Since this blog is a scrapbook of sorts for my writings elsewhere, I figured I should register a couple recent essays that I wrote related to the LDS Church’s relationship to the Trump administration.
The first essay, “The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Will Usher In the Trump Era,” puts the inauguration in context of Mormonism’s peripheral position in American culture. It was published at Religion Dispatches, which has featured plenty of excellent coverage on Mormonism in the past. An excerpt:
If the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s participation in Ronald Reagan’s inauguration was the coronation of the Church’s assimilation with the religious right, its involvement with Donald Trump’s represents the extent to which it will defend that position. It embodies both Mormonism’s integration within America’s political power structure as well as its inability to conceive of a world outside of it.
The second, at Washington Post, is titled “Where is the Mormon Church on Trump? History Demands Their Leadership.” The op-ed focuses on the LDS Church’s history of being refugees and immigrants, and it urges Mormon leadership to take a stand against Trump’s executive order. A taste:
Anything short of a courageous and bold declaration in the face of religious tyranny would be a betrayal of Mormons’ pioneer and prophetic legacy. If the Mormon faith remains committed to speaking out on moral issues, a right on which they have long insisted, this is its pressing moment.
A few hours after the post appeared, the Mormon Newsroom release a brief (and underwhelming) statement. But to their credit, the Church-owned Deseret News printed a much more direct editorial the following Monday.
Let’s hope there are more positive things to write about going forward.