Post by Joseph M -
Kyle Blaine’s abcnews.go.com piece entitled, Mormons for Obama Say Romney Doesn’t Represent Them, gets at least one thing right: we do say that Romney doesn’t represent us. Laura put it best when she said, ”just like Mitt Romney is not your average American, he’s not your average Mormon, he doesn’t represent every Mormon in America.” In putting this website together, we wanted to demonstrate the diversity of the people, ideas, and opinions within the church, especially in regard to the upcoming election. Our intention is not to get people upset (although you might wonder after seeing the comments posted after our last guest article by Steve Warren.)
However, Kyle missed this when writing his piece; in fact, he may have been looking for something a bit more controversial than what is really embodied in this website. Kyle wrote, “while there may be no written rule within the church demanding political purity within the Mormon community, there is one big issue where the Mormons for Obama split from their church. On the issue of gay marriage, they side with the President, who affirmed his support for its being legal in May of this year.”
This website has no official position on gay marriage or Obama’s support of it – and we definitely are not splitting from our church. Conversely, we posted four different pieces on the subject in order to demonstrate the wide-range of views among Obama-supporting Mormons. We did this because we received (and continue to receive) genuine queries from our conservative Mormon brothers and sisters about this issue: “So, as a practicing member of the LDS Faith, please tell me how I determine when not to follow the Prophet. Apparently the views of many who are voting for Obama include support for same-sex marriage. Seems that is contrary to what we are taught. I know we have agency; I am just not convinced using it to go against the teachings of the Church is a wise use of such a blessing.”
This (and abortion) are lightning rod issues for Mormons when it comes to supporting a Democratic candidate for public office. For those who feel strongly about these issues, please read Eric’s post to understand how a Mormon can support Obama without standing for gay marriage. Also, read Ruby’s post to understand how one person might support gay marriage and also stay true to their Mormon faith. The other two posts discuss the Church’s waning political involvement in respect to same-sex marriage after the Prop 8 campaign and the ever-changing positions of both Obama and Romney on gay marriage.
But the important thing to understand here is that for many Mormons for Obama, this is not the central issue that defines our support for the President. And with Mormons holding public office as Democrats and Republicans, this should be clear by now.
Now on to my personal grief with the article — Kyle quoted me thus:
“One of the blog entries, posted by Joseph Mills, holds up Harry Reid as a good example of a liberal Mormon.
‘Just think of Harry Reid – the supreme example of Liberal Mormondom – (I have his action figure on my desk at work) – and tell me if he doesn’t have a glow like a gleaming lighthouse? He fights the good fight, shines like a sunbeam, and literally comes from Searchlight, Nevada,’ Joseph writes. ‘I know what the Primary Hymn instructs, (Trying to be Like Jesus,) but in case that is too high of a bar for me right now, I’ve decided that at the very least I am trying to be like Harry… and we’ll call it good at that.’”
So is that really the only quotation from me that Kyle could find? I have written a couple dozen posts for this website, and he chose something from one of my satirical posts that suggests that Mormon Democrats must shine like ”Edward from Twilight as he’s standing shirtless in the sun.” Also he didn’t preserve any of the meta-links, and that somewhat mutes my whole joke. (Sorry for my whining here, but in interest of my own self-promotion, please read The Gleam in Thine Own Eye to see the full post with meta-links.) Maybe if I’m quoted in another article, I might suggest something from my post, An Oppostion in All Things. I like that post better.
Also, the name of the Church is as follows: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I would expect that a journalist might research this to make certain they are using the correct name of our church in their article. I realize that the name of the Church is long, but the media has the responsibility to use the correct title, even if only in the first reference and then subsequent references are abbreviated after that. Consult the Church’s Style Guide for more information on this. (And in case anyone is wondering, Kyle referred to the Church as “The Church of the Latter-Day Saints,” omitting Jesus Christ, and capitalizing the D in Latter-day.) While Kyle is not the only one who makes this mistake, I bristle at the frequency of these occurrences and thus can’t help but feel that it’s sometimes done deliberately. It’s almost as if we’ve become the “Merry X-Mas” card of Church names: Christ is crossed out and forgotten, and the media just mumbles something about Latter-day Saints, Mormons, or Salt Lake City, and then they bumble on impatiently, expecting to find a present under their holiday tree on the 25th of December.
Lastly, we are not just a small group of Seattle-based bloggers, although we did start out that way. Presently, we receive input from across the country - (and Canada) – and have posted comments and articles from contributors in Washington D.C., California, and Utah.
Alas, we are grateful for the press. We spend a lot of time putting this site together because we feel that this is important, and Kyle Blaine’s article brought new eyes to this site.