Friday, September 7, 2012

On Being Civil

For those new to the ward, I want to send out a quick reminder of what I feel is acceptable in regards to the looming Presidential elections.

image 1. The Church is very clear on its official stance of complete political neutrality. The church will not endorse a candidate, party, or platform. I feel this MUST apply to us. Please do not use Sacrament meeting talks, Sunday lessons, or any other ward forum to espouse your political beliefs. We must respect the Church's position – both the spirit and the letter of the law.

2. God has not ordained any candidate over the other. Neither does one party have God’s endorsement over other. God is not an American. He is not voting. You are not voting on His behalf. Never assume that your political position is His.

image 3. We are a diverse ward. We do not all support the same candidates, policies, or issues. Do not accuse or demean others because they do not agree with you. I encourage dialog, even political dialogs, so long as all parties can remain civil. Do not seek to lecture those who view the world differently than you do.

image 4. We must remain civil in all our conversations regarding policies. This is especially important in our usage of social media. It is inappropriate to demean a candidate, party, or those supporting an issue. True, you can disagree, that is your right. In fact, I encourage political disagreements. But we must not let those who espouse hatred influence our participation in the the American conversation. I strongly discourage name calling, blatant disrespect, sweeping judgments, or public rants. Be very careful in the tone and content of what you post.

image 5. Never assume that your vote doesn’t count. Millions have died to provide us the opportunity to vote. The importance of your vote is not if your candidate, party, or issue  wins. Rather, the importance of your vote is in your willingness to take advantage of the sacrifices countless others have made to provide you this great opportunity. Just Vote!

Please take the time to review President Hinckley’s official position on proper political discourse and do your best to comply to this inspired counsel.

image "This is an election year, and there are many strong and strident voices incident to political campaigning. It’s a wholesome and wonderful system that we have under which people are free to express themselves in electing those who shall represent them in the councils of government. I would hope that those concerned would address themselves to issues and not to personalities. The issues ought to be discussed freely, openly, candidly, and forcefully. But, I repeat, I would hope that there would be an avoidance of demeaning personalities. - Gordon B. Hinckley"

As always, I am open for and strongly encourage your input.

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