Tag Archives: Politics

The Publicity Dilemma

book-of-mormon

Mormonism is heading in a new direction.

In times past, Church leaders fought very hard to limit or stamp out completely any anti-Mormon pamphleteers near Temple Square.  Today they are donating millions of dollars to a new theater that will play The Book of Mormon musical, a production that mocks and scorns our faith.  It’s the worst kind of anti-Mormon material, laced with humor and all kinds of sacrilegious innuendo.  But, for reasons unknown to many faithful Saints, the Church has effectively now endorsed its existence in Salt Lake City.

What else will the new Eccles Theater play?  Kinky Boots, Dirty Dancing, and who knows, maybe eventually some adult cabaret, all brought to you “in part” by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Some will argue that the Church is making the best of what they call the the Publicity Dilemma?  Which for those of you who are familiar with media terms, it’s like the no news is bad news principle where some think that just being in the news is good.  And so rather than complain about bad publicity, why not seize the opportunity?  Following this line of thinking, perhaps we should put ads for the Word of Wisdom at bars and on beer bottles in Salt Lake City in addition to Book of Mormon ads in the Book of Mormon musical’s billfold.

Of course the Church, some will say, is just doing its part to show the world that Salt Lake City is sophisticated and open-minded in every way.  This effort seemed to really take shape during the Salt Lake Olympics, led of course by Mitt Romney, with a lot of say from the Church, where every effort was made to not come off as too churchy or religious.

Such an approach, some will argue, is evidence that the Church is trying very hard to attract high dollar converts.  Great skiing, a party atmosphere, $3M condos above the $5B City Creek Mall, a sleek and posh downtown, and cutting edge LGBT laws, all will bring to Salt Lake City and to the Church, affluent, intelligent, sensitive converts, who rather than being future Church welfare recipients, will be high dollar tithing donors.

In somewhat recent news, the Church allowed Mitt Romney to hurl insults and allegations at then presidential candidate Donald Trump.  Among other things, he called him a phony, a fraud, and a crook.  He even criticized his red hats.  All at the Hinckley Institute in the Church’s own backyard.  Yet there was no repudiation of his un-Christian remarks.  No threat to his membership for embarrassing the Church.  And worst of all, no apologies from Romney himself for his traitorous conduct.

Then the Church decided to vicariously support (through Romney – their political point man) Evan McMullin to be the General Election spoiler.  I can’t tell you how many Mormon friends of mine tweeted or Facebooked how “grateful they were to finally have a candidate they could vote for that did not offend their consciences.”  None of those people apparently cared that a vote for Evan, the 40 year-old-bachelor-spy who had never changed a diaper let alone balanced a serious budget, was a vote for Hillary Clinton.  Perhaps Mitt could help spoil the election with this clean and articulate nobody and come in on a white horse to be the ever so amazing alternative when Trump or Hillary did not secure the nomination.  Such poor judgment from those who claim discernment and inspiration.

Now, Mr. Trump shows incredible “grace” as he entertains the Traitor-in-Chief Mitt Romney as his Secretary of State.  As many watch Romney they are slow to disconnect him from his Church.  Here he comes off as self-motivated, fake, petty, shallow, and back stabbing.  Of course all Mormons are not like this, but anyone who has lived in Utah long enough knows there are far too many like Mitt here.  The very flawed Trump has a lot more integrity than Mitt in my book.

Of course the Church was also quick to change its tune and to congratulate Mr. Trump when he won the election.  And as for Romney, he is now like an interviewee for the new stake president position — all coifed and primped to make his best appearance.  How sad.  If Romney had an ounce of integrity, he would turn down an opportunity to serve with a man he so recently loathed so much.  I personally think Trump is playing Romney to show to what lengths he will grovel.  Sad that Romney’s zeal for the position does not allow him to see he is being made fun of.  But as they say, no news is bad news, and hence the dilemma.

