Why Evangelicals Can Support Mitt Romney

Dave P with Mitt Romney

Dave P with Governor Romney: an evangelical for Mitt

An open letter to evangelicals, from an evangelical

After months of campaigning, the Iowa caucuses are finally just a week away. The Hawkeye State’s caucus is the first of several GOP primaries where evangelicals will make up a substantial portion of the voting bloc. Since Mitt Romney first ran for the presidency in 2008, there has been the question of whether evangelicals can and/or will support him. I would like to make an appeal to my evangelical brothers and sisters across Iowa and the rest of the nation to not use Mormonism as the reason to oppose Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination.

Why do I have the authority to make this appeal? Well, let me take just a brief moment to list my credentials. I was raised in a small Protestant denomination whose first word is “Evangelical”. I attended a Christian college where renowned evangelist Billy Graham was once president. I have even worked for three different denominations of Protestant churches. So, not to infringe upon the now infamous Christine O’Donnell commercial, but “I am you”.

As Governor Romney embarks upon his final campaign swing through Iowa, why does this evangelical feel completely comfortable supporting him to become the leader of this great nation?

Morals and Values

While there may be some theological issues dividing evangelicals and Mormons, we still share morals and values in common. I believe that this is more important in selecting a President than simply having a candidate whose denomination or religion corresponds with my own. The question we ought to ask is, “how will this person’s faith influence his or her decisions once they are in the Oval Office?” And whether someone is Southern Baptist, Assembly of God, Evangelical Free, or Mormon, we all share a common moral code which subscribes to the same Ten Commandments, the institution of marriage, and a strong belief in the sanctity of life to cite a few examples. That is what will give a very good indication as to how a President addresses an issue when it arises. Yes, theological differences do exist, but these shared morals and values transcend the differences in doctrine when it comes to trusting someone with the Presidency of the United States.

For example, if a bill dealing with the sanctity of life comes to President Romney’s desk, it won’t matter if he believes in speaking in tongues or continuing revelation. What matters is that he agrees with us that the lives of unborn children should be protected, which indeed he does. Will a different opinion on theosis come into play when addressing our budget deficit or getting a balanced budget amendment passed? Absolutely not. The differences in theological doctrine between evangelical Protestants and Mormons will not result in a differing viewpoint on the tough issues facing our nation today.

Governor Romney’s 42-year marriage to his wife Ann and devotion to his family is a perfect example of the values and morals he possesses. Recent statistics show that almost half of marriages now end in divorce. What a great example it would be to have someone in the White House who has not only talked about family values, but lived it as well. That is something we as evangelicals would be proud of in a President and aspire to in our own lives.

When I attended a campaign rally in 2008, Governor Romney spoke about the importance of marriage before having children so that the child could have the stability and advantage of having both a mother and father present in their life (and also why marriage should be between a man and a woman). Again, something that we as evangelicals can rally behind. A difference in religion does not mean that a difference in morals and values exists. As I have discovered by closely watching Mitt Romney over the past four years, there is certainly not a difference between his values and my own.

Qualifications

Once the connection of shared morals and beliefs with a candidate has been established, it makes sense to look at his or her actual qualifications to become President of the United States. I happen to believe that based on his accomplishments and life experiences in the private sector and as Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney is the most qualified candidate in the race.

If you are an evangelical and a business owner, here is something to consider: when you are looking to hire somebody for your business, do you look to hire the person most qualified to complete the task at hand, or do you narrow your search to only other evangelicals? I’m guessing most would say that they desire to have the most qualified person for the job regardless of religion, because ministry jobs aside, when does simply being an evangelical Christian make you more qualified for a job? It doesn’t (just look at Jimmy Carter’s presidency). The Lord has gifted each one of us uniquely and differently. And just as being an evangelical does not make somebody more qualified to be a sales associate, truck driver, or attorney, neither does it make someone more qualified to be President of the United States.

There’s no question that it’s comforting and exciting to have someone of the exact same religious beliefs running for office, but that by itself doesn’t mean he or she is the best fit for the job. I’m an evangelical, but I can honestly tell you that if I jumped into the presidential race right now I would not be the most qualified person. Far from it! It is equally nonsensical to support someone by looking only at their religious affiliation and not take qualifications into account. If those evangelical business owners we talked about previously hired without considering an applicant’s qualifications, their businesses would likely be in serious trouble.

