Revenge or Love of Country? Why I Voted for Romney

“No, no, no, Don’t boo. Vote. Voting is the best revenge.” President Barack Obama (article here)

“He asked his supporters to vote ‘for revenge’–‘for revenge.’ Instead, I ask the American people to vote for love of country.”  Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney (article here)

When I voted on Friday afternoon, I had not heard either of these “closing pitches” from the two major party candidates for President. Although it would not have made a difference in how I voted, these two statements encapsulate why there was very little hesitation when I filled in the oval next to Romney/Ryan and cast my vote for who I hope (and believe) will be the next President and Vice President of the Unites States of America.  As we were driving home, I asked my wife, Brenda, if she had any reservations about voting for Mitt Romney. With permission to quote her, she stated clearly and unequivocally, “No. None whatsoever!” After casting my seventh vote for President in the General Election, I await the outcome of Tuesday’s contest to determine not only who is President, but whether or not I go 4-3 or 3-4 in picking the winners and losers.

Those who have followed my blog as of late may remember the fairly strong posts that I have written (here, here, here, and here) about Mormonism, Religious Liberty, and the apparent influence of politics on the church. The most egregious example, that at the very least smacks of an appearance of political considerations influencing theological ones, came when the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association removed Mormonism from their list of “cults” on the BGEA website.

While many, including yours truly, would not have reacted quite so strongly had this de-classification happened a year ago, the fact that it occurred a week after the Rev. Billy Graham — arguably still the most recognized and respected Evangelical in America —  met with Mr. Romney gives the appearance of politics at work. For those of you who might disagree, ask yourself whether or not the BGEA and other Evangelicals would be so willing to blur the distinctions between Mormonism and orthodox Christianity if Harry Reid (don’t laugh, just go with it), a Mormon Democrat, was the Democrat Presidential nominee?

Herein lies the dilemma for conservative Evangelicals, including Southern Baptists. On the one hand, Mitt Romney’s public policies are probably much more in line with what the overwhelming majority of conservative Evangelicals believe. However, Gov. Romney’s Mormon faith poses a quandary for many — including this writer — who continues to argue that Mormonism should be classified as a “cult” or a “false religion,” notwithstanding the fact “our candidate” belongs to said cult. I fully understand that America is not voting for a “Pastor-in-Chief,” which is one of the reasons why I chose to cast my ballot for Mitt Romney, notwithstanding my belief that his faith teaches a false gospel. However, I do not expect the Commander-in-Chief — whether he is named Obama, Romney, Bush, Clinton, Reagan or Carter — to check his faith at the Oval Office door. Some have checked their morals, but that’s another post entirely.

When Mr. Romney wins (see Tuesday’s post for my final election-day predictions), I still believe that Christians will face challenges in dealing with what Dr. Ed Stetzer has termed the “Mormon Moment.” How we deal with these challenges, even with a President not named Obama, will be a daunting task for Christians. But, with every challenge comes opportunity and blessing. In the final analysis, America’s “Mormon Moment” must be addressed, as Dr. Stetzer rightly points out, with “truth and grace.” As with many other issues facing Christians living in 21st century America, this becomes much easier said than done.

As I close and prepare for another road trip to Dallas on Saturday (my interactions with comments will be delayed until late in the day), let me leave my readers with this final thought. Whether one finds himself/herself voting for President Obama, Gov. Mitt Romney, a third-party candidate or choosing not to vote for President at all, I want to assume people will vote because of the best motives, not the worst.  Although President Obama stated that “voting is the best revenge,” I can’t help but believe that the same man who promised so much “hope and change” would like to take back those words. I’m sure that all of us would like to take back a word or two unfitly spoken.

Democrats, Republicans, and Independents will vote for both Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney. Christians will vote for President Obama and Christians will vote for Mitt Romney. We may see things differently. We may have passionate “debates” about politics. I will continue to have those debates, both with my fellow conservatives and with my liberal Democratic friends (you know who you are). I voted for Mitt Romney for President, despite my misgivings about his faith. I didn’t vote for him because I hate President Obama. I did it because I love my country. Regardless of who you vote for, I hope you cast your vote for your candidate — not out of revenge or spite — but because you love your country too!


