Liberty University Here We Come

By Steve Matthews

For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:7)

If a Mormon takes the White House, what does it mean for evangelicals?  A while back I commented on this very issue, and one of my points was that should Mormon Mitt Romney – or John Huntsman who was in the race at the time – become president, Mormonism would go mainstream. Historically, evangelicals have been good on the issue of Mormonism, correctly pointing out that it is not Christianity.  But with the prestige of the presidency standing behind it, evangelicals would face tremendous pressure to drop their opposition and embrace Mormons as fellow believers.  Well, as it turns out, I was wrong in what I said.  The process already appears to be well under way, and all this without the Republican establishment having finished the job of foisting its Mormon golden boy on the rest of the country.

In an open letter to Jerry Falwell Jr., Chancellor of Liberty University, Erskine Seminary professor John Makujina* sharply criticizes the school –  an institution founded by Baptist Jerry Falwell in the 1970s “with a vision to train Champions for Christ as a world class university” – for extending an invitation to Mitt Romney to speak at its upcoming commencement.  Makujina writes,

“I was deeply disturbed at the news that Liberty University (LU) has invited Gov. Mitt Romney as their commencement speaker.  I do not quite know what would motivate a university with high Christian ideas and a commitment to the fundamentals of the faith to ask a Mormon to speak at commencement.  I fear, however, that Liberty’s dedication to the RNC and to the success of the conservative movement has trumped its allegiance to sound doctrine and the Gospel.” (italics added)

And that’s just it, isn’t it?  Far too many Christians, especially far too many high-profile Christians, rather than letting the Bible guide their political beliefs and actions, have allowed themselves to become Republican dupes, who can be counted on to support whatever nonsense the RNC happens to be pushing at the moment,  even to the point of willfully betraying the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

These days, ordinary Christians often are much sounder in their thinking than church officers, and this principle seems to apply in the case of LU’s students compared with the leaders of the school  The announcement of Romney as commencement speaker kicked off a wave of criticism from students on the school’s Facebook page.  But LU’s response to all this seemed more like the spin we have come to expect from political operatives embarrassed by some public relations gaffe than the words and actions of Christian leaders interested in the spiritual growth and well being of their students.  As CNN reports,

In a statement from Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr., the school says that the complaints have significantly died down and that many of those complaining ‘had no affiliation with the university.’

Translating this into non-PR, we can interpret Falwell’s remarks to mean, “Move along, folks, nothing to see here.  The narrow minded Bible thumpers have repented and come to see things from a more mature perspective.  And those internet flamers?  They were in no way affiliated with our dignified institution.  We never knew them.”

So is everything just lovely now in Lynchburg?  Hardly.  The CNN report continues,

After last week’s announcement, hundreds of comments were registered under the announcement on Liberty’s Facebook page.  While some were supportive of the decision to invite Romney, a number of respondents were angered and posted their frustration to Facebook.

As of Monday morning, the announcement was deleted from the page, along with all the comments.

Complaints died down because they took the ability to complain down from the website,’ said Janet Loeffler, a 53-year old freshman at Liberty who takes classes online.  Loeffler was a frequent poster to the Facebook page.” (emphasis added)

It seems that the spirit of authoritarianism is alive and well at LU, if not the Spirit of Christ.  Get on board or shut your mouth is their motto.  Now to be fair, LU states that students have other channels for registering their complaints, and I don’t doubt that this is the case, but by deleting the Facebook post together will all the comments, the school has gone into cover up mode.  How dare those freshmen speak up!

Tony Perkins also works to smooth over the dissent with his remark that he sees the Romney invitation as an opportunity.  This is certainly true, but whether it is a good opportunity is another matter entirely.  CNN quotes him saying,

” ‘ As Christians we can disagree strongly but we show respect and I think they will show respect for Mitt Romney,’ Perkins said on CNN’s Starting Point Monday morning.

‘They may not warmly applaud him and may continue to express differences and clearly there are differences theologically between Mormons and Christians, but here’s an opportunity for Mitt Romney to talk about what he has in common with evangelicals and that is on the value issues.’ “

To Perkins credit, he manages to distinguish between Mormons and Christians, but what’s this business about Romney and Evangelicals having common values.  Which values does Perkins have in mind? In his essay The Sin of Signing Ecumenical Declarations, John Robbins pointed out,

Christianity does not have a single proposition in common with systems of unbelieving thought [this includes Mormonism].  That is the philosophical lesson that must be drawn from the many Biblical statements and injunctions about purity, separation, sanctification and holiness.  Those terms do not apply, in some pietistic fashion, merely to one’s behavior, they apply even more strictly to one’s ideas and thoughts, ideas are not neutral, nor are they common to various systems of thought.  Ideas are to be ‘taken captive to the obedience of Christ.’

If Christianity and Mormonism have no propositions in common, they can have no values in common, however one may define that term.  Take, for example, the popular subject of family values.  Generally speaking, when people state that they support family values they mean they believe in traditional marriage and child rearing.  But because Mormons do not get their ideas on family values from Scripture alone, they must have a different idea of what this term means than do Christians.  Any agreement between the two parties on family values would be merely verbal in nature, that is to say Mormons and Christians may both use the term “family values”, but they attach different meanings to it.  When Christians and Mormons talk about family values, they are not talking about the same thing. 

Falwell Jr. defends the decision to invite Romney with the laughable argument that most of the commencement speakers over the past 25 years, “did not share Liberty’s doctrinal beliefs.”  I take it by this Falwell Jr.  means to say that most of the commencement speakers at LU over the past quarter century have not been Christians.  If this is the case, all Falwell Jr. has done is condemn himself with this own words.  Is it really asking too much of a school that bills itself as a Christian university to actually have Christian commencement speakers?  Are we to believe that there is not a single Christian among LU’s alumni qualified to give the commencement address?  If not, how about a Christian from outside the school.  Surely there must be some Christina somewhere who could do the job.  If it was a politician they really wanted, who knows, maybe Ron Paul could have found his way to Lynchburg.  Paul is a man with a credible Christian testimony.  And what is more, he connects with college students in a way Mitt Romney never can.  But apparently finding a Christian commencement speaker is harder than it seems.  And LU board member Mark DeMoss defends the school’s sleight of hand secularism by noting that LU’s founder Jerry Falwell Sr.,

 explained, or justified it [the practice of inviting non-Christians to give the commencement address] by virtue of us having a baccalaureate service that was a decidedly Christian service.  And commencement could feature a prominent figure from politics or business – evangelical or not evangelical.

