Sunday, July 16, 2006

Thank You Elder Oaks

I am a new contributor to this wonderful blog. While I am not a current member of the BYU-Idaho Democrats, I am a recent alumnus of BYU-Idaho and Ricks College. I was a Republican for all but one semester at Ricks/BYU-Idaho. It was one class and one professor that converted me to the other side. For this one class and professor, I am eternally in debt. There are few things for which I am more grateful. Thank you.

There is a quote from Elder Oaks which holds a special place in my heart:

“Those who govern their thoughts and actions solely by the principles of liberalism or conservatism or intellectualism cannot be expected to agree with all of the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As for me, I find some wisdom in liberalism, some wisdom in conservatism, and much truth in intellectualism—but I find no salvation in any of them.”

This is one thing that always tells me there is wisdom in politics that seeks moderation. And as liberal as I am, that is something incredibly hard for me to admit.

Yes, there are issues which demand a strong stance, a stance in which you cannot meet in the middle. However, there is a need for balanced politics for many issues.

There are few things I enjoy doing more than helping Democrats get elected, especially in Idaho. Idaho is currently dominated by the Republican Party. My disdain for this very thing is not only rooted in my own political ideology, but it is rooted in a fear I have of a party, any party, dominating any politics, whether at a local, state, or national level. Do I want a Democratic majority in Idaho and in the United States? Yes, of course. But this majority must be met with strong Republicans. And, I find a significant difference between a majority and domination.

The reason I want strong Republicans in this country and even in Idaho is for one big reason. As a liberal, it is profoundly important that I constantly re-evaluate where I stand on issues. For over 20 years, I was a Republican and I believe I stood on the wrong side of issues for far too long. I never want to be found on the wrong side again. This isn’t just a want, it is an obsession. Therefore, it is imperative that I spend a lot of time reading up on issues. What are the pros and cons of Affirmative Action, minimum wage, war, “equal rights,” unions, welfare, etc...?

As important as reading is, there is a need for discourse. Democrats need Republicans to keep them balanced. This balance can only be attained through a healthy discourse. Not only do we need Republicans to keep us balanced, we need them to remind us why we are Democrats! Anytime I get frustrated with the Democratic Party, it only takes a few minutes of reading to remind me of why I am a Democrat. I am a Democrat and I am a liberal because I am Mormon, not despite the fact that I am Mormon.

Lastly, Elder Oaks’ quote, the most profoundly moving part, states, “…but I find no salvation in any of them.” As much as I love politics, and if you know me, you know how much I love it, this quote gives me some perspective. When this world has come and gone, when we find ourselves in the after-life, our political affiliations won’t be this divisive cancer that distances us from each other, it won’t even matter. In the end, politics won’t save us, Jesus will save us. It is okay to work in politics, to enjoy it, and to spend time studying it, but never forget that there is one thing that towers above it all, our Lord and Savior.

39 comments:

Math Guy said...

Jessica
Thank you for that wonderful thought. As a Latter-day Saint in Oregon, I find myself in the minority being an outspoken Democrat and having this strange concern for the poor and disadvantaged in our society. I too have a blog on these issues and would invite any who would like to view it at: web.mac.com/barry.edwards3/iWeb/Site/OR-MORM/OR-MORM.html

Jessica said...

It is so unfortunate that having thoughts to help the poor and disadvanted in our society is "strange." It should be in our every thought.

Moroni prophesied this very thing when he said: "For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted" (Mormon 8:37).

He goes on to say, "Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not?" (v. 39)

Blake Roberts said...

Thanks for post Jessica, it will be nice having more people posting on the blog. Having a single party in any location promotes stagnation, and quickly leads to poor quality service for the people. I think the real problem is that we get so hung up on party loyalty, the whole idea of "not voting for (party X)". While it is great to associate yourself with a group that thinks like yourself, one sohuld always vote for the person, not the letter next to thier name.

