About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

Gary Johnson’s Deseret News piece on the issue of religious liberty and Mormons

Please read this article here.

Here is an excerpt:

Yet there have also been times in our history when religion has been invoked to justify serious harm. In years past, opponents of interracial marriage, desegregation and other efforts to protect civil rights too often cited scripture and religion in making their arguments.

To be blunt, certain politicians have twisted religious liberty and used it as a tool to discriminate.

Thus, in response to a question thrown at me while walking down a street (in the rain), I expressed my reservations rather emphatically — and cited the experience of Mormons as a case-in-point where religious persecution resulted in violent episodes right here in America.

My point was that even a respected, peaceful people experienced tragic harm in the name of religion and was, in fact, persecuted by the government itself by politicians who opposed their beliefs and practices.

And on a personal level, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came to mind because I had been in Utah the day before, as my campaign is actually based in Salt Lake City. I am well aware of the painful history of government interference with Mormons and the practice of their faith.

In part because of this unique history, I believe Utah has found an appropriate balance in a religious freedom law that serves as an example to the rest of the country that non-discrimination and religious freedom are not opposing forces, but can instead go hand in hand.

I want to be clear. I believe we can, and must, strike a balance between our shared American values of religious liberty and freedom from discrimination. My concerns lie with the possible consequences of politically-driven legislation which claims to promote religious liberty but instead rolls back the legal protections held by LGBT Americans.

Gary Johnson campaign responds to comments on Mormons

I reached out to the Gary Johnson campaign today in response to his comments on Mormons and religious liberty and got the following response:

Statement from Gov. Gary Johnson regarding comments reported in Washington Examiner column:

“My reference to the LDS church, made during an impromptu conversation, was an admittedly very imprecise reference to the violence that accompanied the Mormon’s early history in the 1800s– violence that was prompted by the persecution of the Mormons themselves by both the federal government and others. Absolutely no offense was intended, and I regret any that has resulted.

My point, made with an unfortunate example, is that religion has been used too many times to justify discrimination, persecution and, yes, violence. Acts of violence and aggression can not be excused by religion and all people must be held accountable for their own actions.

Few in America have experienced that persecution more than Mormons, and I understand and respect that. The LDS church and its historical struggles with the government are perfect examples of the need for true religious freedom, not selective freedoms legislated and created by politicians. I consider many of the LDS faith to be my closest of friends including National Campaign Manager Ron Nielson.”

My take: Gov. Johnson still does not seem to understand the importance of religious liberty, but at least he was not accusing Mormons of wanting to use religion as an excuse to shoot people dead. Personally, I am very relieved that he is aware of the Mormons’ history of religious persecution. Many readers may know that the Johnson campaign is based in Salt Lake City, so it is clear that Gov. Johnson has many Mormon friends.

If only some of his friends could help him understand the importance of religious liberty….

As some readers may know, Gov. Johnson was quoted as saying the following:

“Back to Mormonism. Why shouldn’t somebody be able to shoot somebody else because their freedom of religion says that God has spoken to them and that they can shoot somebody dead.”

So what the candidate was apparently trying to say was that Mormons have suffered from other groups because of religious persecution, and this is what he wants to try to avoid.

I am thankful that the Johnson campaign clarified.

Gary Johnson sees no value in religious liberty and implies that Mormons want religious liberty so they can shoot people dead

I wish I were making this up. Long-time readers know that I am an economic libertarian. I was planning on voting for Libertarian party candidate Gary Johnson. No longer. Johnson has a long history of left-wing activism on various social issues (he is virulently pro abortion and pro drug use and pro gay marriage). I was willing to forgive all that because the other choices are Hillary and Trump. No longer.


Please read this. Continue reading

Eight things the prophets didn’t say

This is one of those must-read articles if you follow social media. There are so many things false things passed around on the internet, that sometimes the very elect will be fooled!

Here’s one example:

If you vote for the lesser of two evils you are still voting for evil and you will be judged for it. You should always vote for the best possible candidate, whether they have a chance of winning or not, and then, even if the worst possible candidate wins, the Lord will bless our country more because more people were willing to stand up for what is right.

Supposedly this was said by President Ezra Taft Benson, but nobody has found any confirmation of it, and the quotation may simply be made up. (We welcome any evidence that President Benson actually said this).

The moral of the story is: check and double-check any quotations from the prophets before passing them on.