This year’s GOP platform has run the gamut in terms of religion. We have Gingrich who was raised Lutheran, became a Baptist on Capitol Hill and has now converted to Catholicism; Paul who grew up in the Lutheran church but is now a Southern Baptist; devout Catholic Santorum; and then of course our current frontrunner, Mormon Romney.
And whose faith is of the biggest concern to evangelical Christians – a key element of the GOP electoral base- in this election? You said it, Mitt Romney. Mormonism remains an abounding topic for Romney, even stirring controversy at the Values Voter Summit in October. Texas Reverend Robert Jeffress called the Mormon Church a cult and stated that Romney is not a Christian while introducing Texas Governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry at the event.
In a June Gallop Poll 22% of Republicans stated that they would not vote for their party’s nominee if that person happened to be Mormon. That was reflected in the Iowa caucuses when only 14% of evangelical Christians voted for Romney. While some believe him to be a man with strong values and moral convictions it is obvious that he is not being accepted by many Republicans based on the mere fact that he is Mormon and Mormonism is not considered to be a Christian faith.As a Mormon, Romney believes he is a Christian because he accepts Jesus Christ as the son of God and believes people are saved through his atonement. He also believes the Bible is the word of God, and that the Book of Mormon is, too. Therein lies the issue as the majority of evangelical Christians believe the Bible to be the only word of God.
Romney supporters feel that his faith would make him a strong, compassionate, honest and efficient president. They stand by him because of his belief in the sanctity of human life, the sacredness of marriage and the importance of family. His accomplishments as Massachusetts including spending, tax cuts andwelfare reform also make him a strong candidate.
Although his faith may be negatively affecting his efforts in the run for GOP nominee, one November poll showed 91% of white evangelical Republican voters saying they would back Romney over Obama in a general election matchup, and 79% would support Romney strongly. That being said, it would appear that in the long haul, white evangelical Christians will be among the strongest Romney supporters if he is the GOP nominee challenging Obama this fall.