The whole idea of having a "concern for the poor and disadvantaged in our society" is a sticky one. I think virtually everyone in the Church has some measure of concern for them, but since everyone thinks differantly, it's easy to look past that.

For example, I feel it would be in poor people's best intrest to eliminate the minimum wage and strictly cut back on welfare. For this view, I've been accused of everything from promoting sweatshops and having a hatred for the poor, to being called a racist. I don't feel I am such, I honestly feel that that would benifit everyone to the greatest degree.

Republicans (like myself) do care, but we see differant causes for the problem, and thus see differant solutions. The only differance would be perhaps the priority that groups tend to give issues. I hope did not take your post out of context, if I did so then I apologize.

I do feel your pain about being a minority (politically) though, for almost four years I belonged to a third party (one that the local Republicans were not happy about, they felt that we were vote splitters who got a democrat elected governor, and they reminded me often about it).

Jessica said...

Do Mormons care about the poor? Sure, they do. This is evidenced through a Relief Society that emphasizes service and a Church that sends millions of dollars in money and goods to people in need. Can we do more? YES. Moroni wasn't just referring to other religions in chapter 8, he was referring to our own religion.

I see Mormons marginalize anyone on welfare, except Mormons themselves. Thousands of Mormons are on welfare in Idaho but it is only okay when they are on welfare. When a non-member is on welfare, suddenly they are "lazy" and feeding off the government.

The problem with the welfare system has nothing to do with what it should provide (notice I didn't say what it actually provides because it fails miserably in this aspect).

The problem with the welfare system is it seeks to get people off of welfare but not out of poverty. This is evidenced through its inherent structure in punishing people who actually try to get jobs and who do get jobs.

Getting a job often means you are too poor to surive but too rich to get some assistance to survive.

What really irks me is that too many people criticize the welfare system without having an in-depth knowledge of it. Studying Sociology AND Social Work for 4 years only taught me so much. Interning at Madison Memorial in the Case Management department and reading several books on the poor in America only taught me so much. It was only when I worked in the welfare system, only when I saw for myself and read the actual rules and regulations, that I was able to fully grasp what the welfare system is, how it works and how it is and was setup for failure.

Both parties have failed miserably at helping the poor in America and abroad.

I am utterly ashamed of Republicans AND Democrats. It is time to throw away the labels that marginalize anyone who needs assistance, time to seek the truth when we are surrounded by myths and lies, and it is time to follow our Church leaders and do everything in our power to help people.

Yes, the main difference is Republicans view poverty in a way that is very different from Democrats. This is okay. What is not okay is basing policy and views on myths, lies, distortions, and selfish desires. I am pretty tired of people buying into anything people tell them. Just because it sounds good and jives with everything else you have been told does not mean it is right.

Time to wake up people. The welfare queen Reagan talked about never existed, he created her. As radical as this sounds, question everything people tell you, especially when they have an agenda. The D&C tells us that even the man in whom we have trusted has sought to destroy us. Don't forget that.

Jessica said...

I would also like to point out these scriptures:

Mosiah 4: 19, 21, 26
19 For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

21 And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.

26 And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.


Go here for some great info: http://emp.byui.edu/SMITHS/professor.htm

JamesP said...

Jessica, it might be interesting for you to share your "conversion" story. I often cringe at the thought of people being "converted" by a professor or in an academic setting.

I'm not questioning your beliefs, but it strikes me quite the same as hearing more than one investigator on my mission say that they had finally seen the light and been "converted" to the truth after sitting through an anti-mormon lecture by the priest/pastor of the community church.

Now I'm not saying that's what has happened in your situation, but I am always wary of those who profess conversion at the hands of someone in such an academically influential position.

Jessica said...

I can post my conversion story and I should've been more clear about what I meant by conversion. This professor simply got me to start thinking outside the Mormon conservative box and he introduced me to Nibley...need I say more?

Jessica said...

