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Mormon Democrats?

While sitting at work today, I overheard a coworker's lamentation that "one of the worst men in America" is a member of the Church. He was referring to Harry Reid, the Senate Minority Leader. Although I had not been participating in the conversation, I decided to open my mouth. This individual didn't know much about Harry Reid (he didn't even know his name), except that he's a member of the Church and a Democrat, which apparently justified the conclusion that he must be among "the worst men in America."

We had a little debate for a few minutes, until some customers needed help, and the issue was dropped (probably a good thing). The debate wasn't about the merits of Harry Reid, but rather, focused on the more fundamental issue: can you be a Democrat and a good member of the Church?

I think the short and simple answer is "Yes." But it apparently represented some kind of a contradiction in this guy's mind, which made him very hesitant to accept the possibility that a good, temple-going Mormon could at the same time be a Democrat. And this isn't the first time that I've encountered this idea since arriving in Provo.

It would seem that many members of the Church, when contemplating politics, want to find "the only true" political party, to match up with "the only true" religion. For many Mormons, this seems to unquestionably mean the Republican Party. And so it almost becomes a matter of faith and testimony, rather than politics. I know this isn't true of every LDS Republican, but it seems to be the case very frequently.

Any thoughts on this issue?

Of course you can be LDS,

Of course you can be LDS, Democrat, Liberal, Harry Reid, whatever. I think many LDS have trouble stomaching Reid because, being minority leader, he often seems to be spouting a party line rather than speaking from the heart. My beef with Reid is he's a politically deaf idiot and an obviuos McConkieite bigot (he reserves his strongest venom for conservative blacks), which embarrases me personally as a LDS, although it probably shouldn't.

This article just highlights

This article just highlights the idiocy around here. "Can you be a good Mormon and a Democrat?" Last time I checked the Lord hadn't signed up for either bickering group. Strange that the vast majority of members in the US are Republican, considering the extremely liberal nature of the Church.

And I believe that President Faust votes Democratic.

But thanks for pointing out the blind allegiance evident in your co-worker, and so many others around here. It seems as if the general attitude, besides ignorance, is, "Well my daddy is a Republican so I'm a Republican. Hannity, Rush, and Fox News are not only the best sources of information, but the only accurate sources."

And yes, Steve EM, Harry Reid is somewhat of an embarassment.

Mormon Democrats Betray Their Religion

Seriously, that's what LDS supporters of Michael Moore were told when he came to UVSC. One angry LDS woman told Jim Bassi to remove the picture of the first presidency from his UVSC office because he "wasn't worthy" to have it there. Just because he had invited Michael Moore to come to UVSC.

Kay Anderson summed it up best. Speaking about all Utah Moore Supporters, "It's difficult to defend moral values against people who don't believe in moral values".

I know you've seen it, but check it out again: THIS DIVIDED STATE

You Da Man Steez909

When it comes to debates here on Provo Pulse i tend to enjoy reading more then contributing (unless its a booting issue) I like listening to both sides of the argument and trying to become more educated. I have always hated the ignorence that surrounds comments like the one you mentioned in your original post. I think people should be held accountable for the opinions they decide to vocalize. Whatever viewpoint they have, they had better be prepared to back it up with more then just what thier parents told them or what they heard on talk radio.

Politics and Religion

I find great humor in the claim that you can't be a Democrat and be Mormon. That's like saying that by being a Republican you are instantly temple worthy. Both are laughable concepts.

As for Harry Reid, he's a pure embarassment for the church, not because he's a Democrat, but because he believes and spouts so much garbage that it's beyond funny. Harry Reid has turned into Howard Dean, somebody who screams at the wall just to see if the wall will scream back. Harry Reid has a complete lack of substance anytime he speaks. When was the last time that Harry Reid actually proposed a solution instead of crying about a problem?

I could make the argument that people who have subscribed to the Democratic platform have been brainwashed by the liberal elites of the world, but that's an entirely different discussion.

Just to clarify

Just to clarify, there's no doubt in my mind that you can be a good Mormon and a good Democrat. James Faust has pretty much proven that. I just wanted to generate some discussion.

Personally, while I'm not 100% Democrat, I'm certainly not a Republican. I'm really not a fan of totally subscribing to the tenets of one party. I think voters should be more informed and make decisions that are meaningful to them, regardless of party lines.

