Hillary Clinton made a direct appeal to Utah’s Mormon community on Wednesday, authoring an op-ed in the Deseret News as part of a series that has already featured Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. In the opinion piece, Clinton focused on Donald Trump‘s disregard of the First Amendment right to freedom of religion, and she invoked many Mormon U.S. leaders to drive her point home. Clinton focused primarily on the Republican nominee’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration and compared it to the persecution of Mormons.
“I’ve been fighting to defend religious freedom for years,” Clinton wrote. “As secretary of state, I made it a cornerstone of our foreign policy to protect the rights of religious minorities around the world — from Coptic Christians in Egypt to Buddhists in Tibet. And along with Jon Huntsman, our then-ambassador in Beijing, I stood in solidarity with Chinese Christians facing persecution from their government.” Huntsman is the Mormon former governor of Utah who served as ambassador to Bejing under President Obama. He resigned his post to run for president as a Republican in 2012. Clinton went on to invoke other prominent Mormon leaders while arguing against Trump’s proposed Muslim ban. Clinton wonders if Trump understands the consequences and how it would work the opposite effect of his “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan:
But you don’t have to take it from me. Listen to Mitt Romney, who said Trump “fired before aiming” when he decided a blanket religious ban was a solution to the threat of terrorism.
Listen to former Sen. Larry Pressler, who said Trump’s plan reminded him of when Missouri Gov. Lilburn Boggs singled out Mormons in his infamous extermination order of 1838. Or listen to your governor, who saw Trump’s statement as a reminder of President Rutherford B. Hayes’ attempt to limit Mormon immigration to America in 1879.
Instead of giving into demagoguery, Gov. Gary Herbert is setting a compassionate example and welcoming Syrian refugees fleeing religious persecution and terrorism. Once they’ve gone through a rigorous screening process, he is opening your state’s doors to some of the most vulnerable people in the world.
Clinton ended her piece with a quote from Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, general president of the Primary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2010: “As individuals we are strong. Together, with God, we are unstoppable.”
(Via Deseret News)