I don't appreciate Davis' lecturing stance. I just found out that he
is or was the chair of the Utah Co. Democrat Party, so he is biased. And all
those articles that he wrote against Donald Trump, were biased from that
standpoint. Just because he is a BYU professor, doesn't mean he's
smarter than the average voter. It's time the country come together.
President Trump is not divisive. He's a uniter, despite what the MSM and
"experts," like David say. Obama was the most divisive president
we've had. Harry Reid is very divisive and embarrassing to the Church, and
America in general. Let's stop with this nonsense.
When Reid spoke at the BYU forum in the mid 2000s, it was very disappointing.
His talk was less spiritual than non-LDS speakers' who have been Forum
guests. His speech was all about him. It was a lot of bragging and was
politically divisive. Unfortunately, there were some screams of misguided,
delighted approval from the audience. And those outright lies about
Romney's taxes, etc.. Reid was a humiliating example of a member of the LDS
Church. I felt the need to apologize on his behalf.
Mr. Davis is conveniently overlooking an important factor. Yes, Harry Reid may
have done some things in his career that were beneficial to the LDS church, but
the reason many church members are (rightly) critical of him is NOT because he
is a partisan politician. The real reason is because he has
repeatedly abused the authority of his office, and has repeatedly done and
supported things which have undermined the U.S. Constitution, a document
considered divinely inspired by church members. He has also publicly lied in
ways that have harmed private citizens. He has publicly supported legislation
that was in direct contradiction to his most fundamental religious
principles.In his personal and religious life maybe he is seen as a
quiet, kind, decent fellow, but that doesn’t excuse the behavior in his
public life. Perhaps the reason some LDS church members are hardest on him is
because they can more easily see through the double standard in his life.
I can understand differences of opinion, but I just cannot get over the fact
that he lied about Romney's taxes and even boasted about it.
I am sorry, but having grown up in Las Vegas and hearing Harry Reid make many
promises that he did not keep, I cannot disagree more stridently with both the
tone and conclusions of this articles. Harry Reid consistently and stridently
took political positions and made decisions enabling the continuation of
partial-birth abortion, liberalization of many policies against church doctrine,
weakening of the military, crony capitalism, a fully leftist- and socialist
agenda, in short -- everything wrong with the National Democratic party. He blew
up the filibuster in the Senate, and many other corrupt practices, all in the
name of power. That said, there are members of the Republican party that I
consider equally corrupt, but I don't consider them as "honorable
I agree--Harry Reid did more for the LDS Church by deed and by example than
Hatch, Chaffetz, or anyone else we've had since Frank Moss decades ago. He
took positions that were about helping the poor and vulnerable, promoting true
equality and fairness, and he was valiant in speaking truth to power. That was
good for people to see as, for instance, Hatch and Chaffetz have politicized
poverty and fundamental rights that all citizens should have. The criticisms of
Reid by LDS members was hardly something only a few engaged in, as has been
suggested in earlier comments. I was in the BYU Marriott Center when Sen. Reid
spoke and was very embarrassed at how so many students conducted themselves on
that occasion. I've heard so many ignorant and mean-spirited things said
about him and feeling very sad and, yes, angry at how poorly uninformed,
mis-informed, and/or dis-informed LDS members and Utah citizens have judged him.
Thanks, Richard, for this editorial.
While agreeing that Reid's membership should never come into question
because of his political beliefs, I find the argument somewhat disingenuous. A
few church members may have acted inappropriately, and that's too bad, but
the wide swath of Mormons only opposed him for his political beliefs. We
shouldn't feel compelled to aggrandize or genuflect to a leader simply
because he is LDS and powerful. If his policies are inherently antithetical to
some basic civil liberties (even some religious ones) and western values, there
is nothing wrong with opposing him or demonstrating our distaste for him.
Especially when he echoes rhetoric that insults the local population as racist
and not compassionate, just because they believe in administering compassion in
what they believe to be a more rational way. When you wrongly insult a
population, you should expect to hear something in response and not claim to be
a victim. Maybe Reid did many magnanimous things for the LDS church.
There is no specific evidence offered, except Mr. Davis' reassurance. If it
is true, he should be commended. But that still does not give him immunity from
his own rhetoric.
I agree with Davis's assessment. There have also been fair comments on
this board about Reid's own political style and his fairly ruthless
contributions to the 2012 presidential campaign. For the time and
place of Reid's upbringing, I venture to say that Mormonism probably made
all the difference in his life and is probably the driving force of why he made
it so far. Reid is a very pugnacious man. There are pictures online of him
cleaning a guy's clock in a college boxing match and I've read stories
about his Searchlight childhood and FBI video showing Reid angrily lunge across
a table toward man who was trying to bribe him as a Nevada gaming official.
