While running for office in 2008, Governor Mitt Romney gave a speech on religion, and how his religion has steered his life, privately and politically. But folks are still unsure if they would vote for him, simply because he is a follower of the Church of Latter Day Saints.
I have given lots of thought to Governor Romney’s religion, and what influence it would play if he were elected. While on this journey to understand Romney’s own enlightenment, I started thinking about those who I have known who were Mormon.
My mind comes to this man I dated for awhile. For the sake of maintaining my secret of channeling my inner Carrie Bradshaw, we’ll call him Mister Almost. Mister Almost, like may gays in Arizona, is a former Mormon. But he is everything a good guy should be too. Not only is Mister Almost respectful, sentimental, but unlike most gays, he wanted a partner and children, a house with a white picket fence. When he came out to his parents, his mother disowned him, and his father almost did. But, despite that, despite being disowned by his church, he still respected it. He still spoke fondly of the two years he spent in Mexico on his mission, slaughtering pigs and taking showers that had the tank of water on top. Mister Almost was everything a good guy should be, and everything I almost wanted. His religion, though no longer practicing, has instilled good morals and an ethical code to which he lived his life.
That’s something I could vote for.
Living in Arizona, Mister Almost was not the only Mormon I knew. Take for instance many of the kids I went to high school with. This other guy I knew now lives in Brooklyn with his girlfriend, has a degree, seems happy, and is looking for a job to live out his dream as a writer. Respectable, considering I am doing much of the same on the island just across the bay. That’s definitly something I could vote for.
What I see most consistent in those who are Mormon, is their strong sense of ethics. Whether they continue to practice their religion (as friends of mine are) or not (as other friends of mine), each of them is kind, considerate, and all around happy to be alive.
All qualities that I think a good leader should have.
Now before we start questioning whether Ray should or shouldn’t convert to becoming a Mormon, let’s get one thing straight: my believe regarding God is that of my own. I have yet to find a church that reads the Bible (or Book of Mormon, or whatever religious doctrine) the way I do. I have come to terms with my creator, him and I are good. Among the religions I have tried, I have learned that Mormonism is not for me.
There are many reasons I wouldn’t vote for Governor Mitt Romney. But to say it’s because he is Mormon, is just as a bad as someone saying they wouldn’t vote for someone because they were gay, black, handicapped, Jewish, or a woman.
For me, being Mormon is a reason I would vote for Governor Mitt Romney. It shows discipline, it shows hope, it shows moral codes, ethics — all things the next President of the United States should have instilled in him or her.