There was a very insightful column today in the New York Times by David Brooks describing the history of the Romney family. I thought it was well done in that it gives a historical perspective of how his faith, and the exodus of Mormons and specifically his family, helped shaped the man he is today. I recommend the article here.
We see that within our families. The generational impacts of persecution can shape people for years to come. Vicki and Valerie’s mother for example was in the 1953 raid in Short Creek, Arizona. The fear and trauma she suffered, we see today among some of her kids and even passed to grandchildren. There becomes a real fear and mistrust, but also a sincere drive to succeed and prove others wrong.
Hopefully the candidacy of Mitt Romney will be a time for better understanding of the injustices of the past with religious persecutions. Also to show examples of how that faith endured and even thrived not just in spite of those hardships, but possibly because of them. Perhaps too, Mormons can embrace their past without shame and realize they have nothing to hang their heads about. Although there have been some shameful moments in the history of our faith, to be Mormon, or to be Polygamous (past or present), is not inherently shameful.
Today I had an interview by a BBC radio host. He acknowledged, “Who am I to judge” my faith, and then couldn’t help but acknowledge his questions were full of judgement. For him he could not reconcile how I could sexually share myself and allow other women into a relationship, and why that had anything to do with religion. I could only answer that it is my choice and I ask only to be respected in that choice as a capable, adult woman. He is free to differ in belief with me and hold his own values true. Just as it is hard to me to understand what I consider the loose social mores in much of modern society.
In summary, the dialog is good and continues to be healthy. There are usually two types of hate against minority groups in my experience. Those borne from ignorance, and those that are full of bitterness through some experience of their own. They have had a negative interaction with a member of a minority group and blame the entire class; spreading their anger and hurt emotions in a vain attempt to get rid of them. It is my hope to continue to help educate those who simply don’t know and for the people who have felt pain through their associations, continue to show love and patience for healing.
Thank you to all of you who continue to show love and openness in your hearts. It is those voices that carry the loudest message