Sunday, November 05, 2006

Mixing R&D

Many have defended Mr. Mac's double duty as President of The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and paid "campaign advisor" of Senator Orrin Hatch. It's absolutely reasonable (and smart) for the LDS Church to set policies against that kind of relationship. And I believe they will soon. Let's face it, The Boston Globe did The Church a favor last month. It brought out extremely serious behavior into the open where it could be dealt with early. Think about what would have happened had that article come out late next year. Disaster.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Mr. Mac Hatch's fashion consultant?

11/06/2006 07:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ba zing!

11/06/2006 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger Alienated Wannabe said...

Dear Ethan, In my honest opinion, the "extremely serious behavior" the Globe brought out was its own sloppy and biased journalism, coupled with Don Stirling's attempts to manipulate Sheri Dew. And, from the perspective of current tax law only, I would also grudgingly add the email sent by two BYU deans. I say grudgingly because at universities across the country those kinds of emails are sent out everyday in support liberal causes and candidates. (I have received many.)

But, as for the Church, Elder Holland, Sheri Dew, and Mr. Mac, none of them have done anything wrong. I would hate to see some of the best and brightest amongst us coerced into hiding their light under a bushel over this incident.

The LDS Church has a lay ministry, were almost all active members serve in a type of volunteer position. That means that if you are a decent person with some talent, you are eventually going to find yourself in some kind of temporary leadership position. If the Church were to adopt a new policy, as you are suggesting, that no one who ever held a prominent position could participate in politics (or vise versa) an awful lot of fine and capable people would be kept back from public service.

Politics is already such a dirty business that too many good people are scared away from participating. What does that leave us? Good liars who have done a good job of hiding skeletons and covering their tracks? Is that really what we want? Now, some apparently want to keep religious people out of the system altogether. I think that is unconstitutional and unwise.

Here is just a cursory listing of some of the people who would have been held back from public or Church service if such a policy would have been adopted in the past:

Joseph Smith
Brigham Young
Reed Smoot
J. Rueben Clark
Ezra Taft Benson
David Kennedy
Neil A. Maxwell
George Romney
T. H. Bell

And, for you Democrats, the List would include the following:

B. H. Roberts
James E. Faust
Marlin K. Jensen
Wayne Owens
Ted Wilson
Scott Matheson
Jim Matheson
Harry Reid

Regardless of party affiliation, one can see that we would all be significantly poorer as a community and as a nation if we were deprived of the services of these fine people. Let's not go overboard with the "disaster" talk.

11/06/2006 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Alienated Wannabe said...

The following is an email I sent the Globe after the story broke:

I am very discouraged by the low quality of reporting being done by Globe reporters regarding the alleged cooperation of LDS Church leaders with a future Romney Presidential Campaign:

Repeatedly, I read references to “church leaders” meeting or working with representatives of Romney’s team. But, the only church leader ever identified is Jeffery Holland, the former president of BYU who granted a courtesy visit to an old acquaintance, Kem Gardner. (These kind of courtesy visits are granted to visitors from all over the world every day.)

Holland is a single individual, who also happens to be a church leader. He is not “church leaders.” A single individual granting a courtesy visit, and perhaps making a suggestion to contact a BYU alumni association, hardly rises to the level of “church leaders” actively participating within a political campaign. (Granted, two BYU deans apparently inappropriately sent an email to 150 people, but that is also not “church leaders.”)

Please forgive me, but it looks like Don Stirling is not the only overly-anxious promoter getting carried away with his private agenda. I can think of two Globe reporters who may be doing the same with their own. It’s too bad their editor could not slow things down until a more sound basis could be found for the story.

Ironically, by simply reading Stirling’s email messages one can see the claim that Holland was “designated/assumed the role of coordinating these matters” was untrue. This is so, because if Holland really was the point man, he would have been the person contacting Sheri Dew, the CEO of the Deseret Book company, not some low level contact like Stirling.

Holland’s office is across the street from Dew’s office. He knows her personally. In less than five minutes he could have walked over and talked to her directly. And, trust me, this influential man would have been far more persuasive with her than Stirling. It is a non-story that could have been exposed by due diligence.

Thank you for your time. I am confident that you mean well. But, you have made some mistakes. I hope that you will correct them.

11/06/2006 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Alienated Wannabe said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/06/2006 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Alienated Wannabe said...

