My Mormon-for-Obama bumper sticker is drawing serious fire. Help?

 I recognize that many people in our faith do not align with me politically. I do, however, have a great support system of “Mormon Liberals,” so that I have become more comfortable talking about my political values everyday. I have taken this new courage and began posting some of my views on the internet.  So in order to be a little funny, a little scandalous and mostly to express my support of Obama AND my religion, I posted a picture of my bumper sticker that says, ” I am voting for Obama AND I am a Mormon,” on Facebook. While I recognize that I was asking for a reaction from my mostly Mormon internet circle, I never imagined the amount of extremely hateful and dark responses I received. I got multiple messages telling me that I was so clueless because Obama was directly connected with Satan. Messages and posts about how Obama is Satan, and I personally ushered him into this righteous world. While I was entertained by these messages at first, the escalation of anger and personal attacks was completely unnerving and disappointing. It also makes me very, very cautious about being able to be myself online ever again. I wish these posts didn’t affect me but it hurts to see Mormons attack people this way and I can’t seem to shake it off. I mean it’s not every day a girl gets multiple “King Of Darkness” emails…

Any advice on wanting to be free and open to post and explore my political ideas on the social media sphere without being dragged into a dark place by the same people I share so much respect and love for?

Signed,

Still flabbergasted.

Dear flabbergasted:

Oh, dear.  I’m sorry.

Look, our Mormon Republican brothers and sisters are really anxious right now.  They love Mitt Romney, and they believe in him fiercely.  They believe he can fix the Great Recession by cutting taxes and deregulating industries.  They truly worry that the US has lost its place as global superpower, with devastating consequences for democracy. And he reminds them of their most effective Stake President ever.  It truly sucks to see him not only losing, but getting piled on by the media as well.

And yes, sometimes a few of our brothers and sisters get so stressed out they turn to their religious vocabulary to express their frustration, and so out come the “Gadianton Robbers” and the “secret combinations” and “Satan’s plan” and “weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.”

Yikes.

They’re not the only yikes-worthy ones.  Political talk in this country has gotten extremely polarized and hurtful.  Right now, somewhere in the deep dark recesses of the internet, there are places where people are saying deeply cruel things about Mitt Romney and directing rhetorical flamethrowers at anyone who would even consider casting a vote for him.  There are Facebook pages aflame with anti-Romney fervor, where you’d be roasted alive just for saying that you were LDS.

How did we learn to talk to one another this way?

Lots of reasons.  A twenty-four hour media cycle that rewards bad behavior.  Feelings of powerlessness.  Global political and economic realities that defy easy understanding and easy answers.  Internet sites that allow people to make cruel comments behind the protection of anonymity.  And a bifurcated political culture that leaves us too often talking only to people who think like us.

But none of this makes it okay.

You owe it to yourself and to every Mormon who cares about the grassroots health of our community to kindly but firmly respond to the folks who sent you messages of doom and damnation just because you’re voting differently.  I’ve seen too many Mormons who faced with this kind of fire draw back into their shells or abandon ship altogether, which is unfortunate because it allows people to escape accountability for the fact that such talk is indecent and intolerable.

If you don’t stand up, who will?  You’ve got to tell them. Send a polite but firm message letting the most aggravated Obama-is-Satan-and-so-are-you messagers know that they crossed the line.  Tell them that you appreciate the depth of their concern, and that you support their right to vote for Romney.  Tell them that you understand things sometimes get heated on Facebook.  And then, tell them that however strongly they feel about the presidential elections it is not okay to bully you or other fellow Mormons on Facebook.  That is not how friends and fellow Saints should speak to one another.

You may not change them.  They may continue to rage.  But you, you will become stronger.

And next time, yes, avoid posting something just to be “scandalous” or anticipating a “reaction.”  Start looking for content that will bridge the gap between you and your more conservative Facebook friends as a starting place for dialogue.  Perhaps try something by every liberal’s favorite conservative commentator, New York Times columnist David Brooks. (But wait until after the election.  Even Brooks has been giving Brother Romney a heck of a time.)

Send your query to askmormongirl@gmail.com, or follow @askmormongirl on Twitter.

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74 Comments

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74 responses to “My Mormon-for-Obama bumper sticker is drawing serious fire. Help?

