Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Responses to Mitt Romney

Challenged to explain why Mitt Romney isn't my favorite candidate for president 2008, I thought I'd do a little research. First I want to say that my post about voting by conscience was about conscience. I was not telling you for whom to vote or not. I only said I don't like certain motivations being disqualified for my voting by egotistical book-selling so-called Christian conservatives. I didn't attack Mitt Romney at all; I attacked the author of the book, A Mormon in the White House, Hugh Hewitt.

After scanning a few bloggers' indexes, and checking out an election central sort of website, I was getting frustrated. Didn't anyone have a list of what each candidate believes? First thought after that: the candidates can't make up their minds; how can anyone speak for them? I'm new to politics; forgive me for not knowing all the right places to find information. Secondly, I might try going to the source.

So I did. And the first thing I noticed about Mitt Romney's website is the quote at the top, calling America one in a family of nations. Excuse me if that bothers me. I don't like the UN. I don't like the European Union. I don't like talk of Global Communities or International Law. All this fuss over America acting unilaterally is ridiculous. We are a nation, and we do what is right and best for ourselves or those with whom we have treaties (and usually treaties are covenants: we do something in return for other countries doing something for us). People talking about immigration laws and border enforcement have mentioned that this defines sovereignty. If we are not in control of who comes to our country or who becomes citizens, we are no longer sovereign. Then again, that is what a lot of liberals want.

In all fairness, the quote is about the family: real families, like households. The point is that without strong families (husband, wife, kids) America is not strong.

Mitt Romney's biography highlights first his fiscal record as governor of Massachusetts, and then describes some of his accomplishments in education: "In 2004, Governor Romney established the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Program to reward the top 25 percent of Massachusetts high school students with a four-year, tuition-free scholarship to any Massachusetts public university or college." I googled for more information about the scholarship, the primary question being whence the money comes. From the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance: "The John and Abigail Adams Scholarship awards non-need-based state-supported undergraduate tuition waivers to students who are awarded John and Abigail Adams Scholarship by the Department of Education." I'm not very keen on state-supported education, let alone "higher" education.

"Governor Romney has been deeply involved in community and civic affairs, serving extensively in his church and numerous charities including City Year, the Boy Scouts, and the Points of Light Foundation." Deeply involved Mormons get into some strange theology and religious rites. I'd say the cult-nature of the religion is undeniable - except people have denied it. Oh well. If you want to know about Mormonism compared to the truth of Christianity, I recommend Josh McDowell and Don Stewart's book, Handbook of Today's Religions featuring the first sentence: "A cult is a perversion, a distortion of biblical Christianity and/or a rejection of the historic teachings of the Christian church," or Let Us Reason.

From Mitt Romney's Issues page: "The defeat of this radical and violent faction of Islam must be achieved through a combination of American resolve, international effort, and the rejection of violence by moderate, modern, mainstream Muslims. An effective strategy will involve both military and diplomatic actions to support modern Muslim nations. America must help lead a broad-based international coalition that promotes secular education, modern financial and economic policies, international trade, and human rights." (emphasis mine) This seems to go back to a worldview of tolerance and relativism. I believe there is one truth and one way to heaven. I also believe that those who claim to follow a book that demands violence, are part of a religion started by a war-loving anti-Jew and anti-Christian man, whose leaders continually promote violence and refuse to disclaim the jihadists, and whose religion is known worldwide for being hospitable to terrorism - such people are not moderate. Study the history of Islam. Nor will tolerant diplomacy and a conversion to secular education cure them. General Douglas MacArthur got it right when he called for Christian (protestant, evangelical, Bible-believers) missionaries to hurry to Japan after World War II so that the pagans' lifestyle could be converted. The people of the Middle East will learn peace when they meet the Prince of Peace.

Concerning Asian commerce: "We must be ready and able to compete. This means ensuring our children are educated to compete in this new market, our trade laws are fair and balanced, and our economy and tax laws welcome new investment." and "We have to keep our markets open or we go the way of Russia and the Soviet Union, which is a collapse." It just so happens that the Federalist Papers, commentary on our United States Constitution written by men who were a part of that great document's (and law of the land's) formation, calls for the majority of government funds to be collected through tariffs and taxes on international commerce. When we as a nation threaten our own free market by lifting taxes on foreign goods and services (founded on close to slave labor) while taxing our own people's income and spending, we are ruining our ability to compete in America, let alone in international trade. America needs to stand up for itself in more ways than military.

