In between fretting that the United States was on the verge of permanent collapse due to the policies of President Obama and the poor moral/spiritual state of the nation in general, Grudem was asked by Ryan Dobson just what he should say to people who think that just because something is legal that makes it okay. The question prompted Grudem to respond that just because something is legal, that doesn't make it moral ... just as our nation allows freedom of religion, but that doesn't mean it is "morally right" for people to be Muslims or Buddhists:
Ryan Dobson: When I speak around the country to all ages, I talk about the difference between legal and right; just because it's legal doesn't mean it's right. And oftentimes I hear from churchgoers "well, that's what the law is, what am I supposed to do?" And at what point can a believer say just because it's legal doesn't make it right and I'm going to do what's right even if it's illegal.
Grudem: Well, there are two questions. One is does God require of us more than the civil laws demand? Sure. Our nation, for instance, allows freedom of religion so it's legal to have a Muslim mosque or a Buddhist temple but that doesn't mean it's morally right for people to seek to come to God that way because you and I believe, Ryan, that we only come to God through knowing Jesus Christ as Savior. So there are things that are allowed that are not what God wants us to do.
A 700 Club viewer asked Pat Robertson today if he should marry his Muslim girlfriend of three years even though he is a Christian, to which Robertson responded, “no way.” “She wants to do her Muslim thing and you want to do your Christian thing,” Robertson said, “walk away.” He urged him to pray for her to become a Christian, “and if that doesn’t work say, ‘I’m sorry, good bye.’” Robertson, who is no fanofMuslims, explained that it isn’t necessarily Christ-like to be “nice and friendly” as “he’s not gentle Jesus, meek and mild, he really isn’t.”
Sharia law and the Muslim Brotherhood are coming! Clearly that idea is ridiculous. Not even Rep. Michelle Bachmann believes that. She believes they are already here! On June 13, Bachmann, along with fellow Republican congressmen Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert, Thomas Rooney, and Lynn Westmoreland, sent a letter to the Inspectors General of the Departments of State, Justice, and Homeland Security, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, claiming that the Muslim Brotherhood has “operatives” within the US government. The letter attempts to link Muslim governmental officials to the Muslim Brotherhood and defames a number of American Muslim organizations.
Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, responded to the egregious accusations in an open letter today. Ellison points out that Bachmann and her allies took many of their claims from MuslimBrotherhoodinAmerica.com, a website run by anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy. Gaffney has a history of making unsubstantiated claims about Muslims, a number of which Ellison lists in his letter. For instance, Gaffney has claimed that Muslim Americans who run for office do so to wage “stealth jihad” and has “accused New Jersey Governor Chris Christie of ‘corruption’ and ‘treason’ for appointing a Muslim lawyer to be a judge.” At the end of the letter, Ellison requests a list of all the sources Bachmann used to make these serious claims and asks that if the sources turn out to not be credible that the names of all accused be publicly cleared.
It would be nice if Ellison’s letter put an end to the fear tactics and Islamophobic statements that have become far too common in the Republican Party, but that’s sadly unlikely. Republicans, whose main focus is clearly the economy, somehow seem to find a new Sharia threat each election year. Has it really been two years since we first heard about the Park 51 Muslim Community Center?
As RWW readers know, there is no end to the Religious Right’s dishonest campaign to portray Barack Obama as an enemy of faith and freedom. The latest salvo from Phyllis Schlafly on the president’s “record of hostility to religion” is a litany of the Religious Right’s favorite horror stories, half-truths, distortions, and outright falsehoods, wrapped up in a sweeping assertion:
When Barack Obama promised to “fundamentally transform the United States” we could not have anticipated the extreme transformations he would seek. The evidence is rolling in that he is determined to transform America into a totally secular land where religion is permitted only within the walls of a church, but is banned in every public place, public gathering and public school….
Barack Obama is trying to morph our traditional religious liberty to the lesser scope of freedom of worship. That means worship only inside a church, or maybe a synagogue, but not any public affirmation of belief in God.
