Happy New Year...
All across America, people celebrated the end of 2012, the beginning of 2013, the love of friends and family, and the continuation of our world despite some presumably dire predictions by an ancient people; all the while, Americans with incomes between $250,000 - $450,000 popped their corks for a completely different reason: the aversion of the fiscal cliff and the preservation of the Bush-era tax cuts for their income brackets. And interestingly enough, we all will be paying more in payroll taxes. Specifically: payroll taxes for the past two years have been at 4.2% and will now rise to the customary 6.2%.
Alas, the fiscal cliff is averted (sort of) and the can is kicked down the road to be dealt with another day. Read this review from NPR of yesterday's (early this morning's? when did this happen?) voting in the House and the New Year's Day passage of the deal in the Senate. In the end, it was not Obama and Boenher that brokered this compromise, but McConnell and Biden. (Another pairing of the turtle and the hare.) But many on both sides of the debate are not happy with this outcome, and Boehner had some choice words for Sen Majority Leader Harry Reid, while the House is looking (especially) foolish in its handling of the fiscal cliff crisis. Additionally, as if they wanted to verify their status as a fortress of ineptitude, the House declined to vote on the Sandy Relief Bill, which prompted sharp criticism from NJ Gov. (and 2016 presidential candidate) Chris Christie:
"There is only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims: the House majority and their speaker, John Boehner. This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. Natural disasters happen in red states and blue states and states with Democratic governors and Republican governors. We respond to innocent victims of natural disasters, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as Americans. Or at least we did until last night. Last night, politics was placed before oaths to serve our citizens. For me, it was disappointing and disgusting to watch."
But moving forward to more important things! It is a new year, and with every new year comes our responsibility as Mormons to vote for the Mormon of the Year of 2012 over at Times and Seasons dot org. And seriously, I realize Mitt Romney didn't win the presidency, but he most certainly deserves Mormon of the Year, does he not? He should definitely beat out some band called "Neon Trees" anyway - especially when the first time I heard of them is when I saw them on the list of candidates.
Let's hope for a path forward this 2013 - and choices as easy as Mormon of the Year. We need to move past this fiscal edge of the cliff mess and onto some real important things. Otherwise, President Obama's second term will be one big fight over budgets and taxes and cliffs and nooks and crannies. Seriously, we are ready to move on.
Spies Like Us
Surprisingly, I have actually been feeling a bit neglected. During the election I expected to see several new Mormon-themed articles posted online daily; some of these articles even included references to Mormons for Obama. So I found myself feeling slightly pleased to hear two NPR stories referencing Mormons this morning. The first is pretty run of the mill: Mormonism: A Scrutinized, Yet Evolving Faith. However they do interview Joanna Brooks, and she is always a pleasure to hear. (And I would also add, anything is better than hearing more about the Petraeus sex scandal.)
But the second article is something to be excited about: In Russia, Pro-Putin Youths Protest Mormons As 'Cult'. But it's not the subject of the title that's so interesting (or the most absurd.) The protesters (the Young Guard) have staged a number of protests outside chapels in Russian and "charge that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a 'authoritarian sect' with connections to the CIA and FBI." They cite evidence that Mormon missionaries go on to work for the CIA and FBI in disproportionately high numbers. This is something that we Mormons have understood to be the natural result of the wide-ranging international experiences and language skills our returning missionaries acquire, but apparently these Russian Young Guard members interpret these (non-validated) statistics differently.
Indeed, the Youth Guard "sees the Mormon Church as an American enterprise, funded from the United States, with missionaries who act as American operatives." Yes. They believe that Mormon missionaries are American spies.
As the NPR report ended this morning, I found myself encompassed by a gentle mist of nostalgia for the Cold War. Not for the Cold War itself, but more for its influence on our popular culture. I mean, who doesn't miss the days when Red was associated with the words Hunt, October and Dawn (the Patrick Swayze one,) instead of Bull, Box, and Dawn (the Connor Cruise one.) So thank you Russian Young Guard for hosting 80s-themed dance parties outside our LDS chapels in Russia. This must be a wonderful history lesson for your young people, and I am sure Sam Mendes will be contacting you for ideas for his next Bond film.
