This is a guest post by Amy Howell Oglesby
(caption: Oglesby family, photo used with permission)
Wednesday November 9, 2016, was the morning I woke up and found out that Hillary Clinton did not win the presidential election. I was so sure she would win that I had taken my children to the DNC headquarters in downtown SLC around 8:30pm so they would always remember that night. It wasn’t looking great at that point and they were getting tired, so we went home and went to bed. The rest is history.
As a young child, I could not reconcile in my mind how Adolf Hitler rose to power. Now I completely understand - Fear tactics and promises that everything can and will be fixed.
This election has been a game changer for me. It’s sent me over the edge. I have trouble defining myself. I have a bachelor’s degree, and a master’s degree. I’m a wife and a mother of 10. I was raised as a Mormon, married in the temple, and active all my life. I’ve been the Relief Society President, the Young Women’s President, and in the Primary Presidency. Here’s what I love: My ward. My bishop. My friends. Here’s what makes me sad: All the people who have allowed Trump to rise to power. Life is short. I’m nearly half way through my journey, and I don’t have time to waste with misogyny, homophobia, bigotry, racism, sexism, or fear based leadership. I don’t want this from my government and I certainly don’t want this from my church. The gospel that I embrace and love, is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our beloved past prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, was once asked why we don’t wear the cross. His answer was that our people’s actions are the symbol of our religion.
61% of my fellow Mormons voted for a man whose beliefs are so anti-Christian that it would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. This is real. It’s not a joke. People’s lives are at stake, and families will be torn apart. All this will be done in the name of “making America great again”.
I don’t have any soul searching to do. I know where I stand. I know what I will do, and I know my family will be there too. We will remain politically active. We will fight for the causes we believe in, and we will love, support, and stand up for those who need us.
As for my role within a predominantly republican church, I’m a truth seeker and I love the challenge of the search. When my heart is open, I cross paths with the most interesting people who teach me about myself and help me see things from a different perspective. I have made some great friends who happen to be Muslim, Jewish, Atheist, Methodist, Lutheran, Catholic, Mormon, and x-Mormon, just to name a few. What I love most are the universal truths that I’ve found through heart to heart conversations and through personal study. I know that loving Heavenly parents would never just impart truth to a select few. We are all beloved children and truth is found everywhere.
Going forward, I’ll put all of my efforts into being my best self. I’ll be defining how that looks. I won’t let anyone else define it for me. I will love, serve, and offer what works for me. I’ll do it my way, guilt free.
--Amy Howell Oglesby
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I am a person who believes in personal responsibility, but who also believes a society is better off when it invests in the well-being of its people, whether through security, infrastructure, education or healthcare. I don’t think they are mutually exclusive. So unless you can explain further, I guess I am missing your point.
Sorry Amy, your assertion that the democratic party would, for instance, reduce the fears of immigrants is hypocrisy. Between 2009 and 2015 the Obama administration has removed more than 2.5 million people through immigration orders, which doesn’t include the number of people who “self-deported” or were turned away and/or returned to their home country at the border by U.S. Customs and Border Protection More immigrants have been deported by the Obama administration that by ANY other President.
Trump has already stated that he isn’t interested in repealing the gay marriage decision by the Supreme Court. Nor does he, or congress, have the power to do so.
Were Trump’s comments about women to Billy Bush back in 2005 disgusting? Yeah, they were. So was Bill Clinton receiving oral sex in the Oval Office from his intern. And his sexual assault on Paula Jones and other women. But Hillary publically attacked and lied about Paula Jones in order to protect her guilty husband. Tell me how that is any less an example of misogyny (a word democrats seem comfortable using to label anyone who doesn’t agree with their choice for President).
You’re upset because someone you despise was elected President. But what you don’t get is, just as many Americans despise Hillary Clinton. Obviously. And for similar reasons. So PLEASE lay off the hypocrisy and stop denigrating your fellow church members for voting their conscience. The entire country is divided, and you criticizing and ridiculing your own neighbors isn’t going to encourage unity. Even liberal Hollywood is divided, as demonstrated in this short video: http://www.msn.com/en-us/video/other/hollywood-reacts-to-donald-trumps-presidency-win/vi-AAk6a8v?ocid=spartandhp
Personally, I align most closely with the statement by Ben Stiller: “Now it is time to move forward and hope that our country can come together.”
Christ himself said that “the love of men shall wax cold” and “the very elect shall be deceived.” The Trump election epitomizes that for me. Though in so doing, my faith as a Christian and Mormon is strengthened, not diminished. Because I can still love God and love my neighbor as He loved. Love is not an important thing. It is the ONLY thing. On these two hang ALL other things.
