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Published: Saturday, Oct. 1 2011 3:41 p.m. MDT

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Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Re:Rantbully
A study done by the University of Indiana, Center on Philanthropy found that only 20% of money collected by churches goes to the poor. The vast amount of money (tithing) collected by the LDS church doesn't go to the poor either. The Church does not take a position on govt programs to aid the poor, elderly, disabled and children and could never take care of the needs of all those groups by itself. Churches existed before Social Security when poverty rates were higher.

In the late 1950s, the poverty rate for all Americans was 22.4 percent, or 39.5 million individuals. These numbers declined steadily throughout the 1960s, reaching a low of 11.1 percent, or 22.9 million individuals, in 1973. Over the next decade, the poverty rate fluctuated between 11.1 and 12.6 percent, but it began to rise steadily again in 1980. By 1983, the number of poor individuals had risen to 15.2 percent. In 2010, 15.1 percent of all persons lived in poverty. Children represent a disproportionate share of the poor in the United States.

Democrats believe in self reliance too and are emphasizing job creation.

FDRfan
safety dictates, ID

Truth
Look up the definition of truth.

Utah desperately needs a check on the Republican power structure. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. You can quote me on that. If you do I will share a few more of my gems of wisdom. Check out the movie "Matewan' and see if you see unions the same way.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

I wish the Democrats would stop trying to play up any links to the LDS Church. The Church has strenously denounced claims of a unique link by Republicans. As long as the Democrats try to play up special links they invite Republicans to do the same and perpetuate the unneccesary linkage of politicis and religion.

Solutions not Stones
Spanish Fork, UT

It saddens me to say that high percentage of members of the LDS church I have that have have known who said "I am joining the Democrat party" years later said "I am leaving the church." It was almost always that the issue (moral, social, fiscal, philosophical, the list goes on...) that made them want to be a Democrat did not did not square with the teachings of the church. To be fair, I also worry that some people on the conservative side may leave the church over the issue of illegal immigration. Although, the church does side with conservatives on much of the issue (securing the border and have orderly immigration). There is some disagreement about what to do with current illegal immigrants.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

re:JohnPackLambert/SolutionsnotStones
"Play up links"?
Though the Church leadership has been clear that they do not endorse political parties and both parties contain elements compatible with gospel principles a majority in the Church don't seem to agree.
We LDS Democrats are tired of defending ourselves, tired of staying silent, and tired of hearing right-winged politics preached over the pulpit and in classes. (including the chain e-mails that is passed around ward members). If one just goes by the posts on this board and other boards it appears Democrats are not welcomed by LDS members.
One ward we lived in (not Utah) a woman approached a member of the Bishopric concerned about a certain car in the parking lot because it had a John Kerry bumper sticker on it. A big reason people leave the Church is because they are offended.

What does religion offer? Too much of what we see in the world are a bunch of hypocritical, judgemental, holier-than-thou types. No wonder the youth of today are turning away from organized religion.

On the other hand
Spanish Fork, UT

@RantBully, you're not following my logic, so I'll rephrase the analogy. Just as I wouldn't expect someone opposed to Mormonism to offer a view of the Church that I would consider fair, I don't expect a Republican to offer a fair view of the Democratic Party. Claiming that Democrats believe in creating "a handout welfare dependent nation" is like claiming that Mormons believe in hating gays, worshipping Joseph Smith, or bolstering membership numbers by baptizing dead people. You and I know that Mormons don't believe these things, but outside observers with an ax to grind often manage to identify such things among the "fruits" of Mormonism.

@John Pack Lambert, the Church has indeed clearly stated that it is not affiliated with any political party. But several Republican members of the church promote the notion that one cannot be both a Democrat and a good Mormon (witness many of the comments here). Elder Marlin K. Jensen, representing the Church in a 1998 interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, tried to put this falsehood to rest, but it persists. Utah's Democratic Party is not trying to link itself to the Church per se but rather to counter this notion.

Y Alum
South Jordan, UT

I have always tried to vote for the person, not the party. The church doesn't endorse political parties, but says that we should: "vote for the candidates who most represent the teachings and beliefs of the church". If that is a democrat, fine, but I don't find myself agreeing that many democrats at the top of the party come anywhere close to representing church beliefs. Do LDS members in the democratic party really believe that Obama represents church beliefs?? Unfortunately, a vote for any democrat means an endorsement of democratic leadership, which I cannot in good conscience do. While both parties contain elements compatible with the gospel, my personal belief is that the current democratic party platform is directly in conflict with several basic gospel principles. I agree, however, that members shouldn't assume that everyone is republican, and shouldn't bring it to church. Everyone has their free agency, and will be judged by God for their choices, not by me.

1Infidel
APO, AE

A liberal in the classical sense, and that which has been mentioned as being Joseph Smith's characterization of our God, and which is still understood in some places in Europe, is far different than progressives in this country, who have like the definition of "marriage" have trashed the definition in its real meaning.

