Huntsman says his Mormon church membership is 'tough to define'

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  • awsomeron1 Oahu, HI
    May 17, 2011 12:26 a.m.

    If you do not want to be a Mormon that okay, more then okay as a matter of fact.

    However you should Resign and give the Toys Back, There is a proper way to Resign from the Church.

    However the Fundmentalist will still call you Mormon and the Mormons will call you every name in the Book, not trust you and not vote for you for Dog Catcher let alone President.

    However you do have your choice and Agency. Just Resign Clean.

  • Anon 64 Oahu, HI
    May 16, 2011 6:10 p.m.

    Not Quite as Smart as I would thought he would be.

    I do not think this topic is a blip on the Radar, out side of Utah.

    I know we have degrees and levals of everything and label everything and everyone.

    Some people grab their kids away form other peoples kids if they do not think the othr people are up to their standards.

    Single Moms, Single Dads, Returned Singles over 30.

    Method of Conception, Status at Birth, etc etc.

    Active, Inactive, less Active, TR Holding or Not.

    Jack or Jill or evan Molly. RM or Sister RM. etc.etc.

    However that is for US and we deal with it as we cna and in some cases have to.

    Outsiders Do Not Understand that you are either Mormon or Your Not. You are either Hot or Cold. They will pull Matthew: 5:13 on you and you will be done.

  • cval Hyde Park, UT
    May 16, 2011 3:05 p.m.

    I think he has successfully offended both sides on this issue.

    The Mormons now question his integrity because he gave a vague answer to a straightforward question, and for those who wouldn't vote for a Mormon anyway, he has created enough doubt to keep them from voting for him.

    He may have been trying to appease both sides, but he actually did the opposite. I suspect he will quietly fade out of the race pretty soon here.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 16, 2011 1:30 p.m.

    one vote | 6:47 a.m. May 16, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Will he lose the eighty percent Utah support if he is not "active"? Why is it all about religion?


    Hahah, ya!

    He would be running for the President of the United States,
    not the President of the LDS Church!

    Utah and it's 0.09% of the total USA population, of which less than 50% are even LDS, and less than 50% of that is even active.

  • Cougarcrazed Visalia, CA
    May 16, 2011 10:48 a.m.

    I'm not sure what concerns me more: the ambiguity of yet another presidential hopeful, or the defense of that ambiguity. 3 years ago we elected a man who ran on "Hope and Change" with no definition of what kind of "Hope" or "Change." We can clearly see now where that type of sloganeering has brought us--escalating inflation, accelerated deficit spending, poor credit rating, stagnate employment, and universal health care. Now we have a GOP candidate who can't answer a simple question regarding his faith, and there are those who are defending, or worse yet celebrating, this blatant obfuscation. I am Mormon, and I don't plan to vote for either Romney or Huntsman. With Romney refusing to admit he screwed up on Romneycare and now Huntsman afraid to commit one way or the other regarding his faith, or lack thereof, it is clear that the only potential LDS candidates are too busy with their church callings to run for office. We can only hope that someone convinces Chris Christie to run.

  • 5 Orem, UT
    May 16, 2011 7:59 a.m.

    It appears that Mr. Huntsman is following in our current president's battle plan. Hide as much as you possibly can about the person you really are. In this world of instant media the less that is known about you the fewer people you alienate. Obama has spent millions keeping his past secret and it worked for him.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2011 6:47 a.m.

    Will he lose the eighty percent Utah support if he is not "active"? Why is it all about religion?

  • Rocketman Sausalito, CA
    May 15, 2011 10:55 p.m.

    The comments of Robert George are quite harsh and unreasonable. Presumably, a person can be a Mormon without accepting all of the LDS Church's most difficult history and doctrines (some of which can at times test one's integrity). If this is not true, then the Church should officially say so--but it has not. Giving Huntsman the benefit of the doubt that he is telling the truth, his response is quite candid, and he would in no way be pandering to bigotry (what bigotry would he be pandering to begin with--the bigotry of not being sure?). I would suggest to Mr. George: judge not that you be not judged.

  • DR Hall Clearfield, UT
    May 15, 2011 8:54 p.m.

    I wish that people were dedicated to the things they believe in, luke warm does not seem to be successful any where. I would like to see where politicians were honest and respectful, and cared about their neighbors for real. I feel Romney and Huntsman, Reid are first off, politicians and then a hint of religion in them. Religion should play a huge part of every persons life, why, because most religions ask every body to try and be a decent person and love their families and neighbors. Every body needs to practice those ideals every day.

  • chrisalmond Olympia, WA
    May 15, 2011 6:52 p.m.

    And seeing the unkind comments being left by some Church members, it is understandable why he might not feel comfortable going into full detail about his relationship with the Church. As I have experienced first hand and as evidenced in these comments, an unfortunate minority of Church members can be cruel and unsympathetic to those who complicated feelings about the Church. He has probably learned from experience that it can be a thorny issue that is often best avoided.

  • chrisalmond Olympia, WA
    May 15, 2011 6:50 p.m.

    So Huntsman has a complicated relationship with the Church. So what? THat doesn't mean he is a bad guy or is trying to distance himself from the Church for political gain. Being someone who left the Church over a period of about 3-4 years, I know it is a complicated, difficult journey with no quick and easy answers to those who ask about one's faith. It can be a very thorny and personal question to answer, that he didn't want to get into with a reporter who might take it out of context and spin it into more than it is (which as already happened anyway) is fully understandable. Cut this guy some slack, like many of us his relationship with the Church isn't black and white and he gave an honest, though not detailed answer that seemed sufficient for his purpose.

  • dryforkcreek Vernal, UT
    May 15, 2011 4:04 p.m.

    No way !!! Someone must have read his statement wrong.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    May 15, 2011 3:08 p.m.


    You wrote: "@vanka 10:49 - seems to me you're a "sheeple" of anti-Mormon thought. Most LDS member don't think so uncharitably toward fellow members with doubts, questions, or lesser commitments of the heart. Such judgmental ones are the minority."

    I don't even KNOW any "anti-Mormons"!

    You have rose-colored glasses on, bud. I attend Church almost every week. I see the judgmentalism constantly. It is pervasive and obvious. If I was not so in love with my LDS wife, the last place on earth I would spend any of my time is among such superficial, judgmental, holier-than-thou, arrogant Mormons.

    But if Huntsman has enough intelligence to see Mormonism for what it is, and he sincerely, and with real intent, seeks to free himself from the shackles and darkness of that strange belief-system, then he has enough intelligence to lead this country. Huntsman without Mormonism is a great candidate for POTUS.

  • Eddie T Baton Rouge, LA
    May 15, 2011 7:21 a.m.

    Huntsman is the only Republican I'd consider voting for.

  • spaghetti Boise, ID
    May 15, 2011 4:57 a.m.

    @ Vanka

    You mention members of the LDS church as being judgemental. But isn't it judgemental for you to put ALL church members (or another much heard favorite -"utah mormons") into a box? You are doing the very thing that you seem to contemptuously accuse others of doing.

    Like I mentioned before, human beings are way too complicated to put into tidy little boxes with labels. Do members of the LDS faith display weakness- OF COURSE! Should they be more Christlike? YES. That is what Christ's gospel is all about- bettering oneself, and is for everyone. Really ALL of us are in this experience called "humanity" together! I think it would help if we could do our best not to categorize one another- no matter who we are- and just recognize that we all make mistakes...

    I don't think Gov. Huntsman should be judged for his personal spiritual beliefs. But one does need to judge, since he is a political candidate, whether or not we think he would serve well. There are different types of judgement. Some is appropriate and other kinds are not-(personal issues). It may be easy to mix up others intentions.

  • ? Fort Knox, KY
    May 14, 2011 8:21 p.m.

    I know of a few members who send their children to catholic and/or Christian based schools over what is offered at the public schools in the areas they live. It's no different that if he were to send them to a private school which I think most Catholic and Christian based schools might be. I think Mr. Huntsman is seeking for the best education available for his children and where his children go to school is a decision only for him and his wife to make.

  • thelogicalone salt lake city, UT
    May 14, 2011 5:53 p.m.

    I have several thoughts on this but the one I'll share is this: If we don't want people throughout the country criticizing Mitt Romney for being LDS, people in Utah (or anywhere else) shouldn't criticize Jon Huntsman for whatever his religious beliefs are.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    May 14, 2011 5:26 p.m.

    Every member a missionary. And I do believe Huntsman is a missionary, just not something one wants to repeat on the campaign trail every day, nor should one say it; there are a thousand different ways to be a missionary. Despite all our flaws and peccadillos and differences in the church, there are few organizations out there as united and on the same page as LDS. If one thinks we are fragmented and divided---we may be----but it is worse elsewhere. How many organizations out there have the ability to reach out and bring global unity? Huntsman will be president some day------how many people can say they speak Chinese and have worked for the last 5 US presidents, and have adopted children and can truly say they are conservative and liberal?

  • Tolerance and Peace Centerville, State
    May 14, 2011 2:01 p.m.

    To Article-Reader: "You either believe the church is true or you don't..." Ever heard of Agnosticism? Every naturalist (i.e, Darwinism, The Platonic concept of Knowledge), atheistic, or theist concept contradict one another in some way. This in turn proves and disproves every one, validating the possibility while excluding the probability. It's a very earthly, accepting, and fool proof "belief" system that inspires intellectual pacifism: where you can be strongly opinionated yet not point fingers and say someone's religion is wrong. Instead of jumping to conclusions and calling Huntsman a political sell out we can take a step back and look at the strong philosophical influences involved. In my view, the reason he uses the term "tough to define" to describe his falling away from the LDS faith is to try and avoid the vehement criticism we see posted on this comment board. This doesn't lessen him as a person or politician in my eyes because I see where he is coming from as an ex-Mormon myself.

  • sg newhall, CA
    May 14, 2011 10:38 a.m.

    I find it unfortunate that he his beliefs or faith has to be questioned and scrutinized. If he says he has a spiritual side stronger than his religiosity, then that should be acceptable. Who are we to judge? Active or not; just because his father is an area Seventy and the late David B Haight was an apostle, should not be the litmus test. The choice is his. He has his reasons and personal convictions. To even report that his children attended private Catholic schools creates a false sense of wonderment as to why? What's wrong with the non-religious schools? Or to ask, "Don't you like being a Mormon anymore?" Perhaps it is only that he, like Mormonism teaches, searches for and embraces ALL truth; and sole ownership does not belong to just the Mormon church. I also believe that it is ridiculous to delve into a man's belief system and then pass judgment. Is he a good leader? Will he serve the country well? Does he care for those he has served? Or, does he speak with a forked tongue? As successful as he has been, he will have his detractors. Time to Listen.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    May 14, 2011 9:38 a.m.

    @VovalLocal - why did JHJ feel the need to "clarify" his view of Mormonism? I think it's naive to think there was any reason other than to distance himself from it. What is there to gain? Well, if you think you can trade Mormon votes for Evangelical votes, that's a monumentally positive tradeoff for a politician. I can't imagine that Mormons outside of Utah/Idaho are swinging elections for anyone, and those states are going to vote Republican no matter what. So if JHJ makes it through the primaries, where Evangelical votes play a far more significant role than the Mormon vote, he'll own Utah and Idaho in a general election anyway.

    Even though I think JHJ miscalculated the impact of his intentional ambiguity, he can't possibly be stupid enough to think he could claim a "born again" Christian conviction. To have any credibility with the Evangelicals, he'd have to completely denounce Mormonism, and have a history of "conversion" far earlier than the instant he chooses to run for President.

    I still think his best option is to leave it with "that's a personal issue I'm not going to discuss."

  • VocalLocal Salt Lake, UT
    May 14, 2011 8:25 a.m.

    @DSB I don't think there is much to gain by distancing himself from the LDS religion. The reality is Mitt Romney received huge amounts of donations from LDS believers and Huntsman has essentially cut off those donations by expressing ambivalence about his LDS faith. As to appealing to a larger audience the other reality is that to make it through the funnel of the Republican primaries candidates almost always have to express a complete loyalty to Christianity and Huntsman didn't take this opportunity to act like he had become a born-again Christian as I'd expect a political opportunist to do. I think he's trying to be honest and while he is technically a member I think he wanted to add clarity to that since he no longer accepts an orthodox view of his faith.

  • jimhale Eugene, OR
    May 14, 2011 12:15 a.m.

    Huntsman is dead wrong. Now is not too early to have an opinion of his faith or the lack of it.
    It would be far more possible for him to win the Democratic than the Republican nomination.
    Evangelicals may not be happy with Mitt the Mormon, but they will completely reject Huntsman the religious waffler.
    He cannot be seriously eying the Republican nomination for President. He has to be running only for Vice-President. But no GOP nominee will be dumb enough to add him to their ticket.
    I predict he will flop early as a GOP candidate (accomplishing nothing but damaging Mitt - the real candidate the Dems fear most).....and be available for Obama to put on the 2012 ticket in place of Biden - as a grand gesture of bi-partisanship.
    If I wasn't a Mormon, I'd take bets on it.

