This is a blog post I drafted in my mind back during the heat of the Republican primaries. It was more timely then than now. And it’s almost certain to offend more people than it pleases. So naturally, here I go . . .
There has been much speculation about how Evangelicals voters will respond to the nomination of Mitt Romney–a Mormon. Will the enthusiasm and support Republican nominees usually enjoy from Evangelicals be dampened with a Mormon at the top of the ticket? Will a critical percentage of them simply stay home on election day?
Four years ago when Mitt Romney was battling John McCain for the nomination, much was made of a survey which indicated that a majority of evangelical Christians would not vote for a Mormon candidate for president. Of course, that was before they experienced three years of “Christian” Obama–the most pro-abortion, pro-union, anti-capitalist, arguably anti-American president in our nation’s history.
Perhaps that’s why recent surveys reveal evangelicals are warming up to the idea of voting for a Mormon–a man with whom they share a lot of common values if not a common faith. Nevertheless, some still consider the prospect alarming, as this new book by my old friend and co-author Stephen Mansfield testifies.
Some Food for Thought for My Brethren with Mormon Qualms
I hear some of my fellow evangelicals declare that they can’t vote for a Mormon because Mormons believe weird stuff . . . stuff that’s not in the Bible . . . stuff we evangelicals view as heretical. I’ve heard more than one crack about “holy underwear” in the White House.
But hold on . . . Here’s the thought that frequently occurred to me during the heat of the Republican primary.
Romney’s two principle challengers were Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich–both Roman Catholics. From a strictly evangelical perspective, don’t Roman Catholics believe a lot of weird stuff? Stuff that’s not in the standard evangelical Bible? Stuff that we Protestants at one time viewed as so heretical that rivers of blood were shed for the freedom to dissent.
We could play a game. Name a bizarro Mormon doctrine and I’ll name an equally bizarre Catholic one. I’ll see your magic underwear and raise you a transubstantiation. I’ll see your Golden Tablets and raise you a papal infallibility or a perpetual virginity of Mary.
Please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. I’m not calling for evangelical avoidance of Catholic candidates. On the contrary, I think the support many evangelicals gave Rick Santorum was appropriate and reasonable.
I’m saying I’m puzzled by evangelicals who can think nothing of voting for Rick Santorum but recoil at the thought of voting for Mitt Romney.
I personally am less interested in a candidate’s personal faith than I am his political philosophy and the policies he or she will pursue if elected.
Frankly, some of the worst and most disastrous presidents we’ve had over the last five decades were church-going Protestant Christians:
- LBJ (Disciples of Christ)
- Richard Nixon (Quaker)
- Jimmy Carter (Southern Baptist)
- Bill Clinton (Southern Baptist)
- Barack Obama (United Church of Christ)
Ronald Reagan, on the other hand, was initially viewed with a lot of wariness by evangelicals because he “never went to church.” I don’t think the country can survive many more church-going presidents like Carter or Obama.
Follow your own conscience. But as for me and my house, we’ll vote for the most conservative electable candidate irrespective of what he believes about God or underwear.
Not a Nickel’s Worth of Difference?
Of course there are those who contend it doesn’t matter which party’s candidate get’s elected in November. That there’s “not a nickel’s worth of difference between them.” I usually hear this assertion from my friends who have classified all candidates for president into two groups:
- Candidates who are named Ron Paul
- Candidates not named Ron Paul and who are therefore statist, globalist, insufficiently libertarian and evil.
From these friends I hear that the Candidate-Not-Named-Ron-Paul will still allow the country to drift in a statist direction–if admittedly less severely than Obama will shove it. (And trust me, if Obama is reelected, his second term will make his first look like his right-wing phase.)
I’m sorry, but the argument that if Car A will take you toward a cliff at 80 miles per hour and Car B will take you toward the same cliff at 35 miles per hour, it doesn’t really matter which car you climb into strikes me as a ridiculous one.
So, come November, I’ll be casting my vote for Romney. And I’ll feel great about it.