I have a lot of thoughts about the elections on Tuesday. More than a few reactions myself. Relief. I’m so relieved that most Americans can see that we’re heading the right direction and have voted to keep going forward instead of regressing. Hope. I’m hopeful that since Obama can’t run again, the House Republicans will make their goal economic improvement, instead of one term president. I’m hoping we’ll get some compromise from here on out. It has certainly been lacking. A lot.
I also experienced some disappointment because I did not get the guy I wanted for the House. And I’ve not gotten the guy I wanted for president before, so I understand the discouragement that many of my Republican friends are feeling. And I’m sorry for it. I wish they shared the same vision for this country that I do, so that they could understand my hope right now. Alas.
Another one of my reactions has been disgust. A specific reaction to a specific trend. I’m gonna get to it, but let me preface it a bit first:
As far as my conservative Mormon friends, I’ve seen some specific trends. It’s funny that as I was noticing this trend, and starting to write this post, a dear friend of mine, Adrienne, made this most hysterical post on Facebook (She made it clear that the post was made in a spirit of good humor and love, and asked that it be received it in the same spirit. I would hope for the same here.):
The funniest thing about these stages is just how true they are. Most of my Republican friends are on stage 2 or 3. I actually keep seeing one that I find super amusing:
Not amusing because I don’t agree with it. Amusing because James E Faust was a Democrat. Heh.
I wish speedy progression towards Christmas posts.
Nor do I begrudge anyone from going through these stages. If Romney had won, I’d have experienced a semblance of them. However, given that I’m not generally prone to hysterics, I’d have reached Stage 5 within the hour. I know this from experience. Even though my melodrama may be short lived, it gives me the opportunity to sympathize with those who lap in the throws of it much longer than I do.
A lot of the Stage 1 posts I’ve seen on facebook are calls for food storage. We Mormons are big on food storage. We’ve been counseled by church leaders for decades to have years supply of food storage in case of emergency. (This is because we are, perhaps, abnormally focused on doomsday. Either way, it’s a healthy and pragmatic practice and I don’t hate it.) So many of my conservative Mormon friends were talking about the stocking up on food storage and gathering their families together to prepare for the onslaught** that I began to be pretty amused by how they all seemed to be trying to one up each other on melodrama. I logged into facebook an unusual amount of times on Wednesday looking for more and was never once disappointed. (Like I said, abnormally focused on doomsday.) Perhaps I should’ve been offended by the idea Democrats will cause the end of society as we know it, but it didn’t really get under my skin. Of course, that might be because it was far from the most offensive trend I saw on the internets yesterday.
Some of the offensiveness was more minor. Like the “Give the man a fish and he’ll eat for day, give him welfare stamps, blah, blah, and he’ll vote Democrat for life.” At the risk of being offensive in return, you’re basically a jerk if you think that’s funny at all. Its about as funny as if I said, “If you think sick, poor people should just die already and stop burdening the rest of us, you must be Republican.” Chuckling now? I thought not. But that isn’t the major issue either.
Another specific Mormon reaction was some scripture quotation. Scripture quotation in times like this is not, I’m sure, limited to Mormons. But the scriptures I’m talking about come from the Book of Mormon. Those who haven’t read it probably don’t know that there is actually a great deal of government discussion on the Book of Mormon. There are warnings against unrighteous, dictatorial monarchs. There are endorsements of democratic approaches to government. These become especially meaningful to American Mormons, since Americans also come by the legacy of tyrannical fear quite honestly. And it makes sense that people would be turning to those verses now, because everyone is focused on government. (And Mormons extra focused on doomsday.) And perhaps these people are embracing Stage 2 and seeking some kind of comfort. Although, with the scriptures I’ve seen used I don’t know how people could be getting any kind of comfort from it. Maybe in a weird I’d-rather-embrace-the-end-of-the-world-than-admit-liberals-have-a-point kind of way. I don’t know. But these are the two scriptures I keep seeing:
And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.
For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted.
This? This is totally offensive to my sensibilities. Your guy doesn’t win the presidency and now you’re painting the opposition, as well as everyone who voted from him, evil? As the embodiment of iniquity? Is your mind so little that everyone who disagrees with you is not just wrong, but corrupted? Do you realize how petulant that comes across? Indeed, petulant seems like too mild a word. It’s things like this that give me an identity crises as a Mormon. If I didn’t have such strong feelings about the gospel as I understand it, I’d have left a long time ago. How can you expect me to worship with people who believe I abandoned all righteousness and voted in the apocalypse because I didn’t vote for the Republican Mormon guy? (Whose policies, for the record, show very little of the gospel that I believe in.) I just don’t believe that if you have this attitude—that we are ripe for destruction because we have voted for equality, for charity, for less war—that we can possibly be believing in the same God. And, to share another quote, this time a friend of a friend on facebook:
What is the purpose of such a statement? To illicit fear? To call the nation to repentance? Does it not seem at all prideful to take such a step or make such a claim? Where do claims on moral superiority fit in the pride cycle? If the end of the world does come, will you be able to say, “I told you so”?
If this mirrors your attitude about the election of President Obama to a second term, you need to evaluate YOUR OWN righteousness. Not mine.
That is all.
*I did not coin this term. A Mormon Republican did. See? Some of them are capable of keeping their wits about them.
**Not sure what the onslaught entails. But I’m not a Conservative Mormon, so may be the wrong person to ask.
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