Wednesday, December 16, 2009

No Clever Musical Title Today. I'm Having Some Deep Thoughts.

“Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!”

I taught a Sunday School lesson a few days ago on “Being Good Citizens.” It was interesting to hear what people had to say. But, somehow I felt like I didn’t quite teach what I was supposed to teach. The discussion never reached the level of a discussion that I felt was useful and inspiring. I don’t know.

This week I am also teaching my last Institute class of the semester. Last night we talked about Alma giving up his position as chief judge to minister full-time to the people. Again, I tried to facilitate a discussion about the the responsibilities of politics and religion. It never quite got there. I’ll try one more time tonight.

In the meantime, here is my favorite quote of the moment as it relates to this topic.

"One of the best ways to learn what you believe is to learn what others believe, especially those who passionately disagree with you. You've got to understand how someone can be of good conscience and intelligent, look at the exact same issue as you, and come to a position 180 degrees opposite. One enormous problem we have in civil discourse today is that it’s so polarized; People tend to think that anyone who disagrees with them is either stupid or evil. They’re either too dumb to know the right answer, or if they’re smart enough to know the right answer they’re malevolent and want the wrong answer to prevail. To convince someone, you have to answer this question: If your mom came to these views, how would you try to convince her?” ~Ted Cruz (candidate for Texas Attorney General)

Also, a link to my favorite discourse of the moment as it relates to this topic.



  1. Love your current favorite quote. I want to print it and post it all over the world.
    I think I can picture the seen as you attempt to get a discussion going with open opinion without fear of judgment or being unsure of one’s self. I believe, frequently, people don't open up in a discussion because of "safety". If one feels they will be judged by the "wrong answer" (annoying when there is no wrong answer) one tends to keep deep beliefs or views to themselves. Good luck with opening the conservative ones.

  2. Thanks, Joy! Unfortunately, no one else wanted to talk. But, I'll keep trying.

  3. "Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony."

    That's one of the funniest scenes from the movie. Classic.

    I loved the quote from Ted Cruz. I couldn't agree more. I hate the stupid false dichotomy that politicians are always presenting us with. It's not that either the Democrats are completely right and the Republicans are wrong, or either the Republicans are completely right and the Democrats are wrong. Both groups are wrong at times, and sometimes they're even both wrong at the same time!

    As far as religion and politics are concerned, mixing them has always been and always will be a dangerous proposition, IMHO. Since I now have a sleeping baby in my arms, I will have to leave it at that. Sorry :-(