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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Mormon, a Christian, and a Catholic run for President...

The red "GOP" logo used by the party...
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And people seem to like the Mormon. I know the focus is on New Hampshire today, but the primary I vote in is only a week away, the South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary. Actually, there are two Mormons, at least two Christians, and at least two Catholics running. Why define them by their religious category? Because I don't believe that you can separate who you are in your religion from you are as a person, try as one might, especially if one is of another political party. With a week to go, let's examine the top candidates to see where they stand and have stood on issues. Iowa brought out the top three candidates as I have stated in the title of the post.

Mitt Romney seems to continue to dominate the polls right now. He belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), but never references his faith in his speeches. Much debate has been going on in Christian circles about whether to vote for a Mormon candidate and much has been swept under the rug in favor of a candidate that might be able to defeat President Obama. Frankly, Romney's record speaks as big of a volume to me as his religion does. He instituted a failing health care plan in Massachusetts, of which the health reform act signed into law by President Obama was based on. He never references that in his speeches and I'm quite sure that he is probably not the candidate to attempt an overturn of the health reform act. Romney also used to be pro-abortion until it appears it became expedient for him to be pro-life. Yes, Romney may be good at business and maybe he turned the Salt Lake City Olympic games into profit, but his record speaks for itself. He was governor of Massachusetts. That gives him executive experience, but that doesn't make him a fit candidate. He cannot be trusted. His religion cannot be trusted. I don't care how much people say that Mormonism has changed. Who's not to say that some prophet will issue a new decree changing something else? Mormonism is not nor will it ever be another Christian denomination unless they throw out the book of Mormon, which obviously does not appear likely. Mormons consider anyone not of the church to be apostate and have some very weird beliefs similar even the Church of Scientology. We know how weird they are. Christianity is not without it's kooks, but we also like to ignore them.

Ron Paul seems to be the top Christian in the race. He has constantly been misunderstood, misquoted, and thrown under the bus. I don't think that's quite fair to him. Sure, he is quite Libertarian in his stances on things, but it's Constitutionalist, for the most part. He defers to state's rights. He is probably the most pro-life candidate running. Remember, he was a former OB/GYN and has delivered thousands of babies. Now, that doesn't make someone pro-life necessarily, but he is very anti-abortion. Some point to a recent debate to try to prove that he's not as anti-abortion as he says, but they miss his point in stating that the Federal Government was wrong in getting their voice in the abortion ring. It should be the states who decide, not the Feds.  He's all for a constitutional amendment barring abortion, but since it's not in the Constitution, we must defer to the states. The same goes for legalized drugs, particularly marijuana. He's not for legalized drug use, but for allowing states to decide the issue. On economics, it's the reason he got into politics. Nixon abolished the gold standard, Paul saw the writing on the wall that we would be in the financial state we are in now, and he got into politics. On foreign affairs, Paul is no different than the founding fathers. We have made a mess of ourselves in Iraq (a war we never should have started). In turn, we made a mess of Afghanistan, because we never finished it. Paul is not an isolationist, as some assume. He is simply a realist. We are losing a lot of money overseas to made-up reasons for war. He has isolated a lot of the Christian voter, however because of his stance on Israel, even though it is probably more Biblical than most of the Christian voters' stances. He is an advocate of homeschooling and parent's rights in raising and educating their children. One thing is for certain, he clearly holds to his line and does not have much of a record of change.

Rick Santorum was the surprise second-place candidate in the Iowa caucuses. To be honest, I don't know enough about Santorum or his record to make an adequate judgment call. I do know he is Roman Catholic. I know he is pro-life. I also know that he has voted for a lot of spending when he was in Congress. I have not seen or heard him speak very much. The evangelicals seem to love him at the moment as an alternative to Romney. He was the author of the Welform Reform Act in 1996, which the Democrats like to take credit for since Bill Clinton signed into law. He is also a homeschool parent and and advocate of homeschooling. The problem I have with Santorum, perhaps, is that he seems too much like the standard G.O.P. candidate. He says all the right things just to get elected and just follows the party line. We've seen this before and we had eight years of war and spending.

I'll do a quick run-through of the other candidates. I absolutely do not trust Rick Perry. He's the other Christian candidate in the race, but he's too wild and unpredictable as a politician. We must remember that he overrode his state legislature to force parents to vaccinate their girls against a sexually-transmitted disease that causes cancer. Is that the kind of candidate you want? He has never gone back on what he did with this. We already have a president that thinks he can force people to do what he wants regardless of the consequences. Newt Gingrich is just another flip-flopper. Sure, he was one of the primary checks against President Clinton in the 1990s, but I don't trust him either. Stands for family values? Really? How many times has he been married now? And how many of those were because of adultery? Who knows anything about Jon Huntsman other than he's a Mormon?

With all that said, let us be careful who we vote for in this election. Many Christians even voted for Obama last election and look what we have. We don't have much. I'll be honest, I've voted for candidates based on electability or just to beat the other candidate. Although, I did vote for a Democrat candidate for Senator in the last election because he was more Republican than the Republican candidate. Someone told me I shouldn't do that because voting Democrat is voting for liberalism, which is really a dumb statement. As Christians, we really need to separate our political affiliation from Christianity. We cannot and should not be simply single-issue voters or voters on electability. If President Obama gets elected again, so what? He more than likely be a lame-duck President anyway, based on the last four years. To be honest, there's only one candidate that I fully trust and it shouldn't be too hard for you to figure that one out. Will he win? Probably not, but at least my conscience will be clear.
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