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. Spencer, Houston Texas

    I'm really looking forward to the other candidates special news conferences explaining the beliefs of the churches they attend. It appears that we hold Romney to a different expectation than the other candidates. It would be interesting to see how much about their own religions the other candidates know. With the exception of Huckabee, I would be interested to see the other candidates discuss the history and doctrine of their chosen faiths.

    December 3, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. Shawnie Cannon, Grants Pass OR

    There are a lot of urban legends floating around about Mormon beliefs and several are on this thread, also a few personal accounts that ring false with mainstream Mormonism. If you really want to know what they believe and how they believe it, the most pure source is or an active LDS friend/neighbor/co-worker. You won't get real info off this thread or others like it. They have an agenda to twist and malign. Good news is America is growing up and more people are walking away from anti-Mormonism than picking it up. Bigotry is out of style.

    December 3, 2007 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  3. Jason, Lynn MA

    Faith is like flipping a coin. Pray for heads, pray for heads. It lands on heads the coin gods listened to you and are real. If it lands on tails, the coin gods instead, have a plan for you. Believing in such nonsense, should be a wake-up call to one own mental health.

    The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason. – Benjamin Franklin

    It is not as in the Bible, that God created man in his own image. But, on the contrary, man created God in his own image. -Ludwig Feuerbach

    December 3, 2007 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  4. William, Altanda

    It is unbelievable that a nation that has been gauranteed seperation of church and state in its noble consitution, insists that our elected officials pass some sorrt of religious litmus test. None of the candidates religious beliefs are any of my business, but rather, a matter best left to themselves and their God. President of the United States is, has always been, and should always be a secular office. It's sad that so many Americans no longer accept this founding principal.

    December 3, 2007 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  5. Joseph, Grand Rapids, MI

    Why should it matter what faith a person is? After all there have been several past Presidents who have claimed to be Christians, but look at their lives! Clinton, need I say more? It is simply sad. Mitt Romney would be number one in all the polls were it not for his Mormon faith. Huckabee seems like a great guy, but I think he is quick to wear his relgion on his sleeve. I have a minister already, I want a President that has good moral judgment, and will bring optimism back to the American people. Mitt Romney is the real deal, and he has my vote.

    December 3, 2007 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  6. ED

    When asked if he would hire an american muslim as an advisor or to another high level position within his whitehouse Romney stated that he would not because islam makes up such a small portion of american theology. "There are not enough people of that faith for them to be in any place of power"

    Does Romney know how many mormons there are?

    December 3, 2007 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  7. Dave, Denton, Texas

    If people do not care to vote for Romney, I will support their freedom to choose otherwise. I am more concerned about the continual misunderstandings or protraylas of Mormons:

    1. Some claim that Mormons desire world domination. Ironically, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does not even endorse a single political party, and its articles of faith suggest "We believe in being subject to kings, rulers and magistrates."
    2. Some suggest Mormons are racist. Ironically, Joseph Smith strongly opposed slavery when most people and religions in American didn't. The Book of Mormon also states "He [God]inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile."
    3. Some suggest Mormonism is a cult. Interestingly, the church that Christ established was regarded to be a sect, and "everywhere it was spoken against" Acts 28:22.
    4. Many people criticize Mormon involvement in polygamy. What is not mentioned is that this also took place in the Old Testament. In fact, an angel of the Lord even told Hagar that she she return to Abraham (Gen 16:7-11). Of course, Mormons stopped polygamy over a hundred years ago and it is hard to deny that Mormons have strong family values today.
    5. The video entitled "The Godmakers" and other like it have been condemned by the anti-defamation league.
    6. Many claim that Mormons are not Christians. They state this for at least two reasons: We believe God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are separate beings; and because we believe Jesus has a physical body. We believe God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are separate beings because Christ taught us to pray to God; because God's voice was heard from heaven when Christ was transfigured (Matt 17:5); because Jesus prayed to God while on the cross, and because Stephen had a vision of God and Jesus standing on his right side (Acts 7:55).
    We also believe Christ has a resurrected body. He said in Luke 24:39 "Handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." In our view, if Christ does not have a body, then he was not resurrected. If Christ was not ressurrected, we could not be resurrected either and religion would have no point since there could be no afterlife. Phil 3:20-21 states that our resurrected body will be fashioned like unto his. Others disagree with out views of God and Jesus and the Holdy Ghost, and I respect their views.
    7. Some of the other comments about Mormons are a little hard and contradictory. One minister stated: "This is not a conversation about a person, it is about a religion that drives a person to do what he does." So, we might ask what does Mormonism drive people to do? This leader answers this question: "The people of the Mormon religion are very highly astute, highly family-oriented, deeply character-driven people." And yet, he says "Mormonism does make me nervous, because I am a Christian, and because the precepts and principles, and more importantly, the practices of Mormonism have cause for great concern." Without trying to cast stones, doesn't this seem a little contradictory?

