Sunday, May 01, 2005

Would You Vote For A Member Of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints For President?

Before I got ready to go to work Saturday my wife ask me why a member of our church, The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) had never ran for the office of President of the United States. I really had no answer to give her, but her question made me think of a question for you. I couldn't post my question at that time because of some technical problems on my site. Just suppose the 2008 presidential campaign is in full swing. Your checking out all the possible candidates to decide who you will vote for. You find that one of the candidates is every bit as qualified as the others, but this candidate is a member of the LDS Church. Would this have any effect on your decision? If it will help you to answer the question you can read about the church at, www.lds.org .

As far as I know there is not a member of the church planning on running for president. I'm just asking to satisfy my own curiosity.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

24 Comments:

Blogger Rick Moran said...

It's an interesting question and, as with any choice for President, I'd have to say it would depend on several factors.

People had similar reservations about JFK back in 1960 but he was elected because he satisfied people's questions about any conflict of allegiance he had between the Catholic church and the Constitution.

If Orrin Hatch were to be on the Republican ticket, I'd have no qualms about voting for him (I THINK he's a Mormon...check me on that). As for others, if they have proven through the years that they are beholden to no one in the Mormon church, I'd vote for them too.

Thing is, I hope you're not saying we should automatically disregard someone because of any religious affiliation. That wouldn't be fair.

2:41 AM  
Blogger David Schantz said...

Superhawk. Thank you for yor answer. I wanted to see if anyone else would refuse to vote for someone because of their religion. A candidates religion would have no effect on my decision.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

3:08 AM  
Blogger Markkind said...

unless the person running is a Muslim fundamentalist, religion is not a concern of mine when choosing a president. If the next president was from LDS, that would be just fine with me.

6:47 AM  
Blogger Gun-Toting Liberal said...

I wouldn't even know if a candidtate was a LDS unless I was told and even then, it wouldn't matter to me. Religion isn't something I take into consideration until it's blatantly a part of the way a person conducts their business (i.e., Roy Moore and his 10 Commandments debacle). I would be focusing on their past and present - how they've conducted themselves as a public servant up to now.

7:23 AM  
Blogger Meesher said...

Superhawk has a good point about JFK. People will probably say that no on in the LDS Church can win the presidency until someone actually runs and wins. I have no problem voting for a member of any religion, but I think markkind's objection to a Muslim fundamentalist is part of a national fear of any Muslim being elected. I might eat my words, of course, but a LDS member is probably more palatable to the American electorate than a Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, or atheist.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Tired of Liberal BS said...

I hope this is the question you were talking about me answering. I wouldn't have a problem at all with it. Considering I have a few dozen friends/acquaintances that are mormon that may make it easier. But I honestly don't think that I would base my decision on religion. The only thing that would make me pause is someone that was obviously an extremists. And I am not referring to how Bush tells everyone his belief, but someone who made statements that everyone should share the same belief.

9:34 AM  
Blogger John said...

I'm with Superhawk on this, as long as the person satisfactorily qualified, and satisfied everyone that their religion would not intefere with their ability to do the job, it pretty much wouldn't matter what their religion was.

Maybe I'm a little bigotted, but I might have a hard time voting for a satanist or something like that.

9:47 AM  
Blogger Gindy said...

It is really what does this person stand for. No matter what the religion, if this potential President stands for what I stand for I will vote for him or her.

10:09 AM  
Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

I would vote for someone based on how I viewed their merits, voting records as a politician, honesty and beliefs. Being a Christian means being a Christian, not a Catholic, Mormon, Methodist, Orthodoxy or other. Believing in God is the most important thing as far as that goes. I would not vote for or against someone based on their religious affiliation. I base it on how well and how much they care for the nation. That's the best way to go as far as I'm concerned. It's too bad soo many people neglect to do that these days. Cheers!

10:09 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

I've worked with a few Mormons in my day. Every one of them is highly patriotic.
If a Mormon ran for any office my vote would be based on his, or her, stance on the issues. The question of that candidate selling out the country would simply not occur to me.
So, sure I'd vote for a Mormon. I don't vote for people because I want to sit around watching them drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. Nor am I looking for a drinking partner.

10:48 AM  
Blogger Sven said...

Thanks for the invite...

I wouldn't vote for any US President because I'm British and live in Germany anyway :)

I think that it's useful to know what religion a candidate belongs to, but I wouldn't discriminate against someone on the basis of their faith. Their party agendas and policies are much more important.

It's weird that in the US a political leader's faith is so important (regardless of whether they practise what it preaches) yet here in Europe it's just a non-issue.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Ditto superhawk. My sole concern would be divided loyalties.

BTW, one of my Senators is Mormon: Gordon Smith (OR). Thus far I've never voted against him. And his being a Mormon did come up the during his initial unsuccessful run for Senate. And I believe it came up the next time when he was elected. This last time when he was re-elected it never came up that I'm aware of. Like JFK, Smith satisfied people's question of where his allegiance would be as an elected official.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Nathan Frampton said...

I will be very honest here.

I think the Mormon Church is a cult. If you want to know why I think this, see this website (http://www.carm.org/mormon.htm). I grew up in a cult (The Worldwide Church of God)and one of my best friends growing up was Mormon.

That said, I would not have a problem with a Mormon President.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

I would have to say that I do have a few litmus test issues that determine who I vote for. Party affiliation and religion have never been part of the equation for me. I would vote for whomever I felt would be the best leader for our country. Politicians who use thier religion in order to get votes or financial support leave a sour taste in my mouth however, no matter what the religion. So if a Morman were using his religion as part of his campaign, I would have a hard time voting for him. To me using God in this way is the same as taking His name in vain. It is using His name in a way that does not glorify Him or lift Him up, but for one's own glory. I will also have to say that if a Muslim or Satanist were running, I would have to scrutinize VERY closely whether or not I felt there was a conflict of interest between his religious affiliation and his loyalty to our country. That was a thought-provoking question without a simple "yes or no" answer! Is "maybe" an acceptable answer?

