The EFM Feature

This is a letter to Jonah Goldberg of National Review Online, written by David during one of his short bursts of internet access. Thought you might enjoy:

Dear Jonah,
Greetings from Iraq. As I sit here just a few miles from the Iranian border, I have reliable email and internet access for the first time in more than a month. I eagerly went to the Corner to get my fix and saw your question to readers about the real effects of a Mormon president. In my civilian life (I’m a mobilized reservist), I’m a co-founder of Evangelicals for Mitt (www.evangelicalsformitt.org ) and a regular contributor to NRO’s own Phi Beta Cons. Obviously, since I’m now deployed, my political activities are nonexistent. But I did want to say something in response to the emailers who argue that a Mormon president would somehow lead people astray because he would be a great marketing asset for the LDS church.
I’m hardly surprised that you have gotten this response. This, in fact, is the single most common objection we’ve received in the almost 18 full months that we’ve been operating our Evangelicals for Mitt website. In my mind, this line of reasoning is more responsible than any other for the religious-based objections to Mitt Romney’s candidacy. It is also so theologically and intellectually flawed that it almost makes me want to weep.
Do religions really stand or fall based on the attractiveness of their most famous adherents? Or does God perhaps have a say (I would say the decisive say) in the process? I presume that your correspondents would never stay in a Marriott hotel, fly Jetblue, or root for the 49ers when Steve Young was throwing touchdown passes to Jerry Rice. Because, after all, they don’t want to endorse anyone or anything that brings credibility to the LDS church. I suppose God stands helplessly by as religions compete for souls by offering up a series of accomplished, attractive politicians and celebrities. (“I see your Steve Young and raise you a Kurt Warner.”)
In fact, as we know from the Bible, God more often uses the “least of these.” The King of Kings came not as a prince but a carpenter and allowed himself to be executed between two petty criminals. His apostles did not run Roman provinces but were instead chased across an empire, met in caves, and were sometimes torn apart in arenas for public amusement. And yet Christianity has endured and flourished. Why? Because – perhaps, just perhaps – God is in control.
So when I see Christians say that the eternal souls of men are in danger because a Mormon of genuine integrity and real accomplishment is running for president, I wonder who (or what) they have faith in: the sovereignty of a loving God who holds the nations in his hands, or the persuasive power of a Mormon missionary who can add one more celebrity to the list of famous LDSers (“we’re right because Gladys Knight, Danny Ainge, Dale Murphy, Harry Reid, and – yes – Mitt Romney say so!”)
All the best,
David


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