Dems vs. repubs

To me, choosing between Democrats and Republicans is like choosing between Shiz and Coriantumr. There's a whole spectrum out there to choose from but we have been fooled into thinking that dems or repubs are the only show in town and in reality, on the substantive issues, they're not far apart.

Orson Scott Card is a

Orson Scott Card is a conservative democrat. I don't understand what that even means, but apparently it exists.

what about the question, can

what about the question, can you be a good mormon and a republlican? look at lds scriptures and compare it with the recent republican/democratic platforms. which is platform is pushing for peace, social reform, breaks for poverty, equality, free agency, etc?

project mayhem

i agree with arundhati roy about the two party system:

'And what of the U.S. elections? Do U.S. voters have a real choice?

It’s true that if John Kerry becomes president, some of the oil tycoons and Christian fundamentalists in the White House will change. Few will be sorry to see the back of Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld or John Ashcroft and their blatant thuggery. But the real concern is that in the new administration their policies will continue. That we will have Bushism without Bush.

Those positions of real power - the bankers, the CEOs - are not vulnerable to the vote (. . . and in any case, they fund both sides).

Unfortunately the importance of the U.S elections has deteriorated into a sort of personality contest. A squabble over who would do a better job of overseeing empire. John Kerry believes in the idea of empire as fervently as George Bush does.

The U.S. political system has been carefully crafted to ensure that no one who questions the natural goodness of the military-industrial-corporate power structure will be allowed through the portals of power.

Given this, it’s no surprise that in this election you have two Yale University graduates, both members of Skull and Bones, the same secret society, both millionaires, both playing at soldier-soldier, both talking up war, and arguing almost childishly about who will lead the war on terror more effectively.

Like President Bill Clinton before him, Kerry will continue the expansion of U.S. economic and military penetration into the world. He says he would have voted to authorize Bush to go to war in Iraq even if he had known that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. He promises to commit more troops to Iraq. He said recently that he supports Bush’s policies toward Israel and Ariel Sharon 100 percent. He says he’ll retain 98% of Bush’s tax cuts.

So, underneath the shrill exchange of insults, there is almost absolute consensus. It looks as though even if Americans vote for Kerry, they’ll still get Bush. President John Kerbush or President George Berry.

It’s not a real choice. It’s an apparent choice. Like choosing a brand of detergent. Whether you buy Ivory Snow or Tide, they’re both owned by Proctor & Gamble.'

this is her complete article, you might have to register for this service.

The real question

We shouldn't really debate if the you can be a good Mormon while at the same time being a democrat. My question is can anybody really be a good Mormon? And what is the deffinition of a good Mormon?

Q. [National Press Club]

Q. [National Press Club] Given the platform and positions taken by the Democratic Party, can you be a good church member and a Democrat?

A. [President Hinckley] Yes, I think so. I don't know why you couldn't. It depends on what you believe as a Democrat in terms of some things. There are some things we don't subscribe to. We've got lots of Democrats in the church, lots of them, and they are good people. I don't worry about that too much.

Does that settle it?

considering the extremely

considering the extremely liberal nature of the Church.

Oh, on which national issues does the church fall in to line with "extreme liberal" views?

Abortion?
Gay Rights?
Gun Control?
Seperation of Church and State?
Nationalized Welfare?
Publicly Funded Education?

Ummmmmmm...

The only thing the church and extreme left liberals have in common is spending money on frivilous programs (like 1.5 billion dollar shopping malls!)

Now, if you were referring to Joseph Smiths proto-hippie communes (having all things in common and all things shared, including wives) then maybe you have a point. But that's hardly the LDS church of 2006.

Oh, please, make the arguement.

I could make the argument that people who have subscribed to the Democratic platform have been brainwashed by the liberal elites of the world, but that's an entirely different discussion.

I always find it funny when people make smug acertations like this (complete with the "I know Karate, but don't feel like showing you" playground bravado) since it is basically a verbatim talking point of the conservative elites of the world (i.e. Talk Radio and Fox News personalities).

Try to imagine, if you will, a world where people can still be intelligent and think for themselves and actually have differing opinions than you. Most people seem to be genuinely unable to do such a thing since everybody seems to think the "other side" consists of a bunch of simpleton dupes.

