Dennis Prager

Observation No. 2: I may be mistaken, but I believe that what most annoys evangelicals (and some other Christians) about Mormonism is that Mormons call themselves Christian. In order for Jews to better understand evangelicals -- and for evangelicals to better understand Jews -- I think there is a parallel here.

The vast majority of Jews understand that in a free society, people convert to other religions. Therefore, some Christians convert to Judaism and some Jews convert to Christianity. What particularly annoys Jews is not the existence of converts but the existence of "Jews for Jesus." To most Jews, this is a misleading label because people who come to believe in Christ should call themselves Christian, not Jews.

So, too, in the view of most evangelicals, if people wish to believe in the divinity of the Book of Mormon and the prophecy of Joseph Smith, that is their business, but to call these and other distinctive Mormon beliefs "Christian" bothers many evangelicals. Of course, Mormons respond that a religion that calls itself The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, can hardly be dismissed as non-Christian. But it is not my interest here to adjudicate this debate. I only wish to offer one reason that evangelicals might be disturbed by Mormonism calling itself Christian.

Observation No. 3: Most importantly, theology and values are not the same thing. Traditional Jews and evangelical Christians have quite different theologies, but they often have virtually identical values. (That is why this Jew is so supportive of evangelicals and why evangelical Christians syndicate my radio show.) Conservative Catholics and evangelicals differ on theology but share virtually every important value. The Founders differed on theology but rarely on values.

It is hard to identify any area of life in which Mitt Romney's values and life differ in any way from the finest evangelical's values and life. And with regard to electing a president, that is what matters.

What I am asking here is that evangelicals and other traditional and conservative Christians who have problems with Mormonism not allow those problems (however legitimate they may be from the perspective of Christian theology) to play a role in their primary voting or in their general election voting if Mitt Romney wins the nomination. The fate of America and the world hangs in the balance.

In other words, fight the left now. You can fight theology later.


Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.
 
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