Elder Ballard: Regardless of Party Affliction (er, Affiliation) Pray for Obama

I received the following report in an email newsletter from my friend Don Jarvis (quoted with his permission):

A senior LDS apostle recently told Provoans that “We need to pray for our new president, regardless of party affliction, I mean, affiliation.”  Speaking on January 25th in the Provo Tabernacle at the conclusion of an Oak Hills (east Provo) Stake Conference, Apostle M. Russell Ballard spoke warmly of the inauguration, read excerpts from President Obama’s inaugural address, advised members to read it, and said, “I like his emphasis on personal responsibility.”  The audience chuckled at the “affliction” slip, but was otherwise unusually hushed and attentive as Elder Ballard voiced his strong support for our the new Democratic President.   Continue reading

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Please Don’t Hate (H8) Me Because I’m Mormon

Since the passage of Proposition 8 in California, there have been several protests aimed at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These protests are of course understandable. California Latter-day Saints did, after all, play a formidable role in donations and phone calling in support of the measure. This participation was formally encouraged by the general leaders of the Church in Salt Lake City. Considering how big of a deal this is for so many same-sex couples and others in support of same-sex marriage, these protests are inevitable and I welcome this exercise of free speech.

What I disagree with, however, is the “stop the hate (H8)” rhetoric. As if everyone in favor of Prop 8 is hateful and bigoted. Especially Mormons. This message is coming off to be awfully disingenuous and overly dramatic, and also sidesteps the major issues that need to be debated. Just because someone is not in favor of gay marriage does not mean they are hateful. Nor does it mean they are bigoted. They simply disagree with you, in terms of what should count for marriage.

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The Election: Why I’m Happy and Sad

Like most things in life, this election is bittersweet.

I’m happy Obama won.

I’m sad that so many of my friends and family members are, well, not so happy.

I’m happy that so many people across this country have brighter hopes for America and for the future.

I’m sad for those who think that the end is near.

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Some “Alternative” Presidential Candidates

Don’t like McCain or Obama?

Well, you do have other choices.

Of course, there are the more visible third-party or independent choices: Charles “Chuck” Baldwin (Constitutional), Ralph Nader (Independent), Bob Barr (Libertarian), and Cynthia McKinney (Green).

But I bet you haven’t heard of some of these other “worthy” candidates (be sure to check out the links): Continue reading

Obama vs. McCain 2008: Who Will You Vote For and Why?

We have finally reached the end of our weekly forum on the presidential election. We have had many great discussions on a range of topics, such as character, Iraq, the economy, abortion, relationship with LDS Church, health care, faith and family values, terrorism and diplomacy, education, and political corruption. Click here to see the full list of topics.

One of the great things that has been achieved in these forums, I think, is a respectful demonstration of a diversity of political viewpoints held by faithful Latter-day Saints. This kind of conversation, unfortunately, is rare — and so I applaud everyone for making it happen.

Now is the time, for those who are willing, to declare which presidential candidate you are going to vote for (or have already voted for). Be sure to explain why. Arguments for third-party or independent tickets (or even for staying home, I suppose) are welcome. Feel free to make predictions also. Again, please keep things respectful; if you wish to bash a candidate, this is not the place.

If you feel more comfortable using a pseudonym (fake name), feel free to do so.

(By the way, this is TMB’s 100th post!)

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Obama vs. McCain 2008: Round 21: Symbolism of President

This is the twenty-first of a weekly series of public forums on TMB.

Arguably, one of the most important and consequential factors of a U.S. president is not simply what the president does, but what he/she symbolizes.

What might be the national or international consequences of what a McCain or Obama presidency would symbolize? Feel free to also weigh in on what this might mean, if anything, for the growth of the Church.

Be sure to visit next week (beginning Monday, October 27) for our final round, Who Will You Vote for and Why? This is your chance to declare who you will be voting for and why. Arguments for third-party or independent tickets (or even for staying home, I suppose) will also be welcome.

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Obama vs. McCain 2008: Round 20: Race and Gender Issues

This is the twentieth of a weekly series of public forums on TMB. Watch for a new round every Monday.

Only three more weeks!

This week’s topic is race and gender issues. I realize this is kind of a vague topic, so I’ll give some possible issues to talk about:

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