This is problem with American politics: Partisan point scoring. If you notice the way politics are presented by the mainstream news outlets to their respective sides and constituencies their #1 goal is to point out why the other "team" is wrong. Issues? Who needs 'em? Reasonable, well thought out discussion of policy in order to find a workable middle ground? No way! It has to be reduced to a sporting match, because it seems like most Americans can't stomach the real responsibility of truly researching the issues and making well-informed decisions. It just seems to be too much work. So instead we get pre-canned sound bites and "talking points" for everybody!

Republican and Democrat partisanship is just the opposing sides of the same coin: the elevation of the party above the principle.

Looks like you and I are on

Looks like you and I are on the same page, Steez909.

let's judge harry reid by his words and actions

not by his choice of political party. here are some of his words.

project mayhem

this divided state

Can you point to any source

Can you point to any source that says Faust votes democrat? It sounds like a "One of the apostles said, and I can't remember which one, ..."

Ha! Great point. I am of

Ha! Great point. I am of the opinion that when one knows everything that republicans and democrats stand for, no good mormon can subscribe to either party. It's the Shiz vs. Coriantumr thing.

Answer to the real question

The answer is easy. You can be a good Mormon if you work at it. If you end up in the Celestial Kingdom you were a good Mormon.

My Anti-Liberal Manifesto (v1.0-RC1)

I didn't want to get into this because I haven't really worked out my position completely, but I'll give you a raw look at it.

--- CUT HERE ---

The Democratic Party, and the social elitists who drive the party's agenda, is attempting to steer the nation down a flawed and ultimately disastrous course. They make an assumption that as a nation we are unable to think for ourselves and therefore they should make the choices for us. By ignoring basic, fundamental rules of life, the leaders of the liberal movement are dragging our nation and our world into a state of destruction.

Fundamental rule of life #1 – If you challenge natural law, you will end up destroying life.

There are two paradigms in life. The first of which is natural law. You will eat if you can provide yourself with the means to do so. If you do not produce, you will die. If you do produce you will live. The other paradigm is forced survival. In this line of thought everybody survives, no matter what happens. If a person does nothing to produce for his own survival, then the collective will provide for him. At the end of the day the person who does nothing for his own survival lives despite his inaction.

Natural law seems harsh to the socialist because somebody must make the choice to live. They sell their tonic by trying to convince people that everybody has the right to live no matter what. The thought itself is flawed because man must choose to live in order to value life. A man who has to do nothing for his own survival is not only worthless to himself, but to the world around him. Not because his life has no inherent value, but because he perceives no value from his own life.

The benefit of natural law is that it teaches man that if he is to advance his position in life, he must act as an agent unto himself to do so. The destruction of life that forced survival brings is that eventually the numbers of those who do not support themselves begin to outweigh those who provide the support, leading to a situation where those who can provide for themselves begin to willing refuse to support those who aren’t providing for their own existence because it means their own death.

Fundamental rule of life #2 – “If you give a man a fish he will eat for a day, if you teach a man to fish he will eat for a lifetime.”

Liberal politicians typically run on a platform of “vote for us and we’ll give you poor people more money.” It’s a cheap and easy way to get votes because people who live off of the government would undoubtedly love to live a more extravagant lifestyle like those who work for a living. Instead of encouraging people to advance their own situations they swoop in and say “let us take care of you because you are disadvantaged.”

On the other side of the equation we find that people who have sought education that they can apply to their trade, allowing them to advance their own situation. They are then able to provide opportunity for others to advance their own position in life. By providing a person the opportunity to grow for himself, not only does he increase his own value, but he creates value for those around him.

Consider the advantages to the tax base that come from having a properly educated work force. The more income a person receives the more money the government has to work with. Instead of putting a strain on the system by existing off of the state, the educated man provides for himself and then is able to support the government.

Fundamental rule of life #3 – Without somebody taking a risk, there are no products.

Liberals like to complain that big business gets all of the breaks at the cost of the little guy. Let’s consider reality for a second. Let’s say that Standard Oil doesn’t risk $10,000,000 of their dollars to explore for oil. They then are unable to drill a well, employ a work force and sell a product. Not only do we have a lack of gas to drive our cars with, but nobody is being employed by Standard Oil, hence more unemployed people.

