Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Why Christianity (or Mormonism) Does Matter in Voting

Mr. Charles M. Madigan, Chicago Tribune's senior correspondent, editor and columnist, is a really good writer and, in many ways, a supremely intelligent man. And yet his quick take on conversion (i.e. he covers his switch from Catholicism to Episcopalianism in a mere six words) and casual conclusions on religious confusion (concerning Christ's Divinity and Sacramental Presence) betrays both an ignorance of doctrine and lack of understanding of Orthodox Christianity that for said group renders the main point of his April 10th commentary, "Mormons need not even apply?" mute. Mitt Romney's Mormonism does (and should!) matter to mainline Protestants and committed Catholics, and here's why.

First of all, for millions of Christians, the "belief" that Jesus IS God and did come to earth to live, die, and rise from the dead to save us from our sins (that's John 3:16 for Scripture lovers) is their main reason for existence. So how can it not affect the way they think and vote and live? The Bible's Book of James states quite graphically that faith without works is dead, so for a Christian to not bring his beliefs with him into the voting booth is one modern version of James. "If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,' but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?" (James 1:15-16).

Similarly, the Catholic belief in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist (based largely on John, Chapter 6, and the Last Supper narratives from the New Testament) has not only been eloquently defended for 2,000 years, but has been the main source of Christian strength for every Catholic saint from the early Church fathers to the recently deceased Mother Teresa, who stated, "I could not see—and serve—Christ hidden in the distressing disguise of the poorest of the poor if I did not first receive Him humbly hidden in the bread and wine of Holy Communion." While believing that a man is God or that God is truly present in this "Blessed Sacrament" does indeed require a leap of faith, the true story of the Church, from the birth of Christ until the present day, demonstrates that this faith, along with its miracles, supports rather than contradicts fact.

Thus to say that the faith of a man who believes that Jesus was merely a prophet (like Islam's Mohammed) or a half-god (similar to the Ancient Greece's Heracles) and whose religion has off and on endorsed polygamy (which, if gay marriage passes as law, would most likely be the next legal union on the table) "should not even be up for discussion" among Christians is nonsense. On the other hand, if none of the pro-life, pro-traditional-marriage Christian candidates wins the Republican nomination and I am faced with the choice of the somewhat-same-agenda-as-Rome Romney vs. the abortion-on-demand Obama or Hillary, well, that's another story. But this does not lessen the fact that as Christians, we must work and hope and pray for the candidate whose commitment to following the Ten Commandments in life and policy is closest to our own. Sorry, Charlie, but for the evangelical or Catholic who follows their religion, faith does make a difference.


Anonymous said...

Very well said, mate! Kudo's for bringing this point to light.

dbonhoeffer said...


Elwood19k20 said...

Too bad for all of you that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and not the Bible. I care not for the religious beliefs of any President so long as that person is the most qualified to successfully lead our nation and follow the rule of law.