CS Lewis, to the best of my understanding, was a self-described Christian Libertarian. A Christian first and Von Mises style Libertarian second. He very deliberately and carefully chose the word order. He believed in small government and found wisdom in the Lassiez Fair system, however, he also was a staunch advocate of charity, often encouraging people to give to charity until it hurt the giver, to make sure it was indeed a personal sacrifice (Derived from CS Lewis, Mere Christianity). THAT is what the scriptures teach. And I join older members of the LDS Church in disappointment that I am running into so many Mormons who either don’t get it, or just want to trash on Glenn Beck because it’s the popular thing to do.
Contrary to the view of some Mormon bloggers, The Book of Mormon is not an extended argument for Social Justice. In fact, it is a warning against Social Justice. It is the story of a nation that destroyed itself in a battle between Kingmen (Gadiantons) and Freemen. The Kingmen were those advocating the sacrifice of personal liberty for the greater good. The Freemen understood that righteousness can only be of any real value if that righteousness is a path chosen. The earliest parts of Second Nephi beat the reader over the head with that point, almost all of chapter 2 is about that point! (2nd Nephi 2 26-29, or for scripture mastery “free to choose.”) The Book of Mormon makes strong arguments for Charity, but charity is a choice. Social Justice is not. They are antonyms.
More disturbing to me, however, is the frequent griping of more traditional Latter-Day Saints. “How is this happening?” “Where is the Prophet on this?” “Why won’t the church leaders speak out?” I must now address them.
While I do wish that the Church would speak out against Socialism, and Communism for the 56462526353720783679236843307th time, I am not convinced that doing so would make any difference. People on both sides of the isle just cherry pick what works for their political views and tune out the rest anyway, and odds are 250 billion hippies would descend on Temple Square to protest, like they do once a month now… we can set our clocks by these clowns, they’re so predictable… Anyway, we come up with a lot of lame excuses as to why the Church doesn’t speak out to try and justify their silence in our minds, “well the church is world wide now and they don’t want to trouble the global governments.” Horse puckey. We managed to build a temple in East Germany at the height of the Communist era in spite of Ezra Taft Benson. I do know that part of it probably deals with the way the Church is threatened with 501C3 laws every time it does speak out (the loss of its tax exempt status), and the government usually does that 5 minutes after the hippies descend on Temple Square once a month… but in the end it’s our fault.
When the Church leaders urged us to support Proposition 8 how did we react? Sure many of us did our part, many in California stepped up to the plate and helped the measure pass, however… Where were we really? 3% of the Church did what was asked, we just said nothing and set about the work and 3% of the church very loudly protested against Proposition 8 and the Church itself, along side the hippies once a month predictably enough... The rest of us fell silent, myself included. Who do you think the Church leaders were hearing?
The anti-8 Mormons gathered over 4,000 letters from around the world and hand delivered them to the Church headquarters in Salt Lake City. There was a massive media blitz, remember? More recently the gays launched another assault at the Church in response to Boyd K Packer’s merely re-iterating what you and I have known for years as Mormons… -2. Did you think to gather 5,000 letters from around the world to show our love and support for the Church? Or even 1,000? How about 100? No? Me neither, but if we were really as good of Mormons as we like to think we are, we should have. Who do you think the Church leaders were hearing? What incentive is there to continue to speak out when we don’t?
It reminds me of 1st Samuel Chapter 8 when Israel demands a King. Samuel presents this to the Lord, God says no. They keep demanding a king and eventually (perhaps tired of all the nagging) God caves in. Of course it’s a complete disaster, it always is when we refuse to listen, but where were the voices demanding that they maintain liberty? No where. Whose fault is it really?