Schlafly must have missed Obama’s inauguration, not to mention the administration’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and ongoing federal funding of religiously affiliated social service organizations. Or perhaps she cares less about the truth than about convincing conservative Christians that Obama is their enemy.
Christian publisher Thomas Nelson Inc. is offering a July 4 special, with several books available at the patriotic price of $17.76. Among them is the American Patriot’s Bible, edited by Atlanta-based pastor and Religious Right figure Richard Lee. Nothing could better demonstrate the effort by Religious Right leaders to claim a divine blessing for their political views and their view of America’s founding.
The American Patriot’s Bible attracted some unflattering attention when it came out in 2009. Ethics Daily reported that some critics charged that it “promotes idolatry and glorifies nationalistic violence.” One of those critics was theologian and pastor Greg Boyd, author of The Myth of a Christian Nation, who called the Patriot's Bible "one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever witnessed coming from a Christian publishing house.” Boyd published an in-depth critique that ended this way:
In the Introduction Dr. Richard Lee promises that, "If you love America and the Scriptures, you will treasure this Bible." I truly love America and deeply love the Scriptures, but for just this reason, I was thoroughly appalled by this Bible.
But not everyone was appalled. In 2010, Glenn Beck told viewers that he had a copy of the Patriot’s Bible at home and one at his office and said, “this should be in every person’s home.” Lee was part of Beck’s show on the eve of his “Restoring Honor” rally, and has been active in Religious Right efforts to shape the 2012 campaign and defeat President Barack Obama.
Spending a little time with the Patriot’s Bible makes it clear why the Gingrich campaign invited Lee to serve on its faith leaders coalition during this year’s presidential primary. Religious Right political rhetoric appears in an introduction and in articles sprinkled throughout the Patriot’s Bible. It complains that Supreme Court rulings against requiring prayer and Bible readings in the public schools amounted to “censoring religious activities long considered an integral part of education.”
On abortion: “If people and nations do not grant ultimate respect and protection to both the born and the unborn, all other professed morals and values are meaningless.”
On marriage: “The plan of God, nature, and common sense is a man and a woman producing children within the institution of marriage. What that plan is lost, “marriage” and “family” become meaningless, and a nation and its people will follow the road to ruin….”
The American Patriot’s Bible also promotes Religious Right propaganda about the supposed threat to religious liberty in America:
Our freedom to serve God and to promote the gospel in our land is disintegrating. We are engaged in a great spiritual battle that threatens our county, our families, and our lives. Only God’s intervention will return America to solid footing and restore a moral nation that righteousness will exalt.
And, for those who keep hoping that the Religious Right is going to fade away:
When fighting for the right, we must never cease until we prevail. The battle is not always won by the strongest, the smartest, or the most elite, but ultimately it comes to those who persist and persevere.
PFAW staff and supporters welcomed home the Nuns on the Bus as they arrived in Washington, DC following a two-week tour through nine states. The Catholic sisters went on tour to stand in solidarity with those living in poverty and to push back against the Ryan Budget, which further enriches the wealthiest Americans while slashing vital programs that help our neediest citizens.
The nuns drove through nine states to help spread the word about how the Ryan Budget, which passed the House this year, harms the most vulnerable American families, and does so -- in the words of the nuns -- in violation of Catholic teaching.
Speakers at this afternoon’s rally condemned those in Congress who voted to perpetuate a political system that benefits the privileged few at the expense of the many, limits participation in our democracy in order to maintain an established system that protects the powerful and fails to show compassion for all people. They coined the slogan “Reasonable Revenue for Responsible Programs – the Faithful Way Forward” to illustrate the priorities they would like to see adopted by Congress to help make our communities and country more just for all.