  • Bill Freeze Lindon, UT
    May 13, 2011 10:43 p.m.

    Former Governor Huntsmans response lacked a show of devotion to his church. Many people felt that during his tenure as Governor he failed to do the heavy lifting in regards to important issues, but was always available for photo opportunities. We dont need more talking heads in government, but leaders of courage and conviction!

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    May 13, 2011 7:44 p.m.

    A Southern Evangelical, a Catholic, or even an atheist, won't respect a weaseling comment like that, much less a Mormon.
    I can't help but think the promotion that the liberal-leaning press is giving this guy is a mere pathetic attempt to split the LDS vote from Mitt.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    May 13, 2011 7:22 p.m.

    Well we know what's really important in Utah. Over 200 comments, really?

  • Marco Luxe Los Angeles, CA
    May 13, 2011 7:06 p.m.

    What do the readers of the DN think about Huntsman sending his children to Catholic school?

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    May 13, 2011 6:23 p.m.

    Romney yes, Huntsman no. He may be a decent person and was a good governor. Unfortunately his attempts to distance himself from the faith don't sit well wih a lot of LDS faithful. I don't think he has a chance at winning the nomination. He is virtually unknown outside of Utah.

  • Brad Smith San Francisco, CA
    May 13, 2011 5:51 p.m.

    Mr. Huntsman isn't the only Mormon(s) that try to pretend and/or distant their LDS/Mormon roots from their existence.

    For some reason BYU-tv, the satellite/cable channel that is ultimitely owned by the Church itself through BYU and the Church Education System (CES), is doing the same thing. Other than Sundays and real early in the morning for just a couple of hours or so, the TV channel will air anything BUT Gospel flavored programs. Looks like they now want to get "better ratings" or some other "WORLDLY" Approval distinction. In the first decade or so of BYU-tv, it was almost 50% or more LDS Gospel flavored programming (A Mirror of the LDS Culture and Beliefs). I used to tell people who wanted to know what "Mormons Really Believe" to tune it in and see and hear for themselves. But now it's just another attempted copy of PBS and/or ESPN type programming.

    Maybe the former Governor of Utah got his ideas of "hiding" from his roots by watching the "new" version of BYU-tv??

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    May 13, 2011 5:44 p.m.

    When I read the first answer he gave about being a member and active I got this sick feeling in my stomach which said, he does not have a testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel or he would not have answered as he did. I'm sorry for him, for his family and his Eternity. He seems to be a man who is confused as to what is most important - the earthly things or the Eternal things. I think he is struggling within himself and I pray he will come to his senses and do what is right - if not he faces many trials and heartaches.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    May 13, 2011 5:38 p.m.

    @VocalLocal - I challenge you to go to anyone in your local bishopric and start asking them about people in the ward, whether this person or that person "is a member." In fact, ask just about any member about the people in their neighborhood. It's just not a question that's "tough to define."

    Even though General Authorities have asked us not to divide ourselves as members and nonmembers, active and inactive, we still do, and even inactive members who don't believe at all are identified as members, although there may likely be a follow-up referencing activity or commitment or belief, or lack thereof.

    The question asked by the reporter seemed pretty straightforward, and unless JHJ has been excommunicated, the very simple, honest, and only answer is a simple "I am still a member." If he chooses to follow that up with an explanation of his commitment level, I have no problem with that, no matter the answer. But, the non-answer he gave to the very simple question begs the follow-up dialogue of whether he's intentionally distancing himself from the religion for crass political gain.

  • Capt. Smash Bountiful, UT
    May 13, 2011 5:11 p.m.

    Obama might be Mormon will he when Utah?

  • mountainhiker Kansas City, Missouri
    May 13, 2011 4:22 p.m.

    Matt 10:32-33 "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." Why would you not acknowledge your faith instead of fishing for the fleeting, vain, pathetic, empty, rotten, fake, Hollywood praise of the telestial world.

  • VocalLocal Salt Lake, UT
    May 13, 2011 4:06 p.m.

    'Being a member' IS tough to define. Technically someone on Church record is a member and I'm sure Huntsman still is a member in this sense. However, many members only consider someone a member if they actively participate and believe in the religion. I think Huntsman has made it clear that he no longer fulfills this definition of member. I think his responses are sincere. He clearly no longer fully believes and follows the LDS religion but he retains an appreciation of his LDS heritage and culture.

  • The Judge Kaysville, UT
    May 13, 2011 4:01 p.m.

    If Huntsman were somehow able to earn the republican nomination, he might well be the first republican in my lifetime NOT to win Utah.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    May 13, 2011 3:39 p.m.

    @vanka 10:49 - seems to me you're a "sheeple" of anti-Mormon thought. Most LDS member don't think so uncharitably toward fellow members with doubts, questions, or lesser commitments of the heart. Such judgmental ones are the minority.

    Although we dream of the perfect politician who's also a strong defender of the faith, I think we primarily hope our members are honest. JHJ's comments seem disingenuous and politically calculated to prevent offending one camp or another. As one commenter said, a question like "Are you a member?" is not in any way "tough to define," especially for someone raised in a devout LDS family. He could have said "Yes" or "Yes, but regarding my personal convictions..." His level of personal conversion may indeed be tough to define.

    His intentionally ambiguous answer opened him up to questions and speculation about his religious commitment and forthrightness. Personally, I agree with whoever said JHJ should have just answered that his religious commitment and faith were his own personal business and had no bearing on his ability to govern. Instead, his answers gave credence to the line of questioning, and opened himself up to unnecessary, irrelevant criticism.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    May 13, 2011 3:32 p.m.

    Huntsman is a RINO and a MINO. I guess he is hiding his candle under a bushel, eh?

  • CRB Woods Cross, UT
    May 13, 2011 3:19 p.m.

    Don't kid yourself, Obama has cultivated Huntsman as a liberal republican that cannot provide significant opposition to a very liberal incumbant. Of course they are trying to push him up the scales in Republican esteem. The last thing we need is another fiscally soft, domestically soft republican than cannot separate himself from the democratic opponent. Obama is playing a very cunning game. Huntsman is somewhere left of McCain and Dole and you know what happened to them. This country is going in exactly the opposite direction and needs fiscal conservatism and responsibility, it needs reduction of budgets in the big and political areas, it needs president that can provide leadership to congress on these issues not pander to the media and the public. Obama cannot provide that because he is the poster child for it. Huntsman also cannot be what he is not. He has always been a liberally minded republican. That is why he gets almost no support or press outside of Utah. Oh... excuse me he is getting the endorsement as the best Republican candidate from Obama. Humm...Kind of like the spider saying the fly is the best at getting out of its web.

  • PP Eagle Mountain, UT
    May 13, 2011 2:23 p.m.

    It is interesting to me that JHJ gets a ton of support from liberals and anti-mormons and almost none from actual conservatives. What more really needs to be said.

    One more thing - when we vote for a candidate we are making a judgement. Those "don't judge" people really need to understand what they are saying. If a person cant keep the commitments he has made to his church, family, elks club, etc... then that tells us how he will keep his commitments to his constituents. Of course religion is important to look at if the person wanting to be your politician. Everything he does is important.

  • ryansaltlake SLC, UT
    May 13, 2011 2:11 p.m.

    I see absolutely no problem with Huntsman's comments. I think every member of the LDS church who is being honest would admit there are thousands of levels of church commitment. Everyone close to him knows he has not been a devout Mormon for a long time. Who cares? He still loves his ancestry and is proud of his roots. The man is a proven leader with good values. There is a reason why he had 80%+ approval rating as governor.

  • greenman108 Petaluma, CA
    May 13, 2011 1:55 p.m.

    peck posted "TIME is typically a more liberal magazine":.

    No, its not and never was. It was founded by an important Republican business family, and its a mainstream Republican magazine.
    Just because they published this story about one candidate you may think highly of, does not negate decades of mainstream corporatist Republican editorials and stories.

    The expression MORE LIBERAL in your post is funny, actually. I hope the DN will let me challenge you on your post.
    Go ahead and clip in some stories from past Time articles you found "more liberal". Then read the Utne reader and Mother Jones magazine articles on the same topics. THOSE will be 'more liberal'. Time is all business, all the time.
    Not one populist or socialist or pro-union bone in their editors' bodies.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 13, 2011 1:51 p.m.

    Re:bandersen 1:01: Did you misunderstand what Mr. Huntsman said. He didn't say he lacked conviction in himself or that he doubted himself. He said he was not sure about the Mormon church and that he had some doubt about it. I think if you study human history, even in the Bible Peter and Thomas had doubt, it is the people that think they know everything and have no doubt that are the problem and the destructive dangerous ones.

  • greenman108 Petaluma, CA
    May 13, 2011 1:46 p.m.

    Poor thing. 1. He's afraid of the well known pounce factor, and keeps his opinions to himself.
    Its clear to me that he's not prepared to run. He's waiting for his staff to poll and write his opinions for him, lest he accidently speak his truth in a way that offends some core constituency of the Republican party. He quite correctly remembers the distinctions that the Republican National committee fund raising manual said about the party faithful, before it was outed public and withdrawn. That is, reactionaries are among the core givers to the party. Reactionaries, like an adolescent, are easily swayed by buzz words, and will polarize to any threat to their identity. Careful, step gently, dont rile the reactionaries.
    2. I am astounded at his attempt to not have a point of view on LDS.
    Whether you believe Barack Hussein Obama is really a Christian in his heart, (or not), Obama does claim that.
    The TIme article says Californians might be ok with Huntsman's non-position on religion. Maybe. Bush carried every county in California outside the SF Bay area. Kerry had 74% of the vote of the 6 SF Bay counties.

  • Johnson72 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 13, 2011 1:11 p.m.

    I would still vote for a Catholic Huntsman.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    May 13, 2011 1:01 p.m.

    wow, finally a candidate that is a reflection of many 'Americans', i.e. very little conviction! Why do I want a leader who is still confused about what his convictions are? No wonder he is finding support amongst the 'Big Brother can give me an identity' crowd! In the end, it is just another politician seeking for more power and fame without revealing the dearth of conviction that surely haunts him/her ('Since I still don't know who I am, perhaps becoming President will help me feel important!'). The poor exploited followers who want someone like him! They don't know where they are going and want someone to lead them there!

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 13, 2011 12:59 p.m.

    I have to wonder what Jon Huntsman Sr. thinks about Jr and his apostacy? Sr. was close friends with Pres Hinckley and is still very connected to the LDS First Presidency - doing alot of great things. I'm sure he is very disapointed in how his son has drifted away from his faith. People in the US want a man in the oval office that has conviction and not someone who is wishy-washy. Pres. Reagan didn't attend an offical church but his Christian beliefs were solid and he wasn't afraid to proclaim them publically.

  • mkSdd3 Ogden, UT
    May 13, 2011 12:28 p.m.

    In my opinion this is not about Huntsman's religion.

    The back lash is about the fact that we thought we knew this guy, and it turns out we didn't. Most people saying they will not vote for him has a reason other than his beliefs. I don't think anyone is saying they are not going to vote for him because he is not sure of his beliefs.

    While he was in office in Utah he never tried to distance himself from the church. When people were bringing up his missionary service he never once said "Yeah, but I am not so sure of my beliefs right now." Assumptions were made, and now those assumptions were wrong. This article is just making people question all other assumptions they made about this man, and they are no longer giving him a free pass.

    This piece of news didn't change Huntsman, it changed the assumptions that people were making about him.

  • Kimball Bakersfield, CA
    May 13, 2011 12:24 p.m.

    A person that bright and priveleged who can't even tell people the articles of faith. How can he be president?

  • CheColBar San Diego, CA
    May 13, 2011 12:11 p.m.

    He just lost my vote.

  • Teacher35yrs. Sandy, UT
    May 13, 2011 12:03 p.m.

    What a total political animal. He won't carry the state of Utah let alone the nation. Go back to China JHJ.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    May 13, 2011 12:00 p.m.

    That makes sense and it so it sounds like he is sincerely wanting to work his way back. Many are kept from sin for lack of opportunity.

  • Ok Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 13, 2011 11:53 a.m.

    Or maybe he wants to quit the LDS church. After-all, he quit being governor and he quit being the ambassador to China. Yup, he probably is just planning to quit the church.

  • Aggielove Junction city, Oregon
    May 13, 2011 11:49 a.m.

    I am suprised that vanka is not denied her statement. Many folks have been denied for much less harsh words.
    The church is true. This is a utah guy, what else would you expect from utah folks.
    The church means more than a vote.

  • Ok Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 13, 2011 11:49 a.m.

    Maybe he got excommunicated and he just doesn't want everyone to know.

  • foundmymarbles Sandy, ut
    May 13, 2011 11:46 a.m.

    When you are excommunicated from the church, you are not a member anymore. Obviously, I don't know if this is the case. But it can make one wonder.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    May 13, 2011 11:05 a.m.

    Gosh, if he does not want to be a Mormon, isn't that ok?

  • hiya O, UT
    May 13, 2011 10:56 a.m.

    "So let me understand, if someone is a member, but has questions or doubts in their own personal testimony, they need to leave the church? Such sole searching is not allowed? You can't remain a member while you sort things out?"

