This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
[Video: Here's the guy I we should have voted for.]
"I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." Mahatma Gandhi
The Cleveland Indians. Hillary Clinton. Mormons.
Name three teams that blew a big lead.
It had become apparent that many evangelical Christians were being seduced by Trump. They ignored or rationalized his libertine lifestyle and bigoted attitude because he was their best chance to win the presidency and temporal power for a slice of the electorate that felt unduly ignored.
Mormons? Not so much.
Their memory of being treated as outcasts, leading to expressions of sympathy for Muslims and other refugees, was only the most obvious reason why Mormons parted from other self-described conservative Christians on the matter.
Plus, at least in Utah, they didn't have the inferiority complex of some other sects.
Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee, led out in early March with a powerful verbal thumping of Trump as a conman, a fake, a phony. Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox were #NeverTrump all along. Rep. Chris Stewart, a student of history, compared Trump to fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.
Gov. Gary Herbert and Rep. Mia Love were among those who waffled, but formally withheld their support when that tape of Trump bragging about his ability to commit sexual assault came out. That also moved the LDS-owned Deseret News, which never endorses candidates, to call on Trump to drop out of the race.
Everything got even more exciting, and more Utah-centric, when Evan McMullin entered the race for president as an independent, truly conservative alternative.
The ex-CIA man and Republican congressional staffer, who is LDS and graduated from Brigham Young University, was another example of Mormon rectitude standing up to a flood of so-called Christians who couldn't wait to make a deal with the orange devil.
McMullin did well enough in some polls to suggest that he might either win Utah, and its six electoral votes, or throw the traditionally safe Republican state into Clinton's camp.
Then it all fell apart.
McMullin came in third in Utah, pulling 21 percent of the vote. Trump led among those supposedly impervious Utah Mormons with 46 percent of the vote. Clinton got 28 percent.
Lee voted for McMullin. But Stewart fell back into the Trump camp, joining with colleagues Jason Chaffetz, who flip-flop-flipped, and Rob Bishop, who was always for Trump.
Thus did Mormon Utah demonstrate that, when the 30 pieces of silver were on the table, it wasn't any more moral than all the other so-called Christians in the voting booth.
There are Christians, of course, who, like McMullin, Lee and Cox, aren't fooled. They include supreme pundit Andrew Sullivan (Catholic, gay and the intellectual author of marriage equality) and the many students at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University who objected, on sound theological grounds, to Jerry Jr.'s backing of Trump.
Sullivan has tagged self-proclaimed Christians with no concept of doing unto the least of these as "Christianists." They differ from real Christians as Islamists are unlike real Muslims. They demand that the world hew to a religion they themselves don't understand and threaten horrid punishment to those who stray.
For the Christianists, it's not about feeding the hungry or healing the sick. It's about power, obedience, turf.
We might also identify a subset who would properly be labeled Mormonists. They content themselves with erecting Zion Curtains in restaurants, dealing one another in on real estate projects and denying health care to the poor.
It's not a terror cell. It's a club. People gather not out of fear or anger but out of habit and familiarity.
It can be no different than staying loyal to the sports team you followed as a child. Not because it's the best or the most morally upright, but because it's yours.
Choosing your faith like that would be no worse than choosing your team, as long as nobody wanted to use the power of the state to demand that you root for it, too.
The hope is that the Christianists won't get any more from Trump than they did from Ronald Reagan or the George Bushes, other politicians who welcomed evangelical votes but gave little in return. Trump is known for stiffing people he owes.
George Pyle, a Tribune editorial writer, kind of wishes he had voted for University of Kansas basketball coach Bill Self for president.