Thursday, August 30, 2012

That Mormon Moment

Last night I had a dream Ann and Mitt Romney were staying over night at my house. I went down to check on them and found Mitt in his underwear running around yelling,

"I AM GOING TO WIN! I AM GOING TO WIN! I AM GOING TO WIN!"

Ann was sitting on my yellow striped couch, watching her husband's excitement clapping and laughing.

And so I asked them,

"Is this the Mormon Moment?

The Mormon Moment--the concept that the world, or at least this nation, is finally talking about Mormonism less as a curious cult in Utah, but as a religion producing high-profile leaders and contributing to the welfare of the less fortunate.  I hear almost daily now, this alliterative phrase with a balanced syllables promising a Coming Out party to a world that has long since misunderstood us.

Growing up in the heart of Mormonism I dreamed of a Mormon Moment, when the religion of my heart, the belief in a literal Father in Heaven and a clear concept of eternal families would be known throughout the world. Had you told me when I was a little girl that when I was thirty five years old a Mormon would be the Republican nominee for the President of the United States I would've collapsed with happiness. These are strides I never thought possible for Mormons, though I had faith that God could make them happen if He wanted.

But this momentum creeped up on me I suppose. Earlier last year I was asked to sit in on a meeting with Romney people intent on gathering public personas to his soon-to-be campaign. I was pretty skeptical at that point, having watched Romney fumble through 2008. Then I started writing for the Deseret News, attending meetings in preparation of a Romney run, giving us Mormon writers all the space desired to write about our religion, boldly and confidently. And then there were reporters with questions and interviews with leads about the Latter-day Saint lifestyle. One day I was called into a meeting with an editor who held my newborn Erin as he bounced around the room, telling me to seize this fine Mormon morning with my voice and words. Then I packed up Erin in the car seat, drove to Salt Lake, nursed her in the dark under-ground parking lot, buttoned up and had almost the same meeting with another editor four flights up. I drove home from that day wondering if I would ever write about my domestic life ever again.

So this week, as Mitt Romney secured the nomination I waited for the almost-prophetic realization of the Mormon Moment. I waited for my heart to swell with pride and my joy to explode. I listened to Ann Romney, in her vibrant red dress and her bits of confidence praise her husband, promising I could trust him just like she trusts him. I waited for all of it to feel good to me. I listened to my fellow Mormons emote the reaction I wanted to have. But instead, it just felt more of the same.

Maybe this is someone's Mormon Moment, but it's not mine?

My Mormon Moment I suppose is more internal. It's watching our cultural practices more resemble our doctrine. It's clearing up the stereotypes we've held about women and men. It's a balancing of the female divine and the masculine order. It's holding each other accountable for our actions with firmness and love. It's about returning to simple yet strong truths taught from the beginning, truths that somehow have become muddled with culture and pedestals and unbalanced expectations.

When we can stand before the world, clear of cobwebs and secrets, holding on to the pillars of enlightenment and truth, that is my Mormon Moment, and I have absolute confidence we will get there. I am totally dedicated to the cause. And maybe I will know we've achieved something when a Mormon couple stands together at the national convention podium (maybe even the Democrat podium!) pledging their unified support and equal dedication to helping our country. Because to me, that is what Mormon marriage looks like--or should look like--now and for eternity.

(I wish Ann's speech would've detailed how she is a pivotal player in this presidential team, and less as a supportive wife. I am a little tired of the supportive wife speech. I would've liked to hear Ann say, "As your first lady you can trust me . . ." or maybe even mentioned how they arrived at this decision to run together.)

By the way, in my dream, after I asked my question to Brother and Sister Romney, as they stirred up glee in my basement, they both stopped and looked at me. Mitt, heavy breathing and sweating some from his temples, put his arm around Ann and asked me,

"This Mormon Moment, what does it matter?"

And I realized, it was never fair to hang this all on them. They never asked to be the ushers of the epic Mormon Moment. Maybe all they really wanted to do was run for President because it seemed like a good thing to do.

Why not?




210 comments:

1 – 200 of 210   Newer›   Newest»
Cassidy said...

Beautiful! Wonderful! Awesome! C. Jane writes again!

Karen Sutton said...

If you keep this up, you may slowly change my mind about what I left and I might just come back to the church! Knock it off! :)

.kaitlyn. said...

AMEN!!!!!!

I too felt slightly disenchanted by ann's speech. i felt there was so much she could have... should have said. it wasn't a complete bust but i couldnt help but think it was such a missed opportunity.

it was so refreshing to read your thoughful, eloquent words on what I too think "the mormon moment" should be. well said yet again c jane!

cmhl said...

I may not totally agree, but I enjoyed Ann's speech. But it makes me wonder, what about those of us that are in marriages where we do argue daily/weekly/hourly sometimes. What about those of us wives that don't have that heartfelt confidence in our husbands, and feel like WE are having to be the spiritual leaders of our homes? I think it is great that they have such a relationship in their homes, but it makes me feel like I am less than adequate, like I have screwed up, bigtime, and made bad choices. It makes me feel like I will always be an outsider to that kind of happiness.

What about those of us that don't have that kind of relationship? I can change myself, but I can't change my husband. And that makes me feel..... like I screwed up.

Janie said...

Its not my Mormon Moment either. But keep writing sister - Keep writing!

Heather said...

My feeling exactly...so glad you're back!

Heather said...
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delilas said...

Yep you said it perfect. I went to a Romeny/Ryan Rally here in VA and was like, sooo what? It makes me want to be a democrat just for the fun. And I am a Mormon.

Qwendykay said...

So very interesting... because I have never even thought about Mitt running as being a "Mormon Moment".

And I wonder if it is a geographical thing, out here in Los Angeles, religion isn't discussed much around the office, at school drop offs, or team meetings.

When we were in Utah this summer, our friend asked us about Prop 8 and "How was that for you?" as if we had been through a war. We were like.. "fine.. I guess" Our friend was baffled when we said, our coworkers don't necessarily know our religion, it's a personal thing. And politics is taboo at the office. Bottom line, we didn't discuss Prop 8, because beliefs are a personal thing.

Maybe this makes us terrible missionaries, but our friends know our values, that we don't do things on Sunday, that we are religious people, and in my mind, I feel like I'm doing my part by just living my religion and being a good person.

ClancyPants said...

Fabulous, C.Jane.

Thanks for writing.

tinychih said...

Oh dear Courtney, I want to publicly apologize for my comment on your last post, which expressed some frustration that you hadn't posted in a while. I immediately regretted writing it, and am so sorry that I didn't give you the same latitude that I hope people give me. You give a precious part of yourself each time you post on your blog. At times it must feed and free your soul to write so publicly of your personal life. But I am certain that at times it also costs you--big time. And in ways that the rest of us can not begin to comprehend...(loss of a sense of privacy, anyone?) Anyway, write if you will, don't if you don't--I LOVE your writing and this blog is my first go-to website in the morning. But if you decide to take a break now and then, or stop altogether, that is your right and your business. With all of that said, I loved today's post and am so glad you're back. We need your voice, CJane...

Melessa said...

When I joined the church at the age of 20, I also would have thought this would be my moment. But it doesn't feel like it now that it's here. I've made my peace with it by telling myself that perhaps a Romney presidency will boost the public's opinion of Mormonism in the same way the JFK presidency did for Catholicism. And, as a Mormon in Oklahoma, I could live with that. But Romney is not my candidate and certainly not my JFK Then again, as you said, did he ever ask to be?
It's good to read your writing again.

Theresa Santoro: Give Your Family Roots and Wings / www.thefineartofparenting.com said...

@cmhl I am not a mormon. I am a catholic. I understand what you are saying, and please understand, that Ann won't share the pitfalls of marriage that we all struggle through. Politics require perfect glossy brochures. Married 29 years this past week, and I hear you. Marriage is not the easiest road, no matter the religion. But in the end we make a choice to stick together through thick and thin, good times and bad. And just when you think you can't stand your husband one more minute, something happens, where you see him in a different light. Not every man is a leader, and that is ok. Women have always been the spine that controls the neck. Be strong. Carry your family when you have to, and God will carry you. This, I know for sure. The grass is not greener on the other side. Tend to your garden, and find the love that brought you together. Hold on to that, and grow. It is so worth it.

Unknown said...

Welcome back Cjane - I've missed you!

Rebecca said...

Glad to hear your thoughts -- keep 'em coming!

Rachel said...

Is it just me or is anyone else creeped out that there are editors all over Salt Lake trying to get CJane to stay on message? Ick.

Dixie Mom said...

Loved your thoughts. I guess I am a bit more jaded. My question is: why would anyone want to run for president of this country and try and help us? We don't deserve it.

Kelley said...

Exactly!!!!!!!!

Carie said...

I just have to say, as a life long member who has lived outside of Utah for her entire life (excepting my happy 4 year stint at BYU, Go Cougars): you members in Utah sure have a different view of the world than the rest of us.

For those of us that live outside of densely populated Mormon places, That Mormon Moment happens nearly everyday. We are right now, as you so aptly put it, sweeping the cobwebs off and enlightening those not of our faith with our every day interactions at work, at school, at soccer practice, in our neighborhoods. We are Mormon and we are normal and we are happy to share our beliefs if you are interested. Otherwise we are happy being your neighbors, friends, associates, teammates and all the rest.

I'm not convinced That Mormon Moment will happen in one fail swoop on a national level. Instead, I believe it happens a hundred times everyday all through out the world as your friend at work or your fellow pta mom learns that your lds. People will not be swayed but an lds couple in the national spotlight, as much as they will be by their friends and neighbors who live by them, serve them and let the light of the gospel shine in every day lives.

Sarah said...

I think this is still a Mormon moment of some import without Mitt Romney. He's not my candidate, and I couldn't even bring myself to watch Ann's speech because I am so frustrated with the entire Romney platform. However, more people around me now know something about Mormonism. I'm not sure we should directly credit Mitt (who I like to call Mittens) with this fact. Without making an exhaustive list, I feel Romney is just one piece of a giant puzzle that begins with the growing presence of the Church in the US. Crediting him with anything more is ridiculous. (Loved your take btw).

Rhiannon said...

If Mormon's become "normal", "mainstream" what keeps them from being like every other Christain religion. What keeps them a "peculiar" people? I keep hearing from Joanna Brooks about this Mormon faith that is open, welcomes all people, is open to many different forms of thought and ways of being, granted this Mormonism fits many better and makes room for an open door, but in reality it is not the way Mormonism is. It's not the Mormonism that is truely practiced by the majority. It is in no way inline with the current LDS corrilation. As a newly ex-Mormon (by choic) I am finding the debates interesting and almost enjoyable. Things are so much clearer from the outside looking in! This part did however move me: "I wish Ann's speech would've detailed how she is a pivotal player in this presidential team, and less as a supportive wife. I am a little tired of the supportive wife speach."

Sarah said...

Thank You!!!!!

Elizabeth said...

"Maybe this is someone's Mormon Moment, but it's not mine?" - LOVE. Loved the whole post.

Jennifer said...

Wonderfully written -- I've always enjoyed your writing and this is no different.

I'm not lds, but I live in Utah county (a Los Angeles transplant four years ago). I'm a liberal, a democrat & I still married into a LARGE mormom family.

I see so many of my friends & inlaws bursting with pride over Romney and I always find myself wondering if this is a Utah thing.

I often wonder what it must be like outside of this bubble we have here in Orem/Provo -- I want to know what the rest of the country thinks this year.

Autryville said...

You'll have to forgive me, since I'm not Mormon (Primitive Baptist), so I don't truly understand this Mormon Moment, but I really don't want to know much about his Mormon faith, nor did I care about Pres. Bush's faith or Bill Clinton's, etc. I don't want my president to run for office b/c of a religious epiphany, I want him to run b/c of a desire to improve and lead this nation.

And I thought Anne was delightful. I don't want her telling me her platform of lofty ideas--that stuff starts to border on silly, IMO. Whether it's a first lady or first man/husband, I totally think they are playing a support role. I don't want anything more from them.

Leah Vanessa said...

Well done. It's not my moment or my candidate either. I would love to see a Mormon Democratic candidate who has a truly egalitarian marriage and is completely in touch with the real world/real issues. A girl can dream, right? Glad you're back.

Salt H2O said...

