This of course is a new decision for me however. Earlier during the Republican Primary, I pulled for Newt Gingrich. When it became apparent he was not going to win, I shifted my support to Rick Santorum. In fact, I was almost willing to support anyone in the Republican Party not named Romney. The inevitable happened however and Romney did receive the nomination. I have listed some of the reasons why I did not want to vote for Romney then and many of them still exist in my heart and mind. For one, while I realize that we're voting for a political President and not America's pastor, I have strong reservations against voting for a Mormon to hold the highest office in the land. In my study of Mormonism dating back to 2004 and continuing today, I discovered things that really blew my mind. By reading the doctrinal papers of the Mormon church and reading the in-depth beliefs, one may find the "church" sounds a little more like a "cult." Some of the highlights of the Mormon church's beliefs include: the belief that Jesus and Satan are spiritual brothers; the belief that God was once a regular man like us who ascended to His heavenly throne through good works (one Mormon official famously wrote, "As we are, God once was. As God is, we will be."); polygamy should be allowed to be practiced; God lives on a planet named Kolob; God literally had sex with Mary to conceive Jesus thus dashing the virgin birth; the Book of Mormon is divinely inspired in addition to the Holy Bible (which it contradicts mind you); there is no trinity, but God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit do exist; there is no hell only darkness; and finally, Christ came to America after ascending to Heaven and set up headquarters in Missouri which was the original location of the Garden of Eden and this will be where He returns one day to rule the earth. I'll be the first to say, I have a hard time having a lot of confidence in a man that may somehow believe the Gateway Arch is actually a galactic portal of heavenly proportions ready to usher in Christ to set up his throne in St. Louis . . . or is it Kansas City . . . maybe Springfield? What about it Assembly of God? (Their headquarters is located in Springfield, MO). Truthfully, some of this stuff sounds like leaked plans for Men In Black 4.
Some of these beliefs are basically just weird, but many of them would certainly be heretical and damning. Having listed those, there are plenty of Mormons out there who denounce these beliefs and claim no relation to them at all. To be fair, many of these beliefs originated with Brigham Young and the founder, Joseph Smith. Christian denominations have often changed their beliefs as the years went by and have legitimized other beliefs and practices. For example, in the Church of God, there existed a time where women were not allowed to cut their hair or wear pants. Jewelry was also not allowed. One other holiness denomination taught that sex was an "evil necessity" to reproduce and it should only be completed for such a reason. The Southern Baptist Convention recently removed language that supported segregation. So there are ample examples of a church, denomination, or religion changing its beliefs. It is certainly plausible that modern day Mormonism is a far cry from historic Mormonism, but recent writings of Mormon bishops just over the last century bring muddiness to that claim.
Romney himself however has seemingly lived a life in complete contrast to these beliefs. He certainly has never been a polygamist. Granted, polygamy as a whole is illegal across the USA and Mormons denounced the practice in an essay entitled, "Manifesto," in 1890. However, the practice still continues in some sects in Utah illegally. Romney has also flip flopped on his stand on abortion. This of course is a non-negotiable for me. For this campaign at least, Romney is holding to a pro-life agenda and with the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate, I have confidence that stand will continue. However, Mormonism is against abortion so in the past when Romney has favored it, he certainly went against his religion. In Gov. Romney's speech at the RNC, he jokingly referenced going to hell. This of course is a break from historical Mormonism. All that said, Romney has been raised in the church, went on a mission with the church, and has actually served as a lay pastor for more than a decade in the church. If anyone should know the beliefs, it would be him.
My largest complaints against Romney before and even now of course is his Mormon faith and my concern over the ramifications of having the most powerful man in the world prop up and pay tithes to this church and his seemingly flip flopping position on abortion. I have said it before and will say it again. I will never vote for a candidate that favors abortion.
