Skip to comments.Mormon Doctrine Leads to Socialism?
Posted on 05/09/2012 5:44:28 AM PDT by Kaslin
Now that Mitt Romney is the presumptive Republican nominee for president, the left is increasing its attacks on his Mormon religion, hoping to distract voters into focusing on perceived negatives about Mormonism. The latest attack is shrewdly done. Instead of directly attacking Mormonism, which could look bad, the left is claiming that Mormonism is really socialist.
Last month, the far left website Salon ran an article entitled, When Mormons Were Socialists. It relied completely upon a deliberate misinterpretation of a few verses in the Book of Mormon. The author claimed that Mormon doctrine about events in the first century A.D. advocated for socialism. He declared that in the Third Book of Nephi, God punished a city because the government disregarded the sick and poor. Tellingly, the Salon article did not indicate where in the Book of Mormon the verses it relies upon are located, because they do not exist. At no time did the Nephite government ever give even a tiny amount of assistance to the poor.
The Book of Mormon is heavily critical of excessive government taxation. Wicked King Noah was criticized for taxing his people mercilessly to fund his extravagant building plan. Like the Bible, which Mormons follow, the Book of Mormon teaches the principle of asking others not the government to help the poor.
The Third Book of Nephi is about a city that was punished by God for greed, immorality and turning away from God. It is similar to Bible stories about God punishing the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and the king of Babylon.
The Bible and the Third Book of Nephi both criticize the wealthy for their arrogance. Chapter 6, verses 12 & 15 of the Third Book of Nephi, state:
There began to be some disputings among the people; and some were lifted up unto pride and boastings because of their exceedingly great riches, yea, even unto great persecutions ..Satan had great power, unto the stirring up of the people to do all manner of iniquity, and to the puffing them up with pride, tempting them to seek for power, and authority, and riches, and the vain things of the world.
Similarly, the Bible rails against the greedy rich in James 5:1-4:
1 And a final word to you arrogant rich: Take some lessons in lament. You'll need buckets for the tears when the crash comes upon you. 2 Your money is corrupt and your fine clothes stink. 3 Your greedy luxuries are a cancer in your gut, destroying your life from within. You thought you were piling up wealth. What you've piled up is judgment. 4 All the workers you've exploited and cheated cry out for judgment. The groans of the workers you used and abused are a roar in the ears of the Master Avenger.
Another claim made by the Salon author is that the Third Book of Nephi condemned corporate greed and advocated for the Occupy movement. God had called Samuel to essentially Occupy Zarahemla, to stand up and speak out against corporate greed and wealth accumulation, he wrote. Yet contrary to his assertion, there were no corporations in 6 B.C. Samuel was merely instructed to denounce greed and selfishness, which the Bible has always condemned. This has nothing in common with the Occupy movement, which seeks to use the government to redistribute wealth. This is the same kind of accusation the left makes about mainstream Christianity, claiming Jesus occupied the Temple.
The communitarian living of Mormons in the 1800s is held up as more evidence that Mormons used to advocate for socialism. However, communal living is not socialism; it is voluntary agreements among private parties. A quote by Brigham Young stating that the streams and timber belong to the people and are not for private ownership is also offered as evidence of socialism. This is not accurate, since most capitalist countries, including the United States, treat rivers and most timber forests as federal or state property.
This latest attack is just a variation on the lefts claim that the Bible and Jesus advocated for socialism. If Mormons are socialists, then evangelicals are too. It is odd the left is suddenly so interested in Mormonism now. Harry Reid, a Mormon Democrat, has been the Senate Majority leader since 2007. Mo Udall, also a Mormon Democrat, ran for President against Jimmy Carter in 1976. The left has never had a problem with their Mormonism.
Let’s not forget that the first American socialists were Puritans. Of course, unlike the modern breed they quickly realized socialism doesn’t work and gave up the notion.
Deceptive hyperbole is unbecoming.
Then again, I guess if anyone dares to disagree with certain elements here on FR, it's to be expected that they will be addressed using all manner of colorful adjectives.
It's the liberal way afterall.
I can only hope the day Romney takes the oath of Office, you'll end up wearing a straight jacket in some obscure looney bin with sound proof padded walls.
Have a nice day now....
So to you, obeying Christ by avoiding and exposing purveyors of a false Christ makes one a “bigoted lowlifer?” Could it be that the bigotry actually lies elsewhere? It is a condition of my faith that I obey Christ. I am simply not allowed, no matter how I feel, to voluntarily empower, politically, spiritually, or otherwise, anyone making a direct claim to their own deity. To do so would implicate me in the sin of idolatry, a brazen rejection of the first of the Ten Commandments.
Remember, Christians have been here before. We will not bend or bow to human hubris, regardless of whether it takes a secular or religious form. We would not submit to Caesar. We will not submit to the Marxists. You are free to do as you like. I see no reason, however, to diminish your fellow warriors for conservatism simply because their religion obliges their conscience to not vote for fake deities. It is not logical. We can continue to fight in common cause despite this difference in perspective, can we not? Or are we as subject to the privations of group-think as our opponents on the left?
He declared that in the Third Book of Nephi, God punished a city because the government disregarded the sick and poor. Tellingly, the Salon article did not indicate where in the Book of Mormon the verses it relies upon are located, because they do not exist.
