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LDS church politics vs. others


poptart

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Without turning this into a political thread, I wanted to ask about the LDS church.  Historically, have they been as involved in politics as mainline Protestant denominations have been?  I'm slowly figuring out just how things have been here stateside with most other denominations, the factionalism has always been there.  Despite a run in with a few bad members, overall they've been quite tame compared to what i've seen from others.  That and from what I saw briefly, they were less about what party you voted for and more about family and living good lives.  Figure this is as good a place as any to ask.

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2 hours ago, poptart said:

Without turning this into a political thread, I wanted to ask about the LDS church.  Historically, have they been as involved in politics as mainline Protestant denominations have been?  I'm slowly figuring out just how things have been here stateside with most other denominations, the factionalism has always been there.  Despite a run in with a few bad members, overall they've been quite tame compared to what i've seen from others.  That and from what I saw briefly, they were less about what party you voted for and more about family and living good lives.  Figure this is as good a place as any to ask.

Some LDS members have been elected to Congress, for over a century now, and some from states other than Utah.  Some have been prominent members of this or that Presidential administration.  And a couple of them have even run as serious candidates for the Presidency (Joseph Smith Jr, and Mitt Romney).  In the 19th century, the LDS Church took a more active role in politics, but that has not been true for a long time now.  The LDS Church has successfully influenced some state legislation, especially in Utah, but remains strongly neutral about candidates for elective office.

Unlike the evangelical or Roman Catholic churches, LDS services are never seen as a political forum -- there is no quicker way to internally damage a congregation.  In some countries, this would bring down the wrath of authoritarian regimes, and LDS Article of Faith 12 obliges members to cooperate with their governments:

"We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law."

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18 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Some LDS members have been elected to Congress, for over a century now, and some from states other than Utah.  Some have been prominent members of this or that Presidential administration.  And a couple of them have even run as serious candidates for the Presidency (Joseph Smith Jr, and Mitt Romney).  In the 19th century, the LDS Church took a more active role in politics, but that has not been true for a long time now.  The LDS Church has successfully influenced some state legislation, especially in Utah, but remains strongly neutral about candidates for elective office.

Unlike the evangelical or Roman Catholic churches, LDS services are never seen as a political forum -- there is no quicker way to internally damage a congregation.  In some countries, this would bring down the wrath of authoritarian regimes, and LDS Article of Faith 12 obliges members to cooperate with their governments:

"We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law."

To be fair, Christians are supposed to obey rulers over them Christian and heathen alike.  Like a lot of things many do cherrypick sadly.  That was a fond memory I had when I would pop into a ward, lack of politics.  Can't speak for evangelical churches but i've seen waaaaay more politics from the more conservative Lutheran synods, kind of ironic.  

 

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53 minutes ago, longview said:

Don't forget that Mitt's father George ran for the presidency also.  Elder Benson and Cleon Skousen (former SLC police chief) shook things up too.

George was never a serious candidate.  Benson was Eisenhower's Secretary of Agriculture.  Cleon Skousen was a rabble rouser, not a politician -- although sometimes it is very difficult to know the difference.

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23 hours ago, poptart said:

Without turning this into a political thread, I wanted to ask about the LDS church.  Historically, have they been as involved in politics as mainline Protestant denominations have been?  I'm slowly figuring out just how things have been here stateside with most other denominations, the factionalism has always been there.  Despite a run in with a few bad members, overall they've been quite tame compared to what i've seen from others.  That and from what I saw briefly, they were less about what party you voted for and more about family and living good lives.  Figure this is as good a place as any to ask.

I have noted in my life that LDS (speaking generally and not specifically) tend to push back against corruption and evil within their own professed political beliefs more than most other Christian faiths. The Church has largely stayed out of politics. Our last major foray was in the same sex marriage dispute and we said our piece, lost, and moved on. That is usually how it works for us and I hope it continues to be so.

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40 minutes ago, JamesBYoung said:

Romney was positioned well until his statement of being "brain washed."  Anybody running against Nixon in  the primaries would have his hands full.

