Tag Archives: Mormon

A New Moral Majority? Calling ALL People of Faith

When John F Kennedy ran for president there were many who questioned whether a Catholic should be president. Would his presidency give the Pope a direct line to the country’s administration?

Kennedy addressed the question reminding Americans “I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant, nor Jewish…” “…where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials–and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.”

Today some look at Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion and ask if his beliefs will negatively impact the country. When asked about his faith in a recent CNN  interview Romney replied:  I am often asked about my faith and my beliefs about Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind. Every religion has its own unique doctrines and history. These should not be bases for criticism but rather a test of our tolerance. Religious tolerance would be a shallow principle indeed if it were reserved only for faiths with which we agree.

Is Romney a Better Choice for Christians?

It is expected that this will be a close election. Because of the impact on religion including the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare); the value issues, including sanctity of life, marriage and religious freedom; and concern a the rise in secularization of society groups who might otherwise stay out of the fray are speaking up.

They have looked at the issue and the candidates.  Many specific religions are not recommending one candidate but are instead reminding people to look at what the candidate stands for.

Do you know someone of faith still on the fence? Perhaps they would feel better knowing that many faithful have found the best choice.

This week Reverend Billy Graham published an advertisement aimed at his Christian followers. You can read about it here. He wants voters to at the state of the country and vote their Biblical principles.  Son, Rev. Franklin Graham, offered an opinion on whether Christians could vote for a Mormon.

We are at a profound crossroads. Our secularized society has shaken its fist in God’s face and rejected His very name. Like Joseph and Daniel, we must not compromise when government clashes with the worship of God. We must not silence our voices to God’s law. We must use our influence to elect those who will govern with respect for the sanctity of marriage as between one man and one woman; the sanctity of life; and yes, the protection of God’s beloved nation Israel. We must not cast votes for officials—whether candidates of the Democratic, Republican, or Tea Party, or of a religious persuasion—that are against these principles of God. We have, in the past, elected Christians who have defied some of these very principles.

We need something like what Jerry Falwell did in the 1980s. We need a “moral majority”—made up of Christians, Jews, Mormons, Catholics and many others of faith—to come together to take a stand for our religious freedoms and rights.

In recent days, President Clinton said that President Obama “has a plan to rebuild America from the ground up.” But God-fearing Americans have no desire to see America rebuilt—but rather restored. To “rebuild it” would be to create a new nation without God or perhaps under many gods. This was never the intent of those who shed their blood for the freedom to worship as “one nation under God.”

I pray that all Christians and God-fearing Americans will put aside labels and vote for principles—God’s principles—that for many years have resulted in His blessing upon our nation.

So, can a Christian vote for a Mormon? The answer is yes.

Catholics, while not endorsing one candidate are asking their members to vote their values as seen in this powerful video.


Dr. Alveda King, Dr. Martin Luther King’s niece, wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Times promoting black Christian voters vote for moral values and the candidate who work to improve the black community.

This time, in 2012, I beg my brothers and sisters in the black community to look past color and vote for God’s values, not those of a particular political party.

I was in an African-American church in Virginia earlier this month, and afterward many people came up to me with tears in their eyes. Regarding the 2008 election, they said, “I just didn’t know what to do; I just didn’t know. But now you say there are other people on the ballot, like state and local levels. There are referendums and constitutional issues. If I can’t vote for any candidate in the presidential slot, at least I can write someone in.”

Don’t ever say I’m going to vote for the lesser of two evils. No, we can’t think that way. We are not voting for evil. We are voting for the best candidates possible.

Early on in Mr. Obama’s campaign, people came to find out that I opposed his agenda, and I took criticism from friends and family and even other pastors. They thought the black community would be influential in the Obama administration. Besides, we all would be praying for him. While I don’t doubt the power of prayer, Mr. Obama has done very little, if anything, to help the black community. In fact, he has turned his back on the very values that are the moral backbone of the black community.

 

A diverse group of Christian leaders penned an open letter last month praising the social policies found within the Republican Platform of Mitt Romney.

 The letter also focuses on the moral principles in the Republican platform, which are “squarely within the Judeo-Christian tradition” and are “at stake in today’s society.”

Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, are thanked for running on a platform which is a “political compass” in the “confusing moral thickets of our day.”

The signers encourage support for Romney even though there may be “differences in a candidate’s theological doctrine.” This is despite the fact that “some have tempered their enthusiasm” for the Mormon candidate. Government policy is the issue, the letter says, not theology.

