Should theology trump policy in presidential politics?
A statue of the founder of the Mormon Church Joseph Smith outside the historic Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah.
August 4th, 2011
01:42 PM ET
11 years ago

Should theology trump policy in presidential politics?

(CNN) – America is not ready for a Mormon president, according to Christian author Tricia Erickson. On Wednesday she told CNN's Tom Foreman on In the Arena that she believes a practicing Mormon should not be president because of their theological views on the afterlife and governance.

CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor Eric Marrapodi jumped into the fray on the topic with Foreman as well. He said while religious views shape Mormon politicians on a macro level, there is no evidence Mormon politicians have a "bat phone" to Utah and take orders from the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the church is formally known.


Filed under: 2012 • Jon Huntsman • Mitt Romney
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. ConservaFASCISTS/ConservaTERRORISTS

    The underlying question is Romney or Huntsman suited to be President.

    August 4, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  2. gt

    l harry reid runs the senate... his views are not real right wing....he is a mormon

    August 4, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. Shirley In California

    Personally, I don't like Romney or Huntsman and I'm glad people are FINALLY waking up to see who Huntsman REALLY is a backstabbing (closet freak) who has done nothing but studied our president so he can move in on him. I say NO to ANY Mormon. Weak, backstabbing, spoiled and gutless = Mormon.

    August 4, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    We're not ready for ANY bible-thumping hypocrit. The baggers and some republicans are the worst.

    August 4, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  5. Voice of Reason

    Sorry guys, i'm going to call Hypocrit on this one.

    If American can have a Christian president at all, then it can certainly have a Mormon president. Anyone who says otherwise is too attached to their own brand of belief to accept anyone else's brand of belief. Any objective and detached observation of the matter can only conclude that if any Christian sect is OK for the president, then ANY Christian sect is OK for the president.

    So should we require our politicians to swear an 'Oath of Atheism' before taking office? How's THAT for constitutional? Whatever, Hypocrits.

    August 4, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. youbetcha

    Didnt they say the same thing about John F Kennedy and being Catholic? Im a Latter Day Saint and I could care less about religious affliation or lack thereof w politicians. I imagine the ignorant statements of "Does this mean we'll have a first, second, third and fourth lady?"

    August 4, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. gate

    Q: Should theology trump policy in presidential politics?
    A: NO. NEVER. Read the 1st Amendment.

    August 4, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  8. steph in TX

    Yet it is perfectly ok by their standards to involve Christian spiritual leaders like Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson. hypocrites.

    August 4, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  9. diridi

    No, politics and religion will never blend in together. Is it Mike Huckabee's nasty drama?????Obama2012...

    August 4, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  10. Wraith

    Theology, of any flavor, should not be included in *any* political matter in the US.

    August 4, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. dd

    I dont have a problem with relgion as long as it is kept out of policy and government...but mitt and jon are repubs so that seems impossible. sad but true! just look around and you will see!

    August 4, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  12. Huubris

    Just because there is no evidence that Morman politicians have a bat phone to Utah doesn't mean they don't. If evidence were required I don't think we'd even have Mormons.

    August 4, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Never. Theology has no place in American politics. Orthodox Christians would never involve themselves in politics, anyway.

    August 4, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    Dismissing their (Huntsman & Romney) respective mormonism entirely, and based solely on political ideology, I'm not inclined to vote for either candidate, and am content to leave the decision of whether or not a candidates religious affiliation is an important enough consideration to the TeaPers. Most of who seem rather intent on nominating the best *christian* amongst the GOPer wannabee field. Haven't quite understood the complete process of elimination yet, or what constitutes true Christianity from this group, but no doubt GOPer voters are each in tune with one another enough to decide who is, or isn't, a real American Christian. Apparently, the one who calls upon God most, shares daily prayer sessions input, blabbers on about abortion and homosexuals, promises to pray for me (and you, too) while occasionally adding a Jesus here, and a Jesus there, will come out the winner. Pimping the Lord (i.e. Christianity) for votes (and political funding) seems to be quite a popular Republican ploy these days. For the GOP/TeaPers, it's playing really well. Not sure how it's playing out with God - although I'd hazard to guess not well at all.

    August 4, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    Blah blah blah. The reason Mittens shouldn't be POTUS is because he's nothing more than the smartest sea cucumber on the planet. It has nothing to do with his religion.

    August 4, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  16. Mikey

    As a descendent of numerous people who fled religious persecution in several European countries before the Revolution, I am very concerned by the degree to which religion is being injected into our politics. The founders were not attempting to protect religion from the secular state – they did not have experience with secularism. The founders were concerned about one religion using State power to persecute others. That is what they and their immediate ancestors had experienced in England, France, Spain, and elsewhere in Europe. I fear we now have people in America who would like to get their hands on the levers of power to do exactly what the founders were protecting against.

    August 4, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  17. B

    I seem to recall something about Separation of Church and State..

    August 4, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. Chas in Iowa

    That's all we need is some right wing crusader out there starting wars based on religous beliefs. Wait a minute we already have. GWB thought he had religon on his side when he invaded Iraq to protect us from the weapons of mass distruction.

    August 4, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |