December 17, 2007


Thoughts on Religion and Politics (Rod Dreher, 12/17/07, Real Clear Politics)

Herewith, my views on religion and the politics of the present moment, with something to offend just about everyone:

1. Mormons aren't Christians. I don't mean that as a criticism, only as a descriptive phrase. When Mormons claim Jesus Christ as their savior, there's no reason to doubt their sincerity and good will, or even to deny that they are in some way followers of Christ. Yet Mormonism rejects foundational doctrines of traditional Christian orthodoxy, such that it is impossible to reconcile with normative Christianity.

2. Anyway, the Latter-day Saints church teaches that all other Christian churches are apostate. A heretic is someone who rejects one or more doctrines of religion, but an apostate is someone who has rejected the religion entirely. How is it, exactly, that you can get mad when people you regard as apostates consider you to be ... apostate? How does that work?

Avoiding explaining isn't an explanation.

Why Mitt Romney Can't 'Solve' His Mormon Problem (Stuart Rothenberg, 12/17/07, Real Clear Politics)

[G]ushing reviews once again demonstrate that many observers still don't fully understand why evangelical Christian voters are having a problem with Romney's Mormon religion. It's not merely that they disagree with his church on matters of theology or, as some may believe, that they are intolerant. The issue is far more fundamental than that.

Many evangelicals won't vote for a Mormon for president of the United States for the same reason that almost all Jews would not vote for a candidate (for any office, I expect) who is a member of Jews for Jesus. For Jews, the Jews for Jesus movement is a deceptive attempt to woo Jews to Christianity under the guise of remaining true to Judaism.

Likewise, for evangelicals, Mormons are not "Christians" in the sense that evangelicals understand the term, and by portraying themselves as "Christians," The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is deceptively wooing evangelicals or potential adherents away from Christianity.

Evangelicals see Mormons as trying to blur the line between Christianity and Mormonism, just as Jews see Jews for Jesus as trying to blur the lines between Judaism and Christianity.

In each case, Mormons and Jews would not want to elevate to high office someone who might give legitimacy to a group that passes itself off as something that it is not, and that threatens their own group.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 17, 2007 6:45 AM

Point 1 captures my feeling on the religion issue exactly. However, my biggest issue with Romney is still the fact that he is the GOP version of Kerry (all over the board on policy, even if he does have the "right" ideas now). I wouldn't support him in the primary, but he's still immensely preferable in the general, should things come to that. Still isn't a race I would look forward to.

Posted by: Jay at December 17, 2007 5:30 PM

Agree and agree. Having said that, I will also say that my reasons for not supporting him for the nomination are political NOT theological.

Posted by: Dave W at December 17, 2007 8:48 PM