We did okay

If you survey the damage left by Donald Trump and Covid-19 in our neighborhood of the American religious landscape, a sigh of relief is warranted. We made it through this storm relatively unscathed.

Maybe the flower beds are looking a little bedraggled, but if you peek over the fence, you’ll see that our neighbors’ houses have suffered a lot worse. (Maybe they could use a crew in yellow shirts to help with downed branches or a flooded basement? It couldn’t hurt to ask.) Another storm will inevitably appear some day, but consider the issues we’re not facing right now.

Our church leaders did not go all in for Trump. General authorities didn’t anoint him God’s chosen leader from the pulpit, either literally or figuratively. Church leadership maintained an arm’s-length distance and even issued a few statements opposed to various administration actions when necessary. Church members in the Senate include both dead-end Trumpers and the Hero of the Resistance. Everybody had someone to cheer for. No one got everything they wanted. There were enough Latter-day Saint never-Trump conservatives that the media started to notice a pattern.

The third quorum of the Seventy didn’t debate whether to disfellowship Mitt Romney or exclude him from the sacrament. Certainly there are some new political tensions and old ones have been inflamed, but you see it mostly as disgruntled individuals—both progressive and conservative—on the Internet or in local congregations. We’re not looking for signs that, say, Team Oaks and Team Uchtdorf are about to go their separate ways. As we return to regular church meetings, relations across the partisan divide are mostly okay for most of us.

The church responded quickly and decisively to Covid. Not perfectly, but no one responds perfectly to a pandemic. The church largely aligned itself with the CDC on public health measures and vaccination. (Where it dissented with state guidelines on grounds of religious liberty, it was more in theory than in practice, and it concerned something—what could be open when and under what conditions—that was such a national train wreck of inconsistent rules and misguided priorities that no one noticed.) Pandemic response in Utah—everyone’s favorite convenient stand-in for What Mormons Do—was, like most states, somewhere in the middle, better by some measures and worse in others. It turns out that fighting a pandemic is really hard and requires choosing (and at first, guessing) correctly for a long time, and eventually everybody blows it somehow. (If you missed your chance, there’s still time to muck it all up even now.)

We entered the Covid shutdown with a home-based curriculum in place, a year’s worth of priesthood ordinations just behind us and wide latitude for local units to figure out decentralized solutions to a worldwide problem that took different forms from place to place and month to month. Every ward and stake did things slightly differently, and that turned out to be mostly the right call.

Instead of going to war with Critical Race Theory, church leaders are finding new ways to cooperate with the NAACP. That will not erase the issue of race or reset the balance of history, but I’d much rather have the church exploring possibilities for racial reconciliation than trying to combat a diverse set of academic critiques of race and power in history.

While a significant fraction of American academia experienced an existential crisis, the church’s universities maintained healthy enrollment growth. The schools’ financial footing remained strong; it turns out that socking some money away in advance of global disasters isn’t a bad idea after all. If not all the BYU headlines were positive, neither did they involve pictures of administrators’ unzipped trousers.

This is not to say that everything is perfect or even that all is well: pandemics and political polarization and a national disaster like Trump (even if you think three justices were worth it, you can still admit he was a disaster in some important ways) are hellish problems with no easy solutions. It’s always tempting to look at some trend or crisis in another sector of American Christianity and assume it must apply to us as well. It doesn’t, at least not always, and not this time. National media outlets have treated the agonies of American Catholics or Evangelicals or Christians in general in numerous long-form articles over the last several years, articles that have been largely and blessedly silent about us.

There’s a certain segment of our readership that is perpetually certain that the church is on the precipice of disaster (or at least on a slippery slope tilting steeply toward it). What I’m trying to tell you is that the church is, at the time of this writing, not doomed. There have been some difficult situations with the potential to cause real, long-lasting harm (just look over the fence to see what might have been), but this time, we did okay.

22 comments for “We did okay

  1. Several of the things you list, Jonathan, are pretty low bars to clear (“church leaders did not go all in for Trump”; “relations across the partisan divide are mostly okay for most of us”), and calling Senator Romney the “Hero of the Resistance” seems to elide both the actually existing circumstances of the Republican party in America today, plus the possible existence within Mormonism of anyone with political opinions left of, say, Senator Manchin. Still, you’re not wrong that this deeply America-centric church could have collectively made, over the past few years, a lot of really horrible decisions, and mostly it has not. Praise where praise is due, and you did well to provide it.

