Friday, August 31, 2012

Why Should We Vote For Mitt Romney?

I am sure everyone has a warm fuzzy feeling from Mitt Romney's acceptance speech at the RNC Convention. Mormons are experts in focusing people on their emotions, it is called "burning in the bosom". In reality though it is a mile wide of emotions but only an inch deep of truth. Let us focus on some facts about Mitt Romney which conservatives, Catholics, and Christians should know about him. Let us focus on these hard truths below.

Mitt Romney supports abortions in cases of rape, incest and the health of the mother. Everyone knows that the "health of the mother" exception is a sea lane large enough to sail a Disney cruise ship through it.  In fact, he claims the Supreme Court decision, Roe vs. Wade, is settled law.  He didn't say that years ago folks, he said it this very week. Watch this interview.

Per Personhood USA and, Mitt Romney as one-term Governor of Massachusetts supported the abortifacient “morning after pill" and he increased funding for healthcare that includes abortion clinics. As Governor he also penned an executive order requiring Catholic hospitals to administer the abortifacient drug and then he had the audacity to lie about that fact during one of the primary debates. In May of this very year he also held a fundraiser with that very same manufacturer of the Morning After Pill.

Mitt Romney claims to be a defender of religious liberty. Did he defend the religious liberty of Catholics while serving as a one-term Governor of Massachusetts?  In Midwestern lexicon we have a word for people like Mitt Romney.  He is a hypocrite, one of the worst kinds of hypocrites.

Per, Mitt Romney says "it's OK to 'Destory' Human Embryoys Created Through In Vitro Fertilization". In fact, he proudly supports the IVF process. He has two grandchildren who were born through the help of a surrogate mother. Does he even understand what it means to be Pro-Life or does he choose to ignore it for political gain?

Mitt Romney had an opportunity to lead the Republican Party within the last few weeks in defending a real Pro-Life Senate candidate, Todd Akin of Missouri, against the vicious attacks of the Democrats and the biased liberal media. In stead of leading on the life issue and defending a fellow Republican, what did he choose to do? Mitt Romney chose to throw Todd Akin under the bus. He has no intentions in defending either Todd Akin or life. Make no mistake about it folks, he doesn't really want life as a topic this election cycle or during his Administration if he can by some miracle win this election.

Mitt Romney claims to be Pro-Life. Compare what he said in his convention speech on life to his governing record.  Compare what he said in his convention speech to what he (or his surrogates) are telling the media and American public right now. If Mitt Romney is Pro-Life than being "Pro-Life" has been emptied of its meaning in our day.

Mitt Romney supports civil unions with full legal benefits. Mitt Romney even supports gay couples adopting children. Mitt Romney claims to be Pro-Family. Mitt Romney's argument in defense of traditional marriage while simultaneously advocating for gay civil unions is a concession of surrender even before a serious dialog has even begun on this topic. The liberals know it and Mitt does has well. He has already waved the white flag or thrown in the white towel on the defense of traditional families.

Mitt Romney has no foreign policy experience. He is being advised by the same neocon foreign policy/international relations advisors of our last Republican President. Does anyone doubt there will be (un)just war(s) under a Romney administration? How many tens of thousands of people will have to die to feed the bloodlust of the neocons?

Mitt Romney failed to give any recognition of the sacrifices of our Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in his acceptance speech. Are we not still a country at war? Mitt Romney has never served in the military. Does he even understand the sacrifices that our veterans and their families have made and will continue to make?  Has he earned the title to be called our nation's Commander-in-Chief? Afghanistan is our forgotten war and Mitt Romney is absent with leave (AWOL).

Mitt Romney claims to care for the working man in this country. Really, REALLY? Somebody should probably tell the thousands of workers put of out of work by the intentional and deliberate actions of his own hedge fund which he personally lead in raiding the savings of those now closed factories.

Mitt Romney is now complaining about the negativity of this current campaign season. That's like "the pot calling the kettle black" my friends. It's rather ironic that now he wants to deal the facts when he clearly ran from them in the primary season.