Reid grew up in a hardscrabble Nevada town, full of prostitutes and rough
characters. He told Peggy Stack he had "zero" religion
before his introduction to Mormonism. I can't condone anyone's poor
choices, let alone rough edges, but I don't think politics produces more
bad than any other field. I'll let someone else cast the first stone and
congratulate Senator Reid on a storied career.
Re: Traveller,Reid arranged for President Monson to meet President
Obama and Elder Oaks in 2009. I think that was probably the tip of the iceberg
in terms of the number of things he did for the Public Affairs arm of the
Church, but certainly not the least important.
In over half a century as an active Republican, nobody has ever explained to me
what theology, or what religious affiliation (if any) a person must have in
order to be a Republican.Conversely, in almost that long as an LDS
church member, I have never once presumed to tell anybody what political party
one must (or must not) join in order to be an LDS member in good standing.How Harry Reid goes about being LDS and a leading Democrat is for him to
explain to others - not for others to try and second guess for him.
I don't now how representative I am, but personally, I don't fault
Harry Reid for being a democrat--I have several democrat friends who faithfully
adhere to correct principles. I do not question his membership or his personal
worthiness. However, there is a responsibility inherent to a public servant
position, because one is acting on behalf of the public, to fervently protect
the rights of the weaker party in any transaction. Harry Reid failed to do that
when he neglected the rights of the unborn in advocating for unfettered
abortion. This is not to overlook the situation of women who find pregnancy a
burden, but merely to say that avoiding the killing another human being who is
unable to defend him or herself is a higher priority.Senator Reid,
once again, sided with adults over helpless children in supporting same-sex
marriage. Nature decrees that to be born a child requires both a mother and a
father. Yet adoption into a same-sex-marriage home cuts off that child, who has
no voice in the matter, from one or the other. When in politics,
it's easy to make these mistakes: children can't vote....
We as Church members are not smart enough to "realize" how great Harry
Reid was. It's good someone in academia can clue us in to our ignorance.
As Charles Krauthammer pointed out today, we do have at least one thing to thank
Sen. Reid for: because he destroyed the filibuster as a tool for blocking
presidential appointments, Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed as the next Supreme
Court Justice. Yes Reid supposedly reserved the filibuster for Supreme
Court nominations, but everyone knows that if the Democrats block one,
there's nothing to stop the Republicans from doing just what Reid did and
remove the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees as well by a simple majority
vote. With his short-sighted attitude, Sen. Reid ensured that President Trump
will be able to get all of his appointments through, and that there's
nothing much the minority party can do about it. There's no reason to
think things will be any different if one of the liberal justices departs within
the next four years either, which would finally tip the balance of the court.Thank you, Senator Reid!
And again an entire membership is judged on the poor actions of the few.
I have in the past, and will now again, thank Brother Reid for his service to
his country and to his church. Ditto for Brother Hatch.
@RedShirt "Now if you want an interesting research project, read what LDS
Prophets have said about Socialism, Communism, and other similar government lead
collectivist ideals."I have read these sources. But things just
aren't working out as predicted or assumed. Capitalism is the Lord's
economic system, and socialism is the Devil's, it all goes. Capitalism VS
Socialism to the end, when the Lord would crush socialism. But some funny stuff
has happened since the Cleon Skousen books. Soviet communism unexpectedly
collapsed. Then China adopted a weird hybrid system of capitalism and communism
both.And then the middle east erupted, so that the main opponent of
the west is ISIS! What?! Now we are going to join forces with the kindly
Russians to defeat ISIS. This all means the political assumptions
we grew up with in Mormonism are out to lunch. We need to read some new
material, and soon because we just don't know what we're doing.
"Although they may not realize it, LDS Church members will sorely miss
Brother Reid" No, they won't. I'm a democrat and I've said
many times that the state Democratic Party should not even run any candidates in
Davis or Utah counties where it is heavily LDS. We don't win there. We
haven't won there in decades and that isn't going to change. Those
areas will always vote republican, especially now that Trump is their president.
Mormons support Trump more than any other group, by far. I have several LDS
friends. I don't know a single one that isn't a die hard Trump
Thanks for the article. It's the most amusing thing I've read all day!
