Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Franklin Graham: Evangelicals CAN Vote For A Mormon

Reverend Franklin Graham has joined other Evangelical Christians such as Richard Mouw and Pat Robertson who have publicly stated that Evangelicals can vote for a Mormon. Reverend Graham told a Christian television station, Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) that he is not bothered by Mitt Romney's religion and briefly talked about the relationship between a candidate's religion and his ability to be a competent leader:
“You can have the nicest guy and he can be a Christian and just wonderful but have absolutely no clue as to how to run a country, you don’t want that … Mitt Romney is a very capable fellow, I know him. I know Newt Gingrich, another capable person; Michele Bachmann, a very capable lady; Rick Santorum, I like a lot, very gifted guy, a very sharp person and so there are some good candidates out there.”
Reverend Franklin Graham has a point. Voters should not vote for a candidate who is strongly committed his religion but has no ability to lead or doesn't even know how to lead. 
What is equally as important is that just because a candidate is of a certain religion doesn't mean he'll be a good leader just because he is a member of that faith. Its important to remember that every president who has ever occupied the White House has been a Christian. Let us not forget that Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, LBJ, Jimmy Carter, Clinton and Barak Obama were all Christians. men. Yet, their political and social values has had a negative impact on our country politically, financially and militarily. The important lesson from these Presidents is that the negative impact these presidents have had our nation and the world was not because of their political party or their religious affiliation. It was their values. 
Jay Sekulow, a high powered conservative Jewish leader and attorney, had a public debate with Pastor Jeffress about whether or not a person can reject a candidate based on their religious membership. In that debate, Jay Sekulow makes a powerful point that the idea that Evangelicals should only vote for other Christians leads to some very disturbing outcomes if you follow that argument to its logical conclusion by posing a hypothetical to Pastor Jeffress: 
”If Mitt Romney was running against Jimmy Carter, would you support Jimmy Carter because he’s a born-again Christian? I find that premise to be troubling.”
Other disturbing outcomes have arisen when theological leaders talk to the media about Mitt Romney's religion. For example, take a look at Reverend Brad Atkins who made jaw dropping claim about what Evangelical supporters are concerned about: 
"In South Carolina, Romney's Mormonism will be more of a cause of concern than Gingrich's infidelity."
It boggles the mind that South Carolina Evangelicals are more disturbed by the fact that Mitt Romney has been a devout Mormon who has been faithful to his wife for 42 years than Newt Gingrich's serial infidelities and divorces.
This is why I've been forever arguing that a candidate's values is more important than than their theology. You cannot go wrong in voting for a candidate when you focus on their values rather than on their religion or political affiliation. When you vote for a candidate that you feel shares your values but may not be of your faith or political party, you will always be making the right choice. 
I strongly recommend Evangelicals to visit the website Evangelicals For Mitt or joining Evangelicals For Mitt's facebook page and talking to other Evangelicals why they are supporting Mitt Romney. You'll find that almost all of the Evangelical voters who will be voting for Mitt support him because he shares their values.

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