Now the Bible has a word for this sort of thing:  double-mindedness. The folks running the show at LU are out to prove that they can too serve two masters and have, by their own admission, invested a lot of effort toward this end.  But Christ said this is impossible to serve two masters, and James stated that a double-minded man will receive nothing of the Lord.  Perhaps this evangelical double-mindedness is part of the reason why, despite decades of effort by the Moral Majority et. al., the culture continues to deteriorate with each passing year.   When Christians refuse to fight the Lord’s battles in the Lord’s way, not only will they lose, they will deserve to lose.

Mitt Romney may well turn out to be the Mormon JFK, doing for Mormonism what John F. Kennedy did for Roman Catholicism.  Some may recall that the election of Kennedy, the nation’s first Roman Catholic president, was vigorously opposed by many Protestants.  Kennedy had to work hard in his campaign to convince Protestant Americans that he was not a Vatican tool.  But how many contemporary Evangelicals – how many administrators at LU – either would not understand or actually be embarrassed by the concerns expressed by their forebears a mere half-century ago?

Today, Kennedy’s 1960 election is widely viewed as having been a watershed breakthrough for the Roman Catholic Church’s influence on American politics.  Just how far that influence has progressed can been seen by the fact that in 1983, for the first time in its history, the US began exchanging ambassadors with the Vatican.  Further, these days hard-core Roman Catholic presidential candidates don’t even need to bother with defending or downplaying their Romanism as Kennedy was forced to do.  They parade it around for all the world to see.  Rick Santorum, a man who gets sick at the thought of the Christian doctrine of the separation of church and state, can make absurd statements claiming that, “The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country.” In doing so, not only does Santorum not encounter any real opposition from Christians, but actually receives their active and enthusiastic support.

Funny, but I don’t seem to recall any objective or vision held by framers of our Constitution that involved the church (or does he mean the Church) influencing or operating the government of the United States. As far as I am aware, the Constitution enumerates certain powers to be divided among the three branches of the federal government – none of which includes the Church – and reserves all other authority for the states or the people.  But perhaps Rick was just confused and really had in mind the Holy Roman Empire or Spain during the Inquisition.  Both these are splendid examples of what the Church can do when it puts its mind to the business of influencing and operating the government.

A Romney presidency means a bright future for Mormonism.  In fact, it may be that Romney’s election may do more for Mormonism than Kennedy’s did for Romanism.  After all, the Roman Catholic Church-State was well established before 1960, whereas Mormonism is still in search of widespread acceptance.  Makujina makes the following observation,

[T]he Mormon Church stands to benefit enormously through a Romney presidency.  Analysts are expecting a huge spike in Mormon conversions if Romney becomes president.  Even common sense dictates that, with a Mormon in the White House, LDS missionaries will find an ever more hospitable climate in which to spread their soul-damning religion – especially overseas…

With the most powerful man in the world as their chief ambassador, the Saints could achieve the coveted status of a major world religion, a standing that will likely never be reversed.

Everybody loves a winner, and it should come as no surprise if a Mormon in the White House will result in a boom in Mormon conversions.  “After all, if it’s good enough for the president,” many will reason, “it’s good enough for me.”  And this is not all.  In addition to creating positive energy for the LDS church, a spike in Mormons membership likely will have the negative effect of shutting down evangelical opposition to Mormonism.  Ministers increasingly will feel pressure to soft peddle or cease their criticism of Mormonism.  They will be embarrassed and shamed into silence on the subject much in the same way Protestant pulpits have been embarrassed and shamed into silence on Romanism.  Just ask yourself this, when was the last time you heard a minister attack Roman Catholic doctrine from the pulpit on a Sunday morning.  If you’re like most of us, your answer is never.  If Romney is elected, expect Mormonism to get the same free pass in the future.

If Makujina’s analysis is correct, and I believe that it is, what are Christians to do when they go to the polls this fall?  Many will suppose that they must either support Obama and his obvious unconstitutional (and unbiblical) socialism, or, despite their deep reservations, get behind the Mormon Romney and hope that Makujina is wrong.  But is this the case?  Is choosing between the lesser of two evils a proper Christian approach to voting?  On an elementary level, the answer would seem to be no.  The lesser of two evils is still an evil.  And where do the Scriptures ever advise Christians to say, “Let us do evil so that good may come”?  But if it’s wrong for a Christian to support either candidate, what is a Christian to do?  He is still faced with a dilemma, right?

The short answer is no.  The apparent dilemma is, in fact, undone by a logical blunder known as a false disjunction.  In fact, you could almost say that the dilemma involving whether to vote for Obama or Romney provides a textbook example of this fallacy.  For in his textbook on logic, Gordon Clark gives the following, remarkably pertinent example.  He writes,

A stupid, artificial example [of a dilemma with a false disjunction], without the least literary flavor would be:  If I vote the Democratic ticket, I shall encourage war and inflation; if I vote Republican, I encourage depression and unemployment; but I must vote either Democratic or Republican, so I am forced to encourage war or unemployment.

Although in the United States third parties are almost uniformly useless, their mere existence makes this dilemma defective.  For that matter, until we are compelled to vote whether we want to or not, we can simply refuse to go to the polls.  This equally well refutes the dilemma, and it just might be more effective politically than third parties are.”  (Logic, 99)

Translating Clark’s example into our current situation, we could state the apparent dilemma this way:  If I vote for Obama, I shall encourage socialism; if I vote for Romney, I shall encourage Mormonism (and socialism too, for that matter); but I must vote for either Obama or Romney, so I am forced to encourage socialism or Mormonism.  But just as in Clark’s example, this dilemma is easily avoided by the Christian voter.  If Obama and Romney are his only two choices, he may simply choose not to vote in the presidential election.  Put another way, a Christian may choose to withhold his consent if he believes the candidates are not qualified.