Post by Joseph M -
Thanksgiving is surely a great time for reflection. Rob's post, Michael Otterson's guest article in the Washington Post, and this recent post by Joanna Brooks have all caused me to think on this past election season and the part that we Mormons for Obama played in it. I am thankful for the community of saints who have come together here and the amazing amount of good that we have accomplished. Not only have we demonstrated our support for President Obama, but we also have shown the world that Mormons are a diverse group of individuals with varied political ideas and persuasions. (And I fully acknowledge that this post is starting off a tad bit self-congratulatory.)
I have especially enjoyed hearing the many stories that folks have shared about their Mormons for Obama t-shirts and bumper stickers. Kelly ended up in an Italian online news journal with her shirt. And another example: Butch in Pennsylvania emailed me describing reactions that he has received from people. He takes his sister shopping and sometimes will wait in the car, and he has enjoyed watching the positive reaction of the passersby. (This kind of sounds like missionary work.)
He writes, "I have to laugh at stop lights here - seeing people take pictures and some honking their horns." Of course not everyone was happy with his bumper sticker: "one lady pulled up next to me and shook her finger at me, scolding me!" But Butch isn't alone in seeing some negative reactions - as we see in this post by Joanna Brooks - but much of the reaction has been positive. And even when it wasn't, we found it humorous all the same.
In fact, many people found this website and Facebook group because of the bumper stickers on your cars or the t-shirt that you casually wore to the grocery store. One woman emailed that she was tailed down the street, and when she finally exited her car, her follower asked, "where did you get that bumper sticker? I need one!"
Read this wonderful post by Jana Reiss about her thoughts on the bumper sticker and how the conjunction "and" is not enough.
Admittedly, we Mormons for Obama have a lot to be thankful for this season. Also, we were pleased to discover that Mormons actually voted for Obama in higher numbers than those who voted Democrat in 2004 when Bush was reelected. (Or said another way, GW Bush received more Mormon votes than did Romney.) See this article from Business Insider, and thank you to Dave in Seattle for emailing this to us.
I am grateful for a lot this Thanksgiving season. And I am especially grateful to all of the Mormons for Obama out there who stood up for the President (and sometimes made difficult sacrifices) in the midst of a contentious election season that sometimes came closer to home than we would have hoped or anticipated. Please share your stories with us! We would love to hear about your experiences with your t-shirts and bumper stickers! (And Happy Thanksgiving!)
Mormon Policies on Politics and Conscience
Guest Post by Julia Taylor; this article is cross-posted on poetrysansonions.com
I am doing a series of posts on the "Mormon Moment," on my personal blog. (My original post focused on the policies of the LDS church, and included the issues around the Prop 8 election in California, which has already been more than covered here on this website, so I won't go into all the details again.) Most people assume that the cultural bias towards the Republican party by many members of the LDS church is doctrinally based. As a recent post on my personal blog addresses, culture and doctrine can be tricky for members of the church to sort out. For those who are not LDS, it can seem downright convoluted. I hope that this post and its sources help to clear up some of these distinctions in regards to politics.
Mormon Policies on Politics and Conscience
Most of the time, the LDS church stays out of political races and referendums, and it releases only general statements on issues that relate to church doctrine. Church leaders do not tell members how to vote or ask for them to reveal how they voted. The only constant doctrine taught about the responsibility of church members consists of asking their members to be active citizens who intelligently vote their conscience. The official church position regarding politics can be found in the Articles of Faith, the Doctrine and Covenants, and also the Official Church Handbook 2, which is available online at LDS.org. The Articles of Faith and Doctrine an Covenants are canonized LDS scripture, while the Official Church Handbook is a manual with instructions for how to administer the day-to-day functions of a LDS congregation and life.