A liberal in the classical sense believes in the primacy of the individual and his freedom. It is from weakness that people reach for dictators and concentrated power (central planning, regulation, distributed scarcity, and a federal government that is center-stage vs the wings) and weakness does not equate with individual freedom and respect for personal property, none of which the progressives, cloaking themselves as liberals, have any affinity.

The Democratic party is the home of every single-issue, de-humanizing political activist strain known to man - PETA, who champions sharks biting humans as payback, environmentalist who would have man living in caves and worshipping Gaia, welfare systems that are uncharitable, acceptance of laws and ethics that would counter anything Captain Moroni stood for in protecting our families and worship, eugenicists, cloning humankind, income redistribution, labor croneyism - no, cannot identify one single Dem initiative worth support.

JustAsking
Saint George, UT

RantBully

Remember self reliance is only a part of the LDS-Christian doctrine on welfare. Helping those who cannot help themselves is also a required element which you comment did not address (Giving of time, talents, and means, is vital). I think your analogy is only applicable to a narrow aspect of social programs and issues. Certainly, Christian doctrine has room to be kind and helpful to all and looks at every person individually. (which flies in stark opposition to most of the recent Republican views)

That is why so many LDS and other Christians are flocking in large numbers to the Democrat platform. You do not have to support abortion or unions in order to support the best candidate for office. All to often in Utah the lesser person hides behind party rhetoric to gain favor when the more moral, the more qualified person, the person who actually works to solve issues, is in plain sight(like Matheson).

I for one see the tide turning back to the Dems with LDS voters.(as most LDS were Dems in the into the 1960s) The more fanatical the one side gets the more appealing the other side becomes.

JustAsking
Saint George, UT

The burden of citizenship in a civilized society comes with a price. That price requires us all to, not only to listen to the words of politicians, but to set our own hands to work for the good and welfare of each other.

That burden may be too high a price for most. In my experience, the more I work for the good of myself and my neighbor, I see the two as inseparable. I find joy in the service and greater joy when that service does some good. I find that most who oppose social programs have never served those in need.

I for one, see the tremendous burden before us. When I am serving the needy, I see the imperative need for intelligent compassionate leaders who are wise enough and caring enough to listen to all views and choose a wise course. That is why I see much more value for society in supporting Dems like Matheson.

The Citizen, especially the Christian citizen, (myself included) needs to listen to the TV less, volunteer with the needy more, take more time to learn about issues. After that, vote your conscience. Sadly, that price is too high for most.

Charles A.Sudholt
RICHMOND, TX

The Saints who were driven to the Salt Lake Valley in large measure by their political opponents were "entitled" only to cold, harsh winters, hostile natives, frightfully arid land, and other such daunting conditions which required a lot of hard work, sacrifice, and even more faith to overcome. They didn't insist on an eight-hour day or the "right" to abort their children, nor did they demand that others in their group support them financially or that everyone should have absolutely equal economic status. They worked hard and voluntarily helped others so as to "abase the rich and exalt the poor" by the sweat of their brows and not by government edict. They understood very well the "wagon principle": If everyone climbs onto the wagon, who is left to pull it? I ask which political party most nearly resembles that philosophy? I also ask why ANY fetus should be killed if it's birth will not harm the life of the mother?

ulvegaard
Medical Lake, Washington

Political topics usually generate a lot of emotional dialogue. I see very few friendly conversations on this topic, but rather a lot of fingering pointing and arguments back and forth.

No, the LDS church doesn't endorse a political party, but rather speaks out on issues and not candidates.

Personally, I may lean towards many Republican platforms, but I do not believe that either of the two main political parties have all of the answers and that in general, too many in both parties are corrupt and only give lip service to their constituents long enough to be re-elected. The day we get a bi-partisan, nearly unanimous vote on laws that will subject government to the same regulations placed upon the American people at large, then I will regard government leaders - from either party, with more trust and appreciation.

JP71
Ogden, UT

Both parties support issues that dont align with LDS values i.e. Democrats: abortion, pro-homosexuality Republicans: immigration, anti-welfare. The LDS Church has always supported a strong two party system and there have been and are LDS General Authorities that are Democrats i.e. President Faust (one of the greatest men to ever walk the planet), and Elder Jensen.

I am a Republican but I have felt lately that the Republican Party is becoming to right wing extremist for my taste. If a republican doesnt support these extreme views they are branded RINOs. I think if LDS people put aside their preconceived notions that all democrats are bad they would realize that the Democratic Party has a lot in common with the LDS faith.

