Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Romney's defeat: Blessing in disguise??

Posted: 13 Nov 12
Updated: 4 Dec 12

Romney concedes

The recent national election was a shock not only to Mitt Romney and his people, but to conservative Republicans (such as Karl Rove, Dick Morris, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee, Peggy Noonan, Charles Krauthammer), who had boasted a certain victory.

But was that all bad? I don't think so. At least it wasn't a revolution. Not yet. It is not all bad especially for those who must now reinvent themselves. Rather, it is an opportunity to self-renew by learning to tell the truth in a way that most of them had gotten used to not telling.

It is also an opportunity for Romney's Mormon Church top leadership to embrace an honest dialogue with the country and to tell their truth in a way that they have gotten used to not telling...

Yesterday (Nov 12) I received the following invitation from a close Mormon friend, former bishop and early editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought:

Change in the Church 
"Liberations come from some strange region where the imagination meets change. . . . We need to re-imagine change itself, else we labor to confirm all our errors." --Ihab Hassan (Egyptian scholar)
Most of us have lived through periods in which we have witnessed changes in LDS doctrine, policy or practice. Some of these have been small but nevertheless significant (e.g., the recent lowering of the age for missionaries) and some have been large and consequential (ordination of blacks to the priesthood). 
If you were in a position to affect change in the Church over the next decade, what changes would you identify as the most important? In the space below, please be as specific as possible in describing the changes you would like to see in the Church (these can be related to doctrine, structure, systems, policies, etc.). Below each desired change, briefly identify any obstacles that would need to be overcome for the change to be effected, and any suggestions you have for overcoming them. 
What should guide you? There is an old saying, “Over the door it is written three times, ‘Be bold, be bold, be bold.’ Only once is it written, ‘Be not too bold’!” In other words be imaginative, even visionary, but stay somewhat in the neighborhood of the ultimately possible.  
Desired change: 
Possible obstacles:  
Strategy for overcoming obstacles:

This is an important opportunity for regular church members, if not others, to contribute from a grass roots level! How would you have responded to this invitation?

Here are my first three suggestions:
1. Desired change: Overhaul or eliminate the excommunication process.

Possible obstacles: There are at least three: a) Spiritual conceit (pride) of hierarchical ecclesiastical decision makers. b) Idolatry (such as 'my church right or wrong' or 'my country right or wrong', etc. I.e., lack of respect for individual conscience as the ultimate decision making authority; and c) Impatience (See Arnold Toynbee commencement address to U of Utah June 1967).

Strategy for overcoming obstacles: Approach them with the Creative Deep Listening (CDL) dreamwork process. [CDL = CREEI + IDL (Integral Deep Listening) interview technique] Explain its origin, application and results with various groups, institutions and churches (beginning with 1976 UCLA course Creative Dreaming and Spiritual Awakening). Refer also to Arnold Toynbee’s two papers delivered at the U of Utah in June 1967: a) Three Generations in a Crisis, U of U commencement address; b) The Role of Creativity in History, Fifth Annual Creativity Workshop, U of U. [See also my 2005 and 2012 Sunstone Symposium papers (respectively: 'Arnold Toynbee in Salt Lake City' and 'How the Bomb corrupted the world and how Mormons and American Indian Shamans can help save it'.

2. Desired change: Eliminate seniority as THE de facto criterion for choosing leaders and reinstate an authentic revelation process.

Possible obstacles: Same three above plus lack of knowledge, understanding and respect for personal and collective dreams and how to value and/or evaluate them.

Strategy for overcoming obstacles: Invite a knowledgeable dream worker to demonstrate the CDL process and reveal the 'Potential Creative Energy' (PCE) evident in any group of honest, open-minded participants. 

See these two blog posts: ...
a) http://losalamosopenforum.blogspot.com/2010/11/sedona-precedent-of-lagri-experiment.html
b) http://eugenesjourneycontinues.blogspot.com/2012/07/after-2012-salt-lake-sunstone-symposium.html

3. Desired change: Review and pardon past excommunications, beginning with the September Six.

Possible obstacles: Same as above.

Strategy for overcoming obstacles: Same as above.

On Thursday, 15 Nov, Joseph Dillard wrote:

I saw just this morning that Romney explained his loss to his big donors yesterday in terms of Obama giving gifts to the 47% - extended health insurance to young adults; reduction of college loan interest repayment. So he bribed the "takers" and the "makers" lost.
 How's that for a unifying narrative? I hear it as a continuation of self-validating delusion. I see no sign from the Republicans that the real problem is that the majority of the country sees them as the Party that fights for inequality. 

To be continued...

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