It is possible, too, that the Soviet Union's economy collapsed not because of isolation, but because their people's work ethic was destroyed by socialism. Socialism historically produces a downward spiral. If you can get what you need without working very hard, and working hard will get you no more, what will you do with your life? Entropy increases unless energy is added. And socialism discourages expenditure of energy. The system only continues to function by getting capitalist money poured into it.

Taxation: "I said no to a tax hike; raising taxes hurts working people and scares away jobs. I also said no to more borrowing; borrowing just shifts our problems to the backs of our kids . . . Instead, I went after waste, inefficiency, duplication, and patronage." I like the idea of reforming the "labyrinthine" tax code. I would also wish that in addition to making government spending more efficient, we would make it more legal (only on things to which a government has legitimate claim - as in, cut out the funding for science, welfare, and abortion). Fortunately, on his "spending" issues article, Mitt Romney is quoted as follows: "Every legislator and politician knows this spending can't be justified, so why do they do it?" The gist of his position is that entitlements must stop, and even if legislatures will override his opposition to "pork" spending, someone has to say no. I vote the tax payers say "no," too.

Mitt Romney appears not to have decided anything definite about immigration. He states the obvious: America needs to make legal immigration easier and more attractive while decreasing the accessibility and attraction of coming here illegally. He does not address illegal immigrants already present or the security risk of not enforcing our borders.

Of America, Mitt Romney says: "We are self reliant, we respect human life, we are a religious people..." However, America is not particularly respectful of human life. Roe v. Wade stands and millions of infants have been murdered with the approval of law. A Florida woman was publicly murdered by starvation and no judge, doctor, governor, president, police, military, or legislature stopped it. The murderers and accessories today walk free. I heard people I know, good people who have been immersed in a culture that is anti-life, comment that starvation was a relatively painless way to die, and she wouldn't have had a decent life anyway. As if authority is given to us to order the hour of our deaths.

On marriage: "The court [in Massachusetts] forgot that marriage is first and foremost about nurturing and developing children." Except, biblically, is it?

Genesis 2:18, 21-24 "And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him... And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."

1 Corinthians 7:2-3, "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband."

Ephesians 5:22-25, "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"

Perhaps the candidate takes the view of the Church of England's Book of Common Prayer, reason #1 for marriage: "Dearly beloved friends, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of his congregation, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony, which is an honorable estate, instituted of God in paradise in the time of man's innocency, signifying unto us the mystical union, that is betwixt Christ and his Church: which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence and first miracle that he wrought in Cana of Galilee, and is commended of Saint Paul to be honorable among all men, and therefore is not to be enterprised nor taken in hand unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly, to satisfy men's carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding, but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God, duly considering the causes for which matrimony was ordained. One was, the procreation of children to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and praise of God. Secondly, it was ordained for a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication, that such persons as have not the gift of continency might marry, and keep themselves undefiled members of Christ's body. Thirdly, for the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity: into the which holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined. Therefore, if any man can show any just cause why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter forever hold his peace." - The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony, from The Book of Common Prayer (emphasis mine)

This one is a deal-breaker. "I am pro-life. I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother." His two sentences contradict. There is no "abortion is wrong except." We wouldn't kill already born babies because they were the children of rape, incest, or a pregnancy that resulted in the mother's death. (That last is the only, rare instance, specific examples for which I've never heard, that abortion would be necessary. If neither mother nor child could possibly live if the pregnancy continues - if the child is guaranteed to die anyway, I can understand the need. However, with medical technology as it is, premature infants have chances of survival. And in the late term, you're never going to convince me that an abortion is safer than delivery or a c-section.) If I had to write-in Matt Chancey for president, I would do that rather than vote for a man who believes in situational ethics of killing innocent babies.