And really, comparing a BYU-Idaho professor with a minister who is anti-Mormon is a bit of a stretch, don't you think? Comparing any professor with a minister who is anti is a big stretch.

I believe professors have failed in their professional duties if they haven't influenced their students enough to look outside of the box, even at Church schools.

JamesP said...

I'm not doubting your convictions, and my analogy was meant to be just that - an analogy.

I am just always skeptical of so-called liberals or left-thinkers that emerge as a result of their experience at BYU-Idaho. As evidenced by Steph Long's article last week and some discussion we had about it, it has become almost a status symbol to be of this mindset.

I'm always wary of what could be interpreted as jumping on the bandwagon.

Again, I'm not accusing you of this, but merely pointing out that what many consider a "conversion" to the Democratic party or liberalism is nothing more than a political version of buying an iPod for the white headphones, and I think within the context of BYU-Idaho it deserves some discussion.

Peter Nguyen said...

James,

I get the feeling that you might be inferring a little bit of the "I'm a Democrat to be different" mentality. If I'm wrong to assume this, I apologize.

Either way though, I'd like to address the subject.

I have no doubt that there are some who call themselves Democrats at BYU-I simply because they like the novelty of it. These people can easily be identified by their lack of any real participation.

However, the conflict I have is the label: Democrat. I consider myself a moderate. So which am I? A Republican or Democrat?

I also hesitate to use political platforms to decide which label I should adjoin to. Platforms are as good as toilet paper.

So, I guess I'm asking, "What's in a name?" And, is it okay to call oneself a Democrat or Republican even if one finds such huge flaws in both parties?

Chaucer Arafat said...

to second the "what's in a name" idea, i also think that the old adage about judging books by covers applies here...outward manifestations of patriotism and piety cannot, nor ever will, encapsulate the entire intent of a person. such consdierations work best on an interpersonal, case-by-case basis.

as for the steph long comment: i don't know how it is possible to pigeonhole someone's entire political philosophy based on one op-ed piece. You are right though James, the piece gave the impression that there is at best a sophomoric understanding of "liberalism," and that she craved the novelty and the 'outsider' status, but it is hard for me to say because i don't know the person. I just thought it was poorly written.

and Peter, I liked the usage of "adjoin." not an oft heard verb...a page out of the Jessie Jackson book

Jessica said...

Well considering the fact that I didn't even take this class until my last semester at BYU-Idaho, I would hardly characterize any change in my beliefs as something of a fad. BYU-Idaho was only the beginning of my conversion. Not the middle, not the end, not anything but the very beginning.

I think it is very dangerous to make generalizations of any group based on your experiences with a few. You do not know me, and you do not know many Democrats at BYU-Idaho, so I would be careful in labeling any of them. Peter is right. People who are Democrats because it is the cool thing to do are easily identifiable. They are also people who I really just don't get. I cannot tell you how many times my testimony has been called into question because I am a Democrat. I cannot tell you how many names I have been called by members of the Church because of my political beliefs. Being a Democrat in the Church, especially in Idaho and Utah, is incredibly difficult. I would never have the audacity to pass judgement about someone's motivations for being a Democrat at BYU-Idaho, if only for the very reason I just pointed out.

Chaucer Arafat said...

it also helps not to wear your beliefs on your sleeve--

and i am NOT saying that ANYONE on here is guilty of that. i just know that a lot of 'radicals' in this area have a hard time, but it is often of their own making.

JamesP said...

You seem to be getting a little defensive, which is what I was afraid would happen when I commented on your article. I'm merely trying to get to the root of your "conversion" as you put it because I find political conversions interesting (especially within the context of BYU-Idaho), not because I believe yours to be fake or insincere, etc.

Since you asked (or didn't), I in fact know quite a few BYU-Idaho "democrats," lest you think I'm making an unfair judgment. And it's entirely possible that I might even know the professor you're talking about. I'm not making generalizations. I'm making observations based on my experience with a certain group of people.

