Pondering the Mormon Question of Election 2016

 

As polling suggests Utah may not vote for the Republican for the first time in 52 years, many wonder why the reddest of states and its prominent socially conservative religious group are drifting away from the party. It’s tempting to chalk it up to a simple answer: last go around, they had one of their own at the top of the ticket and he was expected to assure the public and his party that he is against having multiple wives, but this time, the GOP nominee and party leaders take the position that multiple wives are dandy so long as they’re consecutive, not simultaneous. Glibness is fine for the screamers of cable news, but let’s strive for better. The Mormon question is a complex one. There are theological and cultural influences at play that deserve exploration.

Even among other devout Christians, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints–which from now on I will refer to as Mormons for the sake of clarity and brevity–is considered unusual. As religious belief wanes and socially liberal attitudes enjoy ever wider acceptance [1] Mormons and the religious right have found each other fighting the same enemies, but their alliance is not based on perfect harmony. Media coverage has unsurprisingly focused on the peculiar aspects of the religion, like sacred undergarments and the sinfulness of drinking coffee, while giving attention, that is at most cursory, to the doctrines that are significantly different from other Christian sects.

Mormons believe it is works, not faith that is ultimately the key to salvation which is ground shared with Catholics, but puts them at odds with most Evangelicals. Hell is not an eternal punishment, but a temporary state following death, after which the occupants are allowed into Heaven. The Mormon conception of Heaven is also idiosyncratic–it’s divided into three tiers to house souls according to righteousness. Those denied entrance into Heaven are a select few cast into Outer Darkness. Hell’s diminished role in Mormon theology is in stark contrast to other Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, but it is in line with a large amount of the American public. It is also characteristic of the Mormon disposition that eschews fury and condemnation. While the church belongs to the millennial tradition, the rhetoric of its officials can hardly be described as apocalyptic. Twice a year they broadcast speeches to their membership, which you can view online. You will notice the calmness of the delivery, the softness of the message, and nary a whiff of fire nor brimstone. Anodyne yes, but jeremiad no.

According to Mormon dogma God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are three distinct beings. This non-believer can’t fathom why this is a sticking point, but it should be noted as many Christians view this as heretical. Even with regard to social issues, Mormonism isn’t completely aligned with the religious right. Though they were scapegoated for the passing of California’s Proposition 8, the church holds a moderate stance on gays, including support of allowing gays to adopt and anti-discrimination legislation. Aside from controversial statements from President of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, Boyd K. Packer, the rhetoric used regarding the issue is less than inflammatory and falls short of hateful. Officially the church is against abortion, but unlike the staunchest pro-lifers, allows exceptions for cases of rape and incest. For more information on the cultural differences between Mormons and Evangelicals, Razib Khan does a good job detailing Mormonism’s Puritan lineage.

Before jumping into the issue that I believe has been wholly ignored, let’s reflect on the circumstantial. This election follows the first in which a major party nominated a Mormon. People not on society’s margins may find it difficult to empathize with Mormon’s enthusiasm for Romney, like many couldn’t grok the significance JFK had to Catholics or even that of Obama to blacks, but identity politics is not sufficient an explanation. Harry Reid is unlikely to have received the same approval had he been the Democratic nominee. Though he hails from a liberal New England state, Romney has connections to Utah other than belonging to its predominant religion. His time as CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games of 2002 was a major success, overcoming budget issues and a bribery scandal that many Utahns feared would cause great damage to the reputation of their state.

During the 2007 primaries and again in 2012, questions were raised about Romney’s religious beliefs and their amenability to the Republican base. So long as politicians profess their faith on the campaign trail, this is not unfair and it certainly doesn’t violate the prohibition of religious tests for public office contained in Article XI of the Constitution. Ultimately, concerns about Evangelical antipathy turned out to be overblown. There was no great exodus of Christians from the GOP. Conservative pundits and politicians rarely brought it up once Romney clinched the nomination and usually they did so to come to his defense, even if halfheartedly. However, from the Mormon perspective, it was a reminder of their outsider status. It is no surprise that there is resentment when four years ago Evangelicals questioned if Mormons are Christian, but now prominent Evangelicals are excusing and rationalizing the sexual misconduct of a man whose religious convictions reek of perfunctory affirmations that are required of anyone seeking office.