Throwing money at public education seems to be Mitt Romney's solution, much like our current President Bush, also matching his belief that measuring progress will somehow help the education system. So far that's hurt. Now we teach the test. "It's going to take teachers, superintendents and parents talking to their legislators saying yes, we want more money of course ... but we also want changes in the way our schools are managed. We want our principals to have the ability to manage their schools." "It is time," his website summarizes, "to raise the bar on education by making teaching a true profession, measuring progress, providing a focus on math and science, and involving parents from the beginning of a child's school career." In the case of large portions of the population, an emphasis on math and science is impractical. Women who will spend most of their adult lives keeping homes and raising children need education that will be relevant to their tasks. Farmers do not need to know advanced mathematics. Maybe if we allowed children to be enamored with their Creator's orderly plan for the universe, if the laws discovered had meaning, students would pursue careers in the fields in which America is falling behind. Involving parents sounds good, but see who is passive and who is active in the statement. The quote indicates something is being done to the parents. The do-ers are implied to be the government.

Finally, most of the candidates or potential candidates have their problems. I'm not trying to pick on Romney. Actually, he's one of the most-likely-to-be-voted-for-by-Lisa-of-Longbourn candidates, so I am more obligated to defend my decision not to.

To God be all glory.

6 comments:

Bot said...

Which religion has "Biblical Christianity"? Could Mitt Romney be more "Christian" than Evangelicals? Protestants and Catholics subscribe to the Nicene creed, which was initiated by the Emperor Constantine in the Fourth Century to rid Scriptures of the Apocrypha, which made reference to the oral traditions of Jewish and early Christian temple worship.

First Century Christian churches, in fact, continued the Jewish temple worship traditions:
1) Baptism of youth (not infants) by immersion by the father of the family
2) Lay clergy
3) Anointing with holy oil after baptism
4) Then clothing in white clothing

If you wish to verify this, please contact the Israeli Museum. And read Exodus Ch 29 for Aaron and his sons” ordinances. Jewish Temple practices were continued by Christians prior to Constantine”s corruption (see St. Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386 A.D., Lecture XXI). Early Christians were persecuted for keeping their practices sacred, and not allowing non-Christians to witness them

A literal reading of the New Testament points to God and Jesus Christ being separate beings, united in purpose. To whom was Jesus praying in Gethsemane, and to whom was he speaking on the Mount of Transfiguration?

The Nicene Creed”s definition of the Trinity was influenced by scribes translating the Greek manuscripts into Latin. The scribes embellished on a passage explaining the Trinity, which is the Catholic and Protestant belief that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The oldest versions of the epistle of 1 John, read: "There are three that bear witness: the Spirit, the water and the blood and these three are one."
Scribes later added "the Father, the Word and the Spirit," and it remained in the epistle when it was translated into English for the King James Version, according to Dr. Bart Ehrman, Chairman of the Religion Department at UNC- Chapel Hill. He no longer believes in the Nicene Trinity.

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) have concern for their ancestors” spiritual welfare, so they practice proxy baptism. (1 Corinthians 15:29 & Malachi 4:5-6).

Only members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) continue these practices of First Century Christians. But Mormons don”t term Catholics and Protestants “non-Christian”. The dictionary definition of a Christian is “of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to a religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ”:. All of the above denominations are followers of Christ, and consider him the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament.

It”s important to understand the difference between Reformation and Restoration when we consider who might be the more authentic Christian. If Mitt Romney is a member of a denomination which embraces early Christian theology, he is likely more “Christian” than his detractors.

. . . . . . . . . * * *
Furthermore, the National Study of Youth and Religion done by UNC-Chapel Hill in 2005 found that Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) youth (ages 13 to 17) were more likely to exhibit these Christian characteristics than Evangelicals (the next most observant group):
. . . . . . . . . LDS Evangelical
Attend Religious Services weekly 71% 55%
Importance of Religious Faith in shaping daily life –
extremely important 52 28
Believes in life after death 76 62
Believes in psychics or fortune-tellers 0 5
Has taught religious education classes 42 28
Has fasted or denied something as spiritual discipline 68 22
Sabbath Observance 67 40
Shared religious faith with someone not of their faith 72 56
Family talks about God, scriptures, prayer daily 50 19
Supportiveness of church for parent in trying to raise teen
(very supportive) 65 26
Church congregation has done an excellent job in helping Teens better understand their own sexuality and sexual morality 84 35

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

That was about your best post ever...I agreed with about everything you said in there, I think. ;-D

I learned a lot, too. I won't be voting for Mitt. Not that I was going to before.... :-D

Your mention of Terri Schaivo reminds me of what I just blogged:

http://drpaleophd.blogspot.com/2007/04/update.html#links

Lisa of Longbourn said...