    Finally, one of our articles of faith states "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." We do not ask or force others to agree with us if they don't want to, but we would invite people to respect our faith and people of all different faiths.

    December 3, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. T, Newark

    Separation of church and state means one does not have to belong to a specific ideology it does not however mean we, as voters, can not consider a persons religious beliefs when deciding who to vote for for president. A religion can at minimum influence your past, your problem solving methods, your reasoning skills, and thinking processes. It can influence how one feels about policy and their voting record and it can influence how a voter may expect them to vote on other future issues. Religion does matter and Romney has to discuss it because the general populous does not know what to think about it. Education is better then nothing. Separation does not mean it should not matter or should not play a roll. With 85% of americans claiming Christianity as their religion i say it matters more then many other issues that are discussed in debates and on the campaign trail!

    December 3, 2007 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. Dave, Denton, Texas

    Many are correct to note the mistakes made by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Mountain Meadows Massacre. If find it interesting that they did not put this in the context of the Mormon extermination order, the killing of men, the raping of women, and taking or destroying of their property. Mormons will be the first to admit they are not perfect, but others might want to examine the history of the inquisition or crusades too.

    December 3, 2007 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. Dave, Denton, Texas

    So, it looks like everyone will need to openly discuss the history of their church and the nature of their theological beliefs now right?

    A sad day for America.

    December 3, 2007 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  11. robert kelsey, Los Angeles CA

    He is doing this 2 fold: 1 for PR because any publicity is good, 2nd with his #'s falling he is feeling the pressure to make headway with Christian conservatives.

    Like several other people who have posted comments here, I also believe Romney is done. He tends to flip flop when it is politically expedient for him to do so. His opportunism is shining through and people aren't digging it.

    December 3, 2007 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  12. Joseph, Grand Rapids, MI

    If the Mormon religion is so false, why then is it one of the fastest growing religions? Why are their families some of the strongest in the world? Why do so many businesses seek to hire LDS persons?(FBI,etc.) Mormons are good neighboors, they have strong families, and next to texas, Utah votes Republican almost everytime! Some of the comments on this site are simply self-rightous! Perhaps, Mormons are the true Christians here.

    December 3, 2007 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  13. Brian

    Luana, I'm sorry, but you are sooo misled. I have been on a mission and spent 2 years of my life talking to people about my faith hearing every rumor and misperception out there. But I have no heard the ones you mentioned. I'ts crazy to think that your trying to teach what we believe, but you are so way off. Where do you get this stuff? Of course NONE of those things about women are true. Get your facts strait before you decide to teach out our doctrine! Don't just believe a web site claiming to expose our truths when in reality it's only meant to turn others away by mis stating every single fact there is and twisting the truth into false lies about us. Your comments are a classic example of this. STOP THE HATE!

    December 3, 2007 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  14. Marquise, Chicago, IL

    a couple things, to the one suggesting to see The Godmakers- it is full of lies from excommunicated members and anti-Mormon Ed Decker. it is about as reputible as Adolf Hitler. and then the one about the magic underwear- whatever. it is a daily reminder of covenants to the Lord. they do not wield magic as these crackpots come on here and say. I do hope Mitt comes out and says some things instead of ignoring it. what he really should say is that it is personal as is everyone's business. this is the USA after all.

    December 3, 2007 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  15. wufpakmom, Illinois

    I really could not care less what religion Mr. Romney is. Or, for that matter, what religion, if any, ANY of the candidates choose to espouse. I wouldn't vote for Romney if he were running for dog catcher, but it has nothing to do with his Mormonism. It has plenty to do with his inconsistent positions on virtually everything; gun control, abortion, immigration. I can't speak for everyone, of course, but I think this country has had enough of well-dressed, expensively coiffed prostitutes running for office.

    December 3, 2007 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. Steve Pinkston, Grayson, GA

    It is so so sad that this "religion" has penatrated this country to the point of acceptance that it is Christian. Mormans like many other sects may be a religion of peace, love, service to others and kindness but it does NOT promote a relationship with Christ, rather it promotes a religion of propagation of Joseph Smith's satan induced dreams of magic underwear and personal heavens filled with whomever they baptise their spirit into. Don;t get me wrong, I have lots of morman friends and love them to death, but they are not Christians. The Bible could not be more clear that the entire premise of the book of Morman is false.

    1 – Read the very last verse of the Bible

    2 – In Christ alone is salvation, no work, no act, no other book or priest, elder, pastor or missionary or process is needed to gain access to the Father and HIS everlasting presence.

    I agree his faith however twisted it is should have nothing do with his ability to run a country. I personally just don't want anyone running my country who in the core of his soul and heart thinks that baptising Christy Brinkley's spirit will put her in their personal heaven as one of their wives where their are a GOD in the afterlife.

    Sorry this again is another violation of the 2nd commandment. "There is no other God.."

