On Sunday night The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued an official statement in response to the recent violence in Charlottesville – decrying racism. I blogged about it here. Beginning that same night, and spanning through Tuesday morning a very unanticipated thing happened. Mormon racists. I’m depressed to learn there are a bunch […]
The second U.S. civil war began in 2015 as a war of words and the polarization of political parties. No one even took one candidate in particular seriously until he unexpectedly won his disunified party’s nomination. He rose on the back of extremism, repeatedly touting “the good old days” when words were countered with physical violence. Voters watched in horror as the candidate’s xenophobic rhetoric turned to phallic comparisons and graphic misogyny. But many still supported him. Some embraced the candidate’s boldness, while others claimed that if elected, the candidate would quickly tone it down and become more presidential. But this was an election year unlike any we had ever seen, and I was embarrassed for our country. I was sure that voters on both sides of the aisle would have been able to see Donald Trump for the narcissistic autocrat that he is; it seemed pretty obvious to me. By October, though, it became clear that no one cared enough about violence, xenophobia, mysogynism, or even democracy. All of the Trump supporters I talked to wanted just one thing: to keep Clinton out, and even though she won the popular vote by more than three million, most voters seemed content to let the defunct electoral college rule the day. Instead of blaming Russia or gerrymandering, each political side was more than happy to point fingers at the failures of the other.
As 2017 unfolded with the White House in complete disarray, our commander-in-chief drew the battle lines. He was not to blame for the troubles besieging the presidency, he of said, it was Obama, Clinton, or the Democrats. Despite his demonstrated lack of leadership, like soldiers preparing for war, politicians fell immediately into a carefully strategized construction with one group on the right and the other on the left; the front lines running directly through the house and the senate. Continue reading
It’s headlined in national news this morning–the first thing I saw when I checked the news app on my phone. I was shocked. Not because the news itself is shocking, but that the news media felt it was important enough to position the story first before the North Korean Threat, #45’s latest antics, or the recent attack on French soldiers in Paris. I wasn’t sure that my news app is actually smart enough to know that I’m Mormon, and therefore any news about church members would be that important to me, so I went to my PC and checked AOL, which I almost never use. It appeared third after #45’s latest antics in relation to North Korea and the attack in Paris. Maybe the media actually does think that this is super important news.
So here it is: Continue reading
Digging around on the internet, looking at other LDS democrat postings, I was reminded of Mormonsandgays.org, a website created by church leadership, which, I thought had been removed following the Nov. 2015 handbook change. One of my gay LDS friends had been featured on that site, and I wondered if it was still there.
I punched in the old URL, and was immediately taken to LDS.org. I was relieved to see that it had not been removed from the internet, but assimilated into the church’s official website. Mormons and Gays has become Mormon and Gay, and church leadership has lovingly taken the site and welcomed it just as I wish we could lovingly welcome LGBT members and investigators into our congregations.
In response to my post from two days ago, I found this:
It says everything I hope families and leaders of LGBTQ members will hear regarding Savannah’s situation and others like hers.
For Savannah’s sake, and the sake of those experiencing discrimination in their wards and stakes, please share liberally.
Coming on the heels of Utah’s gay pride celebration, I guess the timing could have been worse. This video showed up on my Facebook news feed this morning:
Of course, I was dismayed. I still feel, as I have for many years, that we have a long way to go when it comes to being inclusive at church. Unfortunately, technology has far surpassed church officials when it comes to bringing change to our sacrament meetings, and cell phones are a great example.
I usually use my phone to read conference talks or scriptures as the sacrament is passed, or to supplement what is being said over the pulpit. It was simply a matter of time, though, before someone managed to catch good intentions gone wrong over the LDS pulpit on video. I don’t think that was Savannah’s original plan, though. One commentator to the post seemed to have some inside knowledge to the reason Savannah had her testimony filmed: Continue reading
If we want them to listen to us, we need to listen to them.
He’s right, ya know.