Mitt Romney says he hasn't even read the RNC platform even though he is the GOP's candidate for President. The RNC platform is the serious work of the grassroots activists throughout the entire U.S. It represents the heart, the center, of what Republicans believe is the way forward for our nation. Mitt Romney could care less, he has his own agenda, his own platform, some of which matches the GOP platform, and some of which clearly contradicts what Republicans stand for.

So why should I vote for you Mitt Romney?

Should I ignore my own conscience regarding life to support you? Should I ignore my own conscience regarding traditional families to support you? Should I ignore my own conscience regarding promoting peace and not war to support you? Should I ignore my own conscience regarding defending the rights of working men and women to support you?

Listen I understand the concerns of so many of friends regarding the current administration. In particular their redefining and reducing religious freedom to be solely freedom of worship is something that deeply, deeply concerns me. I do not support, I cannot support, nor will I vote for Barack Obama. That is not even a consideration of mine.

So if we cannot in good conscience vote for either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, what are some morally acceptable options for Catholics or Christians? Not voting for the office of President but for lesser offices is one of them.  Why would a person choose not to vote for the office of President? They would choose not to vote because they feel they are too proximate to (intrinsic) evil by supporting either (a Democrat or Republican) candidate.  That is a decision that every citizen must make for themselves. Good Catholics (or Christians) can agree to disagree about what to do based upon their own prudential judgment and understanding of this situation. Let me be crystal clear here though. I encourage folks to exercise their right to vote because that is our moral responsibility to act as citizens.  So what other (good) options do we have?
Voting for a Pro-Life and Pro-Family third-party candidate is a good option. Or writing in the name of a Pro-Life and Pro-Family person is another good option as well. We have several morally good options to choose from besides voting for the lesser of two evils. Do not be duped into believing that you have only have one option this election cycle and that is only voting for Mitt Romney (or Barack Obama).
Now some will argue that any vote for someone besides Mitt Romney (or not voting at all for the office of President) is actually a vote for Barack Obama. That is simply a false or bad argument. In ethics you must always judge the act itself. Not voting in this specific situation is a neutral act at worst and voting for (or writing in) a Pro-Life and Pro-Family candidate besides Mitt Romney is a good act in itself. To say otherwise is simply an erroneous or bad argument.

I would like to address a couple very important additional points related to this election cycle that I humbly ask for your consideration. The Church throughout its history has struggled against Caesaropapism. When the bishops too closely align themselves to any one political party or ideology we have a problem. Something is seriously wrong when one feels like they are in a Republican Prayer Meeting while at Mass, or in a Democratic Prayer Meeting while at Mass in an earlier generation. When Christ is not the center at Mass but contemporary political events are instead the focus we have gone off track. The Church must always remain a divine contrast society.

Lastly, the question that Catholics (or Christians) need to be asking ourselves in this election cycle, and in every age, is the following one - Are you Catholic (or Christian) first or are you American first? Barack Obama is no messiah. Making Mitt Romney into one this election cycle saves no one either, regardless of what Mitt believes about his own potential divinity.

There is only One who saves and He is not a politician. Let us put our faith and trust in Christ for He is one who transforms lives and changes human hearts. Our country needs the Gospel preached and lived, not the lofty rhetoric of politicians who are taking us on a journey of various speeds to Hell regardless of who is in political favor at the moment.

Now I realize what I saying above (or below) is not going to be popular in our postmodern society.  Truth today tends to be reduced to how we feel about it and what is most relative to us at the moment.  These things need to be said though, and someone needs to have the courage to say them.

"Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

Disclaimer - The opinions expressed in this article are those solely of the author and not those of the U.S. Army.

David Jones holds a Masters in Theological Studies from the Institute of Religious and Pastoral Studies, University of Dallas. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Pontifically recognized and approved ecclesial movement. His conversion story is published in the Italian book entitled Sotto Il Cielo D'America (Under the American Sky) written by Marco Bardazzi. The introduction of this book has been translated into English and is available on-line here. David is a regular contributor to Catholic Online and Il Sussidiario. He also runs a popular blog entitled La Nouvelle Theologie.
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