We as evangelicals shouldn’t be afraid to support someone for President who shares the same morals and values we do and is best qualified to lead this nation, even if he doesn’t subscribe to the exact same faith that we do. Evangelicals have voted for and elected Latter-Day Saints before, without bringing about ruinous results.

It would be a shame to miss out on the opportunity to put Mitt Romney in the White House, who in my opinion has within him the ability to be a tremendous President of the United States, simply because of theological doctrine. There is much more that unites us than divides us.

~Dave P

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22 Responses to Why Evangelicals Can Support Mitt Romney

  1. Valerie A says:

    Beautifully said! As I tell people, our Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, is LDS. We have 15 “Mormons” serving in the House & Senate today! They come from of course, Utah, Nevada, California, Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, as well as US Puerto Rico and American Samoa. They are 10% of our Government’s leadership! If we were to worry about religious influence, shouldn’t we be MORE concerned about the law MAKERS, instead of the law SIGNER (POTUS)! Please don’t use the same bigoted argument to vote against a Mormon, that was used about voting for a black or female President! QUALIFICATIONs should be the criteria, NOT religion, race, or creed!

  2. Excellent commentary. These are precisely the reasons I have endorsed Mitt Romney as a 100% Vatican-supporting Roman Catholic, and At Large Director for Florida Right to Life. <.

  3. Paul Johnson says:

    Thanks, very well said. I absolutely believe, as a Mormon, that the vast majority of the values shared among Evangelicals, Mormons, Catholics and other Christian denominations are consistent, and it would serve us much better to band together in supporting those common values (many of which you mention) than to focus on what little there is that separates us. The fight in front of us is too important to allow ourselves to be separated.

  4. Bill Webb says:

    Dave! Well said! I have been waiting for someone to talk about Mitt’s values for some time now. These are characteristics that I am sure other candidates are scared to death to discuss. If only more christians could understand what Dave has so clearly discovered. We are all children of God and all have the spirit of Christ within us…. everyone! Differences in doctorine do not and should not discount these values Dave has identified.

    Thanks Dave!

  5. mike in LV says:

    Well Done Dave. You should send this as a letter to the Editor of a few newspapers!

  6. Vic Lundquist says:

    A great piece Dave. Hopefully many other Evangelicals will read this and understand the reasoned approach.

  7. Jim Tills says:

    Well said and a breath of fresh air regarding what really matters at this critical juncture in real-time historical happening. Mitt Romney does have the morals, values, leadership experience, skills, and love of America we desparately need in the next leader of the free world.
    To say he is unqualified for the office of POTUS because he is a Mormon is a slap in the face to those who believe in this Nation’s Constitution which Constitution has clearly been interpreted to say that a person’s religious denomination is no barrier to political office.

  8. Helen Wells says:

    I agree with Mike, that your message, Dave, should be sent to Editors of newspapers, especially in Iowa, South Carolina, etc. You are a well-thinking person and it is clear that you want to follow in Christ’s footsteps.
    Thank you for supporting the man who will bring honor and sanity back into the W.H. and our government.

  9. wanda mcculloch says:

    I live in Mississippi – can’t be any more ‘suthern’ – and wish this would be sent to every newspaper in the south! So many, many Evangelicals here who need to read it. I’ve forwarded it on to several Baptist and Methodist ministers I know, hoping they will not delete it before reading it! I support Mitt Romney for President 100% and speak of his values and experience to anyone who will hear. Some listen but I know they aren’t truly hearing me, they’re thinking of something else. By the way, I am Mormon.

