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My name is Mitt Romney. I’m a candidate for president, and I’m a Mormon.

October 19th, 2011 by Steven Gardner

In 1972 Wayne Owens, a Democrat, got himself elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Utah. He was considered one to watch nationally, but got a little ahead of himself and ran for Senate in 1974, losing to Jake Garn. Owens eventually made it back to Congress more than a decade later.

Owens was an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment. He was also a Mormon. The LDS church came out against the ERA, which Owens said surprised him. He continued, nonetheless, to support the amendment while the church moved forces against it.

In 1975, after Owens lost his Senate race, LDS church leaders asked him to serve as mission president in Montreal.

That position, mission president, meant he oversaw the work of about 200 missionaries trying to convert people to Mormonism. So Owens, an Equal Rights Amendment supporter, was asked by a steadfast Equal Rights Amendment opponent organization, to lead that organization’s recruitment efforts in the Montreal area.

I bring this up because of two developments. One is Texas Baptist Robert Jeffress’ decision to publicly back Rick Perry for president, because he is a Christian the way Jeffress is a Christian, That to Jeffress’ mind makes Perry a more suitable president, because he believes Romney shouldn’t be president, because he is Mormon, and therefore not a Christian, but a member of a cult. Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll made a similar case this week just on the cult question. I’ll get to the cult discussion below.

Jeffress later claimed he got a call from a woman who is the daughter of a former Mormon Bishop who agreed that Mormonism is a cult.

I have a hunch who that woman is. My guess is it was Tricia Erickson. She wrote a book, “Can Mitt Romney Serve Two Masters?” She sent out an email after Jeffress’ statement, not claiming to be that woman, but with a headline, “Mormon Bishop’s Daughter Agrees with Jeffress, Mitt Romney Belongs To A Cult.”

Full disclosure: I am a practicing Mormon. This discussion comes at an interesting time for me, personally, but that is a separate issue for a different forum. I served a mission for the church in Chile and married my wife in the Salt Lake City LDS temple.

Erickson, in her book and frequent emails, makes arguments against Romney’s bona fides as a conservative. I won’t discuss those here. I would argue it’s fair to ask any Mormon candidate his or her stance on marriage rights for homosexuals, civil rights for blacks and women and, if it interests you, on polygamy.

Another issue Erickson raises could give non-Mormon people pause in considering Romney. It is her assertion that comes from language that is part of the LDS temple ceremony, language Erickson believes means if LDS President Thomas S. Monson called Romney on the phone and told him to run the country in a certain way, that Romney would have to do it.

In the press release she quoted the temple language and followed it with ” . . . Mitt Romney absolutely must obey the religion of Mormonism and the Prophets of the Mormon Church first, before his allegiance to our country. His very eternal exaltation to godhood depends on it.”

If history could show evidence that this has ever happened, anyone would be justified in doubting whether a Mormon should be elected to anything, unless you’re OK with someone taking orders from Salt Lake City. I don’t know of any instance that it happened, not in recent history. In fact, I’ve given you the example of Wayne Owens, chosen to be a mouthpiece for the church in a region even though he disagreed with the church’s reasoning on a pretty significant issue of that day.

I became a member of the church in 1973 when I was 11 years old. Over the years I have heard members of the church question how someone could be an active, temple-going member of the church and still support some political ideas. But I have never heard that from church headquarters.

The church’s official statement on this is:

“Elected officials who are Latter-day Saints make their own decisions and may not necessarily be in agreement with one another or even with a publicly stated Church position. While the Church may communicate its views to them, as it may to any other elected official, it recognizes that these officials still must make their own choices based on their best judgment and with consideration of the constituencies whom they were elected to represent.”

Example number two: In 1933 Utah was among the final three states to ratify the 21st Amendment, repealing Prohibition, despite the protests of LDS President Heber J. Grant.

On the cult question, Jeffress and Driscoll make the case that under one religious definition of “cult,” Mormonism is one. They say that because Mormonism differs with “Orthodox” Christianity, it is a cult. They are both using a religious definition of “cult,” which is not the same as what Driscoll calls the “popular sensationalist” definition of cult.

