In last week’s General Conference, many speakers including the First Presidency spoke of unity, respect for all people, civility and dealing with tribulation, namely the Corona Virus. They especially called for respect for people of color. It is a welcomed admonition since President Hinkley first addressed it in 2006.
There were also calls for exercising our right to vote this November, which is a responsibility of citizenship.
I thought the pandemic would be the one thing that could bring a divided nation together, with all of us fighting to keep the cost in lives down. But, and here it comes, it has not.
For some reason, which is a mystery to me, the solution for reducing the death toll and those who contract Covid-19 has been political with reaction and actions are pretty much divided along party lines. Though, you can’t say that 100 percent of Democrats and 100% of Republicans have taken either side.
There are those among us, who believe the whole pandemic is a hoax. That it has been concocted as a way of ruining our economy and creating havoc in the U.S. The fact is, of this date (October 9,2020), over 7.64 Million have contracted the virus and 213 Thousand have died. There were people in the highest place if our government calling it a hoax and downplaying the effects on the American people. Even though there was evidence it was going to be bad, steps were not taken to try to stem the spread of the virus.
As we were asked to socially distance, stay at home, close our businesses, cancel large gatherings and events, and wear masks when outside the home, there were those who openly resisted. Even though it was explained that doing these things could save thousands of lives. As a result, some held gatherings in defiance of mandates from states and cities. Consequently, we saw a number of outbreaks after these gatherings including holiday parties and college events.
But, no one thing was resisted more than the wearing of masks when out in public and when social distancing is not possible. There are a myriad of reasons given why some could not wear masks. Among them are:
- They are uncomfortable
- “I can’t breathe with it on”
- “I have health reasons why I can’t wear a mask”
- And finally, “it is my right not wear a mask. They are taking away my freedom.”
There is an old adage that the freedom to swing your arm ends at my nose or you don’t have the freedom to yell “fire” in a crowded movie theater.
These adages, like the wearing of the mask, are not about giving up your freedom, but thinking of others rather than yourselves. A clear application of the golden rule.
Because of some people’s defiance to not wearing the mask in public, places of businesses, states and cities have mandated it. In most cases, if you enter a store without a mask they will offer you one, or ask you to leave and come back wearing one. But yet, there are still some who resist. I’ve seen people enter the store wearing a mask and then pull it down while shopping, or not wearing it on their nose, a major source of spreading the virus.
In stark contrast, we have noble and great healthcare workers, who wear a mask all day without complaint. When I was in the hospital 3 years ago for my stem cell transplant, those entering my room had to wear a gown, mask and gloves to protect me. When I was out of my room, I had to do likewise.
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:34–35)
As I stated before, the wearing of the mask has become highly political with some people refusing to wear the mask simply because the leader of their political party mocks those who do wear them. Telling them we should open stores, restaurants, bars and other businesses even if it’s not safe to do so.
I’m afraid some Latter Day Saints fall into this category of non-mask wearing, open up businesses people. It’s not that they are uninformed about the “new” commandment given by the Savior. It’s that they seem more beholden to their political views rather than their Christian obligation of “do unto others…”
I’ve seen a political group in Utah use the Salt Lake Temple in the background of their logo. What they were trying to show was beyond my comprehension. However, they quickly removed it from their website and advertisement,
As Jana Reiss pointed out in her “Flunking Sainthood” column of August 8, 2020,
“It’s not just the temple appropriation that’s a problem, however; there are at least two other issues.
It used to be acceptable to utilize the church’s name only when referring to the church’s own institutional presence, and using “Mormon” for all things unofficial, ad hoc, and church-adjacent. Now, with Pres. Nelson pivoting toward the use of “Latter-day Saints” for everything, it puts members between a rock and a hard place. According to the church’s handbook, they are forbidden from using the name of the church in reference to anything not sponsored by the church. Fair enough. But in the absence of “Mormon” as an acceptable term for describing unofficial groups that church members may want to be involved in, they have no other option but to break the rule. So “Latter-day Saints for Trump” – or even “Latter-day Saints for Joe,” the lower-key grassroots effort that has done at least one event sponsored by the Democratic candidate – are utilizing part of the name of the church to baptize their chosen political candidates.*
The second, and far more important, issue is with President Trump himself, and the dangers of associating the church with him.”
