Fellow Mormons: don’t embarrass us.

In January, President Obama will become accountable to the American people. No doubt he will disappoint and frustrate in some measure. Conservatives will hold his feet to the fire. Liberals — if they are smart — will knock the man from his pedestal and work to make sure he serves his country as promised.

Until then, I sincerely hope that partisans on both sides act with decorum and respect. No need to gloat, no need to pout. After eight years of division, you might try unity for size.

From our perspective outside of your shores, Obama’s win is inspiring. For the first time I can remember, the world is applauding America. It is true that our reasons are selfish and unrealistic. We care not for American tax policies, judicial appointments, or Joe the Plumber. We are looking for American leadership on a global scale, and Obama embodies, for us, an America willing to listen and lead. Obama will certainly let us down, but for now, it’s the thought that counts.

We find the election of an African American to be inspirational. From a country that abandoned slavery far too late, and whose record on civil rights has not always matched the rhetoric of its foundation, Barack Obama embodies a symbolic and profound fulfilment of the entirety of the American dream, Dr. King’s dream, which, of all the dreams dreamed by Americans, is surely the most prophetic, in the fullest sense of that word. Tears are appropriate this day.

Note well: these symbols should not matter after January. But for now, and whatever you think of Obama’s policies, I urge you to be proud of what was made possible last night. I’ve been looking around the Mormon internet this morning and I’ve seen great generosity (well done, thou good and faithful DKL), but also a disappointing outpouring of bitterness and cynicism. Given our history on race, Mormons need to be very careful at this moment. Show us that the symbol impresses you, even if it is fronted by an American with whom you disagree.

Please don’t embarrass the church. Make sure that Utah’s rejection of Obama can only be seen as political. Can you manage that until January?

Comments

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. I am an LDS naturalized citizen of the US who lives in the state of Washington. To me, Obama’s win is inspiring not only to those of us who voted for him in this country, but also to a lot of people around the world. I am proud of my vote. The America he envisions is the America that I wanted to become a citizen of 11 years ago.

  2. decline 2 state says:

    how holier-than-thou of you…

  3. Thomas Parkin says:

    In the end … I voted for McCain. I think he ran an unfortunate campaign, in many ways. I think the squeeze of Bush’s horrible approval ratings, and the economic crunch, made it almost impossible for him to carve out his own space. He rarely sounded like the man who I’ve been listening to since his run in 2000.

    That said, I think it is absolutely wonderful that we have elected our first African American President. Absolutely wonderful. I realize that part of me has been cheering for him, all along. I think that if he governs from the same centrist position that he ran his campaign (a mighty big if), his leadership can go some way in healing wounds this country has always suffered under. Here’s to hope.

    ~

  4. I did not vote for Obama, but I am very proud of our country that an African American can become President. It has been awesome to teach my children about different parties’ values, the election process and the historical significance of the election of Barrack Obama, as well as assure them our country’s smooth transition process no matter who becomes president (thanks George Washington!). Even if we were rooting for the other side, we can still be touched by the amazing road to get here. It will be interesting to see what happens next in America.

  5. Make sure that Utah’s rejection of Obama can only be seen as political.

    Well, you can take heart in knowing that Utah rejected Obama less thoroughly than it rejected Kerry or Gore. Maybe Utahns are racist against white Democrats.

  6. Please don’t embarrass the church. Make sure that Utah’s rejection of Obama can only be seen as political. Can you manage that until January?

    This comes off as more than a little condescending Ronan, and I’m not a little bit offended. I voted proudly for Obama, despite knowing he would not carry Utah, and was proud that he received a higher percentage of the vote in Utah than any democratic candidate in decades. I have spoken with many who voted the other way and have nothing but respect for their choice and the reasons they made it. For someone who looks for generosity in others you seem to show a profound lack of it yourself.

  7. The bashing of Utah Mormons has generally come from California or the Midwest. Now it has gone international.

    Could you be any more insulting, Ronan? C’mon, try.

  8. I think it’s important for everyone everywhere to be a little realistic here about the feelings of a large number of McCain supporters. I’ve already seen a number of posts up here on the bloggernacle wagging a finger and sermonizing about how happy we all should be and how not being happy is inappropriate. Please be considerate. Allowing mourning, anger, frustration, disappointment, and disillusionment is also part of the healing process. Please be patient and stand with us as we process this. Show us you too are committed to unity by lending us a shoulder to cry on rather than wagging a finger at us.

    I resent very much the implication that any disappointment or bitterness about what has happened here has anything to do with race. Obama could have been any color of the rainbow and I would feel the same, because this has never been about race to me but about policies.

    Once these feelings have been processed, I’m confident we’ll all be able to join together. But for now, I will shed some tears, though probably not for the same reasons you have.

  9. I was considering telling my daughters that electing an African American president was something special in and of itself but then didn’t want to have to explain why there still hasn’t been a black or Asian Prime Minister in England, so I let it be.

  10. Ronan, I think your point is well taken. Whether your critics on this thread like it or not, Utah’s distinction (shared with Wyoming and Oklahoma) of voting against Obama by the widest margin in the country will be conspicuous in and of itself, and, rightly or wrongly, be seen in the shadow of our racial history as a Church.

    And it will be seen in that way by millions of people around the world that–again, rightly or wrongly (by which, of course, I personally mean rightly)–are wild about Obama.

    So certainly online LDS reactions to the election that convey disdain or hostility towards the man we’ve just selected as our next president–reactions such as some of those that popped up in the ‘nacle today–are going to reflect poorly, or at least unhelpfully, on the Church.

  11. (Sorry for the snark Ronan. Although I think it’s nice that Obama has brown skin, I am more impressed with his convictions and ideas than with his skin color! Of course, it is a historic moment to have a first African American president. There is no doubt about that, and I find jubilation about that fact within the US to be perfectly appropriate. But I confess I do find it interesting over here in the UK how focused people are on how amazing it is that backward America finally elected a black president when, to my knowledge, the sizeable black and Asian minorities in this country have never seen one of their own in the office of Prime Minister. Is that even imaginable here? I don’t have enough experience here to know for sure. The same goes for Germany, although the “non-white” minorities that exist there are far smaller than in the UK or France, when I observe Germans remarking on how racist America finally elected a black president.)

  12. While I watched the polls come in last night, I considered telling my son how significant this is- but I decided not to point out the color of our new president’s skin, mostly because my son has not noticed it as anything special. I hope it always stays that way.

    What I did tell my son was that anything is possible- even him becomming president one day- and I haven’t felt that was a possibility ever before. But I do know.

  13. While I watched the polls come in last night, I considered telling my son how significant this is- but I decided not to point out the color of our new president’s skin, mostly because my son has not noticed it as anything special. I hope it always stays that way.

    Bingo. Thanks for that Tracy. This was the way it was for my daughters until Ronan had them watch “Hairspray”. (Thanks Ronan!) They had no idea about race or about the idea that some people didn’t like other people because of their skin color until that. Oh well. They would have learned soon enough, I suppose. . . .

  14. Terry Foraker says:

    Too late, Ronan–I just got back from DeseretNews.com, and the disparaging, racially-tinged remarks have started already.

  15. (That was in jest, Ronan — doesn’t come through very clearly in a blog comment.)

  16. Ronan,

    Very well said. I voted for John McCain, but there is definitely a huge amount to celebrate about America at this moment.

    McCain’s concession speech was absolutely incredible:

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/04/mccain.transcript/

  17. I have never voted in an election wondering if my vote will gain approval from my country’s former overseers.

  18. We are looking for American leadership on a global scale

    No, you’re hoping that we’ll keep writing checks while not being so overbearing…

  19. Peter LLC says:

    you might try unity for size.

    Says the imperialist to the freedom-loving revolutionaries 225 years too late!

  20. Ronan-
    I have to agree, that was a little harsh and extremely insulting.

    I voted for McCain here in Utah, but I hope with all hope that Obama proves me wrong and that I have to eat my words regarding my fears I’ve had of Obama’s leadership. I pray he’s an amazing president. Why would I want vindication if it meant my country ends up falling apart?

    Just because I voted for someone else doesn’t mean I’m a jerk and an idiot. Seriously, come on. And if you’re going to insult your fellow LDS members that HAPPEN to live in Utah, why aren’t you extending this plea to the Southern Evangelical community who heartily voted for McCain as well?

  21. Latter-day Guy says:

    “We care not for American tax policies, judicial appointments, or Joe the Plumber.”

    Precisely.

    I voted for McCain (a distasteful thing in itself) not because Obama was black, but because I think his policies are nuts. Giving inspiring speeches and looking presidential aren’t nearly as important as the practicalities of legislation. I understand the the international community doesn’t care about the elections impact on “Joe,” but is really a bit rich tell “Joe” that it’s rude to care about “Joe” (even if couched in words like “decorum” and “unity”).

  22. Ronan, as a conservative, I would like to say I take your comments in the way they appear to be intended, which is charitable.

    In the days and weeks ahead, I will be pointing out the many concerns I have about an Obama administration. I have really tried to express my criticisms of Obama in a dispassionate, fact-based way (not always succeeded). I will continue to try to do that. I hope you and others in the Bloggernacle will note the difference between criticism based on real areas of concern that need highlighting and personal smears.

    Any who knows: maybe he will pleasantly surprise us conservatives. You can always hope.

    But at the same time I will be praying for our new president, hoping that he makes good decisions. That seems like something we should all do.

  23. So are the International Mormons ashamed of the California Mormons over Prop 8?

  24. With all due respect to our English brethren, and to Ronan in particular,

    SHUT THE *$&# UP!

  25. Actually, I have a slightly less confrontational response lurking somewhere in the lower left quadrant of my brain:

    “From a country that abandoned slavery far too late, and whose record on civil rights has not always matched the rhetoric . . .”