Fine. You can call Mormonism a “cult,” then. To me, that seems to be the point. They want to call it a cult, so they find a way to do it. Driscoll calls what Mormons teach “Whacky,” (sic) as if the LDS definitions of God, Christ’s resurrection, or the nature of Heaven are any more wacky than traditional Christianity. Both teach that Jesus rose from the dead and that it is through Jesus that people will be accepted into Heaven. I’m not sure how one is wackier than the other.

When I hear “cult,” though, I think Jim Jones and David Koresh, the popular sensationalist definition. Whatever the LDS church may have been in its early years, it’s not Jones or Koresh now. I am assuming most people hear the word “cult” and think the same thing I do. As it is there are many critics of the LDS faith who make the case that the church’s practice come awfully close to that definition.

But for Jeffress and Driscoll to argue that Mormonism is a cult under a particular, narrow, less-often used definition is like arguing a poodle locked in a closed car in the summer is a hot dog. It’s technically true, perhaps, but is highly misleading.

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45 Responses to “My name is Mitt Romney. I’m a candidate for president, and I’m a Mormon.”

  1. Emilie Says:

    I have a little e-mail pal in Egypt that told me he is a Muslim first and an Egyptan second. Now it seems that many Americans are “Christian” first or Mormons first?

    I wish people wouldn’t equate “cult” as being as negative as Jones’ or Koresh’s. Christianity itself, to me, seems like a cult, just as much as its off-shoots are. There were many claiming to be the Messiah in the time of the Prophet/Rabbi Jesus of Nazareth, but his “cult” is the one that became a major religion, as did Mohammed’s Islam, another “cult” that became a religion. The only true religion to me is the one of Moses, and I am neither Christian or Jew and definitely not Muslim because of the partisanship etc.

  2. Colleen Smidt Says:

    First off, I do not support Romney for President, but my lack of support has zero to do with his religion. ZERO.

    If I remember my history correctly, didn’t they try to scare people into thinking the Pope would be running the country if JFK was elected?

    Supposedly “tolerant” Christians constantly prove themselves to be the narrowest minded intolerants around in these types of situations. Gheesh Jeffress and Driscoll! Where is your personal humility, forgiveness and love for your fellow man?

  3. Mick Sheldon Says:

    I have a little different slant here Colleen, but disagree with the way you use intolerant . First I do favor Mitt Romney over all the other candidates , I am not a Mormon , but his Faith and its importance to him I believe has helped him as a person .

    I would not say the Pastors who spoke were intolerant , as in my blog I called them bigots. I wish I had your command of English but will try and explain here.

    http://pugetsoundblogs.com/heart/2011/10/11/mitt-romney-religion-and-politics/

    “Cheap plug for blog ”

    Your term narrow is what I believe is important here . A good example of where I am coming from is Israel and Rome around 70 AD . Rome was tolerant of religions , many gods , one god , no gods , and their sexual values were also quite diverse , couples , group, polygamy, different genders, you name it . But also the Romans were quite diverse With such things as torture, they were ahead of their time . No people were as good at mass murder and torture as the open minded Romans . Then we had the Jews , strict believes on one God, strict sexual beliefs , even strict religious rules even with food . But if you were a stranger in the land , which place do you think would be more willing to help you , or for that matter just let you live free.

    I have no problems with people who have narrow religious beliefs, I found my Faith quite late in life , but it has made me more caring , more loving , and more willing to help others , perhaps i am narrow , but the God I know is quite Big . my Narrow Belief syatem opens up a big big world for me . I do see often that political dogma can put dividers among us , and when I see people with what I call a spirit of religion where somehow they think what God has given them has made them better then someone else is quite distasteful.

    But I honestly think the people who will use this issue the most for political gain will be the ones who believe anything goes , the ones who are the first to mock people of all Faiths , or the ones of Faith who don’t believe like them politically and have no value in religion basically .

  4. commentary2011 Says:

    The jesus of Mormonism is NOT the Jesus of the Bible.

    Mormons are polytheistic… “as man is, god once was. as god is, man may become.” God, to a Morman, is an exalted man. Every Mormon male if he’s good enough can become his own god on his own world and work to bring Mormon souls down from another planet.

    Jesus, to the Mormons, is Lucifer’s spirit-brother. When all the spirit dudes got together, the Mormon jesus drew the short stick (or did he volunteer? voluntold?)