Certain things however has helped me reach a decision on whether to vote for Romney or not. The following are my list of reasons not necessarily in the order of importance:
1. Romney is pro-life. Obama is pro-choice. I think one of the greatest evils ever committed in this country was the legalization of this horrific infant genocide. More than a million babies have been murdered since 1973's landmark decision in Roe v. Wade.
2. Romney is as spiritual as many of our previous presidents and God still was and is able to use them to accomplish His plans for America. Many of our forefathers were Deists and wouldn't even remotely be considered Christian by today's standards. This has continued throughout America's history. Romney as a Mormon would technically be just as lost and/or saved as Jefferson was as a Deist.
3. The future of marriage is at stake. By endorsing same-sex marriage, Obama has put the item on the main agenda for the next 4 years. History tells us in this country that once something passes as law, it typically remains law for generation after generation. The largest exception of course is Prohibition. If same-sex marriage was to be made legal in this country, it would debilitate the very fabric of who we are. Consider that if gay marriage is made legal, then speaking against it, preaching against it, and protesting against it would then also become illegal and participants, citizens, and preachers could be arrested and fined with the full weight of federal law. This is a larger issue than many have even given thought to. Some have said it would never get to that point, but if the left succeeds at making this a civil rights issue, it may very well. Romney has stated time and time again throughout his political career that he is against gay marriage and for traditional marriage. After having read his book on the importance of family to the country, I'm even more convinced that he will do the right thing in regard to recognizing traditional marriage as the only definition of marriage.
4. It is very possible that during the next 4 to 8 years, there will be holes in the Supreme Court to fill. If so, I'm more comfortable with Romney making the appointments than Obama. His appointments have only proven to be extremely partisan and idealistically slanted towards the liberal agenda. The Supreme Court as of late has found itself making laws through decisions rather than interpreting laws; a clear misuse of their Constitutional powers.
5. I am concerned about our economy like most everyone else. Obama did inherit a mess, but he's made it a bigger mess. Romney has proven he is the greater in terms of financial wisdom. With the addition of Paul Ryan, the economic crisis can be fixed without a doubt especially with their commitment to entitlement reform, a subject we have to deal with.
6. Romney favors a strong military and will increase spending for the Defense instead of decreasing it as Obama has. Romney understands that sitting down at the table with Iran and attempting diplomacy with Hitler / Jihadist types is maniacal.
7. Though it has been disputed, the evidence proves otherwise. The Democratic delegates and higher up's removed "God" and "Jerusalem" from its party platform. After having this change mocked, questioned, and protested heavily in the press and across America, they chose to attempt to reinstate "God" and "Jerusalem" back into the Democratic party platform. The vote was a must to be able to add these back in and by party rules, had to have a 2/3 majority vote in order for the addition to take place. After watching the videos over and over, it is very apparent that the delegates voted down the motion to add "God" and "Jerusalem" back to the platform. But the decision was already made. The higher up's knew they would have to add both back to keep a huge backlash from forming. The very fact that they removed "God" and "Jerusalem" to begin with is incredibly discouraging. I think we saw a glimpse at what the next 4 years will be like: godless and gutless in terms of our continued support of Israel. There's no way I can even begin to understand how anyone could vote for this party in this election when their desired goal was to remove God from their platform. This isn't about freedom of religion or separation of church and state. The very founding documents of our country are pressed with the name of God constantly. The Democratic Party of 2012 marks the first time a political party has sought to use language adverse to the founding documents of this country in describing their future plans for the country. If that's not a red flag, I don't know what is.
These are just a few of my reasons for changing course. I will be voting for the Romney / Ryan ticket come November and I sincerely hope you will as well. Our future depends on it. I'm not saying we have to like Romney or his beliefs, but his values line up with traditional American values more so than Obama by a long shot. Obama said it best at the DNC when he said America would be voting for more than one candidate over another. He suggested that Americans would be voting between two very different fundamental directions for the future of America. No truer words could have been said at the DNC and I choose against the President.