Thursday, July 20, 2006

From the Utah Amicus - "Sacrament Meeting"

I just read a great post by Rob Miller, Vice-Chairman of the Utah Democrats, candidate for Davis County Commissioner, and faithful member of the LDS Church.

You can read it in its entirety, here: The Utah Amicus: Sacrament Meeting

I wrote to Rob and told him I have some repenting to do.

My response:

Rob -Thank you so much for this post. I couldn't agree with you more, and feel the same outrage that you do when I hear these things from the LDS pulpit.

For years, I have been a complete wimp when it came to "coming out" as an LDS Democrat. Just call me Wimp-essa-von-wimpenstien. Even though I've always been active in the Democratic party, I have always been *quiet* about it. I'd tell my friends at the newspaper to not quote me, to not put my picture there, and to please not put anything about ME and politics on the home page. As a result, I could quietly vote as I wanted to, I could support Democrats financially and emotionally, and I could go along with my daily life, being the Stake Music Chairman and "just like the rest of the Mormons" but keep my political thoughts to myself.

Then this strange thing happened. I decided to run (with your prodding and good council) for the Utah Senate. At first, I was content to be a "name on the ballot." That evolved to running a good and aggressive race, but no way no how would I tell people that I'm a democrat, no donkeys on my signs, I'll just leave people guessing as to what political party I belong to. After all, I'm "just like them" and they'll choose me! After reading your post today, I have some repenting to do. Of course I am a proud Utah Democrat, and I want the world to know it.

No LDS Democrat should have to sit through church and endure talks like that. I commend you for going to your stake high councilman and telling him what's what! The next time that happens in my stake, I'm going to stand up for myself.

Finally, I say this. As people have rallied around to support me in my race for senate, several have stated that they cannot *publically* support me because *I am a Democrat.* This line of thinking only has happened because those of us who are LDS Democrats have been too wimpy!

I'm ready for change. I'm ready to get out there and challenge the thinking a little bit.

Thank you so much for your good example and for making me get off my duff and do some good in the world. I appreciate you and all that you do.


At 9:02 PM, Blogger Love2deb8 said...

I really appreciate your comments. I am very active in both the LDS Church and Republican Party leadership. However, I feel strongly that a two-party system is superior to a one-party system.

In a one-party system, the party no longer has to worry about whether its candidates embrace its platform principles. They take for granted that their candidate will win and they become less responsive to the electorate. Having a strong and viable Democratic party is not only in the best interest of Democrats, but also in the best interests of Republicans.

I, too, often hear comments from other members of my faith saying, "How can any good Mormon be a Democrat?"

As a Republican, I am still offended by such comments. The two parties embrace different philosophies of how to solve problems. But neither platform is incompatible with my religious principles.

At 10:16 PM, Blogger Rob said...

Thanks Emily.

At 9:39 AM, Blogger Durga&Michael said...

I'm an Australian and I would fall under the 'democrat' banner when it comes to politics here. I totally understand Rob Miller's feelings and yours about how a lot of members treat/view anyone with any sort of left-wing political views in a bad light. This is true here in Sydney too. You know why members of the Church choose to have these political views here? coz they say that majority members in Utah do and so like all good Mormons we should too. That makes me really upset.
I get treated like I'm apostate, low life scum bag by my own in-laws becoz i choose not to follow the Utah majority political view. That's really sad coz my father in-law is a stake president here.
I know that the Church HQ doesn't officially endorse either party/fraction but when people convert to the church here they are some what told and drawn to be embrace whatever is 'in' at the moment in Utah and if most Utahan's are Republicans- then that's what we should do here. Our mission president endorses this quite openly here as well. There is no question who we should vote coming election time here and if you speak up – you would surely loose your calling / temple recommend. Some how it's like endorsing Satan by being a Democrat/Labor party supporter.
It just makes me sick.

At 4:34 PM, Blogger Emily For Utah Senate 28 said...

durga&michael -

I am really sorry that this has happened to you. One thing I can say for sure is that nobody in my stake or even my community has *ever* suggested that my temple recommend be taken away, or that I am not worthy to participate in my callings because I am an LDS Democrat. However, I have *heard* stories about this, and I have witnessed some *Very Ugly* campaigns here in Utah, where faithful LDS democrats on the ballot were pillaged by the opposition as "unworthy saints" even though abundant evidence points to the opposite reality.

One thing is certain. Sometimes, as an LDS Democrat, it feels like you are living under a broader microscope. However, if you continue to do what you know is right and always have integrity in your beliefs and actions, you can rise above it.

Again, thanks for your note.


At 4:40 PM, Blogger Emily For Utah Senate 28 said...

(lovin that login name, by the way) -

Thanks for your very honest and thoughtful post. I agree with you 100% that we need a good and healthy two party system. It's much like a good and healthy marriage. If one partner in the marriage dominates everything and makes all the decisions, usually the family suffers. In a marriage where both partners contribute and give equal yet perhaps different points of view, and work together to solve challenges, families flourish.

We all want the same things for our families, communities, for our states, for our country, for the world. It's just hard to agree on how we want to get there.

I always encourage civil, thoughtful debate that will lead us to a better world.

Thanks again for posting.


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