Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney (Photo credit: Dave Delay)

We Mormons call ourselves Christians, but we’re the Black Sheep of the Christian family.  😉

According to, this is what it means to be a Christian…

a: one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ
b (1): disciple 2 (2): a member of one of the Churches of Christ separating from the Disciples of Christ in 1906 (3): a member of the Christian denomination having part in the union of the United Church of Christ concluded in 1961

Personally, I think it goes a bit deeper, but this definition will serve as a general guideline.

Now Mormons use the first definition listed here under “a:” (and “b:(1)” to some extent), which is very general, and by that definition Mormons (note: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) are very much Christians down to the core.  Most of the traditional Christian faiths which enjoy predominance in U.S. politics and culture use the definitions listed under “b:”, which are a bit more restrictive and which Mormons quite firmly do not align.  I should note that even though Mormons and Traditional Christians share a lot of political common ground as cultures, at the institutional level Traditional Christians really don’t seem to like us very much, judging from most of the official statements that I’ve heard come from their ministers.

Why am I bringing this up now?  Because the likely Republican nominee for the United States Presidency is Mitt Romney…a Mormon, and a quick read of, the Christian Coalition website, gives a strong impression that the Christian Coalition as an organization does not and have not liked most of what President Obama would consider successes, even though he belongs to a Traditional Christian church.  But they really aren’t gonna be too thrilled with backing Romney in the upcoming election either, both because he’s a “born again” Conservative and because he’s a Mormon.  Several prominent members of the Christian Coalition are also on record as being prominently anti-Mormon and have spouted untruthful (or maybe just misinformed) comments about the LDS Church and their established beliefs in the past, with a general belittling tone.

Personally, I’m not the kind of Mormon who’d vote for Romney just because we share the same religious belief system.  I would have prefered a more conservative choice, and supported Newt until he put his foot in his mouth on the issue of marital fidelity (making a mistake or two in one’s personal life is one thing…flipantly bragging about it is quite another).  Since Newt’s fall, I’ve backed Santorum, but he’s finished.  Now that Romney is the likely nominee, I have to look past his dicey Conservative credentials and vote for him.

The question I have (and the part of all of this that’ll be fun to watch), is: Can enough influential members of the Christian Coalition look past their religious bigotry and support a Mormon nominee for President?  Issue-wise he is clearly the best of the two electable choices.  He aligns with them against Obama on several key fronts and while they don’t like Mormons, we as a sub-culture like them quite a lot and would appriciate the opportunity to stand with them and fight for things dear to our hearts.  Judeo-Christian conservatism is a very large and powerful flock and we should work together wherever we share common interests.

This election will, as always, isolate and compare issues, cultures, and prejudices of every kind.  It will force us all to look closely at a lot of our dusty rugs of opinion, drag them out into the sunlight, and give them a good beating so that everyone can see their patterns more clearly.


~ by Bill Housley on May 3, 2012.

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