Thank you all for your contribution to what has turned into a lively discussion over here. I'm turning off the comments now, for good, and I respectfully ask that you let this end. I'm not a political blogger, and I have been increasingly uncomfortable with the exposure my little tantrum has received. Along with the rest of the LDS church, members of my stake are now preparing for General Conference. This is a wonderful time for introspection and refocusing of priorities, and I look forward to a more positive climate here and in other parts of the country when Conference has ended. Have a peaceful, restful Easter, everyone. ~DeNae
I am mad.
Seriously, there isn't some adorable punch line coming. I'm freaking livid. And some of you reading this may well de-follow-ify yourselves after this post, which will be kind of sad but I just have to say this. I promise, in a day or two we'll return to the normal vapid nonsense you've come to tolerate from this blog.
A little background for those of you just joining us. In case you haven't figured it out in the last 154 posts, I am a Mormon. I also live in Nevada. Which means Harry Reid is one of our U.S. senators, the other being the illustrious Republican John Ensign - you know, the guy who is in tepid water on accounta that little misunderstanding about having an affair and then paying off the girlfriend's husband (who decided that blackmail was the best revenge) by giving him a "consulting" job, so, gosh, aren't we all proud to belong to that Grand Old Party.
Anyway, Harry Reid is also a Mormon.
Now, Senator Reid was invited to speak in our stake (which is like a diocese only, you know, stuffed with Mormons) on the subject of "Why I Believe." Invited. Did not lobby for the opportunity.
The entire content of his message - which has been delivered several times in other stakes - was the story of his conversion to Mormonism and his desire to share his love for God and his faith with his family, something he rarely gets to do in public.
That was it. Period.
As soon as word got out that Senator Reid (or might I remind my fellow Latter-day "Saints," Brother Reid) was speaking in our stake, the e-mails and phone calls began pouring in. Furious complaints about the "political" nature of this presentation. Righteous indignation over the Senator's politics. Messages, threats, that if he were permitted to speak, members of my church would heckle him from the audience. Would load signs into their pickups with the words "Mormons Against Harry Reid" painted on them, and park the trucks outside the chapel.
Are you people out of your everlovin' minds?? Seriously, do I go to church with a bunch of crazies? Cuz I'd like to know right now, before I invite any of you over for dinner.
One man said, "If I see Harry Reid in the temple, I'm going to hit him." Another told our stake president, "Harry Reid is the most evil man on the earth, and you and your counselors are next."
Imagine Iranian President Imanutjob's relief at having been bumped to fifth place! Kim Jong-il, congratulations, you are now numero six. African dictators, slave traders, and murderers? Cheer up! Harry Reid and our stake presidency are waaaay more evil than y'all.
There were even people weighing in from out of state. One woman called from St. George, Utah; my husband took the call, and she gave him a message for our stake president: "You're a wicked man for allowing this to happen."
The outcry was so virulent, they cancelled the fireside. For security reasons. The man was fearful for the safety of his family.
Fearful! Of his fellow Mormons!
Well, I have something to say to all of you who made this happen, and any of you who agree with them. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. I'm disgusted with the whole lot of you.
Week after week and year after year, I have been permitted to teach you in my Gospel Doctrine, Seminary, and Institute classes. You have entrusted your kids to my religious and secular instruction. You e-mail me with questions about the scriptures, confident that I can help you understand things more clearly, certain that I am a person of faith and integrity.
And you don't know one damn thing about my political views.
How do you know I'm not a registered Democrat? How can you be certain I didn't help put this "evil" man into office? Gosh, what if, along with my tithing and fast offering, I exercised my constitutionally protected right to donate to his campaign fund?
Why am I permitted to express my faith, but Harry Reid is not? For that matter, why should I listen to anything you have to say on a given Sunday? What guarantees do I have that when it comes to your views on the way the government should be run, you and I are in agreement?
Don't start in on the whole "it's because his votes impact the entire country" whine, since that's my point exactly. He answers to the constituency that elected him, not to the Mormon church. Good grief, when everyone was slobbering over getting Mitt Romney elected, we couldn't holler loudly enough that he wouldn't be the puppet of the president of the church, honest, we totally pinkie-promise, and if you can't trust us Mormons, gee, who can you trust? But, what? Harry Reid is Beelzebub because he, too, is a representative of his constituents, and not President Monson?
One guy e-mailed me and said, quote: I would rather hear from a minion of Satan himself than from Senator Harry Reid.
I won't put the comment moderation on for this one, but watch it. If you have a political squawk you'd like to get out there, feel free to keep it to yourself. I have a 'delete forever' option and I know how to use it.
I don't want to know why you feel justified in declaring another member of this church unfit to hold a temple recommend when his bishop and stake president say otherwise. I really could not care less about your definition of "hypocrisy" or "worthiness" or even "right" or "wrong."
Just know this: If the day ever comes when you no longer feel safe participating in a religious service of your own faith, surrounded by your 'brothers and sisters' of the church, all because of your political opinions or voting record, do NOT come sniveling to me.
You'll have no one to blame but yourself.