Nixon put him in the cabinet but regretted it. Romney was in HUD and was dedicated to following the recently passed Fair Housing Laws which Nixon despised. Romney threatened to resign over it but Nixon asked him to stay on, worried a cabinet resignation during election season would hurt the campaign. After Nixon won reelection Romney resigned.

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3 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Nixon put him in the cabinet but regretted it. Romney was in HUD and was dedicated to following the recently passed Fair Housing Laws which Nixon despised. Romney threatened to resign over it but Nixon asked him to stay on, worried a cabinet resignation during election season would hurt the campaign. After Nixon won reelection Romney resigned.

Wow, is history semi repeating itself?

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1 hour ago, Meadowchik said:

Going state by state, is there any state in the USA that is as politically dominated by one religion as Utah is by the LDS Church?

 

There is membership and then there is political activity. Would you measure dominance by how many members of its legislature are a particular religion or just percentage of population or how often a religious POV is pushed in making and enforcing laws or something else?  If the percentage of population, Utah is number one. 
 

https://www.prri.org/spotlight/top-three-religions-in-each-state/

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10 hours ago, Calm said:

There is membership and then there is political activity. Would you measure dominance by how many members of its legislature are a particular religion or just percentage of population or how often a religious POV is pushed in making and enforcing laws or something else?  If the percentage of population, Utah is number one. 
 

https://www.prri.org/spotlight/top-three-religions-in-each-state/

I would define dominance as power and influence.  Utah began as an LDS theocracy, so I would expect the dominance to be more than even social and financial, but also structural.

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  • 2 months later...
On 2/16/2021 at 6:26 PM, Meadowchik said:

Going state by state, is there any state in the USA that is as politically dominated by one religion as Utah is by the LDS Church?

 

Mississippi and Alabama by the evangelicals, though not by a single denomination.  Maybe the Catholics in Delaware and Maryland.

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On 2/14/2021 at 8:28 PM, poptart said:

Without turning this into a political thread, I wanted to ask about the LDS church.  Historically, have they been as involved in politics as mainline Protestant denominations have been?  I'm slowly figuring out just how things have been here stateside with most other denominations, the factionalism has always been there.  Despite a run in with a few bad members, overall they've been quite tame compared to what i've seen from others.  That and from what I saw briefly, they were less about what party you voted for and more about family and living good lives.  Figure this is as good a place as any to ask.

The Church of Christ has become politically aware and sensitive since being run out of Jackson County almost 190 years ago.

The history of the saints in the West, Texas, Beaver Island, etc., always demonstrates that the members would take control of community, county, and regional politics as quickly as possible in order (1) to protect themselves from outsiders, and (2) reinforce the unique Mormon culture within the body politic.

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53 minutes ago, JamesBYoung said:

The Church of Christ has become politically aware and sensitive since being run out of Jackson County almost 190 years ago.

The history of the saints in the West, Texas, Beaver Island, etc., always demonstrates that the members would take control of community, county, and regional politics as quickly as possible in order (1) to protect themselves from outsiders, and (2) reinforce the unique Mormon culture within the body politic.

So like a lot of the other religious powers that be post great awakening.  Not like others don't act accordingly but you guys had every reason to act as such considering how you were treated in the USA.   It's been a while since I've been to SLC, despite the problems I have now I still like it, leave it to Mormons to do something awesome like Terraform a desert.

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23 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Idaho?

They have cmri out there plus other orgs.  They don't dominate like the Mormons but I'd be very curious how all that plays out politically.  CMRI doesn't do ecumenicalism like the normal Catholics do. 

Unrelated, I have this weird dream where I'd like to hear about president Monson and Pope Francis playing Mario cart or something to that effect.  One big step towards everyone else getting along.

https://religiondispatches.org/that-guy-in-rome-a-catholic-town-in-idaho-where-the-pope-is-a-heretic/

Edited by poptart
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