Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama – What Do They Believe?
Beliefnet looks at the religious beliefs of President Barack Obama and Presumptive Republican Nominee Mitt Romney. Both men have had to deal with misinformation about their beliefs, and we seek to clear the air by looking at the differences between traditional Christianity and Mormonism.
Both men hold religious beliefs that affect their political standing on issues like abortion, marriage, and war, but what are the actual theological differences between the two men? There is no way to say accurately, but we can look at some basic beliefs and glean some of the differences between Mormonism and mainline Christianity to get an idea.
On Sacred Texts
The Christianity that President Obama embraces views the Bible as the sole revelation of God. While church councils and documents have informed the religion, the Bible is the lone sacred text. In Mormonism, it is believed that divine revelation continued beyond the Bible in the form of the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, and the Doctrines and Covenants.
The Book of Mormon, dating back to 1830, and the other founding documents contain many of the theological assertions that separate Mormonism from traditional Christian teachings. It is believed to be the instructions to the true church of Christ in the latter days, hence the Latter Day saints. Mormons do embrace the Bible as a revelation from God, just not as the sole revelation.
One related note that is important to consider is that the traditional form of Christianity has long been a global religion, spreading from humble roots over the last 2,000 years. The Mormon texts were buried in modern day New York and the Book of Mormon tells of how Jesus appeared to the ancient natives of America shortly after his resurrection. Parts of the Book of Mormon refer to the exceptional nature of America and believe it to be a righteous place, an idea that Mitt Romney clearly embraces. This difference has had a decisive impact on the politics of the two men. President Obama has made it clear that he values America as a part of a global landscape, and that has influenced his foreign policy greatly. Mitt Romney’s Mormonism embraces America as a nation over other nations, which influences his politics.