I am about to post a comment I received about Mormonism and Christianity. PLEASE do not think I am endorsing anything the author of the comment says. Their thoughts, however, are important, and I would like to address them.

Also remember - this post was not originally about Mitt Romney's faith, though I did mention how disturbed I would be to have a Mormon running the country. These are personal reasons I'm not voting for him, because I believe Mormonism is contrary to the truth, and one who knows the truth is important in leadership of a country.

Just keep in mind that I would welcome feedback on the other points I made as well.

To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

Lisa of Longbourn said...

Bot,
Thank you for your comments. It is nice to know when people are paying attention to my blog.

I assume you are a member of the LDS church. Please do not see my answers as argumentative. I have only a passion for the truth, and will be praying that God saves you in truth as well. For the record, I am a Bible-believing born-again Christian whose creed is the Bible. I know that the only way to heaven and a relationship with Jesus Christ is by recognizing my complete inability to do anything good on my own or to save myself; by seeing that Jesus literally came to earth remaining fully God and becoming fully human to live a perfect life and suffer innocently to pay the price for my wickedness. Then He rose again, and trust in Him ALONE makes me "saved," "born again," an heir of God, "redeemed," part of His Church, spiritually alive, temple of the Holy Spirit...

Galatians emphasizes that works of the flesh are not the means of the Christian life any more than they were the means of salvation. The Law given in the Old Testament taught us our need for a Savior. Once saved by faith in Him, we are to continue walking in faith, not by our efforts to please Him. Christianity is a relationship with God, not a list of rites.

That there is one God and that He is triune in the persons of Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit is clearly taught in Scripture. Each are referred to as God though there is most definitely only one God. They are eternally loving each other, God existing as a being beyond our understanding, and our earthly relationships being only pictures of who He is. One does not need 1 John's doubted verses to know that the Bible teaches three-in-one as the nature of our God.

Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and in other places to His Father. John 10 says, "I and My Father are one." The Jews always recognized what Jesus meant when He said these things. He was accused of blasphemy for claiming to be their one and only God. (Philippians says Jesus did not consider it robbery to be equal with God.) However, being the three persons with different roles in Their creation, Jesus as the earthly sacrifice was empowered and led by the Holy Spirit, and looked to His Father for the words to speak to His followers and succor of His mission.

On the definition of biblical Christianity, I later clarified: Christian (protestant, evangelical, Bible-believers) as what I mean by the word. The definition supplied by Bot seems to be the first part of this American Heritage entry: "The religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, sent by God. They believe that Jesus, by dying and rising from the dead, made up for the sin of Adam and thus redeemed the world, allowing all who believe in him to enter heaven. Christians rely on the Bible as the inspired word of God." Dictionaries don't change the truth. They help, but let's be sure you know what I meant.

"Could Mitt Romney be more 'Christian' than Evangelicals?" No. That would be changing the historic understanding of the word. When Joseph Smith started the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, he was leaving a religion with which he was dissatisfied and initiating something new.

"First Century Christian churches, in fact, continued the Jewish temple worship traditions:
1) Baptism of youth (not infants) by immersion by the father of the family
2) Lay clergy
3) Anointing with holy oil after baptism
4) Then clothing in white clothing"
First Century Christian churches practiced a new type of baptism from Judaism, one that was a statement of faith and a symbol of Jesus' sacrifice for them, not of ceremonial cleansing or conversion. They baptized children in the same way as adults, I assume, when the young people professed publicly their faith in Jesus Christ alone as their hope of eternal life.

I am not sure what you mean by lay clergy. In the New Testament I read of qualified Christian older men leading the congregation, teaching, and admonishing them, but Paul also instructs churches to supply the needs of those who minister in the Word.

Where is the biblical basis at all for following baptism with "holy" oil? What is holy oil, and what is the point?

Revelation says the saints will be clothed in white in heaven. I never see that Christians are instructed to wear white.

In all of the above, we seem to have an entirely different perspective. I see the contrasts between biblical Christianity and Mormonism as matters of doctrine, and you see them as matters of ritual. I am not a ritual Christian.

Paul warns in Philippians 3, "Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." He also makes the point, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power... Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead... Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross... Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind... Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh." in Colossians 2.

