Discussion Wednesday – Church & Politics

Religion and Politics.

The one thing I was taught that a lady must never discuss in public.

And yet we now have a Mormon as a Presidential Candidate and all I hear everywhere I go is Politics and Religion.

I think it is interesting how some people feel so passionately about their political views and bring it up regularly that if you don’t see the world as they do, or vote the way they do, then you aren’t as spiritual or righteous as they are.

That sort of bugs me. A lot.

What do you guys think? 
How do you handle the “Mormon running for President” topic? 
Some Mormons love him, and some don’t. 
Do you vote for the Mormon simply because YOU are a Mormon? 
How do you handle the topic when it’s brought up?
Let’s discuss religion and politics. 
Ready. Set. Comment.

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  1. Goodsonfl says

    I didn’t vote for Romney in the primary in our state. I will vote for him in November. I would never vote for a candidate based on their religion. I’m ultra-conservative, and Mitt isn’t. Isn’t even close to what I think our country really needs. But, he is better than what we currently have in office, in my opinion. So, yeah, I’ll vote for him when I am forced to do so. Blah…

  2. Momza says

    I am reminded of President HInckley’s words when he said we live in marvelous times.  Indeed we are! This year’s election process has been more interesting to me than any other time in my adult life. Mitt Romney IS different from any other candidate and his campaign has been, so far, one that doesn’t make me shudder in embarrassment. I have braced myself for the ugliness that is surely going to get more intense as the days and weeks and months bring us closer to November, but even so, I am content in what I have seen at this point.  Mitt isn’t a “celebrity”, doesn’t pretend to be one, and isn’t interested in becoming one.  I appreciate that he isn’t smoothe and polished with political sound bites to win his election. I find his awkwardness refreshing.  He has a business-mind and when people ask me about my personal opinion regarding Mitt, I simply say I can find no fault in him and will vote for whom my conscience allows–in this case, it will be Mitt Romney.

  3. Journey Beyond Survival says

    It really bugs me too. I live where there aren’t too many Mormons. I’m okay with that. I’m even okay with losing the occassional new acquaintance due to my religion.

    What makes me uncomfortable is that I’m getting judged on both sides now. I don’t have a problem hanging around with people whose views differ from my own. Even when they shock me. I do have a problem with them telling me the equivalent of everything from wrong to evil.

    I’ve always felt uneasy in this no-man’s-land. But I’ve finally learned to just speak up. Maybe only when things are really offensive. How are people supposed to know if I don’t alk about it?

    I’m just tired of everyone coming to me as their lightning rod for the opposing side.

  4. Maggie Olson says

    How foolish we are when we vote for a particular candidate because of something totally unrelated to his or her political expertise! 

  5. Guest says

    Having lived in the DC area and worked for govt. agencies, I don’t want anyone with political expertise. Lifetime politicians are a big part of our current problems. I want a good person with real-world experience who is TOTALLY committed to doing all that is necessary to help the nation succeed and not to get him or herself or the respective party elected at all costs. I’m tired of politicians.

  6. Lisa Hamer says

    I cringe at the negative publicity the Church is getting in light of recent political candidates.  I fear the backlash, I guess.  But it is a great opportunity to spread the word, the truth about us whether or not we are sharing our theological ideals.

    I don’t believe in voting for a Mormon just because he is running, in fact I was mulling over a different political candidate. But, I also don’t believe in voting a certain party just because it is tradition either.  My mother in law constantly reprimands my husband for being of a different political persuasion than her.  She is always saying but your parents, your grand parents and your great grand parents were all “**”.  We need to make our political decisions our self not because someone else told us to…

  7. Susan Spiers says

    Hmmm, great topic!  My sister lives in northern Ut & gets harassed (yep, HARASSED) because she is a democrat.  Does she love Obama?  No.  Is he THE anti Christ?  No, although I don’t believe he’s a Christian but is that fair to call him out for that?  Nope.  I too am a Democrat & yet I’m extremely unimpressed by Obama.  Does this mean I was planning to vote for Mit?  Again, nope. Sometimes you have to vote according to what’s the least offense to you personally.  Not certain I’m totally happy w/ voting for Mit & maybe it’s because I do think church & state (right now) needs to be seperate but I will say that this should be an interesting race & I’m looking forward to hearing more.