So in essence, using “Latter-day Saints” in the group name implies some affiliation with the Church where there is none. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints declares its neutrality with regard to politics and elections. Although the Church has involved itself in campaigns that it terms, “moral issues, ” they do not endorse any candidate for political office.
Oddly enough, the Latter-day Saint vote is highly coveted by political candidates in states where the concentration of members is the highest.
I wonder where it all ends. Will Latter-day Saints be the example to lead the country back to civility?
“Members of the Lord’s Church should commit “to live righteously and be united as never before. Righteousness and unity are “profoundly significant,” because when people love God with all their hearts and righteously strive to become like Him, there is less strife and contention in society” (Elder Quentin L. Cook, General Conference, October 2020.)
When we return to church as before, will there be less political references and more “love your fellow man” references?
I am hoping so. I think our nation depends on it.
I don’t know. I DON’T KNOW!
This virus has been among us for less than a year. What are the long term health ramifications? Does this virus generate herd immunity? Is it less virulent and deadly than the seasonal flu?
In two years we are either going to look back and say, “Wow, we sure overreacted to this” or “We didn’t take this seriously enough”.
I don’t know. And neither does anyone else.
I am amazed at how d**n sure people are on both sides. If the stakes weren’t so high, it would be amusing to list all of the logical fallacies and twisted assumptions and cherry-picked data points made all around.
But I would rather be ridiculed in two years for being a sheep and unnecessarily wearing a mask and social distancing than find out I was a Typhoid Mary. I can live with that. My liberties won’t take an irreparable hit.
To me, it’s not about ideology – it’s about being humbly reasonable.
You seem to think people who disagree with you are being political. That attitude makes you feel you have the moral high ground. You don’t. Your pandemic response mirrors your politics, just like others.
Minor clarification – 213,000 have died IN THE US. Over a million world-wide. I suspect there are some errors in reporting on both sides, but I would assume in 3rd world countries there will continue to be high rates of death for quite a while given vaccines may take a while to get out the poor fringes.
I heard that in the 1918 pandemic that there was a anti-mask political party that sprang up. My how history repeats itself.
I do wish that more people on both sides would realized that we are headed towards a breakdown of society if we continue on this path. And nobody can say, “that is right, the OTHER side needs to correct.” I am losing faith that such a realization is going to come quick enough.
BeenThere said we “don’t know, and neither does anyone else” whether we are overreacting and/or whether the coronavirus is more deadly than the flu. Actually, we do know those things. Scientific knowledge is funny : you can know something with enough confidence to have actual knowledge, but also leave open the possibility of modifying that knowledge later. But the falsifiability of your knowledge doesn’t mean you “don’t know.” This is sort of like faith.
For coronavirus, as with climate change, the data and scientific consensus are strong enough to produce actual knowledge. As of right now, with a U.S. death rate much, much higher than other developed nations, and a death rate much, much higher than with most seasonal flu, we KNOW we are under-reacting, not over-reacting. We don’t know everything (particularly long-term effects), but omniscience isn’t required (it’s not even possible). We know some things for damn sure. To suggest otherwise will feed ignorance and cost yet more lives (just as with climate change).
Well it sure seems like politics and nasty political rhetoric have seeped into the Church more this year than in the past. Not so much in the official Church (what you hear at Conference or read at LDS.org) as in the thinking and speaking of the rank and file. Of course, politics seems to have seeped into everything this year. It has been a tough year all around, and as people get stressed, frustrated, and angry, civility filters lose their effectiveness.
Some things — like democracy, for instance (even if Mike Lee has no value for it) — are more important than civility. If we can preserve democracy for our grandchildren and great grandchildren there will be time to lick wounds and mend fences. If we let the country slide into fascism who knows when or how we can claw our way back to democracy. And if the US fails how many democracies in the Western World will be able to endure?
Politely avoiding the topic of politics right now is a very serious lack of proportion however difficult the conversations may be.
I am 100% with you. I didn’t talk specifics because my aim was to make a case for an abundance of caution.
One of my biggest concerns is the long term health impacts of having the virus. Seasonal flu doesn’t cause the severity and high percentage of organ damage that COVID-19 can. The “cost” of that will likely far exceed that of it’s death toll.
“Deniers” are almost exclusively on the side of “this is no big deal” and “the cost of the cure is more dear than the disease”. They don’t/can’t KNOW that.