    For a moment I thought that Ronan was talking about England–which abandoned slavery far too late and whose record on civil rights doesn’t always match the high ideals of its foundation.

    And I scarcely think we should be taking lessons in international comity from a nation whose monarch until sixty years ago carried the title “Emperor of India.”

  26. Right on, Ronan. My thoughts exactly as I watched the numbers roll in last night from the Mormon west. And please ignore the churlish remarks from some of my countrymen like Mark B.

    I can only imagine what The Usual Suspects will have to say at church this coming Sunday! The End is Nigh! Better have your food storage in place! The Apocalypse! Cats and dogs living together! The horror!

  27. Jonathan M. says:

    Have to say I agree with the tenor of Ronan’s argument (admittedly as a fellow Englishman and proud Church member, albeit domiciled in Australia).

    I must add that McCain very probably only gained the Republican nomination due to the bigotry of the ‘Christian’ Right toward Romney, and this probably goes some way to explaining the increase in the vote for the Democratic nominee.

    I would love to think we will one day see an active LDS member who happens to be a Democrat in the White House but sadly, it won’t happen in my lifetime. Even more wonderful if she were black.

    Nevertheless, Obama’s great victory is a start.

  28. Jonathan M. says:

    I should have added to the second paragraph…for the Democratic nominee in Utah.

  29. Ronan, I would like to think that you were completely unaware of condescending tone of your post.

  30. “Conservatives will hold his feet to the fire. Liberals — if they are smart — will knock the man from his pedestal and work to make sure he serves his country as promised.”

    In reality this works the other way around. Liberals, Obama’s power base, will be holding his feet to the fire to deliver on his campaign promises. Conservatives need to wake up and get organized to keep a reality check in place on all his ultra-liberal agenda.

  31. I agree that Ronan’s comments could be interpreted as holier-than-thou and insulting, but as a politically active Mormon living outside the US, I have to agree that his comments are spot-on. From foreign shores, the US is seen in general to be in steep decline politically, economically, intellectually, socially and morally,* and this is often attributed to to the enormous and dubious influence that religion has on politics. I will spare my 5,000 word diatribe on the spectre of the religious right, but I will say that I am often embarrassed by LDS political attitudes and behaviour – voting patterns based largely on abortion/gay marriage issues, unyielding commitment to a political party that is so obviously out in cloud cuckoo land, and political views tainted by dogma and unhampered by reason and logic.

    The entire world breathed a sigh of relief last night when Obama’s victory was finally announced. Now that this curious spectacle of an election/circus hybrid is over, I echo Ronan’s call to fellow Mormons to not embarrass us.

    *By moral decline I refer to attempts to curtail female bodily autonomy and to limit the civil rights of same-sex couples.

  32. “*By moral decline I refer to attempts to curtail female bodily autonomy and to limit the civil rights of same-sex couples.”

    Whose world are you living in? Sure, this is the case for Europeans, but I hardly think this is the case for the Middle East or some countries in South and Central America.

  33. PS – #23

    Yes. I’m not sure we even belong to the same church.

  34. Ronan, you were a bit too strident for me first thing in the morning, but I think I can recognize why our perception overseas has been so bad of late.

    It is sad that Pres. Elect Obama was our only sitting African-American senator, but it is heartening that he now becomes our first African-American President. That is a dramatic, and I think very positive change, especially since we know that the Lord is no respecter of persons. I will echo your call that he deserves our prayers, and the time for partisan squabbling is over.

  35. So here is a thought for Mormons like me that did not vote for Obama. Consider that Proposition 8 looks likely to pass. Then consider that according to exit polls white voters opposed the amendment 53-47. But black voters supported it 70-30.

    How many of those black voters would have voted if Obama was not on the ticket? Is it safe to say that Obama’s win fueled Proposition 8’s win?

    To put it another way, we often think of what politician God would favor based on what policies they will implement. Maybe in this case the policies were beside the point. Maybe passing Proposition 8 was more important.

    Anyway, just my 2 cents. Stay positive people.

  36. mondo cool says:

    Show us that the symbol impresses you, even if it is fronted by an American with whom you disagree.

    Symbols can impress us. Substance is what sustains us.

  37. Aluwid, very interesting point.

  38. Ronan, I have always made it my goal to live my life in a way that would not embarrass you. Hopefully I can live up to that standard.

  39. merrybits says:

    Looks like Prop 8 passed. The church can at least gloat about that. *Sigh*

  40. I agree that Ronan’s comments could be interpreted as holier-than-thou and insulting, but as a politically active Mormon living outside the US, I have to agree that his comments are spot-on.

    Get me rewrite:

    I agree that Ronan’s comments could be interpreted as holier-than-thou and insulting, but as a politically active Mormon living outside the US, I have to agree that being holier-than-thou is the prize awarded to people living here who are in fact holier than all you great unwashed masses living in the moral cesspool that is the United States.

  41. Agree with 39.

  42. I meany 40

  43. Just spoke to my daughter who’s living in Edinburgh.

    She spent part of this month near Leicester, and then this weekend went to Chorley and thence to Manchester for Sunday.

    Some choice bits:

    From one of Leicester’s finest: “I’m all in favor of diversity, but England’s a small country, and we’ve gone about as far as we should–any more “diversity” is too much.”

    From one of the local denizens, noting my daughter’s American accent: “Why can’t we get people here who can speak the bloody language?”

    In priesthood meeting, after her husband (a Canadian) was introduced as visiting from Edinburgh, one of the other members launched into a diatribe about how much he hated Scotland and, in particular, the Scots.

    This all just leads back to my original “churlish” comment. I just don’t think we need condescending lectures from citizens of foreign countries. And I certainly don’t need, and won’t listen to, lectures from expats whose definition of moral decline includes “attempts to curtail female bodily autonomy” (what does that mean?? we shouldn’t outlaw prostitution?) and “limit[ing] the civil rights of same-sex couples”.

  44. Northerner says:

    Another foreign Mormon chiming in to say that Ronan’s comments are spot on.

  45. D. Fletcher says:

    I’m embarrassed for all Mormons over the success of Proposition 8. I’m seriously rethinking my membership in such an organization.

  46. Re. 45- You and me both, D. Fletcher.

    Tony
    3 year convert (along with wife and two children)

  47. There are those who will say that Utah’s overwhelming rejection of Obama is proof of latent racism.

    Those people are wrong.

    Obama won a far greater percentage of the Utah vote than Kerry, Clinton, and Gore. Utah was Bush’s #1 supporter. Utah is not even in McCains top 5.

    Utah is strongly Republican, but was swayed by the senator from Illinois.

  48. You don’t have to be international to be embarrassed of the church on Prop 8. My non-mormon friends have been calling me out on it saying, “You were always for equality and love. What happened?”

    So make that 3 of us that are reassessing this morning.

  49. Steve Evans says:

    I’m amazed that people are choosing to feel offended at Ronan’s remarks – those who are seem to be engaging in precisely the silliness he was hoping we would be able to leave behind. Geoff B, DKL and John McCain have it right, and I applaud their attitude. You don’t have to live outside the US – for this foreigner, Obama’s victory last night was a remarkable and inspiring thing. Note that I did not say “McCain’s defeat.”- I think he is a good man and would have served well – but he did not win, so why not try to embrace the optimism and good feelings that so many seem to have this morning? The alternative is dour indeed.

  50. CJ Douglass says:

    The bashing of Utah Mormons has generally come from California or the Midwest. Now it has gone international.

    Could you be any more insulting, Ronan? C’mon, try.

    You forgot to mention the East Coast Ardis. I’ll have to throw out the nuance on this one and say Ronan is rightly skeptical.

    After serving the great people of southern Utah for 2 years, I came away with a healthy dose of reality. In spite of the many wonderful church members – there exists a good number of loons who – I have no doubt – are currently stockpiling their food storage in fear of the Great Black Socialist.

    Ronan is rightly afraid – I am too.

  51. RE. 45 & 46:

    You need to do some serious reflecting on why you are a member of the Church. Do you have a testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel and divine Priesthood authority, and of the divinely-inspired callings of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve? If you do, and that testimony is based on a personal witness of the Spirit, then Proposition 8 (or any other temporal/political issue) should have no impact on your continued activity in the Church. If on the other hand you joined the Church because of its social agenda, youth programs, health code, or any other “organizational” feature, and without a spiritual witness, you’re in the Church for the wrong reason.

    Sounds like some serious introspection is in order.

  52. Researcher says:

    I’ll attempt to rephrase parts of the original post as I read them…

    For the first time I can remember, the world is applauding America. It is true that our reasons are selfish and unrealistic. We care not for American tax policies, judicial appointments, or Joe the Plumber.

    Rewrite: “I can criticize all I want with impunity, but if you criticize any election results, it will reflect poorly on the church.”

    Obama will certainly let us down, but for now, it’s the thought that counts.

    Rewrite: “You American bozos can try all you want to do any good in the world, but you’ll fail this time as well as every other time you’ve ever tried to do anything.”

    Note well: these symbols should not matter after January.

    Rewrite: “Symbolism only applies if and when I want it to.”

    Make sure that Utah’s rejection of Obama can only be seen as political.

    Ummm….just a question here…how many of your readers are in Utah? How many of them voted for McCain? (I’m not and I didn’t.)

    I’m amazed that people are choosing to feel offended at Ronan’s remarks (comment 49)

    You must be reading something into the tone of Ronan’s comments that many of the rest of us are missing, Steve.

  53. D. Fletcher says:

    But LDS members coughed up more than $20,000,000 at the behest of their leaders, our leaders, to support Proposition 8, the first and only state constitutional amendment which dissolved previously legalized marriages. Uggh, it’s awful. I’m very excited by Obama, but this is a bittersweet day for me, since I feel I can longer with any assurance feel our prophet is indeed led by the hand of God.

