For the included graphic, I am indebted to The Utah Amicus (by way of Richard Warnick).
No other state in the United States has as high of an approval rating for President Bush as Utah. As far as I know, it's been that way for quite some time.
Here are a couple of my theories why:
I have noticed of late that Utah Mormons generally seem to be much more forgiving of a president who misuses his executive power than of a president who is sexually immoral. At first I supposed this was due to their heads being filled on any given day with the mush of Rush Limbaugh and the rantings of Sean Hannity. I have lately decided, however, that the opposite is true; Utah Mormons worship Rush, Sean, and others because these so-called conservatives preach a “gospel” that is deceptively similar to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to wit that we should eschew immorality while at the same time rendering unto Caesar that which belongs to him. The gospel they actually preach, though, is a politics of ad hominem attacks and division.
This, then, is my theory of why President George W. Bush as late as the end of 2007 still enjoyed an inordinate amount of popular support from the Utah crowd, while Utahns were among the first to call for the head of President Bill Clinton when his sexual improprieties became public. Most Latter-Day Saints are so busy living the gospel that they forget that politics are important as well.
The doctrines of the LDS church include the following statement about the Constitution and about liberty:
76 And again I say unto you, those who have been scattered by their enemies, it is my will that they should continue to importune for redress, and redemption, by the hands of those who are placed as rulers and are in authority over you—
77 According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles;
78 That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral aagency which I have given unto him, that every man may be baccountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.
79 Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.
80 And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.
Doctrine and Covenants, section 101
I think a significant number of Utahns want to see liberty take root in Iraq. I think they are worried that if they don't express support for President Bush that it will be seen as lack of support for the struggles of the Iraqi people. I don't share this view (I think Bush has made a monumental mess of it), but I see how people could feel this way.
What do you think?
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