And consent is no small matter.  Consent, in fact, makes the difference between guilt and innocence.  Take the case of Joseph of Arimathea.   Luke says of him,

Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man.  He had not consented to their decision and deed.  He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God.  (Luke 23:51)

Joseph most likely was not even at the trial of Christ or the meeting where the council bound and delivered Christ to Pilate (Mark 14:64 and 15:1).  He withheld his consent by choosing not to participate in the council’s evil plans.  To put it another way, Joseph of Arimathea did not vote to murder Jesus.  For this reason, he was not responsible, that is to say he was not answerable, for the sin of condemning to death, and promoting the execution of, an innocent man.  Luke notes this by calling Joseph, “a good and just man.” Had Joseph given his consent, he would have been as guilty as the rest of the council members.  The same principle of consent applies to all voters.  By pulling the lever for a candidate, a voter is consenting to have that person in office and is, therefore, responsible for the results.  If a voter, Christian or otherwise, consents to the election of Mitt Romney by voting for him, and if a Romney presidency has the effect of promoting Mormonism as I have argued, then that voter will be responsible, that is to say he will be answerable, to God for the sin advancing the cause of a blasphemous, false religion.

Neither Barak Obama nor Mitt Romney is qualified to be president.  Neither cares a whit for the Constitution, neither has any love for liberty or the rule of law, neither deserves the support of American voters.  If these two men win their respective party’s nomination, it will not be the first time voters have been faced with two unqualified candidates, but this time the political establishment seems to have outdone itself.  Now perhaps it will not come down to a choice between these two.  What seems inevitable today may prove impossible tomorrow.  One or both of these men may stumble between now and the summer conventions.  Perhaps a viable third party candidate will arise and give Christians someone they can support in good conscience.  But if faced with the choice of Obama or Romney, come November the only proper response for a Christian voter will be to withhold his consent and throw his support behind none of the above.


* Correction: John Makujina was not at  Erskine Seminary, but at Erskine College.


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66 Comments on “Liberty University Here We Come”

  1. AZTexan Says:

    Well said, Mr. Matthews. Re-blogging this one.

  2. Lauren Says:

    Another choice would be to write the name of your choice of a candidate on the ballot. That’s what I plan to do if Romney and Obama are my only options. I vowed in the last election that I would not violate my conscience again in 2012.

  3. Steve Matthews Says:

    @AZTexan: Thank you.

    @Lauren: Good point about the write in option. I understand about the vow. I had to learn that same lesson.

  4. LJ Says:

    Good article. I’ve posted on facebook and copied it to a number of friends and associates.

    My only disagreement of any significance would be your statement that this would be the FIRST TIME we are faced with two unqualified candidates. I’m afraid it’s more the rule than the exception.

    Thanks for taking the time to write this and thanks to Sean for publishing it on God’s Hammer.


  5. LJ Says:

    I noticed the “not” just as I hit the POST button. That means I’m in complete agreement. How boring 😉

  6. Steve Matthews Says:

    Thanks, LJ. I’m fine with boring 🙂

  7. […] Liberty University Here We Come ( […]

  8. Gus gianello Says:

    Im a Canadian, so its a little different for me. I have never voted Liberal or Conservative. In the provincial election i voted libertarian. In a national election i would vote Christian Heritage party or libertarian. At least with libertarians i can persuade them to be consistent and be prolife. But, i will not, i refuse, to vote for anybody who is directly antibible. Maybe i have gone too far in allowing myself to even vote libertarian. Anyways, ive voted once in about thirty years–give or take. So my hands are clean.

    And it may be that i have been able to take that stand bec i donot believe that Paul in Rom 13 was being descriptive but PRESCRIPTIVE. I know that Clark and Robbins—with whom i only disagree trembling–took the opposite positon. But i think that Rutherfurds exposition is too strong.

    Politics is the enemy of the one true religion. In my town of Oshawa, GM was bailed out with my taxes but i was chased down for a 15 yr old student loan. Why werent we both required to pay our debts? You see in our “free democracies” politics picks winners and losers not markets.

    Christians MUST renounce antiChrist politics and instead work very hard bec of the inevitable collapse of the USA. Be a good puritan, love God and your closest neighbors-your family. Work, work, work and become very very rich. When half the workforce is inemployed and all your neighbors houses are being foreclosed, and the local Hell’s Angels take over your county because local government as well as state and federal have collapsed, only a biblical faith, a gun in your holster, and money (gold?) in your pocket to bribe a corrupt official and buy water at 100 bucks a gallon will save you. Remember what Jesus said, ” if they persecute you in one city flee to the next”.

    Jesus doesnt love Roman Catholics, Mormons and professing Christians who talk like bible believers but act like communists.

    Dr. Gus Gianello

  9. Steve Matthews Says:

    @Gus: I think Robbins would agree with you. Somewhere in one of his lectures he says that Romans 13 sets forth the basic function of government as the punishment of evil doers, “for he is God’s minister, an avenger to [execute] wrath on him who practices evil” (Rom. 13:4). Robbins goes on to argue that the regulative principle is applicable here. For, he says, just as the regulative principle prohibits all worship not prescribed in Scripture, so too does this same idea prohibit the government from going beyond the powers granted to it in Scripture. Implied in Romans 13 is the idea that governments have no right to run schools, provide healthcare, manage retirement programs, manufacture money etc., etc. etc. In other words, most governmental activity today is unbiblical.

    You’re pretty bleak on the future! Actually, I think you’re wise to be concerned. The West, including the US, is in serious trouble. But then, that should come as no surprise. The first rule of politics, as Robbins pointed out, is “seek ye fist the kingdom of God and his righteousness”, and the West, broadly speaking, stopped doing that at least 100 years ago. The impending financial bankruptcy of the West was preceded by the spiritual bankruptcy of the West.