    No it has nothing to do with membership/searching. I am extremely sorry if I gave that impression. It has to do with knowing if its true or not and whether your committed to being active or not. "...Joseph Smith was a prophet who saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. The Church is true. If you do not already have a testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony..."-(Thomas S. Monson, General Conference April 2011, Preisthood Power)
    If you don't know, than do what you need to to come to know. It has nothing to do with whether or not you need to revoke your membership or stop attending (please come!).
    Again we are not enemies if you don't know or are "not in", just that simply either you know for yourself or you don't.

  • Igualmente Mesa, AZ
    May 13, 2011 10:52 a.m.

    Dude, are you drunk with power, ambition, and greed? You should have stayed in China, where you could have worked to stop the economic takeover of our country.

    Instead, you cut short your service to take a shot at the top job by denying your faith? You now have no principles or integrity to stand on.

    Your only option now is to retreat within your Dad's company and mend your soul.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    May 13, 2011 10:49 a.m.

    I like Huntsman.

    I really dislike the fanatic LDS reactions to what Huntsman said.

    It is typical of LDS to try to "shame" those who do not agree with them, and they are especially judgmental of those "vile betrayers" who were among the flock and appear to be nonconformists.

    What a complete and absolute confirmation that LDS are actually "sheeple" after all.

    That is pretty pathetic.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 13, 2011 10:32 a.m.

    ECR - and it is for the exact reason you state that I went from Republican to Independent, and haven't regretted it ever.

  • Aggielove Junction city, Oregon
    May 13, 2011 10:17 a.m.

    I guess i will avoid voting for him. If he wasnt mormon from the begining, then i would possibly vote for him. But knowing he is, and acting this way, answers all the questions i have for him.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    May 13, 2011 10:14 a.m.

    UtahBlueDevil - I appreciate your thoughtful comment but I can't say I agree with everything you said. Since you live in North Carolina I'm sure you must be familiar with the general disdain evangelicals have for Mormons. According to my son's former girlfriend who attended his church, one local minister here in Northern Virginia literally spends 15 minutes of each sermon, each Sunday blasting the Mormons and warning against their enticing message.

    In the Senate today, the most influential Republican Senator is not the Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell. It is Jim Demint from South Carolina who often mixes his evangelical ferver with his political speeches. I know evangeicals appreciate the support they receive from Mormons when it comes to social issues but it seems they are quick to point out their religious differences so as not to assume any association (ever listen to the Bible Answer man on radio?)

    Abortion and gay rights - those two issues are what keeps most Mormons from embracing more of the Democratic platform. The compassion in the beliefs of the Democratic platform more accurately reflect the things I've learned over a lifetime in the Mormon church than anything the Republicans have presented.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    May 13, 2011 10:07 a.m.

    This is so incredibly interesting. Mormons were so upset that people would even consider Romney's religion in the last election. But now that Huntsman is getting exposure as potentially a less than a full believing member many LDS are ready to eat him alive.

    Do we recognize how important our perception is in the church? It is the reason the PR and apologetics arm of the church has so much influence. It is why we love to announce our numbers. So what that less than half continue to have anything to do with the church, 13 million and growing makes us feel so good! It is why we love to drop famous Mormon names. A lot of it is normal and okay. But when we won't vote for JH because he is not devout enough we are being phenominally hypocritical.

    I truly hope JH recognizes that the MAJORITY of the 6 million US Mormons relate more to him than Romney. JH, if you do not believe everything LDS please don't be afraid to be honest about that. You may be shocked at how many Mormons both respect and relate to that.

  • JMT Springville, UT
    May 13, 2011 9:49 a.m.

    OK, for me the plot does not thicken, it only sets into concrete. This story has reached all around the country. I am on several other political and economic blogs/webgroups and what is amazingly consistent is how the battle lines have been drawn. The Left is in love with Huntsman and the Right either was never there or kicking him to the curb. The most vocal defense and adoration of Huntsman yet comes from a couple of my friends who are self-identified marxists and communists. I kid you not! It simply cannot get better then this. I have a marxist buddy of 10+ years bragging that with Huntsman the GOP will finally be on the right path.

    I now want to adopt a little Chicago style politik'n myself. How many dead people can I line up to vote NO on this one?!

    Politics is mostly frustrating but every now and then its a real pleasure.

  • Janell West Valley City, Ut
    May 13, 2011 9:48 a.m.

    Mormon Faith: hard to define = Since I am affiliated with the Church, I am hoping to cash in on the LDS vote AND now since I can distance myself from the faith, I hope to cash in on the anti-Mormon vote too!

    Opportunistic politicians.

    I'm voting for Romney. At least he's willing to stand up and be counted as LDS.

  • Serenity Manti, UT
    May 13, 2011 9:17 a.m.

    I think it is politically wise for Jon Huntsman not to make an issue of religion. That should not be an issue. What should be the issue is if he can get this country out of its downward slide. Can he put our economy back on track? Is he wise enough to be president of this great nation? Can he fix the housing, the gas prices, the cuts in pay for many, and the unemployment? Could he fix the illegal alien issues? He is a brilliant politician. Religion should not be an issue if he can fix America. Why should Jon Huntsman have to explain his religion? Is it because he is a Mormon? Is that not being bigoted and unfair? The media feeding-frenzy about Jon Huntsmans comments is totally ridiculous. No one talks about his talents for fixing America. They only talk about whether he is a Mormon or not. Why dont they have some newsworthy stories like how Jon Huntsman will fix our broken country if he gets elected.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    May 13, 2011 9:13 a.m.

    Jon Huntsman is the only one who knows what he is talking about.

    I could listen to him for hours and not know what he was talking about, and so could you. The author of the Time Magazine article knew less about Huntsman after he answered the question than before.

    I don't know what he is talking about.
    You don't know what he is talking about.

    Jon Huntsman is the only one who knows what he is talking about.

  • lookbeyond Moab, UT
    May 13, 2011 8:58 a.m.

    Mr. Huntsman has lost my vote.....he is too undecided as to what he believes! Will he waffle on important moral issues? Does his religion define him....or do political aspirations??? I am not sure he is trustworthy to represent Republican supporting the Constitution; protecting our borders; and reign in spending!

  • DC Fan Layton, UT
    May 13, 2011 8:57 a.m.

    honestly, he isn't one bit better than Obama..he wouldn't carry Utah.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 13, 2011 8:47 a.m.

    Jon Huntsman Jr. represents over fifty percent of the present Mormon church membership and is the typical member of the near future. Mormonism can not cling to the dark past in light of the present day access to new discovery of information and intelligence. Myths are now much easier to expose and explain; and to educate people about than in past years when communications and research were more limited. But, the real question is: can Mr. Huntsman best serve our nation. Is he the best choice for the job. That is what really matters.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    May 13, 2011 8:45 a.m.

    There is no shortcut to integrity. You either are Mormon or you are not. Even if you have you own idea of what constitutes a 'good' Mormon, there is no guess work about the expectations, standards, etc. of the church. Huntsman comes across as ashamed of his 'roots'. His cosmopolitan view shows an utter lack of conviction or an unwillingness to address whether he is a believer in LDS theology or not. I prefer someone with deeper convictions. I don't care what religion my president is, but I won't support someone who is running for office because he is trying to hide from figuring out what he believes! No thanks! I'll take a flaming socialist before I'd do that.

  • BP Salt Lake City, UT
    May 13, 2011 8:35 a.m.

    All I know is that I really appreciated Huntsman as a governor. Despite being a republican, I thought he incorporated the strengths of both parties well in governing the state. He'll have my vote if he gets that far.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    May 13, 2011 8:35 a.m.

    Anyone who does NOT have a tough time defining his religion probably does not know enough about that religion or the outside world to discern the dichotomies that exist.

    When proclamations over an individual's religiosity enter the political square, both religious and political discourse are cheapened. Politicians making overt religious statements to win votes is something both parties should avoid.

    Huntsman may possess a nuanced and discerning religious world view. It would be a tragedy if such people were alienated by the electorate or by their religious communities.

  • jenrmc Fort Worth, TX
    May 13, 2011 8:30 a.m.

    His religion or lack there of isn't (shouldn't) be on trial here. I think the issue is whether he is being truthful or evading the question. The question that seems to be throughout the comments is whether he can be a "true" member of the LDS church. The Bible (New Testament) shows Christ to be an accepting person who took people at face value. He saw where they were and showed them the way He thought was the best way to live. There is no instance of force or condemnation of a person. Huntsman is where he is right now and that is non-committal on his beliefs. The question that should be asked is whether you (only you) can support someone who is non-committal. Condemnation and judgment of this choice should have no place in a discussion of his fitness for office. There is absolutely no one who has posted on this board who has the "authority" or "right" to condemn this man's actions. If you are a "true" member of the LDS church you realize only the proper authorities have that right and then it isn't something to be shared openly.

  • bookish Salt Lake City, UT
    May 13, 2011 8:15 a.m.

    As a former Mormon myself, if Huntsman really is in a transitioning period with his faith that truly is tough to define. Or rather, maybe he knows he is a former Mormon (or a name-only Mormon), but isn't ready to say it out loud because the ramifications can be so difficult. I don't even come from a strong line of Mormons, and it was tough for me to start calling myself a former Mormon out loud. Mormon friends and family think of you differently once they know and can become distrustful, and of course with the whole eternal family concept your close family members are extremely disappointed once they know. I can't imagine having to address such a personal topic in such a public manner, but of course that's part of the package when you become a politician (whether you like it or not).

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    May 13, 2011 8:10 a.m.

    Seems to me that anyone who has a "tough time" defining his religion doesn't have enough religion in him/her to be a significant factor to consider in the voting booth.

  • Gerrie McLean, VA
    May 13, 2011 8:10 a.m.

    JHJ is too clever by half. His campaign will implode of its own weightlessness. Ever wonder why he is said to be the most feared GOP candidate among the democrats? As if!

  • Pipes Salt Lake City, UT
    May 13, 2011 7:56 a.m.

    He will never get my vote. The last thing we need is another wishy washy politician!

  • LeonardL Sandy, UT
    May 13, 2011 7:50 a.m.

    I think Jon Huntsman JR, gave an honest answer to a question that many politicians would have lied about or side stepped. I have gone through similar times in my own life... most of us have, even the most faithful in the LDS Church have times like this even though they might not admit it. I have seen Jon Huntsman JR in church with his family, they are the nicest people. I also believe Jon that he is a spiritual person. For me I respect him more for admitting this.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    May 13, 2011 7:32 a.m.

    Many have considered Huntsman's comments to be slick or pandering to both sides. Perhaps he is just being completely honest. I know that if someone interviewed me and asked about my religious beliefs it would be very hard to answer. I am lifelong LDS, attend church, but have a lot of confusion around what I truly believe about a lot of the LDS history/doctrine. And I happen to know that I am far from being alone in that view. True believing members just don't get that but what they also don't get is how many thousands of their fellow members share this struggle to one degree or another.

    Perhaps Romney is the one who is being less than candid. Check out his response to whether or not he supported the LDS ban on blacks holding the Priesthood. He was very noncommital and evasive and literally refused the interviewers request to be more clear. And yet, maybe he truly does not know what he thinks about that either.

    Many things about our LDS faith are not clear or easy. I don't know may be a very honest answer for many members.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 13, 2011 7:31 a.m.

    ECR - there are groups out there that believe either overtly or as a matter of conscience that unless you are white, anglo-saxon, and protestant, you are not worthy of being in office. There was a huge uproar when a catholic Kennedy became president, only to have American resolve that issue for the most part by the time Reagan became president. There are many who have an issues with a black urban raised man being president. There are those who had issues when a person of Jewish faith run for the top office. And there are many who simply could not understand how a woman could become president. This isn't anything new, nor is it anything "mormon". Even Sarah Palin's evangelical beliefs at one time made headlines.

    Sure there are those that don't like mormons..... but in reality, that block of voters votes the same way every time and are hardly a factor in swinging elections. Obama wan't elected because of any movement in that crowd. And if a Mormon gets voted in, it will not be because that group did one thing or another. They are not in play.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 13, 2011 7:23 a.m.

    I find it refreshing that Huntsman wants to keep his religion to himself. Between him and his god, which is the way it should be.

  • SLC gal Salt Lake City, UT
    May 13, 2011 7:13 a.m.

    Is really unsure? Or is he hiding who he is to play to the crowds he's hoping to win over? I hope it's the former.

  • baddog Cedar Rapids, IA
    May 13, 2011 6:25 a.m.

    Brother Huntsman reminds me of the current president. You get what you vote for. At least with Mr. Obama, he doesn't try to hide what he is.

    But then I suspect Brother Huntsman is not hiding who he is, either.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    May 13, 2011 6:06 a.m.

