Saturday, December 10, 2011

Romney, Gingrich, and the Republicans

Religious Discrimination, Then and Now

In 1982, I had a girlfriend.  I was also contemplating and deciding whether or not to go on a mission.  Under the best of circumstances, that would complicate life enough.  My situation, however, was even more messy.

I lived in Indiana, where Mormon girls were rare.  So, in high school and early college, I dated mostly non-members.  Even though at the time, most of the church leaders were trying to discourage this, I didn’t have many options.  Not only were there few Mormon girls, they didn’t like me much.

So, this girlfriend I had was not a member of the church.  She didn’t understand my growing commitment to my faith, and didn’t get why I had to make any kind of choice to leave.  Still, we were “in love” (whatever that means to a 19-year-old).  One thing she had going for her was her morals.  She was one of the few in the college there in my home town who understood that it was a good idea to wait for marriage.

One thing that worked against her, however, was her mother, and this is really what I wanted to talk about today.  This lady hated Mormons.

Let me restate that:  This lady H A T E D Mormons.

In her eyes, I was just this side of the spawn of Satan himself, and why her beautiful daughter would waste her time with me was just beyond her.  She spent a lot of effort trying to get her girl to break up with me, both while I was deciding whether or not to go on the mission, and, later, when I actually was out in the field.

One of her tactics was to try and get her back with her ex-boyfriend.  My girl and this guy had been together about a year and a little more before she and I had started dating.  This guy was a prize, truly.  A real mother’s dream.  In the two years that followed their time together, spanning the time that the girl and I were dating, this guy was married and divorced, all the while trying to get back together with my girl and having a baby with yet a third girl.  My girl used to tell me about how he’d get drunk and come on to her, but she had always been able to keep him off.

And yet, when you add up all of his points, he still some how totalled up to be a better choice than a Mormon.

To tell the end of the story, by about a year into my mission, I could tell that this wasn’t going to work out, so I ended it.  Her next few letters made it clear to me that it was the right choice for both of us.

Then, fast forwarding to now, I’m looking at Mitt Romney, and I’m feeling connection.  Not a political one, I still disagree with his positions too much to actually vote for him, but a personal connection.  The republicans are kinda like my girlfriend and her mom.  Yeah, maybe Perry and Bachman are a homophobic idiots, and maybe Cain and Gingrich both need to learn to control their libidos, and get things clear with their wives (no matter how many they’ve had up to that point), but at least they’re not, well...  You know...  How do I say this nicely...?   ...not MORMON.

Mitt, I feel yer pain...


Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Utah State Legislature vs. The Disabled


Why I lose sleep every January and February

A while ago, I got into a bit of a “discussion” on facebook.  It all began when my friend started a thread on his wall.  It got me a bit frustrated, but I debated whether or not I should respond, because it was started by a good friend.  In the end, I did.  I said, “Rhetoric like this is what makes me lose sleep every winter when the Utah state legislature meets.”  He asked me to clarify that.  I did, and others joined in.

What followed was a discussion that I’ve had a number of times when I get on this topic with the conservatives that are so plentiful out here in Utah.  It goes basically like this.

  • They:  The government shouldn’t be responsible for taking care of people, they should take care of themselves!
  • Me:  So, you’re saying that the government shouldn’t help us pay Jacob’s medical bills?  You mean we should pay what would amount to literally over $7,000 a month ourselves?
  • They:  You pay that much?
  • Me: No, but we would have to if we didn’t have help from government programs. Jacob’s life literally depends on government programs.
  • They: Well, of course, the government should help people like you, they just shouldn’t help people who are leeching off welfare.
  • Me: But when the representatives in the legislature talk, they don’t make any distinctions.  They just talk about cutting funding.  That makes me lose sleep.
  • They: Well, conservatives wouldn’t cut funding for the disabled.  Some government programs are necessary.
  • Me:  Whatever you say...

So, today, I got this email from a group that sits in on legislative committee meetings and reports on them to those in the disability community.  It said:

“The Social Services Appropriations Joint Sub-Committee voted on a base budget this morning  that eliminates or reduces programs that impact people receiving services through DSPD (Division of Services for People with Disabilities)...” 
The letter went on to enumerate the items in the DSPD budget that were being cut and gutted.


Fortunately, this is just a subcommittee meeting, and there is much lobbying that can (and in my opinion must) be done to prevent that.

There are a few arguments that I’ve had on the ‘net where I would sincerely wish I would lose.  This, unfortunately, is one of them.  I’d gladly wish that I were wrong if it would help me sleep better.


Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Gabrielle Giffords, Jared Loughner, Sarah Palin, and Barak Obama

My thoughts on the Arizona shooting and its aftermath:

   1. It was a senseless tragedy, perpetrated in a senseless way, by a senseless man.
   2. I can’t think of a single thing I’ve heard Sarah Palin say that didn’t make me cringe.  HOWEVER - this shooting is not her fault.
   3. The only thing I can think of that Jason Chaffetz has said that I’ve agreed with was his praise for Gabrielle Giffords.  This shooting isn’t his fault, either.
   4. Who’s fault is it?  Jared Loughner (assuming he’s convicted).
   5. Is Jared Loughner crazy?  I think ANYONE that points a gun at another human and shoots is, on some level, crazy.  There is a lot of craziness in the world. 
   6. All the pundits on the right and (mostly) on the left that are blaming this tragedy on the other side are grandstanding and should shut up.
   7. All of the pundits who are saying we should all tone our rhetoric down a notch are smart and should be listened to.
   8. All of the pundits who are saying that we should tone down our rhetoric, while also pointing the accusing finger at their opponents, are idiots and should be ignored.
   9. The American political system has always been based (for good or ill) on compromise and working together.  In recent years, the viciousness of the rhetoric, and the selfish need for the spotlight has gotten so intense that compromise seems impossible. When the shouting gets too loud to hear the talking, bad things happen.  Let’s not repeat the 1860’s.
  10. Gun Control does not work.  If someone wants a gun, they can acquire one, regardless of the legality or their mental state.
  11. An armed populace does not work.  Bystanders drawing weapons and returning fire could have changed a single man’s rampage into a full-fledged shootout. In a crowded parking lot, imagine the bloodbath that could have caused.
  12. Obama is not a perfect leader.  Still, I liked what he said at the funeral.  Especially the part where he said, “I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it.  I want America to be as good as she imagined it.  All of us -– we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.”
  13. I also like how he made the whole speech about the victims and the heroes, not so much about politics.

When I originally created the Mo’Boy Doctrine, it was designed to be invoked when people got all bent out of shape over things that didn’t matter.  However, this incident, and the political crisis that it has pointed out, matter, and matter a lot.  Still, the best chance our country has rests in our abilitiy to not get bent out of shape.  So, I invoke the doctrine anyway. 

Let’s all take a deep breath, and work together for a change.


Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.


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