With the DSM Amendment off the radar, I was hoping to get off the topic of politics. Then I ran across a June 4 op-ed at the Trib entitled Mixing Religion and Politics (hat tip Snail Hollow Gazette). It relates the frustration of Democratic politicians like Harry Reid with the pro-amendment media event at the White House earlier this week, featuring, among other religious leaders, LDS Apostle Russell M. Nelson. Despite the seemingly conscious attempt of the recent First Presidency letter to avoid an official LDS endorsement of the amendment (it only asked Mormons to "express themselves on this urgent matter"), the public appearance by Elder Nelson at a political event sponsoring the amendment, plus earlier official statements by LDS leaders, easily leads to the view that LDS leaders have, in fact, taken an official political position that is now required of members.
Most troubling is the following passage from the Trib article regarding Bryan Kennedy, a Mormon and a Democratic candidate for Congress in Wisconsin, who was recently
informed by a member of his stake presidency that his position on "choice" and "civil unions" (identical to Mitt Romney's when he ran for the U.S. Senate in 1994) as well as endorsements from NARAL and Planned Parenthood suggested he had been less than honest in answering temple-worthiness interview questions about personal integrity and associating with organizations that oppose church teachings.
I wonder who swore louder when reading this, Harry Reid or Mitt Romney? I think it's more likely the overly zealous stake counselor will be promoted to the ward nursery next week than that candidate Kennedy will be subject to the threatened church disciplinary proceeding. But it does show what can happen when senior LDS leaders hold out what amounts to an official position on a pending political issue or vote. Wouldn't it be nice if a backlash in Wisconsin gets Kennedy elected?