Article VI of the Constitution includes this rather plain statement:
no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
This could not be simpler. A Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Muslim, atheist, Hindu, or, dare we say it, Mormon, may serve as president. The operative word is “may,” as in, would be allowed to serve.
On the campaign trail, one may catch subtle, and not so subtle, currents of concern about Mitt Romney’s Mormonism. From casual discussions with some evangelicals in my church, it’s clear that not a few consider Mormonism to be a cult and not at all a branch of Christianity. One question for Gov. Romney is whether he should address religious concerns head-on, as John Kennedy did in 1960.
Kennedy, of course, was Catholic, at least in name. While one Catholic had run for president before him (Al Smith in 1928), the nation was still uncomfortable with the notion of a Catholic who, it was suspected by some, would have dual loyalties.
With Romney, it isn’t a question of dual loyalties, although some evangelicals may suspect that if the president of the Latter Day Saints decides that God wants us to burn Reformed Church members at the stake, there might be a problem…
Just kidding. Not much chance of such a thing happening. But, regardless of whether there is even a scintilla of doubt about dual loyalties, there is still a lot of doubt about the judgment of one who adheres to the Mormon belief system.
It also needs to be said that Mormons also use the name of Jesus Christ, although their beliefs about Jesus and the Trinity are, to say the least, heretical from a Christian perspective. But then, some Baptists probably believe that my church is a bunch of heretics, as we don’t stick with the King James Version exclusively in our worship.
The point being that Article VI is there for a reason: religion should not be a thing that divides us on this side of heaven, although, heaven knows, that’s certainly been the case. May I suggest that religious wars and tussles are a consequence of the earth being Satan’s domain. I’d be pretty sure that Old Scratch makes regular contributions to both political parties…
My personal experience with Mormons has been nothing but good. I’ve spent some time out in the Mountain West, particularly in Idaho, and without exception found them to be decent, honorable, and patriotic Americans. Which is why Harry Reid’s behavior since becoming Senate Majority Leader is puzzling, but, life is a mystery…
As for Mitt Romney, based on his governance of Massachusetts, and how he has comported himself on the campaign trail, I would have no qualms whatsoever voting for him if he is the Republican nominee. What I would urge all Christians, and others, to do is to judge a candidate on two things: what he’s done, and what he says he will do.