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Utah Mormons Ratchet Up Pro-8 Student Phone Banking

Timothy Kincaid

October 8th, 2008

The Salt Lake Tribune reports on increased organized efforts to get students at Brigham Young to influence the vote in California.

But during a special satellite broadcast from Salt Lake City tonight to LDS chapels in Utah County as well as in California, LDS authorities are expected to ask Brigham Young University students and other Californians living in Utah to participate in phone trees in support of Proposition 8, which would define marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman.

A supporter of the initiative made a statement that reveals not only that this amendment is an attempt by the Mormon Church to influence elections but also that it seeks to do so deceptively.

“This is going to set a precedent,” said Kuder, who is in favor of the initiative. “The church has not been involved with politics in this way for a very long time. The church doesn’t want to make a statement in favor of Prop 8 but it wants members to be in favor.”

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Kevin
October 8th, 2008 | LINK

The Utah Mormons seem to be having some problems:

http://wikileaks.org/leak/lds-proposition8-notes-2008.pdf

johnson
October 9th, 2008 | LINK

Read the Articles (and comments,especially) in both SLC Utah newspapers http://www.sltrib and the LDS Church-owned http://www.deseretnews.com. Very interesting stuff!

Kevin
October 9th, 2008 | LINK

Deseret News isn’t publishing comments that run counter to the anti-gay message of the Mormon Church or come from non-Mormons criticizing their role in seizing California’s Constitution.

Tavdy
October 10th, 2008 | LINK

What gets me is that in Europe, where many nations still don’t have separation of church and state, one of the best ways to pass or defeat a controversial bill is stick a bunch of religious wingnuts on the opposing side – that’s what happened with the UK’s Civil Partnership Act in 2004 (wow, has it really been that long? YAY!). So how come in America – a secular nation from the day it was founded – the opposite is true?

Kevin
October 10th, 2008 | LINK

America doesn’t have a state church that represents “the Authority/Establishment”, like many European countries do (Catholic Church in Spain and Italy, Lutheran church in Scandinavia, Anglican church in England etc.) Religion in America is more grassroots and entrepreneurial, with a wide variety of religions to choose from for the finicky American who views choice and convenience as an American value itself.

America is big enough to allow almost any kind of religious practice, from Hasidic Judaism to orthodox German Anabaptists to Sihkism to left-wing, pagan, goddess-worship.

So to many Americans (if not most), religious freedom is one of the essential characteristics of American democracy.

Paradoxically this is why it is so hard to maintain a secular American society and why the barrier between Church and State is under constant attack, even though it is this barrier ALONE that gives us the type of religious freedom that has provided a safe-haven for some of the world’s most bizarre religious cults.

One last thing, America is Capitalism central. Capitalism in many ways runs counter to many religious values, especially the values of helping the poor, healing the sick, and helping your neighbor (these, I contend, are actually socialist values). So, I believe, religion for many Americans is a substitute for the socialism missing in American capitalistic society.

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