Waiting for Aslan
-By Daniel Moir
I’ve been reading a lot of CS Lewis lately in anticipation for the third Narnia film “Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” the first of the series produced by the more conservative 20th Century Fox, which still retains the cast and crew of the original two Narnia films… I guess they were too Christian for Disney… but alas I digress (already? Gee that didn’t take long.) I have a soft spot for Lewis because it was through him I was introduced to the concept of Christian Libertarianism; his writings are full of wonderful allegory to the battle over freedom we face today. His work was often profound, and especially unique in that he seemed to have a deep understanding of gospel Doctrine that is able to fascinate Christians of all denominations. He also clues us in on many-a-issues we have in common. Our common ability to enjoy the works of this brilliant writer, to me is indicative that we have more in common than we have differences. Evangelicals and Mormons might beat each other up over issues like the nature of God, but we generally agree that our rights come from God and that the founding fathers were divinely inspired. Mormons even include it in our scriptures:
And that alaw of the land which is bconstitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.
Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the aconstitutional law of the land;
And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil. (D&C 98: 5-7)
In other words we believe that the Constitution and its guarantee of rights and liberty is the only justifiable law, anything that is more or less than the Constitution God himself, through the Prophet Joseph Smith declared evil. So for a Mormon reading through the Screw tape letters has been a lot of fun, and yet its been frightening as well as I stumbled across a passage on the concept of Social Justice, a concept that is far more than what is constitutionally permissible yet seems to be gaining traction among the younger college educated of our Church, while older members are now panicked because the Church has spoken out against this concept before, but has fallen silent in recent years, and those members blame the silence of the Church leaders for the blind acceptance of collectivism among the college aged Mormons. Nevermind that pointing the finger of blame isn’t exactly an individualistic action. The individual takes personal responsibility, the collective blames the leader. But then again, I’m the Libertarian-Republican in the room, so what do I know? I will address both groups.
First, let me address the misguided College Learned.
I see in the news papers, the Salt Lake Tribune especially, a lot of Mormons denounce Glenn Beck. “You may have missed it, but social justice is a dominant feature of all four of our key sacred texts, including the Bible and the Book of Mormon. We could look at hundreds of relevant scriptures, since poverty was the thing Jesus preached about most often, but let me turn your attention to a scripture you might have missed: King Benjamin's sermon in the Book of Mormon."-1 one blogger wrote. An absurd notion to be sure. King Benjamin was encouraging CHAIRTY. Charity and Social Justice are not the same thing. Social Justice is Satan’s counterfeit to charity. It is a recent concept developed by the likes of Karl Marx, and popularized by the likes of James Cohen, the founder of Liberation Theology, and self avowed Marxist religious leader Jim Wallis. It’s sad that CS Lewis, while not a member of the LDS faith seemed to grasp this concept entirely, but some of our own, for the sake of being right with the left wing nut media miss this completely. I guess its better to be popular than right… Oh well.
Beck is an echo of Cleon Skousen, who himself was an echo of Ezra Taft Benson, himself an echo of David O’McKay, and echo of Heber J Grant, himself an echo of those that came before him all the way back to Joseph Smith. Never at any time has the church been friendly to the concept of Government imposed collectivism. The church has repeatedly denounced Socialism, Communism, and Fascism. That the Church is silent now on these matters is not an indication of capitulation to the whimsies of men, we are still to “push back the world,” as James E Foust would say, a Democrat, by the way. We need to be Charitable, but Charity is an individual choice. Where force is involved it ceases to be charity and becomes theft, and theft is against our religion.
What the liberal Mormon bloggers are missing is that the Book of Mormon repeatedly condemns ridiculous and oppressive taxing as well rendering the Social Justice in the book of Mormon argument defeated. Mosiah 2:14 here King Benjamin labors with his own hands and engaged in CHARITY so that the people are not taxed. Mosiah 7:15 Nephite writers observe the burden of taxes on the Lamonites, Mosiah 11:6-This one in particular highlights the primary problem with socialism, make it scripture mastery. Ether 10:5-6 the people burdened with taxes that can’t pay them end up punished by the government. In all scripture every time taxes come up it is in a negative connotation. Taxing and redistributing wealth is not promoted by scripture, it is condemned. Charity, willingly imparting taking care of the poor of your own volition is celebrated and encouraged.
