I have entered into this discussion numerous times recently and it is actually why I wrote my prior piece on Religion and Politics. Unless we know the correct place of Religion in the political sphere we will have a difficult time coming to grips with voting for someone of a different faith than our own.

Before I get into my reasons for why a Christian could vote for a Mormon, I think it is instructive to mention that the United States of America is a unique country, formed among the backdrop of European powers that were controlled by state religions and were continually at war with each other and with their own people. Religious persecution was regular and unwelcome. The first settlers to the eastern part of the North American continent came to escape religious persecution and our founders were strongly influenced by the concerns of those who had been fleeing religious persecution.

This gets us to the First amendment to our constitution which states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The point of this was to make sure that our government could not establish a religion, to not be able to establish a state religion with status above any other religion, and it could not prohibit our free exercise of religion. This spoke in direct opposition to what the history was for so many settlers. This means that we are not a Theocracy, we do not have a King, our President is very specifically not a King and we do not look to him as God’s agent of governance on the earth as was common in Europe. (Now God does establish authority and we are to pray for those authorities, because they are instruments of God at work – but that is a significant difference than what the monarch’s of Europe were considered and I do not really have the time in this paper to get into)

If our President is not a King, nor the head of the church (and our government is not either) than what is the role? In our secular society, without going into all the details of the job duties of the different branches of government, it is to preserve the rights that have been given to us by God. We do not look to the government to give us rights or to give us material provision. We established the government to protect the inalienable rights given to us by God. Our founding documents recognized that God has given us rights and that governments are established among men in order to secure those rights. No more and no less. Our governing authorities are therefore agents of God, not to lord over, but to serve so that our God-given rights are not infringed.

So then, if our government is only supposed to secure our God-given rights, is it necessary that they be of the same religion as I am before I vote for him or her? I don’t think so. In fact, on a personal note, I doubt that any of the Presidents that we have had in our history would have agreed with me in my religious faith. The fact of the matter is that none of us have a complete corner on spiritual truth (which by the way is another great reason that the government should not establish a religion) and there is no perfect candidate.

Can I then vote for a Mormon? I think that is really the wrong question. We should be asking, who understands that our rights come from God? Who understands that governments are established to secure our God-given rights? Who believes that individuals practicing and living out their faith are better instruments of good in the world than government programs? Who understands that they should not use their religious faith to justify government policies that all of us must follow? (that is actually a form of the establishment of religion) If we truly understand the form of government that we have, that I believe is a gift from God, we won’t be looking at a person’s religious faith to determine if we should vote for them or not, we will be examining their fealty to the founding principle’s of our government.

So in addition to Denny Hartford and James Jordan (excellent articles that I recommend), here are my reasons that I think we should vote for Mitt Romney as opposed to Barack Obama for President of the United States.:

Life – Mitt Romney and more importantly, the Republican Party (as frustrating and aggravating as they can sometimes be) are ardently pro-life and their party platform reflects that. There really is no more important right to safeguard than the right to life. Our founders recognized this listing it as the first inalienable right from God and the bible validates it by requiring, as the price of taking someone’s life, your life. Gen 9:6

Whoever sheds man’s blood,
By man his blood shall be shed,
For  in the image of God
He made man

There is really no stronger statement about the value of life. Since we are made in the image of God, if we are slain, the slayer forfeits his right to life. This is a principal that is not affirmed by the Democrat party, which is why I will never vote for a Democrat regardless of an individuals protestations in favor of life (Ben Nelson – Ne or Bart Stupak – MI). The party does not stand for life and they do not buck the party line. This is not applied for the unborn nor for the elderly and not for the pre-meditated, caught in the act, murderer. This is an unacceptable position and Mitt Romney’s defense of life (albeit late in life, and possibly as a political pander) is much to be preferred and reason enough to vote for him.

Marriage – Mitt Romney and his Vice Presidential choice, Paul Ryan are both supporters of traditional marriage between one man and one woman (insert your own Mormon joke here if it satisfies your cynical itch). While I have no animus towards affectionate couples of the same gender, marriage is a well established institution that is already defined. In addition it is the law of the land and supporting that law leads me to the next reason for supporting the Romney/Ryan ticket.

Lawlessness – The Obama administration is well-known for their ignoring of and violation of established law, including the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). While it is the law of the land the administration swears to uphold the law, but they have specifically have refused to defend DOMA.  DOMA is not the only issue. They have not enforced immigration laws, issuing edicts to over rule the laws on immigration.  They have not enforced gun laws – see Fast & Furious. They have ignored court rulings regarding drilling for oil and the list could go on and on. I know many felt the Bush administration overstepped their bounds, but this administration makes them look like Boy Scouts. Will Romney/Ryan be any better than Mr. Obama? Could they be worse? I do not think so.

Radical Islam – Appeasement has been our foreign policy in the face of the rise in Radical Islam. This is dangerous as the lessons of history show us that appeasement in the face of evil reaps a whirlwind of death and destruction. We can and must do better.

Tyranny vs. Liberty – The Obama Administration has pursued a course of consolidating power in the executive branch, increasingly ignoring  the checks and balances of the different branches of government. He negotiates with Congress  with a take it or leave it attitude and alienates friends and foes alike. He increasingly governs by executive order.

Vice-President – Biden vs. Ryan. Enough said.

Religious Freedom – Romney/Ryan stand for religious freedom as opposed the Obama administrations attack on religious liberty, most egregiously through the health care bill.

There are many other reasons that a Christian can and should vote for this ticket and probably others that could make a better case, but the bottom line is that we need to remember that we are not a theocracy. If the main reason that we pray for those in authority over us is so that so that “we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” than it stands to reason that our prayer would take legs and have us vote so that “we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” I Timothy 2:2.