I feel sorry for Harry Reid- poor guy is the most powerful Mormon in the world and he gets completely neglected in this 'Mormon Moment' as if his faith isn't legitimate or somehow his Mormonism is less important.

This isn't about just an LDS president, it's about an LDS president AND an LDS Senate Majority Leader. Two Mormons filling two of the most powerful political positions in the United States Government. But everyone forgets about Harry....wonder if he'll ever have a 'moment'.

Carolyn said...

Okay, here is comes...I will be the first one not to swoon over you dear...
So, my first question is--what in heaven's name are you talking about? If you want to make this election about Mormons, then you are not really thinking about your country. This is NOT an election about Mitt Romney, it is an election about Obama--and America will have to decide if we want him back or not. ROmney is the country's way out of Obama--if we choose to take him.
Second, Anne Romney is not running for president and she is not a politician--her husband is. Do you follow YOUR husband to work and help him do his job? I guess some people do if that is their career choice, but that was not Anne's choice--she chose to stay at home with her boys and raise them as her CAREER--pretty much like you have done sweetheart--except you also happen to write a blog which you got some readers from originally because of the fame of your sister...now you have kept most, but I'm just saying let's be honest that's where it started from with big traffic.
But my biggest issue I have with this post is that you want some sort of husband and wife team (pres and VP I guess? Okaaayy..) running together for the DEMOCRATS....the party that supports organizations like Planned Parenthood who fund partial birth abortions and have programs for young children and teenagers that introduces them to pornography, masterbation, and homosexuality to help them curb their sexual appetites and not have babies--until they make a mistake and they step in and kill those babies for them! Seriously???
You have baffled me---but maybe you still are trying to hang onto some sort of "cool different Mormon" image and portray yourself as open and diverse--stop straddling the fence--you can't have to both ways Cjane. Who are you anyway?

Connie said...
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mere said...

Faith instead of fear. yes, that should be the mormon moment.

Noelle said...

Thank you! You said what I feel and it's perfect!

Camille said...

Autryville,
My thoughts exactly! I'm a Mormon too. Once a person becomes the president he represents the whole nation, so his/her religion should be put on the back burner. Practice in private. I have a hard time with with politicians touting how strong their faith is.

Meg said...

I am actually SHOCKED at your reaction to this. I have ALWAYS followed your blog, supported you on Facebook and Twitter (@spazaway) and I adore you. But on this front I COMPLETELY disagree with you. I think Ann COMPLETELY showed how strong Women of Faith are and STANDING BESIDE her husband IN NO WAY lessens her worth or her identity as The First Lady of the USA. We are voting for MITT not for ANN. She was showing us WHY we should vote for HIM and painting a picture of the Man she has loved and will be with forever. I was ABSOLUTELY inspired by her and Condoleezza Rice's EMPOWERING speeches that showed how much we need STRONG women in the world.
We DO need a new America. We DO need a leader that LEADS and doesn't just talk about change, he DOES change.

At this point, I fear for our FUTURE if Obama gets re-elected! The Romney/Ryan team has my FULL SUPPORT. Because the PRACTICE what the PREACH! They don't live a do what I say not as I do lifestyle.

I look forward to having my OWN "AMERICAN Moment" for the next few months, down on my knees making a prayerful decision as to who God himself would like me to vote for. Our country needs SERIOUS help. Help that only God can repair.

Wendy McDonagh-Valentine said...

Welcome back. Someone had posted in the comments in your previous entry that you said on twitter you were finished blogging for good. I'm glad that's not the case. :-)

Tawnie said...

best you've ever written!

Connie said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly that Mitt Romney's nomination is not my Mormon Moment (although I think it is fantastic - and not just because I like the guy - but because a Mormon was able to overcome the prejudices and misunderstandings about our faith and become a candidate for President!)...My Mormon Moment is only beginning - but the interest in our church is certainly helping to usher it in and make it possible (honestly, I believe that Mormon blogger phenom really started the moment - and I'm not just saying that because you are a Mormon blogger - seriously, you and your sister's blogs renewed my faith and interest in the gospel and last year my family was sealed in the temple!!).

The interest and focus on strong Mormon women and the potential we have to serve within our church more so than we do today. Seeing changes starting to take place, and seeing the pathway start to clear for something fantastic on the horizon. But most of all, KNOWING WITH ALL MY HEART that a very loving Heavenly Father AND Mother have paved the way for this moment all along in all their divine wisdom - THAT is my Mormon moment - couldn't agree with you more!

Carolyn said...

And I totally agree with Autryvill and everything she said--this is NOT ABOUT MORMONS people! THis is about America! I mean, vote for the ideals you want, but don't hope that having a Mormon president will change the worldview of Mormons--leave that to the American Idol winners! This is way bigger than PR for the church--it is about the direction our country is going in!!!! And see 2016--whatever your views are, you should see it. It really teaches about worldviews that are totally foreign to most Americans-man, you Utah Mormons need to get out of your bubble--it's not all about you trying to be different
from your neighbors--it is what is right for our nation!!!! You should care more about that then trying to make some sort of statement--do the right thing and be a responsible citizen--who really cares about these speeches--learn about the candidates and make the right choice. Okay, I;m done now...

Becca said...

you. are. awesome!

RebeccaV said...

And I realized, it was never fair to hang this all on them. They never asked to be the ushers of the epic Mormon Moment. Maybe all they really wanted to do was run for President because it seemed like a good thing to do.

EXACTLY. He is running for president of the United States. His religion shouldn't matter, there is no religious litmus test. While I think it is good exposure for the church, it makes people curious and want to learn more, we shouldn't expect someone who is running for president to be a official representative for the church. They are 2 entirely separate things. I've never considered this a "mormon moment", I just don't really think that's fair (like you so eloquently said in the quote above. :) )

Townhouse Towny said...

I have a much more comforting and respectful view of Mormon couples thanks to your writing and other Mormon bloggers. The Romneys do not come across to me as the type of couple I'd want to associate with, have my children marry into, or run my country. But I'm thankful that I've "gotten to know" the Mormon culture in a small way through blogs so that I have no misconceptions or prejudices against the Romneys because of their faith. I dislike them for many reasons, but their faith and Mormon culture doesn't play into it at all, and I know that I could not have said that a few years ago. Your sharing of your relationship dynamics and your convictions about women and marriage has made a big impact on me. So, thanks for that. Stay honest, it accomplishes more than any PR machine could.

Pink Panda said...

Beautiful. Amen.

Becca said...

also, if you feel the need to post in ALL CAPS, step away from the keyboard and chill out for a mo.

Whitney said...

Oh CJane, I knew you weren't like the rest of them!

Here's to leaning to the left.

Kara and Theo said...

"This Mormon Moment, what does it matter?"

And I realized, it was never fair to hang this all on them. They never asked to be the ushers of the epic Mormon Moment. Maybe all they really wanted to do was run for President because it seemed like a good thing to do.

This I think is the point of the post. I'm Republican, and I'm a Mormon. Not a Utah Mormon mind you, but the Bible belt kind. I don't even know where this "Mormon moment" stemmed from or whose idea it is. I've never heard it until now. I've heard of a Mormon being put in a political position to help this country as the constitution hangs by a thread, and I could see that now. It may or may not be the time for a Mormon president, but I will vote Romney not because he shares my religion, but because I share his political views. Him being Mormon is just bonus. And the talk about Ann being the dutiful wife part, of course she is going to be supportive, and she made references to life being hard. Especially raising 5 boys and her healthy conditions. I did not get a message of the fairy tale marriage others are referring to. She came off very real and relate-able to me. I'm a military wife and mother of 5 kids, and Romney is pro-military while Obama has decreased the military to laughable proportions, with more lay offs in the future if he is reelected. We won't have to worry about the economy if he is reelected because our country will be decimated by our foes because we will not be strong to defend ourselves. Think about that people!

KIC said...

It was nice to see you at The Creamery yesterday. Your kids are adorable!
You're an amazing writer and women. Thank you!

Chelle said...

"It's holding each other accountable for our actions with firmness and love. It's about returning to simple yet strong truths taught from the beginning, truths that somehow have become muddled with culture and pedestals and unbalanced expectations."

Yes!

Home run.

Mormon Media Reviews said...

I enjoyed the speeches. But I also understand your feelings on the Mormon Moment. I do like the recognition we are getting, and it seems more people are understanding. I do have a fear that we might become too mainstream and parts of out faith that make us stand out might be lost.

It might be different in Utah, where being Mormon pretty much is the mainstream, but here in Southern California we are a smaller percentage. There are not too many of us where we really stand out, but there is enough that you can have LDS friends and feel that fellowship. And almost everyone has an aunt, cousin, or close friend who is Mormon.

Jill F said...

I don't know what you are talking about Carolyn. Nobody was suggesting that Ann needs to been some sort of VP to her husband. Historically, at least in our lifetimes, the first lady has played a huge role in domestic political agenda. It would be nice to hear a little more of her voice, instead of the typical "I'm the helpmate, I'm the helpmate" song and dance we are so well accustom to in the Mormon church. Courtney, beautiful, impressive as usual. I love hearing a voice that says " I'm a Mormon, I am faithful, but some of these cultural things need to go.".

Camille said...

Ugh. Sorry, I never comment on your stuff but, I am surprised by this post. I completely agree with Carolyn, Meg, Autryville.

This is not about us, "mormon moments" This is about supporting a canidate that has the experience and principles to be an effective leader for our time.

Why try to morph " your idea of perfect candidate, perfect wife supporting role" On to them?

I wish I wish I wish... You know what? They are good people doing the best the can. So are most mormons/ and non-mormons.

Why does everything have to be analyzed so?

Tana said...

Forget the Mormon moment. I had a "I'll be damned! I'm a Republican!" moment!

YES Gallery + Studio said...

For the record, this East Coast "spiritual but not religious" gal believes that you're my Mormon Moment. Many paths to the same place all paved with the essentials: love, kindness, compassion and service to others. You strive for that. I strive for that. We do our best. 'Nuff said. xo Leigh

Miggy said...

You know what I think would be awesome? If some news source picked up this post and ran a story entitled "Popular Mormon Blogger Has Prophecy That Romney Wins Election."

To your original question, Are you having a Mormon Moment, my answer is...I've been having them my whole life.

Anyway...I'm off to alert CNN to your post...

Little Lovables said...

I use to feel that way, until I started researching history from actual church historians, the Brigham Young Discourses, The History of the Church volumes that are used in the Sunday school manuals, and realizing there are more cobwebs and secrets than I ever thought.

Though I do love what the church stands for in this day, with it's family values and the like... but the secretive garbage that has been going around lately, is well, true, unfortunately.

Emily said...

I love how everyone things the only church with cobwebs and secrets are "them Mormons!".

Sigh.

Why am I excited about this Mormon Moment? Because I think Mitt is a good representation of a Mormon. He served a mission, has served as a bishop and a Stake President and other things. I honestly think he is a good person. I think it is great that he is getting people talking. I think that even if he wasn't a Mormon he would be great person.

What's not so great about this Mormon Moment. People are still getting false information. That there are people out there that are so thick headed they only see him as Mormon and not as a business man and politician. It shouldn't matter what the Presidents religion is. Which is why it makes me mad when people thing that Obama is a Muslim and yet hate his Christian pastor. Seriously people???

Anyway, I am excited for what the future will bring.

Malia said...
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The Banner Family said...
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Vanessa Brown said...

I am terrified of this big "Mormon Moment" I am so nervous about Romney bringing so much attention to our religion. I cringe when I think about him winning because I wonder...man are people going to hate us even more??

This probably says a lot about how I deal with things, huh? And my upbringing, I grew up somewhere where Mormons were hated quite a bit. Had to switch classrooms, switch jobs as a teenager, etc.

I do know it is wrong for me to be thinking this way, I just don't know how to get over it!

But thinking about Mitt running around in his undies did make me laugh :)

Lindsay said...

Always enjoy your writing and perspective cjane. Thanks for sharing!

Katie said...

If i was Mormon my mormon moment would be listening to Brandon Flowers sing :)

Welcome back cjane

Janie said...

The most judgemental comment award goes to... Carolyn and the most overuse of caps award goes to Meg... Its not really anything liberal that makes me less conservative as it is mean comments from conservatives...

Emily said...

