Mitt Romney Explains How Jesus Won’t Be Making a Comeback in Missouri

Things Mitt Romney doesn’t want to talk about: His taxes (presumably because they make him look bad), his time spent in Bizarro World when his stances were completely different than they are now (in other words, about five minutes ago), and his Mormonism.

That makes this video, taken from a presumably off-air-and-totally-not-videotaped interview with WHO-AM conservative host Jan Mickelson, especially entertaining because Romney talks about Mormon beliefs and we’re all reminded of how completely absurd they are.

The relevant portion begins at 10:40 (after Romney explains how he wants to overturn Roe v. Wade). Mickelson tells Romney that he shouldn’t be distancing himself from his faith during this election because, if he talks about it openly, more people might actually vote for him. Romney insists that’s he’s not distancing himself from his Mormonism at all (though he still says he supports church/state separation):

This is the quotation making the rounds (16:02), regarding where Jesus will begin his comeback tour: Missouri or Jerusalem.

Here’s Romney, insisting that Mormon views are in line with fundamentalist Christians on that front:

The Church says that Christ appears on the Mount of Olives, and splits the Mount of Olives and appears in Jerusalem. That’s what the Church says. And then over a thousand years… the world is reigned in two places, Jerusalem and Missouri. That’s what the Church says. The Second Coming, the arrival of Jesus Christ, our church says, is in Jerusalem.”

See? It’s… um… totally sane to believe that stuff as an adult.

I know we complain a lot about how politicians pander to the religious even if they don’t believe what they’re saying. This is one of those times I wish that were really the case. But it’s not. Romney fully buys into it and that should be frightening to everybody.

Remember: This is the man who wants to run one of the most powerful countries in the world.


About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • PsiCop

    Romney also refers to “the war that’s killing all the Jews” that — supposedly — is coming in the future. I have just two observations about that: First, lately he, and the rest of the GOP, have been scrapping for a war between Iran and Israel. To the point of whining and bellyaching about Obama not meeting Bibi to give his blessing to an Israeli assault on Iran. So it certainly looks as though he’s looking forward to just such a war and would be very likely to arrange one, had he the power to do so.

    Second, it’s apparent to me that “the war that’s killing all the Jews” is not necessarily something that’s coming in the future. It’s something that’s already happened. Most of us know it as “the Holocaust.” I have to wonder that, if Armageddon hadn’t already proceeded from the Third Reich’s effort to exterminate Jews, what makes anyone think some other war in the future will do so?

    This little exchange has made me fear a Romney presidency even more than I’d feared one already. People accused G.W. Bush of having gone to war with Iraq in order to trigger Armageddon. I’m not sure that was his motivation, but Romney is alluding more clearly to something like that, right here. Wow. Just wow.

  • Conspirator

    I originally come from Independence, MO, which is the headquarters of The Reorganized Church of the Latter Day Saints which is an off-shoot of  the main LDS and probably just as whacky.  As I understand it the split happened because some folks didn’t want to continue heading west so they claimed Independence was the actual location of Eden and that is where Jesus is supposed to return.  Now considering Mitt’s comments about Missouri I think my information on that may be slightly wrong.  However the RLDS has bought up huge chunks of downtown Independence and erected a huge temple with a giant spiral on top.

    Historically the leadership of the RLDS went from father to son, as women weren’t allowed to be ministers.  In the late 80′s as I recall the leader at the time had a vision from god that women should be allowed into the ministry, coincidentally enough he had no sons, only daughters.  My friend’s parents were on TV protesting this decision and the father, who was a minister also, was excommunicated or censured.  They left and joined a smaller off-shoot of the church.

    I’m not really sure what my friend’s status is now.  He and I just avoid religion when we see one another.  Sadly I probably won’t see him for quite some time, as his wife went with a group of friends to celebrate and support Chik-Fil-A’s hate.  I really don’t want to be around people like that.   

  • Mark Tilbrook

    I’m not a fan of Romney at all but to be fair to him from 10:50 he talks about separation of church and state in a way which is actually quite promising. 