But because Standard Oil took that risk they have a product that they are able to put to market AND are providing a large group of people with gainful employment. Because Standard Oil wants to make a profit off of their investment they charge $3.00 a gallon at the pump. Liberals start to go stark raving mad because Standard Oil is profiting from people who can’t afford it. Liberals assume that because somebody offers a product that it must be affordably priced and that people are entitled to purchase that product at a “reasonable” price. Who are they to assume the power to say that gas is an entitlement and what reasonable price should be charged.

Anybody who has really paid attention will know that supply and demand always provide correction to the market and control the prices that consumers will see. As demand goes up and supply goes down why shouldn’t a business owner, somebody who took a risk to get to the position they are in life, be allowed to profit from the demand of said product? I use gas as an example, but look at everything that the government gets their hands into. Liberals want the state to make it possible for as many people as possible to enjoy the finer things in life, without anybody having to take the risks.

--- CUT HERE ---

I probably should be smart and withhold publishing of this comment until I've had a chance to review it while completely awake, but this should provide an adequate start to my Anti-Liberal Manifesto. And you thought I didn't have it in me.

Faust

I don't know that he votes Democrat, but the word on the streets is that he served a term on the Utah State legislature as a member of the Democratic party.

Also, I believe Elder Marlin K. Jensen was a high ranking Democrat in the state legislature as well. On the BYU College Democrats website there is a link to a 1998 interview where he and President Hinckley said that yes, you can be a good Mormon and a Democrat simultaneously.

In my experience, Mormon Democrats could more appropriately wear the title "compassionate conservative." I've said here before that I once had breakfast with one of the top brass of the BYU College Democrats club (friend of a friend) but that he was pro-life, anti-gun-control, and anti-gay rights. I think they like to call themselves Democrats just so they can break the mold and be a non-conformist. It's an attention thing.

I don't think it is that simple

Work at it. That is your answer. Work at it. Work at what exactly? At it I guess. If by it you say that one should work at living the standards set by church leaders and the scriptures than I would say that there are disconnects between the two. Right now LDS leaders are warning about excess, about debt. Yet church parking lots are filled with Escalades.

Are you familiar with the

Are you familiar with the logical fallacy of the straw man? If not, read this: http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/straw-man.html

Because your anti-liberal manifesto reads like a textbook example of one. Setting aside your self-important and arrogant tone, let's examine it for a minute.

First of all, you have reduced the entire "liberal" viewpoint into an extreme version of universal ecconomic socialism. However, Democrat does not equal liberal. And liberal does not equal far-left socialist. Yes, there are some hard-liner socialists who are liberals who also are registered Democrats, but this is not the case for everyone who is liberal or Democrat. I don't think I recall John Kerry stumping for a complete nationalization of the entire economy and the revocation of laissez faire capitalism as the economic model of the United States. I don't ever recall Al Gore campaigning for "forced survival".

The whole problem with your so called manifesto is it only argues against an extreme example of far-left politics that is neither mainstream nor relevant. In fact, you might as well be arguing against the evils of the South's slave economy. You manifesto is a mere caricature of current day liberalism and its aims. If you think that is an unfair assertation on my part, please provide sources where liberal politicians have stated their platform in the way you described it and I will rescind. Otherwise, you are just making assumptions and generalizations based on stereotypes and hyperbole.

Liberalism and conservatism as ideologies encompass much more than simple economic disparities. There are differences in social issues such as access to information, freedom of the press and of religion. The role of the courts and the government as a whole in the legislative process, women's rights, minorities rights and civil liberties in general, the environment, public works, etc, etc, etc. The simple Mcarthyistic anti-communist tirade does not and cannot deal with these real life complexities because it has no room for facts since it is already bursting at the seams with rhetoric.

Another question: (and this is based on the assumption that you are LDS since your choice of words occasionally contained allusions to LDS idioms). If collectivism is such a pernicious evil and the un doer of human society, how do explain both the Savior's emphasis on charity and welfare (clothe the naked, feed the hungry, etc, etc) and also the LDS church's doctrine of the law of consecration and the United Order (which was a theocratic communistic system through and through)? The LDS church nor Jesus have every renounced these doctrines of altruism as being detrimental to human life. In fact quite the opposite. Jesus stated quite clearly that unless a man was devoted and willing to give all he possessed to help those in need, he was unfit for salvation. How does your anti-socialism viewpoint mesh with such doctrines? I am curious to hear.

