Wednesday, Sen. Mike Lee exclaimed at a Trump rally, “To my Mormon friends, my Latter-day Saint friends, think of him as Captain Moroni.”
When we read about Captain Moroni, the story starts with a man named Amalickiah.
“Amalickiah was desirous to be king; and those people who were wroth were also desirous that he should be their king; and they were the greater part of them the lower judges of the land, and they were seeking for power.
And they had been led by the flatteries of Amalickiah, that if they would support him and establish him to be their king that he would make them rulers over the people ...”
In June 2016, you said when asked about endorsing Trump as the candidate, “We can get into the fact that he accused my best friend’s father of conspiring to kill JFK. We can go through the fact that he’s made statements that some have identified correctly as religiously intolerant. We can get into the fact that he’s wildly unpopular in my state, in part because my state consists of people who are members of a religious minority church. A people who were ordered exterminated by the governor of Missouri in 1838. And, statements like that make them nervous.” In October 2016, following the release of the “Access Hollywood” tapes where Trump admits to sexually assaulting women, Senator Lee was on “Meet the Press” and said Trump should step down as the candidate.
“And there were many in the church who believed in the flattering words of Amalickiah, therefore they dissented even from the church.
... thus we see how quick the children of men do forget the Lord their God, yeah, how quick to do iniquity, and to be led away by the evil one.
Yea, and we also see the great wickedness one very wicked man can cause to take place among the children of men.”
When Moroni heard of these dissensions, he was angry with Amalickiah. He was so angry that he rent his coat and took a piece and wrote on it, “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children — and he fastened it upon the end of a pole” and called it the “title of liberty”. He then prayed unto God and went out to the people pleading that they would join him in making a covenant to not forsake the Lord their God.
What flattering words has Trump said to you, Senator Lee, that has caused you to drop the Title of Liberty and proclaim him your king? What changed for you to no longer believe in democracy? Just this month, you tweeted, “Democracy isn’t the objective; liberty, peace, and prosperity are. We want the human condition to flourish. Rank democracy can thwart that.”
So Senator Lee, when you compare a man who is a repeated adulterer, has claimed bankruptcy six times, has lost the parents of 545 children, has admitted to sexual assault, has continued to disparage our military and their families, and has continued to spout and implement policies that are racist, xenophobic and transphobic and homophobic among so many other atrocities that certainly do not mirror the example that Captain Moroni was for his people, we are left to wonder what flattery has led you to believe that this man is your moral leader of liberty?
Senator Lee continued to flatter the President when he shouted, “He seeks not power, but to pull it down. He seeks not the praise of the world or the fake news, but he seeks the well-being and the peace of the American people.”
Trump seeks not for power? He has repeatedly said he will negotiate a third term because he is entitled to it. He enriches his own businesses with taxpayers’ money. He and his Congress have went against what they said in 2016 was fair and right and packed the Supreme Court during an election year.
He seeks not for praise of the world? He has said he wants his “people” to stand at attention when he speaks, like North Koreans do with dictator Kim Jong Un.
Fake News? Honestly, Senator, just because you say it is fake does not make it untrue. There are plenty of examples of Trump saying, doing and tweeting outrageous and offensive things that we don’t even need to cry out fake news. You know that is true and you continuing to gaslight the nation won’t make it fake.
He seeks for the well-being and peace of the American people? Certainly, you know that statement alone is a lie. Since his first rallies as a candidate, Trump has repeatedly called for violence, has called white supremacists very fine people and has told them to stand back and stand by, has tear gassed and rubber bulleted peaceful protesters to make room for him to walk to a church that he has never attended and to hold the sacred Bible upside down for a photo op.
This man is not a defender of freedom, liberty or peace. He is the opposite of that in every word, action and deed. As you know, we do believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men. Those virtues are absent in our current president and you have said things yourself that confirm that about him.
What you said at his rally was outrageous, blasphemous and offensive. You owe every member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints an apology for using a religion that affirms each election when this statement is read to all of its members, “Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in various political parties, and members should seek candidates who best embody those principles. While the Church affirms its institutional neutrality regarding political parties and candidates, individual members should participate in the political process.”
I belong to an amazing group, Mormon Women for Ethical Government. They have a pledge that I would hope you can look over and take to heart. One part of that pledge is “to never use Church icons, sacred symbols, buildings, or Church-approved artwork or branding to promote individual political candidates or policy positions” and “to never imply that any candidate or party has doctrinal, Church, or divine support.” Senator, these are principles that align with what our Church is about. These are principles that can be found in our Constitution.
As you know, we also believe in repentance, so I hope you find the time today to do some of that and really think about what ethics and principles you stand for and what you want for ALL of the Americans you were elected to represent.