Today’s Harsh Truth: If last November’s election had taken place in 1992, I most likely would have voted for Trump.

In 1992, I was a member of the Mormon church and was very active and committed. I believed that you voted for the Republican candidate because their values usually lined up with the Church. 1992 was the year I listened to Rush Limbaugh and wept when Bill Clinton won against Bush. I was 100% Republican, conservative, hated the femi-nazis, and was proud of it.

I was deeply entrenched in my addiction to magical thinking, and I could have sifted through Trump’s bile and vitriol and cast them aside as “unimportant” or “he’s just showing off”. I could have talked myself into voting for him because he claimed to be Pro-Life, he claimed to want to lower taxes, and he claimed he wanted to make America great again.

Most good Mormons believe America is a sacred land, founded with the blessings and guidance of Heavenly Father who wanted a place for the Mormon church to be organized where there would be religious freedom. The Constitution is a divine document. The Founding Fathers are all Mormon now in heaven, because each has been baptized by proxy at least a thousand times.

I believed this. I believed it with all my heart. And I would have supported Trump, because as a deeply religious woman I understood that men were the divinely appointed leaders. I understood that women and minorities (those not “white and delightsome”) and other religions were just not up to par when compared with the White Rich Man who owned and oppressed us under the guise of care and consideration.

In 2002 my testimony (or belief that the Church was ‘true’) started to crack a little. Over the next six years it fell away to dust. In 2008 I requested my membership in the Mormon church be removed. I was done. I was so very different than the me in 1992.

Many of my LDS friends asked me why I left the church. It has taken me many years to be able to distill six years of experiences into a simple statement. I quit because the God taught by Mormon leaders excludes, discriminates, disenfranchises, and shames people. I quit because I wanted my personal authority back. I quit because I couldn’t swallow the magical thinking anymore.

Today I base my politics on my new faith. My faith that all people are important and matter and count. My faith that equality, compassion, fairness, and love are always ALWAYS more important than money and power. I had to overcome the brainwashing of an institution to learn deep in my soul that black lives matter, Islam is peaceful, women’s rights are human rights, that the oppression of one is the oppression of all, that our earth is suffering and needs our protection, and that any assumed authority must be questioned.

I cringe deep in my soul when I think of who I was and that I would have been a Trump supporter. But, it also helps me have a little compassion for those who did vote for Trump. Ignorance is no excuse, but it is an explanation. We are all where we are in our journey. I cannot comment on yours, but I can sort through the detritus of my life and decisions and forgive myself.

Then, I can pick myself up and go back to work for those things which matter to me now.

NOTE: After this post, I will return to using 45*.