Saturday, April 21, 2007

Dean McConnell on Romney

Dean McConnell raises some valid concerns for Christians to consider before deciding to support and vote for Governor Romney.
When we vote for someone for office, we are voting for the entire person. We should consider what they believe, what they know, what their skills, gifts, abilities, talents and virtues are. We should also consider the evidence of their particular addictions, vices and shortcomings. I would not vote for anyone for public office who holds beliefs about reality that are absurd or who does not know information necessary to be an effective office holder. ...

Within the core of what someone believes are their religious beliefs. What someone believes about God, human nature, the origin of the universe, the order of the universe, the source of moral law, the source of rights, why human beings can learn language or learn anything at all, whether there are spiritual forces at work in the world, what factors affect human behavior and decision making, and what factors affect group behavior and decision making, are all of great importance and are all tied to one’s religious faith and belief. If one claims they are not tied to one’s religious faith and belief, that says something very clearly about what that person actually thinks and actually believes. What some Mormons believe about foundational ideas, as individuals, may be laudable. But what the Mormon Church historically has believed is not always Biblical, praiseworthy, or sensible.


mantikor said...

We Christians need to be very careful before we join with the athiests in showing disrespect or derision for another person's religion. Today they are attacking the "strange" beliefs of the Mormons - tomorrow it will be the "strange" beliefs of the Christians. We could easily find ourselves hoisted on our own petard. I think is it every Christian's duty to stand up in defense of freedom of religion and freedom from religious persecution like we see going on here.

David M. Smith said...

Hi mantikor,

I certainly agree with you that we need to show respect towards most people who do not share our own religious beliefs. I don’t see where Dean McConnell is being disrespectful. All beliefs are not equally defensible. Many Christians do have kooky beliefs that need to be criticized without being disrespectful to the person who holds the kooky or silly beliefs.

I am against religious persecution and I am against silly thinking. Criticizing silly thinking, even when the silly thinking is someone’s religious beliefs, is the only way to improve the thinking of others.

Buz said...

Well, I disagree, in part with Dean. I went to his site and read the post, and while the points he makes are great in theory, they fall like rocks in practice.

If the ballot were going to be God or Mit, definitely, Mit would not get my vote, but in reality, the ballots are more likely going to be Satan or Mit. In that case, it is going to be really, really hard not to vote for Mit.


David M. Smith said...

Hi Buz,

I left a comment at Dean McConnell’s site before I posted my link that is very similar to your comment. [My comment hasn’t been moderated yet.] In the end, I may end up voting for Governor Romney if he is the best remaining choice. (I think this is Dean McConnell’s position as well.) However, I hope we end up with a better choice and I do think Dean McConnell articulated why personal beliefs matter very well.

Reg Golb said...

Luckily we still have months and months before we have to make any decision.
Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
We still have time to nominate the "right" person.

David M. Smith said...

Hi Reg Golb,

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Yes, plenty can happen between now and when it becomes time to vote. However, unless the current trend reverses, and God could reverse it at any time, my expectation is that the next President of the United States will not be a strong leader. Even historically, good Presidents have been rare. People tend to vote for hair-coloring, wig-wearing, nice-dressing, good-looking, articulate followers, not strong leaders.

I pray that God does intervene and give us a President who is wise in conducting the war on terror, and reforming Social Security and immigration, but I’m not holding my breath. I’m still thankful America is what it is. Most places are much worse off.

Thanks again for stopping by.

The Count said...

I'm more disturbed by the revelation that his favorite book is "Battlefield Earth". That's just bizzare!

My main problem with Romney is I don't think he can win, not because he's Mormon, but because he does not inspire. We have a loooooong time to get to change our minds however.

Buz said...

Hey, don't forget that I'm thinking about running in 2016.

Is that long enough notice?


David M. Smith said...

Hi Count,

I listened a little to the interview Greg Koukl had with Hugh Hewitt and John Mark Reynolds on Stand to Reason yesterday. Hugh and John Mark both made the point that we are electing a President, not a spiritual or theological leader. Both Hugh and John Mark are convinced that Governor Romney shares their political beliefs more than any other candidate and that Governor Romney has demonstrated the character traits that are important in a President.

Conceptually, I agree with the points they made. Governor Romney may get my vote because he may be better than any of the alternatives. However, like you, I find the guy a little strange. Sci-fi is not my cup of tea; especially L. Ron Hubbard Sci-fi, but why would a Sci-fi book be on anyone’s list of favorite books? “Married with Children” is one of my guilty pleasures. My wife doesn’t get it; she thinks the show is horrible. I think the show has some tremendous satire, but it would never make my list of favorite shows and neither would any situation comedy.

The skills that are necessary to be President are not the same skills that are necessary to be elected President. President Bush was elected because of the tremendous amount of financial backing he was able to secure very early in the election cycle. The people with money saw him as a winner. I saw him as a real person. He sounded like me when he had to speak without preparation. He never could, and still can’t, say what he means. His lack of polish was endearing to me. His lack of political skills has proven to be a stabilizing force in government for the last six years. He doesn’t blow with the wind.

Governor Romney seams too prepared, too slick, and too political to appeal to me. I’m afraid he will blow with the wind, like Pete Wilson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and most other Republicans who seek approval from the public.

David M. Smith said...


If the election were held today, you would get my support.

Rick and Gary said...

I agree about the sci-fi, big time. Romney also recently talked about marriages in France having 7-year terms, which he though was a fact but really came from a sci-fi novel.

As someone who sees the Bush years as way too "wishing it makes it so" I'm hoping that both parties produce highly experienced realists.

David M. Smith said...

Hi Rick,

I really want to like Governor Romney. He is a man who can only be described as extremely competent and extremely successful by almost any definition of either word.

I watched 60 minutes last night thinking that I would get so mad at Mike Wallace and CBS that I would have to like Governor Romney, yet I kept hearing Bill Clinton whenever he answered any of Wallace’s questions; not in what he said, but in how he phrased everything.

My sense is a President Romney will blow with the wind.

I know you don’t like President Bush. I think it will be a long time before America elects another President with uncompromising convictions. Americans seem to want more “flexible” leaders.

Buz said...

Problem with having convictions (the philosophical kind, not the leagal kind ... although, one can lead to the other) is that you are implicitly stating that there is a RIGHT and a WRONG. A lot of people do not want to hear that, no matter what it refers to, because
if there is a right and a wrong there, there might be one here, also.

And, if there is a right and a wrong here, I could be wrong.

I don't want to be wrong, therefore there IS NO wrong, nor a right.

Therefore I cannot be wrong, no matter what I think or what I do.


(Free Paris Hilton!)

David M. Smith said...

Hi Buz,

I think there are some relativists who prefer to not make value judgments, but most of the people who believe in a right to choose to have an abortion are not relativists any more than most of the people who believe CO2 is destroying the planet, or most of the people who want to give peace a chance, or most of the people who want open borders, or most of the people who want to tax the rich. All of these people are convinced they are absolutely correct and everyone else are fools.

Most non-politicians do have convictions, even pathetically wrong convictions, but most politicians stick their finger in the air before taking a political position.

History may judge President Bush harshly. However, to me, he was the right leader at the right time even if he fails to achieve all he intended. Someday I will tell my grandchildren about President Bush just as my parents generation told us about President Roosevelt.

(Execute Paris Hilton!) NOW

Buz said...

You misunderstand ... it is OK if YOU are wrong, but I refuse to be wrong. That is bad. It is wrong for ME to be wrong.