One of the arguments we heard over and over during Governor Romney’s campaign was that his election would result in a confusion of the Gospel. Those putting forth this idea seemed to believe the theology of the President of the United States automatically becomes — by virtue of being professed by the occupant of the Oval Office — more acceptable to folks. Therefore, the argument goes, simply by virtue of there being an LDS commander-in-chief, people would think that Mormon theology is the same as orthodox (small “O”) Christian theology — which it isn’t, as both parties acknowledge.
Now, I’ll confess that this idea still confuses me. It’s not at all clear to me, for instance, that people look more favorably upon evangelical theology in light of President Bush’s tenure. In fact, I’d bet you a jelly donut that more people than ever are suspicious of us and our theology these days. And if I were the Mormons, I think I’d be scared to have a conservative Republican president confessing my doctrine — if anything, that’d seem to buy my church four years of intense media scrutiny, not to mention unwarranted association with the particular sins of the president.
With all of this still percolating in my mind, I must confess I was quite interested to see an AP story entitled “Obama Defends His Christian Religion” greet me when I logged on to my computer just now. Here’s what it says:
Democrat Barack Obama says he’s tired of questions about his religion. The Democratic presidential candidate told a town hall meeting Sunday in Nelsonvile, Ohio, in the state’s rural southeast, that he is a devout Christian who prays to Jesus every night. He told audience members they would feel right at home at his church in Chicago.
Obama said misinformation — including long-standing suggestions that he is a Muslim — is being spread by his opponents.
A voter questioned the Illinois senator about his religion as he and rival Hillary Rodham Clinton crossed paths heading into Tuesday’s primaries in Ohio and Texas.
Now, I certainly don’t contest that Senator Obama is a Christian. That’s between him and the Lord. However, I do contest the particular theology of his church — whose own website characterizes it as “a church whose theological perspective starts from the vantage point of Black liberation theology.”
Sorry, guys, but my theology starts with the Bible — God’s vantage point, not that of any particular group. And if you’re worried about a confused gospel, it doesn’t get any more mixed up than thinking that true theology is about some racial, gender, national, or other subset.