To illustrate my point, I am submitting the following text of an email I received only seconds ago. It is a letter from a state university employee who was using her official email address. As you can see, she is endorsing specific types of causes and candidates, but you will not hear any complaining about this in the liberal media. The fact is that this literally happens all the time, and all in the name of academic freedom. But, again, academic freedom only applies to secularists and liberals. If you are religious or a conservative, then you have a story written about you in the Boston Globe.


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Make it a point to stand in a voting booth and honor the legacy of women who made Election Day something we now have the opportunity to participate in!

This election year:

12 women are running for Senate
139 women are running for House
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…and a record 2,431 women are running for state legislative seats!
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11/06/2006 11:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can women vote?

11/06/2006 12:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

should women vote?

11/06/2006 12:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11/06/2006 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger pramahaphil said...

I'd have to agree with wannabe on the major point of his lengthy comments.

So long as a Church member who holds leadership positions (except for leaders amoung General Authorities or Church full-time missionaries)does not use their callings or religious affiliation as a campaign tool, there is nothing wrong with participation in the political process.

11/06/2006 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Alienated Wannabe said...

Oh, come on, anonymous! You can do a better job of reading than that, my friend!

The author is advocating for women candidates in general and liberal policies in particular. Remember, her words were "when women vote, women win!" Her implication is that women will automatically vote for a female candidate simply because they share the same gender, and that’s a good thing. She is also implying that liberal policies are automatically in the best interest of women. Many of us beg to differ.

If you still can’t see what is happening, please replace the word "women" in her email with any other label, and replace her liberal positions with conservative ones:

“…When active Mormons vote, active Mormons win!...”

“…White men have a lot at stake each time they go to the ballot box! To name a few: the right to keep and bear arms, creating Social Security savings accounts, and a fair and balanced judiciary to protect the rights of unborn white men…”

“…This election year: 12 conservative Hispanics are running for Senate, 139 conservative Hispanics are running for House, 10 conservative Hispanics are running for Governor…”

Do you see how offensive that might be to someone else? For example, how would you feel if you were a male candidate, possessing all the finest qualities, and yet running in a close contest against a less qualified woman? What would your opinion be of this email?

Now, I personally believe that this good woman has every right in the world to advocate for women candidates and liberal causes. Whether she should be doing it at the tax payer’s expense is another question. But, I am not even addressing that. My point is simply to point out the double standard and hypocrisy of those who wail and moan over the email sent by two BYU deans, but who seem to have no problem with the same kind of behavior committed everyday by other academics that happen to be liberal.

I am constantly receiving these kinds of email messages from state university employees, using their official email addresses, and advocating for liberal causes and personalities. Can’t you see the double standard? That was my only point. Do you dispute it? Please give some reasoned arguments to back up your position.

11/06/2006 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger Alienated Wannabe said...

Thank you, pramahaphil. As you know, neither Mr. Mac nor Sheri Dew would fall into the categories that you outline. And, though I agree with you that it is wise for General Authorities to stay out of politics, I think it is also important for us to stress that they still have the right to do so if they so choose.

We don't know what the future will bring. I think it is important for us to maintain our rights and freedoms. Once we allow an anti-religion precedent to be established, and we lose a freedom, it is almost impossible to get it back.

What if two child-molesting, Communistic, Laker-fan, Anti-Christ candidates were running against one another, and the only person with enough name recognition to "step in" and save the day was a Mormon Apostle? Wouldn't you want him to be able to run? Wouldn’t he really have as much right as anyone else to run?

Remember Elder Reed Smoot and Elder B.H. Roberts were both politically active (against one another!) while they were simultaneously serving in high profile church callings. It wasn't fun then, and it wouldn't be fun now, but it still is legal.

This is true even considering the current tax codes. So long as the Church itself, as an institution, does not officially endorse a candidate, it is legal.

Would there be wailing and moaning? Yes. But, when have we ever been spared that? It's our burden, and our legacy, to deal with such for as long as the work goes forward--and even when it doesn't.

11/06/2006 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger Don Seamons said...

Ethan, it must be fun to write a few paragraphs, sit back, and watch the comments stream in.

For those of us intrigued by the possibility of Mitt as candidate, I think you're dead on about the timing of the Boston Globe story. In late 2006, the story doesn't make much difference outside Utah and the Northeast. In late 2007, the story reverberates with primary voters in New Hampshire and Iowa.

11/07/2006 12:53:00 PM  

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