KATIE MCKENNA | Scroll Photography

Political stances do not reflect faith

KATIE MCKENNA | Scroll Photography

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Unfortunately, Packer said, the comments don’t stop with the president.

She has also had comments directed specifically at her because of her political standings.

“I’ve been called a bad Mormon because I’m a Democrat,” Packer said.

These kinds of assumptions are unfair, especially when the Church doesn’t endorse any political party.

The Church is politically neutral with regards to promoting or opposing candidates or platforms.

Mormon Newsroom makes a case for being courteous of other members’ political beliefs.

“The Church does expect its members to engage in the political process in an informed and civil manner, respecting the fact that members of the Church come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences and may have differences of opinion in partisan political matters,” according to Mormon Newsroom.

A study done by The Forum showed that, nationally, 50 percent of university professors identify as Democrats, while 11 percent identify as Republicans.

The Student Review showed the situation to be switched at BYU: 47 percent of teachers there identify as Republican, and almost 14 percent are Democratic.

Welch said the political climate among the teachers at LDS Business College, where she currently attends, is very Republican, similar to what she said she experienced at BYU-I. She said she continues to feel like she needs to keep quiet about her beliefs at LDSBC, just like she felt at BYU-I.

Welch had a religion teacher refer to Obama as “a sign of the times” in a class recently, but she didn’t say anything because she didn’t want to disrt the class.

“The Church doesn’t say that you have to be Republican,” Welch said. “I felt like I was being chastised [in class] for being a Democrat. Like, ‘Oh, you’re an Obama sporter. You’re the face of evil.’ That’s how I felt.

Zach Daniel, a sophomore studying history who classifies himself as a very liberal conservative, said there are a lot of times where he doesn’t say anything about his political beliefs because he feels people are quick to judge him because of them.

“People will be saying things about the government and how the government should be run, and I’ll just be like, ‘There’s no point,’ because if I bring my point, somebody will hardcore throw me down,” Daniel said.

Packer said students and teachers should be more respectful of those who have minority opinions because political beliefs don’t need to be divisive.

“Really, there’s no huge difference,” she said. “I mean, we believe differently on a cole different things, but it doesn’t make me a bad person.”

'Political stances do not reflect faith' have 4 comments

  1. November 21, 2013 @ 3:25 pm Daniel Burgess

    Great article. I am neither democrats nor republican. The problem I see is an issue with reasoning. I have heard silly and unfounded ideas expresses from students and professors at school. To be offended is an irrational and unproductive response. I have found its usually because the offended, regardless of who is right, doesn’t have a meaningful and insight response. It becomes an emotional debate and not an intellectual interaction which only elicits a confrontational interaction of emotional pleas.

    I have found it to be very productive to suggest, politely correct or present a meaningful alternative intellectual view. Also remembering that it’s not my classroom and everyone has the right to believe any crazy idea they may hold. But to get offended is an imature and unproductive response, regardless of how insensitive and misguide the view.