    Wow! 173 comments. I like to see that kind of response. I did a cursory review of the comments and may have missed it but it seems like no one picked up the most interesting quote from the article. '"The only thing worse than being a Mormon is being a nothing," said David Woodard, a political science professor at Clemson University in South Carolina'. So here is a distinguished professor from Clemson University, who has been a political advisor to South Carolina's most priminent conservative politicians including Lindsey Graham and Jim Demint, who thinks there is only one thing in the world worse than being a Mormon. Doesn't that tell it all. The conservative evangelical south, that ultimately controls the Republican Party, has total disdain for Mormons. When will the good folks in Utah and elsewhere, who are devout Mormons, stop thinking they have a legitimate voice in the Republican Party. They don't. They are a convenient partner in conservative issues relating to gay marriage and abortion but otherwise they are no more welcome than members of the Socialist Workers Party. Wake up Mormons, the Republicans don't respect you.

  • John Adams Miami, FL
    May 13, 2011 5:45 a.m.

    Regarding issues of "black and white" (e.g., fence sitters)...

    "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

    "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth."

    Revelation 3:15 & 16

  • JMT Springville, UT
    May 13, 2011 5:09 a.m.

    This just makes me laugh so hard I almost wet my pants! Read it to my wife and just exploded in laughter.

    Huntsman is as Mormon as Thomas S Monson. When he ran for Governor his Mormonism was oozing from his pours. His crew talked about how his dad flew the Prophet around on his private jet. How his dad was a Mormon 70 General Authority. Mormon this and that. In fact, it was his Mormon faith that helped him adopt the children he has.

    He isn't in Kansas anymore and being Mormon is now bad, so he is no more.

    The key characteristic of a RINO is they will say or do anything to be popular. If he will kick his Mormon religion to the curb...what next? What other truth or principle will he jettison when it suits him? What freedoms will he dump as President to convenience him?

    This is cowardice to the umpteenth degree. He should receive ZERO votes.

  • liberate Sandy, UT
    May 13, 2011 2:53 a.m.

    My question is why is it everybody's business? It sounds like he is like a lot of Mormons out there in that they attend regularly, fulfill their callings, read or study occasionally, but truthfully are not sure where they stand with respect to the whole truth of it all. This is natural and a lot of people go through it. Problem for Huntsman is he's about to enter the most visible stage on the planet and so now is not the time to begin equivocating about beliefs. Romney has already shown us that that strategy does not work.

  • spaghetti Boise, ID
    May 13, 2011 1:52 a.m.

    Big Sports Fan:

    Really? You've met every member of the LDS faith and know they fit into one of those 2 categories? Human beings, members of the LDS faith or not, do not conveniently fit into boxes of A or B. All human beings are just not that simple to define. I definitely agree that members of the LDS faith are not perfect- I know because I'm one of them and know I have many faults. But that is EXACTLY what the gospel of Jesus Christ is all about- there is hope for all of us who mess up. (a lot!) (And that excludes no one).

    I think in comment boards like this it's just way too easy put people (and their comments) in boxes, when none of us have all the answers. (I believe that God does).

    I agree that Ambassador Huntsman should have the right to his own opinions and beliefs, that he shouldn't be "judged" (on a personal level) by others. But as a politician we do have to "judge" whether or not we think he would be a good candidate. Please don't mix up the two types of judging...

  • spaghetti Boise, ID
    May 13, 2011 1:21 a.m.

    @ razzle:

    since when was star wars part of the God's word?

  • Mike in Texas Allen, TX
    May 13, 2011 1:11 a.m.

    Huntsman shouldn"t have equivicated, but the answer to the question should mean nothing to anyone else, and it should not have been asked. This amounts to nothing less than a religeous litmus test and that is bad. He is not considering running for pope or prophet after all.

  • B Logan, UT
    May 13, 2011 12:13 a.m.

    Matthew 19:29

    "And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, (or political aspirations) for my names sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life."

  • friedeggonAZstreets Glendale, AZ
    May 12, 2011 11:03 p.m.

    My first knee-jerk reaction to the Time article was "What?! Are you selling out your faith?" But who's to say he was even quoted correctly or his answer was taken out of context. I don't know. I've seen a lot of shoddy work in the media lately and who's to say this is not the case this time. Not sure what his reasons for saying this to Time and then stating he is a member to the Deseret News. He has his reasons.

  • apocalypse now Woods Cross, UT
    May 12, 2011 10:59 p.m.

    Wow. Are you kidding me? Answered like a true politician. Either he doesn't know what he believes, or he is lying, or he is something worse. Not a hard question to answer. "Are you still Mormon"? Sounds like he is scared to answer it.

  • Dave from Taylorsville Taylorsville, UT
    May 12, 2011 10:09 p.m.

    Well, although I may be one of last ones to comment here, I think it's important to understand that the issue isn't why Mr. Huntsman said what he said, it's what it means.

    What it means is the end of his political career. That simple. You can count on it. If he eventually listens to people who have an ounce of sense, and not the yes people he has surrounded himself with, then he won't even waste the money on a preliminary campaign.

    He shot himself in the foot worse than "The Donald"

  • wmtw Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 12, 2011 9:41 p.m.

    Why is this even on the news. Why does it even matter if he is Mormon or not. Cant a man have his own belief and personal views. That is all that really matters doesn't it. We don't have to prove to anyone that we are of some faith or not.

  • B Logan, UT
    May 12, 2011 9:19 p.m.

    Put aside the Mormon issue for a minute. This guy seems like the classic politician. He smiles a lot, seems to say all the right stuff, and can't fully commit to a position. I have a problem with a politician who says that it's 'tough to define' something like this. I have dealt with people like this before. They are nice to everyone but not affiliated with anyone or anything. They are constantly looking to 'keep their options open.' The weird thing is that we are even having a discussion on his candidacy for the office of President. He has NO CHANCE. Seriously. There are twenty more politicians on both sides of the aisle just like him.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    May 12, 2011 9:11 p.m.

    Did the JHJ bashers based only on religion read the Time article? Time is who you should bash. They did all the could to trap Mr. Huntsman and I think he came out shining. By the way, for those quick to judge, he didn't say he was not an active Mormon, you jumped to that conclusion on your own. (Quick to judge seems to be creeping more and more into our society causing a wider divide even among the Utah LDS.)

  • PA Gardener Towanda, PA
    May 12, 2011 9:10 p.m.

    I say give Jon some slack. It is too early to pass a quick judgment on this candidate. With some time and patience, we will eventually see how his campaign unfolds and get to see how he stands on the real issues burdening this nation of ours. Only then can I talk about whether he gets my vote.

  • ? Fort Knox, KY
    May 12, 2011 9:05 p.m.

    UtahBlueDevil: Yes, it would be lonely. Please stick around and keep going to sacrament meeting.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 12, 2011 8:42 p.m.

    So let me understand, if someone is a member, but has questions or doubts in their own personal testimony, they need to leave the church? Such sole searching is not allowed? You can't remain a member while you sort things out?

    How telling that so many members think like this. If they only really knew about the discussions that happen behind closed doors with conversations between leader and member about how they may struggle with this, or that part of the gospel. Sacrament meeting would be a very lonely place if it were only for those who don't have questions.

  • bgl Santa Monica, CA
    May 12, 2011 8:39 p.m.

    As Republicans continue to dine on their own, it's refreshing to see a guy who is willing to dine upon himself by being neither non-Mormon enough for most of America or Mormon enough for his own religion.

  • ? Fort Knox, KY
    May 12, 2011 8:15 p.m.

    I can understand if he wants to keep his religious preferences private, in which case he should have said so and maybe he wishes he had. I can understand other members getting a little upset by being vague in his answer, because we promise to stand as a witness at all times, in all things, and all places. One thing to think about is the apostle Peter. He denied the Savior three times, yet he was an apostle of the Lord and became a great leader. Mr. Huntsman has some experiences that would make him a great president, and other things like any other politician that concern me. Wish him best of luck.

  • Fender Bender Saint George, UT
    May 12, 2011 8:11 p.m.

    Should Huntsman have given a straight answer? Yes. His answer should have been:

    "My religious beliefs are private and unrelated to whether or not I would be an effective leader."

    Isn't that the sentiment most of us LDS members felt when Mitt Romney was facing all of those ridiculous questions about his religious beliefs in the 2008 campaign? Didn't we all cry foul? Didn't we all agree then that there should be no religious litmus test for the office of POTUS?

    Why are so many of us now judging Huntsman the (potential) candidate based on his personal religious beliefs?

    Seems pretty hypocritical to me.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 12, 2011 7:46 p.m.

    Honestly --

    My "guess" is Jon Huntsman Jr.'s "tough to define" relationship with the LDS Church has nothing to do with his personal "faith", but rather the bizarre and extremely "peculiar" Mormons here in Utah.

    I remember full well distancing myself from "those" kinds of Mormons when living outside of the "bubble".

    BTW - Jesus was rejected and ultimely crucified by his own (the ultra-Conservatives of his time) for being too "RINO" [isn't that what you guys call Liberal Republicans?].

  • hiya O, UT
    May 12, 2011 7:21 p.m.

    The LDS Faith is just not one of wishy-whashyism. It requires allot of effort, work, service, and commitment on top of religious conversion to the doctrine. It is not a religion where you go once a year and say "Awe shucks that was nice, maybe we'll visit next year". Don't get me wrong, visitors, and those struggling with their faith are welcome to attend our Imeetings and worship services, but it is definitely a you know or you don't, a its true or not sort of religion; not a maybe. People don't get offended with the army, but you can't say I'm sort of in the army. You can't say I'm kinda the president. Its just one of those positions where either you believe it or you don't and if you don't know than you don't believe it yet. That's ok, it is what it is. People don't need to be offended by that. It's just the nature of the religion. And that's OK! If your a don't it doesn't that we are enemies! Just that your not in. moving on.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    May 12, 2011 7:12 p.m.

    Another interesting aspect of this is that Huntsman's brand of Mormonism (not able to accept everything) probably resonates with more of the 6 million U.S. Mormons than does Romney's (I know the church is true - period) brand.

    In addition, Huntsman is probably much less threatening to the large block of ultra conservative southern born-again republicans than Romney. And he probably resonates with independents more.

    So, while he won't win any Deseret News poll, he is probably a more acceptable candidate nationwide than Romney.

    And for those who think JH was wishy washy in his response, go to Youtube and watch some old Romney interviews. He was asked very directly how he felt about the LDS Church's stance on black members prior to 1978. He was 31 when the ban was lifted and as a result it is a legitimate question whether or not he supported the ban. He out wishy-washes JH big time.

  • chopperdan Clovis, NM
    May 12, 2011 7:01 p.m.

    I'm terribly disappointed in Mr. Huntsman. It's either, --- I'm a member or not. He is a terrible example and a coward. Be true to the faith Mr. Huntsman!

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    May 12, 2011 6:52 p.m.

    Who cares? I think too many of you. 170 posts, wow. Donnie and Marie for president.

  • Fly Washington, DC
    May 12, 2011 6:51 p.m.

    It is "tough to define" why Huntsman thinks he has a prayer in a nationwide election. If Mitt Romney can't do it with Massachusetts and Michigan connections, along with a strong Mormon vote, how does Huntsman think he is going to do it, with none of those things? Plus, having a stiff-as-a-board personality.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    May 12, 2011 6:45 p.m.

    Like everyone else on this board, I do not know what JH believes or what he does not. I do know that he seems to represent a very large number of LDS - those who struggle with or outright do not accept some of the LDS truth claims but who still have a strong connection to the Church.

    The reality is that there are thousands of members who are struggling with their relationship to the Church in light of the fact that they cannot say that they believe all things LDS.

    I think it will be interesting to see how the Church responds to this large block of members - many who still attend and remain active despite a substantil lack of belief. If JH becomes a serious candidate they may have to address this sooner rather than later.

    The question is whether there truly is room in the Church for "soft", "doubting", "liberal" or "cafateria" members. Some in the Church see no place for these members. This has been reflected by the "in or out" comments to this article. Others are very accepting of the different journeys different members are on. We shall see...

  • New Yorker Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 12, 2011 6:36 p.m.

    Not someone I'd vote for. Did like his governorship either.

  • FreddyT Wasatch/Heber, UT
    May 12, 2011 6:11 p.m.

    uummm... Get off the fence Huntsman.

    I honestly question his intelligence if he thinks sitting on the fence is the answer to a very relevant and legitimate question that will not go away.

    Is this how he plans on handling the tough decisions if he gets to the Whitehouse. Sitting on the fence? Good luck this that Johnny.

  • jim l West Jordan, UT
    May 12, 2011 6:03 p.m.

    Huntsman is a politician first. He went back on his word when he was governor. Do and say anything to get elected. I am not surprized at this. Smiling johnie

  • katamb Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 12, 2011 5:49 p.m.

    Huntsman is a typical whimpy politician. Vote Rick Santorum!

  • sergio Phoenix, AZ
    May 12, 2011 5:48 p.m.

    Re: AT 5:04 For the blessed who have it, money pays for a lot of penance and buys a whole lot of forgivness. And maybe that is a good thing; who knows. Anyway, after reading so many of the self righteous comments it almost makes the label Jack-Mormon sound like a badge of courage.

  • Lone Ranger Tooele, UT
    May 12, 2011 5:38 p.m.

