Sunday, June 05, 2011

Faith and Freedom Coalition Part 1

On Friday I attended the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Washington, DC. I did not realize when I agreed to attend that I would be going to a major Tea Party event. I had agreed to attend when I saw the line up and saw that nearly every major Republican potential Presidential candidate would be speaking. Additionally, some other major heavy hitters would be speaking throughout the day, and I knew there would be a lot to learn.
I do not affiliate myself with the Tea Party. And as a Mormon, I also do not affiliate myself as an evangelical. In fact, I often wonder what it is that Mormons did that makes evangelicals hate us so very much.
Below are my pictures from the event, along with my feelings, and what is hopefully an unbiased report of the proceedings.
I did not arrive until close to noon, and therefore missed some of the big speakers like Michele Bachmann in the morning. I arrived just in time to catch Rep John Boehner speak. He gave the typical party line, and political, "We must defeat Obama" rhetoric.
John Boehner
At this point the ballroom was jam packed, and it was standing room only in the back. I apologize in advance for the awfulness of my pictures. Dark ballroom and lots of cameras flashing = lousy photos on my part.
The best picture I could get from the very back row.

Not long after Boehner was Former Gov. John Huntsman of Utah. He was particularly of interest to me. He's golden in Utah. People adored him as governor. I did not adore him because I had a serious problem with this Attorney General. And as mentioned in a previous post, I put a lot of stock into who a politician surrounds himself with. However, I have also met members of his family and know them to be very good people. In other words, I went into this very open-minded for Huntsman to sway me one way or the other.
Huntsman chose to play it safe with this crowd. Notably he played it safe from the very minute he was introduced. Ralph Reid (not a lover of Mormons he) introduced him as the such and such under Reagan, and was appointed by Bush to do XYZ, and was the GOP darling blah blah blah, "and was most recently the Ambassador to China." In other words, they failed to mention that just a few weeks ago Huntsman was an Obama appointee. It didn't go unnoticed. Continuing with the play if safe card, he did not make any major political statements. He told a sweet story about his two adopted daughters, and his experiences working in Asia, and said he was just there to introduce himself and his family to the crowd.
The crowd gave him the appropriate reception and applause when he entered. It is notable to mention that this primarily Evangelical crowd gave him a very warm applause as he left. There were even a few standing ovations. I went outside to see if he was doing autographs and pictures, but the crowd was surprisingly too big, and I couldn't get close.
Somewhere in there is Huntsman

A while after that I chose to attend a break out session originally entitled "Anti-Religious Bigotry." When I arrived at the classroom I discovered the class title was changed to "Anti-Christian Bigotry." The panel was headed by Dr Richard Land, who I have heard speak before and believe to be a smart man. Overall, this was one of the key hours of the day that convinced me I am not Tea Party material.
Too much hate. I lost count of how many times I heard the words "Judeo-Christian Values." I personally believe this expression is selfish, small-minded, and discredits people of other faiths. But that was exactly their point- to discredit people of other faiths. This is an injustice to Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and so many more. Let's not confuse religions with governments and regimes.
Basically what I learned in this one hour was that Christians feel discriminated against even though they are in the majority. To them I say, you should try being a Mormon Christian, and have to listen to the Christians mock every sacred thing you believe.
Sorry, Evangelicals, I just can't support you if you preach that way.
In my notes I wrote-
Dr Land- carefully talked about "vile caricatures" of Evangelicals, Catholics as compared to how kindly the media treats gays and Muslims.
He also said that if an alien were to learn about our culture by watching our news and entertainment media, it would believe that more than half of our country is gay, and that all Christians are stupid.
Tim Goeglin (Lutheran) - "American Revolution was fueled in the American pulpits of the Thirteen Colonies" (except he called them the "East Coast Amtrak States," why would he not say the original 13 colonies?). "Religious Christians are exotic cockatoos." "We need to find more ways in culture at all levels (high, low, and middle brow) to reflect our Judeo-Christian history."

1 comment:

  1. This is a really interesting post. I think I'm struggling with a lot of the same feelings related to the Evangelical Christian treatment of the LDS Church -- can't we all just get along?!

    (BTW, I found you through your Family Proclamation post on Jocelyn's blog last year which was just incredible. She's asked me to do a post this year, and I was reviewing last year's to get an idea of what she'd like. Anyway, I've passed it on to one of my really good friends who is really struggling lately with the label of "single". Thank you so much for your testimony.)


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