  54. merrybits says:

    #45, #46, #48:
    Me four.

  55. D.: If it is any consolation, in order to maintain a testimony of the prophet it is not necessary to believe that he is always led by the hand of God. It is only necesary to believe that he is sufficiently led by God to accomplish God’s purposes in the world.

  56. PatrickF,
    So if you’re disappointed in the church, you obviously joined for the wrong reasons? Got it.

  57. Researcher says:

    D. Fletcher is going to repeat his comments on BCC and T&S until he gets what results? What do you want people to say? “No. Haha. The church didn’t really support the effort on Prop 8? We were just kidding?”

    I think given the church’s clear position on families in The Proclamation on the Family, the drive to back Prop 8 is no surprise to anyone and cannot logically be a source of dismay for any member of the church or the public. Anyone who says otherwise is itching for a fight.

  58. Mark Brown says:

    Researcher, yes, you are missing Ronan’s point. There is a great deal of ugliness this morning emanating from the Beehive state, and it is an embarrassment. It is that simple.

  59. Utahn in CT says:

    Taking Utah county as a sampling of a strongly-Mormon population, compare the Presidential vote in 2000 and 2008. In 2000, nearly 97,900 (82%) in Utah county voted for Bush; 16,400 (14%) for Gore (rounded figures). In 2008, 111,300 voted for McCain (78%)and 26,300 (18%) for Obama. (Interesting would be to see if more voters stayed away from the polls in 2008 than in 2000.) In any case, it is extremely difficult not to conclude that Mormons are intrisinicaly Republican. Given the nature of Obama’s campaign and positions, one could reasonably conclude that Mormons overall _refuse to consider_ voting for anyone other than a Republican, at least for President.

    Now, living in Utah perhaps one can somehow conclude that Republicans “share our values” more than Democrats, but this is an extremely dubious proposition, and it’s dangerous for any group to conclude that “their” party has a corner on morality and sound governing sense. I agree with those above who write that Mormons need to seriously look themselves in the mirror, unless of course they welcome increasing marginalization in American society (and beyond the USA, too).

  60. D. Fletcher says:

    I just don’t feel Proposition 8 accomplishes God’s purposes. The God I know wants people to get together, to love each other, to commit to each other, to raise children, any way they can.

    If two adults of any sex find each other and want to stay together, it’s a miracle.

    Sad day for me, though I will still continue to love my dear family, my close friends at Church, and the teachings of Jesus. Oh, and bloggers, too.

  61. D. Fletcher says:

    #57, what are the blogs for if not to promote a good fight?

    ;)

  62. Peter LLC says:

    49:

    I’m amazed that people are choosing to feel offended

    Hey, wait a minute, don’t I know you from Rexburg?

  63. Never mind trying to be more insulting, Ronan. A number of your amen corner have succeeded in your behalf.

    I am a Mormon. I am a Utahn. I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I have snarked against Palin but have never written One. Single. Word. against the character of John McCain. I voted for Obama. What possible right do you-all have to tar me with your bigoted stereotyping brush?

    Only the right claimed by all bigots.

  64. For the record, I am proud that my nation elected its first African American president.

    I look forward to the first ethnically Arab president of France.

    I look forward to the first ethnically Turkish Chancellor of Germany.

    I look forward to the first ethnically Pakistani PM of the UK.

    BTW, Ronan is right to chide America for abandoning slavery late. Wilberforse and the Royal Navy was suppressing the slavery well before America saw the light.

  65. D.: My point was simply that faith in the prophets does not require a belief in their infallability, and I think that there is too much of truth, beauty, and goodness in the Restoration and the Kingdom to throw it away.

  66. Token Average Member says:

    The Church’s position on Prop 8 is the same now as it was before the election. Why all this threatening to leave just because that position was the winning one? If the church had done all that it did and the proposition had been defeated, woud that have made it ok to stay LDS? I had someone at work ask about Steve Young yesterday and whether he would be in trouble with the church for his stance on Prop 8. I answered by saying that the church recognizes that we each have agency and I could understand how Young felt. The gospel is still true and the LDS Church is still the Lord’s church. I do wish we had kept a lower profile on this, though.

  67. Mark,
    Where’s the race-based ugliness that justifies the finger wagging about racism? I haven’t seen it yet. Got a link?

    The main problem with the post is that it comes off as preemptive finger wagging about racism, which is insulting because it can only be based on assuming the worst in your targets. If it’s not purely preemptive, it’d be nice to know.

  68. Ronan: I am grateful for your words, but also note that they extend to Mormons outside of Utah. I know many who aren’t living along the Wasatch Front who are predicting doom and gloom. I have been told I don’t uphold gospel principles because I voted for Obama, I’ve been told a Mormon cannot vote for Obama in good faith, I’ve even been called an outright apostate based on my vote alone. I’ve seen members predicting the second coming, calling Obama the anti-Christ, and predicting that now the constitution officially hangs by a thread. This behavior from my fellow Saints has been incredibly discouraging and marginalizing, but I hope to hold no malice towards those who disagree with me politically or otherwise. I join you in urging Mormons to voice opinions in moderate terms, and to avoid the Chicken Little lamenting I have seen on Facebook, blogs, messageboards, and emails.

  69. Oops. Wilberforce not Wilberforse.

  70. Researcher says:

    There is a great deal of ugliness this morning emanating from the Beehive state, and it is an embarrassment. (58, Mark Brown)

    Ditto to Tom’s comment. Where are you picking up these vibes? I just read through the comments on the Deseret News and although there are a few bigoted comments, there is no way of knowing that any given commenter is from Utah or is Mormon.

  71. Steve Evans says:

    Nate, that typo is unpardonable.

  72. SinisterMatt says:

    I’m glad to see the world approves of our choice in President.

    I voted for McCain because, like one of the posters above, I didn’t care for some of Obama’s social policies. I’ll respect him now, not because I agree with him, but because he is the President and one should respect the office of President. However, he is going to have to earn my and many other McCain voters’ trust that he really will govern from the center and not just pay lip service to the idea to get elected. I sincerely hope that he does, because he could make a great President who could put an end to the divisive politics we have seen for the last 16 years or so. I also hope that the Republicans in Congress really do hold his feet to the fire on his programs so that he isn’t merely the puppet of the extremely liberal people in his party and whatever radical programs they want to institute.

    Cheers!

  73. Back to the topic at hand. I think there’s good reason to be afraid. It’s funny that the image of Utah hunkering down for the Great Black Socialist was already brought up because I used almost exactly the same words last night. There is a lot of fear and ugliness oozing from Utah as of late, as for proof you should see my inbox good gosh the emails I’ve gotten from my Utah friends are crazy everything from “Obama’s the anti-christ!” to “Obama will bring about the end of the world!”

  74. Where’s the race-based ugliness that justifies the finger wagging about racism? I haven’t seen it yet. Got a link?

    Here’s one.

    You can save time by not reading beyond the third comment.

  75. Uh-oh, there’s thunder in Ronan’s paradise:

    An Obama presidency, they say, risks appeasement. It will “reassure Europeans of their defects,” lamented Giuliano Ferrara, editor of the Italian right-wing daily Il Foglio.

  76. Here I was hoping that the rameumptoms would come down November 5th.

  77. Researcher says:

    #74 You can save time by not reading beyond the third comment, but are you honestly going to base your opinion of Utah or the church on the troll-filled blogs of the Deseret News? The DN blogs are no worse than the comments of our large city East Coast newspaper, but neither are they any better.

  78. Rameumptom says:

    Having served in the inner cities of a few southern states for 16 years, I am pleased that our nation has moved forward in its goal to be color-blind.
    For me, the choice between the two contenders was difficult, because while both are interesting and intriguing personalities, character and principle are more important to me. I’m never sure where McCain will be on a policy from day to day, and his temper doesn’t help.
    With Obama, I would liked to have had a person with more experience, so we would have an idea of what we are getting. We could end up happily or mournfully surprised at the outcome.
    As it is, I hope he is a decent president. Working from the center and reaching out to all, without radicalizing environmental policies (current statements suggest his Cap and Trade ideas may kill the coal industry here) or other policies, and he may succeed.
    IOW, I hope he leads more like Bill Clinton did in years 3-6 (without the scandals), rather than how Clinton did in his first two liberal years.

  79. Researcher, yes, you are missing Ronan’s point. There is a great deal of ugliness this morning emanating from the Beehive state, and it is an embarrassment. It is that simple.

    So true, Mark. The comments I read on the link posted in #74 above disgust me, especially since I know most of them come from people who ostensibly share the same faith that I do.

  80. 77: Are you honestly going to base your opinion of me or my character on the, um, something-filled blogs of the ‘nacle?

    Let us be reasonable–the man asked for a link and I gave him one.

    Beyond that, I happen to like Utah and fondly recall every tax dollar I paid during my years of residency there.

  81. I’m amazed that people are choosing to feel offended at Ronan’s remarks – those who are seem to be engaging in precisely the silliness he was hoping we would be able to leave behind.

    I’m not offended at Ronan’s remarks. I just think they (and their tone) are offensive. And, I agree completely that Obama’s victory was remarkable and inspiring (even though there are many political matters on which I disagree vigorously with him). I’m old enough to remember the freedom riders of the early 1960s, the fire hoses and police dogs turned on demonstrators in Birmingham, the march from Selma to Montgomery, the murders of Viola Liuzzo and Chaney and Goodman and Schwerner, and the leering smiles of the murderers as they were acquitted of those and dozens of other racially motivated crimes. It is indeed inspiring that an African-American can be elected in a contest where race didn’t matter (except in a positive sort of way, either “I’m a white person voting for a Black, and his race doesn’t matter” or “I’m an African-American, and it’s great to see ‘one of us’ up there”), and that, as Dr. King hoped, the day seems to have come (for President-elect Obama, at least) when a man in judged by the content of his character, not by the color of his skin.