    In Christianity, Jesus Christ is the co-eternal, co-equal Son of God (God, being self-existent in three persons of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).

    Therefore, Mormonism is by definition, a ‘cult,’ in that they reject the true Person of Jesus, and understanding that salvation is available through him alone, by his death on the cross for the sins of the elect.

    I will NOT vote for Mitt because of the agenda of the Mormon Church to establish a theocracy under which the citizens must abide by Mormon law (wow, this is sounding like Muslims and sharia), in order to own their homes, work business, etc.

  5. Steven Gardner Says:

    So, commentary2011, you basically reject the evidence I’ve provided about the LDS church’s influence on its own politicians and rely on that narrow definition of cult.

    As I said before. Fine. We’re a cult. If you ever offer me a hot dog, though, don’t be offended when I ask you to be more specific.

    Steven Gardner
    Kitsap Caucus.

  6. commentary2011 Says:

    I’m preferential to Hebrew National.

    Yellow mustard, or stone ground?

  7. Colleen Smidt Says:

    Mick, there is a big separation for me between the “narrow” moral or religious beliefs I hold myself personally to, believe in and guide myself by and my more wide open less “narrow” thoughtful acceptance of and tolerance for other individuals, their beliefs and what higher power guides them.

    Give me someone for whom it is inherently natural to always work to be a good person and to seek out doing good deeds towards others because they truly desire to so over someone who simply puts on an act in a good way or performs a good deed because Jesus or the bible tells them they should at Church every Sunday.

    I believe in GOD, I understand Jesus is my personal savior. However, I personally do not seek out, need or embrace any organized religion of man. I respect the fact that there are those who need the organization of religion to function. I respect what religious organizations bring to and assist with in our communities. I simply do not personally feel any call or need for group worship nor does I feel it helps me be closer to GOD.

    Individuals can go their entire lives operating solely within the strictest rules and boundaries of what their organized religion dictates and still never really “gets” what being saved, being a humble servant or pleasing GOD is really all about.

    Thanks for posting! I still love to hear from you about this topic.

  8. Steven Gardner Says:

    commentary2011,

    In Chile they put regular mustard, mayo, sauerkraut, hot sauce, tomatoes and avocados on hot dogs. Delicious!

  9. Colleen Smidt Says:

    Also, your blog is not “cheap”. It is very good.

  10. Mick Sheldon Says:

    Thanks Colleen . I believe its true when they say that we ruin a move of God when we make a denomination from it . All of a sudden we put religious dos and don’ts on it.

    And in most denominations we have the top ten sin list . Sexual , racism , etc etc etc .

    My denomination smoking is really a taboo also , and of course the old timers even think going to the movies is a no no . So you get people embarrassed sometimes to smoke in front of other members of the Congregation , smoking is unhealthy , not something to make you believe you are further away from God because of it. How does that help anyone ?

    I am somewhat open minded to movies and the arts except for Sponge Bob , for the life of me I don’t get it . Its pathetic , the animation is worse then Gum-by . and my Grand daughter thinks its all that ? ;0)

    But yes I do understand what your saying , and I believe the scriptures give us quite the lessons on thinking we can be “better” then someone else spiritually . Plus the lessons of the Pharisees going to temple and obeying all the laws in the Bible . You can look like a great religious giant but inside your motives are being number one . . I agree with you Only God can save us from us . The first will be last . I have no problem discussing theology , but there is a place for that ,. and to me that is so much different then what these Pastors were doing as a test . They were speaking about who could lead us better using religion .

    I do like to worship in a group, and I notice being away from church as much as I am because I work Sundays some of my language may get a little caustic or perhaps I lapse in my prayers . The scripture tells us to come together also , I really think its to help us not something we are to do because we have to . Also when two or three are gathered ! Sort of keeps us accountable.

  11. Michael Says:

    Mr Gardner, a Christian by definition must accept Jesus as Saviour and believe in the Triune God. If Christ is the Alpha and Omega, there cannot be a Prophet after Him. Two only world religions claim foundation upon a following Prophet. Each is a criticism of Christianity. I believe that “cult” is unnecessarily offensive. But the fact is that one cannot be a Mormon and a Christian at the same time. What set of men and women of conscience who are acting Christians could take orders from a man whose religion defines theirs as offensive to God?

