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John Mark Reynolds on Mormonism and Politics


Daniel Peterson

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Don't know whether this has already been mentioned here, but it's definitely worth a read:

http://onfaith.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/panelists/john_mark_reynolds/2011/02/an_american_trumpet.html

A thoughtful and astute analysis by a commentator outside our faith.

Alas, the second comment appearing below it, by one "Jake D", exhibits the invincible ignorance that Professor Reynolds decries in his piece.

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A thoughtful and astute analysis by a commentator outside our faith.

Alas, the second comment appearing below it, by one "Jake D", exhibits the invincible ignorance that Professor Reynolds decries in his piece.

Hardly thoughtful or astute. A deep thinker doesn't say things like:

Being right is powerful and most LDS are right on many of today's big issues: the nature of family, the protection of life, defense of religious liberty, and republican values.

But I did get a laugh from this comment:

As a result of their history, Mormons have a thoughtful and subtle take on religion in the public square.

Subtle? He obviously has never lived in Utah.

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Hardly thoughtful or astute. A deep thinker doesn't say things like:

Jaybear's definition of a an astute observer/deep thinker: someone who never disagrees with Jaybear.

But I did get a laugh from this comment: ...

Subtle? He obviously has never lived in Utah.

I live in Utah, and Reynolds's general observation about Mormons and Mormonism seems spot-on to me. On the other hand using one's own beefs and gripes about local politics and government as an occasion for broad-brush branding of an entire people and faith strikes me as provincial.

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I agree with a lot of what this article says. Mormons are great at mobilizing volunteers, administering welfare systems, creating community for themselves, and battling isolation and loneliness.

The big issue this article dances around is why the Social Conservative movement is so hesitant to embrace Mormons when so many Mormons are so eager to embrace them. And why are Mormons so eager to be Social Conservatives?

When you watch Mormons so suddenly and unhesitatingly become the political champions of

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Not so gripping and not so ironic when one contemplates the fact that the practice of plural marriage within the LDS faith was discontinued well over a century ago, long before anyone now alive could have been aware of it.

Are you suggesting that when the second manifesto was issued a century ago, all of the plural marriages that had been performed were instantly dissolved, and the marriages themselves disappeared?

Just because they stopped performing new weddings barely over a century ago doesn't mean that that is when plural marriage itself stopped.

And even within that pre-Manifesto-era framework, apart from plural marriage itself, the "traditional marriage" values you reference above were very much in place as they are today: absolute fidelity within marriage, absolute chastity prior to marriage, parental devotion to supporting and nurturing children, family stability, emphasis on education, provident living, etc.

Don't gloss over the differences. A traditional value of today that wasn't practiced then was, don't court the ladies after you are already married.

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Overall a well-rounded and fair-minded article, but I did want to clarify a few points that I took issue with.

If conservative Christian and Mormons share a political agenda, why do suspicions still plague Mormon politicians?

Conservative Christians and Mormons share a

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