The Church’s latest publicity efforts have been with refugees.  Who isn’t sympathetic after all to displaced Syrian and Middle Eastern families who are now homeless?  Anyone with a heart wants to help these people.  But the Church wants to be front and center in showing the world how Christian we are, despite the risks of Jihadists that may slip through the cracks.  I wonder if the Church would change its tune if it was BYU that just had a refugee drive his car into a crowd of students on its campus, stabbing 10 or so people before being shot dead by police.  It’s all about the Thanksgiving photo op with Mohamed and Fatima and their children in Salt Lake City.  After all, Elder Uchdorf was a refugee.  Maybe this too will help expand our base and improve our brand.

syrian-refugees

The Church has clearly changed its stance on immigration in general.  Too many Hispanic illegals in Church office in the US apparently helped soften the Church’s stance on the rule of law.

I’ve been very clear that I do not like this new direction.  The promotion of smut and blasphemy in Salt Lake City, the Church building projects that promote fine twined linen and lust.  The hubris of Mitt (and the Church) of thinking for a second that their efforts would lead to undermining Trump.  Even Rock Watterman predicted Trump would win the election.   A strange irony since the Church excommunicated him for simply having a blog.  Rock, by the Church’s definition can’t have the Holy Ghost.  But Rock was right.  All while Cruz, Romney, Kasich, Lee and all the never Trumpers (i.e. nearly the entire government establishment) and the Church swore he could not and would not win.  The continued pandering to groups that hate the Church.  The ceaseless idolatry of its leaders, while kicking out those who challenge them.  The list goes on.

Perhaps, just perhaps, members will wake up and actually “sustain” these leaders before its too late.  They have been left too long to their own devices.  And now we witness the rapid decline that comes from their poor choices.  Decided by surveys and argument without the Holy Ghost as their guide.

If we really cared we would speak up.  We are too much like the Government Establishment.  The Church is losing touch with its base.  The sad difference is that many of the Church’s base have been lulled into blind obedience and into allowing all the thinking to be done at the top.

The Church restored through Joseph would have never allowed such unchecked control.  Remember, Joseph submitted himself to the Nauvoo High Council, not just to be nice, but because it was Church law that the local stake presidencies and high councils were equal in authority to the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve.  That little stake president and his tiny counselors and high council had the same power and authority as Thomas Monson and his leadership have today.

Could you imagine the ruckus today if a Stake President decided to hold a court on President Monson?  And yet that was how the Lord set up the Church through Joseph and even Joseph who was being charged with the ugly crime of adultery, humbly respected their authority.

According to Webster the word sustain means:

  1. to give support or relief to

  2. to supply with sustenance :  nourish, keep up, prolong.

In my view, Joseph sustained the Nauvoo Stake and the Nauvoo Stake sustained Joseph.  What we do today is not sustaining.  It does not nourish and make healthy.  What we do today is robotic blind obedience.  Idolatry.  The result?  The Book of Mormon musical in Salt Lake City.  The Church pushing illegal immigration (instead of honoring and obeying and sustaining the law) and LGBT laws.  Open and avowed homosexual Boy Scout leaders.  Evan McMullin.  Mitt Romney.  And Utah being called the scam capital of the World.  Among many other things we have become known for as Mormons.

As LDS we focus so much on the vain, the outward appearance — the Mitt Romney look.  And as Romney is now displaying, he is an empty suit with a lot of smooth things to say that today ring hallow.  This is our brand, all in the name of the publicity dilemma.

Political Irony

weiner_wedding_2

Ironic as it may be, Bill Clinton introduced Huma Abedin to Anthony Weiner in 2007.  Huma first met the Clintons when she began working for Hillary in 1996 as a young intern.  Bill actually officiated at their marriage in 2010.

Like Bill, Anthony has a penchant for young women.  His lust and lack of fidelity to his wife cost him his Congressional seat in 2011 and made him a public disgrace, with an unfortunate name.  Of course nowadays that just means you run for office again, and so run again he did in 2013, this time for Mayor of New York.  But yet again a Weiner sex scandal ended his ambitions.