And that brings us to the main factor, Donald Trump himself. Mormons are not alone in finding Trump’s personal behavior distasteful, but they are especially repulsed. Family is central—raising children and maintaining a loving marriage are so important that according to church teachings family relationships continue eternally after death. A popular quote in the church is “No success can compensate for failure in the home.” People who take that to heart are not only unlikely to be persuaded that Trump’s affairs can be set aside because of his business experience, they find the argument immoral. But it’s deeper than that. Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich both have well publicized affairs, but it’s doubtful I’d be writing this were either of them the nominee. Trump has been in the public eye a long time, and his own statements clearly display an attitude toward his sexual conquests that is not just blasé but proud.

While it’s not mind-blowing that people notorious for their buttoned-down squareness and clean living are turned off by a vulgar media personality who boasts about his marital infidelities and was a frequent guest on Howard Stern, that’s not the entire story. The thing that doesn’t get commented on, is the Mormon view of women. It sounds strange to people who confuse mainstream Mormonism with the lecherous criminals of the FLDS and leftists who can’t comprehend traditional gender roles coexisting with respect for women, but women are highly regarded within the church.

A unique aspect of Mormon theology is belief in a Heavenly Mother. It is commonly believed among the membership, and indeed as a child I was taught, that Heavenly Mother is mentioned so infrequently to spare her from the blasphemies that are directed at Heavenly Father. This is not an official part of doctrine. The church provides little information about Heavenly Mother and no explanation why so little has been revealed about Her. [2] What is not shrouded in mystery is the church’s progressive history on the rights of women. Utah was the second territory to grant women the right to vote. Prior to Utah attaining statehood, its women were disenfranchised by the Edmunds-Tucker Act which was passed to stamp out polygamy. The bill succeeded in that respect, but the Utah constitution was amended to grant women the right to vote as well as hold office. Martha Hughes Cannon was the first woman state senator in the nation. Doubtless, these developments were not exclusively the result of a commitment to gender equality. Still, they are characteristic of a culture that values women. Outside the political sphere, Mormons hold the role of women in even higher esteem with a reverential opinion of motherhood. Many on the left scoff at the veneration of motherhood, assuming it to be disingenuous pretext for keeping women at home, but other social conservatives understand its sincerity. Cheating on the mother of your children who then suffers the additional humiliation of having it published in tabloids doesn’t win votes anywhere, but is particularly offensive to residents of the Beehive State.

Lastly, mention should be made of demographics. Utah has the youngest population of any state, largely because of Mormon fecundity. Even if adopting the conservative views of their parents, the promise to make America great again, doesn’t resonate with young voters. Neither are they likely to find appealing a baby boomer in his seventies. (The youthfulness of the state is also a plausible explanation why Bernie Sanders won the primary against his more conservative opponent.)

We’ll see soon enough how Utahns vote. While the polls indicate Republican support slipping, it behooves us not to overstate our case. If Trump loses Utah it will be just barely. Clinton isn’t a decent alternative for Mormons who see in her and Bill the same personal failings that Trump has, as well as an unacceptable political agenda. Evan McMullin is the only other option with a shot, but is hampered by low name recognition, little political experience and the common perception that third parties aren’t serious enough to warrant a vote. If Utah’s six electoral votes do not go to the Republican it should be viewed as a rejection of Trump, not conservatism. Bizarre as it has been, this election is not going to radically alter conservative Mormons into big government Clinton Democrats. As friendly as their reputation is, the average Mormon is still eats up the red meat served on talk radio and Fox News. After all this is the religion that produced anti-communist crusader and nutcase Cleon Skousen, who was a primary inspiration of fellow Mormon Glenn Beck when he was the most rabid voice in right-wing media.

There’s reason to fear that this group may not always feel welcome in the American right. With Lou Dobbs tweeting about the “Mormon mafia” and Trump supporters speaking about reprisals against those who don’t fall in line, already sour relations threaten to become worse. Lots has been said about reaching the conservatives who stayed home last election, appealing to the white working class and not neglecting regular citizens who are fed up with the elites of the Washington establishment and think-tank eggheads. The same people pushing that narrative may actually end up driving people out of the movement. That would be as some say, “Sad!”


[1] Even the much vaunted gains of the pro-life movement haven’t shifted public opinion dramatically with a slight majority thinking it should be legal, though not in all cases.

[2] Brigham Young University published an article on the subject which sheds some light on the subject, but which I think underlines the fact that the official teachings are much less than extensive. It is logical that members have come up with their own interpretations.

