March 29, 2006

I'm a Democrat because...

I'm a Democrat because I'm a Mormon

Kathleen Gurr spells it out why her Mormon faith is completely compatible with being a Democrat.

To many, it sounds like a contradiction in terms: a Mormon Democrat. People regularly ask me how I reconcile my religious beliefs with my political opinions, shocked that a good Mormon girl would throw her support behind such a scandalous party. Believe it or not, being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints doesn't automatically make one an ardent member of the GOP, even in Utah. In fact, it's my religious beliefs about compassion and generosity that have made me liberal.

The LDS Church's official position has long been one of political neutrality, endorsing neither major political party. When the church takes one of its rare official political stances, it is always on a particular issue and should not be misconstrued as support of one party or one political ideology. Mormon leaders constantly encourage all followers, regardless of party, to become involved in politics, vote and run for office when possible. Yet many believe that to be LDS, you have to be Republican. It's just not true-if anything, the Democratic Party more closely adheres to basic Christian values.

Obviously, individual Mormons hold different views about the same beliefs, just as members of the Democratic Party take a wide variety of positions. But many elements of liberal politics are principles central to the gospel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: social welfare, the environment, the role of government, the balance between business and the community. I'm not a Democrat in spite of my religion-I'm a Democrat because of my religion.

Really excellent piece.

I heartily agree with the writer. I am a Democrat because I am a Christian. That pesky commandment Jesus gave about loving my neighbor as myself? I took it as gospel...no pun intended. When He told me that if a man asks for my cloak I am to give him my shirt as well, I don't think Jesus intended it to be merely a suggestion. When Jesus told me that whatsoever I do for the least of His brethen I do for Him, I considered it an honor to serve Him.

(On Edit) I found this companion article written in 2005 which takes on this same theme.

I'm a Democrat because I'm a Mormon: Liberalism is not immoral by Jeff Fullmer
I am deeply chagrined when I hear Mormons incorrectly refer to the liberal left as immoral. From this, I deduce that those who deem liberals to be immoral do not understand politics, or their own religion, or either.

7 comments:

Myrna the Minx said...

I'm a polygamist because I'm mormon--;-). Desert Beacon turned me on to your blog, and Im very glad she did. I no longer have a blogger blog. See you around.

www.renodiscontent.com

Yukon Sully said...

You rock Blue Lyon! I found your site through Myrna's--can you feel the momentum starting to build?

For too long we progressives have dismissed rural America, allowing conservatives to sweep into the vacuum. They labeled us elitists, out of touch with places like Yerington and Smith Valley (even though some of us actually live there) and we let them do it. Today we are paying the price for our past arrogance. If we ever manage to turn this country around, it will start in places like Lyon County with people who are unafraid to stand up for their beliefs. Keep up the good work!

cls said...

Yes, the momentum is growing every day. More and more people's eyes are opening and it's up to us boots-on-the-ground to capitalize on it. Keep coming back.

PS...your blog rocks too!

truckee river blogger said...

I am very happy to see the discussion on your blog about God. The left's inability to talk about God is killing us. What we really need in Nevada is a coalition of faith based leaders INCLUDING MORMONS who walk the social justice talk of Jesus in the halls of the Legislature and on the streets of Reno and Las Vegas.

Speaking of which, we might want to even thank Gary Bauer, our nemesis, for speaking out along with other evangelicals against global warming. They might be able to more effectively fight on this issue than the enviro's have (although that's not saying much).

A non-liberal Democrat said...

The difference between Mormons and liberals, is that liberals want to take from you and give to the poor; whereas the church believes that you give, you do not have it taken from you. Liberals have no moral values, and those who say they do are lying to you. It's one thing to be a Democrat, it's another thing entirely to be a liberal.

cls said...

Well, I am a liberal and I have morals. Plenty of them. I think whoever is telling YOU that liberals don't have morals is either lying or misinformed.

Emily For Utah Senate 28 said...

I'm about tired of the discussion that you can't be liberal and a mormon. And the hoo-ha about things being "taken" from you is pure hogwash. It's not yours to begin with, you are just borrowing it, and once everyone figures that out they'll quit being so greedy.

As for liberals having no morals? I can name plenty of liberals who are the most moral, responsible, and thoughtful people around.

Do your homework.