Monday, January 23, 2012

Why do people care about Mitt Romney being a Mormon?


This article on Huffington Post talks about one of the biggest reasons why Newt Gingrich won South Carolina over Mitt Romney.  Gingrich benefited off of Romney’s mormon faith which led him to win south Carolina with flying colors. Exit Polls show that 43% of the people who said “Religious faith mattered” voted for Gingrich while 42% of people who said “Religion faith doesn’t matter” voted for Romney.  Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who came in second in 2008 South Carolina primary race advised that Romney should address his faith to the voters. That he needs to make his faith less important somehow and focus on turning the country around.

The biggest issue here is that people in US often care about religious identity of the President of United States. There is a clear distinction between the voters that voted for Gingrich and Romney. There could be one of two reasons associated with this. One, that due to the majority of population being Christian, voters want a Christian to lead the country (one of their type) and two, that American voters discriminate against any non-Christian presidential candidate because he is not one of their type.

Why do voters care about religious faith anyway? A presidential candidate is chosen to be the president for his experience, talents, and strategies, there is no room for religious identity. I feel that Mitt Romney is being a victim; he is being discriminated against because he is not a christian. Voters need not look for a true “Christian” in a presidential candidate, just because majority of the population of the United States is Christian. We shouldn’t care what church he goes to, or if he doesn’t. What matters is, if they can turn around the economy and get back American jobs. We might as well pass a law stating that if the presidential candidate isn’t Christian, he/she shall not be allowed to run for presidency. If the church and state can be separated, so can Romney’s personal beliefs and professional beliefs. All one needs is the country’s best interest at heart to be the president of United States. I feel that Romney needs to tell the voters straight up that he is a mormon, has different religious beliefs but also has great strategies to fix the economy because of his business background. Many of the other GOP candidates are attacking Romney for his mormon faith, which is putting audience or voters in doubt and overlooking his experience. We can never end religious discrimination but what we can do is like stated above, create a bill or law that states only Christians can run for president because its rather hard to change different beliefs and opinions of millions of Americans and easier to weed out the non-Christian Presidential candidates because there aren’t many of them. I feel that is the true solution for this problem in the long run. Its time we stepped up and either opt for religious discrimination or eliminate it.

10 comments:

Emrah K said...

Psychologically a religious man thinks of himself as saved person because according to him, his way is the best. For secular people church and state are separated. However, for religious people especially in Abrahamic religions, it is not so because religious people think about the religion as only way which should be followed in the world to attain to eternal happiness in the afterlife. In this case, to distinguish religious view from political matters is difficult. In my opinion, this case is very normal, not a discrimination. Prevention of being a candidate of an outsider is discrimination.

jacobr said...

Yes, in a perfect world religion and religious affiliation would be inconsequential in determining who is elected to govern. However, this is not a perfect world. People feel more comfortable casting their vote for individuals who look like them and share their values. In many respects, it doesn't matter how skilled an individual may be at performing the task at hand if the individuals that are casting the votes do not endorse the person. Running for Office is similar to trying to find a mate. If you are not compatible or if the other person does not feel mutual attraction, then the person seeking companionship, regardless of his other positive attributes and qualities, will not close the deal. Romney’s religion is a liability mainly because of it's less than stellar history regarding many controversial issues.

Christiana Torere said...

People care about Mitt Romney being a mormon because a lot of people do not understand Mormons or what they're about. Throughout the history of America we have always had christian presidents except for John F. Kennedy who was Catholic. To briefly contrast Kennedy with Romney, Kennedy was in tune with the fact that the American people were uneasy about his religious practices and formally addressed this. In a 1960 address Kennedy stated that, "while the so-called religious issue is necessarily and properly the chief topic here tonight, I want to emphasize from the outset that we have far more critical issues to face in the 1960 election; the spread of Communist influence,......the hungry children I saw in West Virginia, the old people who cannot pay their doctor bills, the families forced to give up their farms--an America with too many slums, with too few schools, and too late to the moon and outer space." Constituents rallied around Kennedy because of his persona and the issues Americans were facing during that time. Church and state is separate on paper and paper only because religion still is a factor in a lot that goes on in Washington today as it was in 1776. Mitt Romney's faith is not an issue and shouldn't be a deciding factor for his capacity to be president.

Calli W. said...

Unfortunately for Mitt Romney and any other non-Christian who seeks the presidential office, Christianity has been an unstated qualification to be our commander in chief. Mitt Romney knew that his Mormon background would cause in turmoil his campaign. But regardless of this fact, he has a fairly strong following. I believe America is in a time of definite change. People are becoming more able to set aside their religious difference so that they are can elect someone they feel will be their voice in Washington.

Vugdalic A said...

The religion of the presidential candidate has been a major issue in the presidential campaign and I do not see it actually going away. Yes religion might have an affect on the type of person is, but I do not see it helping him in running a country or being able to manage international affairs. This however will not change in the American public were it puts private matters into the public eye, such as abortion in which they then base their opinion of their religious teaching most of the time. One cannot believe that there is a complete separation of religion in politics, even if you take the focus away from just the question of “What religion is the presidential candidate affiliated to?”

Amber P. said...

Religious orientation should not matter for the President or anyone in office. If someone in office is religious, it cannot be expressed in public because of separation of Church and State. The President and anyone in office should be measured on their ability to lead not on their religious orientation. What is expected of persons in office may correspond with some religious beliefs, but religious beliefs should not matter.

Noorin K. said...

Religious discrimination does exist still and I was surprised to see the statistics you mentioned in the beginning. I have not been following the political news lately and reading this was not a breath of fresh air. It is hard in our society to separate church and state and as you mentioned, America is predominantly Christian and the Christian candidate will certainly get the vote of the people. The upsetting part is that the people voted based on the religious affiliation and not their political platform. I guess being Mormon has it disadvantages because you hear about bizarre stories regarding family life in the media. Is it possible to separate a person’s religious affiliation when looking at their potential contribution for the betterment of a nation?

Sachin G said...

I see here that some agree and some dont with my thoughts.
Noorin- yes it is possible to separate religious affiliation with their contribution or potential contribution. Look at Bill Gates, he provided us with all with computers and software innovations. But does anybody talk about his religion.Another example would be Steve jobs, invented ipod,iphone,mac's .. i dont hear people talking about his religion. It certainly seems that religion matters when in politics but it doesnt as much when a business leader. if for instance, the presidential candidates were not allowed to disclose their religion, dont you think that would change the whole game?. there would be no religious attacks. At the end of the days we are all Americans, not mormon or muslim or jew or christian.

Why said...

Why do people care? Would people care is the man running for president was a Muslim or a Scientologist or a Jehovah Witness? Come on now! Of course they would! Depends on if you think the Mormons are a strange bizarre cultist group or not with their polygamy, ostracizing black people until 1978, strange under garments etc..

Andrea H said...

I agree on many of the points presented here, but some of the facts may or may not be correct. Just depends on what definition of "christian" is being used. The full name of the Mormon church is, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints". I would think that just by the title it would be considered christian. Yet people argue that it is not. Some else noted that Catholics may or may not be christian either with the example of what happened with John F. Kennedy. I full agree that the presidency needs to be decided on something other that just a religious title. All because a man is of a specific religion does not make him wise or moral for that matter. I also know that churches (not going to which) specifically teach discrimination against mormons specifically. Discrimination really does exist.