There was a time when I would have questioned someone’s patriotism or dedication to righteousness if they did not vote for the Republican candidate. I’ve only voted in three previous presidential elections, but I remember each time accusing other Christians of failing in their civic duty and Christian responsibility to “vote for the person Jesus would vote for”. I was influenced by American Christian tradition and religious right-wing conservatism to believe that the Democratic party was the evil of all evils and we mustn’t let them win an election at all costs.
As if there was a divine imperative for the Christian community to keep liberals out of the White House because humanity would be destroyed if this happened, I did my patriotic duty to vote for the Republican. Interestingly enough, I was a false convert during those days, so it’s somewhat comical to consider some of the arguments I used to persuade other Christians they were sinning for not voting for the right guy (or because they chose to not vote at all). I now find myself on the other side of the fence in the not-voting-for-the-Republican-either category, which is one reason why I posted this article as a “pre-article” to this one (please be sure to read that as it addresses common arguments some are using to persuade Christians to vote for Mitt Romney).
I’ve delayed writing this article because I’ve struggled with the necessity to do so, sometimes just wanting to forget about it, delete the first article, keep my opinion to myself, and move on. But as I am not the only one struggling with what to do this November, I conclude that it may be helpful for others to “hear my thoughts” on the matter as to why I am voting against the conservative, religious-right norm.
So without further delay, here are the reasons I will not be voting for Mitt Romney in 2012:
Some Christians do not see a problem with voting for a Mormon. I know there are godly men and women who consider Romney’s Mormonism to not be an issue for them, and that is OK. However, Romney’s Mormonism is an issue for me. It is not just that Mitt Romney is a Mormon, or “lay Mormon”, or a Mormon who might not really understand all there is to know about Mormonism (I heard people make this excuse for Glenn Beck a couple years ago), but Mitt Romney is a Mormon of Mormons. In fact, according to Boston.com,
Romney was a bishop in the Boston suburb of Belmont, a job akin to the pastor of a congregation. He then served as a stake president, the top Mormon authority in his region, which meant he presided over several congregations in a district similar to a diocese…He counseled Latter-day Saints on their most personal concerns, regarding marriage, parenting, finances and faith.
So Mitt Romney is no ordinary Mormon. He knows the Mormon faith inside and out, and if he is faithful to the Mormon religion as it appears he is, we can assume his Mormon beliefs will inform his decision-making in all areas of life, including leadership as the President of the United States of America. Informing decisions is what worldviews do, and my understanding of Romney’s Mormon worldview precludes me from voting for him.
In an effort to keep this article as short as possible, I will simply refer you to a few items for you to research on your own:
We say that God is true; that the Constitution of the United States is true; that the Bible is true; that the Book of Mormon is true; that the Book of Covenants is true; that Christ is true; that the ministering angels sent forth from God are true, and that we know that we have an house not made with hands eternal in the heavens, whose builder and maker is God.
Here, then, is eternal life–to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power. And I want you to know that God, in the last days, while certain individuals are proclaiming his name, is not trifling with you or me.
It was Joseph Smith who has been quoted as having said that the time would come when the Constitution would hang as by a thread and at that time when it was thus in jeopardy, the elders of this Church would step forth and save it from destruction.
Why the elders of this Church? Would it be sacrilegious to paraphrase the words of the Apostle Peter, and say that the Constitution of the United States could be saved by the elders of this Church because this Church and this Church alone has the words of eternal life? We alone know by revelation as to how the Constitution came into being, and we, alone, know by revelation the destiny of this nation. The preservation of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” can be guaranteed upon no other basis than upon a sincere faith and testimony of the divinity of these teachings.