Just because you are a Republican does not mean that you have to agree with everything the Republican Party does and vice versa. You can be a Democrat and be a faithful Mormon

Anti Bush-Obama
Washington, DC

Parties are worthless. They never follow the constitution and they always compromise which is a breeding ground for loss of freedom. Compromise counquered Germany in the 1930's.

goatesnotes
Kamas, UT

I blog about politics and religion. I find neither party satisfactory. For me it is no longer a choice between two polar extremes offered by Democrats and Republicans. I'll look for the candidates who come closest to my libertarian tendencies, recognizing that threading the needle with the best candidate regardless of party affiliation is the only way to go as long as two political parties dominate the landscape. I'm more interested in principles than parties.

@Charles
the greater outdoors, UT

FDRFan says, " President Faust was a Democrat and there are many others. Anyone discussing these things in Church meetings is disobeying the Church's positions on neutrality."

Different Democratic Party back then and no where, in any manual, does it say that things political are not to be discussed in the church. Maybe you should go listen to Pres McKay's talks in the 1966 Gen Conferences.

Truth be told, I don't believe the "old man" and his story of what happened in his group.

As for the cry about rape and health of the mother and abortion. Less that 1% of all abortions performed in the US are for rape, incest or the health of the mother. Less than 1%! So really, what's the reason for abortion? To kill an innocent human being because of selfishness.

Pres Uchtdorf put an end to the philosophy of "give me" last night. I'm sure the uber-Progressive Dems on these pages will somehow spin that one away and say the policy of redistribution of wealth is okay.

The church teaches self-reliance. Democrats want reliance on the government so they can control everyone and have power. That plan was rejected, remember?

joe5
South Jordan, UT

Democrat stated: "A party is not an ideology but a group of people." Not true. Parties express their ideologies in national platforms (available on-line).

I'm fine with friends, family, and fellow LDS who are Democrats. I can't be. The ideology is too big a hurdle.

Republicans want freedom to:
succeed or fail on your own merits,
speak openly about God,
use arms, if necessary, to protect family,
retain what they earn,
exercise generosity by choice instead of coersion,
etc

Democrats want freedom to:
have a desirable lifestyle without effort,
use obscenity/vulgarity in inappropriate times/places,
let government manage their health care,
marry within their same gender,
abort children for convenience,
commit major crimes without major consequence,
reward people based on race/gender,
etc

To me, Republicans want each person to be free to become the best he can be; Democrates want each person to be free to become as vile as he chooses. Republicans perceive us as human beings with infinite potential. Democrats see us as just another form of animal life subject to our basest instincts.

Democrats view of man is condescending at best, thinking government needs to control our lives.

I can't be Democrat.

OneAmerican
Idaho Falls, ID

Looking through the comments, it becomes crystal clear that there won't be much of a change in the ranks of the Republicans or the Democrats, in spite of this campaign. The things that make you whatever you are, seem to keep you whatever you are. The only real place I see where there might be some ability to have an influence would be in the youth of our country...and as the comments note and as is well known, the Democrats have been fighting since Roe v.Wade for the right to eliminate over 1 million of those potential voters every year...might not be too smart.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "'As the Republican Party becomes more closed and alienating . . . the Utah Democratic Party is really a great home for LDS people,' Dabakis said."

This quote is a perfect illustration that the Utah Democratic Party is NOT a great home for Utah LDS -- dishonest demagoguery can never form the basis for a great political home.

Not that dishonest demagoguery is limited to Democrats -- it's the same reason I've never joined with Republicans or Libertarians, either.

The only valid basis for a great political home is truth. Which is, unfortunately, increasingly rare in all parties.

I once heard Stew Udall explain that we LDS [well, he was barely LDS] had to accept, though not necessarily embrace, a Democrat political platform that was alien, in most respects to our nature and beliefs -- or lose the election.

At least that was an honest expression of his somewhat sophomoric opinion.

But, this new Harry Reid-esque description of a Mormon home among today's radically anti-decency, anti-prosperity, anti-American Democrats is just -- dishonest.

No one is really Democrat because they're Mormon.

lds4gaymarriage
Salt Lake City, UT

Youre ALL wrong.

I believe that devout LDS cant be Democrats OR a Republicans.

LDS doctrine condemns using force to elicit righteous behavior. Satan advocated using force. Both parties believe in using FORCE to accomplish their aims.

Democrats use force, for example, to make us be charitable. Forcing people to be charitable is contrary to the Gospel and consistent with Satans Plan.

Republicans promote force to prevent sin/vice. They advocate government force to keep people from gambling, smoking pot, shopping on Sundays, engaging in non-marital sex (prostitution, homosexuality, adultery, etc), etc Laws that punish objective harm to others (murder, rape, robbery, fraud, etc) are in complete harmony with the Gospel. Vices dont cause objective harm to others. DUIs harm others and should be illegal, but drinking, itself, doesnt. Vices only objectively harm the individual doing it or the harm is subjective (sinshopping on Sundays).

I believe that libertarianism is the ONLY political philosophy consistent with the Gospel. It allows people to act as righteously as they choose as long as no objective harm/force is imposed on others. All other political philosophies believe in using force the enforce righteousness.

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