Thursday, April 9, 2009

Revealing Hang-ups

Among people who think of themselves as conservatives there are few names better known than Ann Coulter's. Through her successful books and frequent media appearances she has built a solid reputation for mercilessly exposing the illogic, inconsistencies and dangerous foolishness characteristic of liberal policies and personalities. Like many of the pundits in what I think of as the "Rupert Murdoch School" of media conservatives, her conservative credentials have more to do with her highly visible assaults against the opposition than with any renown for articulating conservative principles, or using them to develop and justify public policy. However, during the Republican primaries before the 2008 general election, her endorsement of Mitt Romney invited people to look beyond her proficient jabs at those she stands against, in order to consider who she stands for.

People who followed my participation in the 2008 Republican primaries already know that I emphatically critiqued the conservative claims of all of the so called "first tier" candidates touted by the media propagandists.

With his unabashed advocacy of the "right" to abortion, Giuliani proved his disdain for the moral principles of conservatism.

Mike Huckabees pro-life record offered hope as far as conservative moral principles are concerned. But inconsistently with those principles, he neglected the fundamentally moral nature of the educational task in a republic such as ours; in both education and economics he was content with government dominated approaches; and when it came to immigration and border security, he stood with those, like John McCain who abandon the strong defense of American sovereignty. They also neglect our responsibility to preserve the liberty, prosperity and decent order that draws immigrants to America in the first place.

John McCain offered better chances than any Democrat for national security policies that maintained an aggressive stance against fanatical Islamic terrorists, but in every other respect he has long since abandoned the conservative cause, in principle and practice.

I might have seen some hope in Mitt Romney, especially when I saw reputedly conservative organizations like the Family Research Council give him so much play, or when icons like Paul Weyrich and Ann Coulter endorsed his bid. However, I have worked with beleaguered, pro-life moral conservatives in Massachusetts such as those who alerted parents to the promotion of the "gay" agenda in Massachusetts schools and who mounted determined opposition to the push for "gay" marriage in the state. I had reasons, based on my own experience, to doubt the politically convenient "conversion" on the moral issues that ostensibly permitted some conservatives of large reputation to ignore Romney's otherwise clear and oft stated adherence to the other side. I told audiences that I thought the choice between Giuliani and Romney was a choice between evil with its mask on and evil with its mask in place, using the first to drive well intentioned people into the camp of the second.

During the primary season people I know well worked tirelessly to communicate the facts about Romney's record of promoting abortion and the "gay" agenda (even after his supposed conversion on the moral issues) and his direct responsibility for the unconstitutional issuance of Massachusetts marriage licenses to "gay" couples. Their work eventually led the late Paul Weyrich to repent of his endorsement for Romney. Ann Coulter, however, continues to this day staunchly to defend her action.

She may reflect the ongoing effort to remake the Republican Party in the image of Romney's "false face" conservatism, in the hope that with his money leveraging the effort, the Party can do with Romney in 2012 what it failed to do with McCain: gull moral conservatives to go to the polls in sufficient numbers to beat the Democrats in the race for the White House. Of course, given his willingness to disregard republican constitutional principles, and his penchant for government centered policy solutions, a Romney victory would produce this result without altering the post-Constitutional socialist destiny that the elitist forces manipulating both Parties have mapped out for the future.

Whatever her reasons, Ann Coulter's failure to follow Paul Weyrich's courageous example has left her to confront continued criticism from people who firmly believe that truth must trump political convenience if we are to have any hope of restoring the American republic to its true foundations.

The video below is a compilation of several such confrontations. It must cause severe discomfort to people like me, who have been both encouraged and entertained by Ann Coulter's sturdy forays deep into the discomfiting rear echelons of liberal posturing and delusion. I don't agree with every point made by her questioners in this video. But I'm sure that their questions need to be answered with more than evasion and name calling.

More than ever before it's clear that America's liberty will not be restored until its advocates realize that what we fight for is ultimately more important than who we fight against. Leaders like Romney, who treat the moral substance of conservatism as convenient fodder for their ambition, cannot and will not persuasively reassert America's founding principles. As it did in 2008, in 2012 the well acted offer of (false) hope and (destructive) change that Obama uses to mask his power grab will triumph over false posturing like Romney's. We need leaders who will, like the bulk of the American founders, hold with true conviction to the truths that make us free. Unless we seek out and back such leaders, America will be in for a much harder time than Ann Coulter has in these encounters. I am indebted to my friends at American Right to Life for making this video available.



Worth considering? Then don't forget to DIGG IT!!!!

34 comments:

Emily said...

It is truly hard to sift through the number of conservative takes on what to do next. It seems clear to me that many disregard the correlation between what our core beliefs are and how the country will fare. It must be a luxury to have a buffet-style ideology, where you can pick and choose contrasting sets of beliefs (nevermind if one curdles the other) according to how badly one wants to win an election, or how difficult it is to make an ethical decision. *sigh*

Ol' Fashioned Mark said...

