Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Stupid Arguments Are Just Stupid

"A Vote for Romney Is a Vote for the LDS Church"

That's the first stupid thing stated in this Patheos article by Warren Cole Smith--and that's just the title.

I'm really not a pugnacious person. So why bother even mentioning this? Because I can politely disagree. And every once in awhile I don't care to be polite. Just because an imperious author gets published doesn't mean he's not still full of it. Case in point:

"Certain qualifications make a candidate unfit to serve. I believe a candidate who either by intent or effect promotes a false and dangerous religion is unfit to serve. Mitt Romney has said it is not his intent to promote Mormonism. Yet there can be little doubt that the effect of his candidacy—whether or not this is his intent—will be to promote Mormonism. A Romney presidency would have the effect of actively promoting a false religion in the world. If you have any regard for the Gospel of Christ, you should care. A false religion should not prosper with the support of Christians. The salvation of souls is at stake.

For me, that alone disqualifies him from my vote. Because Mormons believe in continuing revelation, it is possible that in the future the LDS church will renounce its heretical beliefs and come fully into the fold of orthodox Christianity. Many theologians and church historians believe the church is on such a trajectory. But if that happens, it is an event still well in the future. The Mormon Church of today is, by the lights of biblical evangelical Christianity, a false religion. If Mitt Romney believes what the Mormon Church teaches about the world and how it operates, then he is unfit to serve. We make him our President at great peril to the intellectual and spiritual health of our nation."


Whether one thinks that believing in some or all aspects of Mormonism (or any other religious preference) is dangerous or silly is one thing, but disqualifying an American from service because your perception of their religion is warped is just stupid. It's also unconstitutional--"no religious test"--and ironically un-American.

Romney is not the first Mormon to seek or hold public office. The world still spins and people still believe what they want to believe. A president's religion doesn't change any of that.

The whole argument is ridiculous--especially the implication that it's his Christian duty to oppose Mitt Romney. If you don't like Romney, fine. If you don't like Mormonism, fine. But opposing someone just because of their religion (and saying his/her election determines the salvation of souls) is not only bigoted--it's stupid. Someone ought to kindly inform the author that he's being obtuse.

11 comments:

Sally said...

I hope people can see through his stupidity. It's just so crazy to me.

Stuff like this always reminds me of the story of Brad's grandpa listening to a radio show that was anti-mormon. The host said "Now, these missionaries are going to barge their way into your home, and demand that you pray to know if it's true. Whatever you do: DON'T PRAY ABOUT IT!!!"

Papa D said...

I haven't read the post yet, but I just want to agree with the title first. *grin*

Papa D said...

Now that I've read the post, I just want to agree with it.

Sometimes you just have to shrug and brush it off; sometimes, however, something is so stupid that it requires a response. This is one such time.

Clean Cut said...

Yeah, Papa D, I thought the same thing. Usually I do just shrug and brush it off, but definitely, "this is one such time".

One of his arguments is that Mormon values AND behavior are warped because of our beliefs. Last time I checked, my values (love, forgiveness, importance of family, etc.) were pretty much the same as those of other faiths, and even those of no faith at all. My values are not affected by "beliefs" he brings up at all--whether the nuances of the Godhead/Trinity or whether or not "lost tribes" of Israel ended up in America. Again, completely ridiculous.

Ardis said...

*sigh*

I believe that Christ visited the Americas; therefore, I will go out and rob a bank this afternoon.

I believe in a Godhead composed of three distinct personages; therefore, when I am president I will order a nuclear first strike against Norway.

I believe that New Jerusalem will be built in North America; therefore, I will trample the Constitution underfoot.

(Does this poor fellow not realize where his assertions lead? Or does he realize it but think nobody else will??)

Clean Cut said...

Exactly, Ardis. Mormons have managed to permeate the halls of Congress and serve the U.S. in the military until now, but this talk of the oval office is now exposing our true sinister side! We're a threat to national security! He's on to us.

Paul said...

The good news (I suppose) is that the author you cite in the OP would also have rejected Obama based on his faith, and he got elected. And Nixon. And Kennedy.

Now, where's my ACME Take-Over-The-World Kit? I've got work to do!

graceforgrace said...

I'll play devil's advocate here. How would you feel if a Muslim were to be elected president...not just a Muslim, but one that was a faction of the Muslim faith that you had heard did things that you personally do not agree with on a spiritual and moral level. Would you be skeptical and try and persuade others not to vote for that person? I probably would.

While I do not think this author needs to worry about Mormons in office (because I am familiar with the faith), I do think that he probably has heard a lot of bad things about the religion and in his mind has a spiritual need to warn the world.

What he should do is take the step to understand Mormons better, just as in my first scenerio, we would need to do even if it is hard to try and overome our prejudices and stereotypes.

Red said...

I understand the point you are making in your post. However, I too have reservations about Romney (though not for the same reasons as the person you quoted). Here is why I have reservations: Without going into too much detail, Didn't Romney give a solemn oath in the temple that he would use all his time, talents...(means) to build up the church; and then the promise at the end that if he didn't, who would he be bound to? Remember what I am referring to? Also, I am curious how he personally would draw boundaries given those oaths (with big personal eternal implications) along with sustaining a living prophet with his role as president. In reality, how would he seperate his role as President and church member who follows a prophet? I think it is a fair question for those inside and outside of the church. We can look at the history of the Catholic church and see how this kind of political/religious web can go horribly awry. It's not about who is bad/good, right/wrong; more of who will be running the show; Romney, Pres. Monson, the LDS church? Put yourself in others shoes; pretend the same scenario, different religion. It just might bridge the gap in understanding.

Mitch said...

Red, the oath in the temple does not make one a puppet to the Mormon leaders. Romney could build up the kingdom without forcing the people of this country to know more about the Mormon faith.

Red said...

Mitch,
Point taken. I agree, I can not see Romney in some sinister plot to take over the world (as Paul humorously put it) or act the puppet.

I'm just saying from those not LDS - imagine how it must be for them. Some people hold to a more stringent view of taking "oaths." I am sure we all would want Romney to uphold the Presidential oath he takes if elected. Imagine a different candidate who belonged to some other organization and made a covenant and promise before God angels, and these witnesses, that he will consecrate himself, his time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed him, or with which he may bless him, for the building up of this organization on the earth and for the ESTABLISHMENT of this group. It might be a bit disconcerting to those outside the group.

However, that said, I would agree w/ him politically over other candidates. It is encouraging that he has made comments in the past that counter his Mormon heritage and some early/fundamental Mormon doctrine (polygamy). I think Romney is more of a politician than a Mormon, and that his subdued Mormonism wouldn’t stop him from being a great president.