In 1992, Hurricane Andrew was made a political issue which affected the Presidential election of that year, so I guess history is repeating.
For years, when people said they can’t live without their wireless devices, I’ve responded “what did you do before?” We’ve had crisis of health before; there were guidelines, some obeyed, some didn’t. What if my parents had refused the polio sugar-cube vaccine in the early ’60s? Protect yourself from AIDS, many defied that.
Lockdowns have proven to fail as a strategy for combatting the virus. “Cases” are rising across the globe. It doesn’t matter how much you lock down, when the restrictions are removed the virus comes roaring back. We need to get back to work and use the new strategy outlined in the Great Barrinton Declaration. Protect the vulnerable and allow the young and heathy to go about their lives.
Lockdowns dont work where there is not the political leadership, and united community will to make them work. Where there is the will and leadership they work.
The Barrington Idea is not accepted by many. For example ] Associate professor at the University of Leeds school of medicine Stephen Griffin criticized the declaration’s flaws in ethics, logistics, and science, pointing out the risk of long-term effects of infection in even those less vulnerable to severe infection.
I feel like an old record. I hope it is informative not irritating. I live in QLD we have 5 million people, no new cases for 4 weeks, total of 6 deaths, but our borders are closed to 2 other states that have had outbreaks, but open to equally successfull states. If you want to come from a less successfull state you have to spend 2 weeks in hotel quarintine. Everything is back to normal except for tourism, and travel. The strategy is to control/eradicate the virus, so we can live normally
We have just had a general conference during an exceptional election campaign. I understand there are reasons why church leaders could not explicitly say vote one way or the other. But there were messages, particularly from Pres Oaks, who seems cvery concerned.
1. A group of people all social distancing, and wearing masks. Not Trump
2. Racism is bad and we must work to eradicate it. Not Trump
3. Demonstrations are constitutional, but violence is bad. 93% of BLM protests peacefull, violence come with white supremacists, or heavy handed policing. Not Trump
4. Contention, and bullying and hatred of the devil Not Trump
5.Zion society, one mind, and no poor among them Not Trump
6. Remove our prejudices, and find our moral compass. Not Trump
7. Heal society by being Christlike, honest, peacemakers, living and respecting our fellow men, be kind, humble, caring. Not Trump
8 Racial and other Diversity, and love can go together Not Trump
9. Be subject to law, oppose anarchy. Not Trump
10. Peacefully accept the results of elections. Not Trump
11. Loyalty to established law, not temporary leader. Not Trump
12. There were no warnings about socialism. Not Trump
13. Nothing about masks = attack on religious freedom. Not Trump
These are all from the Saturday morning session. America can unite again after Trump is gone. That is first priotity,
I prefer not to think of Biden as God’s candidate or Trump as Satan’s candidate, or vice versa. I prefer that neither party claim that God or scripture is on their side, and castigate the other party as un-Christian or whatever other label one might want to assign.
However, I am okay with rational public policy discussions one way or the other. And I am okay with religious thought informing anyone’s opinion. But our common bond and affection as Latter-day Saints should be stronger than the politics of the day.
“There is an old adage that the freedom to swing your arm ends at my nose or you don’t have the freedom to yell “fire” in a crowded movie theater.”
And yet, I’ve read many well-thought out arguments that could essentially make the case that yelling “fire” is exactly what has happened with the over implementation of our virus response.
I get where people are coming from on this. I really do. Lives are at stake. I would just like to see greater efforts to understand that most don’t differ from you because they’re selfish. In many cases, they may be just as selfless or more than you are.
For about 40% of the population, last I looked, there are no symptoms. For most of those who do get them, they’re mild. I’ve had two FB friends get Covid. One didn’t report his symptoms. The other got it back in July. He had mild fatigue and soreness for two days, and also lost his sense of smell and taste, the both of which are just now recovering. Other than that, he felt fine.
We’re getting so many side-effects from our response to this disease. One that hasn’t already been mentioned is that thousands of more kids are going to starve in Africa this year. Knowing what I know about my age demographic and what I know about the disease, I would gladly risk exposure multiple times over if it prevented just one kid from starving or being abducted. I realize it doesn’t always have to be either/or.
Let the at-risk and their primary care givers take every precaution, while the rest of us take the plunge and do our part to save lives long term.