  1. I have been getting the same responses from my family – that I can’t possibly understand the gospel if I’m voting for someone who so blatantly goes against God’s teachings. It is painful to hear friends and family talk to us like we don’t understand politics and that is the reason we’re voting for the man that wants to take God out of the country. I completely agree with AMG’s advice, and have been doing that very thing myself – standing my ground strong in what I believe is right. Good luck! You’re not alone!

    • Great article. Maybe just send those who are sending hurtful message a link to Elder Holland’s latest devotional talk where he points out that we are never to “leave our religion at the door”. Unfortunately it happens too often, where we think that proving someone wrong is more important than being their brother/sister. I think part of the problem is we see politics as right/wrong rather than differences of preference and opinion.

  2. I don’t think people realize what they’re saying politically half the time. My brother has been posting all kinds of upsetting pro-Romney rhetoric on his Facebook feed for months. Most of the rest of the family has been…tolerating it, but after the 47% videos, he posted a VERY hurtful commentary. I responded that, by using that very awful language, he was insulting over 47% of his immediate family who are Obama supporters. Since I messed up an posted it publicly, a few of his friends lambasted me as an apostate (in much less kind words). Let’s just say, seeing friends use that kind of language against your family is a lot more obvious that from your own mouth, and my brother has been a lot less antagonistic about his views since. I think that, regardless of political persuasion, we need to do anything we can to help tone down the rhetoric and increase respect and decency in conversations!

  3. NDM

    On a side (but far from irrelevant) note, some perspective is in order. Being out of step with the prevailing political view *in our area* is not the same as being out of step with the prevailing view *in the Church*. Cross the Continental Divide and the dynamic shifts; leave the United States and it morphs beyond recognition.

    My Brazilian mission president was a socialist — not a liberal, an unapologetic socialist — and it didn’t stop him from being a stake president, area authority and temple president. Ask Brazilians how that could be and they will take your temperature and help you lie down, because you must be feverish to link political beliefs to worthiness.

    As a bishop in England in the Two-Thousand-Naughties, I was at sharp odds with the Bush-Cheney administration. My first counselor was an active Conservative (indeed, he is now a Member of Parliament) who admired George W. Bush. No one in the ward thought it strange. We didn’t dance around each other’s views. Sure, we traded good-natured jabs at times, But I was genuinely happy for and encouraged his political successes, and he congratulated me when things went my way. We had and have a terrific relationship. Maybe the Mormon Belt (where I was raised and will eventually retire) just has some maturing to do when it comes to politics.

  4. If you live in a Conservative state, I guess it can draw a lot of attention. Just like my Mitt Romney and Scott Brown stickers/signs stand out in our very Liberal Massachusetts. I don’t think its the fact that you are LDS and support the President….I can guarantee, if you lived here and shared those same views, they would be lauded.

  5. Andy

    I like the approach you define of drawing a firm line to the humanly reasonable and acceptable.

    I wasn’t raised with a belief in Satan, but if he exists it seems to me he would enter the dialogue with outsize fears. Be afraid, be very afraid, and invent an inhuman fearful enemy.

    The solution for me? Find love, kiss the kids, scan the skies.

    It’s so easy to get caught in the hyper emotional 24 hour news cycle. We have our emotional strings poked and pulled — lots of adrenaline and no path to use it. We lose our humanity.

    I’ve learned to turn off and away from that, kiss my wife, reground myself in my own life and find a spot of healing love.

  6. robtaber

    Dear flabbergasted,

    I’m sorry you got such intense blowback. There are a couple other things you can do. First, if you haven’t already, I invite you to join the “Mormons for Obama” Facebook group. (Found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/mormonsforobama/) We’re pro-Obama, rather than anti-Romney, and designed to be a support group for Mormons like you (and me). It’s a happy place. We’re 1,617 members and counting. (Your participation still shows up in your activity log, so you’re still sharing your faith & political stance, but in a gentler way, and in a way that also intrigues your friends who aren’t LDS.)

    Posting third-party articles (ones that don’t directly support one candidate or the other) that you find interesting can lead to good discussions. Andrew Sullivan links to many such articles every day on his blog. Also, you can manage your sharing preferences so certain Facebook friends see certain things. Most of my ward is currently on “restricted” so they don’t even see my activity in Mormons for Obama–it’s easier this way. If there are friends who post things that just drive you nuts, hide their posts until after the election. If people really won’t get off your case, block them, for your sake and theirs. And don’t feel guilty for doing so. Facebook’s a wonderful tool, but sharing sometimes needs to be carefully curated for relationships to thrive.

