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Skip to comments.Slanders Unworthy of a Gentleman: A Base Attack on Wayne Grudem and Mitt Romney
Posted on 11/09/2007 11:13:13 AM PST by Reaganesque
Bottom Line: Some attacks on politicians are so craven that they redound to destroy the attacker. Gregg Jackson slanders Wayne Grudem and Mitt Romney, but the only reputation harmed is Gregg Jackson’s.
Why I think this:
Republicans can get surly with candidates other than their favorite at this stage of the primary season.
Like a kid with a crush who cannot stand to hear bad news about his best girl, it is easy to over react to some of it. It does get wearisome and makes one long for more obedience to Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment: speak no ill of a fellow Republican.
This is wise since the candidate I don’t favor today may be the standard bearer of my party tomorrow. Meanwhile, decent men running for office have to endure smaller men sniping at them from the blog-lines.
To such attacks the mass of us must shrug and look forward to a united party after the nominee is picked. For now we must do the best we can to keep things in proportion. Hard attacks on a candidate’s record are fair. Humor and poking a bit of fun is more than welcome as most leaders can use a good poke or two in the ego-sphere.
This must be kept within bounds, however, remembering that politicians are also human beings worthy of respect . . . however little some of them seem to deserve it!
Most of the candidates running for President (in both parties) are capable and decent people. All but one of the Republicans running is committed to a culture of life and family values.
Sometimes we forget this fact.
Who isn’t tired of petulant attacks on a fine man like Mike Huckabee? I like Mike, he was an effective small state governor, and could vote for him quite happily in the general election. I will vote for Romney in the primaries, but Huckabee would make a fine party leader.
Huckabee is wisely grinning and moving forward in the storm. . . recognizing that if they aren’t attacking you then you are at the Tom Tancredo level of importance.
Good for him. It makes him all the more admirable.
Having said that, an insane attack on any candidate from an apparently sane man demands a response . . . especially if the man speaks in the name of one’s own religious group.
Gregg Jackson is a talk show host and author from Massachusetts who sees doom. There is an action we could all take so serious that it “could spell the end of America.”
The. End. Of. America.
There lurks a greater danger than the madman in Iran.
There is a menace that hides in the Republican Party greater than any found in Pakistan.
Gregg Jackson has seen the Fall of the West, the triumph of the Orc Lord, and the destruction of Sunnydale. So bad is the threat according to Jackson that soon magical Turkish Delight will be pressed on all the blessed children of this nation by a White Witch in the form of Mitt Romney, Mormon.
According to Gregg Jackson electing Romney president might end the Republic.
I am not kidding.
We survived James Buchanan and the Civil War, but Gregg Jackson thinks Romney will finish us off.
The nation defeated Fascism, the Great Depression, and the Bolsheviks, but electing a business man with the religion of Donny and Marie will mark the end of us.
We survived Richard Nixon, the Cold War, and Jimmy Carter, but Gregg Jackson has seen the future and if President Romney is in it, the Constitution of 1789 will not be.
Worst still, according to the Prophet Gregg from Boston, a Romney win might mark the end of Evangelicalism in America.
Now I am not going to vote for Mrs. Clinton, figuring that marrying the boss may not be the best qualification for running his firm, but it will not finish us off if she wins. I am not going to vote for Ron Paul, but figure if Herbert Hoover did not hose us, the nation would survive the good doctor.
But let Gregg Jackson froth for himself . . . in a piece that puts the hyper in hyperbole.
Is This the End of Evangelicalism in America?
By Gregg Jackson
Friday, November 2, 2007
Here is a prediction on my part: if you think that electing a president whose theology you do not like can kill the Church, you may have some degree of confusion about the proper relationship between Church and state.
A disturbing sign of the state of American evangelicalism has appeared in the seventh year of the 21 st century in a Townhall.com article dated October 18,2007 entitled, “Why Evangelicals Should Support Mitt Romney” by Wayne Grudem. One of America’s most popular evangelical theologians, Grudem is trying to persuade evangelicals to vote a Mormon for president. Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” is the gold standard of evangelical doctrine and a sacred fixture in evangelical seminaries, pastor libraries and Bible studies.
