Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Woody Reponds to a Commenter

This is in response to one of my commenters. Dennis makes the case that Mormons should support Obama, and has some well-crafted and carefully thought-out reasons why. My own response exceeded Haloscan's limit of 3,000 characters, so I'm responding here. Take a look at Dennis' post if you'd like better background on his comments to me.


I will have to agree to disagree with you.

Yes, fear is a powerful principle indeed. But I reject the idea that fear-mongering is a purely Republican device. Go back to any past election and tell me, exactly, where one candidate or another did NOT engage in some sort of fear-mongering in order to keep the other fellow out of office.

Your boy Obama (and Clinton, too) can talk "hope" and "change" all he wants, but there's a very real underlying message of FEAR that McCain will mean another four years of Bush doctrine in the White House. They can spin it any ol' which way they want, but it fails the duck test.

Also, this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that you or I happen to be LDS. I largely have to rely on my personal feelings and beliefs in political affairs because (news flash) the Spirit has not given Pres. Monson leave to announce from the pulpit that either McCain or Obama (or Huckabee, or Clinton II) should get the Mormon vote in this election. You and I both know it doesn't work that way. Apparently the Spirit, which should be informing our more critical decisions, has brought you into Obama's camp, while driving me into McCain's (if somewhat reluctantly). (Actually, I'd thought the Spirit had prompted me to support Romney. Apparently not.)

Or, it could just be that the Spirit is really directing me to live my life honestly, love my fellow man while hating the sin that permeates every nook and cranny of this society, raise my children to love the Lord first, and let me make my own informed decisions on who should get my vote.

Since you bring up the issue of why Mormons should support one candidate or another, let's step back a bit and take the apocryphal view: Given that the world as a whole is spiritually diseased and that the current political climate has enabled every sort of vice and contempt for eternal law imaginable, whomever we support for higher offices in this country is ultimately going to make little or no difference in how that climate evolves over the next four years. It's a joint effort, truly, and neither side can boast of supporting God's ideas over and above their own. If they were able to make that claim, there would be no law allowing abortion for any but the most serious of medical reasons, prayer would still be allowed in our schoolrooms, and the name of God would not cause shame in our courtrooms. There would be no need for universal health care proposals because we as a society would already be taking care of those less fortunate than ourselves, without need for the Government to force us to do so.

I, personally, would have preferred that Bush had waited for a Helaman-like prophet to say "thus sayeth the Lord" before marching into Baghdad. But now that we're there, I'd prefer that we do the job right and make sure that a 9/11 never happens again. As it is, I have no such confidence, whether a McCain supports the surge, or an Obama sets forth a timetable for withdrawal. Terrorists exist precisely because fear is every bit as powerful a principle as I've already alluded.

If I read the conference reports correctly, many have preached that things will only get worse before the Second Coming, and I have no expectation that either an Obama or a McCain is going to improve our lot on that score. Even Romney, inspired man that he may be, wouldn't have been able to do more than make token progress against that condition. Whether you put any credence in the "prophecy" or not, I still believe that this country is truly headed for a constitutional crisis, and that only the faith of the Church as a whole - Republican and Democrat (and Libertarian and Green Party) alike - is going to save it. I don't recall the prophecy saying anything about only Republican elders saving the constitution.

So you continue to sound the trump for Obama, and I'll continue to harangue McCain until (or unless) he gets it right. In the end, it's still a democratic - not an eternal - process in which we're engaged. We can only pray that our choices keep the Evil One at bay.

And I don't mean Clinton.

Well... maybe I do. ;-)

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