Friday, August 15, 2008

a typical political dialogue with a typical mormon

i had lunch with a friend and her mom yesterday who were visiting from las vegas. as i entered their car they noticed my obama button and the following discussion ensued. while the issue of unpatriotism may be untypical, my experience has shown that the rest of the conversation well represented the political ignorance of the majority of mormons.


i don't think i can allow that button into this car.

well then i may have to jump out, because i'm not tossing the button away.

ok, we'll let you stay.

so i take it that you are a mccain fan?

to be honest i don't know that much about mccain. i just know that i don't like obama.

oh really? what is it that you don't like about obama. don't worry, i'm not going to debate with you. i'm just interested.

well it's pretty much everything about him.

such as?

well i really don't know anything about the issues. i just don't like him.


it's pretty much because he is unpatriotic.

unpatriotic? what does that even mean? how is mccain any more patriotic that obama?

well i just don't like how obama doesn't put his hand over his heart during the national anthem.

well you do realize that you are talking about a single photo and that there are dozens of other photos available that show him putting his hand over his heart during the anthem?

well one time is just too many times. the national anthem is really important to me. i almost cry every time i hear it. you should always put your hand over your heart during it.

so even though obama was singing along with the anthem when that photo was taken, his not putting his hand over his heart that one time shows that he is less unpatriotic?

well like i said, i don't know much about the issues. i just don't think that democrats represent my mormon values.

so you don't like harry reid either?

eewww. i can't stand harry reid. i can't believe we elected him. i think he is terrible.


pretty much everything he has done.

such as?

well... everything.

like what?


ok. i don't expect you to tell me everything. what is one thing that harry reid has done that you disagree with.

well i don't really know what he has done. i just don't like that he supported bill clinton.

oh. so why don't you like bill clinton?

for pretty much everything he has done.

such as?

well i don't really know much about his politics. i don't like him because he is a nasty cheater.

oh. so since he cheated on his wife, you think that he shouldn't be a president?

yeah. that's terrible.

do you know that mccain repeatedly cheated on his first wife and was pursuing his current wife while he was still married?

no. i didn't know that. i still don't like obama though.

let's eat.


  1. Holy smokes, how did you enter your own disclaimer in the comments section?

    Anyway, I have had several discussions like this with many-a-latter-day-saint, as well. The grammar and spelling aren't the best, but a guy I know blogged about this as well. Coincidence?

  2. you know, that kind of ignorance isn't exclusive to mormons.

  3. It's absolutely not exclusive to Mormons. And furthermore, if trying to attribute that ignorance to Mormons I think it would be more accurate to attribute it to Utah/Western Mormons than to all Mormons in general. Having lived in the midwest and eastern US, I've found Mormons in the rest of the country to be quite different than Mormons in the west.

  4. How in the world did you get through lunch?

    Did McCain really cheat on his wife that many times? He's disgusting.

  5. kel and scott,

    i never said that this ignorance was exclusive to mormons. however, i will say that there is something about mormon culture which promotes this ignorance.

    while outside of the mormon west things may be different, i still hold that this represents the political knowledge of the majority of mormons outside of the west (though to a lesser degree).

  6. I honestly don't think that you should categorize anyone into any kind of ignorance. There are exceptions to every rule, and this includes your stereotype of political ignorance in mormons. If you know a great number of mormons outside the west, and they all are ignorant, then you can say that, but one's religion does not totally explain one's lack of political knowledge, nor political views in general. And you should know that western includes places like Hawaii, and if you haven't met them, you can't speak for them. Many people today vote ignorantly, regardless of their religion. You can't rightfully blame this on the mormons. Nothing about the LDS church promotes this ignorance.

  7. era,

    i never said all mormons were this way. i'm a mormon and i like to think that i am not. however, i think the majority of mormons across the nation suffer from this ignorance. this includes hawaii where i served my mission. furthermore, i did not say that it is the church or the faith that promotes this ignorance. rather, it is the culture that does.

  8. I find that very ironic. You're a member of the mormon church, yet you rejoice when you say that they claim they're not Christian? (which they didn't in that article). I'm sorry if it's offensive, but i'm honestly curious as to why.

  9. The Silent Observer8/17/2008 9:20 PM

    I am just loving how Democrats are getting a taste of their own medicine this election. Republicans have always had to overcome the reliably Democrat districts full of barely literate welfare recipients who were voting to line their pockets with benefits on the public dime. Question is a typical Mormon anything like a Typical White Person*?

    *Copyright Barack Obama 2008

  10. era,

    i know that the lds newsroom article didn't make the claim that the lds church isn't christian. the article was the church's public relations folks making a terrible argument as to why flds, ueb, and other fundamentalist groups should not be called [fundamentalist] mormons. i was pointing out the hypocrisy of their argument in light of the church's constant claim that they are christians too.

    silent observer,

    i don't think anyone is getting a taste of anyone's medicine. the voting blocks have ben pretty steady. ignorant poor hicks tend to vote republican; ignorant poor minorities tend to vote democrat. both are receiving their welfare checks. on the other end rich war hawk bastards will continue to vote republican; elitist peace-loving hippies will vote democrat.

    and yes, a typical mormon is very much like a typical white person. neither are taking the time to realize that their cultural fears are largely unfounded.

