Southern Baptist Leader Right About No Religion Test for President

I found this article distressing and I disagree with the analysis that Mormon Christianity is not Christianity at all.  And I disagree with the idea that the book of Mormon is the same as the Quran.  However, I do agree that there is not a “religion” test for the Presidency of the USA.  In fact a Hindu, Confucian, Shinto, Moslem, or “no religion at all” person could become President under the Constitution.  The key word in the above sentence is “Constitution”.  The USA is a constitutional Republic and not a Christian State.  Essentially, the USA is a secular government under the prescription that it must respect the freedom of religion opinions of its citizens.  There is also the proscription that the government cannot impose itself upon, regulate, or attempt to destroy the practice of religions by its citizens.

That being affirmed, the opinions of the leader of the Southern Baptist Convention are really the affairs of that denomination of Christianity.  His viewpoint is allowed in USA.  He is even allowed to make it public and to defend his position.  That is our right under the first amendment regarding freedom of speech and freedom of religion.  Unlike, the grossly stated falsehood that the Constitution protects the government from the influences of religiously informed opinions, the Bill of rights, which is the first ten amendments to the Constitution, protects people of religion from the power of the government and the prejudices of people opposed to religion.  That is to say, that you are not required to agree with my religion nor my opinions as informed by my religion but the law guarantees me the liberty to hold and express such opinions.  And while IRS regulations threaten to revoke a congregations 501.3C status if the leaders use the pulpit to preach for or against any political candidate, that is merely an IRS regulation and does not forbid preachers of any type from preaching politically motivated sermons.  Admittedly, sermons such as those of Jeremiah Wright, Senator Obama’s Christian Pastor, in which he damned America and not blessed America, are repugnant to and repudiated by the 99.9 % of Christians, nonetheless, he is allowed to preach that.  (Please, note that no one needs to listen to his rants, and that a Senator of the USA should belong to Rev. Wright’s congregation for ten or more years, is disturbing but not illegal.)

Finally, to the doctrinal theology that informs the SBC speaker.  It is a judgement made because Mormonism supplements the 66 books of the historic Christian Bible with the book of Mormon.  Some Christians regard this as an addition to the Holy Scriptures and therefore as antithetical to Christian teaching that the only authoritative scripture is the 66 book Bible.  In this regard, some Christians would claim that Roman Catholic Christianity is also not true Christianity because they include the Apocryphal books to their publication of the Bible.  And even though Roman Catholic Christians are informed that the Apocryphal books are not regarded as Holy Scripture, nonetheless, their detractors say that publishing them inside of the covers of a Bible is itself condemnatory.

Friends, these are matters of internal Christian denominational belief and although we can go on, this writer will again state, as he has repeatedly, that Mormonism is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and that its doctrines regarding the essentials of the Christian faith make it another, albeit disputed, Christian denomination.

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Retired army chaplain, Rotarian, moderately right of center on most issues, big on self reflection and self analysis.

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