C. Jane, oh how I've missed your writing and your thoughts! I applaud your courage and honesty. Most of all it is really comforting to see another fellow latter day saint woman write some of the very same thoughts that go through my head about our religion. I love being LDS and have a testimony of our doctrine, but I am eternally grateful that I can receive my own personal revelation from my Heavenly Father. That's what keeps me going.
Welcome back!

Morgan Lee said...

Carolyn, you truly sound like an insane person.

Morgan Lee said...

Rachel, it's not just you. I wonder if Cjane will clarify (doubtful), but I got the impression that basically these "editors" (of what?) were interested in micromanaging Cjane's presentation of Mormonism. I hope I misunderstood that part, though.

Tiffany R. G. said...

"Is it just me or is anyone else creeped out that there are editors all over Salt Lake trying to get CJane to stay on message? Ick." Not just you. Not at all.

"...the party that supports organizations like Planned Parenthood who fund partial birth abortions and have programs for young children and teenagers that introduces them to pornography, masterbation [sic], and homosexuality to help them curb their sexual appetites and not have babies--until they make a mistake and they step in and kill those babies for them! Seriously???" This is what scares me about Mormons. Somehow, at my very liberal public school, I managed to miss all of that. Pity; it sounds rather entertaining.

"I think Ann COMPLETELY showed how strong Women of Faith are and STANDING BESIDE her husband IN NO WAY lessens her worth or her identity as The First Lady of the USA." Ummm, she's NOT the first lady of the United States. She's the wife of a candidate.

Non-Mormon here, obviously. I've never commented on your blog, though I've been reading it for years. I find peeking through the blinds of a Mormon life to be a rather curious thing that I make no apologies for, as I could never believe what Mormon women are asked to believe and it fascinates me. I am so thankful to read this post.

But I'm curious -- will you have consequences for it? I don't mean that in a smarty pants way. I'm really curious.

Rachel said...

"It's a balancing of the feminine divine and the masculine order."

Beautiful! My understanding of that statement pretty much sums up my views of women and men in the church. Thanks for putting that into words.

And I agree about having personal Mormon Moments. I'm having one now. I'm a marriage and family therapist, working with many LDS clients and let me tell ya - our culture messes a lot of us up. It messed me up and I'm finally starting to heal from it. The Gospel of Christ is perfect and beautiful and uplifting. The culture we often associate with the Gospel is often not those things. I hope that as time goes on we can all figure out what the Gospel actually is and do away with the toxic elements of our culture.

Glad you're back, C Jane. I've missed you. :)

louBlou said...

Beautifully written, but don't you think that the future of your country deserves more than a 'mormon moment'?
When Mitt was running around in his undies were they the special mormon kind with secret symbols in them?
Sorry but I really think someone who leads any country should be a leader of all people, not someone who has a special place in his underpants for his own kind :)

Allysha said...

I think this post felt a little disingenuous, in that I really don't know what your point is. I think you're trying to say something about Mormonism, and are using the Romneys as the vehicle. I like your conclusion at the end, but the way you got there sounded a little bit smug and judgmental. I think that the idea of a "Mormon Moment" is highly cultural and has nothing, or very little anyway, to do with the Gospel, or running for President of the United States, for that matter. Still: funny dream.

Tara Milligan said...

Maybe I understood it wrong, but your post seems to indicate that many LDS in Utah are trying to make this election a Mormon thing, and actually trying to emphasize that Mitt should be a candidate because of his Mormon-ness. I gotta say, I'm disappointed by that. Most Mormon's I know wish that people would ignore Mitt's religion and focus on his politics instead. That is what this election is about, is it not? I kinda feel like you're reinforcing the idea some people have that electing a Mormon president would mean having the Mormon church involved in the White House. And I disagree with that. Also, I couldn't care less about Ann's political beliefs, or what she would do as First Lady. The whole point of her speech was to get people pumped up about electing Mitt, not about what she would do in her relatively irrelevant role as First Lady.

Megan Marie said...

this post gave words to some of the uneasiness that i felt while reading ann romney's speech. along with the feeling that i was a target demographic in a subtly manipulative move, i felt a few other things that i couldn't pin down. basically, i think that he's the right choice in this election. but not because he is the embodiment of the doctrines of our faith. thank you for this post.

gillian said...

I have to say I'm a bit confused too, especially the part where you talk about what your Mormon Moment would look like. I'm unsure what you mean by our 'cultural practices resembling our doctrine' and the 'stereotypes we've held about women and men.' I guess I'd like examples. Maybe I'm just naive, but I often feel clueless as to what you are talking about when you write about your feelings of inequality or the hypocrisy in the Church.

Details?

dallinscloset said...

But perhaps an unchanging God shouldn't need to change just because the issues around marriage have changed. Maybe we are the ones that need to change. Hello and small world sista....glad we read the same blog!

chanel said...

this sure is refreshing, i know that!
i wasn't even aware that this was/is "the mormon moment" the 1st I heard of it was on the Rock Center segment on Mormons and it surprise the heck out of me. Of course it then went on to show our underwear and interview nonmormons, so yeah, maybe not exactly the moment your little girl self probably was hoping for, none the less it is nice to be recognized as a bit more mainstream.
Ann Romney, IF she becomes 1st lady she'll be like all other (R) First Ladies and tell us to read books and not do drugs- soooooo helpful. Bless her lil heart. That is why women like you are so important! We can have testimonies AND be thinkers and doers and love Jesus and follow our convictions and know He loves us for it, doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. Some of your com mentors might want to check out the church's stance on CIVILITY.

jenifer said...

I agree with Tara-- it's post like THIS that make people scared of electing a Mormon. Mormons are not running for President. Mitt Romney is. You wanted Ann to be Michelle or better yet, Hillary. She is NOT. She is not a politician, she raised more than one or two children and she IS a support to her husband.
This is not your moment or a Mormon moment... It is America's moment.
(did I miss the grand moment that occurred at obama's church as he was elected?)

Bessiemae said...

I love reading you, CJane. I'm glad you're back, and I hope you keep posting more regularly. I do have a sincere question, though. When you said "Democrat podium", did you intend to be pejorative? There is a history there--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democrat_Party_(epithet). Sorry, it just irks me, and I feel like you're above it. Or at least I think you are. ;-)

Delirious said...

I absolutely agree, this wasn't about being the first Mormon president. It has always been about just being a good president. You can never extricate his religion from him, but that isn't the reason he chose to run, I'm sure.

kellymccaleb said...

Exactly how I feel. As hard as I try- since it looks like my children will be raised here in Utah- I can't relate to the Utah County Mormon experience. Anything at all that brings this church to anyone's attention who may not have heard of it before is great by me- because it's a conversation starter, and I was raised to be a missionary. Anything or one that is a tool in that process is a "Mormon moment" and is a good thing. I hate that phrase, but who cares about media semantics? Obviously news paper editors do, but is that surprising? Growing up outside of this bubble, however, has made me care that I can strike up gospel conversations with my neighbors, whatever the impetus.

We have no need to "wait" for any kind of cultural moment. As Mormons we simply need to live the gospel and share the gospel and watch as the truth "goes forth boldly, nobly, and independent; till it has reached every clime...and the great Jehovah shall say, it is finished."

One more observation- the office of President of our country is not held by a couple. It's held by an individual. Ann isn't there to talk about their marital equality, but rather her support of the candidate, who happens to be her husband. SHE could be the candidate and I wouldn't expect Mitt to stand up and say what a good job he'd do as her "equal"- in fact, I imagine my feminist friends would be furious if that were to happen.

Morgan Lee said...

Allysha, Tara and others, C.Jane did not pull this "Mormon Moment" business out of her butt. I have been hearing that term and idea discussed since at least last year, and it has been covered by mostly mainstream, non-LDS media. So accusing Cjane of trying to turn the election into a "Mormon thing" sounds really odd to me, and it reveals that you don't read much, and probably do not understand the things you *do* read. Cjane is merely commenting on an already-existing media creation ("Mormon Moment"). I think it's great to critique and criticize the substance of her commentary -- go for it -- but criticizing her just for the fact that she commented on it at all, is maddeningly ignorant.

http://bycommonconsent.com/2011/06/10/should-mitt-even-want-a-moment/

EOMama said...

Wow. You just might make me believe in organized religion again, woman!

phylly3 said...

I guess I see things differently. I do not believe anyone can be POTUS and completly live their religious convictions in their work lives. The United States is a place of diversity and in my opinion it is what makes our country great. I don't want my President to dictate mine or other's morality. I want him to lead the nation to safety and security for all and uphold the laws of the land. No person who espouses Christian faith can send young men and women to their deaths in foreign lands or order the deaths of others who do not believe as we do and not be in conflict with their beliefs. Yet the President must make these decisions daily.

There was a time when people kept their own counsel, believed as they chose yet were there to support their neighbors and communities without preconditions. I long for those days.

Suzanna H. said...

Great. Now every time I see Mitt I am going to imagine him running around the room in his underwear breathing heavily, with sweat pouring from his temples while Ann sits nearby on a couch giggling. I think you just made my political year. (I hate political years. They are full of so much crap, I mean propaganda.)

Tara said...
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Tara said...

Seriously Morgan, "maddeningly ignorant"? I actually get the majority of my news from the mainstream media, and understand it quite well, thanks. Despite that, this is the first I've heard much of the Mormon moment. And I didn't accuse CJane of anything, I actually enjoy her perspective on things. You do realize it's okay to disagree with someone about something and still respect their opinion, right? Calm down, sweetie, insulting those that don't completely agree with you just makes yourself look ignorant.

LauraInSeattle said...

Oh, finally...you're back with your insightful, well-balanaced yet witty writing. All's good in the world. YOU, CJane, are MY Mormon Moment-and I'm not Mormon.

I LOVE your work.

carrie brass said...

Wow. i can't get over some of these inflammatory comments. really carolyn? how small can you be? belittling cjane - you sound like a mean school girl
"you're only popular because of your sister" and saying dear and sweetheart when it really sounds like in your head you are using expletives. if you feel that strongly then quit reading and keep your ignorant opinions to yourself.

cjane i think you are awesome. i might not agree with you all the time, but that's okay. and i hope the comments don't bother you.

Melissa said...

I have been a Mormon my whole life. And I have lived my growing up years as a "Utah Mormon" and my adult years outside of Utah. Knowing both sides of the coin I'd just like to state- Utah Mormons hate being belittled because they are from Utah. We are treated as though we have a weird set of antennae coming out of our head that makes us ignorant to the rest of the world. It is a hasty generalization that is ignorant in and of itself.

As far as the "Mormon Moment", I have to agree with so many of the other comments...this is an election. It is soooooo not about mormonism in the slightest. The fact that people spend so much time discussing Mormonism shocks me, when there are so many real and important issues to discuss.

On Ann Romney.....I must say that she should most definitely NOT be making comments about policy, or what she will do if she becomes first lady. Technically, the first lady shouldn't have ANY political say so in anything. They spend their time on causes they feel are important, etc., but first ladies should not be in any way more than a "spouse" or a "support" to the person who is voted President. I think her speech did exactly what you stated though...."Mormon couple stands together at the national convention podium pledging their unified support and equal dedication to helping our country."

She is NOT a pivotal player in the presidential team. She is a pivotal player in her marriage and it should stay such. And if she were the one running for president, the opposite would be true too.

Get out there and learn both sides of the issues so you can make an informed decision. VOTE!!!

Kris said...

Exactly. He's just a politician who happens to be a mormon. I'm not sure why mormonism seems to be such a secret or such a strange thing to people. It's not like we don't send thousands of missionaries out into the world to tell people about it. How can it be a secret when all we do is tell people about it?

Rachel said...

I get this, Courtney. Thanks!

Kristin said...

My thoughts on the mormon moment thing. The first time I heard that term was watching that NBC/ABC whatever special in which Ms. Huntsman said many feel this is their Mormon moment. As a Mormon, I have to say the only difference I feel in all this is there is more public exposure, more questions being asked, etc. I don't think Mitt has worn his religion on his sleeve--I think he has tried very hard to be an American running for President who happens to be Mormon--the media and everyone else have defined him as anything else. Is he perfect? No. But I hope if he wins he can do a good job. If not, he'll be in for four and we'll find someone else once again. I find all the hype to be a bit tiring. I think there should be way more hype over our congresspeople/legislature etc who can be in there for as long as they are voted in. Term limits on those guys would be a fabulous thing.

Lyndsay said...

Right on, C Jane. I completely agree.

Morgan Lee said...