Comments

Revenge or Love of Country? Why I Voted for Romney — 13 Comments

  1. I”m just glad you voted. But I have a question. As a Southern Baptist Pastor you voted for Romney–I know this because you published it, and I doubt you will catch any fall out because of this. Had you voted for President Obama would you have published it? Would you have suffered any backlash because of your published vote–I think you would have,

    My prediction is that President Obama will be reelected and Southern Baptists will have lost some credibility by voting for a Mormon. As Forrest Gump said-“that’s about all I have to say about that.”

    • Tom Parker,

      I am sure you remember my response to you over at Voices a few days ago. Well, remember it again. It is still true and you are still a personally troubled liberal.

  2. Hi TOM PARKER,

    I honestly don’t know who will win, though I suspect it will be Obama.
    As far as Southern Baptists, many preachers have openly stated their preference for a Republican administration and some have even called for their congregations to vote Republican . . . so IF Republicans win the Presidency, it will be an encouragement for conservative Christians,
    at least until ‘something happens’ . . . and something ALWAYS happens . . . should that happen to bring down Republican stock with the public, SBC stock will also fall, and that will injure the Church in this country.

    The SBC has tied its star to the Republican brand: consequences to follow.

  3. L’s,

    You should “tie your personal star” to the biblical gospel. No matter who becomes POTUS, you must be born again to enter the Kingdom of God.

  4. No “revenge vote” coming from my corner … I love my country. I wish our votes could cause a moral sanity to settle over us again, but that is an objective of Spirit-led preaching by the Church, not via elections. However, I cast my vote hoping and praying that a national leadership would rise to the occasion to lead us by moral goodness and example. President Obama won’t slow our downward spiral, but Gov. Romney might. Unfortunately, such Presidential exhortations appeal to the very folks who have contributed to our slide into moral chaos – there’s something not right in the soul of a leader who encourages “revenge votes”, as well as the heart of those that cast them!

    Lots of stuff flying across the Southern Baptist blogosphere regarding the “Mormon Moment”, but some of the best common sense was offered by Norman Geisler as posted over at SBC Tomorrow:

    “We are not voting for a cult; we are voting for a candidate. If the person is pro-life, pro-family, pro-American, pro-free market, and pro-Israel, then vote for him regardless of his religious affiliation. If I need a good doctor or a good attorney, I don’t ask about his personal convictions but about his professional competency. Martin Luther once wisely said, “I would rather be ruled by a competent Turk than an incompetent Christian.” In this election the call between the candidates is not even close. I am voting for Romney.” (Norman L. Geisler, Ph.D.)

    • I read several pages of quotable material from Dr. Geisler a couple of years ago regarding Dr. Caner. My conclusion from that material is that I will never quote Dr. Geisler on any topic. His comments there were totally self serving and showed him to be unwilling to look honestly at the situation. Is there any indication that his comments now are different?

    • Max,

      Although I don’t necessarily disagree with Norman Geisler, I wonder how far he would go in employing his principle. For instance, would Dr. Geisler and others be as quick to support a candidate who was an atheist or even a Muslim (the pro-Israel position might be problematic) who supported all of the policies that were mentioned? I agree that the call between the candidates was not even close, but I still believe that voting for a Mormon candidate, no matter how much we agree with his public policies, still poses somewhat of a dilemma for Christians. I made my choice to vote for Romney despite my reservations about his faith, but I do not begrudge those who decided to vote for other candidates or not vote at all. Thanks and God bless,

      Howell

      • I understand Howell. These are difficult days for American Christians when it comes to our vote. It’s getting increasingly difficult to find a national son or daughter on the candidate list who doesn’t have “something” in their background.

        I was young and now am old. If you had told me as a child while picking cotton that I would live to see a day where we legally murder the unborn, allow same-gender marital rights, and non-Christians ruling in the highest offices of this land, I would have said “No way – I’ll never live to see that! Keep pickin’ that cotton brother. You are out of your mind!”

        What’s the answer? “IF My People … THEN Will I” .. but will we?

  5. I suppose that the President could have better said, “Don’t boo. Vote. This is the best thing to do when you think that you and your state have been betrayed by Mr. Romney’s approach.” To jump on the word revenge is quite a reach–but you take what you are given in a campaign.

    • Bennett,

      As I wrote, I think that President Obama probably would use different words if he had it to do over. The use of the word “revenge” may be innocent, but it perhaps belies a philosophy which is radically at odds with most conservative Evangelicals. When your opponent gives you a nice softball down the middle, you have to swing away. Thanks and God bless,

      Howell

  6. Pingback: 2012 Electoral Predictions & Prognostications | From Law to Grace

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