  2. How can you “get” Joseph Smith and not “get” Donald Trump? Aren’t both examples of God using flawed individuals to do His will? And in doing so, God calls us to faith in Him. When I see Joseph Smith, I see Jesus in Joseph Smith. When I see Donald Trump, I see Jesus in Donald Trump. Who do I see in Jonathan Green, Jesus also, but a bit on a stretch of my faith as he here denounces our dear brother Trump?

    The “hellish problem” is not Donald Trump, or Joseph Smith, or Jonathan Green, it is the spirit of hell that allows any to judge another without comprehension that all is proceeding for the good of all, according to the will of He who is the good, even Jesus Christ.

  3. “In all, 69% of white Mormons chose Donald Trump, which is less than the support he garnered among white evangelical Protestants, but still higher than his showing among Mormons in 2016.” Jana Riess Religion News Service 4/1/2021

    On what rational planet is this “OK”, especially after four full years of his vulgar antics, Putin-worship, and incompetence? The gifts of discernment seem to have utterly collapsed for the majority of us. Not OK.

  4. I disagree with us coming through COVID well vis a vis the other local churches. Ours is the only one I know of in town that has not returned to the full schedule of meetings for those who want them.
    To those who might be interested, that seems too timid and worldly for professed disciples of the Living Christ. Also, having lots of visitors would be a major problem with the distancing requested by top leaders.

  5. I think the church did OK. Certainly could have done better, but there were a lot of unprecedented times to manage in the past year. It will be interesting to see how we’re doing in the future. Our ward had 140 members per week showing up on any given Sunday pre-pandemic. We’re now averaging 80 per week. That’s with 600 members on the rolls.

  6. My family is not white, and most of us see Trump as the best president since Reagan. He’s mouthy and egotistical (all were, only he was more honest to vocalize it), but he loved and did good for America: gas prices cut in half, oil independence, lowered taxes, boomed the economy, put Hispanic and Black unemployment at lowest rates, slowed China’s and others’ financial drain of us, made the border safer and the cartels’ exploitation of thousands not as rapacious, etc, etc. He did much more good, much less harm, and was more honest than either his predecessor or successor and their agencies’ supporting minions. He was one who dared to molest and make afraid the corrupt networks of a deep state, that could have been doubted until their fury against good became obvious. Monte Walker

  7. Russell, I’m not sure making it to July 2021 relatively unscathed is that low of a bar. At a time of intensifying polarization, keeping everybody talking to each other in the same room seems like a pretty remarkable achievement. You’re right that I skimmed over the place of progressive members, but compare where we are today with the dread of January 2017. Maybe we’re not where progressives wish we were right now, but on a host of issues, instead of making progressive nightmares a reality, the church tacked left. That, and the church’s support for vaccination and immigration and a peaceful transfer of power, is pretty remarkable in an organization where 69% of white members voted for Trump (as p helpfully reminds us).

  8. 80@ of over 40 for trump, positive the leadership are keeping up with being nice to african american leaders. But they seem to have lost control of that 80%. Oaks spoke before and after the election, without effect. My respect for Oaks has increased a little.

    So limited obedience now, from nearly all members so long as it agrees with our personal / political view of the world.

    I do not see any relation between trump and Christ, or even common decency/ morality.

  9. Can I add that Utah and Idaho have 2350 + 2152 = 4502 deaths from the covid virus. The state I live in Australia has had 7 deaths, and a population similar to the combined population of Utah + Idaho. Today we had 2 new cases v 671. Do you think thats doing OK?

    I believe with 80% trump supporters it would not be possible to do as we have, even if we had a prophet advocating it, but didn’t have that either. 4500 CONSEQUENCES OF LEADERSHIP..

  10. Geoff, please stop using my posts as a place to sow dissension and increase polarization. One of the biggest threats we face is internal strife, and yet every comment you make is designed to cause contention between church members.

    Besides, your persona is wearing thin and I no longer believe you exist. Maybe you really are physically located in Brisbane, but I no longer believe the face you present to us is your own. On the one hand, you pretend to be old and slow enough to spell Marxism as “marksism” – and on the other, you have an instant command of where to look up the Gini coefficient for states and nations? It’s a con, and just not worth responding to.

  11. And yet, JG, 80% of LDS over 40 DID vote for Pres Grab ‘em By The P****. That’s Latter-day Saints I’m talking about, men @ women, people who refer to bare shoulders as a variety of porn, and consider wearing more than one earring per ear too provocative. What happened?!