  2. November 23, 2013 @ 11:22 am Cameron Call

    This was an ironic article to read, seeing as how this week Senate Democrats just silenced the Republican minority on presidential nominations. Now Obama can appoint any federal judge with virtually no check or balance from any minority. But I digress…
    You’re absolutely right that the Church is politically neutral when it comes to parties. And it’s true that no party has a monopoly on righteousness – the Republican party is just as corrupt as the Democratic party. Yet you’d be gravely mistaken if you think “politically neutral” equates to “not caring about politics.” In terms of policy, the Brethren have made their stance quite clear on very specific topics. I’m talking about abortion, homosexuality, church-state relations, religious freedom, and government welfare programs, just to name a few. For all these issues, the comments of the Brethren – either made at family reunions or at General Conference – have almost always clashed with liberal ideals. Most public outrages against the Church have been advocated and championed by liberals. Maybe that’s why most church members are conservatives, because who would want to affiliate with groups that actively attack the Church?
    Is it wrong to support something that conflicts with God’s standard? Yes.
    Do conflicting policies only come from liberals? No. Conservatives come up with their fair share of nonsense also. I’m not excusing them in any way. But they rarely want to burn down our temples, as liberals in California tried to do when Prop 8 was passed in 2008. To justify yourself by quoting the prophet as saying, “Pray for the president,” and ignore him when he says, “Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God,” is gross hypocrisy.
    As far as President Obama is concerned, “Pray for the president” is not the same as “Blindly accept whatever he stands for.” He lies, cheats, steals, and smiles through his teeth while doing so. His administration is the most corrupt in American history (Jackson and Nixon have nothing on Obama). He avoids responsibility like a lazy teenager avoids chores. He’s racist and instigates class warfare at any opportunity. When he doesn’t get his way, he either whines and complains, villainously attacks his opposition, or silences his opponents by unconstitutional and unprecedented acts (like removing their power to filibuster his nominees). And you take offense when you see a bumper sticker voicing someone’s God-given right to want him impeached? Wow.
    If you truly feel like Rexburg is squashing your right to voice your liberal opinion openly, I have good news for you – BYU-Idaho is not a prison; you can leave and go somewhere else. Somewhere that’s rife with liberal ideals of communism and humanist rhetoric, where God doesn’t exist and truth is relative, where the United States is not exceptional but the vilest country on earth, where professors are card-caring members of the ACLU, where internships for liberal think-tanks are mandatory, and where everyone is free to do, think, say, and wear whatever they want (as long as it doesn’t promote conservatism). You can go to just about any other college and get what I just described. But most of us are here at BYU-Idaho to escape that very depravity.
    In closing, you are absolutely right: Political Stances do not Reflect Faith. Latter-day Saints are not all Republicans nor should we all be Republicans. We are members of the Kingdom of God, which is open to all people. Yet entrance into His Kingdom might require us to check our worldly views at the gate in favor of His views. If you are a liberal, then be a happy liberal in God’s Kingdom, content and confident in your righteous opinions, and let none offend you. But I pity the person who wants out because their political stances won’t let them be happy here.

    P.S.- As we can tell, this is a hot topic. It’s been almost a week since your article was published and you only have 2 comments. Either that reflects the environment of political apathy here at BYU-Idaho, or it shows just how much people read the Scroll.


    • November 29, 2013 @ 6:29 pm Guilherme Martins Bentim

      “have almost always clashed with liberal ideals.”
      You jumped to this conclusion because you only studied the points of view where the Church agrees with Republicans
      What about Climate Change (there’s even Ensign articles about it), Immigration, Welfare (while many quote Pres. Benson as the ultimate source for Church’s statements, there are many other official statements that support welfare programs), Equality, etc?

      I think one of the main points in this article is showing how we shouldn’t judge someone’s faith by their political views. And saying “The Church is neutral, but it’s more republican than liberal” is the attitude that leads to it.


      • December 12, 2013 @ 4:57 pm Cameron Call

        This might be an old article, but it’s still the only one that I find interesting. And before I’m misunderstood, I’m not trying to bash anyone or “win” an argument. I just like engaging in constructive debates and this article provides a great platform for one.

        So let’s cut right to the point of this article then, about how we shouldn’t judge people’s faith based on their political views. The harsh truth of life is that whatever we do, we will be judged. If we dress modestly, we will be judged. If we dress immodestly, we will be judged. If we use filthy or clean language, we will be judged. If we drive a BMW or a junker, we will be judged. If we say “Satan is a liberal,” we will be judged. If we support Ordain Women, we will be judged. Even if we stand there with a blank look on our face – we will be judged! (Try telling your future employer not to judge you based on a first impression. See how well they take that) There is no getting around it. If you don’t want to be judged by your political views, then don’t have any! But I am so sick of people using the Scroll as a soapbox to exempt themselves from the realities of life.


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