What is MWEG?
Mormon Women for Ethical Government (MWEG) is a nonpartisan group dedicated to the ideals of decency, accountability, transparency, and justice in governing. We are at once watchdogs and activists. Our goal is to share information, organize, mobilize, and act with the intent of both impeding unlawful and/or unethical proceedings and promoting positive change.
Who are we?
We are SAHMs, attorneys, professors, doctors, soccer moms, political scientists, artists, writers, teachers, Relief Society presidents, nursery leaders, butchers, bakers, candlestick makers. We are women from all over the globe and all over the political spectrum, united in purpose and vision.
How do I join?
Please click on the JOIN tab at the top of our homepage. By entering your information into the form there, you will be added to our main MWEG Facebook Group/private discussion board as well as to the appropriate state or region chapter.
Can only women join?
For now, yes. At MWEG, we draw on a long tradition of Mormon female activism hearkening back to our stalwart suffragist foremothers and believe there is tremendous power in sisterhood. As one of our members put it, there is no stopping a group of mobilized Mormon women!
Can only Mormons join?
No! As long as you share our vision (see “About Us“) and as long as you don’t mind being associated with a group that is called Mormon Women for Ethical Government, we would be delighted to have you! (You do have to be a woman though.)
Are you affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
Mormon Women for Ethical Government is a private organization and is not affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We do, however, fully sustain, honor, and uphold the Church’s doctrines and leaders.
What are your guiding principles?
As stated in our official group description, “Members of Mormon Women for Ethical Government honor the rule of law and are absolutely committed to civility and respectful discourse and conduct. We pledge to uphold all the core principles of nonviolent resistance as practiced by Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We will not engage in name-calling, vitriol, or hate speech of any kind. We will seek to understand all sides of every issue before taking action.
In our role as watchdogs and activists, our touchstone is to ask, Is it legal? Is it ethical?* If the answer is no to either (or both) of those questions, then we move to oppose it.”
*We have chosen to adopt the definition of ethics proposed by Velasquez, Andre, Shanks, and Meyer in an article that appeared in Issues in Ethics IIE V1 N1 (Fall 1987; revised in 2010): “Ethics refers to well-founded standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues. Ethics, for example, refers to those standards that impose the reasonable obligations to refrain from rape, stealing, murder, assault, slander, and fraud. Ethical standards also include those that enjoin virtues of honesty, compassion, and loyalty. And, ethical standards include standards relating to rights, such as the right to life, the right to freedom from injury, and the right to privacy. Such standards are adequate standards of ethics because they are supported by consistent and well-founded reasons.”
Why such strict guidelines?
If we are to be successful, we must be united. And we cannot be united unless we share the same vision. And that vision includes an absolute commitment to civility and kindness in word and in deed and a pledge to live by the core principles of nonviolent resistance (as practiced by Gandhi and King and as laid out in our official group description). We understand that not everyone in the world would agree that this is the best way to stand for truth and justice. Some want to rant and rail and throw things. We acknowledge that we sometimes want to do that too. But we also acknowledge that as disciples of Jesus Christ, we have been called to a higher path. And we are unwavering in our commitment to that path.
What specific issues do you focus on?
Anything that is illegal and/or unethical. We have particular interest in defending and supporting the basic rights and dignity of our brothers and sisters throughout the world, whatever their race, gender, or religion. We also seek to celebrate kindness, goodness, and justice wherever we see it. We stand in defense of the fundamental values of our democracy and our Constitution.
Are you an anti-Trump group?
Well, you’ll never hear us say that outright, but it would be disingenuous of us to pretend we are not part of the resistance. Like millions of Americans, we are aghast at the current state of affairs in our great nation. We refuse to normalize or accept behavior, rhetoric, or legislation that disregards the rule of law, the core principles of decency and honor, and basic human rights. We are nonpartisan in that we welcome women of all political persuasions who share our vision and are committed to the ideals of civility, respect, compassion, and love. The dismay we feel over the current state of affairs has little to do with politics. It’s not about Democrats vs. Republicans, or liberals vs. conservatives. It’s not about which side won and which lost in this election, because, in truth, this time around, we all lost. But ultimately, good will prevail.
One of the core principles of nonviolent resistance as practiced by Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and which serve as guideposts for all we do at MWEG, states that “Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people.” This is an important distinction. So, for our group, for Mormon Women for Ethical Government, it’s not about whether we are Trump supporters or anti-Trump; it’s about whether or not the actions, orders, appointments, etc. of our current president and his administration are lawful and ethical. If they are not, we will oppose them with all the love and ferocity we possess.
How did MWEG come to be?
(From MWEG founder Sharlee Mullins Glenn)
On Thursday night, January 26, 2017, I sat down at my computer after an impassioned political discussion with some writer friends and created a private Facebook Group where we could continue to share ideas on how to oppose the egregious assaults on our democracy that we were seeing. We were aghast at the two executive orders that had been issued by our newly inaugurated president the day before, the first calling for the construction of a “large physical barrier on the southern border” and the second reinstating the Secure Communities Program, which ICE uses to “target illegal immigrants for removal,” and directing the State Department to strip federal grant money from sanctuary cities that harbor undocumented immigrants. These two executive orders constituted the proverbial “last straw” for many of us (and the infamous immigration ban was yet to come!).
We had, in good faith, given our new president a chance, but we realized that the time for “wait and see” had come and gone. We felt desperate to act but weren’t sure what to do. We recognized that our own isolated, individual efforts would be largely ineffectual.
And so I created Mormon Women for Ethical Government and invited about 25 women to join me in brainstorming ways we could combine our efforts to more effectively combat the most troublesome aspects of our current political climate. We determined from the outset that, as devoted disciples of Jesus Christ, we would conduct ourselves at all times with civility and goodwill and that we would adopt as our modus operandi the core principles of nonviolent resistance as practiced by Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Three days later, much to our amazement, our group had grown to 385 women, each committed to acting with purpose, civility, and courage to defend the ideals of decency, honor, accountability, transparency, truth, and justice in the governing of the United States of America. As one of our founders, Melissa Dalton-Bradford, so succinctly put it: “We refuse to be complicit by being complacent.” We were overwhelmed and deeply gratified to know that so many of our sisters shared our vision. One week later, our membership stood, astoundingly, at 2,852, and within two weeks of launching this initiative, we had 4,000 members.
Who could ever have imagined this? And who can begin to imagine what we might accomplish as we move forward, united in purpose and vision? As another member recently said, there’s no stopping a group of mobilized Mormon women!
We (the six founders/directors of MWEG—Sharlee Mullins Glenn, Melissa Dalton-Bradford, Jacque White, Linda Hoffman Kimball, Erica Glenn, and Michelle Lehnardt) continue to work around the clock to build an organizational structure to support our growing membership. We thank you all for your patience as we scramble to build the foundation necessary to support what we initially thought would be a modest little cottage where 25-30 of us could huddle together over cups of herbal tea brainstorming plans for direct action, but which has instead become a sprawling and mighty convention center teeming with beautiful, brave, strong women from all over the globe and all over the political spectrum, united by love, their devotion to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and a burning desire to ACT in decisive ways to uphold honor and decency and that which is lawful and ethical in the governance of our great country.
We welcome every single one of you and value your voices and willingness to engage.
Sharlee Mullins Glenn, MWEG Founder