During the interview, Boykin warned that every serious Muslim was determined to enshrine Sharia wherever they lived and that they were making great progress in establishing it in America. This prompted one of the co-hosts to ask Boykin about Dearborn, Michigan which he claimed was "almost one hundred percent Muslim and operating under Sharia law now," a statement with which Boykin agreed, adding that "if you walk down the streets, you would think you were in Beirut or Damascus":
Of course, Deace is not being accused of anti-Mormonism because he is criticizing Romney's inconsistent record or history of flip-flops but rather because he frequently offers air time to people who liken voting for Romney to voting for Satan. And, in fact, during the discussion with Mansfield, Deace openly wondered how voters can justify supporting candidates just because they might be good on some issues despite that fact they also "believe things that are so crazy" like Mormonism:
What I have found is, you know, I can vet every other Republican candidate running for president the last two cycles, I can vet their record. I can talk about I don't like Rick Santorum's endorsement of Arlen Specter and nobody calls me an anti-Catholic bigot. I can vet the record of every other Republican running for ... I can vet Rudy Giuliani's record and nobody calls me a bigot against agnostics. But if I vet Mitt Romney's record, I'm a religious bigot and this continues on to this day.
At some level, when people believe things that are so crazy, does that cancel out where they're at on anything else?
When Deace was "vetting" the other GOP candidates, he never explicitly attacked any of them for their faith, yet he does exactly that to Romney on a regular basis. So if Deace doesn't like being called an anti-Mormon bigot, perhaps he ought to stop offering air time to (and agreeing with) anti-Mormon activists.
Congressman Allen West (R-FL) is out with a new ad this week. Set to soaring, dramatic music, the Congressman tells the story of his upbringing and how describes how his father gave him the opportunity live the American Dream. He runs through typical Republican talking points calling for tax cuts and slashing services, and laments the failings of Washington. It’s standard campaign-ad fare, and he concludes by stating “I’m just getting started; that’s the American Way.”
However, West’s record suggests that his notion of the “American Way” is rather at odds with the Constitution’s promise of freedom and equality for all.
The First Amendment guarantees the freedom of religion for all Americans, and Article VI of the Constitution states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” But West thinks that Representative Keith Ellison (D-MI), a practicing Muslim, represents the "antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established." He also harbors some vehemently anti-Islamic ideas.
America is a country that values free speech and open debate. Yet West has a habit of resorting to calling his colleagues who disagree with him Communists. Liberals, he said, can just “Get the hell out of the United States of America.”
Freedom of the press doesn’t seem to be high on his list either. He once called for censoring American news agencies for publishing information about the government’s activities.
West believes America is a land of opportunity – something to which he owes his own success – but “equality” and “fairness” somehow fly in the face of liberty. Marriage equality, he says, is not only un-American but will destroy society as we know it.
Congressman West may have produced a slick ad, but the agenda he pushes in Congress would increase inequality, harm working families, destroy core constitutional liberties and cripple Americans’ ability to address pressing problems through government. That’s not the American Way.
Liberty Counsel attorney Harry Mihet grew up in Communist Romania and lived there until his family fled to America and now, in his capacity as a right-wing culture warrior, nevermissesan opportunity to warn that sees America heading down the road toward communism.
So it was no surprise to see Mihet featured on today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program entitled "Is American Becoming Communist?" where he warned that things like the contraception mandate are just "communism by any other name."
Host Matt Barber completely agreed with Mihet, declaring that groups like People for the American Way, the ACLU, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State are "anti-theist" groups that "display a marked hostility towards religious freedom" and are seeking to make all citizens loyal to the state by "engaging in religious cleansing" ... which is "uncannily similar" to what took place in communist Romania:
Pat Robertson today on the 700 Club had harsh words for Episcopalians in the U.S., saying that it is “a matter of time” before the Anglican Communion declares the Episcopal Church “an apostate.” Robertson was referring to a case in Falls Church, Virginia, where a judge ruled in favor of the Episcopal Church over a breakaway conservative group that has been holding services in the disputed sanctuary since 2006, and Robertson said that the returning Episcopalian congregation won’t have “the blessing of God.”
Last month, we wrote a post featuring a video clip from a presentation that David Barton delivered just before Memorial Day back in 2007 in which he made the case that God was pro-war and even claimed that the United States was one more bombing run away from winning the war in Vietnam when our troops were withdrawn.