  12. It looks like democracy in action to me, P. Voters of both parties have been giving a pass to their candidate’s personal awfulness for some time. The incompetence, corruption, cruelty and threat to democracy embodied by Trump make him someone I would never* vote for, or anyone else in today’s Mad Max/Barnum & Bailey Republican party.

    But parties and candidates represent a range of issues, and the Democratic party certainly has its drawbacks. One of the most acute threats to the dignity of religious citizens is a narrow view of religious freedom that would require us to set aside our religious identities to be allowed to participate in the market or the public square. If you place a high value on that – say, higher than having a functioning democracy – and don’t care much about the giant list of things you should be noticing, then voting for Trump in 2016 probably seems like a good idea. You got your three justices, and they’re already paying big dividends on religious rights (while the chipping away of voting rights continues, but that’s another matter).

    * Unless the other guy was worse.

    ** This isn’t directed at P, but anti-vax disinformation is completely unwelcome here and will get deleted as soon as I see it. Anyone who isn’t already vaccinated should go get vaccinated TODAY.

  13. P: And one thing I forgot to add is that it’s easy to look at voting patterns through the lens of national electoral politics. I do, and I did in my previous comment. But a lot of people look at national electoral politics through the lens of their state or community. If you’re a Utah voter, and your Republican governor and legislature are doing a reasonably good job – and as an uninvolved bystander, it does seem like Utah’s state government is reasonably sane and competent – why not keep voting Republican at the top of the ballot? I mean, to me it looks like a tragic mistake, but it really just is democracy in action.

  14. Treyeshua, I am trying to understand. Do you also see Christ in Biden and Harris?

    JG, perhaps you could write a post defining religious freedom, and how it is threatened by the democrats.

    To me and most of the free world, it is the freedom to practice your religion. You seem to infer above it should give added weight to your opinion in the public square, and I hear others saying it gives you the right to discriminate against others, without consequences?

    Did Obama have personal awfulnesses, do Biden and Harris? Or are you trying to smooth contention by inferring that trump was not uniquely awfull?

    On the question of Utah Rrepublicans, the alternate view is that the republican brand is damaged. That trump, Jan 6th, republicans unable to say Biden won, efforts to disenfranchise democrat voters, efforts to disallow any legislation to pass the senate, all show a lack of belief in democracy. Can you have a democracy where only one party believes in it? Can you vote republican without agreeing to end democracy? I think we are agreeing, but you seem to be valuing being nice to other members more than I do. I think the moral danger outweighs,niceness.

    Had the insurection succeeded, and trump been returned to power the free world would be much reduced. America would be alligned with Russia, and China, as superpowers with despots. Most members voted for this when it was obvious, and would probably do it again. Are there no consequences?

    In Australia we have a conservative party in federal power. There is an election due in next 12 months. In our system the PM chooses when there is an election within a time slot. We have had a number of state elections during the covid, and all incumbents have been returned with increased majorities. Feds are responsible for sourcing vaccines, and quarintineing incoming people. We only have 7% fully vacinated because of shortage of supply from overseas. And they have just agreed to fund purpose built quarinteen stations.

    Our elections are run by our independent electoral commision, who set the boundaries of seats, organise the voting, and count the votes. So no room for corruption there. (And legislation is passed with a simple majority).
    Excessive pork barreling at the last election, has continued to come to light. In the latest 47 commuter carparks were announced, 77% were in safe seats they held and the rest were in marginal seats they hoped to get. None were in safe seats the other side held. Most members here seem to believe they are required to vote for the most conservative party. The corrupt one. ETB legacy?

    From here Biden appears to be trying to do a good job as president. Though the news and shows about American politics are more boring without trump.

  15. From here Biden appears to be trying to do a good job as president.
    Losing control of the southern border is good?

  16. Geoff, thanks for the forthright response. Other people have written about freedom of religion much better than I could. One way to think about the issue is to recognize the danger of freedom of religion becoming limited to a “freedom of worship,” such that people can do whatever they want within their homes or sanctuaries (as long as the sermons don’t stray too far from “be nice to others”), but are required to speak and act in ways indistinguishable from non-religious citizens everywhere else. I think it would help the public discussion immensely if all sides would recognize that there is a conflict between important rights, rather than a battle between a righteous cause on one side and illegitimate opponents with no valid arguments on the other.

    To clarify, Obama and Biden and Harris seem like wonderful people. Democrats are now more likely to acknowledge that Bill Clinton engaged in some private awful behavior that differed perhaps in quantity from Trump’s vulgarity, but not in quality. I don’t know if the best solution was to support impeachment in ’98, but he certainly screwed things up in some far-reaching ways with his behavior.