Tara, my post was addressed collectively to those who seemed to think the MM was either a Cjane or Utah invention, so if not everything in my post applied to you specifically, it's really no reason to fret. On a second reading of your first comment, I noticed you prefaced it with an admission that you may have misunderstood her post, so perhaps I should have gone easier on you... On second thought, you called me "sweetie", so I don't take anything back.

And to clarify for you, since you misunderstood my comment, my point was not that disagreement was bad. I think I made that abundantly clear. In fact, I know I did. My point was that some of the comments were predicated on false assumptions and that before commenting a person ought to get his/her facts straight.

A misunderstanding of an author's intention is the number one most common reading comprehension obstacle among the otherwise literate.

Linda said...

I live in the South, surrounded by southern baptist who keep an eye on me at the bus stop to make sure I am not trying to brain wash one of their children because I am a Mormon.

No one will put on Romney bumper stickers on their cars...there is a serious bias here of Mormons. It is such a strange experience for me having grown up in Utah.

I have no desire for a Mormon Moment. Aren't we beyond prejudice in this country? It perplexes me why religon has come up so much in this election. Mormons are not aliens. We are Christians. Get on with it people and go vote.

Tanya said...
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RyRy said...

Man, I like you.

So glad you're back. ;)

April said...

eaOh man! I am not sure what I think about this post!
But I can say HOLLER! Taking on religion and politics in one post is as brave as it gets! Way to go! Seriously. Who dares to take such a leap. I hope you stick around, because regardless of what I feel about this particular post, (I REALLY DONT KNOW!) I love your writing, and your darling family.

I am proud of you sister! Sister Kendrick I mean.

Keep your head up. Be proud of YOURSELF.

PS.. I am 7 months pregnant with my very own Ever. Sorry to copy cat. I just can't help it. That's her name.

Meg said...

I am sorry about my CAPS comments. I wasn't trying tp be annoying or offend anyone. I was just trying to emphasize my passion for what I was saying. Sorry, I am not a writer just a common woman.

I absolutely ADORE Courtney, I just had a different oppinion this time.

the end.

Ashlee said...

It's great to have you back. One suggestion? Turn off the comments and just keep writing.

Livyb said...

Oh, how I have missed your writing. I am not Mormon, Courtney. I love your insight. I think you are one brave cookie to leave these comments on today. And, I mean that in the most genuine way. Welcome back!! Don''t be such a stranger. :)

LH said...

If you haven't been hearing or reading the term "Mormon Moment" by virtually every media outlet in the United States for the past eight months, you haven't been paying attention. It's a fact. Google it. Then jump off of C.Jane's back and apologize.

Whimcees said...

Hello!

You're Baaaaaack! This is my Mormon Moment - my CJane Kendrick Mormon Moment! The WRITER CJane is back! Love you girl - Anne Lamott has nothing on you, you rock! Love you dearly and look forward to your next post - and the next - and the next . . . It's so good to have you back! Wishing you a happy weekend!

Hugs,

Barbara Diane

Rima Family said...

You have such a gift for writing and I LOVE your honesty! I also love this quote that you shared: "My Mormon Moment I suppose is more internal. It's watching our cultural practices more resemble our doctrine. It's clearing up the stereotypes we've held about women and men. It's a balancing of the female divine and the masculine order. It's holding each other accountable for our actions with firmness and love. It's about returning to simple yet strong truths taught from the beginning, truths that somehow have become muddled with culture and pedestals and unbalanced expectations."

*Just thought I'd mention too that I'm a member of the Mormon church and live in what's referred to as the "bubble" of Utah, but I'm definitely NOT a Republican. I like Mitt Romney a lot as a politician, but I also happen to like many things about Obama. I'm actually undecided in my vote for President right now and have some "homework" to do in making a decision. Honestly, I'm probably more of an "Independent" than anything! I try to take it one candidate at a time- and to choose who I feel is the best choice for an office. Anyway, this is a big off of the subject, just thought I'd share. :0)

Rima Family said...

Sorry, I meant a "bit" off the subject. :0)

Unknown said...

Has anyone heard of Mo Udall? He was the (mormon) non-android Romney who ran for president in 1978.

Anyways, this clip is long but worth the time watching:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEyc2Qw83aE

Kelly Sperry

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alison said...

I don't know anything about the whole "Mormon Moment" thing. I've heard the phrase of course, but I certainly haven't been waiting for some big moment of epiphany or anything. So...people are hearing more about Mormons these days due to a political candidate and a Broadway musical...the end. I think it was unfair of you to thrust your expectations onto Romney, so I'm glad you reached that conclusion. As in all things, you have to create your OWN moment if you want it to be meaningful to you personally! You want a Mormon moment, you go out and share the gospel with someone or do some service, etc.

That said: this election to me is not about religion at ALL. It's all about the economy. Jobs, jobs, jobs. I don't care what religion he is, I am voting for Romney!!!!

P.S. I think Ann Romney's speech was lovely and perfect and her delivery was spot-on. My admiration for her increased by leaps and bounds...I wouldn't have changed a thing.

Carrie said...

Welcome back cutie!

Sage said...

So what should we do? Condemn them for their success? Be bitter? We just can't compare ourselves with others. I like what ablogaboutlove teaches.

beccastreb said...

Next time you have a dream about Mitt in his underwear I suggest you keep it to yourself. Maybe I don't understand exactly what you are trying to say. I don't think he ran just because it sounded like a good idea. I don't think he ran because he wanted to give Mormons a moment in the spotlight. I think he is running because he loves our country and want to help it in a time of crisis.

val boyce said...

As someone who never set out to be a "Mormon Mommy Blogger", I'm surprised it took you this long to come to the conclusion that Mitt never set out to be at the center of some so-called moment.

You write because you are a writer, not because you are a Mormon or a mother. The same goes for Mitt. He is running for President because he thinks he can make a difference, not because he's Mormon and certainly not because he wanted to create a "moment."

Sage said...

Well said. I thought Ann was fabulous.

P-Cute said...

I am waiting for that very same Mormon Moment.

Erin Sugrue said...

Glad you are back. I'm a liberal non-Mormon and I must admit I have been keeping my fingers crossed that you and Chup are Obama-philes. Your honesty, your bravery in challenging stereotypes and oppressive social norms, your ongoing commitment to new experiences and new perspectives, youropen-mindedness and, at times, radicalism even-- these all shout "I lean to the left" to me. Perhaps I am just projecting my values and perspectives onto you (of course I am). But oh, c'mon. . .recent comments from Republicans about "legitimate rape," demonizing poor families as "dependent," criminalizing families from Latin America who want to come to this country for a better life and safety and opportunity for their children, attempts to limit women's right to make choices about their bodies (I mean birth control access, not abortion -- I'm not trying to make you go there), a commitment to discrimination against gay citizens and a denial of their right to live legally in committed relationships and raise their children together -- these are all things that seem so anti-CJane. Plus, did you see the video of Michelle Obama doing the Dougie with middle schoolers a couple of years ago? I saw that and immediately thought "Cjane would LOVE this." I'm still keeping my fingers crossed...

By the way, you and Mormon Girl are MUCH better spokespeople for the Mormon Moment.

I am LoW said...

Ann's speech was AMAZING. Mitt has my vote. In the South, we are most definitely have a Mormon Moment. Thank goodness!

Shannon said...

I knew before I even read the whole post that this was going to be another "I love my religion and all, but I am so much more intellectually/spiritually advanced than the rest of you regular Mormons and this is why..."

I'm not sure if growing up in Utah has made you such a contrarian to your own religion, but for the rest of us, it ain't no big thing girlfriend! You don't agree with some of the aspects of the culture of our religion? Fine. No prob. And really, no big deal.

And I love the questions from commenters about whether there will be reprisals because you dared to say something that's kinda negative about the church. Of course those of us who are Mormon know how silly this is. Yet I can see how Cjane's writing could lead you to believe that.

Don't get me wrong. I have loved reading so many of her posts and enjoy her insight. But on religion, sometimes she just sounds like a rebellious teenager.

Carrie said...

I'm annoyed. I think I get it though. I don't live in Utah and I don't get to see all the first hand Mormon culture quirkiness on such a regular basis revolving around the Mormon Moment issue (btw, that's one reason we don't live there), which I imagine can be overwhelming at times in light of your recruitment experience and others I'm sure, but I think you could give the Romney's a little more credit and a little more respect., ie ditch the underwear and dream imagery, especially since the alternative is WAY scarier than that. They truly might be running because it's the right thing to do (and I think they are) and hmmm, they might actually be good at it. It's the rest of us that need to get over the Mormon Moment hang ups, whatever they may be and do things for the right reason as well.

Melissa said...

Erin S. - In an effort to do my part to help those who might not otherwise get to an actual political website to find the truth about the republican viewpoint, I'd like to respond to your comment.

"comments from Republicans about "legitimate rape," - it was not "republicans" it was one republican who does not represent the views of the party and I believe the GOP has stated such.

"demonizing poor families as "dependent,"-- poor families are not demonized, that is your phrase. Republicans simply are trying to help families to not be dependent on the government.

"criminalizing families from Latin America who want to come to this country for a better life and safety and opportunity for their children," - people who come here illegally are illegal. Republicans welcome anyone who wants to come to America, but wants them to do it the legal way. You know WE end up having to pay for welfare, healthcare, education, social services, and other forms of assistance for those who have illegally entered the country and do not pay taxes in any way. Literally billions of dollars a year.

"attempts to limit women's right to make choices about their bodies (I mean birth control access, not abortion" -- This is the argument that makes me laugh the most. Seriously, access to birth control is out there. go get it. It doesn't have to be given to you for free for you to have it. No one can take away or limit a woman's right to make choices about their body, a woman can choose not to have sex. End of story. If you want birth control after that, it should be on your own dime, because that is your choice (I shouldn't have to pay for it).

And finally - "commitment to discrimination against gay citizens and a denial of their right to live legally in committed relationships and raise their children together" - demonizing the republican party as a whole as "discriminating" isn't fair, because I have never heard a word about denying gay citizens the right to live legally in committed relationships. The definition of marriage - another story - but the right to live legally in a committed relationship is something everyone is fine with.

As I stated before, I really hope more than focusing on Mormon's in politics, I really hope people will learn the TRUTH about both sides of the issues - and not just go along with the popular or partial versions of the issues.

Thanks to CJane for allowing people to comment and learn from each other! Props my Provo friend!

Jamie Downing said...

So many things I want to say...I know I can't say it all. Frequently I scratch my head when you describe your childhood with regard to your religious beliefs and your experiences. It is so different from mine. I had a husband and wife pastor where gay people were welcome and gasp, African Americans! (I was shocked to learn black people were not allowed into your church until the seventies). I can see the qualms you have with your religion. Quite frankly, I was so on the fence about continuing to read here and the fact that you are willing to take on your religion and it's dark and ugly side, makes me feel I am doing the right thing in staying. It has been a learning experience, reading here. Embarrassingly, I was under the impression, by reading "Mormon Mommy Blogs", (hate that term) that Mormon women were obedient, uneducated, Anthropology wearing women whose only value was rearing children and making crafts. I know through your blog and commenters here that there are free thinking, liberal minded Mormon women. I certainly hope your peers and family do not come down on you hard for breaking the mold. I too was under the impression the punishment was severe for speaking unflatteringly about your church.

Melissa Judd said...

Why is it anyone's responsibility to give any of us a "Mormon Moment"? I think you try so hard to come off as a feminist and hope to accomplish that this time by criticizing Ann and trivializing Mitt. It comes off as being small and petty and I'm pretty sure not what you're going for.

Erin {pughs' news} said...

Wow, this is so totally the opposite of Stephanie's gushing "We love Mitt!" post on her blog today. I think your sister and her blog are lovely, but I value much more the thought that goes into what you are saying here.

Lindsay said...

Cjane, I read this post early this morning when there were very few comments. (We're a good few hours ahead of you ahead here in Germany.) I didn't have time to comment then, but have been itching to get back home to do so. I wanted to say all respect to you. Really. Everybody should go through infertility (or something equally hard) if it produces such profound insight. I also wanted to say I admire your bravery. This morning I suspected that you would probably face backlash from within the Mormon community for this post. The awful comments here confirm that. You are way ahead of your time. People, and it seems particularly American republicans, are not ready for your level of generosity. Most of what you say will sadly go over their heads. If we all thought more like you, imagine the potential for this world.