Articles of Faith 11 and 12 states:
11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
Doctrine and Covenants 58:19-22 elaborates on the basics in the Article of Faith, when it says:
19 For verily I say unto you, my law shall be kept on this land.
20 Let no man think he is ruler; but let God rule him that judgeth, according to the counsel of his own will, or, in other words, him that counseleth or sitteth upon the judgment seat.
21 Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land.
22 Wherefore, be subject to the powers that be, until he reigns whose right it is to reign, and subdues all enemies under his feet.
Doctrine and Covenants 98: 7-10 elaborate further when it explains why good political leaders are important, and why being actively involved in choosing good leaders, (when living in a place where citizens have the chance to be involved in choosing their leaders) is important, and keeping bad leaders from governing is a sacred responsibility.
7 And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.
8 I, the Lord God, make you free, therefore ye are free indeed; and the law also maketh you free.
9 Nevertheless, when the wicked rule the people mourn.
10 Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil.
This means that Mormons start with the foundational understanding that as members of the LDS church we have an obligation to obey, honor and sustain the laws of the land, even when we don't agree with specific political leader(s) or a particular law. We recognize many forms of government, not just democracies, as being viable and acceptable in the eyes of God. We may claim that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the one true church, but we respect the right of others to believe and worship differently. We can share our religious beliefs, but every person on the earth has the right to believe or not to believe in God. Every person has the right to worship in ways that are consistent to their beliefs, even if we do not understand, agree, or approve of those religious practices. Every government has the expectation that Mormons who are citizens will follow and uphold the laws of their land, no matter the specifics of how that government functions.
The Official Church Handbook has several areas that speak about the responsibility of LDS members in relation to their government, regardless of where in the world those members live. This is a sampling of the sections that are important within the framework of the current election in the United States of America.
21.1.21 Income Taxes
Church members are obligated by the twelfth article of faith to obey the tax laws of the nation where they reside (see also D&C 134:5). Members who disapprove of tax laws may try to have them changed by legislation or constitutional amendment. Members who have well-founded legal objections may challenge tax laws in the courts.
Church members who refuse to file a tax return, pay required income taxes, or comply with a final judgment in a tax case are in direct conflict with the law and with the teachings of the Church. Such members may be ineligible for a temple recommend and should not be called to positions of principal responsibility in the Church. Members who are convicted of willfully violating tax laws are subject to Church discipline to the extent warranted by the circumstances.
21.1.23 Laws of the Land
Members should obey, honor, and sustain the laws in any country where they reside or travel (see D&C 58:21–22; Articles of Faith 1:12). This includes laws that prohibit proselytizing.
21.1.29 Political and Civic Activity
As citizens, Church members are encouraged to participate in political and governmental affairs, including involvement in the political party of their choice. Members are also urged to be actively engaged in worthy causes to improve their communities and make them wholesome places in which to live and rear families.
In accordance with the laws of their respective governments, members are encouraged to register to vote, to study issues and candidates carefully, and to vote for individuals whom they believe will act with integrity and sound judgment. Latter-day Saints have a special obligation to seek out, vote for, and uphold leaders who are honest, good, and wise (see D&C 98:10).
While affirming the right of expression on political and social issues, the Church is neutral regarding political parties, political platforms, and candidates for political office. The Church does not endorse any political party or candidate. Nor does it advise members how to vote. However, in some exceptional instances the Church will take a position on specific legislation, particularly when it concludes that moral issues are involved.
Church members are encouraged to consider serving in elected or appointed public offices in local and national government. Candidates for public office should not imply that their candidacy is endorsed by the Church or its leaders.Church leaders and members should also avoid statements or conduct that might be interpreted as Church endorsement of any political party, platform, policy, or candidate.
Members are encouraged to support measures that strengthen the moral fabric of society, particularly those designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.
Church records, directories, and similar materials may not be used for political purposes. Church facilities may not be used for political purposes. However, facilities may be used for voter registration or polling where there is not a reasonable alternative (see 21.2).
(Emphasis and underlined text has been added by the author to emphasize parts of the church policy that oftentimes is ignored by cultural Mormons.)
