There is a lot of talk about Romney’s upcoming speech, supposedly focusing on the Mormon religion he has been a member of all of his life. There is a discomfort in the Evangelical community about having a Mormon in the White House. But is that bigotry?
I was listening to Hugh Hewitt’s radio program the other day, and a caller, obviously a Christian, tried to explain to Hugh why he was uncomfortable with voting for Mitt, based on him being a practicing Mormon. Hugh called him a bigot. He likened it to not voting for Obama because he is black. Wrong, wrong, wrong, and a faulty comparison; here’s why. What religion you follow and practice is a choice of free will, and says something about your character; being black, white, Hispanic, Asian, or any race, is what you are born into and you have no choice. Bill Clinton cannot choose to be black even though he has tried.
So as a voter, if I evaluate the Mormon religion, the Muslim religion, and Scientology, and I come to the conclusion that to choose that religion is a flaw in character; that is not bigotry. It is a reflection of someone’s ability to make good judgments. It doesn’t mean I will not respect the people that choose to follow a particular religion, it only means in my judgment; that is a bad judgment. Now I like Mitt and would vote for him over any of the democratic choices in a heartbeat, but I understand where that caller, and many others like him, are coming from, and it is not bigotry.
I would vote for a black president in a minute if they had the values and character I find important in a leader. I would not vote for a Muslim or Scientologist because in my evaluation of those “religions”, they do not share the fundamental beliefs that I believe are important to the future of this country.
Religion has a limited function in our government and that’s the way it should stay, but our foundation is based on Christian and Judeo values, and they are the character of this nation. These values are what have made this country the greatest in the world. I want someone that has an understanding of that character and the history of this nation to represent me, especially our president. That is why the founders put the requirement directly into the constitution that our president must be a citizen born in the US. It doesn’t say this person must be a Christian, but it is a qualifier with the same purpose; an understanding of the values and character of this country.
Mixing religion and politics is emotional and dangerous. But evaluating a person on the religion they choose is not bigotry, it’s a strong indication of their core beliefs. If those beliefs are in conflict with yours, it is appropriate to evaluate that in your decision for choosing a candidate. I am sure many will try to claim Evangelicals as bigots in this election cycle because they are uncomfortable with people of religion, but Evangelicals as a group are not bigots, they are just evaluating the impact a candidate will have on the character of this nation. It is their choice to make. Just a thought…