    But Ronan’s post has altogether the wrong tone. His closing: “Please don’t embarrass the church. Make sure that Utah’s rejection of Obama can only be seen as political. Can you manage that until January?” sounds like a maternal schoolmarm talking to a class of incorrigible 3rd graders.

    I have no reason to believe that Ronan (or anyone else) has reached the moral high ground from which to make such a condescending plea. Even if he has, the politic thing would be to avoid it.

    How much better (and much more likely to have received my plaudits, rather than my churlishness–or is it silliness now?) to have praised the good that he hopes Obama’s election will bring–in particular to the relations between the U.S. and the rest of the world.

    If he’d done that, I would have dug up my blog post written upon the Conservative victory in the parliamentary elections in 1979 and the move of Margaret Thatcher to 10 Downing Street, congratulating our British cousins for their good sense and expressing my opinion that the election augured well for the return of Britain back to “Great” status among the nations of the world. I would even have left off the part telling the disappointed Laborites to quit their lousy strikes and to put their shoulders to the wheel and give the lady a chance, and maybe then we Americans could look at our ancient mother country with an emotion other than nostalgia for the days when her greatness matched her hopes.

  82. Ronan — I’m sorry to say that you should already be quite embarrassed.

  83. Martin Willey says:

    Ronan: As a lifelong Utah Mormon Democrat who voted for Obama (of course), I think you could have avoided some of the opprobrium heaped upon you by choosing a less condescending title. It is a little much.

  84. #74,

    I’m not seeing anything racist in those comments. (granted I haven’t read them all)

    And the majority of the comments seem to be in favor of the election’s result.

  85. Utahn in CT says:

    Re: 82 and 83

    Isn’t this an open forum for discussion of Mormon-related issues? If so, then criticize the message, but leave the messenger alone. There is no reason for geting personal about this, such as this “shame on you,” “you [personally] should be embarrassed.

  86. Researcher says:

    I just spent awhile following links from one personal Mormon blog to another. Besides wondering why all these people want so much information about themselves and their children available for any casual person with a little extra time, I saw the following. From Mormons all. I know some of them and don’t know others.

    – Lots of Halloween costumes.

    – A complaint about the length of lines.

    – Someone bewailing the outcome of a bond election.

    – A discussion about the proper apparel to wear to vote.

    – A report about a university student getting a text message telling him to wait to vote until Wednesday. (He had already voted.)

    – A silly post about not getting a free cookie this year from the PTA.

    – A post about not getting a sticker after voting.

    – A quote from a blogger (I would guess a Republican voter from what I know of her) from one of those very red states:

    I quote Harry Reid who said at a forum at BYU last year something like this: “I am a Democrat because I am a Mormon.” I feel that I can follow the Savior closer by caring about the poor and disenfranchised, about caring for Father’s beautiful world and by believing in and promoting good education for all children and peace for all people. I hope that we can all come together and not be red states or blue states, but the United States of America.

    Maybe I know all the wrong people. I’m still trying to figure out where all this vituperation is. (Besides on the DN blog and you can’t convince me that it’s an accurate reflection of anyone’s views.)

  87. Thanks, Peter.

    I do think it would be wrong to use those comments to broadly characterize Utah’s rejection of Obama as being anything other than political, nor should they cause us to be embarrassed for the Church as a whole. The fact that Obama performed significantly better than any democrat in decades should allay fears that his racial makeup hurt him much, if at all, among Mormons. Sure, there will be a lot of sky-is-falling nonsense from Utahns, but there would be the same nonsense if any other liberal won the presidency.

  88. Bro. Jones says:

    #73 I think that’s the kind of thing Ronan is getting it. As an Obama supporter, I welcome criticism and opposition to his policies, and in the spirit of his victory speech I will do my best to work for unity and compromise.

    But people whining about the end of the world, socialism, and so forth need to shut up. Here in DC, a business associate recently learned I’m LDS, and said, “Hey, another Mormon I know told me that a vote for Obama is a vote for communism, and that she’s terrified about the end of the world. Do you feel the same way?” That’s the kind of talk I don’t want to hear. More than anything else, it’s just ignorant.

  89. The part that greives me beyond measure is what we could have done with the $20 million poured into CA if it had been instead poured into the Fast Offering or Missionary fund…

    Prop 8 IS headed to the Supreme Court- the whole state could vote to take a specific right from people, but it doesn’t make it valid OR constitutional.

    Like Nate said in #65, there is too much good in the gospel to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but I’m still so very sad about the whole mess.

  90. Tracy, should the Church abandon all attempt to stand up for morality in public fora?

    What of the millions of dollars spent by proponents? How many of them simultaneously donate to charitable causes, or pay the equivalent of fast offering or tithing?

    It just seems to be an uneven view.

  91. Tim (#84) don’t confuse things with facts. The fact that the vast majority of comments at a site known for trolls were positive clearly is evidence of how racist all Mormons are. And if there was one that had a slight racial tone (mainly complaining about blacks not voting for a white candidate) clearly that person must be a Mormon since everyone in Utah is Mormon.

    Look, I voted for Obama over McCain. Despite being a conservative. But one thing that gets my goat are people who claim any vote against some issue or person is due to racism or homophobia. Even the possibility that people might simply disagree ideologically is neglected. Wow that bugs me.

  92. Steve Evans says:

    Researcher, you may want to give it a rest.

  93. Wow. I don’t know whether to laugh or vomit.

  94. Ben that’s the thing. Morality has become a high horse and everyone’s got one. Issue is morality changes upon the person. For example what is moral to Jew or Muslim would be immoral to a christian. What is moral for a capitalist is immoral to a communist.

    The issue I see with many prop 8 supporters is the inability to see what would happen were the shoe on the other foot. What if suddenly California had an anti-temple marriage initiative? Why just a few decades ago it was illegal for my wife and I to get married (we’re interracial).

    There are certain things that should not be left to majority rule. I’d figure Mormons of ALL people would understand that.

  95. Steve Evans says:

    RJ, both, simultaneously.

  96. So Ronito, it’s essentially “I’ll let you do whatever you want as long as you let me do whatever I want” ?

    I’m simply saying that the LDS Church (as well as every other Church, group, individual, etc.) has a right to state their position and attempt to influence others thereby.

  97. Ronan, you have expressed my concerns very well. I’m a Utah Mormon who voted for Obama. In the last few months I have heard ridiculous, ignorant, completely unfounded rumors about Obama from all kinds of Mormons here, and I am sure that the stupidity will continue. I don’t think you have overstated it, and I don’t think your tone is condescending. I’m sure the end-of-the-world/USA hysteria will continue starting this Sunday in church discussions. There are Mormons in Utah who truly believe Obama signals the beginning of the Second Coming. That is embarassing, plain and simple.

  98. Absolutely they have that right. But like said, IMAGINE what all that money could have done to help the poor, instead of filling political coffers.

    It makes me sad.

    As far as others donating to the other side, they are not a covenant people, promising to care for the poor and follow Christ. We have a higher obligation, at least from my point of view. As far as morality- it cannot be legislated. That rings of someone else’s plan. Sorry.

  99. Been away all day. I am very sorry to have caused a bit of a firestorm. It was certainly not intended and I regret my evidently poor choice of words.

    For those who don’t know, I spent four wonderful years in Maryland. I love America. I would be happy to live there again. She has her faults, but seems to have forgotten how easily she can inspire.

    I am inspired by your choice of Obama. Yes, you have done what we haven’t. My country is a poorer place for all of its glass ceilings. (Of course, I could mention our female Prime Minister, but that would be churlish.)

    All I am trying to say to Republican Mormons is this:

    The world thinks you are racist. I know this is largely untrue, so please do your brothers and sisters a favor: rejoice in the fact that your country can elect an African American, even if you are annoyed that it is the liberal Democrat Barack Obama. I would suggest embracing the former until January. I speak as a Mormon, and not, heaven forbid, as a Briton.

    Again, mea culpa and God bless America.

  100. I’ll demand that the Church not voice an interest in moral issues as soon as every other group does the same.

  101. D. Fletcher, just want to know that you are loved and needed. We love seeing you at church and hope you’ll continue to hang around.

  102. As far as morality- it cannot be legislated. That rings of someone else’s plan.

    And that is why I have traditionally voted Republican ;)

  103. (And I’m Mormon, NOT a Utahn, and not a dem or republican either.)

  104. I guess the issue I see with this statement

    Absolutely they have that right. But like said, IMAGINE what all that money could have done to help the poor, instead of filling political coffers.

    is that it envisions the Church as one that limits its public focus solely to social issues, instead of moral and social issues.

    And to offer a less flippant counterpoint to legislating morality, I think that’s somewhat of a cliche, and an incorrect one at that. Or at least, since I’m no lawyer, I’ll borrow Elder Oaks’ opinion.

    “Society continually legislates morality. The only question is whose morality and what legislation.”

  105. “D.: If it is any consolation, in order to maintain a testimony of the prophet it is not necessary to believe that he is always led by the hand of God. It is only necesary to believe that he is sufficiently led by God to accomplish God’s purposes in the world.”

    Amen.

    Personally, I think that, notwithstanding the Church’s actions on the same sex marriage issue, the last thing that God really wants is for those sympathetic to concerns of our GLBT members and friends to abandon the Church and leave it to Church members who are not sympathetic to those concerns.

    I choose to take the Church at its word, in the official statement on the Divine Institution of Marriage, that its sole focus here is on “marriage”, not on other legal rights, including those substantially equivalent or indeed identical to “marriage” (but without the name of “marriage”) And I think that marks a significant, if generally unnoticed, change in the Church’s official and institutional position.

  106. D. Fletcher says:

    Thank you for your kind words, Dan.