To understand in depth the theological errors of Mormonism, please see the following:
2. Deception in the Church
More than Mitt Romney’s Mormon worldview, the undercurrent of deception through the mainstreaming of Mormonism precludes me from voting for him in November. This has been a concern of mine for a couple of years ever since I began observing the pluralistic religious right movement to “awaken America” from her moral decline. We’ve seen it with Rick Perry and the New Apostolic Reformation, and more popularly with Glenn Beck’s revival events. Glenn Beck has been a spearhead in this movement as he leads the charge of the religious right to “restore America” (most recently at the Under God Indivisible and Restoring Love events). In this video clip and subsequent article, you will see Glenn Beck, joined by prominent evangelicals applauding him, as he invokes the name of Jesus Christ as if he worships the same Jesus as Christians.
But it’s not just Glenn Beck who is bringing Mormons, Christians, Catholics, and Jews together under the banner of the same God, we are seeing it take place from the political pulpit. Take, for instance, the following prayer offered by Ken Hutchins, who is the current Mormon Stake President of Boston, at the 2012 Republican National Convention. I can only imagine how many Christians unequally yoked themselves with Hutchins unknowingly:
We see the same thing coming from Mitt Romney, who is becoming more emboldened with references to his god as if Christians worship the same God as he. Professing Christians across America are being so deceived, such as at Liberty University when Romney delivered the commencement speech there in May 2012. During the speech, Romney exhorted the audience:
All that you have heard here at Liberty University – about trusting in God and in His purpose for each of us–makes for more than a good sermon. It makes for a good life.
Or how about on September 8, 2012, when Romney made the following promise in Virginia Beach:
I will not take God out of the name of our platform. I will not take God off our coins and I will not take God out of my heart. We’re a nation that’s bestowed by God.
These are just a couple of examples of Mitt Romney invoking the Christian God and how Mormonism is being so widely accepted by mainline Christianity. Mormons are good about using Christian terms, and they can oftentimes sound Christian, but their definitions of these terms can be wildly opposed to their true definitions (consider “grace”, for example, by comparing Ephesians 2:8-10 and Nephi 25:23). So what are the ramifications of the Christian Right’s embrace of Mitt Romney? Just recently, Erin Benziger, co-editor of the Christian Research Network, reported on the ramifications of Kirk Cameron’s relationship with Glenn Beck where one person made the following comment on facebook:
Mormons are definitely Christians. You are more than welcome to check out http://mormon.org/jesus-christ – it will answer any question about what Mormons believe! Besides, I love that Kirk is cool with being friends with people that don’t believe exactly what he believes. That, to me, is truly being a Christian (source).
My concern for the days ahead is that many people will be deceived into believing Mormonism is just another denomination or branch of Christianity. We are already seeing Christians yoking themselves in prayer and spiritual endeavors to “reclaim America”, and I believe this will only get worse as we near election day (and even worse if Romney is elected).
Truthfully, I believe the Lord is using this deception in His sovereign plan to judge the nations before Christ returns. We are living in a day where the invisible Church, the True Church of Jesus Christ comprised of God’s regenerate sheep, is getting smaller and smaller, relatively speaking. The visible church, which is comprised of regenerate sheep and unregenerate goats who profess Christ, is getting larger as liberalism, postmodernism, ecumenism, and pluralism infiltrate the church and redefine truth as it is in Jesus Christ. Satan is hard at work deceiving people with compromised gospels that do not save and seducing the world into believing all roads lead to heaven, or that God is a supernatural force within all people, or that God does not exist at all. As a result, the church has become more inclusive and is full of apostates and goats who hate the truth and love unrighteousness (see 2 Timothy 4:3-4; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).
Through the work of patriotic idolatry that has taken place over the last few years, America is ripe for judgment in her spiritual fornication, and sadly, this has largely been cultured by right-wing Christian activists committing adultery on the Gospel with their political agendas.
My perception is that when Mitt Romney talks of restoring America in God’s name, and he wants my help in putting him in office so that America can get back on track, he’s asking me to join him in spiritual enterprise. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 warns against this, so I want nothing to do with putting Mitt Romney in office.
