A Frustrating Facebook Conversation

October 1, 2009

Thompson (yesterday’s status update): ”There is no truth so obvious a liberal will not deny it. There is no lie so odious a liberal will not tell it.”

Michelle : It’s always fun to get up in the morning, check facebook to see how friends and family are doing. Especially when you find that your otherwise decent and nice former sunday school teacher, is calling you an “odious” liar.

Thompson: Michelle, I did not know you were a liberal. I know you parents sure are not.

Thompson: I will say this, it is hard to understand how anyone LDS can be a liberal. We have always believed in self-sufficiency, not in the government doing everything for you. Liberals believe in big government and it is the answer to all things. Liberals also believe in the murderous practice of abortion, in gay marriage, in opening things up so pornography is everywhere, etc. LDS have always opposed those things.

And, we believe in fairness. What the liberals and Democrats are saying is preposterous, that because we have come out and are letting our beliefs be heard, we are inciting possible assassination of our political leaders. As I remember, it was alright for liberals to criticize and heckle Bush in his State of The Union, to call him a murderer, etc. It was alright for liberals and Democrats to protest the Vietnam War, the War in Iraq, the G20 Summit in Philadelphia and the previous on in Seattle, it is alright for them to protest for the murder of God’s children in supporting abortion, it is alright for them to send white powder to the LDS Temples because they are upset that the LDS Church stands by its beliefs in opposition to gay marriage, as with Proposition 8 in California.

It seems to me that liberals and Democrats are able to say and do anything they want, but conservatives are disruptive if we even have peaceful demonstrations, like the 2 million people who marched on the Washington Mall a couple weeks ago against the government takeover of our health care system.

Much more can be said, but D&C 134:1 says it all, that we will be held accountable for our actions in relation to government, both in making and administering the law for the good and safety of society.

Robin : Dear Michelle, You can be a decent person, teach Sunday school and still call someone a liar. We are casted by the company we keep..like if the shoe fits wear it.. I would rather have a decent person oppose to whatevertype of person ? call me a liar…I certain would look at a decent person opinion closer before I explained my position , cause after all I already think they are decent. If I oppose them what am I?

Cynthia: The truth, cleverly told is the biggest lie of all! o(•¿•)o

You’ve gotta get Glenn Becks new book. “Arguing with Idiots” o(•¿•)o

Thompson: Yes, and that is how Satan has always worked, inserting a little truth or twisting things just enough, that it appears so nice. Like Satan’s plan of compulsion (liberalism) in the pre-existence.

Cynthia: Yep!!!!! MY ward is has a lot of BYU Profs. Very interesting scientific gospel. The Lord has won. Now we are being tested. The liberal people I know in Utah seem to be so pro government charity … the real listening and Constitution falls by the wayside.

Michelle: ”It’s not in our interest to be known as a one-party church,” … “Any notion that a church member cannot be both a Democrat and a good Mormon is wrong headed and should be ”obliterated,”

-Elder Marlin K Jensen (general authority and member of the Democratic party)

Also, from the newsroom at LDS.org:

“The Church does not attempt to direct its members as to which candidate or party they should give their votes to. This policy applies whether or not a candidate for office is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

In addition to Marlin K. Jensen , James E. Faust served in the House of Representatives for the 28th Utah State Legislature as a Democrat, served as chairperson of the Utah State Democratic Party and was appointed by John F. Kennedy to the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights.

Are you implying that these men were/are in favor of pornography, terroristic acts and murderous practices? That they are opposed to “fairness”, and do not understand the tenets of their own religion?

You use quite the broad brush of generalization to paint your extreme and misleading picture of democrats/liberals. As a registered democrat, I think abortion is something that should only happen in the cases of rape, incest, for the life/health of the mother, or in the case of an inviable fetus (if the mother so chooses in any of these cases), and would like to see tighter laws governing the legality of on demand abortion. Many on both sides of the political spectrum have similar views, and some countries in Europe (ie. England) that are considered “liberal”, have these more restrictive laws in place. Most Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, say that they would like to see abortion become a rare occurrence, as would many Republicans. While, there are some liberals that hold more extreme views on the issue, it is the same in the Republican party (where it is the more extreme conservatives that say that abortion should ALWAYS be illegal). Both extremes do not fall in line with the very centrist policy that the LDS church takes on the issue. (ie. exceptions for cases of rape, incest, for the life or health of the mother, or in the case of an inviable fetus. Elder Russell M. Nelson said on the issue: “Concern for the health of the mother is a vital one.”)

