i've debated for a week about this post, and i perhaps should have given it another week, but today i read joanna brooks' interview with judith dushku, one of my sheroes. dushku says almost everything i wanted to say, and better than i could, and with first hand experience to back it up, so i decided to add a few of my own thoughts, to bring out my favorite of dushku's points, and then to direct you to this interview. it's a must-read.
here are my three favorite quotes from dushku:
1) "I just love Mormons so much I hate to see us all represented by Mitt Romney. It reflects so badly on a religion that stands for better things."
2) "I don’t like it that we have come to be represented by a man who has no interest in a social safety net and blames those in need for being in poverty or without work. Mormons don’t believe that. He is not us."
3) "I would like for the Mormon Church not to be associated with the “war on women” because my experience is that some of the strongest and most powerful women in my circle of many friends are well-informed, active Mormon women: lawyers, writers, poets. The idea that Mitt has come to represent Mormonism makes it sound like the church has no progressive women, and I would like that misrepresentation taken away. "
and to those of you who support mitt, i'd love to hear your respectful disagreement.
in response to dushku's claim that mitt told her she was "not my kind of mormon", i'd like to share what "my kind of mormon" is, and thereby show that most of my criteria appear to be the antithesis of mitt romney:
*my kind of mormon cares about women, encourages them to speak, listens to them, attempts to understand them, and, most of all, acts affirmatively on the behalf of women to create more opportunity and equality in their lives.
*my kind of mormon is not complacent in his belief--is actively troubled and seeking greater truth and inspiration at all times. this hearkens back to my first point, that of listening carefully to all perspectives.
*my kind of mormon stands up for what he believes in regardless of personal cost or losing a chance at political gain. my kind of mormon is not swayed by public opinion and does not seek approbation purchased with a lack of integrity. my kind of mormon is comfortable with being a peculiar person of peculiar faith.
*my kind of mormon does not seek or condone the seeking of wealth.
*my kind of mormon is radical in his commitment to living a life that will even out the injustices of this world. my kind of mormon seeks to live in "zion"--mormon shorthand for a place where all things are held equally in contemporary life, and ultimately, the place where we will all live when true order is restored to the earth.
*my kind of mormon realizes that caring for the poor, the sick, and the afflicted are the most important acts a person can participate in on this earth. my kind of mormon will enact private and public policies that ensure that as many poor, sick, and afflicted are cared for as possible.
*my kind of mormon is comfortable with the extremely radical and uncomfortable roots of mormonism--meaning that he will speak out against the mainstream when it contradicts his belief, and he will make huge sacrifices for his beliefs and for the comfort and safety of others, and he will build up a place of equality and justice under seemingly impossible circumstances.
i know. that this is an idealistic list. but i do know many mormon men who live up to it--probably more than i do mormon men who are like mitt. although for the purposes of this post, i am more concerned with how he represents mormons & what kind of public policy he will enact than about his personal character.
i know. that i myself do not live up to these ideals. though i do strive to, and hope i can some day.
i know. that my views do not reflect those of all or most mormons. but this is how i interpret the original visions and scriptures put forth by joseph smith, and how i hope to see contemporary mormonism lived.