Of Republicans and Vouchers

As a newly registered candidate for the Utah House of Representatives I sat down to write up my platform.  I began talking about my young family and how important it is to me that they received a high quality education. I deleted the line and started over.  My reason for running for state office was not about my family.  They will be fine.  My reason for running was to make sure all Utah residents had an opportunity for self reliance.

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Befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land

It being summertime, schools are getting out; people are graduating high school and college, soon will be July and Independence Day.  We are also, thankfully, deep into the U.S. Presidential election at this time.

There have been various incidents in the news lately about Patriotism, and our Constitutional rights, and how they are to be upheld, and who has the right to what.  There are those in the State of Utah, some who possess high and or important positions, like Sheriffs, State Legislative members, members of Congress, who feel that it is not the Federal Government’s role or position to be able to tell them how to do things, or how they can control Federal lands.  This is in direct contradiction of the Lord’s words to us in these days.

 

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Loving My (Trans) Neighbor

Love your neighbor as yourself

--Jesus

The Savior's teachings were clear, but their applications are not always so clear. One thing I do know, however, is that the first step in loving someone is to understand where they are coming from. This post will be organized around five key questions about my brothers and sisters who are transgendered:

1) Is Gender Dysphoria treated as a mental illness?
2) What are the dangers of letting people use the restroom of the gender with which they identify?
3) What are the dangers of requiring people to use the restroom of the gender with which we think they should identify?
4) What about children? Should we be encouraging them to accept this life?
5) So, now what?

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Why I am a Mormon Democrat: Matt Gardner

I was raised listening to Rush Limbaugh on talk radio.  I graduated from BYU.  I voted straight Republican - telling myself I was voting for the best, without actually doing any research.

 

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The Parable of the Pretend Successful Servant

The pretend successful servant did take one hundred talents from his father, and from the publicans, and did trade with the same, and did build gambling halls, and did sell steaks, and did build a school for profit.

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Transgender Students Have A Math Problem

The United States ranks 27th in math, 20th in science, 17th in educational performance, 24th in literacy, 54th in education expenditures (as % of GDP), 15th in college graduation rates, and 18th in reading against the rest of the world. Our homes and classrooms lack infrastructure capabilities as the US ranks 33rd in internet speeds and access. There was a recent study of the top 14 countries in the world polling high school students against current events and country demographics with the US finishing next to last (thank you Italy). We have so many issues with our educational system the biggest challenge is figuring out where to begin.

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Bernie and Political Change

Disclaimer: I'm not saying Bernie's achievements aren't impressive. He took what many assumed to be a gadfly candidacy and turned it into something that will probably get around 45% of the pledged delegates for the Democratic nomination. But now the question is: where do the supporters of Senator Sanders go from here?

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Harry Potter, Hillary Clinton, and Utah Going Blue (Updated)

A meme equating Hillary Clinton with Dolores Umbridge and Bernie Sanders with Dumbledore was recently posted in a major Facebook group for liberal Latter-day Saints. This post is nerding out about why it's wrong and what it suggests about Utah going Blue in November.

(SPOILERS ABOUND for Harry Potter / Lord of the Rings / Star Wars / Hunger Games - THIS IS YOUR FINAL WARNING).

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Hillary and Bernie Won't Destroy Your Agency

It’s politics season again in America, which means that discussions are heating up on Facebook, in living rooms, and in ward foyers around the country. As someone who has had a fair number of these discussions myself, and as someone who falls solidly on the left side of the political spectrum, one of the arguments I hear most often from my fellow Mormons suggests that I’m in favor of Satan’s plan. In fact, this is one of the most frequent themes of hate mail sent to the LDS Democrats caucus leadership in Utah. Liberals, the argument goes, want to take away our agency. Liberals want to pass laws that, while well-intentioned, actually enact one of the devil’s top priorities since before the Earth was formed: “Satan rebelled against [God], and sought to destroy the agency of man” (see Moses 4:1-4).

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What do you know about the Democrats? Would you like to know more?

For those of you old enough to remember, there was an LDS missionary approach called the Golden Questions. (What do you know about the Mormon Church? Would you like to know more?) This was part of the “Every Member a Missionary” approach used during the 1960s and 1970s. This was used as a conversation starter or door opener to get people to discuss any interest they might have in the church. The idea being to find those people who, for whatever reason, might have some interest in the church.

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