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. Jim St Louis MO

    Jesus said "I am the way". On the cross he said "it is done". There is nothing left to be done until he returns. You can't say you believe in Jesus and then contradict yourself by stating heaven must be earned through works. God is Love, he provided a way to heaven by grace through Christ – now it is up to you to enter. Don't be fooled by religion's that "tag" on to what Christ said was complete. Any God worth your soul should not send mixed messages or reinvent your faith.

    December 3, 2007 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. Bryan, Sacramento, CA

    Now may or may not be the right time for a Mormon to successfully run for President. But I think, as a nation, one way or the other we'll get there.

    The anti-Mormon hatred and rhetoric, with its attendant absurdities will continue to ebb, like racism's high age of the last century. Consider that during the early and middle part of the 20th century being a member of the KKK was acceptable by the mainstream, and even desirable and politically astute. But over the course of decades that opinion ebbed, until it was merely tolerated, and then stigmatized and eventually it became a virtual disqualifier for any serious politician.

    The same is occuring now. Where once Mormons were driven about, robbed, and murdered, eventually they found a place to settle a measure of peace. Though the anti-mormon rhetoric, lies, and absurdities would rage on for more than a century. But there too–with more and more people finding themselves friends of Mormons, or seeing through the nonsensical claims of certain insecure evangelicals and "former Mormons," or otherwise adopting progressive attitudes–it has become less and less acceptable to bash on the Mormon faith. Even the hater-monger types have started to go from (even in this string of comments) "Everyone knows Mormons aren't Christians" to "I can't believe we're calling Mormon's Christians (or that we're even being nice to them)." This trend will continue until those individuals who currently hold such passionate enmity (and who spread the lies to perpetuate their beliefs) adopt a more beneficent attitude, or succumb to the mainstream pressure to at the very least keep their backward views to themselves, or simply pass on with their generation and leave the progress to their children. Without claiming that America's problems with racism and bigotry have been solved thereby, it can still be claimed that this process has certainly gotten us from the acceptability of hatred to its total stigmatization. Bearing in mind, that there is no forum better for hate-mongers than the internet, where they feel free to spew out their hate and their threats, safe from the consequences they would face in the real world for being so backward, intolerant and...dare I say it: ignorant.

    Learning about Mormons (and deciding on one's vote for the US Presidency...) from those with axes to grind is already intellecutally compromising. But to do so from websites purporting to tell you the "truth about the Mormons" or "Old Joe Smith" with shoddily patched together "facts" makes one rather worse than true ignorance: it misinforms.

    December 3, 2007 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  3. Randy Link, Helena, MT

    Mitt, keep that Mormon mantra going by repeating:

    I want my own planet..
    I want my own planet..
    I want my own planet..

    December 3, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. manaen

    RE: Are Mormons Christian?
    ** Christ's Atonement **

    "The Book of Mormon," Alma 34:
    8 And now, behold, I will testify unto you of myself that these things are true. Behold, I say unto you, that I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions of his people, and that he shall atone for the sins of the world; for the Lord God hath spoken it.
    9 For it is expedient that an atonement should be made; for according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish; yea, all are hardened; yea,
    all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made.
    10 For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for
    it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice.
    11 Now there is not any man that can sacrifice his own blood which will atone for the sins of another. Now, if a man murdereth, behold will our law, which is just, take the life of his brother? I say unto you, Nay.
    12 But the law requireth the life of him who hath murdered; therefore
    there can be nothing which is short of an infinite atonement which will suffice for the sins of the world.
    13 Therefore, it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice, and then shall there be, or it is expedient there should be, a stop to the shedding of blood; then shall the law of Moses be fulfilled; yea, it shall be all fulfilled, every jot and tittle, and none shall have passed away.
    14 And behold, this is the whole meaning of the law, every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice; and
    that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal.
    15 And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance.
    16 And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of eredemption.

    December 3, 2007 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  5. Steve Blaine Washington

    I would like to see anyone that is a member of the Christians Right to define the meaning of baptism of fire which was one or many doctrines given by Jesus Christ to early Christians in the Bible and advise if they in any way believe that they are Christians in the sense that early Christians were Christians. By what
    authority did they baptize by water and baptize by fire.
    There was much more to the Church doctrine praticed by the early Christians than just believing in Jesus christ as our savior.
    Come on I am only asking you to define
    one doctrine.

