Comments about ‘Letters: Political rhetoric has no place in church services’

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Published: Friday, Jan. 18 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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Burke, VA

Carol - I share your political persuaions and your experiences in my associations at church. Usually the comments made are seemingly in jest, but sometimes I feel there is an underlying intensity and seriousness to the jestful remarks. I have found that I can become comfortable with my political beliefs and how they relate to my religious beliefs. But I think the important thing is to accept how others of the opposing political beliefs can do the same. There is and should be a separation of our secular and religious beliefs, at least in when they are discussed, and certainly neither side of the poltical spectrum has a corner on rigtheous behavior. There are good, well intentioned people on both sides of politics and we should respect that reality.

And when others stumble occasionally and make inappropriate remarks about the politicians you support we can all just turn the other cheek and feel confident that we are at peace with our beliefs. If I told you that was easy for me to do, or even possible to do on a regular basis, I'd be lying to you. But trying makes the whole situation more comfortable and more tolerable.

Durham, NC

Couldn't agree more. Church needs to be a refuge from man made conflict....church leaders at the ward, branch and stake need to ensure all are welcome, and work to reduce the devise comments from church services and meetings.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Shouldn't this be a matter for the local church authorities to handle?

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

Church is tame compared to dealing with my ultra-conservative and outspoken family. My tongue hurts every time I am with my parents from biting it so much.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Agreed. Our politics should not be a barrier for others who wish to worship God. If they are, we need to do some hard introspection as to what we are doing. If our political expressions chase others away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I believe we may have something to account for.

If we believe that our political views best represent Gospel views, then no problem. If we are right, then with continued exposure to the Gospel (not our politics) others will come to see things more our way. If not, then maybe they were really just our own opinions.

Either way, keeping our political opinions to ourselves when within the doors of the Church (and especially if acting in any official capacity) is what is expected of us and is the right thing to do.


@Mike Richards
The LDS church has stated that it believes politics should be left out of church. This fellow's ward doesn't like to do that. So yes it has to be handled by "local" members, but sometimes it takes outside members to put the fire out.



Local church leaders sometimes are guilty themselves of opening the door for politiical comments. In one instance political material was taught, by leaders, during Sunday services. When we complained and pointed out the false information contained in the material, we were ignored. My spouse resigned from his leadership position and has struggled to maintain activity. Complaints to higher-ups are just referred back to the local level.

one old man
Ogden, UT

In our ward, going to the leaders would do no good.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Amen and Amen!

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

When anyone thinks that they have the right to tell members of any church what to think about anything, they have crossed a line that should never be crossed. Talking politics over the pulpit is not allowed in any ward of the LDS Church that I have ever attended.

However, church is also a social avenue for many. They go to church to talk to their friends. They enjoy being with other people for several hours each week. It appears that some posters want a "social monitor" to keep people from socializing at church. It appears that some are so thin-skinned that they take offense when a neighbor speaks about anything that is not on their "approved" list.

Christ discussed politics. ("Render unto Caesar . . . ").

As usual, many are using politics as a way to attack the LDS Church. If they believed in "loving their neighbor", would they constantly be on the attack?


A problem is authoritarians and authoritarian followers, who blindly follow. Our local leaders believed anyone higher than them is inspired and is to be followed without question. According to them, blind obedience is the true course, synonymous with God commanding Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, forgetting that while God may be perfect, leaders are not.

When we were living on the east coast, a ward member approached a member of the bishopric, concerned about the car in the parking lot with the John Kerry bumper sticker. Little did the person know, the bishopric member's father was Chairman of the local Democratic Party (but it was not his car).

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Don't tell me, let me guess...

You are an older, white, male, Mormon, Republican, living in Utah.

Yep --
You'll never hear anyone say anything to ruffle your feather at Church.

Tell me Mike --
Why do you preach in Zion?
Why do you sing to the choir?
Becasue you feel safe here?

Try Taking your arguments to "Babylon",
post on the San Fransico Chronicle for awhile.

Like - Jonah in Ninevah
Alma and the Sons of Mosiah to the Lamanites.

But -- I'd reckon it's becasue you are really just insecure and are looking for positive re-enforcement, rather than actully sticking your neck out and tyring to make your world a better place....