The Straw Man Argument

Apparently you aren't going to challenge my position at face value, instead you dismiss it as a straw man argument. That's fine, but now the ball is back in your court... You need to properly inform me of what the liberal position is. In order for us to have an effective dialouge on the issues without you dismissing them out of hand, I need to get from you what the beliefs are so I don't tear any more scare crows to pieces.

Now, if you want to entertain a discussion about which economic models are the closest to docterine, I'm game. The first thing that I'm going to point out though is "[T]he idler shall not have place in the church" (D&C 75:29) Man is expected to work out his own salvation and not anybody else's. I have no issue with the concept of charity, and as such have no refutation of Christ's statement about clothing the naked and feeding the hungry. I would like to point out that I've witnessed on numerous occasions the people who were taking advantage of the Chruch's means for support were asked to "pay" for this support with their labor.

But none of this goes to the economic model of the gospel. Have you ever read a scripture that said "Tax this man because he is wealthy and the poor can make much better use of his money than he can?" You would be hard pressed to find a single scripture to back up the Robin Hood mentality of socialism. Consider the parable of the talents. Talents at the Savior's time was a form or currency, and in this parable the Savior illustrates two men taking the money that they had been given and through their industry making more money. The servant who took and buried his talent had his talent taken from him and given to the servant who had made the best return with his talents. Tell me, how does this instance compute with the views of socialism.

And a final thought about liberalism. While the statements I have made may not completely reflect liberalism localized to the United States, I would suggest to you that these views that you purport to be straw men actually have some real tone to their bodies outside of the US.

Now, if you want to

Now, if you want to entertain a discussion about which economic models are the closest to docterine, I'm game. The first thing that I'm going to point out though is "[T]he idler shall not have place in the church" (D&C 75:29)

You know, I hear this quote all the time. I am unaware of any economic model, liberal or conservative (or communistic, for that matter) that promotes laziness. And yet it is constantly suggested by critics. And I will gladly point out Mosiah 4, which says something to the effect of, "You shall provide for the beggar," but in much better words (sorry, it's late, can't quote).

Man is expected to work out his own salvation and not anybody else's.

Are you not your brother's keeper? Can you work out your own salvation? You need the Savior. You can't do it alone. No doctrine comes to mind immediately, but I'm confident each of us will be judged for our influence on others, whether or not we helped them "work out their salvation."

I would like to point out that I've witnessed on numerous occasions the people who were taking advantage of the Chruch's means for support were asked to "pay" for this support with their labor.

I haven't. Could you elaborate on what happened?

Republicanism and conservativism have their strengths, and I would probably acknowledge that regulated capitalism is the best system for our nation, but that doesn't mean it doesn't come without its evils (*cough* selfishness *cough* greed), or that it's the Lord's model. I have a really hard time believing that a world with a theocratic government (specifically, governed by Christ) would adopt a capitalistic economic model.

You need to properly inform

You need to properly inform me of what the liberal position is.

Funny, I thought you were the expert on the liberal position and why it is so flawed. However, in order to humor you, I will point you to the official platform of the Democratic party.

http://dnc.org/agenda.html

Keep in mind that this is the platform of the Democratic Party which is, afterall, the topic of this thread. I'm sure that your idea of a liberal is more in the line with the platform of the American Communist Party (http://www.cpusa.org/article/static/13/) but as I said in my other post, the socialist liberal is an extreme minority in modern-day American politics and your representing the ideology of the fringe as the mainstream "liberal" viewpoint is deceptive and ultimately irrelevant to any productive political discussion. In a similar fashion I could attack Republicans by portraying the mainstream conservative viewpoint as the far-right politics as such wackos as Ted Kaczynski (who also wrote a manifesto!), Neo-Nazis and the Christian Falangist Party, but that would be equally dishonest since none of them constitute relevant political forces or ideologies.

Keep in mind that I am not arguing that your assesment of the fallacies of rigid communism isn't "correct". I'm just saying that even trying to argue against your "manifesto" is irrelevant since there are very few American liberals who actually espouse those extreme views you present and none of them have any real political power. Again, if you would be willing to provide reputable references to mainstream liberal politicians stating the socialistic views you describe, I will change my tune. Until then, you are just spouting a lot of empty rhetoric.

And a final thought about liberalism. While the statements I have made may not completely reflect liberalism localized to the United States, I would suggest to you that these views that you purport to be straw men actually have some real tone to their bodies outside of the US.