Today, we stumbled upon a similar presentation Barton delivered at Calvary Chapel in California in 2009 on the anniversary of 9/11. In it, Barton was making his standard claim that War on Terror actually goes back to the 1800s when the US was engaged in conflict with Barbary pirates, whom Barton claims were really “Muslim terrorists.”
During the presentation, Barton mentioned the election of Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and took issue [PDF] with the claim that Ellison is the first Muslim to be elected to Congress, claiming that John Randolph of Virginia, who served in Congress from 1799-1834, was really the first Muslim to be elected. And Barton insisted that though it is worrisome to have a Muslim in Congress when we are engaged in the War on Terror, the solution is simply to convert Ellison to Christianity, just as Randolph was reportedly converted by Francis Scott Key:
You may remember back in January of 2005 [sic], Keith Ellison from the Fifth Congressional District of Minnesota was sworn in to Congress on the Quran - he refused to take the oath on the Bible, said I'm going to take it on the Quran. He was reported to be the first Muslim member on Congress ... Now it distressed a lot of people that we had a Muslim sworn into Congress at a time of a global war on terror. And it's interesting while the media said he's the first Muslim sworn into Congress, I'm not sure that's the case because if you go back to Founding Father John Randolph of Roanoke ... he said "I hated Christianity and I loved Islam." He made it real clear ...
So here we have a professing Islamic person, Muslim, serving in the House of Representatives? What do we do with that? Real simple. Francis Scott Key knew exactly what to do: he converted him and led him to Christ. Real simple way to take care of the thing.
Francis Scott Key did the Star Spangled Banner, but he was an outspoken Christian, he was a strong evangelist and he led John Randolph of Roanoke to Jesus Christ and he became a firm and committed Christian and that's the simplest way to handle the concerns that people may have about who is serving in Congress. So, get another Francis Scott Key.
Last year, Gary Cass of the ironically named Christian Anti-Defamation Commission announced that his organization would be releasing monthly videos leading up to the 2012 election laying out ten "irrefutable proofs that Barack Obama is NOT a Christian!"
So far, three havebeenreleased but now April has almost ended and his latest video is nowhere to be seen, which is why Cass is now sending out emails saying he must "raise $3,500 to create and distribute our next video [that] will expose Obama's radical Anti-Christian judicial appointments, including his Supreme Court appointments."
Cass warns that they must speak out "so people aren't deceived by Obama's 'Christian' faith" which, he asserts, is rooted a racist Black Liberation theology that Obama embraced despite being half-white:
Ironically, although Obama is half-white, raised by his white mother and white grandparents, and attended elite white schools, he chooses to identify with a fringe, angry, black culture. This only makes sense if you believe you are a perpetual victim and America is irreparably racist.
Class warfare, envy, victimization and government intervention, not individual responsibility, self-reliance and freedom, are at the heart of Obama's classic Marxist worldview.
For Obama, the poor are the victims of the rich, Blacks and Hispanics are victims of Whites, women are the victims of men, Muslims are the victims of Christians and Jews and homosexuals are victims of heterosexuals. There it is, the Obama agenda. An agenda based on envy and covetousness, licentiousness and lies.
Obama's values are not Christian, biblical values that unite us. His values are the discredited Marxist values that pit entire classes against each other. No matter how hard Obama tries to sugar coat his radical ideology with religious rhetoric, he is not a Christian by any historic standard, nor do his policies reflect Christian values.
People For the American Way launched a major new campaign today highlighting what a Mitt Romney presidency would mean for America’s courts. Romney has signaled that he’s ready to draw the Supreme Court and lower federal courts even farther to the right. And no signal has been clearer than his choice of former Judge Robert Bork to lead his campaign advisory committee on the courts and the Constitution.
In 1987, PFAW led the effort to keep Judge Bork off the Supreme Court. Ultimately, a bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate recognized his extremism and rejected his nomination.
Today, People For the American Way launched a major new campaign – including a website, a web ad and an exclusive report – exposing Mitt Romney’s dangerous agenda for America’s courts.