Like Hillary, Huma seemed rather unfazed by her husband’s sexual issues until only recently when his actions seemed to threaten Hillary’s campaign.  Huma then quickly filed for divorce.

Interestingly, Huma is a Muslim and Weiner is Jewish.

I used to work in Washington DC and spent some time on the Hill.  The rumor even back then was that Hillary was a lesbian and that’s why she didn’t care about Bill’s affairs, as long as he did not get caught.  They are said to have an open relationship and Hillary and Huma are believed by some to be lesbian lovers.

Who knows, but either way it’s sad that our politicians so often are so subnormal when it comes to healthy family relations.  And yet our kids are made to think that such infidelity and strange value systems are okay.  (I’m including all politicians in this statement).

Now, after yet another Weiner sex scandal, this time with an underage girl, the Feds have stumbled upon 650,000 emails on his and his wife’s computer, some of which or many of which, may have something to do with Hillary Clinton.

The lighthearted side of me can’t help but find it funny that a guy named Weiner may finally prove to be the downfall for the Clintons.  The name will serve as a great mnemonic device for kids studying US history for generations to come.

Let’s see if Americans and Utahns especially can now overcome their “consciences” by voting for the lesser of two evils, and the only candidate on the ballot that can keep the Clinton Crime Family from retaking office.

If Utah is the reason for Hillary’s victory, then the “Elders of Israel” will not only have NOT saved the Constitution “hanging by a thread” but will rather be the CAUSE for a Constitutional crisis.

For me, every election is about choosing the lesser of evils.  Not about choosing a prophet-in-chief.  Trump is of course no saint, but neither was Romney, or any other candidate to run for the office.

Some of us would rather soothe our consciences than make a decision between two less than ideal choices.  That’s understandable, but I think it’s short sighted.  One of them will win.  And if nothing else, one of them will choose Supreme Court Justices.

We live in this world and often must play with the cards we are given.  Even Mormon who vowed he would not lead his wicked people into battle repented of his oath and did what we must often all do — make the best of what we have until we have something better.

Hopefully the fight over the lesser of evils will not divide us as a people.  I respect those who may disagree with me and recognize that my logic may not be perfect.  But for me, one candidate on the ballot winning means more time for us to prepare.

Hanging By A Thread

Romney does it again

Well, I’m quite surprised to report that LDS Living has scooped every major news outlet in the country in having predicted months ago that Mitt Romney would eventually enter the 2016 presidential race.  All credit surely will be traced back to some obscure Relief Society Teacher, somewhere – or maybe to Mitt’s bishop.  All kidding aside, in case you’ve not heard, the latest news in this year’s election saga is that GOP billionaires and millionaires have recently met and raised $100M to stop Donald Trump and to stage a coup to make sure an establishment candidate wins the Republican nomination, no matter the cost.  They’ve told Marco Rubio that if he loses Florida, he’s OUT and Mitt Romney is coming IN to save the Republican Party.

This would indeed be historic!  I’m left wondering if Romney and the Church believe this is the “Save the Constitution moment.”  Part Deux of the Mormon Moment.  I’m inclined to think they believe that it is.  Don’t get me wrong, I too agree that our Constitution hangs by a thread and that our freedoms have been undermined by both parties as well as by corrupt lawyers and judges who have laid the foundation for our destruction.  But I think Mitt Romney entering this race against an unprecedented populist tide would be a potential disaster for the Church.

What Mitt and possibly the Church do not understand is that a large percentage of the American people are completely disillusioned with ALL POLITICIANS!  I.e. the Establishment.  They are tired of people like Orrin Hatch going to Washington young and full of promise and principles, only to become soul-less 80-year-old politicians who never retire and who have long forgotten their base.  Our trust in them has waned and/or is gone.  We have learned by sad experience that when a man gets a little power and authority as he supposes, he becomes a part of the establishment in Washington and is given a leadership position on some Congressional Committee… or something like that.