  • brianmacker

    “His taxes (presumably because they make him look bad)”

    If you call giving away 20% of your income to charity and then not deducting it all “looking bad”.

  • pagansister

     Mark, he might change is mind in the next few minutes! 

  • pagansister

     Wonder if it all goes to is LDS church? 

  • Deven Kale

     How do you know that? Did he release his tax returns to you? Did he release them somewhere else that we’ve never heard of? Or are you just taking him on his (highly questionable) word?

  • Octoberfurst

    I’d be willing to bet that the “charity” he gave his money to is the Mormom church.

  • Aloysius Cranston

    “… [T]he great thing about this country is that—that, uh, that individuals are—who—who run for secular office are—are not, uh—uh—are not—fffff, uh-yuhh-ugh—implementing the policies of their church, they’re doing what they think is right for the nation …”

  • GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    What troubles me is how emphatically Romney keeps repeating that his church leaders tell him to believe such and such and therefore he dutifully believes such and such. 

    Beliefs shape actions. 
    If you accept bizarre unfounded beliefs just because a church leader tells you to, you are someone whose critical thinking skills are compromised. 

  • Thin-ice

    Romney’s candidacy would be over in a heartbeat if the major media outlets spent only 5 or 10 minutes outlining the main points of belief shared by all Mormons, and maybe 5 minutes on the history of his grandfather in Mexico. 

    But they won’t touch it. Cowards.

  • Coyotenose

    The Romneys have been using a special kind of religious charitable trust fund for 15-16 years. They dumped their money into it, and it supposedly pays out as charity every year, but it is designed so that they can withdraw almost all the allowed amount each year, and the remainder is an actual charitable contribution.

    Essentially, they’re using the Mormon church as a tax shelter. They get a huge wad of money declared tax-free, and then they take either 92% or 96% of it back. And it’s SO MUCH money that they fact they can’t withdraw it all at once is no pain at all.

  • anon101

    I don’t know why you linked this video. What Romney says makes a lot of sense. He nearly sounds sane all the way. My reagrds for him have increased significantly.

  • Dan

    One reason he didn’t claim all his charitable contributions is because that would have put his Federal income tax rate at 9%, which is much lower than the 13% he said it would be. So it doesn’t really make him look good to me that he did that just so he can justify keeping the tax rate on the extremely rich even lower than the middle class tax rate. Anyways, after the election he is free to ammend his return and get all that money back and still end up paying 9%.

  • RobertoTheChi

    Citation needed please.

  • Stev84

    Calling giving money directly to churches “charity” is questionable in most cases due to their large overhead and lack of transparency. Giving money to the Mormon church is never charity. A negligible amount of the tithing money actually goes to charity. And even that they largely use for other Mormons. Most they just keep to themselves.

  • Kling

    Why is this religious belief any more crazy than the usual ones? Political motivation me thinks.

    Obama and Romney both believe that Jesus rose from the dead like a zombie. They’re both crazies

  • David McNerney

    I have to agree – the point was made before, Romney’s religious beliefs are not any more ridiculous than Obama’s. 

  • Joe Mama

    We’ve decided in this country, for whatever reason, that it is not socially acceptable to criticize another’s religion publicly. Maybe with the exception of Scientology.

  • Dario Impini

    LOL, you want him, you deserve him.

  • Dario Impini

    The overriding difference being that Romney intends to legislate his beliefs so we all have to live by them.

  • Tainda

    SO glad Jesus won’t be coming here.  Missouri is bad enough without that freaky hippie around…

  • Joannaa

    Even if you accept the premise that Jesus is god, is coming back, and is slated for a North American tour, *Missouri*?
    Has your god no sense of strategy? I can see hitting the most populous state or city, the most christian state, or maybe the least christian state, or straight to NYC to do the talk show circuit. Missouri is just a silly choice.

  • Tainda

    Missouri is an important part of Mormon culture.

  • Angerjane

     I came here from Google Reader to make this exact point.