3. Mitt Romney is not pro-life
Finally, Mitt Romney’s Mormonism aside, there is a single issue that precludes me from voting for him: Romney is not 100% pro-life. This is an absolute deal-breaker for me. Even if Romney and I agreed on everything else, the fact that he makes exceptions for abortion due to rape or incest prohibits me to vote for him.
Up until last month, it was not clear to me where Romney stood on the sanctity of life. I had heard he was a flip-flopper and was only pro-life for political points. Everything finally came into perspective when the controversy broke in August surrounding Rep. Todd Akin’s remarks on rape and abortion. In response to Rep. Akin’s comments, the Romney campaign immediately distanced themselves with the following:
Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape (source).
Romney is unapologetic in his emphatic support of abortion in the cases of rape and incest, shown at minute 2:15 in this video posted on December 9, 2011. This should really not be a surprise for us as the Mormon Church also makes this exception:
Church leaders have said that some exceptional circumstances may justify an abortion, such as when pregnancy is the result of incest or rape, when the life or health of the mother is judged by competent medical authority to be in serious jeopardy, or when the fetus is known by competent medical authority to have severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth. But even these circumstances do not automatically justify an abortion. Those who face such circumstances should consider abortion only after consulting with their local Church leaders and receiving a confirmation through earnest prayer (source).
If one ever wondered whether Romney’s Mormon worldview would inform his decision making, I believe this is a significant indication that it does.
This single issue alone is enough for me to not vote for Mitt Romney, and with a clear conscience. For I am an abolitionist, which means principle trumps pragmatism, and I will not compromise biblical conviction for the sake of political gain. If a candidate is not 100% pro-life and does not seek the abolition of abortion, then he will never get my vote, regardless of where he stands on other issues
(EDIT: The Abolish Human Abortion blog just posted the following article that is very timely and very relevant to this article. If you would like to further understand why I, and all abolitionists, cannot vote for candidates such as Mitt Romney, please see An Abolitionist’s Voting Guide).
(EDIT #2: I elaborate on Romney’s position on life and why I can’t vote for him in Romney’s Rape and Incest Exceptions on Abortion)
In April, Tony Miano posted the following thought on his Cross Encounters blog:
If we can learn anything from this year’s presidential election, based on the qualities of the challengers and the incumbent from which we have to choose, it is this: as with Israel of old, God is punishing the United States of America by giving her the leadership she wants (1 Samuel 19-22). He is exercising His holy wrath of abandonment against a nation that has turned away from Him and hates Him (Romans 1:18-32). Join me in praying for our nation. Pray the United States of America repents of her wickedness and unholy standards and turns to Jesus Christ.
Praying for our leaders is something I have lacked in. I am repenting from disobeying this clear command in Scripture, and I ask you to join me especially if you also have failed in your responsibility to pray for our leaders. Tony’s exhortation above is rooted in the following from 1 Timothy 2:1-4:
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
We are to not only pray for the leaders of our church, but all leaders in authority over us at the local, state, and federal level. These are kings and those in high positions, and we are to pray for them that we would lead peaceful and quiet lives. But not only that, but God desires all kinds of people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. Sinners in low places and high places, and all kinds of people in between, must by grace alone repent from their sins and place their faith alone in Jesus Christ alone in order to receive eternal life. Let us pray that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney would come to the end of themselves and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.
As Tony, I also believe our current choices in the presidential election are God’s judgment on this nation for her love of wickedness. While I will not be voting for either candidate, I do have a responsibility to pray for them that God would give them “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4-6).
Do not let others bully you into voting according to their convictions this November. You have your own convictions, and through prayer and studying these things for yourself, you can honor the Lord in what you decide. Whatever your decision, let it not be for the sake of America, but for the sake of the glory of God.
p.s. I invite you to watch the following documentary of eight former Latter-day Saints who share about their life-changing encounter with the one and only true Living God, the Lord Jesus Christ (more information at Unveiling Grace):