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No Perfect Options

Stephen Mansfield is author of The Mormonizing of America (Worthy Publishing, 2012). For further information, log onto

To view the world through a Christian lens is to see a truth about life that is otherwise often papered over with happy faces and motivational slogans: The world is fallen, cracked, and flawed. Sin has deformed everything. It has made everybody a bit crazy.

It means that we never make choices between the perfect and its opposite. Every choice—whether for a spouse or a car or a pastor—is a choice for some brand of imperfection. Nowhere is this certainty more starkly revealed than in politics. The Prussian statesman Otto von Bismarck made this point with his famous saying, "Laws are like sausages: It is better not to see them being made." Politics and the processes of government are usually ugly affairs that only occasionally produce satisfying results. The start of those processes rarely closely resembles the result. Usually a voter has to choose between "hold your nose" and "hold your nose tighter." Then he or she sits back and hopes for the best.

For American Christians, it is helpful to remember this as the November presidential election approaches. They face a choice between a politically and theologically liberal Christian and a politically conservative Mormon. Those who prefer Barack Obama, the left-leaning Christian, likely solved their dilemma in the last presidential election. Millions of voters are now confronting a new moral question: "Is there anything wrong with voting for a Mormon President?"

The answer is "No." In the 2012 election, voting for Mitt Romney—yes, a Mormon former ...

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In the Magazine

September 2012

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