Mormons finally get the memo

discrimination Politics

Here’s some encouraging news from the Council of Fifty:

she started talking about her disappointment with the Republican party generally, and with McCain and Huckabee specifically–because of the talk about their back-room deal to edge Romney out, the Republicans’ complacency on Utah being a Red State but without reciprocal loyalty to its Utah Mormon base, and what she sees as a media bias against Romney (reflective of more general U.S. social biases against Mormons)

and

I am so with you. I have really started investigating the Democratic candidates to see if I should vote Democrat for the first time in my life. I was having the exact same conversation with my husband this morning.

and

The day Utah goes blue, is a day I thought I’d never see…until this time around.

and

I would love for Utah to go green or blue this year and not be taken for granted in the future! I would love for my vote to actually matter, instead of just be assumed.

and

Maybe you should pay closer attention to Obama:
** Michelle Obama visits LDS Church headquarters, meets Elders Ballard and Cook

** Senator Obama reaching to Mormons for support

and

With all the hating on Mormons that Mitt’s campaign incited, especially from the Christian right, he asked, very genuinely, why Mormons are such loyal republicans. The democrats are the party far more likely to nominate a Mormon as a presidential candidate, he believes, because the dems “accept many differences”.

and

To me, it seems like our religion much more agrees with parties more to the left. This is not counting all the moral questions, but to me, the moral questions are matters of personal conviction anyways… It should be fought in another medium than politics.

and

But people still need to have a reason to believe that they will be treated better in the Democratic party. Harry Reid might not be the best salesman for that product, but Obama could be.

and

it’s hard to claim what Romney’s defeat has nothing to do with Mormonism when 25-35% of the US population consistently said they would not vote for a Mormon for president

and

Liberal Massachusettes could accept a mormon governor- but the ‘Christian’ south could not.

and

Mormons will continue to be welcomed as Republicans, as long as they contribute money and votes and do not seek national office. I’ve been surprised that so many Mormon Republicans are surprised by this.

Bigotry doesn’t really hurt when it’s directed towards homosexuals and Hispanics, but when it’s turned on you, it stings like hell, doesn’t it?

and

If Huck gets the VP slot and I was in the UT democratic party I would buy billboards along the Wasatch Front to showcase a few of his delicious quotes, i.e. “I’m not saying Mormonism is a Satanic cult, just asking”

and

For several years, I and a number of my friends have half-jokingly asked each other why we’re Republicans, since the party has for the past two decades been controlled by the Evangelical right, who hate us. Some may think this is overstated and reactionary, but I was born and raised in the South, and my brother is a Southern Baptist minister. I’m not suffering from any persecution complex and I don’t need any more data to convince me (although I do believe the major problem the Evangelicals have with us is based more on market share concerns than theology). This campaign has quite a few moderate Republicans in Utah seriously questioning their party loyalty and looking for alternatives. The past two days I have discussed this with a number of my work colleagues (without getting too specific, everyone I’ve spoken with works on or around the “church campus” in Salt Lake) and six out of eight of us have agreed we’ll vote for Obama if he’s the Democratic candidate. Mrs. Clinton raises roughly the same character concerns as McCain, for me. If Obama isn’t the candidate, we’ll probably sit this one out. I rather doubt the Democrats will dominate in Utah in my lifetime. But I don’t think the current questioning of blind loyalty to the Republican party will pass in a few months for many of us.

and

I think it’s a blessing. Perhaps we’ll get some more politically independent thought in our congregations. Mormons who think that voting (R) is part of their worthiness were shocked to find that they are not really welcome at the country club.

see also:

Because Mormons will always be a minority religion in the US, their true allies are the people who believe in freedom of religion. Freedom of religion is tolerance for pluralism through the separation of church and state. In the wake of Romney’s defeat, conservative Mormons need to wake up and understand that their natural allies are secularists, agnostics, Jews, Hindus, Muslims and other religious minorities. As such, they need to stop promoting the right of government to dictate religious values and proscribe social norms and they need to start promoting social libertarianism. In short, they need to stop gussying themselves up shamelessly for the boy who will never take them to the prom and recognize that as a minority their true allies are the members of the Democratic coalition and they ought to vote accordingly.

and an excellent proposed speech for Obama

It is we, the Democratic Party, not the Republican Party, who say as your founder Joseph Smith said: ‘We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men and women the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.’ We seek to include, not exclude, to accept, not turn away.

plus a good LDS analysis of Obama’s stance on the issues, including discussion of his character, leadership, and inclusiveness:

I envision that an Obama presidential administration would be a very friendly place for LDS leaders to work with in order to tackle our common goals.

