Recently, an article was published as part of an evangelical symposium asserting that Mitt Romney is unfit to be president because he "either by intent or effect promotes a false and dangerous religion." I found the article very interesting, but narrow minded. I usually try and rule out presidential candidates based on if their values align with mine. However, I do think that there are many people that will discount Romney purely based on his religion.
Essentially, Mr. Smith's main points are:
- Any Mormon is unfit to be president because the Mormon religion is false.
- Your beliefs and your values are inseparably intertwined. "If the beliefs are false, then the behavior will eventually—but inevitably—be warped."
- Because Mormons believe in continuing revelation, they may change anything they believe at whim and take America to hell in a handbasket.
- Our view of American history does not align with the world historical view.
- The Mormon church would grow in an unhealthy and unreasonable way as a result of this political boost. Which would "cause souls to be lost."
I am a Latter-day Saint. I am a Christian. However, the Jesus Christ that I love and worship is different in significant ways from the Jesus Christ that evangelical Christians worship.
- I do not believe in the traditional Trinity as defined in the Nicene Creed--that God is One but Three. According to Christian evangelicals, He is God, but He is also Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. I believe that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three physically separate people. They are one in purpose.
- I do not believe that the canon of scripture ends after the close of the New Testament.
- While my religion does not align with typical monotheism, I only and will always only worship one god--my God.
- I believe that families are eternal. I believe that marriage and family relationships are perpetuated beyond the grave. What's the point of a beautiful family and meaningful marriage if it ends at death?
I think this article is ignorant and the author writes from a bigoted point of view. A bigot "[exhibits] intolerance and animosity toward those of differing beliefs" (Wikipedia). Yes, I believe different things than the average Christian. But, I still respect their belief system. This article assumes that if someone is different than us, we should ostracize them or try and make them be more like us. They need to fit into our set mold of the perfect religion.
He even states that "it is possible that in the future the LDS church will renounce its heretical beliefs and come fully into the fold of orthodox Christianity." That's funny. Maybe someday I won't be a ridiculous heretic and I'll repent of my ways. Maybe then Mitt Romney could be president. If you take his way of generalizing statements and replace "Mormon" with Jew, you could call him a Nazi. Replace "Mormon" with "Black" and he would sound like a racist. But, no, he is an evangelical Christian. A Christian. Love one another, eh?
We live in a country where religious freedoms are protected. However, we also have freedom of speech. As such, Mr. Smith can write what he wants and I can believe in my religion of choice. I hope that we live in a country where people vote for a man or woman based on their core values, and not purely on their religion. Let's retract the hatred and unite as Americans and move forward in our goals for a better future for our children.
"I should hope that I can sit one of my grandchildren on my knee and tell them that in our religiously diverse society they are as good as anyone else, and that they will be judged by the fruits of their lives and not by discriminatory interpretations of their faith."
The Head of Public Affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a response that responds to some of his main points here. The author of the article has released a response to criticism to his article here.