Recently a question reached me as to how any Mormon could be a Democrat. Here is my reply to that question. -GMK
I have been a liberal, labor Democrat my entire life. I come from a long line of Democrats, and before that socialists (my grandfathers and grandmothers). I will attempt to answer your question, which has been posed to me quite often.
I am a Democrat because I believe that we have a common responsibility for each other’s welfare. When Christ commanded us to care for the widow and the orphan he did not exclude civil government from that charge.
I am a Democrat because I believe it is society’s requirement to care for those most vulnerable with in it: The old, the sick and yes, the unborn. I believe that one can be a Democrat and still be pro-life. The unborn are some of the most vulnerable.
Abortion however is a symptom of a much more troubling issue. How is it that we have come to value motherhood with so little regard that women who find themselves with an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy feel compelled to take such a step as abortion? Where is the support they so need in their darkest hour? Being opposed to abortion is only the start. We need to have the programs and actions in place to support women, married or not, so that no woman will ever feel that there is no other option open to her. I support the moderate position of the Church on this personal matter.
While I fully support the notion of the of the traditional marriage I am concerned about a marriage amendment and the unintended consequences it may cause. Consequences which may well harm rather than support traditional marriage. These include having states eliminate marriage rather than submit to a marriage amendment. Such an amendment would take power from the states and grant it to the central government. It would also mark the first time an amendment restricted rather than expanded liberty a slippery slope which could lead to all kinds of troublesome amendments in the future. Today it is homosexuals who are the target who will it me tomorrow? Mormons perhaps?
I wonder why it is we have government involved in a sacrament of the church, marriage. It is the only rite of faith in which the government has a hand and perhaps it ought not be so.
I am a Democrat because I believe that we need to do more than simply pay lip service to protecting and defending the family. We need to take real steps such as stronger family leave, insuring that all of our citizens are protected against financial ruin with proper health security. What good does it do to preach support for the family if we do not match our words with deeds?
I am a Democrat because I believe workers have a right to organize to protect their interests and better their lives. I believe that labor is an important and central part of our economy and we should protect the gains, some paid for with blood, that they have made.
I am a Democrat because I take the Book of Mormon’s warning against preemptive war seriously. While we must take actions to defend our nation we need not place our service men and women into harms way in wars with nations that did not attack us. By engaging in preemptive war we have weakened our stature abroad and our moral authority at home. We have failed to head the warnings of the Book of Mormon and we shall surely pay a bitter price.
I am a Democrat because I believe in the values which made our nation a beacon of liberty to the world. Values which have been eroded of late. I do not believe that America should torture, violate the rights we inherited from the Magna Carta and enshrined in our constitution. Rights for which lives have been given. Those brave men and women did not make the ultimate sacrifice just to have our government spy on our citizens, spirit people away to be held and tortured in repressive states all in the name of security. I am unwilling to trade liberty for security.
I do not vote on a single issue. I vote on many issues and for most of them I find that the Democratic party best reflect the values I hold dear as an American and as a member of the church.
I am a Democrat because of my faith, not in spite of it.