Letter to the Editor: Would a Mormon President Unite America?

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I can hear the agnostic’s keyboards chomping away already. One thing about this presidential election I think everybody agrees on is that no matter who wins America will still be divided. I know there is a strong Mormon community in Shasta County and I grew up, a non-Mormon, in Salt Lake City so I feel I am qualified to at least venture an opinion.

The Mormon Church I grew up with in the ’50s is not the same church today. That can be said about the country and the rest of the nation as well. But as the Mormon church has evolved it has become stronger and remains united, yes there are dissenters but that was why the church evolved. I remember everything in SLC revolved around the church, scouts, sports, dances, but the church never forbid non-members participation. I remember going to the Saturday dances at the local stake center where us teenagers had a safe atmosphere to mingle and unlike other parts of the country we danced to our music. The Mormons have always recognized youth, building rec centers and sports complexes.

This is not about forcing a religion on people but doing what some of the candidates say about uniting being cordial, something they are not doing.

Immigration has been a big issue. Mormons go on a mission to every country on Earth to ask people to join the church, Mitt Romney went to France, my own brother went to Finland. Other countries would not be isolated from a Mormon president.

Utah makes the top, or close to it, in surveys on healthcare, happiness, education, etc.

Gay marriages are preformed in Utah which does have gay politicians.

Utah unanimously passed “Charlee’s Law” to allow cannabis oil. Representative Gage Froerer said “The state of Utah is willing to trust the parents of this state in making decisions they feel are right for their children’s health”.

The knock most want to bring up is Romney’s 47% of Americans are already taken care of in regards to the poor. The church has been taking care of the 47% for 150 years with church farms, church food pantries and housing. Utah’s Housing First has been touted all over the nation, including Redding, as the cure for homelessness. The state offers help for the homeless while other states and cities want to give out bus tickets to somewhere else.

As far as patriotic no group is more patriotic about America than Mormons, even if they sometimes disagree with the federal government.

The liberals constantly tout social programs for the poor and want to tax the rich to pay for it. The Mormon church has asked it’s members to tithe 10% of their earnings for over 150 years. Everybody is asked to tithe but the bulk of the tithing comes from the rich. If one doesn’t tithe nothing happens to them. If one doesn’t pay taxes they go to jail.

Do I paint a rosy picture? Yes, but that has been my personal experience and not from googling. Did I leave anything out that was bad for the church? Yes, but I am sure the google experts will point them out but it will be nothing I didn’t know already. I worked for the state of Utah and my brother was in state law enforcement so there is nothing that can be googled that I don.t know.

A new LDS Temple was built in Fort Collins to serve Mormons in northern Colorado and Wyoming. The church has already been vandalized a few times.

Will Americans accept a Mormon president? I think the question should be is does America need a Mormon president? Yes.

Bruce Vojtecky,  (aka Cheyenne in A News Cafe.com’s comment section)

Cheyenne, Wyoming

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30 Responses

  1. Frank Treadway says:

    What’s left to say… the 21st Century LDS Church is a whole other cohort than even 5 years ago.  I was in SLK about 2 yrs ago and found the downtown to be a model of perfection.  Too bad they wasted so much money and resources on trying to denigrate and deny civil rights to the LGBT+ citizens of CA and other states.  Mormon President, why not, just don’t proselytize while in office.

  2. Rod says:

    “so there is nothing that canbe googled that I don,t know”.  Want to bet?

    We’ve been treated to a muslim pres the past 2 terms.  Certainly we could handle a Mormon president.  Americans are a tolerant society once the elections have decided who’s on base.

    Then again how goes the Black Mormon movement? Google?

     

    • cheyenne says:

      Rod, Black Mormon movement?  Are you talking about Mia Love and how the Democrats call her a token black?  Are you talking about Two Angry Black Women written by two black Mormon ladies who are rightly seeking better treatment of not only blacks but women.

      • Rod says:

        You’re falling behind.  Keep it up and you’ll be denied your PHD of internet studies.

