The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Are Mormons Christians? Should anyone care?

Lately, people have been raising the question, “Are Mormons Christians?” Obviously, this really depends on what your definition of a “Christian” is. Many Protestants do not consider Roman Catholics to be Christians. On the other hand, I've seen Catholics consider themselves the only true Christians. Obviously, if you define a “Christian” as a follower of Jesus of Nazareth (termed “Christ” by his supporters) then it comes down to your own definition of what Jesus' religious beliefs were. And certainly, by their lights, Mormons are Christians; they actually call their church “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.”

But then, my question is “Should anyone care?” After all, we have a Constitution which clearly states (Art. VI): “... no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” And therefore, whether Mitt Romney (for he is the only Mormon being considered by people asking that question) is qualified for the Presidency cannot be related to the answer to this question. And I say this, despite the fact that I'm rather cool to Romney for other reasons (see earlier posts, specifically my July 14 post).

Really, the people raising the question “Are Mormons Christians?" are bigots if they mean to imply that only Christians can be President, and irrelevant if they do not.

Thus my response: “Should anyone care?”

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