Friday, December 07, 2007
The Potential of a Mormon Presidency: My Thoughts
In the wake of Mitt Romney's speech last night, many born-again followers of Jesus are asking if his Mormon faith should be a factor in their decision of whether to vote for him as President in 2008. Given all the discussion surrounding this issue in the news media and on the blogs, I thought I'd share my own feelings on the issue, and tell you how Romney's faith affects my views of him as a Presidential candidate:
Now that we have that issue out of the way, let's talk about Mitt the candidate, shall we?
Seriously, the idea that Romney's Mormonism should even be a factor in this race seems overblown to me. On the contrary, at the intersections of faith and public policy, there are many issues on which Mormons and evangelicals stand together. With this in mind, it just may be that this Latter-Day Saint could make a much better President than, say, the last two Southern Baptists who have occupied the office.
This is not to say that I'm unconcerned about Mormonism and the deceiving affect it has on its adherents. Nor am I seeking to get in line behind James Dobson, who in an attempt at supporting Romney seems to be warming up to the LDS church in a way that really makes me uncomfortable. And I would be the first to repudiate Richard Land's recent goofy remarks about Mormonism being a "fourth Abrahamic faith." Mormonism is about as close to orthodox Christianity as is Hinduism. In fact, I think in the end, Mormons have more gods than the Hindus, and that polytheistic leaning would betray any attempts to allign this sect with anything Abrahamic.
So in the end, I've been very dissapointed to hear evangelical leaders suggest that Christians can vote for Romney because "Mormonism is OK." It's not OK. We shouldn't vote for him because his faith is "OK." We should vote for him because, in spite of his heretical faith, he is a family man who holds to the same general values as those who genuinely follow Christ, and would encourage such values as President. The truth is that you don't have to like Mormonism to like Romney.
At the same time, I must say that Romney is not my first choice. Nevertheless, should he become the nominee, his Mormon faith is not reason in my opinion to deny him a Pennsylvannia Avenue address.
We don't have to pretend that he shares our faith. We just have to remember that he isn't trying to be anyone's pastor.