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Does Mitt Romney Have a Mormon Problem?

The Issachar Report


1 Chronicles 12:32


Dennis A. Wright, DMin.


 


 


Does Mitt Romney Have a Mormon Problem?


 


When Mitt Romney announced on December 14 that he does not plan to seek a second term as Governor of Massachusetts speculation moved into high gear that he is planning a run for the White House.  A week later Romney, son of former Michigan Gov. George Romney, told The Associated Press that he does not expect to make a decision about running for president until 2007, though he plans to continue laying the groundwork for a potential run by speaking in early voting states and raising money across the country.


 


Indeed, Robert Novak reported last June 16 that any real doubt that Romney will run for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination "should have been resolved by his performance ... in suburban Oakland County, Mich.  He did not merely drop into his native state for a political fund-raising speech.  He spent a 12-hour candidate's day working a key presidential primary state."


 


Romney is likely best known to most Americans as the man who saved the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics from certain disaster.  That fall, Romney became the Republican governor of Massachusetts, also known as the land of the Kennedys and two failed, out-of-touch liberal Democratic candidates for president.  Interestingly, Romney portrayed himself as "a red speck in a blue state" during an October speech to a Washington think-tank.  However, his track record in one of the bluest of the blue states is admirable.  In less than three years in elective office, the 58-year-old businessman has led the state to close a $3 billion budget deficit without raising taxes, their schools have scored first in national math and science tests and Romney held out until the Legislature gave him a tough new drunken driving law he demanded. 


 


Novak observes that, "Romney's preparation for 2008 is more advanced than any of his potential Republican rivals."  But there are strong undercurrents that ripple behind the scene.  While one considers whether Mitt Romney is truly presidential timber or not one must factor in his Mormon faith and how Evangelical Christians will react.  When John F. Kennedy ran for president in 1960 many American voters were deeply concerned by his Catholic faith.  There was profound concern as to whether Kennedy's ultimate allegiance would be to the US Constitution or to the Pope.  Once Evangelical voters truly understand the bizarre doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this question of ultimate allegiance will almost certainly arise:  Will Romney swear absolute fealty to the Constitution or to the Mormon Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley?


 


Amy Sullivan wrote a most revealing article in the September issue of Washington Monthly entitled, "Mitt Romney's Evangelical Problem" in which she analyzes the impact Romney's Mormonism might have on the Evangelical community.  She reports that "in the late 1960s, the percentage of Americans who said they would not vote for a Jewish or Catholic presidential candidate was in the double digits; by 1999, those numbers had fallen to 6 and 4 percent, respectively (roughly the same as the percentage of voters who say they wouldn't vote for a Baptist).  Compare that to the 17 percent of Americans who currently say they would have qualms electing a Mormon to the White House. That number hasn't changed one whit since 1967, the year that Romney's father considered a presidential run."  Her entire article bears examination and can be found here: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2005/0509.sullivan1.html.


 


As speculation regarding Romney's White House aspirations ramped up this past week an even more interesting article appeared in The American Spectator.  In "Romney's Mormon Problem," writer David Holman gets down to brass tacks with some very specific examples of how Mormonism differs markedly from historic Christianity.   For starters, Holman states that, "Mormons reject the Holy Trinity, instead believing God, Son, and Holy Spirit to be separate beings.  People preexisted as God's 'spirit children' until we assumed human bodies on Earth.  Adam is the same person as Michael the Archangel.  Married couples can become gods in the afterlife."  His article has many, many hyperlinks to original Mormon sources to document these teachings-as well as others, such as the LDS Church's policies on blacks and polygamy, which, while in the past, could rankle many conservatives and liberals alike.  The entire article is a "must read" and can be found here: http://www.spectator.org/util/print.asp?art_id=9157. 


 


It should be noted that LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley-who is considered by the Mormon faithful as "Prophet, Seer and Revelator"-adamantly maintains, "Are we Christians?  Of course we are!  No one can honestly deny that."  However, in an official LDS Church publication, we find these words: "In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints 'do not believe in the traditional Christ.'  'No, I don't.  The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak.' " (Church News, June 20, 1998, p. 7, emphasis added).  A detailed chart comparing Mormon beliefs with Christian beliefs can be found here: http://www.understandingthetimes.org/charts/mormon_chart.pdf.  I highly recommend that you examine this and see for yourself whether or not Mitt Romney has a "Mormon Problem" if he makes a run for the White House.


 


Incidentally, Friday, December 23, 2005 is the 200th Birthday of Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder and first "Prophet, Seer, and Revelator" of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  To read the flattering documentaries on the life of Joseph Smith this past year one would almost think he could walk on water.  He couldn't! 





 


Dr. Dennis A. Wright is Founder and President of Understanding The Times Ministries.  An accomplished writer and educator, Wright has spoken in churches and conferences all over America on spiritual counterfeits and Christian Worldview topics.  He can be emailed at [email protected] and his new website can be found at www.UnderstandingTheTimes.org.