Is Mitt Romney a Christian or not?
By George Gaspar August 23, 2012 7:08PM
Mitt Romney | AP file photo
Updated: September 25, 2012 6:04AM
In recent decades the Republican Party has made a person’s religious beliefs an issue for election to political office, despite the First Amendment to the Constitution explicitly forbidding this.
For the Republicans, that requirement is a person must be a Christian. Mitt Romney has chosen staunch Roman Catholic Paul Ryan as his running mate. That should help divert some of the concern about Romney himself being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints — a Mormon.
There has been debate, including in The Herald-News’ OpenLine, about whether or not Mormons are true Christians. Most people don’t know what Mormons believe, so I thought I would publicize some of their basic precepts, all of which can be easily confirmed.
Mormons believe that “God” created multiple worlds with people living on them. Multiple gods exist but each has its own universe. All people existed as pre-mortal spirit children of God and are then physically born on this earth and are subject only to our specific “God.” If you follow God and his law (the precepts of the LDS Church) you can reach the highest level of heaven and become a “God” also.
Our “God” was a mortal on another planet who reached this highest level and became “God.” He had a mortal wife who also became a “Goddess.” He physically had sexual relations with Mary and Jesus became mortal from his spirit life as the eldest son of “God.”
Mormons recognize God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, but all three are not one substance but completely different beings forming one “godhead.”
They feel the early Christian Church became corrupted by pagan influences at the Council of Nicea. The Church was finally “restored” through appearances by God, Jesus and some of the apostles to Joseph Smith, beginning in 1820 at age 14. (Smith and his mother and father all believed in “visions, prophecies and folk magic.”) Joseph Smith viewed himself as the “prophet” of God who spoke to the people through him. The LDS still has a “prophet” who can have visions from God and announce new Church beliefs, such as the acceptance of African Americans into the “priesthood” in 1978.
Further beliefs: When people die, the “spirit” is separated from the body and either goes to “spirit heaven” or “spirit prison” waiting for the second coming; Jesus appeared to the people of America after his resurrection; and God, Jesus, and “resurrected beings” have bodies of flesh and bone.
They believe there is no salvation outside the LDS Church, there is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet, and Satan originated the idea that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation.
Mormons believe the entire world must be converted to Mormonism, and they proselytize aggressively.
The final item is their belief in “temple garments,” often referred to as “Mormon underwear.” These are worn day and night, and are required to be worn to enter a temple. They are believed to be a constant reminder of the LDS covenant with God and are a “source of protection from evil.”
These are some of the beliefs of Mitt Romney, the man who would be president; beliefs he does not want to discuss. What do you think?
Skeptic George Gaspar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org