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  1. JLocked Inactive
    JLocked
    @CrazyHorse

    One of my favorite US History subjects. Mormons have come a long way from the Golden Plates of the Angel Moroni and Joseph Smith. They have a long history of Government persecution, and the resentment of Buchanan’s Utah Wars against Brigham Young still carry deep resentment within the inner sanctum. Granted, very polite deep resentment. I get a kick out of Mormons. They are amazingly committed to evangelical missions but remarkably good natured bout a joke. When Trey Parker wrote the Book of Mormon, he also commented on this, saying Mormons were easily the most good natured about being  ribbed–many adherents showing up for the play.

    Salt Lake City is a great place. And Utah, their chosen land, is beautiful. Despite the 3% beer.

    Great post Cat.

    • #1
  2. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    (((Cat III))): Mormons believe it is works, not faith that is ultimately the key to salvation which is ground shared with Catholics,

    This is not correct.  Catholics are not justified by works. Tradition (Councils of Carthage and Trent) and scripture teach that we are saved by God’s grace alone, completely unmerited by works. In Philippians 2:13, Paul states that “God is the one, who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work.”  The desire comes by the Grace of God…we are justified by faith. However we must also work toward righteousness. The good works are a sign of faith, as James 2:17 states, “Faith without works is dead.”

    • #2
  3. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Very illuminating on why Mormons Do Not Dig Donald. Still curious re why Evangelicals do (if they do).  Part II?

    • #3
  4. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    I don’t know hardly anything about so-called “nutcase” Skousen, but I was intrigued by this in the linked Wikipedia article:

    Skousen opposed all federal regulatory agencies and argued against the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency.  He also wanted to repeal the minimum wage, eliminate unions, nullify anti-discrimination laws, sell off public lands and national parks, end the direct election of senators, eliminate the income tax and the estate tax, remove the walls separating church and state, and end the Federal Reserve System

    • #4
  5. MLH Inactive
    MLH
    @MLH

    Hoyacon:I don’t know hardly anything about so-called “nutcase” Skousen, but I was intrigued by this in the linked Wikipedia article:

    Skousen opposed all federal regulatory agencies and argued against the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. He also wanted to repeal the minimum wage, eliminate unions, nullify anti-discrimination laws, sell off public lands and national parks, end the direct election of senators, eliminate the income tax and the estate tax, remove the walls separating church and state, and end the Federal Reserve System

    Not so nutty, eh?

    Perhaps it’s The 5000 Year Leap .

    • #5
  6. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    During the last election, I found myself around a camp fire on a cub scout outing, with a lot of people I didn’t know well.  The subject of Romney’s religion came up.  Quite a few had the same question:  “I normally vote Republican, but can I vote for a Mormon?”

    See, for most Christians fall in to two camps regarding Mormons.  They either don’t have any idea what they believe, and consider them an odd, legalistic, denomination of Christianity.  Or they know a bit about Mormon theology and recognize that they are most certainly not Christian at all.

    Those in second category were right to pause for a moment and ask the question.  But, as I said that evening around the campfire, “Would you rather vote for a guy who claims to be a Christian, but shows by his actions that he is not?  Or would you rather vote for a guy who is not a Christian, but lives his life guided by principles that you and I share?”  Only one person around the fire agreed.  The rest either continued with their hand wringing, or were fully on board with Obama.

    I really think there were a lot of reasons that Romney didn’t win that election.  His religious beliefs were certainly among those reasons.

    • #6
  7. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    As 9th said, in Catholic theology it’s a “Both/And” of faith and works, not an either/or. The works are a cooperation with the grace you’ve been given through faith. They are your part of finishing the race — the process of sanctification.

    As they say on Catholic Answers: “Be a saint. What else is there?!”

    • #7
  8. CandE Inactive
    CandE
    @CandE

    9thDistrictNeighbor:

    (((Cat III))): Mormons believe it is works, not faith that is ultimately the key to salvation which is ground shared with Catholics,

    This is not correct. Catholics are not justified by works. Tradition (Councils of Carthage and Trent) and scripture teach that we are saved by God’s grace alone, completely unmerited by works. In Philippians 2:13, Paul states that “God is the one, who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work.” The desire comes by the Grace of God…we are justified by faith. However we must also work toward righteousness. The good works are a sign of faith, as James 2:17 states, “Faith without works is dead.”

    Cat is also incorrect about Mormon teachings.  From the Book of Mormon (2 Ne. 2:8):

    “[…] no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, […]”

    In fairness to Cat (who wrote a good essay on the whole), the place of works within Mormon theology is more prominent than among other churches (particularly evangelical groups) since we also believe that no one can enter heaven without being baptized and receiving the Holy Ghost (John 3:5), and that disagreement is often reduced to a false dichotomy of “faith vs. works”.

