Mitt Romney's religion is our religion...

In his acceptance speech yesterday, Mitt Romney said, 

We were Mormons and growing up in Michigan; that might have seemed unusual or out of place but I really don't remember it that way. My friends cared more about what sports teams we followed than what church we went to.

Which is to say, his friends cared more about...

what he really worshipped than what he pretended to worship on Sunday. This is true for most of America, and especially among children, who are often more transparent with their beliefs than their parents. And sadly, this is the case for many Christians in the Republican party today. We don't care so much who you pretend to worship on Sunday, as long as you actually worship the same god as us the rest of the week. But the proof will be in the pudding. Will he actually protect our bank accounts.

Photo by Gage Skidmore

Joseph and his wife, Heidi, have two children, Tate and Eliza Jane. Joseph graduated from Vanderbilt University and Clearnote Pastors College. Joseph serves as pastor of Clearnote Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Comments

Good post. We definitely worship sports - we even make statues of sorts figures to worship. And Mammon too - the biggest evidence of which is the nonsense that we have to focus on "jobs and the economy" instead of "divisive social issues" like the murder of 1.2 million babies every year.

Has anyone stopped to consider that the weak economy <strong><em>might</em></strong> be a judgment from God for killing all those babies?

Scott,

Good point. Or, from another perspective, people who think nothing of infanticide are going to have no qualms with fraudulent business practices and dishonest monetary policy. We fool ourselves when we think we can compartmentalize our sins, or isolate or rebellion against God to just one area, while walking the straight and narrow otherwise.

Having a degree from Michigan State, I'm having trouble believing that Romney never felt out of place.  To put it mildly, the drinking culture--which the Romneys presumably eschewed--in Michigan must be seen to be believed, especially in the Detroit area.  It's not quite Wisconsin, but....

While I was attending the University of Wisconsin in Madison, I had a part-time job. One of my co-workers was a Mormon woman married to a Mormon man doing a post-doc fellowship. This woman asked me to join her and her husband to their church one Sunday. I was a Christian (although not grounded in a church then), and I figured, why not; I know they wouldn't going to convert me.

Their church turned to be a campus center for Mormon students at all levels (undergrads through post-docs) associated with the University of Wisconsin. The center was its own subculture. In addition to church services it had it Bible studies (Bible + Book of Mormon), tables in the cafeterias and the student unions where students could eat lunch together, its own study rooms, dances (ballroom dancing), and the same other social activities that other campus ministries would offer: attending football and basketball games (the Badgers were so bad in these sports then that it was easy to get tickets), ski trips, dinners out, running together, attending concerts, etc. So if a Mormon student wanted to live in a Mormon bubble he or she could do so except for attending class. Not being Mormon, it's impossible to say how uncomfortable Mormon students felt around non-Mormons.

I'm not sure where Romney attended college -- University of Michigan (?).  But I would expect if it was a large public university, it would probably have its own Mormon subculture where he could have a refuge from the non-Mormons, just as the University of Wisconsin did.

Question: Does someone liking sports (college football, MLB, whatever) somehow just equate to idolatry, or is it possible to actually enjoy something without being painted with that brush?

If not, where does that logic stop?  Music?  Reading? Hiking? Running? Coffee? 

I would say that Romney's idolatry was his Mormon faith, not necessarily his sports fan-dom.  Seems to me all that he was trying to say was that his friends were still his friends whether or not they shared his Mormon beliefs (which many apparently did not).  I don't see how that speaks towards them being 'sports idolaters' or whatever.

If he comes out & tries to say that he is an evangelical (like Glenn Beck seems to do), then I have a beef with it.

Am I reading too much into what you were saying or misunderstanding it?

Thanks, Andy

Good question, Andy. I recently read a post about how natural childbirth (or the desire for one) is easily idolatrous. The way it was written gave the impression that if you should prepare and plan for one, you weren't trusting God and that you were making your upcoming labor an idol. At least for women in Reformed circles, I often wonder, then, where does this stop? What about knitting and crocheting? There seems to be a lot of that (and then posting finished product online for all to see) among Reformed women...(ok, tongue-in-cheek, but only part-way:)

Dear Andrew,

There are certain things that a great number of the men in our country are obviously given to in idolatry. One of them is sports, and it starts when we are very young. No, liking a sport isn't idolatry per se. I'm not even trying to imply that you're in dangerous water if you like a sport (or plan a natural birth, Rebecca).

I've never gotten the impression that Romney was a huge sports fan, so I wasn't trying to imply that he worshipped sports. But then, I don't really know. Regardless, you are right that his idolatry is his cult religion, Mormonism.

But none of that was the point.

The point is that this was a very smooth statement saying that there are more important things than what religion we have. Other things bring us together, ultimately. When we were children those other things were the sports teams we worshipped. Now it is our money that brings us together. And if sports is an obvious idol in our nation, our money is exponentially more-so. 

I can't think of a more effective and less offensive way for Mitt to put the issue of religion to death. Who cares if he is Mormon? He's going to let us keep our Money and the other guy is going to take it from us. 

Does that help?

In Christ,

Over a sound bite. Romney not making a plea for Morminism here; making a plea for your vote. And yet, you take the opportunity to go to town on the guy.

In ***** my *** you bigot.

Actually, the post was not attacking Romney. It was pointing out the worship of money that pervades the Republican party, even among those who claim to be Christian.

In Christ,

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