Mitt Romney is arguably the most high-profile Mormon in the United States right now, but a small group of Seattle-based bloggers are hoping to let people know that not all Mormons are the same – and they’re not all voting for Mitt Romney.
“I would say just like Mitt Romney is not your average American, he’s not your average Mormon, he doesn’t represent every Mormon in America,” said Laura Saganac, spokesperson for Mormons For Obama, a blog that hosts pro-Obama posts written by a small group of Mormons living in Seattle.
The blog was created in January of this year and has sold about 500 “I’m voting for Obama and I’m a Mormon” bumper stickers. The bloggers post about election issues from the perspective of a progressive-minded Mormon. Writers have tackled both Romney and Obama’s positions on gay marriage, health care and religion.
“There are various opinions around these issues and we wanted to capture that,” Sagnac said. “We wanted to represent the diversity of the [Mormon] Church and provide a forum for people to come together and share interesting tidbits about what’s going on in the election and how our faith really helps our support of President Obama. ”
One of the blog entries, posted by Joseph Mills, holds up Harry Reid as a good example of a liberal Mormon.
“Just think of Harry Reid – the supreme example of Liberal Mormondom – (I have his action figure on my desk at work) – and tell me if he doesn’t have a glow like a gleaming lighthouse? He fights the good fight, shines like a sunbeam, and literally comes from Searchlight, Nevada,” Joseph writes. “I know what the Primary Hymn instructs, (Trying to be Like Jesus,) but in case that is too high of a bar for me right now, I’ve decided that at the very least I am trying to be like Harry… and we’ll call it good at that.”
Although the blog is not affiliated officially with the Church of Latter-Day Saints or the Obama campaign, the bloggers don’t see their devout Mormonism and commitment to the reelection of President Obama as conflicting identities.
“There is certainly no rule in the LDS Church that you need to be conservative, that you need to be Republican,” Saganac said. “I personally feel that President Obama represents me and the diversity I represent in this country. ”
While there may be no written rule within the church demanding political purity within the Mormon community, there is one big issue where the Mormons for Obama split from their church. On the issue of gay marriage, they side with the President, who affirmed his support for its being legal in May of this year. The Mormon Church, however, believes it should be banned, going so far as to encourage LDS members to support the passage of the highly polarizing Proposition 8 in California, banning gay marriage in the state.
In an official statement, the Church asked its members to “do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman. Our best efforts are required to preserve the sacred institution of marriage.”
Sagnac acknowledges that she and her fellow bloggers are a minority in the Mormon community, but feel strongly that their voice can be heard. ”I personally have a lot faith in President Obama that he represents and tries to embody the religious freedom and respect this country represents.”