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Former Mormon Becomes PM of New Zealand

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her Uncle is a General Authority, I wonder if she'll have a positive, negative or ambivalent impact on the church in NZ?

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It's possible that her leaving the church is the only way she could have become PM. It would have given her social justice street cred. Otherwise, I don't think Labour would have stomached her becoming leader of the party.  

I'd call that trading her birthright for a mess of pottage.  But perhaps she will be an able PM and that would be a mitigating factor.

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4 hours ago, Stargazer said:

I'd call that trading her birthright for a mess of pottage. 

I think that's a completely unfair thing to say. You are implying that: 1. She left the church in order to further her career and 2. Kiwi's care more about a candidate's religious affiliation than their leadership skills. I'm not super familiar with New Zealand politics. Is there any evidence to support either one of those things?

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Her religion is between her and her God. Her politics are between her and her constituents. 

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23 hours ago, katherine the great said:

I think that's a completely unfair thing to say. You are implying that: 1. She left the church in order to further her career and 2. Kiwi's care more about a candidate's religious affiliation than their leadership skills. I'm not super familiar with New Zealand politics. Is there any evidence to support either one of those things?

No evidence whatsoever. Is it unfair?  It might be.  It might also be completely inaccurate, I'm not omniscient.

Yes, I am implying that she left the Church in order to further her career.  I don't know if she did or not, but it is a possibility, isn't it?  In fact, it is likely. If she believed the Church were the true Church of Jesus Christ on earth, had a testimony of the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith as a Prophet of God, would she have resigned her membership, even because of perceived anti-gay bias?  Seems unlikely, unless she really is a politician who would do anything to further her career. What is most likely is that she wasn't a believer, and most inactive, nonbelievers don't bother to resign their membership.  There would only be two reasons for her to resign her membership: (a) because she really does have an ethical problem with the Church, or (b) she believed her political career really was in jeopardy if she retained her official membership in the Church.  Perhaps it is cynical of me, but I think (b) is more likely. I usually prefer to presume people act in good faith, but we're talking about politics here. 

As far as how Kiwi's vote, I am not going to ascribe any kind of nobility to New Zealand voters that exceed that of US voters.  I tend to think people are people everywhere. They say Canadians are more polite than Americans, but I lived in Canada for a few years and I found the place pretty much inhabited by the same kind of people I grew up with in the US. I've also lived in the UK and Germany, and while there are some differences in culture, they weren't aliens in the sci-fi sense, because they were quite human.  You may remember the now banned poster pahoran? He is a kiwi, and didn't you find him to be pretty much like any kind of person anywhere else? Maybe a bit more abrasive than some, but if you hadn't known he was a New Zealander, I think it is fair to say that you wouldn't have been able to pin him down as to nationality unless he said where he was from.  You also have to consider that the Prime Minister was not chosen by popular vote -- in any parliamentary democracy, the legislative leader is always elected by a tiny minority of the electorate, so I don't need to characterize the entire nation of New Zealand in any political way, because their new Prime Minister was chosen by two groups of people -- the voters from her legislative district, the leaders of her party, and in this case by the leaders of the party that allied with her party to form a government. Something like 90%+ of the people of New Zealand had no voice in electing her. So, in that tiny fraction of the people of New Zealand, do we know how many of them wouldn't have voted for her if she had been a Mormon?  We do not.  

Edited by Stargazer
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5 hours ago, thesometimesaint said:

Her religion is between her and her God. Her politics are between her and her constituents. 

Yes, absolutely. And I can still hold an opinion as to those two things.

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On 10/20/2017 at 12:15 PM, katherine the great said:

I think that's a completely unfair thing to say. You are implying that: 1. She left the church in order to further her career and 2. Kiwi's care more about a candidate's religious affiliation than their leadership skills. I'm not super familiar with New Zealand politics. Is there any evidence to support either one of those things?

I don't know whether she left the Church to further her political career. I do know that she left the Church after she had entered Parliament, and that she made something of a public song and dance about it.

I don't get the sense that Kiwis care more about a candidate's religion than their leadership skills; I do get the sense that the left cares a lot about symbolism. Since she's the third woman PM we've had, there's not a whole lot of symbolism in that, but there could be in her having left the Church over her commitment to a "progressive" cause.

