Thursday, December 6, 2007

My response to the Rick and Bubba Show - Dec. 5, 2007

Dear Rick and Bubba,

I have been a long time listener, over 13 years, to your show. I have never been disappointed in the show until yesterday, December 5, 2007. You have been long-time supporters of the Bush administration, which I have enjoyed. You seem to be upstanding citizens and Christians who try to live faithfully. Yesterday you had a Mr. James Walker on your show. This is a man who left the LDS Church back in 1976 and has been working fervently since to debunk The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Now that is all well and good. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and if Mr. Walker feels that the Church is wrong and wants to tell everyone about it, that’s his prerogative. I have to tell you, just because his family before him had been members of the Church for four generations does not qualify Mr. Walker to be a spokesman for the church. He left the Church at the age of 21 and has been discrediting it ever since. He is hardly credentialed to explain what members of the LDS Church teach and believe. Like all other detractors, he has taken quotes and teachings of church leaders out of context and presented them in a way that is not accurate or true. I understand that he contacted you, but if you really want to make the community aware of what is taught and practiced by the LDS Church, there are people in the Church, such as bishops, stake presidents, and even PR people that would be in a better position to explain and answer questions. The thing that really bothers me is you have an ex-Mormon on your show, and then the callers that get on the air are other ex-Mormons and those that aren’t exactly the most well-versed members. The Church has nothing to hide, and is not trying to obscure its teachings or practices. Go to the source. I could give you contact information for people you might want to talk to in order to get a better understanding, for yourself and the community.

The whole point of my writing is not the above paragraph, although I really feel you have failed the public by only having the opinions of outsiders and no facts from the source. No, the reason I am writing is out of a concern for the welfare of our country. The 6th Article of the Constitution of the United States declares, “…no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” And yet this is what is happening in this election, and on your show. The entire interview with Mr. Walker was under the premise that people need to know what Mormons believe before voting for Mitt Romney. Strangely, former Baptist minister Mike Huckabee has ads in Iowa that state he is a “Christian Leader”, obviously declaring he has won such a religious test while implying that Mitt Romney has lost this test because he is a Mormon. Need I remind you that such a campaign and religious test got us a Jimmy Carter as President. I don’t think I need to expound further on that point. This line of thinking is the same as Hillary Clinton saying women should vote for her because she is a woman (which she has done), or blacks should vote for Barack Obama because he is black. None of these are qualifications or ultimate reasons why one should vote for any of these candidates. I maintain that the church a person belongs to has absolutely no bearing on his ability to perform the duties of the office of President of the United States. Rather, look at the man’s leadership experience, his voting record, his values, his foreign policy, but not his religious affiliation. What Mitt Romney believes about the ultimate destination of his soul has absolutely no bearing on the decisions he will make when we are faced with a national emergency or healthcare reform or raising or lowering taxes. Did John F. Kennedy force his Catholicism on the USA? Did he bring the influence of the Vatican into his Presidency? Did he consult the Pope on matters of war or foreign policy? What makes anyone think that Mitt Romney will be taking orders from Salt Lake City? I think there would be serious repercussions for him if he took such actions and do not think for one moment that such will be the case.

Let’s look at Mitt Romney’s accomplishments. He has taken businesses that were near bankruptcy, turned them around and now they are among the most profitable businesses. When the 2002 Winter Olympics were severely in debt and on the brink of ruin, Mitt Romney was called on to turn it around. The 2002 games were one of the most successful in history. As governor of Massachusetts he took a state that was billions of dollars in debt and in four years balanced the budget and now the state enjoys a huge surplus. I might add he did this while lowering taxes and cutting costs. As governor, he fought against abortion and same-sex marriage. He instituted a plan whereby all Massachusetts citizens have affordable healthcare (no tax raising for that one either). As Romney has pointed out, the United States government is one of the biggest enterprises in the world. He has the experience and the knowledge that will enable him to get us out of debt and strengthen our economy. He knows how jobs are created and how to build the economy. Mitt Romney has been married faithfully for over 35 years. He has children and grandchildren who love and support him. Looking for someone with good family values? No divorces, no cheating, loves and spends time with his family. This is the man who will fight for stronger families. I’m not voting for Mitt because he is a member of the LDS Church. My mind is made up because of his record, policies, and values. To make my point, Harry Reid is the Democratic Senate Majority leader at this time. He is also a Mormon. I wouldn’t vote for him in a million years. His policies and record and values do not match those I am looking for.