I agree with your thoughts, Peter. In fact, they probably warrant their own post (hint, hint). I have a problem with political labels as well and really dislike their usage. And, philosophically, I'm in the same boat you are.

JamesP said...

Another comment.

I find your comment interesting:

I am a Democrat and I am a liberal because I am Mormon, not despite the fact that I am Mormon.

I think I know where you were going with this, but on its face, this statement almost seems to smack of moral superiority. Care to clarify?

Joe Strickland said...

Jessica,

I love that you posted those verses from The Book of Mormon. We most certainly do "depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind."

I hope that every Latter-day Saint has a strong desire in their heart to follow the counsel given in Mosiah 4:26.

Is it me, or did I miss the part where it says it's the government's job to fix poverty? Shouldn't we attempt to find the solutions amongst the people and not through the government? Does anyone reading this have some ideas about how we can help the poor? Jessica, maybe you can share some examples of things that you are doing to help fight this problem. I am sure everyone would appreciate it.

Joe Strickland said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Peter Nguyen said...

Joe,

I think that your sentiment is correct. Government often makes a mess of things.

But, if it's a government by the people, couldn't government work with private citizens and organizations as a helping hand?

I think that part of the solution is to help citizens of the U.S. to want to be more charitable. Once that happens, I think that government can be one tool out of many to reach those who need the most help.

Government can be a force for great good and change. The catch is you need a unified nation and strong leaders.

Once great example is Church government. Members donate to the Church because members know that there is accountability in the welfare aid that the Church distribution.

That accountability creates trust in the system.

While it is not explicitly governments job to care for the poor, a people unified and working together can use government (local, state or federal) for great good.

Jessica said...

I claim no moral superiority and I find it amusing that you would think such a thing. Anyone who knows me knows this to be true. I merely meant that my political beliefs are all grounded in my religious beliefs. If you read more into that, than that is your problem, not mine.

And I'm sorry, but knowing quite a few BYU-Idaho Democrats doesn't give you any more of a right to make broad generalizations. If you want to make assumptions on this population, create a survey instrument, distribute it, and tell us the results.

Jessica said...

Joe-

Where does it say that the government doesn't have a responsiblity to help the poor? What person, what organization, and what Church has the resources that the government does? Who will pick up the slack when the government removes itself from all social programs?

The government can be a force for good. Whining about how much the government sucks isn't going to fix it. You have to actually do something about it. If you don't like Medicaid, tell your elected officials. Come up with your own ideas on how programs can be altered-do something.

In my own experience, I have interned at the local homeless shelter here, completed a grant application for this same donation after I interned for them, donated money, participated in fundraisers, given items to the poor. I had a family on my caseload who was denied help from St. Vincent de Paul because St. Vincent had no help to offer due to lack of donations. So I went through my own closet and gave this family clothing items. There are lots of ways to help the poor in your local communities. Is that what you wanted to know?

The government isn't going anywhere, especially with GWB running it. So we can either keep whining about how bad the government is doing or we can use the government to help all people.

Joe Strickland said...

Jessica,

You definitely answered my question. You wrote about some of things that you have done to help people who needed it. I applaud you for it and I realize that there are many people in this country who are charitable like you.

So, who forced you to do all those nice things? Maybe your mom or dad, or even someone you have never met came up to you and said "Hey Jessica. Bob over in Boise doesn't have a job and needs you to pay his rent. I don't really care if you want to, and I don't really care if this is what is best for Bob, but you have the means to help so you really have no choice. Give me your money."

Now, I am willing to bet that that is not what happened at all. I would assume that you voluntarily gave of your time and talents and whatever means you had to help people. That is what we are expected to do as members of the Church. That is what we should desire to do.

You have tried to paint a picture showing that Republicans want to rid the country of welfare, Medicare and other social programs, but you are wrong. If Republicans felt that it would be in our best interest to totally remove the government from social responsiblity, it would have been done sometime in the last six years when Republicans have been in control of Congress. No, Republicans are not heartless.

