I am not going to get into politics on this blog. For one thing, I have dear and respected friends on both sides of the aisle. For another, I think most political conversations just get people mad and usually accomplish very little.
I don't generally talk too much about my faith either. I used to but now that my readers skew younger, I'm uncomfortable doing that because I think that it is a parent's role to teach their children about faith and their religious heritage (actually, ditto with politics) and anyone outside the family ought to tread very lightly in these areas.
All that being said, let me briefly wade into the highly charged waters of religion and politics.
I am a Mormon (actually, that's not the preferred name of the Church, but that's okay). I am the only Mormon that many of my friends and acquaintances know.
As the presidential campaign has heated up, I have sensed in many of them a curiosity about my beliefs. Usually, I sense that they want to ask something but maybe don't quite know how to go about it. If you are my friend or acquaintance and want to ask me something, it won't offend me. The only thing I ask is that you be willing to listen to the answer, and understand the context, which might take more than a few words.
Beyond that, though, being the only Mormon many people know, I have been increasingly frustrated by reports about my religion in the press. There is a spectrum of stories out there from maliciously false to just sloppy. There have been some very fair pieces, as well, but these have been in the minority.
I don't like having my faith be a political football, or a weapon to be used in what will be a hard-fought campaign.
There are so many beliefs and practices in any faith that could be made into scary or strange without the right context. Any faith could be made to seem bizarre or threatening with very little effort--not only faiths, any deeply held belief system or ideology.
So it bothers me that people I know may hear weird things about my church and believe them, or think I believe them.
At the same time, I have too much to do and no desire to respond to every half-truth, inaccuracy, misunderstanding, or distortion about my church--and, as I mentioned earlier, I don't want to do that on this blog.
Happily, there is an answer! My brothers--both very smart guys--have started a blog in which they respond to incorrect and unfair statements and characterizations. One brother has a law degree from Georgetown, the other has a Master's in International Affairs from Columbia.
Anyway, if you are interested, here is a link: www.mormonamerica.com
So, if you hear something crazy, I encourage you to go there and see their response.
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