        I’m not referring to 3 angry black women, that’s your domain.  I refer to 30 million American blacks who aren’t part of the LDS.  Who in the “good ol’ boys” isn’t worried about maintaining the white supremacy? Has something new been handed down by god? Is the church preparing for the great black flood?

        NO. A Mormon pres could not unite America.  I easily see a polarization of Americans split down racial seams.

        • cheyenne says:

          Rod, you expect me to believe you who states we have had a Muslim president for eight years.  Sorry, I don’t believe anything you post.

          • Rod says:

            So you choose to nominate the entire Mormon church as president, and I point out that argument was settled 230 years ago?  Freedom from religion.

            You’re hiding in the sticks of a Wyoming back-water.  And you can’t see the moral failure that your government retirement makes you?  You don’t feel like you owe service back to the California taxpayers?

            You’ll never believe me.  And I’ll never accept you.  Fine.

             

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Cheyenne — Save yourself the aggravation, my friend.  As my West Slope Coloradan grandpa used to say, “Some people can’t be talked to, except by hand.”

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Rod — A Muslim president who drinks beer, eats bacon, is pro-choice, pro-women, pro-gay, has ordered drone attacks in 14 Muslim countries, and snuffed Osama bin Laden?

      Either Obama is the worst Muslim in history, or you have the reasoning abilities of a nit.

  3. Kirsten Plate says:

    Rod,

    What Muslim president are you talking about? ??? And what country are you in?

  4. K. Beck says:

    I think the Mormon church takes good care of the folks IN the church. Unless, of course, they go astray from the teachings. Then look out. As a non-Mormon I have seen the treatment of non-Mormons up close and personal. It would depend on the individual running for office and how entrenched s/he is in the church. Everything is relative. I don’t believe any one person can fix anything in the government. It takes the President and the Congress. Goes without saying, we have monumental problems there. Just because a person belongs to a certain religion, or not, does not make them better or worse. You have to take people one at a time. Otherwise, you are just making assumptions based on your own biases.

    • cheyenne says:

      K  Beck, As I grew up a non Mormon in Salt Lake City perhaps you could tell me the treatment the church dishes out to non members.  From my close up and personal experience the church treated me no different than members and actually probably treated me better because they wanted me to join.

      • K. Beck says:

        I am speaking as someone who has absolutely no intentions of joining the Mormon Church. THAT is the difference. Yes, of course you were treated better. They were convinced you would join the church. I don’t know how long you have been a member of the church, but the fact that you do not see this discrimination speaks volumes.

        • cheyenne says:

          I am not or ever have been a member of the Mormon church which proves that the Mormons are not prejudiced against non-Mormons.  That is a myth that belongs with a lot of the myths that those who are simply against the LDS church push.

          • K. Beck says:

            Don’t mean to burst your bubble, but I speak from personal experience. And, “NO” I am not telling you the story.

            Your story “proves” what happened to you. Your story is NOT universal. Your life is your life. No one else is you.

  5. Kath Surbaugh says:

    Simple answer: NO!!  Mormon church does have some excellent community cooperation elements, but, DO NOT FORGET that it is a patriarchy.  Women are relegated to a second-class status, in service to men — ALL men within the “priestly-class order” ordained by the Church.  Just as always the case in patriarchies, testosterone dictates priorities (i.e., men think with their dicks,) so travesties like plural marriage (for men) do and will crop up.  Just about all the demigods find themselves exempt from “rules” dictating personal restraint, sexually.  That was so for Jim Jones and Tim Leary as much as for the “fundamentalist” LDS folk who class themselves “not liable” to US law.

    • cheyenne says:

      Kath, like the Catholic Church will always be subjected to claims of Pedophile priests The Mormon church will always be subjected to claims of polygamy, despite being outlawed over 100 years ago, because of the criminals like the Jetts.  My brother investigated these splinter polygamy sects so I know they were being closely watched.   Jim Jones and Tim Leary are good examples of cults that break from the normal and I would put the Jetts in the same classification.

  6. Duke K. says:

    The United States Constitution has a basic premise called separation of church and state.  To paraphrase  a religious dictum, “Render unto God that which is God’s, and render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.”