I was tickled pink a few months ago that Mormon missionaries here in our city were trying to attract people to their stand with posters about Mitt Romney. Romney. Hello. They should do their homework. Here in Europe where most people who have almost 50% of their salary deducted for taxes and social welfare initiatives, are happy that we have such a system that cares for the less privileged. I wanted to walk over and tell them to use you as their drawcard instead!

I don't know if something similar exists in the book of Mormon, but in the Bible (and I am not a Christian anymore) there is a passage that it will be harder for a rich man to get into the kingdom of heaven than a camel to go through the eye of a needle.

People try to justify their wealth, but as long as there is such abject poverty in the world (including America which has an infant mortality rate that is downright shameful for such a rich nation) I don't think God is going to buy their justifications.

Anyway I am digressing. Just wanted to say head up high. Don't be beaten down.

Michelle said...

Hi CJane. I've always been a big fan of yours and supported you and the Rooftop from Texas. You even read my name in twang with Mindy! (Thanks!)

Until reading this post, I haven't heard the term "Mormon Moment" for 4 years. That was the big catch phrase back then, but from what this news junkie has read and listened to (me :), I feel like this election has been so much more focused on the issues, and I have been so rejuvenated by it! Is "Mormon Moment" the term being used from mainly Utah writers or news stations? There are 49 other states out there who are keeping up with the election and I wonder how many of them are still using it? Texas, for one, isn't. Haven't heard or read it anywhere. Here in Texas, I've only heard about this election being about saving America. Which is exactly what I've always thought of it. Never have I thought about how this is the time when my religion will finally be fully understand by everyone. This is politics, not Sunday School 101.

I'm going to politely disagree with you about Ann. I think she exudes confidence. She is so confident that she doesn't have to go about proclaiming how she has her own ideals to make sure people know she runs her own show. She's beyond that. She's a great example of humility too.

Also, what about how highly Mitt hold's Ann? There have been numerous interviews, albeit outside of Utah, that he has talked about how smart and intelligent she is. How highly he thinks of her. In fact, had you heard that Mitt asked for Ann's picture to be in the background of his gubernatorial portrait in Massachusetts? (Here, and I read it on another non-R site, too) She went into local politics before he ever did.

Above all else, I think so much of this is about agency. What we choose to think. How we choose to react. One of my husband's sayings is "Assume good intentions." This is a hard one for a skeptic/pessimist like me, but I think it would do a world of good if everyone wasn't on each other's case and thinking that they know what someone else is feeling inside. Now, I just sound like a hypocrite! All of this is just food for thought though, and I have a really hard time being concise! I hope that you can use your agency for good and that you choose to react with true confidence and good intentions.

Also, Tara Milligan said it WAY better than I did. The way you're (CJane) portraying Utahans is exactly why I DON'T want to raise my family in Utah. If you want another view of the nation and Mormonism, I'd suggest moving. Sad that you're reinforcing what I was hoping was disintegrating.

Annie Iden said...

I have lived outside the US in Europe for the majority of Obama's presidency, so I haven't been around for the first-hand experience. It's interesting to see how people from the EU respond to our politics. Just yesterday I was in a meeting and one of the senior partners at my firm came into the room and asked who we thought would win the American election. Before anyone had time to comment, he launched into a tirade about his 14-year-old daughter "liking" mormon.org on facebook the night before. He was angry that she would associate herself with that @#$% and warned her of the consequences of letting such nonsense out in the public eye. After his rant, he chuckled and halfheartedly apologised "to any Mormons in the room"... Little did he know that there were two of us out of the seven people in the meeting. I think if nothing else, it's causing people to notice it. I took the opportunity to send him a link to the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet on Mormon.org with a kind note that suggested there could be worse things his daughter could be liking on facebook at midnight... Mormon Moment brought to us by the US presidential election? I'll take it.

wendysue said...
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Jocie said...

I have only heard positive reaction to Ann's speech on the national news. One comnentator said that she proved that she would have been successful in whatever she chose to do in her life. She, like every other speaker there that night, was there to speak about Mr. Romney. I think the reaction would have been very different if she would have talked about herself.

I'm sure when your husband runs for president, your speech will be better.

Michelle said...

Lastly, it'd be mighty kind of you if you could preface your Mormon generalizations that not all of us think like those around you there in Utah. Nor do all Utahans think alike. I'm sure it's maddening to them as well. I feel that making such generalizations about every Mormon turns towards condescending. It's sad that your non-LDS readers' views of us are known by what you classify us as. That's quite a responsibility you've put on yourself when you write such things. So please, if you're going to act as a voice for us church-goers, please make it clear that not all of us are as close-minded and subordinate as you make us sound. Scroll down to The Daily Beast for some stats on our education.

slms said...

People. Did you read this post? Courtney did not thrust unfair expectations on Mitt, and she did not think he should bring about a Mormon moment, and she also did not imply that she thought that Mitt is only running for president because of this so-called mormon moment.

What she did say is that with all the talk of a mormon moment in the media, she realized that for her personally, it is not happening right now. She thought Ann's speech was politics as usual, nothing wrong with it but nothing special. That's it.

But then this got her asking herself what would an ideal "mormon moment" look like to cjane? And she realized that for her, a perfect, national mormon moment would have a mormon couple -- whether Republican or Democrat -- standing unembarrassed before a country that knows everything about what their religion believes, and being unapologetic for it. A couple that says, We're Mormon. We're American. We love this country, and we want to lead it.

Yes, yes, Ann's not running, but that's not the point.

Michelle, your comments are especially bewildering. In one sentence you wrongly assume that the mormon moment is only something being talked about in Utah (pick up a magazine or watch NBC instead of FOX, for God's sake), and you imply negative things about the mentality of Utah Mormons. And then in another sentence you chastise Courtney for making Utah Mormons look bad. Huh?????

Michelle said...

Absolutely. The generalizations that Courtney described are an unfortunate reality of some who live in Utah. At the same time, I realize and acknowledge that not everyone there thinks the same. The point that I was trying to make is that just because the circle of people that she has associated with her whole life thinks one way, everyone around the world who call themselves Mormon don't think the same. I felt like she was speaking for all of us Mormon girls, when we each have our own differing opinions on every issue. Then when people write comments that conclude that all Mormon women just want to stay at home, stay uneducated, and craft all day, it gets me going. That's why I linked to The Daily Beast stats.

Patti said...

Mitt is running for President, not Ann. Would it really be appropriate for her to talk about herself?

I loved her remarks.

Taryn said...

Michelle, I too am Mormon and do not live in Utah. I just want to assure you that I never, for one second, thought that this post was talking about you or your personal views. I also didn't presume that it was talking about me either. I hope this puts your mind at ease a little.

You are the best representative for the church that the people who you know will ever have. Courtney's sphere of influence likely doesn't overlap with yours there in Texas, and if it does, you have the home-court advantage :).

Elizabeth said...

I always appreciate reading the posts of a moderate Republican, even though I'm firmly a left-leaning political person. I kind of smirk at the nutjobs that post shocked, Romney-philic responses, and enjoy all the comments from people who belong to ultra-conservative religions and still manage to think for themselves.

Alisa said...

I'd like to respond to something that Kris said above. She/He said: "Exactly. He's just a politician who happens to be a mormon. I'm not sure why mormonism seems to be such a secret or such a strange thing to people. It's not like we don't send thousands of missionaries out into the world to tell people about it. How can it be a secret when all we do is tell people about it?" That question might not be representative of most people who read here, but I thought I would write a response anyway---even though it's not really the topic at hand, just a little side note. I think Mormonism seems secretive in some of the same ways that Catholicism does, like there is a main authority (prophet, pope) whose accountability is not completely transparent to lay people or outsiders. That makes some people uncomfortable. Also, when I have spoken to LDS missionaries in the past, I often felt like they were reading to me from a script, and it made me doubt their intent to engage me authentically in matters of faith (I don't want to be sold a religion; I just want to know why you believe it). I really felt like I got a facade from them and not their true selves. However, I do have a dear, authentic friend who is LDS and she has really helped me to understand Mormonism, particularly in terms of sacred acts(rites in the temple, etc). I think many American automatically treat the sacred as secretive, and so suspect. I'm not exactly sure where I fall--there is something special about the idea of the sacred but I also like having everything laid out on the table, too. Anyway, just a few thoughts.

mr catch said...

Reading through the post and the comments I can't help but see this is really about you; your insecurities are showing through.

What you wrote is nothing about politics or even mormonism. It's about your fight for all of the feelings you have inside and can't seem to resolve... sorry for your struggle in life. I guess it's not your "Mormon Moment" either.

I hope you find some peace sometime soon. A great man once said, "Be true to who you are and the family name you bear"

Wendy McDonagh-Valentine said...

Beautifully said, Melissa. I like to see the intelligence of so many of the comments and I'm so happy CJane is stirring up the pot a bit so that I, personally, can learn more about this presidential candidate. We are in the midst of tough times in this country and they are only going to get tougher. Don't let anybody lead you into believing otherwise. Our next leader has a tremendous task ahead of him. Hopefully we will all be able to make an informed decision and all exercise our right to vote.

Margy said...
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Margy said...

I have to say it's exhausting listening to people who get so angry at imaginary things. If you are angry at something you read, read it a second time to make sure you really understand what the writer is saying.

And along those lines, if you are angry at Republicans because of something you hear from a Democrat, dig deeper. And if you are angry at Democrats because of something you hear from Republicans, dig deeper.

if you think Democrats or Republicans are telling the whole truth about their positions or policies, dig deeper. Everything has strengths and weaknesses or potential downsides, but they tend only to talk about the positive.

I think Clint Eastwood railing at an empty chair is a perfect metaphor for all of the anger we spew at imaginary things.

slms said...

Forgive me, Michelle. I just re-read Cjane's post, and I still don't see her making any generalizations about Utah Mormons. Would you please point out to me the passage(s) I am overlooking?

Thanks.

Paul and Cathy said...

To me it is amazing that both the Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees are from religious backgrounds that 40 years ago would have made a big difference! It might not have been a "Mormon moment" ...but it was quite a moment. AND the wife is not the nominee....Mrs. Romney was awesome.

Rima Family said...

C Jane, I left a comment for you yesterday about how much I love your writing and honesty! Thank you for that honesty! I have to say that I've also enjoyed reading the comments in regards to your post as well. I've noticed some of the folks that commented mentioned they would never raise their children in Utah. I can appreciate that (I'm from Texas originally), however, I hope these same folks would never "categorize" or even stereotype all Utah Mormons to be a certain way. Most of my dearest friends are not even Mormon and I live right in the heart of Salt Lake City. These dear friends of mine are the parents of my children's best friends- (Side note C Jane, you'll find that as your children continue growing, you often become good friends with your childrens' friends parents :0) Anyway, my point is that I hope we can all appreciate each other for our differences... (where we live- whether in Utah or not, whether we are Mormon or not, whether we are a Mitt Romney "fan" or an Obama "fan" -Let's all respect the fact that it's okay to have really different opinions on these subjects and that we can still be kind and polite to one another. Also, fellow commenters, let's be civil and respectful in our comment leaving. One last thing... I've been doing a little "homework" on Romney and Obama as I try and decide who I want to vote for in November. It's been interesting for me to learn how Romney was quite a bit more Liberal as the Massachusetts Governor. I think really conservative Romney supporters would be quite surprised by some of Mitt's liberal "moves" when he was Governor. :0)

Pat Stika said...

C. Jane, it's so good to hear from you. I don't care if you think one way or another, if you explain yourself perfectly or imperfectly, with frustration or glee, it's just good to hear from you!
I am convinced Mitt's a great guy, can't see anything to say otherwise, but he's not my pick for president. I feel like this run is an extension of his 2008 run, and that the republican party started badgering President Obama the minute that he got in office. I dislike the term Obamacare, it's healthcare reform. We Mormons have been taught not to use names in vain. Where is the leadership in Mitt to respect President Obama's name and to give him props for pushing through legislation that he himself once endorsed? Our family has owned a small business in the best little town in Utah for over 30 years. We are true small business owners. Although the gross of a small business may be over 250k, the net is not, and small business owners most often go without insurance. These are the creative and energetic people that make a community have a great vibe. Why should families who work hard and long hours to make the community a fun place not have the right to purchase health insurance at decent prices? I could go on, but I think everyone's entitled to express their opinion, and I am glad that you are willing to express yours. I don't see voting as a moment, Mormon or otherwise, to take sides as much as it is a time to gain a greater understanding and respect for our country, the beauty of being able to vote, and to truly listen to one another.