    I’m soft and weak, and probably will do nothing more than complain on the blogs.

    So, I’ll still be the Ward Organist.

    But today, I’m having a good cry. I love Obama, and I’m glad to be an American, but I’m not glad about Prop 8, particularly the ugly tactics from both sides leading up to the vote. I’m…embarrassed.

  107. I really could care less that we are going to have a black president. When the time comes that we have a Mexican president,you will not see me cry, dance or hug people. I want my president to do the job and do it well.

  108. nasamomdele says:

    What a hilarious post.

    Let’s all not screw up this presidency because I wanted it.

    And by screwing up the election of Obama in Utah (voting McCain), you shame yourself.

    Nice moral position on the voting process. What absolute ignorance and immaturity.

    I’ve heard more than one Democrat say today something to the effect of “now that we have power, we hope that those we reach across the isle to will see it our way”. No less partisan comments than before, even in the ‘nacle.

    You should feel ashamed, Ronan. As well as everyone who generalizes that a vote for McCain was a vote against Obama, which in turn is a vote against the wishes of the world and the betterment of humankind.

    I am from Utah and voted for McCain for optimistic reasons. I found I had more reasons to vote for McCain. I could have voted for Obama easily had not McCain had more appealing policy, in my mind.

    I am the under 30 generation that is credited with putting Obama into office. We are colorblind.

    For those on their high horses this morning like Ronan, be very ashamed.

  109. I’m embarrassed by our part in Prop 8. I’m also mad that BCC hasn’t done a recent post on it. Why the silence?

    I’m taking my blog reading elsewhere.

  110. molly bennion says:

    For those who are embarrassed by the Church’s success with Prop 8 or members’ reactions to the Obama victory, I add a small personal perspective. I also have been embarrassed by gay issues, church discipline, the ERA campaign, the black folklore, historical problems and any number of other issues. I have been angered by liberals and conservatives alike. However, rethinking my membership never gets very far. For me, there is only one issue regarding membership: do I believe the basic gospel as it is taught by the Church is true or, at least, truer than any other belief system I know? The answer has been yes for many years. Cultural dissonance is sometimes very painful, but not determinative.

  111. Vote for Pedro!

  112. Julie M. Smith says:

    “I have heard ridiculous, ignorant, completely unfounded rumors about Obama from all kinds of Mormons here”

    I think it is important to realize that this isn’t a uniquely Mormon thing. I’m hearing the socialistmuslimbabykiller end of days rhetoric from evangelicals, too. That’s not to excuse Mormons, just to suggest that their wrong is getting caught up in the right-wing echo chamber, not inventing smears against a politician.

  113. “we reach across the isle”

    Gilligan? Is that you?

  114. Ugh, for those of you that think Ronan’s out of line, i wish I could have brought you to work today. I’ve already had one person tell me an Obama Presidency will mean the Prophet will be forced to make some of the 12 Apostles African-American, and another saying any Mormon that voted for Obama should have paid more attention to what Prophets said about African American before 1978.

    Sometimes I feel like the only reason people in Utah aren’t always spouting off racist stuff is because they can go weeks without seeing an African American that isn’t on television.

  115. nasamomdele,
    You, and several others, are utterly misconstruing what I said.

  116. Vote for Pedro!

    all our wildest dreams will come true

  117. D. Fletcher says:

    Molly, I agree with you in every respect.

    But suddenly, the Church in California has been asking people to take a stand, a legal/political stand, on an issue that is pretty close to me.

    Unfortunately, the stand that I would take is not the one the Church is encouraging me to take.

    I can’t do anything, of course, living in NYC. Unless I show my “stand” by taking a different kind of stand, here.

  118. What if suddenly California had an anti-temple marriage initiative?

    Then I’m sure we’d start filing amicus briefs all over the US about why it’s so important that the virtues of a temple marriage be taught in schools.

  119. D. Fletcher, just a note to say a miss you man. Hang in there.

  120. Ronan,

    Thank you for the clarification of your post, and I am sure you certainly did not mean to offend at all.

    “She has her faults, but seems to have forgotten how easily she can inspire.”

    I’m curious, however: Must a U.S. President be left of center/centre in order for Europe to find him/her inspiring? Or is it good rhetorical skills? Was Reagan, who definitely was not one to lean left but who inspired many Americans in his speeches, inspiring to most Europeans?

  121. Julie, to add, I spent much of the last 8 years hearing ridiculous crazy things about Bush. I don’t even like Bush but felt compelled to defend him from the wingnuts on the left. A recent poll found a surprising number of Germans who thought the US was responsible for 9/11. It’s not like the US has all the crazy conspiracy thinkers. They are everywhere. What bugs me are people who point to fringe elements as proof the mainstream is crazy.

  122. Ben, so you agree you can’t legislate morality but then go off and say Prop 8 is necessary? Trying to have it both ways?

  123. 1. When has the church ever done anything embarrassing as a CHURCH?
    2. Suggesting that Obama’s victory was about race is crazy.
    3. Californians have every right as a majority to determine how our state should run. We as Americans have every right to further another states cause. Prop 8, no matter how you felt about it, was democracy in action. People living outside of the country might not get that. the supreme court probably won’t rule on this and simply declare it a state issue, which is exactly where it should stay. Any voter would feel the same way if what they had voted on had passed.
    4. What if Christ appeared to the Prophet and said to put 20 million into Prop 8? How would you feel then? If you say that couldn’t have or wouldn’t have happened then you need to go back to your Gospel Principles class.
    5. I voted McCain. I will whole heartedly support President Obama. That’s our duty and its in our best interest. We as a people need to remember the government answers to us, one way or the other.
    6. As a world we are a forgetful bunch. The world as a whole owes America a great deal.
    &. Us a cesspool? Compared to most of Europe’s popular moral culture, The near and far east’s treatment of women and views on race and Africa’s genocides WE are still the beacon on the hill.

  124. Sonny, I think it goes both ways. Outside of Churchill and Thatcher name me a European leader who inspired Americans? There aren’t any.

  125. I also did not vote for Obama–not because of his race, but because I have differing viewpoints than him on fiscal and moral issues. And I think that is the general opinion of the Mormons I associate with. It has nothing to do with his race but everything to do with issues. Although I am proud that our country has elected its first African American leader, I am very worried about his inexperience and the potential of foreign leaders to take advantage of him.

  126. JimD and I’m sure the southern baptists would pour in tons of money saying, “Kids would be taught mormon doctrine in school.”

    or “I used to think temple marriage didn’t involve me until my daughter came home with a book called ‘My eternal marriage.’ and a book of mormon. She was in second grade and I couldn’t opt out!”

    How would you like it?

  127. “When has the church ever done anything embarrassing as a CHURCH?”

    ahem.

  128. Ronito, I don’t see where I’ve made either of those statements.

  129. The world thinks you are racist.

    Ugh.

  130. For the record, I don’t think Ronan’s post says anything about Mormons not voting for Obama because of race.

  131. nasamomdele says:

    #115,

    Please clarify. I don’t see much of a positive picture in your words of those who did not vote McCain or who support prop 8.

    The onus is on you.

  132. Meredith C says:

    #123 –

    Haha .. Ahem… the whole world owes you a great deal? (cough) …beacon on a hill? Seriously? For real?

    Wow. To echo Rebecca I’m not sure whether to laugh or vomit now.

  133. For the record, I don’t think Ronan’s post says anything about Mormons not voting for Obama because of race.

    Not explicitly, but he hopes:

    “Make sure that Utah’s rejection of Obama can only be seen as political.”

    Other than politics, why would Mormons reject Obama?

  134. Ronito, I wouldn’t give a flip.

    If California stops recognizing temple marriages, that only puts the California saints in the same positions as their co-religionists in a number of foreign countries.

  135. Researcher says:

    Going back quite awhile in the discussion (92), I’m wondering what I did to earn my own personal rebuke. (Wow!)

    Is it that obvious that I need a nap? :-)

    A one liner does not explain what problem you see in my logic or lack of it or what comment was objectionable and to whom.

  136. nasamomdele, you’re incorrect that the onus is on Ronan. Until you can present some showing that your interpretation of Ronan’s words is correct, I don’t see why he should have to justify himself. You read him wrong (and uncharitably so), plain and simple. The proper thing would be for you to try and read what he is saying as a Mormon and Christian, and move on.

  137. Researcher, see my reply to nasamomdele in #136 – your interpretations of Ronan seem to have been running along similar lines. I think it is worth reading him as a friend.

    Tim J, I think it’s important to be careful about Ronan’s point — he doesn’t believe that Mormons who voted against Obama did so because of race, but it is vitally important that Mormons make that clear to the world. We have some baggage on racial issues and we want to distance ourselves as far as possible from that specter. I don’t see anything controversial in that.

  138. Meredith C says:

    Sorry – that was mean. Please feel free to moderate me.

  139. Ditto Jim (#134). In lots of places you have to be married civilly and the temple marriage doesn’t count as a marriage.

    While I’d be aghast at the religious bigotry, after that home invasion ad against Mormons it’s hard to not see a lot of religious bigotry.

    But as I’ve said all this happens when we don’t have Church/State separation and end up with the state sanctioning and deciding issues related to what most see as a religious rite. Get the state out of marriage entirely. How would you feel if you had to go get a baptismal license from the courthouse before you could get baptized in the faith of your choice? Yet that’s exactly what we have now – plus the state then provides benefits based upon this religious rite.

  140. ronito (#126), you did see how some Evangelicals reacted to Romney running for President? I think most Mormons are used to just that sort of thing and are pretty jaded about it all.

  141. Thanks Molly. This whole prop 8/102 has been incredibly painful for me, but these are My People. Where could I find anything better.

