Saturday, July 08, 2006

Romney's Religion Problem

There is no doubt Mitt Romney is running for the Rpublican nomination for President. He seems like a fine person, an excellent husband and father and a good governor of Massachusetts. He is the only current governor running for President (although he has not announced). I followed his career as governor and I can tell you he was a good governor--considering he had a 6-1 Democratic margin in the state legislature. And most of those Democrats would make Lenin look like a flaming John Bircher.

Nevertheless, Romney is wasting his time running. My box turtle Pokey Jo would stand a better chance of getting on the Republican ticket in 2008 than Romney. Why? His religion.

Romney is a Mormon and a fairly devout one. Romney can call himself a devout Christian and tell people he believes in Jesus. It may play with liberal Protestants and some Catholics. But it will not play with fundamentalist Christians (which I am one). The great majority of fundamentalist Christians live in the South, which is the cockpit of Republican Presidential primaries.

In the Deep South, the Southern Baptist church is the main church of fundamentalist Christians. In the Baptist church, there is a thing called "Discipleship Training" (It used to be called "Training Union.") This training is usually held on Sunday night, an hour before the evening service (For more time, some of them are held on Wednesday nights.). During this training, one of the classes deals with cults. The Mormon church is considered a cult.

In one very large (5500 members) fundamentalist Baptist church, I remember going to a class years ago on the Mormons. We all freaked out when we read their beliefs and theology. The Mormons believe Jesus is a lesser prophet or god than Moroni. They believe you can baptize your dead ancestors. They believe if you follow the book of the Mormon, lead an exemplary life and have a large family, you can become a god on another planet. It is a secretive religion, which definitely conflicts with the openness of the Baptist faith. And Mormons wear some sacred clothing, which spooks a lot of us Baptists. The polygamy thing didn't use to bother us. But with the Supreme Court overturning sodomy laws and Massachusetts allowing homosexual marriage, will polygamous marriages become legal?

There is no doubt Romney is very charming and intelligent. At first blush, he'll appeal to Southern audiences. But once his religious beliefs become common knowledge, he'll be toast. He will have a horrible time explaining his beliefs to fundamentalist Baptists.

His religion will not be openly discussed. But in most Baptist churches, there is an organization called the "Men's Brotherhood." It's a bunch of men meeting very early (6AM) on a Sunday for breakfast. We discuss church mission projects and what to do, church events and secular politics. There are tens of thousands of meetings like this throughout the South. You can rest assured Romney's religion will be discussed. And you can also rest assured Romney will get no votes from Baptists who are aware of Romney's religious beliefs. If you think fundamentalist Baptists will vote for a Mormon, you are new in the South or you have been living in a swamp free from civilization.

Romney can have ten thousand people trying to mute Romney's Mormon beliefs and do all they can to convince us he's a Christian. Under NO circumstances will I vote for Romney if he's on the ticket. And take my word for it, there are hundreds of thousands of people like me throughout the entire South who feel that way.

If you want more information on Romney's religion problem, go to and check the link on Romney. I wrote a little commentary on Romney. The website is excellent and very informative.

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