    All the best,
    Rob Taber
    (National Director, Mormons for Obama)

  7. Janae

    Joanna,
    I appreciate this post so, so so much and agree with you on this front. I hate how dirty politics can get. I also know how fun it can be to stir up those far right wingers. ;) But I hate when others take it too far. Thanks for pulling us back to reality. And thanks for during the world that you do still have a heart.

  8. Janae

    Joanna,
    I appreciate this post so, so so much and agree with you on this front. I hate how dirty politics can get. I also know how fun it can be to stir up those far right wingers. ;) But I hate when others take it too far. Thanks for pulling us back to reality. And thanks for showing the world that you do still have a heart.

  9. Farmer Rich

    You go girl. Don’t let anyone try to discourage you from expressing your political views. I’m with you. I support Barack too! I even had a brother who told me, I shouldn’t have my calling and it was to him almost “blasphemous” not to support Mitt. Though you know, I had a talk with that brother and told him I loved him and we are now cool. Many in my small Branch of about 200 are supporting Mitt, but they know were I stand and have always got along good with Farmer Rick.

  10. Chris

    I always enjoy your posts, but I must admit that you lost me on this one today when you say “avoid posting something just to be ‘scandalous’ or anticipating a ‘reaction.'” I can’t imagine Flabbergasted was posting links saying “Romney = Cult” or “Romney is evil”. I myself have run into the same problems by posting entirely reasonable and respectful political content in favour of Obama on my FB. There are people – no matter their political leanings – who will find reason why any posting is “scandalous” and then “react” to it. The poster asked explicitly how to go forward without censuring or silencing his or her self, and your advice is effectively to do just that. Having followed you and read your column and book, I know this is not at all what you would intend to do. But this is the result in a world where anything – ANYTHING – can be regarded as an “attack” on someone else.

    Instead, I think politely responding to people exactly as you have suggested is appropriate. Full stop. Not politely respond and then silence one’s self. I find myself holding back each and every day from responding, even respectfully and mercifully, to posts by others on FB, in large part because I know that there is little I can say or do that would change other’s minds on certain issues (and vice versa) and I don’t want to cause a rift in a relationship or worse, reinforce opposing viewpoints by coming across like a hostile, angry person. Instead, I resist in those moments and leave to everyone else their freedom to post whatever they wish without worry. I should be able to do the same. There are issues that people truly believe in that will result in serious flak from fellow Mormons. You have made it a mission in your own life to stand up for these issues even when they conflict with the tide of popular thought in LDS culture. Why should politics be any different. I will be respectful and tolerant, but I will not silence myself, and neither should Flabbergasted.

    Said differently: why the double standard? Many of my fellow LDS will continue to post whatever they like about Romney without concern. Why should I hold back and accept such a status quo?

    • Maybe you’re just nicer and better controlled than me, but when someone posts some outrageous reply to a comment I make, I’m really tempted to make a sarcastic/witty/provocative comment whether it’s dropping to the same standard as the person with the conspiracy theory or the personal aspersions, or whatever it is. I would rather take the high road (at least, I would if I had time to cool off, I would), so I appreciated the little reminder. I shouldn’t be poking the keyboard with a pointy stick, even if it’s not close to anything that I would consider mean or personal.

  11. schleppenheimer

    Man, do I feel your pain.

    I did not put this bumper sticker on my car, but my daughter did — at BYU. She left her car, for the summer, parked in front of her aunt’s house, and apparently that caused QUITE A STIR in that small Happy Valley town close to Provo.

    I don’t post ANYTHING political on Facebook, because I know that the response would be very similar to the unfortunate responses you have received. I have, however, read the consistent and ugly comments about Obama over and over and over again on Facebook. As a result, I started to “hide” those people’s comments on a regular basis. Then, that wasn’t enough. I decided to de-friend those people. I do not want to be connected in any way to the type of hate and ignorance that is portrayed in the comments displayed by so many members of the church on Facebook — politically or otherwise.

