Sunday, December 13, 2009

Is there anybody out there?

As I sat in Sunday School today, trying to keep Peter from crying, I missed the presence of a fellow Democrat who moved out last summer. Someone I could roll my eyes with when the teacher or class members made unwarranted political remarks (which happens more than you'd think); someone to give moral support if the need came to step in to make a comment like "no, your ideal capitalist rich/poor society conflicts with 4th Nephi, where a near-perfect society had no rich and no poor," (but with more tact).
Today that was especially important, as the topic was government--a topic ripe for non-doctrinal political intrusion.
There may be other Democrats in the ward, but I think many ward members feel that all active ward members are Republicans, and so the Democrats don't speak up (or go less active, or never join in the first place) and the Republicans make unthinking political remarks.
The Clinton bumper sticker was my only tip that that guy was Democrat.
Maybe next summer, when half our EQ moves out and is (hopefully) replaced by an equal or greater number of elders, one of the new move-ins will have an equally revealing bumper sticker, and I'll again have someone there for much-needed moral support.


JorgenMan said...

I'm sorry, but "ideal capitalist rich/poor society"? That's about as accurate as the "ideal socialist police state".

And don't worry; 95% of the Republicans are rolling their eyes with you. A couple weeks ago in our ward, our teacher gave a great explanation of the church's policy of non-involvement in politics, accompanied by some good comments to the same effect. Then one guy raises his hand and starts into, "Yeah, that's why it's so important for us to stand up against socialized health care, blah, blah, blah..." I think the entire room did a simultaneous face palm.

Tim said...

My example was a bit of hyperbole on my part (although it's not too far from some things I have heard this last year). We get some comments like you got, and then many others that aren't as extreme (and perhaps go unnoticed by those who agree with them) but still annoying.
I think in our current ward (a great ward, by the way), the far-right outnumbers the moderates and liberals combined. It's definitely more Republican than the last couple of BYU single wards I was in (and more Republican than the Stanford Singles Ward too--no surprise there). Of course, there's a good chance I lived in the most liberal ward at BYU for two years--one of our ward members had previously been arrested for peacefully objecting to the Iraq War in the early stages of the war, and my army hometeaching companion referred to a large portion of the ward as "hippies."
Maybe New Mexico should be our next stop. Certainly sounds like reasonable people there.

Brentwell said...

I'm sorry yours wasn't a good experience. I loved the lesson we had on politics. I felt very motivated to be involved in the community and to actively look for and support politicians that are honest and act in wisdom after hearing the lesson. There were no comments that felt politically charged, and that is even with someone who is now actively running for a local office participating in the lesson.

Tim said...

Glad to hear yours went well. I wasn't able to stay for all of mine (crying baby and all), but I'm sure there were some good parts of the lesson.
I think we tend to notice two different things here: statements we agree with politically that are way over the top, and statements we disagree with politically, regardless of whether they are extreme or not. I will probably not notice a political statement that's mild (but still out of place in Sunday School) if I agree with the statement. (In fact, I probably make such statements myself in response to people like JorgenMan's socialized health care example).
I guess what I'm trying to say is that a person of one political persuasion can come out of a lesson saying "nothing was politically charged" while a person of a different political persuasion may have squirmed once or twice during the lesson because of mild political statements.
Again, though, no reason to dismiss the main idea of the lesson, which is to get informed and get involved.

Tim said...

I should also state that it's entirely possible that a discussion like that be politically neutral. I just don't think we always pick up on it when it's not.