I will totally understand if you think I’m completely wrong on this. Just please think twice before assuming my motivations are purely self-centered. Yes, freedom is part of it, but I’m thinking more about my kids than I am me.
The lack of civility and dismissiveness of any information that doesn’t fit one’s personal view (fake news) runs so deep in our society that it’s appalling. I think it’s going to take a generation to recover from the lack of social mores that has developed in the last 10-12 years.
“We need to get back to work and use the new strategy outlined in the Great Barrington Declaration.”
I looked this declaration up on Wikipedia. On the wiki page there are links to a good number of criticisms of the proposal by leading epidemiologists, all worth reading. Behind this declaration has been the minarchist libertarian group, American Enterprise for Economic Research. It appears to have an ideological agenda behind it. And it does not appear to be gaining much traction among public health experts. Allies are of utmost importance. If the declaration can’t gain allies, then I consider it either in need of improvement or worth discarding altogether. Public health experts are all we got. They aren’t going to be right every time. They are prone to err. They are not going to be in full agreement all the time. But someone needs to lead us through this pandemic. And I would think that the world’s leading epidemiologists would be the best ones. I trust them far more than I would a group of libertarian ideologues whose seeming denial about the severity of the virus seems driven almost entirely by fear and aversion to increased government control throughout the world, which the pandemic has inevitably invited, so much so that it leads them to selective research and massive jumps to conclusions that, surprise, surprise, favor their preexisting biases.
But alas. There is a great compromise. We all wear masks and things gradually open back up. And yet so many of the libertarians are spearheading the anti-mask movement. I just don’t get it.
Is it possible to believe that Covid-19 is indeed real (not a hoax) and one that requires a great deal of personal responsibility (masks and distancing) while also believing that we should NOT shut down the country again? Because that’s where I am.
I think binary choices force decisions that should not have to be made. There’s a lot of nuance with Covid-19 because the science is still developing. This principle applies to the Church too. Don’t make me have to decide its 100% true or not true at all. Binary = bad.
Josh H, I am not sure how much gets shut down where you are. Obviously farmers still farm, food production still continues, most factories continue to produce. I think less than 20% closes. Restraunts, theatres, other public gatherings, sport? Here interstate, and international travel.
Here the health experts drive the decisions, and it seems closing down (as described above) is the only way to control an outbreak.
Looking at American figures for infections, I have no idea how you get back to normal. We had one state get out of control and it took months of shut down to get it under control. Of the deaths in Australia most are in this state. The other problem is that many of those who have only mild symptoms have long term effects, https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2020-07-31/coronavirus-long-and-medium-term-health-effects/12499436
Your preference may not work. Thats why we need to listen to science. America may have to have a shut down much more severe (no travel more than 10 miles) to get it under control, but whether there is enough unity in the country to do that?
Geoff -Aus Many things in Australia are something our US folks could learn about. Gerrymandering of districts is not possible because an independent electoral commission draws up the boundaries. People do not get purged from rolls. We have gun control so no one comes to out state house with guns. The only time I see guns are on the police at McDonalds when they get their lunch. We solved healthcare. Medicines are subsidized .
We have a great system of checks. I go to the pub they take my name and details. I go to the library and I check in. I go to the Indian cafe and they take our details. We closed our boarder.
Another loved restaurant closed. They could remain open using current guidelines. Nevertheless, I didn’t eat there because I care for a vulnerable elder. I couldn’t risk the health of one for the economic viability of another. I’m saddened that a restaurant with excellent food and wonderful service is closing and many people will be scrambling for income but eating out is a luxury I cannot afford. And this may be true for years to come. The thing is that “shutting down the economy” is happening regardless of regulation. And I wouldn’t travel to a Red State if my life depended on it: they are pro-gestation not pro-life. And I won’t spend a dollar in one of them,
Eli, see the following link from the World Economic Forum for some facts on Africa’s food insecurity : https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/africa-coronavirus-covid19-imports-exports-food-supply-chains
It is not just Covid-19. Africa is being affected by climate change and a plague of locusts that is destroying crops that were growing. Also a section from the article states,
“Although food truck drivers are meant to be exempt from lockdown restrictions, many are afraid for their own safety, or fear they will be fined or arrested by overzealous police. Trucking logistics firm Kobo360 said 30% of its fleet across Nigeria, Kenya, Togo, Ghana and Uganda was not operating as a result. Several farmers said crops were rotting in the fields or at the depots waiting for trucks that never arrive. And millers cannot get their milled rice to buyers.