  142. #124

    Clark,

    I agree, it does go both ways. Which tells me that generally Americans are generally more conservative than Europeans. You mention Thatcher and Churchill. I also think that Americans are inspired by boldness and toughness, and these two you mention definitely had plenty of that.

  143. he doesn’t believe that Mormons who voted against Obama did so because of race

    I think he hopes this isn’t the case, and we’re both trying to read into what Ronan is saying.

    it is vitally important that Mormons make that clear to the world

    How?

    We have some baggage on racial issues and we want to distance ourselves as far as possible from that specter.

    I think we see ourselves as more racist than the world see us.

  144. And Clark has gotten to it. I absolutely agree. Marriage is not a state function. It would solve this and many other problems.

  145. To add, people on the outside see Mormons more as ultra-conservative than they do racist.

  146. Tim, agreed — though I have the benefit of hearing from Ronan directly on that first point.

    I disagree with your last sentence, though. I think a lot of people of color generally view Mormons as racist. But let’s assume you’re right — wouldn’t perceiving ourselves as more racist than we really are be a healthy thing, something that would encourage us to go the extra mile to avoid causing insult or casting aspersions?

  147. He doesn’t believe that Mormons who voted against Obama did so because of race, but it is vitally important that Mormons make that clear to the world.

    Thanks, Ari Fleischer.

    Seriously, that’s all I’m saying. One way to “make that clear” would be to acknowledge and embrace America’s political conquest of race, even if you cannot (as is your right) embrace the man who embodies that conquest. Bitter and racist emails flying around right now suggest that some Mormons simply cannot do this. Let’s drown them out.

    Nasamomdele,
    You have clearly not read my post. I said nothing about Prop 8.

  148. LOL, Ronan. Happy to serve as Headlife Press Secretary.

  149. Thanks, Ari Fleischer.

    Steve is much more Scott McClellan (traitor!) than Fleischer. Beware.

  150. Steve Evans says:

    har! Too true.


  151. I think we see ourselves as more racist than the world see us.

    I’m not sure that’s true. However given that most Americans are pretty ignorant about the rest of the world…

    My view is that Americans are really into self-examination and criticism. Further our media is really into examining these issues. Given how racism is focused on in say Hollywood movies I suspect that the rest of the world gets a fairly biased view of how people live day to day.

    Please note that I’m not excusing the real racism that does exist here. There’s still a lot that needs overcome. But I think if all you knew about American primarily came from shows and movies shown in Europe along with the kinds of criticisms made in the European press — well it would be unsurprising one might have biased and perhaps unrealistic views of how daily life in America is conducted.

  152. I don’t know what inspired this post, but I would guess it was the bitterness in the first few comments here. That, in particular, struck me as unproductive.

  153. True. I ran into many Guatemalans on my mission who thought America was incredibly violent based on Chuck Norris and Steven Seagal movies.

  154. I am completely unoffended by Ronan’s post! So there.

    Stop yer whinin’.

  155. John Mansfield says:

    “The part that grieves me beyond measure is what we could have done with the $20 million poured into CA if it had been instead poured into the Fast Offering or Missionary fund…”–Tracy M (#89)

    You’ll be glad to learn, Tracy M, that over 50,000 members of the Church are currently serving as full-time missionaries. The cost to support each is over $400 each month. In other words, members of the Church spend over $20 million every single month just to support full-time missionaries. Maybe this information will lighten a bit of your grief.

  156. Bro. Jones says:

    #123 “What if Christ appeared to the Prophet and said to put 20 million into Prop 8? How would you feel then?”

    I would feel a little awkward that Jesus apparently rescinded the 12th article of faith and didn’t tell any of the rest of us about it, since your hypothetical commandment would have the Church violating state and federal laws governing elections and tax status.

  157. CJ Douglass says:

    Perhaps a more positive way to look at this is found on the map at nytimes.com – Which shows that Utah (and America) voted more liberal than in 2004. In fact the map shows Utah as completely blue. Arkansas on the other hand….not so much.

  158. The part that grieves me beyond measure is what we could have done with the $20 million poured into CA if it had been instead poured into the Fast Offering or Missionary fund…

    You think that’s bad. Just think what could have been done with the $5.3 billion spent on the Presidential election!

  159. Ronan, my apologies if I read your post uncharitably. Perhaps I should have given you more of the benefit of the doubt, but you have to admit that the tone and the content can easily be read as a preemptive rebuke of those rubes in Utah who might embarass you high-minded sophisticates elsewhere that share our faith.

    On further reflection, I have to admit that I am, on occasion, embarassed by statements made by members of my faith from Utah, but I usually find that it helps nothing to assume they will embarass me before they even open their mouth.

    God bless President Obama, and thank heaven for the beautiful concession speech that Sen. McCain made last night. I agree with every word he said.

  160. Carlos U. says:

    Ronan, the fact that you have not seen the world “aplaud” the US before has far more to do with their ungratitude and their taking for granted what the US has done, specially for Europe. Going back 100 years: WWI, WWII, the Marsha plan, standing as a protector, spending our money and blood to protect Europe from communism, bringing down both the Berling Wall and the Russian empire, intervining in the Balcans after Europeans did basically nothing, the Gulf War (we get our oil mainly from other places. YOU get your oil from the Middle East…

    And in my personal observation, Europeans are far more racist than Americans. Europeans claimed not to be racist when they had no inmigrants. Now that they are full of Arabs and Africans, it turns out the are far more racist and discriminatory that the US is. And yes, I have lived in both places.

  161. “(Of course, I could mention our female Prime Minister, but that would be churlish.)”

    Ronan: In my opinion any Brit should feel free to proudly claim Thatcher in any circumstances that he or she wishes to. I also think that you are free to throw Winston Churchill and the Battle of Britain into the teeth of a contemptuous world any time you want.

    (I also confess to a fondness for both Gladstone and Disraeli. Harold Wilson and Clement Atlee, however, do nothing for me…)

  162. Clark (#158), the billions weren’t wasted, they went right back into the economy and provided jobs. It wasn’t my tax dollars they spent, so I think that an expensive campaign really did good things for the economy. Obama should have campaigned with that point, “I may be spending millions on ads, but TV executives have to eat too!”

  163. What about William Pitt, the Younger? He may have been England’s greatest prime minister and took over at the tender age of 24. That should put to rest any qualms about Obama’s inexperience.

  164. Amen, Ronan.
    Don’t be discouraged by us that are offended or confused by your reasonable, enlightening comments.

  165. Ronan – Thanks for your thoughts and advice. But don’t be so sure that Obama will let us (you) down. Keep the faith.

  166. Both Pitts had a strong streak of meglomania, but at least William Pitt the Elder stood up for the American Colonists. I suppose that we also owe at least some debt of gratitude to William Pitt the Younger for saving the world from French domination, although one cannot help but thinking that his legacy has been largely undermined by the widespread adoption of the metric system….

  167. molly bennion says:

    D Fletcher, As one who was asked by my church leaders to ride a bus from Houston to Austin to demonstrate against the ERA and who refused, I do grieve with you and the many who have had to make similar choices and face similar criticisms. I hope I didn’t sound insensitive. You should continue to talk about what disturbs you. Indeed, my comment was somewhat self-serving because in my own quest to stay on the rails despite the collisions, I benefit greatly knowing others who manage to do just that and am strengthened less by those who don’t feel the crashes.

  168. For the record: I have seen the crazy comments on the Deseret News website. I have heard no racial comments about Obama at my Salt Lake City workplace (except for one comment, early in the campaign, by a non-Mormon), in my neighborhood or at Church. As far as I know, all of my Utah Mormon family (except one suspect brother-in-law) voted for Obama. Even my wife’s Repub, and equally Utah Mormon, family voted for Obama. Ronan can be proud of us.

  169. Clark, you’re memory is too short. Or your history teachers told less than the whole story.

    Sonny, I think it goes both ways. Outside of Churchill and Thatcher name me a European leader who inspired Americans? There aren’t any.

    There were substantial numbers of Americans who, until sometime late in 1941, found inspiration in an Austrian who became a German citizen, founded a political movement and then became Chancellor and then head of the German Reich.

  170. Michael Washington says:

    wow most (not Ardis of course) ignorant uneducated politically unwashed utah’s mormons taketh the truth to be hard for it cutteth to the very centre…..

    Most mormons on facebook who have entered in to the discussion over Obama think he is the devil, a terrorist, denies the pledge of allegiance, it is a pity that such comments are about him personally and not the policies.

    I think after the pledge of allegiance we ought to also cite AofF 10 or listen hourly to McCain’s very gracious and inspirational speech. How ironic it is that in some of the online discussions the man who wants to withdraw from wars that we had no right in being in is being castigated, while the stupidity and lack of plan in the first place by George Baffoon Bush got us in to this mess is almost treated like a saint.

  171. D. Fletcher says:

    Molly, thanks for your validation, which I graciously return to you.

    The problem with taking a stand by leaving the Church is that it will have little effect, except to make me lonelier and more separated from people, particularly those people I love the most, my Mormon family.

    So, I’ll stay in the Church, feeling wishy-washy and miserable about it.

  172. Bro. Jones:

    Remember that the 12th Article of Faith says that “we believe in being subject . . .” I don’t think it suggests that God is or ought to be subject to anybody or anything, and certainly not the California supreme court.

    And, your suggestion about “violating state and federal laws governing elections and tax status” tells us more about your knowledge of those laws (it could use some brush-up work) than anything else. Besides, since when was the Internal Revenue Code part of the divinely inspired law handed down from on high?

  173. Utahn in CT says:

    Obama haters, watch his speech in Chicago from last night:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/27552569#27546437

  174. Michael Washington: The problem with your argument, is that it is just not very precise. There are crazy, right wing Mormons in and out of Utah. There are crazy, right-wing nutjobs in and out of the Church. And I know a lot of Mormons (even Utah Mormons) that voted for Obama. But, like Researcher, I just don’t have any Mormon family or acquaintances that have made racial comments about Obama. Nutty conspiracy theories and right wing rhetoric, sure. But I hear that on the radio and on the web, more from non-Mormons than Mormons.

