Brothers and Sisters,
Today some of us are feeling relieved and joyful. More of us are not. Believe it or not, I take no satisfaction in this. In fact, it pains me. If you are feeling sad, concerned and fearful about the future of our country, I am truly sorry. I hope as I am sure you do, that in time your fears will be allayed as we work together to create solutions and mend the great divide.
If you are angry with me or my fellow Mormons or anyone really, who supported President Obama in this election, I am sorry about that too. If you feel that we are unwise, short-sighted or just plain idiotic, well…so be it. Perhaps we are. Time will tell.
How you feel is your business, I can’t tell you how to feel, I can barely tell myself how to feel.
However. I must on this day and on every day in the future most emphatically implore those of you who do (and by no means, is that every Republican Mormon), to stop implying or even overtly stating to each other, to your children, in social media or at all ever, that those of us, (Latter Day Saint or not), who voted for President Obama are immoral.
You do not know my heart. You do not know the heart of those who voted for President Obama.
Please do not say that we are pro-abortion. No decent human-being is pro-abortion. Being pro-choice is not being pro-abortion. But the truth is, you don’t even know if those who voted for President Obama are pro-choice or not. If you want to know more about my rationale regarding this issue or any other issues, I will refer you to this post.
However this letter today is not about whether or not we agree on the issues. It’s not who is right or wrong, who has a better plan for the economy or a better foreign policy. It’s about an attack on character.
Please consider that we have, as I am sure you have, carefully, prayerfully and with great diligence to heeding our personal moral compasses, studied out the issues and chosen what we feel is best. What we feel is most moral.
Our church takes a politically neutral stand. I am perfectly confident that if voting for one candidate over another was immoral, our Prophet would not hesitate to tell us so. I trust him. I know that he supports political neutrality. I know that he does not consider one party more righteous than another. I know that prominent members of the church, including at least one late member of the First Presidency are and have been Democrats.
I believe that every person has the right to his or her opinion and has the right to express that opinion. However, I do believe that questioning or even negating my personal morality by virtue of who I choose to vote for, is incredibly judgmental and very, very wrong. To tell your children that those of us who have voted for another candidate are immoral, is very wrong.
I, or one of my fellow Democrats, may well end up being your child’s Primary or Sunday school teacher. Their nursery leader or their Young Women’s or Young Men’s President. Maybe even their Bishop. How will you be able to reconcile to your children my moral bankruptcy because of my political beliefs, with the fact that the Lord finds me worthy to lead and teach them?
I believe we are all good people. I believe we are trying our best. I do not believe that anybody who says these things on facebook or wherever is saying them to hurt me. Not at all. But these things do hurt me. Deeply. They hurt my children. And most importantly, they are untrue.
Please, please think about what you are saying. Again, call me stupid or unwise, naïve, ridiculous, ignorant, blind or uninformed. Truly, this really doesn’t bother me. But please don’t call me immoral. When you are tempted to do that, please think about saying it to me in the hallway at church, or next to me as we take the sacrament. Think about saying this to my kids. When you say these things, please imagine yourself saying them to me or someone else who may have voted for President Obama as we stand face to face in the Temple together.
Please just don’t.
When it comes down to it, we have not been told which candidate will or will not lead us to destruction. You may or may not speculate about prophecies and signs in the last days, and how President Obama may or may not contribute to the hastening of these days.
We have, however been warned very explicitly about contention and dissension within our church. We cannot be united, we cannot feel a sense of trust and love for each other if we are judging each other’s morality. We can and most certainly should (and nobody is a bigger proponent of this than me) have diversity in opinion, politically and otherwise, and again, if you think I am an idiot, well…it’s been proven to be true many, many times before.
Brothers and Sisters, I want to feel comfortable and safe and un-judged at church. I want my kids to feel the same way. I want you and your kids to feel that way too. Let’s be more careful, more sensitive and more thoughtful….all of us. I am far from blameless. If I have offended you in the past, for any reason, (and there is a good chance that I have), I most sincerely apologize. I have a big, loud mouth, I love a good political debate, I am overly opinionated and I can have a quick temper, but in the end like you, like everyone else, I mean well. I’m trying. If you have an issue with me, please let’s talk it out. I don’t think my blanket apology above absolves me from doing that and I want to make things right.
In the end, we are all aiming to hang out in the same place, under the same leadership.
With love and respect,
PS: I am closing comments on this one because it’s not a good forum for debate. None of this, in my opinion is subject to debate, anyway. If you want to respectfully chat to me or email me about any part of this, please feel free. Peace. Tweet this!