A well-known Evangelical pastor Bishop Harry Jackson created two videos; in the first, he lists four reasons he will support Mitt Romney and in the second, four reasons he will not support Barack Obama.

These are challenging times and for many a challenging decision. My own favorite pastor put it succinctly:

I think this [issue] is one of the reasons why many Christians struggle with this year’s election.  Fortunately, we’re not electing a pastor but a president.  I’m really praying for a change and I hope one more week is enough time to reach enough people to capture a victory.

Vote November 6.

 

 

Jon Huntsman Drops Out; Ain't A Dang Thing Changed

In case you haven’t heard, former governor of Utah, Jon Huntsman Jr. has officially dropped out of the Republican primary.  That’s not surprising, really, considering that he spent most of the past year in the single digits.  What is surprising is that he didn’t bow out on the night of the New Hampshire primary; the guy practically lived there, and he still came in behind Ron Paul.

The other thing that is surprising (and particularly #HeadDesk worthy) is that Huntsman thinks his dropping out will consolidate the vote.  That couldn’t be any further from the truth.

Huntsman dropping out does very little, if anything, to affect the dynamics of this race.  Right now you have three factions: Romney, Paul, and then this gaggle involving Perry, Gingrich, and Santorum.  And the truth is that as long as Paul is in the race, there will probably never be anyone with enough momentum to overcome Romney.  Even if you have Santorum and Perry drop out, there is a very real chance that Paul staying in can help Romney get the plurality every time.

So it’s cute that Huntsman wants his endorsement to carry weight, just like it’s cute that McCain wanted his to do so, but Jon dropping out did nothing to change this cluster-truck that we’re dealing with.  The only thing it did was to make the Huntsman girls seem a little less relevant.  But with today’s news culture, they can probably go to CNN and be three times more compelling as pundits than Meghan McCain has ever been. (click here and here to see some of what the Huntsman girls have become famous for)

Is "Mormonism" Christian?

In the news lately has been another in a long string of non-issues raised by candidates for the Presidency of the United States of America. The senior pastor at the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Robert Jeffress, made disparaging comments about Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons in the common vernacular). Then he added to his rhetoric about the LDS Church an indictment of Mitt Romney not being Christian…because he was Mormon. All of this was done in support of Governor Rick Perry‘s rapidly failing campaign.

Not unlike the Apostle Peter, Perry (sic) went out, and wept bitterly, (Luke 22:62) disclaiming the good pastor’s comment three separate times.

Well, I wanted to run a brief comparison between Jesus Christ and his “disciple Jeffress”.

Although prophesied in the Old Testament several time that Christ would come and redeem his people, not much is said about the reason it would happen. In hindsight we can see that the reasoning was pretty much for political purposes. A growing assemblage of people were turning to Christ and away from the ruling class that would “strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.”

One of Christ’s disciples, Judas, was among those that wanted Him to be a political leader and throw off the chains of the Roman empire. Judas joined the jealousy squad because it would further his ends…or so he thought, not unlike Pastor Jeffress.

They both failed to recognize what it really took to be a Christian. In the late of the night, a group of soldiers led by Judas ascended a mountain with the sole purpose of incarcerating Jesus Christ to bring Him to trial. Peter, who would later deny knowing Christ, drew his sword in defense of his Master. Now, note the response of Jesus Christ compared to the vitriol of Pastor Jeffress.

“And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.” (Luke 22:51)

We later learn that this confused follower of Christ went out and hung himself. Not only did he realize that what he had done was wrong, he also recognized that he had been duped by vain ambitions of politicians. He recognized that the good cause he thought he would help was in fact all for nothing.

It is interesting that when tried, Jesus Christ “uttered not a word.”  His only defense was being who he was. What is remarkable is that leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did likewise. “

Harry Reid: Between A Political Rock and a Religious Hard Place

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon Church.  Reid has a political problem that’s about to smack him upside the head on November 2nd.  The problem is that the political positions taken by Reid appear to be at odds with his professed religious beliefs. And this is a problem for Reid because there are approximately 173,639 Mormons in Nevada, comprising about 6.7 of Nevada’s population. What’s more, Mormons tend to be devout voters – and the vast majority of them vote Republican. That 6.7 percent figure is larger than Angle’s percentage lead in the polls. Losing the Mormon vote could be disastrous for Reid. And Mormons have good reason to abandon Reid on November 2nd. After all, Reid isn’t exactly representing the views of those conservative Nevada Mormons.