Let’s now look at our theology degree Baptist minister. As governor of Arkansas, he raised taxes repeatedly. There wasn’t a tax he didn’t like. He increased spending from $6 million to $16 million. Tax and spend, sounds like a Democrat policy. He fought to spend Arkansas citizens’ tax dollars on giving scholarships to the children of illegal immigrants. Think about that. Illegal immigrants would have gotten better benefits than would the children of United States citizens. Do you think that would continue? Furthermore, when asked about his limited (nonexistent) experience in foreign policy, Huckabee only joked, “And the ultimate thing is, you know, I may not be the expert as some people on foreign policy – but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.” (WABC Radio, 12/04/07) This is not a joking matter. Is this really the man you want running our country? I mean, he does have a theology degree after all. This surely qualifies him to know what to do about radical Jihadism…maybe not. You must be aware that Huckabee has absolutely no chance of winning the Republican nomination for president. Sure, he can rally the evangelicals, but he’ll never gain support of fiscal conservatives. His record proves he cannot be trusted with our money. A vote for him is a vote for Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani’s pro-abortion and pro-same-sex-union stances are just like most of the Democrats’ positions. We might as well be voting Democrat.

On the other hand, we could vote for Mitt Romney who is a proven social and fiscal conservative. He can unite the Republican base, and he can win the Presidency. He has earned the endorsements of such evangelical leaders as Bob Jones III and Robert R. Taylor, pro-life leaders such as James Bopp, Jr., and important social and religious conservative leader Paul M. Weyrich, among others.

One more thing I want to touch on. Rick, you made a comment that I have heard over and over and over in my life. When talking to one woman who is a member of the LDS Church, you brought up a scripture in an effort to discredit the Book of Mormon. Of course you know that I am referring to Revelation 22:18-19. This is the standard Baptist answer to the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. This is also the most ignorant use of Bible of which I know. Some facts:

  • Most Biblical scholars agree that John wrote Revelation 10-25 years before he wrote his Gospel.
  • The Bible wasn’t compiled in its current form until nearly 370AD.
  • It was common practice for prophets to add a warning about adding to, taking away, or changing their writings (see Deuteronomy 4:2).

In light of this information, the Bible as we have it today did not exist when John wrote Revelation. Those verses related to his revelation which he was writing at the time, and not to the Bible as a whole. Honestly, Rick, for someone who studies the Bible so much, or claims to, all you know is a few verses in the Bible. Like many “ministers”, you know the verses but you have absolutely no idea of the background, where it came from, or how we got it in its present form today. These things are relevant, and like all Protestants before you, your argument has no relevance or credibility. Get your facts straight and don’t use scriptures in an attempt to nullify the credibility of a religion other than your own.

Lastly, as you can probably tell, I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I want you to know my feelings about my Savior. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, the literal Son of the Living God. I know that nearly 2000 years ago, he was born of a virgin in Bethlehem. He grew to the stature of a man, and at the age of 30 began his public ministry. I know that His words, teachings, and works lay out the path to salvation and eternal life. The Jesus I worship is the Jesus from the Bible, and none other. I know that he suffered, bled, and died for my sins. Through his atonement, I know that I can be saved. There is nothing in this world that I can do of myself to bring salvation to my soul. It is only through the grace, merits, and mercy of Him that I am saved, on condition of full repentance of my sins. I do make mistakes, but as I repent and strive to live His teachings, I know that His mercy and grace are sufficient for salvation. This is my testimony, that He lives and loves me and loves each and every individual.

Sincerely,
Joshua LaDeau
Trussville, Alabama

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