    -E

    • #8
  9. (((Cat III))) Member
    (((Cat III)))
    @CatIII

    CandE:Cat is also incorrect about Mormon teachings. From the Book of Mormon (2 Ne. 2:8):

    “[…] no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, […]”

    In fairness to Cat (who wrote a good essay on the whole), the place of works within Mormon theology is more prominent than among other churches (particularly evangelical groups) since we also believe that no one can enter heaven without being baptized and receiving the Holy Ghost (John 3:5), and that disagreement is often reduced to a false dichotomy of “faith vs. works”.

    My wording was poor, as it implied faith was irrelevant to Catholics and Mormons. Protestants object to faith’s place in these religions, but both still believe it is a requirement for salvation. There is also the practice of baptizing the dead, which makes it possible for spirits to come to faith in the afterlife. I think that belief is unique to Mormonism, but wouldn’t mind if anyone provided examples of sects with similar ideas.

    • #9
  10. CandE Inactive
    CandE
    @CandE

    It’s also worth mentioning that many Mormons (though not all) are turned off by his anti-muslim rhetoric.  The persecutions of the 1830’s and -40’s (Extermination Order, Haun’s Mill, Martyrdom of Joseph Smith, etc.) figure prominently in our history, so we’re pretty averse to any calls for religious discrimination.

    -E

    • #10
  11. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Ok, Cat III. There’s no Article XI to the Constitution–there are only seven articles, to be quite frank! You mean Art.VI, Clause 3 for the prohibition of a religious test?

    • #11
  12. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    (((Cat III))):

    CandE:Cat is also incorrect about Mormon teachings. From the Book of Mormon (2 Ne. 2:8):

    “[…] no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, […]”

    In fairness to Cat (who wrote a good essay on the whole), the place of works within Mormon theology is more prominent than among other churches (particularly evangelical groups) since we also believe that no one can enter heaven without being baptized and receiving the Holy Ghost (John 3:5), and that disagreement is often reduced to a false dichotomy of “faith vs. works”.

    My wording was poor, as it implied faith was irrelevant to Catholics and Mormons. Protestants object to faith’s place in these religions, but both still believe it is a requirement for salvation. There is also the practice of baptizing the dead, which makes it possible for spirits to come to faith in the afterlife. I think that belief is unique to Mormonism, but wouldn’t mind if anyone provided examples of sects with similar ideas.

    Yeah, that baptizing of the dead seems both rather unique & very much unwelcome. I’ve never heard it mentioned in a friendly way, that is, by people I know, who are not Mormons–I only know one Mormon family…

    • #12
  13. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Spin: See, for most Christians fall in to two camps regarding Mormons. They either don’t have any idea what they believe, and consider them an odd, legalistic, denomination of Christianity. Or they know a bit about Mormon theology and recognize that they are most certainly not Christian at all.

    And a few of us, who have gotten a sense for the eccentricity of beliefs to be found even in the minds of nominally orthodox Christians, think of Mormonism as a heterodox Christianity. Not that this is a spat to get into today of all days.

    Thanks for the article, @catiii.

    • #13
  14. JLocked Inactive
    JLocked
    @CrazyHorse

    Hey vote this up to the Main Feed, will ya!

    • #14
  15. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    JLocked:Hey vote this up to the Main Feed, will ya!

    Done!

    • #15
  16. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    Spin: See, for most Christians fall in to two camps regarding Mormons. They either don’t have any idea what they believe, and consider them an odd, legalistic, denomination of Christianity. Or they know a bit about Mormon theology and recognize that they are most certainly not Christian at all.

    And a few of us, who have gotten a sense for the eccentricity of beliefs to be found even in the minds of nominally orthodox Christians, think of Mormonism as a heterodox Christianity. Not that this is a spat to get into today of all days.

    Thanks for the article, @catiii.

    I don’t know what heterodox means.  If it means “not Christian” then I agree.  Here is just one example of why Mormon theology puts itself squarely outside of Christianity.

    • #16
  17. CandE Inactive
    CandE
    @CandE

    (((Cat III))): There is also the practice of baptizing the dead, which makes it possible for spirits to come to faith in the afterlife. I think that belief is unique to Mormonism, but wouldn’t mind if anyone provided examples of sects with similar ideas.

    It’s extremely rare, though, apparently, the New Apostolic Church now practices it.  That’s the only instance I’ve heard of.