In this presidential election, I have already voted for Barack Obama. My choice in voting is really two-thirds a vote for Obama, and one-third of a vote against Mitt Romney. I didn't think I would be voting against Mitt, (if he ever was on the ticket) when he was running back in 2008. Then I saw him as a real possibility of a moderate Republican who had a record of putting together solutions that work. He did some impressive things getting the Olympics back on track, and while Romneycare didn't go as far as I hope a national plan eventually will, the way he got it passed showed he could work with people who are not Republicans. This is was an improvement over Bush.
That was 2008, and this year is 2012. The Romney that I had respect for in 2008 does not seem to be around in 2012. His willingness to say ANYTHING to win does not sit well with me as a citizen, a Mormon, or a voter. Whether he believes all of the things he says or not, he can't mean everything he says, because he disagrees with himself over and over. Mitt's choice of Paul Ryan as a running mate was his final bad choice - made out of expediency, and this choice made it impossible for me to see him as the man I admired four years ago.
That is why I am not voting for Romney, but the reasons I am voting for Obama are quite a bit more nuanced. Some of it is self-interest. I am on COBRA health insurance, and if Obamacare stands, I will be able to keep the very good insurance I have now. If I had to buy insurance on the open market, I would be uninsurable. In 2008, health care was one of my big issues, and Obama delivered on his promise to expand health care to many more Americans. My husband's company pays him well, and our income qualifies us as the lower end of the middle class. The Obama economic program will benefit us much more than the Romney/Ryan plan would. So selfishly, I get more benefits, even if I do pay more in taxes, if Obama is president for the next four years.
I am not looking for a grand change in fiscal policy. I think President Bush did some unforgivable things to the economy, and we aren't anywhere close to having those items turned around. Obama hasn't been perfect, but I trust him to make the best choices he can, and to think about the middle and lower class as Americans, not a drain on the "real Americans." I am hoping that there will be enough pressure on the Republicans in Congress so that some work actually gets done, but I would rather have Obama get less done, than Romney getting most of what he says he wants to do. I trust Obama to find policy compromises that work. I can't see any Republican having the guts (or gonads) to go against the right-wing of the party, least of all Romney.
Obama is my choice. He got my vote, and he got a $50 donation a few months ago. Obama also got the support of my kids, (without them knowing what I thought,) and they volunteer with their father and participate in the "Get Out the Vote Effort!" (Taking my children to political rallies, protests, and campaign events with politicians and political movements on both sides of the aisle has been an important part of educating them to be good citizens.) My children believe that Obama will give them the best future, and they are not your average preteens. When they laid out their reasoning for why they want Obama to be president for the next four years, I was proud to discover that their reasons were similar to mine. While I am the only one with the legal right to vote, my vote carried the hopes and dreams of my children when I mailed my ballot on Monday.
Authors Note: My goal with the "Mormon Moment Series" has been to explain "Mormony" things to those who may be interested in learning about Mormonism. I include my experiences, and those of other bloggers, so I regularly have links to blogs I read and comment on, while I also link directly to official sources like LDS.org or other official church sites.
In no way is this post meant to be an exhaustive study of the issues related to the LDS church and its policies regarding voting and elections. For those of you who would like to read my personal thoughts on Prop 8, or are interested in why I, and Mormons for Obama, always clearly state that we don't speak for the LDS church, you can read the rest of my original post here. If you are interested in a laugh, and understanding which policies were broken in the Gay Trees and Gadianton Robbers incident, you will also find that there as well. For another Mormon perspective posted yesterday, see Sarah Familia's great post on why she chose to vote for Obama.
True (and Are We Really Still Asking this Question?)
Dan Spindle from some Fox News affiliate in Phoenix, Arizona has an article/news piece, entitled, "Can a true Mormon vote for Obama?" (The video is attached to the article, but don't bother to click on it; it doesn't seem to be working at the present.)
But seriously? My first issue is that this whole topic has already run its course in the news cycle. To borrow President Obama's joke from this past debate (which he borrowed from some frat guy): Hello, Dan? March 2012 called and wants their junior-college essay on "Wow there are Mormon Liberals!" back. Apparently this writer missed the flurry of news stories about Mormon Democrats that appeared online throughout the Democratic National Convention.
