Faith, Politics, and the 2012 Presidential Election (part 1 of 3)

I started voting during the heart of the Moral Majority movement. The first presidential election in which I was old enough to vote was 1984. It was between Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale. I was a freshman in college. I voted for Reagan. I was convinced the United States was a Christian nation and God had a special place and plan for our country (above all other countries except maybe Israel) and Reagan was the obvious choice. Being a Christian meant being patriotic and being patriotic meant being a Republican. I was taught what a politician believed was important and the best way to keep our beloved country Christian was to put as many evangelical Christians in office as possible. Somehow, every election season, the clear evangelical choice seemed to be Republican, or so I was taught. On more than one occasion I heard preachers say they didn’t see how a person could be a Christian and vote Democrat. At the age of 23, during my first pastorate, I remember how shocked I was to find out one of my deacons always voted Democratic. How could that be?

Now, in 2012, I am told by the same religious right who told me a candidate’s faith was important that a candidate’s faith does not matter, even if their faith is a cult. In fact, I am told, if I vote for the only candidate in the race who claims to be a Protestant instead of the candidate who is proud of his false religion, then I must not be a real conservative, evangelical Christian anymore and the collapse of the nation will be entirely my fault. Somehow or another, in 2012, the only acceptable conservative Christian vote, I am told, is for a practicing, loyal, high-ranking, former bishop in the Mormon Church. I am supposed to ignore Romney’s religion because…

“…we are electing a commander in chief, not a pastor in chief.”

“…we don’t need to elect a Savior; we already have One.”

All of the sudden a president’s faith is not as important as a president’s conservative policies. (Even though, at best, Romney is a moderate not a conservative.)

I wonder if Jerry Falwell is turning over in his grave?

Here is an article that appeared in my local newspaper about how issues are more important than faith in this year’s presidential election.

Should issues really be more important than faith?

I don’t think so.

I, for one, refuse to put my politics above my faith. 

Under no circumstance will I sell out who I am and what I believe in order to vote for the lesser of two evils. (NOTE: I do not believe Obama or Romney to be “evil.”) My conscience will not allow it. I can’t vote for Obama because his policies have failed. I can’t vote for Romney because his religion is false. That’s just how I feel. I expect very few conservative Christians to agree with me, but that’s ok. Please don’t think I am judging a person who votes for either Obama or Romney. I am not and I would not. Everyone needs to vote their own conscience, that’s the beauty of our political system. It’s just my conscience will not allow me to vote for either Obama or Romney.

This post is about my concerns with Gov. Mitt Romney.

I simply have an uneasy feeling in my stomach about Mitt Romney. I do not believe him to be honest and I am afraid many good intentioned believers have been so distracted by fear of Obama they have refused to consider the influence of Mormonism on Romney and how that influence might affect his presidency, should he win. The same people who relentlessly attacked Obama’s choice of church and pastor (Rev. Jeremiah Wright) will not even look into some basic beliefs and practices of the LDS Church; and if you bring up Romney’s Mormonism, they tell you his faith is not important to them. Why, then, was/is Obama’s faith an issue!

Here is my concern:

I grew up playing sports. Whether it was football, trying to tackle a running back, or playing man-to-man- defense in basketball, I was taught to focus on the opponents “belly-button.” Where the belly-button goes the person goes. A good running back, or basketball player, will try and fake his opponent out. If you focus on the opponent’s head, or arms, or legs, or football, or basketball, or anything else, except the belly-button, you will get faked out. Focus on the belly-button, and you will not be fooled. Allow some other movement to distract you, and the opponent will get by.

If you believe we are in a spiritual war and not a political one, then please listen to what I am trying to say. We, the evangelical church in the United States, are being faked out by the enemy. I am afraid many believers are so focused on getting President Obama out of office they are being distracted while the enemy places in office a false prophet, a.k.a. Mitt Romney. And what better false prophet could there be than a well-mannered, nice-looking, successful business man who says all the right things and has convinced many that his Mormonism is not a big deal. After all, our politics is more important than our faith.

Well, it is a big deal! Politics are not more important than faith!

As much as Islam may want to take over the world, Mormons see their destiny as ruling the United States. (According to Mormonism, the original Garden of Eden was in Missouri and when Jesus returns to set up His earthly kingdom, He will return to Missouri.) Mormonism’s weapon of choice in ruling America is not violence but deceit, and many in our churches seem to be falling for it. The Mormons’ strategy is not to attack from without but infiltrate from within. I am concerned that while many of us are fearing one thing, something much more sinister is sneaking through the back door. The enemy is faking us out, distracting us; it is time we focused on the belly-button.

Consider the following:

Mitt Romney has been groomed his whole life for this moment. His lineage goes back to one of the original 12 apostles of the Mormon Church. You may not think you are electing a savior, but many Mormons do see him as a possible savior, the possible fulfillment of a prison prophecy given by Joseph Smith referred to as, “The White Horse Prophecy.” While not an official doctrine of the LDS Church, the White Horse Prophecy has been passed down from generation to generation and mentioned throughout history by most LDS Church presidents. Only recently have LDS members tried to distance themselves from the prophecy and deny its historical accuracy. When asked about it, Romney always sidesteps the issue. In addition, while the White Horse Prophecy is not part of official LDS doctrine, there is a similar prophecy about “one mighty and strong” contained in Doctrine and Covenants, and some Mormons think Romney could very well be the “one mighty and strong.”