The government does have some level of responsibility to provide programs for people who are willing to do all they can to "get back on their feet." But, we should be very careful in using the government to solve social problems. NGOs should take the lead. Great Americans like you Jessica, and those who you can influence, should continue to offer a helping hand. And while we are helping people we need to get to the root of the problems and work from there up.

Anonymous said...

WOW!! I am really taken back by this post on the blog. Jessica started by quoting Elder Oaks in which he clearly stated that both conservatives and liberals have truth, and that neither side is really right, but they both do have truth according to the only purely true thing in the Universe which is the Gospel. After quoting and praising him Jessica tells us how she was a Republican and later Converted to the "RIGHT or GOOD" side. If she is really supporting Elder Oaks she will admit there is no political party that is the right side. Elder Oaks just said that, and I have heard time and time again from Church leaders that they the Church takes no position to endorse a certain party, but encourages us to study the candidates and vote for those who will stand up for principles that are found in the Gospel. I am a registered Republican in Wyoming, but only so I can vote in the Primaries. In my heart I dispise political parties that exist today. People ignorantly brainwash themselves when they ally themselves to a certain party, because when we say "I am a Democrat", or "I am a Republican", the majority of people don't know most of the platform that those parties have. And when it's pointed out to them that their party staunchly endorses something contrary to the Gospel such as "Obortion" or "denying the basic human rights of Privacy",then they become all defensive in their pride, cuz no one wants to look like they chose wrong. A perfect example of this was at the College Debate on the BYU-Idaho campus between the College Dems and Reps during the 2004 election. When either side was proven wrong about something, they both made fools of themselves by getting defensive and started calling eachother names and so on. Why don't people realize what these parties are doing to them?!?! I encourage people to actually take real heed to the counsel of Elder Oaks when he said...
-“Those who govern their thoughts and actions solely by the principles of liberalism or conservatism or intellectualism cannot be expected to agree with all of the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ."- If we are making the the Gospel of Jesus Christ the center of our lives, then we wont ally ourselves to some earthly party then switch to the opposite side and say we have finally come to the right side! The only right side is supporting those candidates who stand for the Eternal principles of the Gospel, whether they be Democrats, Republicans, or something else.
So please, don't quote an Apostle and praise his words and then tell us how your political decisions just totoally contridicted what he just taught.

Peter Nguyen said...

Joe, you seem quite reasonable in your most recent remarks.

Although, I have met a significant number of conservative minded students here at BYU-I who feel that any federal social program is bad.

There are a multitude of reasons why they are correct. There are a multitude of reasons why they are also wrong.

As I've discussed this issue with people of all political spectrums, I've come to think that most agree that a government welfare program is a good thing, but that it needs to be reformed.

I also agree that NGO's need to lead the way. However, I do support government funding of NGO's. Jessica doesn't seem to like it, but I'm a fan of President Bush's faith based initiatives.

Jessica said...

What political decisions of mine contradict what Oaks said? Can you please be specific because I am totally confused. I never said the Democrats were right about everything, nor did I say that I am right and good because I am a Democrat.

JamesP said...

Jessica,

Go back and read what I read. I'm not accusing you of anything. I'm saying that someone could easily interpret your words as such. (And gee, looks like someone did).

You'll quickly find out in the blogging world that, the thicker your skin and more level-headed you stay, the easier it is to communicate (Peter is a great example of this...and no, that's not a joke ;) Don't take things so personally.

Like I said, go back and read what I read again. I'm not being accusatory, but merely pointing out some holes and foibles in your arguments.

Best,
JamesP

Jessica said...

Joe,

I really have no desire to argue the goals and motivations of Republicans. I have my opinions, you have yours.

James,

Excuse me for my sensitivity. It is one of my great weakenesses and strengths. I can only assume you are accusatory because that is how your comments come across. I am so used to being beat up by every Mormon Republican I come across, I guess I just expect it.

