Wednesday, September 5, 2012

LDS Values and the Democratic Party

Personally, reading this article makes me feel uncomfortable, especially after hearing Harry Reid's speech yesterday at the convention. (It's hard for me to see one Mormon so blatantly distort the intentions and character of another in a public discourse when, as a fellow Mormon, I know he knows better.)  I feel like they're twisting the true meaning of one of my favorite hymns into something that it is not.  I was particularly disturbed by this part:

"I'm sure it's that way in both parties," he said. "Many of us are uncomfortable with our party's position on abortion, just as I'm sure there are many Republicans who are uncomfortable with their party's lack of attention to 'love thy neighbor.'"  In fact, Janis said, "the Republican Party is saying that the idea of loving our neighbor and taking care of each other are not good things to be striving for. I'm sure that makes a lot of LDS Republicans pause and wonder if they are in the right party."

What is his definition of "love thy neighbor"?  Never has anyone in the Republican party said (that I'm aware of) that loving our neighbor is "not a good thing to be striving for"!!  This man is equating "love thy neighbor" with "create a government that enforces transfer of resources from those who have more to those who have less".  That is NOT the same thing as "love thy neighbor".  This man judges the Republican party of not supporting the idea of "love they neighbor" simply because we believe that true heart-felt love and charity is a personal quality and not one that can be enforced by government, and that the role of government has more to do with enforcing the environment of freedom and liberty so that true love and charity is able to thrive.

It's true that neither party is perfect.  It's true that there are individuals in both the Republican and the Democratic parties that are imperfect, and some that are very bad, in both parties.  We have to be careful in the Republican party of hypocrites who claim to be a part of our Morality but who personally are quite the opposite.  But when you get down to the fundamentals of the principles we are pushing for, those sought for in the Republican party seem to me to be much more consistent with LDS values than the ones that are being sought for in the Democratic party.  I will concede that historically, the Democratic party had a less extreme view on things, respected personal agency, responsibility and Biblical morality more, and simply stood as a voice for things the government should be doing, whereas the Republican party historically stood for things the government shouldn't be doing.  That in and of itself is not a bad thing -- the government has both vital responsibilities and vital limits, and it's good to have people checking both sides.   But the Democratic party is different now, especially with Obama as their figurehead.  It has begun to completely abandon critical American values that have been with us since the Founding, and adopt the view that the Constitution is "old" and "outdated" because it protects Liberty at a higher priority than Health and Comfort, that it protects Freedom of Religion at a higher priority than Tolerance, and that the Balance of Powers only gets in the way of enacting an Ideology which is becoming increasingly and inconveniently inconsistent with our Founding Documents.

Some members of the church will argue that because the church doesn't endorse any party or candidate that its somehow taboo to declare one political direction right and true and the other perilous and wrong.  On the contrary, it is our duty to do just that.