Mitt Romney’s religion continues to get slapped around by rival campaigns, and it really is no surprise. Politics, in general, seems to bring out the worst in people, doing whatever they think is necessary to propel their candidate ahead of others. Problem is, Mitt really is a good guy with great values and a sincere desire to improve our country with his leadership. You may not agree with all his standpoints on issues, but it is hard to question his character.
Do I think he will win? I really don’t know. But taking cheap shots at him has more than a few candidates nervous about the possible backlash. The problem is, other than pointing out differences on platform issues, there is not much to bring him down; so, the underhanded personal attacks begin.
What has me started on this? This article in the Boston Globe actually takes a fairly non-partisan view summarizing some of what has happened of late. I am really not all that riled up about it, but it bothers me of course. It’s more like a casual, continual annoyance at the character of so many in politics and religious positions of leadership.
Mitt’s a Mormon (technically a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and is not only doing anything to hide that fact, but he is also proud of it. Does that influence his position on things? Absolutely, though it does not dictate it. His religious beliefs are simply representative of his tendencies toward family values and spiritual freedoms. Beyond that, he has made it clear by his voting history and statements that he acts based on the good of the country, not on personal biases. Isn’t that exactly what most of us want in a president?
I am not going to banner wave any one candidate or try to sway anyone on their vote, I just can’t stand when people are afraid of losing in a fair battle, so they instead resort to essentially cheating. Campaign leaks and comments made by lower staffers are really not all that accidental. There is a strategy for almost everything done in the press. Once a statement is made like “Mormons aren’t Christian, in fact, they really are a cult,” no amount of “disavowing and apologies later make up for it. The damage is done…just as intended.
I’ll state it plain and simple here: Mormon’s are Christian. Though there may be differences in religious tenets in your particular view of God, Christ and other facets of Christianity, there is no basis to warp your definition of Christianity to exclude someone’s personal, heartfelt convictions. It’s as simple as that.
There are a number of sites targeting ad placement on any article related to Mitt Romney. Some are favorable to Mormons, some are staunchly anti-Mormon, trying to warp and degrade the message about Mormons in any way they can. It’s amazing the lengths some people will go to bring down other people rather than build up those that want to be. All that said, I was happy to see one of these sites with an impressively neutral position on whether Mormons are Christian. This site, of another Christian faith, simply says
“As it’s asked, this question doesn’t make sense. It implies that it’s what you do that makes you a Christian. So if being a Christian isn’t something you do, what is a Christian? Simply, a Christian is one in whom Christ dwells by his Spirit. It’s a relationship between you and Christ. You put your faith and trust in Jesus, asking him to forgive and save you, and he does everything! Can members of the Kiwanis Club be Christians? Sure. Are they all Christians? Surely not. Are Mormon’s Christians? Surely some are, some are not.”
I couldn’t ask for more from another faith. Isn’t tolerance and understanding what all should offer and expect?
All definitions aside, whether Mormon’s are Christian or not has no place in discussions of who is the best choice for President. If you wish to evaluate at Romney’s activity in a religious organization as part of your character assessment of him, great; but to make degrading references of his beliefs as part of a strategic effort to knock him down is just plain wrong, unethical, and frankly immoral. Particularly those who do it in the name of their version of Christianity should be ashamed; they mock the very principles Jesus taught that they claim to believe.
Of course, we have a long time ahead of us in the next presidential bid, so this is nowhere near the end of what we will see in the negative campaigning. On the surface, the major candidates will avoid it because they know the public on the whole and especially the media abhors bigotry far more than whether a particular religious sect is “better” than the other. I just hope the back room techniques will be held at bay.