  8. Brittany says

    Having just sat through an otherwise enlightening talk sprinkled with accolades to Romney given by a former member of my stake presidency, this topic is pretty raw for me. I was really bothered by his assumption that everyone in that room would be supporting Mitt (I, for one, am not) and that he thought it would be appropriate to mention him in a talk given to women about a positive eternal perspective. I don’t think electing a Mormon president is really that important in an etermal perspective. Could some good come of it? Sure. Will some bad come of it? You bet. I just don’t want to hear about politics at church. Period.

  9. Maggie Olson says

    I appreciate your insight and point of view.  My state is currently represented by a senator who promised he would serve no more than two terms, and that was in 1977!  I agree that politics should not be a career.  I think, however, that the only way to change that would be to replace them all at the same time, and they have built-in job security to combat that.  Your personal requirements for an elected official certainly would make a difference!  But I believe that promises are made during campaigns with good intentions, only to learn when you are in the office how many things are out of your control…partly because of career politicians, partly because of security issues you are unaware of until ‘need to know’, partly because most of us are unaware of the intricacies politics have created to get what we call pork barrel legislation in place.   What could really make a huge difference would be to have voters who studied the issues, listened to debates, looked at pros and cons, and were not swayed by the candidates personal beliefs, or gender, or career background, or a dozen other ‘selling points’ that politicians tell us ‘peasants’ are important.  It would be awesome to be able to vote FOR someone you had faith and confidence in, instead of voting AGAINST someone who frightens you because of their rhetoric! 

  10. Joyce (East of Eden) says

    I would hope that members of the Church are not voting for Mitt just because he is a Mormon. But rather because you agree with what that person’s platform and principles are.  I made the comment yesterday on Braden’s post, that having lived in Utah and Arizona, I see politics and church collide A LOT in these places.  Perhaps we need to step back and realize that the Church is a world wide church and that what happens in the US political races matters little to members in other places.  What matters is that we participate in the civic process on the local, state and national levels and that we follow the council of the Church to vote for people that are good and who have good values, principles etc.

  11. guest says

    When I was younger I voted for Harry Reid just because he was Mormon. I promised myself I would never ever vote for someone again just because they were Mormon. However, I am a Romney supporter. Not because of him being Mormon, but because of him as a person and his experience.

  12. McKenna Stroud says

    I am personally voting for Romney in part because he is Mormon, but that’s not the only reason.  I read his book and listened to his debates… I’ve looked at what he was able to do for Massachusetts and the Olympics.  They you hear the story about how he shut down his company to find a colleague’s missing daughter.  Romney is a man of character and who knows how to fix things and turn them around, which is what our country needs.  I don’t believe in ALL of his stances (though I firmly believed those areas he was forced to the right when he’s really in the middle) but I agree with a lot of them.  
    His religion is a bonus.  Can you imagine what it would be like if the President of the United States daily communed with Heavenly Father about the nation’s issues?  

  13. says

    With all due respect McKenna… are you implying that if President Obama were to pray, Heavenly Father wouldn’t answer his prayers because he is not a Mormon?

  14. says

    I won’t even bring up politics anymore… let alone letting people know I’m a Democrat and still support President Obama.  But since you’re asking for it, here’s my take: :)

    It’s hard being in the minority here in Utah… not supporting Mit Romeny… but I’ve learned that it’s just better to shut my mouth rather than get into some sort of political dispute. My family and friends are too important to me and I’d hate for something like politics to get in the way (as I’ve been down that road and got VERY harassed by my ex’s family, ward members, our friends and our neighbors for supporting Obama in 2008). Not a road I want to travel again.For me, I vote for who I think is working for the greater good of ALL people… not just those who believe in what I believe in. I vote and support who I think is the better choice, given all the  issues at hand. I don’t agree with Obama or his policies 100%… nor do I think he’s been a perfect president, as no one would be…. but I do think he is definitely the better candidate. I’m SO tired of religion being brought into politics. TIRED of it! A few weeks ago I watched something on CNBC or something like that where an LDS representative and other church leaders from other denominations where discussing faith and politics. When they asked the LDS representative (and forgive my ignorance of not knowing who) if they thought Obama was in fact a Muslim, he said “I personally don’t believe he is a Muslim” This made me so upset… President Obama has said he is not a Muslim… he goes to church… he says he’s a Christian…. so WHY are we still leaving this doubt that he could possibly be? And so what if he was a Muslim? Do we really have the audacity to believe that all members of the Muslim faith are threats to our freedom and lives? So this means that 1/3 of the worlds population are BAD people?  This sort of thinking is so erred and destructive, I think.And this goes the same for Romney too. I’d hate to think that his religious preference of being a Mormon would have a negative affect on his campaign (which it is in many of the evangelical, protestant communities). It shouldn’t have any part in politics. Whatever faith he may practice (if any at all) who is the better candidate to run our country?Religion and politics should be separate, in my opinion very humble opinion… lol :)It’s nice to be able to write here… I avoid this typically. Jacy 