But honestly, that isn't my real issue this piece - because I wasn't bothered in the least when the KSL covered Mormon Democrats in a news story a few weeks back - and in fact, it featured Hannah and Ben from BYU Democrats and we wrote about it here on Mormons for Obama. My true issue is Dan Spindle's use of the word "true" in posing his titular question. He follows it up with, "Can a faithful Mormon be a Democrat? We wanted to find out." He proceeds with his investigation by interviewing several Mormon Democrats, and he cites the examples of Harry Reid and a general authority who used to be a Democratic state congressman. Ultimately he ends by quoting the Church's position on neutrality, and he also includes a quotation from Jill Henrichsen, a Mormon Dem. She says, ""For a church that tries to teach the gospel to others, of course all these people are going to come from different backgrounds and have different beliefs and there absolutely has to be room for that, and more tolerance."
So I guess that means the answer is yes, a true Mormon can vote for Obama?
Well, the answer is clearly yes for the many of us who have (or will) cast our vote for President Obama on November 6th and then turn right around and sit in sacrament meeting on Sunday, November 11th with our conservative Mormon brothers and sisters (regardless of who wins). Of course we'll all breathe a sigh of relief that it's not fast and testimony meeting, because that might force a few of us out into the foyer.
But the real question is what does Dan Spindle mean by "true Mormon?" Because I think true might also mean that if you say one thing during the Republican primaries, you would say the same thing now. Or true could also mean that if you promoted a health care plan that extended coverage for most of the citizens of your state (and did so with an eye to running for president with that plan tucked under your arm,) that you would continue to support that plan regardless of its political expediency in the present. Or true would also mean that if you spent hours upon hours (and a good amount of your own money) serving others while Bishop (pastor?) or Stake President, that you would also support public policy that benefitted those same people you'd privately helped. And true should also mean that if you are going to constantly talk about the 23 million people in America who are out of work, you would not then malign these same people by inferring that they're irresponsible and lazy while speaking privately in front of your super-wealthy homies at a fundraiser.
Contrary to my better judgement, and Marianne's advice, I have worn a bit sensitive to the questioning of my faith because I support President Obama. So journalists out there: please don't even ask the question about who is a true Mormon and who is not. Leave it to us Mormons to argue about that among ourselves; also you can rest assured that we will be certain to include our friend and fellow Mormon, Mitt Romney, in the debate as well. (And Dr. Gregory Prince has already gotten this started for us.)
Well... unless Dan, you are Mormon yourself... (And you just might be, considering you are from Phoenix, Arizona, which is like baby Provo, and you have a BYU/GAP haircut, and you called the Church by its correct name, and you knew where to find all those Mormon temples.) If you are LDS, then just forget I wrote any of this, and nice tie by the way.
Mormons for Obama (Again!)
KSL News in Utah did an interview with BYU students Hannah Wheelwright and Ben Ader - once again making the point that many Mormons will vote for Obama in November. And of course, Hannah is sporting some really nice bumper stickers on her computer. This kind of publicity and dedication is encouraging and energizing - especially to find this reporting on a Utah news station that is operated by Bonneville Communications. So let's make one final push for November! See the article here on KSL.Com, and watch Hannah's interview at that link as well. Additionally, refer to Hannah's article, "Anxiously Engaged" to learn how you can get involved!
This Muslim Moment
Let's just admit it now and get it out of the way: Romney looked strong in tonight's debate, and President Obama seemed as if he didn't want to offend anyone. Well, the Presidential race may have gotten a little more interesting - especially because the undecided voters (those who tend to have no idea what is going on in politics) may have been watching this evening. And if they tuned in to this debate without the back story... then maybe Romney came out ahead?
The next two debates will both cover foreign policy, and the final debate is focusing exclusively on this topic. And it is here that Romney may have found an opening: there is strong indication that the American officials at the Libyan consulate made several requests for extra security before the attack on September 11th that killed the US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans there. Additionally, the State Department is reversing its former statements that the attack on the consulate was a result of popular protests due to American-made anti-Muslim video, "The Innocence of Muslims;" the State Dept now confirms that this was actually a coordinated terrorist attack.
