A Mormon President?

US Constitution, Article VI, Section III
I just read the Tricia Erickson’s column on CNN: An Indoctrinated Mormon Should Never be Elected as President. Read it for yourself, but here are some excerpts that summarize her arguments.

Indoctrinated temple Mormons (as Romney is) have experienced years of brainwashing and indoctrination and also have made covenants and oaths that they plainly cannot disobey.

Mitt Romney and all temple Mormons have sworn to obey The Law of Consecration in the secret temple ceremonies which states “…you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, an everything with which the Lord … may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon Church), for the building up of the Kingdom of God on earth and for the establishment of Zion.”

Long story short, it would be near to impossible for an entrenched Mormon to place his allegiance to the United States of America over the Mormon Church.

Furthermore, would you trust the judgment of a man who truly believes he will become a literal God and will be given his own kingdom/planet to rule over and populate with spirit babies (and many more bizarre beliefs explained in the book) to be placed in to the highest office in the land?

To boil it down even further: she argues that Mormons have sworn to devote everything they have to building up a nutty church in whose doctrines they are thoroughly brainwashed. Therefore, a Mormon cannot be trusted to be President.

CNN devoted some space to a rebuttal by Richard Bushman, who is apparently a Mormon. He correctly states, “Catholic belief in transubstantiation and Protestant belief in the Resurrection can be made to look silly, too.” I might add that, just like Mormons, all devout Christians have also sworn to give their all to their concept of the Kingdom of God. In fact, when they don’t follow through on that commitment, we chastise them as hypocrites.

I would also add that atheists can look pretty silly, or worse, to people of faith. A recent Gallup poll found that 49% of Americans say they would never vote for an atheist. That compares to only 32% who would not vote for a homosexual, and only 22% who would not vote for a Mormon.

OK, so we all look silly to each other. How are we going to hold our wonderful democracy together? Do we only vote for people who believe the same things about unearthly realms that we do? If so, we would gravely disappoint our Founding Fathers, who enshrined this in Article VI, Clause 3 of our constitution:

…no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Instead, let’s ask ourselves questions like these about any candidate:

  • Is he or she mainly a thinker or mainly a politician? Will he ponder or pander?
  • What policies has he or she advocated in the past?
  • When faced with a novel situation, does he or she show steadiness, maturity and thoughtfulness?
  • Will he or she inspire the best in others?

I don’t know yet what I think about Mitt Romney, but I do know what I think of our constitution: it has made our country great. I hope we will all follow its spirit when we enter the voting booth in 2012.

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