I believe that we all have an obligation to make sure our moral and ethical beliefs inform our politics. The Christian magazine Sojourners says it well:
We envision a future in which Christians put their faith into action in the passionate pursuit of social justice, peace, and environmental stewardship, working in partnership with people of other perspectives, for the common good of communities, families and individuals.
And, it turns out, Mormons are not exempt. Elder Oaks, for example, taught the following:
If we say we [hold one opinion] in our personal life but [a different one] in public policy, we are saying that we will not use our influence to establish public policies that encourage righteous choices on matters God’s servants have defined as serious . . . . I urge Latter-day Saints who have taken that position to ask themselves which other grievous sins should be decriminalized or smiled on by the law due to this theory that persons should not be hampered in their choices.
With this in mind I’ve drafted 10 questions for all current presidential candidates. These questions are informed by my prayerful understanding of Mormon scripture and doctrine:
  1. The Bible teaches that we are to love our brothers and sisters, and that the way we treat them is the way we would treat Jesus Christ. In what scenario would you feel comfortable deporting Mary, Joseph, and little Jesus?
  2. Racism, condemned by every major religion in the world, is nonetheless a staple of American history. After hundreds of years of American oppression of black children of God, where do you think the nation is in the repentance process? Has there been full restitution? It has been 50 whole years since the Civil Rights Movement after all, and a black man is President. So . . . are we all done?
  3. In your efforts to defend the sanctity of all human life, where do you draw the line on racial epithets? Are you okay referring to newborns as devious “anchors” or your brothers and sisters as “illegals” or “aliens”?
  4. Since the fundamental premise of Christianity is that no one who ever lived could hack it—we all have to mooch on a single successful person—who in your opinion can cast stones at anyone else for mooching?
  5. In Article III of the US Constitution the US Supreme Court is tasked with interpreting that Constitution. In 2015 it found that restricting marriage rights to a certain population was unconstitutional. Many of you have suggested that this is an immoral decision. As President, would you expect the Court to make decisions based on your religious morality or on the Justices’ best interpretation of the Constitution?
  6. The Bible teaches that love of money is the root of all evil. Milton Friedman teaches that unrestrained greed is the invisible hand of capitalism. Which philosophy will guide your presidency?
  7. One definition of the term “patriotism” is “loyalty to one’s country.” Does loyalty toward an ideology trump loyalty toward America? If patriotism is more important than partisanship, then what is your stance on compromise with your political opponents?
  8. Many of you have made emphatic public statements about the importance of religious freedom. As President, what would you do to protect the religious freedom of Muslims in America?
  9. The Bible teaches that Jesus spent a lot of His precious time with poor people. Today, some blame the poor for their poverty—they should’ve worked harder, they just aren’t educated enough, they are too lazy, they made bad choices. Which of those accusations do you think the Savior made to the poor people He knew?
  10. Many experts argue that access to affordable high quality health care benefits families. Many also argue that passionately fighting racist police practices, establishing laws to protect the environment for future generations, fighting systemic economic injustice, guaranteeing adequate maternity leave, and holding corporations accountable for their failures and their taxes would also benefit families. In your opinion, which is more important: defending the definition of the family or defending actual families?

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