The campaign highlights Romney’s choice of Robert Bork to lead his constitutional and judicial advisory team. By allying with Bork, a jurist so extreme he was rejected by a bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate 25 years ago, Romney has sent a clear signal that he means to drag America’s courts even farther to the right, endangering many of the civil rights, liberties and economic protections won by the American people over the past five decades.
The ad, Don’t Let Romney Bork America, and the report, Borking America: What Robert Bork Will Mean to the Supreme Court and American Justice, can be viewed at www.RomneyCourt.com.
“The debates over health care and immigration have reinforced the importance of the Supreme Court to all Americans,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “However, few are aware of the extreme agenda Mitt Romney has for the High Court – an agenda exemplified by his close alliance with Robert Bork.
“In 1987, People For the American Way led the fight to keep Judge Bork off the Supreme Court,” Keegan continued. “25 years later, we are as relieved as ever that we succeeded. When Bork was nominated, Americans across the political spectrum rejected the dangerous political agenda that he would have brought to the bench – his disdain for modern civil rights legislation, his acceptance of poll taxes and literacy tests, his defense of contraception bans and criminal sodomy laws, his continued privileging of corporations over individuals. Since then, he has dug his heels even deeper into a view of the law that puts corporations first and individuals far behind.
“It is frightening that a quarter century after Robert Bork’s jurisprudence was deemed too regressive for the Supreme Court, a leading presidential candidate has picked him to shape his legal policy.”
People For the American Way Senior Fellow Jamie Raskin, the author of the report, added: “The return of Robert Bork and his reactionary jurisprudence to national politics should be a three-alarm wake-up call for all Americans. In his work on the bench as a judge and off the bench as a polemicist, Bork has consistently placed corporations above the government and government above the rights of the people. The idea that Bork could be central to shaping the Supreme Court in the 21st century is shocking because he wants to turn the clock back decades in terms of the civil rights and civil liberties. His constitutional politics are even more extreme today than in 1987, when a bipartisan group of 58 senators rejected his nomination to the Supreme Court.”
The new report and ad review Bork’s record from his days as solicitor general to President Richard Nixon to his turn as co-chair of the Romney campaign’s committee on law, the Constitution and the judiciary. Highlights of Bork’s career include:
Consistently choosing corporate power over the rights of people. As a judge, Bork regularly took the side of business interests against government regulators trying to hold them accountable, but the side of the government when it was challenged by workers, environmentalists and consumers pressing for more corporate accountability.
Opposing civil rights, voting rights, reproductive rights, gay rights and individual free speech. Bork disparaged the Civil Rights Act of 1964; defended the use of undemocratic poll taxes and literacy tests in state elections ; disagrees with the Supreme Court ruling that overturned sodomy laws; and believes that the government should be able to jail people for advocating civil disobedience.
Advocating censorship and blaming American culture first. Bork promotes censorship to combat what he calls the “rot and decadence” of American society, saying “I don’t make any fine distinctions; I’m just advocating censorship.” He writes that “the liberal view of human nature” has thrown American culture into “free fall.”
Rejecting the separation of church and state. Bork rejects the science of evolution, advocates legalizing school-sponsored prayer and has written that he wants to see the Constitution’s wall of separation between church and state “crumble.”
Turning back the clock on women's rights: Bork has argued against Supreme Court decisions upholding abortion rights and decisions upholding the right to contraception for single people and even married couples. He believes that the heightened protections of the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause don’t apply to women. As a judge, he authored a decision reversing the Secretary of Labor and holding that federal law permits a company to deal with toxic workplace conditions by demanding that female employees be sterilized or lose their jobs.
Last year, Bryan Fischer openly declared that Mitt Romney's Mormon faith "ought to be an issue in 2012" and that Romney should be forced to publicly declare whether he embraces Mormon teachings that conflict with the Bible so that voters can decide "whether they want somebody with those convictions sitting in the Oval Office."