I guess Mormon Democrats get tired of having Republicans there, at every corner, ready to pick apart any and every piece that isn't perfect. I am not perfect, what I say isn't perfect. I am just 25 and trying to put into words things that are in so many ways indescribable and incredibly hard to articulate. What I say may not make sense because it doesn't all make sense in my head or because my writing skills are very weak, or both.

Assume what you want, think I contradict myself at every corner, I really don't care. I know who I am, I know what I stand for, and anyone who knows me knows my convictions.

Peter Nguyen said...

Jessica,

I know you're not fishing for a compliment, but I think you're great and like Blake said, you're a great addition to this blogsite.

James and others who frequent this blog have a high aptitude for creating good discussion.

And James, thanks for the compliment. Although, I do have to say, a thick skin is learned — the hard way.

Jessica said...

Thanks Peter, that means a lot.

Perhaps if we want to continue discussing poverty and social programs, we should start an open comments thread. As it now stands, these comments are all over the place and I am having a hard time remembering how many questions I have to answer and how many things I need to set straight.

I guess I could create a blog posting about poverty and how Democrats prefer to tackle this problem (how they view it) and maybe a Republican could create a blog posting about how Republicans view the problem and what they think the solution should be.

Just a suggestion. I am leaving for a short vacation tomorrow night, but I can certainly brainstorm some ideas and create a blog posting towards the end of the week.

Anonymous said...

I think you are proving my point totally. In response to my post you seem really defensive...and I can't blame you, thats how we are as human beings especially when we ally ourselves to a party. We grit our teeth in defense of it, even though our divinely appointed church leaders teach us, through revelation, that there is no salvation in committing ourselves to these earthly created political parties. Rather, salvation is found in the Gospel of Christ, and we can make our lives better and the lives of our children by electing candidates who will stand up for the eternal principles of the Gosple, even when it isn't popular. Cuz face it, the Gospel isn't popular in the world we live in. And as James said rather politely, which you seemed offended by also, go back and read your words. In your own words..."I was a Republican and I believe I stood on the wrong side of issues for far too long. I never want to be found on the wrong side again." You must mean that Republicans were the WRONG side, and since you are not there any more you must be on the right side by converting to the Democrats which you spoke of. Now the contridiction is in the fact that you posted Elders Oaks' quote that was specific in saying that the only "RIGHT" side is the Gospel, and that there is truth and good on both sides of politics as we know them today. So Jessica, the only wrong side is anything not 100% with the Gospel. And Neither the Democratic or Republican Party, or any other earthly party is even close to 100% with the Gospel. That is why our Church leaders every year at election time encourage us to study the candidates at vote for those who will stand up for Gospel Principles, and they don't endorse any party. They leave it up to us to use the Spirit to elect people who will make our lives better according to eternal Gospel principles.Do you see what I'm saying? You make many posts in this blog with the attitude that we should understand you and I'm not so sure you are making an effort to understand me. Rather, you just get defensive. I don't wish to attack you if that is how you feel my comments were doing. I just want to make a point that I feel strongly about concerning parties and the Gospel which I'm striving to impliment in every aspect of my life...including politics. You may have read other comments I have made about Harry Reid not taking a stance on abortion. And I think it was you Jessica that said the only Mormon who hasn't taken a stance on obortion is Mitt Romney. I'm not sure if that was you or not, but whoever said it let me say this in response. I havn't looked into Mitt Romney very much and if he doesn't take the stance like the Lord expects, then I can't support him either. But it is very true that Harry Reid Dodges the subject whenever he is asked about it. Going back a couple years ago right after the Presidents State of the Union address Harry Reid was interveiwed on CNN. The interviewer asked Senator Reid about him being a Mormon in which he replied he was a strong and practicing Mormon, and he bases his morals in the principles found in the Gospel. The interviewer then asked his oppinions on abortion knowing the Churchs staunch stance on not supporting it as an alternitive for women who don't want to have their baby. And Three straight times he danced around the questionand never came close to giving a straight answer. Clearly his leadership position is more important than standing up for the Gospel principles concerning abortion. I can't support this man because of that, cuz my Prophet has encouraged me to support those who will. This is the point I'm trying to make. Lets follow the counsel of the prophet and support people who will stand up for the Gospel, even when it isn't popular.

