Jane Chastain : Politically Direct

The Mormon Divide

with 3 comments

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 verison 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 defacto 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 Mormon’s 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 should be his 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.

 

Written by Jane Chastain

January 25th, 2012 at 6:00 pm

3 Responses to 'The Mormon Divide'

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  1. I agree with you, Jane. It’s not one denomination vs. another, it’s faith versus unbelief. I haven’t found a Hindu who disagrees with the Ten Commandments but pagans find breaking the commandments acceptable. I’ll vote for a Mormon who practices his faith over a Baptist who doesn’t.

    My criteria for the religious orientation of a politician is not his denomination but a more profound test: Does he/she believe in being answerable to a Creator who sets moral standards for behavior and universal, objective values? Or is the politician (by words or actions) a secular humanist who believes than man is the highest value and self-centered, subjective values can be set by himself?

    The Mormons pass this test by any reasonable measure, so do Jews and Hindus. I’d rather share a desert island (or elect to office) any of them over a pagan.

    BTW, I used to work for Mormons and they are just as decent in person as they appear on TV. I got along better with them than with some of the people in my parish.

    Walt Brubaker

    25 Jan 12 at 10:03 pm

  2. It’s high time someone displayed courage enough to speak to this issue. Mitt is not my first choice to replace Obama, but if he is the nominee, he will surely get my vote. Anyone who is afraid to vote for him because he is a Mormon has been misguided somewhere. I am not a Mormon. Some of the best people I have ever known, including my best friend on this earth, are Mormons. If all the Baptists, Methodists, Catholics and other Christians I know lived lives half as close to the Bible as the Mormons I know, the world would be a much better place. Thank you Jane, for this fine article.

    Henry Lamb

    25 Jan 12 at 10:29 pm

  3. Despite theological differences, I am willing to vote for a Mormon who shares my political values. I am strongly opposed to Mitt Romney’s nomination because he does not share my values. He ran for office in 1994 and 2002 expressing his strong support for abortion rights and homosexual rights. As governor, he demonstrated his commitment to those positions.

    On the abortion issue, he supposedly had a change of position, but still included government paid abortion in his health care bill and Planned Parenthood on the health advisory board (but no pro-life person). He now says he has always been pro-life, an obvious lie.

    On homosexual issues, his administration did much to push the homosexual agenda. When the court gave its opinion on gay marriage, it recognized it didn’t have the authority to change the law so gave time to the legislature to act. When they didn’t, Romney ignored the advice of dozens of conservatives, his own view on the power of judges, and the state constitution which does not give him legislative authority, and imposed gay marriage on the state. He claims the court forced him to do what he did, but a reading of the court opinion and numerous legal experts shows that not to be the truth. When people point out the truth, he gets mad at them.

    Romney has 2 things very much in common with Obama, his word cannot be believed, and he cannot be trusted to follow the constitution.

    Stan Mansfield

    27 Jan 12 at 10:04 pm

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