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Romney, Mormonism, and the Faiths of U.S. Presidents

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The editors at Online Christian Colleges decided to research the topic of

Romney, Mormonism, and the Faiths of U.S. Presidents

With election season fast approaching, it's time to get to know the candidates. Take a closer look at the Republican nominee, the Mormon religion, and the religion of presidents past.

Mitt Romney: America's Mormon Contender

- Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
- Former missionary to France in the 60s
- Romney on Mormonism:
- "In Mormonism, if one is in, a lot is expected, including tithing 10% of one's income"
- "I am an American running for president. I do not define my candidacy by my religion"
- "A person should not be elected because of his faith nor should he be rejected because of his faith"

A Brief Look At The Mormon Faith

- Mormons consider their religion to be the one true form of Christianity
- Christianity was corrupted by Greek and other philosophies
- Joseph Smith was God's agent in re-establishing the Christian Church
- Angels like Peter, James, and John appeared to him, granting him priesthood authorities
- All people once existed as "intelligences" independent of God
- God offered a path for all intelligences to advance like himself
- Those that accepted came to earth to live as humans, struggling to lead good lives, atoned by Jesus Christ

Mormonism In Politics

- Mormons are largely conservative, both culturally and politically
- 70% want abortion to be illegal in all circumstances
- Only 42% of the general population hold this view
- 68% believe homosexuality should be actively discouraged in society
- 75% don't believe evolution to be an acceptable explanation for human life
- 56% want to decrease government size
- Only 36% want a larger government that provides more services
- Contradictorily, 54% want to increase government involvement when it comes to public morality
- Seek to keep the U.S. active around the world, favoring military might over diplomacy

More Than Meets the Eye?: The White Horse Prophecy and Mormonism's Goal of U.S. Domination

- In 1844 Joseph Smith ran for president as a self-proclaimed commander in chief of an "army of God"
- Sought to topple the U.S. government and establish a Mormon theocracy
- To Smith, taking over the presidency for Mormons was a central mission of his church
- A leader, one "Mighty and Strong" will one day arise to "set in order the house of God"
- Romney has dismissed this prophecy, claiming, "It's been rejected by every church leader that has talked about it"

A Look At Past Presidents' Religion

Episcopalian: Seeking continuity with the early Western church

- George H.W. Bush
- Gerald Ford
- Franklin Roosevelt
- Chester A. Arthur
- Franklin Pierce
- Zachary Taylor
- John Tyler
- William Harrison
- James Monroe
- James Madison
- George Washington

Presbyterian: Grace through faith and the authority of the Scriptures

- Ronald Reagan
- Dwight Eisenhower
- Woodrow Wilson
- Benjamin Harrison
- Grover Cleveland
- James Buchanan
- James Polk
- Andrew Jackson

Baptist: Liberty, faith, and the autonomy of local congregations

- Bill Clinton
- Jimmy Carter
- Harry Truman
- Warren Harding

Methodist: Free will through prevenient grace

- George W. Bush
- William McKinley
- Rutherford Hayes
- Ulysses Grant

Unitarian: Absolute monotheism - Jesus was a prophet, not part of a triune God

- John Adams
- John Quincy Adams
- Millard Fillmore
- William Howard Taft

Dutch Reformed: Saved by predetermined grace

- Theodore Roosevelt
- Martin Van Buren

Quaker: The priesthood of all believers and the Religious Society of Friends

- Herbert Hoover
- Richard Nixon

Roman Catholic: The world's largest church, over 1 billion strong

- John F. Kennedy

Congregationalist, Disciples of Christ, and United Church of Christ: Independence and autonomous governance of individual congregations

- Lyndon Johnson
- James Garfield
- Calvin Coolidge
- Barack Obama

No Affiliation

- Andrew Johnson
- Abraham Lincoln
- Thomas Jefferson

Former Presidents' Stance On Religion And Politics

"I deeply believe that the loving God who gave us this land should never have been expelled from America's classrooms. If the Congress can begin its day with prayer, children can, too." -Ronald Reagan

"I've wondered to talk about [my faith] at all. ... But I feel I have a duty to the country -- and maybe to God -- not to say 'no comment.'" -Jimmy Carter

"I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life." -Barack Obama

"I happen to believe that it would be very difficult to be the President without believing. I believe that -- I know it's been an important part of my presidency." -George W. Bush

"The other party took words to put together their platform, but left out three simple letters: G-O-D." - George H.W. Bush