    For Matthew and the others here who think persons of faith have no place in government or in life in general. EVERY KINGDOM, EVERY MOVEMENT, EVERY NATION, EVERY 'PEOPLE' WHO HAVE RULED their part of the world or civilization
    have collapsed into ruin because they reveled in their own reckless pleasure abandonment. Yes even 'christian nations' have failed because they took their eyes off Christ and looked to man for answers.

    Search the entire earth for one man, just one single man who is without sin.
    There is not one, which is why we need God. No pope, no preacher, no elder, no pastor, no plumber, carpenter, computer engineer, real estate agent, teacher, politician is perfect without sin. NOT ONE!!! But I would rather have a President who knows this fact and looks to guidence from God when decisions are difficult and complicated.

    December 3, 2007 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. AJ, IL

    Mitt don't do it! The GOP base does not want to hear about Mormonism similiarities to Orthodox christian beliefs on same-sex marriage and homosexuality. They want to hear about why do you think the Garden of Eden is in Missouri. Also does the Book of Mormon trump the Bible in matters of faith for you?

    If these questions get asked of you, you will lose the existing GOP evangelical support that you have.

    It is too late for my advice, since you if decide not to go through with your speech, you will be labeled a flip-flopper to the second power!

    December 3, 2007 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. Ken, Sherwood, OR

    Keep in mind that Mormonism is based on sham and snake oil. It's main goal is to convert everyone else to Mormonism and all other religions are satanic. Freedom of religion is a one way street for Mormons. You're free to become one but not to become something else. Watch for the spin on this and educate yourself about the Mormons. What you find will appall you!

    December 3, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    When that state, such as Massachusetts forces children to accept teachings of alternative lifestyles against the will and religious beliefs of their parents it is VERY PERSONAL and in-your-face. It is these areas whereby the true character of the candidate is revealed. Romney, irrespective of his beliefs, allowed Massachusetts to head down the path of moral swill.

    Posted By Kim : December 2, 2007 8:50 pm

    Sorry Kim, you are misinformed. Mitt was against those teachings and the progressive in this state as the MAJORITY over ruled him.

    Just like there were sanctuary cities here, but they were all voted in by local city councils where a Governor has NO jurisdiction.

    This is after all a state where a few hundred parents paid for and signed off on their children going to see a Miracle on 34th street and at the last minute the trip was cancelled as one parent complained and the principal to save face said "it was not part of the curricula"????

    Many of the parents who are Jewish were offended that the trip was cancelled as well.

    This PC BS has screwed this country up big time.

    Never has the whining of a small few, over ruled the will of the HUGE majority.

    So we can't have our 13-14 year olds see this play, but we can have our 6 year olds have alternative lifestyle curricula shoved down their throats.

    December 3, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  20. Dean, Eugene OR

    Mitt do it! Inform these people and the rest of the country that we here in the United States of America have the right to choose how one worship. In your speech I hope you focus on the rights of people of this country rather than your own individual personal beliefs on Mormonism.

    December 3, 2007 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. Ben, Norcross, GA

    Steve Pinkston- you're way wrong. you say to read the last verse of the bible which states that nothing should be added. That argument has no legs whatsoever. It was not until the year A.D. 393 that a church council first listed the 27 New Testament books now universally recognized. There was thus a period of about 350 years during which the New Testament Canon was in process of being formed. They placed the Book of Revelation at the end which was not in sequential order from when John wrote it while exiled to the island of Patmos thus it would mean that other books in the New Testament were added after John The Revelator said that nothing should be added.

    December 3, 2007 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  22. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA


    I guess you are either:

    a) bigot, or
    b) uneducated bigot.

    In my book, you are both.

    December 3, 2007 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. Linda Miller @Perris, California

    It's sad that this speech is needed, but, I am proudly sanding at your side as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We all support you and see the blessings of your hard work that will come to pass. May God Be with you. May his love shine in your comunication with this great country. All things happen for a reason. And within Gods will.

    December 3, 2007 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. manaen, SoCal

    RE: Are Mormons Christian?

    "The Book of Mormon," Helaman 5:

    9 O remember, remember, my sons, the words which king Benjamin spake unto his people; yea, remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, who shall come; yea, remember that he cometh to redeem the world.
    10 And remember also the words which Amulek spake unto Zeezrom, in the city of Ammonihah; for he said unto him that
    the Lord surely should come to redeem his people, but that he should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins.
    11 And he hath power given unto him from the Father to redeem them from their sins because of repentance; therefore he hath sent his angels to declare the tidings of the conditions of repentance, which bringeth unto the power of the Redeemer, unto the salvation of their souls.
    12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that
    it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

    December 3, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  25. Jacqueline Smith, Coalville, UT

    By the list of comments it's easy to see why Gov. Romney feels the need to address his religion. Most of the negative comments are unfounded, and/or incorrect. Romney's faith is HIS, and he respects those of other faiths. He must do this, just as JFK needed to in his day. No one is going to try and convince America to become Mormon from the White House. But, understanding his religion, will help people understand that to be honest, hard-working, self-sufficient, and morally upright are a huge part of the Christian faith to which he belongs.

    December 3, 2007 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
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