    I do like what Joanna says about how to respond. I admire you for posting as you have, and I think responding in the kind but firm manner that Joanna has suggested is the way to go. Some times you have to really be careful but strong in responding to these types of situations, pointing out the un-Christian-like behavior so visible in the hate-filled comments. I personally find Romney despicable, dishonest, and embarrassing — but I also realize that I need to temper my feelings or else I come off as overly-emotional and unfair. Romney is not a bad guy, necessarily — he’s just a politician. Obama hasn’t been able to lead an ideal presidency, either. It’s unfortunate that we live in such an conservative-leaning church climate that those few liberals there are feel marginalized and looked-down upon. This should not be the case, and your comments in response to those you’ve received can be part of the balancing act that is required in the current culture.

  12. I would send them a link to The Mormon Ethic of Civility:

    http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/the-mormon-ethic-of-civility

    If I was feeling particularly peevish I might call them to repentance. :-)

  13. Eric

    I’m also an LDS Democrat, and I have more than my share of Facebook friends who are Republicans and say so. And that’s perfectly OK; I’m happy to have them as friends. But the instant anyone disrespected me enough to post something hateful on my wall, I’d delete the message and kindly explain why — the first time. The second time? It’s defriending time.

  14. vicki

    It actually makes me ill to read about the way Mormons are treating each other…so glad I no longer live in the “Mormon Belt”. Sometimes I think the phrase, “the only true church” was/is the worst thing that was ever spoken about our faith, because that is what I think spawns this kind of ugly thinking and language–the inability of “the group” to carefully distinguish between Mormon theology and Mormon culture. Mormon “group think” is way off base, far too often.

    • I agree. I can’t stand that phrase either, or the phrase, “either all of it is true, or none of it” There are variations of truth depending on interpretation, and understanding.

  15. Linda Batchelor

    Isn’t agency wonderful?????

  16. sammie

    David Brooks — Joanna Brooks, any relationship (a very mormon questi0n to ask.)?

  17. Comment elsewhere, Troll.

    • Katrina

      This isn’t about shock value, this truly is happening and members of the church don’t like to have their dirty laundry aired. That’s why we put blinders on to what’s really happening. We’re so desperate to look like a perfect church that we ignore the ugly that goes on. I’ve had to learn to take the Gospel for what it is and realize that the church is made up of many different people with different cultures, back grounds, traditions, families, and ways of interpreting the gospel. This is how I’ve learned to deal with the nasty comments. People are people and the church is the church. I’ll take the church for the truthfulness, and know that the people pointing fingers haven’t the right to do so. Jesus didn’t think it was the right thing to do, right? I’ll take His word for it.

      I’ve had the same responses to posting my political stances that Flabbergasted had. It’s true, even if you don’t want to admit it.

  18. Sherri Park

    I don’t post a lot of political comments on Facebook but I do post in favor of gay rights which amounts to the same thing. I used to get blowback from my friends but, as time has passed, I think they are both hiding my comments and hiding their political comments from me. I hardly get any conservative messages any more. So, if you hold to your position, pretty soon they will give up on you.

  19. Diana

    There is a difference between saying “Obama is a horrible candidate and you should not vote for him” and saying “Obama is Satan,” or that by supporting Obama you are helping Satan etc. It’s bad enough when Mormons insult other Mormons over church stuff, but to bring up a non-church thing and then MAKE it a church thing to insult someone over has an extra “mormon punch” to it. I believe that is what the original poster was talking about.

  20. It is awful to hear, Flabbergasted, that you have been attacked in this way. But I have to encourage us ALL to be careful of grouping people together. No matter the political party, for or against Obama, we are to be Christians to all people. I encourage you to be the BETTER person in your situation. Those people will change based on your Christlike attitude towards their responses.

    I think we will all do a little better to get off social media, turn off our tvs, and talk to people face to face and enjoy LIFE. Typing away on a computer can create even more hateful language because they don’t have to look you in the eye.

    I will be voting for Romney in November. I have not said anything hurtful to my friends who disagree with me, I have not spewed hateful propaganda on my Facebook and have certainly not sent out “He is Satan” e-mails.I have several friends who I dearly love who will be voting for Obama. A couple weeks ago I posted this as my status, “Everyone take a deep breath. Now say it with me, “friends come before politics.” Repeat.”
    Let’s all be better and do better. Stop letting this media world we live in control our attitudes to our fellow neighbors.

    This is coming to you from the Bible Belt, where Romney was hated before the nomination for being a Mormon. Even those who hated Obama, hated Romney more only because he was a Mormon…. Can’t explain here how horrible that has made my husband and I feel as we love our southern brothers and sisters, but know they are “stuck” with voting for Romney.

