Sunday, February 20, 2011
Cleaning offers a more bleak future for you and I than Skousen's past works
I grew up as a Skousenite, (what I call fans of Dr W. Cleon Skousen.) My mother and father are both huge fans, my Mom because of his work on Gospel Studies, my Dad because my Dad is as fine a patriot as there has ever been. To say that I am a pretty even mix of the two is an understatement. I am proud of the fact that I am so much like my parents, and am grateful to have inherited the fascination with Dr Skousen. I have been further blessed in that his Son-In-Law is the man who I had the honor of studying the Constitution under for a number of years in the Healing Of America seminars before I became a political volunteer and activist. It has been an amazing experience and one I could never have had if it were not for growing up reading Dr Skousen’s works and studying vigorously with Dr Kimber.
That said I entered politics understanding that, as Dr Kimber often recalled his father-in-law saying, “I’ve read the book to the end, and we win!” This entire time I knew America would go through some amazingly difficult trials, and that some sort of conflict between advocates of liberty and advocates of tyranny would ensue. Most of all I knew full well that God would have to intervene on our behalf and rain down his healing blessings upon the land, but only after we had done all that we could do.
This book, published after his death, seems to be an alternate ending for the tale we are weaving, if not a clearer vision of what is to come. The Zion society the book promises is on the horizon sounds fascinating, especially if you are Mormon, the book is written by a Mormon for Mormons, and may not be accessible for those of a differing faith. The problem is that while most of us imagined that this Zion society would come about through our political activities the first chapter smashes those hopes utterly.
Dr. Skousen’s interpretation of a large number of different biblical and LDS prophecies is that a massive plague is coming that will wipe out most of the American people, and that people will then come in from overseas trying to escape Gog and Maygog and rebuild the country as a Zion society, or the Kingdom of God on Earth. There are occasions where I disagree with Dr Skousen. This is one of those times on three fronts.
First I still believe America is the most righteous country on the planet. Anyone who has been overseas can attest that religion in the world is all but dead, and no doubt that America is falling into the same godlessness, but I firmly believe God would sooner destroy the much more wicked Europe before he would us. Afterall he promised to spare Sodom and Gomorrah for only ten people-1 Now I know we have at least ten righteous people in this country, but I would take it further and say that since this country is still 75-90% Christian (depending on the poll) and there are a great number of people of other faiths here who do the best they can to follow the Lord based on their knowledge and understanding there is a solid argument to be made that America can and should be spared the wrath of God.
Next what Skousen describes and the passages he describes did not sound like a plague to me. He speaks of skin bubbling and turning purple on the hand, and eyeballs rotting out of their sockets and tongues being consumed as if by acid-2. This sounds to me like exposure to extreme heat, this could come about in a number of ways, solar flare, gamma ray burst, and the super volcano of Yellow Stone Park going off would all accomplish what the book and its sources describe. Frighteningly this outcome renders all of our efforts to save the country for ourselves and our children vain. That said two other frightening options must be considered, nukes, and an EMP explosion. The former could unleash new mutated viruses, the latter the same since our means of containment would be destroyed, and given Iran's recent activities neither of those possibilities should not be ruled out.
Suppose we do beat Obama in 2012, and we elect the most constitutional president ever. Suppose people get over their irrational fear of a Con Con and the states do it and get rid of the 17th and 16th amendment (a measure that will never clear congress, or be signed into law by the president). Suppose people start going back to church and look inward for answers rather than continuing to wait for the great leader, all of it means nothing if by plagues or by fire America is first destroyed. Why? Because the people of pretty much every other country out there have abandoned God long ago. There is no chance of a new wave of immigrants coming from largely athiestic or radically Islamic countries and setting up the greatest Judeo/Christian society ever. That's what we have to pick from for our last best hope for man, radical athiests, or radical Islam... Great I'm bursting at the seams with confidence for the future...
The rest of the world look at us as being dumb hicks and uneducated precisely because America has not Abandoned its real founder, our Heavenly Father. My faith in (especially Europeans) coming here to save the day and bring the survivors of all of this back to God is slim to nill. I firmly believe God would have an easier time setting up Zion with us than with anyone coming in from the Nietzsche and Marx (both militant atheist) loving rest of the world. The rest of the world has gone out of its way to sell the lie linking Hitler (an atheistic Neo-Pagan) to Christianity to justify this anti-God world view. All the while Godless Communism has laid waist to hundreds of millions of lives, far more than any war fought in the name of Christ… but whatever. Religion may be dying here, but at least here it still has legs. The brainwashing they call education in the rest of the world has seen to it religion is all but dead and on the life support that is government subsidizing.
