A Judgment Call

With the election only weeks away, I’ve been asked to offer advice for undecided Christian voters.  Let me be clear right up front: I am not an undecided Christian voter. Nor am I an Independent. I have known I was going to vote for the Republican in 2012 since president-elect Obama stood astride the Big Silver Bean drinking in the adoration of thousands gathered in Chicago’s Millennium Park. I’m a conservative. It was clear at the time that Obama’s convictions on the most important issues did not line up with my own. It was inevitable that his political naiveté and delusional sense of self-importance would not work. But, for those who are not like me, we have four years of evidence to consider.

We find that President Obama has failed to revive the economy, failed to reduce the deficit, failed to make major entitlement program sustainable, and failed to protect American interests abroad. (Yes, I would trade a live Ambassador for a dead terrorist.) According to Forbes, in August of this year more Americans went on food stamps than found jobs. The most recent jobs report found the rate of unemployment down to 7.8 percent, the lowest in four years. This is an accomplishment?

On issues of permanent importance to Christians for whom the Bible is the touchstone for value judgments, the president has failed. He advanced anti-life and anti-conscience policies like the HHS mandate while publicly endorsing so-called gay marriage.  President Obama is derelict in his duty to enforce the nation’s laws; his Justice Department does not defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court. Supreme Court justices Ginsburg, Scalia, and Kennedy will all reach age 80 by 2016. Ginsburg and Kennedy both voted for abortion in the most important decision on life in the last twenty years. Some believe either Romney or Obama will have the opportunity to name replacements for all three, cementing the ideological slant of the Court one way or the other for a generation.

The Manhattan Declaration is a non-profit organization that does not endorse a particular candidate. Therefore, as Executive Director, I do not endorse a candidate. But as a private citizen; as a Christ follower; as an advocate of life, marriage, and religious freedom; as one who wants to actually help the poor in this country and abroad; as an American exceptionalist who thinks  the world would benefit from more of what we have; as a husband and, someday, a father, I will be voting for Mitt Romney. And I hope you will too.


Find me on Twitter @EricTeetsel


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  • Renee

    As a Christian, what is your take on voting in a practicing Mormon? I’ve heard it said that the Mormon church would rule through the White House. I do not believe the Mormon doctrine to be in any way Christian, even though many are trying to get people to believe it’s just another alternative like Baptist, Pentecost, Methodist, etc. They have always been labeled a “cult” in the past. Is this something that Christians should seriously be concerned about? Would just be interested in your take on this.

    I like Romney’s conservatism….Mormans usually have very good morals. But they are not Christian. So it comes down to the Muslim or the Morman….why do we have 51 candidates to vote from for Miss America but for the most important office of the land, only 2???

    • Jonathan

      I agree the 3rd, 4th party and so on candidates need more exposure, and we have our collective indifference and the media to blame. But being a Mormon probably wouldn’t affect Mitt’s presidency any more that being a Christian did Mr. Bush’s. Also, if you repeat a rumor often enough people begin to think it’s true: Mr. Obama is baptized UCC and attends a Southern Baptist church; his father and step-dad were nominally Muslim. He’s not one, if there’s any truth to be found on the internet…either way, does that disqualify him for executive service in a post-Christian USA? OR, to put it yet another way, could — COULD– a devout, peace-loving Muslim — not a militant one — not a jihadist — be an acceptable president?

    • kathy

      I, too, am a Christian and believe it’s important to vote for the person who’s value and
      morals are most in line with yours. When it comes to issues that matter most to Christians,
      such as abortion, marriage, and religious freedom, Mitt Romney is pro-life and pro-marriage
      and that works for me….even if we don’t attend the same church. He has been accused of
      having old fashioned ideas but they work in comparison to all these “new ideas” that haven’t
      for Obama in the past 4 years. Really, it’s not that hard to balance a budget if you do it
      in your own life.