Go Obama!!! 😀

21 thoughts on “Mormons finally get the memo

  1. Did Tom get the memo on this heresy? Are the Danites on alert?
    (will they Ever Learn department):
    The further Mo church & culture get away from the Core Essentials(tm) of Christian Living, the Sillier they appear.
    Congrats on posting a perfect satire on the self-centered / ethno-centric world of Mormonism.
    Mormons have dished out shame on the outside world long enough; the persecution complex they carry around is Sooooooooooo pitiful, isn’t it?

  2. GNPE — This isn’t meant as satire. I’m happy for Mormons if they’re finally starting to wake up and realize that theocrats aren’t their allies.

  3. Chanson, I’d love to see Mormonism distance itself from the GOP. But I’m skeptical it’s going to happen.

    I also wish we’d quit trying to incorporate ourselves into traditional Christianity so much. If you actually look at real Mormon theology, it has so much potential to reach out to all sorts of religions. Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Zoastrianism, Taoism, Wicca, Gaea spirituality… Lots of possibilities and we don’t just have to be wed to the traditional Christian view. Mormonism has a great opportunity to really redefine world spirituality and our view of God – if only it can move beyond the purely provincial sort of theological concerns it’s stuck on right now.

  4. Well, great minds & all that. As we’ve said elsewhere, Mormons have been attempting to build an alliance with Evangelical Christians for half a century. Along the way, it has been the Mormons who have compromised their identity and adopted Evangelical thinking. I think that the Pro-Life/Pro-Choice divide is a real example.

    By and large, Mormons have adopted the hardline Evangelical position that human consciousness begins at conception, even though traditional Mormon doctrine includes an understanding of the Pre-Existance of spirits and the idea that spirits enter the body either late in the pregnancy (the “quickening”) or at birth. I remember this very clearly from Saturday’s Warrior. When Chanson was a little girl, she played the role of Emily in our Stake’s production. Emily was the youngest daughter in the Pre-Existent family and was going to be born into the family on Earth. However, when the mother miscarried that did not end Emily’s chance at earth life. It meant that Emily might have to be born into a different family. Ultimately the mother became pregnant again and Emily’s spirit entered the body of the second baby at birth.

    People may say, “well that was just a play,” but we had that same understanding as a Mormon family in the 1970s. Our mother had a number of miscarriages, but she felt that there was one more spirit waiting to come down into our family. This feeling was ultimately realized with the successful birth of our youngest sister.

    My point is not that Mormons should be in favor of abortion. Everyone opposes abortion. My point is that Mormons needn’t have adopted the hardcore pro-life position of Evangelicals, when they might just as well have adopted the view that the government should allow everyone to exercise their free agency in this matter (i.e., being against abortion but being pro-choice).

    This is just one example of how Mormons compromised distinctive beliefs in order to build bridges with Evangelicals — even though Evangelicals have no interest in compromising to build bridges with Mormons.

  5. Seth — I know what you mean. It seems like when I was a kid Mormons wanted Mormonism to be recognized as a world religion in its own right. Islam is an offshoot of Christianity as well, but can you imagine them clamoring to recognized as another branch of Christianity?

  6. one wonders if/how/when the buzz over Mainstreaming will ‘end’…
    (IMHO) in order to be in touch with Basic-Core Christian values & principles… there’s no way around giving up some of the weird parts of Mormonism.
    Shunning is the First that comes to mind; LDS are Absolutely Vicious with those who have questions/leave the fold. Bible says: Be kindly affected one to another with brotherly love… And: Recompense to no man evil for evil.
    just my .02

  7. Guy, half the converts in the Mormon Church will tell you that family shunning happens just as much with other denominations as it does with the LDS.

    Again, you keep trying to assert that ostracization is somehow a uniquely LDS thing. But frankly, I think you’re full of it, and I’m calling you on it. I’ve seen atheists get just as vicious in ostracizing as any orthodox Mormon. And we’ve got plenty of stories about faithful Catholic, or Baptist parents disinheriting their kids when they got baptized.

    Step back and get some perspective will ya?

  8. Bottom line is that mormons,and their false doctrine will never be accepted by the main stream,because mormons are not christians,no matter how mormons try to fake it,pretend they are,the truth still remains,mormons are not christians,and that is why romney presidential run failed,because mormonism and evil is destined to lose and fail.the biblical Jesus Christ is awesome,he is the real deal

  9. seth R:

    but…Mormons have the inside track on right/wrong…Don’t They???

    don’t tell me/anyone that others doing it (whatever it is) is justification/rationalizatoin.
    I never said it was LDS exclusive, either; the Amish are first to mind.

