In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I have been thinking of some things for which I am thankful. One of those things is not that I am spending the Friday after Thanksgiving working on a very annoying legal research assignment. However, in engaging in some failproof procrastination, I was reminded of something in my life of which I am quite thankful, by running across an article on Yahoo about evangelicals and Mitt Romney that ultimately led me to this so called devotional who wrote that voting for Mitt Romney for President is the equivalent of casting a vote for the Prince of Darkness. Now this isn’t because of any policy position or anything particularly evil in deed that Romney has done in his life. Nope. It is based solely on Mitt Romney’s faith, which happens to be a faith which I also share. Wow. There is so much in that article that I don’t even know where to begin. But here are a few highlights written by this pastor:
“I have been warning you for years now about this cult born out of the pits of hell and responsible for sending millions of souls to eternal damnation. For the nearly 200 years this cult has been in existence they have strived for mainstream acceptance. They are the most devious of all the cults since they have always tried to portray themselves as “just another Christian group” when in fact, they are no more Christian than a Muslim is! Their deception starts with their name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Sounds like a Christian church doesn’t it?”
I always want to ask people who think of my chosen faith as a cult, what exactly is the qualification of a cult versues an actual religious denomination? Also, what qualifies upstate New York as “the pits of hell”? I mean, I guess upstate gets alot of snow in the winter, and that doesn’t sound so heavenly to me, but hell, really?
“Knowing the satanic nature of the Mormon cult and the fact they have worldwide resources in the tens of billions, literally thousands of non profit and for profit corporations they control, it would be pocket change for them to funnel money and/or services to those Christian leaders who support Romney for President. Having been embarrassed when their ties to Moon’s cult became public, I have no doubt that those who are in bed with Romney have been very careful to insure that however they are being rewarded for their support, it will be virtually impossible to discover.
Of course, the other component to those who are supporting Romney is power. Sadly, many evangelical leaders are also smitten with being “near the throne.” Many of these men and women are willing to compromise the Truth in exchange for political power. They are willing to ignore the fact this hideous cult is leading millions to hell in order to be part of Romney’s team. These leaders are nor driven by the Gospel but by political power!”
Well, now this guy is making allegations that our tithing money is being used to reward evangelicals who are supporting Romney’s candidacy, because obviously, my church is financially supporting Romney’s candidacy. Wow. Not only is this a conspiracy theory that even seems to insane for Oliver Stone to concoct, but if that were true, then that would mean that all Mormons are on a single-handed mission to make Mitt Romney president. Well, I am sorry to contradict this theory, but I am a Mormon who not only isn’t supporting the Romney bid for the White House, but who also breathes a sigh of relief every Sunday before election day when we hear the statement read from the First Presidency that affirms the church’s political neutrality. If only every other church had the same position, then perhaps we wouldn’t have to listen to so-called men of God proclaim their political positions under the banner of religion. Of course, I am not so confident that other leaders necessarily want to encourage their flock to think for themselves, though.
The person who runs this so-called LivePrayer.com website really doesn’t dignify a comment about this (after all, he also showed his complete lack of dignity by another so-called devotional that Govenor Romney show him his underwear, oh and then he directed another devotion to Ann Romney to tell her about how Mormonism doesn’t understand the role of women). I keep trying to remind myself of this week’s Sunday School lesson on the book of James and his counsel regarding controlling our tongues and being slow to wrath, because “pure religion” is accompanied by bridled tongues.
After all, this Jim Keller, who manages this LivePrayer.com shows what his real intent is on every page of his website:
“***TO GIVE A GIFT TO LIVEPRAYER, you can use your major credit card on our secure server at: http://www.liveprayer.com under the “Donation” link, you can give using your PayPal account using my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org , or you can mail your gift to:
Liveprayer 6660 46th Ave. North St. Petersburg, Fl 33709
All gifts to Liveprayer are 100% tax deductible. “
It makes me upset to read such horrible things about my beliefs, but only for a brief moment. First of all, the concept of hell that Mr. Keller believes in isn’t actually one that I find comforting at all. The plan of salvation that I believe in, after all, isn’t based solely on faith, but actually on the concept that we as human beings are capable of doing great good in this world. My faith looks for good in the actions of others, because I believe that any good gift is actually a gift from God. I actually end up feeling even happier and luckier than I did before. Not only am I lucky to be able to believe in a Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ with whom I can have a personal relationship, but I am also not afraid of giving other people the right to worship, or not worship, God how they choose. My faith doesn’t have to rely on spreading fear and telling other people that you know what they believe better than they do. I feel lucky that I do believe that Gordon B. Hinckley is a prophet. I have never heard anything hateful or vengeful coming out of his mouth. True religion and pure religion isn’t based upon such things. If you have to yell to be heard, then chances are, what you have to say probably isn’t very powerful.
There are times in my life when I have felt ashamed, and even apologetic for the things that I claimed to believe. While being the first to acknowledge that I do not have all of the answers, nor am I anywhere close to perfect, what I do have now is a calmness and reassurance about what I believe. I still don’t know how to talk about it with others. I don’t want to offend anyone, nor do I wish to set myself up as someone else’s punching bag for fun. But if I hear someone spreading false information about my faith, I certainly won’t say nothing. I know how much happiness has come to me as I have learned and grown in my faith.
How can anyone, who hasn’t felt what I have felt, tell me that I am wrong, that I made it all up?