    Look at countries that don’t provide a clear separation of church and state:  Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Israel, etc.

    Look at countries that do: Norway, Sweden, Great Britain, etc.

    Consider countries that in the past  repressed certain religions: Russia, Hitler’s  Germany, ancient Rome, etc.

    Which countries represent your values best?

  7. cheyenne says:

    SPORTS NEWS.

    I will be taking a break from the election as at 8:15 MST on ESPNU Wyoming will be playing Colorado State in the Border War.  The leading rusher for CSU is former Enterprise Hornet standout, Izzy Mathews.

  8. Ginny says:

    Although I am not a Mormon, living for over 20 years in a large Mormon populated area, I knew many Mormon.  If all people were on the front lines in a disaster as fast as the Mormon Church, we would be thanking Heaven!  I have seen what they have done for others, including non-Mormons.  Are there bad apples?  Sure, all religions and non religious people have bad apples.

    If a Mormon owes you money, all you have to do is notify the Bishop of their church, and you get paid, now, not now, but right now!

    One Mormon husband and wife drove about 1,300 miles over a long weekend so they could spend 2 hours with my husband when he was in the hospital dying.  There were relatives and friends who never visited!

     
    Mormons are good people, and they will be Blessed for their Good Works.

  9. Richard Christoph says:

     

    Bruce,

    Thanks for taking the time and effort to express your viewpoints. This agnostic is indeed at his keyboard to “testify” that with one sole exception, each of the Mormons I’ve met during my 67 years has been honest, ethical, open-minded, and eager to contribute to the common good. Depending on his (or her) political stances and personal character, I could certainly cast an enthusiastic vote for a Mormon— or for that matter a Catholic, Jew, Muslim, SDA, Hindu, Buddhist, Bethel member, or atheist.  No Methodists though…  (just kidding).

    • Rod says:

      Can we suppose that you have also considered the effects of religious zealots who rise-up to political power?  There should be a law against those people.  Yeah, we could call it human rights from religious persecution…..sounds constitutional to me.

      • Beverly Stafford says:

        The religious right has commandeered the Republican party which is the reason I am now a registered Independent.

  10. cheyenne says:

    The religious right, The Sierra Club, The NRA, The unions, The manufacturers, Wall Street, along with many others have paid lobbyists who seek to influence all politicians to bend to their special needs.  One can’t ban a certain group because they are not liked.

  11. Joanne Lobeski-Snyder says:

    Because of the separation of church and state in the United States,  I would be comfortable with a president of almost any religion.   Your article highlighted some of the positive influence of an effective religious organization on the communities it serves.  Thank you for a thought provoking article Bruce.

  12. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    Bottom line regarding Cheyenne’s thesis:  The only anti-Mormon backlash when Mitt Romney ran against Obama came from fundamentalists Christians—many of whom regard LDS as a schismatic cult. Agnostics regard it as just another faith-based worldview—all of which sometimes lead to the rejection of evidence-based decision-making in favor getting in line behind church leadership, following church dogma, and forever trying to blur the lines between separation of church and state.  That’s what agnostics reject—not the particular religion.

    Other observations:  Utah is an interesting place—the state’s politics are dominated by the Mormon Church.  But in Salt Lake City, that’s certainly not the case.  The mayors of SLC have been Democrats since the mid-1970s.  SLC’s current mayor, Jackie Biskubski, is a lesbian and married to her female partner.  Her primary focus has been improving the lot of SLC’s homeless problem, to great effect.

    Provo is dominated by the church—that’s where Brigham Young University is located.  SCL has the secular public University of Utah, making the northeastern part of SLC a typical liberal university neighborhood.  Both are decent universities, but the academic reputation of BYU is harmed by its emphasis on religious insularity and indoctrination (those tough, smart Jesuits have learned to tone that down in their many fine universities).

    SLC has a great brewpub scene, though Utah’s irrational alcohol laws make for some strange rules in those pubs (e.g., 3.2% beer only on draft, but you can order and drink the regular stuff from the bottle inside the same pub).  Epic Brewing chose a huge expansion in Denver rather than in Utah, citing Utah’s constantly changing liquor laws. “Who knows what they’ll dream up next to punish an industry that pays millions in taxes in this state,” said Epic’s owner.

