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.
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
Shouldn't this be a matter for the local church authorities to handle?
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.
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 RichardsThe 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.
AmenLocal 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.
In our ward, going to the leaders would do no good.
Amen and Amen!
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
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).
Mike RichardsSouth Jordan, UtahDon'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 NinevahAlma 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....
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".
Re:MikeRichardsWhen 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
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
@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.
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.
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.
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?
@redshirt How do we discuss remaining pure? Gee I dont know maybe they way
they did when I was a kids, simply state that you should not have sex outside of
marriage, period end of sentence, see no politics just the facts. with
regards to helping each other, why do you need to pull the government in at al
just simply state as the did when I was that we should help one another. the
rest of it is purely your politics sorry redshirt.
Tolstoy,Precisely. I have heard these concepts successfully
discussed for decades without venturing into the political realm. Not to say a
few have not wandered a bit. But generally, you can figure it out.
To "Tolstoy" so what you are saying is that we should simply state that
liberals is wrong. We are talking philosophy of the "world" vs.
God's doctrine.Again, you say that when the political
philosophy contradicts God's truth we should state that it is wrong.
Politics are not the issue, the issue is modern liberal philosophy, which is
often in direct contradiction to LDS teachings.The question about
helping those in need is not about the actual help. The question is who does
the helping. Is it better for society if we are concerned for eachother
individually or if we wait for the government to do something to help others?Think of it this way, would you feel better if your neighbor came over
to your house or if the police had to stop by to do a well check?
@redshirtwhere did I say that "when the political philosophy
contradicts God's truth we should state that it is wrong." What is so
hard to understand about simply stating the church teachings no sex before
marriage, there is no need to mention politics at all. if you choice to believe
that means all liberals bad and wrong then that is your choice but it is not
church doctrine so leave it out off church. please site the verse for us
where it say that the government cannot help the poor. regardless of what the
government does you have an obligation to help others plain and simple no reason
to bring government into the discussion at church simply teach the doctrine. Some of us choose not to use our religion as a political weapon and
would appreciate if you would show the same restraint at least at church is that
really so hard to do?
Redshirt,Proposition 8 demonstrated that LDS Church leadership isn't
shy when it comes to direct doctrinal issues. Don't you think that if they
perceived LDS doctrine and liberal (by American standards) philosophy to be
incongruous, they would just come out and say so? And by not actually endorsing
the Republican party, doesn't that indicate they see some problems with the
Republican platform as well?
I would agree that some things are best left alone at church but, I say to all
of you ticked off about this, grow up! It's the same as comments about BYU
Vs. Utah in football. Get over yourselves. The bar was set pretty
low many years ago by a prominent church member regarding political speech in
church.Obviously none of you have ever been to Priesthood meeting in
my ward. I've heard it go both ways. I could care less, and I don't
have rabbit ears in the hallways after church or before church. WE have a very
vocal liberal in our ward and he's the one that spouts most of the
political rhetoric. I'm still his friend. When he spouts, I just
patiently refute his points with logic.I'm sure that some of
you would be offended by us having gun discussions in the chapel right before
and after sacrament meeting, and even sometimes in the hallways. (insert
Twilight Zone theme song here)
Judging from several other comments here, my experiences in church are not
unique.Someone suggested challenging those who spout off. I've
tried and it only made things much worse. I try to ignore it, but it ain't
easy. Going to the our Bishop was no help. Some Sundays I just
stay home and watch the Choir and the Spoken Word. It's a lot less
stressful and much more spiritual.
Redshirt and All,My Stake Presidents and Bishops seemed to have
figured out how to address such concepts well without delving into politics.I think Elder Oaks said it best: "Those who govern their
thoughts and actions solely by the principles of liberalism or conservatism or
intellectualism cannot be expected to agree with all of the teachings of the
gospel of Jesus Christ. As for me, I find some wisdom in liberalism, some wisdom
in conservatism, and much truth in intellectualism – but I find no
salvation in any of them."Although there are intersections here
and there, politics is not the Gospel, and the Gospel is not politics. We would
do well to keep them separate. Otherwise we risk teaching "for doctrines
the commandments of men". Those who hear us might then, justifiably, reject
the "gospel" we teach.I would not wish to stand before the
Savior and explain why my political opinions taught in a Church environment
became stumbling blocks to investigators or other members.