  • Mary Lou Johnson

    As a wife, mother of four, grandmother of ten, and retired history teacher, I must comment. I too am a Christian and a conservative. In Romney, you will find neither. I fear that the lessor of two evils is still evil, and wonder that a Christian even dares make such a choice. Is not our God bigger than that? Can He not save our nation even if we refuse to vote for such a choice? Andrew Breitbart almost had me with his admonition to use the voting booth as our bunker in the fight against the radical left. I miss Andrew. My husband and I have given of our money and our time (and will continue to) to work toward electing truly conservative candidates in all the other offices, but we are still left with this awful and awesome choice. . .

  • RoBear

    Renee, Romney was not my first choice either. But my choice didn’t win the primary. Romney did. Now I have to decide if either of the two candidates in the general election represent my vision and values for this country. Obama is a proponent of the Black Liberation gospel and supports abortion, homosexual marriage, socialism, big government, high taxes, and a myriad of other leftist ideologies. Romney is a devotee of the Latter Day Saints gospel and supports the sacredness of human life, two-gender marriage, free enterprise, limited government, low taxes, and a myriad of other conservative ideologies. As my seminary professor said, “I’d rather vote for a suspected witch than a know devil!” I do not share Romney’s faith, but I do share his values. If they were running for pastor of my church I wouldn’t vote for either of them. But they aren’t. Therefore, this pastor is voting for Romney and praying that God will show him the Truth.

  • Ute S.

    Are we electing a spiritual leader or a president? I can’t believe that after all these years, when Kennedy was the first Catholic to be elected and Obama the first ‘black’, there is such prejudice against Gov. Romney. Christians should support this man who has proven to be a leader – the SLC Olympics, Governor of Mass., self-made and hard-working CEO – an remember that a ‘no’ vote for Romney is a vote for Obama. We can’t afford 4 more years of that disaster of a president. I am a conservative Christian and will vote for Gov. Romney. Please join me and VOTE!

    • Renee

      Ute S….I didn’t say I wasn’t voting for Romney, in fact, I am planning on voting for Romney/Ryan on Nov. 6. I agree with much of the things he does stand for, pro-life, sacredness of marriage, lower taxes, and believe he is a more ethical, honest and moral person than our current President. I was just wondering how other Christians felt about it. I admit I have had an inner struggle at first. I had another candidate, but they dropped out of the race just a few weeks before the nominations were made. But I began realizing that candidate was Catholic (and I don’t have anything against Catholics), but I began thinking, I’m not Catholic, but I appreciate many of their teachings and doctrines, even though some of our beliefs differ. Is there really a LOT of difference in electing a person, whether Catholic, Mormon or any other religion or even one of no religion, if they don’t use the office for their own devices, uphold the principles I hold dear and work for the American people and the good of the country? Can not Almighty God use whatever or whomever He chooses? Did he not use a donkey, an axe head, a great fish/whale, a burning bush, even sinners have been used by God to meet a need. So I am feeling better about my choice. And no matter who becomes our next President, we Christians will need to uphold them in prayer. I do appreciate everyone’s insight as well on this matter. Thank you!

  • C. Brian

    I was forwarded an article written in Sept. 2012 by Dr David Reagen (founder of the Lion and the Lamb ministries) and I found it to be an interesting read… it really sheds some light on what we are facing as a country. At the end of the article Dr. Reagan stated:

    The continuing judgment of God upon our nation can be seen in the choice for President we are now presented with. For the first time in U.S. history, neither candidate is a Christian.

    A Clear Choice

    But despite that fact, we are confronted with a real choice. It is not a matter of Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

    On one hand, we have a candidate who is a non-Christian Mormon. He believes in traditional family and moral values, he respects the heritage of America, he supports Israel, he recognizes Islam as our nation’s enemy, and he believes in Capitalism.

    On the other hand, we have a candidate who is a non-Christian Humanist. He rejects traditional family and moral values, he despises our nation’s heritage, he holds Israel in contempt, he loves Islam, and he believes in Socialism.

    The choice is not an ideal one. But there is a clear choice.

    May God have mercy on our nation.

    I am a Christian, and although Gov. Romney was not my choice for the Rep. nominee, I do fully support him as the Republican candidate for President. As Dr. Reagan said in his article, the choice is not ideal, but it is clear. I hope this helps other christians who are still undecided.

