Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Can I Vote for a Mormon?

After answering the question of whether Mormons are a cult with a solid "yes and no," we should turn to the next question that's on so many minds, since there are two Mormons in the GOP presidential primary right now: Can I vote for one for President of the United States?

It's true that Mormons are pretty far outside of normal, orthodox Christianity, but their belief system still produces a world view that is in line with that of most evangelical Christians, at least on the most practical matters.

We can expect a Mormon president to be pro-life and pro-family — both in the laws they champion and the judges they appoint. As people who are committed to unpopular and difficult lifestyles, we can expect them to support freedom of religious exercise for all Americans. Beyond that, I think you'll find their chosen party labels tell you more about their views and aims than does their religion.

There are understandable concerns about a Mormon president creating interest in the LDS religion, but I can't believe they'll get such a huge boost from that. People may consider the Mormons out of curiousity, but their decision to stay with them or not will say more about traditional Christians than about the Mormon president.

And how far are we willing to take that concern? If we don't vote for a Mormon because it may cause people to become Mormons, next we may have people in the Church of Christ refusing to vote for Baptists or Calvinists refusing to vote for Arminians. Ridiculous? Yeah. So is voting against a Mormon over this.

There's one truth we need to keep in mind in this whole thing: We're looking for a president, not a pastor.

All of the objections to voting for a Mormon for president should fall away if we keep that truth in view.

One last warning: Even if you don't vote for a Mormon in the primary, it's appearing increasingly likely your choice in the general election will be President Obama or a Mormon. If you decide to opt for a candidate of a minor party — the "true Christian" in the race — you will simply be voting for Obama. That's simply the way our system works.


Salim said...

It's quite hard to pin Romney down to any particular policy platform, however in the recent past he has taken positions which are more liberal than those of the current President.

Whatever Romney's beliefs may be he claims that he believes it's virtuous not to impose his beliefs on others. Romney's recent statements might indicate a shift to the right.

It's really hard to say whether this is a genuine change of heart or simply pandering to the socially conservative wing of the GOP. Romney strikes me as the sort of person who would say or do anything in order to obtain the office he seeks.

I'd expect that if Romney wins the GOP nomination we will quickly see another one of his astonishing policy lurches in which he races to capture the middle ground. And then if he wins, who knows where he will stand?

Your guess is as good as mine.


Salim said...

Here's another one for anybody who expects Romney to track the traditional Mormon position on Abortion:

ChrisB said...

As a conservative, I don't feel good about Romney as a candidate. But could I vote for a hypothetical Mormon? Yes.

Salim said...

Yes, likewise Obama's Christianity would not stop me voting for him.

I think I'd vote for a Mormon (which to me is virtually the same thing as Christianity) like Mitt Romney in preference to an atheist but hard-line neocon like Dick Cheney.

The bottom line is that I do not expect the politicians I vote for to share my religious beliefs.

Salim said...

It seems now, the candidate that is electrifying religious voters is Herman Cain. How do you feel about him?