Happy About Indiana Mormon Bishop Leadership; But Power Is In Utah Mormons Stepping Up to Legal Immigration Reform EffortsThursday, November 7th, 2013
Mormon Church Immigration Update:
We see an LDS bishop in Indiana stepping up with regard to legal immigration reform, and I am happy about his leadership there. However, he is in Indiana, and the Mexican American / Latino community is looking for stronger leadership out of UTAH where a key Mormon temple exists.
Salt Lake City is essentially the “mecca” of Mormonism, while Indiana is home to Notre Dame and strong Catholic presence. It was good for the Indiana Bishop to show leadership in light of Catholic Church leaders going to Washington D.C. last month and lobbying Congress for legal immigration reform recently. I do not believe a Mormon leader attended that BBB event where 600 Conservative leaders went to Congress though, and we hope the Indiana Bishop is a signal of more to come with regard to LDS immigration leadership.
Last month, Carlos Galindo highlighted 17 Mormons in US Congress on his nationally syndicated Spanish and English Political Talk Show or AM1400 for the Arizona morning radio show. He asks a good questions: The Utah Compact was great, so why aren’t good Mormons like Sens. Harry Reid and Tom Udall putting pressure on US House of Reps with regard to Immigration Reform? Remember it was Sen. Harry Reid who was quick to say Mitt Romney sullied Mormonism during 2012 elections when Romney got caught with the “47% video footage.” But where is that same passion when it comes to the immigrants and Latinos we know Mormons recruit to their church? We hope to see that soon, because Galindo has ear of 1000′s of immigrants, Mexican Americans, and Chicanos and we need to see conservative political Mormons to step up particularly when we are hearing Arizona U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon is not want to discuss citizenship. The show discussed the Deseret News story with regard to the 17 Mormons in Congress.
The Mexican American community is aware how aggressive the LDS / Mormon church recruits Latinos in Mexico and Latin countries, but what we need is their compassionate humanitarian votes right here in the good ol’ US of A! We need them to be aggressive here within our borders to help fix the broken immigration system and all eyes are gonna be on UTAH with only a few working Congress days left.
Will Prophet Thomas Monson and/or church leaders signal these conservative leaders between now and when the CIR House of Representatives vote is due? Time will tell and it is uncertain, but what is certain is how the Mexican American / Chicano community is watching and documenting political immigrant history with regard to our neighbors in the south and how Mexicans and other immigrants are treated.
Will the 4 Utah Mormon Representatives via Reps. Rob Bishop, Jason Chaffettz, Jim Matheson, and Chris Stewart be in support of legal immigration reform ideas recently passed by the Senate? We hope so and we are keeping track because we know that Bishop, Chafettz and Matheson did not support the DREAM Act vote in 2010 which would have given relief to students and children.
For the record, Mormon missionaries do quite well with converting thousands of people in Latin countries, but what good does that do when the Utah Mormon faithful who have political power in Washington DC do not practice what Mormons preach?
Let’s take a look at Mexico for instance. Matt Martinich conducts an LDS Church Growth Case Studies: Analysis of LDS Growth in Mexico City.
Tying with Delhi, India as the sixth most populous urban agglomeration in the world with 23.4 million inhabitants, the Greater Mexico City area or the Mexico City Metropolitan area covers two administrative divisions of Mexico consisting of the entire Distrito Federal and adjacent municipalities in Estado de Mexico. Mexico City has 42 municipalities that each have more than 50,000 inhabitants. No other metropolitan area in North or South America has as large of a population as Mexico City. The Church has experienced steady growth in Mexico City as indicated by the creation of new congregations, stakes, and missions over the past 50 years. In 2012, the Church reported 43 stakes in Mexico City; more than any other metropolitan area in the world outside the United States. In late 2012, the average stake serviced 544,000 people. ….
The number of stakes increased from one in 1965 to 13 in 1975, 20 in 1985, 28 in 1995, 41 in 2005, and 43 in 2012. The average number of wards per stake slightly declined between 2002 and 2012 from 7.97 wards per stake to 7.81 wards per stake. A map of LDS stakes and missions in Mexico City and surrounding areas can be found here.
There was a slight decline between 2002 and 2012 with regard to Mormon stake power. We know that Arizona politicians such as the ousted AZ Sen. Russell Pearce didn’t help the Mormon image any when it came to the Mexican community, and Mitt Romney didn’t help the image with his Kris Kobach and self deportation ideas when he ran under the Republican ticket in 2012 against Obama. According to the New York Times, Mitt Romney was the highest-ranking Mormon leader in Boston, yet he supported self-deportation ideas and advice from Kris Kobach who is the legal arm to many of these anti-immigrant laws.
Mormons expressed leadership with regard to the Utah Compact, but it really didn’t have any federal teeth because immigration is a federal matter. Immigration falls under the Supremacy Clause that is protected by our United States Constitution. Paying lip service will only get you so far, and the Mexican-American community is keeping track of the real power that matters.
Now we want to know if those 4 Utah Republican House of Representatives will do the good Mormon thing and support Immigration Reform in 2013.
If Reps. Rob Bishop, Jason Chaffettz, Jim Matheson, and Chris Stewart do not do the right and good Mormon thing, we will shed favorable light to who is running against them. [The obstuctionist Tea Party candidates are excluded unless Democrats are voting like them to begin with.]
We know that the below Democratic candidates will be running against Reps. Chris Stewart and Rob Bishop:
Utah Sen. Luz Robles will be running against Rep. Chris Stewart (who supported the government shutdown) and affection Utah’s National Park business.
And we also know that Donna McAleer is running against Rep. Rob Bishop. McAleer recently said: “Utah taxpayers will loan the federal government $1.7 million, enough to keep five National Parks — Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef — and Natural Bridges, Glen Canyon and Cedar Breaks national monuments open for 10 days to stop the bleeding.”
Ms. Robles and McAleer are two powerful women, and since we have seen what men have done to our government — I think it is high time we start looking at women leadership. Compassionate women who know how to be responsible with our tax dollars.
Last but not least, if the LDS Church would like to have a strong pro-Latino, pro-Mexican image, I might suggest their Utah LDS leadership practice what they preach. If indeed they do believe we are all brothers and sisters in God’s family — why don’t the Utah Mormon Congressmen vote accordingly?
The case study conducted by Matt Martinich, have somewhat of dim outlook in Mexico City — and I’m confident it may be because of the likes of ousted Sen. Russell Pearce and Mitt Romney’s anti-immigrant, anti-Mexican views they have had. It’s high time we see LDS leadership step in and signal the importance of real legal immigration reform. The compact was a nice gesture — but we are now looking for federal teeth.
Low member activity and convert retention rates, disconnect between full-time missionaries and local members, no clear vision for church planting, andstagnant congregational growth in recent years predict little LDS Church growth in Mexico City for the foreseeable future. The organization of two new missions in Mexico City since 2010 suggests that the Church has revamped its reactivation efforts considering the number of convert baptisms appears unchanged and no congregational growth has occurred in Mexico City since 2010. The Church will likely create additional stakes in the coming years once there is a sufficient number of priesthood leadership to staff more stakes and congregational growth requires large stakes to divide.