  12. Steven Gardner Says:

    Michael,

    I appreciate your conviction and your willingness to share it here. My point in this piece was to address two issues, the statements made that Mormonism is a cult and the question of whether Mitt Romney as president would be required to obey LDS church leaders.

    As for whether Mormons are Christians, I had originally planned to include an answer to that question, but figured it really wasn’t necessary in the political context and it would have made this already lengthy piece too long. Plus, my answer wouldn’t have provided anything new to that discussion.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Steven Gardner
    Kitsap Sun

  13. Michael Says:

    I believe, Mr Gardner, that the current experience of Herman Cain who is a “candidate for president” and a “Christian” precludes your so easy abandonment of a subject you introduced. What exactly is your way of thinking when you know that Christ alone has descended from and ascended to Heaven? No other being born of woman can claim that. Can you tell us when Christianity lost the ways that provided a beginning place for Mormonism to the extent that Mormons would like to be also a Christian church?

  14. Steven Gardner Says:

    Michael,

    Is Herman Cain being accused of belonging to a cult? I didn’t abandon anything. Read my piece again. It’s about whether an LDS candidate would have to take orders from LDS church leaders or whether the church is a cult.

    Steven Gardner
    Kitsap Sun

  15. Michael Says:

    Mr Gardner, there are only two world religions that claim connection to the same family lines as do Jews and Christians. Each stands as an improvement on the model described by Christ and each stipulates that Christ cannot be the Alpha and Omega because each proposes its founder to be a Prophet. Your issue is rather a red herrring than the necessary discussion: is it the belief of the mainline Mormon that Mormonism is also Christian? Herman Cain is being queried because he has stated a belief based on religious values. His form of Christianity does not stand in opposition to the notion of a Trinity. And, by the way, the definition of Christianity and the words spoken by Christ are facts separate from any “conviction” I might have.

  16. Kathryn Simpson Says:

    Hi, I am Kathryn Simpson. I am a mom, an active member of my community, an independent thinker, a follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ, and I am a Mormon.

    I have experienced discrimination because of my religion in political and social circles. Sadly, it has almost always been based on misperceptions rather than reality. As these individuals have gotten to know me, their discrimination subsides but (to be honest) their behavior stings my soul.

    An enduring principle of the LDS faith is “free agency”. Nothing in our covenants imply a duty to abdicate that agency to anyone. It is inalienable. Our covenants are to follow the teachings of Christ, to live to the dictates of our conscience and let the chips fall where they may.

    Character counts. Integrity matters. More significant than an individual’s religion is whether their actions are consistent with their words.

    Romney may or may not get my vote. Religion will not decide that. Character, integrity, and the ability to lead accordingly will decide that. There are Mormons, Catholics, Buddists, Muslims, and athiests with character and integrity. There are Mormons, Catholics, Buddists, Muslims, and athiests who lack character and integrity.

    I want the leader of the free world to be able to think for him/herself and be able to lead to put his/her plan into action. I want the leaders of other countries to know that his/her word is sincere. Then, let the chips fall where they may.

    What a concept!

  17. Michael Says:

    Ms Simpson, if you truly follow the teachings of Christ, you must be a Christian since a being who is the Alpha and Omega is not capable of being supplanted by a human being named Joseph Smith. But you cannot be a Christian unless you believe in a Triune God. Mormons do not. By the way, Buddhism is not a religion,having no supreme being.

  18. Kathryn Simpson Says:

    Michael,

    While I cannot be a Christian in your eyes unless I believe in a “Triune God”, it is not your eyes to which I am concerned about whether I am judged to be a Christian. Ultimately, the only place where it is of concern to me is when I stand at the judgment bar of God and must give an accounting for my adherance to the tenants of what I know in my heart is true.

    I do not worship Joseph Smith any more than I worship the Apostle Peter. But I believe that both men saw the risen Christ and I, like them, am a follower of Christ.

    Thank you for the correction on Buddhism. Not being Buddhist, it is easy for me to misunderstand their belief system. Much like, your not being LDS, it can be difficult for you to understand mine. :-)

    I’m curious to circle back to the topic of this thread…. Is being Christian a litmus test for you for elected officials?