@redshirt"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."Ok.... are we being serious now? You asked after that
"Please explain how to teach LDS doctrine without getting political
philosophy in there?"two quick points. There is no linkage
between "conservativeness" and pre-martial sex.... at all. How many
times have we seen significant political leaders on both side of the isle fall
from grace because of this issue. I can promise you the problem is just as
rampant with republican congress people - even those from the great state of
Utah - as it is with liberal congress people. how can a liberal
instructor make that claim ..... not hard at all. LIberals believe exactly
what the founding fathers said - We the People - this government is made of of
the people, for the people, and by the people to do the peoples business..... a
concept conservatives just don't get. The people and the government are
inseparable, and until you get that, you wont understand.
Flashback I don't think that the people in this letter and comment board
care whether someone is speaking about politics in the hallway or the foyer.
What they and I have a problem with is when teachers, speakers, and leaders use
the pulpit to spout their political rhetoric. The problem with this is that it
distracts from the purpose of church which is to learn of God and his gospel.
For as Christ said "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto
God that which is Gods."
Might as well add my two cents. I have lived all over this country in some of
the wards that I attended have had this problem. It is not unique to Utah. In
one memorable sacrament meeting I heard a political joke told from the pulpit
about Hillary Clinton and her "It takes a community" book. I was
sufficiently offended that I eventually discussed it with A home teacher, A
bishop, and even a state president. I did not name names but I wanted them to
understand that I found political commentary out of line and offensive. Their
response in each case was extremely tempered. They made me feel like I was the
one out of line for even bringing it up. Perhaps they thougt that my complaint
was made to create discord. More reccently, however I think that
Bishops have been making it clear that political talk has no place in church
meetings. but, given the cultural norms of that pretty typical LDS ward, my
discomfort at the joke's telling was the exception to say the least. Most
of the ward laughed at the joke with considerable glee.
This last election cycle with an LDS presidential candidate really got the LDS
political passions flowing stronger than with other elections. Hopefully this
will die down as time goes on and people realize that the world is not going to
end because Romney lost. There is no political party that embodies LDS doctrine.
All parties have elements that are harmonious with LDS beliefs and elements
that are not. Also, I have never met an individual of either party that
believes 100% of their party's platform. Because both parties must appeal
to a broad spectrum of individuals, they each have broad platforms intended to
attract as many as possible. LDS members can thrive in both of them.
2 Mike R...Letting church authorities handle the matter makes the
re: Mike Richards 9:05 a.m. Jan. 18, 2013**Christ discussed
politics. ("Render unto Caesar . . . ")**This, like the wall
Jefferson mentioned to the Danbury Baptists, is a reminder to keep the secular
& religious seperate "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?"What
about those going on the offense who believe deity is on their side? But, then Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Ironic really as I've
never encountered a comfy chair at a church
@UtahBlueDevil: "Church needs to be a refuge from man made
conflict..."Specific teachings sometimes help bring the issues
into church discussions... If the 'Constitution is to hang by a
thread,' it would seem appropriate and imperative that the why's and
wherefore's be thoroughly discussed in church in order for adherents to do
what they can to head off that eventuality.
Having seen both sides of the political spectrum in the wards I've lived
in, I realize that politics can certainly be a divisive issue. However, if we
feel that we have gotten to the point where we can't about it in a civil
manner, that worries me. I have been in wards and branches that are
full of conservatives, as well as liberals, and people from both sides would
spout off their political ideas. I think it is good to have moderation in all
things, and though you may be the minority, at least you are providing a voice
that often needs to be heard, so don't quit, but be civil and think of what
Christ would do :)
Redshirt, there is no liberal stance that premarital sex is encouraged. Other
peoples beliefs and practices are simply tolerated in return for tolerance. I'd add that premarital sex is tolerated by the majority of self
proclaimed christian, religious conservatives as well or your numbers would be
very few indeed.
