Today I was posed a question from a voter that I feel needs to be addressed to the broader audience. Normally, I wouldn’t put such a question to a broader audience, but because of the possible association that can be twisted by media and opponents, this needs to be public.
To begin with context, recently, there was a series of posts made by the Libertarian Party National Party Facebook page, citing various scriptures and quotes from various denominations of faith and atheism. This included one that cited a verse from the Church of Satan.
I was asked if I would defend the Church of Satan here in Utah, as a candidate and if I were to be elected.
The short answer is that is yes, I would defend them.
Like any religious denomination, they have a right to exist. First, I look to the Constitution of these United States and see that we cannot prohibit the free exercise of faith. I next look to my own background in religion. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a group that was persecuted and had members murdered simply for existing, it would be hypocritical of me to say that some other denomination didn’t have a right to exist after what my faith suffered at the hands of others in our history.
Further, the LDS Church has a tenet the we follow in our Articles of Faith. The 11th Article of Faith reads as follows: “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.” So to truly follow my faith, even if I disagree with what someone does, it is not my place to determine based of my conscience what another person with inalienable rights may do in their spiritual or religious lives, so long as what they do brings no harm to another person.
I believe that this series the Libertarian Party was doing had the best of intentions to show how many parallels we all have in advocacy in liberty. The passages shown were meant to show how alike we all happen to be, and to show that the Libertarian Party is one that is inclusive of everyone, as we respect the beliefs of all people. Perhaps they could have done better in regards to public relations, as the timing of Easter Weekend coming up can be a sore spot to see mention of such a thing for Christians.
The job I am applying for among the voters in the State of Utah is one that seeks to defend the rights of every single Utahan. While I may be LDS, it is not my job to impose my faith. I welcome the diversity that so many denominations offer. At the end of the day, what I look to is whether or not a person is using their beliefs for a greater purpose and good will to their fellow man.
Not Left. Not Right. Just Free.