on the topic of sundays. also, politics.

ah sunday. lisa simpson was right in saying that immediately after church is the best time of week, as it is “the longest possible time before more church.” i enjoy savoring that feeling as i change from my white shirt into the most comfortable and ugly clothes i own.

today i get out of church. the boy is sick. but i can’t help wondering how i came to hate church so much. when i was a kid i didn’t mind it so much, but i suppose that’s because all my friends were there. i grew up in a ward with a good youth program, and pretty much all my friends grew up with me from deacon to priest.

these days i spend most of the time at church hiding from people, but i don’t find that very satisfying. it’s not very fun staying in the smelly nursery with the boy just to avoid our over-zealous bishop who is always sending someone or another to fellowship me.  unrelated note, i think i made it onto the inactive list last week, as the missionaries showed up unexpectedly at 8:00 PM. i felt really bad about telling them to go home.

truth is, i haven’t minded church that much until the whole prop 8 nonsense.  the weeks that led up to the election were pretty bad – the bishop and elder’s quorum president constantly hustling us to donate more and volunteer to gather signatures against gay marriage were bad.

but to me the aftermath was even worse. prop 8 taught members that it was OK to mix politics and church. and more and more i’ve seen republican policy seeping into sunday school and priesthood lessons.

i’m a life-long lefty, though my politics have become more and more liberterian recently, my social ideas are still pretty left leaning. it’s never made me feel uncomfortable in church knowing the vast majority of members hold different political ideals than me. but now it seems like the general consensus is that the lord has picked a horse in the political race – a republican horse. and that was an awful metaphor.

the result is that when i voice my political ideas to anyone from the church, the response is something to the effect of “the lord has spoken” or “is that really the right [righteous] side of the issue?”

as always, i’m not sure if this is a case of me being over sensitive, or if this is an actual phenomenon that is occurring in LDS church houses.

let me know what you think.


About unorthodox

i live in LA, work in advertising and am the father of three kids. i'm don't belong to a political party, but i have left-leaning political views. i love the beach, loud music and video games. i grew up mormon, but haven't been a believer for the past 6 or so years. i love what the church has done for my life, and am concerned about what the church is becoming.
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4 Responses to on the topic of sundays. also, politics.

  1. KMW says:

    I’m in Utah, the Salt Lake valley to be exact. I haven’t been to church in years, I actually resigned a few years back, but I have many active Mormon neighbors, relatives, associates, etc. People here have equated Republican with righteous for about as long as I can remember (I’m in my mid 40s).

    I personally lean more libertarian and have for many years. I’ve always been for maximum freedom for everyone, and big on complete separation of church and state even when I was an active and believing member. Gay people have not bothered me since I was a teen when I spent a lot of time thinking about the issue because of both some relatives and acquaintances. So I’ve been pretty socially liberal in some ways for close to my entire life.

    While I prefer a more libertarian viewpoint, I don’t think that socialism is “evil” or “wrong”. I have acquaintances in many different countries throughout the world that live with varying degrees of socialism. Most of them are quite happy with their socialistic systems. It obviously works for some people and as long as the people living within that system are happy with it, I’m not sure there’s really much to judge as either “right” or “wrong” about it overall. Just because it may not be what I personally would prefer, doesn’t mean that it’s wrong or evil.

    I’ve tended to find that Mormons, as well as members of other authoritarian religous sects tend to view most everything in life as black and white. I think for many it tends to be a side effect of having this type of thinking ingrained into you in regards to the religious training. And of course there are some atheists who fit into this category as well. My way is right, everything else is wrong.

    There is actually a lot of supportive evidence that the Jesus figure in the NT would be more what Americans today tend to consider left leaning. Not this “supply side Jesus” that a lot of Mormons I know now buy into.

    I’ve asked some of the extreme right “my way or the highway” Mormons to think about the idea that socialism is more like the United Order and the way of the city of Enoch. Their responses are generally that the United Order should be carried out by the Mormon church, not the gov’t. I then ask – Says who? If the goal is to make sure that everyone is taken care of, what does it matter? I know some pretty wealthy Mormons who I’m really quite sure would have as much of a problem signing the vast majority of their wealth over to the church for it to redistribute among the members to make everyone more equal economically as they have about paying taxes to the gov’t and are against the gov’t doing anything to help the poor, the middle class go to college, people get retrained for different careers, making sure everyone has access to affordable health insurance and health care, and so on.

    It appears to me, in regards to the right wing Mormons I’m around, that they are very tribal and only interested in helping other Mormons or people they think are good potential converts. Also, that this is one of their objections to a “united order” type system being done by a gov’t instead of just their church.

    This got a bit off topic, so I’ll end here. I really don’t think Mitt Romney has a snowball’s chance in hell of getting the 2012 Republican nomination. Not unless the Republican party divorces itself from the extreme religious right that doesn’t consider Mormons christians and will only vote for mainstream christian candidates.

    • unorthodox says:

      thanks for the thoughtful response – gave me a lot to consider. i’ve had a lot of conversations with family members where they attempt to boil down an issue to “is it the right thing to do?” implying that there is a clear cut right/wrong side, so your comments ring very true/familiar to me.

      also, i lol’d at “supply side jesus.” i’m using that, and will give full credit in the future. the funny thing is on my mission i didn’t have any political inclinations whatsoever, but i arrived at the conclusion that jesus was something of a radical. i grew up with a lot of non-mormon friends, and my first few college years before my mission were spent entirely in non-mormon company. so it was really on my mission that i started forming my left-leaning world view based on what i was reading in the new testament.

      after my mission i decided to finish my studies at BYU, and i was shocked at how deeply conservative it was. luckily i found a lot of kindred spirits in the english department, but to this day i am amazed at the mental gymnastics people go through to convince themselves that jesus would be a straight-ticket republican voter.

      thanks again for stopping by and giving me some food for thought.

  2. KMW says:

    I can’t take credit for supply side Jesus. That’s an Al Franken invention.

    May I recommend a couple of books as well: THE POLITICS OF JESUS by Obery M. Hendricks, Jr. ; Why the Christian Right Is Wrong: A Minister’s Manifesto for Taking Back Your Faith, Your Flag, Your Future by Robin R. Meyers; Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment by Phil Zuckerman

  3. Christina says:

    I believe that Jesus would’ve been a liberal. This video is pretty neat, “If Jesus Ran For President… ” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJ1L4eeu5KI

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