Mitt Romney and the Search for the Mormon Garden of Eden

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There aren't many Mormans here in Cleveland, which makes the presidential candidacy of Mitt Romney something akin to the way Southerners once viewed the White House ambitions of Catholic John Kennedy. What? Some guy from a cult wants to be president? But while we Catholics have always been a little weird -- hey, maybe we should wear funny hats and start the world's largest organized pedophile ring! -- Mormons might actually surpass us on the weirdo-meter. According to church doctrine, the Mormon Garden of Eden wasn't in some mystical place of bounty, enlightment, and free fruit. It was in Missouri. That's right: Adam and Eve are from Missouri! Okay, so the concept's a little scary. It means that civilization began in a land best known for guys with three teeth who pass out on the railroad tracks. That's why Justin Kendall, a writer for our sister paper, the Pitch in Kansas City, set out to find the true Garden of Eden. Despite calls and emails, Mitt Romney refused to help, which wasn't very Christian of him. But Kendall did encounter the famed Mormon missionaries. "A full-scale marketing campaign is under way for my soul," he writes. You can find his harrowing and entertaining saga here. -Pete Kotz

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