CS Lewis understood the real nature of Marxism, as he accounts in a letter from Screwtape the Demon, to his nephew Wormwood.
You will find that a good many Christian-political writers think that
Christianity began going wrong, and departing from the doctrine of its Founder,
at a very early stage. Now this idea must be used by us to encourage once again
the conception of a "historical Jesus" to be found by clearing away later
"accretions and perversions" and then to be contrasted with the whole Christian
tradition. In the last generation we promoted the construction of such a
"historical Jesus" on liberal and humanitarian lines; we are now putting forward
a new "historical Jesus" on Marxian, catastrophic, and revolutionary lines. The
advantages of these constructions, which we intend to change every thirty years
or so, are manifold. In the first place they all tend to direct men's devotion
to something which does not exist…
…About the general connection between Christianity and politics, our position is more delicate. Certainly we do not want men to allow their Christianity to flow over into their political
life, for the establishment of anything like a really just society would be a
major disaster. On the other hand we do want, and want very much, to make men
treat Christianity as a means; preferably, of course, as a means to their own
advancement, but, failing that, as a means to anything—even to social justice.
The thing to do is to get a man at first to value social justice as a thing
which the Enemy demands, and then work him on to the stage at which he values
Christianity because it may produce social justice. For the Enemy will not be
used as a convenience.
(Screwtape letters, XXIII CS Lewis, emphasis added)
Why don’t we get it anymore? Are we loosing our appreciation of liberty? As we hear the phrase “social justice” out of more and more people in the media we are being asked once again to take a side in the epic clash of the ages, the War in Heaven, as proposed by David O’McKay in his famous speech “Two Contending Forces,” didn’t end with Satan and 1/3rd of the hosts of heaven being kicked out. In many ways Satan is still fighting that war and it manifests through Socialism, Communism, and Fascism, and numerous other isms (sorry that excludes the flawed but best we can do as humans Capitalism which is essential to individual liberty) The Term Social Justice has been used by a variety of Socialist groups (including National Socialists, aka Nazis… yes that’s right turns out they were not right wingers after all) as code word for government imposed redistribution of wealth. We therefore cannot allow for it to be used as a synonym for charity, for charity requires the personal liberty to choose, and Social Justice is an antonym to personal liberty.
Social Justice violates some critical gospel doctrines, including one of the key Ten Commandments (thou shalt not steal.) It is also counter to the Church’s famous stand against slavery. After all, forcing someone to work for the benefit of someone else is nothing less than enslavement, I don’t care how you justify it.
These various isms are just the latest evolution of feudalism, and they will sell you a lot of lies to try to get you to buy into it. The idea of everyone being absolutely equal… “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” A moneyless, government free society where everyone shares everything equally. Right, and then you can’t get anyone to work because there’s no reward, and then what? Worse yet those who do work become the slaves of those who don’t, and off the backs of the Producer, the Parasite grows fat and lazy (Mosiah 11:6.) Well history has shown us a long record of Socialism and Communism and mass graves, 100 million dead and counting. Furthermore Social Justice leads to a reduction in personal charity efforts, which I believe is central to the problem Europe faces with its lost faith. Religion is all but dead over there, and there is a good argument that Socialism was the knife used to kill it. Yet our youth just shout “keep trying it! You’re just doing it wrong.” Well this another key tenant of our faith not baring false witness. No one is doing socialism wrong, it just doesn’t work, and has severe and negative consequences when implemented.
While charity is important to us taxes are not charity, and we should never be foolish enough to buy into the lie that charity and social justice are the same thing. Jesus absolutely was no fan of the rich, but the rich in his time happened to be the government, a little detail Marxists leave out. There were no entrepreneurs, no corporate CEOs, no McDonalds or Wal-Mart, only government which oppressed through burdensome taxes and in many cases regulations and forced labor. Today people like Jim Wallis would have us believe that Jesus and Karl Marx were bosom buddies, but I would argue that this is a politically motivated reinvisioning of Jesus Christ, why not, everyone’s doing reinvisionments these days. As CS Lewis points out; the idea of a Marxist Jesus is a lie. Social Justice may look good on paper, but it is the weapon of the adversary, and not a tool of our Lord and Savior. Individual freedom and personal liberty. Charity. Charity is the answer.
(To be continued)