  21. str8 wife

    tick tick tick…..in about a month it will all be over and Mr. Obama will be in the White House again. Then “they” will be all over spending tithing money on anti-same sex marriage. Perhaps those of us who are supporting the incumbent could Fast for the repeal of DOMA.

    I lived in “the avenues” in the days of Mark Hoffman, the White Salamander and Dallin Oaks acting as the mouthpiece-omnipotent. During that particular political season the neighborhood Democrats (who were willing to go public) met in someone’s home. There were less than 20 of us. SIgns placed in the yards were destroyed. Houses were egged. Really folks?

    Mittens will have to find another hobby.

  22. Consuela Morales-Streit

    I think it’s quite ridiculous that so many LDS members jump to arms defending Mitt Romney and the GOP. Just because Romney is LDS does not necessarily make him the best candidate for President. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. We all have freedom to choose who we feel will be the better representative to address our concerns.

    Anyone who goes out of their way to lambast another for their political or religious position is just a bully. I would simply write a reply affirming that while your political position may differ from theirs, that you respect their choice and wish them well. Just send one reply, and make sure not to get into a tit-for-tat correspondence, because those never end well. Good luck!

  23. K. Thomas

    I think you may have missed the point, but your condescending/rude tone (e.g. calling her “my dear” and telling her to “get over [her]self”) indicates that you probably weren’t trying to understand her point to begin with. She doesn’t claim to have a problem with people disagreeing with her. She has a problem with people attacking her personally and suggesting she and Obama are doing Satan’s bidding.

  24. I think perfect advice was given here. I appreciated that you pointed out that many Romney supporters are feeling just as attacked right now. Supporters on both sides are slinging venomous, over-reaching insults that do no good.

    As a Romney supporter, I thought the bumper sticker was great. I am not a Romney supporter because I’m a member of the church, so I would hope that all members of the church would use their own conscience as well to determine who to vote for. This means some will agree with Obama’s policies over Romney. I have to assume that Mormons who are for Obama aren’t just such because they are wanting to be different from their neighbors.

  25. David Atkinson

    All I want to know is where can I get a bumper sticker like that.

  26. Chris

    >>I wasn’t raised with a belief in Satan, but if he exists it seems to me he would enter the dialogue with outsize fears. Be afraid, be very afraid, and invent an inhuman fearful enemy.

    Excellent insight.

  27. E.D.

    So far this election season (fingers crossed) things haven’t gotten out of hand, but during the 2008 season, I skipped SS/RS starting around Labor Day through the election.

    Although I’d like to stand up and fight for my “commie pinko liberal” ways, I’m really trying not to get into a situation where I actively dislike a significant percentage of the members of my ward. I purposely stay out of the ward gossip loop as much as possible for the same reason.

  28. Abinadi

    I am a mormon and would never consider voting for Obama. Not because of the religion. Obama has done a lot of damage to America that will take a long time to correct. I feel if he gets another term we will be in a very dangerous place. We cannot afford his spending. Or his ties with Rev Right and his Communist background. The spending needs to stop, and it is plain he has no intention of doing that.

  29. i was stopped by my next door neighbor thanking me.for.my blog post. they wished they could have sent it.to every friend they have but.they can’t because they are lesbians and supporting Romney doesn’t work in their.world. her mother is a huge obama supporter. no one should be so STUPID.as to say obama is from .Satan. joanna.said we were hard wire d to vote the way we do. so while some Mormons vote for obama, some lesbians are voting for Romney…it is interesting and.exciting.

  30. Emily

    Mormons for Obama!!!! Yay! I found a group on fb….”Mormons for Obama” and it is my life line right now! I have heard everything from things that question my worthiness to go to the temple, to personal attacks for supporting Obama….but there are a lot of Mormon Democrats and even more Mormons for Obama! I just hope that people don’t fall away from the church just bc our fellow brothers and sisters are closed minded. Don’t let others take the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ away from you, especially when they are men and women we are warned about in the Book of Mormon who mingle truth with evil, and justify their hatred and their bullying with scripture. Isn’t that what priest-craft is? Neither party is perfectly aligned with the gospel…you have to weigh what is most important to you and use your intellect and ability to learn to make your own personal decision.

  31. DK

    I do not enjoy seeing political rhetoric in my social media newsfeed at all – prefer to keep it as ‘social media’. I feel fortunate to live in Canada where we typically don’t get as polarized over political issues. Through television and other media we are inundated with whatever is going on south of our border and it’s frankly quite disturbing to observe all the invective and mean spiritedness – especially when it comes from people who consider themselves Christians. I see it as very damaging.

