Matt Rourke, AP
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump walks off the stage at a campaign stop at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, in Eau Claire, Wis.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
I am an evangelical Christian woman living here in Salt Lake City, and I am following the lead of my LDS neighbors. I am refusing to vote for Donald Trump, his campaign and his inexcusable rhetoric.
As people of faith in Utah, it’s time for us to come together, lead and emphatically state to the rest of the nation that Mr. Trump’s actions are not tolerated — that we refuse to denigrate and marginalize immigrants and refugees, that we stand against sexual assault against women, that we believe in the promise and potential of every child, regardless of race, gender or orientation.
In Utah, we hold strong to the value of hospitality — that everyone is welcome, that everyone deserves kindness and charity, especially the least of these and the most vulnerable. We hold strong to the value of family, building loving and faithful homes, and the belief that our children should have leaders to which they can look up and aspire. We hold strong to the value of providing equal protection for all people under the law, and we don’t believe we need to sacrifice religious freedoms to do it.
Ultimately, as people of faith, we believe in hope and promise, not hate and divisiveness. We believe that we can achieve more together than we can on our own. We believe that every faith — Mormon, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and more — adds to the dynamic, vibrant fabric of our state. Diversity doesn’t make us weaker, it makes us stronger, and Utah has always been a safe haven for those who have felt persecuted. Certainly, I don’t need to lecture the good folks of the Beehive State on the history of religious persecution.
Mr. Trump and his divisive, hateful campaign stand in stark contrast to all of these values, which we hold so dear. I’m a mother of two beautiful school-aged children, and I would never want our children to hear the atrocious comments he has made about women. I would never want my children to look at their immigrant and refugee classmates as “murderers and rapists.” I would never want my children to think that their Muslim neighbors weren’t worthy of the same rights as them.
In these final weeks of the election cycle, it’s time for us to show the world that the good, faithful people of Utah hold to our values and principles and we will not be swayed. We believe in a powerful, all-knowing God. We believe he is sovereign. But God’s sovereignty does not abdicate us of our responsibility to stand against the threat and reality of injustice, particularly when it’s inflicted on vulnerable people. And make no mistake, a Donald Trump presidency would mean gross injustice for immigrants and refugees — especially children in those communities.
I am an evangelical, and the majority of my neighbors here in Utah are Mormon. There is much that we could debate and there are probably many areas in which we disagree. But I absolutely agree with the majority of faithful Latter-day Saints who have shown great moral courage in standing up to the moral vacancy of Donald Trump. He cannot become president of this beautiful, diverse country. Let’s stand as people of faith and lead well, together.
Nish Weiseth is a national speaker, activist, and the author of “Speak: How Your Story Can Change the World.” She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and two young children.