Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Facebook poison

A friend from BYU recently posted his political views on Facebook, saying he'd re-elect President Obama. The post got a lot of comments (partially because this guy has almost 800 friends...)
I "liked" the post, and then started receiving emails commenting on the post. This comment, for some reason, appeared in my email but not on facebook: "...you CANNOT claim you are LDS if you support their politics and the leftist values."
I responded:
"In response to an unfortunate post that appeared in my email but no longer appears here--
One can be a member of the church, in good standing, and support any number of political views. Heck, I know Mormons in good standing who believe all sorts of wacky fringe stuff. To say that one cannot accept European-style politics (which is not fringe) and still be a good Mormon is to strip the majority of European Saints of their religion."
The response (and I'm leaving out some of the insults to Obama supporters and to Obama himself), "No, you cannot claim you are LDS and support church morals if you support current administration - it is totally opposed."

For the record: I support the current administration (although I may not agree with every decision they make). I am LDS. The majority of European Saints like Obama much better than they liked Bush. They like their "socialized medicine." In the US, they would consider themselves Democrats. And they are fantastic members of the church.

How do we combat Facebook poison? What do we say if it comes up in Sunday School or at a ward activity? How do we combat the lie that says that you have to sit on the "right" side of the fence in order to be a good Mormon?


alison said...

Our church leaders have told us repeatedly to pray for those with authority in our country. Only one example is http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,705279298,00.html

I think instead of complaining, if there's something to complain about, we'd better pray and then act to change things. We need to pray more to support our political leaders. We need to pray to have the strength and courage to stand up for what we believe, and to do something about it.

And, if we have issues or concerns about what our current administration is doing... I think we should act locally. I think that more people should serve in their communities. I think if someone knows the obvious better solution, they need to act on it, to change the world around them, a little at a time.

(And, yes. I like enough of what our President is doing to know that I'd vote for him over McCain again, even if I don't agree with everything, or even most, of what he does.)

JorgenMan said...

By no means am I Obama's biggest fan, although I have been happy with some things he's done. But it drives me nuts when people take the intellectual shortcut of just tossing Obama in the "socialist" category, and then mindlessly opposing everything he does. Even John Huntsman, who, as I understood, was quite popular and successful in Utah, supported some social programs.

As far as the wacky fringe stuff, we were talking to my wife's cousin, who had been living in Boston. She said that while living there, visiting teachers would share essays by Fidel Castro (as their VT message). She was also invited to write an article for the local "Mormon Alternative Lifestyle" magazine.

Now, I'm not saying that THOSE views fit within the framework of the church, but the guy who denounced you for supporting Obama needs to chill out a bit. When the leaders of the church say that the church allows for different political viewpoints, they don't mean the difference between an annual NRA member and a lifetime NRA member. Sheesh.

Tim said...

Thanks for those comments.
As far as Huntsman goes, if he ever runs for president, I'm voting for him. I don't care who he's running against--he's my first choice.
The Boston stuff is unfortunate. Generally it's the political right that gets preached as gospel, but sometimes, I guess, the left engages in it too (assuming the material was political).
And Alison,
I didn't realize you voted for Obama. There are more LDS Obama-supporters than most people think.

Mommy Bee said...

One of the things I always bring up is how close the 'right' and 'left' of this country are in the big scheme of things. I'm sure you've seen the 'political compass' quiz out there...answer a bunch of questions and it will put you as a point on a graph based on 2 scales (good old x,y format). (If you haven't seen it I took it just a couple weeks ago so you could scroll down my FB page and find it.) I know people who fall into 3 of the 4 quadrants of that graph...every single leader of this country within the last 30 years (that I know of) falls within the same quadrant. People in the USA get it into their heads that this notion or that is 'fringe' because they live very sheltered lives and don't know what is truly out there. But like I said, in the bigger picture, Obama's and Bush's politics are only minuscully different.

I also have no qualms about saying that if I'd lived in a swing state I'd have voted for Obama. (I know my sister did.) Because my state's electoral college votes were a foregone conclusion though, I chose the 'little' candidate that I actually liked the best...and if your friends think Obama is left, they should read up on Nader. LOL!!!

Tim said...

Wow. Didn't know your sister voted for Obama. There are a lot more of us out there than I thought...
Better not tell Grandma :)
For the record, those comments on Facebook were not made by a friend, but by a friend of a friend. My own friends (at least the real ones) tend to be a bit more open-minded.

Tim said...

Oh, and when I said fringe, I meant extremists (I think most members of the church would be surprised how extreme a person can be and still be considered a member of the church in good standing--look up Helmut Huebener's branch president for more info, or the John Birch Society).