  32. Metoo for Obama

    I support your stance but Mormon or not you need to align with your political beliefs. I like Romney as a person but I align with the principles of Obama. To me he has shown unbelievable strength and convection in turning our country around from the worse economic management in recent and far history. We need his leadership and integrity to finish the job not to blindly follow the past or to believe the negative rhetoric. I am appalled that people vote so emotionally without the facts.

    • Peter

      Convection? I also love how Obama blows hot air evenly around me :) I am also a fan of President Obama’s principles too, but I am also a fan of spelling.

  33. Ted Olsen

    I liked and identify with the query.
    One tires of reading posts from “friends” who would never treat one so shabby in person. Yet by responding to your expressed difference of opinion, these friends deem themselves called upon by God and the angels of Heaven to put you in your proper place–even as they proclaim the Constitution with all its checks and balances, which practically cry out for opposing opinions, to be almost another form of holy writ.
    Here is the bottom line: you are absolutely free to think whatever you will. But, a little caveat, be damned sure that you express MY opinions, MY beliefs, and MY life’s experiences. MINE are the only ones that count, and God agrees with ME.
    (Or at least I am told by people of great authority that he does.)
    Ted

  34. I am a Mormon for Obama,
    because, Obama seams to care more for the poor. Mit may care for the poor, but he has a funny way of showing it. The Book of Mormon has a recurring theme that shows that when a society becomes too prideful and the rich become richer and forget the poor and forget the Lord, the society falls and is made to be humbled. That is what happened during the Great depression, and if the rich aren’t humbled enough to help pay down the debt, the next depression will come sooner, and be worse. It is part of the pride cycle. The pride cycle happens at an individual level and community, or national level.

  35. Steve Warren

    I’m a Mormon who didn’t drink caffeine as a youth, attended Ricks College, served a full-time mission, graduated from BYU, married in the temple, worked two decades at the Deseret News and have remained active. Therefore, I must say that any Mormon who supports Obama is a low-down, dirty, stinking . . . Whoa. Wait a second. What I meant to say is that I’m voting for Obama again because I think his views and actions are more in harmony with the gospel than are those of Romney, and I think he will do great things in his second term.

    Great bumper sticker.

  36. Joseph

    Hi everyone! There is one final batch of the bumper stickers in question on it’s way to us – see this link here to order one: http://mormonsforobama.org/stickers/

    (Sorry for doing some marketing here on this post!)

  37. BDUB

    I moved from SLC to Seattle ten years ago and thankfully don’t have to deal with this as much. Its not a big deal up here to support Obama.

  38. Taylor

    You NEVER check your religion at the door!
    -Jeffrey R Holland, CES broadcast, Sep 2012

  39. I’m so sorry, Flabbergasted. I was pretty flabbergasted myself when I read your post. I’ve got a bumper sticker on my car that says “Barack Obama”–in Hebrew. I haven’t gotten my car keyed so far…

  40. Nancy & Joe

    If you believe we are entering the latter days then you must also know the scripture: I will turn Father against son, mother against daugther, right would be wrong and wrong would be right, That His sheep will know His voice and follow Him. And with the black and white differences between believers it tells me that both cannot be rigth so we choose the easy path: “What would The Savior do?” and follow Him. My hubby and I are LDS too and we can no longer go to Church. We have determined the bigoted thinking as anti-Christ so we are worshipping in our closets, paying our tithes and offerings and only partake of the sacrament and then leave. Funny thing Is I was told through a vision 35 years ago that this Church is true and I will hold on to that. forever no matter what the so-called Saints say and do. We do not just believe in Christ. We actually believe Christ, everything He said and did;

    • Very interesting post, and I wish we could have a face-to-face discussion. What do you think about people who do not follow the Mormon faith? What will happen to us?

    • Dolly

      Glad to see that Nancy has Joe and he has her to get through the weirdness. But there are others there that need the two of you if you can become more brave and immune to the dogmatism that substitutes for spiritualism. Joanna is encouraging us all to be brave. She has done it and so can we. I’ve just posted the NYT David Brooks article on my FB wall. My first political post ever! Thanks Joanna B for your mild warrior manner! I love you so much. Cheerleader toe touch jumps every time you write a post! ;)

  41. Dennis McCrea

    Tami Despain Lawrence – Yes there are many who are choosing not to come to Church right now because of the hurtful words, ideas and thoughts members are telling them, simply because they are not supporting Gov. Romney’s campaign.