  10. Steve Matthews Says:

    @ Gus: I might also add that Mitt Romney’s likely Republican nomination and possible election are signs of God’s judgment on the US. Were the Gospel widely preaced and believed in this country, a Mormon would never get close to the Oval Office.

  11. Don Honeywell Says:

    In the last two U.S. presidential elections Christian candidates were on the ballots of third parties. Christians could have voted for them, but they did not. I have mentioned this to a number of Christians who have stared at me in unbelief — they were unaware, and in some cases had never heard the name of the Christian candidates. A main question is, If Christians will not vote for Christian candidates, who will?
    What ever happened to the election day sermons?
    “…. my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. ‘Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I will also ignore your children.'” Hosea 4: 6

  12. Steve Matthews Says:

    @Don; Too many Christians think that if they vote for a third party candidate, they are wasting their vote. I can’t imagine a better way of wasting one’s vote than consenting to the lesser of two evils and expecting something good to come of it.

  13. Jason Kramer Says:

    I do not see this a choice between the lesser of two evils at all. A Christian voter should suppport Romney because he appears to respect Christianity (why else would Mormons want to adopt the mantle) and because there is no reason to think he will be hostile to Christians.

    Obama has already shown himself hostile to Christianity, so he is not option.

    Therefore, while Romney may not be the ideal candidate for an evangelical voter, he offers at worst benign neutrality, and at best, healthy respect.

  14. Sean Gerety Says:

    Jason, you say on your blog that you’re a Catholic. Do you think that might play some roll in your willingness to put aside Romney’s Mormonism when it comes to your decision?

  15. Jason Kramer Says:

    Sean, I sense an insult in your question. However, you may have a point. As Catholics have struggled to find tolerance from Evangelicals, perhaps I am more open to differences.

    More importantly, this election is not about Christian faith, but the American republic. Understanding how intertwined those two have been, I appreciate your reticence to view them as separate questions.

    Perhaps you could approach the issue thusly: America has been a wonderful, blessed nation. As such, it has long proved fertile ground for the propagation of the faith. Which candidate is more likely to defend (or diminish) that exceptional qualities of America? On this point I am sure you and I agree – though in varied degrees.

    As this may prove to be a close election, I hope my Christian brothers will rally behind, not the lessor of two evils, but the best viable choice. Surely if enough vote for a third party that would send a strong signal to the Republican establishment, but if the cost is four more years of Obama, I do believe the negatives far outweigh the positives.

    Conservative Catholics and Evangelicals have much in common under siege from popular culture. Should Mormon’s choose to stand with us, rather than the secular progressives, I for one welcome them. We need all the allies we can gather.

  16. AZTexan Says:

    Wow. Hegelian Dialectical Kool-Aid, your choice of flavors. Cash bar. Two-Jeroboam minimum. Jason Kramer, go home – you’re wasted.

  17. Sean Gerety Says:

    Sean, I sense an insult in your question. However, you may have a point. As Catholics have struggled to find tolerance from Evangelicals, perhaps I am more open to differences.

    I didn’t intend it to be insulting only that that Romanism is far more amorphous and syncretistic than historic Protestantism (modern day so-called “Evangelicals” excepted). I just can see how it would be easier, as a matter of conscience, for a Roman Catholic to vote for a Mormon out of some notion of co-belligerency or something like that.

    Frankly, I was surprised that most so-called “Evangelicals” had little or no problem supporting Gingrich or Santorum. We’ve come a long way from the days of JFK which I’m sure you think is a good thing even if I don’t, but it certainly shows how far our nation has slid into darkness. Today most self-styled “Evangelicals” would have no problem seeing some president kiss the popes . . . eh, ring. 🙂

    As this may prove to be a close election, I hope my Christian brothers will rally behind, not the lessor of two evils, but the best viable choice. Surely if enough vote for a third party that would send a strong signal to the Republican establishment, but if the cost is four more years of Obama, I do believe the negatives far outweigh the positives.

    Frankly, I don’t think Romney is all that different from O on policy and a Romney presidency would have the net result of moving the Congress to the center, whereas 4 more years of O will force the Republican party to continue to move right (which I think is a good thing). I would be just as happy to see Romney lose, assuming we can get some more solid pickups in the Senate along the lines of Mike Lee and Rand Paul. I can hold out for a 2016 Rand Paul or Jim DeMint run 🙂

    Conservative Catholics and Evangelicals have much in common under siege from popular culture. Should Mormon’s choose to stand with us, rather than the secular progressives, I for one welcome them. We need all the allies we can gather.

    I’d prefer to have a secular progressive as at least they don’t pretend to be something they’re not. Also, I don’t want you to go home, you are welcome to post on my blog.

  18. AZTexan Says:

    Sean, I hope it was clear I was being rhetorical/metaphorical. Your blog is your own, of course. And I assume Mr. Kramer is at home, or else at his place of business. 🙂

  19. Sean Gerety Says:

    Not a problem AZ.

  20. AZTexan Says:

    Okey-doke. So long as it’s crystal that my little word-scene was addressing only the assumptions Mr. Kramer brings to this-here discussion, not his presence in the discussion. I’d hate for either of you to think me boorish, which indeed I would be were I to try ejecting a commenter from someone else’s blog!

    Speaking of “going home,” as a denizen of the graveyard shift it’s time for me to say goodnight for now.

  21. Steve Matthews Says:

    Jason, there is no good reason to believe that Romney would do anything much different than his predecessors. That’s bad news, because the bailouts, undeclared wars and deficit spending of the past several decades are unsustainable. Romney seems to be completely oblivious to this.

    But what is worse from the perspecitve of an Evangelical is that Romney’s Mormon faith will further confuse the thinking of this country’s already confused Evangelicals. A Christian must consider the implications his vote has for the rule of law and the spread of the Gospel. If, as I have argued, electing a Mormon president will raise the profile of the Mormonism and fool people into believing that it is Christianity, then Christians have an obligation not to support his campaign.

