I was in El Paso, Texas over the Christmas holidays when a pastor and dear friend told me he had expected me to write something about the upcoming Pesidential elections, and particularly about Mitt Romney. I have actually been working on this for about 6 months, I just have not felt the time was right to share it. Well I now feel the time is right and here it is.
Let me say from the outset that these are my personal views and opinions, and are shared as such. They do not reflect upon any ministry or organization that I may be affiliated with. My views are also from a conservative or Evangelical Christian point of view.
In the Democratic Party, we have 2 frontrunners and one candidate that will not quit, while in the Republican Party we have 3 or 4 still battling it out. Of these seven leading candidates, I have come to the conclusion that Mitt Romney is the best overall candidate from the conservative and Evangelical point of view. I have also come to the conclusion that the only reason that a conservative Christian would have for not voting for Mitt Romney is his Mormon religion, and that is a legitimate concern. So how would I come to the conclusion that Governor Romney is the best guy, especially since I studied cult apologetics, in seminary, under the late Dr. Walter Martin? For those who do not know or remember him, Dr. Martin was author of “The Kingdom of the Cults,” which is the bible of cult apologetics. He also founded and hosted the syndicated radio program “The Bible Answer Man.” Oh, and Walter was also my Sunday School teacher for 2 years.
Other than his Mormon faith, Governor Romney possesses most of the characteristics of what we would call a “godly man.” He is a great father of 5 sons, and has been the husband of one wife for over 35 years. Of the other Republicans, only Mike Huckabee can make that claim of having only one wife. On the Democratic side, to their credit, all three candidates have been married to only one spouse. I find it a shame that on the Republican side of the 4 leading candidates, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, only Mitt & Mike have not been divorced. If we want to say that it is unfair to judge by that critera and that it should not be held against any of these men, then I can accept that, if we are going to not hold it against anyone else ever again.
Of the 7, the 3 Democrats, based upon their platform and personal views, oppose almost every moral issue the Evangelical Christians support. They are all “Pro Choice,” even to the point of partial birth abortion, as well as no parental notification, and “Pro Gay Rights.” On the GOP side, Governors Romney and Huckabee, with John McCain are the strongest pro-life and defense of traditional marriage supporters.
From my observations, Mitt Romney also possesses most closely the character and temperament of a godly man. He remains consistent and calm under pressure. Senator Obama has a great temperament and while delivering a great speech, he has no real record to base anything upon. He does have a penchant for embelishing stories if not just plain bending the truth. I can give you specific examples if you contact me directly.
The Huckabee and McCain campaigns seem to vacillate between whining and angry outbursts. McCain has a long history of angry and even vulgar public outbursts while Huckabee is a bit more subtle. His campaign manager recently told a group of reporters and supporters in New Hampshire that, “we are going to kick Romney’s teeth in.” And when speaking to a South Carolina crowd last week regarding the Confederate flag, as the SC state flag and opposition to it by some, Huckabee’s comment was that if some one told us in Arkansas what to do with our flag, we would not only not move it, but “we would also tell them where to put the pole.” I personally do not care what flag is flown in South Carolina, or Arkansas, but to millions of black people in SC and around the nation, a confederate flag is a grim reminder of a hurtful past. Without stating that the flag should be removed, there should have been a better (more “Christian”) way to respond. Each (McCain & Huckabee) has also complained and played the poor victim of attacks by other candidates, while all candidates have been attacked especially those on the Democratic side. It is part of the territory.
If we leave the social and moral issues for a moment, and look to the fiscal side of things, Mitt Romney comes out even farther ahead of his competition from a conservative point of view. On the Democratic side all 3 candidates want to repeal the Bush tax cuts, returning to the former, and higher tax rates. They also want to stop a border fence and legalize the 12 million illegal aliens here now. Social programs would also skyrocket. On the GOP side, Senator McCain has opposed President Bush’s tax cuts on more than one occasion, and he co-authored the McCain/Feingold legislation which has given groups such as Moveon.org and the numerous other George Soros, 527 groups, their power. He also co-authored the McCain/Kennedy immigration bill, which would legalize the 12 million or so illegal aliens in our country. While Rudy Giuliani does support President Bush’s tax cut plan, he did raise taxes in New York City and made it a sanctuary city for illegal aliens. Governor Huckabee raised taxes numerous times as governor of Arkansas, and has a terrible record on immigration. He even went so far as to offer instate tuition to the children of illegal aliens.
Mitt Romney’s record on the other hand, stands in stark contrast, particularly to Senator McCain’s and 2 of the Democrats, each of whom have spent the bulk of their lives in public office. Governor Romney spent most of his life in the private sector building businesses. He is also responsible for saving and making a great success of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. For those who have forgotten, these Olympics were doomed to failure, due to corruption and financial problems, when Mitt Romney was asked to take over. They turned out to be one of the most successful Winter Olympics ever. He not only made the games a success, but also built lasting facilities that the state of Utah is still reaping tourism benefits from today.
Again, the only reason that I can think of for not voting for Mitt Romney as the Republican candidate for president is his Mormon faith. We can try and color it, or dress it up as much as we want, but that would be the only reason that I can see. With that I want to leave you with a thought from scripture.
In Mark 9:38-40 we find something very interesting. I think it gives us a view of what Jesus might say on this subject as he had a similar situation arise on a question of faith.
“Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us.”
Maybe Mitt Romney’s theology is not right, and as the late Rev. Jerry Falwell said about him shortly before his death, “we are not being asked to vote for a Bishop. I could not vote for a Mormon as Bishop, but I think I can vote for a Mormon as President.” Should we tell him to stop trying to heal our land or drive demons out of it because “he is not one of us?”
Let us go beyond the religion to the faith. Religion is reactionary and full of fear while faith is full of vision, hope and promise. Do not accept my words, or anyone else’s words at face value, rather seek the truth for yourselves. I trust that as you seek the truth you will find it.