    Smoothing contention is a good thing, and I’m trying to do it as best I can. About half the country voted for Trump, and these are the people we have to find a way to further the American dream with. More than half of the people at church voted for Trump, and these are the people we have to build Zion with. Jesus said love everyone. There is no escape clause for this obligation. Fortunately, mutual respect, common ground and cooperation is still possible with most of these people, although I think they’re ill served by a lot of their current political leaders.

    I suspect that a lot of Republican voters think of January 6 as nothing but a loud protest. They don’t think anything was seriously in danger. I think they’re wrong. All it would have taken was for the insurrectionists to have been better prepared, more determined, more heavily armed, more enabled by some other government agency, or cursed by better luck, and we could have easily ended up with a bloodbath, dead congressmen, or a delayed certification of the election. Or Republican-controlled state legislatures could have decided to send their own slate of pro-Trump electors, while the Supreme Court dithered about technicalities. We could have lost everything. But the only option for avoiding that outcome in the future is to treat each other as brothers and sisters and fellow citizens. There is no short cut that skips the need for patient persuasion.

  17. Jonathan, In Australia there is no political party opposing the legality of abortion, gay marriage, equality for women, or universal healthcare. These are all settled. There is no restriction on religious people having their say on these issues, but they are seen as influenced by Americans, and not greatly respected if they want to oppose any of these. The world is a more peacefull place without angst/division about these issues.

    Religious freedom is the right to practice you religion, but religious people have so abused their freedom/power that they are no longer entitled to special treatment. The fact that so many of trumps followers are religious is seen as evidenc of how little connection there is between religion, and morality, good judgement, christs teachings.

    How America unites is a problem. From here it looks like the contention is mostly of the republicans making, and will require repentance/change on their part before your peacemaking will have any effect/be accepted. As a proportion still believe the election was stolen, and as they want to steal the next election by disenfranchising dem voters, not sure where the common ground is? Not sure your peacemaking will not be seen as weakness?

    I do not see any interest in creating a zion society by the political right. I think they have a different understanding of a zion society than I have, or they would not be voting for tax cuts for the rich; making the most unequal society even more unequal, and then calling redistribution toward the poor markxism.

  18. JG,
    Why did you jump on Geoff-Aus like that? He’s been a long-time commenter, and his comment was factual and valid. I didn’t see it as being divisive, nor have I seen a pattern of divisiveness in his comments that you see. I’m perplexed. If we’re talking about whether or not the church did “ok” certainly avoiding mortal peril and death are valid points. On the other hand, there are some extremely strange and out of the ordinary commenters here which I find highly suspect.

    I give full credit to the church for presenting home-based instruction and study prior to COVID. Inspired. Brilliant. Bonus points. Fasting and praying for science and the having our acclaimed hero Doctor/Prophet take the vaccine and encourage getting the vaccine? Hooray! More points for Gryffindor.

    But at the same time time, there were a heck-uv-a-lotta misses beginning with sending the choir to sing at the inauguration. I’m not going to recount all the times in the past six years that I have felt utterly disappointed and even betrayed by the church.

    At the heart of it, spiritually, there is a major split in the church as both sides can’t be right. The big lie is either a lie or our democracy broken. (FYI, it’s one heck of a whopper.) And we as saints (endowed with the HG) evidently can’t discern the truth. It doesn’t seem like the Q15 is at a consensus either. We are rudderless.

    To your point, there are many LDS who are blissfully unaffected by the past six years. My observation is that many saints live extremely privileged lives and stick their heads in the sand when it comes to politics. They vote as they believe the brethren do, but stay away from the worry and contention that comes when thinking about problems. Black lives matter? Boarder crisis? Oh my, it’s not considered “spiritual” to dwell on such negative things. Let’s craft up a scripture instead? Hmmm? As the throngs of privileged LDS women have said on FB “I only want to see uplifting posts, no more politics, refugee news, or problems.” Ok princesses, go back to your McMansions, jet skis, Disney trips, and hair extensions.

    So sure, if people have ignored the past few years, the suffering, death, harm to the government, etc. with apathy, elitism, and obliviousness, then sure. They are fairly unscathed.

    I for one see their naïveté as a terrifying chink in our collective, and a massive dereliction of our purpose and being, one that ha repetitively reaped biblical consequences in every single sacred text (OT, NT, BOM, D&C, PoGP).

    So yeah, we weren’t terrible, but it wasn’t as though we acted like the lighthouse of truth and sanctuary of compassion that we purport to be. So in that respect, major fail.