  10. Gary Alan Chidester says:

    Just ONE WEEK until the Iowa Caucus makes the National Headlines. Having seen all of the debates, I have listened to each candidate, watched their actions and reactions, and prayed for guidance in choosing the best person to run against Obama in the next election… and win. I am quite confident that I have selected the best candidate to be the Republican Party’s nominee, and his name is Mitt Romney. He is bright, articulate, and compassionate. The Republican Party is Blessed to have a man, of his caliber, running for the Nation’s highest office. I am, however, surprised and saddened that some of my dear Iowa Republican friends are [still] playing the ‘religion’ card. For such an enlightened State, I’m ashamed that this ONE issue is the Achilles’ heel of the general mindset. As a member of the United Methodist Church, I can recall how, as a child, several Baptist classmates would boldly tell me where all Methodists were ‘going’. Or how I absolutely could not date a girl in my class… because she was Catholic. There is a simple “Litmus Test” in the Bible to see if a person is Christian or not. It is in 1st John 4:2… “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God” and I recall when Gov. Romney was asked, and answered, a similar question. Settled. So now, let’s go on to the real issues. Gov. Mitt Romney is a true American Patriot. His knowledge and experience, on both foreign and domestic issues, is remarkable. His vision to restore America is realistic. He has a detailed plan to stabilize the job market base and allow substantial growth by removing several restrictions from Washington’s Obamic Bureaucracy. Mitt Romney is the BEST candidate to get America working again. He is NOT a Washington insider. His family values are impeccable, and that alone says volumes. So why are so many people trying to find fault with this man? Could it be because of all the wild attempts from the liberal media to diminish the validity of his campaign? Gov. Romney is a man of integrity. He would make an outstanding President. South Carolina’s Gov. Haley has endorsed Gov. Romney, as have Chris Christie and Tim Pawlenty. Even former Iowa Governor, Robert Ray, endorsed Gov. Romney, earlier this month. I support Gov. Romney, and I trust his judgement. When next Tuesday comes, I will go to the Caucus and cast my vote for Gov. Mitt Romney. I can only hope and pray… that you will, too.

  11. Deg says:

    Romney is the one that needs to articulate this message with power and conviction… it’s hard to do with all the naysayers. It can be discouraging, but he needs to lift himself above the fray. It will be a lot easier with the support of others with comments and articles like these. I agree great post from Dave P. May this article be published in every news paper. Hope people will read it.

  12. Vic Lundquist says:

    Gary & other Iowans reading Dave’s article and your comments here: Please copy the URL of Dave’s open letter and email it to as many Iowans as you know. I have great faith in the Americans living in Iowa and their ability to perceive those who are pandering to them because of their religious beliefs and be able to see the true statesman among them. I do not believe Americans from Iowa are so narrow-minded or simple-minded that they would allow candidates to lead them by the nose for religion.

    To place primary or narrow focus on a candidate’s religion to his inclusion or exclusion is simple nonsense. If not, and if Romney were running against Bill Clinton, a Southern Baptist, Evangelical voters would and should vote for Bill Clinton (pro-abortion, womanizer, etc.). I simply do not believe that Iowans or the vast majority of thinking, rational Evangelicals would be so simple-minded, especially when doing so goes against all that is American or Christian.

  13. Ranzel says:

    I think the best thing that the Romney’s Team can do is to quickly print out a 100,000 leaflets of this aricle and distribute it around Iowa before Jan 03, 2012. Its message and impact is more than any TV advertisements you got there for the Iowans.

  14. Robin says:

    Beautifully put Dave P. Thank you and may Iowans read this and realize how important it is that they get behind Mitt Romney.

  15. Ranzel says:

    If Ron Paul wins Iowa, then Iowa will not be relevant in the future presidential elections anymore. It just simply means that they do not know how to read the candidates! Their endorsement will not mean anything anymore in the future as they themselves cannot tell or predict who will be the GOP’s nominee.

  16. Ranzel says:

    They better get behind Mitt or else ….

  17. Debra L. Temple says:

    I have liked Mitt Romney for a long time and I have been a Christian for a long time….I like his real life work experience and his maturity and wisdom…I like his morals and values….I know that he loves God and thanks him for his many God=given blessings and I will support him 100% and also will hope and pray that he will read John 3:16 if he already hasn’t and will learn that JESUS is the way, the truth, and the life….to get to HEAVEN…God bless you Mitt Romney and family and I hope with all my heart you will win and make the USA great again…..thanks for all you do for our country….

  18. tiafala says:

    Thank you David. You have mentioned exactly the two main areas that are most important in choosing our candidate for President, Morals/Values and Qualifications. These are the FACTORS that MATTERS…..

  19. Murıel says:

    I know you have a good ıntent ıf you wıll be a Presıdent ın your country and hope people wıll realızed that. You can make a dıfference ın the mıdst of pressures of the world.

  20. Murıel says:

    @Gary Alan Chidester
    I agree of what you are sayıng Brother Alan… me too I am fun of hım as a presıdent of your country.. by the way ım from the Phılıppınes