The One Where I Get All Political. And Religious. And Long-Winded.

Part 1…I had to break up this particular topic, mostly for your sake as a reader. But also a little for my sake at 10:30 PM.

I have this somewhat complicated relationship with my politics and my faith. Harry Reid aside, most LDS folk identify as politically conservative. And despite my father’s best efforts, he somehow spawned a liberal.

While many people I’ve met in various wards tend to buy into the rhetoric of Fox News and the Tea Party–and (inappropriately) share that rhetoric in front of a captive audience–when I talk to them in casual conversation, they reveal more liberal tendencies than Conservative Extremists.

I’m never surprised at their closet liberal leanings. I couldn’t be, because I read my scriptures–the Old and New Testaments and the Book of Mormon–and I see more compassion in those pages than I do vengeance. Sure, the English teacher in me knows that readers take away different messages from what they read, and plenty of religious zealots twist scripture to suit agendas (Westboro Baptist, I’m lookin’ at you). But Jesus was all about the love.

So I’m utterly confused by this quote from a Salt Lake Tribune article about HB 116. HB 116, in my limited understanding, is a moderate approach to immigration reform courtesy of the Utah Legislature, and recently, The Church released this statement about the bill.

“The church’s actions on the issue indicate that it has moved away from justice, or strict law enforcement, and into “mercy [compassion],” Mortensen says, “and gives the distinct impression that the [LDS Church] is moving to the left and closer to a social-justice position.”

Perhaps Utah Republicans haven’t read their Bible recently. Perhaps they see Glenn Beck as their leader. But what is clear is that they haven’t recently read these scriptures:

From the Old Testament, Psalms 86:15–“But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.”

and Zechariah 7:9–“Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother.”

From the New Testament, 1 Peter 3:8–“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.”

More tomorrow…

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