Saturday, December 15, 2012

...even Ask "How Can You Possibly..." (Part 1)

Plenty of people get the impression that How Can You Possibly be a Mormon and a Democrat? is anti-Democrat. It’s not at all. Far from it. The book actually answers the question.

Still, why didn’t I title the book something like “How you CAN be a Mormon Democrat?”? Great question… and a common one, I am sure. Just last week, someone posted the following comment under a radio interview I had done about my book:
I just don't get why he gave this book such a provocative title. He didn't really answer that question. I've read reviews of this book and it's supposed to be a very mature, civil book that presents both sides. So why the immature title? PS I'm a Mormon and a Democrat.

His reaction is totally understandable. As a Mormon Democrat, hearing that question has always been especially painful because it's not a question but an accusation: never really asking how you can be but implying that you cannot be.

Now, I suspect (and this is based on experience), that he would very quickly appreciate a book titled "How Can You Possibly be a Mormon and a Republican?" (That book is in the works, by the way.)
In fact, many a Mormon Democrat has replied exactly that way. But they're not asking the question sincerely, either. They are posing it, not as a question with a potentially valid answer, but as a rhetorical question, implying that being a Mormon Republican is a truly and obviously inconsistent.

But this is classic “eye for an eye” behavior. We got these two questions going back and forth, but neither side is asking their question with sincerity. Neither side asks the question with a mind open to the POSSIBILITY that there might be a really good (even great!) answer.

At the same time, BOTH sides tend to get offended that other is even asking the question at all! Ah, how Screwtape laughs.

One side does not think the question needs to be asked, but the other side is not actu-ally asking the question anyway. And there they stand, at a stalemate, forever accusing each other of being accusatory and closed minded, while the question itself gets lost.

But, if only the question was truly open for the asking. If only it were asked with real intent. Perhaps then, it might actually get heard. Perhaps then, it might get answered.

How can you possibly be a Mormon Democrat? Or a Mormon Republican? Until there is more sincerity from both sides (to both ask and answer), it doesn’t even matter what the question is.

(to be continued)

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