You say that you oppose “big government” which believes that it is the “answer to all things”, YET you want this same government to outlaw practices which YOU oppose, such as gay marriage. Do you only oppose “big government” if the said government disagrees with you and vice versa?

The following is from an Apostolic Circular issued by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve in 1875:

“One of the great evils with which our own nation is menaced at the present time is the wonderful growth of wealth in the hands of a comparatively few individuals. The very liberties for which our fathers contended so steadfastly and courageously, and which they bequeathed to us as a priceless legacy, are endangered by the monstrous power which this accumulation of wealth gives to a few individuals and a few powerful corporations…”

Large, powerful corporations are the same threat to freedom as an overly powerful government. I don’t believe in big government, per se.  I believe that there should be checks and balances over power mongering of ANY kind.

Yes, the LDS church preaches for us to be self sufficient, and yet they still have their own welfare programs in place. I believe, as the LDS church does, that welfare programs can be a springboard to self sufficiency. It was through school grants, medicaid, and other government programs, that my husband has had the opportunity to go to where he is now, a second year med student. His brother did the same, having just graduated from Harvard Law.* Neither would have had the means to accomplish these things if it weren’t for welfare programs. We will pay back many times in taxes the investment our government put into us. Also, I believe as Christ did in caring for the poor. I am more than willing to pay our taxes (which we will pay a large portion of with a doctor’s paycheck) towards making sure our poor (especially children, disabled and others with disadvantages), have access to basic needs like healthcare, schooling and nutritious food. This does NOT mean that I support laziness, anymore than the LDS church does by instilling a welfare program. In my own experience with them, these programs are only provide the basics, and it would only be through illegal fraud that one could live any kind of luxurious life off welfare. If it incites people to be so lazy, why haven’t you quit your job, so you could live the “opulent” life those who have to resort to welfare live (whether from the government or from the LDS church)?

Michelle: @Robin: I am as decent person as Mike, so by your logic, by disagreeing with me, Marlin K Jensen, etc, he is an indecent person. I don’t think that, I think we simply have different perspectives how to to better this world. Yes, it’s possible for two people to disagree politically and still both be good people.

Cynthia: “What win I, if I gain the thing I seek? A dream, a breath, a froth of fleeting joy. Who buys a minute’s mirth to wail a week? Or sells eternity to get a toy? For one sweet grape who will the vine destroy?” — William Shakespeare

Thompson: Michelle is a decent person. That does not make Michelle correct, but she is obviously working with what she believes is right and we should respect that. However, she should read, as she goes back to 1875 on some of her quotes, “Socialism and the United Order,” by Pres. Marion G. Romney, delivered in General Conference of the Church. And, as Pres. Hinckley said in his talk “War and Peace,” told us “Political difference never justify hatred or ill will. I hope that the Lord’s people may be at peace one with another during times of trouble, regardless of what loyalties they may have to different governments or parties.” Much more can be said about what he said in support of liberty and freedom “wherever it is in jeopardy.”

Thompson: By the way, anything misleading will be deleted. **(He posted this after deleting my longest post)**. If you want to post misleading information, do it on your own Facebook page. I have replied privately to Michelle about several things she has posted. She has a right to her opinion, but when they are so one-sided and ignore the prophets and what they have said, I will delete them. She has a nice page she can post them on.

Thompson: So we see that Democrats, TODAY, killed prolife provisions to the health care bill in the Senate today. What were we saying about liberalism and Democrats?

Peter: Yes, thank you for deleting Michelle’s “one-sided” posts and leaving up all the rest that are so open minded.

Thompson: Alright, tell me what you believe is misrepresented, I will look at it and see. I personally corresponded with Michelle on some matters which needed to be said. It is interesting that some will believe what anyone says and say nothing about what the prophets have said. You can see what is written. If you believe any of it is misrepresented, let me know. And, as you can see from my posts, even though I disagree, I defended her. She is a good person.

New status update this morning:

Thompson : Democrats have no respect for citizens. No free speech for conservatives, only for the Democrats when they were so rude to Bush, when they protested the Vietnam War, when the have been protesting the G20 Summit and when they did so in Seattle a few years ago as well. To a Democrat, free speech only goes one way.

to be continued…


*I could have pointed out the success stories of many of my friends and family, who used government programs to help them get through college. The only reason I singled out DH’s brother’s Harvard story is because Thompson is a lawyer/politician.

