Image via lds.org – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Since I’m writing this on the Sabbath and since religion seems to be playing a bigger part in this election than is normally the case, I thought I would make a few comments about religion and politics. I read an article this morning about how some black clergy are in a quandary over how to direct their parishioners to vote. They cannot support Obama because of his stance on gay marriage and they cannot support Romney because of a Mormon doctrinal issue, since rescinded, that black men could not hold the priesthood. All I can say about this is that it is no longer the doctrine of the Mormon Church and has not been for over 3 decades. If you question the possibility that the Mormon Church is free of racism then I suggest you ask any black member. (Mia Love might be a good place to start).
Considering whether religion should be a factor in your vote, I say that Character and Integrity should be a factor, but not religion. How well a candidate adheres to his religious beliefs should be a factor but not the religion itself. This is an indication of character. As a Mormon, I have voted for lots of candidates that did not share my religious belief.
Most of these candidates were of religions that, from my prospective, held fantastic and incomprehensible beliefs. Many of their religions had prominent people, even leaders in their faiths who murdered our members and even the founder or our church. We do not condemn these candidates because they are members of these churches. We have forgiven and we know that these candidates are worthy of our vote if they have integrity and support true values and principles – Particularly those contained in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. If a candidate has integrity and espouses these beliefs then I know I can count on him to promote the ideals that government is responsible for, and his particular religion is not important.
Because a man does not hold the exact same religious beliefs as I, does not mean he cannot be a good leader and direct our country back to prosperity. What is important is whether he is a man of integrity, practices what he preaches, and his underlying core principles are true. You can tell this by his actions. A person that has no core principles will vacillate around on different policies based on the moment or on emotion. A person that follows core principles that are false promotes policies that do not work. A person like this will refuse to learn from history and will usually be dogmatic. Those who follow true underlying principles will be successful. As Jesus said, “by their fruits ye shall know them”. (Matt 7:16-20) Don’t be deceived, this is how you tell. Look at the results of their work.
What is the most important thing to you when deciding who to vote for?