  19. Thankyou Mortimer, I wondered too.

    I go to millenial star, and meridian magazine to make sure I am not in a bubble, with like minded folk. Neither believe in free speech, both have banned me from commenting.

    On meridian at present there is an article “What is your role in the futer of the United States”
    As this is a right wing site, where the 80% who voted for trump might be perhaps this will be a discussion on how to prevent a successful insurection.

    The advice of the article is to not see the things negative people who want to undermine America see like racism, or climate change. Be positive about how good America is. Pat yourself on the back.

    There is now a second article with a big flag that in the first paragraph “I believe we live in the “latter days”, or what the Apostle Paul described as “perilous times” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).  These are times when he said that men would “not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears (2 Timothy 4:3).
    There are those who say that there are “systemic” problems with America.”

    He then says young people will not be taught about the constitution, and then that what is systemic is that all are created equal. Not mentioning that at that time that did not include women or people of color.

    Are there any trump voting members who are questioning whether America may have just escaped becoming a dictatorship, because of their vote? The lot above are still convinced the problem are those who want to make improvements to the lives of the less fortunate.

    I got a church message on facebook about making peace with our brothers, and the comments were taken over by right wingers who could not make friends with sin and evil. Thats you and me, sin and evil.

    JG good luck with making peace with these people, until they repent not happening. Who is going to call them to repentance. Oaks tried gently, but was ignore, or seen as a traitor.

    So I think the biggest result of the last 2 years is the 80% who still believe more in trump than the church or the constitution. Many members overseas model themselves on the 80%. There is no future of growth for this church of trump lovers.

    If he got in again (or his cronies) I fear for the future of America as a democracy. Until the republicans drop trump they should not be voted in again.

    The less religious americans seem more enlightened than the religious. Does not give credibility to religious.

  20. Mortimer, the problem with Geoff as a commenter is that he’s not even a well-informed observer of Australia, let alone the U.S., which he’s barely visited. He doesn’t distinguish between Facebook and reality. You know the people who were sure Biden had no chance in the Democratic primary because Twitter? That’s pretty much Geoff’s problem. On top of that, he regularly and hypocritically congratulates Australia for a job well done without taking note of the reality in his own country. It’s not good for international relations, and it’s not good for Australia; given the acceptance of how refugees are mistreated in Australia, there’s enough resentment of others for a Trump-like populist authoritarian to gain popularity there, while Geoff is comfortable in the assurance that such could only happen in the U.S. Then there’s the way Geoff’s weirdly fast with statistics to support his position, but oblivious to anything that might undermine it (he should check out how gay marriage has become a non-issue in the U.S., even among Republicans). His comments usually seem designed more to rile people up than to enlighten. I much prefer the version of Geoff where he’s irritated enough to say what he really thinks. Of course, he’s given to condemning the prophet and apostles at times, which I have no interest in keeping as comments on my posts, so his comments might get deleted anyway.

    As to your take on the last six years: the point of my post is that you’re, well, wrong, starting with the Tabernacle Choir. The church’s mission isn’t to do your political protesting for you, it’s to minister to everyone as much as possible. Turn the situation around: if Hillary Clinton had won, how would you have felt if the church had declined an invitation for the choir to perform at her inauguration? The consequences would have ranged from disappointment to spiritual devastation. Trump and H. Clinton are by no means equivalent; she was a highly qualified candidate who would have been a much, much better president. But using the choir to protest her election would have been as traumatic for her supporters as it would have been for Trump’s, and I can’t ultimately support that. In 2017, I daydreamed about the choir singing “America the Beautiful” as a dirge, or making some other dramatic gesture, but that is ultimately not the choir’s mission or the church’s – or at least, not yet, and not in 2017.

    I don’t see any evidence that Trump-voting members of the church actually buy into the big lie in a serious way. They’re disappointed supporters of a failed candidate who aren’t, by and large, making any move toward insurrection any more serious than what I was doing in 2017. The Ammon Bundy wing of the church is vanishingly small. I have no idea why you think there’s any dissent among the apostles concerning U.S. politics.

    Also: don’t confuse Facebook for real life, invoking “privileged LDS women” is just a way to make misogyny socially acceptable, and ignoring politics is often the right choice.

  21. Jonathan Green,

    I had to ask, because it is unusual for you to swing from discussing content and go for ad hominems. I don’t see all the comments- perhaps you and the admins had to delete some. I am a faithful saint and don’t appreciate attacks on the leaders (especially if covered with anti-bitterness), but I appreciate T&S and other parts of the bloggernacle that create a safe space for discussing needs and problems in a constructive and intelligent way. At the same time, I don’t think that being quick with stats (if they are valid) is a problem- seems like data informs discussions. Peace out bros.