  19. Michael Says:

    Kathryn, there is something curiously affecting if one considers the number of citizens who profess to be Christians and then consider voting for a man whose core values deny the truth of Christianity. Perhaps the issue is that Christ requires one to deny any other God than Him. And the Mormon value system holds that members have lived in a “spirit world” where each was a God equal in heritage to Christ Himself. It is also possible that Mr Romney holds a different understanding of Mormonism than do you since there are several kinds of Mormonism. By the way, the route to Heaven involves Grace and not Works.

  20. Kat Says:

    @Michael: What about James 2:17-26?

  21. Kathryn Simpson Says:

    Michael,

    Because one denies the perspective of Christianity that you hold does not mean that one denies the core values of Christianity. As I tried to politely say in post #18, your opinion as to whether or not I am a Christian is of little consequence to me.

    I believe that one shows by their actions whether they embrace the “core values of Christianity”. And, because none are perfect in this life, save Christ, there is grace to make up the difference in the end. I might need an extra measure or two of it. :-)

    It is obvious by your posts that you do not understand the beliefs of my faith. I’m not here today to offer up a debate on the beliefs of my faith either. I was intrigued by discussion of the political implications of faith in the elections process.

    As for your implications that there are many versions of Mormonism, I only have the anecdotal to share with you on that point… A week from Tuesday I will have been a member of the LDS Church for 30 years. I have traveled to nearly every corner of the United States in those 30 years and have enjoyed the consistency in the teachings of my faith in chapels in Vermont to chapels in Hawaii to Sunday Services held in the basement of a national parks building in Yellowstone. I am very confident that if I were to attend Mr. Romney’s ward, it would teach the same doctrines as taught in the Orchard Heights Ward locally.

    By the way, Matthew Chapter 7 was a good read today. Perhaps we might find common ground there.

  22. Michael Says:

    Among those who claim to be Mormons one finds Glenn Beck. He does not claim to wave the banner of the same brand of Mormonism believed to be that of Mr Romney. And I suspect Beck’s varies from yours as well. That means that there are at least 2 versions of Mormonism. And, Kathryn, I mentioned that Christians do not access Heaven as a result of actions but rather of Grace alone. Mormonism is a work-oriented system. For example, the very worst Mormon can work his way into Heaven while the very best go into Heaven immediately so as to begin the intercourse with other Gods that they have earned by their actions.

    Perhaps it might occur to you to visit the library of one of the mainline Christian churches in your area to see what will not be found in their collection of King James Bibles. By the way, do you never wonder why God did not destroy, as He destroyed individuals, families, villages, towns, cities, nations because they were corrupt, every corrupt form of Christianity made known to Joseph Smith in a dream?

    By the way, Matthew 7:15-23 speaks pretty plainly to the view of one Joseph Smith, himself having lived a spirit life before being born of woman, eh.

    Kat, perhaps you noticed James 2:19. I’m not sure that Rabab’s “works” were just what you think of as “works”. But what is wanted is Grace.

  23. Kathryn Simpson Says:

    Have a nice day, Micheal. You have deteriorated the conversation to the point of casting pearls before swine.

  24. Michael Says:

    Well, Kathryn, I would not say exactly those words with respect to what I have presented to you as an encouragement to cease your adherence to Mormonism when you could, with study, become a Christian. But I am sure that you recall that Mr Obama was asked questions about his religion. He could indicate that he is a Christian. Not that the true believer accepts the simple answer. But he was asked. Mr Romney cannot claim to be a Christian.

  25. Sharon O'Hara Says:

    For what its worth…Years ago I worked with several Mormons and became an admirer of the faith based on the family values they demonstrated. They were decent, law abiding people devoted to their children and family life.
    I can only imagine any Mormon running for President would devote themselves to their commitment to their country.

  26. Michael Says:

    Sharon, if it may be so that you are a Christian, I wonder if a consideration of the truths of your faith will allow you to approve of a “faith” that begins by naming your institutions of faith corrupt in every form known in the world in the time enjoyed by Joseph Smith? Does it seem to you that a set of beliefs which cannot be true if Christ is the first and last Word of Truth can be acceptable just because the adherents are cool dudes? Of the world religions, only Mormons and Muslims exist as criticisms of Christianity and propose that their founders are as much a Prophet as was Christ. Joseph Smith was certain that he had walked and talked with Christ as a person in the spirit world where all Mormons have existed before birth by the pain of childbirth to a woman. But they can again join Christ as an equal once they have “worked” themselves into Heaven.

