Posted Feb 07, 2020 by Michael L. Brown

Before you crucify me for not condemning “the traitor,” please hear me out. My position has nothing to do with whether I agree with Romney’s “guilty” vote on the first article of impeachment. And it has nothing to do with whether I believe he is a true conservative. Or even a loyal Republican for that matter. It has to do with something far deeper. Are you willing to hear me out?

I’m quite aware of the litany of charges against Mitt Romney’s past political record and business dealings (see here  and here and here and here). And I’m quite aware that this track record would seem to clash directly with Senator Romney’s deep, Mormon faith.

I’m also quite aware of Romney’s very public attacks on Trump since 2016.

In other words, I write what I write with my eyes wide open.

And with my eyes wide open, I take Mitt Romney at his word.

I believe him when he says that he agonized over his decision.

I believe him when he says that he took his oath before God seriously.

I believe him when he speaks of sleepless nights.

I believe him when he talks of wanting to act with integrity for the sake of his children and grandchildren.

The bottom line is that God alone knows what is in Mitt Romney’s heart, and it is not up to you or me to pass judgment on why he (or anyone else) did what he did. We can categorically differ with his decisions. But we cannot judge his motivations.

On a purely practical level, what Romney did will be far more destructive to his political career. And he certainly doesn’t need to write a bestselling, anti-Trump to make himself extra money.

Romney has subjected himself to isolation within his own party. He has likely doomed any future political plans. And he has guaranteed that he will be hated and vilified by millions of loyal Trump supporters in the years ahead.

That’s why I’m not upset with him for voting his conscience, since I genuinely believe that’s exactly what he did.

Ironically, the very people who will believe President Trump when he speaks of the motivations behind his Ukraine phone call will not believe Senator Romney when he speaks of the motivations behind his vote.

Really now, do you believe his private meetings with journalists and broadcasters and his talks with other senators were all an act and a sham? Or are you that sure that he was so consumed by bitterness towards Trump that he used this as a lasting “gotcha” moment?

Writing for the Atlantic, McKay Coppins states that Romney said to him, “This has been the most difficult decision I have ever had to make in my life.”

Coppins explains, “For weeks, the senator from Utah had sat silently in the impeachment trial alongside his 99 colleagues, reviewing the evidence at night and praying for guidance. The gravity of the moment weighed on him, as did the pressure from members of his own party to acquit their leader. As his conscience tugged at him, he said, the exercise took on a spiritual dimension.”

He continues, “According to Romney’s interpretation of Alexander Hamilton’s treatise on impeachment in ‘Federalist No. 65’—which he says he’s read ‘multiple, multiple times’—Trump’s attempts to enlist the Ukrainian president in interfering with the 2020 election clearly rose to the level of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.’”

This would be in harmony with the tweet of Georgetown law professor Randy Barnett, who said, “Before anyone condemns @SenatorRomney for his vote, they should listen to his 9 minute explanation of why he voted as he did. This wasn’t an easy vote for him to make politically, and it’s possible to have a good faith disagreement about this issue—in particular, on Article 1.”

Again, I disagree with Romney’s conclusion. And, I believe that, from day one, the impeachment process was part of a multi-year witch hunt to take down the president. I’ve made that clear before.

I simply take Romney at his word in terms of how he came to make his decision, and that is something that I must respect.

Coppins notes that “when the senator invited me to his Capitol Hill office yesterday [February 4], I was unsure what he would reveal. Romney had been largely silent throughout the impeachment proceedings, giving little indication of which way he was leaning. I half-expected to find a cowed and calculating politician ready with a list of excuses for caving. (His staff granted the interview on the condition that it would be embargoed until he took to the Senate floor.)

“Instead, I found Romney filled with what seemed like righteous indignation about the president’s misconduct—quoting hymns and scripture, expressing dismay at his party, and bracing for the political backlash.”

Romney even claims that he wanted Bolton to testify with “the hope that he would be able to say something exculpatory and create reasonable doubt, so I wouldn't have to vote to convict.”

And I take the senator at his word.

Watch his 9-minute speech for yourself and come to your own conclusions, remembering that we will be judged the way we judge others.

As for you judging me for even writing this article, bear in mind that I’m not a Mormon. In fact, I reject Mormonism as a non-Christian cult that distorts the Scriptures. And I view Joseph Smith as a false prophet.

But if Mitt Romney genuinely felt that, for the sake of integrity and in harmony with his faith, he had to vote “guilty” on the first article of impeachment, I will respect that.

