Mitt Romney: Two Evangelical Views (Part 1)

I am posting two views on the upcoming US election. Both have to do with Mitt Romney and his Mormonism, and whether that disqualifies him from receiving a vote from Christians concerned about the Gospel as expressed in Christian Scripture.

The first view (first only because I read it before the other view) is from Douglas Groothuis, a well-known apologist and theologian who is a professor of philosophy at Denver Seminary. His books include, Christianity That Counts, Confronting the New Age, Deceived by the Light, On Jesus, On Pascal, Revealing the New Age Jesus, The Soul in Cyberspace, Truth Decay, Unmasking the New Age, In Defense of Natural Theology: A Post-Humean Assessment, (co-edited with James F. Sennett), Jesus in an Age of Controversy, Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith:

Why a Principled Conservative (Reaganite), Bible-Believing Evangelical, Counter-cult Expert Will Vote and Support Mitt Romney for President.

Many conservatives (Christian or otherwise), me included, are disappointed that Mitt Romney will be the Republican candidate for President. They lament that a more principled conservative (such as Michele Bachmann, or, to a lesser degree, Rick Santorum) was not selected. Perhaps they stand for the libertarian principles of Ron Paul. Whatever the case, many will be tempted to not vote at all or to make a protest vote. This is a deep mistake, based on faulty ideas about politics and the meaning of a political vote. In this short essay, I will labor to convince fellow conservatives, whether Christians or not, to vote and support for Mitt Romney for President. I have waited to endorse Romney until all the other competitors have been eliminated, since I did not support Romney from the beginning. I do not expect to convert political liberals to this cause, which would require much more argumentation. (For starters, see Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Leftism and William F. Buckely, Up From Liberalism.)

1. Many demur from voting for Romney because of his less-than-stellar conservative bona fides. I agree. RomneyCare influenced ObamaCare, however much Romney not opposes ObamaCare. He has not always been pro-life, but now seems to be. One could go on. But we should remember that politics is not the church. It is the art of the possible. Often we must choose the lesser of two evils, which is also the evil of two lessers. It is a fallen world. Get over it. We should be romantic and optimistic in the primaries (as I supported Michele Bachmann, read her book; contributed to her campaign); then get realistic when things narrow down. You are not appointing a pastor, but voting for a President. A vote is not a letter of reference; nor is it an unqualified endorsement; nor is it worship. A vote is the exercise of the franchise, one part you play in our Republican form of government. It is a right, a responsibility, and a privilege that should not be squandered.

2. Protest votes are pointless. Many say, “If my candidate is not the one, I opt out. I am above all that.” This is wrongheaded. Protest votes send no message, except that you have robbed the better of the two candidates of a vote. Like it or not, we are stuck with a two-party system for the long haul. (On this, see Michael Medved’s chapter on the failure of third parties in Ten Lies About America.) If you are a conservative, you vote for the more conservative candidate who can win, as William F. Buckley said. Writing in Michelle Bachmann or Ron Paul does no good whatsoever—except to aid the Obama campaign.

3. The essential principles between the two parties are sharply divided, however each candidate may vary from them.

A. Democrats support big government, heavy taxation and regulation, viewing the Constitution as a wax nose they twist any way they want (progressivism), pitting corporations and “the wealthy” and against “the common man” (call it class warfare, a holdover from Marxism), a weakened national defense (the only area of the federal government Obama is trying to cut). They do not support religious liberty, and they are pro-abortion with a vengeance. Under ObamaCare, every American would be subsidizing the killing of innocent human beings with their very own tax dollars. Ponder that, for God’s sake. It denies the First Amendment (by requiring many religious people to violate their religious principles) and sets a dangerous precedent for state intrusion into matters of religious conscience.

B. Republicans support smaller government, lighter taxation and regulation, a higher view of The Constitution as a body of objective truths to be applied rightly today, and the opportunities allowed by a basically free market, a strong national defense (or “Peace through strength,”—Ronald Wilson Reagan), and are much more pro-life. This means a Republican President is far more likely to:

(1) Appoint Supreme Court justices who honor the Constitution and see it as opposing Roe- v. Wade.

