According to the bent philosophies that some Republican Mormons mix with their scripture, their version of Alma Chapter 46 (beginning with verse 19) in the Book of Mormon must go something like this
19 And when Moroni had said these words, he went forth among [his fellow Republicans], waving the rent part of his garment in the air, that [his party members] might see the writing which he had written upon the rent part, and crying with a loud voice, saying:The Deseret News published yesterday a very insightful opinion piece by Dynette Reynolds, adjunct history teacher at Weber State University. If what she says is true, it's apparent that far too many Utahns just don't get it when it comes to political affiliations. Reynolds reminds us that
20 Behold, [whatsoever conservative] will maintain this title upon the land, let them come forth in the strength of the Lord, and enter into a covenant that they will maintain their rights, and their religion [against their enemies, the liberals], that the Lord God may bless them.
21 And it came to pass that when Moroni had proclaimed these words, behold, the [Republicans] came running together with their armor girded about their loins [while the Democrats had all joined themselves unto the bloodthirsty Lamanites], rending their garments in token, or as a covenant, that they would not forsake the[ir party platform]; or, in other words, if they should transgress the commandments of [Moroni, their party chairman], or fall into transgression, and be ashamed to take upon them the name of [Republicans], the Lord should rend them even as they had rent their garments.
Every year at election time, the LDS Church sends out an official letter stating that the LDS Church does not support any particular political party.and that
Recently, a letter noted that both parties contained elements in their platforms that were consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ.She's right. Republicans don't have, by any means, a corner on good political principles. In fact, here are some things that Utah Republicans ought to be downright embarrassed about.
1. The State of Ethics in the Utah Legislature. Almost never in recent decades have Republicans supported meaningful ethics reform in the Utah legislature. Republican ethics reform, originally billed as monumental for the 2009 Legislative session, turned out to be not much more than a whimper. What ethics legislation that did pass turns out to be completely unenforceable. A commenter on one of the Salt Lake Tribune blogs stated
Why codify ethics when Utah lawmakers can just confess to their bishops on Sunday? They're right with the lord and that's all that matters.I'm beginning to wonder of the commenter might just be right.
2. Support for Multinational Corporations that Grind on the Face of the Poor. It's my opinion that the LDS Church welfare program works much more effectively than any other, especially including the welfare program of the U.S. Federal Government. I'm sure most Mormons agree with me on that. However, most Mormons don't see that the biggest problem with the federal welfare system is corporate welfare. Corporate lobbying, although it did come into vogue during Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal era, has been developed into a very profitable form of fraud today--mostly by Republicans such as Phil Gramm, Trent Lott, Newt Gingrich, and Tom DeLay. The Book of Mormon, in an echo of the Old Testament warns against these kinds of people and this kind of fraud:
And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the...false cswearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger, and fear not me, saith the Lord of Hosts.Are Democrats involved in corporate welfare? Sure. But not nearly to the extent as the Republican gangster machine. When you say "welfare," Mormon Republicans seem only to think of individual and family welfare, which is better left to communities and states to remedy. But the kingpins at the top of their party are quintessential gangsters when it comes to unjustly acquiring for the "welfare" of themselves and their corporate cronies the fruits of other people's labors.
3. Advocacy of Empire Building in the Name of Freedom. Somehow Republicans can scream bloody murder when Bill Clinton fires off a few Tomahawk cruise missiles to get our minds off of the Monica Lewinsky affair, but we yawn when George W. Bush causes the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqis on a boatload of false pretexts. It seems to me if we were really living our Mormon religion, we should decry empire building of this sort from the tops of the highest buildings.
The United States Constitution, were are taught by the Doctrine and Covenants
should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles...That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him.The Constitution is "just and holy" because it protects individual liberty (moral agency). How is it just and holy that we kill people in Iraq and other places under the guise of offering them protection and liberty?
But the embarrassment shouldn't stop there. Utah Mormon Republicans have compounded their error by exercising a uniquely arrogant form of polito-centrism. In her letter to the Deseret News, Reynolds goes on to say that
Our Christianity and patriotism have been questioned by ward members. We have been snubbed and sneered at. We have been forced to listen to political diatribes against the president of the United States in our auxiliary meetings and testimony meetings. Racial jokes are being told in church foyers.Unfortunately,
Some of us have even stopped going to church. We don't feel like we should have to defend our political beliefs every time we step through the church doors. We don't want to argue with ward members who spout lines from Rush Limbaugh in our church classrooms. Our bishops are trying to calm things down but they aren't having much luck.Although I wish that Reynolds and others wouldn't stop attending church, I can imagine how difficult attending church meetings under such circumstances would be. At least the bishops seem to understand the "political neutrality" thing. I listen to Rush Limbaugh just enough to know that he is far from being a paragon of Christlike living. Regardless of that, no one should ever advocate the opinions of any political commentator in a church meeting, even if they happen to be Mormon.
I don't doubt that most Utah Republican Mormons hold a strong moral conviction in their political beliefs. What's critical for members of the majority party in Utah, however, is to never forget that the Democrats (as well as members of other parties) hold that same conviction.