By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
If Mitt Romney wants to convince voters that Mormons are just another Christian denomination and not a separate religious system altogether, he didn’t do himself any favors by refusing to show at Saturday night’s faith forum in Iowa, sponsored by the Iowa Family Leader and web-streamed by a division of Focus on the Family.
There are at least a couple of takeaways from Romney’s conspicuous absence. One is that he simply reminded voters, 32% of whom were evangelicals in 2010, that there are significant theological differences between Mormonism and orthodox Christianity.
While the rest of the field - minus Jon Huntsman, who is also a Mormon - talked freely of their personal faith in Jesus Christ and shared moving stories of their spiritual journey, one cannot help suspect that Romney stayed away precisely because he knew that this would be the focus. He did not want to do anything that would highlight the theological gulf between his religious convictions and those of the orthodox Christians on the platform.
And Romney probably stayed away for a second reason. He knew this forum would likely focus on social issues, and would give his competitors ample opportunity to remind voters that he was staunchly pro-abortion until 2005 and that he imposed same-sex marriage on Massachusetts by executive fiat in 2004.
Better to stay away from the fire and its warmth altogether if you know you’re liable to fall into the fire and get burned.
One thing conservatives should be mindful of is that even if they hesitate at this stage of the game to talk publicly about the more unusual aspects of Mormon theology, the winger-left media will share no such delicacy should Romney get the nomination.
Should he become the conservative standard-bearer, we will be barraged with stories about the unorthodox theological views of Mitt Romney and the LDS church. The left will make sure America knows that Mormons believe that there is not only a Heavenly Father but a Heavenly Mother, with whom the Heavenly Father sires spirit children.
The left will make sure America knows that Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan, as offspring of the Heavenly Father and Mother, are brothers. The left will make sure Americans know that Mormons believe that both Satan and his brother Jesus presented plans of salvation to the Heavenly Father, and that Satan rebelled when the Heavenly Father chose the plan of Jesus.
They won’t hesitate to probe Romney on whether he believes that American Indians are the descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel and whether he believes Jesus visited this continent to appear to them at one point. (Advances in DNA testing have proven that there is no Hebrew lineage among the native American tribes.) He will be probed on whether he believes that Jesus will return to Independence, Missouri, as the LDS church believes, rather than Jerusalem, as the Bible teaches.
So, if Romney secures the nomination, conservatives need to prepare themselves for what will be an all-out theological onslaught from the left on Mitt Romney’s theology. Remember that they were relentless in hounding Michele Bachmann about her theological views on submission in marriage. They were relentless in hounding Attorney General John Ashcroft about his Pentecostal beliefs. They won’t hesitate to bash Romney about the head and shoulders regarding his religious convictions, all in their effort as Ministers of Propaganda for the regime to re-elect Barack Obama.
If questioning Mitt Romney’s religion is a form of bigotry, as the left insisted it was in the wake of Rev. Jeffress’ comments, then the nattering nabobs of the out-of-the mainstream media will prove themselves to be the biggest bigots in the land.
A final takeaway from Romney’s absence at this conservative, pro-family, pro-faith forum is this. If Mormon theology contains such unusual components, and Mitt Romney believes them all, it must begin to raise questions in the minds of the American people about Mitt Romney’s judgment.
In other words, if Mitt Romney’s views about the most important matters in life are this far from what most Americans consider the norm, how can they trust his judgment in lesser matters?
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)