    Does your priest of pastor agree with the notion of Mormonism as a form of Christianity?

  27. Colleen Smidt Says:

    Michael, I could care less what any “religion” dictates or what the men who promote or who serve any “religion” agrees with or believes. That includes you.

    I will not answer to a religion in the end. I will answer only to God.

    I am at complete peace with that and I am ready at appear before God when he decides it is time.

  28. Michael Says:

    Colleen, perhaps you know that God has spoken of the way that He will be reached. And it is not the way you have chosen.

  29. Sharon O'Hara Says:

    Michael … I don’t discuss religions. I don’t know enough to discuss them.
    I relayed the information I have formed about the folks I worked with who were active Mormons and all else being equal, would not hesitate to vote for a Mormon for president.

    They may exist, but I have never met a Mormon who bleats on and on about how religious they are and how God guides them as they share plans to steal property that doesn’t belong to them.

  30. Michael Says:

    In a revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Saviour declared, “I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose” (D & C 101:80) These were not ordinary men, but men chosen and held in reserve by the Lord for this very purpose. [Ezra Taft Benson, then President LDS, in a speech at Brigham Young U 16 Sep 1986.] He continues: Shortly after President Kimball became President of the Church, he assigned me to go into the vault of the St George Temple and check the early records. As I did so, I realized the fulfullment of a dream I had had ever since learning of the visit of the Founding Fathers to the St George Temple.

    Can we who live today recall any instance when a Founding Father or a close descendant reported any recollection of such a visit? Can we recall any such references by any of the most insightful Christians?

  31. Sharon O'Hara Says:

    Gosh, I don’t know, Micheal.
    I know we’re born – we die and most of us pay taxes in between.

    The most important thing to know is that God gave us a brain to use – or not – our choice.

  32. Michael Says:

    Why, Sharon, if you have a concept of God, then you might have a concept of Heaven. Perhaps even believe that death will become resurrected life. If you go that far, then perhaps you have considered the means of obtaining resurrected life. Christianity proclaims itself the story of the First and Last Word and Christ the means. Unless Christ is deemed a liar, there cannot be any succeeding Word.

  33. Mick Sheldon Says:

    Michael.

    The blog was really political in nature . It was not a theology debate . The issue was Jeffries attemt to make a theology debate be part of the reason we elect our President .

    Personally I go to an AG church . I support most of the doctrines that church holds . Bill Clinto’s church and Al Gores church ” if they still go” are closer to my denomination theologies then Mitt Romneys , and President Obama’s church is also for that matter . The point Steve was making was if that should have anything to do with who we vote for . I prefer Mitt heads over heals over the present President . My Faith teaches me to pray for both , and there personal Salvation is between them and Christ .

    On another blog perhaps some of your points could have been better received . But I will ask you what about the first Christians , who untill Paul taught them had a personal relationship with Christ , but had no understanding of the trinity . Their realtionship with Christ was based on the Holy Spirit and their culture . they had no written word to divide them , the written word is to help us by the way . Help us in Relationship. The theological beliefs and understanding also are better received when you have people debating that issue that are wanting to . Here we have a stupid Preacher , knowing the scripture perhaps , but having no comprehenson of the love in that scripture . This was not the time or place to bring this debate up. The Gospel is a love story between man and God. His comments were offensive , out of line and Un American may I add.

    I am glad to note he has later retracted and stated he would vote for Romney if he was the republican nominee . Which he will be , Thank God .

  34. Michael Says:

    Again, Mr Sheldon, there was no point in presenting Mr Gardner’s blog excepting to align Mormonism with Christianity (of the soft edged kind, as you submit for yourself). But Mormonism cannot be true unless Christ is a liar. Mormonism cannot be true unless every Christian denomination is corrupt, including yours. Mormons, per Joseph Smith, attain Heaven through Joseph Smith, not through Christ.

