Thursday, December 6, 2007

12-6-07: Mormonism and Mitt Romney

A while back I made a post that poked a little fun at people’s concern over Mitt Romney being a Mormon. It was a bit over the top, which was deliberate, and I was criticized via a comment from a Mormon with no sense of humor. Let me just say that I am not planning on apologizing for my attempt at humor, only that it offended some one. See, that’s known as a coward’s apology. If you were offended, I am sorry for that, but I don’t apologize for my statement. It was meant to be funny.

What isn’t funny is that people are legitimately concerned over Mitt Romney's candidacy simply because he is a Mormon. He’s making a speech today to talk about his religion, which many, particularly Evangelicals, refer to as a cult. I could care less, since I’ve never had a problem with a Mormon. If people want to practice one faith over another, and it doesn’t hurt my bottom line, it’s not my problem. So long as they aren’t an atheist, I have almost no problem with some one being President who has different religious views than me. I’d say “absolutely no problem,” but there is the off-chance some one will run for office who belongs to the Wicca religion. That’d be creepy.

Mitt Romney is a nice guy, and he seems to be a pretty smart and practical man. He’s been a lifelong Mormon, and he even went around the world promoting his religion when he was a youth. So he’s devoted to his faith, which is fine. What’s the big deal, then? Does he have a history of brainwashing people to become Mormons? I don’t remember hearing about anything like that happening when he was Governor of Massachusetts, and I strongly doubt he’d try something like that as President. Though, when I think of Romney… all I can picture is a strange flashing image of Brigham Young with the word “OBEY” above his head…

The issue is fear. People are simply afraid to elect a Mormon President. It’s not unlike the concern when Kennedy was running for the office as a Catholic back in 1960. Yet, he got elected, but only after saying: “I’m not the Catholic candidate for President. I’m the Democratic candidate, who happens to be Catholic.” Then, as if by magic, people liked him. I have a feeling Romney is going to say something similar. He shouldn’t have to come out and say it, but we don’t live in a perfect world. Sound bites are important.

So long as he’s morally strong and doesn’t come out and say he’ll be swayed by his church, which would be political suicide if he did, I have no problem with the guy. I don’t feel that strongly either way regarding abortion, since I don’t see everything as a black and white issue. Some people do, but most of the time they’re either hypocrites or ignorant. Politics, and life in general, are far too complex to base your entire decision on one issue, which in itself is not black and white. If Romney is fiscally conservative and believes in the powers of the states over the Federal Government, that’s more important to me than most moral issues.

With that being said, this isn't an endorsement of Mitt Romney. I'm still not sure who I'm going to vote for, but he's in my top three or four right now (also included: Fred Thompson, Mike Huckabee, and Ron Paul; Rudy Giuliani is starting to slip a bit, but there's no guarantee I won't vote for him, either). All I'm saying is his religious views will not be a factor in my decision.

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