Early last week (just after my last blog post), my husband and I sat at the edge of our bed and said our morning prayers. Things have been tough in our house, living with a recovering addict and helping to raise our beautiful, sweet granddaughter. I can’t remember who said the prayer, but I do remember that we asked for guidance, as my husband’s job security was in peril, and I am working for temp agencies while I try to work out critical career decisions. My daughter just wants to get through school, and to find some emotional and mental balance. Of course, we all want to feel a sense of belonging at church, and only my husband feels comfortable there, despite the fact that he is a convert from Chicago and hates living in Utah.
We asked our Heavenly Father to help us to make the right decisions as we are working to achieve our goals of finding job security, moving to a larger place accommodating to the needs of this extended and blended family, and feeling a sense of belonging in this conservative stronghold. It’s been almost year since my daughter moved in with us, but nothing is really coming together for any of us. I could see a light at the end of the tunnel, but we didn’t seem to be getting any closer, and my daughter often voiced the fear that the light was from an oncoming train. Continue reading
I’m reentering the conversation.
First of all, let me be clear about my church membership. I haven’t left. I guess you could say I’m working my way back, even though I never fully left in the first place. If you were under the impression that I had left, I apologize that I wasn’t fully clear in my previous blog post. It’s just with so many active members vocally celebrating the election of a man who fell under broad LDS condemnation over his misogyny, racism, and general moral inappropriateness during his candidacy, I seriously needed a lot of space.
I could not even be in the same room as anyone in Utah talking politics after November 8. From that time, until the inauguration, the amount of angst I was experiencing multiplied. It got to the point where I studiously avoided Facebook, and I could not even retreat to the relative safety of blogging. I did NOT want to deal with any thoughts or opinions on the man many call our president. I still can’t bring myself say the words president and Trump in the same sentence. (Looks like I just did it–and to be honest, I didn’t like it at all.)
I really struggled with acknowledging the actual validity of this election, when it was so obvious that there was interference, and given the man’s penchant for taking pecuniary advantage of people, I’m sure there was money involved. After all, money talks, and people were listening, especially old white men. And if you are an old white man who is offended by that remark, I have just one question; why are you reading my blog? Continue reading
What I really should be saying is that I didn’t do it. I mean, I didn’t follow my daily list, nor did I go to church.
Back in September of last year, I announced that I would be following a recommended daily to-do list that I had used way back in the day while I was still married to my first husband, and well into my years as a divorcee. When applied correctly, without compulsion, it worked very well for me. But, like I said, I didn’t follow it, and the results were very nearly disastrous.
I’m not going to go into detail, but I had to quit my job, and I very nearly left the church completely. So completely, in fact, that by Thanksgiving I began announcing to close family members, that I had already left the church. I didn’t really leave, I told them, but I felt that the church had left me, and that was why I would not be going back. Continue reading
The following is NOT original. I did not write it, but it’s going viral on Facebook, and needs to be heard. The very term, suffering, is problematic because it highlights the deep misunderstandings stemming from bipartisan politics. This should not ever be a partisan issue:
A new administration-supporting Facebook friend told movie producer Scott Mednick, “We suffered for eight years. Now it’s your turn.”
Scott wrote a thoughtful response asking how, specifically, his friend had suffered under Obama:
“I am surprised you would wish suffering upon me. That of course is your right, I suppose. I do not wish harm on anyone. Your statement seems to continue the ‘US v THEM’ mentality. The election is over. It is important to get past campaigning and campaign rhetoric and get down to what is uniting, not dividing and what is best for ALL Americans.
There will never be a President who does everything to everyone’s liking. There are things President Obama (and President Clinton) did that I do not like and conversely there are things I can point to that the Presidents Bush did that I agree with. So I am not 100% in lock step with the outgoing President but have supported him and the overall job he did.
And, if you recall, during the Presidential Campaign back in 2008 the campaign was halted because of the “historic crisis in our financial system.” Wall Street bailout negotiations intervened in the election process. The very sobering reality was that there likely could be a Depression and the world financial markets could collapse. The United States was losing 800,000 jobs a month and was poised to lose at least 10 million jobs the first year once the new President took office. We were in an economic freefall. So let us recall that ALL of America was suffering terribly at the beginning of Obama’s Presidency.
