I was at a softball game with a few of my friends a couple of days ago. The election came up, as it has a tendency to do, and I asked them who they would vote for. I got a Romney and an Obama, and one kid who said he wasn’t going to vote. He said didn’t like Obama, but Romney wasn’t a Christian, and for him that was a deal breaker.
He’s right one thing. Mormonism is no more Christianity than Scientology. But the assertion that Romney wouldn’t be a good president because he’s not Christian is simply false. In fact, we’ve already had several presidents who many would not consider Christian.
Aside from the distracting rumors of Obama’s secret practice of Islam (Only 14% of Alabama primary voters thought Obama was Christian according to a recent survey), the United States has already seen at least three religiously “deviant” presidents, if that is the appropriate term. What’s more, all three were Republican, and at least one was one of the best presidents we’ve had ever.
Both Herbert Hoover and Richard Nixon were Quakers, a cult known for strange worship ceremonies that involve members literally quaking with the Holy Spirit. Some Quakers are atheist; all reject the sacraments as a part of the faith. In many parts of the Christian world, Quakers are not considered Christian.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are not Christians either. In the words of a former member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses states, as a member of the cult:
“[You] will not be taught the gospel of the bible. Your new gospel, or good news, will be that Jesus Christ returned to power in 1914 and established his heavenly kingdom. Your new gospel will involve telling people about current world problems and conditions, and how these conditions will eventually culminate with the coming of Armageddon. And finally, your new gospel will consist of telling people that the Watchtower Society is God’s only mouthpiece, and that they must obey everything the Society teaches in order to survive Armageddon.”
Actual Christians reject these teachings as deceptive and blatantly false. And yet one of our most beloved presidents was a Jehovah’s Witness. Dwight D Eisenhower, war hero and champion of capitalism, grew up as a “JW” and even had his house used as a meeting place. Few on the right would reject him as successful leader, and some would even say Nixon or Hoover did a good job as well. The point is that, while the religious right has been trying to paint Romney as unworthy because of his religion, we have in the past elected tremendously strong non-Christian presidents, and quite a few terrible Christian ones as well (James Buchanan or Jimmy Carter, for example).
While Romney isn’t Christian, everyone can see he has incredibly strong family values, unlike the Catholic Mr. Gingrich, for example. More importantly, he has the financial and administrative background to turn America around, something no one else in the field can claim – and for that reason alone, he has my vote.