  • Maarten Middelbeek

    Wow, on the one hand he somehow assumes that the 2nd coming of christ to olive mountain is less crazy than coming to missouri and than he takes a even stronger position against abortion than his already very pro life church. Mr. Romney is full of surprises.

  • Leo Buzalsky

     “It’s something that’s already happened. Most of us know it as “the Holocaust.””

    But…this happened in Germany, not Israel.  That’s probably an important distinction in their minds.

  • pagansister

    If he won’t be coming to Missouri  they won’t have to spruce up the state for his return.  I’m sure some are relieved.  :o) 

  • Antinomian

    Raised in the RLDS church myself. Not nearly as wacky and even less so now as they seem to have dropped a lot of the “revelations” of Joseph Smith since they changed their name to The Community of Christ; or at least put them in a different ‘context’ much as other Christians do with the Old Testament. They still have a prophet who is the spiritual leader of the church and believe in modern day revelation through the prophet. The prophet was always a direct decendant of Joseph Smith and not necessarily the son of the previous prophet. They have become pretty progressive in allowing women into the priesthood and they, last I heard, were debating letting LGBT people serve in the priesthood and support of women’s bodily autonomy as well. I still have a lot of family in the church and they seem to be more of just the Jesus Loves You type instead of the fire and brimstone, hellbound in a handbasket type evangelical.

  • Elisha C

    So he doesn’t think people should legislate based on their faith, but he believes in a ban on abortion. Not because of what he church says, but just … because?

    I love that when anyone asks a question he sees it as a personal attack. I for one am just as terrified at the idea of a president who takes every non-flattering comment as an excuse to throw a little temper tantrum as I am by the idea of one who believes the Native Americans are a lost tribe of Jews and a war in the Middle East is a goal. After that video the idea of Mitt having any control over our military is downright terrifying.

  • anon101

    In addition to what I said earlier this is a video you should have linked:

    because imho it reflects what Romney really believes.

  • brianmacker

    He released his tax returns.

  • brianmacker

    That is a lie of omission. The greater than 20% donation was in addition to that very old charitable trust. They pay taxes on the withdrawn amount from the trust. It is more like a personal IRA where the beneficiary when you die is the charity. It is a tax shelter if tax rates go down, and because principle grows tax free. The amount was much smaller than the donation, and it’s effect would be to raise income on his released tax return not increase deductions.

  • brianmacker

    Nonsense, plus regardless of whether you approve of it going to poor Mormons it does not stay with Romney.

  • brianmacker
  • Deven Kale

     When? And where can I find an analysis of them?

  • brianmacker

    Do a google search and look at a couple. Here’s one:
    In 2011 he gave away 29% of his income.

  • brianmacker

    You don’t understand taxes. Effective rates do NOT include all taxes paid. Those supposedly low tax rates represent double taxation on investments. When you invest money you are already getting hit with corporate tax rate of around 35% plus payroll taxes, and other taxes. The average rate of return in business tends to follow the interest rate, which averages around 2%. Labor is very large chunk of running a business, and if I recall right around 70%. There is a large payroll tax on that of 8%. That 8% tax is on your gross investment in labor not on the must smaller 2% average return. Plus there is the effective tax of inflation.

    Just the payroll tax is already taxing the average investor at 73%.
    (.08*.70) / ((.08 * .70) + .02)=.73
    Add in the 35% tax rate on the remaining 2% profit and the tax rate is already 82%.
    .73 +( (.35 * .02) / ((.08 * .70) + .02)) =.82
    Claims about the poor paying higher rates of taxation are straight out lies.

    The inflation tax is on your entire investment, and is not deductible. When inflation is higher that the average rate of return the government has essentially taxed away 100% of the average businesses income.

    So you might have already suffered 100% or 200% taxation before you get to the next stage, but on average you already suffered a minimum of 82%. The next stage is that when you withdraw your remaining untaxed profit it is taxed an additional 15%. That brings the rate up to 84.5%.

