As many of us know, Sheri Dew was selected to give the invocation at the Republican National Convention. The prayer she gave, as transcribed, was rather simple and probably uncontroversial:
Heavenly Father, we come before Thee as citizens who care about this nation to express our gratitude for this land of liberty where we have the freedom to live, vote, and worship as we choose. We are grateful for the evidence of Thy hand in the founding of this nation. We are grateful for every man and woman in uniform, and ask Thee to bless them and their families. We pray for the wisdom to protect and defend all families, for our nation is only as strong as its homes. We are grateful for a Commander in Chief who seeks Thy guidance. Wilt Thou bless him with wisdom and courage. We plead with Thee for peace and continued freedom-not only freedom from those who would terrorize us and encroach upon our peace of mind, but also freedom from acrimony. We pray for Thy Spirit to be with us today, that we may be wise and
discerning. We love Thee, Father, and we thank Thee for loving us. We worship Thee in many ways. But as a follower of Jesus Christ, and in behalf of all who believe likewise, we offer this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
As many of us may know, Sister Dew has had a number of prominent callings and positions, including Relief Society Presidency member and CEO of Deseret Book. She is also, famously, unmarried.
Sister Dew has come under fire for a recent article where she condemned gay marriage and compared gay-rights activists to Nazis. In particular, Atrios, one popular left-leaning blog, served as a forum for very bitter anti-LDS commentary, which Lyle Stamps has pointed out.
Myself, I’m conflicted. I’m happy that the Republicans think highly enough of the church to place a church member in a highly visible role at the convention. And I’m thrilled that they picked an LDS woman. However, I’m a little nonplussed that the member chosen is one who has recently compared gay-rights activists to Nazis. I don’t think that gay-rights activists are Nazis or that gay marriage is like the Holocaust, and I don’t want others to think that I have those views. (But maybe her presence will start conversations, where I can clarify that sister Dew is not 100% representative of my own views). In the end, I think Sheri Dew at the Convention is a mixed blessing for church members. It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly better than nothing.