I have not been shy about writing about my religion and my questions about my religion. I admit that I am very confusing when it comes to religion. So, I have been very excited about exploring the community of Mormon Bloggers and enjoyed a number of their blogs. Just today I came across a blog that made me think twice about my excitement over finding this community.
Overwhelmingly Mormons are Republicans and therefore against Obama and his policies. I actually don't have a problem with someone expressing their views. I want to retain my freedom of speech and so I cannot complain about someone else who uses their right to free speech. Just for the record... I am a registered Republican but the only reason I'm still registered that way is because I'm too lazy to submit the paper work to have it changed. I feel that I am independent, which is why I'm not anxious to change my registration because I don't know what I'd change it to. In the last election, I voted for both Democrats, Republicans and quite possibly a third party candidate. I researched each candidate for the various offices and made my choice based on who I thought was the best person for the job. I really wish the two parties would just go away.
I do have a problem with outright lies and I've heard them from both sides. Because most of my family are staunch Republicans I've heard more lies about the Democrats. Just because you don't like someone doesn't mean that every nasty rumour about that person is true. Check your facts before you forward an email or post something to your website. I am now the annoying family member who tells everyone when they have sent out an email that is false. I'm tired of the lies and it is not a very good representation of our religion or community.
I am also tired of people justify their inflammatory and hateful remarks as standing up for their beliefs. It is possible to voice your beliefs with out being inflammatory and hateful. You can say: "I don't agree with your point of view because I believe it will lead to the following troubles ..." instead of saying the person who disagrees with you is "evil", "stupid", "perverted", etc. If we say we are Christians then we need to start behaving as such. There is a song I learned as a child that is so needed now "Jesus said love everyone treat them kindly too. When your heart is filled with love others will love you". Please note that it says everyone, not the people you agree with or the people who vote like your or the people who accept your religion. It says EVERYONE!
The blog that got this rant going was talking about Obama's pick for the chairmanship of the National Intelligence Council, Charles Freeman. The blog asserted that Freeman hates Israel, loves Saudi Arabia and has condoned certain human rights abuses in China. Honestly, I don't know if the specific allegations are true or false. From what I've read thus far there is not sufficient evidence. I know there are some people who would disagree with this but just because you read something on the Internet does not make it true. I want to see credible references before I consider something truth.
The justification for the bloggers statements about Freeman derive from the fact that Freeman spent time in Saudi Arabia as a US Ambassador. In my opinion, his experience living within a Muslim community would make him better experienced to understand the extreme Muslim terrorists who are hiding out in that community. From my experience traveling around the world and speaking with many people from all over the world, one of the biggest failings of the Unites States is that as a whole the people don't take the time to understand other cultures or other people. When you are a diplomat or a politician not understanding the other side is disastrous. You would make mistakes in judgement because your judgement is based on an incorrect understanding.
I am truely disgusted with this tendancy to assume that just because a person has connections with a particular country that they are not patriotic Americans. It seems that our fellow countrymen are acting jealously. Reading these kinds of assumtions from a fellow Mormon is even more disheartening because so many of our young men and women serve missions around the world. The common theme when they return is how much they "grew to love the people" of the country where they served. Don't they think that an ambassador may experience the same feelings towards the people of the country where he or she served? There are wonderful and good people everywhere in the world. When you take the time to learn about them, to talk with them and to be a part of their community, you understand things from their perspective and some times you come to realize that your previous assumptions were wrong.
I look at how Obama was judged for time he lived outside the United States and how Charles Freeman is being judged for his association with other countries and I wonder how I would be judged if I were running for public office. I am Mormon so there are people who would judge me unacceptable on that fact alone. I have spent time in Indonesia so maybe I'm really Muslim. I've spent even more time in Thailand and I occasionally attend the Buddhist temple in Miami so perhaps I'm really Buddhist. I have friends who are gay and lesbian and I feel that there should be some type of civil union available to them (let's separate church and state on this issue please). I support a woman's right to choose abortion although I don't believe it should be used as a form of birth control. I don't like abortion but until a law can be developed that protects the woman as much as the unborn child I think the better option is to leave the decision in the hands of the woman. Why don't we have more sex education then perhaps fewer people would be seeking abortions because they would know how to avoid getting pregnant in the first place. I could go on and on with all the things that someone out there could judge me on. I'm sure there are people who think I'm going to hell for sure. I'm certainly not likely to get elected.