  15. says

    I’m voting for Mitt Romney because he is a smart businessman and we are desperately needing help with our economy and jobs.I respect him and trust him because he is a Christian and he wants to uphold our constitution. This is a wonderful opportunity to explain our religion to others because there are many misconceptions. I’m very proud of the example both he and his wife uphold. I think he is running for all the right reasons – service to our country, acquiring more jobs and upholding our God-given rights.

  16. Royalbird says

    I didn’t read that at all from her post.  She didn’t say that someone who is not Mormon couldn’t pray for answers.  She only implied that President Obama probably does not.  And I have to agree with that notion that having a president, no matter his or her religious background, who actually relied on God for direction, would probably make things better for our country.

  17. says

    There is certainly a huge amount of social pressure to conform politically in certain parts of Utah. My spouse and I are both Democrats, and we’ve squirmed through more than one awkward Sacrament talk where the speaker decides to bear testimony of the truth of the Republican party. It is sad. There have been many Democrats in Church leadership, and both parties have strengths and weaknesses, and things about them that fit with the Gospel. My ward puts up with me pretty well, even though I’m pretty sure they all see me as a nutty outspoken Liberal. Must be all those scriptures about feeding the poor that I keep bringing up. 

    As for Romney, I will not be voting for him. But at least I’m not absolutely terrified of his winning like I would have been with all the other candidates. Not too keen on Obama either, after the way he’s ignored his promise to revise the Patriot Act and other related flubs. I’ll be looking into third party candidates this time around.

  18. says

    Or that, that since George W. Bush said repeatedly that he prayed, that he ended up doing all the right things? I trusted him because he acted religious, and in my opinion that did not turn out very well. However, I do think you are right that Romney is much more in the middle than he currently has to let on he is. Even though I’m not voting for him, I think he’ll make a decent President if elected.

  19. says

    Discussions on politics & religion always intrigue me, I think because I am a deeply religious, believing person, but I am an Absolute Independent in politics. Yea, even a registered Independent. I vote the candidate whose ideas I think will work. I hear A Lot of politicking at my ward in Utah. I hear a lot of politicking from my friends (on both sides). Sometimes, I feel like the bird on the fence, everyone wanting me to fly their way.

    My two cents…

    I cannot vote for a man just because he is Mormon. That is a horrendous Anti-Democracy idea. I can be swayed to believe that there are certain values he and I share, because he is Mormon (although many of those same values could be upheld by a person of good moral character from other backgrounds). I think he is a good person. I think Santorum is a good person. I think (shock and horror) Obama is a good person. But what makes someone a good person, does not necessarily make them a good leader. For me, the jury is still out, I have not decided one side or the other, or who I will vote for. BUT, the Gospel is eternal, loving doctrine. And although it is important, it should not be confusedly mixed in with a muddied temporal political election.

  20. Royalbird says

    The thing is that if you are deeply rooted in your religion and it is deeply engrained in you, it influences and shapes how you think and act and view the world.  It brings clarity to the difference between right and wrong.  If one truly practices their religion to the best of their ability, they can’t help coming away as moral, righteous and upstanding people of character.  That’s not to say they won’t have flaws or sins, because we all do.  But the difference is that if they believe in the tenets of their faith and apply it in their everyday life, whether they are Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, Evangelical, LDS, etc., they usually are people of upstanding moral character.  Yes, I think that having moral character makes a difference when leading a country.  Even better is when they rely on God to help them in their life-changing decisions.  The thing I see is that many candidates who claim to be believing members of their faith pick and choose which tenets they want to practice.  Most religions teach things like no sex outside of marriage and loving one another and the sanctity of life, yet many people who supposedly practice these religions do not hold true to those tenets.  When I see a candidate who apparently does follow the tenets of his faith to the absolute best of his ability , I will be more likely to vote for that candidate.  Tack on good business experience and a successful term of office, and I see a strong candidate who can change this country for the better.

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