Politics

Don’t roll your eyes.

I know, politics sometimes can seem overbearing. Lots of confusion, lots of argument, and lots of schmoozing.

We are not a big political family. In fact, my husband was worried he was going to have to talk about the news with his someday father-in-law. As a young guy he started watching the news, just in case his father-in-law was a big political guru.

Such a funny picture. Michael talking about politics over dinner. Oh dear.

Little did Michael know he would be talking about the NBA Finals over dinner, not the 2012 upcoming election.

At any rate, I feel the need to give my two bits about this political topic.

A Mormon Running for President

There is a lot of confusion out there about what we believe. A lot of it is intertwined with Mitt Romney running for president.

In fact, there was a recent article “One evangelical explains why he cannot support Mitt Romney for President.” Take a read through this article, and the rest of my post will make more sense.

Taking a Stand

It goes without saying that many of his facts about the LDS religion were untrue, poorly-researched and written to create a stir. As the comments point out he had several typos, which is a BIG no-no for credibility.

We’re in America. He can say whatever he’d like. But what I want to focus on is the mature reply from Michael Otterson, spokesperson in Public Affairs for the LDS church.

He says:

“A week or so ago I read an essay by evangelical journalist and author Warren Cole Smith, suggesting that voting for a Mormon – any Mormon – was a less than responsible thing to do. I found its logic profoundly disturbing.

“In fact, this letter is emphatically not about the candidates at all, but about how differently you and I understand what it is to be an American.

“I admit, I’m struggling just a tad with your logic that the very fact of being a Mormon disqualifies a person from high public office. That would be news to Senator Orrin Hatch, who has served his country and constituents for 34 years. And to Senator Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader – one of the most powerful positions in government.

“It would also be news to former Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt, who as a member of President George W. Bush’s cabinet ran a department that accounts for almost a quarter of all federal outlays. Or to Larry Echo Hawk, who heads the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior, in the present administration. And, of course, to the dozen-or-so other currently serving senators and congressmen who are also Latter-day Saints, as well as the thousands of non-Mormon voters who recognized their merits and helped elect them to office. If there is anything “demonstrable” it’s that Mormons have been serving most capably in national government for over a century.

“To your third point, there’s your assertion that the election of Mormons to high office would be a tacit endorsement of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This argument, while not new, is frightening in its implications. Substitute the word “Jew” for “Mormon” and see how comfortable that feels. We may reasonably hope that most people vote on the basis of policy positions and not of denomination. I never thought of the election of John Kennedy as an endorsement for Catholicism, or that Richard Nixon’s election “legitimized” Quakers (as if these groups needed legitimation). I think most Americans saw their religious affiliations as incidental to their policies and platforms.

“What it seems you would like me and six million other Mormons in the U.S. to do is concede a fundamental right granted to all Americans because we don’t fit within your definition of what is theologically acceptable. Fortunately, that’s not what the Constitution says, and it’s not what America teaches. 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.

His Smackdown

“With the greatest respect, Warren, your position is unreasonable, un-Christian and untrue to American ideals. Neither is it typical of the Christians I know, or of those writing at your venue. Mormons across the country live side by side with evangelicals as neighbors, work associates and friends. There is much that they share. And by the way, despite my clear disagreement with some of your theology, I would have absolutely no problem voting for an evangelical who was in every way qualified to be president of the United States.

There ya have it. A strong rebuttal.

You have to read his whole article.

My Thoughts:

I love my Christian friends. They are good people. They love the Lord and strive to be more like our Savior. What saddens me, is when they misinterpret my faith and make judgments based on poor information.

Why not ask a Mormon what he/she believes? To form an opinion about a religion without asking someone from that religion seems ludicrous. (Special thanks to the rap artist Ludicrous for making that word mainstream.)

So after reading Warren’s article, I just had to add my thoughts.

He says:

“The boat of Mormonism is not tied to the anchor of either historical Christianity or even commonly accepted historical facts. Because the boat of Mormonism has been cut loose from that anchor, and is adrift in a sea of philosophies and ideas, any similarity between Christian and Mormon is historically temporary and not a reliable gauge of how Romney will govern.

“But certain qualifications make a candidate unfit to serve. I believe a candidate who either by intent or effect promotes a false and dangerous religion is unfit to serve. Mitt Romney has said it is not his intent to promote Mormonism.

“Because Mormons believe in continuing revelation, it is possible that in the future the LDS church will renounce its heretical beliefs and come fully into the fold of orthodox Christianity. Many theologians and church historians believe the church is on such a trajectory. But if that happens, it is an event still well in the future. The Mormon Church of today is, by the lights of biblical evangelical Christianity, a false religion. If Mitt Romney believes what the Mormon Church teaches about the world and how it operates, then he is unfit to serve. We make him our President at great peril to the intellectual and spiritual health of our nation.

I say:

“Wow.”

Those are some bold statements. First of all, it is a tragedy that he believes we are not tied to historical Christianity.

We believe in the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That means, our church teaches and practices Christianity exactly as Christ established it on the Earth in his day. I think that is a safe anchor. I think that makes us founded in the roots of Christ. We believe we have the authority to act in God’s name. That power of the priesthood is also an essential anchor.

It is terrible that he believes Romney is unfit to serve because he promotes a false and dangerous religion. I know some people think we are “different.” But DANGEROUS? That one I had never heard.

Last, about continuing revelation. We believe we can get answers to our prayers=personal revelation. We also believe that our church leaders receive inspiration from God to direct His church=church revelation. There are no plans to renounce our believes and come into the fold of orthodox Christianity. Just want to clarify there.

Last, because of his beliefs, Romney is unfit to serve. Not sure how believing in God, Christ, Continuing Revelation, Loving Others, Spreading the Gospel, and other elements of our faith could impair his ability to lead a country.

Seems like Romney’s religion needs to stop being a front-seat issue and a platform for people to bash our faith.

There ya have it.

Politics.

Any thoughts there?

Here’s a funny picture to lighten the post.

Jill_Taylor_Words_Blog

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6 responses to “Politics

  1. Thanks Brynne. He hasn’t kept up following about politics, but yes, when he told me that I thought it was adorable.

    Wanted to be able to relate to his future father-in-law, if he was a big political buff.

    🙂 He is such a good man.

    Thanks for reading.

  2. They tried to trick the savior in his loyalty to government as they’ve tried to bash Romney.”Render to Ceasar the things that are Ceasar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.And they marvelled at Him.

  3. Good analysis Jill! Gramp Matthews would be proud. Too bad Michael didn’t get to discuss politics with Gramp. He loved to talk about politics.

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