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.

BY: Stephen Russ


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The differences in the views of God, especially as related to Jesus Christ, have a major impact on the route to salvation in both groups. They each have a concept of the afterlife. Ideas about what happens after we die vary amongst both groups, but they do both embrace some form of eternal life and possible eternal punishment. So how do they get there?

In traditional Protestant Christianity, it is widely accepted that humans are born in sin and are in dire need of God’s grace to be saved and to do good. This salvation is achieved through faith, and the works that humans do are an expression of that saving faith. In Mormon groups people are free to do good or ill. As a result, salvation is achieved by works first and faith second. This difference comes from the idea that all of humanity was once spiritual beings who lived with God that have come to earth to learn to live honorably, at which point they can return.

This prime difference between traditional Christianity and Mormonism is exhibited in the faith backgrounds of both men. President Obama’s faith came at a later age, and it is clear that he bases it on salvation through Jesus Christ. His faith, while inspiring good works, is rooted in ideas. In Mitt Romney’s case his involvement in his church, his college mission, and his service are a part of his Mormon faith. That level of involvement is something that is central to his belief systems. Both approach their religion in entirely different ways because of who they are and what they believe.

In Conclusion

This article can only serve as a brief introduction to the faiths of two men who have achieved impressive heights in their political careers. These differences are just the beginning, and while these differences are major, the many disparate beliefs amongst groups within each faith blur the lines. When considering the faiths of President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, both of which seem to hold moderate positions in their respective religions, it can be difficult to grasp what the actual differences are and how it affects your choice for president. I hope this article encourages you to learn more about the two men and the belief systems they hold, because there is so much more to consider. While religion and politics are separate entities, the faiths that influence these men will continue to influence their politics, and that will ultimately affect your life.

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