Thursday, May 24, 2007

Scott Ott shoots, scores, on Mitt Romney—as do the Stilleys

As I've noted before, Scott Ott of Scrappleface parodies news stories so well that sometimes it's hard to tell that they aren't actual reports.

This one is a little more out-front. Titled Romney: 'Kooky Mormon Beliefs' Won’t Affect Presidency, Ott brings to the fore a number of specifics that I would imagine Romney enthusiasts such as Hugh "Squish" "Evangelical Roman Catholic Presbyterian" Hewitt don't really want in the spotlight. These include, according to Ott:
  • God is not eternal, but was once a man on another planet
  • God is married to his goddess wife and has spirit children
  • Jesus is the “spirit brother” of Lucifer and all humans are their siblings
  • The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three separate gods
  • The Father and the Son each have separate, physical bodies
  • The book of Mormon is more accurate than the Bible
  • The gospel was lost until Mormon founder Joseph Smith restored it and there is no salvation outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • It is impossible to be saved by God’s grace alone
Now, having said that, my own opposition to Romney is not related mainly to his being a cultist — though, admittedly, his being a cultist is not a "plus" to me.

I just think we need to be insistent that those who defend and promote him do it for other reasons than that (A) he isn't a cultist, or (B) Mormonism isn't all that bad, doctrinally.

And having said THAT, I'll add that some of the nicest people I've known have been Mormons. It isn't about nice. It's about the doctrine.

MORE SERIOUSLY STILL: Kevin Stilley's wife Susan says what I think, but says it better, here. To her thoughts, I would only add this: the big "sell" on Romney apparently is going to be that he is a religious hypocrite.

"Huh?", you huh?

That's right. We're going to be told that he is a sincere and convinced Mormon... but he won't let his worldview influence his conduct.

So, Crossword players, what is a nine-letter word for "Someone who says he believes one way, but behaves in another"?

Mm-hmm. "Hypocrite."

"Vote for me! I may be a cultist, but at least I'm a hypocrite!"

My, isn't that a great campaign-slogan? Evidently.

Susan's second part is up, and is a great read, good thinking and writing. She makes the case that Romney's cultic membership should concern us. Even more, she bonks Richard Land over the head repeatedly and deservedly.

And then, proving that his wife isn't the only sharp Stilley (some may have begun to wonder), Kevin Stilley posts a list of ponder-worthy quotations on Romney's candidacy. Read and think.

My own thinking:
  1. Romney being a cultist is not a plus
  2. I am more concerned with his total lack of credibility, his "road to Des Moines" conversion to conservatism (as I've written before, here)
  3. His being in a cult offers an opportunity to Evangelicals across America to clarify the true, saving Gospel, by means of contrast
  4. What opportunity have Evangelicals not botched horribly, within the last century?
  5. Early indicators (Richard Land, Hugh Hewitt, etc.) are that they're going to botch this one badly, too
  6. Romney's prominence and success isn't good for anyone
  7. Mercy, I hope it doesn't come down to a choice between any Democrat and Romney — but less than ditto and Giuliani or McMeMeMe
UPDATE: I have no idea why comments were closed. Blogger has done that to me a couple of times. If it happens again, please feel free to let me know.


FX Turk said...

Thank you for fixing the comments. :-)

Yes, Romney is a kook. "Cultic" is such a nice thing to say about Mormons -- I once had a guy in the bookstore (a mormon) tell me that the industrial revolution was a result of the Mormon Gospel being preached by Joseph Smith. Kook? At least.

But here's the thing: Mormons, sociologically, make good citizens. They make fine neighbors -- because they are insane legalists. And by "insane legalists", I mean "geez, they have this really amazingly high view of the law -- so much so that they actually fear breaking it, either politically or morally." That's one of the great flaws of their theology, but if we're going to pick a kook for the White House, (and we will -- we never fail to do so) let's pick a legalist kook who doesn't have delusions about when the end times will start rather than (for example) the female kook who thinks that the problem with medicaid is that more people don't have it, or the kook from Illinois who thinks that what the world needs now is love, sweet love, or the kook from North Carolina who thinks that it's a sign of his commitment to this country to continue campaigning when his wife's cancer has come out of remission.

He's not running for uberbishop: he's running for President. And let's be honest: baptist presidents in this country don't have a great track record.

See: our choices are the serial-adulterer pro-choice Catholic who only knows two things about politics (1-bad guys are bad; 2-commerce is good)(that's Giuliani), the pin-head war hero pragmatist (McCain), Fred!, and Romney. Blomberg as an indie candidate strikes me as worse than a disaster; all the Dems don't care if babies are killed. In that field, applying a theological litmus test seems impossible -- one wouldn't vote as none would pass.

I'll make you a deal: let's talk Phil into running for President, and you can be his Veep, and I'll blog the whole thing. I'll even vote for you guys. That way we get a ticket that passes the theological muster, and we also get blog traffic.

Think about it.

[added as an afterthought: I don't endorse Romney. You're right that he's faux conservative anyway -- he was governor of Massachusetts for pete's sake. Big Dig anyone?]

Kevin Stilley said...

As much as I appreciate Frank, I think he has bought into the lie that it is either this/or that.

As long as we continue to compromise by voting for "the lesser of two evils" we will be presented with only evils for which to vote. I simply don't think we can be Biblical, and at the same time adopt a "lesser of two evils" philosophy of cultural engagement.

(More thoughts coming...)

Stefan Ewing said...

Dan, I just figured you closed the comments to avoid some kind of heated debate here. Me, as a Canadian, I can enjoy the luxury of just making some popcorn and watching the 2008 Rudy-Jack-Mitt-Fred(?)-Hillary-Obama-Edwards-and-maybe-Bloomberg-too show from the sidelines. (That's not the same Edwards who preached "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," is it?)

DJP said...

I think, Frank, you make characteristically excellent points. But mostly, I think yours is in response to the "don't vote for him, he's Mormon" point. The legitimization issue that the Stilleys raise is troubling, and worth consideration.

But as I think you finally note, my opposition isn't grounded on his being Mormon. That's just another minus, to me.

Gotta say, Kevin: if you think that every vote for a natural-born son of Adam isn't "the lesser of two evils," we have a little difference of opinion.

FX Turk said...


I think the legitimization issue is important for Christian identity, not for American politics. The problem (as usual) is the media which can't tell the difference between David Koresh and David Jeremiah.

"His religion has the name 'Jesus' in the title? He must be a Christian -- just like T.D. Jakes!"


Stefan Ewing said...

OT, but I never understood why God would choose a deceitful, stubborn guy like Jacob until I heard David Jeremiah's sermons on him. Wow.

Kevin Stilley said...

Just wanted to make sure that you understand I agree with you regarding Total Depravity. Fleshing out my my ideas regarding a Davidic paradigm, and Hierarchical Ethics will have to be postponed 'til next week.

Kay said...

American politics is a lot of fun to watch from here. Yeah, it's all about the lesser of two evils thing, but at least you have some semblance of clear blue water between them, and faith and dead babies is allowed to be an issue.

*squashes that desire to emigrate once more*