Since then, Fischer has repeatedly attacked Romney over his faith, calling him a "spiritually-compromised candidate" and declaring that a Mormon president represents a threat to the "spiritual health" of the nation.
But Fischer has also realized that openly attacking Romney's faith in this manner might be problematic even at the American Family Association, so he has settled upon a trick whereby he continues to do so while pretending that is really the media which is attacking Romney's Mormon faith.
Fischer announced this trick a few months ago when wrote a piece claiming that if Romney became the Republican nominee, "the winger-left media" would not hesitate to highlight "the more unusual aspects of Mormon theology." And he has been using this framing ever since as he launches repeated attacks upon Mormonism while thinking he is avoiding responsibility simply because he is pretending that it is the media that is really attacking Romney's faith.
Yesterday, while discussing Hilary Rosen's comment about Ann Romney, Fischer demonstrated exactly how he does it, using the flap as cover to engage in a long attack on Mormon theology while saying that the media needs to ask Mitt and Ann Romney about it because the media once asked Michele Bachmann about her theology:
So, based on nothing more than a random comment made about Ann Romney, Fischer is now demanding that the Romney's publicly address the specific tenets of their faith ... while blaming it all on the media.
As we have said before, if Fischer actually thinks that he is fooling anyone with this pathetic charade, he is evenless self-aware than we ever could have imagined.
Now that Rick Santorum has dropped out and Newt Gingrich is merely going through the motions, it is all but inevitable that Mitt Romney is going to secure the Republican presidential nomination. As such, Religious Right leaders have seen the handwriting on the wall and begun lining up to support him.
But not everyone is willing to do so, partially because of Romney's long history of changing his political principles to win office, but also because of his Mormon faith. As Bryan Fischer made clear yesterday, there is a not insignificant percentage of the Religious Right base that simply will not vote for a "spiritually compromised candidate" like Romney
Similarly, Steve Deace is an influential right-wing radio host in Iowa who endorsed Newt Gingrich but is now struggling with the prospect of having to support Romney. And while Deace appears to be willing to at least entertain the idea of voting for Romney out of necessity simply because of the issue of Israel, he is equally willing to give air time to vehement anti-Mormon critics like Tricia Erickson to make the case on his program that being a Mormon in and of itself demonstrates that Romney's judgement cannot be trusted:
I think that the leader of the free world, especially in the times that we're in today, we cannot afford a Mormon experiment. We have to have someone at the head of our country with sound judgment. If this man does not have the judgment to be able to discern fact from fiction on the most basic things like the horrifically false religion that he's in. If he doesn't have the wherewithal to understand that he has lived a lie all of his life and continues the lie, then how do we trust the judgment of this man to put him at the head of our country with everything that's going on? I mean, if he cannot even figure out fact from fiction in the way that he's been raised, how can we trust his judgement at the head of our nation?
On yesterday's episode of "WallBuilders Live," Rick Green and David Barton were discussing the issue of religious liberty and the role the issue played in the formation of the United States when Barton asserted that, right now, America is "like England back in the fifteen and sixteen hundreds" except that we are not burning people at the stake ... yet:
This is a really important thing, to be able to have the presence of religion there but now we're seeing a hostility that we've not [seen before.] This is like England back in the fifteen and sixteen hundreds, quite frankly. Now, we're not burning people at the stake yet, but we are imprisoning people for their faith and to say that in America, that's unbelievable.
As Brian noted in his last post, Religious Right leaders are starting to grudgingly coalesce behind Mitt Romney not that it appears all but certain that he is going to be the Republican presidential nominee.
Romney, for his part, actually called out Fischer for his bigotry during last year's Values Voter Summit, which only solidified Fischer's distrust and dislike of him.