  42. Abinadi

    The church does not take a stand on whom you should vote for. Some of the commenters speak of being LDS, but not active members. It takes a lifetime of study and Prayer to find the path and to hold on to the iron rod. If you let go and find fault with other members you are hurting yourself. I pray that the candidate that will be best for America will be the winner. If that is not the case we will all suffer.

    • Dolly

      “If that is not the case, we will all suffer.” ? What do you mean? Do you mean that God will not answer yours or the collective prayers of the nation if the intended winner somehow gets thwarted by a force stronger than God’s will and then the unintended winner gets inaugurated instead? Don’t you believe that we find God individually just like Alma did among all the wicked priests in King Noah’s court? Your final statement just did not make sense to me where as your other statements are familiar and safe. Each of us… not the president of any country are a part of the accountability of this world. God expects us to subdue suffering wherever we find it. It will not matter who is president. There will be suffering and we each will have our chance to provide balm. Don’t you think?

  43. Travis Hartnett

    If a woman’s husband instructs her to vote for Obama, she’s completely entitled to do so. This is, after all, a free country.

  44. Anonymous

    It is funny the dislike for Obama among LDS in the inter-mountain west.

    Shorty after Obama was elected we had a visitor from Utah in my Canadian ward. He made some awkward comment in Sunday School how his country was in dire straights because of the election results. I had to refrain from laughing.

    It was funny because most Canadians were so sick of George Bush that Obama seemed like a breath of fresh air. If anyone seemed like the spawn of Satan it would have been George Bush.

    As far as American politics go it is a bit crazy but I don’t really see much of a difference in practice between the two parties. They both pander to corporate elites. I am with Ralph Nader on this and I would have voted for Ralph if I were an American citizen.

    However, if I was to vote on the principle “What would Jesus do” I am afraid I would vote Democrat about 2/3 of the time.

    If I was to see any secret combinations at work in America today it would be among Mitt Romney and his peers. The financial sector, the business elite, not paying their fair share of taxes, denying health care to poor people, plundering widows and the poor. Shooting people when they are down and judging people to be less due to their poverty.

    • mary marine

      Dear Anonymous: I always see a softer side to church members living outside of Utah, and I mean way outside of Utah. They seem to have a better understanding of what church doctrine really means and the importance of being a Christian first and foremost, to all, not just those who seem correctly worthy. We can’t pick and choose our blessings and we can’t pick and choose those who receive blessings. Anyway, just a thought and I agree with your reply. (except maybe Ralph Nader, but thats just my opinion). Thanks.

    • Canadian Meaghan

      Totally.

  45. mary marine

    Well “deary” Saw your remarks and just had to jump in. As a Mormon and a Democrat, there is no shame, BUT, as for me, there is sometimes a real fear of being attacked verbally or even physically. I was going to to buy an Obama for President shirt last week but real fear of how I would be approached (in Utah) made me change my mind. I bought a different shirt that still let people know I was a Democrat but maybe not so much of a walking target. Now it’s pretty sad that as an American no matter what my faith, I have to be afraid of a political party. The conservatives of today’s Republican party are scary. I’m not active in the Church anymore and I blame no one for that choice. But I still have my believes in the Doctrine of the Church and a strong testimony of our Lord and Savior. I have a very very hard time understanding the strong hate that people show towards our President, and I do believe that prejudice does have a lot to do with it no matter how some people try to dance around the subject. Some just don’t see their remarks as being prejudice. As far as putting evil in the same sentence with Democrats, I have heard that long before President Obama was elected President of this country. I can think of lots of things that our truly evil and might be a straight ticket to “hell”. Being a Democrat/liberal/progressive is not one of them. Political opinions should never play into our way of worshiping. I look forward to Conference this weekend. I always do but I hope there are some strong talks about why this Church needs to not be divided. When I read or hear the words of our Savior, I keep it very personal. Me and him. I don’t want to connect it with politics. Heavenly Father is to GREAT and SMART to be political. We are lowly humans with our own choices. Other lowly people need to let us make our choices without hate.