True. But it's a two way street. If you want to attack liberalism as the worlds's ultimate evil using foreign examples I will do likewise. I will argue against conservatism by using some examples of foreign conservative ideologies. Let's say, oh, fundamentalist Islamism terrorist groups (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamism) and Nazism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazism). Careful examination of the core ideologies of both groups makes it obvious that they are based on conservative politics. So, fair's fair, right? Republicans are terrorists and Nazis! Refute THAT! (Sarcasm)

Economania

I am unaware of any economic model, liberal or conservative (or communistic, for that matter) that promotes laziness.

My argument that the farther you go down the socialism train the easier it is for people to be lazy. Hell, here in America we have a system strongly based on capitalism, and the small part of socialism that we espouse (namely the welfare system) is overloaded with people who could work if they were properly motivated to go out and do so. Socialism creates an environment where people are allowed to think "I can't take care of myself so I'm gonna have the government take care of me."

And I will gladly point out Mosiah 4, which says something to the effect of, "You shall provide for the beggar," but in much better words

Once again you are trying to inject charity into a discussion about economics. I think that people of means should be charitable to people without means. I realize that there are people out there who have found themselves in situations where they are helpless to provide for themselves, and they need to be helped.


However, pushing charity back into the economic system violates the concept of agency. Let's consider for a moment the rich man who didn't want to give up all of his wealth and follow Christ. Did Christ command that the man's wealth be removed from him forcefully? No. Did Christ suggest that the man's wealth be taxed heavily so that the poor might enjoy a better life? No. Christ let him walk away.


(And before you try and pull that crap about it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle, research your statements. I highly doubt that Christ meant it literally. He was using an idiom prevalent in that time. Read here)

No doctrine comes to mind immediately, but I'm confident each of us will be judged for our influence on others, whether or not we helped them "work out their salvation."

I'm sure that when judgement time rolls around that if we have had opportunity in life to help somebody who was in need and we had the means to do so and chose not to, then we will be held accountable based on King Benjamin's standard.

"For behold are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?" [Mosiah 4:19]

Charity never faileth, and I would never suggest that we cut charity out of our lives. But to the point that it becomes a government institution that people abuse without regard? That is not what God had in mind. To force a person into being charitable is Satan's plan. For that matter, allowing somebody to live off the means of others indefinitely is Satan's plan.


Satan convinces the socialist that because Christ said that the naked should be clothed and the hungry be fed that it is up to him to see that everybody does this. Satan's plan all along was to force everybody to live right and return to heaven. So if he can't get his way in the heavenly realm, he'll use the same line of thought to drag everybody down to hell.

My argument that the farther

My argument that the farther you go down the socialism train the easier it is for people to be lazy.

And my argument is that the farther you go down the capitalism train the easier it is for people to be selfish and greedy.

Hell, here in America we have a system strongly based on capitalism, and the small part of socialism that we espouse (namely the welfare system) is overloaded with people who could work if they were properly motivated to go out and do so. Socialism creates an environment where people are allowed to think "I can't take care of myself so I'm gonna have the government take care of me."

Ah, a favorite of mainstream media. To suggest that there are millions of able-bodied people lazing around getting welfare checks. Almost entirely unfounded. While there is certainly abuse of the system (every system has it), I would love to see some empirical evidence promoting the idea that the American economy is, "overloaded with people who could work if they were properly motivated to go out and do so." What I can think of is inner-city folks who have grown up in a world of welfare and don't know differently. I just finished reading, "There are no children here." It tells about a family growing up in the bad part of Chicago, living the welfare life. You get a good look into their lives, their feelings about having to rely on the government (which, despite their monthly checks, constantly failed them). I cannot imagine anyone choosing that life, simply so they would not have to work 40 hours a week. I highly recommend the book.

Socialism creates an environment where people are allowed to think "I can't take care of myself so I'm gonna have the government take care of me."

This becomes a question of government responsibility. We ALL rely on the government to take care of us to some extent. We expect the police to keep our streets relatively safe, for example.

Once again you are trying to inject charity into a discussion about economics.

Why not? You're trying to show that conservatism is, "the Lord's model." (my words). You can't have your cake and eat it too... you use scriptural "economic" evidence to promote hard work, so I'll use it to promote charity.

However, pushing charity back into the economic system violates the concept of agency.

Doesn't taxation do the same thing?

