Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Shame Won't Wash Off

I feel so... ugh... I really don't want to talk about it. I actually find myself vehemently agreeing with none other than "Wonkette" blogger-turned Time editor Ana Marie Cox, against her conservative detractors at both NewsBusters and The Corner... and to make matters worse, the statement I agree with was said on Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and to which he apparently gave his tacit agreement as well!

That comment? That, unequivocally, "Mitt Romney is not himself Christian".

So maybe Ms. Cox is not a theologian. Do I need a physicist to tell me that the sky is blue?

It really saddens me that political Christians, who may mean well, are watering down our Faith so much in their attempts to boost the fortunes of Mitt Romney in the 2008 Presidential campaign. We are called, as Christians, to "contend earnestly for the faith". The Apostle Paul himself constantly attempts to set his audience straight on theological matters in all his letters, clearly emphasizing that good theology a close second only to faith in Jesus Christ.

And yet "The Mormon Question" -- that is, are Mormons in spiritual fellowship with orthodox Christians? -- seems only to be an item of debate among two strikingly disparate groups -- liberal, largely apostate mainline theologians, and ostensibly "strong-conservative" Christian Mitt Romney supporters. Notice that Mormons themselves do not fit into either group -- to the best of my knowledge, the LDS Church views itself as "right" and genuine, orthodox Christianity as "wrong" and thus not have "disfellowshipped" themselves. But answering that Question is not my point here, so I will not attempt to do so.

The Left wants us to believe that we cannot dare to question someone's Patriotism, even when certain acts are blatantly aimed at hurting our country. Do Romney's supporters on the right now insist that we cannot dare question someone's Christianity?

No amount of scrubbing will help me feel clean over this sad state of affairs.

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Anonymous Marty said...

I can see why the other candidates don't want to touch this issue. But there's no reason why conservative Christian's should not step up on this. Is Romney a believing Mormon? Then he is not a Christian. It doesn't mean we can't be friends. So long as he doesn't try to pass himself off as one. (But if he really is a believing Mormon, that could be a problem, because Mormons are always trying to make themselves seem like just another kind of Christianity.)

Mainstream Mormonism, though its theology is weird, is not as far from the American mainstream as it used to be, and they are useful allies, generally reliably conservative. I'm still not comfortable, however, with a Mormon presidential candidate. The theology is so weird that if the guy is really a believer, it calls into question so much more about him. I think Romney has other problems, as well, notably his slickness on certain issues.

10:54 AM  
Blogger Benjamin said...

You just touched on several issues that I had originally thought about discussing, but that would have made my post run on a bit too long. The "weird theology" thing is a big problem for me to get over; as is the LDS tendency to cast themselves as Christians. For a lesser office, I may be willing, even, to vote for a strong conservative Mormon (although not terribly likely, particularly in the face of reasonable alternatives).

And from a strictly moral, theological point of view, I don't want to be held responsible for putting into such a position of power someone who does not, at the very least, profess a faith in Jesus Christ. It's always struck me as incredibly dishonest when (in particular) Romney defenders declare that it would be wrong to reject him for his Mormonism because "there can be no religious test for office" -- that is purely a legal regulation, NOT a preferential discriminant. That's one of the reasons I haven't been reading Hugh Hewitt much lately; he's taken that tack several times.

I also think the reason Mormons bug me so much, relative to other religions, is their claim to some sort of pseudo-Christianity. What's the old saw? Something like "Religious adherents are always tougher on their own heretics than they are on non-believers". I think this is probably true of just about every major religion.

11:17 AM  

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