Last week, my mother forwarded me the following email. The subject line was “A good idea…”:

Dear friends and family,
I have been extremely frustrated with how things are going in our country. A lot of my frustration is because I feel I don’t know what to do to really make a change. Well, this time I do. I am asking you to join me and my family on Sunday Sept. 30 by fasting and praying for Mitt Romney. That he will be blessed in the debates, which will be held Oct. 3rd. I know that seems like such a small thing but I believe “from small things, great things can come about”. I know that fasting and praying brings about miracles. I also know of no power greater that our Father in Heaven. He loves this land and has blessed it many times before. . . with all our fasting and prayers there will be a great power and protection upon us and this great nation. Please send this to all who you know that may have the faith to pray for the help we so desperately need at this time. Please let this wave of faith move through out this great nation. Thank you.

I’m not terribly active in the political realm and, while I tend to lean to the right, I don’t vote along party lines and haven’t decided who I am voting for for President. But, this post isn’t about Romney versus Obama or Right versus Left. It’s about the request to pray for a political candidate that stuck in my craw.

After my mother forwarded the email, my sister sent us the following link: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/28/personal-email-urging-mormons-to-fast-and-pray-for-romney-goes-national/?hpt=hp_t3
Apparently, this woman’s email (the one above) went viral among Church members, and it was only intended to be a private email to this woman’s family and a few friends.

I was really bothered by the request even though it came from my own mother. I don’t like anyone assuming that (1) because I’m LDS I should/will vote for an LDS candidate and (2) that because I’m LDS it’s ok to make a request of fasting and prayer for a complete stranger.

Overall, I feel that asking people to fast and pray for any political candidate just feels wrong.

My sister was very bothered by the CNN coverage of the email because she felt it put our beliefs in the spotlight in a negative way. (She also shared it with her kids and showed them how easily something you write in an email or online can go far beyond your intended audience.)

September 30th came and went and I didn’t fast and pray for anyone (we were busy blessing our 3-month-old son and fasting isn’t high on my list while breastfeeding an infant). I continue to thoughtfully and prayerfully consider whom I should vote for, but you won’t see me putting prayers in for either candidate even once I do decide.

What about you? Did you see the email? How does this request strike you?

[If we can keep the actual political debates out of this post, I would greatly appreciate it. I can't stomach much more of the debating and voting day can't get here soon enough for me!]