Unless one is named Lincoln, first name Abraham, one should generally avoid phrases such as the “seventh year of the 21 st century.”
It sounds a bit like a Tolkien lampoon.
Combined with the suggestion that Evangelicals, as fractious a theological bunch as ever attended AWANA, have a “sacred fixture” other than the Bible, it carries more than a hint that we are about to read an article with the substance and intellectual depth of a Michael Bey movie trailer.
What will come next?
“In a world where Mormon’s rule the White House, where the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is heard on every radio . . . Gregg Jackson warns of apocalypse now: A Mormon in the White House.”
But back to Jackson:
In it, he defines Mormonism as “clearly a false church.” He shows why Mormonism has never been included in the Christian Church: It contradicts major Christian doctrine regarding the person of God, Christ and His work and salvation plan. A cornerstone of the Mormon Church, Grudem writes, is the classic heresy of Saint Paul’s day angel worship. In his book, Grudem insists that an orthodox Christian must practice the theology he reads. So why would he step forward to become part of the Mitt Romney propaganda blitz trying to mislead evangelicals into doing what would shock most evangelicals in American history: elect a Mormon for president?
Let’s try a charitable answer to Gregg Jackson’s question. Grudem might recognize that Mitt Romney might make a rotten pastor, but a great president. Perhaps, just perhaps, Grudem recognizes that being wrong about somethings is not the same as being wrong about everything.
Grudem might be able to practice his theology while working with those who do not . . . as sensible Christians have always done.
Grudem’s book also views Catholic theology as seriously defective, but Gregg Jackson had no jeremiads ready for anyone who was supporting Sam Brownback.
Should Jackson wish to help Grudem perhaps he can provide a chart of fit and unfit religious groups. This chart could outline jobs that the believer can hold without imperiling in the Republic. For example, Mormons have served in the Cabinet and the Senate without complaint by Jackson. Some have done so at the request of Protestant presidents . . . so perhaps Gregg Jackson can create the “back of the political bus” servant who can vote Republican, but not lead the party.
As to Gregg Jackson’s handle on history:
He should answer these questions.
Did Evangelicals in Michigan help make Mitt Romney’s dad their governor? Did they oppose his run for president, or that of Senator Hatch, with the fervor and apocalyptic language that Gregg Jackson is using?
It goes from strange to bizarre, considering Romney opened his campaign posing as the uber-evangelical Ronald Reagan while suggesting Reagan’s evangelical base are bigots. Romney’s evangelists, conservative talk show hosts Sean Hannity and Hugh Hewitt, among others, were much more outspoken. They angrily and repeatedly characterized evangelicals’ lack of support for Romney as ugly bigotry.
This is not true.
First, Romney has never hidden his religion. . . as if the mainstream media would let him in any case. It has been discussed ad nauseaum.
At least for Hewitt, the argument was that opposing Romney only on the grounds of his religion was bigotry.
It could be bigotry to oppose Romney on religious grounds, but it might not be.
On this blog and on the Washington Post on-line I have outlined when religion might be “disqualifying” without the decision being bigotry.
The problem for Jackson is that Mormonism passes any reasonable qualifying test for a rational Christian’s vote.
Why would a major evangelical leader jump aboard a political campaign that views evangelicals as bigots? Here are 10 important things for evangelicals to consider about Grudem’s letter.
Perhaps, because the Romney campaign does not view Evangelicals as bigots? It is not bigotry to think Mormonism false, but it is bigotry to not be able to judge other ideas held by a Mormon because of the falsity of his religion.
I think atheism false, but can still learn Latin from an atheist. I don’t judge his language skills by his metaphysical folly.
1. Grudem’s epistle shows how mesmerizing liberal propaganda has become to the American Right. He buys a lot of liberal myths, including Hannity’s bigotry charge. Sounding like Hillary Clinton, Grudem writes: “Have we come to the point where evangelicals will only vote for people they consider Christians? I hope not…” The evangelical bigotry charge comes right out of the 50 year Democrat playbook “Evangelicals are bigots, racists and anti-Semites!” Why do we need the fairness doctrine when conservatives are making Democrat talking points? The evangelical bigotry indictment is a phony mountain-out-of-a-molehill argument. The immense sacrifice of white lives for black freedom and the fact that no nation has treated Jews and immigrants better than America is evidence that must be balanced against the phony liberal charge of bigotry. The Mormon Church could not have thrived as it has anywhere else in the world.