    Huntsman has attempted to remove himself from the taint of being a Utah Mormon. He is a true politician, talking out of both sides of his mouth. When in Utah play to the Mormon side....When running for a president of what may be determined as a pro liberal country, bring up the family trash.....It'll probably work. The next thing we might hear is that he smoked marjijuana in high school only a couple of times but didn't inhale. By employing such methods, Mrs Huntsman's boy might very well be the next president of the United States.

    HiO Silver!

  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    May 12, 2011 5:31 p.m.

    This is political pandering denying the truth and hoping others will accept his betrayal.

    As far as the Church being the true Church Christ said that himself in the Doctrine and Covenants section 1 verse 30. You can say you do not believe that, just as the Jews refused to believe Christ is the Savior. Either you believe this statement or do you do not. Either you believe Jesus Christ made that statement or you do not. To be a faithful member of the Church you must believe that statement or you are not faithful, regardless of how good you are.

  • Jared Gainesville, FL
    May 12, 2011 5:24 p.m.

    As I commented earlier, I believe Jon Huntsman should have just given a straight answer. However, I think he'd be a good president. It is possible to disagree with someone or with someone's actions while still supporting him or her. Huntsman's non-answer doesn't affect how or if I vote for him but that doesn't mean I agree with him giving a non-answer.

    Re: AT "A reason that really makes you question how [Huntsman Sr.] now part of the Church leadership."

    What that shows is that you believe Huntsman Sr. is a "MINO" but clearly the Lord believes differently. Is Huntsman Sr. perfect? No. Is Huntsman Jr. perfect? No. Are any of us perfect? No. Should we judge others? Of course we should, to the extent of our limited understanding. We'd be mindless robots if we didn't judge others. Should we ever pass a "final judgment" on others? Of course not.

  • jasonlivy Orem, UT
    May 12, 2011 5:18 p.m.

    Can anyone say, "Jack Mormon"?

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    May 12, 2011 5:15 p.m.

    @xscribe: Only one person has earned the right to label anyone a hypocrite. And it's not you and it's not me. We should all be more tolerant and less judgmental. I think we should examine how well Huntsman's political walk matches his political talk. Why is it OK for us to put more value on his religion (or his color, or his ethnicity, or etc.) than on his ability to lead with principle? We bristle when we hear people say they could never vote for a Mormon. Then why do we not bristle when someone says they could never vote for a non-Mormon or even a former Mormon?

    As an active member of the LDS church, I feel a twinge of regret when I hear JHJ waffle on a question about his faith. But that will not affect my decision about whether to vote for him.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    May 12, 2011 5:01 p.m.

    OK, let me at least describe good ole shallow, mindless me. First of all, I don't vote for someone cause they are white, and I would not vote for someone cause they are Mormon. On the other hand, I will not withhold a vote because of color or religion. So maybe I a white Mormon girl will vote for a black non Mormon man, and I am not talking Obama. But maybe I will like Cain, and again maybe I will like Romney, but either way, it will not be based on color or religion. So that is what this shallow mindless person has planned. As for Huntsman, I don't think he is going to do well and I was not pro Huntsman before I found out that he might be a white Mormon version of Obama. Obama shunned his church in the name of politics.

  • Iggle Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2011 5:00 p.m.

    Here's an idea, why don't we as Mormons take this as a teachable moment ... for us! We can understand that there are, as another commenter said, varying degrees of belief and activity in the LDS Church. How about we just realize that we're all human and we're all unfinished products? Be patient with people. Be understanding if they don't believe the same things you do. How many people are impatient with us to the point where they're screaming at the top of their lungs for us to abandon our beliefs and take up theirs? I have a relative who said it "drove him nuts" that someone in his ward didn't seem to have a strong testimony. Why should that drive someone nuts?

    Anyway, I'd vote for him. I like the job he did here.

  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    May 12, 2011 4:57 p.m.

    I'm not sure what this article says about Huntsman and his faith. But I think that many of the comments to this article say quite a lot about many members of the church (LDS) and their judgment of others.

  • Real Republican Alpine, Utah
    May 12, 2011 4:56 p.m.

    First, Deseret News - thank you for trying to make the comments section a more controlled civil discourse environment.

    Huntsman is doing his best imitation of a candidate that the Obama administration fears the most - one that imitates Obama, but is Republican. Be vague on your positions, long on promises, short on performance of promises,appealing to the independents, not incumbered by his or any other religious beliefs, and full of sound bites intended to be cool like the superstars of the etherial realms of green America and Hollywood. Oh, and surround yourself with a bunch of "experts" who's primary goal in life is to scheme how to make everyone in the opposing party look like either and idiot or a radical. And you must control the uneducated masses.

    He's not real folks, he is a real politician.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    May 12, 2011 4:55 p.m.


    I don't recall saying any such thing. I'm not sure how you got that out of my comments????

  • Ridgely Magna, UT
    May 12, 2011 4:45 p.m.

    Forget the evangelical conservatives who dictate Iowa and the early Presidential Primaries. It's obvious from these comments that Mr Huntsman's most vitriolic opposition will come from people of his own faith.

    At a time when the country desperately needs nuance and bi-partisanship, moderates like John Huntsman are being run through the "all or nothing" buzz saw. That's a loss for us all.

  • scotchipman Lehi, UT
    May 12, 2011 4:43 p.m.

    It is obvious that he has finally come to his senses and realized that the church he grew up in is not true. He now has my vote!

  • Kjallbee Orem, UT
    May 12, 2011 4:43 p.m.

    After reading this article I was eager to comment, but I can see that so many already demonstrate what I was about to say; John, if this is your "Mormon issue" strategy, it will bite you.

  • chase SL Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2011 4:42 p.m.

    Hey, whatever is cleaver. I won't be voting for him, but he can define himself any way he wants. He has no obligation to tie himself to one religion. Be what you will Gov. Huntsman

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    May 12, 2011 4:38 p.m.

    Utah Republican Mormons are strange in the way they see the world so let's play the Holier Than Thou Game!

    LDS Republican Kevin Garn=Admits to being naked in a hot tub with a 15 year old girl, defended and got standing ovation

    LDS Republican Sheldon Killpack=DUI, defended and praised as a "good man"

    LDS Republican Bob Bennett= Ran out of town for one bill and vilified for not being conservative enough

    LDS Democrat Harry Reid=claims that he is a bad and evil man has never cheated on his wife of had a DUI.

    LDS Republican Jon Huntsman="Not Mormon enough", has never cheated on his wife of had a DUI

    LDS Republican Mitt Romney=Passed a bill that the current health system is based on and current flip flopper.

    I would encourage my fellow LDS on this forum to not judge Huntsman. If you don't like him, don;t vote for him. You are not the Lord, so you should refrain from bashing him spiritually.

  • bobosmom small town, Nebraska
    May 12, 2011 4:38 p.m.

    Ive never been that impressed with Govenor Huntsman. I have had interesting ancestors in my line but so what, they are just as human and as fallible as I am. To me, he has been wishy washy on lots of things and that is one reason I would not want him for the presidency. I dont know who Id vote for if it came down between the choice of him or President Obama. I would really have to think hard about it.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 12, 2011 4:36 p.m.

    re:Hank Pym

    Washington, Adams, Payne, and other signers of the constitution.... all devote Christians.... oh and pretty decent leaders too wouldn't ya say Hank???

  • JNA Layton, UT
    May 12, 2011 4:34 p.m.

    I guess I would consider myself an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints though I am not sure what "active" means. I raised my children in the Church teaching them the principles that I believed in. One of my children chose to live her life differently and you know what, I love that child. She is young and trying to find out what is right for her, she is a good person who accepts and loves all people. At first it was difficult because I felt that she was saying that what I taught her was wrong. That was my issue, she wasn't saying that at all, I had to learn that I had the problem of judgement. I love and adore her no less now than I did the day she was born. Governor Huntsman is a decent man, he assisted our family during a very difficult situation. He has the right to express or not express his convictions without judgement from me or anyone on this board. Quit quoting scripture,quit passing judgement, no one on this board has that authority anyway.

  • So-CalAggie Anaheim, CA
    May 12, 2011 4:33 p.m.

    Some of you seem very uncompassionate about Mr. Huntsmans stance. Life is a journey, and sometimes life takes you in a different direction, maybe he's rethought things and isn't quite sure about what he believes or where he stands religiously. But what is sad is that it shouldn't matter. The constitution guarantees that there shall be no religious test to hold office, so why should it matter what someone's religion is? To me religion is a private matter, not something you go around sharing with everyone like a zealot loon. If someone has to sell you on their personal qualities by proclaiming their religion, then run! It's like those shysters who doop people out of money because they convinced some sucker that they were a good Mormon or a good Christian, if your main selling point has to be your religion, you've got problems and should not be trusted. If I should vote for someone for no other reason other than the fact that they are a good _________ (name your sectarian affiliation here) then I'm voting for someone else. Maybe he doesn't think his religions should define him?

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 12, 2011 4:28 p.m.

    Harry Reid at least says he believes and is active in the church. He may not practice what he preaches but at least he isn't ashamed of being called a latter day saint like Huntsman. Huntsman would do good to open his New Testament and read where the St John makes it clear what happens to those that are "luke warm" in their belief.

  • BigSportFan! Beverly Hills, CA
    May 12, 2011 4:26 p.m.

    There is a divide in the church.
    Group A - Staunch, close minded, judgmental, superiority toward others, ultra conservative.
    Group B - Open minded, accepting, laid back, more liberal.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 12, 2011 4:22 p.m.

    What's hard to define??? Either you are an active , believing Latter Day Saint or you are a jack mormon. Pretty easy. Hunstman is a jack Mormon which makes it REALLY easy for me to decide who to support - ROMNEY!!!!!

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    May 12, 2011 4:20 p.m.

    Freud once said, "Loss of Religious faith isa sign of maturity."

    Its politicians like Huckabee, W, Palin, etc... that are so hooked on hocus-pocus that you have to worry about.

  • buckbeaver Lake Forest, CA
    May 12, 2011 4:20 p.m.

    Problem with voters is they would rather vote the easier path along "party lines" than look at each candidate or issue and vote for the one that best personifies their beliefs. JHJ lost my confidence when he resigned as governor and accepted a position that would further his political career. Mitt Romney is not much better. But to then cover his personal or religious beliefs is nothing more than being a "wolf in sheeps clothing". Of course, I am now waiting for him to come out and say he was misquoted.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    May 12, 2011 3:55 p.m.

    I believe Mr. Huntsman's answer is both honest and refreshing. Ambiguity exists in our lives and our faith. I often ponder what religious teaching do I really believe in and why. Certainty becomes variable.

  • Jay Linds Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2011 3:40 p.m.

    Huntsman would make a good defense attorney

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    May 12, 2011 3:37 p.m.

    Another goof-ball Mormon candidate. Why can't we get someone who is not a flip-flopper??


  • Sandy Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2011 3:29 p.m.

    Never have voted for Johnny Junior, not because he's too liberal, but too slippery. And this article confirms it. Junior John keeps slipping on . . .

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    May 12, 2011 3:27 p.m.

    dc260 | 3:14 p.m. May 12, 2011
    Roy, Ut
    "Shame on Huntsman."

    Just who are you to shame someone? Who do you think you are? What makes you so much holier than thou?

  • stevep38now Provo, UT
    May 12, 2011 3:22 p.m.

    Huntsman was a bad governor, why would anyone want him for President?

  • dc260 roy, ut
    May 12, 2011 3:14 p.m.

    Disappointing, but not surprising. Reed Smoot, former prominent LDS senator from this state took a lot of heat for being Mormon and had to fight just to be seated because of the prejudice against him for his religion. He later established himself as one of America's premier statesmen of his generation. According to the account in Bryant S. Hinckley's book "The Faith Of Our Pioneer Fathers", Senator Smoot was offered the Republican Presidential nomination twice, the catch that he had to renounce his LDS faith. Senator Reed is to have declared, "I would rather be a deacon on the LDS church than to be President of the United States." Shame on Huntsman. A Reed Smoot he ain't.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    May 12, 2011 3:01 p.m.

    So far he strikes me as a decent guy, with decent positions. As long as he has good character, I'm not going to be concerned with how active he is in Church.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    May 12, 2011 2:58 p.m.

    What is very evident in these comments are the people who are just like the people you attend church with in your local wards, the judgmental ones that think they can do no wrong. The same people that spread rumors about how someone isn't as faithful as they are to the LDS Church. They are the ones who judge another's relationship between an individual and God.

    Huntsman is running for President of the United Staes, not for President Monson's Presidency. Don't like Huntsman, don't vote for him but don't go on a forum tearing down his character to make yourselves feel holier than thou.

  • catcrazed Eagle Mountain, UT
    May 12, 2011 2:55 p.m.

    I would rather be true to my faith, than to be a politician. It has fewer eternal consequences. The man has lost my vote.

  • BYU_Greg South Jordan, UT
    May 12, 2011 2:49 p.m.

    It depends on what the definition of "Is" is... Sounds like a past political figure that had problems telling the straight truth with a simple answer. Interesting.

  • gizmo33 St. George, Utah
    May 12, 2011 2:47 p.m.