Erin Sugrue said...

Melissa --
I appreciate your comments but I'd say that one person's truth is another’s opinion.

1) Re: "legitimate rape" -- yes, this comment was made by Rep. Aikin and GOP leaders have criticized his word choice. However, the point he was making has not been widely disavowed, and this is the claim that if a woman doesn't want to be raped her body won't allow her to get pregnant. Thus, if women do get pregnant from rape they must have wanted the sex? This makes me highly concerned about some, not all, of the ideology existing in the GOP.

2) Re: Republicans trying to help families not be dependent on the govt. I agree that is what Republicans feel they are doing. But my concern is that the GOP overall, doesn’t seem overly concerned with the amount of spending on corporate welfare, defined by the Cato Institute as "any federal spending program that provides payments or unique benefits and advantages to specific companies or industries." In 2011, the federal government spent $125 billion on these types of payments to private companies. If the GOP is truly opposed to dependence on government, then why give any financial assistance to businesses? Doesn’t that create dependence? Republicans are pro-Medicare, a govt. program. Are the elderly on Medicare dependent? It’s worth asking why all the criticism goes to money spent on support of people in need, many of whom are people of color, immigrants, elderly, the disabled and to consider issues of class, race, and positional power when considering who is "dependent" and worthy or unworthy of government support.

3) Re: birth control? I'm not suggesting that all birth control should be government subsidized. But recall that many Republicans are opposed to Obamacare mandating that private insurance include coverage of birth control. Say you’re married, living on a limited income, with private insurance that doesn't cover birth control. Are you suggesting that your choices should be a) don't have sex with your husband; b) spend $ on birth control so that you can’t pay other bills; or c) don't use birth control and accept as many kids as come your way? I am certain many of us would be critical of a family for having "more children than they can afford.” By not supporting equal access to birth control, we create two tiers: one in which middle & upper income families can make choices about their sex lives & their family life and one in which lower income families are forced into increased financial hardship, either by the cost of birth control or the increase in family size.

4) I'm happy to hear you say that you have no problem with gay couples having the right to live in legally recognized committed relationships. Unfortunately, your statement that "the right to live legally in a committed relationship is something everyone is fine with" is not true. In fact a recent attempt at the Republican National Convention to introduce an amendment to the party's platform to include support for civil unions (not marriage) was resoundingly defeated (read the story at cnn.com).

I hope there are more diverse views in the GOP. It has been concerning to me how radically conservative the party has become, pushing out many moderates (including Gov. Mitt Romney of the early 2000's). I’m not Mormon, but my sense is that the faith places a big focus on community, on taking care of one another, on contributing to the collective good. These values, which seem to be so inherently Mormon, seem to be in stark contrast to the individualism of today's GOP. That just surprises me and is part of why I have suspected Cjane could be Democrat if she wanted to. It just seems like such a good fit. And hey, it works for Harry Reid.

Michelle said...

Sorry for the attacks CJane. They weren't warranted. Hope you have a nice holiday weekend.

My25Cents said...

Carolyn?

Ohhhh Carolyn (and your croonies)?

Your comments here are perfect examples of someone getting the panties in a bunch over nothin'. In case you weren't aware, this is CJane's blog. She can right whatever she *$^%&@ wants. You don't like it? Kindly, move along. She was expressing HER opinions and doesn't need your high and mighty condescending tone to remind her who she has to thank for her bread and butter.

Obviously y'all have issues and need to vent them somewhere else. Perhaps on your own blog.

CJane--please proceed.

Morgan Lee said...

Great breakdown, Erin. The GOP, with its current platform and rhetoric, will never, ever get my vote. You've articulated well part of the reason why.

Alison said...

C Jane, be honest. Is this whole post a little bit of sour grapes because your sister is having an amazing time as the Romney's guest at the convention and you are not?

Chelsea Brooks said...
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Grace said...

Hey Alison,

Can we not pit these adult women against each other?

I know for a fact that the Romney family would have loved to have CJane there right along with Steph.

As for sour grapes, only a really arrogant and ignorant person would assume that their way of life is worthy of someone elses envy.

That's just not the way the world works.

Everyones idea of what happiness looks and/or feels like is different.

And that's ok. :) That's what makes life sweet and interesting and surprising.

You'll probably feel a lot less anxiety and negativity in your heart once you come to terms with that and stop projecting your personal ideals and pettiness onto others.

It says a lot about your small mindedness that the most you were able to pull from such a thoughtful (and ridiculously diplomatic) post was #omgjeluzswomensss!!

Grace said...

Yikes @ some of the gaslighting attempts going on in the comments here!

In psychology, this phenomenon is called "gaslighting," a term that has its origins in a 1938 play (and a 1940 film) called Gas Light, where a man leads his wife to believe that she is insane in order to steal from her. When she notices strange events, such as the gas light dimming that occurs when he turns on the lights in the attic to search for her collection of jewels, he tells her it's just her imagination. His goal is to remove her credibility so that her complaints can be attributed to her psychosis, rather than to his misdeeds. Gaslighting is now used to refer to any attempt to make another person doubt their sense of reality.

Gaslighting may also occur at the hands of those who have a vested interest in protecting potential offenders, or protecting themselves from acknowledging a disturbing reality.


Girlfriend, you hold on TIGHT to your voice and don't let anyone steal it.

Please know that you're not doing anything wrong.

Grace said...

Also, I don't know anyone who has had an AMAZING time at a RNC without the help of party drugs.

It's like a bad family reunion. You go out of obligation, hope your cousins brought weed, smile for the pictures, but would rather be home with a beer.

I think that commenter was romanticizing.

mommadona said...

Hate to bust your bubble, but, mormon is still a cult. No matter how much $$$ or good people's energies get poured into it.

Your 'prophets' (male dominated hierarchy) have a much different 'view' of my country than I do.

I will never allow a religion to take over my country's government.

That is your cult's mission. It's written down. No denying it. No matter how much it seems bizarre ~ money is poured from the cult into political campaigns & initiatives to influence and change our laws to suit the cult's very strange view of the world.

Sorry. That is the truth. The reality.

I am sorry you've spent your life enabling it.

Change is inevitable; Growth, optional.

Chatty Natty said...

C-
Your comment section turned me off completely to blogging a long time ago. It's really a shame to see such an absence of love an respect for each other and so much ignorance.

I'm not sure what your motives are.

Jamie Downing said...

I can bet that half of her traffic, if not more is due to C.Jane's comment section. That would be motive enough for me! Especially if this blog is her livelihood. This is a business, not her hobby. Her posts stir emotion, get people excited or angry or emotional. She posts things like "should I write about me abusive marriage?" and people go crazy. She disappears soon there after and people go crazy. She writes a politically charged entry, people go crazy. It is genius.

Tamsin North said...

Argh. I stop reading the comments as soon as the "Utah Mormons sure are this or that" start up. Can't we all just be people and individuals?

Middle-aged Diva (Carol) said...

Great essay and it sparked lively discussion, which is good. Hey, not everyone has to agree, we just have to talk. I agree that it's about the country but here's a shocker for the drama queens among us--I don't have one fear in the world about Obama returning and hope he does. I wouldn't vote for Mitt if he were the only candidate running, but I do think that his religion should be completely irrelevant.And even as I say that, I think it's high time that people saw Mormonism not as a crazy cult but as a Christian religion, and yes, there are peculiarities, but hello, is the Virgin Birth reasonable? Water to wine? Moses & the 10 Commandments? Why are these ok and Joseph Smith's crazy stories not ok? Every religion's a cult and religion has no place in politics, period.And First Ladies have a long tradition of participating in the presidency: Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosalynn Carter and others have been way MORE than supportive wife and good for them. It would be nice to see what Ann would do with her increased influence and visibility. A perfect chance for an impactful mission.
Good post, CJ.

Lori said...

I think we are all WAY off base here. Instead of Romney, I choose to focus on Marco Rubio and his insane hotness.

Russanne said...

Random capitilazation is so fun!

Jenny said...

I hope Mrs. Romney likes fat kids. They'll have my vote

don said...

"This Mormon moment" thing has me a little lost, in fact all the hubbub about "why doesn't the Church more aggressively try to make right all the confusion and misconceptions about the church and gospel" does to. With the tens of thousands of full time missionaries and millions of member missionaries, the massive media system of the church, the worldwide welfare system reaching millions every day and etc, how can anyone question the churches motives. But then I have always thought religion was a very personal private thing, which is why many members seem secretive while protecting those very private, personal feelings, considering out history and the vile monstrous things said and done to us and our families in the past. To me the gospel is not a football stadium with 60,000 screaming fans watching a dramatic public figure backed up by a amplified band, it is a personal and private one on one relationship between a missionary and you, then you and the lord in prayer. The confusion and misconceptions about the church and gospel are not because of the church and it's policies, they come from the vile lies spread by the media and by self proclaimed clergy that call themselves "christians". I lived in an area for a few years that saw a lot of this, and it actually created a lot of positive interest by the public. I guess a mormon moment can be many different things to different individuals, to me they are person and private like teaching a child to pray, hearing the primary children sing a primary song, that one special testimony on fast sunday that touches my heart, the beauty of a sunset or any of the wonders of this beautiful world God created for us. There are hundreds every day if we are not "beyond feeling the still small voice" .

Robyn said...

I don't know...maybe it is a Utah Mormon vs. every other kind of Mormon. I just feel like this whole "Mormon Moment" is contrived by the media. I don't feel like Romney is a emissary of the church. I agree with him in a lot of ways, and I appreciate the quality of his character, but I don't think the media attention is doing much to change perception. That can only happen one person at a time.

Creole Wisdom said...

I so get the concept of a "Mormon Moment" in relation to Romney because as a person of African decent I felt something similar in 2008 when President Obama was elected.

I thought Ann's speech was a little too "Mothers Who Know." As a single, young, career-woman I was hoping some of her words and wisdom could be applied or at least directed towards me. It felt like (key word: felt) she was addressing only a small demographic of American women, those most similar to her.

Here's what my "Mormon Moment" will be: when the Church comes out and a) says the entire ban on priesthood and race stuff was not from God and b) apologizes for it. That will be my Mormon Moment :)

But! I love that you are talking about this because I imagine this is really exciting for you. The Church has been persecuted, remember the extermination order? To think what a few hundred years can do. This really is the promised land :)

I for one will vote for Obama, but I am okay with Romney. I think it might/does say quite a bit about our country and how far we've come on issues of prejudice to have a black (actually mixed race) president and perhaps a LDS one. Our country has been through so much, and I am pretty proud of it.

Grace said...

It's insane to me that certain people here who claim the Mormon faith have the nerve to feel persecuted, especially considering how your church treated african americans and is now treating the gay community.

First they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.



Maybe y'all are finally reaping what you sow.

It's inevitable that the same arrogance which allows you to dismiss the beliefs of others and hurt families "in the name of g-d" will come back around and bite you in the tush.

The media doesn't have to spread lies about the church, the truth is damaging enough on its own.

Cristi said...

I agree with what Carie said. We LDS who live outside of Utah have a much different view. So called "Mormon Moments" or missionary moments are happening every day! And Mitt's campaign has only given more opportunities. And about Ann, she needed to appeal to a MUCH wider audience than just us Mormons. I loved her approach of bringing things back to the basics of love. I think this was boring to some people, but I know many non members who thought she was graceful and classy and that Mitt was amazing, as well.

Dozen Senses said...

RE: The pre-1978 origin of priesthood ban for men of African descent by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It might be helpful awareness that in February 2012, an 'Official Church Statement' was released. There is no apology (yet) as people like Creole Wisdom & I hope for, but it's awesome, upfront progress because the church leaders have now publicly & officially stated that the origin is unknown.

The church leaders no longer attribute this unfortunate season in church history to God. You may meet some unaware people (including members of the church) who aren't educated & still communicate prejudice, but the church/its current leaders are no longer proponents of that mindset.

“The origins of priesthood availability are not entirely clear. Some explanations with respect to this matter were made in the absence of direct revelation and references to these explanations are sometimes cited in publications. These previous personal statements do not represent Church doctrine.”