Jackson has misunderstood Grudem. He has also confused the argument. The fact that Democrats have falsely accused Evangelicals of bigotry does not mean that some Evangelicals are not bigots or that Evangelical leaders should not caution publicly against bigotry.
As the Southern Baptists bravely stated at a recent convention, white Evangelicals were too silent during the Civil Rights Movement and some were bigots. We gain nothing by pretending to a perfection we did not and do not have.
Real conservatism is not Utopian. It does not pretend to be made up of angels.
Jackson’s reasoning, such as it is, is that if Democrats accuse us of anything we can never be guilty of it or should avoid public discussion of the vice. This, however, is the path of a new kind of right-wing political correctness.
Besides this Grudem did not accuse Evangelicals of being bigots, he was simply warning them against bigotry.
2. Grudem would be a heretic in the history of American evangelicalism. The vast majority of Christians for most of American history would have been outraged at an evangelical Christian wearing a sandwich board for a Mormon candidate. As they saw it, America was a Christian nation to be led by a Christian president, who would be led by the God of the Bible. Grudem is out of step with the founding fathers. Voicing the majority opinion of the day, the first Supreme Court justice, John Jay said, “Americans should prefer Christian presidents.” Washington wanted to be sworn in on the Bible, which he then kissed and said, “so help me, God.” Even the “deists” Grudem cites, Jefferson and Franklin, agreed with Justice Jay. They thought Jesus was the ideal president. Grudem’s reasoning is right out of the historically apostate Southern Baptist logic today: we’re electing a president not a pope.
Was this true of Michigan Republicans, many Evangelical, Reformed and Protestant, who voted for Mitt Romeny’s father as governor of Michigan?
Does Jackson believe we are electing a pope? One hopes not . . . though since he believes the Southern Baptists (!) apostate perhaps the group of eligible candidates is very small indeed in Mr. Jackson’s world.
Should Catholics apply? The Orthodox? If a deist is acceptable, then why isn’t a Mormon?
This article is an ugly slippery slope to deserved irrelevance in the Republic for any Christians foolish enough to be confused by it.
3. Grudem is clueless to the fact that in the 230 year history of American elections, Americans have overwhelmingly chosen conservative Christian presidents. Apparently he’s unaware that even in America’s most liberal era, the last 40 years, voters elected conservative Christian presidents or people posing as one. It was Democrats, not Republicans who began the religious right phenomenon with Jimmy Carter who they portrayed as a “born again evangelical Bible teacher.” The only way Democrats won the presidency over the last 40 years was with phony evangelicals. We now know Carter and Bill Clinton are as evangelical as Hillary.
Mr. Jackson: What was Madison’s religion? Was Jefferson who cut up his Bible to remove miracles a better Christian than Mr. Romney? Was Lincoln who was elected on Evangelical votes, but was of broader opinion? What of Mr. Reagan? Does he past muster?
I stand in the broad Christian tradition when I say that most of us would rather be governed by a noble pagan than a Christian cad.
4. Grudem’s letter is as shocking and clueless as his book is brilliant and well reasoned. The foundation of his argument for Romney is almost identical to the left wing Newsweek’s March announcement of Romney’s candidacy: (1) Romney’s a brilliant Harvard grad (like Grudem), (2) a successful investment banker and manager, (3) a great governor, and (4) he was savior of the 2002 Olympic games. Grudem says he “disagrees” with Mormon teaching, except that much of their ethical and value teaching is similar to the Bible’s. The same could be said for the Koran and the Communist Manifesto.
Apparently in Mr. Jackson’s world being brilliant is a bad thing as is being successful in business and government.
To compare Mormon ethics to the Communist Manifesto is absurd. Put briefly, Mormons adopt a traditional ethic derived from Western Christian society. Communists rejected it.
