This article by Matt Bowman is worth reading. I, however, want to take issue with part of it: “Spencer W. Kimball, in short, had no coherent political position. He would alternatively inspire and horrify today’s progressives, and prove an inconsistent and frustrating ally to the American right. And this is as it should be.”
Except for the last sentence, I don’t really agree. I think it isn’t that Kimball had no coherent political position – I think it’s that typical partisan politics has no coherent position, and Bowman makes the mistake of conflating partisanship with coherence.
Too many want the church to be an arm of particular partisan ideologies. The church’s stance on things such a same-sex marriage and “illegal” immigration upset partisans of both sides, but that does not create incoherence. Both represent commitments to eternal principles that transcend our current concerns.
Somewhere out there in the Ricks College newspaper the Scroll, there’s a picture of my in a college debate representing the College Republicans (I was chosen because there was a Dan Quayle rally in the state that same day, and I was one of the only two members not going). That was before my mission. After my mission, my experience soured me on several Republican ideologies. I went to the College Democrats, but was driven away by their arguments supporting abortion rights. I went back to the College Republicans, only to hear them defend gun rights using almost the same language the Democrats had used on abortion.
The world is incoherent. The Gospel may seem incoherent sometimes, as it is seen through a glass, darkly – but in the end, it is eternally coherent. I believe Bowman should have framed his conclusions along those lines.