    I dont care what Huntsmans personal beleifs are my decision to never vote for him has nothing to do with his personal life my decision is based on political differances and I will never vote for Romney either and I also dont care what religion he belongs to. his political view is something I would never support.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2011 2:46 p.m.

    As a huge Romney supporter, I think Huntsman would win my vote if it meant we could have Barack Hussein Obama move out of the White House.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2011 2:39 p.m.

    "Huntsman is either a member or he's not."

    So he's hot or cold, yes or no, in or out, up or down, wrong or right, black or white? Does this standard apply to everyone? If it does then I guess this inactive LDS member has a letter of resignation to write.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2011 2:33 p.m.

    "A couple of interesting things to note: any other candidates out there asked about their faith except Republican Mormons? Let me know if they are."

    Barack Obama. (All that muslim stuff and the Rev. Wright stuff...).

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2011 2:31 p.m.

    "The Dems would like nothing more than to be opposed by a RINO governor from Utah. "

    Absolutely not. Democrats may and do like Huntsman (those who know of him) more than the other republicans but the thing we absolutely do not want is to have a Republican president rubber-stamp the insanity that comes from a republican congress (one would assume if the republicans take the presidency they're probably also flipping three senate seats). A RINO governor makes that scenario highly likely.

  • Rutland vs. Medfield Seattle, Wa
    May 12, 2011 2:24 p.m.

    You know, the tenet "let them worship how, where, and what they may..." applies to all men (and women). And yet, a lot of posters here seem to think they know more than this man's bishop about Jon Huntsman's spirituality and standing in the church. Judging JHJ's faith based on a Time Magazine article? Shameful.

    Diving deep into someone's personal religious beliefs should be kept out of politics. The ultra-right tried to do that to President Obama during the last presidential campaign--and to Utah favorite son, Mitt Romney. Whether it's Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, or Jon Huntsman, take them at their word on matters of religion, and judge them on their politics. They are, after all, running for political office, not to be chief theologian of this nation.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2011 2:22 p.m.

    "They just want everyone to believe that Huntsman is the candidate that Democrats most fear because he is more like a Democrat then the rest of the Republican field."

    Yeah, that's why they fear him. Huntsman would be brilliant with independents and would be a strong general election opponent. That's why after the election Plouffe said that Huntsman was the only one he feared for 2012.

  • Convert Cedar City, UT
    May 12, 2011 2:16 p.m.

    I commend Jon Huntsman for his honesty. As a former Methodist, I grew up surrounded by every level of spirituality. There was no "Active/Less-Active" categorization, just a whole spectrum of members. All understood that everyone was different when it cane to religious faith.

    Jon reminds me of that experience. He can't accurately describe his testimony. Who can? I can't.

    Do I believe in tithing? Yes. Do I undestand where it goes, why I need to, what happens if I cheat, exactly what do I owe? No.

    I believe we members of the LDS church are very much like Jon. It's easy to say we're active. It's virtually impossible to define our faith. We rely on what others say and how others have talked about their faith. Rather than be objective and open, like Jon.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2011 2:07 p.m.

    Sorry, Governor. I don't care about your religion, only your politics and that doesn't seem very well defined either.

  • Kimball Bakersfield, CA
    May 12, 2011 2:06 p.m.

    It is sad when a person lacks the strength to stand faithful and true to conviction. That is a politician for you. "Neither cold or hot...etc."

  • BYU Girl Kearns, UT
    May 12, 2011 2:05 p.m.

    All the more reason why I'm voting for Mitt Romney!!! Huntsman won't have a chance if he tries that approach!! Now who's the flipper?

  • Utahprof Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    I doubt Huntsman is a sellout for political reasons for the simple reason that it's been fairly well-known among the political class in this town that Huntsman was pretty "soft" as a Mormon. This isn't new. I've heard the rumors (from quite credible sources) for years that he wasn't particularly observant, and that he largely stayed with the church to accommodate his parents. And he certainly made a point of visiting all kinds of churches while governor rather than attending his ward. I think he's just being more honest than political in all this. After all, "I'm spiritual, but not sure how" isn't exactly going to win him a lot of evangelical votes either.

  • UTmouser1 Sandy, UT
    May 12, 2011 1:52 p.m.

    Well, another reason I WON"T vote for HUNTSMAN any time soon. NO GUTS NO GLORY. As a former fundamentalist Christian (BAPTIST) and now active "MORMON" I feel I can say that his statement will offend not just members of the LDS CHurch but other christians as well. Failure to stand for your faith is a fatal flaw as many non-Mormons already know.

  • huggyface Murray, UT
    May 12, 2011 1:47 p.m.

    His strategy is intriguing. He is leveling the playing field with other candidates when it comes to religion.

    Religion should not be a major factor in a presidential election. No other candidate(exept maybe Romney) faces as much scrutiny regarding their religion.

    He is dodging the question and I hope he continues to do so.

  • windsor City, Ut
    May 12, 2011 1:45 p.m.

    "Huntsman was so cryptic..."


    Well, we'll see how this tactic plays out.

    We know where being up front and forthright about LDS Church membership landed Romney the last time round.

    I applaud Huntsman for this evasion and giving the appearance of mystery. Giving people the right out, straight up, honest answers didn't work last time--maybe they'll prefer this.

    As for the author's statement "that she knew even less after questioning him"---I'm pretty skeptical.

    They know so little to begin with about Mormonism and its relevance to a Presidential campaign, that its hard to imagine it even being possible to know less than they do. :)

  • runwasatch Ogden, UT
    May 12, 2011 1:44 p.m.

    If he has lost his faith, or it is severely diminished, the man needs to be outright honest about it.

    I think he's attempting to stradle the fence in hopes of gaining more votes while not losing the fundraising donations of the faithful.

    At least he is not pulling a "Harry Reid" and pretending to be devout...

  • Iggle Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2011 1:43 p.m.

    He's the type of moderate candidate we need.

  • Californian#1@94131 San Francisco, CA
    May 12, 2011 1:42 p.m.

    I know tons of people who take pride in saying they are "very spiritual but not religious." What many of them mean is that they follow their own spiritual path, go out in the woods or into a windowless cubicle to meditate, answer only to their own interpretations of everything, want to be free to accept or reject any religious, moral, or ethical teaching if it doesn't suit them, and don't want to be tied to a congregational or communal form of worship (which is how almost all religions share, strengthen their members, and unite to bless the world around them).

    I guess I'm left wondering which is harder to define: his elusive supposed membership or affiliation with the LDS church, or his aspirations to pomp and power. Which is more important, which is going to gain the upper hand?

    Whatever... all this hazy double talk will serve him well in any political office he might eventually hold.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    May 12, 2011 1:42 p.m.

    LDS Liberal

    Dell Schanze comes to mind, over a couple of liberal clowns. Pelosi said we just need to make both parties the same and then there would be no bickering. John and Obama make her dreams come true.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    May 12, 2011 1:34 p.m.

    If you are going to judge Mormons individually to see if they are "in or out", do it by their service, not meeting attendence.

  • News Reader Today Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2011 1:33 p.m.

    I don't care if Huntsman is still active in the LDS Church or not. This is the same as when he was Governor - do anything to put your name in the paper! He couldn't give a straight answer if his life depended on it. That is why I will never vote for him. He will say anything to get elected then turn his back on the voters who put him there. Remember when his wife wanted a soccer stadium so he ran roughshod over Salt Lake County to get it put in. Typical sleazy politician!!

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 12, 2011 1:28 p.m.

    You guys crack me up!

    C'mon -- Be honest. Especially with yoursleves.

    If Jon Hunstman Jr. is the Republican nominee -- each and everyone of you nay-sayers will vote for him regardless of your mouthy opinions.

    Who else you gonna vote for? Your sworn enemy - Pres. Obama?

    Hunstman vs. who? Newt?, Palin, Bachman, Pastor Huckabee??? -- pathetic.

    BTW - if Hunstman actually wins the GOP nomination,
    I would guess that for every ultra-far-right Tea-Party Republican that drops out, 5 other Moderate, Independant and big-tent Reagan Democrats would step in.

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    May 12, 2011 1:25 p.m.

    At this point if Huntsman ran, he wouldn't carry the state of Utah.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    May 12, 2011 1:18 p.m.

    Huntsman can practice as he wishes. None of you are worthy to judge his religiousness, only The Holy One of Israel will. I am LDS and I have voted for him because he is a proven pragmatic leader, not a religious nut.

    If this makes him different than the LDS filled legislature that passed awful bills this year, I will take him over those jokers any day.

  • WP Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2011 1:18 p.m.

    Huntsman may have lost points with some voters, but I would be happy so have religion not be a part of the way the country judges him.

    Let's focus on how he would improve the economy and promote peace in the world.

  • George Bronx, NY
    May 12, 2011 1:18 p.m.

    So if Obama goes through the process of getting his name on the records (yes I do know what that entails) and then goes back to the church in Chicago you all love so much and attends there instead of his local LDS ward you would accept him as Mormon if he claimed he was Mormon?

  • LivinLarge Bountiful, UT
    May 12, 2011 1:17 p.m.

    This sounds like the type of candidate I could vote for...NOT!!! 30 pieces of silver comes to mind.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    May 12, 2011 1:17 p.m.

    These are excerpts from a Time Magazine article (not even the whole article). Really? You are going to judge him on that? Although, I attend my LDS Church and temple regularly I am ashamed to be associated by some of the commenters here.
    "If there is anything of virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." This is the opposite of "The ONLY true Church" "In or out", "with us or against us, these terms are stiff-necked.
    "Believing in absolutes leads to the dark side" Obi-One

  • WhatsGoingOnHere Ogden, UT
    May 12, 2011 1:16 p.m.

    Come on everyone, We all know that there are many varying degrees for believing Mormons. No ones faith is the same as the next guys. Huntsman is just being honest.

    The real problem as I see it is that he passes himself off as the son of a General Authority, and a Returned Missionary, when he is here in Utah running for office. When He is running for national office he will represent other sides of himself.

    That doesn't make him a bad person, it just makes him a good politician. One that wont take a stand on anything, and tries to be everything to everyone. That type of politician (one that is spineless) isn't need now. That is his big problem.

    This will hurt him in the long run because America is looking for a leader that can stand on his own, and Huntsman just showed he can't do that.

  • dave Park City, UT
    May 12, 2011 1:13 p.m.

    Reading the responses here is quite telling. You will vote for a mormom whether or not he would make a good president. Now that he has distanced himself from it you people run like rats from a sinking ship.

    He has gone way up in credibility in my opinion. At least he's not trying to pander to mormons purely for their votes. You see that type of obvious pandering in state elections...

  • snowbird Ogden, UT
    May 12, 2011 1:04 p.m.

    jon huntsman took the sack off his head and can see the truth..know he thinks he can win the presidency..i wont vote for him,i made that mistake once befor hes to libral for me.he,d probably make mitt romney vice president and legalize polygamy

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    May 12, 2011 1:04 p.m.

    OK, he might be in the church, he might not be, but one thing he is for sure. A COWARD!!!

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    May 12, 2011 1:03 p.m.

    Dear Everest: You post is COMPLETELY beside the point. NO ONE is claiming that Huntsman is unfit for office. That's a completely seperate issue. The question was if he is a "MEMBER" of the LDS Church. He gave an evasive, swquishy answer. That's what people are questioning. NOT his fitness for office.

  • George Bronx, NY
    May 12, 2011 1:03 p.m.

    and of course your spin on what makes someone LDS or not LDS is based solidly in church doctrine including your right to decide if someone is a worthy LDS member right? What chapter and verse was that found in again?

  • jemod Bedford, WY
    May 12, 2011 1:03 p.m.

    Revelation 3:15-16

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    May 12, 2011 1:02 p.m.

    Article-Reader, your comments explain exactly why it is "tough to define". Although you may claim all Mormons are like you, we are not. Christian love and empathy are not Mormon-only traits.

  • Danish American Payson, UT
    May 12, 2011 1:02 p.m.

    @snurge: Just to be clear, the development company of the LDS Church that is building the City Creek development doesn't take any tithing money. Perhaps that is like your other inconsistencies. The Church is by no means perfect nor are the members but then again, who is?

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 12, 2011 1:01 p.m.

    Article-reader - I see what you are saying. I am simply stating that if you think that it is either 'black or white' or 'in or out' with the church then you are living in the dark. I don't think most people of mormonism or any faith attend because they think their church is true. I think people attend to become close to god and to become a better person. I have never ever heard a methodist say that they are the 'only true church'. Think about it. It is great that you believe it, but it doesn't mean it is the true church. That has what your study and your life experiences have led you to believe. As a member myself, I am bothered when we say we are the only true church. How sad that we think a relatively small world church (13 million compared to 500 million catholics) is the only true church. Active mormons don't have to either 'believe or not', that is an arrogant statement. You can go to church to better yourself. The church has too many errors and changed doctrine to be the one true church, yet I still go.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    May 12, 2011 1:00 p.m.

    Dear George: Membership in the LDS Church is NOT "tough to define." Either you ARE a member or you are NOT. There is no in between. It's cut and dried. That is not a hard question. Anyone who is LDS knows that. The question was if he was a "member of the Church." Either you are a member or you're not. It's an easy question.