5. His epistle contradicts a lot of his theology book. On the one hand, Grudem emphasizes how Christians need to employ theology in their lives and not just read it. Yet even though he deems Mormonism a false church and its angel worship is heretical to the American evangelical tradition that built America, Grudem calls for evangelicals to forget all that and Vote for Mitt. Grudem’s epistle is based largely on worldly and liberal reasoning and the biblical reasons he does use are out of context. Let’s look at that…
Does Mr. Jackson see any distinction (I do not say separation) between Church and state?
If not, he should go back and read Augustine.
6. Grudem commits the evangelical sin of “eisegesis” reading into the Bible what he wants to see. He cites Pharoah, Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus as pagan leaders who did God’s will. The problem is: God’s children never “elected” these people. God did. When the Hebrews cried out for a king other than their God, the king turned out to be demon-possessed. The big Bible picture Grudem misses is the one the founders understood well, and went into their construction of a Christian America. God wants people to elect his son their king. They envisioned America as God’s chosen nation with Christians doing God’s will by electing godly presidents. The American majority opinion has been: this is a Christian nation and God’s tool for good in the modern world.
This is historically false.
America was a nation made up of mostly Christian people. They created a nation in which great good could be done by people like Joe Lieberman or Mitt Romney who could serve as full citizens of that nation.
The great glory of the Christian majority in America is that they have been able to serve under those with whom they had some theological disagreements. Just as Christians can hire a secular plumber, write a dissertation for a Hindu professor, and have their life saved by a Mormon doctor so a Christian can have a Commander in Chief who shares their values, but not their faith.
If Daniel can choose to serve the king of Babylon, Nehemiah choose to act as the trusted cup bearer of a pagan, and Esther choose to serve as the queen to another, I think choosing Romney as my Commander in Chief is acceptable.
I have written more about all of this beginning here.
7. Grudem’s endorsement of Romney is based on arguments that are gullible, naive and plainly wrong. Romney was not a good governor as Grudem insists.
At last we have a relevant argument, but no support for it from Jackson.
He pretends to be against abortion, yet he would never have been elected governor if he were anti-abortion. He has long been pro-choice. His turnaround on abortion smells like a cynical political move that could be abandoned at any time.
Mr. Jackson, I fear, is one of those people who never trust a convert. He would have worried about Paul . . . after all he killed Christians before his “so-called Damascus road experience.” He must really dislike Reagan who signed a liberal abortion law, before changing his mind.
Could Romney using us cynically?
I suppose so, though friends I trust say he is sincere.
Since conservatives do not put much trust in princes, I care less about his “heart” (as a leader) and more about the political calculations. He cannot afford to switch on abortion again. To be pro-choice, then pro-life, then pro-choice would utterly finish him.
Besides, if Romney were such a calculating source of Evil as Jackson paints him, then why didn’t Mr. Romney pretend a conversion to an Evangelical church and so suck in everyone?
Mr. Jackson posits too much calculation to Mr. Romney and not enough . . .
The bottom line on his term as governor is: If he leaves America in the same state he left the Cradle of LIberty, America will be in a nose dive by the end of his first term. He was secretly instrumental in the gay marriage campaign.
Ah, the secret evils of Romney some how magically known to Mr. Jackson. Mr. Romney fought “gay marriage,” but is actually for it.
It is hard to argue with a man who claims secret knowledge and does not give reasons for his beliefs.
He tossed Massachusetts a government health care plan which includes abortion as he walked out the door. He helped elect a Hillary disciple as governor and happily presented him to Bay Staters in a public ceremony. The new governor supports gay marriage and gambling casinos.
Mr. Romney is now held responsible for the actions of a political opponent. For being a good sport and doing what all out going leaders do, passing on power as a good sport and citizen, he is castigated.
Should George H.W. Bush have refused to attend the inauguration of Mr. Clinton? Doesn’t a good leader know when to be a civil loser in a republic?
There is more than a whiff of the demagogue in Mr. Jackson.
8. His reasoning that Mitt’s private beliefs and behavior are his personal business and don’t influence his political actions is a liberal idea now rejected by voters. It is like the discredited liberal defense of Bill Clinton. His private beliefs have no bearing on his decisions as president. Voters no longer accept this liberal reasoning and they now factor in personal candidate decisions in choosing a president. The idea that Romney’s Mormon beliefs would hot have a profound effect on America is irrational and unbiblical.