This article presents both sides of the argument as to Reid’s political vs. religious beliefs – you be the judge as to where you think Reid’s true affection lies.

Official Mormon Church Position on Politics

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints officially maintains a position of neutrality when it comes to politics. Here is the church’s official statement on this subject:

The Church’s mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, not to elect politicians. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is neutral in matters of party politics. This applies in all of the many nations in which it is established.

The Church does not:

  • Endorse, promote or oppose political parties, candidates or platforms.
  • Allow its church buildings, membership lists or other resources to be used for partisan political purposes.
  • Attempt to direct its members as to which candidate or party they should give their votes to. This policy applies whether or not a candidate for office is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • Attempt to direct or dictate to a government leader.

The Church does:

  • Encourage its members to play a role as responsible citizens in their communities, including becoming informed about issues and voting in elections.
  • Expect its members to engage in the political process in an informed and civil manner, respecting the fact that members of the Church come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences and may have differences of opinion in partisan political matters.
  • Request candidates for office not to imply that their candidacy or platforms are endorsed by the Church.
  • Reserve the right as an institution to address, in a nonpartisan way, issues that it believes have significant community or moral consequences or that directly affect the interests of the Church.

Reid’s Rock and a Hard Place

However, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints does hold doctrinal positions that are diametrically opposed to the political views held by Reid – which puts him in a position of having to choose between his religious beliefs and his political beliefs. Guess which way he goes when the chips are down? Right, politics wins every time with Reid. Let’s examine some of these issues that place Reid between a rock and a hard place.

In his defense, Reid will point to the following official statement of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints:

Elected officials who are Latter-day Saints make their own decisions and may not necessarily be in agreement with one another or even with a publicly stated Church position. While the Church may communicate its views to them, as it may to any other elected official, it recognizes that these officials still must make their own choices based on their best judgment and with consideration of the constituencies whom they were elected to represent.

Note that the Church says that members of the church who hold political office can make policy choices that are at odds with church doctrine. However, it makes no statement that such held political views transcend official church doctrine. In other words, Reid can hold liberal views on any subject he believes in – but that doesn’t mean the Church is going to change its doctrine to fall into line with the views of Reid. Reid is still on the hook doctrinally for advocating positions that go against the beliefs of the Church. Reid is free to hold opposing viewpoints, but take a guess what would happen, for instance, if he were to stand at the pulpit and give a religious speech in favor of unrestricted abortions? Yup, his Church leaders would be having a private chat with him for his allegedly apostate behavior.

So let’s take a look at some issues on which the leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has spoken out and at the corresponding political positions of Reid.

Abortion

Church Position

Human life is a sacred gift from God. Elective abortion for personal or social convenience is contrary to the will and the commandments of God. Church members who submit to, perform, encourage, pay for, or arrange for such abortions may lose their membership in the Church.

Reid’s Position

  • Voted NO on restricting UN funding for population control policies.
  • Voted NO on defining unborn child as eligible for SCHIP.
  • Voted NO on barring HHS grants to organizations that perform abortions
  • Voted YES to expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines
  • Rated 50% by the National Right to Life Committee, indicating a mixed record on abortion.
  • Sponsored bill allowing emergency contraction

Analysis

It would appear that Reid is eligible under the rules of his Church for excommunication on the basis that he encourages abortion and has also sought to pay for abortions.

Self-Sufficiency

Church Position

Excerpt from a First Presidency Message published in 1986: Guiding Principles of Personal and Family Welfare by Thomas S. Monson, who is now the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Work is basic to all we do. God’s first direction to Adam in the Garden of Eden as recorded in scripture was to dress the garden and take care of it. After the fall of Adam, God cursed the earth for Adam’s sake saying, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground.” (Gen. 3:19.) Today, many have forgotten the value of work. Some falsely believe that the highest goal in life is to achieve a condition in which one no longer needs to work.

Let us hearken to the counsel given by President Stephen L Richards in 1939: “We have always dignified work and reproved idleness. Our books, our sermons, our leaders, including particularly our present President, have glorified industry. The busy hive of the honeybee Deseret—has been our emblem. Work with faith is a cardinal point of our theological doctrine, and our future state—our heaven—is envisioned in terms of eternal progression through constant labor.” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1939, p. 65.)

Self-reliance is a product of our work and under-girds all other welfare practices. It is an essential element in our spiritual as well as our temporal well-being. Regarding this principle, President Marion G. Romney has said: “Let us work for what we need. Let us be self-reliant and independent. Salvation can be obtained on no other principle. Salvation is an individual matter, and we must work out our own salvation in temporal as well as in spiritual things.” (In Welfare Services Meeting Report, 2 Oct. 1976, p. 13.)