  • Judy

    We are electing a president, not a spiritual leader. The choices we have are the choices God has allowed us to have. While I do not consider the Mormon religion to be specifically Christian, at least Mitt Romney doesn’t insist on covering up the name of Jesus in lecture halls. He does enormous works of charity such as donating millions of dollars worth of milk to veterans and refuses to allow the deliveryman to mention his name. He has contributed more than he will ever allow anyone to know. He supports the traditional definition of marriage and upholds the sanctity of life. His life demonstrates adherance to Christian values even if he is not what one would consider a mainstream Christian. He is for a smaller government and more freedom for Americans. He has a proven record of success. I am confident that he will not trample our consitution underfoot whilst playing God like Obama and lead us to become a socialist nation. He has my prayers and my vote.

  • K Smith

    I don’t think it’s fair to Romney to suggest that the Mormon church would rule through the White House, any more than the Southern Baptist Convention ruled when Jimmy Carter was president or the Vatican when John Kennedy was president. To be sure, Romney seems to be more in line with church leadership than either of those were, but while Christians will find many Mormon doctrines objectionable, I’m not sure how believing that Jesus and Lucifer were brothers affects deciding tax rates. And while he may not be as conservative as some would like, he is clearly far more conservative, both economically and socially, than the president.

    In the other corner, it needs to be stated again, Obama is not a Muslim. His father was, but Obama had almost no contact with his father. He was part of a Christian church for decades; it was a liberal one to be sure, and I’m not sure that his testimony of faith would get him admitted as a member at my church, but there are a lot of others who would call themselves Christian who are in the same boat. I’m not aware of his ever attending a mosque for services or bowing to pray to Mecca in his adult life. He calls himself a Christian. He is, certainly, very solicitous of Islam, but that seems to be more political correctness than closet sympathizing, not to mention participation. There are plenty of reasons to be unhappy with him as a president, but being a secret Muslim isn’t one.

  • Harry Forsdick

    As a Christian, I am voting for President Obama. I believe his heart and mind are headed in the right direction — one informed by Christian theology. I find that ex-Gov Romney’s positions are cynical as evidenced by the fly on the wall speech to wealthy Palm Beach donors. JUst listen to that speech in its entirety and ask yourself, would Jesus agree with the sentiments Romney was talking about? I think not.

  • John I.

    Obama has done an evil never before done by an American president in history: authorized the killing of American citizens (4 IIRC) without any trial to determine guilt, contrary to the presumption of innocence, and contrary to the Constitution. That alone should be enough to justify not voting for him.

    In addition he has been complicit in the immoral actions of the financial elite to a degree hardly matched by any other president, presided over significant losses in freedom of speech (both court cases and administrative actions) and failed to significantly advance the economic standing of racial minorities (e.g., black male workplace participation rates and income have not improved).

    Contrast Obama with the (outside Venezuela) hated Chavez: he has significantly increased education participation (especially among the poor), has significantly decreased poverty, and he has not murdered his own citizens outside of Venezuela without trials.

    Will Romney be better? debatable, but at least he has not yet failed nor become morally culpable for the betrayal of fundamental rights and values.

  • http://www.rickmcopy.com Rick

    The president has written at length about his Christian conversion. Yet even in the comments of this blog there are people who insist he is not a Christian. Historically, it has been a no-no for evangelicals to claim someone’s salvation is a fraud (unless the individual’s personal life leaves no doubt that they are unregenerate), yet conservatives are happy to do that to Mr. Obama. This desire to insist “he’s not one of us” is a legacy of many things; white Christians who don’t “get” black Christianity, conservative Christians who think they have cornered the market on being saved, and evangelicals who are flabbergasted that some believers actually vote Democrat. Jesus himself had pretty stern words when his disciples tried to paint certain groups as “doing it wrong.” As he said, “He who is not against us is for us.” How dare we claim Obama’s faith is less than ours.