The second link below is the church's statement which begins by specifically calling out a university professor (who is a member of the church) on the warped perspective he communicated last February.

http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/race-church

http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/racial-remarks-in-washington-post-article

Carolyn said...

Cjane I just wanted to say I'm sorry for the way I commented before--I still stnad b the substance of what I said, but I should have been more civil. Sorry about that. We should be able to discuss differences without anger and meaness--sorry.

ClarkCanoodles said...

The latest issue of the Ensign (a Mormon magazine) has a great article by Quentin L. Cook entitled "Restoring Morality and Religious Freedom". The top of the page reads:

"In this so-called Mormon Moment, where there is more attention being paid to the Church and its members, we will need to be the best examples we can possibly be."

This says it all. I sometimes worry that the written word or comment lends itself to being a bit more harsh or ruder than we would be if we were face to face with another person. In the wonderful age of high speed communication, we should all practice courtesy and respect from an older generation--where opinions are expressed and respected. We are all different- hooray for that.

GustoBones said...

Haha, your dream was funny. I am glad you finished your post the way you did, because when running for public office, I don't believe it should ever be about one's religion. Do I like the positive press the church has been getting, yes, but like you said, I think it is a lot to hang on Mitt and Anne Romney's neck. They already have quite enough going on I think, what with a national electional and all.:) Nice to see you post, I don't always agree with you but your posts are definitely thought provoking.

Kalani Allred said...

Dear Courtney, You are so talented and you are blessed with the ability to influence so many people. I acknowledge that your blog is in fact your blog and under the auspices of free speech you are entitled to post what you will. I will never begrudge you (or anyone) that privilege. However it seems that you have recently taken to posting once, twice or perhaps three times per month at most, with subject matter that often feeds the fire of controversy, misunderstanding, and negativity. This has become an unhealthy environment, and it hurts me to read much of what is written here. It's bringing out the worst in many of your readers, and is not at all promoting Christ-like attitudes. My hope is that you will see what you are propagating here and will have the courage to return to civility, respect, and love, and encourage your readers to do the same. "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled... Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." -Matthew 5:5-9

Grace said...

Dozen Senses said...

because the church leaders have now publicly & officially stated that the origin is unknown.


The origin isn't unknown, it's right there in the verse.

And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.

And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites.

And their young men and their daughters became exceedingly fair, and they were numbered among the Nephites, and were called Nephites. And thus ended the thirteenth year.


their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and a delightsome people.

Mormon apostles(and in turn followers of the faith) interpreted the verse literally rather than metaphorically, resulting in racism being implemented (incorrectly) as part of the doctrine. The belief that the mark of Cain = black skin was also perpetuated by apostles/LDS leaders.

Example:

I saw a striking contrast in the progress of the Indian people today .... The day of the Lamanites is nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised. In this picture of the twenty Lamanite missionaries, fifteen of the twenty were as light as Anglos, five were darker but equally delightsome. The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation. At one meeting a father and mother and their sixteen-year-old daughter we represent, the little member girl—sixteen—sitting between the dark father and mother, and it was evident she was several shades lighter than her parents—on the same reservation, in the same hogan, subject to the same sun and wind and weather.... These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness.

-Apostle Spencer W. Kimball


You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind.

The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of any one of the children of Adam. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings.

This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race--that they should be the "servant of servants;" and they will be, until that curse is removed."

-Brigham Young


Let's not forget Apostle Stapleys lovely letter to George Romney (Mitts father): http://www.boston.com/news/daily/24/delbert_stapley.pdf


Origin = The church was being run by racists who decided to attach their personal prejudices to the word of G-d.

Grace said...

Also, it's ridiculous to say that church leaders are no longer proponents of that mindset, when it's that exact mindset that's fueling their current hateful and bigoted actions against the gay community.

In 1995, black church member A. David Jackson asked church leaders to issue a declaration repudiating past doctrines that treated black people as inferior. In particular, Jackson asked the church to disavow the 1949 "Negro Question" declaration from the church Presidency which stated "The attitude of the church with reference to negroes ... is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord ... to the effect that negroes ... are not entitled to the priesthood...".
The church leadership did not issue a repudiation, and so in 1997 Jackson, aided by other church members including Armand Mauss, sent a second request to church leaders, which stated that white Mormons felt that the 1978 revelation resolved everything, but that black Mormons react differently when they learn the details. He said that many black Mormons become discouraged and leave the church or become inactive. "When they find out about this, they exit... You end up with the passive African Americans in the church"


Hinckley, then church president, told the Los Angeles Times "The 1978 declaration speaks for itself ... I don't see anything further that we need to do".

Interesting how that magically changed during election year with Romney up to bat.

Also interesting that the revelation about African Americans being able to hold the priesthood didn't come until the Mormon church was threatened with a federal lawsuit and (most importantly) the loss of their tax exempt status.

M cubed said...

It's getting Kuhrazeeee up in here! Some people have too much time on their hands and weren't taught to be civil and respectful. No wonder there is so much worry for our future generations! If the parents raising the children don't have it, then what more could we expect from our children?

cJane yer my fav, in every sense of the word. If you ever come to Formey Texass, then I am having you over for some homemade Tex-Mex and we can laugh about your awesome dreams and swap mission stories.

That's my dream, anyway.

Dozen Senses said...

Gracie, I'm talking about 2012. And while there hasn't been an 'official' apology from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for words & perspectives like what you've quoted from a decade+ ago, there has been good progress towards a paradigm shift. There is no church (or any organization for that matter) in the US with origin & 1800-1900's history to be proud of with regard to treatment & privileges for people of African descent. I wish The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would've been the different ones, the ones to know better, quicker. But at least they know now.

The word "white"/synonyms in the scriptures used by the Mormon religion should not be interpreted literal to skin color. The words are only symbolic, as indicated in all of the church's footnotes, updated with thorough clarity in September 2010. Unfortunately throughout the world, "dark"/synonyms symbolize something negative. "White"/synonymns symbolize something positive. Many religions have finally stopped transferring that symbolism literally to define people. The LDS Church included. It's slow-but-sure progress in the right direction. Nothing about the church has magically changed with Romney as a presidential candidate!

vicki said...

First: Great post.
Second: No way is Romney my candidate. I'm simply too unimpressed. Is there, in Utah, a feeling of "this is our Mormon Moment?" It would make me very, very sad if there is.

What I would hope for in a Mormon presidential candidate is a Champion for the American Spirit. And he falls far short. Even if it is true that "in his heart" he understands the beleaguered populace he wants to lead, his words and actions say otherwise. Instead of inspiring a nation, he has squandered his opportunity working as hard as he can to become the politician the RNC wants him to be.

No way am I completely thrilled with all of Obama's policies. But I respect the president and first lady as individuals, parents, and politicians. I do not have that same respect for the Romneys. I am really tired of having to explain to my friends and acquaintances who don't know any other Mormons that he is not what I can comfortably call, "my Mormon Presidential candidate."

CDR said...

I could care less what the faith of the President is. Let alone what color they are, where they were born, the list goes on. I can not believe the world cares if he is Mormon or Jewish? You pick a candidate to vote for based on what they can do for the country. End of story. I think educated people should know that. I do not think you should put this on them. Glad you changed your tune. I am sure you enjoy blogging your somewhat provocative thoughts for your readers. It is obvious that you like to be an independent thinker and maybe like standing out from your family. I hope you asked Mitt and his wife if you could share your dream, which was not reality!!! The poor souls would of rather stayed out of your head that night I think. I would be annoyed if all the sudden hundreds of people were thinking about me dancing around in my underwear cause one person wrote about it. They are public figures so they are use to it, just like you. I use to love reading your blog! It felt uplifting and positive and productive for me when I got online. I understand you are in a new phase of life. You seem somewhat conflicted with your faith, feminist view points, domestic life, and your desire to write and be heard. I wish you peace in the future, and best of luck. Truly. I encourage you to keep writing if you find it brings joy to your life. We all long on to WWW for different reasons right?

Grace said...

Dozen Senses said...
Gracie, I'm talking about 2012.


The foundation of your church. The history of your church. Matters.

How we all got to this point matters. Being open about and learning from past mistakes matters.

"Those who are unaware of history are destined to repeat it."

Your current refusal and your churches ongoing refusal to acknowledge flaws in leadership is resulting, once again, in the marginalization of a minority group at the hands of LDS.

There is no church (or any organization for that matter) in the US with origin & 1800-1900's history to be proud of with regard to treatment & privileges for people of African descent. I wish The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would've been the different ones, the ones to know better, quicker. But at least they know now.

I'm sorry, what exactly do they know now? That denying other human beings equal rights is an act of pure evil and arrogance?

The word "white"/synonyms in the scriptures used by the Mormon religion should not be interpreted literal to skin color.

Of course it shouldn't be interpreted literally, but it WAS by your prophets and apostles. The people who lead your church and should be able to spiritually discern between their own bigotry and the word of G-d.

For them to release a statement feigning ignorance over the origin of racism in the church is disingenuous. Especially since your leaders are repeating history with their treatment of gay and lesbian families.

Jen said...

ugh. i truly hope people get that you don't speak for MOST church members. and i truly hope "the romney people" or anyone else who asks you to do anything on behalf of mormons realize that, too. **not reading anymore!

Aubrey said...

You have people thinking. What more could you ask for as a writer? I love the conversation. And I think there were two comments from people who reconsidered the church because of what you have shared. That is no small thing! Take pride in your work Courtney. It's fabulous.

Xteena said...

Thoughts on Dem Mormons like Dick and Katrina Swett in NH? I think they're pretty great, and I'm not Mormon ...

Xteena said...

Thoughts on Democratic Mormons like Dick and Katrina Swett in NH? Would that be more aligned with your Mormon Moment?

Xteena said...

Thoughts on Dem Mormons like Dick and Katrina Swett in NH?

Anyway, partisanship aside, I find it really encouraging that you don't feel obligated to champion a candidate simply because you share a religion or any other token trait. Not that shared religion may not actually encompass enough shared values that would make it worth doing so, but for so many it seems to be a blind, knee-jerk reaction to just hold up someone of their "kind". I'd hate to think Romney would get the entire Mormon vote just because he's a Mormon, just as I'd hate to think anyone would get a voter bloc just because of one trait that is not necessarily expressed in sound policy choices.

Xteena said...

Thoughts on Dem Mormons like Dick and Katrina Swett in NH?

Anyway, partisanship aside, I find it really encouraging that you don't feel obligated to champion a candidate simply because you share a religion or any other token trait. Not that shared religion may not actually encompass enough shared values that would make it worth doing so, but for so many it seems to be a blind, knee-jerk reaction to just hold up someone of their "kind". I'd hate to think Romney would get the entire Mormon vote just because he's a Mormon, just as I'd hate to think anyone would get a voter bloc just because of one trait that is not necessarily expressed in sound policy choices.

Xteena said...

Thoughts on Dem Mormons like Dick and Katrina Swett in NH?

Anyway, partisanship aside, I find it really encouraging that you don't feel obligated to champion a candidate simply because you share a religion or any other token trait. Not that shared religion may not actually encompass enough shared values that would make it worth doing so, but for so many it seems to be a blind, knee-jerk reaction to just hold up someone of their "kind". I'd hate to think Romney would get the entire Mormon vote just because he's a Mormon, just as I'd hate to think anyone would get a voter bloc just because of one trait that is not necessarily expressed in sound policy choices.

Xteena said...

Thoughts on Dem Mormons like Dick and Katrina Swett in NH?

Anyway, partisanship aside, I find it really encouraging that you don't feel obligated to champion a candidate simply because you share a religion or any other token trait. Not that shared religion may not actually encompass enough shared values that would make it worth doing so, but for so many it seems to be a blind, knee-jerk reaction to just hold up someone of their "kind". I'd hate to think Romney would get the entire Mormon vote just because he's a Mormon, just as I'd hate to think anyone would get a voter bloc just because of one trait that is not necessarily expressed in sound policy choices.

Xteena said...

Thoughts on Dem Mormons like Dick and Katrina Swett in NH?

Anyway, partisanship aside, I find it really encouraging that you don't feel obligated to champion a candidate simply because you share a religion or any other token trait. Not that shared religion may not actually encompass enough shared values that would make it worth doing so, but for so many it seems to be a blind, knee-jerk reaction to just hold up someone of their "kind". I'd hate to think Romney would get the entire Mormon vote just because he's a Mormon, just as I'd hate to think anyone would get a voter bloc just because of one trait that is not necessarily expressed in sound policy choices.

