Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mormons In Congress: Incoming 113th U.S. Congress Will Include 16 Latter-Day Saints; New Pew Survey Lists Only 15 Mormons

Update January 3rd, 2013: Post re-titled to reflect the fact that Kyrsten Sinema has been removed from the U.S. House list after confirmation that she's no longer a member of the Church.

Update November 19th: Post re-titled to reflect reference to new Pew Forum Congressional Religious Survey released on November 16th.

Now that the 2012 U.S. elections have been concluded, we know how many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be serving in the incoming 113th Congress, to officially take office on January 3rd, 2013. A total of 17 LDS members, the most ever, will be present. Hat tip to By Common Consent for some of the background information.

All incumbents who ran for re-election were returned to their posts. Rep. Jeff Flake switched successfully from the House to the Senate; he will continue serving in the House until seated as a senator on January 3rd. One LDS member, Wally Herger (R-CA), chose to retire. Three new LDS members were elected to various seats. On BCC, there was some dispute as to whether or not Tom Udall and Kyrsten Sinema should be on the list, but Udall indisputably identifies as Mormon, and Sinema's visiting teacher identified Sinema as a member of her ward in Arizona, at least back in August 2012. So both are included on my list below.

Since this post was published, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released their own survey, and they claim there are only 15 Mormons in Congress. The difference: Pew lists Kyrsten Sinema as having "None", and fail to include Eni Faleomavaeg on their list.

The lone member of the Community of Christ (formerly Reorganized LDS) serving in Congress, Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-IA), lost his bid for re-election. Names are directly linked to their official Congressional websites with the exception of Matt Salmon, Kyrsten Sinema, and Chris Stewart, who are linked to their official campaign websites until they are officially seated on January 3rd, 2013.

(1). U.S. Senate:
-- Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
-- Michael Crapo (R-ID)
-- Harry Reid (D-NV)
-- Dean Heller (R-NV)
-- Tom Udall (D-NM)
-- Mike Lee (R-UT)
-- Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

(2). U.S. House:
-- Matt Salmon (R-AZ)
-- Howard McKeon (R-CA)
-- Raul Labrador (R-ID)
-- Mike Simpson (R-ID)
-- Rob Bishop (R-UT)
-- Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)
-- Jim Matheson (D-UT)
-- Chris Stewart (R-UT)
-- Eni Faleomavaega (non-voting delegate from American Samoa)

**According to HuffPo, Sinema was raised Mormon and is bisexual. Sinema does not consider herself a nonbeliever, adding that she prefers a secular approach. Kyrsten believes the terms non-theist, atheist or nonbeliever are not befitting of her life's work or personal character. Initially, it appeared that Sinema was still officially on the membership rolls of the LDS Church, according to her visiting teacher, so I included her on the list. However, on January 3rd, the Ogden Standard-Examiner published confirmation that Sinema is no longer officially a member of the LDS Church. So I deleted her from this list.

Wally Herger (R-CA) continues to serve his district until the end of his term on January 3rd, 2013. He did not seek re-election.

The only member of the Community of Christ in Congress, Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-IA), was defeated in his re-election bid. He will leave the U.S. House on January 3rd, 2013 after 16 years of service.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanksgiving Doctrine
It is to my fellow Americans I speak. By birth the blessings of this country are bestowed upon us. Our Parents having died to ensure both those, and our God given rights. Let us not give lightly the thought of our future. We are endowed with a divine hope for the future. It is but tyranny alone that seeks to squander that hope and that future. We as Americans have never given in to tyranny, nor shall we start now. The abilities of the government come from the people which are governed. None shall give consent of persecution and discrimination, yet we find ourselves there with our current government. Dictating what had previously been enjoyed as choices, to the detriment of its citizenry. When lone oligarchs push through agendas denounced by its people, it seems fit for those now under the yoke of tyranny to rise up out of their binds and grab firm the right given us to replace or form new, a government that will not trample the path to despotism. Stand fast all my brethren who long to once more be free without the cursing of a bureacracy designed to shackle nor a judiciary with its wanton seizure of power. It is by the grace of our God and the muster of our own will, that a resolution of freedom will once again blanket this land for those who champion self determination over distant bodies of power whose only interest is maintaining their own influence. We must however, remain strong against the bitter winds ahead. They will try to turn us one against another, and they will march us to the fringes to silence us. Let us come together once again as Americans with a strong and united voice declaring liberty and self determination as our only vehicle of redress. It is not war we seek, nor hatred we want or have. Merely the opportunity afforded our ancestors to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness without undue burden from those with the consent to govern. Let us look back on this as a time, when those of two differing philosophies of how government should fullfil its duty, were able to allow the other its chance for itself to seek its destiny. Those seeking liberty finding themselves with the providence to enjoy it.