@Red Shirt.I appreciate your sentiments. But, parts of the LDS Scriptures
also mirror LIBERAL principles (i.e all things in common in 4 Nephi, the
Anti-Nephi Lehies refusal to fight, and King Benjamin's teachings to care
for the poor, to say nothing of Thomas S. Monson's teachings).What is it today's prophets have said? I believe it is something like,
there is good to be found in many political parties.My personal
opinion is that whenever someone begins to use Mormon doctrine or LDS Scriptures
to justify their political leanings, they are on shaky ground, no matter if
their name is Senator Harry Reid or...Red Shirt.Now, off the top of
my head, there is one exception to this. LDS Scriptures do indicate that the
core philosophy and principles of the United States Constitution are noble, and
inspired of God. I think I will stick with this one, and eschew all other
attempts to justify one's political views by carefully picking and choosing
this scripture or that scripture, or this prophet's words or that
To "Vermonter" I hate to tell you this, but if you read the LDS
scriptures and see the role of government as dictated by God, it mirrors
CONSERVATIVISM. The scriptures are full of examples of small, limited
government being God's way, and powerful centralized governments being the
downfall of civilizations. Now if you want an interesting research
project, read what LDS Prophets have said about Socialism, Communism, and other
similar government lead collectivist ideals.
@Craig Clark.I wholeheartedly agree with you that political conservatism
is not and never will be a tenet of the Mormon faith. Likewise, political
liberalism is not and never will be a tenet of the Mormon faith.And,
if we are both to be logically consistent, we must also disagree with Senator
Reid's philosophy that being a good Mormon and a Republican is impossible.
Senator Reid is an honorable man, who has done much good for his
fellowman and as an active member of the LDS Church. I honor him for that.
But, he is simply wrong when he says that good Mormons cannot be Republican.
With such statements Senator Reid merely fans the flames of divisiveness,
discord and disunity in America and in the Church.
" . . . . Republicans criticized Reid for being partisan. Indeed, he was
partisan. But he was no more partisan than Hatch or Jason Chaffetz, who receive
little criticism from LDS members for their partisanship. . . . "______________________________When I was young, I knew enough to keep a
judicious silence about my political views in Church. It was obvious that many
Latter-day Saints regard political conservatism as a tenet of the faith, which
it is not and never has been.Harry Reid is an American statesman.
His stature as such will be better appreciated as the divisive issues of his
time fade into distant memory.
"The difference is these members agree with Hatch’s and
Chaffetz’s partisanship. ... Is it possible for LDS Church members to
reach the point where we can accept each other’s partisan and ideological
views without questioning whether the other person really belongs in the
church?"=======Ya know Richard, you should ask that
question of Reid himself. As you surely know, he doubted how any faithful LDS
Church member could be a Republican. That probably played a part in his very
public and vocal renunciation of Romney as someone who was **not** a good
representative of the LDS Church.Though I think the 13 LDS Articles
of Faith, particularly the last three, should act as a good guide, far be it
from me to know what party **any** member of the LDS Church should belong to.I have never joined any political party because of the perverse priority
that so many people seem to place of party over nation. Or, as seems to be the
gist of your article, over faith.
I respectfully disagree with Dr. Davis.
Sorry Richard, but honestly, I won't.
@Traveller "I've often wondered how Sen. Reid squared his support of
abortion without restriction with his membership in a church that views it as a
serious sin in almost all circumstances. Likewise his support of LBGT rights. No
doubt these and similar issues are the cause of much of the LDS criticism
against him. "Senator Reid understands something of the
circumstances ordinary people face. Unlike most LDS he understands women seek
abortions mostly because they face extreme circumstances often related to the
guy who got them pregnant. Remember him? Many of you almost assume the woman
brought about her pregnancy all by herself. Those of you who hate Reid lack
compassion for women who face this terrible decision.Moreover,
unlike most LDS, Reid understand LGBT is not a matter of choice for the most
part.I respect Reid's compassion. He is a good man.
I grew up in Senator Reid's ward in Virginia and knew him and his wife as
kind, unassuming ward members, faithful in attendance and callings. His sons
attended seminary with me and they are good family men. I wish that politics
wasn't so divisive and full of rancor as we seek to unite as church members
One might be tempted to excuse Senator Reid for his Romney attacks by
rationalizing that it was in the heat of political battle.Likewise,
we might attempt to excuse Senator Reid saying Republicans are not good Mormons,
because some conservative Mormons attacked him the same manner.Should these 2 things forever tarnish Reid's otherwise stellar career in
public service?We should not judge too harshly. But, young LDS
attorneys and law students must judge if Reid is an example they can follow in
their career development. If Reid had shown some regrets over these
things, I think most of us could easily forgive and forget. But, unless I
missed it, Senator Reid has shown no regrets.Sorry to say this, but
I view Senator Reid as a Democratic equivalent of Donald Trump. When he is
questioned about his flaws and inaccurate and offensive statements, he does not
apologize, but usually doubles-down.