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On ‎10‎/‎19‎/‎2017 at 7:15 PM, katherine the great said:

I think that's a completely unfair thing to say. You are implying that: 1. She left the church in order to further her career and 2. Kiwi's care more about a candidate's religious affiliation than their leadership skills. I'm not super familiar with New Zealand politics. Is there any evidence to support either one of those things?

Katherine, you were here when a fellow named Romney ran for president right?  And the majority of the US stated they just could not support a Mormon as president....right.  To me it is a really strong guess that Kiwis are just like Americans and would not support an active LDS under any conditions to be their PM.

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37 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

Katherine, you were here when a fellow named Romney ran for president right?  And the majority of the US stated they just could not support a Mormon as president....right.  To me it is a really strong guess that Kiwis are just like Americans and would not support an active LDS under any conditions to be their PM.

I obviously have nothing against Romney's religion. His politics are another story.

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9 minutes ago, thesometimesaint said:

I obviously have nothing against Romney's religion. His politics are another story.

Liberals don't like him.  Even conservatives don't like him.  But people that like McConnel, Jeb Bush and Ryan also like Romney.

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1 hour ago, Storm Rider said:

To me it is a really strong guess that Kiwis are just like Americans and would not support an active LDS under any conditions to be their PM.

Kiwi, who is in New Zealand, appears to suggest you are wrong in this, but I may have read him wrong.

"I don't get the sense that Kiwis care more about a candidate's religion than their leadership skill"

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19 minutes ago, longview said:

Liberals don't like him.  Even conservatives don't like him.  But people that like McConnel, Jeb Bush and Ryan also like Romney.

I really don't have any objections to a candidates religion.That is between them and their God, if they have one. I like being an LDS. Politically I'm a moderately conservative liberal. I heavily suspect that McConnell, Jeb Bush and Ryan liked that "R"  behind his name far more than his LDS.

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10 hours ago, Calm said:

Kiwi, who is in New Zealand, appears to suggest you are wrong in this, but I may have read him wrong.

"I don't get the sense that Kiwis care more about a candidate's religion than their leadership skill"

I was addressing a comment, not the activity status of the new PM. She left the church and is no longer associated with the Church.

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10 hours ago, thesometimesaint said:

I obviously have nothing against Romney's religion. His politics are another story.

That is the right answer - no problems with someone that has a political difference of opinion.  The rub comes when everything is put aside and the focus is "I cannot vote for a Mormon" or "I can't vote for a gay person", or "I can't vote for a woman".  When these types of things are stated the person has devolved into stupidity and ignorance.  Society has its sacred cows and where people are not comfortable saying they would not vote for a woman or a gay person they are obviously more comfortable saying they will not vote for a Mormon for president.

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18 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

That is the right answer - no problems with someone that has a political difference of opinion.  The rub comes when everything is put aside and the focus is "I cannot vote for a Mormon" or "I can't vote for a gay person", or "I can't vote for a woman".  When these types of things are stated the person has devolved into stupidity and ignorance.  Society has its sacred cows and where people are not comfortable saying they would not vote for a woman or a gay person they are obviously more comfortable saying they will not vote for a Mormon for president.

I was too young to vote when Kennedy ran. I was 9 years old. His being Catholic was never even a consideration for me. But it was for a lot of voters then.

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14 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

Katherine, you were here when a fellow named Romney ran for president right?  And the majority of the US stated they just could not support a Mormon as president....right.  To me it is a really strong guess that Kiwis are just like Americans and would not support an active LDS under any conditions to be their PM.

Mitt Romney managed to be elected as governor of Massachusetts as a Mormon. Besides, that's not the point of my question. Americans may have a different view of the church than people in other countries. My question is regarding evidence that the people of New Zealand would place their religious biases over their common sense in politics.

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19 hours ago, Stargazer said:

No evidence whatsoever. Is it unfair?  It might be.  It might also be completely inaccurate, I'm not omniscient.