  175. Bro. Jones says:

    #172: God is not subject to anything, I’m just saying that if God is telling our leaders to actively break the laws of our nation, I’d like to hear a clear pronouncement about it.

    And I am familiar enough with the laws you discuss–I am referring to the sound of the situation you describe in which the church either directly channels $20 million to a political effort, or deliberately finds shady channels through which to indirectly apply those funds. Asking private individuals to raise and donate $20 million is one thing, but your suggestion seemed to imply a more direct relationship.

    You’ll have to pardon me for being nervous about the prospect of our leaders publicly supporting the law but flaunting it in secret, whether at God’s behest or not. We’ve had problems with that sort of things in the past, and while the Church clearly survived, they were not easy times for us.

  176. Thomas Parkin says:

    Bro Fletcher,

    I don’t mean to sound like your bishop, but how are you doing with your deep and spiritual scripture study, the frequency of your deep heart prayers, and keeping covenants, especially those made upon taking the Sacrament?

    Those are the sources of strength. Sometimes it requires some reordering to get to the point where you have any desire to do them, at all.

    Just sayin.

    ~

  177. Bro. Jones (156),
    It would NOT violate tax laws or necessarily implicate the Church’s tax status if it put $20 million behind Prop 8, or Prop. 6, or Prop. 10, or any other proposition. I would guess that $20 million isn’t a substantial portion of the Church’s annual budget, and, because supporting or opposiong a California proposition is not supporting or opposing an individual candidate, it does not violate the Church’s 501(c)(3) status. It may or may not be a good idea, but 501(c)(3) organizations, including churches, can directly advocate or oppose legislation.

    Please, I’m just a lowly tax attorney (although not your tax attorney) on a quest to take this little (inaccurate) chestnut out of the Bloggernacle discourse.

  178. Another English member thinking not only are Ronan’s comments spot on, but also I would suggest that missionary work outside the US will benefit from the improved standing of the US in the eyes of the rest of the world. It will be interesting to watch.

  179. Black, black, black. Brown, brown, brown. White,white, white. Who cares!!??

    Look, if I own stock in Apple do I really give a damn about what color the CEO is? No. He needs to make my shares wrth more than they are and do it in an ethical way.

    Why should government be any different? The last thing I want to do, is DEMEAN Barack Obama by obsessing over how much melanin his skin produces.

    He’s a man. Homo Sapien, just like me. If he does his job well then I’ll be the first one to cheer for him 4 years from now. If he stinks, then I’ll be the first one to boo him. That’s real racial equality.

  180. Well D. Fletcher seems to have resolved his doubts but mine aren’t as easily assuaged. If anything, this issue has exacerbated some lingering doubts I’ve had that would have likely stayed just under the surface for me.

  181. Thanks for clarifying Ronan.

  182. Bro. Jones says:

    #177 Duh, you’re right. I’m used to working in much smaller organizations where $20 million is a much greater percentage of the operating budget. I stand corrected.

  183. Ronan,

    I read your post and it left a bad taste. I read the comments and I think the critisicism you have received is over the top, there are plenty of things for us all to be ashamed about now and then, I wouldnt worry too much about this. Having said that I re-read your main post and cant get that bad taste out.

    personally, i cant quite figure out who the *us* is that your hoping wont be embarassed. who are you speaking for and why do you feel you need to speak for them?

    I think this post could of had an entirely different tone if you just spoke for yourself.

    Instead your approach was to allude to a greater select few (of which you are of course a self appointed memeber) anxiously and nervously hoping the others dont go and ruin your reputation, at once denying the possibilty you might go forth and embarass them all the time. It actually reminded me somewhat of Sister Becks controversial talk about women who know, which left an element of its audience unaware such a group existed and feeling thoroughly unworthy not to be a part of it.

    Your last line is the giveaway, in that it presupposes your fellow mormons, particularly Utahns, will not in fact be able to restrain its alluded racist tendencies so you begin to bargain, by asking * at least til January* the presupposition here is a real shame.

    Your sentiments in the second half of the paragraph which mentions Martin Luther King are for my money both beautiful and poetic.

    Nevertheless, in this form of public speaking which is the blog, i believe you simply have under estimated your audience, who are surely the least likely of the mormons I know to hold the views you warn about. The timing was wrong – not now, not this morning, when perhaps americans wanted to celebrate and feel proud with their decision… without the guilt trip.

  184. Kent (162) I was being somewhat facetious. But what you say applies to the money spent on prop-8 as well. All that said I think there are good and bad ways to fund the economy. I’m not at all convinced election ads are a particularly efficient way of helping the economy or spreading the wealth. I think much of it is very much wasted money.

    Mark B (169), yeah but all the people inspired by that nutso or his mustache were themselves nutso. But then there were folks inspired by Castro, Lenin and so forth as well I suppose. I was thinking more of figures who elicited broad respect.

  185. Tony,

    For what it is worth, I long ago concluded that most members and leaders of the LDS Church are much more politically, socially and even religiously conservative than I am–sometimes very uncomfortably so to me. However, I have also concluded that the good news/gospel of our God as found in the Bible and as restored through the Prophet Joseph and re-emphasized and further explained in the Book of Mormon has an openness and liberality that encompasses the good in all of humankind–black, white, male, female, gay, straight.

  186. If I act offended I will get more responses…

  187. Latter-day Guy says:

    Ronan,

    Thanks for your clarifications. I wrote my comment (21) too quickly and after too little sleep. I bear the president-elect no ill will whatsoever. I think it’s cool that we will have a black president. I am just very concerned about the effect of two branches of a three branch system being pretty left-leaning–I would prefer if Obama’s economic policy was a little more like (also African American) Thomas Sowell’s (not a politician, a Stanford economist).

    And D. Fletcher, I don’t know you from Adam, but this:

    “So, I’ll stay in the Church, feeling wishy-washy and miserable about it”

    is a very nice summation of where I am on this issue. I HATED seeing some of the ridiculous, alarmist media coming out of the Prop 8 campaign; it really made it a pretty crappy couple of months. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and amen.

  188. Ronan — I point you to two of my recent LiveJournal postings here and here, where I’ve already done what you suggested before you suggested it. GMTA, as they say.

    I would point, however, that the division has been escalating for more than eight years, and is to be found in the simultaneous deification and demonization of political leaders, particularly presidents. Both are wrong.

    89 — Imagine what could have been accomplished if the billions spent on campaigns had, instead, been used to help people who need help? We’re talking $5.3 Billion for Presidential and Congressional campaigns between candidates, parties and independent groups. Especially since most of that went into nasty and ugly attack ads full of twisted truth, half-truth and bald-faced lies.

    124 — Lech Walesa, DeGaulle during the war come to mind quickly.

    147 — There are two problems with that. The first is that we’ve been making it as clear as we can for decades that we no longer practice plural marriage, but that’s still the number one thing people think about us (watch American Mormon sometime). The second is that the message American conservatives have gotten is that the way to get beyond partisanship is to shut up and go along with whatever liberals want us to do — especially the shut up part.

    So, less than 24 hours after losing a presidential election and losing seats in both houses of the Congress, watching the gloating and self-congratulations all over the net, we are supposed to be self-controlled, shut up, and try to persuade people who won’t listen to us that we really aren’t bigots?

    They aren’t going to listen to us now no matter what we say or do. And we’re tired of getting poked in the eye and teased for saying “ouch.” That kind of self-control was not manifest four years ago nor eight years ago on the other side, and it’s unreasonable to expect it now.

    I have been trying to pull people on both sides away from the extremes and toward the middle ground the entire time. I see you granting passes to the folks you agree with and asking for more restraint from those you don’t. If you want to ask us for restraint, you need to first establish that you feel our pain, and you haven’t done that.

  189. Vive Prop 8!

    And I’ll be just as charitable toward and cheerful about Obama as you were about GWB in 2000 and 2004, Ronan. And unless you were as you now say, you’re nothing but a hypocrite.

  190. From a country that abandoned slavery far too late, and whose record on civil rights has not always matched the rhetoric of its foundation,
    I think that if you examine English/British history that you won’t find a record that is any better than ours.
    But now that the election is over and Obama is President we can focus on addressing important issues…like the treatment of minorities by European governments.

  191. Steve Evans says:

    Sheesh TMD, you’re a real peach.

  192. nasamomdele says:

    #147 Ronan,

    Though everything else stacks up. Prop 8 was thrown in for the sake of the previous comments.

    But thank you for reading my comments.

    What an interesting post that has brewed such partisanship and gross hate. One reason why I could not bring myself to join the Democratic Party the past few years was the absolute hypocrisy and hate that has festered there for so long due to sore losing. I guess it will take a while for the spirited left supporters to re-learn civility, even in victory.

    Don’t embarrass us.

  193. TMD,

    The proper comparison would leave 2004 out of it.

    Ronan,

    Tonight I went to a local garden and watched as people started a fire and burned some guy named “Fox” in effigy. Everyone acted as if this was completely normal. They also served sausages and chips and lit off fireworks. All I can say is that you Brits have freaking awesome holidays. You can take comfort in knowing I didn’t observe anyone embarrassing the church the entire evening:)

  194. Steve Evans says:

    “absolute hypocrisy and hate that has festered there for so long due to sore losing.”

    Good thing to hear that you Republicans are immune.

  195. Re.-#185: Thanks for your comment, DavidH. You give me food for thought but I still wonder if I can face a lifetime of holding my tongue and suppressing my core convictions in the name of allegiance to the Church. The gospel is still true but the Church and some of her members have issues.