It was as I learned about Sen. Reid's personal commitment to church
activity a decade ago that I came to more fully understand the fact that
personal political views do not dictate one's personal commitment to the
Gospel.I do not understand how any active LDS can support laws
permitting elective abortion on demand. I'm sure there are very
faithful members who do not understand how an active member can support the
right to own and carry guns, and to oppose what I view as radical
environmentalism.We would all do well to avoid questioning or
judging another's private devotion or worthiness before God based on his
political or social views.On the flip side, we also do well not to
assume that every social or political position espoused by an active church
member is the right course to take. It would also be as wrong to
support a man simply because he is a member of the church as it would be to
oppose him simply because he isn't a member. Those who voted for Romney
simply because of his church membership are no better than those who voted
against him for no other reason.We need friends. Those friends
don't have to be LDS.
@Frozen FractalsIf you personally believe an action is wrong, particularly
if you believe it will result in the death of a third person, then choosing not
to stop someone else form doing it is also wrong. If you are a
political representative and your constituents believe strongly in something
that you believe is seriously morally wrong, then I see two choices: 1) Convince
them to change their minds before you make any votes to support it, or 2) If you
can't convince them, resign as their representative and let someone who
shares their belief on the issue make the vote instead. Voting for
what the people want when you personally know it is wrong is the "I was just
following orders" excuse.
Mitt Romney could have possibly have become the highest ranking Mormon had Reid
not to continue to lie over and over and over again. The real question is,
"When did honesty become irrelevant?"As quoted in the
Washington Post: Yet Reid (D-Nev.) not only refuses to retract the
allegation but also seems to take great pride in it. When pressed by CNN's
Dana Bash last year about continuing to defend a statement that is not true,
Reid responded, "Romney didn't win, did he?"
@Traveller"I've often wondered how Sen. Reid squared his support
of abortion without restriction with his membership in a church that views it as
a serious sin in almost all circumstances."He's personally
pro-life, but didn't see fit to impose that view on everyone else.
Dirty harry has a long history of scandal and rumors of payoffs with favor and
influence trading throughout his senatorial career. He appears to be a top notch
sleaze and a dirt bag, who we will miss him about as much as an embarrassing
cheap suit or a kidney stone.
Marxist,Perhaps your copy of the Constitution lacks Article I,
Section 8 where Congress is authorized to tax us and write laws for defense
(space), science (space), interstate commerce (air traffic control), roads and
railroads (post roads).It's all there in black and white.
Eisenhower checked on the legality of creating our Interstate Freeways. They
were needed to quickly move the military anywhere in the nation. The
Constitution supports defense. Kennedy checked on the legality of spending
money on the space program. Again, the "high ground" principle of
defense justified having the "highest ground". Ask the families of
soldiers killed taking the high ground what they paid.Amendment 10
clearly requires marriage licenses, insurance, and most of the nonsense heaped
upon the nation by Reid, and those who served with him in Congress, to be
handled by the States or the people. It's all there in plain sight in the
@Mike Richards " The concept of forcing us to buy insurance is not in the
Constitution. The concept of forcing us to reveal our tax information to the
public is not in the Constitution. The concept of lying about those with whom we
disagree is not in the Constitution."And exploring space is not
in the Constitution, a weather reporting service is not in the Constitution, air
traffic control is not in the Constitution, land grants for the first
transcontinental railroad are not in the Constitution, the Geodetic Survey is
not in the Constitution, etc, etc. But all of these have been at least de facto
Kent,Obviously your goal is not to defend Mr. Reid. I wouldn't
either. His actions as Senate Majority Leader are not defendable.
Senator Reid cared about people. Which is a heck of a lot more than what I could
say about Hatch, Lee, or Chaffetz. They only seem to care if there's a
camera around. Get Educated
Mike,I don't recall you complaining about the lies Mitt Romney
told when he was running for president. His honesty rating by the fact-checking
services was consistently lower than President Obama's or, this go-around,
Hillary Clinton's. Of course, Trump is in a league of his own. But as a
very partisan Republican, you, like lots of other Mormons, simply overlook the
factual errors and outright whoppers that come from Republican politicians at a
consistently higher rate than Democrats. Why is this so?
