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Friday, June 08, 2007

On Politicos, Presidents, and Door-to-Door Cult Leaders

In the most recent Republican Presidential Debate, Gov. Romney addressed questions concerning those who refuse vote for Romney because he is a Mormon. In his response, Romney said that his faith teaches the same values as many across America.

Partially, he’s right. Mormonism does allow a foundation for rights theory (absolute, revealed morals with the individual as the unit of account), which as far as principles go, is really what we need for republican government. I would by far prefer to have a Christian as president, but if it came down to a choice between Hilary and Romney, would there really be a Christian in the race?

But there is another aspect about Mormonism that I believe is reflected by Mitt Romney. It happens to be the same reason I will never vote for him.

He always says what is politically correct, and never— as far as anyone could tell— what he really believes. He changes his message to suit whatever constituency he needs to vote for him. He supposedly changed his position on abortion because of the embryonic stem cell debate. I find it hard to imagine a less likely reason to change one’s view-- and certainly Romney’s eleventh-hour conversion is suspect at best. He is, in short, a politico, but not a president.

But what does that have to do with Mormonism, you ask? It’s nothing tangible, to be sure, but Mormon evangelists practice the same strategy: they tell you what they think you want to hear. Over the past few weeks, two elders in the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints have been coming to my home trying to convert me. Getting them to own up to their own beliefs is like pulling teeth. It took them four minutes just to answer the simple question: “do you believe we can become gods?” (Incidentally, they do). Now, I know these gentlemen are trying to do what they believe would save my soul, and I thanked them for that. But regardless of what their intentions may be, their tactics are dishonest. The same goes for Romney.

As a final disclaimer, I know there are many good, honest Mormon’s out there. Some of the most honorable people I have known were Mormons. But I am not talking about the virtues of individuals. I am talking about Romney and the general tactics of the Mormon church.

I don’t know if Romney is a chameleon because that is what his faith teaches him to be, or if he simply is an astute politician.

What I do know for certain, is that I will never vote for a man I cannot trust.

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