The White Horse prophecy, first uttered by Joseph Smith, then repeated by Brigham Young and others, stated that at some point in history the U.S. Constitution would “hang by a thread” and the LDS Church would be called on to save it and thus save the country. Mormons believe this would be done through the election of a Mormon president, at which time the U.S. would become a theocracy, with Mormons leading the way. (It is important to note that Joseph Smith ran for president in 1844 and Mitt Romney father, George Romney, ran for president in 1968.) This is one reason why the LDS Church encourages its male members to get involved in politics.

To help the Mormon Church achieve its political goals there was a fraternity within the LDS Church, established by Joseph Smith, called the Council of Fifty. This Council, also known as the “Kingdom of God” had a stated purpose of advancing God’s kingdom through political ways, with the ultimate goal being to bring the U.S. Government under the rule of the priesthood. There is evidence this group’s existence continued through the 1940s, but now there is debate if the group still exists. If it does, it is highly secretive, like most of Mormon belief and practices. (Here is a link that talks about the political agenda of the Mormon Church.)

Here are some more interesting facts about Mormonism and their desire for power:

  • There are presently 15 Mormons serving in Congress (out of 435,  that’s 4% of Congress) and 6 serving in the Senate (out of 100, that’s 6% of the Senate); roughly 2% of the U.S. population are Mormon.
  • Presently there is 1 Mormon governor (Utah, 2%).
  • There are 4 Mormons in the top 1,000 wealthiest people in the world.
  • Within Mormonism it is ok to lie for the sake of the gospel.
  • There seems to be some connection between Mormonism and Free Masonry, although to what extent is greatly debated. However, Joseph Smith was a Mason

I guess my main concern with Mitt Romney is he has not been honest about what he believes and how his Mormon faith will affect his decisions as a president, if he wins. It may have no affect; we just don’t know.

Another concern I have is how quickly many of my evangelical friends are to vote for Romney without even considering his faith. It astounds me how harsh they can be about Obama’s faith and then simply act like Romney’s is no big deal. My intention is not to change how anyone votes. I don’t think a person’s salvation or spiritual maturity can be measured by how they vote, or if they vote at all. I simply want to make sure I am educated and that I have vetted the candidates equally and fairly. I really like what Pastor Tony Evans says about faith and politics. Click here to see what I mean.

In the interest of fairness, here is another take on Mormonism, Mitt Romney, and the presidency from a trusted source, Stephen Mansfield.

In the next post I will outline the basic beliefs of Mormonism and how they differ from Christianity.

I am interested in your thoughts. Please feel free to make comments.


13 thoughts on “Faith, Politics, and the 2012 Presidential Election (part 1 of 3)

  1. Pingback: Faith, Politics, and the 2012 Presidential Election (part 2 of 3) « revkev43

  2. You’re right Kevin–many informed conservatives will disagree with you–and I’m being kind.

    Mitt Romney has been a public figure for about 20 years. Can you name one example of how he ran his businesses, campaigns, or state which supports your conspiracy theory?

    The goal of the Moral Majority movement was not so much to have a conservative fundamentalist Baptist or some other preacher with sound theology in every office of the land. Rather, the goal was to put people into office who espoused morals derived from a Judeo-Christian worldview that is compatible with the founding principles of these United States.

    In this regard, Romney is the clear choice over Obama. Moreover, Jerry Falwell, given these goals of Moral Majority, would vote for Romney over Obama in a heartbeat.

    Your conspiratorial concerns about Romney’s unsubstantiated secret plans are overshadowed by Obama’s overt support of abortion, his promotion of gay marriage, his overt attacks on religion in general and Christianity in particular, his pandering to Islam at the expense of American freedoms, his obvious commitment to liberation theology, and general attacks on American freedoms which we believe are derived from God our creator and not bequests of the state.

    If Romney is not as conservative as we would like, let us work hard to make sure that good Republicans committed to the morality reflected in our founding principles will be voted into Congress and the Senate to hold Romney’s feet to the fire.

    I know it happens, but I simply cannot see how a Bible believing Christian could vote for Obama over Romney.

  3. I have to agree with James. Not only that, but a vote for a third party candidate is essentially a vote for the opposite of what you believe. If you are a liberal and your candidate is not liberal enough so you vote for a third party you are in essence voting for a conservative and the opposite is true for a conservative. That is not idealogy; it is reality. I am not a big supporter of Romney. I do not agree with his religion. I am disturbed by the Mormon influence on our society. However, I am even more disturbed by the direction Obama is taking this country.

    • How is a third party vote a vote for the opposite of what I believe when I do not believe in either Romney or Obama?

      Why can’t a third party vote be a legitimate choice for voting my conscience?

  4. Pingback: Faith, Politics, and the 2012 Presidential Election (part 3 of 3) « revkev43

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