Discussing religion of candidates is tricky

To the Editor:

As I was engaged in a peace vigil in front of the Haywood County Courthouse recently, a passerby said to me, “No, Obama!” I asked, “Why?” His reply, “He’s not a Christian.” I said, “Oh yes he is,” and started explaining. But he was gone.

It is perplexing why people will oppose one candidate on the fallacious belief that he is not a Christian, while favoring the other who belongs to what a prominent evangelical has called a “cult.” For those who base their vote on a candidate’s religion (I’m not among them), I offer this comparison:

When he lived in Chicago, Barack Obama was an active member of Trinity United Church of Christ, a mainline denomination. At that time it was the largest UCC church in the world. I knew this congregation well because they sent a steady stream of dedicated and able young people to the United Methodist seminary where I taught (and to other seminaries as well) to be trained for the Christian ministry. Here is their mission statement:  

“... called by God to be a congregation that is not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ and that does not apologize for its African roots. As a congregation of baptized believers, we are called to be agents of liberation not only for the oppressed, but for all of God’s family. We, as a church family, acknowledge, that we will ... call men, women, boys and girls to the liberating love of Jesus Christ, inviting them to become a part of the church universal, responding to Jesus’ command that we go into all the world and make disciples!”

In contrast, a study of Mormonism reveals the following among their beliefs:  

There are two separate “flesh and bone” deities, Jehovah and Jesus, the gods of this universe. There are other gods of other universes, with one supreme “president god” over all. Each god has a harem of goddesses. Jehovah came to earth as Adam with one of his wives, Eve, for the purpose of populating this world. Later, Jehovah-Adam had sex with Mary to father Jesus. Jesus had many wives, including Mary and Martha of Bethany and Mary of Magdala. Jehovah was once a man like all human beings. After his resurrection, Jesus appeared in a cloud over America and preached. In 1827, the son of Mormon, Moroni, appeared to Joseph Smith and showed him a record written on golden plates. The writing was in “reformed Egyptian,” so a set of magic spectacles were provided that converted the inscriptions into English. This was the Book of Mormon, which is God’s last word, superseding (though not displacing) the revelations of the Bible and Jesus Christ.

When my wife and I served as Christian missionaries in Samoa several years ago, the Mormons there tried hard to convert us to their religion. They did not succeed with us, but they have converted thousands of Polynesian Christians to Mormonism over the years.

Mitt Romney is a Mormon. He was missionary in France for three years, trying to convert Christians to Mormonism. Later, he was a bishop for four years. One does not achieve such a high position without subscribing to their beliefs.

 By no means do I advocate voting based on a candidate’s religion. But I do strongly object to spreading misinformation about Obama not being a Christian — when in Washington he now attends the National Cathedral (Episcopal) — while promoting Romney, who is silent about his religious beliefs which include those mentioned above.

A word to the wise ....

Doug Wingeier,


Go to top