It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired.  I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue.  I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe.  I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great..... In His Majesty's Service, THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mitt Romney's Mormon Problem

A Foretaste of Things to Come. Get used to this.
This is How the Left will Destroy Mitt Romney's Campaign.
Romney's Mormon Problem is that he doesn't act like one!
(National Journal) - Cardinal Timothy Dolan said Sunday that Republican front-runner Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith should not be an issue in the presidential campaign.

“There may be reasons not to vote for Mitt Romney as president of the United States,” Dolan said during an appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation. “That he’s a Mormon cannot be one of them.”

Dolan, who is archbishop of the New York diocese, later added: “I don’t think Catholics would have any problem voting for a Mormon at all...

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: With the news today that Rick Santorum has pulled out of the 2012 presidential race, the nation's attention has now turned to Mitt Romney as the uncontested frontrunner and likely GOP nominee for president of the United States.

Mitt Romney as a Mormon Missionary
France, 1965
I have said many times that I have no problem with Mitt Romney because he's a Mormon.  My problem with Romney is that I don't believe he's a Mormon!  This is Romney's Mormon problem.  It's not that he's a Mormon, it's that I'm not convinced he actually is one.

You see I know Mormons.  I have Mormons in my extended family.  I work with Mormons, and I have Mormon friends.  Of all the people who have come to my door peddling their religion, I've never had a problem with the Mormons.  Now Jehovah's Witnesses are a different story.  It's not uncommon for them to yell at me after a brief conversation at my doorstep.  (It seems I have that effect on them.)  At which point I must remind them this is MY property and kindly ask them to leave now.  I also remind them to kick the dust off their shoes when they reach the end of the driveway, as is common JW practice.  As for Mormons on the other hand, this has never been the case.  They are kind, friendly, and very respectful of me, as well as mindful of the fact that they are standing on my property as guests.  So as far as actions matching the religion they are peddling, I must give credit where credit is due, acknowledging that at least on their missionary front, they practice what they preach.  Again, I've never known a Mormon to be unkind to me at work or in my personal life.

As far as politics are concerned, Mormons (good Mormons anyway) are generally conservative, not only on social issues but usually on fiscal matters as well.  Again, this is consistent with the image created by the religion.  My own Mormon family is very conservative, socially and fiscally, and would have nothing to do with the type of political compromise we have witnessed from the former governor of Massachusetts.   This is the beef I have with Mitt Romney.  When I look at his political record, it is not consistent with what I know of Mormonism.  Mitt Romney is to Mormonism what Ted Kennedy was to Catholicism, or what Bill Clinton was to the Southern Baptist Convention.  He is an inconsistent contradiction.  That's the problem I have with Mitt Romney.  It's not that he's a Mormon, it's that I'm not convinced he actually is one, at least not at heart anyway.

Now on to the issue of the word "Christian" itself.  In American culture the word "Christian" has two meanings.  The first is the more traditional meaning, and refers to the historical doctrinal understanding of Christianity being a Trinitarian faith.  This is how the Catholic Church understands the word "Christian" as well, as do most Protestants, especially Evangelical Fundamentalists.  Now in American culture there is a second meaning for the word "Christian" and that is a more generalised understanding as a person who follows the moral teachings of Jesus Christ whether he/she subscribes to traditional Christian theology or not.  In this latter, more liberal sense of the word Christian, one could easily call Mormons Christians, as well as Jehovah's Witnesses, and a host of other groups.  So before we start saying that Mitt Romney is not a Christian, we might first want to identify exactly what we mean by the word "Christian."  If by Christian we mean a Trinitarian, then yes, Mitt Romney is not a Christian.  If however, by Christian we mean somebody who generally follows the moral teachings of Jesus Christ then Mitt Romney could indeed be called a Christian.  So we must first get our terms straight.