    While I don’t think the church is my political cudgel, I think the church should be politically aligned with its values, beliefs, and mission. As I said above, politics is the mechanism by which we interact with our neighbors (locally to globally), and in many regards, it is the ONLY way in which many critical issues are worked out with others. It is therefor a sacred duty- falling under the second greatest commandment.

    I am not “wrong” in stating my opinion that I have been crushed and disappointed by some of the church’s lobbying efforts of the past several years, and encouraged by others. The fact that we as a collective stick our heads in the sand and pretend that the church is apolitical, when the $100B gorilla in the room most certainly IS political, is dangerously naive. Like it or not, we can’t escape our presence or impact, whether neglected, used, or hidden. (The church writes amicus briefs, sends lobbyists, has closed door meetings with legislators and world leaders, etc.)

    As far as the MoTab singing, we might need to agree to disagree. The choir’s half-century pattern has been to only sing at republican inaugurations (w an exception) so, it’s hard to pretend to be neutral. It’s selective presence is already traumatic. It’s also hard to hypothesize about other scenarios with democratic inaugurations because we either haven’t offered, the D’s haven’t invited us, or a combination of both. We’ll not live down bending over backwards to accommodate an inept inaugural planning committee that extended our invitation *after* most performers had turned them down and at an alarmingly late date. We could have easily declined based on pure logistics instead of leaping to help the “grab em by the p-“ President.

    Interesting fact. C-Span just ranked him as the 4th worst president in all of US history. That ranking started a hot debate this past week among scholars as to who really has been the worst of the worst, and whether 45 deserved to “win”’ the race to the bottom and whether with more time, his score might fall as the extent of the fallout from his admin is learned. I didn’t need Elder Gong’s PhD in politics, or the red phone in the temple to see the storm brewing before the fumbling inaugural planning committee called.

    I join you in wishing the MoTab had sung something else, in a minor key, with ominous foreboding. That would have been more honest, more contemporaneous. Cheerfully waving poms poms (metaphorically) was not authentic.

    Maybe in your ward/stake and geographic region LDS people aren’t buying into the big lie. Where I live, they do. Why do I say that? Not because I live in a FB silo as you accused (!?!) but because I’ve personally spoken with so many families in my LDS circle who remain concerned about it, despite my assurances otherwise. Then they post the Q memes, the Fox blurps, the Facebook drivel along those lines. I don’t know if there has been a recent study of LDS about this topic, but it would be interesting to see some national numbers.

    I didn’t say that the brethren are somehow dissenting against anything, they are simply, like the country, split into partisan camps and have no consensus. We can see *some* of their voting registration records, we know Uchtdorf’s family donated to Biden, and Oaks’ family actively campaigned for 45 (both times), Julie B. Beck campaigned for 45, The recent Primary General President prayed for 45 in the rose garden- and her prayer sounded extremely laudatory and supportive (as Mark Twain wrote, you can’t pray a lie). Bednar spouted some extremely conservative R /Fox talking points recently to a BYU JRC CLE, that caused waves. It’s all over the map. The brethren don’t appear united at all in their politics, which up until the era of nuclear-scorched earth politics, was a healthy diversity of thought. Now, the stakes are high: insurrection, the big lie, destruction of the justice department, politicizing the bench, reproductive rights and bioethics, autocracy and nepotism, fraud and illegal behavior, international crime and bloodshed, international relations, boarder crises, pandemic responses, etc. It seems like a good time to insert our beliefs/values.

    As for the Ammon Bundy wing of the church, I’m glad to hear that it remains small. General anti-government sentiments by the saints? Well, I would mark “could use improvement” on a grade card.

    As far as my accusation about LDS privilege, I’m not taking that back. We are by and large, a wealthy and white people with a privilege problem. Both men and women fall into the entrapments of multi-generational comfort. And, you are right, misogyny plays a role in some of the apathy and political disconnectedness seen by many LDS women. I happen to believe that being politically informed and active is an American duty, and as stated above, a Christian/ethical one as well. Seeing the apathy, naïveté, and scorn of politics by Saints who spend their time decorating their McMansions with big clocks, visiting Disneyland several times a year, or jet-skiing, instead of voting, or championing even one cause, is a punch to the gut. When is ignoring politics the right choice?

Comments are closed.