Yes, I am implying that she left the Church in order to further her career.  I don't know if she did or not, but it is a possibility, isn't it?  In fact, it is likely. If she believed the Church were the true Church of Jesus Christ on earth, had a testimony of the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith as a Prophet of God, would she have resigned her membership, even because of perceived anti-gay bias?  Seems unlikely, unless she really is a politician who would do anything to further her career.

That doesn't make any sense. I know people who have left the church for diverse reasons, none of which have anything to do with furthering their careers.

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54 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

That doesn't make any sense. I know people who have left the church for diverse reasons, none of which have anything to do with furthering their careers.

I can't say that Ms Ardern left the Church to further her political career. All I can say is that she was already in Parliament when she left, and she made what seemed to me to be a rather ostentatious public announcement about how she had left due to her commitment to what she was pleased to call "marriage equality." By all accounts she hadn't been active for some time anyway, so it seemed like she was trying to make some kind of point.

We've had MP's who were active members in NZ before, but they (or at least the ones I know about) were from the conservative side of politics. I don't think conservative Christianity in general, or Mormonism in particular, plays well with the chardonnay socialist set.

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1 hour ago, katherine the great said:

That doesn't make any sense. I know people who have left the church for diverse reasons, none of which have anything to do with furthering their careers.

And for some, it is just the opposite...wherre leaving the church can be detriment to keeping and sustaining a job...of course that is a Utah thing I think...my opinion.:)

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4 hours ago, kiwi57 said:

I can't say that Ms Ardern left the Church to further her political career. All I can say is that she was already in Parliament when she left, and she made what seemed to me to be a rather ostentatious public announcement about how she had left due to her commitment to what she was pleased to call "marriage equality." By all accounts she hadn't been active for some time anyway, so it seemed like she was trying to make some kind of point.

We've had MP's who were active members in NZ before, but they (or at least the ones I know about) were from the conservative side of politics. I don't think conservative Christianity in general, or Mormonism in particular, plays well with the chardonnay socialist set.

Okay, a correction here: she actually left the Church before she entered Parliament. It was afterwards that she made her speech about it.

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On 10/20/2017 at 4:00 PM, Stargazer said:

No evidence whatsoever. Is it unfair?  It might be.  It might also be completely inaccurate, I'm not omniscient.

Yes, I am implying that she left the Church in order to further her career.  I don't know if she did or not, but it is a possibility, isn't it?  In fact, it is likely. If she believed the Church were the true Church of Jesus Christ on earth, had a testimony of the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith as a Prophet of God, would she have resigned her membership, even because of perceived anti-gay bias?  Seems unlikely, unless she really is a politician who would do anything to further her career. What is most likely is that she wasn't a believer, and most inactive, nonbelievers don't bother to resign their membership.  There would only be two reasons for her to resign her membership: (a) because she really does have an ethical problem with the Church, or (b) she believed her political career really was in jeopardy if she retained her official membership in the Church.  Perhaps it is cynical of me, but I think (b) is more likely. I usually prefer to presume people act in good faith, but we're talking about politics here. 

As far as how Kiwi's vote, I am not going to ascribe any kind of nobility to New Zealand voters that exceed that of US voters.  I tend to think people are people everywhere. They say Canadians are more polite than Americans, but I lived in Canada for a few years and I found the place pretty much inhabited by the same kind of people I grew up with in the US. I've also lived in the UK and Germany, and while there are some differences in culture, they weren't aliens in the sci-fi sense, because they were quite human.  You may remember the now banned poster pahoran? He is a kiwi, and didn't you find him to be pretty much like any kind of person anywhere else? Maybe a bit more abrasive than some, but if you hadn't known he was a New Zealander, I think it is fair to say that you wouldn't have been able to pin him down as to nationality unless he said where he was from.  You also have to consider that the Prime Minister was not chosen by popular vote -- in any parliamentary democracy, the legislative leader is always elected by a tiny minority of the electorate, so I don't need to characterize the entire nation of New Zealand in any political way, because their new Prime Minister was chosen by two groups of people -- the voters from her legislative district, the leaders of her party, and in this case by the leaders of the party that allied with her party to form a government. Something like 90%+ of the people of New Zealand had no voice in electing her. So, in that tiny fraction of the people of New Zealand, do we know how many of them wouldn't have voted for her if she had been a Mormon?  We do not.  

