To whom it may concern:
I will be transferring to Liberty University as a junior in the fall of 2012, and I respect the school and its foundation on the Word of God. However, I have just learned that Republican candidate Mitt Romney will be delivering the commencement speech at this year’s graduation ceremony, and I am concerned about this decision from my future college for a number of reasons, all stemming from the fact that, in case you didn’t read all of the man’s Wikipedia page, Mitt Romney is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In other words, he is a Mormon. He served a mission for his church, tithes regularly to the church, and even served as a bishop over a ward.
The first reason why I am upset about this decision is that it gives the university the appearance of acceptance of the man’s ideologies. Granted, the university may align with his political views and his presidency campaign is currently in the media spotlight; however, I would expect that there are many other conservative Republican men who could have been chosen by the school to speak at such a prestigious event. By allowing an actively practicing Mormon man onto the Christian school’s stage, it would seem that the school has given the man its approval, thus giving his religion approval on the school’s campus.
Even if this is not the university’s intention, as Christians we are to abstain from all appearances of evil (1 Thes. 5:22), and the appearance by allowing this man to speak at the ceremony is that the LDS religion is acceptable and tolerated on the campus. I pray that this is not the truth. To help you understand why I am so vehement regarding this subject, allow me to explain. My family lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, where my father serves as a missionary to these very people with whom Romney associates. My family’s lives, as well as our partners and Christian friends in Utah, are devoted to helping Mormons see the darkness and lies in this religion and show them the truth of the Gospel. I would grieve for any of that work to be damaged as a result of such a prominent Christian university blurring the lines between evangelical Christianity and Mormonism any further than has already been done.
The second reason why I do not approve of Gov. Romney’s invitation to speak is more out of concern for the students. I think that it is important for the speaker at a commencement ceremony to enforce what students have been learning for the past four years of their lives, to encourage them in their faith, and to commission them to go impact the world. I do not believe that Gov. Romney is in any position to offer students encouragement to go live as “Champions for Christ” if he himself is not a champion for Christ at all. He is a champion for a false gospel and a god who is, according to his Scriptures, not the only God nor has he always been a god at all. I am uncomfortable with a man like him addressing so many Christian young people who are so capable of impacting the world for Christ. Why not have a man such as Billy Graham, Ravi Zacharias, or John Piper – men who have impacted the world with their leadership and are truly champions for Christ – encourage the young people of this school and set a Godly example for what they may someday become?
I understand that, with planning so far underway for this ceremony, it is a difficult decision to reverse. However, I would implore you to reconsider Mitt Romney’s invitation to speak at the 2012 commencement ceremony. I believe it will do more harm than good for the Christian community, especially for those of us who are deep in the trenches of spiritual warfare here in Utah and strive to be a set-apart light to the followers of this religion which is void of hope and truth.
Thank you for reading and considering my request.
LU Class of 2014