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I'm a single Mormon Democrat, an NPR & BBC news junkie, a dog lover, opera buff, bookavore, migraineur, knows just enough about technology to be a danger to myself, fan of James Bond and Godzilla. 

Micah 6:8; D&C 11:20 

"do justly, walk humbly, judge righteously."

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Please, let's keep politics out of church!

Really, I get so irritated at church sometimes. I'm a liberal who lives in a conservative county and attends a conservative church. Most would ask why? I even ask that from time to time. 

To answer: because the gospel isn't conservative. It's liberal. But unfortunately God has to work with people. As imperfect as they are. And many are conservative. 

I am a Mormon and I hear quite frequently how we are a non-political church. That's a lovely statement. But not always put in practice. 

Like today, the lesson in my Relief Society class veered into a lecture against choosing wrong between God and the devil. She spoke about liberty and choosing the right and then veered right into gay marriage. 

I hoped it was a temporary tangent. But unfortunately it seemed to be a central theme. Now, I know this woman's feelings. I don't agree with them. And I think it goes beyond the pale to teach them to a captive audience. 

Now, part of me wanted to speak up. To complain. But I couldn't. As it says in 3 Nephi 11:29, "contention is of the devil". So I took the better part: I left and read my Scriptures until my ride was ready. 

I find myself thinking of religion often. The people that seem to represent Christian values are the atheists. They are the ones that support actions and policies that most go in tandem with the words of Christ. 

If we were made in the image of God... if we were sent down here to learn... to grow... than why are we all different? Male and female... dark and white... tall and short... gay and straight. We were all born differently, with different talents and gifts. But why?

Maybe, just maybe, our Heavenly Father sent us down to see how we would learn to work together... whether we could see past appearances to the person underneath. 

In the 22nd Chapter of the Book of Matthew in the New Testament, Christ tells us what the two great commandments are:

 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt alove the Lord thy God with all thy bheart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy cmind.
 38 This is the first and great acommandment.
 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt alove thy neighbour as thyself.
 40 On these two commandments hang all the alaw and the prophets.
Let's look at that. "on these... hang all the law and the prophets". What does that mean? I think it means that if you interpret anything else in the teachings that runs counter to those two commandments, then it is not of God.
Any doctrine... any teaching... any "commandment" that causes harm --- emotional, physical, spiritual --- must be ignored or fought against.
Discrimination... denying people the same rights you have... telling people that they are wrong... that they are sinners just because they are different. That is the sin. 
I've got news for my fellow churchgoers. Homosexuality, contraception, women working instead of bearing children, the internet, working on Sundays... these are not the issues that we, as servants of Christ, must be concerned with. 
We must be more concerned with the things that the new Pope of the Catholic Church has been focusing on: poverty, illness, income inequality, etc. These are the issues that are really hurting people... hurting families.
I have been criticized for expressing opinions counter to some that have been put out by our church leaders. But who is the head of this Church? Whose name is in the actual name of our Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! That's right. Christ. 
I respect our Church leaders, even love and admire them. But if they give me advice and guidance that runs counter to those two first great commandments, then I have to conclude that those are their personal feelings, and not God's guidance. 
I pray that my Church... that all churches... would get back to Christ's teachings... about the things that mattered to Christ. We are taught to emulate Christ. That means leaving our intolerances and prejudices behind. 
And, please, leave the politics when you go into your church.  

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