Mr. Jackson has missed the point.
Private beliefs do impact public behavior, but not all private beliefs impact public behavior in the same way. Let’s pick a far fetched, but illustrative example.
Suppose I worship the Moon god and believe that the Moon god will not allow the taking of innocent human life. As a result, I develop public policy positions to protect the weak and innocent. However misguided my private beliefs may be, they can have positive public policy implications.
Wrong ideas held in private can have good or bad public implications and this is what needs to be judged by a voter.
Each candidate’s private beliefs will have to be examined to see if they are relevant to public action (many will not be).
The private religious beliefs of Mr. Romney lead him (naturally) to a culture of life and traditional marriage position . . .
9. Grudem’s “common sense” arguments for Romney are illogical. Romney has a good shot at winning. He does? His approval rating is roughly equivalent to that of the Pelosi congress, despite the king’s ransom he spent. Grudem says McCain and Thompson are “not reliably conservative” as if Romney is. Hello? He was governor of arguably the most liberal state in America. He enabled gay marriage and gave Massachusetts Hillarycare. He helped Massachusetts return to an all Democrat totalitarian state and enabled a Hillary disciple to become governor. Reliably conservative?! What in the Sam Hill is Grudem talking about?!
Mr. Jackson has not understood the “early state” strategy of Mr. Romney. Mr. Jackson evidently does not know elections take place in state by state primaries so that national “horse race” numbers are less important (now) than state-by-state polls.
Mr. Jackson attacks Mr. Romney’s time as governor without giving any evidence for it beyond slogans.
If I say: “Mr. Jackson is ill-informed, uses demagogic tactics, damaging the cause he claims to represent.” then it would be simple mud slinging (and uncharitable) if I could not justify each claim.
10. Grudem’s epistle to evangelicals is an attempt to mislead American Christians and is a sad diagnostic of the state of conservative church leadership today. His eagerness to become part of a cynical political Crusade to mislead evangelical pastors and their flocks is a diagnostic of the Laodicean state of conservative Christian leadership. No matter how you slice the Romney baloney, whether it’s his religious beliefs that evangelical voters don’t accept, or his record as governor of America’s Cradle of Liberty, Romney is not a strong conservative candidate and his presidency could spell the end of America.
I would dearly love to debate Mr. Jackson on this topic on some neutral turf, but he has a radio show and all I have is this blog!
What we can do is look at the work of both Wayne Grudem and Gregg Jackson and decide who best represents us.
Which do you want to be your voice?
Gregg Jackson is not the voice of the historic American Church, but of the Know Nothing losers of American politics looking for conspiracies and enemies where Christian charity would find opportunity and friends.
A few seem to hate every Republican who is running.
Good find, Restornu!
Thank you for posting this.
The Romney Sleaze Machine knows this rule, but simply ignores it.
Ain’t that the truth? It’s somewhat understandable given Republican betrayals on immigration and other issues but, jeez!
And yet you’re the one hurling invectives like “sleaze” here.
Pro-Willard posters are cited for lies about other candidates every day.
Then there are the pole-dancing posts involving Thompson’s wife.
And the “trophy wife” comments; and the vulgar songs about Fred and Jeri Thompson and beanie weenie.
I could go on and on and on.
Here is the link to the article that the author refers to.
Hit post too soon.
This is one of my favorites:
You've got that right. Some of my friends here on FR feel that I've turned against them simply because I support a candidate they don't like. Now they act like they're my enemy and like I'm their's. It's weird. This is just one election and there's so much more to life and conservative activism than the primary election for president.
Gregg reminds me of some of the more unhinged posters on FR who suffer from severe cases of MRDS (Mitt Romney Derangement Syndrome).
Mr. Romney is on the right side of many positions, he just hasn’t been there very long.
I still couldn’t vote for a man who believes he is a god, will someday rule his own planet, and his wife will continue to have multitudes of babies to repopulate the planet.
Just think for a moment about these nutty, false beliefs from the Mormon cult before you REALLY consider voting for Mr. Romney.