    Last fall I argued that if a Mormon were to become president, it would have the effect of mainstreaming Mormonism. From what I’ve seen, it appears that this process is already well underway. Not only did Liberty invite Romney to speak at commencement, but Robert Jeffress, the Southren Baptist who kicked off a controvery last fall by calling Mormonism a cult, has now endorsed Romney for president

    Christians are fooling themselves if they think that chasing political influence with Washington power brokers is going to reverse the nation’s terminal tailspin. The only hope we have of reversing the downward trend is the widespread preaching and belief of the Gospel. A Romney presidency will make the task that much harder.

  22. LJ Says:

    Just got home from a strategy, this is NOT strategery, meeting with my fellow Liberty Caucus Republican candidates for LA County Central Committee. We now have our slate mailer and Republican Voter Guide ready for print, and our email slate mailer almost ready. Whew, man this is a lot of work!

    The topic of the really, really underhanded tactics of the Romney Hawks during the primary came up. I pointed out to my fellow Liberty Candidates that i was not at all surprised since, like the RCC Jesuits, the Mormons believe the end justifies the means; always have been and are not neophytes in the dirty tactics business.

    I would be interested to hear your views regarding my comparison of Mormons to Jesuits.

  23. Steve Matthews Says:

    The sense I get from reading the news is that the dirty tactics being used against Ron Paul stem from the GOP establishment’s dislike of Paul and his message rather than anything directly tied to Romney’s Mormonism. Romney is the establishment candidate, and the establishment is bound and determined to get what it wants. So is Romney, for that matter.

  24. Gus Gianello Says:

    I would say that you understate it. First of all, check your conscience and read 2 Cor 6. Does 2 Cor 6 allow you to participate in such an organization? I am not saying that it does not…I am saying check your conscience, for as James says, “anything that is not of faith is sin”.

    Secondly, Jesuits represent the Whore of Babylon, and the same spirits that inhabit Babylon (Rev 17), inspired Joseph Smith. I believe without a doubt–someone prove me wrong please–that the Roman Catholic church is the fount of every religious and secular heresy. Mormonism is a bastard daughter of Roman Catholicism. Therefore it stands to reason that they share the same DNA. In fact, Robert Spencer in his latest books doubts that there was ever a Mohammed. Islam according to 19th century Islamic experts is a Christian heresy.

    Therefore your comparison between RC Jesuits and Mormons is very apt, though it barely touched the hidden unity that underlies all heresy.


  25. LJ Says:

    I’ll accept understated since I intentionally understated in order not to appear extreme.

    @ Steve Matthews: agreed the establishment hates Ron Paul. But the reports we’re getting from the field is that a newer and dirtier group that have been dubbed Romney Hawks has taken over his campaign. They will apparently do and say ANYTHING to crush opposition and get Mittens elected. It’s dirty politics and it’s often very effective.

    Ron Paul don’t roll that way.


  26. It seems that increasingly with every new election the American people are presented by both parties with unqualified losers and asked to choose which one is less of a looser than the other.
    I support Ron Paul in this current race and having read some of what goes on around the country I have no doubt that the Republican establishment would rather have Obama back than to have Ron Paul. That tells you where the Republican establishment really is. If they find a way to cheat Ron Paul out of a nomination, which I do not doubt they will labor vigorously at, then I will vote for some third party candidate who I realize will not win because I cannot, in good conscience vote for either Obama or Romney. If you get rid of Obama and get someone equally or nearly as bad what have you gained.?

  27. Gus Gianello Says:

    Read your old testament and you will find that often God used wicked men, such as Nebuchadressar and Cyrus to save his people. I would NEVER vote for Romney, but if he gets in, it will stave off the death of the USA a little longer. It would be better for all American Christian families if the USA was going to hell in a handcart rather than a rocket powered handcart.

    Gus Gianello

    PS. The USA doesn’t deserve Ron Paul. If I could I would live in his basement and shine his shoes.

  28. Sean Gerety Says:

    I disagree Gus and that’s because the real power center in the U.S. is not in the Executive but the Congress. While I think what you say is tempting and even makes sense to many conservative leaning Republicans, I think we would, overall, be better off with 4 more of O. I know that seems counter-intuitive, but if Romney gets in he will, like Bush before him, drive the Congress to the center/left.

    With the one exception of Obamacare (something the Republicans were giving us anyway only piecemeal), having O in the White House has been a net plus over Bush and 1000x better than if that Milquetoast “Maverick” McCain got his corrupt butt in the White House.

    I’ve said it before, the Tea Party would never have happened if O didn’t get elected and then people like Mike Lee and Rand Paul would never have been Senators. Frankly, I don’t think you would have seen a shift in the thinking of Jim DeMint (who, last I checked is a PCA elder) in Ron Paul’s direction if it wasn’t for O along with the spendthrifts in the GOP (i.e., virtually all of them). Even today we just saw O’s favorite Republican, Dick Lugar, get his centrist butt whipped by Constitutional conservative/Libertarian leaning Richard Murdock in the Indiana GOP primary. A few more of those and we might really be making progress. Next, I’d love to see Hatch go packing in UT.

    If it wasn’t for the fact that Americans are realizing that the Republicans and Democrats are exactly the same you would never have seen the ascendancy of Ron Paul and his message of ending the Fed and saying goodbye to American imperialism and all our illegal wars (yep, without a congressional declaration they’re all illegal). Ron Paul has even been marginally successful in getting some Republicans to recall Eisenhower’s warning about the dangers of the “military/industrial complex” and the role it plays in our evaporating liberties Heck, we even saw opportunistic charlatans like Gingrich this year talking about auditing the Fed and Rick Perry calling Bernanke a traitor. Four more years of O and the impending collapse of the EU economies and we might even seen puke Republicans insisting we end all our foreign entanglements and return to sound money. 4 more of O and the country might actually be ready to elect a Rand Paul or a Jim DeMint to the White House. I don’t even think it’s a gamble.