Have you looked at the politics of Mormons in elected office? Note especially Harry Reid and Mitt Romney. Their influence has been substantially toward socialist government. A better quest would be for a Mormon politician who is not socialist.
[ The communitarian living of Mormons in the 1800s is held up as more evidence that Mormons used to advocate for socialism. However, communal living is not socialism; it is voluntary agreements among private parties.
Game, set, match right there.
It becomes Socialism when gummint gets involved.
The Pilgrims tried a form of communal living for their first few years. They quickly learned it bred discord among those who didn’t think the fruits of their labors should be shared with those who didn’t necessarily have to do any work in order to receive a share of the common store. ]
When Communitarian Living becomes MANDATORY it becomes Tyranny.
Nothing is stopping ANYONE in this country from getting together and living in a communitarian mess. It is just like Vegans, they think because that they are miserable, everyone else must be forced to be miserable too.
Oh Good Grief!
They are the original survivalists, who’d rather shoot you, that share their stockpiles.
Doesn’t sound very “socialist” to me!
Now, you figure out whether that’s support or criticism!
SLC recently was nominated as one of the top 5 gay-friendly cities in the country. That answer your question?
Camille Paglia praising Sarah Palin in 2008.
I’m confused. What is the “it” to which you so ambiguously refer? What of what YOU said did I say was true? I went back and reread your original post, and saw there what I saw the first time, that you were suggesting that freepers were in some way a source used by Salon to criticize Mormonism as a means of distracting voters. That thought, as you presented it, is BS. What IS true is that Salon et al would have no shortage of their own sources for criticizing Mormonism or religion of any kind. I seriously doubt they use any of us as reference sources. I do agree they see this as a valuable tactic to wage war on Romney and the GOP, but the fault for that lies at the feet of the GOP-e and the mind-numbed part-time GOP voters who gave us Romney without thinking through that vulnerability.
To be as up front as possible, I was probably reacting more to your innuendo concerning either the effect or the intent of your fellow freepers who can’t get on the Romney Train. You seemed to me to be suggesting a confluence of purpose between freepers acting out of a pure desire to obey God and corrupt Marxists (redundant, I know) acting to secure an election by psychological subterfuge. That association is repugnant, and it is false. Honoring God’s law is never bad for the Republic and never good for the Marxists. Period. If you did not intend that association, please accept my apologies in advance. If you did, I hope I have clarified my position that it is among the most unwholesome and unhealthy BS ever served up on these forums. And that’s saying a lot.
Well Springfield, you might just want to question the motives and dictates of who ever defined Mormons for you. Like Democrats, it’s not that their stupid, it’s just that so much they know just isn’t true.
“who ever defined Mormons for you”
Oh, you mean the Mormons I have known personally and who have interacted with my family personally in extraordinarily creepy ways, directly related to their belief in self-deification? Or perhaps you mean the Book of Mormon as compared to the Bible, both of which I have used as direct sources without any political intervention from right OR left? Or perhaps you mean the later “prophets” of Mormonism who have kindly left us their words in print to ponder and compare with Scripture? Gee, not one Democrat in that list. How’d that happen? You wouldn’t be operating from a misconstructed caricature yourself, would you? Hmmm...
Camille Paglia is excellent reading, I do like her books.
how do you intend to make the above happen by sitting on the sidelines? As in, what part are you playing in making the above happen, or are you (as the John Mayer song goes) [simply] waiting for the world to change.
Religious disagreements are as American as apple pie.
Wanting to exterminate people because they disagree with your particular brand of theology is neither American nor Christian.
Ditto for wanting to stop short of extermination and settling for driving them out of the country, marginalization, etc.
You alone determine which brand you subscribe to and God will be your judge. As for me, I will welcome anyone who will join me in fighting Satanic Marxists. No matter whether they call themselves Mormons, Jews, Evangelicals, Catholics, Buddhists or Muslims.
I have read a lot of these Mormonism debate threads, and I honestly don’t recall anyone talking about exterminations or expulsions. If you could kindly point me to a post or two that confirms this, I would appreciate it. Or if thats not what you were saying, a clarification would be nice.
As for me, such a thought never entered my head, though both religious and secular history is full of examples of such things. But I haven’t run across such talk here. My gain, I guess.
Im not sitting on the sidelines...
Im actively supporting worthy candidates (Scott Walker for example).
But that is only part of what needs to be done. While it is imperative that we support strong anti-socialists it is equally important to eliminate the socialists within our party.
That means getting involved in every level of the local / state / national GOP and running against or forcing out the socialist garbage within the party leadership and membership. It also means turning your back on the socialist pricks they try to force feed us as candidates.
If they cant get their chosen candidates elected then their stature and relevancy declines. As we get more of OUR people elected OUR relevancy and power increases within the party. This isn’t rocket science.
Voting for the socialists the GOP increasingly toss our way is not going to make anything better. It makes it worse. Stop being part of the problem.
Mormonism is a religion of works, not grace. The only way you get to be a God of you own planet is by fiddling works, as Mitt has shown with Romneycare. I have been in many debates been called a bigot for pointing out that you can’t separate a man’s religion from his political beliefs.