@WRZ - perhaps true.... but these discussion should never fall to promoting or
disparaging a person or party. You can discuss topics - defense of marriage -
and not have it become "political". For example, the church
doesn't prescribe an a correct answer on topics like the death penalty.
And in the end, how we live the gospel has nothing to do with the
political structure we live in. There are good people living the gospel under
much harsher and repressive conditions that we do. The Savior himself lived,
and taught under the most harsh of conditions.... and yet succeeded in achieving
his earthly mission. Church needs to be focused on the building up of the
saints, and frankly non of that has anything to do with the constitutional right
to bear arms. Not that that right isn't worthy of discussion, it just
isn't consistent with what needs to be taught in the four walls of the
@WRZwhy would your very political bias that "the consecution is
hanging by a thread" have any place in church. you really did nothing but
affirm the letter writers claims.
@wrz"If the 'Constitution is to hang by a thread,' it would
seem appropriate and imperative that the why's and wherefore's be
thoroughly discussed in church in order for adherents to do what they can to
head off that eventuality."wrz, thank you for illustrating the
problem. The example you just gave is not Church doctrine and therefore it is
NOT appropriate and certainly NOT imperative to discuss it in church.We have not had a single convert in my ward in the last 4 years. I believe
the reason for that is our ward is full of obnoxious right-wing authoritarian
followers who believe they are "perfect in their obedience" but are
amoral. Any progressive, or even non-authoritarian personality would be quickly
turned-off and would not be a candidate to join. People in our ward
at least seem to feel like they were "green-lighted" by the Church to
openly discuss their political beliefs during the Prop 8 campaign, and they
have not stopped.@ Cool CatWhere have you been in a ward with
more that a few liberals? I have lived traveled and lived around the USA and I
don't believe that exists here.
Anyone making political comments in church is doing so against church policy,
and should be called out on it. That is the Bishop's responsibility, but
members need to start taking exception to inappropriate statements.
"Polite" does not mean "capitulatory."
@UtahBlueDevil:"@WRZ - perhaps true.... but these discussion should
never fall to promoting or disparaging a person or party."In the
end, it's the persons/parties that are the hanging thread issue. These
guys have to be discussed and eventually tossed out of office if there is to a
correction of the problem."And in the end, how we live the
gospel has nothing to do with the political structure we live in."Yes, but there are sufficient folk who don't/won't live the gospel
to collapse the system around our ears. Look at it this way: We all live in a
long, long boat sitting in a pond. Some way down at one end and some at
another. If the guys in the other end of the boat start drilling a hole in the
bottom of the boat, we'll all sink... together. They may tell you to stay
out of their business. But the stability of the boat is every body's
business. They must be stopped if you are to survive. The other guys
doesn't care whether they survive or not. That's how it works.
That's why we must all be involved.
It's definitely harder to express my views as a progressive than it was
when I ignorantly followed the conservative path. When I argued god, guns and
it's the other guys fault everyone agreed with me. Now that I
want to take care of the sick and poor and turn guns into pruning hooks all I
get are nasty stink eyes.
@George:"@WRZ, why would your very political bias that 'the
constitution is hanging by a thread' have any place in church?"In the first place, it's not a political bias... It's the
truth. It's happening as we speak. Secondly, it has a place in church in
order to assure the church has an environment to thrive in.@The
Taxman:"wrz, thank you for illustrating the problem. The example you
just gave is not Church doctrine..."A church official uttered
the words... thus making it, essentially, church doctrine."I
believe the reason for that is our ward is full of obnoxious right-wing
authoritarian followers who believe they are 'perfect in their
obedience' but are amoral."I would guess that description
included all but thee."People in our ward at least seem to feel
like they were "green-lighted" by the Church to openly discuss their
political beliefs during the Prop 8 campaign, and they have not stopped."Prop 8, abortion, etc., are perfectly legit issues to discuss in church.