In the end, that’s the best any of us can do: make careful decisions in the fear of God.

History may condemn Romney (or vindicate him). He will likely pay a high price for his vote. And, overall, he will most probably be a very small footnote in a very big, messy drama.

And, to repeat, I disagree with his vote and I disagree with his religious beliefs.

But I don’t despise him for what he did.

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neptune posted a comment · Feb 18, 2020
Thanks for clarifying, Jay500. Glad that we're on the same page. :) In addition to the general discernment that all believers should cultivate (mentioned in Hebrews 5:14), there's also a specific gift among those spiritual gifts described in Romans 12:6–8. Someone who has the first gift (prophecy) is often referred to as a "perceiver." Here's what the book "Know Your Ministry" by Marilyn Hickey (which is about spiritual gifts) says about the matter: "The gift of prophecy . . . is the ability to discern. . . . People with the prophecy motivation have great spiritual insight into what motivates others. They 'see' what prompts people's actions and can identify their intentions as being good or evil." Anyway, I bet that just about any believer who is a mature "perceiver" would see right through Mitt Romney's actions. :) Incidentally, the book I mentioned above is a great introduction to spiritual gifts. Sadly, very few believers seem to understand what their spiritual gifts are. It's important that we learn to recognize them so that we can use them effectively to build up the Body of Christ. I'm so glad that I've been able to learn more about this important topic.
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Jay500 posted a comment · Feb 18, 2020
What I meant was simply what you stated: that believers should never judge a man’s motives unfairly and unjustly. Getting to the bottom of a matter requires impartiality and an unbiased mindset. Only a man who puts truth ahead of himself is able to make a righteous evaluation. I should agree with God, not myself. In the case of Romney and the democrats, there was no corroborating evidence that affirmed their allegations. Their decision to impeach was solely based on their subjective take of what he said. This was arrogance on their part. The way and manner they held the hearings, and by their vociferous statements against Trump in the past are sufficient indications that there was no real desire for justice. It was their state of mind, and thus motives, that should have been questioned by anyone who is truly objective... Judging is a spiritual issue. Righteous judgment requires discernment. Discernment requires death to self. This is how truth should ultimately be determined. There’s never an advantage in being naive. In this regard, we are to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
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neptune posted a comment · Feb 16, 2020
Jay500, excellent points. I wasn't clear about this statement, though: "Believers should never judge a man’s motives just like Romney and the democrats judged president Trumps. It takes arrogance to do that." If you're saying that they judged Trump unfairly and unjustly, then I can agree with that. However, the idea that we can *never* attempt to judge someone's motivations, as Brown seems to imply in this article, is just plain silly. Almost every time she hears a case, Judge Judy is judging people's motivations. Is that wrong? In general, no. That's her job. Here's how John 7:24 puts it: "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” If you are sincere and your goal is to honestly uncover the truth, then it's not necessarily wrong to question people's motivations, as long as you try to be fair about it. On the other hand, if you have no regard for the actual truth but just want to smear someone—as the Democrats seem to have done with Trump—then it *is* wrong. Similarly, if you have a beam in your own eye, then you have no business trying to judge someone else until you get rid of that first. Of course, it's one thing to question someone's motivations, but it's quite another to say that you know with absolute certainty what they were thinking. We rarely have 100% certainty about anything. But anyway, when someone has a history of slimy character (as Romney clearly does), then it isn't typically wrong to question their motivations and to be skeptical about their statements. In fact, to do otherwise is simply naive. And the Bible commands us Christians to be wise and discerning, not naive and gullible. As Proverbs 14:15a says, "The simple man believes every word." I mean, should we actually believe Nancy Pelosi when she says that she "prays" for President Trump?? LOL.
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Jay500 posted a comment · Feb 16, 2020
Dr. Brown, Maybe you believed Romney when he said he agonized over his decision. That’s your prerogative. But I ask, how would you actually know for sure and what’s the point anyway? If his cutting himself off politically is a major reason that you took to heart when you believed him at his word, then why isn’t it not also possible that his bitterness could have been a major factor that overrode and/or influenced all those concerns? After all, the democrats seem to be going that route, why not him? I don’t claim to truly know what was going on in his mind and heart which led to his decision, but it shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to realize he could be shrewd and ruthless as your links revealed. Eyes wide open should include wise discretion. Believers should never judge a man’s motives just like Romney and the democrats judged president Trumps. It takes arrogance to do that. No matter what Romney brought up about Article 1, I don’t recall him ever addressing the president’s obligation to investigate any corruption in our relations with foreign powers. It’s an obligation that overrides any supposed appearance of impropriety when it potentially threatens national security and there exists ample material evidence that demands an investigation.