“There is no clarity around what can move around … or what is essential transportation,” said Kobo360 co-founder Ife Oyedele, adding that truck bosses were afraid.
While domestic crops and capacity go to waste, the imports the region relies on have also dried up as major suppliers, including India, Vietnam and Cambodia, have reduced or even banned rice exports to make sure their countries have enough food to cope with the pandemic.”
These issues are not going to be solved by people in the United States going out in public without masks or gathering in large groups. Exposing yourself to the virus also does not help. If you want to help look at donating to one of the relief organizations working to help in Africa.
As to the topic of the article, I truly fear we may not be able to move past this political divide. Social media has made it too easy for disinformation to spread. It is easy to repost a meme or a sound bite, and few think about the source or consequences. I long for the days when people thought politics was boring instead of part of their personal identity.
I’ve always believed that family and church bonds should be held above all partisan politics, until now. I hardly recognize shared values in my fellow saints these days. What of our united righteous purpose and sight? What of our shared Gift of the Holy Ghost and Gift of Discernment? Why are we so divided, so rudderless, and sometimes so apathetic? Especially when it comes to the welfare of our fellow man under the policies and people we empower, why are we unable to agree on the values and fundamental decencies that should guide us?
Despite what the dusted-off 1st presidency neutrality letter says, I disagree that LDS values can be found in most of the major political parties. There is a major US political party that has ceded its moral authority. Period.
So here we are . Would I trust my stake president or my bishop to heal and comfort me, my children, or any woman child or man who was sexually assaulted, if he keeps a DrUMPf 2020 sign in his yard? Has he signaled he is a “safe” person who has the requisite empathy to care for someone in that horrible situation and not side with the abuser? Absolutely not. Is Zion a place where we support known sexual assaulters and playboys to the highest position in the land, and then pretend to care about the evils of pornography and abuse of victims? No, that is not Zion. And no, it’s not just a rogue stake president or bishop, it’s approximately 2/3rds of the U.S. church that voted for him. It’s a few GA families and the entire Tabernacle Choir that literally sing him praises. This is all despite knowing how hurt their fellow members have been over this situation. No, this is not Zion.
And do I believe that we love our neighbor when many RS sisters in the most populated enclaves of Mormonism are out in public (not sewing masks as the church asked), but campaigning against masks? Our best scientists have said that we in the U.S. can save over 100k lives going into the winter if everyone would wear masks. But, it’s a bother. . Is that the level of “love they neighbor” we’re about? Because if that is all, this isn’t Zion anymore.
And what of the Ayn Rand type distain and condemnation of the poor espoused by so many elected officials who were only able to gain office with a large block of the LDS vote. Is that Zion? No. It is not.
I could go on and on with examples, but we’ve all heard them, discussed them over the kitchen table.
I imagine Helmut Hubner and his friends sorrowed that their corner of Zion died when grossly mis-placed allegiances overtook their branch, then their freedoms, , then aHelmut’s life. Today lives and freedoms are being lost on U.S. soil. The streets have erupted, a Governor was almost kidnapped and killed by domestic terrorist organization and the president won’t condemn the group because- they are his supporters. Children and babies were ripped from parents (recent information has shown the absolute intentionalism in the harm that was inflicted). Yet from our place of privilege we shoo away these pesky thoughts and return to our Disney films, our flag waving and Republican identities. Is this Zion? Not that I recognize anymore.
Zion is like a vineyard, and sometimes giant patches wither and die or are scorched or diseased. To think this isn’t happening to us is to deny the fires on the west coast or in Australia previously this year.
I’ve often wondered about the source of statistics like this: “it’s approximately 2/3rds of the U.S. church that voted for” Trump. I don’t live in what I might call the Mormon Intermountain belt, so I have no direct experience of the Mormon political feeling there. But, according to a report produced by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life the self-identified religious affiliations of Utahns over the age of 18 as of 2014 are 55% Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A Salt Lake Tribune article reported as of 2017, 62.8% of Utahans are counted as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This declined to 61.2% in 2018 and to 60.7% in 2019. I’m wondering how one reasonably reliably reconciles the 2016 45.54% Utah popular vote for Trump (49% reported voting against Trump) with a claim that approximately 2/3rds of the U.S. church voted for Trump. I think I missed some statistical analysis somewhere.
