Sunday, November 18, 2007

In a quandary over Romney

[Warning: This is a long post - and it reflects only the views of its author.]

I'm in a quandary over Mitt Romney. I think I agree with him on all the issues. I'm having trouble with him, though, on his Mormonism. Major trouble. I've been told that one's religion should not weigh into whether he/she'd make a good person for elected office. I just don't know if I agree with that. . . in this case. You see I've done a lot of study of Mormonism and it is usually done with my jaw on the floor. How on earth could anyone seriously believe that stuff? Now I know that people have said the same thing about Christianity through the centuries. (Yes, I AM saying here that Mormonism does NOT equal Christianity.) Christianity does seem kind of weird at the outset. Well, not 'kind of'. It can seem really weird, understandably. But when one studies it - and the evidence behind it - well, it only makes sense. There have been countless atheists that have set to disprove it through the years and have ended up embracing it. Of course, it DOES take FAITH . . . but it is not a blind faith (well, maybe with some folks it is), but is is NOT a faith based upon conviction beyond a shadow of a doubt, it is a faith based on conviction beyond a reasonable doubt. That is so different. Why, there are more ancient documents concerning the New Testament than there are about Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. When I was in my twenties I studied Josh McDowell's 2 books, EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT, and MORE EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT. Incredible they were, and compelling.

When it comes to Mormonism I've never read of someone who has scoffed at it, then looking at the evidence embraced it. Now I have heard of people who have looked at the goodness and kindness of Mormons and embraced their faith, but that is different. And let me say, that the Mormons' goodness, and kindness, and devotion to family, etc., is (are) wonderful; indeed, an example to all of us.

But I challenge anyone to study the foundations of Mormonism, which includes, of course, Joseph Smith, the angel Moroni, Brigham Young, and others and come out with a well-informed faith.

Here are a few of their beliefs:
God was once a man like us.
God has a tangible body of flesh and bone.
God lives on a planet near the star Kolob.
God ("Heavenly Father") has at least one wife, our "Mother in Heaven," but she is so holy that we are not to discuss her nor pray to her.
Jesus was married.
We can become like God and rule over our own universe.
There are many gods, ruling over their own worlds.
Jesus and Satan ("Lucifer") are brothers, and they are our brothers - we are all spirit children of Heavenly Father
Jesus Christ was conceived by God the Father by having sex with Mary, who was temporarily his wife.
We should not pray to Jesus, nor try to feel a personal relationship with him.
The "Lord" ("Jehovah") in the Old Testament is the being named Jesus in the New Testament, but different from "God the Father" ("Elohim").
In the highest degree of the celestial kingdom some men will have more than one wife.
Before coming to this earth we lived as spirits in a "pre-existence", during which we were tested; our position in this life (whether born to Mormons or savages, or in America or Africa) is our reward or punishment for our obedience in that life.
Dark skin is a curse from God, the result of our sin, or the sin of our ancestors. If sufficiently righteous, a dark-skinned person will become light-skinned.
The Garden of Eden was in Missouri. All humanity before the Great Flood lived in the western hemisphere. The Ark transported Noah and the other survivors to the eastern hemisphere.
Not only will human beings be resurrected to eternal life, but also all animals - everything that has ever lived on earth - will be resurrected and dwell in heaven.
Christ will not return to earth in any year that has seen a rainbow.
Mormons should avoid traveling on water, since Satan rules the waters.
The sun receives its light from the star Kolob.
If a Gentile becomes Mormon, the Holy Ghost actually purges his Gentile blood and replaces it with Israelite blood.
A righteous Mormon will actually see the face of God in the Mormon temple.
You can identify a false angel by the color of his hair, or by offering to shake his hand.

Now some of these beliefs don't sound bad. Some of them, though, sound, well, not good. And surely many Mormons probably don't know about all of them and maybe wouldn't adhere to them if they did.
Anyway, I have a problem with this, and with a president who believed in this.
You may ask, would you have a problem with a Muslim or Buddhist or Hindu as a president? Well, I might, yes. BUT, I do not think those religions are as impossible to believe as Mormonism. The founders of those religions have some credibility, however weak. You're probably thinking, mm jw, you are downright prejudiced. And I say to you, "Don't call me that until you know its meaning." 'Prejudice' literally is the noun to the verb 'pre-judge' and though there's no doubt that I AM judging - I really don't believe I am 'PRE-judging'. I've studied these religions more than anyone might think. And on Mormonism I've studied the most. It was kind of a hobby of mine about 5 years ago. I devoured all the info I could get a hold of. . . and the more I read the more I was flabbergasted. How could people believe that stuff? As I said, people say the same thing about Christianity, but then after study, they, for the most part, agree that there must be some validity to it (Christianity). The main reason people don't embrace Christianity, after learning about it, is that they just don't want to. It's basically a moral reason.

Do I think Mormons are Christians? Hmm. Maybe some are - if they go against the teachings of their church and believe that Jesus is the one way to God. But I do not - NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT- believe the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a Christian church - or a Christian denomination. Do I hate Mormons? NO, of course not! I just think they have been misguided terribly by the founding fathers of the LDS church. And I think it was mainly done with good intentions. (I would hope.)

My problem with Romney is this Mormon weirdness. I know he was raised a Mormon. But I think he needs to be asked many questions, the race question being one (people with dark skin being inferior).

Do I think Mormonism will flourish if he becomes president? Maybe. It might be how Mormonism got to be so popular in the first place - and I would refer you to the idea of the 'Tipping Point'. BUT I also think that a Pres. Romney might cause folks to look closely at the LDS church - and see it for what it is --- very weird, and very questionable. I hesitate to outrightly call it a 'cult', but seriously, I really think it is one. I guess I would call it a "cult that doesn't look like a cult, but surely believes like one".

I want an intelligent president. (Don't make me make a statement about our current president in that regard!) I'm thinking that a really intelligent person would not continue in Mormonism even though his whole background is (was) Mormon.

So that is my quandary with Romney.
I just felt like saying it.


Unknown said...

First, I disagree with the statement that a person's religious beliefs should not weigh in on a decision as important as public office. How a person lives his life will determine how he will perform the duties of his office.

Second, where did you come up with this list of beliefs?

Yes, some of them are espoused by the church officially. More are espoused by leaders in the church (in the Mormon church those two positions are *not* equal).

Some others are widely held to be true by the members of the church, in some cases despite repeated corrections by the First Presidency.

Some were believed to be true by early members of the church and/or espoused by early leaders of the church but have since been denounced or renounced by later leaders. Can *any* church state that current beliefs haven't changed from earlier beliefs?

I *have* studied my religion. I went through a period of time where I studied a number of different religions because I didn't want to believe in Mormonism ... it just required to much responsibility.

You say that a belief in the teachings of the LDS church is a faith beyond reasonable doubt, yet your belief in what people say our belief strains credulity itself.

As for not having a personal relationship with Jesus ... huh? Who'd you get that from?

Elizabeth H. said...

Oh goodness, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I have researched it a little bit as well, although not nearly as in depth as you. We have a problem with Romney for the same reasons.

My hometown...

I am thinking of my hometown now. Mission, Texas. And McAllen, Texas. And Mercedes, Texas, where I was born. And Donna, Texas, so near there...