  29. David Reece Says:

    Sean is right.

    Vote for a third party or whatever to avoid voting for a fascist (I’m not voting for either of the major guys), but Obama is better for the cause of liberty because libertarians and constitutional conservatives will gain power.

    Think of it as hoping all of the apostate protestants would just become open Romanists. At least the difference between the two real options would become clear.

    Grace or Works

    Liberty or Tyranny

  30. LJ Says:

    Thinking people may strategize in this manner and speculate about outcomes and consequences, etc. But I’m convinced the great mass of American voters vote pocketbook: am I employed or underemployed(?), can I buy stuff and be comfortable or not(?); then they vote on emotion: is this person nice(?), charming(?), does he say things, whether he means them or not or regardless how illogical, that I like to hear(?); finally: who does the newspaper or TV like(?).

    It’s that shallow. The country is better off when voters, the mass of voters, stay home.

  31. Gus gianello Says:

    Without question, democracy has become demonocracy. 1 Tim. 4:1ff. Only a religious people deserves democratic means, otherwise they use those means to spread death and corruption. This is how great nations die– they vote themselves to death. The classic 20the century case was the ELECTED Adolph Hitler.

    Gus Gianello

  32. Ron Says:

    Keep up the good work, Sean.

  33. Scott Says:


    Very thoughtful post. I would just comment that Dr. Makujina is a professor at Erskine College, not the seminary.


  34. LJ Says:

    I’m pretty sure you’ll agree it’s the grassroots efforts from the bottom up that makes the lasting difference. That is the seed planting that the Paul movement has sown and, God willing, that will be the new field of liberty soon.

  35. hughmc5 Says:

    with the prestige of the presidency standing behind it, evangelicals would face tremendous pressure to drop their opposition and embrace Mormons as fellow believers.

    So what? Let’s stand against it.

    If Christianity and Mormonism have no propositions in common, they can have no values in common, however one may define that term.

    So what? We have no common values with atheists, Muslims, Hindus, liberal Christian revisionists, ANY unbelievers. So what? We’re electing the chief cook and bottle washer, not the pope.

    Maybe, In addition to creating positive energy for the LDS church, a spike in Mormons membership MIGHT have the POSITIVE effect of ENERGIZING evangelical opposition to Mormonism. Ministers increasingly MAY feel GOD’S pressure to EXPOSE AND INCREASE their criticism of Mormonism.???

    Just a hope. The wicked will do wickedly. We are to do righteously.

    If Romney is elected, expect Mormonism to get the same free pass in the future.

    Could be. Let’s stand against it.

    But are we not first concerned with doing the best possible thing, and negating the evil? As Steve admits, this ain’t “the first time voters have been faced with two unqualified candidates”! Even if they be way bad, they are merely glorified dog-catchers, not pastors.

    We should loudly sound the trumpet against false religions (and yes, L.U. and many other ostensibly evangelical folk have lost their bearings), but we must also fight [un]civil evils such as abortion and socialism. Isn’t Mitt a bit LESS socialistic than Barry?

    I agree that a minister or church ought not kowtow to cultists, nor should a “Christian university.” Nor should Christian apologists (a la R. Mouw) apologize to cultists, or neglect to challenge their hooey (Ravi Z.). But we are EVER challenged to vote for the lesser evil in elections.

    The Ron Paul question is for another debate. That is, do we vote for the LEAST evil, knowing he’s out of the running? Probably, since anything could happen!

  36. LJ Says:

    Hugh, here’s the deal, the Presidency is not equivalent to Dog Catcher 🙂 Dog Catcher’s don’t issue Executive orders that affect millions of Americans lives. Last I heard they’re also not Commander ‘n Chief with their finger on the nuclear trigger. They have no veto powers, etc., except whether Fluffy gets nabbed and sent to the Pound. Now, I admit when it comes to the Obamination, he’s more qualified for the Catcher office than the Commander ‘n Chief office. But I think it matters a whole lot, actually, who gets in the Executive Office.

    Lesser of two evils applies as long as we’re in this life, agreed. But as I’m sure you agree the Lord works according to ordinary means and a little “strategery” is in order here. Sean’s scenario above makes some sense and FWIW I hope if O is re-elected it does lead to an overwhelming takeover of the Congress. That would be splendid.

    My fear is that if Obama is re-elected there might be some fabricated “national emergency” that he and his cohorts could use to declare Martial Law. Now that’s a scenario worth thinking about.

    But the Romney thing bugs me on several levels:

    1. I’m not voting for a Mormon and, yes, it will help buttress the LDS and their minions.
    2. I’m not voting, ever again, for a NEOCON Repub, I don’t care if his name is Romney, Bush, Reagan, Ike, or Imogene; I’m done. If I don’t win the office I’m running for (no it’s NOT dogcatcher, tee, hee) this election then I’m switching to Independent, for whatever that’s worth. The Repubs disgust me almost as much as the Dems.
    3. There’s a third point but I can’t remember what it is.


  37. LJ Says:

    I’m not a Huff Post fan but you gotta read this:

    If nothing else it would make for some thrilling late night TV news!


  38. Steve Matthews Says:

    Hughmc5, if Christians are to use their votes in a way that is consistent with their faith – and they are, the Bible calls them to bring every thought into captivity to Christ – then voting for Mitt Romney presents several problems, the Mormon issue being chief among them.

    I’d like to agree with you that a Mormon president would increase the ferver of evangelicals to preach against that false religion, but I don’t think there is any ground for this. I cited the example of what JFK did for Romanists; given how doctrinally confused and gullible evangelicals have become, there is good reason to believe Romney will do the same thing for Mormons.