In particular, I wanted to comment on this statement 

Yes, I am implying that she left the Church in order to further her career.

I think your implication that she lacks complete integrity for choosing to leave the church in order to further a career is extremely offensive and without merit as even you pointed out.  So why would you even make such a statement?  Do you really not see why many have a difficult time continuing to believe the claims of Mormonism that it is the church of Jesus Christ when it's policies towards gays and their families are so in conflict with His teachings?  Forbidding children baptism is a really serious departure from the gospel that Christ taught.  And the church's very public actions to take away the civil rights of gay couples is a very serious problem for those that feel equality before the law is a fundamental part of democracy.  Her choice to leave the church is on very solid ground especially if she strongly believes in social justice.  

Your statement also implies that being a Mormon has now become such a tainted religion to so many people that someone who is Mormon is going to not be considered fit for public office.  That in and of itself is quite sad.  I served my mission in New Zealand.  When I served, the church was very well though of and very respected.  Being Mormon meant that you judged people fairly. with compassion  and you fought for social justice. 

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9 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

That is the right answer - no problems with someone that has a political difference of opinion.  The rub comes when everything is put aside and the focus is "I cannot vote for a Mormon" or "I can't vote for a gay person", or "I can't vote for a woman".  When these types of things are stated the person has devolved into stupidity and ignorance.  Society has its sacred cows and where people are not comfortable saying they would not vote for a woman or a gay person they are obviously more comfortable saying they will not vote for a Mormon for president.

I don't care what someone's religion is, what sex they are or what ethnic group they come from either.  But I do care a lot whether the candidate supports equality for all American's under the law.  If a Mormon ran for office, I would need them to renounce the church's position on how the church treats gays for me to consider voting for them.  Just as I would have needed for them to renounce the priesthood ban when that was in effect.  I also would need a Republican to renounce many of the Republican platform in order to consider voting for them.  Social justice is high on my list of important issues that a candidate believes in.

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6 hours ago, katherine the great said:

Mitt Romney managed to be elected as governor of Massachusetts as a Mormon. Besides, that's not the point of my question. Americans may have a different view of the church than people in other countries. My question is regarding evidence that the people of New Zealand would place their religious biases over their common sense in politics.

Mitt Romney was elected governor before the church started to go after gay couples right to marry.  

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4 minutes ago, california boy said:

Do you really not see why many have a difficult time continuing to believe the claims of Mormonism that it is the church of Jesus Christ when it's policies towards gays and their families are so in conflict with His teachings?

Can you please not turn every single thread into a rehash of every other thread on how the-Church-is-mean-to-gays?

But since you've rung that gong: The Church's policies towards gays and their families are not in conflict with His teachings.

4 minutes ago, california boy said:

Forbidding children baptism is a really serious departure from the gospel that Christ taught. 

No. It is not.

It is exactly the same policy that the Church has towards minor children being raised in polygamous households.

That policy has been in place for years, and gays never complained about that. I wonder why?

4 minutes ago, california boy said:

And the church's very public actions to take away the civil rights of gay couples is a very serious problem for those that feel equality before the law is a fundamental part of democracy.

The Church's support of the sanctity of authentic conjugal marriage was not an attempt "to take away the civil rights of gay couples." Homosexuals had equality before the law already, being free to marry a single person of the opposite sex just like everyone else did.

That's what "equality before the law" means. It applies to individuals, not couples.

4 minutes ago, california boy said:

Your statement also implies that being a Mormon has now become such a tainted religion to so many people that someone who is Mormon is going to not be considered fit for public office.  That in and of itself is quite sad.  I served my mission in New Zealand.  When I served, the church was very well though of and very respected.  Being Mormon meant that you judged people fairly. with compassion  and you fought for social justice. 

I don't know when you served here, but we've never been a collection of SJW's.

As I wrote above, we've had LDS MP's before - on the conservative side of politics, that is - and no doubt we will again. But Ms Ardern is from the left wing of the Labour Party; which is to say, she's from the "progressive" chardonnay socialist set. Of course they would look at a practicing Mormon with suspicion.

 

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