The Best Course of Action at This Point

For the last 6 hours, I’ve been hopping amongst websites and blogs, tracking, reading, thinking, questioning, arguing, posting.

It’s divisive.

I’d say this election season is potentially the most divisive among LDS I’ve ever seen, and I see that as a wholly negative thing. Emotions are charged, deep-seated opinions and positions are expressed against those whom we once considered allies and fellow-citizens in the Gospel.

And so, as the discussions rage, I will step away. Log off. Take some time to do something else. Go for a walk. Pray. Make some pancakes. Get some exercise. count my blessings. Anything other than what I’ve been doing.

And I hope that when I return, “normalcy” will be slightly better then it has been.

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “The Best Course of Action at This Point

  1. Chris H.

    I do not see political conflict as a “wholly negative thing.” It is an important part of the democratic proccess. Of course the type of discussion taking place on the bloggernacle is often dominating by some of the most problematic elements of American politics.

    However, I am looking forward to a return to “normalcy.” Luckily it might be a different normalcy both on the bloggernacle and in the world.

    Oh, pancakes do sound good. That is the type of common ground that I could go for right now.

  2. Politics should not be taken too seriously. And, frankly, I have seen many LDS people getting too serious about it.

    No, America will not descend in a state of creative/destructive (are they so different, really?) chaos. Even if the AK, GA, MN and OR senate races fell to Dems, giving them 60 in the Senate, they would not socialize Exxon et.al. in January (GWB already “socialized” the biggest banks – actually Paulson gave away the money without strings attached, which was a mistake, but that’s a personal opinion and another issue).

    In the lds.org newsroom there’s an article that states, among others: “Voting choices by Latter-day Saints, like all other people, are influenced by their own unique experiences and circumstances. As we move forward from the election, Church members need to be understanding and accepting of each other and work together for a better society.” The article is specifically about about the SSM ballots in AZ, CA and FL, but that is also true about political platforms. Saying that voting for a specific platform is an act of rebellion against the principles of the gospel is an exaggeration.

    I pray that people would remember that reasonable people can and do disagree on political issues. Even morality is sometimes not as black-and-white as we tend to think.

    Back to the basics of the gospel is what I suggest. Perhaps taking a brake from the blogs can be a good choice, because the interactive Web can be a drain.

  3. clarkgoble

    It’s like this after every election. It’s an emotional issue and people get silly. Give it a week and things will get back to normal. Plus there’s a bit of confirmation bias at work. For every person yelling “socialist” and crying that the sky is falling there are 10 others (often not Obama supporters) who recognize the historic nature of this election and hope Obama the best. (Although perhaps fearing Obama won’t govern from the center despite running largely from the center)

  4. KTM

    It is a very dangerous thing for members of the Lord’s church to superimpose The Church onto the Republican party.
    Sadly it happens time and time again. Somehow we see the same people who want others to be open minded about information and misinformation regarding the tenets and history of their LDS faith… being so extremely closed minded about their political thinking. This may just be a time for church members that do not think in such a narrow way to revisit the screwtape letters and then really focus on the things that matter most. Yes indeed, go for a walk… make some pancakes… and remind yourself that the church is the Savior’s and as my seven year old said last night… He’s an Independent.

  5. Mark N.

    I found out yesterday that the Prop 8 issue caused a lot of heated lunchtime discussions between my daughter’s high school friends, and they weren’t even old enough to be able to vote on the matter.

    It sure seems like there are a bunch of unknows on how this vote affects those who have already obtained the now-coveted SSM license. I hope they make some rulings soon and don’t let this drag out too long.

  6. clarkgoble

    KTM – I think that true of the Democratic Party too. Yet again and again I’ve seen bloggers do that as well.

    People just take politics too personally and emotionally. It’s part of the human condition.

  7. KTM

    Clarkgoble
    Yes, you are absolutely right. The natural man is very proud. However, seeing that the vast majority of church members in the United States are Republican… I can’t say that I have met more than a couple Democrats in my lifetime. Our family is very active in the church… and I believe very well respected. I generally do not discuss politics, however, with my LDS friends. In part, because my father… a patriarch… and a Democrat… taught me long ago that it was not worth the friction that it might cause or any harm to the other persons opinion of your commitment to the Lord or His church. My fifteen year old told me several weeks ago that she felt like being a Democrat in the church was considered something akin to being gay. Of course she was kidding… a little. But, I don’t know that unless you have truly been in a minority like that you could fully understand the awkwardness. I have heard more times than you would believe from church members that they don’t understand how a person can be active in the church and be a Democrat. I have even had people leave a room so upset they couldn’t talk when learning that I am a Democrat. I receive more e-mails than I could count that are derogatory in their words and tone regarding Democrats and their candidates. Many church members assume that all Democrats are pro-choice and in favor of gay marriage… and make rude comments that imply disapproval of church members who wouldn’t uphold true Christian values. If you are a Republican that has ever been offended by a mormon Democrat I am sorry to hear that. Maybe you could refer them to President Eyring’s talk from this past conference. Frankly, I’m just not so sure that anyone from the right side of the fence can fully appreciate a spot on the left without sitting there for a bit themselves. I suspect that President Faust or Elder Marlin K Jensen might have an idea as to what danger there is in allowing the world’s kingdom to masquerade as God’s kingdom.

  8. Chris H.

    “My fifteen year old told me several weeks ago that she felt like being a Democrat in the church was considered something akin to being gay.”

    Obviously a bit over the top, but my friends joke with me: What would be worse? If my kids came out as gay or if they came out as Republicans?

    In general (and I live in Rexburg, Idaho), most people are surprised but friendly about my party indentification. Of course, they assume that I must not be a bad liberal democrat (which I am) because no good Mormon could be one of those.

    I think clarkgoble is referencing Mormon Democrats who claim that the gospel support their political views. I am oft accused of this. I think the problem come when we start to think that our political views represent some form of truth. Only the gospel is true.

  9. Well I’m glad you didn’t call me an apostate. :D

  10. I too, am exhausted and glad the elections are over. I was raised in a political Republican atmosphere, and found there were many shady goings on with the Republicans running, knowing them personally. I met Nixon and at age fifteen, and disliked him intensely. I also met Ike, and adored him.

    I chose, when of voting age, to become Independent, and when I admitted for the first time, many many years ago, as to voting differently than my parents, you’d have thought I’d committed a murder.

    I did not vote for either of the top Rep or Dem contenders this time. Yet I wish Obama to be the man I would pray he *could* be. I hesitatinly doubt it, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if he somehow works his way past this murky socialistic image, to be the brilliant man he has the ability to be, bringing us together as Heavenly Father’s children, growing with wisdom in this calling, making our world a better place? My glass is half full……… it seems most of the other Members have held glasses half empty. Keep praying for the good of our nation and this beautiful mortal world. That’s what we have going for us.