President Spencer W. Kimball further taught concerning self-reliance: “The responsibility for each person’s social, emotional, spiritual, physical, or economic well-being rests first upon himself, second upon his family, and third upon the Church if he is a faithful member thereof.

“No true Latter-day Saint, while physically or emotionally able, will voluntarily shift the burden of his own or his family’s well-being to someone else.” (Ensign, Nov. 1977, p. 77.)

President Thomas S. Monson

President Thomas S. Monson

Reid’s Position

Reid has presided over the largest expansion of the welfare state ever seen in the history of The United States of America. Reid championed ObamaCare through Congress and voted for nearly $ 1 Trillion in stimulus spending – which will have the effect of making our children and grandchildren unable to be self-reliant. Reid seeks to expand entitlements at every opportunity – making people reliant on the government for their sustenance, thereby removing from them the opportunity to work to support themselves and instead placing them on a public dole.

Personal Liberty and Freedom of Choice

Church Position

Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Excerpt from a talk given January 31, 2006 at Brigham Young University by Elder D. Todd Christofferson Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

In years past we generally used the term free agency. That is not incorrect. More recently we have taken note that free agency does not appear in the scriptures. They talk of our being “free to choose” and “free to act” for ourselves (2 Nephi 2:27; 10:23; see also Helaman 14:30) and of our obligation to do many things of our own “free will” (D&C 58:27). But the word agency appears either by itself or with the modifier moral: “That every man may act in doctrine and principle … according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment” (D&C 101:78; emphasis added). When we use the term moral agency, we are appropriately emphasizing the accountability that is an essential part of the divine gift of agency. We are moral beings and agents unto ourselves, free to choose but also responsible for our choices.

…The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency” (Moses 7:32).

Reid’s Position

The position of Harry Reid echoes that of the Democratic Party in general and Barack Hussein Obama in particular. Reid supports a vast expansion of government in order to enable the central planning and control long envisioned by the political left. Reid supports Obama’s appointments of “Czars” who have been appointed to take free will away from the people and replace that free will with federal degrees in all facets of life – all without Congressional oversight or approval.

Civil Discourse in Politics

Church Position

The Church expects “its members to engage in the political process in an informed and civil manner…”

Reid’s Position

  • “My staff tells me not to say this, but I’m going to say it anyway.  In the summer you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol, especially Christian conservatives. It’s true, they stink like hell.” – Harry Reid
Harry Reid gives an opponent the finger
Senator Harry Reid, in earlier times, displaying his typical civility in political discourse.
  • Reading in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Sherman Frederick writes: “There are about 250,000 Hispanic voters in Nevada, about 50,000 of which register Republican. No telling how many Hispanic voters — Republican and Democrat — vote for the individual candidate and not a straight party ticket, like most Americans do. For Harry Reid to say that all Hispanics should then vote only for Democrats like himself is like calling a good cross section of Hispanic Nevadans little short of stupid.
    And lest we forget, polls show that Nevada voters (which include that Hispanic electorate) are on the verge of overwhelmingly voting into office the state’s first Hispanic governor, Brian Sandoval. A dreaded Republican. What is that — stupid squared?”
  • Reid said that Obama could be a successful presidential candidate because he is “light skinned” and that he speaks with “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=255708117314

Civil discourse isn’t exactly Reid’s strong suit. Seems he doesn’t give much weight to the advice of his own church leaders.

Conclusion

Reid is appears to consistently be at odds with the doctrines of his own religion. This places him in the awkward position of having to refute allegations of hypocrisy. Which he is? Is he an orthodox Mormon who devoutly practices the teachings of his church? Or he is dedicated to the liberal, leftist, socialist, communist policies of the Democratic Party? There doesn’t appear to be much grey area in this matter. And it doesn’t appear that a devout Mormon can hold to both positions simultaneously. The church positions speak for themselves and appear to be closely aligned with the beliefs of the vast majority of conservatives and self-professed members of the Tea Party. Perhaps this is what gives Reid his dour countenance – he can’t reconcile his public socialist policy planks with the teachings of his own religion.

Which is it Harry? Do you support the theology and doctrines of your faith, or do you support the progressive policies of the Democratic Party?

As for the rest of us, we get to judge Reid via an easy parameter – “By their works ye shall know them.”