    December 3, 2007 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  6. Greg, Houston, TX

    Regardless of what Romney says about his religion, most people here will not change their mind about him. Yes Mormons are Christians =, so what. Yes they allowed Blacks to join their faith but they did not allow them to become a member of the Priesthood until recently (last 20 years or so). So what, most white Christian churches in the south did not allow black members until the last 30 years or so. My biggest problem is he (nor any of his five sons) served in the military. I guess he like most rich folks, like the poor and middle class to do their fighting for them. Just another Chicken Hawk.

    December 3, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  7. Z, St. Louis,MO.

    This planet doesn't need another
    leader that believes in magical ghosts
    in the sky,or in the ground or fairies
    or magic underwear or any of this
    other delusional stuff.

    All you need to do is look around the
    planet and see the arrogant leaders
    that think their magical being is
    better than your than yours and is
    willing to kill or subjugate you if
    you don't belive it.We don't need any
    more of this religious nonsense.It's
    time to grow up planet earth and put
    the myth's to bed.

    December 3, 2007 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  8. JT, Ada OK

    Is anyone still reading this thing???

    Why isn't anyone discussing how practicing Mormon HARRY REID, Senate Majority Leader, discerns church and state?

    December 3, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    To Aburgess, Phoenix, AZ:

    Let me ask you some questions in response to yours.

    As you know, Orrin Hatch (prominent Republican serving our country since 1977) and Harry Reid (prominent Democrat serving our country since 1982) are both are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They too took the oath of the office.

    Question: Have these men's service to their respective constituency in any way been compromised because of their faith? And have there been any decisions made by Salt Lake City, Utah, since these men have served in US Congress?

    To Val Molina, Del Rio, Texas:

    Evangelicals, like yourself, for some reason think that God favors you more than the rest of us. Thinking this way you are deceived that you are above all other denominations. Please read James 4:6 – "Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."

    December 3, 2007 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. kate lee, scottsbluf, NE

    Mr. Romney, from what the article says, will not discuss his faith but, rather, religious tolerance and freedom in America. I'm sure he is also going to say that his faith informs his family values, something which he's said before.

    Of course, one does not need to be a Christian to live a family-centered, faith-centered life with high moral values. If that were the only sign of true Christianity, my agnostic, atheist, Buddhist, Islamic, and Hindu friends would be termed "Christian." Boy, would they be surprised!

    I think that Evangelicals are upset when they learn some of the LDS beliefs–becoming God, getting one's own planet, dominance over wife and children, having a book equal to the Bible, etc. Most importantly, the belief that Jesus was a human prophet–one in a long, continuing line–is problematic. Why? Most Christians believe that scripture is closed and that not one jot or tittle (let alone an entire other book)should be added to the faith. They also believe that Jesus Christ is a part of the Trinity and divine, not human. Since, with regard to the Christ and to other areas of faith, Mormonism and Islam are very much alike in their history and beliefs, Christians become uneasy whether they wish to feel that way or not. Fear? Bigotry? Logical conclusions? I'm sure the reaction to Mr. Romney is a bit of all of these.

    December 3, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  11. Steve Pinkston, Grayson, GA

    To – Ben from Norcross – You absolutely correct in your timeline. My comment earlier was not to be a historical statement but a Theological one.

    IF you believe the Bible as cannnized in the current 66 books is God's word (not the ghist of his thoughts or mans scribling of history), then you must believe that Revelations and its concluding finality of God's breathed word by being the last book of the Bible. It would be NO mistake that it was intended to be the last thing GOd wanted humankind to know.

    As Jim in St. Louis concurred, Jesus said it is finished on the cross. His last breaths in human form were not acclamation of his life was finished but that GOD the FATHER's work of salvation, redemtion and atonement were complete with HIS sacrifice.

    What need is there for another depensation or revelation from a MAN (Joseph Smith, Charles Russell, Jim Jones, Sun Youn Moon...) if God's work is complete?

    What more does one need to gain salvation?

    Is Christ all I need or not?

    Is Christ's death all that was needed for atonement for mankinds sin or not?

    If not:
    – then Christ's sacrifice was in vain,
    – he was not the son of God
    – the Bible is NOT the word of God
    – the Billions of followers that have had faith in HIM are wrong.

    Christianity is faith based solely on the life of Christ, not the Pope or Smith, Russell or Moon or any other man.

    I am NOT a bigot, hate monger nor a hater of Mormans. I have stated before I have many friends who are Mormans, whcih I hold dear and close.

    Mitt Romney seems like a nice guy, I admire his nice morals and leadership skills running the state of NH and the Olympics. But all those qualifications do not save his soul and neither does a belief in a Man's 'revelation from God'.

    Folks, Christ is about love. I love my morman friends, muslim friends, all my friends. It is for them I want them to see the God of love and know HIS one true act of grace and mercy.

