carpenter who lived 2000 years ago is coming back from the dead loses my vote. Now more than ever, a rational leader is what we need. Not someone who believes fantasy as fact.

    December 3, 2007 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  13. Bruce, Penn Yan NY

    When are we as a country going to finally say the religion of a person shouldn't even matter AT ALL in a political campaign. This story of Rpmney being a Mormon is the most overrated story of the year. A persons religion shouldnt even be considered at all, it shouldnt even figure into politics. Thats the problem with this country right now, everything is based on religion, and I thought we were just a bit better than those countries that base everything on religion, but I guess we are just like them...go figure. Vote or dont vote for a candidate based on his/her views, not his/her religion.

    December 3, 2007 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  14. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    "Kennedy promised a White House in which decisions would be made "without regard to outside religious pressure or dictates." Such a presidency was essential, he said, because "today, I may be the victim, but tomorrow it may be you — until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped apart."

    ... and this is what is happening. Keep your religion in your own heart, live your moral life so well that you lead by example rather than babbling on and on and on ... God knows your heart – the rest of us don't care.

    December 3, 2007 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  15. Vibeke Madsen, Calgary, Canada

    I like to respond to this:

    Posted By Matthew – San Antonio TX : December 2, 2007 6:31 pm
    Anyone who has "faith" as part of their lives is not fit to serve in office. We need reasonable people, directed by rational thinking not outmoded religious beliefs. Please!

    Matthew. Apparently you have never read what it says on the money you are spending every day "In God We Trust".

    The American Founding Fathers were people who had Faith.

    Mitt Romney apparently is a person that stand for something and that is what USA needs, since your biggest enemies are "religious societies" which are in power.

    They teach their children "systematically in schools" that Americans are evil.

    I come from an European Society where religion was not respected, but I can tell you that the young people in Europe are going back to church, because it is the only thing that can counteract the awful things they are experiencing from a religious society of hate.
    Vibeke Madsen
    Canada

    December 3, 2007 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
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    pls visit http://www.mohd222.wordpress.com + http://www.sweetpinky3.wordpress.com , awesome cp news! Thanks 😉

    December 3, 2007 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  17. Mike, Warren MI

    Why does it matter that he is a Mormon? He just chooses to believe in a different made-up story than main-stream Christians believe in.

    Its almost 2008, we no longer need myths and fables to understand how the world works. Its time to abandon "faith" and embrace science and logic. Use your brain to vote, not your rosary.

    December 3, 2007 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  18. Rocco, Wellington, fl

    This Nation was founded on the seperation of church and state. We can only pray the canidate who wins the next election has the ability to carry on in that venue. I am sick and tired of people in this counrty trying to make everyone fit the born again Christian mold, Lets give everyone the freedoms of choice, which includes religion that this nation was built upon and let God sort it out in the end.

    December 3, 2007 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  19. Teresa

    wow... Now, can everyone who has read these comments see WHY the world is in so much trouble? This is ridiculous. People bashing other peoples religious beliefs and bashing "The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints". If you do know the truth about this religion, then why speak and spread such awful lies?
    It is every persons right to believe in whatever religion, they choose. How many people do not even believe in god? Are you condeming them?
    There is so much more that needs to be addressed, the hungry, the poor, the homeless, the crime.....must I go on?

    Please people get your priorities straight. Help fix the world, not make it worse than it already is.

    December 3, 2007 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  20. Todd A. Mount Pleasant, MI

    Mitt needs to quit. His Mormon beliefs stigmatizes him in the public eye.

    Religion is the engine of elections in this supposedly secular government. Faith has nothing to do with managing political office. Several expressly pious leaders are later proven to be adulterers, liars, and thieves, and have kept this government operational.

    So, why do we keep choosing devout hypocrites? Because we identify with people who are exactly like us, me included.

    December 3, 2007 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  21. Liz, New York, New York

    *cough* I was taught in school to never discuss these three things in public (unless you wanna incite a riot or a fight or whatever) : politics, religion, and football. But, if he'sa politician, he hasta talk politics but really, where does religion tie into running our country? Yeah, his religion might be a little unorthodox - but will that really influence his ability as a president?

    Sometimes, I find myself believing that nearly everyone in this country is narrow-minded and a hypocrite. Maybe I'm included.

    December 3, 2007 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  22. Elizabeth - Cedar Park, TX

    I am sure the Morman leaders are trying to coach Romney in what not to say about their cult... Mormanism is not Christianity... they have added to the Bible and added their own little book of morman to it. Look them up.. if you are a true Christian.. you couldn't vote for this guy when you know the deceptive truths about his faith. I believe God wouldn't want someone to be in charge that wasn't with HIM.

    December 3, 2007 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  23. Matt, Boston

    I am excited for Romney to share his perspectives on his religious views and on the importance of faith in one's life. This may lead to a new comfort level with even the word "Mormon," which has stigma associated with it in our very Christian country.
    As a non-practicing Roman Catholic, it is disconcerting that presidential candidates even have to validate their religion publicly. What does religion have to do with being a presidential candidate? Why do people care? Why are no presidents atheists or non-practicing? Are these presidential candidates trying to attract the conservative Christians that voted for President Bush?

    December 3, 2007 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  24. Eric, MD

    The comments on this post are disgusting. Liberal bloggers show their true colors on this site, with a grand display of ignorance and intolerance.

    December 3, 2007 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  25. Luana, Honolulu, Hawaii

    Women, and everyone, really need to know how the Mormon religion feels about women. Women cannot wear pants to church. They must have the permission of their husband, even if divorced, to become a member of the church, or to make any decision effecting the family. If two married Mormons have an affair, the woman is excommunicated, the male is not.

    I had those very sweet young men with white shirts and bicycles bother myself and my children for months. I tried to be polite and open minded. I did not want to become a Mormon, but was curious as to what they believe so I attended church there several times, and spoke with them quite a bit. I would have to have the permission of my exhusband, who is in prison in another state but will be getting out soon for trying to kill his second wife, to join the church. My choice, without his permission, would be meaningless. Also my ex doesn't know where we are and is a very violent person who has in the past harmed my children and myself. I would have to let him know where we are. The elders said "heavenly father will take care of you". Now, my Jesus gave me a brain to think and reason with, and that does not make sense.
    I was also informed that my family is not a "real family" because there is no father in the house. When I told them I was not in a hurry to remarry, they handed me a pamphlet on this. If someone loses a spouse, they are to remarry asap!! The Mormons believe in three heavens and no hell. I am set to go to their lowest heaven, which I was told was pretty awful. I guess so since the likes of Hitler and John Wayne Gacy will be there too.

    It is all the things that a woman must get permission for from her husband that should alarm people.

    Also, I attended High school with Barack Obama. Punahou School is a Christian High School founded by missionaries with mandatory weekly chapel assemblies. Our baccaleaureate, before graduation, was always held at Central Union Church – a United Church of Christ where i taught Sunday School for several years, and is closely affiliated with Punahou School. Barack Obama is not a Muslim.

    I am voting for Barack, of course.

    December 3, 2007 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
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