In a surprise move, the Utah State Office of Education has announced that after reviewing the controversy surrounding President Barack Obama’s upcoming live address to the nation’s students, state leaders have arranged for a more acceptable alternative speaker: LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson.
“Over the last few days, we’ve received hundreds of calls and emails from parents worried that their children would be subjected to political propaganda from President Obama,” said Utah Superintendent of Public Instruction, L. Garth Groesbeck. “We didn’t want anyone to feel excluded or pressured, so we looked for someone who could serve as a positive role model for all students, regardless of political stripe.”
Groesbeck said that Monson was a “natural choice” to inspire the students. “Here is a man who has throughout his life reached out to others, especially widows, and who has consistently avoided political positions, except on crucial moral matters such as same-sex marriage rights and alcohol consumption laws. We feel strongly that by substituting President Monson for President Obama, we can give our children access to a more inclusive and inspiring speaker.”
LDS church officials indicated that the prophet would speak from the campus of Brigham Young University. “President Monson felt that, by speaking from the namesake university of one of the state’s founders, he would be able to share his message of faith and testimony without offending anyone’s political sensibilities.”
Monson’s theme will be “Strengthening Testimonies in the Latter Days.” Church spokesman Daniel Jenks explained that in these last days of trial and tribulation, “the most important knowledge one can accumulate is a testimony of our Savior. No other education can compare.”
Utah ACLU attorney Laurel Meyer said that she had been startled and outraged at first. “But then when I thought about it, I realized that all we would be seeing was a laundry list of platitudes and bad poetry. What’s the harm in that?”
Eagle Fortress president Gail Ruzkinsky applauded the state’s choice. “I have to tell you I was disgusted at the thought of our children being exposed to the virulent socialism of our so-called president, This choice leaves no doubt that, at least in Utah, we stand up for American ideals. We support God and country, not gays and socialized medicine.”
Church leaders indicated that the church would be happy to broadcast the prophet’s message to all fifty states, but so far, none of the governors contacted had accepted the offer.