    -E

    • #17
  18. CandE Inactive
    CandE
    @CandE

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: And a few of us, who have gotten a sense for the eccentricity of beliefs to be found even in the minds of nominally orthodox Christians, think of Mormonism as a heterodox Christianity.

    We do appreciate that.  If you haven’t yet, you should check out Stephen H. Webb’s Mormon Christianity.  I just finished it a few months ago and found it to be very eye opening.

    -E

    • #18
  19. Jason Rudert Member
    Jason Rudert
    @JasonRudert

    Where is @catiii and  what have you done with her?

    Seriously, though, this was excellent.

    We need a Cleon Skousen thread. I have a book review of his I’ve been working on. This may be just the push I need to get it done.

    • #19
  20. Jason Rudert Member
    Jason Rudert
    @JasonRudert

    My take on Mormonism vs other religions is this:

    I used to have two cats, and for the first few days they hated each other. Then I vacuumed the carpet. They both hid under my bed and looked at each other and said, “You’re afraid of the vacuum, too?” And after that they got along okay. Just okay though. They still had their spats.

    Thus it is with other churches, and the LDS, and the vacuum of atheism/secularism.

    • #20
  21. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Semper ubi sancti sub ubi.

    • #21
  22. Knotwise the Poet Member
    Knotwise the Poet
    @KnotwisethePoet

    Spin:I don’t know what heterodox means. If it means “not Christian” then I agree. Here is just one example of why Mormon theology puts itself squarely outside of Christianity.

    The reason why my hackles raise a little at being told I’m not Christian is that it feels incredibly presumptuous to me and like the person is telling me that I do not have a sincere connection or relationship to my Lord and Savior.  There certainly are profound differences in doctrine between Mormons and mainstream Christianity on the nature of the Godhead and a host of other things, and I don’t want to downplay those differences either.  But even though I think mainstream Christians are plain wrong about certain doctrines (like they think I’m wrong), I’d never presume to tell them they’re not Christian.  In my opinion, if you believe in Christ as the Son of God who suffered and died for all man’s sins, was raised again, and is the only path to salvation, you’re Christian.  There may be plenty of differences between you and me about what all those words and what Christ’s teachings exactly mean and entail, and we can break out scriptures and argue over what words are meant to be taken literally and which are meant to be taken metaphorically and what does the original Greek or Hebrew say, but in the end we’re all coming down to faith-based claims.

     

     

    • #22
  23. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    Trump’s supposed Mormon Problem will turn out to be the Y2K of electoral issues; a big nothingburger. He’ll win Utah comfortably.

    • #23
  24. Damocles Inactive
    Damocles
    @Damocles

    Zafar:Very illuminating on why Mormons Do Not Dig Donald. Still curious re why Evangelicals do (if they do). Part II?

    Coming from the Evangelicals in my sphere:

    The country is in a better space with Donald than with Hillary.  Christians in particular will be in a better space with regards to the anti-Baker style laws. First amendment rights with regards to religion will be under a lower level of attack.  Second amendment rights (such are the Evangelicals I know), the same.

    They also see the Hillary situation as a ratchet rather than a pendulum.

     

    • #24
  25. Knotwise the Poet Member
    Knotwise the Poet
    @KnotwisethePoet

    I’ve also been fascinated by my community’s reaction to Trump.  Now, there are plenty of Mormons out there who will vote for Trump (I voted for him; my Dad’s voting for him; I have a cousin on facebook who’s been arguing passionately for Trump and against voting McMullin), but yes, the fact that Utah might not actually go for the GOP candidate this year is pretty amazing, and tells you how awful a pick Trump was.

    Trump is like a perfect storm of almost everything that would turn a Mormon off- proudly lecherous, crude, dishonest, and, as a CandE already pointed out, his anti-Muslim rhetoric sounds off like warning bells in many Mormon’s minds.  I also think many Mormons aren’t as hard-line when it comes to immigration enforcement or restriction as other groups within the GOP, and that some of his rhetoric regarding that issue turned off some Mormons as well.

    • #25
  26. Knotwise the Poet Member
    Knotwise the Poet
    @KnotwisethePoet

    Damocles:

    Zafar:Very illuminating on why Mormons Do Not Dig Donald. Still curious re why Evangelicals do (if they do). Part II?

    Coming from the Evangelicals in my sphere:

    The country is in a better space with Donald than with Hillary. Christians in particular will be in a better space with regards to the anti-Baker style laws. First amendment rights with regards to religion will be under a lower level of attack. Second amendment rights (such are the Evangelicals I know), the same.