    I have much prayer and reflection ahead of me.

  196. Tony,

    While you pray and reflect, please keep in mind the message (to me) of Joseph’s First Vision–that God will give us wisdom if we ask and God will show us the way. God answered Joseph, and God has answered me about what directions I should go (including remaining, sometimes uncomfortably, in the Church). I do not know which way God will answer you, but I believe God will do so in a kind if subtle way.

    A nice thing for an outlier like me about being in a ward for a long time is that people have become accustomed to me and my less common way (in the LDS Church) of looking at things. People know that I am committed to the core principles of the gospel (and I now that they are too). I do not hold my tongue, but I try to express my views with tact and care, acknowledging that I may be wrong. Including, in a gospel doctrine class, expressing my genuine concern about whether Proposition 8 might affect the marriage of a good friend in San Francisco to his partner of many years, or about my extreme discomfort about what I think is an unhealthy combination of religion and politics (even though there is a moral component). I am in a visible stake leadership position (and in a regional Church service role), and my political views are no secret, and people have always been charitable and considerate even when we disagree.

    One of my favorite pieces about navigating, in a healthy way, this sort of dissonance was written in a slightly different context by Armand Mauss and reprinted here. http://www.timesandseasons.org/?p=3130 (sorry for the link to that “other” blog).

    May God bless you and yours as you pray and reflect. (And, for what it is worth, I hope you stay and continue to enrich our experience.)

  197. DavidH, thanks for that. Don’t worry about links to that site; we’re allowed to visit lower kingdoms to minister.

  198. Okay, seriously.

    Dem emotions toward Bush = Rep emotions toward Clinton.

    Ya’ll calm down. We’re all fallen.

  199. Latter-day Guy says:

    Oh geez. I’m glad I wasn’t trying to drink anything when I read #197. That was excellent.

  200. Ronan,
    I think that some of us may have missed the intention of your post. Then, some of us missed the point of the clarification as well. You’re trying to watch out for the image of your church, and ensure that we don’t exacerbate the views that seem to prevail about us.
    I used to wish that our leaders would live up to their constituents. However, with the rancor and stiff-neckedness (is this a word?) that seem to prevail despite Barack’s call for humility in victory and McCain’s call for loyalty to country in defeat, I guess we need to hope for constituents that live up to their leaders.
    Regardless, I think that your right, especially since we spent quite a bit of political capital on Prop 8. We need to be careful. Frankly, if it didn’t sound a little ridiculous saying it, I’d be worried about missionaries being the victims of hate crimes in the Castro.

  201. nasamomdele says:

    #194,

    Us moderates, too. But you prove my point.

    Actually, I’m very excited for our new president and would have been happy with McCain as well. We had extraordinary candidates this election, both policy-wise and character-wise.

  202. Tony,
    I’m with you 100%. My solution is to write a letter, put it in a desk for six months, cool down, then reassess.

  203. Sam B.,
    Would you please write a thread and explain how using church organization to fuel this proposition did not violate the law? You’ve explained it a little, but I’d like to know just how close to the line we came here. Am I totally tilting at windmills? Can a church seriously exert this much pressure on its members? Please don’t read any sarcasm into this.
    Steve,
    Can Sam do it? I’d really hate to have to go slumming in the other kingdoms for this.

  204. Re: 193

    Dear me. Not only no penny for the Guy, but “Fawkes” has somehow become “Fox”.

    Because we had a good friend from Cardiff and my mother’s birthday is November 5, giving that friend an excuse to visit, my family in Provo always used to celebrate Guy Fawkes Day. No burning in effigy (now that would have been cool), but sparklers and general excitement (I don’t think we had a clue what for) and enough of the old nursery rhyme to provide some sing-song fun.

    So, in honor of Ronan’s native land:

    Remember, remember
    The fifth of November
    Gunpowder, treason and shot.
    I see no reason
    Why gunpowder treason
    Should ever be forgot.

    Happy Guy Fawkes Day, Ronan! (Just don’t come begging for a penny for the Guy.) :-)

  205. Wendy Rojas says:

    What an interesting time I’ve had reading this blog and all the comments. I had to laugh at the mention of clueless Guatemalans (I am originally from Guatemala); and the mention of Guy Fawkes brought fond memories of learning British English from Austrian professors in my Guatemalan classroom.

    About the topic at hand, I am conservative, and today I proudly posted in my facebook profile that I congratulate all Barack Obama supporters. And I meant it, sincerely. God bless us all to show by our actions that we have internalized Christ’s message by offering respect and love to everybody, especially those who stand on the other side of issues that we consider imporant.

  206. Guy Fawkes always brings me bad memories of V for Vendetta and the first proof that The Matrix was an aberration from the Warkowskis.

  207. Ronito,

    Your comment at #56 misconstrues my point. I was reacting to D. Fletcher’s and Tony’s statements that they were actually rethinking their membership in the Church – not that they were “disappointed” in it.

    I think Molly’s comment at #110 is a good example of what I was trying to say.

  208. *applauding* Here, here! Thank you for your optimism and example.

  209. blt,
    I don’t know how much I have to add to the little statements. If, however, you want to visit clearly lower internet kingdoms (i.e., the IRS’s website), there’s some pretty good stuff explaining what exempt organizations can and can’t do.

    Here is the basic site, and here is a letter the IRS seems to send out every election cycle.

    Enjoy!

  210. I always find it strange how excited western Europeans get about America’s civil rights record. I remember once summering in Holland and skipping class to go to one day of the trial of Milosevic. I met a German woman there who, at a break, was eager to chastise me about America’s stance on civil rights. Predictably, she was just flummoxed about our inability to cure race relations in our country.

    It was at that point I reminded her that GB had a de facto apartheid economic and governmental system in the Ulster counties well into the ’80s; that the French have had lots and lots of race riots based on some rampant xenophobia; and that many Muslims and Croatians felt like that much of western Europe turned a blind eye while Serbia engaged in its ethnic cleansing in the ’90s. I think I ended with the thought that it seemed every country has at least some of the problems the United States has.

    She didn’t have much of response to this, and the trial started back up again, but on the train ride home, I kept thinking that there’s a good chance that America isn’t any more racist than any other country, just that we have better press coverage of our racism. I’m still trying to decide.

  211. Jimbob,

    You were chastised by a German on race relations? How funny.

  212. Thanks Sam B!

  213. Ronan, it’s easy to see that your initial post can be taken the wrong way by social conservative Latter Day Saints in the U.S. who are wounded by the political defeat that they have suffered. The context was typical of the condescension that we have come to expect from Europe. Understand that there is a real cultural schism in this country between the socially and religiously conservative interior and the socially liberal and often irreligious coast and Northeast that does threaten to tear this nation apart. These cultural differences make communication between opposing groups difficult if not impossible. This is a serious threat to our society. Unfortunately, I don’t see a resolution that will not involve a breakup of the United States along cultural lines. I give it 40-50 years at best.

    With respect to some of these peoples feelings about the junior senator from Illinois, just accept the fact that a significant minority of members of the Church are going to see him as an antichrist in the mold of Sherem and Nehor. They see the speeches that seem to be cast in a messianic light and his support of moral positions that are antithetical to their moral view and that just closes the deal for them. This is not a view that is unique to LDS members. Other christians in the U.S. are reaching the same conclusion.

    As far as supporting and sustaining the junior senator, the twelfth article of faith does not require the Saints to support a political official, they are merely to be subject to them. We are required to support, uphold, and sustain the law, which is very different from the leader.

  214. “…a country that abandoned slavery far too late, and whose record on civil rights has not always matched the rhetoric of its foundation…”

    It is shameful, I admit. But don’t forget who left us with such a beautiful birthright–one that had taken a couple of centuries to develop and refine into the well oiled mercantile machine that it was. It wasn’t going to come apart easily. And sadly it continues to grind, coughing and sputtering as it resists it’s painfully slow but inevitable death.

  215. Adam Greenwood says:

    WWEB–what would embarass a Briton? Words to live by.

    I see your Guatemalans and raise you a Spaniard. Nearly everyone I met was convinced that I must have had frequent shootouts at my high school. Also that Bill Clinton was bent on evil, rightwing world domination, or else that he was the only thing standing between the world and evil, rightwing world domination, take your pick.

  216. I have a sick feeling that assassination attempts might recur. If one succeeds it will throw this country into an never-ending hell of liberal guiltmongering. and it will be the perpetrators fault – not Obama’s.

    Left-wing freakoes openly talked about killing Bush (heck, even left wing media elite did, on national television and in books) – which does not bode well towards mutual respect for his successor.

    unlike the leftist hypocrites, conservatives need to respect the office and respect the occupant..

  217. Adam Greenwood says:

    You are not adequately outraged.

  218. Ronan,

    If only you had put out a voter guide prior to our elections, we could have avoided so much of this distress. Sorry to let you down. We didn’t know.

  219. I live in Utah in the heart of the LDS population. What I am hearing here where I live is this: Some LDS people are Democrats. No problem. Each has a right and we respect each other’s rights. Some people have gay friends. Also not a problem. Overall, most people believe that a marriage is between one man and one woman, which is defined by our Creator in the physical, emotional, and spiritual make up of our beings. In my opinion it is odd that this question even has to be visited.
    Most LDS people are peaceable quiet people who want to be able to live in peace. Most are way too busy with raising big families to take much time to march in any protest…kids in sports, music lessons, etc.
    Being a convert myself (from the Chicago area), I can tell you this is not a cult. Each person is encouraged to study everything out for themselves and make their own decisions. It’s amazing how supportive “Mormons” are for the individual regardless of their choices.
    I just happened upon this site this morning and wanted to say “hello” and share with you what it is like on the inside. I now begin a very busy day and will not be able to check responses. But, I hope you have a wonderful and peaceful day. Truly.

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