Romney is rumored to be planning a coordinated attack of his own on President Obama's foreign policy record in order to assert that Obama is weak on terrorists. This would be a much-needed boon after his "shoot-first-and-aim-later" statement on the evening of the attack in Benghazi and then his 47% comment that caused some Mormons to cringe. Romney will need to continue to boost his image after the debate this evening, and maybe this is it.
Yes, Romney needs to seize upon this Muslim Moment.
But I wonder what is really going on here. Maybe this is an area that Romney should avoid altogether. Seriously folks, this is the President that killed Osama bin Laden. I mean, is it possible that the only voters who might respond to the idea that President Obama is weak on Islamic terrorism are those who believe that Obama is himself a Muslim?
Of course, Obama supporters do not require convincing that the President is the man for the job; it's just like tonight's debate - if one already supports Obama, then Mitt Romney's red-bull-infused attack did nothing more than cause a slightly irritating rash on the proverbial backside of listener's intellect. (And poor poor Big Bird. As one tweet asked: "doesn't Big Bird live on the street?; Romney hates the homeless.")
Anyway, I am amazed by how many questions still abound about Obama's religiosity and faith, and many come from our fellow Mormon brothers and sisters. Interestingly enough, some of these same Mormons also question the faith and commitment of us here at Mormons for Obama, as evidenced by the constant trickle of hate mail we receive. (One would assume that since we Mormons are often challenged regarding our Christianity, we would be careful not to level the same charges at someone else.) Alas, this is not so.
We recently received a comment that expressed a considerable amount of disdain for President Obama and our support for him. The commenter disparaged Obama as a "lover of Islam," and went on to say that she would not allow him to watch over her dog, "less (sic) alone my grandchildren." (To which I ask, did Obama even ask to babysit her grandchildren?) But she does have a point about Obama watching her dog, although I would add that both Romney and Obama carry baggage in this department; Romney's baggage is on the roof of his car, while Obama's is on his plate.
In the end I deleted the comment, seeing that it did not follow our guidelines of civil discourse. Obviously, this begs the question as to why I would review its content here - giving it more prominence than what it possibly deserves.
Well, first I wish to correct the assertion that Obama is a Muslim. Clearly, this woman, like many others, believes every anti-Obama email forward she receives in her inbox (which, I will add, is producing another convert to Mormons for Obama. Read this hilarious piece by Mark Saal.) She also must have arrived late to the town hall where John McCain rebuked a woman (and a member of the Blood gang?) for saying something similar. If Obama says he is Christian, why would it behoove us Latter-day Saints to question this?
But this leads to an even a more important aspect of this whole debate: it does not matter whether our President is Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, or even a Mormon. In fact, I would vote for Obama even if he was Muslim, and I am pleased that Minnesota elected our first Muslim congressman, Keith Ellison. We are a country of many cultures, ethnic groups, and religious affiliations. If I feel I cannot trust a Muslim to properly represent my views and interests on a national or local level, then why should we expect an American Muslim, Buddhist, or Jew to accept a Christian president?
Many people became very upset when a mosque was proposed at a site near Ground Zero. This hostility seemed to imply that all Muslims are somehow responsible for the events of 9/11. However, this public battle failed to acknowledge or demostrate the proper respect for the lives of the many innocent American Muslims who were lost in the World Trade Center attacks. Of course, my argument is not new.
Regardless, many people continue to assert that Islam is a violent faith; however, I caution that we don't need to look too far to find violence in Christianity - and I am not just speaking of the Holy Wars: bombings of abortion clinics, Jones, Koresh, Northern Ireland, and Mountain Meadows, all happened under the banner of heaven.
