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Okay, I’ll Say It…

January 3, 2012

I’m writing this post at the risk of being called insensitive, or narrow-minded, or bigoted, or thick headed, or what-have-you.

I’m writing this post at the risk opening myself up to criticism of my own beliefs and practices.

Yet, someone has to say it.

I won’t vote for Mitt Romney because he’s a Mormon. There are plenty of other good reasons not to vote for Romney, but there’s a very good chance he’ll be the Republican nominee in spite of those reasons.

Romney isn’t a passive Mormon. He’s an active, true believer Mormon. In one recent GOP debate, he described himself as a ‘pastor’ in the LDS church. (This, in spite of the fact that the LDS don’t have ‘pastors’.) He has been a missionary and held many positions in the denomination. He is from a Mormon family and has reared a Mormon family.

This doesn’t make him a bad man. Mormons that I know are not bad people. I’ve heard there may be some bad Mormons somewhere, but I don’t know them. I appreciate his sincerity in rearing his family and being married to the same woman for so long.

However, there are three key issues that make voting for him impossible for me, because he is a Mormon.

The first and most important (to me) is his heresy. I am very broad as to what I call Christian – I have defended President Obama against those who (still) call him a Moslem… he is not. I think true Christianity runs a very broad spectrum, from very high Church Catholics to very plain and secluded Amish and nearly everything in between. But Mormonism isn’t even in the in-between.

Mormons aren’t penny-ante heretics. They don’t dispute with Christianity over how much water to use in baptism or whether or not there should be instruments in worship. They don’t disagree over Arminianism vs. Wesleyanism, Orthodoxy vs. Roman Catholicism, monothelitism and the Council of Chalcedon. No. They dispute Christianity on the core issues:

1) They do not believe in the Trinity, which means Romney doesn’t believe in the Trinity. When Romney speaks of God, he doesn’t mean the One True Eternal God of All Creation, the Holy One of Israel, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. He means some petty deity that was once a man, like he (Romney) is, who now rules our planet. And Mitt hopes, like all good Mormon men, to be a god of another world some day in the after life. This sort of blasphemy is simply intolerable.

2) They (Mormons) subvert the accepted canon of Scripture and add to it the words of a 19th century preacher, Joseph Smith, which means Romney subverts Scripture as well. People worried about President Obama taking the oath of office on a Koran. Why aren’t people worried about Romney slipping a copy of the Book of Mormon into the Justice’s hands on Inauguration Day?

3) The LDS reject all teaching of Christianity from the end of the first century until the time of Joseph Smith. All of it. No creeds, no semblance of creeds, no Church councils, no martyrs or saints, no Protestant reformers, no popes or patriarchs, nothing. Being a leader in the LDS, Romney rejects them, too.

4) They reject all other Christians. In their doctrines of Heaven, we who are not Mormon won’t necessarily go to hell, however, we don’t go to Mormon heaven, either. We’re stuck in between, to worship the LDS pantheon. Romney may accept me as a potential donor and voter, but I can’t go to his temple, I can’t participate in his rituals, I can’t witness his family weddings, because as much as he wants me to accept his faith, he doesn’t accept mine – or any other Christian’s.

I could go on, but you get the point. Electing someone as far into his belief system as Romney is serves only to validate his belief system. I won’t have any part of it.

The second reason that Romney’s Mormonism will keep me from voting for him is that I strongly believe in separation of Church and state. I don’t know that this is possible for Mormons. Their history is one of establishing communities – including the state of Utah – and running them. They thrive in positions of control and use their positions to press their agenda.

There aren’t any Mormon militias left, but the mentality is still there. From Kirtland, Ohio, to Nauvoo, Illinois, and on to Salt Lake City, the Mormons have been withdrawing from others in order to control their communities. It’s still expressed in the extreme in places like Eldorado, Texas, and Hilldale, Utah, where the Fundamentalist LDS have their encampments, but I believe it’s latent in the core of Mormon belief.

Finally, my third reason is that there is a certain negativity about the future in Mormonism. We bought our house 15 years ago from a couple who had lived here for two years. Prior to that, it was owned by a Mormon family. When we moved here, there was still water stored in the basement that the LDS family kept against the denouement. There is a room in our basement that was used for storing food in case of the final disaster.

Glenn Beck, the Mormon Billy Graham of our age, pushes survivalist products like “food insurance” and buying “real gold.” Why? Because Beck and other Mormons believe the worst is right around the corner. There is some unknown enemy ready to assault. There is persecution awaiting us. Our nation is so weak that we will succumb from within at the hands of marauding hordes of gangs or Wall Street Occupiers.

I choose not to think that way. There are real problems and real threats, but none are beyond reconciliation. The United States is still the greatest nation on earth. Our national character remains strong in spite of our flaws, but that’s no reason for despair. The flaws have been there since 1776. I’m optimistic about things. I want a president who is optimistic.

If Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee, I think I’ll have to stay home on Election Day, or at least not vote for president.

So there. Narrow-minded, bigoted, insensitive and thick-headed. But it’s what I think.


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