This is why I love you so much, and why you are my friend! Thank you for having the courage to write what, I suspect, a lot of Mormon women are thinking and feeling. I feel the exact same way, and I’m absolutely baffled and saddened that so many women (and men) justify his comments objectifying women and his misogynistic devaluation of them. I’m saddened that we are not horrified at this man, and his carnival sideshow of narcissism. I’m truly afraid for our country, and disappointed that this attitude is acceptable in our society. The homophobia, xenophobia, racism, sexism and hatred this man embodies will take our country to new lows it didn’t even reach 100 years ago. I’m so disappointed, and the election results have affected me on a very deep level. It is absolutely reflective of how Hitler rose to power, based on fear, shame, hate and divisiveness. The adversaries favorite tools. I will not feel guilty or ashamed or let anyone else define my views, especially those that try to bully. I will, like you, continue to love my neighbors and pray for our country.
Love you Amy!
Lisa Chatelain BS, ASUDC
Though I did not vote for him (and yes, I did vote), I was surprised and encouraged by Trump’s acceptance speech where he expressed a commitment to be the President of ALL Americans. Since then, his impending cabinet choices have been much less promising.
Regarding you feeling that your “fellow Mormons” are not aligned with your desire for all people to be treated compassionately and fairly, I would suggest (because of the reasons listed above) that in many cases, they are more aligned with the feelings and aspirations of your heart than you may think.
Barring impeachment, it looks like Donald Trump is going to be given the next four years to prove whether or not he really cares about the needs and rights of ALL Americans. After that, it is the opportunity of BOTH parties (Democrat AND Republican) to select in the primaries a candidate who truly stands for their values. A candidate who has demonstrated integrity and who people can realistically trust. NOT, as just happened, a couple of candidates who leave voters with the difficult challenge of attempting to decide which candidate is the lesser of two evils.
During the entire election process this year, not once did my church, or any of my fellow church members, suggest who I should vote for. Or pressure me in any way, either overtly or subtly. I never once heard any of my friends promote Donald Trump at church. No doubt it occurred
- just as some undoubtedly promoted Hillary inside a church building -but not around me. I applaud your determination to choose your own path when it comes to choosing a political candidate. Everyone should! Additionally, I believe it would be awesome if our next President is a woman, be she Democrat or Republican.
But don’t you think we’ve been divided and polarized as a country long enough? Isn’t it possible that reaching out, and believing in the innate goodness of most Americans, will heal the divide far more rapidly than more divisiveness will? I’m disheartened that so many are looking for someone to blame for the results of this election. And even worse, for a ‘side’ to be on. Shouldn’t we all be on the same side? Regardless of religion or the color of our skin or whatever some people would use to divide us? Shouldn’t we all be working, as the literal sisters and brothers that we truly are, to become united? Easy words to say, I realize. More challenging to accomplish. But if we don’t begin now, when will we begin? We can’t change the results of this particular election. But we CAN begin to listen to and care about and try and understand the feelings of the people around us. To look for commonalities (including the basic goodness of most people) instead of differences. To refrain from stereotyping. To look for ways to build bridges, rather than widening the divide. Only then is there any hope of a unified and compassionate nation. And it’s up all Americans on both sides of the current divide to set the example. Contending with and blaming each other accomplishes nothing … exception further division. And a house divided against itself can not stand.
Your words feel like they effortlessly fell right out of my mouth! You’ve represented my views as a fellow white Mormon woman with the clarity I’ve been searching for. I relate to Mormonism as a Faith based first on the teachings of Christ, and then all the other stuff. Love one another. There are other commandments, but this is the most important.
This President elect boggles my mind. What were they thinking? Were they thinking?
Whatever is to be learned from this experience lies ahead, and I will stay present and informed and strive not to live in fear.
I don’t know why I was born into the privilege I have been given and why others aren’t. I know that my sheltered life puts me into this sweet bubble, where I think about this world and all my brothers and sisters generally with rose colored glasses.
I fully comprehend that there are communities that are suffering and listen to campaign promises and the comforting(?) fear mongering, and hear his simple words, over simplified solutions and his blatant lies, and want to believe.
But I cannot comprehend the individuals that have educated ears, claim Christian values, love their fellow men (and women), are not living in a true state of survival, and do not need to live in fear, can listen to him and hear something they want to hear, or TRUST him.
The idea of letting “Trump be Trump” makes me throw up a little in my mouth. We are about to have an obnoxious reality TV personality lead this great Nation. Really?! I’m not convinced he even really understands or wants the job.