But I wanted to look back over the last 8 years and ask you a few questions. Since much of the rhetoric before Obama was elected was that he would impose Sharia Law, Take Away Your Guns, Create Death Panels, Destroy the Economy, Impose Socialism and, since you will agree that NONE of this came to pass, I was wondering:
Why have you suffered so?
So let me ask:
Gays and Lesbians can now marry and enjoy the benefits they had been deprived of. Has this caused your suffering?
When Obama took office, the Dow was 6,626. Now it is 19,875. Has this caused your suffering?
We had 82 straight months of private sector job growth – the longest streak in the history of the United States. Has this caused your suffering?
Especially considering where he the economy was when he took over, an amazing 11.3 million new jobs were created under President Obama (far more than President Bush). Has this caused your suffering?
Obama has taken Unemployment from 10% down to 4.7%. Has this caused your suffering?
Homelessness among US Veterans has dropped by half. Has this caused your suffering?
Obama shut down the US secret overseas prisons. Has this caused your suffering?
President Obama has created a policy for the families of fallen soldiers to have their travel paid for to be there when remains are flown home. Has this caused your suffering?
We landed a rover on Mars. Has this caused your suffering?
He passed the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Has this caused your suffering?
Uninsured adults has decreased to below 10%: 90% of adults are insured – an increase of 20 Million Adults. Has this caused your suffering?
People are now covered for pre-existing conditions. Has this caused your suffering?
Insurance Premiums increased an average of $4,677 from 2002-2008, an increase of 58% under Bush. The growth of these insurance premiums has gone up $4,145 – a slower rate of increase. Has this caused your suffering?
Obama added Billions of dollars to mental health care for our Veterans. Has this caused your suffering?
Consumer confidence has gone from 37.7 to 98.1 during Obama’s tenure. Has this caused your suffering?
He passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Has this caused your suffering?
His bi-annual Nuclear Summit convinced 16 countries to give up and destroy all their loose nuclear material so it could not be stolen. Has this caused your suffering?
He saved the US Auto industry. American cars sold at the beginning of his term were 10.4M and upon his exit 17.5M. Has this caused your suffering?
The deficit as a percentage of the GDP has gone from 9.8% to 3.2%. Has this caused your suffering?
The deficit itself was cut by $800 Billion Dollars. Has this caused your suffering?
Obama preserved the middle class tax cuts. Has this caused your suffering?
Obama banned solitary confinement for juveniles in federal prisons. Has this caused your suffering?
He signed Credit Card reform so that rates could not be raised without you being notified. Has this caused your suffering?
He outlawed Government contractors from discriminating against LGBT persons. Has this caused your suffering?
He doubled Pell Grants. Has this caused your suffering?
Abortion is down. Has this caused your suffering?
Violent crime is down. Has this caused your suffering?
He overturned the scientific ban on stem cell research. Has this caused your suffering?
He protected Net Neutrality. Has this caused your suffering?
Obamacare has extended the life of the Medicare insurance trust fund (will be solvent until 2030). Has this caused your suffering?
President Obama repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Has this caused your suffering?
He banned torture. Has this caused your suffering?
He negotiated with Syria to give up its chemical weapons and they were destroyed. Has this caused your suffering?
Solar and Wind Power are at an all time high. Has this caused your suffering?
High School Graduation rates hit 83% – an all time high. Has this caused your suffering?
Corporate profits are up by 144%. Has this caused your suffering?
He normalized relations with Cuba. Has this caused your suffering?
Reliance on foreign oil is at a 40 year low. Has this caused your suffering?
US Exports are up 28%. Has this caused your suffering?
He appointed the most diverse cabinet ever. Has this caused your suffering?
He reduced the number of troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Has this caused your suffering?
Yes, he killed Osama Bin Laden and retrieved all the documents in his possession for analysis. Perhaps THIS caused your suffering?
From an objective standpoint it would appear that the last eight years have seen some great progress and we were saved from a financial collapse. Things are not perfect. Things can always be better. We are on much better footing now than we were in 2008.
I look forward to understanding what caused you to suffer so much under Obama these last eight years.”‘