    Another fascinating thing about Utah and Mormonism:  There is a lingering belief among Mormons that Gentiles are on Earth to be taken advantage of.  (There’s an obscure movie called “Punch-Drunk Love” where this practice is illustrated—the late Phillip Seymour Hoffmann plays a Mormon mattress salesman from Provo who also runs a phone sex/extortion scam on the side and tries to extort the wrong rage-filled mark, played by Adam Sandler.)  The Justice Department regards Provo as the bunco capital of the United States—phone and mail fraud, investment scams, and pyramid schemes are commonplace.  Some of the more barely legal and hugely profitable MLM companies are located in Provo as well.  To be fair, fellow Mormons are widely victimized by their own with these scams—a chump is a chump, it seems.

     

    • cheyenne says:

      Steve, I see you were busy googling.  SLC does have strange laws.  When I lived there there was no dancing in public places, IE bars so we went up to Park City and that was before the “In crowd” took over.  The bars only served beer but a customer could bring in their own bottle, purchased at a state liquor store and the bartender would put it behind the bar and the customer would pay for the mix and the bartender would mix and serve the drink.  I didn’t, but some of the people I worked with at the state, responding to complaints about bars serving whiskey, would follow up with an investigation.  Back then there were private clubs that one could pay a membership fee, a few dollars, and the new member could go in and drink all the whiskey they wanted.  When the Winter Olympics came to town a lot of local bars, a few that I used to drink at, changed to private clubs.

      There have always been, just like every town including Redding, gays in SLC.  I remember the one on State Street called Radio City Lounge.  The Mormon church fought against gay laws but the people have embraced gays and Utah has evolved along with them, unlike some other states.  Steve Young, a distant relative of Brigham Young, has voiced his support for gay rights.

      BYU has been listed, by Forbes, as one of the top colleges for getting the most bang for your education dollar only beaten out by the military academies.  The knock against BYU is a jealous one because of the moral vow the students have to take to attend and the school still does well academically and athletically.  You don’t have to google the many times the vow was broken, I knew BYU students who didn’t live up to the vow.  The University of Utah, where I went but didn’t graduate, is a leader in medical advancements.

      Provo has always and still is dominated by the Mormon Church.  SLC has been dominated by the Mormon Church but like the unruly child has never toed the line.  From after hours clubs to Go-Go dancers there have been many “Jack Mormons” there, google that I don’t have to cause I have known for seventy years what it means.  If SLC was the unruly child, Ogden, a railroad town with Hill Air Base was the evil child like Danny DeVito in Twins.

      The two choices for president we are looking at now are a career business person who has never held political office and a career politician who has never been a business owner.  Mitt Romney has been both, but like other posters the one concern I have is will he push his religious views.  I have never heard him of pushing those views before so I would think if he were president he wouldn’t push them then.

      I have thought long and hard on my presidential vote, which is meaningless in small Wyoming, but I am writing in Mitt Romney.

       

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        Cheyenne — I come by my knowledge of SLC honestly, not by Google.  I’ve had a lot of project work in Utah over the years, and I love that city.  I love the state as well, having grown up not far from the Utah border in Western Colorado.  When I fly in and out of SLC, I take the time to linger for an extra day or two.   There are few other sizable cities where I do the same—Austin, Portland, San Diego.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          Speaking of railroad towns, my mother-in-law was born and raised in Helper, UT.  Her dad was a railroad man—they lived for a time in a converted caboose.

  13. Beverly Stafford says:

    Forty-five years or so ago, when we were first married, my husband and I did a western states tour which included Salt Lake City.   Being very naive, I assumed SLC citizens were all good practicing Mormons who observed the tenets of the church.  As we strolled one of the main streets looking for a restaurant, I was taken aback to see a young woman scream, “F*** you, Salt Lake!”  That was before the F-word was common in movies, and  I had never heard it uttered aloud.  Ah, youth . . .

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