Like most Christian denominations, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has its share of adherents who bend to the left politically. They are a minority in the Mormon Church, but they present a fascinating conundrum as embodied in high-profile political figures like Harry Reid and John Huntsman. This conundrum results in a clash between a typically intricate LDS knowledge of the nature of God, His plan for his children, and the role of the Adversary and Christian themes such as “becoming our brother’s keeper” and caring for the poor and needy being injected and corrupted with modern Liberal policy positions.
Some Leftist doctrines have a certain “feel-good” allure to liberal-minded Mormons. After all, the God of Love, Jesus Christ, vetoed the often harsh functions of the Law of Moses. The Law of Moses, established early in the generations of the Old Testament, is a draconian, sometimes rigid law that does not accommodate the overarching concept of mercy made possible by the advent of The Son of God and His Atoning Sacrifice. Conservatives tend to be more “law-and-order” minded whereas Liberals tend to judge things more by their sensory value–what feels good, what appears to be nice. This “be kind at all costs because that’s what Jesus would do” brand of Liberal believes that mercy should freely given, even when the recipient of that mercy will turn on the giver without hesitation in an act of utter brutality.
Mormon Liberals forget that Jesus Christ came not to “destroy” the Law of Moses, but to”fulfill” it. There is a place for the absolutes found in the Law of Moses within the Gospel of Jesus Christ as well as modern secular laws. Liberalism sometimes rejects absolutes like marriage as the union of one man and one woman, or the fact that differentiated human life begins at conception. Conservatives have no problem with absolutes. Such non-negotiables provide structure and certainty in an otherwise confusing and ever-changing world. But Liberals are so fearful of offending the sensibilities of say, a gay couple, or their pro-abortion colleagues at work, that they will frame God’s laws as something that is “up to the individual if it works for them.”
Liberals just seem to be more genetically attuned to those ideas that seem pleasant. After all, how can tolerance, friendship, service, and charity be bad? The problem that is faced by Liberal Mormons, and other Christians, is their inability to discern to whom or what it is wise to bestow such pleasantries. I have an ongoing debate on Linked-in with an LDS professional in the Washington D.C. area about France’s law that prohibits the traditional full face coverings often worn by Muslim women. He took the position of defending Muslims in France and throughout the world from laws which encroach on their “religious liberties,” comparing such laws with persecution of the Mormons during the decades after the Church was founded in 1830. My responses have been an attempt to pull him back from a myopic perspective of Islam, and the mistaken assumption that Islam is a “religion” driven by doctrines similar to the Judeo/Christian ethos to which Westerners are so familiar. The discussion proceeded as follows:
Post of LDS Man:
Recent U.S. State Department Report Critical of Europe’s Restrictions on Freedom of Religion and Thought
Recently, the U.S. Department of State criticized France and other European nations for their restrictions on the religious freedom of Muslims (seehttp://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/religiousfreedom/index.htm#wrapper ). In particular, France enacted legislation that did not allow people to cover their faces in public, effectively prohibiting Muslim women from wearing clothing such as the burqa or niqab. See an analysis of France’s Concealment Act here:
It is important to have a comprehensive understanding of Islam. It is less a “religion” than it is an ideology. Although individual Muslims are often devout and honorable, Islam is not a church in any traditional sense. It is an ideology that sets a one-state totalitarian theocracy as the supreme authority in the world. While it is important to tolerate the sincere observances of Muslims, nations must guard against the encroachment of Islam into their cultures and governments. Please view this educational course by Frank Gaffney at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C.
In some cases, you are right. Where religion or someone’s beliefs threaten public order (and in other limited circumstances), then perhaps restrictions on religious manifestations are necessary. International law makes these kinds of provisions. However, France and other European countries have taken it too far. France, for example, does not allow Muslim women to wear a burqa or niqab anywhere in public. Such a restriction may be appropriate when identifying someone’s face is important, such as a security check point in airport, but not when they are in the park with their kids. France’s actions are overreaching.
I reviewed the website that you cited and some of the videos. As with many major religions, extreme factions exist. The video focuses on a few limited extreme factions within Islam and ignores so much of the good. If you treat the majority of moderate good Muslims like the dangerous factions, then you push them to the fringes.
The statement that “nations must guard against the encroachment of Islam into their cultures and governments” is dangerous. Such a statement implies stripping a group of people of their free speech and political rights based on their religious identity. A government or person that is willing to strip one group of its rights is just as willing to strip the next group of their rights
I don’t think it implies a stripping of an entire group of the rights of speech, religious expression and assembly. It is foolish, however, to believe that there are not factions that are intent on “infiltration.” These ideologically-based groups use openness and “tolerance” against the Western nations they have targeted. France and the Netherlands are excellent case studies of this phenomenon. I think that societies and their governments must become truly educated about the “religions” they are protecting. Islam is not a religion but rather a political ideology that believes in eventual global domination. Muslims as individuals should not be persecuted, but Americans must have an authentic education about the roots and nature of the Islamic world view.