And that’s ignoring the question how many of the 45.54% were more opposed to Hilary than they were in favor of Trump.
It will be interesting to see what happens with the 2020 vote, though we don’t have a candidate like McMillan this time.
Still, I have heard concern expressed by some Mormon Trump-despisers that the risk of Biden’s health and Harris stepping in may be worse (in their estimation) than another 4 years of Trump. That’s the same sort of concern I heard from arch-conservatives who voted for Obama the first time around because they thought the risk of McCain’s health and a Palin presidency would be worse.
In my state, I can pretty much count on electoral votes going to Biden/Harris so that it would make little or no difference how I personally evaluated such risks or how I vote. That does not seem to me to be the case in Utah, Arizona, or Idaho where it would seem individual votes could add up to making a difference. Still, I’m not inclined to assume that Trump-voters are necessarily Trump-supporters, though I know some who are — for their evaluation of economic concerns and despite their evaluation of and lack of support for a number of his policies, his decisions, or personal behavior.
I hope Mortimer is wrong about that 2/3 number. But I really don’t know where it came from or how one would find a more reliable number.
Pew reported on Nov 9, 2016 “how the faithful voted:a preliminary 2016 analysis”. In graphs, Pew states that Mormons voted for the R in a presidential race in the following percentages: 80% in 2004 (Bush),
78% in 2012 (Romney),
and 61% (Trump) in 2016.
I rounded 61% to “approximately 2/3rds” as this was a national poll, and in the Mormon belt, % were higher.
I have a problem with saying that a vote does not equate with support. It’s the very definition of support. If you don’t support that candidate, vote for a 3rd party candidate, or become involved in the process earlier on, or write your own name in. I’ve seen this phrase bantered around, primarily by republicans who want to assuage their guilt about voting for a despot. The fact is that the current administration has supported and enabled this president’s behavior all along.
Thanks. I had missed that Pew report.
Mortimer and Wondering:
Thanks for the Pew report statistics. While I am personally appalled that 61 percent of Mormons voted Republican in 2016 for Trump, the drop from 80 percent in 2004 to 61 percent in 2016 is statistically significant. I have read in other sources that Mormon support of Republicans now is lower than Evangelical support. The 2016 drop can be largely explained by conservative Mormons who could not stomach Trump, and turned to Evan McMullen, who received 21 percent of the vote in Utah (Hillary Clinton received 27 percent in Utah; this figure has sort of functioned as roughly the base-line Minimum for a Democratic presidential candidate In Utah in recent years). This year, in what is effectively a two-man race, how many Mormons will decide that they will vote for a person whose policies they dislike (Biden), because they dislike Trump‘s toxic personality even more? We will find out in a few weeks. I personally have several friends who strongly dislike Trump, but they dislike progressive policies just as much, if not more, so they are struggling with whom they should vote for. I personally am going to vote for Biden, because I feel that Trump’s personality is a greater threat to the republic than Biden‘s policies. But I am also aware that should Biden win (as is my hope), I will have helped bring about his progressive policies, and that saddens me.
Your point rebutting people who claim that a vote for someone does not equate to supporting them, is well taken. Best historical example I can think of is the 1932 German vote for Chancellor, which Hitler won with a plurality of 45 percent. Germans angry and worried about their country‘s desperate economic situation voted for him, with disastrous results.
Mortimer, agree there is no honest justification for a member to vote for Trump. I see abortion, and fear of socialism, and small government used. With a little research all of these are lies. I can not comprehend how my fellow members can swallow these lies without question. Is it years of obedience training at church. Is it that morality is defined as the length of your skirt?
AJO raisees how the virus will affect Africa, how americans behave has little affect on this.
How Americans vote does affects african women. When there are republican presidents they restrict aid for womens health care, birth control, and abortion, and this time even more restrictions.
There are estimated to be 4.6 million abortions in Africa when there is a republican president, and 2.7 million when democrat president(40% reduction, 1.9 million). Many of these abortions are not legal, and not medically supervised resulting in 47,000 maternal deaths. Many are the result of rape. Treatment of malaria, and aids are also restricted, by republicans. https://www.populationconnection.org/article/abortion-restrictions-in-u-s-foreign-aid-the-history-and-harms-of-the-helms-amendment/ of course these are black women, BLM?
