Commentary: LDS Church claims neutrality while affecting Utah politics

Commentary: LDS Church claims neutrality while affecting Utah politics
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Jack Gerard of the LDS Church, with Lisa Harkness and Craig Christensen, announces the church’s opposition to Utah’s medical marijuana initiative at a news conference in Salt Lake City, Thursday Aug. 23, 2018.

Frustrated Utahns worry the fate of medical marijuana is to become yet another issue decided by the LDS Church, while members seem unconcerned with the hypocrisy.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ official political stance is neutrality, as members of the church are well aware. However, many Utahns disagree and have long concluded that the church is biased, even asking members to vote in line.

In 2018, the church released a statement on political neutrality claiming it does not, “endorse, promote, or oppose political parties, candidates, or platforms” but does, “reserve the right as an institution to address, in a nonpartisan way, issues that it believes have significant community or moral consequences or that directly affect the interests of the Church.”

The church has reserved the right to address a long list of issues even joining coalitions, investing money on ballot and legal matters and calling members to political action.

Perhaps the most well known example of LDS Church bias is its 2008 support of Proposition 8 in California. Officials sent an email to California members asking for political support through donations of “means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman.”…

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