I don’t necessarily advocate blanket laws that prohibit certain religious observations, inasmuch as those observations don’t encroach on the rights of others, even when they are far outside of the social norms of a given country. But Islam is the prime example of why, when the primitive and often barbaric doctrines of one ideology or sect clash with the principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all people, “tolerance” should not be the default reaction of individuals or governments. —Please note that in this exchange I did not bring up the fact that Hillary Clinton’s State Department, which issued the critique of anti-burqa laws, has already been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood and that the Secretary of State herself has personal and professional links with this murderous and extreme organization.
An often guileless mindset is one problematic aspect of the Mormon Liberal. They have a tendency to feel that because they themselves are honest, benevolent, and compassionate that every other human on earth–except Republican candidates, of course–is also so harmless and trustworthy. They, like other Liberals, attribute gospel-centered qualities and understanding to, for example, Muslims, without looking closely at what such individuals are taught, their social structures and modes of worship, and cultural practices that Westerners find abhorrent such as cruel and inhumane punishment, polygamy, and honor killings. The problem is that there are children of the same God in this world whose veins run with red blood, but who completely lack the Judeo/Christian world view. They are cultures or subsets within cultures whose attitudes are fashioned in fear and hatred of their perceived enemies, and whose resources and lives are spent in desperate attempts to gain personal salvation and political power through violence and tyranny over other people.
The Left, whose representatives “booed” the reinstatement of references to “God” and Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, at the Democratic National Convention, in larger numbers than those who accepted the amended platform, has adopted Jesus Christ as the posterboy of do-gooder Socialism. As sick as this is–the idea that Jesus Christ was a kind-hearted bureaucrat who fed the masses and healed the hoards using the amazing secret powers of political influence–has caught on with Liberal Christians. This central leitmotif, depicted as the Lord and Savior doling out earthly succor and Eternal Salvation equally to all regardless of merit, is a euphemism for an all-powerful governing entity taking care of the needs of its subjects. This is a perverse deception. “Socialist charity” is a lethally flawed conceit because its basic premise makes impersonal and unaccountable government, not the human heart, the arbiter of what is and is not given. Sincere religious individuals must beware of the tenet of “Socialist charity.” When secular government, or theocratic government such as Islam, becomes the provider of succor via the taxation of wealth and property of its citizens, it displaces God as the source of “our daily bread.” Socialism is not just a defective economic model, it is a form of idolatry that eventually binds the hands and cages the minds of those whom it beguiles.
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are well versed not just in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but in the cyclic ascent and destruction of civilizations. The fall of a nation is always preceded by the rejection of God, not just the rejection a loving Heavenly Father and His Plan of Salvation as explained in scripture, but the rejection of His absolutes, also known as Commandments. The modern Left populated by Liberals, Progressives, and the Democrat Party of the 21st Century, has kicked God out of their rhetoric and their ideas. This comes in the wake of decades of rejecting His absolutes. Abortion, the wanton taking of life ensconced in law and ingrained in habit and the memes “its my body,” and “reproductive rights,” is ultimately an offense against “thou shalt not murder.” The obsession with gay marriage and civil unions and attempts to memorialize homosexual preferences by creating new laws that alter the definition of marriage and what comprises family, are assaults on all God-given precepts related to human relationships and identity. The century-old push for Socialism and big centralized government power over the individual citizen and his rights is the graven image of domination and force that supplants the love and tender mercies, the very being of God.
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Mormon Liberals may want to take stock of the actions and goals of those whose secular doctrines appear so like what Jesus Christ would want of us. The 21st Century Democrat Party and the Liberal/Progressive movement eschews everything that God requires. The fruits of Liberalism in America are debt, abortion, the perversion of healthy sexual and familial relationships, cultural denigration, burgeoning dependence on big government welfare, spiritual enervation, pointlessly protracted war, a nation living beyond its means, Atheism, chaos at the border, the failure of essential institutions, joblessness, economic depression, shattered families and broken-hearted children, the embracing of a ruthless theocratic philosophy that punishes dissent with death, and the wholesale acceptance of homosexuality as a healthy alternative to traditional marriage, just to name a few.
The “iron rod” in Mormon lore is a symbolic hand-hold that if clutched with fervor and faithfulness with lead to Eternal Life in the presence of God. I ask this question of my Liberal Mormon friends; do you really want to be lead to the dark place that the iron rod of Liberalism will guide you?
by Marjorie Haun 3/5/13