Just as Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback is apologizing to fellow contender Mitt Romney for an aide’s e-mail attacking Mormonism, a Southern Baptist leader suggested Evangelicals would not vote for a Mormon. Leading a panel entitled “Mitt Romney: Should Evangelicals Vote for a Mormon President?” at a conference in Missouri, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary president R. Phillip Roberts – author of “Mormonism Unmasked” – suggested that voting for a Mormon could be an act “disloyal” to Jesus Christ:
Roberts acknowledged that there is no “religious test” for any presidential candidate; they are free to hold whatever belief — or non-belief — they choose. At the same time, voters have every right and reason to allow their “substantive informed religious opinions to inform [their] voting habits” without being faulted for bigotry, he noted. …
“As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, a candidate’s spiritual values are not the only criteria, by any means, for public office, but as voters, exercising our rights as citizens, to ignore altogether candidates’ religious perspectives would be potentially unwise, irresponsible and possible disloyal to our allegiance to Jesus Christ, Lord of lords and King of kings.”
Roberts also had a warning for Evangelical leaders who endorse Romney – such as members of the candidate’s new “Faith and Values Steering Committee,” unveiled last week: “When we endorse a candidate, that [endorsement] carries with it enormous implications, and if Mitt Romney is elected as president of the United States, there’s a great [spiritual] responsibility on the part of those who have advocated his candidacy,” said Roberts.