A friend recently emailed to ask whether Sapphire Sky would venture an opinion on whether an evangelical Christian should support Mitt Romney in his bid to be president. My friend admitted reservations about whether a vote for Romney would be an implicit endorsement or validation of Mormonism.
I do not plan on voting for Romney in the primary, but not because of his Mormon faith. His Mormonism should not be a liability in the view of this evangelical. To the contrary, in this day, Romney’s devout Mormon faith should be an asset for an aspiring political leader.
To be sure, I strongly disagree with the Mormon religion. Mormon teaching on the identity of Jesus Christ is heretical to long-held evangelical, Catholic, and Orthodox beliefs. Mormonism is also an apologetics train wreck with peculiar traditions.
While there is much in Mormonism to offend an evangelical, Mormon values or ethics are firmly planted in Judeo-Christian morality. Mormons believe strongly in the reality and centrality of the God of Israel, the moral laws disclosed to Moses, and that we live our lives before an omnipresent and eternal God who will pass judgment on how we live if we deny his grace. Mormonism departs from orthodox Christianity, not in its view of the law, but in its view of Christ. Like evangelical Christianity, Mormonism rejects post-modernism and, inherently, rejects secular humanism. Practically, Mormonism teaches the importance of strong families, dedication, hard work, perseverance and temperance. In this, Mormons share the traditional protestant work ethic, in fact, better than many modern protestant churches.
The moral foundations of Romney’s Mormon faith share the fundamental Judeo-Christian values that gave birth to the western liberalism we take for granted and that led to unprecedented human freedom and prosperity in the West. Judeo-Christian morality champions the worth of the individual, the objective nature of truth and morality, the importance of justice and the rule of law (Lex Rex), and that our lives should aspire to a higher calling, pleasing to the Creator of the universe, to whom we will all one day answer. As I said above, such a religious foundation is an asset for a political leader in this age. Our political leaders exist to help craft and enforce effective laws. They are not tasked nor in this country do we want them to be our spiritual leaders.
But, as I also said, Romney is not my primary candidate. There is an ongoing moral offense that must be remedied. Fifteen trillion dollars worth of national debt, and growing, is a moral blight that threatens the very existence of our Republic. There is no relief in site. Even if we avoid financial collapse, we’re leveraging our children’s future for our present comfort and to wage foreign wars. The avoidance of financial collapse is not a certainty. To me, our present course is utter madness. While I think Romney is a tremendously talented individual, I don’t think he’s the best candidate to address the debt. The debt is caused entirely by out of control spending, particularly on social welfare and on international defense. Mitt Romney has been a large government statist his entire career in politics. As governor, he designed the government healthcare program that was the blueprint for ObamaCare. Not surprisingly, Romney’s solution isn’t to dramatically cut spending. His solution is to implement a more powerful tax – the Value Added Tax. No thanks.
The biggest surprise for me this election cycle is the realization that statists and neo-cons dominate the Republican establishment. This should have been clear from the party standard bearers over the past two decades: George Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush and then John McCain. Republicans and Democrats have largely shared in contributing to our national debt. Romney, Gingrich and Santorum appear cut from the same statist cloth. (Leaving one candidate that is not. See here and here.) More war and more federal programs will not turn this Republica around. In any event, in answer to the inquiry, I don’t view Romney’s devout Mormon faith as a reason to vote against him.