Monday, October 1, 2012

A questionable fast

So over the weekend i became the latest proud(?) recipient of the email going around asking all the Mormons in the country to spend Sunday, 30 September fasting and praying for the presidential candidacy of Mitt Romney.

Can i just say how utterly wrong that is? Or even if it’s not wrong, it’s at least icky. And it’s icky and wrong—or at least it should be—no matter what side of the recent political debates you’re on. (That is, if you even care—and with that, a big Hello! to what the Blogger dashboard tells me is the occasional reader from Germany.)

I mean, c’mon, folks. Get real. Especially when the email contains lines like God loves the United States of America and he wants us to be successful as a nation, followed immediately by If we do all that we can through our hard work and prayers in behalf of Mitt Romney miracles will happen. (I have to admit that when i read that, my first thought was “What, we’ll suddenly be presented with a candidate who’s better than either of our choices? That’d be cool.” But then again, i’m pretty much an unreformed cynic, so you might not have thought the same thing.)

I mean, sure God loves the United States of America. I’m pretty certain about that—just as i’m certain that God loves Canada, and Mexico, and Germany, and Russia, and Kenya, and Djibouti, and Fiji, and India, and Pakistan, and Iran, and Israel, and Syria, and Uzbekistan, and [continue the list for nearly 200 more names of countries]. So why is our presidential election suddenly such a big deal to God? I’m pretty sure it isn’t, at least no more than elections in, say, Rwanda are. God loves all of us equally, after all.

And besides, we’ve already got Mormons in positions of power in the United States, anyway—isn’t Harry Reid, senator from Nevada, the Senate Majority Leader?

Oh, wait—that’s right, i think we can guess from the tenor of this email that since Harry Reid’s politics are (very slightly) left of center, he quite simply doesn’t count. Nope, we apparently need Mitt Romney.

Well, maybe we do—it’d be fun to see a pair of Mormons at utter and complete loggerheads, using every parliamentary trick in the book to stymie each other’s political plans. Maybe then we’d finally get people (and by “people” i’m including a lot of Mormons, too) to realize that we’re not as socially and politically monolithic a group as they think we are.

But back to the email, and another bit of ickiness: We are so excited to be a part of this time in history, to have this special opportunity to stand for liberty. Liberty? Huh? It seems to me that folks on both sides (most all sides, for that matter—let’s not forget the minor candidates) are fans of liberty. It’s not like we’ve got the Archangel Gabriel running against Benito Mussolini here, after all.

The absolute worst part, though, was the bit urging recipients to Please contact all your friends and family everywhere and ask them to join with us in this special day of fast. Ask them to contact all of their friends. Take this message to the churches.

Nuh-uh. No. Absolutely not. The Mormon church is, after all, very fond of its tax-exempt status in the United States, and (at least partly) as a result, this advice is simply against current church policy.

You can take such a message to other members of the church, but to take it to your entire congregation (which is what i get from to the churches)? Not in a Mormon church—if the bishop has been reading his leadership Handbook at all lately, you’ll get smacked down hard and quickly.

And so, on second thought, maybe i actually do wish people had done that—that would have been fun to see.


Idiot, Village said...

I figured this could make a good experiment. If many Mormons fasted for Romney, and a smaller number of Mormons fasted for Obama, and then if Obama were to win, could we claim that God had heard the prayers of the righteous minority.

Then again, I just like making people angry.

Heather the Mama Duk said...

I did not get that particular e-mail forward. I'm utterly crushed - crushed I say! - you didn't pass it along to me.

That is kind of icky.