  11. Silent observer: Am I as an Independent also getting my just deserts in my desire to have Obama elected?

  12. your typical right wing hatemonger8/18/2008 9:38 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. typical right-wing hatemonger,

    don't be copy and pasting nonsense. so very typical right-wing hatemonger of you.

  14. "Adolph Hitler could fire up a crowd too. I'm not comparing the two... "

    Actually, you quite literally did compare the two.

  15. typical right-wing hatemonger8/18/2008 10:45 AM

    and you always say you love open debate and dialogue. and again you have shown that when someone disagrees with you, or presents an idea opposed to yours, you will silence them.

  16. His comment instructions say not to use disparaging insults or personal attacks. Equating Obama with Hitler pretty much did you in.

  17. typical,

    you simply copy and pasted someone else's work in an attempt to derail the discussion. so i deleted it.

  18. typical right-wing hatemonger8/18/2008 11:55 AM

    but it is okay to call a 'typical mormon' ignorant? isn't that a "disparaging insult or personal attack"?

    i find "however, i will say that there is something about mormon culture which promotes this ignorance" to be insulting and an attack. let us all be fair and equal - please remove this from your blog.

    i also find this to be insulting so please remove it: "i think the majority of mormons across the nation suffer from this ignorance"

    i do not think anyone could argue that this is disparaging: "ignorant poor hicks tend to vote republican; ignorant poor minorities tend to vote democrat". please remove it.

    since the liberal movement is all about fairness and equality i eagerly anticipate your quick response to the above noted issues. if you apply a rule to one, it should apply to all. thank you

  19. typical,

    pointing out political ignorance is not a personal attack. and as i already have written twice (though you may not have seen the latter yet), i deleted your post because you simply copy and pasted someone else's work in an attempt to derail the discussion.

    if you want to discuss whether or not there is something within mormon culture that promotes political ignorance, go right ahead.

  20. I think the problem that led to your discussion in the car isn't directly related to an ignorance among Mormons, but rather a willingness that people in general have to be ignorant with regard to both politics and religion. People tend to approach politics and religion with the same "faith"-based dedication to their ideas. Instead of thinking logically about their beliefs they have an unquestioning loyalty to the party to which they belong.

    I think that kind of ignorance pops up on both sides of the political debate, and independent of religion. I've met very well educated people, both LDS and not, and both Republican and Democrat, who don't seem to discuss politics rationally.

    The only correlation between the particular ignorance in your car discussion (which I agree, does seem prevalent among Mormons) and Mormonism is that most Utah-Mormons (outside of SLC) tend to be Republican. I don't think this increases or decreases their likelihood of being irrational with regards to politics, but just gives a higher-probability that they'll be right-winged in their lack of reason.

    As far as the trend on a wider scale, I think you'll see Mormons being irrational politically in a right-winged way less often outside of Utah, and less often still outside of the west, but that Loyd is right in that the trend is still present. I don't think this indicates that those people are any more or less ignorant than anyone else, but just that Utah-Mormon culture still has influence on Mormons outside of Utah, but that the influence probably wanes as you get farther away.

  21. In volunteering to help people register to vote I can say it seems that even in Utah political ignorance is far from exclusive to Mormons here. I was pretty sad at the state of the political interest and understanding of many of the people I invited to register. I suppose I am just extra sad when a fellow Latter-day Saint is clueless on the issue, given that we have been encouraged by many church leaders to participate thoughtfully in the political process.

  22. I loved your experience, and laugh at people who think you're disparaging mormons. In reality, you're just disparaging "issues challenged" people, who really don't care to find out what is going on politically. It's a herd mentality.

    I voted for Obama in the primary, because I can't stand the Clintons. I can't say I love Obama or McCain or Ralph Nader. Where's Ronald Reagan?

    Living in Utah County, I'm really starting to embrace the democrats. There must needs be an opposition in all things..... Unfortunately, Utah County doesn't see it that way when it comes to politics. It seems more like the Borg, trying to assimilate everyone.

  23. Interesting that you mention the one photo of Obama and mock the woman's acceptance of that photo as indicative of him as a person, yet you perform the same logical fallacy in basing your opinion of Mormons on the small percentage you know. (Even assuming you know hundreds, it's still only a percentage of the 13 million total in the world.)

    Also interesting is that in making this comment I was asked to "not use disparaging insults or personal attacks against anyone or any group." Apparently, you were under no such stricture in composing your post.

  24. i love that you catagorized western mormons, or even mormons in general. life is nothing but an endless list of categories. just becuase one may not fit into that category does not make the catergory any less valid; or just because another category has similiar characterisitics does not make either category anyless valid.

    anyone who tries to say that your example is not the rule in utah is living in a fools paradise. yes there are exceptions, but then you would be in the exception to the rule category. hahahahaha!

    and in general something about religion and power together promote ignorance. The catholic church did it, judasim did it, islam did it (and all organized religions still does it) and there are things about the LDS culture that do it as well.

    like for instance people jumping to arms if you mention a women having the priesthood, or a woman being sealed to more than 1 man, or if you offer another idea about what a scripture could mean that is not in the footnotes. (the footnotes are not scripture guys, they are study helpers, not Gods word)

    but thats a post i leave to the narrator. hehehehehee


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