So when Rick Santorum announced yesterday that he was finally dropping out of the race, Fischer dedicated much of his program to discussing developments and declaring that many Religious Right voters will not be able to support a "spiritually compromised candidate" like Romney ... and that this "is perfectly understandable" because worshiping false gods will weaken the nation:
The reality is that there are just a number of Evangelicals that just will not vote for Romney because they do not want to put somebody who believes in a different god in the White House, which is perfectly understandable. He's a spiritually compromised candidate; that's the only way to put it. If he goes into the Oval Office, he will be the first polytheist that we've ever had as a president. Mitt Romney would be the first non-Christian president that we've ever had; the first president that we've ever had that did not emerge from a stream of historic Christian orthodoxy.
So this would be unprecedented, and it would be unprecedented spiritually. You remember the prophets, this is one of the things that they were toughest on the kings about is departing the worship of the true and living God for alternative gods. This was something that weakened a nation and so we're looking at that, if Mitt Romney becomes the president, we have a spiritually-compromised president who will be the first polytheist to ever hold the Oval Office, the first president who has ever believed in a multiplicity of gods, the first president who has ever believe that man can become a god, and that God didn't used to be God, he used to be a man who progressed to godhood. So this would be completely uncharted waters for America.
Last year evangelical writer and WORLD Magazine associate publisher Warren Cole Smith created quite a stir with his column pledging not to vote for Mitt Romney if he wins the Republican nomination because of the boost his presidency would provide to Mormonism. “You can't say that his religious beliefs don't matter, but his ‘values’ do,” Smith explained, “If the beliefs are false, then the behavior will eventually—but inevitably—be warped.” He pointed to the Mormon doctrine of “continuing revelation” to explain Romney’s history of flip-flops and warned that a Romney presidency “would serve to normalize the false teachings of Mormonism the world over,” drawing more people into the LDS church and away from orthodox Christianity.
But it seems that few other prominent faces of the Religious Right are agreeing with Smith’s stance.
Televangelist James Robison on Daystar told a listener that she should favor a non-Christian over a Christian just as people favored Ronald Reagan, a Hollywood actor, over Jimmy Carter, a Southern Baptist Sunday school teacher, because Reagan better understood biblical principles:
Even Robert Jeffress, the preacher who attacked Mormonism as a “cult” at the Values Voters Summit and said Christians should prefer evangelical Rick Perry over Romney, made a similar case on Janet Parshall’s radio show in January when he said a “non-Christian who embraces biblical principles” is preferable to “a professing Christian who espouses unbiblical principles”:
American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer said he will vote for Romney even though he believes a Mormon president would undermine the “spiritual health” of the U.S., and Rick Scarborough of Vision America, repeated his antipathy towards Mormonism in an interview but made clear that “if the choice comes down for me between a Mormon and Barack Obama, I’d vote for the Mormon every time.”
But the acceptance of Romney as the leader of the GOP by the Religious Right’s leadership may not come as a great surprise, as the same people have largely embraced another high profile Mormon, Glenn Beck.
Beck has become a favorite of Religious Right figures, leading his religiously-infusedRestoring Honor rally at the Lincoln Memorial and introducing his clerical Black Robe Regiment, promulgating ‘Christian nation’ history with David Barton and keynoting last year’s Values Voters Summit.
The turnaround when it comes to working with Mormons, who many evangelicals see as “cobelligerents” in the culture wars along with conservative Roman Catholics and Jews, can be seen in Kirk Cameron’s own about-face.
Beck’s appearance and discussion of his talks with God in Cameron’s Religious Right “documentary” may raise eyebrows since Cameron in 2006 co-hosted an anti-Mormon film with evangelist Ray Comfort. In the show, Cameron said that it was likely Satan who appeared to Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, as the Angel Moroni and led him to golden plates that became the Book of Mormon, and even said that Mormons are “following a false Jesus” and “will end up in Hell forever.” “If you’ve ever spoken to a Mormon, sometimes you know how frustrating it could when they use the same words you do but they mean something different and you’re not sure how to finish the conversation,” Cameron said.
Watch highlights of Cameron’s anti-Mormon film here:
Despite Cameron’s dogmatic warnings against Mormonism, he is now actively working with one of America’s leading Mormons. Similarly, just as many on the Religious Right once denounced the Mormon faith, they are now prepared to vote for Romney over President Obama.