Just because some state authority gave an issue a number should not preclude
discussions in church (in my view).
@Mike Richards:"Talking politics over the pulpit is not allowed in any
ward of the LDS Church that I have ever attended."That's
basically so the church can keep it's tax exempt status. All churches are
faced with the same problem... Some churches in the south preach politics over
the pulpit and are having to deal with the tax status issue."Christ discussed politics. ('Render unto Caesar . . . ').That was not a political discussion. He was essentially saying: Please
keep church and state separate.
Re:wrz"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is
politically neutral and does not endorse or promote any candidate, party or
platform. Accordingly, we hope that the campaign practices of political
candidates would not suggest that their candidacy is supported by or connected
to the church."The so-called 'White Horse Prophecy' is based
on accounts that have not been substantiated by historical research and is not
embraced as Church doctrine."(LDS Church Newsroom January 6, 2010)"openly discuss their POLITICAL beliefs during the Prop 8 campaign,
and they HAVE NOT stopped."Note: i did not say Prop 8
shouldn't have been discussed in church.I've yet to see a
church instructional manual that recommends abortion be discussed. If
instructors adhered to church instructional material and the scriptures, many of
these issues would be resolved.
I agree politics does not belong in church. Yet, I also cannot understand why
active LDS members support the democrat party with its strident position on
abortion - including late term and partial birth abortion. Obama three times as
an Illinois senator sponsored bills forbidding doctors from saving the lives of
infants who survived abortions. Also gay marriage is a fundamental position of
the democrat party. The democrats are also showing their disdain and disregard
for the Constitution. The party also is spending this country into oblivion.
This is not the democrat party of 30 years ago. And the current administration
and democrat members of Congress are plainly attacking religious liberty. If you
do not see and believe the above points, it is shocking.
@ the Taxman;Back in Massachusetts, and I was the minority there.
Informed VoterSouth Jordan, UTYet, I also cannot understand
why active LDS members support the democrat party with its strident position on
abortion - including late term and partial birth abortion.10:39 p.m.
Jan. 19, 2013=============You've never wlaked in
another shoes --- My good LDS mother and my good LDS wife both had
abortions.Health of the Woman for one,viability of the fetus for the
other.It's NONE of you business.As for the other
--I had a Stake High Councilman and former Bishopric member who was an
OB/GYN.He was grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and living
prophets and apostles who supported his medical expertice, and allowed him and
the "good LDS" women he treated that they were not committing
"sin" for what they needed to medically do at times.He was
grateful for the Government who allowed them the freedom to choice, without
pllitcal or religous bigots telling him what to do.And he was
grateful they he never needed to worry about going to jail for doing the best he
could do.Your whacky "No abortions ever" stance also meant
no D&C procedures (dilation and curettage) for still borns.
@wrz it is a "fact"? no, sorry, it is your political view. There
is no threat to your attending church on Sunday. There are limits on your
ability to impose your views of religion (one not shared by all LDS members) on
secular society outside the walls of church but they do not interfere with your
ability to worship.
There is in fact a single correct political ideology that can be derived from a
proper and complete understanding of the Scriptures. God does indeed have his
way that he would like to see the world run. But it is not to be found in the
platforms of either of the two major American political parties, at least not in
its fullness. And God has chosen to let us simply exercise our agency on this
matter instead of having prophets force his way upon us. For that I am grateful,
to some extent at least. The world would certainly be a much better place if we
would all just do what we're supposed to. But then we'd never
learn.All I have to say about this is thank God I don't live in
Utah, with all these "cultural Mormons" who come to church but
don't understand or practice the Gospel at all. I hope I will never have to
move out there, but if I do, at least I will be prepared for it now. I got
enough political pushback in the last year from fellow Church members to last a