  10. “but…Mormons have the inside track on right/wrong…Don’t They???”

    Yeah… So what?

    Welcome to the world Guy. Glad you noticed that you’re here.

  11. IF mormons have the inside track…What diff does it make if they don’t APPLY? (what’s the point???)

    Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC) Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous. The Confucian Analects

  12. Mormons have been attempting to build alliances with the South for a lot longer than that. Lincoln’s Republican party was, after all, founded to deal with the “twin evils” of slavery and polygamy.

    That’s why Mormons love state’s rights even more than Southerners. And we were just as much concerned about racial integration as white folk in Alabama.

    The fact of the matter is, however, that the “love” has always been one-sided. No one who ever listens to Christian talk radio can seriously believe that Christian right wingers respect us. They cannot mention the word Mormon pointing out that attributing cult status to us.

    Instead of confronting intolerance against Mormons at the hands of Baptists in Texas, our leaders have chosen to malign the ACLU as public enemy number one, even though it is only the ACLU that will support Mormon children against government sponsored Baptist bigotry.

    The Romney campaign was a valuable object lesson for many Utah Mormons what it is like to be a member of a religious minority. May be, we will think twice before we impose Christian kitsch on Jewish kids in Utah public schools and then blame liberals for defending religious freedom.

    We need to realize that we are throwing rocks in a glass house when we are approaching our gentile neighbors with distrust, demanding school prayer and try to impose the tyranny of the majority on gays and other minorities.

    Those who live by the sword, shall die by the sword. Gordon Hinckley helped to legitimize religious bigotry in politics during the campaign against the ERA and took it to a new level with the anti-gay referenda.

    Mitt Romney is now reaping the fruits of the culture that Hinckley has embraced and promoted.

    To be sure, Romney’s failure is a relatively small matter. I am much more concerned about the Mormon children in the Santa Fe ISD and elsewhere that have had to endure the ridicule not only of their peers but also of their teachers.

    I hope that our community will take the Romney episode as an occasion to reflect upon the importance of tolerance, respect for difference, and the separation of church and state. That would be much more important than switching parties.

  13. John Hamer said:

    “My point is not that Mormons should be in favor of abortion. Everyone opposes abortion. My point is that Mormons needn’t have adopted the hardcore pro-life position of Evangelicals, when they might just as well have adopted the view that the government should allow everyone to exercise their free agency in this matter (i.e., being against abortion but being pro-choice).”

    I think that the problem with most abortion rhetoric is that it fails to separate the moral issue from the legal issue. It is entirely possible for an act to be legally permissible, yet morally prohibited. Adultery comes to my mind. To my mind, abortion should be legal, but it is a bad choice to make except in certain circumstances. I wish the debate would move past “a woman’s right to choose” and move more to what impact abortion has on those who undertake the procedure and other consequences. It’s not an easy decision and the resources that are currently spent on opposing or favoring abortion could be better spent on the people who must ultimately make a really tough choice.

  14. I don’t think it was just Romney’s religion (I could be wrong).

    For some voters, yes, it was his religion that made their decision.

    But I also heard from many people who were concerned that he “flip-flopped” on previous positions. He didn’t come across (to many people) as genuine – he didn’t pass the all incompassing “I could have a beer with this person” test. GWB (in 2004) I think passed that test – despite the fact that he is a recovering alcoholic. Whether or not the politician drinks beer isn’t important.

    “Flip-flopping” is a classic criticism of political figures/presidential candidates – and it dooms them. In general, I think we’d all like to see politicians who change their minds when new/better information comes available. Sticking stubbornly to a position is just as harmful as continually changing one’s mind.

    Just like the label “liberal” helped doom Dukakis in 1988.

    Those labels are powerful, and some of them stick.

    As far as the big gov’t thing – I think that’s another reason why many LDS will continue to vote Republican. Not that the Republican party has been reducing taxes or gov’t recently. But – in theory, most LDS that I remember (and many republicans) still vote and believe strongly that gov’t is too big and is not the answer. (i.e. We should be able to make up our own minds where our taxes go).

    Again, I’m not defending these positions. Just wanted to bring up additional points.

  15. How can anyone who is active in the LDS Church actually subscribe to anything Obama and his associates are doing to our country?! Supporting him is like trying to stamp out everything we, as ambassadors of Christ, profess to uphold. Read the book Earth Sink to get a glimpse of what could happen if we continue down this road of supporting people like Obama.

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