Now there are those in the United States who are disturbed at the possibility of electing a non-Trinitarian (such as a Mormon) to the Whitehouse.  Well, let me put that one to rest.  First of all, if Romney actually won, he wouldn't be the first non-Trinitarian elected to the Whitehouse.  I would say the first non-Trinitarian elected to the presidency was none other than Thomas Jefferson (election of 1800), who also happened to be the author of the Declaration of Independence (America's founding document).  Jefferson was NOT a Trinitarian Christian.  He did not attend a church, nor did he worship Jesus Christ.  Thomas Jefferson was a Deist.  He rejected organised religion all together.  He believed in a God of Nature, who was revealed in nature itself.  He was followed by the second non-Trinitarian, Abraham Lincoln (election of 1860), who was known to be a follower of the occult.  Then there was Dwight D. Eisenhower who was elected to the presidency as a Jehovah's Witness (election of 1952), but later converted to the Presbyterian Church.  Then of course there is Barack H. Obama (election of 2008), who many people believe to be a closet Muslim, though he espouses to be a Trinitarian Christian of a very liberal theology.  I point all this out to make it clear that electing an espoused non-Trinitarian Mormon to the Whitehouse is not as monumental of an event as many might think. Electing non-Trinitarians has been done before, no less than three times, possibly four.  The office of the presidency has been held by non-Trinitarians before.

Next on the agenda is the issue of theology itself.  While it is categorically true that Mormons reject the Trinity, there are many who believe them to be polytheists because of their acceptance of many gods.  Again, this is inaccurate.  In the world of religion there are generally two classes of people -- monotheists and polytheists.  Polytheists are Pagans.  They believe in multiple gods, for various different things, and are rather indiscriminate about which ones they worship.  They may favour one in particular, or a few of their choosing, but they accept the existence of many and might often switch their devotion between deities as they see fit depending on their circumstances in life.  Monotheists believe in only one God and they reject the existence of any other god.  They may define the one true God in different ways.  Christians define him as a Trinity, Jews and Muslims do not.  All of them however, reject the notion of multiple gods.  However, there is a third class of religious people that is more rare, but nevertheless legitimate.  It is a third-way which was common in the ancient Semitic world and has been revived in recent times with the advent of Mormonism.  It is called henotheism.  A henotheist is a person who accepts the existence of many gods, but exclusively and militantly worships only one God in particular.  While accepting the existence of other gods, the henotheist believes that worship of any other god, besides the one he is sworn to, is idolatry.  So the henotheist accepts the theology of the polytheist while demanding the fidelity of a monotheist.  This is Mormonism.

So if you ask if Mitt Romney believes in multiple gods, the answer is "yes he does" but he only worships one God exclusively.  He believes that God to be "God the Father," who begot Jesus Christ.  Don't ask me to go any further than that because it gets kind of weird.  Nevertheless, it is inaccurate and unfair to characterise Mormons as polytheists and pagans, because by definition they are not.  I say this because as the general election campaigns get under way, I fully expect the Left-Wing extremists to come out attacking Mitt Romney's religion by attempting to pit the Christian Right against itself by calling Romney a Pagan.  This will cause the Evangelical Fundamentalists to turn on each other, as some will say he is a Pagan, while others will say it doesn't matter because we need "anybody but Obama."  Please, I hope my readers will be above this.  There is no need to fall into this trap.  Mitt Romney is a Mormon (or at least he says he is, even though he doesn't really act like it) and Mormons are Christians in the most generalised liberal sense in that they follow the moral teachings of Jesus Christ.  In a classical and historical sense, no, he is not a Christian, because he is a non-Trinitarian.  Does that matter when it comes to the office of the presidency?  No.  We've had non-Christians in there before.  We are electing a political president not a spiritual leader.

Now that being said, will The Catholic Knight vote for Mitt Romney?  Probably not.  I certainly won't vote for Barack Obama either.  My problems with Romney have to do with his character not his religion.  Had he actually been a better Mormon, and lived up to his faith while governor of Massachusetts, I would probably feel differently.