  46. Forgive me. I can’t resist . . .

    Joanna, Satan is everywhere. There is only one safe bet for you. Or apparently for any of us.

    http://www.votingforjesus.com/vote.cfm

  47. Anonymous

    4 years ago we got an email from family telling us that if we voted for Obama we wouldn’t be “worthy” to hold a temple recommend. Yup, you read that right. (I suppose it had to do with things that Obama supports, abortion issues and what not). We laughed and cast over votes for Satan, er Obama, anyway. This year we say again: Go Obama. Mormon, democrat, voting for Obama and proud of it.

  48. Mand

    Great advice Joanna, as always. I recently read a conference talk from 2007 by Robert S. Wood called “Instruments of the Lord’s Peace”. Excellent talk, and very applicable to us during this election season.

    My favorite quote: Have we who have taken upon us the name of Christ slipped unknowingly into patterns of slander, evil speaking, and bitter stereotyping? Have personal or partisan or business or religious differences been translated into a kind of demonizing of those of different views? Do we pause to understand the seemingly different positions of others and seek, where possible, common ground?

    And from President Hinckley, “Political differences never justify hatred or ill will. I hope that the Lord’s people may be at peace one with another during times of trouble, regardless of what loyalties they may have to different governments or parties.”

  49. Renee

    I must say, on BYU campus things are getting a tad more liberal. Most people I know are at LEAST for civil unions for same sex couples. A kid in my ward wore a “Leagalize Gay” shirt to ward prayer and nobody said a word. My boyfriend and I are voting Obama, and I know lots of others who are also. I’ve seen Obama shirts and Obama bumper stickers on campus.

    The funny thing is, my dad is Tea Party all the way. He wouldn’t even let me apply to UT Austin, a school I really wanted to go to, because he was afraid they would turn me into a liberal with their evil mind tricks (not even exaggerating). And then I came to BYU and realized that I couldn’t support the Republican stance on women, and that I’m generally a Democrat. I’m probably going to lie to him about who I vote for, (a thing I hate doing, dishonesty isn’t one of my vices) but I’d rather not have a yelling mach with my dad.

    And I’m surprised that nobody’s bringing up the fact that the church goes out of it’s way to not endorse candidates, to the point of not addressing inaccuracies about the church in campaign ads. I mean, this is one of the greatest things about the church.

  50. D. Higgins

    Sister,
    I am sorry you had to endure the fear (in the form of hate) from these well-meaning (?) members of the church. I am sorry they themselves did not stick to their own ideals of love, decency and acceptance. I guess people do things that seem justifiable when they are scared… We (you and I) may not see eye to eye on politics, but we do on love and acceptance. Know you are loved and accepted by me–but most importantly, by God. You are my sister and I love you dearly.
    With love–A Romney supporter

  51. Mike from Pittsburgh, PA

    I expect that being a Mormon is like being a Catholic, Jew or really
    anything else in at least one respect. The world views each as one dimensional, lacking in diversity of thought and where dissent or difference is not expected or welcomed.
    Those who cling to orthodoxy (i.e. leadership especially) nurture and perpetuate this public image. It projects, at least in their minds, the strength and unifying power of their theological world view. The unfortunate result is a stereotype of each while the reality is far from it.
    That there are haters in the world should come as no surprise to you AMG. The gap between knowing there are haters and being the target of haters is huge. Imagine for a moment being gay or, black or a Mexican immigrant in Arizona or Florida.
    This is a moment not to retreat, although I understand the reasons completely. It is time to put on your armor and fight back by being you. What could be better. Just know there is nothing you can do that could make God love you more nor love you any less. You are simply lovable. Always have been and always will be. What others say can never alter that. That is your retreat. Retreat into the love of God but move forward into whatever is in front of you. It is there for a reason and so are you.

  52. CS

    Thanks for this post! I needed it today. I’m a Mormon Dem married to a moderate Republican. The blowback is so intense in our town that my husband won’t let me put an Obama sign in front of our house – not because he may vote for Romney, but because he knows how many hurtful comments have been made to me over the past 4 years when word got out that I am a dreaded Dem. In all my life, I’ve never seen so much anger over an election. One of my younger relatives forwarded a very racist comment – I believe naively – on facebook. When I contacted his mother about the posting, I was actually accused of being a racist myself (?). Honestly, even after the election, I don’t see an end to this thing. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that the election is splitting families, something I never thought could happen.

  53. Pingback: Reflections | Mormons for Obama

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