(2) Appoint dozens of federal judges with great power, all of whom are likely to have a high and proper view of the Constitution.

(3) Use Executive Orders (whether they are constitutional or not is another issue; they probably are not) in the pro-life cause, such as not giving foreign aid to support abortions abroad and not funding abortions in the military.

C. There are significant weaknesses in Mitt Romney as a candidate. Yes, he is:

(1) Not a principled conservative. Look at his very mixed track record.

(2) Not particularly charismatic or a good speaker.

(3) A Mormon.

I have been involved in counter-cult apologetics and evangelism for 35 years. Mormonism is a deviation from Christian orthodoxy on titanic theological issues such as the nature of God (or gods, in the case of Mormonism), the identity of Christ, and salvation, to name a few crucial issues. Yes, there has been some movement back to the Bible among some Mormons in the last twenty years. However, Mormonism as Mormonism is heretical. No one should be a Mormon. It is “another gospel” (see Galatians 1:6-11). I learned this in 1977, when, as a young Christian, I read Walter Martin’s modern classic, Kingdom of the Cults. Nothing since has convinced me to the contrary.

If Romney is elected President, it would give Mormonism a platform as it has never had before. That is bad, very bad. However, the President is not Theologian-in-Chief nor Pastor-in-Chief. He is Commander-in-Chief. More soberly, the alternative to Romney is, truly, the end of America as it was founded and as we know it. It is a state modeled after European democratic socialism: massive taxation, cradle-to-grave statist “security,” and a more secularized culture. This is not the America envisioned by our founders. This is not the city set on a hill.

In Romney’s favor, he has been a very decent man, who has given much of his income to charity. Further, he is an accomplished businessman who knows how to address problems (unlike Obama). For example, in 1999, he volunteered to save the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. He did what he intended to do. He understands and respects the vital role of business to create jobs and create new products, unlike Obama, whose idea of job creation is endless “stimulus packages” packed with pork and barren of economic hope.

Obama, while not a Mormon, has no credible Christian testimony. Consider his twenty-year membership in Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s racist, ultra-liberal, Nation-of-Islam-supporting church. Ponder his stance on abortion. He was one of only a few politicians not to oppose partial-birth abortions, which are cases of infanticide: a form of murder. (See David Fredosso, The Case Against Barak Obama for the documentation.) He took this outrageous stand because he was afraid it would chip away at Roe v. Wade, which he supports completely. Obama is far more sympathetic to Islam than he is to Christianity. I did not Obama was a Muslim, but that he respects Islam and seems oblivious (or indifferent) to the dangers of sharia law (which allows wife-beating, polygamy, and more). This is urgent, since shari’a law is already being implemented on American soil. (On this menace, see Robert Spencer, Stealth Jihad.)

4. Under another four-years of Obama, we would experience more “historic” changes:

A. The federal takeover of health care, leading to rationing, inefficiency, and a loss of personal freedom. You will be paying for abortions. Some would rather go to jail than submit to this. I imagine that Catholic priests would lead the way.

B. A growing and perhaps insurmountable debt, mortgaging our future, and making us like Greece.

C. Further evisceration of our military and cut backs in military benefits.

D. The further deconstruction of the Constitution, thus removing us from the Rule of Law and putting us under the Rule of Man: One man, the man who would be King: Barack Obama. He might well abolish term limits if given another term.

For these reasons and many more, I, Douglas Richard Groothuis, will vote for, support, and pray that Mitt Romney becomes the next President of these United States. I hope you will join me. So much is at stake.

0 Replies to “Mitt Romney: Two Evangelical Views (Part 1)”

    1. Heard of it, yes. I’m not sure how it is relevant to the discussion, though. If politics is the work of people, and the people are religious, then there will be religious influence in politics a la 1st Amendment. There is no law or principle that demands that a religious person must leave his religion at the door of public discourse, any more than the demand that an atheist leave her atheism in order to engage in politics.

      Atheism/secularism are just as religious as an organised faith, but usually no so honest about it.

  1. Great idea for a series Scott. I’ve been fascinated by this conversation for the last year or so. I’m not conservative (and not American Republican), but I can see how this would be important to evangelicals.

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