    And if Mr Obama’s religious values were and are questioned and if Herman Cain’s religious values are questioned, them those of Mr Romney are open for examination. Whether his brand of Mormonism is the same as the garden variety here in Kitsap is a question.

  35. Mick Sheldon Says:

    No Michael, the reason for the blog was to address freedom of religion and politics. I am also assuming it felt like to Mr. Gardner the same way it felt to me when Bush was mocked because of his Faith , or at times Evangelicals such as myself are portrayed in stereotypical less then worthy stereotypes . The Mormon religion has had a history of bigotry against it that has nothing to do with theology . Those who would have no Christian Faith at all have mocked and portrayed Mormons as less equals FYI . I am a believer , I do not share Mormon Doctrine . I share a Traditional Christian Faith.

    I never saw this blog as anything but a civics lesson . Thomas Jefferson’s religious qualifications were questioned when he ran for president . It was blemish then , as was it was with JFK . How many idols and theology arguments can we have about protestant and Catholics . Plus how many people are there who go to Bible Believing Churches for their whole lives thinking their Theology somehow makes them better , never knowing or actually having a relationship with the Risen Christ . Are you concerned about people who say they are Born Again Christians but really are not, running for political office ? You seem very concerned about theology . The Law. The best explanation of the Trinity I have ever heard was a Pie with whipped cream on it . You had the Crust being God, The Filling being Christ and the whipped cream being the Holy Spirit . Am I condemned by you ?

    The trashing Bush got for his Faith I found disgusting, and it was often disguised in other forms . I could you tell you experiences in my own life where I was portrayed as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell ,getting my secret decoder messages from the Religious Right , some people just assumed I had a lesser intellectual ability based on my religion . Those who saw people of faith as intolerant based on their own self righteous views of abortion and other issues. For the life of me to this day I can not understand how a person can say they know God and support abortion or be against Traditional marriage . But there are , and I suggest sharing the Love of Christ over powers those who may deny the Love of Life and the blessings of family. Theology is important , and your totally missing my point .

    Pointing out they may not be a Christian if they say they are does what ?

    A Faith in God is meant to help us , we were designed that way ! In a country where we have religious freedom , I assume we will have different religions . If a person is open to a God , I suggest praying and witnessing is available to those of us in this country because of religious freedom .

    This blog was First Amendment Time 101.

    . Who are you to say if Mitt Romney knows the Lord or not ? Why is even of concern to you ?

    As this blog submits the theology of religion has nothing to do with the qualifications for President . Its why we have a First Amendment . Your soft understanding of Christianity from my view shows your interpretations of mine are challenged to begin with ,your lack of discernment is showing a baby in Christ , Judgementalism is over coming your ability to share our Lord, if that was ever your point ? You have no understanding of my comments , which means I may have stated them wrongly , you may have just may have a veil over your heart that makes you unable to see, maybe both . I suggest to you my understanding perhaps may be quite narrower then yours of the Gospel and Salvation , and in deed that door is narrow . But I hope all to enter . I suggest my challenge for you is how many have you invited to enter that narrow gate , how many have you known who accepted , and how many do you think who have no knowledge will read what you have said with any kind of understanding if they do not know the risen Lord . I suggest to you as a brother , that anyone who has no understanding of the theology of the Mormon church will find what you said here as bigoted , not loving . Anyone who knows of the Mormon Theology understands what you are saying from a theology understanding , but that is limited .

    No theology gets you to Heaven . But yes theology can hinder it . No Bible verse , only one way . Perhaps not politically correct , but like many people who suffer from western civilization and our lack of trust in the things of God, I am a product of the reformation , our culture and a longing to to be what God has so blessed me to be . I put my Faith in Him , He is the only way .

    In other words , loosen up. Mitts a good man , and unless you can share with me how many people you have set on the narrow path by doing what you are doing here and who believed the Mormon theology , I suggest you consider and humble yourself enough to perhaps take some discernment from another believer that you you may mean well , but its coming off quite self righteous .

  36. Michael Says:

    Mr Sheldon, you miss the main point. Christianity requires a belief in a Triune God. Mormons do not believe in a Triune God. Thus Mormons cannot be Christians. If you are a Christian, you believe in a Triune God. Mormonism requires a belief that existing Chrisitan institutions are corrupt. That includes your choice of institution. As for self-righteous, I simply point out the differences between Christianity and Mormonism. The matter of Christianity does not belong to me but Christianity is a fact not subject to your opinion.

