United Brethren has retired.

Still More Politics...

I know that politics is overly discussed on Headlife, but something Ronan said in his previous post has gotten me thinking.

Are my religious beliefs the single most important factor to me when I vote? I would like to think so. But then, looking at how I voted in the last election, I voted an almost complete Democratic ticket. Why? Frankly, because I think that the Republicans have too much power in Utah. But what has this to do with the way I approach my religion? I didn't stop to think about most of the candidates as people, just as names. I tend to vote for women and perceived ethnic minorities before I vote for the minority that I belong to (White Male). Most of the time, I do not know or care anything about candidates beyond that name.

I have heard people making the argument that an uninformed vote is worse than a vote not cast. But who has the time or ability to check all the candidates to see if they are people of integrity as is recommended in the election year letter from the First Presidency read each November?

So, once again, I will be ending my post with a question. I assume that we are all mature enough to respond to this one reasonably. In the interest of full disclosure, I will attempt to explain how my religious beliefs influenced my vote. I am curious as to how it influenced all of yours. For clarification, this is not meant to be an attempt to be persuasive, just descriptive. I am curious how religious belief ultimately played a factor in your votes; I am not curious to know how you think I should have allowed it to play a factor in mine (I guess I should say that you could comment on this, but you would be missing the point of my post).

I tend to side with the Dems on most issues because I think that governments should stay out of most moral decision-making (war in heaven and all) and I think that there should be an attempt to make sure the underrepresented are insured a fair shake by the government (all the business with widows and orphans in the OT). That said, I did ultimately vote for the anti-gay marriage amendment in Utah (sorry, Becky's brother), in part because of what modern prophets may have been counselling on the subject and in part because I believe that the government has a vested interest in promoting heterosexual marriage and family over other options. To be honest, I am unsure I made the right choice there. I also think that we have stewardship duties over the Earth's resources that place me in the middle between environmentalists and corporate interests (but I tend to lean more to the environmentalist side). I think that war is occasionally necessary, but usually unjust (this war teeters between these two options for me). I feel like national standards on irreversible issues like abortion and capital punishment are too lax (i.e. it should be very hard to get either an abortion or an inmate killed and currently neither seems to be all that hard to acheive). I hope this is broad enough spectrum to give some idea of where I come from.

So, I think a lot of this comes from my religious beliefs. How did your religious beliefs affect your vote?

ps. I voted for Nader because neither of the other two candidates seemed to address enough of the "important to me" issues in ways that I liked and I figured that I might as well give a vote to 3rd parties.

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Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 20, 2004 6:58 PM) 

John, I can tell you are a historian trained in the post-modern academy: I think that war is occasionally necessary, but usually unjust (this war teeters between these two options for me). Is there no "right answer"? Don't be luke warm, because if the war is "just" then it needs your support, and if not then you need to hit the streets of DC in protest over it. Your post makes one thing clear to me: politics and "truth" sometimes intersect, sometimes not. Sometimes we are called to the Left, sometimes to the Right. So what are we to do? Embrace this telestial world and vote for the guy who will kill less people.  

Posted by Ronan


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 21, 2004 8:36 AM) 

I know what you mean, Ronan. Did I tell you that I spent 5 minutes at the polling station agonizing over this decision? I guess I ultimately did this, unless you believe Nader has a secret army of ninjas at his beck and call (Nader's Raiders?) 

Posted by John C.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (November 23, 2004 3:11 PM) 

That is a tough decision to make. I always have to factor in my values which ultimately come back to my religion.

There are some tough questions that have to be answered. My siginificant other and I talked long and hard about these things at election time.

Pro-choice: If you are pro choice, are you pro abortion? I am against the destruction of innocent life, but should I force everyone to do as I believe? Not sure... but I know how I voted.

Gay Marriage: The famliy proclimation is pretty clear, however the Insurance industry and other goofy loopholes have made it neccesary for some people that (again back to the choice thing) have a bond of some kind to be foreced into some sort of legal union to help get insurance coverage, death benefits, etc. Who am I to say that two folks of the same gender can;t have a relationship? But then again, why is it ok to tear the fabric of society?

Dem or Rebublican: I don;t like the government. They pry too much into peoples life. I want to be able to build on my land without permits. I don't like socialized medicine, and I like the ability to carry a gun. I don't want the minimum wage raised, and I don't think that I should be penalized for working hard, by having to pay more taxes.

I don't like war, but I think Saddam was a jerk. I think people the world over should be able to have the same freedoms of speech, etc, that we have. But then again, it sure seemed like they don;t have it all backwards. They don't allow porn over there, and they have some pretty conservative values...

UGH!!! Who to vote for...

I guess that is why you need prayer.  

Posted by Jake


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (May 27, 2005 3:42 AM) 

AH alas a Political entry. Its true isnt it that Right will seem Wrong and Wrong will seem right. Like Pro Choice, Gay Marriage, War Justification. This nation will fall farther before Christ comes again. Things are going to get worse before they get better. We do have to choose between the lesser of 2 evils with Canidates we vote for. Its difficult to know which one will be better for us. And yes the Goverment has WAY 2 much control and WAY 2 much power over our lives, properties, Families, and lifestyles. Its not what our Nations Fathers had intended. But Truth be told. We are a divided nation. Once a president is Elected we need to Unite and Stand behind him because he is our President. We seem weak and many people die because they see on the news protestors and a divided nation. Thus they are not threatened and their fire has more fuel. There is this part in the Book of Mormon where the Goverment has Taxed them SO grevious they can bairly make it. They are Taxed 25% of all they own. Wouldnt we all Die for a tax cut down to just 25%? I know I would. However. I do believe that Taxes demoralize this nation. When you Give you feel good. Thus want to be more charitable. When you are TAXED and it is taken from you for social programs or things you dont believe in, you feel cheated or wronged rather than good. You may feel that now you are 2 poor to be charitable in areas you Do infact support so thus they are rid of, or support is less. Morals drop, People may feel justified in Stealing (ah hes rich he wont miss it). Somewhere this nation took a sharp U turn or a gradual one but U turn it is. All I can do it Vote how I feel about the canidate. Learn what I can about them..... Not a party. I cant Not vote Nader because I think my vote will be wasted cuz everyone else votes republican. LOL I didnt vote nader for the record because I dont agree with his platform. Nor Bo Gritz..... But I will try to vote and not care who others vote for.... and May the best canidate for the position win.  

Posted by Janice


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