McMullin on same-sex marriage and the Supreme Court

Several of my friends appear enamored with Evan McMullin, the newly announced presidential candidate. I would like to bring to readers’ attention this article from the National Review, which includes these paragraphs.

After I scoured Evan McMullin’s Facebook page, I went to his website, wherein he says he’s very pro-life, but the only policy he commits to is no taxpayer financing of abortion; he boasts of support for adoption; and he commits to virtually nothing concrete on any issue, much less religious liberty, trying, I suppose, to be a unifier through vagueness, as many consultants would no doubt advise. This may or may not help you win (I think not, in this instance, as voters are onto this game), but it definitely makes it almost impossible to have a victory worth winning, as the GOP majorities in Congress have proved time and time again.

A few days later, consistent with his desire to be the new face of the Republican party that existing Washington GOP power players are longing for, McMullin was asked by Mark Halperin about gay marriage: “As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I believe in traditional marriage between a man and a woman, but I respect the decision of the Court, and I think it’s time to move on,” McMullin said, according to Lifesite News.

When Halperin asked if a President McMullin would at least appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn the Obergefell decision, he replied, “I wouldn’t.”

He could have evaded. He could have said he would look for constitutionalists like Justice Scalia. But he didn’t. He instead said its time to accept that the Left gets to decide what is in our Constitution and move on.

No one who cares about or understands constitutional conservatism would answer that way.

Readers can make their own decisions about McMullin, but he is definitely not getting my vote.

So, does this guy get anyone’s vote?

I know I am likely going pure protest vote, since I can’t bring myself to vote the somewhat lesser of two pretty evil evils when it’s basically Voldemort vs. Dolores Umbridge (this analogy doesn’t quite map that well onto Trump vs. Clinton, but it’s “close enough for government work”).

I’ve been hearing a lot about this Evan McMullin guy,  who was apparently a real life Jason Bourne (without the memory loss) before becoming a GOP policy director.  Even for a 3rd party guy, this seems like the longest of long shots.

Any thoughts?

Saul, Alma the Younger, and the tale of Martha Brotherton

Saul at stoning

Saul (seated) holding the coats of those stoning St. Stephen, from the tympanum of Saint Étienne du Mont, Paris

As we consider scripture, we see great individuals who have overcome a terrible past.

Saul, later Paul, began his career of tormenting Christ’s followers by volunteering to hold the clothing of those who stoned Stephen, a believer. He went on to actively persecute Christians, until he was stopped by a divine revelation on the road to Damascus. Yet he went on to become one of the greatest of the early Christian apostles.

Alma, son of the Alma who had been a priest in the court of King Noah, went about actively destroying the Church of God. It is unclear how much of the later apostasy and warfare that troubled the Nephite and Lamanite peoples were directly attributable to the youthful actions of Alma “the younger.” Yet the younger Alma went on to become a great political and religious leader, honored in his own time as well as by modern Mormons.

I have suggested that some early Mormons were like Alma the younger and Saul/Paul. We know them and honor them for their great goodness. But I detect the traces of a troubled past of which they repented.

This past month, as a tangential result of my foray into an alternate Mormon-themed website, I tumbled across something that has stood in plain site, yet unseen across the decades. It makes sense of things, yet it does not make me glad. I am now persuaded that someone I previously saw as uncorrupted had an episode in their past that rivals the evil of Saul and the youthful Alma. Continue reading

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.