Xteena said...

Thoughts on Dem Mormons like Dick and Katrina Swett in NH?

Anyway, partisanship aside, I find it really encouraging that you don't feel obligated to champion a candidate simply because you share a religion or any other token trait. Not that shared religion may not actually encompass enough shared values that would make it worth doing so, but for so many it seems to be a blind, knee-jerk reaction to just hold up someone of their "kind". I'd hate to think Romney would get the entire Mormon vote just because he's a Mormon, just as I'd hate to think anyone would get a voter bloc just because of one trait that is not necessarily expressed in sound policy choices.

Xteena said...

Thoughts on Dem Mormons like Dick and Katrina Swett in NH?

Anyway, partisanship aside, I find it really encouraging that you don't feel obligated to champion a candidate simply because you share a religion or any other token trait. Not that shared religion may not actually encompass enough shared values that would make it worth doing so, but for so many it seems to be a blind, knee-jerk reaction to just hold up someone of their "kind". I'd hate to think Romney would get the entire Mormon vote just because he's a Mormon, just as I'd hate to think anyone would get a voter bloc just because of one trait that is not necessarily expressed in sound policy choices.

Xteena said...

Thoughts on Dem Mormons like Dick and Katrina Swett in NH?

Anyway, partisanship aside, I find it really encouraging that you don't feel obligated to champion a candidate simply because you share a religion or any other token trait. Not that shared religion may not actually encompass enough shared values that would make it worth doing so, but for so many it seems to be a blind, knee-jerk reaction to just hold up someone of their "kind". I'd hate to think Romney would get the entire Mormon vote just because he's a Mormon, just as I'd hate to think anyone would get a voter bloc just because of one trait that is not necessarily expressed in sound policy choices.

Laura said...

I completely agree with Meg and Carolyn. I'm confused by you. This whole post sounds very bitter.

Living out in the East (away from the Mormon culture) this is a great time to be a Mormon. Friends and neighbors are curious and want to know more. I'm excited by it.

I'm proud with the way the Romney's represent their country and their religion.

Aubrey said...

I have been thinking about this post and the comments since I read it. That is great writing. I am Romney and Ryan all the way. I adore Ann. But I am willing to listen to other view points. I know what I believe and I don't feel threatened by opposition.

One comment was made about you creating an unhealthy environment. I disagree! It is very healthy to invite discussion. We have a real opportunity to do that as we share what's in our hearts and minds.

What is unhealthy is the lack of respect in some of the comments. But that is on the person making them, not Courtney. Her opinions were shared calmly and thoughtfully. And she has every right to think things through at her own pace. Ideally, the comments can open a dialogue that help us all listen to each other, with love and concern. I know that they help me to think through things more fully. I appreciate the different perspectives...when shared kindly!

Two thoughts have lingered. I know that there are difficult issues in the history of the LDS church. Just like all of the churches. My step-mom is catholic. I don't try to hold her accountable for the Inquisition. I have some of my deepest spiritual conversations with her. We are much more concerned with how our faith defines us today. As a mother I have had my great moments, and my ugly ones. Thankfully, I have children who hold onto the great ones :) and forgive the rest.

That is what I believe it takes to find inner peace. We cherish the good and let go of the bad. Just like I hope Courtney will do with these comments ;) She is a gifted writer sharing her soul with you...and some of you don't deserve the privilege. Say what you need to say, but as respectfully as possible, please :)

Dozen Senses said...

Grace, I'm talking about 2012. Yes, agree: the foundation & history matters. The history of secular & other government-directed dynamics ocurring at the same time play a significant role in the decisions that were made & the lack of decision not to follow what was societal norm at the time of the church's origin. Maybe one problem is that you've heard from some members of the church that prophets, apostles and other leaders of the church don't make mistakes during their leadership. Anyone who believes that hasn't read the Book of Mormon. All things considered, most members of the church (including designated leaders) (including apostles & prophets) are predominantly good people trying their best to do & deliver what they sincerely believe is best for themselves, for their God, for others, for society.

The word "white"/synonyms & "black"/synonyms in the scriptures used by the Mormon religion should never be interpreted literal to any human being's skin color. That is what they know now. That is what has changed. I say it's an important step in the right direction. Not enough, soon enough, for you, I respect, on this controversial issue & other issues, but I never argued with you that it was formerly interpreted the wrong way by some of the church's leaders & members. How to handle the ramifications of that & what to do about it now is much more complicated than I think you're giving credit.





Dozen Senses said...

Grace -- since the topic that's unfolded between us has become off-topic of C.Jane's post, I think it's best if you email me privately when you have more to say to me. -just thinking out of respect for C.Jane's blog & comment section. Or making your contact info available would be nice.

Grace said...

Aubrey said...

Two thoughts have lingered. I know that there are difficult issues in the history of the LDS church. Just like all of the churches. My step-mom is catholic. I don't try to hold her accountable for the Inquisition. I have some of my deepest spiritual conversations with her. We are much more concerned with how our faith defines us today.


Aubrey,

That's kind of the problem. The actions of LDS today continue to mirror their past acts of bigotry.

I think everyone would love to move forward, but it's hard to focus on the positive when your family, your faith, and your rights as an American citizen are constantly under attack.

Grace said...


Dozen Senses said...

Maybe one problem is that you've heard from some members of the church that prophets, apostles and other leaders of the church don't make mistakes during their leadership.


Not at all. Those in my life who claim the Mormon faith have been pretty vocal with their frustrations re: how church leaders continue to go about things.

The problem is that LDS refuses to learn from past "mistakes", refuses to keep current "mistakes" in-house, and wants to force said "mistakes" onto others as law.

These "mistakes" are becoming more and more harmful to the lives of American families and that's not acceptable.

Denying a whole group of people equal rights really isn't just a mistake, it's an abomination and (if we're being honest) it goes against the teachings of Christ.

All things considered, most members of the church (including designated leaders) (including apostles & prophets) are predominantly good people trying their best to do & deliver what they sincerely believe is best for themselves, for their God, for others, for society.

All things considered, most human beings are predominantly good people trying their best to do & deliver what they sincerely believe is best for themselves, for their God, for others, for society.

With that said, when your good intentions are literally paving the road to hell - accountability needs to come into play and changes need to be made.

I realize that progress can't be forced, but y'all need to hammer out your issues within your church and stop pulling everyone else into the fray.

Dozen Senses said...

Grace, all points above resonate with me except your "paving the road to hell" perspective.

Either you personally, or an organization that has your alliance, will eventually experience an outcome that results in clarity that you made a mistake, your weaknesses got the best of you, you handled an issue poorly, you wish you would've acted bigger than the problem or you get blamed for creating challenge & struggle in another person's life. While most people & most organizations don't aim for that outcome, it happens. Repair and decisions To Change or Not to Change are complicated for individuals and for organizations, religious or otherwise.

Ruthie said...

Someone said...he he he...someone said...I can barely get the words out! Someone said Harry Reid was the most powerful Mormon in the world!!

Bwahaaaahaaaahaaa!

I almost peed my pants laughing so hard. I don't care what side of the aisle you are on, that is funny stuff right there.

That made this post and all of its ridiculous-ness almost worth it.

Ashpdx said...

I really appreciate your open-mindedness. Love that you think for yourself and are strong enough to share your views. Thanks for showing that mormons are individuals and allowed to have different opinions.

Kris said...

I do not agree with your views on religion or politics........... But i really miss reading your writings everyday. I feel like you are able to put into (beautiful) words exactly what i'm feeling about being a mother, a woman. I can identify with your expieriences even though our lives are drastically different. You make my mornings better with your thoughts.

Just wanted to tell you how much I miss the piece of yourself that was shared every mid-morning, with my tea in my sunroom.



Morgan Lee said...

Grace, Mormons can't stop same sex marriage from being legalized. They just can't. Stop wasting energy swatting at flies. Don't believe the hype that Mormons are ultimately the problem here, and save your fight for the government instead.

To Mormons: this is why the church should stay out of morality politics. It only engenders ill will, and in the end, you're just a finger in the dam.

Grace said...


Morgan Lee said...
Grace, Mormons can't stop same sex marriage from being legalized. They just can't. Stop wasting energy swatting at flies. Don't believe the hype that Mormons are ultimately the problem here, and save your fight for the government instead.


With all due respect, it sounds like you're really uninformed about the extent to which LDS intertwined themselves in the political side of things.

At this point, you can't fight the government without eventually bumping heads with LDS.

That's what makes them stand out from other churches that express similar beliefs.

Maybe you should stop believing the "hype" and come spend some time on the front lines.


To Mormons: this is why the church should stay out of morality politics.

I agree.

The funny thing is, I come from a very christian very republican family and they see mormons as a bunch of new money false prophet chasing hacks.

I would not be surprised if years from now their refusal to accept separation of church and state ended up doing LDS more harm than good.

Many people don't feel that a 'Christian Nation' and a 'Mormon Nation' are the same thing.

It would be interesting to see how they'd fight against the same "ordained by G-d" discrimination/marginalization they're known for dishing out.

Maria said...

Carolyn, thank you for saying EVERYTHING that I was thinking. Very well said. CJane makes no sense to me anymore.

Maria said...

Meg,
Absolutely! I feel the same way.

Ashley J said...

I have never commented here but have read for... well, a few years i think.
1. Beautiful writing. Sometimes i dont agree with your (insert, something) but there is no doubt about it that you are a talented writer.
2. I agree with Erin's three points down there- for whatever its worth.
3. In relation to the actual post. For me, a non-religious American, i felt that Ann missed a HUGE demographic of women in her speech. My vote in all honesty would have never swayed their direction regardless of what she would have had to say but many others possibly would have. I think she seemed to make it clear that baby-makin husbnd supporters were the people they want a better america for.

bc6cc56a-f938-11e1-8a8b-000bcdcb5194 said...

I'm a long time reader and love that Courtney's writing gets us all thinking, and this post is certainly no exception. I've read the comments with interest and I'm late coming to the discussion, but my mind has been flooded for days with many thoughts I want to share. Somewhat in response to the post, but mostly in response to things brought up by readers.
I agree with many who felt Mitt is the one running for office, not Ann. She's an accomplished, confidant woman who gave a nice speech supporting her husband, but she is not the one vying for my vote. I consider myself a strong woman and a supporter of other women. I believe woman are amazing and capable of accomplishing all great things they want. But the comments here remind me why I've never been able to join the feminist band wagon-because feminist don't support all women, only those who share their ideology. Ann is dismissed because she chose to use her abilities full time in her home and community. She has no career so she is dismissed. What about the other strong women who spoke who are leaders and Governors-dismissed. Condoleeza Rice-dismissed. It feels like all a candidate has to do is claim they are for women and be pro-abortion and they have feminist' support, regardless. Bill Clinton has been a pig to women on every level, yet he's a hero for feminists. Bush appointed more women to positions of leadership and power than any president in history. He helped women globally with his unprecedented assistance to Africa for AIDS and women in oppressed Muslim countries, yet gets absolutely no credit for being for women. And today's candidates-Obama's staff and campaign? Mostly, white men and the women he does employ are paid up to 18% less than the men-true! (http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/05/democrats-focus-on-equal-pay-issue-while-obama-white-house-pays-women-less/) Romney had a strong woman as his Lt. Governor, hired talented women in the private sector, is known for "bringing women to the table" to help solve problems, pays women equally to men and obviously esteems Ann as his equal partner. I don't know...."by their fruits you shall know them"

It wasn't the point of Courtney's post but some brought up what they felt were extreme positions on abortion by Republicans. How about this....as an Illinois state senator, Obama voted 3 times for legislation that would allow medical staff to let babies die that were born alive in unsuccessful abortions, then attempted to push similar legislation at the federal level. No matter your position on abortion, there's no debate here about when life began for these babies-they were outside the womb and alive. That's extreme! (watch this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v+VldbYjmbFzo) Please watch this video, if you look at nothing else I link. Or read "Unplanned" by Abby Johnson who was a clinic director at Planned Parenthood. Democrats are for choice on this issue, but far from being for choice. What about choice in what light bulb I use in my own house? how much trans-fat I choose to consume? if I want to join a union? where I send my children to school? No choice there. Liberals seem to be for choice if it's "their" choice.

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