May 12, 2007

Mitt and the other cheek

So, I'm not sure how I feel about Mitt right now. A piece of me cringes at the way he's doing his campaign. For instance, talking about how awful polygamy is. I mean, we all know it would be hell to have to live the principle. But are we really saying that it was never condoned by Heavenly Father? I feel like Mitt might be distancing himself from his faith in order to appeal to a broader audience. And then, there are times when I think he's doing a good job sticking to his guns. And yes, a small piece of me felt viciously satisfied when Mitt lashed out at Al Sharpton for his comment implying that Mormons do not believe in God. It's especially lusciously ironic that Al is a Civil Rights activist.

You know what? That PBS special, The Mormons, was spot on in some ways. The Mormon Persecution Complex was discussed in some detail. I admit that I am always wincing for the blow I feel is about to come. I had friends in high school tell me I was going to hell for what I believe. I had boys sexually harass me because I was so "pure," and I've had people that I respect make sly remarks about polygamy and Joseph Smith. A piece of me wants to sassily flick my wrist and snap my fingers and cheer for Mitt's calling Al on this.

And piece of me realizes that it doesn't make a dang bit of difference. Everyone thinks that Mormons aren't Christians. You can talk to some people until you're blue in the face and they'll still think you dont' eat meat on Fridays and ask to see your horns. No matter how well they know you, how much you've been through together, some people will still believe that you sacrifice babies in the temple.

I want people to see what they do to us. I want them to realize how awful they're being.

I also want people to forget about it. C'mon, we're all Christians here. I have an extra book of scripture, true. And a living prophet. And I wear special clothing to symbolize promises that I've made to God (yes, I do believe in him). And I plan on living with my family forever and ever, and I plan on creating worlds of my own someday.

If there are people who are going to belittle my religion and make fun of my lifestyle, simply because it's a little different, that is their right. But it isn't right. It isn't fair.

It isn't Christian. I know this, because I have studied Christ's teachings from the time I was a small child. They are the basis upon which I try to live my life.

For this reason, I'm not sure that Mitt ought to have said what he did. What about turn the other cheek? What about love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, pray for them which spitefully abuse you and persecute you. What about Christ and the woman taken in adultery.

Most of all, what about "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do?"

I realize that a politician cannot afford to turn the other cheek if he wants to be president. But what, after all, is more important?


texasblu said...

I haven't followed the campaigns. But I'm sure you're right - the politicians have to be careful, nothing they say will please everyone, and his main goal is to WIN. So I'm sure he'll smash a few toes.

On the other subject, I get my blood boiling sometimes too over the whole "Mormon aren't Christian" thing too. Makes me physically ill. We all know it's crap. Another thing that really burns my biscuit is people who outright exclude Mormons, saying WE are intolerant. Bull.

Yep, I got issues too. LOL! :)

Janell said...

Honestly, if polygamy were "hell," I would think there would be a much higher rate of suicide, excommunication, and leaving the church than there was. Then again, as the great-great-great-granddaughter of a polygamist I rather appreciate my very large extended family.

I've been doing some more studying into Catholicism and other Christian religions. And I came to agree with those who say that Mormons are not Christians. Mormons aren't Christians. Mormons are christians in that we follow Christ, in that we believe in the Bible (or at least, most of us do), and that we strive to be a good, kind, Christ-like, law-abiding people. On the other hand, our theology is completely different. The Catholic God is not the same as the Mormon God, nor are any of the other members of the Catholic trinity or the Mormon godhead. What we believe the purpose of life is are completely different. Our understandings of baptism, atonement, judgment, heaven, hell, and the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything are completely different. Mormons are even less Christians than the Fundamentalist Mormons or Community of Christ are Mormons.

That being said. Yes, Mormon's are not Christian, but I will not allow someone to tell me that Mormons are not Christ-like and aren't good people.

Ah the joys of differint opinions =)

NoSurfGirl said...

I think that a lot of things are different (God, Christ, the Holy Ghost as three seperate beings, God as a being with a body of flesh and blood, works as fundamental as Grace to salvation) but when you argue each of these points enough (and believe me, I have done my share of arguing), ultimately, the beliefs of Mormons and say, Presbyterians really aren't so different. My presbyterian freinds were just as unable to describe how God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost were one and also seperate as I was. :)

Sherpa said...

The Mormon Persecution Complex is something that mistifies me, makes me giggle, but being LDS, being teased, discriminated against etc goes with the territory. It's funny, I was told straight to my face not to take a job in a civil rights office for the Federal Government because I was white by a hispanic. The ironic thing? I probably have enough evidence to file a lawsuit on another federal employee for not hiring me because of my religion in the same building that the civil rights job was (and where I work now). However, I didn't do it. Things worked out much better than they would've if I would've been offered that job. But yeah, I've had a lot of what happened to you.

Janell, what struck me with your statement is that many evangelical christians think that Catholics aren't christians either.

As far as Catholicism a Latin American Missionary, I grew to love the Catholic church, for all of the grief it has caused the world, there are some beautiful points about their religion. And, in Latin America, its really easy to teach Catholics about the gospel. In other countries where the reformation took place, Catholics are much, much, tougher to teach.

As for polygamy...I think Mitt spoke before he thought. I seriously think the statement came out wrong. He just needs to address the religion thing like Kennedy did in '60 and go on. Otherwise he's going to continue to alienate the mormons and the rest of us.