Can LDS people be persuaded to stop thinking that the “D” stands for Devil? In many ways, the Democratic Party, especially in Utah, is in line with LDS principles. Just ask any number of active Mormon Democrats, including General Authority and Church Historian, Marlin Jensen.
When it comes to education, Primary children the world over know that “The Glory of God is Intelligence”, yet Utah Republicans continue to cut funding to classrooms and trot out the highly unpopular school voucher.
On the immigration issue, Republicans at the state convention voted to repeal the LDS Church-backed HB 116 Guest Worker program. No matter how often and clearly leaders have called for respectful treatment of undocumented workers, there are still vocal members of the GOP who chose to vilify them.
On Gay Rights, when Salt Lake City was considering their anti-discrimination policy, LDS spokesman Michael Otterson spoke in favor of Mayor Ralph Becker’s approach stating “The issue is the right of people to have a roof over their heads and the right to work without being discriminated against.” This statement is hardly in line with Republican king-maker Gayle Rusicka.
For those who question the Democrat’s stance on the environment, it should be noted that the most significant supporter of “green” architecture in Utah is the LDS Church. The rooftop of the LDS Conference center is hailed as one of the most environmentally “Green Roofs” in the nation. It isn’t that way by accident.
Increasingly, the Tea Party has captured the soul of the Republican Party – and Tea Party principals clash with basic Christian and LDS views of kindness, compassion, and reason. There are LDS members who spurn the Democratic Party because of the abortion issue. Why do they then turn a blind eye to the immigration issue and the education issue?
Jim Dabakis has a valid point when he opined, “Our state is facing an important moment. We need to convince people all across the state that the Democratic Party is the solution.”
We’ll see if anyone is listening.