That’s the refrain of prominent Evangelical Christians, who nonetheless levy their lukewarm support on Romney.
‘Cult’ is the label The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, long form for ‘The Mormon Church’, has long suffered with. A religion whose lack of acceptance in the political sphere has remained remarkably consistent since the 60′s, according to Gallup, whose been tracking anti-Mormon sentiment since 1967.
The backlash has even been increasing a touch from the 17% in 1967 who wouldn’t cast their vote for a Mormon, to 22% now.
Oddly enough and entirely counterintuitively, it’s Democrats (27%) who are more opposed to voting for a Mormon than Republicans (18%) according to that same Gallup poll.
In fact the only people who conjure less support than Mormons are gays, who get a ‘no’ vote from 32% of people polled and atheists at 49%. That’s a curious note in and of itself because those two groups, the least trusted by the electorate, tend to have higher levels education.
On the whole though, the gripe with Mormonism is incoherent and seems to lack a cogent backbone. The reticence by Evangelicals and others makes no sense. Mormonism is an Abrahamic religion, thus it derives from the exact same mores of classical Christianity and Judaism.
It falls squarely within the value set of Judeo-Christian tradition.
Are there dubious details about Mormonism? Sure. They’ve been known to baptize the dead and excluded Blacks from the Priesthood until 1978. But stupidity is germane to all religion and its adherents, so it’s not worth lambasting one over another.
Even the oft used mudsling that Mormonism is a bastion for polygamists (it was their thing from 1852 to 1890) holds no water because the Old Testament is rife with polygamy and the New Testament doesn’t expressly condemn it either.
Putting the kibosh on polygamy wasn’t necessarily even a biblically derived decision, but rather a more ethically informed one under the guise of biblical reintrepretation.
I digress, if you do away with the divisive labels of ‘Christian’ and ‘Mormon’ while listening to Romney speak, you’d be hard pressed to decipher any value based differences.
Though they, Mormons and Christians, believe essentially the same exact thing, the childish distrust and qualms stem from a handful of petty discrepancies that can’t be overcome even though they both follow the teaching of Jesus.
It’s that immaturity of mind that allows anyone to be so arrogantly stupid about Mormonism.
‘We agree and you share my values’ say 22% of the country to candidates like Romney and Huntsman, ‘but nonetheless, competence and nuanced appraisal aside, I find it impossible to support you because of your religion…which shares all the values of my religion’.
So Mormons are labeled a cult.
To be fair though; Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, etc. are all cults as well. Every religion, by definition, falls into the category of ‘cult’.
cult [kuhlt] – noun
3: a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents
Definition 1 and 2 applies to major religions, definition 3 is what major religions derogatorily call their offshoots. Did Jews not call Jesus and his early followers by some Aramaic (Greek and/or Hebrew) synonym of ‘cult’ back when JC and his crew got started? Of course they did.
It’s truly confounding how daft people can become when they allow religion, instead of logic and rationale assessment, to dictate their decisions. Because the truth is, it makes not a lick of difference what the President’s religion is. We don’t live in a theocracy and moreover, our government operates on the basis of a separation of powers. A separation which is manifested in a system of checks and balances on the branches of government.
So if a Mormon like Romney wins the election and tries to implement Sharia Mormonism, he couldn’t do it. Even if he could though, it’d look, smell, taste, feel and exhibit the same core values as America’s favorite Judeo-Christian folklore anyways. So what’s the deal?
It’s unfortunate that in this day and age there exists such a large contingency of people who would rather wallow in a filthy, muddy cesspool of religious division and ignorance than rise above that sort of thing.
Even more damning is the fact that those who are so devoted to their faiths somehow don’t see it as a positive that Mitt Romney is so devoted to his. A faith that has far more commonalities than differences with their own.
We’re electing a President, not a Pastor/Priest/Rabbi/Imam, etc.