Let's consider for a moment the rich man who didn't want to give up all of his wealth and follow Christ. Did Christ command that the man's wealth be removed from him forcefully? No. Did Christ suggest that the man's wealth be taxed heavily so that the poor might enjoy a better life? No. Christ let him walk away.

I am finding it really difficult to make any sort of connection there. When Christ was being crucified, did he fight back? Did he speak out against those killing him? No. Christ let them walk away. Does that suggest that his will is to always allow people to do whatever they want? Of course not.

And before you try and pull that crap about it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle, research your statements. I highly doubt that Christ meant it literally.

I don't think it really matters what the exact definition of "the eye of the needle" is. He's teaching unambiguously that it's difficult for rich men to enter heaven. Why? Not because of the actual wealth, but the love of money, which is exactly what capitalism promotes. Communism/consecration focus on the love of country/fellow beings.

Satan convinces the socialist that because Christ said that the naked should be clothed and the hungry be fed that it is up to him to see that everybody does this. Satan's plan all along was to force everybody to live right and return to heaven. So if he can't get his way in the heavenly realm, he'll use the same line of thought to drag everybody down to hell.

I see. So when we arrest people for committing crimes, and force them into rehabilitation, we're really robbing them of their free agency.

I understand your points here, dJake. And as I've said before, capitalism is working pretty good here. I also think it's going downhill. Marx believed in communism because he lived in a society where capitalism was so abused that the common man had little chance at being successful. The elite controlled society. Our capitalistic model is not that much different, and it's certainly headed in the same direction. The richest rich are getting richer, while everyone else is slowly making less. As he said, choosing your master doesn't make you less of a slave.

Agency vs. Force

Or maybe the issue is really Pride vs. Humilty. I believe it that it was President Benson that said that pride was the greatest of all sins. While in fact a careful reading of the Book of Mormon will prove that the greatest sin is denying the Holy Ghost you can not ignore the influence pride has on the act. That being said...

And my argument is that the farther you go down the capitalism train the easier it is for people to be selfish and greedy.

Capitalism is certainly fodder for feeding the fires of pride. But as opposed to socialism, capitalism is a boolean condition. The markets are open or the are not. I guess you could argue to what degree the markets are open, but then you are talking about degrees of socialism again. How prideful people are leads to selfishness and greed. That is not a condition restricted to capitalism. People who lead the socialistic reform (Hillary Clinton comes to mind) use an issue that the poor can latch onto (nationalized health care) and try to ride to power on the backs of the poor, promising great things and never delivering on them. It is a political tool and both Democrats and Republicans are guilty of it.


In case you were wondering, I vote for the guy who is willing to make the claim to scale back on the government. George Bush isn't doing it, and I'm beginning to think that I'll never hear the claim made by a person who can actually deliver on it.

Ah, a favorite of mainstream media. To suggest that there are millions of able-bodied people lazing around getting welfare checks. Almost entirely unfounded.

My observations come largely from personal experience. While on my mission in NYC, I would go into people's homes who had big screen TVs, speakers bigger than me and super luxurious furniture. Their source of income? Welfare checks. People would brag to us how much they could get off of the government, and that the government owed it to them for some reason or another. I think it would be fair to say that I met a fair amount of welfare receipients on my mssion, and while I didn't keep a talley of who was abusing the system and who wasn't, I know that more than a third of them were, and probably closer to 50% than not. What I made before my mission was a mere pittance of what I make now, but even then I was shocked at what my tax dollars were going to. If I can't afford to own a 70" Mitsubishi top of the line TV, then why should some shlep get to do it on my back?

Socialism creates an environment where people are allowed to think "I can't take care of myself so I'm gonna have the government take care of me."

This becomes a question of government responsibility. We ALL rely on the government to take care of us to some extent. We expect the police to keep our streets relatively safe, for example.

...

However, pushing charity back into the economic system violates the concept of agency.

Doesn't taxation do the same thing?

But here's the difference... I get value from having a well-trained police force. (Even if they give me traffic tickets from time to time.) My well being is preserved by the police force. My well being is preserved by the military. How is my well being advanced by NEA (National Edowment for the Arts)? How is my well being being advanced by funding failing schools? How is my well being advanced by giving money to schools who follow Title IX?