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5 Responses to “A Frustrating Facebook Conversation”

  1. loni said

    I am absolutely speechless. Wait, no I’m not. I am angry that he could be so offensive and pretend not to know it, when you simply tried to open him up to the idea that we can co-exist in our political beliefs and faith and that liberals Mormons are not evil. Frankly I’m embarrassed by him and his insistence that only republicans can be righteous members of the LDS church. I wish he understood how contradictory his expressions are to his own religion. He is taking statements that are open to interpretation and is presenting/trying to force it on others as doctrine. Uggghhhh. I don’t know what to do with ignorant members like this. I’m sorry.

  2. Tom said

    Your first mistake was trying to engage with someone who posts something like that bit about lying liberals. That’s a clear signal that they are Limbaugh/Beck types who buy into the demonization garbage peddled by extremists. It’s not possible to have a productive political conversation with that type. As you have just learned. A lot of my family buys into that stuff. I just have learned to shrug it off. Of course, it helps that I’m not a liberal so it doesn’t sting me personally. It would probably be harder if I was.

    BTW, your citing the conservatives’ efforts to prevent legal recognition of gay marriage as evidence of hypocrisy vis a vis big government doesn’t really work. In the case of marriage, conservatives aren’t trying to create any new power for the government, increase government involvement in citizens’ private lives, or increase government expenditures. And, actually, “outlawing” doesn’t accurately describe what the conservatives are after. They are not trying to make something that is legal illegal. They are trying to prevent expansion of legal recognition of relationships. Nothing “big government” about that.

    You’d be better off citing conservatives’ attempts to outlaw abortion, but that’s still pretty weak. Compared to liberals’ efforts to create new entitlements, take over health care, and control carbon output, the cultural conservative stuff is really small potatoes.

    What I think is fair is to point to the expanse of government under Bush and Reagan. The Republican party’s record on decreasing government is not much better than the Democrats’. Fiscal conservatives have no party in Washington. Fiscal moderates don’t really have one, either. They’re all spend happy. They all want to expand the welfare state to buy votes. And it works. It has since FDR, and it will until we go bankrupt (2024—write it down!).

    • Michelle said

      I knew that a productive political conversation would be impossible with him, given his extremist approach. What I was originally trying to target was his practice (and this is not his first status update of that nature), of making such over generalizing, demonizing statements, especially on facebook. I know too many members who automatically assume that other members share their political views. I thought that by putting a relatable, friendly, (even LDS) face on his supposed “enemy”, that maybe he would soften his approach. He can rant about specific politicians, or policies all he wants as far as I’m concerned, but he was including such broad swaths of people, with such offensive implications. I remember him being a pretty soft spoken individual, so I wondered if he knew how many friends and acquaintances he was offending. Some of my family is kind of like that, too, and they were always surprised to find out that “so-and-so” from the ward who they respected was left-leaning.
      I think his first response supports my theory, but I didn’t expect him to respond like he did next. All of a sudden, I was also trying to show him that my political views can also be supported by selectively quoting church authorities (which is not something I normally do, because as I’m sure you know, you can find quotes from general authorities past and present, that support a wide variety of beliefs; from the inspiring to the weird.) However I figured that he would be more likely to listen to the first presidency than me.
      I see what you mean by my example of the government not recognizing gay marriage as not being a good example of government wanting to expand. I wasn’t trying to show the hypocrisy of republicans, as much as I was trying to refute the things he stated that Mormons are “always opposed to”, including that government “is the answer to all things”. I interpreted this to be a libertarian-leaning view of his, so that’s why that example came to mind. You’re right, though, abortion (or something else) would have probably been a better example, either way.
      2024, eh? Do you have date and time figured out, because I don’t know how to else to enter an event on my iphone calendar. ;-)

  3. Summer said

    He called your statements misleading? In other words leading away from his personal beliefs? You were very reasonable and polite in your point of view, and just because it isn’t his point of view it’s misleading? How ridiculous!

    It is clear he is not a person to be reasoned with. He is set in his demonization of anything non republican and it would be futile to try and reason with the man. It is clear he read nothing you wrote and is only interested in retaining an intensely black and white view of people and politics.

  4. Tom said

    Summer says my comment sounded harsh so here are some emoticons to insert as you please:
    :-)
    8-D :-P
    f5d
    ;-0
    :-{

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