Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made reference to a universal god during Wednesday night’s presidential debate via a single statement not particularly related to the debate issues at hand.
“We’re a nation that believes that we’re all children of the same God,” Romney said.
He had referred to the Constitution just moments prior, noting that Americans are “endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights,” and that among them include happiness. Romney was advising the audience that he wanted people to have happy lives by living successfully in America.
Romney’s wife Ann, who was present in the audience, had made a similar statement in a previous speech.
“We are all children of the same God, and we have to come together to solve our problems and not be fighting so much,” she said.
While some are uncertain about how to interpret the couple’s comments, others note that a number of presidents and political leaders have also made statements alluding to their belief that Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Mormons and other religious groups all believe in the same Creator, and that all are his children, whether his name is Allah or Krishna. In 2006, during an interview with ABC’s Charlie Gibson, then President George Bush was asked, “Do we all worship the same God, Christians and Muslims?” Bush replied, “I think we do. I think we have different routes of getting to the Almighty.”
During the 1990’s, Romney, a former Mormon bishop, was in charge of overseeing LDS affairs in his city in Massachusetts. He also worked as a Mormon missionary in France for a time, and continues supporting the Latter Day Saints by tithing ten percent of his income to his local Mormon establishment. Tax returns submitted by Mitt Romney indicate that in 2011, Romney donated an estimated $4 million to Mormon causes. Therefore, many consider Romney to be an authority on Mormonism and strongly dedicated to its cause and beliefs.
According to the writings of Joseph Smith, the founder of the LDS religion, Mormons believe that God was originally a man that lived on another planet, and that men must learn how to also become a god.
“We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil so you may see,” Smith wrote in Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. “[H]e was once a man like us. Yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ did.”
“[Y]ou have to learn how to be gods yourselves,” Smith continued. “[T]he same as all gods have done before you.”
Mormon writings also outline that Jesus and Satan are purportedly spirit brothers, and that both offered to die for the sins of the people, calling out, “Here am I, send me,” according to Abraham 3:27 in The Pearl of Great Price. The LDS “Church” teaches that like Jesus and Satan, every person is a spirit brother or sister that has always existed. But, in order to do become a god, they must follow both the Book of Mormon and the Bible. Requirements include being baptized into Mormonism, tithing to the LDS “Church” and performing baptisms for the dead. Baptisms are performed for the dead in order to provide “those who would have embraced Christ and His Church the opportunity to do so after death.”
In 2008, during an interview with Tim Russert on Meet the Press, Romney spent much time outlining his views on religion, and made a nearly identical statement as was expressed during Wednesday night’s debate.
“The corollary is that if we’re all children of the same God, that we have a duty to care for one another — Americans first, and the people of the world second,” he said.
However, others disagree, noting that according to Scripture, those not born again are not the children of God, but the children of the devil. Additionally, they assert that Mormons and Christians do not believe in the same Creator, and that while Christians believe mankind was created by the God of the Bible, various religions would contend that the human race was made by their particular god — or gods, and therefore, we are not “a nation that believes that we’re all children of the same God.”
“It’s prevalent in today’s culture to attempt to find common ground and say things like, ‘it’s all the same God anyway,’ or ‘we are all one in God.’ It sounds nice, but there is no truth in contained in those statements since no religion teaches this,” stated the organization Frontline Apologetics. “The belief that we are all worshiping the same God is not possible when you examine the world religions side by side in comparison with one another.”
“There can’t be one God only (Christianity/Islam) and yet many Gods (Hinduism). There can’t be salvation through Christ alone and yet no salvation at all. There can’t be the belief in reincarnation (Hinduism/Buddhism) and yet the belief of eternal life in the presence of God (Christianity). There can’t be a Son of God claim (Christianity) and yet the belief he was only a prophet (Islam),” it continued. “How can these beliefs all be true? The answer is simply — they can’t.”
Writer Jason Cunningham commented that he believes that many Christians have overlooked Mitt Romney’s religious beliefs this election season.
“While it is true that many Christians have avoided altogether any discussion over Romney’s profession of faith in a false god, yet the objections to Romney, as a Mormon, are overturned or dismissed via a historical answer that has been used before in past candidates; namely that Obama is much worse,” he said. “There is a big difference between God using wicked pagan rulers for His purposes and God’s people ‘asking’ for one by casting their vote for a known pagan, anti-Christ worshiper. The prophet Habakkuk was incredulous at the thought of God using the Babylonians to punish them, but it appears in the case of America, we are self-consciously asking God for Babylon to rule over us.”
Cunningham said that Christians must begin to think differently about the matter.
“I would challenge Christians to define the ‘line’ at which any given Republican candidate would be unqualified for office,” Cunningham concluded. “If Christians demanded more from their candidates and withheld their votes from those that do not seek to uphold righteousness according to God’s law, the bar would be raised and the doors opened for true Christian statesmen to take office.”