  37. ViviWannabe Says:

    I’m sorry, but what does “whether or not Mormonism is a cult” have anything to do with whether or not Mitt Romney would make a good president? I’m not necessarily a supporter of the man, nor am I Mormon, but I was under the impression that we had a little thing called Freedom of Religion in this country and I was also under the impression that this also applied to our political leaders, does it not? If the question has to do with his stance on abortion, gay marriage, etc., no group of people I’ve ever met is more fundie than the LDS church. If the question is whether or not the church will run the country, the same can be said about Catholics, as they are Catholics before they are even Americans. I’m sorry, but I fail to see how the man’s choice of faith has any bearing whatsoever on his suitability to run the country.

  38. Michael Says:

    ViVi, two only world religions state in their being that the institutions of Christianty are corrupt. There are seveal thousand Christian factions, but not one of them claims that the Christian churches who do hold their version of the practice of the Faith are corrupt. One of those world religions worship in mosques, another worships in temples. One of them holds that each member of the LDS had a spirit life where each walked and talked with God the Father and His Son Jesus before each was born of woman. One of them holds that the way to their Heaven is through Joseph Smith. If a high percentage of Americans claim to be Christians, but a man whose core values condemn the beliefs of that large percentage is aiming to be President, what will people of conscience do? And, Vivi, did you have those same visions when Mr Obama was charged with practicing the Muslim faith? Did you believe him when he pointed out that he was a Christian?

  39. Sharon O'Hara Says:

    Michael – Do you expect voters to be theologians before they vote the issues?
    I don’t know if what you say is true.
    If it is – how does it impact, or could impact the President of the U.S.A.? What is your point?

  40. Michael Says:

    Shall a citizenry claiming to be Christian in significant majority choose as President a man whose religion proclaims every Christian institution corrupt? Would you, Sharon, so warmly regard a Muslim presenting himself for the same office? So far as regarding Christian institutions as corrupt,there is little to choose. And I do not count criminals who are also Muslims as representative of the Muslim value system.

  41. Sharon O'Hara Says:

    Michael – This is the United States of America – where anything is possible.
    If we have a woman or man candidate of integrity, honest, intelligent, knowledgeable, respectful of the Constitution of the United States surrounded by like minded persons or better who would guide this country and her people in a world market without stupidity and blindsided by personal agendas, why would we reject such a candidate because of an ill conceived notion of their religion?

  42. Michael Says:

    Sharon, how would you know whether the candidate has an “ill conceived notion of [his/her] religion”? How does one become an informed voter if not by research? Christianity is not a secret organization, in fact, is well known and defined by the Bible. The means to obtain a life after death is specified. Perhaps you do not recall the questions raised about the relgious values held by Mr Obama. Perhaps you do not recall THE DONALD and more recently THE RICK having “fun” with Mr Obama’s birth certificate. Have you ever read that the LDS has stated that one or more Christian churches have ceased being “corrupt” since Mormonism began based on a vision that all Christian churches were corrupt?

  43. Sharon O'Hara Says:

    Michael – Of course we research AS BEST WE CAN and make our choices based on that research.
    Some of us base their vote on the candidate’s religion first and foremost.
    If you prefer to believe that voters either vote as you do – correctly – based on religion – or that we are idiots and fans of gossip and sly innuendos and so vote based on that information – that is okay too.
    We live in America.

  44. Michael Says:

    Sharon, you wander well away from any insight if you infer that I vote based on religion. And you have not done much research if you do not know that Tea Party adherents are supportive of Rick Perry and THE DONALD. And Herman Cain, who is a minister and has opinions based on his religion that run counter to lawful choices. Mr Romney begins every day believing that his religion is superior to that of Christians. Perhaps you begin each day believing that you are a Christian. If so, you cannot approve of the core values of Mormonism.

  45. Sharon O'Hara Says:

    Micheal – I begin each day with a thank you to God…most days.
    I appreciate your efforts but I won’t respond again on this subject…we are circling the wagons twice.
    Thank you,
    Sharon

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