    Unless his name has been taken off the membership rolls of the Church, he's a member. If he's not a member, it means his name HAS been taken off the rolls of the Church. There's no fuzzy area. That's why the answer is such a squishy, wishy-washy answer. IT WAS CEARLY AN EVASION. Anyone who is LDS knows that.

    This isn't like being an Evangelical where all you have to do is stand up and make a declaration of faith. In our Church there are official records that define whether you are a member or not. Plain and simple.

    His answer was an EVASION!

    And....Dear LDS Liberal: Huntsman is NOT going to be the nominee, so you have nothing to worry about.

  • snurge Draper, Utah
    May 12, 2011 12:55 p.m.

    I really feel he is being honest about his faith. Many of us question our religious roots eventually. It is ok to be a free thinker. Mormon leaders are just men, trying to keep the "dream" alive.....Jon, I believe, has the experience to be a great president....just my thoughts!!

  • mkSdd3 Ogden, UT
    May 12, 2011 12:54 p.m.

    I never liked him much before, he was always too liberal. Now it seems like he doesn't stand for anything.

    He has lost all credibility in my opinion.

  • Boom Irving, TX
    May 12, 2011 12:52 p.m.

    After viewing the comments it's disappointing to realize that the Utah Mormon hasn't changed much...

    If the Governor wants to keep his own "spiritual" walk more private then why should anyone here care?

    My relationship with the LDS church is "touch to define" as everyone quickly blast me!

  • Jared Gainesville, FL
    May 12, 2011 12:49 p.m.

    While I respect Hunstman as a politician, now is not the time to be ambiguous about personal issues (unless he isn't going to run for president). If he's going to run, he should take a position and either way (active LDS or not), it will blow over come campaign time. That's all he has to say, "I consider myself Mormon but I don't really attend church" or "My background is LDS but I no longer consider myself LDS." Not that we need to make religion a major focus of the candidates but it's best just to get it out of the way - either way - like Mitt Romney did or anyone else where religion might be an issue to a large number of people.

    Re: MormonDem

    So you're saying you are going to vote for someone [Pres. Obama] whose has made neither his personal nor policy positions clear? If anyone thinks Pres. Obama's policy positions are clear, look at what he did and said as a Senator, on the campaign trail, and as President. We see vast differences [Iraq, Guantanamo, transparency, health care, environmental policies, economic policies, and so forth].

  • Everest American Fork, UT
    May 12, 2011 12:46 p.m.

    It seems likely that there are others out there whose Church membership and participation is "hard to define." Does that make them unfit for public office? Maybe he doesn't like being treated like a celebrity when he walks into the building.

  • Article-Reader Spanish Fork, UT
    May 12, 2011 12:44 p.m.

    Brahma, what's funny is that posters like yourself spin the churches beliefs to fit their own logic. What is illogical would be to attend a church you don't fully believe in, when that church insists that it is the ONLY true church. Also, having 'Mormon' roots, or your name on the records of the church does not make on a Mormon. Plenty of Poly groups claim to be Mormons, but they don't belong to the same church. Being LDS is standing up for what you and the church believe in all aspects of your life. Now, you mentioned the 13+ million members of the church, I can't speak for all of them, especially since only approx 50% are active members. What I can speak for is the fact that I myself believe the church is true, and when I see someone trying to capitalize on the LDS religion in one state, yet shrug it off in a National Newspaper it upsets me. Huntsman either believes it or he doesn't. You can't serve God and Mammon. That's in the Bible my friend.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 12, 2011 12:43 p.m.

    This be a non-issue with mormons as it really is none of their business what his exact stance is with the religion. To imply that anybody is more honest, good, or anything else because they are 'mormon' is just plain ignorant. Look at all of the ward members near Provo that have swindled other members (often elderly) out of their life savings for some pyramid scheme. Now if that is not a red flag to what the religion might breed, I don't know what is. I know most mormons are generally kind people and honest, but the simple title of 'mormon' does nothing. It is called integrity and character. Some people have it, some don't. Integrity is an individual thing that religion has nothing to do with.

  • freddysheddy Bountiful, UT
    May 12, 2011 12:40 p.m.

    Sounds like Utah Republicans are still mad at him for jumping ship. Now don't get me wrong, I won't be voting Huntsman either way. His connection with a polluting chemical company responsible for much of the cancer epidemic in this valley is way more important than his religion. But I am surprised that no one commenting here is questioning whether or not the journalist--A Times writer for crying out loud--has a bias here as well. The Times is not known for being an exceptionally credible magazine. So let's give the man a break and actually hear what he has to say for himself, not what Times has to say for him. Either way, don't vote for him. He won't do the country any good.

  • George Bronx, NY
    May 12, 2011 12:40 p.m.

    I find it interesting that you and other like minded posters see fit to decide for others what it means to be LDS. How exactly is this in keeping with the LDS teachings?

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    May 12, 2011 12:35 p.m.

    Daddy gave him the opportunities he has, grandpa his faith, no wonder Johnny is confused.

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    May 12, 2011 12:30 p.m.

    The fact that his religion matters is appalling to me. From most of these posts, it would seem that the LDS have two choices for candidates, and that will be the one that is most "Mormon." And this whole "you're in or you're out" nonsense is what made me an "out" in the first place. The hypocracy of my small-Utah-town upbringing was shameful, and the hypocracy continues to this day.

  • butters Salt Lake city, UT
    May 12, 2011 12:27 p.m.

    there's a lot of things i like about huntsman that i think would make him a very good president for america, but if he truly is just posturing for votes then i don't think i can respect that. i am an active lds member who goes through a lot of what huntsman has let on. i feel that there's a lot of good in the different ways people choose to live their lives whether religious or irreligious. i didn't donate to prop 8 but i never spoke out against it nor fought friends and family on the issue. what i like about huntsman is that he's a guy that seems to want to find ways to work with opposition and his international ties with china would be a very good thing for our country.

    i'm very happy with my lds faith and my "mormon roots" and even more so with the balance that i find in my life, but it puts me off a little bit when huntsman tries to downplay who he is and where he came from. unless he's really going through a conflict, he should just be straight forward.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 12, 2011 12:23 p.m.

    You guys crack me up!

    C'mon -- Be honest. Espicially with yoursleves.

    If Jon Hunstman Jr. is THE Republican nominee -- each and everyone of you nay-sayers will vote for him regardless of you mouthy opinions.

    Who else you gonna vote for? Your sworn enemy - Pres. Obama?

    Hunstman vs. who? Palin, Bachman, Pastor Huckabee??? -- pathetic.

    BTW - if Hunstman actually wins the nomination, it would mean the first time I vote for the GOP in 28 years.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 12, 2011 12:21 p.m.

    Wow, it must be tough trying to be a Mormon with all the supposed wolfs running around in sheep's clothing and no one understanding who or what they are supposed to be or why. It reminds one of the story in Farm Animals; all members are equal, it is just that some are more equal than others. I wish Mr. Huntsman luck, he appears to be talented and dedicated, and he is not alone in not knowing the unknown; he may just be more honest.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    May 12, 2011 12:18 p.m.

    Look...Huntsman is either a member or he's not. That is not "hard to define." That's a question that requires a "yes" or "no" answer. His mushy, mealy-mouthed answer is typical of the kind of person he is. I can't believe there is ANYONE who "admires" him for that answer.

    No matter what anyone thinks of Mitt Romney as a politican, he had the courage and the character to stand for his faith. Regardless of the battering he took and the lies that were told, he always stood up for his faith. That's what's admirable. Not a mushy, wishy-washy guy who isn't willing to stand up for anything and tries to straddle the fence because he thinks it might gain him a few political points.

    I voted for Jon Huntsman twice, but I've never really liked him. It's becoming increasingly clear why.

  • woolybruce Idaho Falls, ID
    May 12, 2011 12:17 p.m.

    Huntsman is right on. The LDS Church is not black or white, there are many many historical examples. Huntsman is not what many Utah politicians such as Jason Chaffetz are doing, selling his birthright for a mass of potage.

  • In Stitches Provo, Utah
    May 12, 2011 12:16 p.m.

    That's kind of like being "a little bit pregnant;" you are either an active member of the LDS faith or you're not. It's not really a religion for fence-sitters.

  • George Bronx, NY
    May 12, 2011 12:15 p.m.

    So you honestly believe just because someone like Romney professes a strong belief in the LDS church it somehow tells you more about him then huntsman professions about his political views? No wonder our country has such a poor record of electing qualified officials. We care more about hiring the guy with the best image then the intellectuals that actually now what the heck they are doing. I am not saying Hunstman is an intellectual but I sure would not classify someone like Romney as one. I often disagreed with Huntsmans policy choices when he was governor of Utah and I still lived there but I found his reasoning thoughtful and reasonable. As a democrat I can tell you I for one am not afraid of Huntsman I would actually appreciate the chance to have a republican candidate like Huntsman or Powell run even if it means Obama might lose its time to but reason ahead of propaganda wars.

  • cval Hyde Park, UT
    May 12, 2011 12:11 p.m.

    If you're in, its not hard to define.

    If it is hard to define, he's not.

  • fowersjl Farmington, Utah
    May 12, 2011 12:08 p.m.

    A couple of interesting things to note: any other candidates out there asked about their faith except Republican Mormons? Let me know if they are.
    As for Mr. Huntsman, he is so squishy about so many things, I have little faith in him...afraid he would be off signing any and every "green" bit of legislation that came his way, no matter what it cost.

  • Mom of 2 Eagle Mountain, UT
    May 12, 2011 12:07 p.m.

    I think it's sad, actually. Not that he won't "define" what he is, but fact that Mormon peer pressure is so strong that he can't come right out and say he's a former member (if that's the case). He knows that if he says something like that, do you know how many people in Utah will get offended? I think his statement is fine.

  • ArmyofOne Bluffdale, UT
    May 12, 2011 12:03 p.m.

    I have had the honor of working closely with Jon when he was our Governor. I have never met a nicer more honorable man. To read people of the LDS faith making comments like "your either in or your out, what will it be?" Do you find wonder why the rest of the world thinks of your church as a crazy cult?
    Second, reading comments of the faithful devout Mormons saying that because he is "denying" his faith they are not going to vote for him... Aren't you doing the same thing the Christians do to your devout Mormon politicians? The fact is, despite what you may believe culturally, a rather large percentage of "members" of the LDS church are in the same place as Mr. Huntsman. Having a relationship with God, does not need to involve a 3 hour block, and strict temple attendance. Stop judging this man by your own definitions of worthiness.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 12, 2011 12:02 p.m.

    I don't think Huntsman is shifting in the sand like Romney did. If anything, he is answering the question honestly, and presenting himself as himself, rather than a charecture of what the right thinks a proper conservative should look and feel like. I feel he is answering more truthfully then Romney ever did.

    The honest truth is other than the ERA or Friend version of the church, there are many who struggle to put the church into context of real life. The more you travel and are exposed to the world outside Utah, the more you see how complex semingly simple things become.

    The standard lds answer is only one "true" church, and all others are evil. In reality there may be just a single church that has the fullness of the gospel, but many other faiths also have a good portions of truth and goodness in them. Acknowledging the goodness in these other faiths normally would not require a renunciation of onces own faith, but LDS culter doesn't accept that liberality very well.

    Name calling and branding like RINO are just more examples of the "fall in line or get out" mentality previlant.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    May 12, 2011 12:01 p.m.



    What do you think about:

    Being ambivalent, evasive, and/or inconsistent, and/or all three, at the same time?

    "Jon answering":

    I'm a successful politician.

    It comes with the territory.

  • Madden Herriman, UT
    May 12, 2011 12:00 p.m.

    Wow, a bunch of judgmental armchair columnists are posting today. None of you know this man - you don't understand his personal life, much less his spiritual one.

    I know many people who are pretty active Mormons who still embrace many philosophies from other religions and cultures. We members of the LDS church should never judge people on their relationship with God, much less on how they integrate with the church's culture (which is often bizarre and changes drastically from state to state or even ward to ward).

    Maybe he just shies away from religion talk because he wants to talk about other issues and keep his religion private. He can do as he pleases, and from the quotes I read, he is not throwing his religion under the bus. And frankly even if he did, what's it to you? So a "famous" Mormon leaves the fold, we have better things to focus on don't we?

  • Love_The_Beehive Orem, Utah
    May 12, 2011 11:58 a.m.

    Hy Folks - this religion thing is just a smoke screen. The real issue is Time's slimy attempt to deceive gullible Americans into thinking that the Dems are afraid of JHJ. The Dems would like nothing more than to be opposed by a RINO governor from Utah. Presidential Journalism 101: sing the praises of the weakest viable Republican candidate during the primaries; then, once you get 'em elected, destroy 'em.

  • Scott5 Quiet Neighborhood, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:58 a.m.

    Anyone know what Huntsmans worth is? Not his Dad's, but his. I keep hearing how rich he is, but is he really or is it just his father?

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:58 a.m.