Right on, Richard.Not only was Harry Reid a great friend of the
church, he was a great friend of the poor and of the underdog, unlike many
so-called Christians. He stood up for the agency of man, a crucial aspect of
God's plan, whereas Utah Republicans show by their actions that they are
enemies of agency.It's very telling that Reid aligns himself
with a man like Obama whereas Hatch, Chaffetz and other Republicans align
themselves with a man like Trump.
Professor Davis,Nice opinion piece. Though I do not agree
with most of Senator Reid's political positions, I think he served
honorably and is a good member of the Church and did much good for the Church as
a public servant.But, unfortunately, in my mind, Senator Reid will
always carry 2 blemishes. The first is the manner in which deceptively attacked
Mitt Romney, and even took pleasure in it.The second blemish is that
while you and Senator Reid decry the way that some church members attacked and
improperly judged Senator Reid because of the his partisan politics, Reid is
himself, is simply hypocritical in this area. In his interview with the Deseret
News about a week ago, Reid stated, "I can't understand how anyone can
be a good Mormon and be a Republican." I don't know. Perhaps Senator
Reid was just joking. But, on its face, this is not an example that I could
recommend to any member of the Church.
Mr. Davis is very vague about what contributions, specifically, Sen. Reid made
that an LDS member should be grateful for. He says Sen. Reid helped
when the Church needed it. When did he do that, exactly? Can we get dates and
specific details of how he helped? It's not difficult to see why the Church
membership doesn't know of these incidents if you can't name them
either, Mr. Davis. I've often wondered how Sen. Reid squared
his support of abortion without restriction with his membership in a church that
views it as a serious sin in almost all circumstances. Likewise his support of
LBGT rights. No doubt these and similar issues are the cause of much of the LDS
criticism against him. It is possible to be a Democrat and not
support those specific planks of the Democratic platform, but to all appearances
Reid gave them his full support.
I appreciate the effort in the article to normalize if not victimize Senator
Reid. There is no question he gave his life to public service, was a leader
among his peers and made a wonderful living because of it. I do not question his
faith nor should anyone openly request for the revocation of his temple
recommend or membership. Having said all that, he lied an inappropriately
attacked people for the sake of partisan politics. He did not turn the other
cheek. He was not humble about his positions. He did not lift up his fellow man.
He was a part of dividing this nation. I don't care what letter you have
next to your name, politics is ugly and I have seen other nonlds politicians
behave with more character and dignity than the Senator. I wish him well in his
retirement and hope he continues in his pursuit of faith and service as we all
do. God will work it all out in the end for our good.
why the constant effort by the DN to rehad reid's image?did he
lie about romney's taxes? yesdid he later brag about it? yesafter the LDS 1st presidency sent a letter asking its member to write
congress in support of the marriage amendment, did he also vote in favor of it?
nohas he supported abortion and gay marriage and liberal judges who
do not value and outright oppose religious liberty? yescannot say
that I will miss him at all.
President Gordon B. Hinckley had once been a Republican delegate at the state
level. His counselor, James E. Faust had been a prominent Democrat. I only
ever saw them demonstrate love to, respect for, and cooperation with each
other.A wonderful example for us all.
I would be more than pleased to help Brother Davis in his quest to make sure
that Brother Reid is the last Democratic politician. Other DC Democrats also
seem by their actions to be quite anxious to help bring this about.
One of the purposes of mortal life is to finally know ourselves as we are known
by others. The sum total of our actions define how we approached every decision
in life. Our actins show how we see our responsibilities. It reflects our
agency. The duty of Congress is clearly spelled out in the Constitution. The
concept of forcing us to buy insurance is not in the Constitution. The concept
of forcing us to reveal our tax information to the public is not in the
Constitution. The concept of lying about those with whom we disagree is not in
the Constitution.I do not agree with many of Mr. Reid's
actions. It is not my job to judge him but I would never encourage anyone to
emulate his actions.
"The power of the Senate majority leader's or minority leader's
office was used on behalf of projects sought after by the LDS Church.
Unfortunately, too little of that effort has filtered out to church
membership."True, and the same could be said for the Democrats
the late Bill Orton and Wayne Owens.There was never a more devoted
member of the Church than my late mother, but she was always harassed for her
Democratic Party participation. She tolerated it without rancor. The same
cannot be said for me.