Thursday, December 06, 2007

Socialized Mormons

So, Mitt Romney's a Mormon... This we knew. And he “will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause, and no one interest. A president must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States.” Okay... That's inclusive (patronizing?) enough for me. And he does "not insist on a single strain of religion—rather, he welcomes our nation’s symphony of faith." Wait a minute... does this assume that all have faith? What about my atheist friends and colleagues? Will they have chairs in Mitt Romney's orchestra?

In the end, I think it is really too bad that Romney is not interested in being a spokesman for his faith. After all, the current President of the Mormon Church, Gordon B. Hinckley "hates war with all its mocking panoply... War is Earth’s greatest cause of human misery. It is the destroyer of life, the promoter of hate, the waster of treasure. It is man’s costliest folly, his most tragic misadventure.” The candidate willing to say this whose name is not Ron Paul, will get my vote. Even if he's from Ohio.
A look at Mitt Romney’s vision for America’s foreign policy reveals little, however, that resembles any of these most basic and central Mormon values. In contrast to Gordon Hinckley’s hatred of war, Romney’s central foreign policy concern, in fact, is a deepening of American militarism and war making. Specifically, Romney advocates drastically increasing American military expenditures, escalating the Iraq war, continuing operations against transnational Islamic militant groups, and preparing for a military assault on Iran.
That's the analysis offered by a little publication a friend recently alerted me of called The Mormon Worker. This was penned a few months ago; perhaps Romney will soon change his mind about Iran.

The Mormon Worker is a strange collection of ideas conflating anarchism, Mormonism, and socialism that highlights some central disparities between the teachings of Mormonism and the way most Mormons vote. Many of the arguments are the same made by Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker movement. See also the Christians who in the voting booth or policy forum seem to always forget the teachings from the Sermon on the Mount.

Due to the agreements forged by church fathers and the state in the wake of the controversies surrounding polygamy,
Mormons find themselves supporting capitalism and government, and therefore exploitation, imperialism, jingoism, and militarism, considering these things inherent to their religion, despite the many resources within Mormon scripture advocating the contrary. One significant reason Mormons should seek to abolish government and capitalism is the fact that States continually wage war in foreign lands for the sake of economic gain.
To William Van Wagenen (the man behind the Worker) and the other Mormon workers (I wonder if all Mormon workers are stock brokers like Van Wagenan...) out there, I tip my hat. I challenge you to vote your conscience in 2008, even if there's no chance of Utah being a blue state.


Drugmonkey said...

I gotta tell you, from my perspective there is almost nothing more entertaining than watching "mainstream" Christians try to explain why the LDS denomination is a "cult" and "not really Christian" and all that.

thomas said...

The view is the same from the 'inside.' Statements like “My church’s beliefs about Christ may not all be the same as those of other faiths” perplex me. My perspective is that faith is best when it occurs personally in the context of community. The Mormons seem to do that pretty well.

How many people do you have to have in a religion before you stop calling it a cult, anyway?

Drugmonkey said...

an infinite number...

thomas said...

good one ; )

Drugmonkey said...

It is a relevant question though. You are no doubt familiar with the DSM criteria for delusions. Naturally there has to be an exception carved out for religious beliefs, to wit: "The belief is not one ordinarily accepted by other members of the person's culture or subculture (e.g., it is not an article of religious faith)."

how small does the subculture have to get before the "belief" is delusional, one might ask.