    He who straddles the fence ends up with a sore crotch sooner or later. I think JHJ is a good man but question his dancing around the religion topic. I don't understand what he thinks he is gaining by being vague. Whether he believes in the LDS faith or not, just be open about it. It sounds like he is trying not to offend mainstream LDS and not rile those who dislike the LDS at the same time. Personally, I would respect him more if he had just said that he is not practicing the LDS faith or is no longer active in the LDS church if that is how he feels. Or the opposite if that is truth. I still think Romney can solve the countries problems better than anyone else.

    Romney 2010!

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:56 a.m.

    The two major political parties want to expand their tents and invite in folks of every stripe. Maybe that is why so many are ready for a third party. Some of us are hungry for a party united on principles. I do not wish to join a political alliance made up of the left and the right, the moral and the immoral, the patriot and the traitor. I will not support a candidate who cannot bring clarity to his identity.

  • We the People Sandy, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:55 a.m.


    Your honesty is what Huntsman lacks.

    I believe that a person is or is not a member of his faith. You may still hold on to certain beliefs and practices that shaped you, but you either are or are not a member of a faith. Simple.

  • Pete in Texas Copperas Cove, TX
    May 12, 2011 11:55 a.m.

    LOL @ Uteman! "From BLIND faith to educated and informed passive LDS church members" kind of caught my eye. I wonder how Brother Brigham would respond to that? I'm pretty sure what J. Golden Kimball would've said...... spoken like a TRUE UTE-man. =)

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:55 a.m.

    Frankly, it is difficult to define the Mormon Church at all these days.
    I used to understand our teachings on the law of the land. Now, I am not sure what to believe.

  • RBN Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:51 a.m.

    These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God.

    Doctrine and Covenants 76:79

    I hope he does define what it means to him.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    May 12, 2011 11:50 a.m.

    This puts Hunstman in an even more difficult position than Romney. All the publicity around Romney was "Does America want a Mormon President", whereas Huntsman runs the risk of having the media exploit his crisis of faith in lieu of covering his political agenda. Ouch!

    Still, he has politely indicated that he is in a crisis of faith, but would rather not discuss it with the public. While a candidates faith does matter in my opinion (only that the public ought to have the right to know), I think Huntsman has satisfied that obligation. It should be clear to the public the Mormonism will not have a tremendous influence on his policies or behavior, were he to become President.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:49 a.m.

    The constitution is clear that you don't need a trial of your faith to run for office. So Huntsman can state what his beliefs are, or tell us that is a private issue and then focus on the politics.

  • Pete in Texas Copperas Cove, TX
    May 12, 2011 11:49 a.m.

    Well, I think it's become PAINFULLY obvious to me that the reason Mr. Huntsman is downplaying his tie with the church is because he thinks it'll help his campaign. It'll be interesting to see what really happens when they pin him down on his religion. Personally, I'm not sure why everyone has to know which church he belongs to. But in the end, if the press won't relent on the questions about his religious ties with the Mormon church, we'll see how steadfast he is with his answers.

    Thanks for your comment California Steve. That puts things into perspective.

  • Johnson72 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:46 a.m.

    I hope he is a Catholic now.. I would vote for him.

  • mymoe Cedar City, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:46 a.m.

    I like how of all the interesting things that were said about him in that article, Deseret News picks this to write about. Seriously? This is what is wrong with our state.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    May 12, 2011 11:45 a.m.

    Many people feel this way including me. I do not define myself as LDS anymore because, as you can see by most of the comments on this board, too many people insist that you are either completely in or completely out of the Church. OK, have it your way, I'm completely out. Nonetheless I'm proud of my ancient heritage and believe most of today's Church leaders are wise and caring people who preach ethical values that are useful to both believers and non-believers. No I don't smoke, drink, or sleep around. I would be the perfect Mormon but I don't believe in the Supernatural and I don't think religious leaders should be above question. I'm not going to give money to ban Gay Marriage just because you say so. I suspect I'm not alone.

  • cowboy99 South Jordan, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:38 a.m.

    MormonDem | 11:19 a.m. May 12, 2011
    Provo, UT

    Why would you care about policy positions over personal issues if NO president actually sticks to their campaign promises? I guess at least you know exactly what he's not going to do but even still it would be nice to know what kind of integrity he's going to bring to whatever he does.

  • Lux et Veritas Draper, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:38 a.m.

    I believe Huntsman is simply being honest.

    Many Mormons, while not active in the faith, still hold on to cultural practices associated with Mormonism.

    For example, I grew up in the LDS Church but am not active in it now. While I don't desire organized religion in my life, I still recognize the positive social lessons and cultural associations I gleaned from my Mormon upbringing.

    Am i not culturally Mormon in that sense? It's difficult to define.

  • uteman1011 South Jordan, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:34 a.m.

    Well said MormonDem. I don't agree that Huntsman should be backed into a corner regarding his religion. I applaud his response and relate very well to his stance. Many of us former missionaries have moved on in our lives, from blind faith to educated and informed passive lds church members. Nothing wrong with that in my mind.

  • ImaCaMan Redlands, CA
    May 12, 2011 11:33 a.m.

    The "you're with us or you're against us" culture of the LDS faith creates this to be specific to what seems like this faith only. I believe this is what causes the media to drill down on people such as Mr. Huntsman. Most people still think that President Reagan was a religous person yet he attended church something like one time during his eight years as president and that was probably a photo-op.

  • Two Cents Springville, Utah
    May 12, 2011 11:33 a.m.

    It sounds like he doesn't want to offend devout LDS members (including his parents) but that he isn't devout himself. I think many of us would appreciate him stating such. I am sick of politicians who are always vague. Tell us where you stand--on issues and in your personal life. (Maybe that's why Trump's approach is a bit refreshing. Say it like it is for once.)

    Personally I cannot vote for JH Jr. since I never cared for him as governor. I think he is a RINO.

  • snurge Draper, Utah
    May 12, 2011 11:32 a.m.

    I am with "Livestrong", Maybe he is being totally honest. I come from a long line of LDS faithful. Jon's father at one time came out and blasted the church for being in competion with LDS business, farming, etc.
    Maybe Jon is alot like myself, always a believer until I did my homework. Found so many inconsistancies, that I no longer believe in the claims being the only one and true church.

    The Jesus I know, wouldn't build a mult-billion dollar elitest shopping and high rise condo project. He would concentrate on the homeless, hungry and downtrodden in the valley of the great Salt Lake and beyond. Yes, they do humanitarian projects, but two billion dollars ???? That money originally came from faithful tithe payers !!!!!!!!

  • California Steve Hanford, CA
    May 12, 2011 11:30 a.m.

    It was Reed Smoot, when offered the nomination for president a hundrend years ago if he would renounce his religion, who said: I would rather be a Deacon in my church than be President of the United States.

    Think about it Jon.

  • Whoa Nellie American Fork, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:29 a.m.

    It's either "you're in or you're out" when it comes to the LDS faith. Well, what is it, Jon boy? Just answer the questions. Dare to be forthright.

  • Mr.Glass Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:28 a.m.

    Some folks are suggesting or saying that Huntsman is ashamed of his LDS Faith. I don't see a problem with his answer, "tough to define"; it's probably the case he just doesn't consider himself a committed member of the LDS Church. He probably has some very serious doubts, as I think he should. Religion is divisive. Let's forget about religious beliefs and know people by their fruits and their kindness. If people in your religion leaves, don't attack them for it or look down on them. It's highly likely they have worked out a very good way to live apart from any particular religion.

  • Peck34 Enterprise, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:27 a.m.

    Time is typically a more liberal magazine. They just want everyone to believe that Huntsman is the candidate that Democrats most fear because he is more like a Democrat then the rest of the Republican field.

    I agree that Huntsman is trying to be what 'he thinks' most of the voters want him to be.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 12, 2011 11:26 a.m.

    Article-reader - You have to come back down to earth my friend. You are wrong when you say 'you either believe the church is true or you don't.' Come on now, you are more intelligent than that. You don't think that of the 13 million members that there are varying degrees of belief within the church? You don't have to think the church is 'true' to attend its services or bring your children to teach them good values. The church could be un-true, and still teach good things just like alot of other churches. So don't make blanket statements of what you think all 13 million members must know or not now, because it doesn't go well for your case that the church is 'true'. That term itself doesn't even make sense. How can a church be 'true' ? A church can be good, can be right, but true? What is true about it? Ease up on the black and white stuff, not everybody falls into your black and white categories of belief.

  • aljmac Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:25 a.m.

    As a fellow conservative, I don't understand why my ultra-con peers seem to get wound up about the lamest things. If you even use the word RINO, think twice about how you're limiting the scope of all conservatives. Just because not all share your definition, they don't belong? Nice. The GOP can come in all shapes, colors and sizes and variations of conservative. The sooner we recognize that, the better and stronger we'll be as a *party*.

    Why does JHJ have to go into detail about his precise feelings about the Mormon faith. Who's business is that? If he's a staunch believer, or has found spiritual satisfaction is other ways, let him keep that to himself. I don't see how it's relevant to anything.

  • katiefrankie Provo, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:25 a.m.

    Well said, jemod!

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 12, 2011 11:20 a.m.

    Funny, everybody accuses him of lying and selling out his faith. Maybe he was just being honest. Maybe he isn't sure of where he stands or exactly what he believes. There are many different degrees of mormons. He stated that he is proud of his mormon roots. Well, maybe that is as far as it goes with him and that is fine. You can't call somebody a sellout of their religion if they simply are that religion by heritage, but don't follow all of the teachings of that faith. He is still mormon as in his name is on the records of the church, but does he believe in all of the stuff, who knows? Not a big deal in my book.

  • MormonDem Provo, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:19 a.m.

    I'm voting for Obama so it doesn't really matter to me, but I'd rather vote for Huntsman, whose policy positions are clear while his personal issues are ambiguous, than Romney, whose personal issues are clear but whose policy positions are ambiguous.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:19 a.m.

    We now know everything we need to know about Huntsman, the candidate -- his positions are neither decipherable nor credible. They are designed to bamboozle, rather than inform. They are stated in such a way that he can never be held to account for any violation of them.

    Sounds like just more of the same, to me.

  • goatesnotes Kamas, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:14 a.m.

    "Tough to define?" Is you is or is you ain't? Not tough at all.

  • billybubba South Jordan, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:12 a.m.

    Totally agree

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    May 12, 2011 11:11 a.m.


    Or maybe he's found a differnt path. Honestly, it's either "your in or your out" when it comes to the LDS faith.

  • Max Syracuse, NY
    May 12, 2011 11:10 a.m.

    Well said, Chachi. This man appears to be a politician who will do or say anything to be elected. It won't work. People don't respect this kind of thing.

  • Cat Centerville, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:09 a.m.

    I'd love to define it for him - He should call himself a lapsed Mormon or former. Active members don't do and say the kind of things he does. He looks like a political opportunist.

  • jemod Bedford, WY
    May 12, 2011 11:05 a.m.

    The reason I won't vote for him is "tough to define."

  • livestrong Springville, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:05 a.m.

    I agree that if Huntsman is still truly a believer but trying to deny it, then that's stupid and wimpy. If, as it appears to me, he simply isn't as much of a believer as his parents, or as much as he perhaps used to be, well, I don't blame him for being honest. It doesn't not make him a good person just because his faith is not as strong as it once was or has changed.

    For me, I'm more impressed if he's just honest---with whatever his real beliefs really are.

  • FanofTHEgame Mapleton, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:04 a.m.

    He is a politician first. He could gain some good advice from Marie. Politics isn't for Eternity. Well, maybe that's the primary difference between the CK and the TKs: All the same perks, but no politicians in the CK. That makes me want to be a better man.

  • screenname Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2011 11:03 a.m.

    True enough, Chachi.

    The question to ask is why he is distancing himself from his faith. Is it because he thinks it will help him win the election, or because he finds himself disagreeing with it?

  • JZ42 Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 12, 2011 11:02 a.m.

    I find it funny how he won't simply say that he no longer affiliated with the LDS church. Not sure why he feels he has to dance around the issue other than for election purposes. In that case he lost my interest in his quest and most likely many others will do the same. I'm still angry he left one of the most important State Department positions with little chanceo of being elected.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2011 10:59 a.m.

    Obviously Huntsman is ashamed of his Mormon Faith and Church! No surprise given his political history......Huntsman is a RINO! He would do better to say he admires Harry Reid...

  • Article-Reader Spanish Fork, UT
    May 12, 2011 10:58 a.m.

    Funny, he just got done being an ambassador to china, yet how did he learn to speak chinese? hmmmm. . . being a missionary for the LDS church. Now he's selling his religion for politics. Is this a classic example of a politician being afraid to be drawn in black and white? You either believe the church is true, or you don't. . . you can't do both Mr Huntsman. It was a pretty easy question.

  • Chachi Charlottesville, VA
    May 12, 2011 10:54 a.m.

    If Huntsman thinks he'll make himself more popular by publicly distancing himself from his faith, he's wrong. He'll just look like a political opportunist. It's more respectable to stand up for unpopular beliefs than to very publicly make a point of buckling under pressure.