    Take the recent Republican primaries, for example. Evangelicals were just handed the chance of a lifetime to vote for a presidential candidate with a credible Christian testimony and a consistently Christian political philosophy. But did they take that opportunity? For the most part, no. South Carolina Republicans, folks from the very heart of the Bible belt, booed Ron Paul’s “golden rule” foreign policy at the same time they were wildly cheering for the Roman Catholic serial adulterer Newt Gingrich. Rick Santorum proved far more popular evangelicals than, even though Santorun is hard-core Romanist/ fascist in his political ideology. Fifty years ago who would have thought that two Romansit presidential candidates would garner far more support from evangelical voters than an actual evangelical. This is a sorry commentary on the state of the Protestantism in the country.

    Evangelical leaders are no better. For the most part, they love the best seats in the synagogues and being called “Rabbi, Rabbi” by men too much to actually stand up against Mormonism once a Mormon is in the White House.

  39. Gus gianello Says:

    When an evangelical talks, thinks and acts like a Mormon, is he an evangelical? I think modern “evangelicals” are best called “evanjellycals”. An evanjellycals devolved from Evangelicalism, and like a jellyfish floats which ever way the next wind of doctrine blows him, blissfully unaware of poison waters. He is content to eat, breathe and sh#t and call on Jesus only if he gets in trouble. He is Rousseau’s noble Christian savage. Anyways, if there were such a thing as zombies, Luther, Calvin and Knox would rise from their graves and eat their brains first–er, if they had any.

    Gus G

  40. HUGH Says:

    Thanks, LJ. The HuffPost piece contained this link to a fascinating take:

  41. hughmc5 Says:


  42. LJ Says:

    Jerry Falwell, Jr. typifies the NEOCON Repub establishment mindset that thinks as long as it has the name “Republican” attached to it … it must be right. The problem is that the Republicans, as a group, haven’t been right on much in a long while. Yes they often, individually, take good stands against abortion, big government, illegal wars, etc., but as a voting bloc they are as much a cause of our current problems as the pitifully corrupt Democrats.


  43. HUGH Says:

    the NEOCON Repub establishment mindset that thinks as long as it has the name “Republican” attached to it … it must be right.

    You mean, it isn’t?! 😉

    Reminds me of political cartoon where one GOP-er says, “America, right or wrong!”

    The other GOP-er replies, “Whaddya mean, America might be wrong?!”

    Amen to your sentiments, LJ. Keep up the fight. It ain’t over yet!

  44. Jim Says:

    If LJ is still monitoring this thread, perhaps you can email Jim Butler at jpbutler66 AT gmail DOT com.

    I have a question about LA county, assuming you mean LA CA.



  45. LJ Says:

    For any of you who might check out The Daily Paul blog:

    This is a bio on a young man who is frequently featured for his reporting on the Paul campaign, amongst other things.


  46. LJ Says:

    @ Jim Butler: I emailed you but didn’t hear back.

  47. Sean Gerety Says:

    I really think Ben Swann’s “Reality Check” reports are impressive bits of journalism. If he doesn’t sell out, he could be the next John Stossel.

    I posted one of Swann’s reports on the cause of rising gas prices here:

  48. LJ Says:

    I wonder which Presbyterian Church he was a “youth minister” at in Portland?

    I also really, really like his “Reality Check” reports. He is articulate and pleasing to listen to.

    How come I always have to re-enter my email address and name each time? Just asking.


  49. Sean Gerety Says:

    @LJ – No idea why you have to re-enter you email info? Could it be something with your browser not saving WordPress cookies or something?

  50. Steve Matthews Says:

    Swann does good work. He actually has something to say, which is pretty rare for a news guy.

    He’s also a big improvement on a anchor we had here in Cincinnati about 25 years ago. This fellow was fond of doing pompous, moralistic commentaries every night. His name was Jerry Springer.

  51. LJ Says:

    Another excellent Ben Swan piece:

    The battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party is just beginning. If the party does not change, in the direction of liberty in my view, it will either cease to exist altogether or become irrelevant as a party.


  52. Joel Says:


    The extinction of the Republican party is inevitable either way. The demographic changes are such that it won’t be long before states like Texas go the way of California. Once that happens, the Republican party is dead.

    And they’ll have no one to blame but themselves, being just as much supporters of mass immigration and the third-worldization of America as the Democrats.

  53. David Reece Says:


    Is your suggested solution to have the government tell people where they can live and then enforce the order?

  54. Joel Says:

    David Reece,

    I don’t think I like the loaded tone of your question.

  55. David Reece Says:


    It was loaded, and loaded questions are not bad things if used correctly. However, it is possible that I did not use mine correctly. It is also possible that you don’t like my tone even if my tone is proper.

    So, in order to elucidate the situation, let me rephrase my question into two questions.

    1) Do you think that the government should tell people where they can and cannot live?

    2) Do you believe that the government should enforce laws that tell people where they can and cannot live?

  56. LJ Says:

    My last post on this thread is that our entire “Liberty” slate was defeated by the establishment Republicans in our Assembly District here in California. There were (7) slots and I came in (11th).

    I think we were definitely out-spent, probably out-organized, but no way we were out-worked. We gave it the old college try, but lost in the end.

    Hugh, this is empirical proof that the postmillenial utopia has not yet arrived 😉

    The good news is that my blessed wife, a very conservative, dare I say NEOCON(?), Republican voted for Dr. Paul, bless her pea pickin’ heart.

    I’m now officially out of politics as a candidate and I’m thinking seriously about changing my registration to American Independent. That’s not sour grapes. The truth is I just don’t fit in the Republican Party as it’s shaping up, or as it’s been shaping up for about seven elections.

    The GOP left me, I didn’t leave the GOP.


  57. LJ, I agree with Dr. Paul that the rEVOLution has only begun. In 25 years, there won’t be any Romney or Gingrich fans, but Ron Paul will be legendary.

  58. LJ Says:

    I think history, unlike the NEOCON, establishment, Republican Party, will be kind to him. I wonder if we will get to see it in our lifetime? Let’s see how things shake out at the convention, the general election, then the economy over the next year or so and maybe (DV) Dr. Paul will be vindicated, yet again.