  • Renee

    I want to thank all those that commented. I in no way wanted to start any arguing on this subject, I was just struggling with it (see my comment above to Ute S.). I have since resolved the issue in my own mind and heart.

    @Rick, you are right that we are not to condemn others for their faith if their beliefs are different from ours. For example, if you believe in baptism one way and I believe another, we shouldn’t condemn each other. However, the Bible also tells us in Matthew 7….

    “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening
    wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
    Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A
    good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every
    tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their
    fruits ye shall know them.” ~ Matthew 7:15-20

    If you look at what President Obama has stood for now and in the past, his beliefs are far from what he professes he is.

    “Obama supported partial-birth abortion, in which the baby’s skull is sliced open with scissors in
    the birth canal and the brains sucked out to ease its passage.
    In the Illinois legislature, Obama blocked the proposed Born Alive Infant Protection Act, a bill to
    protect infants who survive abortion.”
    Source: Suicide of a Superpower, by Pat Buchanan, p.100 , Oct 18, 2011

    “In 1997, Obama voted in the Illinois Senate against SB 230, a bill designed to prevent partial-
    birth abortions. In the US Senate, Obama has consistently voted to expand embryonic stem cell
    research. He has voted against requiring minors who get out-of-state abortions to notify their
    parents. The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) gives Obama a 100% score on his
    pro-choice voting record in the Senate for 2005, 2006, and 2007.”
    Source: Obama Nation, by Jerome Corsi, p.238-239 , Aug 1, 2008

    “Opposed legislation protecting born-alive failed abortions: Obama has consistently refused to
    support legislation that would define an infant who survives a late-term induced-labor abortion
    as a human being with the right to live. He insists that no restriction must ever be placed on the
    right of a mother to decide to abort her child.
    On March 30, 2001, Obama was the only Illinois senator who rose to speak against a bill that
    would have protected babies who survived late term labor-induced abortion. Obama rose to
    object that if the bill passed, and a nine-month-old fetus survived a late-term labor-induced
    abortion was deemed to be a person who had a right to live, then the law would “forbid abortions
    to take place.” Obama further explained the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth
    Amendment does not allow somebody to kill a child, so if the law deemed a child who survived a
    late-term labor-induced abortion had a right to live, “then this would be an anti-abortion
    statute.” Source: Obama Nation, by Jerome Corsi, p.238 , Aug 1, 2008

    Can you honestly state you believe a true Christian, not a “professing” Christian, because we all know you can profess to be something you are not, but that a true Christian following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and His teachings could vote FOR a 9-month term baby to have it’s skull split and the brains sucked out? I’m sorry if you feel differently, but that is murder, no other word for it but murder in the 1st degree. That is one of the major reasons I could not EVER, EVER vote for a man like Barack Hussein Obama.

  • Philipp

    @ John:

    Do you really think that God makes a difference if a US president let American or not American citizens be killed without trial? President Bush is responsible for hundreds of thousands of innocent people being killed around the world.

    Another point: You guys always talk about the sanctity of life – but it is always in connection with abortion. I have yet to see one word about the death penalty. We know that Jesus didn’t make a difference between the murdering of guilty or innocent people. So why are you guys not fighting against the death penalty? Especially as we now know for sure that in some cases innocent people have been executed!

  • http://timothy.green.name/ Timothy (TRiG)

    Err. I’m not aware that Mitt Romney has any values whatsoever.


  • http://timothy.green.name/ Timothy (TRiG)

    Barrak Obama is a right-wing authoritarian warmonger who supports locking people up without trial; killing people without due process of law; and spying on his own citizens. He supports an extremely limited welfare state, but is no sort of socialist whatsoever. I’m not a fan.

    The Republican Party, meanwhile, is so far up its own arse that it has no policies of its own at all, and merely opposes anything that the Democrats do, thereby leading the country lurching from one crisis to the next.


  • http://timothy.green.name/ Timothy (TRiG)

    The sheer hatred, arrogance, and ignorance on display from the American right wing never ceases to both amaze and upset me. Islam is “the enemy of America”, is it? What the fuck is wrong with you?