    But I have a question.
    IF Christ was enough why the need for Smith's book? Why? There is no gray here or waffling or flip-floppin. Either Christ's sacrifice was enough or it wasn't. And if it wasn't, then EVERYTHING in the BIBLE is false and worthless.

    So in that regard I completely understand all the atheist and christian haters here. They beleive the Bible was not God's word and that it is false.

    December 3, 2007 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  12. Jeff, Fort Collins CO

    Steve Pinkston,

    The very last verse int he bible is "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." I fail to see that this invalidates any religion. I assume you are referring to the fourth to last, which mentions that "If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book."

    Where are the plagues? Why was John himself not visited by the plagues, as he wrote the gospel of john after having written revelation?

    Why is it that they can't add to a book that was compiled and canonized hundreds of years after the books were written? is the apocrypha also heretical? where are the plagues that should be visited upon the catholic church for those ones?

    If you would like to make arguments against the Mormon religion, please do so using points that are a little harder to refute than this.

    Romney's religion aside, he is the more qualified for an executive position than the others as far as I can tell. If you can show me that another is more qualified, and more in line with my conservative values, I will be happy to re-evaluate my position.

    December 3, 2007 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  13. Darrell Rowles, Byers, Colorado

    In 2008 some ideal occupation changes for Mitt Romney would be to co-star with aw come on Fred Thompson in perhaps a new television series called CSI Salt Lake City. Rudy G. should get a promotional job at the ole ball game with the New York Yankees. Also last but not least is possibly the greatest realistic Republican challenge to any 2008 potential Democratic nomininees for the leadership of the United States of America. Namely a Ron Paul, Mike Huckabee ticket.

    December 3, 2007 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  14. John Henry N.H.

    What a tough position to be in for Mitt. He undoubtly will lose the evangelical support which frankly if he does will not hurt him as I think that the bulk of the world looks at Born Again Evangelicals as the most hypocritacal people in the world. But he will need to start courting mainstream America and then they will call him a flip flopper again.
    It is pretty tought to be a Mormon who have a clergy made up of people who are not paid by the church and battle against a paid ministers whose living is paid by their followers they have a lot at stake if their members convert to Mormons so of course they will distort the truth to scare people away. The Mormon church is a huge threat to these people thus they go on and on about the fraud of Mormonism yet what do any of these ministers or their churches do for the community or the world?
    1. Jim Bakker and about 20 others rolls royce driving ministers.
    2. Kill abortion Doctors
    3. Protest at funerals of soldiers stating it is because of the sin in the country that we are at war. lets therefore punish the soldiers family at their time of grieving.
    Evangelicals are the Jihadists of the Christian Faith.
    If Mormonism is a fraud how do you explain a 14 year old boy establishing an organization that now stands at 13 million 200 years later. it is the fastest growing christian religion in the world and has been for the last 20 years. If Joesph Smith was a fraud the Church would have ended when he was killed 170 years ago.
    Mitt your in a tough spot best of wishes in your speech. Start being more of yourself and care less what some people will say to you. You will never have agreement from everyone.

    December 3, 2007 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  15. Rich Cree

    I live in Canada and am a Canadian citizen and therefore have no real concern for your elections. I am quite sure that whoever you vote in can't possibly be worse than what currently resides in the oval office.

    What does concern me is a number of individual's comments regarding my and Mitt Romney's religion. Would it surprise those of you with the vitriolic commnets that if I were American I would not necessarily vote for Romney even if he is of my faith? Would it surprise you even more if I said I was impressed with Huckabee in the You Tube debates and would not rule out voting for him even though he is a Baptist minister and the Baptists are generally some of the worst anti-mormon crusaders out there?

    For those of you that are curious, our Prophet goes out of his way every time there is an election to tell the members of the Church to vote for whoever they want and that the Church does not endorse any one Candidate and they never will.

    In addition, if you are going to post asinine commnets about my religion at least make sure they are right. Most of the ones I have seen posted here today are way off base and some completely fabricated. If any of you posting are Christians perhaps you should remember one of the commandments that States "thou shalt not lie" because that is what books like the God-Makers do in abundance.

    As for those that say we are not Christian when the name of the Church starts with the Church of Jesus Christ and that everything we do revolves around Christ, either you need glasses, a new brain, or a sanity test because you are clearly a moron.

    December 3, 2007 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  16. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Is anyone still reading this thing???

    Why isn't anyone discussing how practicing Mormon HARRY REID, Senate Majority Leader, discerns church and state?