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Oreopagus posted a comment · Feb 11, 2020
That Matt Schlapp would say Romney is formally not invited to CPAC2020 reminds me of the beginning of the shunning/disfellowshipping process used by certain religious cults. CPAC Is Officially Trump's Anti-Romney Safe Space https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/02/cpac-donald-trumps-anti-mitt-romney-safe-space
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Oreopagus posted a comment · Feb 11, 2020
First he came for @comey... https://twitter.com/benjaminwittes/status/1226511619267743747 Articles by Benjamin Wittes https://www.theatlantic.com/author/benjamin-wittes/
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Oreopagus posted a comment · Feb 10, 2020
Once Trump is out of office, his projection behavior will be the subject of a mountain of books, articles, academic papers, plus talks and interviews by psychologists and psychiatrists. Actually, there is a film currently in post-production, titled #UNFIT www.unfitfilm.com Projection is seeing something in others that lies in ourselves: Remarks by President Trump to the Nation (Feb. 6, 2020) https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-nation/ "I want to apologize to my family for having them have to go through a phony, rotten deal by some very evil and sick people." "So I’ve always said they’re lousy politicians, but they do two things: They are vicious and mean. Vicious. These people are vicious. Adam Schiff is a vicious, horrible person. Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person. And she wanted to impeach a long time ago. When she said, “I pray for the President. I pray for the…” — she doesn’t pray. She may pray, but she prays for the opposite. (Laughter.) But I doubt she prays at all." Mad Man Trump has PDS—Projection Derangement Syndrome https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/3/12/1841456/-Mad-Man-Trump-has-PDS-Projection-Derangement-Syndrome The Projector in Chief https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/freud-lives/201807/the-projector-in-chief The Projection President https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/07/the-success-of-smoke-and-mirrors/533706/ See also: Duty To Warn www.adutytowarn.org
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Oreopagus posted a comment · Feb 10, 2020
“During a recent road trip, we were listening to the news on the radio. The 'breaking reports’ of ranting Tweets were making my head spin. I thought to myself, ‘How do people who constantly lie, sleep at night?’ So, we switched to a pop station that was playing a song with a hypnotic beat. As I looked off into the distance, this song title and lyrics came too me.” — Barbra Streisand Don’t Lie to Me (2018) Barbra Streisand https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNrj87Q-4Yk
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Oreopagus posted a comment · Feb 10, 2020
Brown wrote: "Romney has subjected himself to isolation within his own party. He has likely doomed any future political plans. And he has guaranteed that he will be hated and vilified by millions of loyal Trump supporters in the years ahead." The right-wing media is also condemning Romney for his vote to convict Trump, but Romney can take comfort in this: "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matthew 5:11-12, NIV)
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Oreopagus posted a comment · Feb 10, 2020
So history will record that the ONLY Republican who took seriously his oath "to do impartial justice" in the senate trial, and spoke truth to power, was Mitt Romney, a Mormon. God bless him! The Republican God http://claytoonz.com/2020/02/09/the-republican-god/ https://twitter.com/claytoonz/status/1226691624027246592
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neptune posted a comment · Feb 09, 2020
Brown wrote: "I reject Mormonism as a non-Christian cult . . . ." Actually, I think a better term would be "false religion."
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Swkh310 posted a comment · Feb 08, 2020
“... I reject Mormonism as a non-Christian cult that distorts the Scripture...” Funny, that’s EXACTLY how I feel about politically motivated Evangelicals and their phony claim to be Christians.
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nonewworldorder... posted a comment · Feb 07, 2020
I don’t understand how if supposedly he is religious he can’t see and understand that what the democrats have been trying to establish is a One World Government. Most of these people work for Hillary and her boss George Soros who I pray both for. They paid for the caravans to come to the USA border and pay for the fake news. This is very serious because what Daniel and John spoke of is trying to get establish. The antichrist system! Daniel 7 and Apocalypse 12 the eagles wings nation USA will fight this one world government! The eagles wings are not seen with the other nations in Apocalypse 13. The United States of America will help Israel during the Great Tribulation WWIII for 1,260 days, 42 months, Times, times and half a time = 3 and a half years. This will begin 3 and a half years after the peace treaty is signed, remember satan doesn’t like peace and unity and he will destroy it. Satan will enter the third temple and stop the animal sacrifices and pretend to be the Messiah. The REAL MESSIAH comes in the sky with the clouds like Daniel says. Also, the two witnesses are the two olives and lampstands, the church and the Jewish Christians prophesying for 3 and a half years and they will be killed and 3 and a half days later they will be resurrected and most likely that’s when the rapture is. We are not children of the darkness so that day comes to us like a thief in the night.