I don't know everything about Islam, but I am unconvinced that Muslim Americans are somehow less American than Christians, or that consequently, a Muslim is somehow less qualified to be President of the United States. The Christian Right often states that America was founded on Christian principles, but one only need to watch the season finale of Sorkin's The Newsroom to know that this is not exactly true. Maggie spent all evening to find the supporting quotations from our founding fathers - but it took me 30 seconds: Top 5 Myths About America. (Will MacAvoy, hire me please? --and where were you tonight? The tired Jim Leher could've used your crib notes.) See this article on Wikipedia as well, because Wikipedia is always correct.
But I will quote one of our founding fathers here:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people who declared that their "legislature" should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
And by the way Fox Newsies, the Pledge of Allegiance had its famous line, "one nation under God," added to it in 1954 by our other founding father, President Eisenhower. See this article.
In the end, I believe that Obama is adept at handling our troubles in the Middle East. Romney might possibly attempt to seize upon this anti-Muslim Moment and use it (as Bush the W. did before him) to stoke fear in the more bigoted hearts of America. But as this article explains, it is high time we separated church and hate. Obama has demonstrated how to do this; far from being the great apologizer as Romney accuses him of being, President Obama has exhibited true Christianity time and time again. As Eric R. pointed out in his post:
(B)eyond the common sense reasons to be culturally sensitive to the Muslim faith..., there is another reason, an even better reason, for being thoughtful. That reason, of course, is because it is the right thing to do. Rather than subscribing to Krauthamer’s ‘only do good unto others when they have done good unto you’ worldview, I am more inclined to go with another philosophy, something more like ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’
So Romney can debate on and on and on; some may listen and believe. However, a quick tongue and a smart retort in tonight's contest doesn't obscure the fact that President Obama understands this country (beyond its capitalistic leanings) and its extremely important place in the world at large. And yes - even the Muslim world. Once again, I affirm my support for the President in 2012.
This picture appeared on an Italian language news site! Kelly, one of our own, was at a rally in Virginia representing Mormons for Obama! She is proudly wearing her "Mormons for Obama" t-shirt. This shirt, by the way, is available on CafePress.com.
And Kelly wasn't even aware she had ended up on a news site - she just knew that a lot of people wanted to take her picture (considering her awesome shirt she wore for the rally!) So, it wasn't until she saw the link posted on our Facebook page that she learned that she was famous. Congratulations Kelly! Great job representing Mormons and representing Obama supporters!
Mormon Democrats Make the Case for Obama - from Odysseynetworks.org
This video and the following post are from Odyssey Networks:
Mormon Democrats are a rarity in Utah. They represent just 7 percent of Mormons in the state, but came out full force Tuesday evening at an LDS Democrats event held in Charlotte, N.C. in and around the Democratic National Convention. LDS Democrats, many of whom were formerly Republican, say the Democratic party now best represents their core values, including caring for the most vulnerable in society. They are not monolithic in their beliefs however, as LDS Democrats range from feminists to anti-abortion.
Thank you to Odyessy Networks for this great video!
Dr. Gregory Prince: Mitt Romney Is Not the Face of Mormonism
Post by Rob T.
Wednesday, in the Huffington Post, LDS historian and author Dr. Gregory Prince wrote a piece that, in some ways, I've been waiting to appear since Governor Romney said we should "double Guantanamo" back in May of 2007. The newly revealed remarks dismissing 47% of the country (including many Mormons), prompted Dr. Prince to write in part:
"The very basis of Mormon community, stretching back to the earliest years of Mormonism nearly two centuries ago, is that the more able have a sacred obligation to assist the less able. That sense of physical community was institutionalized in the Church's Welfare Program, which sprang out of the Great Depression as an exemplary and effective means of combining church and government assistance not only to give to those in need, but also to help them to help themselves . . . Judge Mitt Romney as you will, and vote for or against him as you will; but do not judge Mormonism on the basis of the Mitt Romney that was unveiled to the public this week. He is not the face of Mormonism."
Dr. Prince was on the Lawrence O'Donnell show on MSNBC Thursday evening to discuss his column, Mitt Romney, and Mormonism. I encourage you all to watch it here.
(Picture: pass-along cards used to invite people to see Mormons discuss their faith at Mormon.org.)