    But why did so many of them vote for him in the Primaries?  I get voting for him now out of self-preservation against Hillary, but why did so much of the Bible belt willingly choose him over the other GOP candidates?

     

    • #26
  27. Damocles Inactive
    Damocles
    @Damocles

    Knotwise the Poet:

    Damocles:

    Zafar:Very illuminating on why Mormons Do Not Dig Donald. Still curious re why Evangelicals do (if they do). Part II?

    Coming from the Evangelicals in my sphere:

    The country is in a better space with Donald than with Hillary. Christians in particular will be in a better space with regards to the anti-Baker style laws. First amendment rights with regards to religion will be under a lower level of attack. Second amendment rights (such are the Evangelicals I know), the same.

    But why did so many of them vote for him in the Primaries? I get voting for him now out of self-preservation against Hillary, but why did so much of the Bible belt willingly choose him over the other GOP candidates?

    I don’t think they did in any big way, but once he won the primaries they hopped on board.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/07/21/churchgoing-republicans-once-skeptical-of-trump-now-support-him/

    • #27
  28. Knotwise the Poet Member
    Knotwise the Poet
    @KnotwisethePoet

    Damocles:

    Knotwise the Poet:

    Damocles:

    Zafar:Very illuminating on why Mormons Do Not Dig Donald. Still curious re why Evangelicals do (if they do). Part II?

    Coming from the Evangelicals in my sphere:

    The country is in a better space with Donald than with Hillary. Christians in particular will be in a better space with regards to the anti-Baker style laws. First amendment rights with regards to religion will be under a lower level of attack. Second amendment rights (such are the Evangelicals I know), the same.

    But why did so many of them vote for him in the Primaries? I get voting for him now out of self-preservation against Hillary, but why did so much of the Bible belt willingly choose him over the other GOP candidates?

    I don’t think they did in any big way, but once he won the primaries they hopped on board.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/07/21/churchgoing-republicans-once-skeptical-of-trump-now-support-him/

    Now that you bring it up, I remember hearing or reading about that study before.  Fair enough.

    • #28
  29. Tyler Boliver Member
    Tyler Boliver
    @Marlowe

    With regards to this issue, I’ve basically adopted Steve Deace’s mentality. The Religious Right has proven they are by in large either not really evangelicals, or are simple hypocrites. Most people are evangelical today because they grew up in a town that had a Baptist Church on the corner, they went to Sunday school, and still enjoy the summer church social. Beyond that what matters most to them is the magic R.

    If a candidate has a magic R after their name, they can do no wrong. If you challenge their defense of a candidate based on Biblical writing what you get in response is not a religious defense but a solely political one. They will excuse both words, and deeds of a person who has the magic R after their name, that they will not excuse if the person has a D after their name.

    This mentality exist throughout much of American Protestantism, and Catholicism where Biblical thinking stops the moment politics exist.

    The main group that rejects this thinking, is the Mormons. Whether that is because of their theology, their culture, or how their Church is set up I’ll leave to the experts. One thing is for sure though, they are not blinded by the magic R, and instead worry more about both words and deeds than other religious groups.

    If the world goes to hell, expect the Mormons to continue living their faith, and not be blinded by the promise of power.

    • #29
  30. Damocles Inactive
    Damocles
    @Damocles

    Knotwise the Poet:

    Damocles:

    Knotwise the Poet:

    Damocles:

    Zafar:Very illuminating on why Mormons Do Not Dig Donald. Still curious re why Evangelicals do (if they do). Part II?

    Coming from the Evangelicals in my sphere:

    The country is in a better space with Donald than with Hillary. Christians in particular will be in a better space with regards to the anti-Baker style laws. First amendment rights with regards to religion will be under a lower level of attack. Second amendment rights (such are the Evangelicals I know), the same.

    But why did so many of them vote for him in the Primaries? I get voting for him now out of self-preservation against Hillary, but why did so much of the Bible belt willingly choose him over the other GOP candidates?

    I don’t think they did in any big way, but once he won the primaries they hopped on board.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/07/21/churchgoing-republicans-once-skeptical-of-trump-now-support-him/

    Now that you bring it up, I remember hearing or reading about that study before. Fair enough.

    Indeed.  That’s sort of the boat I’m in as well.  My first 6-8 preferences went down almost immediately, and by the time I voted (in California) everything was already sewn up.

    • #30

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