Thursday, November 10, 2016

When Mormons Abandon Morality

This isn't likely to be my most coherent post. You see, it's 2 am, I've slept for two of the last twenty-four hours, and I'm not likely to fall asleep again for a while. But the nightmares are back, and there's really not a lot I can do about it.

I know I am not alone. So many others like myself are awake with the same fears, repetitions of the same terrors. All uniquely customized to match our individual stories, made-to-order horrors just for us.

The gay couple watching as their house is burned down. 
The Muslim woman attacked in the street as her hijab is ripped off and called a terrorist.
The unarmed black man kneeling as he faces a loaded gun.
The woman reliving her sexual assaults again and again.

As a multiple sexual assault survivor who every day has to tell myself that I deserve better, that This is not okay, that Things will get better, I have to admit that that mantra sounds especially hollow today.

Half of the country doesn't think that I do.
Half of the country thinks that this is just fine.
Half of the country doesn't think that there's a problem in the first place.

When the party of "family values" elects a man who openly admits to sexually assaulting women, who brags about wanting to have sex with his daughter, who has decades of recorded, flagrantly sexist comments, then I don't want your family values. If that's what your family looks like, then I want no part of it.

I get it: you were thinking of other things, other more important things, that you believe somehow balance the scales of justice and morality. Fear of immigrants, concern over the lack of blue collar jobs, hatred of the establishment, worries over Supreme Court justices, abortion. Justified or unjustified, I understand where you were coming from.

But don't ever pretend you were thinking of women. Don't ever act as though we mattered to you.

You just proved that we don't.

And the fact that, according to exit polls, Trump won 60 percent of the Mormon vote nationwide is reprehensible. I thought my religion was better than this. I thought we stood for more than this.

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. (Articles of Faith 1:13)

Do we? Are you sure? Virtuous? Chaste? Praiseworthy? Benevolent?

Are those the words that come to mind when you think of Trump?

I understood your issues with Hillary; I did. I would have accepted it if you had voted for anyone, anyone, other than Trump because, while I may disagree with you on platforms, I knew what you stood for - or, at least, I thought I did. I was so glad when Evan McMullin entered the race; I knew Hillary had no real shot of winning Utah, but I was just hoping that Mormons in Utah would vote for him over Trump. At least he offered a moral choice, and I could support you in that choice.

But you chose to abandon God's standard of morality for a worldly one. You became more concerned about what is legal than what is right. When God speaks on a matter of morality, that should end the conversation. You have chosen to abandon God's standard of morality by nominating a man whose platform was built on xenophobic, racist, and hateful language, with a long history of sexism and abuse, so that you could make sure that the laws that you wanted would be put in place.

How disgraceful.

So those of you who supported Trump - Don't pretend to have the moral high ground ever again. You now have to convince me, someone who sits with you in church, who listens to the same talks, who sings the same hymns, that you have a moral backbone. 

At least I can recite the 13th Article of Faith without shame.

Can you?

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