Friday, December 07, 2007
Like Mitt Romney, I am a Mormon. I won't be voting for Mitt. Unlike most of the people in Utah, I am Democrat, and I'll probably vote for Obama. Nevertheless, it ticks me off that Mitt should need to defend his faith as a candidate for President of the United States of America, that he has to somehow prove to other Americans that he is a Christian. Or, that he is as Christian as other Christians. Like Mitt, "I believe in my Mormon faith and I endeavor to live by it." It defines who I am (a child of God), informs me where I came from and gives my life purpose.
In today's Deseret News, Lee Benson writes that "Weirdness, not religion, is the real issue." He says Romney's "problem is this: 160 years since they drove us out of Nauvoo, people still think Mormons aren't normal.
"They think we're weird.
"This is perplexing to us who are actual Mormons, and not just because it bugs us that our beliefs, rites and rituals attract a great deal of ridicule when other religions can have their chants, creeds and ceremonies and no one seems to look twice.
"Nope. We don't like it because we know we are every bit as normal as they are."
And as moral, and as intelligent. We are a lot like everyone else--we don't have horns, as people once believed, we are born, we marry, we love our children, we teach them to be honest, to tell the truth, to love each other, we try to be good role models, we laugh at jokes, we go to the movies, we eat at McDonald's, play with our dogs, pay our bills, dress up on Halloween, blow out birthday candles, grow old, and die. Like everyone else, some of us "get it right" and some us us "screw it up." We give, we take. We are a lot like you. Our similarities are much, much greater than our differences. In our hearts, we know this. And we hope you do, too.
One UK newspaper reporter wrote that Mormonism is a "pop-art cartoon" of mainstream Protestantism. I hope, when the first Jew, or the first Buddhist, or the first Muslim, or the first Atheist runs for President, that he/she will be chosen because they are good, and decent, and honest, and smart. I hope people will not think they are "too weird" because they are "less mainstream."
Orson Scott Card (also a Mormon) wrote in today's paper: "...when it comes to choosing a president, does a person's opinion about the nature of God make any difference at all? What makes a difference is the candidate's character. Does he actually live by the rules he professes to believe in? Does he keep his word? Character is the only issue that matters, in my opinion. A person who professes correct opinions but has no honor won't be much good as a president, while a person of honor can believe what he wants about God and still be a president we can trust."
So, did Mitt persuade the evangelicals? I doubt it. Lee Benson wrote, "He might have been better off just wearing a badge that said "Vote For Me. I'm Normal" and leaving it at that. Anyway, he gave it a shot.