The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is now scheduled to sing “Hail to the P____-Grabber” at the inauguration for Donald Trump. Yet, only a mere few months ago, prominent Mormons and the Church itself condemned Trump over his sordid campaign and rhetoric.
Mitt Romney lambasted Trump’s “personal qualities, the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third-grade theatrics”, and said, “Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud” (http://www.deseretnews.com). After Trump won, Romney is groveling to Trump at an $888 dinner in Trump’s own hotel (http://www.cnn.com).
Glenn Beck, another prominent Mormon, also vehemently spoke out against Trump throughout the campaign. Thankfully, he is still against Trump and his bigotry, hatred, misogyny and contentiousness (http://www.realclearpolitics.com)
Many prominent Mormon politicians railed against Trump after the sexual assault comments were revealed from 2005. People like Gary Herbert, Jason Chaffetz, Orrin Hatch, Mia Love and Mike Lee spoke against Trump, and most dropped their endorsements less than a month before the election (https://www.thenation.com) (http://www.nytimes.com). Yet, these were the same people who reneged on their statements around the beginning of October, and then ended up supporting Trump anyway, including Chaffetz and Herbert (http://utahpolicy.com). Orrin Hatch condemned Trump, but planned to vote for him anyway (http://www.standard.net), and then went on to say Trump is an extraordinary man after the election (http://www.washingtontimes.com).
The Mormon Church itself spoke out against violations of religious liberty in response to Trump’s plans to ban or limit the practice of Islam, and also the liberties of Muslims themselves (http://www.deseretnews.com). Yet, the day after the election, they congratulate Trump on his victory, with no mention of condemnation for boasted sexual assaults, proposed religious liberty infringements on Muslims, egregious remarks about Mexicans (1.2 million of whom are Mormon themselves), nor any other voiced concerns about the many horrendous things Trump has said, and is planning (https://www.lds.org). And now, the Church’s most official representatives, apart from the General Authorities, are going to sing at the Inauguration, celebrating this man’s impending presidency.
The Church says they maintain political neutrality (though they often, and vociferously, get involved in political issues, on an increasing basis), and so it is only just that they not openly condemn an election, a party, or a candidate. However, where is the moral responsibility of a religious faith that has millions of members worldwide to condemn sexual violence and rape culture? Where is their responsibility to condemn fraud, predatory business practices, and economic inequality that is perpetuated, at least in the case of Donald Trump, by dishonesty? Where is their responsibility in defending millions of God’s children from being accused dishonestly as “rapists and criminals”? Where is their responsibility in holding true to previous statements about protecting the religious freedoms of all, even as the president-elect plans to move forward with his anti-Muslim proposals? Where is their responsibility in condemning bullying behavior, made against the physically handicapped, women, Muslims, black Americans, Latinos, veterans, among others? Where is their responsibility in condemning boasting about murdering people on Fifth Avenue in New York, or twice calling for the assassination of Hillary Clinton?
I am disheartened that a moral compass in this world lacks moral integrity in the face of political convenience. I’m reminded of what Jesus said,
“But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi…
Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted…
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”