Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Should I as an Evangelical Christian vote for a Mormon?

This is the question we at Mormonism Research Ministry hear more often than any other at church gatherings as well as phone and email. Christians are asking us whether or not we think it’s OK to vote for one of the two Mormon Republican candidates. Our easy answer: “We don’t know, should you?”
Honestly, we have been assailed on both ends, with one disgruntled gentleman telling us after a Virginia symposium last summer that we shouldn’t derail his favorite presidential candidate (a Mormon) by publicly speaking out against Mormonism. Meanwhile, another man at a recent Idaho church meeting was unhappy that we weren’t willing to tell people not to vote for Mormon candidates. Talk about a Catch 22!
Before I tell you what I think, let me preface the rest of this article by saying what follows is my personal opinion. You also ought to know that Mormonism Research Ministry is a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization, meaning we cannot endorse a candidate or tell you who not to vote for.
With that out of the way, I believe that a candidate’s Mormonism should not be a litmus test for why you don’t vote for him/her. I know my position can be considered controversial, at least by some. And you may think I’m wrong, but please hear me out. I live in Utah. If I made a candidate’s Mormonism the one hot-button issue, there would be very few left from which to choose. After all, this is a state with 70 percent who are officially aligned with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If I made it my priority to vote against every Mormon, perhaps it would be simpler to just stay home on Election Day.
Let’s be honest. Since so many candidates claim to be “Christian”—quick, name the last U.S. President who didn’t claim this title—how am I supposed to determine whether or not someone running for President is sincere in his beliefs? Do I look into his views on the Trinity? Inerrant scripture? Calvinism? His preference for hymns or choruses? Tithing from gross or net? Again, I’m not sure which questions I’m supposed to ask.
When it comes to the past candidates who have run for (or won) the office of the U.S. President, I don’t think I have ever voted for a man whom I would consider a spiritual giant. Notice, though, that we’re not talking about voting for a pastor, a missionary, or even a seminary president. No, we’re talking about electing the person who will best lead this country in a moral way while standing up for the Constitution. Since America isn’t a theocracy, I think there is a difference.
When Bill McKeever is asked the question from this article’s title, his response is, “And who is this Mormon candidate running against?” It’s a good point. If I have a chance to vote for a Mormon who happens to be a conservative (which is typical, since there are few Latter-day Saints like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, out there) or someone claiming to be a Christian who espouses liberal socialism, I would vote for the former, even if I felt I had to hold my nose at the voting booth. Don’t get me wrong. I believe a voter ought not to totally disregard the candidate’s religion/religious views. This should be a consideration for determining the best candidate. At the same time, we might end up with a loser just because we stubbornly decide that no Mormon would make a good president.
The first president I voted for—Ronald Reagan in 1980—had his flaws as well. For instance, his attendance at church (both before and during his presidency) was admittedly few and far between.  Had you pitted Reagan with Sunday School teacher Jimmy Carter at a sword drill, it wouldn’t have been a pretty sight. And Nancy Reagan appeared to be an occultist, something that apparently even influenced the President himself during his years in the White House. Yet I still maintain that he was the right man for the job at a time when this country desperately needed a charismatic leader. Despite his flaws, I don’t believe America would be as powerful as it is today without eight years of service from the one they called “Gipper.”
So should a Christian vote for a Mormon? That’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself. Get informed and make the right choice.
For more, go to our website

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home