To put this in perspective there are 600,000 abortions in america, over 90% before 13 weeks.
Republicans have sold christians that they are anti abortion, but that too is a lie, at home or abroad.
It is difficult to respect members who are so wilfully ignorant.
I listed above instructions I saw in Saturday am conference. I don’t think one republican voter recognised them or took them as prophetic advice. I imagine they would have be publicised if the advice was in the opposite direction.
If Utah votes Trump, the church need not send missionaries to first world countries. Trump is not respected here, and his supporters claiming any moral ground at all?
Well, I still hold to the principle that every citizen should freely choose for whom he or she will vote, and I understand there are many variables that play into such decisions. Unlike others here, I do not have the temerity to declare that all good Latter-day Saints should vote the way I want them to vote, or else they are not good Latter-day Saints. I say, let them vote how they will, and I’ll sustain the process, and I’ll remain in fellowship with them. It is sad when Latter-day Saints start hating each other because of political differences.
Despite my personal belief that Trump is bad for our nation, I completely agree with your statement! Joseph Smith‘s famous statement about teaching people correct principles and letting them govern themselves applies here. When people say that you cannot be a good Mormon if you do X, that also goes against Joseph‘s dislike of litmus tests on doctrine (e.g. his comments about Methodists and their doctrinal purity requirements). I get more flak in my ward from the conservative TBM faction; W and T tends to give me flak from the so-called „Progmo“ perspective.
Beware of anyone, left or right, who tells you that you must vote for Candidate X to be a good person. Theirs is an authoritarian mindset, whether left or right.
The sad thing is, history teaches us that bad choices are made by good people. I am reminded of Winston Churchill‘s famous crack that democracy is a terrible form of government; it just happens to be much better than anything else available.
I have consistently appreciated your comments, and particularly your attempts to ramp down the angry virtue signaling that sometimes plagues W and T.
One last quote, from Voltaire: I disagree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.
Agree that we defend each other’s right to choose, vote, believe. Many times the differences are as innocuous as waffles or pancakes for breakfast.
But the fact of the matter is that sometimes in life we come to extremely important crossroads where our decisions are pivotal. Sometimes we cross rubicons (we can’t go back). Although it is difficult for many young Westerners in their place of privilege to see, political choices can lead to war or peace, corruption or prosperity, democracy or autocracy /kleptocracy, freedom or servitude, racism or harmony, prosperity or debt, freedoms and rights or relegation, etc. Which continent isn’t besieged today by corrupt rulers? There isn’t one.
I use the word “we” because we are an ecosystem, not merely a committee of one. We balance our individual freedom with a duty to the welfare of others and our united and indivisible collective.
We can’t simply retrench into our closets and fantasies of individual neutrality.
So pointing an ironic “holier-than-thou-because-I -don’t judge” finger at someone who is accurately warning that this moment matters, we’re facing choices and challenges with nearly un-changeable consequences, is out of time and place.
Why must the conversation always be hushed- and relegated to the closet of “you do you”. Why can’t we talk about the consequential events and decisions that intercept with the fundamental tenants of our belief and the welfare of our neighbors? It seems to me like this type of (for lack of a better word) “censorship” occurs when one side is against a wall and cannot defend its position. The discussion is relegated to the darkness where no antiseptic light can shine on it.
The fine folks at BCC just declared voting for Trump to be a sin, which…seems like a topic for discussion, if nothing else.
Ji, Your motherhood statements about allowing each to decide, most agree. I would like each to be informed, but again that can’t be required.
It would be good if there were an agreed set of facts/truths.
You always manage to get the word hate in. Who is that aimed at?
I don’t disagree with anything you wrote.
God gives us free agency, and we misuse it, individually and collectively as a society. That is sad, but that is the history of the human race. Somehow, progress still seems to happen, despite many setbacks.
We need voices of warning, for when we go astray, whether religiously or politically.