Mark B
Eureka, CA

I suspect Mike R. might feel differently if he ever found himself on the minority side of some political issue while attending church. As it is, his last post attempts a switch on the "attacker" and the "attacked".



When one is in the minority, one does develop a thick skin--or leaves. What would your response be if someone quoted Clinton, Obama or Carter in a talk? What would your response be if someone in class stated they feel it is part of God's plan that the candidate they favored lost because it is the end times?

Politics is a divisive issue and nothing changes the "atmosphere" quicker than a political discussion.
Politics needs to be left outside church doors so everyone can enjoy the "spirit" inside.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Mike, I have lived in two wards in which the talk before and after church or in the high priests groups was nothing short of disgusting.

In fact, when I tried to post a few things frequently heard in the ward to which I belong now, it was denied because the language was too offensive for this board. Some of it has come from those who are leaders. I've tried several times to call attention to it and have been lambasted by the ones who are vocal while others who do not speak up have come to me later to express sympathy.

I was a convert to this church and am now very seriously wondering if I should continue to belong.

I'm afraid there is a tendency in any organization to become too complacent and to let down our guard against what is truly offensive to God while somehow continuing to believe that we are "righteous."

salt lake, UT

@mike richards
so how is talking about politics in keeping with the purpose of attending church which is generally to focus on the spiritual not worldly matters? I do not see where anyone is saying there should be a monitor to control others in church but perhaps you should think about how your desire to "socialize" (talk politics) interferes with your own and others ability to focus on the spiritual rather then wordily matters, Just asking a question and making a suggestion mike no force involved.

Ogden, UT

Far be it from me to judge what you do in your church meetings, but if this bothers you I would suggest taking a less passive approach to political comments you encounter in your Sunday schools and quorum meetings. If someone nudges open the door with a political comment, kick that door wide open. Challenge them on it. Let them know they are not speaking to a monolithic group.

Non-conservative LDS Church members have plenty of ammunition on their side in this, from the LDS Church's election-time announcement that valid views are found in both political parties to the BYU professor's Deseret News editorial the other day, to various Christian scripture references. Ezra Taft Benson is the patron saint of far-right LDS conservatism, but for every loony quote of his, there are plenty of counter-examples within the LDS Church.


Last post.

Finally, when my child chose to attend the #2 university in the U.S. for his major instead of BYU, he received major pushback from several church members. Someone even had the gall to repeat a lie to me about the school he chose to attend. Is there just one path for members of the LDS church to follow? Apparently so in some people's minds. But the church has religious institutes available to most/all college students across the country. My son has had extremely positive experiences with the church while attending this university, and i hope it continues. Actually it was his experience here locally that resulted in him not even wanting to consider BYU. We are better as people and as a church, when we can open our hearts and minds to all--and not just become a "cookie-cutter" church.

Durham, NC

Ok.... so this doesn't happen much.... but I don't think Mike Richards said anything too wrong here. This is a local problem.

Listen, in this part of the country, we used to have bishops who would instruct elders serving in their wards to not teach blacks, nor bring them to church. Fortunately, that is an issue of the past - not too distant past - but past none the less. I once had a child in my class whom the other kids nick named Oreo... for obvious reasons.

There were black members who lived in these wards who suffered the indignity of this in silence. It takes the courage of a few to start change. I have one member of my current ward leadership that I do not agree with politically... in the extreme. He is a fine man in most other aspects. But he and I have had numerous discussions about things that are inappropriate to be said as a leader in the church. We still don't agree with everything, but at least we talk.

@One old Man, I have gotten up and left meetings because of stupid people, but never the church. They aren't worth it.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Carol Peterson" the problem is that much of the political philosophies (not parties) that are taught by the world are in direct contradiction to LDS teachings.

For example, the LDS church teaches that pre-marital sex is wrong. There are some political philosophies that teach that not only is pre-marital sex ok, but that sex can be with any consenting person regardless of gender.

Please explain how to teach LDS doctrine without getting political philosophy in there?

For you liberals, explain how an instructor is to explain that we should personally care for our neighbors and not rely on others (government) to do it for us without it getting political and offending somebody?

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