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words2yz posted a comment · Feb 07, 2020
Mitt was the only Senate Republican who considered his Constitutional duty and oath and his vow before GOD to defend and protect the interests of this nation‼️
silkyf117 posted a comment · Feb 07, 2020
Yes Dr. Brown, you have every right to say all that you said. What you are still failing to discern is that Mitt Romney is still very bitter for many things including not being elected as a president when he ran. Also, whether you believe it or not there are many many politicians, both sides of the isle, that have been bought and have sold their souls to Hillary Clinton, or George Soros, or any number of people with affluence and money and power. There is a swamp in Washington that has great need to be drained, and I dare say there are many swamps around the country, yes even around the world that have this same kind of problem. So in essence, we are not judging the man or even condemning the man. He simply has called judgement upon his own self by his actions. Does not the Bible state that whatever bears fruit will indeed bear the actual fruit of that entity. Romney has done himself in. He is part of the problem in Washington, not part of the solution. He needs to go.
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dougwestly posted a comment · Feb 07, 2020
As a Christian, it took me years to finally, and fully realize that Mormons are not Christians, and that they have a different spirit than we do. I will not go much deeper than that. So Mr. Romney, when he seeks "God" he is seeking a different God than we have. Therefore when he gets his answers from his god, his god is not going to give him what we call "Godly direction". He is a "religious person", and religious people, SOMETIMES can be the most evil people on earth. Remember the words "crucify him crucify him"? Those were religious people speaking. I have worked as a pastor for about seventeen years now. I have learned that every church has these groups of people: Visitors, Seekers, Religious People, and Christians. It is ALWAYS the religious people that cause all of the problems for a pastor. And by the way, I am a Jewish Christian, so I am NOT attacking Jews here in any way. Just want to be clear on that. I was of course disturbed at what he did, (Mr. Romney), but I also realize that the most we can do for him is to pray that he comes to know the true and living God.
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neptune posted a comment · Feb 07, 2020
"That’s why I’m not upset with him for voting his conscience, since I genuinely believe that’s exactly what he did." Wait a minute—don't have to HAVE a conscience before you can vote it??? LOL. Two verses come to mind here. 1) Prov. 14:15a: "The simple man believes every word." 2) Prov. 26:25: "When he speaks graciously, do not believe him, For there are seven abominations in his heart." So, no, I don't believe Mitt Romney, and most other conservatives don't seem to either. As the saying goes, how can you tell when Mitt Romney is lying? Answer: When his mouth is moving. ;)
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Kenneth Greifer posted a comment · Feb 07, 2020
Ukraine is a country with millions of people that has been attacked by Russia and is fighting for it's survival. Thousands of their soldiers have died in this war. They are an ally of America. America was helping them survive against a much larger enemy. President Trump decided during this crucial time to fight corruption in Ukraine by stopping military aid to Ukraine. He hates corruption so much that he was willing to sacrifice the freedom of millions of people and let them be ruled by the very corrupt government of Russia instead. I don't think that stopping corruption in Ukraine was worth destroying Ukraine. Then you have to consider that the only corruption he wanted investigated by Ukraine was corruption by Biden and his son and the hacking of the Democratic National Party's emails in 2016. He was willing to sacrifice millions of people for that information. He could have simply followed the rules and requested these investigations without cutting off military aid, but he did it off the record and probably illegally. If this doesn't bother you, then at least realize that coincidentally the only corruption he wanted investigated involved his political opponents. He wasn't worried about other corruption. He didn't think Biden and his son were going to steal the military aid money. He was worried that Biden might beat him in an election. Even if you support Trump, you should be honest with yourself and admit he did something that is either wrong or nonsensical to an ally fighting a war for it's survival. The Bible says not to be a respecter of persons, meaning to judge people fairly and not favor the rich and powerful or the poor. You are supposed to judge people fairly no matter who they are or how much you like them. Look up the words "respecting persons" or "respecter of persons" and see what the Bible says about that because many Bible believers are breaking that rule.