Election 2012: When Religion and Politics Mix
As the 2012 Presidential Election draws closer and the mud slinging gets worse, it's not hard to predict exactly what kind of mud will be thrown. Especially when both presumed candidates have social and religious issues to deal with. The real question is: Have the candidates made themselves fair game by choosing extreme positions on these matters? I say the answer is a resounding 'YES'.
President Obama rode a huge wave of popularity into office in the last presidential election. People wanted change. Whether they got what they wanted is another debate. What is certain is that matters regarding his points of view which affect or include religious and social considerations that were all but ignored or swept under the rug during the last go round, will not so easily vaporize this time.
The President recently took the position of supporting Gay Marriage. One could argue that he was bullied into that proclamation by his Vice President who courts controversy every time he speaks in public. However, the horse is out of the barn and it doesn't matter who is to blame. What does matter is how Conservative and Evangelical Christians, as well as those who pastor or attend churches that have primarily African-American congregations, will react to Obama's position on Gay Marriage.
It appears that most prominent Conservative and Evangelical Christian Leaders are not making a big deal out of the President's Gay Marriage proclamation. That's probably because they do not consider him to be a Conservative or Evangelical Christian, and believe that his stand on almost anything affecting religious points of view is inconsequential to them. It is more interesting to note what Christian Pastors and Leaders from the African-American community are saying when questioned about Obama's recent revelation regarding Gay Marriage.
A few weeks ago I had an interesting conversation with my wife. I told her that I believed Mitt Romney would never get the support he craves from Conservative and Evangelical Christians. The reason is because he is a member and Elder of The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Many Conservative and Evangelical Christians would not be interested in supporting his bid for the presidency because they feel that he belongs to a cult.
In our conversation, I also mentioned that Mitt Romney would probably face stiff resistance from African-American Pastors and Leaders. Why? Because for one hundred and fifty years the Latter-Day Saints taught that blacks were cursed. They refused to allow them to become a part of the LDS Priesthood. My prediction came true this week.
Instead of talking about President Obama's stand on Gay Marriage when asked about it, most African-American Pastors and Leaders began speaking out against Morman racism and Mitt Romney's alleged support of it by default. They point out that it wasn't until the 1970s that Mormans allowed blacks to join the LDS priesthood and that both Mitt Romney and his father were Elders in their religion. The problem now becomes which candidate voters who care about these matters are willing to excuse for their religious and social positions or affiliations.
The president has kept company with what many consider to be pastors and educators with extreme leftist political and social views. Most non-black voters will probably look past that because we all know there was a time when African-Americans were horribly mistreated in this country. That left many black pastors and leaders with little choice but to take extreme positions against the establishment during those days. But Obama also faces some additional problems because people perceive that he has placed his willingness to provide an affirmation for Gay Marriage and a desire to prop up his health care system above all else including religious considerations.
Obama's people have been hammering religious institutions to turn their back on their own beliefs in favor of his one-size-fits-all health care system. A quick study of dyed in the wool religious positions on things like Abortion, Birth Control and Euthanasia should have provided the President with the conclusion that the public perception of his health care system as supporting these things would have made it a non-starter. But it didn't, his health care bill passed and will probably end up dying a slow death in the courts.
While the President dances around all the problems that come from his support of Obama Care and Gay Marriage, Mitt Romney must come to grips with and try to answer the criticism about his wealth, decisions made during his business career and the extremes of his Faith. Meanwhile, many Americans feel they have been left with two bad choices for President. It's too bad that no one seems to be worried about them. I take the position that no matter who you vote for, you will get the same thing: A politician so rapped up in their own ideology and so disconnected from average Americans that they could not possibly do anything positive for anyone except themselves and their friends while in office.
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