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

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Railing for Railing

I think it's some kind of syndrome when you look back at the "good old days."  Whoever thought I would be saying that about the 2000's?  But it seems that, for whatever, reason, this election has been exceedingly negative already. I'm sure the general election will be even worse!  The Washington Post had an article about how negative the campaign is, so I guess there is some empirical evidence to validate my "good old days" syndrome.  I was reminded of this by a scripture I heard quoted this morning in church:

Some were lifted up in pride, and others were exceedingly humble; some did return railing for railing, while others would receive railing and persecution and all manner of afflictions, and would not turn and revile again, but were humble and penitent before God. (3 Nephi 6:13)

Why don't we value this type of behavior in our politicians?  Every politician of the current era seems to be the kind that would "return railing for railing" - ratcheting up the negativity until it's a wonder we don't see the debates turn into a blood-bath (especially with all the love of guns that goes on in the Republican debates...but that's probably another post).  I think it probably has something to do with the process - no decent person wants to be subject to all this negativity, so it's a reinforcing cycle.  How can we encourage this type of behavior?  Should we be seeking or expecting this type of humble attitude from our presidential candidates?  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love is a Many Splendored Thing

I know, I know.  Today is the day I’m supposed to fit the stereotype of a shrewish, bitter single woman simply because I’m single.* It’s the day when I’m required by every movie convention to drown my sorrows in chocolate.  But in reality, for today at least, I think it’s wonderful that we have a whole holiday celebrating love.  To quote from South Pacific, one of my favorite Broadway musicals, “love is a grand and beautiful thing.”  Love is great, and you don’t have to be “in a relationship” to give or receive love. 

True story: one day I was carrying in some heavy groceries, and thinking to myself, in a self-pitying kind of way, “I wish I had a boyfriend/husband to carry these in for me.”  Literally at that moment, a friend came up behind me and started to help carry the groceries.  I’m grateful for the love of my friends and family, who help me carry burdens even though I am too independent to ask for help.  I’m grateful for the love of my Heavenly Father and Mother.  I’m grateful for the ultimate love of Jesus Christ and his self-sacrifice for all of us. 

So, I wish you all a very happy Valentine’s day!  If you are in a relationship, do something kind and loving for your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife.  If you’re not, take time to tell your friends you love them!  And remember, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence – we single people long to be married and some married people long to be single:

Love who you are!  Be happy and have JOY J

*Actually, I’m shrewish and bitter 365 days a year, ‘cause I’m a feminist – ba doop ching!  Kidding!  Mostly.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


On this blog I've blogged about being Mormon, and a Democrat, but I don't think I've blogged about my "molly-ness" before.  Urban dictionary defines a "molly mormon" thusly: "A female member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) who fits the stereo type of the goody-goody Mormon. She's very devoted to the Church standards. Can be used both negatively and positively."

Sometimes the term really denotes a goody-two-shoes type of Mormon who is self-righteous.  When I chose the blog title "Molly Mormon Democrat," it wasn't because I am particularly righteous or because I think myself better than the average Mormon (those of you who know me, know the contrary is true).  I think of a molly Mormon more as a "average" Mormon.  Garrison Keillor likes to joke that in Lake Woebegon "all the children are above average."  Yet I've met many average Mormons, and I love them.

Average Mormons, are the salt of the earth.  They can (and often are) typical, normal people who can also be extraordinarily kind and giving.  That's the type of "average" Mormon I want to be.  Being that type of Mormon has nothing to do with political affiliation, and everything to do with the great "change of heart" that is required to move aside our selfish selves and love others sincerely.

Reminds me of a scene from my favorite TV show, "The West Wing."  Some presidential staffers are arguing about a poll question which labels the person taking the poll as "average:"

JOSH LYMAN: "When making policy decisions, do you think that President Bartlet puts the needs of average people first?" "Average people" is a pejorative phrase and occurs about six times in the polling model.

 C.J. CREGG: This may come as a shock to you, but 80% of the people in this country would use the word "average" to describe themselves. They do not find the term deprecating. Indeed, being considered an "average American" is something they find to be positive and comforting.

Indeed, being an average Mormon is something I find positive and comforting.  It doesn't mean we are perfect, but it does mean we have good company in our quest to be better.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

To Dream The Impossible Dream

Each of us has dreams - unfulfilled wishes and hopes for the future.  So here's my inspirational thought today: keep dreaming that "impossible dream"!

Hold Fast to Your Dreams
Hold fast your dreams!
Within your heart
Keep one still, secret spot
Where dreams may go,
And, sheltered so,
May thrive and grow
Where doubt and fear are not.
O keep a place apart,
Within your heart,
For little dreams to go!

Think still of lovely things that are not true.
Let wish and magic work at will in you.
Be sometimes blind to sorrow. Make believe!
Forget the calm that lies
In disillusioned eyes.
Though we all know that we must die,
Yes you and I
May walk like gods and be
Even now at home in immortality.

We see so many ugly things—
Deceits and wrongs and quarrelings;
We know, alas we know
How quickly fade
The color in the west,
The bloom upon the flower,
The bloom upon the breast
And youth's blind hour.
Yet keep within your heart
A place apart
Where little dreams may go,
May thrive and grow.
Hold fast—hold fast your dreams!
- Louise Driscoll

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Don't you love the Spanish soccer announcers' enthusiasm when someone scores a goal?  If only we could have enthusiasm for our goals like that.  Too often it seems like goals are prosaic and dutiful, but not quite exciting.  I thought I would report to you (yes, all two of you) on my progress on my New Year's resolutions that I made all the way back in January.

Turns out, probably the easiest one was the exercise - I am pretty good at getting up early in the morning once I have the habit.  Plus, I'm a cheapskate, and once I pay for a gym I want to use it.

It was harder to actually find the time to watch a movie I hadn't seen.  It wasn't til late in the month that I got around to seeing "The Iron Lady" in the theater.  Margaret Thatcher was one tough cookie!  I also managed to squeeze in "War Horse" - a good sappy movie.

By far the hardest goal is my one of daily prayer.  I need to work on it.