    Posted By JT, Ada OK : December 3, 2007 2:13 pm

    Great point JT, most people have no idea that Reid is a Mormon and most people wouldn't give a bleep even though he is one of the most powerful people in the country (by his position anyway).

    Romney has to do this as there are bigots from BOTH sides who are making this an issue.

    If he came out and said "I base all my thoughts on my religous beliefs and nothing else" simply instead of what he thinks is right and wrong, I would hammer him as well.

    The MSM would never speak ill of a Muslim or a Jew's faith running for office, the people would be allowed to decide and that is the way it should be.

    You would think that since John Kennedy was forced to do this we would have moved forward, not the case, and it is proven by many of the ignorant postings here and elsewhere.

    December 3, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. Your conscience

    the Mormon cult is quite deceptive...

    December 3, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  18. Jim Tucson, AZ

    I believe in the original god, Zeus, which makes me a Heraclean. I don't know if Mormons are Christans but they are definitely not Heracleans. Unlike Christans, Muslims, Buddhist etc. Heracleans don't put up the charade of being tolerant of other religions. Someday Zeus will come down form Mt. Olympus and strike down all the non-believers.

    December 3, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  19. Jim St. Louis MO

    GOD has given everyone the freewill to decide what their going to follow. The question in America is why ethics and values are declining. You can see at every turn that society has totally given up trying to police itself and is saying do anything you want. Just because you say your Godly doesn't make you Godly, and just because you say you don't believe in GOD doesn't mean He doesn't exist. What is certain is if we don't concentrate on the true issues (see Ross Perot), we will continue to sink farther down to the point of no return, then you will need a faith that will do more than tell you what to do but will supply true deliverence.

    December 3, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. Terry, Lakeland, FL

    <b.Mormonism is a dangerous cult that subjugates women and hates gay people. It would be extremely detrimental to have a Mormon as a President.

    Posted By Maybelle Wilson, Santa Cruz, California : December 2, 2007 11:42 pm

    Don't all Christian faiths hate gay people, I've heard enough Christian people talk about how being gay is an illness that needs to be how about you drop that crap..also there have been black people in the church from day one, so you all can drop that lie as well.

    December 3, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  21. Terry, Lakeland, FL

    the Mormon cult is quite deceptiveďż˝

    Posted By Your conscience : December 3, 2007 3:59 pm

    Wow drive by people hater who doesn't even have the guts to post their name.

    December 3, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. Lee, Mays Landing, New Jersey

    "Oh evangelicals may believe Mitt Romney has faith, but just in the wrong things. Mormons are as Christian as Muslims are, maybe less. They are not Christian.
    Then again I don't think Pat Robertson, George Bush and many self-identified American Christians are actually Christians either. But that's a whole 'nother story.
    There is a certain rot in a segment of American religious/political thought."

    Lee, what a perfectly un-Christian thing of you to say. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    Posted By Shelley, Chapel Hill, NC : December 2, 2007 9:11 pm

    No, I stand by every word in my statement. Mormons are not Christian, but they are American, and borrowed from the Christian religion, which leads some American Christians to be confused.
    Another source of confusion is the American culture itself. Being part of that does not make you "Christian" in and of itself, particularly if it is just Republican politics (Pat Robertson) and nationalistic xenophobia masquerading as christianity. Christianity is bigger than America, sorry.

    December 3, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  23. manaen, SoCal

    RE: Are Mormons Christian?

    "The Book of Mormon," Mosiah 5:

    7 And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.
    8 And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives.
    9 And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ.
    10 And now it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall not take upon him the name of Christ must be called by some other name; therefore, he findeth himself on the left hand of God.

    December 3, 2007 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. Spencer - Houston TX

    Jesus said "I am the way". On the cross he said "it is done". There is nothing left to be done until he returns. You can't say you believe in Jesus and then contradict yourself by stating heaven must be earned through works. God is Love, he provided a way to heaven by grace through Christ – now it is up to you to enter. Don't be fooled by religion's that "tag" on to what Christ said was complete. Any God worth your soul should not send mixed messages or reinvent your faith.

    Posted By Jim St Louis MO : December 3, 2007 1:29 pm

    Hey Jim, you scholar you, look up James 2:20. If you believe in the Bible, believe in the whole Bible, not just the parts that are convenient to your life. You really belive you don't have to do anything? How convenient.

    December 3, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  25. Rodney Dallas TX

    Don't get your hopes up...I'm sure he's not going to answer the questions you want answered as he doesn't want to offend anyone. There will be alot of side stepping and beating around the bush in his speech.

    December 3, 2007 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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