    .82 +( (.02 *(1 – .35) * .15) / ((.08 * .70) + .02)) =.845

    The Democrats are lying by omission when they quote only the effective tax rate. This system sucks and non-democrats have, over and over proposed a progressive flat tax. Democrats seem not to want fair taxation, because the current system allows them to lie. Not only do they lie by these kinds of math deceptions they straight out lie. Even if you ignore all taxes paid prior to the effective tax on income a guy like Buffet pays a greater percent tax than his secretary.

    You could tax every dime the rich people have and we would not be able to pay of the spending the democrats have voted into the system. This is mostly a democrat spending issue, and do not listen to lying charts about deficits rising under republican presidents. Presidents don’t control the purse strings. Look at a chart of Dem. Vs. Rep control of congress against spending and you will see it goes up under Democrats and down under Republicans.

    I am stressing Democrat culpability because on the average they are doing more to keep things screwy. That does not mean Republicans are not also culpable. The whole system is unfair and overly complicated. Ironically Democrats are also mostly culpable for the extremely regressive social security tax. A tax that has been raided for more than a half century now to pay for all sorts of programs the government should not even be doing.

    Now my numbers were averages and that does NOT mean I think Romney paid the average. When your rate of return goes up above average the balance changes such that your rate goes down. Someone who made the same profit as the inflation rate is actually paying an infinite rate of return. This makes me very mad, as does the SS tax on employees. This is also highly regressive and also due to SS tax system.

    Taxes should be progressive but not for the morally bankrupt reasons leftist give. It is because the things government should provide like police, courts, and military actually are used more by people with more total assets. Note that is more regardless of income. A guy like Bill Gates who has trillions in assets has to have all that stuff protected regardless of whether he actually made a profit that year. He should be paying a tax based on holdings. The guy starting from nothing but making huge profits should not be subsidizing him.

  • brianmacker

    Probably but so what. The LDS is like a socialist dream with magic pajamas. Just like corporations are islands of communism in a wider free market system. Well except you can defect from a corporation without being shot.

  • Deven Kale

     The reason I had to ask is because I HAD done a web search, and all I’ve been able to find is information about how he allegedly avoids paying taxes every year but last year. I’m still looking into whether that allegation is true.

    Thank you though, for actually citing your source.

  • brianmacker

    The most damning story on Romney is the rolling stone article that outlines how he did a business maneuver on FDIC insurance that was essentially government welfare for the rich. Then again I don’t think the story has legs because getting an insurance payout when you’ve payed the premiums isn’t true welfare. Not like the Solyndra and numerous other scams Obama has run for his friends, and contributors. Most politicians at that level are very dirty and that is exactly how they got that high up.

    The Clintons had all sorts of skeletons like this in their background. I’m sure there is more in Romney’s taxes that although technically not criminal, or not probably so, is not honest. Hillary Clinton laundered a bunch of money (essentially a bribe to her husband) from Tyson Foods so they could pollute rivers. Did it via what was essentially a shared commodities margin account with Tyson. The broker traded with opposing options then assigned the winners to Clinton and losers to Tyson. Thus enriching The Clintons by $100,000.

    They don’t string you up for this just so long as you play along with the other political crooks at the top. In fact insider trading was legal for members of congress until Scott Brown got his bill passed.

  • brianmacker


    Harry Reid was lying and claiming Romney paid no taxes over the last ten years. We know that was a lie because there was no way for Romney to alter the 2010 return, and I also think the lie was after his 2011 return. If these other stories you read claimed he avoided every year except last year then they have also be proven untrustworthy lies. The Obama campaign has be lying quite a bit about Romney. For example, that claim about him being responsible for killing some guys wife. Turned out it was total unsupported nonsense.

    Tax rules are ridiculous but it seems like a non-issue to bitch about a guy using all possible legal exemptions (or worse bitching that he hadn’t used every one he could) while stubbornly rejecting flat tax plans as the Democrats do. Don’t like loopholes then let’s go to a progressive flat tax, with no deductions for charities, or non-profits. The tax rate on gifts, sales tax, and so forth should all be neutral. Plus a flat single rate tax on assets based on the military and court systems budgets. I’d also like to see a system where able bodied people who go on the dole have to pay it back. We need to disincentivize freeloading.