I didn’t watch it. I later got the key points from my wife, who did. As a citizen of another country, she feels no shame when the wannabe leaders of this one contend for office like fourth graders on a set of monkey bars.
I’m not against debating when it comes to leadership positions, but if this is how we ponder who is best suited for the power to blow up the entire world, it seems a bit more decorum should be required.
And not just in government, but also in church. A number of faiths hold some rudimentary form of election when it comes to choosing who’s in charge of deciding how things should be run.
Catholics have the College of Cardinals who get to elect — or at least have a say — in who is the next pope. Latter-day Saints hold sustaining votes on leaders. In some extreme fundamentalist religions, a changing of the guard can involve gunfire.
That last one seems a bit extreme, but since extreme is an essential part of the ideology, it’s bound to happen.
We vote, of sorts, in my church — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The last time I raised my hand there was to support the ordination of Ethan Clegg to the office of a deacon.
Ethan is my neighbor. He’s 12. To the best of my knowledge, he is not a drug mule for a Sinaloa cartel. So I indicated my show of support at the right time. And since no one opposed his ordination, he was in.
It works the same way with bishops, stake presidents, apostles, prophets, Relief Society presidents and most other offices. Everyone with a church calling gets a sustaining vote.
The next time there’s an opening in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, or even a change in a ward bishopric, there should be at least a few debates before we’re asked to raise our hands.
Everyone knows that a call for a sustaining vote is more for show. For all the formality, raising our hands carries about as much weight as taking attendance. I’ve never seen anything change.
But debates? That would definitely change something. They would make church way more interesting.