The question comes down to what the government does with the money provided by me. There is a book by Frederic Bastiat called The Law. In it he states:

Under such an administration, everyone would understand that he possessed all the privileges as well as all the responsibilities of his existence. No one would have any argument with government, provided that his person was respected, his labor was free and the fruits of his labor were protected against all unjust attack. When succesful we would not have to thank the state for our success. And, conversely, when unsuccessful, we would no more think of blaming the state for our misfortune than would the farmers blame the state because of hail or frost. The state would be felt only by the invaluable blessings of safety provided by this concept of government.

The only difference between this and the gospel is that we recognize that God has blessed us in our success and therefore we are thankful for his blessings.

Once again you are trying to inject charity into a discussion about economics.

Why not? You're trying to show that conservatism is, "the Lord's model." (my words). You can't have your cake and eat it too... you use scriptural "economic" evidence to promote hard work, so I'll use it to promote charity.

Except that the difference between what I'm presenting and what you are presenting is charity by choice or charity by force. By choice you are following Christ. By force you are preaching the same thing that the son of the morning did in the councils above.

Does that suggest that his will is to always allow people to do whatever they want? Of course not.

His will is for us to follow him so that we can all live in Celestial Glory. But it must be our choice to do it. So in a way it is His will to always allow people to do whatever they want. You can choose a Celestial life or one that falls short of it. God wants us to return to live with him, if we make the choice.

He's teaching unambiguously that it's difficult for rich men to enter heaven. Why? Not because of the actual wealth, but the love of money, which is exactly what capitalism promotes.

Does an economic system promote love of money? No, because the love of money is a sin that exists outside the economic model. Now, does capitalism allow people to take advantage of their pride and the love of money? Yes, but people who live under a socialized system are just as prone to the same sins as the person who lives under the capitialized system. The person in the capitalized system simply has more means to take advantage of his (or her) love for money.

I see. So when we arrest people for committing crimes, and force them into rehabilitation, we're really robbing them of their free agency.

That's exactly what we are doing. But at this point you are suggesting that socialism and crime are directly compareable, and in this case they aren't. To suggests that criminals be set free without penalty goes directly against the principal of justice. To quote President Benson:

Why is socialism incompatible with man's liberty? Socialism cannot work except through an all-powerful state. The state has to be supreme in everything. When individuals begin to exert their God-given rights, the state has to suppress that freedom. So belief in God must be suppressed, and with that gone freedom of conscience and religion must also go. Those are the first of our liberties mentioned in the Bill of Rights. [source]

President Benson quotes Edmund Burke, a person who had some great insights into economics. This quote comes from 1795:

A perfect equality will indeed be produced--that is to say, equal wretchedness, equal beggary, and on the part of the petitioners, a woeful, helpless, and desperate disappointment. Such is the event of all compulsory equalizations. They pull down what is above; they never raise what is below; and they depress high and low together beneath the level of what was originally the lowest. [source]

As for your final thought:

Our capitalistic model is not that much different, and it's certainly headed in the same direction. The richest rich are getting richer, while everyone else is slowly making less.

If you are using the EPI's data (based of the latest Census data) then you are failing to take into account the bursting of the dot com bubble and 9/11, both of which hit fairly close to each other. As a case in point, the airline industry has still not completely recovered from 9/11, to the point that two seperate major airlines have filed for bankrupcy protection since then.


Capitalism isn't a master, and I'm far from being a slave of the model. Although sometimes I do feel like slave labor.

D&C 49:20 says: But it is

D&C 49:20 says: But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin.

This is the sin that the wealthy commit in not sharing their wealth. This is the crime they commit against the poor and against God. Socialism would force people to not commit this sin anymore. The Lord has given us all the earth to provide for ourselves with. Some people take more of the wealth of the earth than the Lord allows. I don't see anything in the scriptures that tell us we can't redistribute wealth so that this great inequality will be rectified. I also reject Pres. Benson's opinions on the subject and would like to hear the Lord say something about it.
Religion thrives under socialism as well as under capitalism. The suppression of religion under socialism is usually due to the whims of the corrupt leaders who make the rules. Religion is not dictated by any economic policy.
Socialism doesn't rob anyone of their free agency. Free agency can't be robbed. It is God-given. We can still choose to act freely in whatever circumstance we find ourselves, in whatever economic system we find ourselves. Charitable actions are not suppressed by socialism. I'd have to see some data to back up any one who says they are.