Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Series of Sundays

November 9, 2008

Mapping out a sky.
What you feel like, planning a sky.
What you feel when voices that come
Through the window
Until they distance and die,
Until there's nothing but sky
And how you're always turning back too late


“….This week, we saw the majesty of the democratic system in action…”

I perked up for a moment, setting aside my scrawled lines of prose on the back of the program.  Did he believe what he was saying. 

“….The scriptures teach us:

“Therefore, choose you by the voice of this people, judges, that ye may be judged according to the laws which have been given you by our fathers, which are correct, and which were given them by the hand of the Lord. [Mosiah 29:25]

Sacrament Meeting

“It is our role as God’s chosen people to take be actively engaged in the election process.  We do not take sides in the red and blue, Democrat and Republican debate, but we do stand for what is good and right in this world,” the speaker declared from the pulpit.

My mind returned to the events of the preceding Tuesday.  Following a year of debate and drama, the country's  political endgame was finally coming to pass.  The campus election party—a night of fun, games, and food muting the hostile overtones of the parties attending—was a mixed night for all. 

The liberals (gathered in their corner and outnumbered ten to one) celebrated the statements from McCain and Obama over the election outcome as the conservatives trickled out (with the exception of a self-proclaimed white supremecist who made it his mission to snuff out a smile left on anyone’s face that night).  A small group remained, aware and preoccupied with the state of California.  The passage of Proposition 8 shocked some and angered others.

For me, the announcement was like anodyne.  It left me numb all over.  I didn’t know how to feel, but felt prepared to endure great pain.  The idea of equality made sense but so did the Church in most ways. 


Absorbing the rest of the talk—calls for righteous living in difficult times, warnings against democracy making the wrong decision and the Lord smiting them down for their pride, cautions of hero worship pointed at the new President elect—I puzzled over the clear reservations held over the democratic process.  The speaker believed in a good form of democracy and a bad form of democracy.  Was I to feel inferior (despite having devoted a year of my life to studying the constitution)? Angry that he was twisting around beliefs I held close to my heart? 

I didn’t know.

So much beauty lay in the doctrines of salvation that I’d grown up with and that I’d taught and of which I’d testified.  The God of my religion seemed superior.  He was truly omnipotent because he could create other Gods.  He was truly all-knowing because he used the laws of science from physics to evolution to bend all of creation to his will.  He was truly loving because he knew me among billions of other souls and cared about my happiness.

I wasn’t all that certain about that anymore.  As I attempted to return to the moment and listen to the speaker’s conclusion, my body was a sheet of static—numb and uncharged. 


dadsprimalscream said...

I was at a democratic election party that night. In California. The feeling was an unbelievable high when Obama was announced the winner and as we all listened to the speeches. Then, the room quickly deflated to a stunned and numbing "WHAT?!" when Prop 8 clearly passed.

Hurt - yes. Surprised - no

robert said...

Sometimes we only come to know what we truly believe when we are directly affected. Its so much easier to drink the Kool Aid and sleep walk through life, and this is made so much easier by the wealth of the USA. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain...

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