Thursday, November 8, 2012

Right Across the Jaw

This isn't a post about theology. I get that much of LDS (Mormon) foundational theology is out of the mainstream of Christianity. I'm comfortable enough in my own beliefs not to be bothered by the idea that somebody might think I'm "not Christian." Quite frankly, my religion is between me and God so I don't really care what anyone else thinks (I don't mean that flippantly, but I claim the same right my neighbors do, to worship according to my conscience). That being said, I gotta say I'm pretty disappointed in whatever number it was that voted for Obama (or didn't vote at all) because of the Mormon thing.

From almost the moment of it's founding, the Mormon church and its members, American citizens, mostly of hearty New England stock, were driven from their homes by violent mobs consisting of their neighbors. They moved from state to state, each new home eventually being taken from them at gun point; tar and feathers, beatings, women raped and children killed or dying from exposure. I'm sure they freaked the neighbors out after a while because they tended to stick together and generally ended up getting ahead no matter where they went. Long story short, my ancestors were eventually thrown out of the United States and ended up walking 1300 miles to a dry, ugly valley filled with sagebrush and not much else. Even the Indians didn't mind that the Mormons wanted it. Hell, the lake was full of salt! Yet they made it such a nice place that people came from all around to live there. Catholics and Jews were accepted with open arms and given the freedom to worship how they saw fit. Women voted earlier in Utah than women in all but one state in the Union, that is, until the U.S. came in, disincorporated the territory and took that right away... And even when they didn't want us, we were proud Americans who celebrated mightily when Utah entered the Union.

Mormons have served honorably in every U.S. war since our founding in 1830, my father among them. He lost plenty of friends in WWII just like your fathers and grandfathers did. Their blood didn't spill any differently than anyone else's. And I'm sorry about Harry Reid but the great majority of us have been reliably Conservative ever since we were told by our leaders to split up and join the two parties (pre statehood we didn't have a multi-party system).

And while there's an ass or two in every group (again, see Harry Reid), I never heard a Mormon say, "I'm not voting for that guy, he's Catholic!" Or evangelical, or Jew. I'm as American as any other citizen in this country, and my love and reverence for our founding fathers lives in the same place in my heart that my religion does.

When my dad first shipped off to the South Pacific he was confronted at mess by a guy twice his size whose only words were, "So, I hear you're one of those sonofabitchin MORMONS." My dad stood up, coldcocked the guy across the jaw and laid him out, while saying, "I AM! What's it to you?" He'd gone in with that plan because he knew it was gonna come up and he figured the only way to stop it was to let everyone know he wasn't anyone's target. And nobody on board ever had any more problems with the Mormon.

So why would I even bring that up, you ask? Because the real world still works that way. Conservatives are glad to be your friend but aren't naive enough to think two verses of Kumbaya will do it when some people just like to see Americans lose. Or die. So here we are, all the way 'round back to my original point, which is this: American patriots who believe this country was founded with the potential to be the best nation that ever existed under the sun are dwindling by the day. For those Americans who claim to be on the right, but who sat on their hands because the candidate wasn't perfect, was a Mormon, or anything else, the next four years are on you. And all the years it will take to fix the sh*t storm that's coming, they're on you too. So sit back and feel smug in your self righteous superiority because you stuck it to the Mormon, the Moderate, or whatever else you decided made him unworthy of your vote. If I had the chance I'd coldcock every one of you.