Politics at the Pulpit

I was once a conservative activist. When I tell this to people, they rarely believe me.

Thanks to my aunt, I now have some archival evidence. This comes from a letter my mother sent to my aunt at the end of my freshman year at Ricks College.

Dated April 16, 1995

Christopher will return April 30. We are looking forward to seeing him again. He has accepted an internship with a research group that corrects inaccurate statements in the media. They are quite conservative, so he will fit right in. The guy who owns the place is in our ward and Rick thinks that he considers Christopher to be his “alter ego”, because Christopher is so openly “to the right”. I remember a testimony meeting when one of the sisters got up and said she was an active woman in the church, inspite of the fact that she was democrat […] Christopher got up, hymn book in hand and he stated in front of the entire congregation that he wanted Sister Freeman to know that all her questions would be answered in the scriptures, He then opened his song book and made this point:” Choose the right, when a ballot is placed before you, choose the right etc. etc. People were absolutely in stitches, it was so funny. It was episodes like that which endeared him to many of his fellow conservatives, It will be good to have him home.

I am still friends with Karen Freeman, the sister mentioned in the story. I am also still friends with Don Irvine, the brother I worked with that summer. I am just not so much “to the right.”

BTW, the event mentioned in this letter changed me quite a bit. After church that day, Larry Rickertsen, who had been one of my youth leaders came up to me and expressed his disappointment in what I had done. God was neither a liberal or conservative, he told me. I deeply respected Brother Rickertsen. I have not made partisan comments at the pulpit since.

NOTE: I previously posted this at a now defunct personal blog.

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