I grew up in Mesa, Arizona, a town founded by Mormons in the 1880s. The third temple built in the United States stands in the heart of the city. Back in the 1960s and 70s, Mormons pretty much ran the town, public schools and much of the business community and the bishops wielded a ton of power.
In 2012, a number of people made comments about Mitt Romney being a Mormon, but I heard very few people say anything about Sen. Harry Reid who is also a Mormon from Nevada. So I was surprised to learn of the posting made by a Mormon bishop from Los Angeles that blasted Reid and was glad that he will no longer be the Senate Majority Leader.
In his posting, Mark Paredes wrote that he seriously doubted if Harry Reid was a Mormon in good standing. Not only did he blast Reid but he also blasted Mormons in his area that claim to be Democrats since the party platform stands for so many things that the church doesn’t support. He quoted some of the statements made by the 2012 Democratic National Platform which dealt with abortion, equality for women and homosexuality – same sex marriages.
Concerning Reid, Paredes wrote:
“Of all of yesterday’s election results, the one that made me dance a jig was the ousting of Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader. From now on, he’ll have to shill for the casino industry as a regular member of the Senate. More importantly, the Senate’s most powerful perch will no longer be occupied by a Mormon who does not take his religion seriously.”
“As a bishop, one of my responsibilities is to interview members who wish to enter Mormon temples. During our conversation, I have to ask them 13 or 14 questions (the number depends on whether the person has previously entered a temple). Although I can ask them follow-up questions based on their answers, I am not free to omit a question or substitute other questions for the standardized ones. One of the questions appears above, and I do not know how someone who is a standard-bearer for the Democratic Party can respond in the negative.”
“…Reid apparently believes that he is more inspired than our top 15 leaders – all of whom have signed a public statement declaring that marriage is between a man and a woman — on a major moral issue. Serious Mormons don’t believe this.”
“My disgust with Reid’s political prostitution comes from my weekly counseling sessions with Mormons who are serious about their religion, ordinary people who struggle with pornography and other addictions, relationship issues, crises of faith, etc. These are people who know what God wants them to do, and strive mightily to do it. They may fail at times, as we all do, but at least they are trying to adhere to their church’s teachings. Sadly, Harry Reid apparently believes that the church’s teachings on the evils of gambling, abortion, and same-sex marriage don’t apply to opportunistic politicians. I have no problem with an average Mormon in the pew who supports the Democratic Party because one of its issues or positions appeals to him. However, occupying a national Democratic leadership position is an entirely different matter. The LDS Church’s political neutrality can’t hide the fact that on virtually every important contemporary moral issue, at least from an LDS perspective, the Democratic Party opposes our positions. I have no doubt that Harry Reid is a wonderful man who loves his wife and kids, attends church, and is kind to animals. However, he is not a man of serious religious faith. Both Mormons and non-Mormons need a person with more integrity to lead the Senate. For Mormons who care about their church, the most appropriate word to describe Reid is one that he once used to condemn Justice Clarence Thomas: an “embarrassment.”
After Paredes posted his comments, Mormons from all over have been condemning him for speaking the truth. One Mormon responded to the post saying:
“I was a little disappointed, quite frankly, in his comments. I thought they were mean-spirited. I think anytime anyone uses the bully pulpit to berate others’ opinions or others’ work is a sad commentary.”
Former US Senator Bob Bennett (D-UT) defended Reid saying:
“Harry Reid has done as much to further the work of the kingdom as any politician that has ever served in national office, including me.”
The only statement issued by the Mormon church came from Dale Jones, a church spokesperson who stated:
“Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are, of course, entitled to express their own political opinions. However, publishing such views while using a title of a church officer, even if only as a leader of a local congregation as in this case, is entirely inappropriate.”
I’m not Mormon, but know a lot of what they believe and I have to say that Paredes was spot on with his assessment of Harry Reid. It is sad that Mormon church officials have not condemned Reid in the past for his extremely liberal views. If former Sen. Bennett claims that Reid has done much to further kingdom, I have wonder what kingdom he is referring to and how strong or weak is his own faith.
It reminds me of the flak a Catholic leader took a couple years ago when he publicly stated that Rep. Nancy Pelosi should not be allowed to take communion because of her liberal anti-church views.
In today’s culture, anyone who speaks the truth in condemning a public figure, especially a liberal public figure is bound to take a lot of flak for doing so. Liberals can’t tolerate being told they are wrong. They are quick to publicly condemn conservatives and Christians, but they can’t stand it when they are the target of the condemnation. But that’s just part of the liberal hypocrisy that they exemplify.