Jessica said...

First of all, Democrats know Harry Reid is a pro-life Democrat. Go over to democraticunderground and see the beating this man takes for being pro-life.

Second of all, I cannot understand you because you are "anonymous." I can't go to your profile and get to know who you are and you have hardly divulged any personal information. I don't even know what your sex is.

Third of all, yes I was a Republican, a libertarian Republican-highly conservative. Until you know what my specific beliefs were as a libertarian Republican, you can hardly say I was right or wrong in those beliefs.

Also, every Republican has different beliefs. I said I was on the wrong side, not that the Republicans were or are. I had beliefs that many Republicans didn't. I had liberal beliefs that many Republicans didn't.

Lastly, you hardly know my beliefs on issues now. Not everything I believe in falls in line with the Democratic Party platform, so I believe I am following Elder Oaks' counsel by not being 100% Democrat, 100% Republican, 100% Libertarian, or 100% anything.

You, my friend, are the one who is throwing me into one camp and thinking I never venture to the other side. I never said any such thing. If you want to read between the lines, make assumptions, and view me in a way that illustrates any agenda you might have, that is your choice, but don't accuse me of doing something I haven't done.

I could easily be an Independent, but I feel I have a stronger voice identifying with one of the two parties.

Jessica said...

And please, if you keep posting comments, can you insert some paragraph breaks? Your comment was incredibly difficult to read.

Mataiwaizu said...

YAY, for the gospal party!!
Now lets live it together. How good would that be. Man that would be SO tight.

Hey that means we all can get this down solid(!) = We can love and understand eachother with patience, longsuffering, gentleness and persuasion.(D+C 121:41-42)

Hey, guess what I think, isn't love totally the greatest motivator and persuaeder. So hating doesn't really do much for me, ya know.

Man,just think dude, you guys are at least talking about this stuff, many people are just really apathedic. And don't do much or even say anything. So we are all on that right track now, ya baby!

Hey, we should all learn alot and that means lets all go to the Democratic group and the Republicains group.
Thats Wen. at 7:00 in MC.
And Thur. at 2:00 in the Smith.

Dude this week I saw Bro. Baron is going to speak about Isreal.- SWEET!! Totally.

And if they had some other party we should check them out too. So don't feel left out all you Green Party boys and gals.

See ya there.

Joe Strickland said...

Yes, we would love to have you all come out to the College Republicans meeting this Thursday at 2pm in Smith 129. I am sure the topic will be of interest to many of you and I think we will all learn a lot from Brother Baron.

Anonymous said...

So that is why you identify with a party, to make your voice louder. I can understand that, but will you please recognize the point I have been trying to make...which is that people fall into the trap of ignorant loyalty when they identify with a party.

Here is your paragraph break, I appologize, I have no problem reading the way I have been writing. I didn't take into consideration that others aren't like me in that regard.

But my example of the debate on campus is again, a perfect example. The representitives of both groups would take turns at proving how the other side was wrong on certain issues. And both sides reacted the same way.

Rather than giving the other side some stinking credit, they made fools of themselves by getting all defensive.

Why would they act that way? Could it be that by Identifying with their parties they have unknowingly let themselves become victims to the natural man...that is well..."Pride".

Lets face it, no one wants to be proven wrong, for reasons of pride. They have identified with their party and don't want to look like they made the wrong choice. So they make themselves look even worse by getting defensive. It's natural human tendancy.