When the voices of warning decide that things have become so bad that they have the right to IMPOSE change, then we have persuaded ourselves into a dictatorship a la George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
In the meantime, let us persuade and get people vote for change.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
― C. S. Lewis
Geoff-Aus: Man, it sure seems like Donald Trump lives in your head (rent free) 24/7. Have you ever considered getting some therapy; which may help you let go of some of this? I perceive that he comes up (somehow) in the vast majority of your posts. Give the pony a rest…
Please try to persuade your fellow citizens to vote the way you want them to — but please don’t join others here and elsewhere in asserting or implying that all good Christians or all good Latter-day Saints must vote for or against a particular candidate, or else they are unworthy to be Christians or Latter-day Saints. I want to belong to the Church of Jesus Christ, not the Church of Joe Biden or the Church of Donald Trump. Let each Latter-day Saint make his or her own decision, and continue in happy fellowship with them after the election without regard to the voting decision or outcome.
I’m not a psychologist, but I’m starting to wonder if this Trump Derangement Syndrome might be a real thing.
Thanks for link. I’m fully aware Covid-19 is just one puzzle piece of all that’s going on in Africa right now. I do believe the world is interconnected enough that what we do here matters though. That was just one piece of data that I’ve added to the scales with all the others in weighing this out. I understand your conclusion may be different.
And donating is almost always a great idea. Thank you.
The Pope just issued a call to action (in a TED talk) for all people (not just Catholics) to react to the socio-environmental crisis.
His comments knock this conversation to a new level- check this out!
“Our conscience tells us that we cannot remain indifferent to the suffering of those in need, to the growing economic inequalities and social injustices . . .
. . . [This] implies a renewed politics, conceived as one of the highest forms of charity. Yes, love is interpersonal, but love is also political. It involves all peoples and it involves Nature. I invite therefore all of you to embark on this journey“
Love is political. I’m going to repeat that- love is political. And, needed at this critical juncture.
Separate from the defined moral *call*, The Pope laid out several *strategies* for responding, none of which specified a party or candidates or as we always fear- endangered the church’s non-profit status. Taiwan Missionary, you and I can cheer that he mentioned patience, education, and persuasion. Specifics were mentioned (which we would gasp at) such as moving away from fossil fuels to clean energy sources. But this is a well-known scientific necessity. Yes, saying so kicked a hornets nest of big money across the world, but he said it anyway. Again- he only beckoned- he never threatened excommunication or damnation.
Maybe we as LDS don’t understand these nuances- and therefore shy away from the whole conversation. For all our talk about avoiding politics because we perceive ourselves to stand on some moral high- ground when it comes to agency, we are much quicker to whip out the stick of obedience (excommunication, exclusion from temples and social situations, as well as salvific consequences) for infractions as minor as coffee drinking, shoulder-bearing, and coming out as a democrat. Just kidding about the democrat part- unless you are reading this in Sandpete County.
Can we figure out how to engage in the language of love that is politics or will we always be relegated to lesser issues such as nose piercings and coffee?
CS Lewis is generally a great one to quote, but this comes across as an out of context quote.
Where does the absolute neutrality of the church that you reference come from? How does the church’s vacillation between neutrality and support/rebuke of political or violent conflicts equate in this situation? It seems to me that the BOM and the Bible are filled with righteous and unrighteous dominions, reigns of terror, goodness, or maintenance of the status quo, corrupt or righteous judges, foolish or wise demands from the people. Prophets have commented on the morality of politics, people, and leaders throughout scripture.
In the modern era, we have entrenched and scriptural beliefs about the revolutionary war (think Friberg’s painting of Washington praying in the woods), Lincoln, and presidents that were hostile or apathetic to the early saints, the world wars, etc. The prevailing message from the church has always been the renunciation of violence and war, especially in the 20th c., but they have condoned and praised sides along the way (especially in retrospect, but don’t get me started).
We have an obligation to our neighbors. As Pope Benedict correctly pointed out- political work is one of the highest forms of charity (implied – if practiced properly). We can’t stick our heads in the ground by hiding on compounds in the Rocky Mountains, or simply close the curtain in the voting booth and assume that all is well with our God, our neighbor or our church. We have a tremendous moral obligations in our vote and In our political support or ambivalence. Furthermore, at certain crossroads, there are undeniable “right” and “wrong” choices. There is no way that we can navigate these waters without accountability to God and our neighbors.
How can that be completely neutral, and where in scripture has God failed to comment in the people’s collective choice? Shouldn’t we be having conversations instead of just hiding behind voting booth curtains?