State of the Mormon Presidential Hopefuls

For disclosure, I admit to supporting Michele Bachmann above any other current candidate. She seems to me the most consistent with my own political positions. If it wasn’t for the fact that I live in a last to vote in the primaries State (how is that for all votes count?) my involvement in the process would be much more. For the moment I can only hope that primary voters who do have some power will give her more of a shot. As this year’s Iowa Ames straw poll shows, newspaper and national polls don’t tell the whole story.

That out of the way, this isn’t directly about her. Two Mormon contenders are in the Republican Party who want to be the next U.S. President. Their chances could not be more different. Continue reading

The Faith Convictions of Muslims

Before the tragic attack on the World Trade Center, I had a grudging respect for the Muslim faithful. They seemed the most spiritual and religiously conservative group on the planet, untouched by the Western immorality and atheism. There was the accusation that was only because of the lack of educational opportunities, but even those who went to Western and U.S. schools went back home without losing religious convictions. There was something about Islam that a person who had their own strong faith convictions had to admire.

When the infamous 9-11 attack happened, there was hope that citizens of the United States could learn something about themselves out of the deadly chaos. Perhaps the Christian nation as a whole would re-evaluate the moral direction it had taken. They would take notice of Muslims and look within to question how they had lost their spiritual way. Certainly they could contrast the strength of conviction and moral cohesion of such a large group of people and come away determined to change. For one brief week it seemed possible.

That illusion was quickly shattered. It didn’t take very long for people to continue going about their business like always. Each generation seeming more intent than the next to rid themselves of religious and moral guidance. Meanwhile, the extremist Islamist leaders ended up sharing the anti-Christian, anti-Israel, and anti-United States stances of Western liberals. That wasn’t a surprise, but how they played off each other was. They ended up doing the your enemy is my enemy dance. The terrorists came off not as moral crusaders, but political despots eager for attention with the blood of the dead. Still, the question stands how Muslims remain faithful stalwarts in such large numbers while Christianity, and Mormonism included, continues to stumble. Continue reading

Yeah Samake

(Editors’ note:  this is the first of what we hope will be literally thousands of posts by the great Daniel Bartholomew, who needs no introduction, except to say he’s been blogging about Mormon subjects for many years.)

Yeah Samake is a convert to the LDS Church, a BYU graduate, mayor of Ouelessebougou and a candidate to become president of Mali in 2012.  You can find his website here.

On the “About Myself” portion of his website is written an interesting tidbit about how Yeah Samake allows some of our common religious terminology to enter into his political work:

Samake has instituted a council of tribal elders, what he likes to call his “Elder’s Quorum,” where each village sends two trusted elders to the council. It keeps leaders accountable and has become an agent of communication to the communities.

So, along with the two Mormons seeking to be a presidential candidate here in the United States, LDS people should also pay attention to how the presidential race in Mali goes for brother Yeah Samake. Good luck to him!