I don't see how the instructions to the Levitical Aaronic priesthood are relevant today when we are a kingdom of priests, receiving direct intercession to God through Jesus Christ, our Great High Priest. Certainly Christians are not successors to Aaron or his sons. Nor are we in need of a temple, for ours is now the true Temple, in heaven, along with the heavenly city. (See Hebrews)

In the New Testament we are instructed to let our lights shine before men. Jesus said He did nothing in secret. Paul describes a hypothetical non-believer observing a Christian worship service in 1 Corinthians 14. If the early church was hiding their practices, for whatever feigned reason, they were behaving unbiblically. Christians are to be unashamed of the gospel of Christ, and eager for the world to join them in faith.

"Members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) have concern for their ancestors” spiritual welfare, so they practice proxy baptism. (1 Corinthians 15:29 & Malachi 4:5-6)." Malachi 4:5-6 is not talking about ancestors, but living family members. And as baptism is only a symbol of faith, a public confession of being saved by Jesus' death and resurrection for them, it can have no affect on a deceased person's spiritual standing. It is appointed for men to die once, and after this the judgment. No in between waiting time to see how much generations to come will prove their concern by getting dunked. 1 Corinthians, being written at the beginning of the Church, especially in Corinth, probably describes a practice of making the faith of recently deceased Christians public who had not known the doctrine of baptism or had not been available to proclaim their redemption before their deaths.

"But Mormons don't term Catholics and Protestants 'non-Christian'." Many religions take a tolerant view of salvation, teaching there are many ways to eternal life. Jesus Himself said He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Him. Acts 4:12 says there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. Paul warned the Galatians: "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." What other religions teach about my religion is their business, I guess. But I refuse to let people be deceived into thinking it's all the same thing.

Mormonism teaches that we can add something to Christ's work on the cross. The Bible teaches the opposite. Mormonism teaches the same lie that the serpent gave Eve in Genesis: you can be like God. But you can't. You can accept His grace or remain His enemy. It can be eternal life on His merits or the just reward (death forever) for your work on your own merits. I will not let anyone reading this die without hearing at least this once the truth of how to be reconciled to God and inherit eternal life.

The origins of Mormonism concern me. A disenchanted young man has visions of an angel giving him a different gospel than that which he had been taught. Satan and his demons appear as angels of light, ever great deceivers. Job vividly reports their use of dreams and visions to promote their lies. As Joseph Smith was not walking with God or following the already revealed written Scripture when these visions came, aside from the theology of not adding to the completed revelation of the Bible, I doubt his discernment as credible reason for adding a whole new book to the "Christian" faith.

The LDS Church has changed their official doctrines over the years, making revisions to their books and practices without justification (such would be the once in history New Covenant established by Jesus' sacrifice for sins once for all). I'm a consistency person. If something is true, it is always true. If the "god" was not able to get the revelation right the first time, I do not want to worship that god or follow the temporary instructions. Again, I direct you to Josh McDowell and Don Stewart's excellent documentation of these inconsistencies.

Finally, the fact that youth in the LDS church are reportedly more moral and religiously active has nothing to do with what faith is true. Christian churches are full of people and kids who have grown up in the church but never personally accepted Jesus as their Savior, entrusting Him with their future and eternity. If they are not showing fruit, they are not truly born again. (The converse is not always true.) Thus it is no surprise that "evangelicals" do not measure up to the more legalistic students in the Mormon religion. I believe Muslim children are very observant of their religion as well. That will not get them to heaven, or gain them God's favor.

I am so grateful that God has demonstrated His love to me while I was a sinner without strength, that He offered His grace to me to adopt me as His own and take my place on the cross so that I don't have to spend eternity in hell separated from my Creator. Because of Jesus, because when I was six years old, I trusted Him to forgive my sins and be my Savior, I have purpose, hope, a constant friend, peace, assurance of life with Him after death, love for the truth. I only write, and serve Him, because He gives good gifts. I testify of His love and justice to give Him glory.

My desire would be to have a man leading this country who can honestly say the same, who will depend on God's wisdom and absolute truths to make decisions.

To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

Lisa of Longbourn said...

Dr. Paleo,
Thanks for the compliment. I put a lot of work into this post.
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

Nathan said...

Hi Lisa!

It's been a busy weekend, so I just wanted to leave you a quick comment letting you know that I haven't forgotten your invitation. :-)