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In this election, one of the most disturbing lines to come from some of my Christian brethren is “I will never cast a vote for a Mormon for president.”
This column is not an endorsement of Mitt Romney, but it is a call to serious reflection. That attitude is un-American. It is also dangerous, particularly so in this election. Four more years under an unrestrained Barack Obama and we will not be able to recognize this country. In the name of “social justice,” he is committed to leading us down the road to his version of a socialist utopia.
What if Mitt Romney is the GOP nominee? A Gallop Poll released last summer found that 18 percent of Americans would not consider voting for a Mormon for president. In 2008, Barack Obama won by a margin of only 7.2 percent.
Does that mean that the 18 percent would then vote for Barack Obama who claims to be a Christian? I can claim to be a tree, but until I sprout leaves, all you have are a few empty words.
In 1988, some 10,000 people in Southern California gathered on a workday to march on Universal Studios to protest the film “The Last Temptation of Christ.” Among the speakers who stood shoulder to shoulder with some giants in Christendom was Jewish scholar Dennis Prager, an author and radio host. Prager condemned Universal Studios for putting out this blasphemous film that denigrated Christianity, and he urged all people of faith to stand together as one against attacks of this nature. He correctly stated, “The problems in this country are not between people of different faiths, but between people of faith and a growing secularism that threatens to take over religion itself.”
People of faith may not share the same theology but, the last time I checked, Christians, Jews –and, yes, Mormons – all share the same value system and the same set of Ten Commandments.
For too long, people of faith, and Christians in particular, have been lulled to sleep politically by anyone who claimed to be a member of the “right” church. He or she, in effect, had their religious ticket stamped. We elected them, hit the snooze button and they robbed us blind. How is that working out for you?
Furthermore, the country lost its moral grounding. Despite what you may have heard, there is no such thing as a value-free law. Every bill that is passed represents someone’s set of values. The Bible warns us not to judge someone’s faith commitment. Nevertheless, we are to “test all things” and expose “evil deeds of darkness.”
It wasn’t that long ago that many Protestants were afraid to vote for a Catholic for president for fear that the pope would be the de facto ruler of the country. Now, we are hearing the same kind of thing about Mitt Romney and the LDS president or prophet of the church.
Another concern is that a Mormon president may mean more Mormon converts. Was there a surge of Catholic converts after the election of JFK?
Are Mormons more likely to vote for Mitt Romney because of his faith? Perhaps. Bear in mind, they only represent 2 percent of our population.
One thing is sure. Mormons are more likely to vote Republican as are deeply religious people of all faiths. They are also more likely to oppose abortion. A full 74 percent of Mormons are resolutely opposed to this practice.
Far more troubling than Mitt Romney’s faith is his level of commitment to the moral principles contained in the Bible. While Romney has given lip service to these principles, his actions often tell a different story. The same could be said of Newt Gingrich who changes faiths as often as he changes wives.
One of the moral principles that should unite everyone is the Eighth Commandment: “Thou shall not steal.” Ah, there is a rub. Many of the problems we have in this country – from the housing crisis to the national debt – are related to stealing, or taking the public’s money under false pretenses.
This has to stop! When you lose the ability to control a fair portion of what you earn, freedom is only an illusion.
In addition to a man (or woman) of strong moral character, the nation needs a president who knows how to run a business and understands foreign policy.
It is clear. There is no perfect candidate in the Republican field. However, short of a brokered convention, one of the four men still standing will be the GOP nominee. Let’s not rule one of them out simply because he is not a member of our faith.