11:51 AM  
Blogger Chris Vallancourt said...

If we are talking Massachusetts' own Grecian Formula Guv, Mitt Romney, then the answer would be no.

If we are talking about a dual ticket of Donnie and Marie Osmond, I would consider it...but only if they ran on a platform of dusting off the old "Donnie and Marie" show.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

David, as a Baptist, I would not have not problem voting for a Mormon as President. The leadership of our country should not be based purely on religious faith, but on honesty, integrity and wisdom in leading a political system for the good of our country, not a particular denomination or faith-based church.
Jimmy

6:02 PM  
Blogger Neil E. Das said...

David, as per your request, here is my response. First, I agree with Nathan in saying that I do not consider the Mormon church a Christian denomination. Theologically, they fall out of the sphere of orthodox Christianity. And, in as much as they puport to be Christians, more seemingly in recent years, I would have to label them a "cult" of Christianity, no matter how prejorative that term may sound.

So, I would then treat a Mormon candidate on the same basis as I would a candidate from another religion or no religion at all for that matter. I would have to see where they stood upon issues that I feel are key. For me the litmus test issue is abortion, as I feel it is the underpinning for so many other issues. Before anyone begins to pigeon hole me, I would likely happily vote for a Pro-life Democrat, if, like the proverbial snowball, he or she ever had a chance of getting on a Democratic national ballot.

This issue also touches upon issues of church and state, and here, admittedly, my position is muddled. Based upon my vague notion of Luther's two kingdoms model (the kingdom of God and the kingdom of man), I should be happier to have a competent, honest atheist as a leader over an inept believer. And yet, I do think that our government is and should continue to be based on the foundation on a Judeo Christian God. I think the Judeo Christian understanding of human nature is what our understanding of rights and law are based upon, and I think it is important to continue this.

Mind you, I do not want the government to mandate a particular religion, but I do think that in our foundational declarations we derive our legitimacy and foundation from God, and I would like this to continue for many reasons. I am aware that this is a very unpopular position.

So, in a long answer, I probably could vote for a Mormon, particularly if he or she were a co-belligerent on the issue of abortion.

Thank you for inviting me to comment.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Nate said...

well, contrary to popular thinking, i wouldn't really care if a religious leader was nominated or even elected to be president. while everyone is afraid that a religious leader in office might be connected with the Vatican (aka make his decisions based on Vatican influence), it doesnt really phase me.

dont get we wrong though, it wouldnt matter to me if the canidate was another religion or connected with some sort of influential base such as the Vatican. i dont really look for the credentials in a canidate (but that doesnt mean i completely disregard them). i just want to hear what they planned to do in office. if they tell me that, then not religion nor anything else really matters when making my decision.

good question, though. thanks for inviting me to comment!

8:38 PM  
Blogger Ken Grandlund said...

It looks like I am in concensus with many of the other responses given here, in that religious belief is not enough on its own to disqualify a candidate for the highest office. So long as their personal beliefs in the spiritual realm do not get turned into some supposed mandate from god to transform the actual world according to their interpretation of religion, they could be as effective as the next person.

So while religion is about service to ones god, politics is about service to ones fellow man. A faithful public servant will understand the difference.

10:27 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

Here's my opinion to this, and that's all it is opinion. Some denominations of Christianity require of their members a Sunday morning and then the members go on with their lives. I think most people feel more comfortable with that type of Christian than someone who is very committed to their religion. I know most Mormons will say that mormonism isnt just a Sunday Morning but a way of life. I am Pentecostal and the same is true for me. But that is why I feel that we won't be seeing a Pentecostal candidate for president in my lifetime. Too many people will have too many problems with the commitment level involved in their religious beliefs. I may be one like many who have commented here that does not mind what religion you are to be a good leader. But many are not like that. Think about GWB, he is attacked plenty just for his "mainstream" religious beliefs...now what if he were mormon or pentecostal? Just my opinion. I don't want to offend anyone and feel free to disagree. Let me know. Good site David, sorry it took me so long to make it out here.

10:38 PM  
Blogger Neil E. Das said...

In response to Ken, I think that any relegion worth its salt should be about both worship and service to God and love and service to ones fellow man. As I understand Christianity, both of these are key elements of it.

6:35 AM  
Blogger Hosedragger said...

It's not the religion, it is what you do with it. Why wouldn't anyone vote for a person because they are Mormon? As far as I know, there are already Mormons serving in local and federal government. What would be the difference?

7:20 AM  
Blogger Meesher said...

Kris, that's bullshit. Your implication that Muslims are similar to Satanists is absolutely ridiculous. We've already been over the "divided-interest" fallacy with JFK. It's stupid to suggest that an American Muslim would have any more divided loyalties than a Catholic or Protestant. I'm surprised someone didn't already call Kris out on this.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Lyndon said...

I don't think I could rule out voting for someone based solely on their religious affiliation. In all honesty, I would more closely scrutinize the views of a candidate before deciding for or against if I knew he/she were Mormon, but I would still like to think I'd give them a fair shake.

A somewhat related observation - I think it's too bad that presidential candidates have to feign religion (a la Kerry) in order to appeal to enough people to have a chance at the presidency. I know America is a religious country, but it doesn't seem like being a churchgoer should be a de facto prerequisite for becoming president.

8:58 AM  

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