But an important aspect of the Gospel is that we overcome these natural human tendancies, and become humble and teachable. It is so hard for a society to make real progress when their pride prevents them from making appropriate decisions.

Watch the news these days. All I hear is Nanci Polosi, Ted Kennedy, Bill Frist, and Harry Reid opposing the other sides in every stinking thing as if the other side was the spawn of Satan sent to destroy freedom and all that is good.

And it's done in the most juvinial ways, like as if dems are always saying they can't support that Moron cowboy from Texas. He can't even speak right that idiot. You never hear them say, "the Bush admin is making great progress in this area with our combined efforts".

The same goes for the other side. They can't support those intillectuals who always forget basic family values."

IT'S A JOKE!! They are too dang proud to actually cooperate like mature adults. I really don't believe they are opposing eachother in every stinking thing to give alternatives in the Law making process, they are doing it out of a deepseeded hatred of sorts for the other side because of their pride.

You just don't hear positive stuff from them ever about their counterparts. I watch c-span and the news all the time and never hear them cooperating.

Just think of the progress we would make if we weren't so proudly loyal to a man-made organization. I mean if we HAVE to be in a party to actually get agendas through, then we are gonna have to find a way to overcome our proud instincts.

That is the point I have been trying to make this whole time. That is why our Bishops at election time read the letter from the first presidency during sacrament to encourage us to support those who will uphold Gospel principles. And they don't endorse a certain party cuz they know what that is gonna do to us.

You tell me to not make my comments anonymous so you figure out my platform and agenda...well thats it! It's what I've been trying to put across this whole time.

And as far as Harry Reid goes, in all my participation in keeping up with politics, I have never heard the man take a stand as a pro-life.

I went to your demunderground thing, and couldn't find what your talking about.

And even if he has so boldly stood up for the right thing on this issue as you say he has, then why couldn't he answer the simple question possed to him three stright times?

And if he has taken heat for his suppossed firm stance on abortion, then I say Bravo. That is the way it has always been when people like Abinidi stand up for truth in the face of those that are trying to destroy it.

It's just I have never heard it. And I'm an avid participant in finding out how our reps vote in congress.

However, I do applaud Senator Reid for his vote to ban the public disgrace of burning the symbol of our freedom.

If you have any proof that is simple to find that Senator Reid publicly defended his pro-life stance, I would appriciate it if you let it be made known to me.

Peter Nguyen said...

Anonymous,

I think that Jessica understands your point, whether she articulates that is a different matter.

You make some excellent points. I agree with you, that many ignorantly follow their party. However, I'm not sure that the problem is the party system itself, but the people.

Whether it be group mentality or something else, pride and an inability to truly listen seems to be the root of the issue.

Jessica said...

Anonymous:

Democratic Underground is a discussion forum. What I meant is that Harry Reid is routinely criticized for his pro-life stance. You can go ahead and search the thousands of discussion threads for this evidence or trust me as I have been a member of DU since 2004.

I am not sure what exact proof that you need to show that H. Reid is pro-life. Seems to be common knowledge.

See:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,138762,00.html

29% record by NARAL, indicating a pro-life stance.
http://www.ontheissues.org/Social/Harry_Reid_Abortion.htm

RightDemocrat said...

Most religious people in general hold a lot of the same values as the Democratic Party on questions of economic justice. The primary stumbling block is the social issues like abortion and gay marriage. Our party needs to move toward the center on social issues and welcome pro-life and pro-traditional values voters. If that happens, we can have a Democratic majority that will look after the interests of working families.

cleo said...

Jessica,

I'm a bit late on this discussion but i think you have the right idea and i sooooooo agree with everything you said there. I used to be a republican but now a democrat. i finally saw through it all by experiences not by in any academic setting or by any one person. i'm very happy to know that there are actually democrats in our church. best of luck with everything you are trying to do. i hope i can be of help in any way.

cleo said...

by the way, my email is zyzzxx007@yahoo.com