  59. djbeilstein Says:

    Great points about Pope Santorum, but I must disagree on some comments stating the Holy Scriptures offer a specific political agenda Christians out to follow. What can be deduced from Scripture is: Christians ought to see government as a necessary arm of God’s punishment and restraining from evil doers-and that Christians ought to obey-as long as it doesn’t mean disobeying God-government officials and rule of law. But to say a non-Christian speaking about political issues at a University is hogwash. If Liberty said Romney was a Christian, then we’d have cause for alarm and need to send angry flaming letters. I went to Liberty; I did not and do not like Liberty. I think their theology is bad and their politics even worse, precisely because they-like Rick Santorum-have very little idea what true conservatism is, which is not moralism or traditionalism, but liberalism in the classical sense. Friedman, Goldwater, Hyek, Kirk, would never be caught dead echoing the sentiments the so called pop eeeeeevangelical conservative movements opines…. never.

  60. djbeilstein Says:

    The problem with LU is an identity problem. And an imperative, Christian ghetto problem. They don’t know who or what they want to be. A liberal arts college in which a liberalism of the classical stripe allows for all types of ideas, from non-believers and believers in various different vocations, or a stridently Christian school that gas to do everything with a Christian adjective applied to it … Thus, someone like Mr Romney would be anathma being a speaker within such a confine … This seems to me to be a false dileema, propounded by those who think secular, temporal, vocational jobs and ideas have to always have some Christian distinction. And no, I will not be voting for either Barry Obama or Mitt Romney. Nonsense! There is no difference in particular skills and needs-or conversant knowledge in a vascular surgeon who is a believer and one who is a non-believer. That surgeons skill is on the side of the spiritual nature of having been reconciled to Christ … Political classical liberalism, or conservatism, is not Christisanity and should not be conflated as such. Classical liberalism is a governmental architectural idea concerning free markets, minds, property, individuality, on the earthly or temporal city, not the city of God. It concerns believers, non-believers, their life and property. It is in my opinion the best political philosophy in which non-believers and believers can achieve civil cohesion and civil order, in a radically broken world. It protects people and what they own, allowing the best chances for people to take care of themselves and mind their own business-and through self-interest, end up providing means for neighbor and foe alike, to prosper in secular terms. This freedom does enrich the temporal landscape upon which the Church preaches the Holy Gospel and administers the sacrements of our Lord and God Christ … Liberty’s issue is conflating Bible beliving fidelity with so called conservstative politics. This is nonsense as well, as the Falwell’s shill and the religious right and moral majority have done almost nothing to actuate anything remotely close to state’s right expansion, or the dismantling of federal power-or centralized power in Washington. These petards, Falwell and his ilk, have supported candidates (and too many eeeevangelical Christians support candidates) like Rick Santorum who have not a clue what classical liberalism is-nor it’s main philosophical underpinnings. That’s why Santorum wants Governemnt in the bedroom and screams as if shot in the arse about an inherent separation of church in state as necessary in the U.S. Constitution. Neither has eeeevangelicalism or the so called pop conservative movement imbibed Madison, or Federalist 51 expressly articulating NOT the idea of a Santorum moralistic vision imposed on the society at large, but that a free society founded in Liberty will produce equal under the law, factions-diverse, amidst the differen states with different specific laws reflecting the religious, cultural, monetary desires of those people. Unfortunately, the GOP has long south to impose a one-size fits all cultural imposition alon the nation at large, and the so called conservative movement has gone alone with it. But this is not classical liberalism, the uptempo beat which was the background of the formation of the Constitution.

    I don’t care if Romney speaks at Liberty. What I do care about is Liberty force feeding this idea that big government GOP politics is Christian politics. There is no such thing. There is politics good and bad for people. The good ones help all people under the rule of law … The bad ones enslave and create misery for all people. If Liberty offers its platform for folks like Romney, it ought to allow for folks like Obama or other political ideological beliefs to speak. ‘cos that would be a political ideas forum, not a promotional forum-an imperative forum. You cannot say its about Christ when you have Glenn Beck and Romney speaking … But that’s the problem. Liberty cannot differ between the secular city and Sacred city. One city requires separation and strict doctrinal distinction. One city doesn’t-and for very different reasons. And those reasons are always beneath the Holy Gospel because they are always penultimate or temporal concerns.

    God forgive me, but I hated that school.

  61. LJ Says:

    God did help you. He helped you hate that school.

  62. @djbeilstein

    The problem I have with what Liberty did is that by inviting Romney to speak a graduation they send a confusing message. On one hand, they posit themselves as a Christian school, but on the other hand, they bring a high-profile Mormon to give the commencement address. By doing this, they proclaim to the world that Romney is a Christian. Which, if Romney believes what the LDS church teaches, he most certainly is not.

  63. Denson Dube Says:

    The separation of state and church is established from the word of God. The separation is institutional, not epistemological. There are no two sources of truth, one secular and the other religious. The same word of God rules over both. Grand ideas of “Liberty” and “Freedom” etc etc unless they are established from the word of God are just “connotation” words and those who promise these cannot deliver.

  64. Jon Says:

    Many groups align in order to defend morality or for the sake of cultural renewal. Catholics and evangelicals have been doing it for a while. Mormons get in on it too.

  65. Steve Matthews Says:

    As you say, many groups do align to defend morality or for cultural renewal. That’s true. But Christians have to ask themselves whether the Bible enjoins them to fight this way. In II Corinthians 10, Paul tells us that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God. We are to fight the Lord’s battles in the Lord’s way, by reproving unfruitful works of darkness by his Word, not by making alliances with unbelievers.

    When Christians ally with Roman Catholics and Mormons to defend morality, they evidence not faith in God, but rather unbelief. Perhaps after several decades of thoroughgoing
    failure in the culture war, Evangelicals ought to ask themselves if their ecumenical strategy is to blame.

  66. Jon Says:

    Yes, I totally agree. Sometimes eschatology or one’s view of the church’s mission clouds their judgment in this matter.

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