Now we’re in the battle of our lives. We have sat in horror and watched as actual socialists and communists (by their own self- descriptions) have flooded the white house and surrounded this president whose philosophy and religion fit the very description of the “historic Jesus” described by Screwtape. That Obama is a practitioner of Liberation Theology is an inarguable fact, that Liberation Theology is focused on Social Justice (Marxism) is an inarguable fact. Liberals can burry their head in the sand all they want, but what we have in front of us is something America has never actually seen before, someone who is at the very least laying the framework for a later dictatorship. Whatever Obama is actually doing we know we’re in the fight of our lives here politically. We know that Nov. 2nd represents what may be our last chance to save the country and put it back on the right track.
Some of us are starting to complain that the work is too hard, it’s too exhausting, it demands too much. I would say if we had done our part in the first place this would have never happened. And a huge part of that should have been questioning what was going on in the various colleges around the country, and paying real attention to the media. We dropped the ball, and as a result our liberty is being challenged by a counterfeit Christianity that our kids are being taught in school, in the media, and by our “progressive” politicians.
Our carelessness must be repented for, I believe, before anything can be undone and set right. But just as we should have been diligent in defending our liberties in the first place. As tired as you and I are, most of the founding fathers served the country until they were old and gray. Granted the Revolutionary War lasted only 8 years with countless bloody battles (and Washington’s men fighting many of them without shoes, and in the dead of winter.) What we are asked to do is nothing by comparison.
Our sin is that we have allowed ourselves to become a top down society. We’re waiting for a leader to show up and save the day, but my friends, it simply will not happen that way. Think about how God has always worked. Let’s take it back to CS Lewis. In the book Prince Caspian Narnia is in desperate trouble. A tyrant King (the anti-colonialist Marxist running Washington) is running amuck, chasing away the rightful heir to the throne (us) and wrecking havoc among the magical creatures of the land. Narnia is in desperate need of Aslan. Instead Caspian manages to summon more people (Edmund, Peter, Lucy and Susan) and works with them and the Narnians to put together an army (the Tea Party) to repel the invading forces (encroaching Socialism). They suffer several crushing defeats until their backs are literally against the wall at their head quarters. Only at the very last second does Aslan shows up to lead the heroes to final victory. Only after the heroes had done all they could do did God intervene and rain down blessing upon the land.
Now leftists who read this might scoff at my modernized interpretation of the Narnian classic, but it is, I think, a good reminder for us not to wait around for someone else to fix it for us. In reading the church’s latest documents on welfare (available at www.lds.org) I found that self reliance is still the end goal of our welfare system. I believe the concept of self reliance needs to go beyond welfare, and must start to enter our political philosophy. We cannot sit around waiting for Aslan to arrive. If the heroes of Prince Caspian had, they’d have been destroyed. We have to take it upon ourselves to save our culture, our liberties, even our gospel if you value it so by standing up and making our voices heard. We cannot wait for a leader to emerge because quite simply, you are the leader, and now is the time to make your voice heard. And if not you whom? And if not now, when?
Salt Lake County is a Republican county. We have the numbers to re-claim our county, and to beat Jim Matheson and others like him. If we are to win this war of words and ideas then we must start here. Salt Lake County has historically gone to the Democrats because of Republican inaction. We stay home, while they go vote. While it is true that the Church does not endorse either party, we cannot put our heads in the sand and ignore what the Democrats have become under the leadership of Obama, Reid, Pelosi, and I will even have to single out Howard Dean… They are the radicals, not us. They want to fundamentally transform America, Obama’s words, not mine. We are, what they in private might call “reactionaries.” But we have an opportunity to show them we are not just the last dying gasp of capitalism, we are a movement in our own right, and for our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children we must make a stand and vote in record numbers.
Stop waiting for Aslan, go wake up your neighbors.
1-Comment by Jana Reiss, “Beck responds to backlash, Mormons respond to Beck” by Joel Campbell Mormon Times/Deseret News 3-15-2010
2-Petition against Packer’s speech draws 100,000 signatures, By Rosemary Winters The Salt Lake Tribune Oct 8, 2010 06:03PM