A Bit 'o Random Musings on Politics, Religion, and Anything Else That Passes Through My Crazy Head

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mormon(s) For President

Now that two Mormons have entered the Republican primary, it seems inevitable that we'll have a lot of hoopla over this question: "Is America willing to elect a Mormon President?"  I was reminded of this by a recent article at Feminist Mormon Housewives, which provided an overview of the anti-Mormon arguments being made.  You can read the article here - it links to some of the anti-Mormon articles in various places.  I do hope, as an American Mormon, that someday there will be a Mormon President (I just think it should be a Harry-Reid-type Mormon, not a Mitt-Romney-type - but that's another post).  A significant number of people are less likely to vote for a Mormon, but that number has been dropping in recent years, which I think is a sign of progress.

There shouldn't be a religious test for office - any other argument on this matter is simply bigoted.  Any Christian, Muslim, Jew, Atheist or Agnostic should stand or fall on his or her political arguments.  It's part of what makes America great: equal opportunity and separation of church and state.

The question essentially asks: how do Mormons prove their "loyalty" to America?  How can we prove we are not a bunch of robo-tronic zombies secretly intending to create a theocratic state with President Monson as supreme potentate?  The thought that we are mindless minions of Monson stems from the church's involvement in the Proposition 8 fight in California, which created the illusion that all members think and act alike, and do so at the behest of church leadership.  I think, paradoxically, the Utah immigration debate may help prove that American Mormons are not tools of their church in the political world.

It seems simple: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints put out several statements saying that compassion was needed in the immigration debate, and supporting the Utah compact on immigration reform (read the statements here and here).  If Mormons really were the blind followers that the bigots claim, it seems like the Republican party in Utah (overwhelmingly Mormon) would toe the line and support the Utah compact.  However, recently Republicans voted to strike down one of the key provisions of a the Utah compact, a guest worker program.

It's sad that a lack of compassion by Utah Repblicans for the plight of illegal immigrants might end up helping Romney or Huntsman, but I think they can point to this as an example of how Mormons do not think or act in lockstep with church political statements.  Also, it's sad that they even have to make a case for Mormons at all, because we should be judged at the ballot box on our political ideas and plans, not on our religious beliefs.  Being Mormon isn't relevant to how a person will do as President.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

America, Of Thee We Sing

It's the Fourth of July!  Well, almost.  But it feels like the Fourth of July - I saw fireworks on my way home, it's muggy firefly weather, and I have watermelon in the fridge.  So, in honor of America, its glory, its imperfection, its promise, and its contraditions: here are some great patriotic videos.  I do love America, with all it has achieved and all it must still achieve.

Schoolhouse Rock (one of several good ones about American History)

Ray Charles (with Hebrew subtitles?):

Aretha, belt it out, girl!

Did you really think you could get away without the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?  No, sir!

So, Happy Fourth of July!  Be safe, and enjoy the barbeque, apple pie, and/or chocolate chip cookies while you catch the fireworks!