by Jay Clarke
On October 8th, 2011 at the Values Voter Summit, Pastor Robert Jeffress of Dallas, TX gave a rousing introduction for Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Perry performed well. But, Jeffress stole the limelight in an interview granted to MSNBC later that day. During the interview, Jeffress criticized Mormonism and by extension Republican presidential candidate, former Gov. Mitt Romney. “Mormonism is not Christianity. It has always been considered a cult by the mainstream of Christianity.” said Jeffress.
The reaction by the Republican Primary Candidates was swift and consistent. Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum all rejected Jeffress’ statement or at the very least refused to comment on it. Smart politics for the candidates. Jeffress’ comments were politically radioactive. But, the issue of a presidential candidate’s religious faith is certainly fair game and highly important. Americans deserve to know exactly who they are electing to the highest office in the land and what makes that person tick. The American elite media clearly ignored the signs and symptoms of the radical and dangerous belief system that afflicts Barack Obama. And now, America is paying the price.
Barack Obama was a longtime follower of Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Black Liberation Theology. Obama called it “Christianity,” just as Romney refers to his Mormon faith. But, Obama’s “Christian” faith turned out to be nothing more than Marxism creatively clothed in racial and theological terms. Acting on his faith, Barack Obama’s religious views have been rapidly infused into the United States Federal Government. The redistribution of wealth, socialist policies, government takeovers of business and student loans, social justice, unrestrained exercise of executive power and discrimination in the Justice Department can all be tied back to Obama’s faith. It is all part of his world view. And that is the problem. It is vital to know the world view of our potential presidents because it will govern how they govern and how the immense power of the American Presidency is exercised.
So, religion does matter. The problem for Mitt Romney and for former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (also a Mormon believer) is that Mormonism and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) is indeed considered a cult by many in mainstream Christianity including 75% of Protestant Christian pastors. Some reasons for that may include the following:
Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, was very clear in his belief that Mormons believe that “…human beings can grow and progress spiritually until, through the mercy and grace of Christ, they can inherit and possess all that the Father has they can become gods.”
The president of the LDS church is considered to be a modern day prophet and can, at any time, change key doctrines of the church by revelation from God and demand that all LDS believers obey the new doctrine(s). “If those changes come, however, by revelation from God to his duly authorized servants, they are right and God’s people are duty bound to accept and obey them.” Significant changes in Mormon doctrine by LDS president/prophets have occurred before.
Polygamy and the exclusion of black males from the Mormon priesthood were former doctrines altered by LDS Presidents because of a “revelation” from God. In 1890, after receiving a revelatory vision from God, LDS President Wilford Woodruff issued “The Manifesto of 1890” officially outlawing polygamy in the church and paving the way for Utah statehood. In 1978, LDS President Spencer W. Kimball received a revelation and issued an official declaration: “Accordingly, all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color.”
The point is not to denigrate Mitt Romney’s faith, engage in a theological debate or demand a religious test for presidential candidates. Pastor Jeffress has been highly criticized by many media outlets because of his views on Gov. Romney’s Mormon faith. Vice President Biden was equally critical on Friday calling it “preposterous” for Romney’s Mormon faith to be an issue in the 2012 election. Yet, Jeffress’ views are mainstream to Protestant Christianity. Mormonism does not hold to traditional Christian doctrine. It is not Christianity. That’s OK. It doesn’t have to be. But, the American people deserve to know what their presidents believe before they become president and begin to act upon those beliefs.
Gov. Romney would be wise to address concerns raised by the power vested in Mormonism’s president/prophet. “Gov. Romney, how would you respond as President of the United States if the president/prophet of the LDS church were to declare a new doctrine, with all the authority of Holy Scripture, that required actions that were unconstitutional or counter to the best interests of America?”
That doesn’t seem like such an outrageous question to ask. One wonders how things may have been different if those kinds of questions were asked of candidate Barack Obama.
The religious faith and world view of a presidential candidate are vital indicators of the type of president that he/she might turn out to be. Who we are as people, what we believe and what we value is expressed in our lives every day. Presidents are no different. They live who they are. Finding out who they are is a critical step in selecting someone to hold the most powerful elective office on earth.
In 2008 and with assistance from liberal media outlets, Barack Obama skated by with little critical examination of his background or beliefs. The consequences of that error may take decades to repair. May we never make that mistake again.
Jay Clarke is a businessman and lifelong conservative from Southern California. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Caucus: Perry Ally Calls Mormonism ‘a Cult’ (thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Romney Confronts Question of Faith (foxnews.com)
- Mitt Romney hits back at Rick Perry in Mormonism row (guardian.co.uk)
- The Fine Line Between Separation of Church and State (rtv2100blog.wordpress.com)
- BREAKING: Pastor to GOP: Don’t vote for Romney because he’s Mormon (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Pastor Jeffress Defends Calling Mormonism A Cult (lezgetreal.com)
- Mormonism a ‘cult,’ says pastor in comments on Romney (ctv.ca)
- Pastor denies remarks against Romney were ‘bigotry’ (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Texas pastor stands ground on “cult” comment about Mormons – Reuters (news.google.com)
- Perry backer deems Romney’s Mormonism a cult (cbsnews.com)