Saturday, December 08, 2007

Mitt Romney and Mormonism

Fmr. Gov. Mitt Romney recently gave an important speech entitled "Faith in America" (video or text). I encourage everyone to watch or listen to the entire speech yourself and judge it.

Anyone who followed the history of this blog knows that I'm deeply interested on how faith and culture interact especially in regards to foreign affairs/international relations, politics, economics, etc. Therefore I would like to address several points related to his speech, both in the things he did say and what was not said. If you agree or disagree with me on some or all of my points let me know in the comments. So let's begin.

1. Mormonism is not Christianity, it is an entirely different religion. The official position of the Catholic Church denies the validity of Mormon baptism because of its fundamental errors regarding the Trinity and Christ. From both theological (doctrinal) and historical perspectives Mormons believe fundamentally different things from orthodox Christians in regards to the Trinity, Jesus Christ, and the nature of man. Mormons deny the one essence/one substance of the three persons of the Trinity. Mormons believe Jesus Christ is a created being. From a Christian (or Catholic) perspective, if orthodox Christianity means anything at all, Mormons hold and believe many heretical views from both a Trinitarian and a Christological perspective. Mormons go on and make critical errors regarding their doctrine on man. Mormons deny original sin. Mormons believe that man, you and I, can become Gods like Jesus Christ who will then rule over our own planet like he does here on Earth. Mormons are polytheists in not only on who and what they believe the Holy Trinity are (not is) but on who they believe man can and does become if they are a good Mormon. These are just a few highlights of the radical differences between Christianity and Mormonism. They go to very core of the central beliefs on what Christianity is or is not. Jews and Muslims are closer to Christianity than Mormons. Jews and Muslims are monotheists, Mormons are polytheists. Mormons are pagans. Their beliefs are a mixture of occult/New Thought/New Age beliefs with Freemasonry-like secret rites within their Temples open only to card-carrying (Bishop approved) Mormons. Do not be confused by the similar terminology that Mormons use for they mean radically different things. Always ask Mormons to define their terms. When they do your eyes will be opened to their errors.

2. Fmr. Gov. Mitt Romney is a life-long practicing and active Mormon. He was a Mormon missionary. He has raised his entire family as Mormon. His family has a long lineage within this pagan cult. In this speech he specially said the following:
There are some [who]... would prefer it if I would simply distance myself from my religion, say that it is more a tradition than my personal conviction, or disavow one or another of its precepts. That I will not do. I believe in my Mormon faith and I endeavor to live by it. My faith is the faith of my fathers – I will be true to them and to my beliefs.

Some believe that such a confession of my faith will sink my candidacy. If they are right, so be it.
3. In this speech Fmr. Gov. Mitt Romney also said this.
Almost 50 years ago another candidate from Massachusetts explained that he was an American running for President, not a Catholic running for President... Let me assure you that no authorities of my church, or of any other church for that matter, will ever exert influence on presidential decisions. Their authority is theirs, within the province of church affairs, and it ends where the affairs of the nation begin.

As Governor, I tried to do the right as best I knew it, serving the law and answering to the Constitution. I did not confuse the particular teachings of my church with the obligations of the office and of the Constitution – and of course, I would not do so as President. I will put no doctrine of any church above the plain duties of the office and the sovereign authority of the law.
I categorically reject Romney's position. Let me regress to the errors and impact of JFK before I deal with Fmr. Gov. Mitt Romney's comments above.

As Catholics we have been dealing with JFK's abandonment of his Catholic faith in the public square for last 40+ years. Consider the Kennedy brothers, Gov. Mauro Cuomo and a host of current political candidates for President like Sen. Joe Biden and former NYC major Rudy Giuliani. They claim to be Catholics but in political office endorse and vote for positions which are clearly contradictory with Church teachings. Either what the Church teaches is true or its not, for example refer to the issue of the sanctity of human life regarding embryonic stem-cell research, abortion and euthanasia. If one believes what the Church teaches is true than you must work towards means (various prudential political or legals acts) which value and recognize those truths. If one publicly claims to be Catholic in a desire to reap the benefits of other Catholics voting for you than you should vote in accordance with or towards what the Church teaches regarding social ethics.

It is clear to me that Fmr. Gov. Mitt Romney "wants his cake and eat it too." He publicly states he is a practicing and active Mormon but will not allow his religious beliefs impact how he governs as President. From an ontological perspective this is impossible. Your personal faith should impact how you live and act publicly. A person's conscience is formed by what your religion teaches, and if it doesn't it should if you truly believe it. As I argued regarding the errors of Islam, I also argue regarding the errors Mormonism. When one's faith teaches errors regarding the fundamental tenets of belief (the Trinity and Jesus Christ) this effects how one thinks about and approaches correctly or incorrectly every other subject under the sun including those of the temporal order.

The position that Fmr. Gov. Mitt Romney advocates here is a false one and should be recognized as such. He is trying to be coy and intentionally deceptive to the American public. If the majority of the Republicans in the primary season and the American public in the general election vote for him to be their President they will be electing a polytheist and a pagan. Constitutionally this is allowed but is it prudent to do so considering the ontological argument above?

4. In all fairness to Fmr. Gov. Mitt Romney I agree with him when he says:
In recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism. They are wrong.

The founders proscribed the establishment of a state religion, but they did not countenance the elimination of religion from the public square.
I share his concern about the far reaching impact of secularism on our modern culture but throughout the speech he advocates for what some have referred to as the modern version of a century old heresy of Americanism. This is basically a vague feel-good religion which promotes the supremacy of America and its values. Let me remind Catholics this is a condemned heresy as well.

So what Fmr. Gov. Mitt Romney offers us is a choice of one of two heresies - that of a polytheist pagan religion of Mormonism or that of Americanism. I for one choose neither.
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