If Mitt enters the race, I think several things are likely to happen.  Americans are likely to further reject the Establishment and will bitterly oppose and resent Mitt the Mormon who thinks himself above the fray.  An unsullied savior to rescue us poor naves from ourselves, will be the perception.  He will force out Rubio and Cruz (maybe) and the others, all except for Trump.  Trump supporters will become more zealous in their anti-establishment push for a Trump-like figure to win.  Mitt will be seen as a self-righteous spoiler who is fighting against the voice of the people which is far less inspired by Trump, the person, than by Trump “the idea.”  This energetic mob-like force is more interested in throwing out the establishment bums, like Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, John McCain, and 535 or so others, give or take a few.

Mitt would also not have a chance of winning, in my opinion.  If 5 million voters stayed home when he ran the last time, 10 million more would stay home this time.  Romney could end up actually ruining the Republicans’ chance to regain the White House and he would be hated by 50% or more of America.  The same 50% the Church likes to target in their proselyting efforts. The name Romney will become a verb like “Borked” and the Church will wish he wasn’t their poster boy.  Oh and by the way, if you think Trump will pull any punches against Romney and his faith as he is attacked by Romney (happening as we speak), and that Romney will do better than 15 other opponents have done, then you underestimate Trump and the “mad as hell” supporters backing him.

The other likely outcome of Mitt entering the race is that Trump could decide to run as an independent which is more likely to end in a Ross Perot – Bob Dole outcome than in a victory for Trump or Romney.  Again, Romney and the Establishment will be more hated than ever before and in my view, the Constitution will hang by a thread more so than ever, with the Mormon Elders having done more damage than good.  Once again proving the Church’s political ineptitude (see Prop8, LGBT, immigration, Boy Scouts, etc).

In many ways the LDS Church Establishment and the current Political Establishment have the same problem.  They’ve lost the confidence of many of their constituents.  This has happened as a result of NOT listening to their base with whom they have lost touch and whose support they’ve taken for granted.  This is a big mistake and may prove to be devastating for both institutions.  Despite obvious institutional differences, neither can long survive without the vote of confidence from the people they are called or elected to serve.

For Republicans, they elected people they believed would overturn Obama Care, de-fund the CFPB and Planned Parenthood, and who would fight harder against abortion and same sex marriage.

For Church members, we have sustained Church leaders most believed would pull out of Boy Scouts if they allowed gay leaders; oppose LGBT legislation rather than enact it; oppose illegal immigration; protect, not punish children of same sex couples, etc…  The list goes on and on and on.

In short, this is the era of insurgency and the Church would do well to get back to its foundational roots.  Where votes mattered and where people were not thrown out for merely disagreeing with their leaders.  People of faith and people around the country are tired of being taken for granted.

This is not the year for a Mormon or for the Church to play politics.  Perhaps there should never be another year for them to do so.  Never that is, until men and women can again be trusted by God to do His will and to seek inspiration rather than adulation.  Such a trust only comes one way and from One Source.

In times past, both Church and State have enjoyed a bully pulpit and favorable rules that have allowed them to more easily control the people and the process.  They controlled the media and they controlled the historical narrative.  Today, with greater access to truth and information than ever before, people are waking up.  And they’re upset.  They want to throw away the so-called rules.  They want to send a message that they will not be overlooked – that WE have the power to destroy the craft by de-funding them and by voting them out of office even if it means leaving them to their own devices and voting with our feet.

Let me just add that this is not meant to become a political discussion of which candidate would be best or worst for our country.  Some of us may have our preferences.  I think most of us can simply agree that this is a year in which choosing the lesser of evils will never be such a difficult task AND that our political system becomes more fragile each and every day.  May we unite in the Doctrine of Christ and not be divided by the passion of this moment.

God bless and thank you by the way for your love and prayers.