On January 3rd, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney filed his paperwork to form his presidential campaign exploratory committee. This was not a surprise to many. It has long been speculated that Romney would attempt to win the ’08 Republican nomination. I must admit, I do not know much about the man, but I am attempting to learn about all the hopefuls in order to make an informed decision on who I can really get behind. I am very afraid of the major players on the Democratic side and find it unrealistic that a third party candidate can win. So, I began the investigation of Mitt Romney. So far I like what I see. But, I am not inspired yet to discuss his stand on the issues, but rather how people will view his reasons for his stands.
Mitt Romney is a Mormon.
This single fact has blanketed all others in every Mitt Romney discussion. I could hardly discern what his actual view was for all the discussion concerning his religion. And the question was asked, “Does a person’s religion affect the way they govern?”
Powerful question. Not a real easy answer. Personally, I think it depends on a number of factors. What religion are we talking about? What are the core beliefs of the religion and how rigid does the person hold to these beliefs? Then, like many things, I applied the question to myself. How do my views reflect my belief system?
I believe that right and wrong are not relative. There are certain things that are right for all people and wrong for all people, regardless of what you think, believe or feel. There are certain absolutes. There are certain ideas of behavior that can and should be legislated. Some of these ideas may coincide with religious ideas, but that fact alone does not negate the applicability in common society. Off on the rabbit trail I continued.
I think of the beliefs that I hold that are stereotypically tied to religious argument – abortion, stem cell research, alcohol sales on Sunday, marriage, child discipline, prayer in schools, and the like. As an aside, I didn’t say how I felt about these topics. Do you think you could peg how I feel about them all based on what you know about me?
At any rate, I think on these subjects and I have begun a quest for myself and a challenge to you all. On the issues, can you defend your position without the use of religious arguments and subjective moral platitudes? Should you be expected to? Should presidential hopefuls be expected to? Would you vote for someone of a different religious background than you? Where do you fall out where the issues are concerned? How is that going to affect the way you vote? Does any of this even matter to you?