Lastly I find myself surprisingly worried about some aspects of the described Zion society. While I do believe America is a righteous place filled with hundreds of millions of decent and honest people there are a number of aspects of the Law of Consecration (LOC) I myself would have concerns about, most notably that this has been tried before and it failed. Generally we accept that it was because the early saints were not ready for it, but I think we have to be honest that without God himself directing this it is simply doomed to fail. No one is anywhere near as perfect as the LOC would require. Frankly any time you try to “have no poor among them” and no one claiming property as their own jealousies still occur, and resentment arises for the simple fact., no one wants to work and have any amount they make to be confiscated by the system, theocratic, democratic or republican. That the stewardships require an almost contractual obligation to forgo one’s surplus earnings, denying themselves the right of personal growth and advancement is a hard thing to get over. Granted the Government wants us to do this by force, and the Church out of the goodness of our hearts, but its hard for me to wrap my head around an almost contractual obligation like this because wherever obligation exists volunteerism is immediately eradicated. I love to help where I can, I am happy to give time and when I have it surplus funds, but as much as I am sure most Mormons would be thrilled at every aspect of the Zion society its hard to ever imagine any scenario where this economic system would ever be truly fair to the worker and the productive. Everyone gets mad at the rich for the original program failing, but what about the poor who constantly had their hands out and never got tired of plundering the sweat of their neighbors brow? That was a problem too! Even Dr Skousen was forced to admit as much.-3
That said there’s a lot to look forward to outlined in this book, in the end our flag survives the whole ordeal, and there’s a lot to be said for dividing people up into tens, fifties, hundreds and so forth. This would indeed create a very tight structure that would help improve order, and the idea of a world without lawyers seems appealing on the surface, though would curb my ambitions for my future…
Shockingly a number of promises for the future that this book makes, free healthcare and the like, seem remarkably similar to the economic system it often criticizes (communism). The principal difference is that one is based on volunteerism, the other by force. But even with that difference outlined its hard to imagine a world where people would do this voluntarily. You see the ideologues of the world are mistaken when they assume that the producer is the one being selfish for not sharing his wealth, but the way I see it, we are the selfish ones for expecting that he should. Even worse that there are some among us that would be willing to use the force of government to forcefully take from a worker, a producer the fruits of his labor is indicative of a society sick with one of the seven deadly sins: Envy. It is not greed that drives a man to seek a reward for his work. Greed is when a man uses force to take from another the fruits of their labor, greed is a Bernie Madoff, not Bill Gates. The book indicates that you can choose to not participate in the Order, or to leave it at your leisure, but basically assure hell fire and damnation to those that do. For me condemning sloth then punishing success is a contradiction. Its little wonder Ayn Rand found religion so frustrating. Please note I am a deeply religious person, unlike Rand, I have a slightly different understanding of the context of the scriptures referenced, however.
Maybe I’ll go to hell for this view but I grow tired of hearing people complain about those who “heap up riches while others are poor.” The fact is that when the scriptures condemn the rich they were not speaking on an era defined by entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators. It was an era where being rich meant being government or military or both. Heaping up riches then didn’t mean accumulation of wealth through hard work, it meant confiscating it from the poor through taxes. Why else would you think that tax collectors were so hated in the time of Christ? Not only did the tax collectors strip earnings from the productive, but they would also strip a stipends for themselves, thus heaping up wealth off the backs of the poor. This is very different from our free market economy today where people voluntarily work in exchange for an agreed upon amount in exchange for their productivity. You basically voluntarily sell your work now. You then voluntarily buy goods and services with said earnings. No one is forcing you to buy a house, a car, a computer, food or even pay for utilities. No force exists in the free market and if you are inventive and hard working enough you too can become one of the oh so evil rich and then have people threaten you with hellfire and damnation if you fail to let them fleece you of your earnings. Furthermore the only people heaping up wealth today the same way the condemned rich of the biblical era are the exact same class of people: Government.
More ironic is the fact that Dr Skousen own thesis is beaten by his own observation that it will take years of spiritual conditioning in order to prepare the world for a Zion society, and that we shouldn’t try it until society is ready. -4. If only the Progressives who began as a movement intended to perfect society could be so patient with us. The fact is that the founding fathers built this country on the premise that man kind is not perfect and could never be perfected. Thus the consensus then was that society should allow for the maximum liberty possible to define and pursue happiness in their own terms. A lesson I learned from reading Skousen.
While the book is an easy read it certainly is written for a Mormon reader and may be inaccessible to members of other faiths or no faith. It may be of interest to readers of other faiths still as a note on what many Mormons see in the future, but one must also understand that Dr Skousen, while a brilliant and remarkable man has what can be dismissed as his own interpretation of future events as the premise of this book. While he does a fantastic job, as always, of validating his argument with scripture, doctrine and prophecy I have to concede the point that this book does not begin on the usual happy note his writings of the past have ended and that bothers me a great deal. Buy and read this book and have a gander of what’s to come if we fail to heal America.
-1: Genesis 18:32
-2: Skousen, The Cleansing of America, Valor publishing 2010 p 18, 19 &122
-3: Skousen, The Cleansing of America, Valor publishing 2010 p 84-85
-4: Skousen, The Cleansing of America, Valor publishing 2010 p 112-115