I have noticed within the wake of our last election that many Republicans have become so anxious over what they believe is our dismal future, that all they want are more R's than D's in our government.

I, for one, don't believe that all or even many of these Republicans are "fake conservatives" but instead are unwisely placing importance of winning elections over principle.

Take PA Senator Arlen Specter: his Liberal social views didn't concern them, as long he stayed true to his fiscally conservative record.
However, he quickly voted for President Obama's Stimulus Bill, presumably in an effort to follow the (semi)popular President's footsteps.

Lesson learned: conservative principles make for a strong characte, which many of today's nervous Republicans lack.

Check out http://bill84121.blogspot.com/2009/03/coach-limbaugh-and-republican-team.html for a similar discussion.

chiu_chunling said...

It is unfortunate, but the simple fact of the matter is that the Mormon positions on both abortion and homosexuality are very nuanced when compared with other doctrines.

The Mormon position on life is that the spirit exists prior to conception and that the 'sacrament' of birth begins mortality. While the leadership (and majority of members) oppose abortion as being similar to murder, Mormons do not believe that abortion actually "terminates a life" due to their implicit belief that an aborted child will be born eventually (the mechanics of this are not fully articulated, this quasi-doctrine is derived from the more express doctrines about miscarriages--which are not themselves particularly clear).

This does not provide the same bright-line clarity on abortion that the more general teaching that life begins at conception (though this is not supported by scripture) brings. Whatever the utility of such a doctrine in rallying opposition to abortion, it is simply not what Mormons believe.

Thus Romney, though clearly having compromised on abortion, is not therefore guilty of lacking principle (I can't speak as to whether or not he definitely has principles, I'm just saying that this doesn't represent a betrayal of his core beliefs). Because the Mormon church (deliberately, apparently) leaves so much latitude in its teaching about abortion, and did not specifically address the policies Romney enacted (which would be a very rare occurrence), he was free to take a political course that was expedient without crossing any clearly marked moral boundary.

I'm not convinced that this was a good thing, but I'm not wholly opposed. I would prefer, naturally, that liberals be forced to choose the entire package of clearly stated morality if they want the fiscal benefits (and Romney definitely gave them a strong dose of fiscal benefit in Massachusetts). On the other hand, there does need to be more tolerance and a greater reliance on broader moral theory than is usually the case in the abortion debate.

Unfortunately, Romney gets a failing mark for not using the moral latitude on this issue to broaden the debate. He simply caved to the more politically powerful side, which also happens to be the wrong side.

Homosexuality is an even more difficult problem for Mormons. Unlike doctrines concerning life, the Mormon church has no clearly stated doctrine concerning the homosexual orientation. Their teaching is almost pitifully simplistic, a person with a homosexual orientation is under the same moral requirements as anyone else. And yet there is also no statement that homosexuality is not inborn.

Mormons, particularly those operating where their faith is a minority, tend to be very cautious about trying to impose their own moral standards on the broader society. The recent support for Proposition 8 was extraordinary and reveals that the Mormon leadership does not consider "homosexual marriage" as an affront to their own religion but an assault on civilization itself.

Yet this is not a doctrinal position. Mormons regard the practice of homosexuality as wrong, but their church encourages tolerance and support for those struggling with the "affliction" of "same-sex attraction". Many Mormons feel that their leadership stepped into the secular sphere by defending traditional marriage, and most of the arguments within Mormonism over homosexuality emphasize the social ills rather than discussing the spiritual dimension. I think that many Mormons are under the impression that homosexuality is not fundamentally different from any other sexual sin. And there is no definite teaching of their church which would indicate otherwise.

My own position is that homosexuality is probably almost a purely spiritual sin, not a carnal lust like normal sexual sins. In other words, homosexuals are most likely motivated by a disdain for masculinity itself, often motivated by a hatred for their mental concept of "patriarchy", or the "Father archetype". That this corresponds closely to the Christian concept of God is probably merely a misfortune to most homosexuals. The general mechanisms by which this hatred of the father concept arises most likely have to do with immoral male role models rather than directed hatred against God.

That being said, my position is fully compatible with the (rather terse) teaching of the Mormon church, namely that practicing homosexuality is a serious sin but those with homosexual tendencies deserve love and assistance in overcoming them rather than condemnation. I think that this is the practical position of most traditional Christian churches, whatever relative importance is accorded to the special condemnations of homosexuality found in the Bible and other traditional sources.

Romney is disappointing to social conservatives, and rightly so. But this does not arise out of a lack of principle, only a lack of vision. He has not devoted careful thought to what most deserved it, instead using the latitude of ambiguous doctrines to make compromises with the enemies of liberty. This is, in my eyes, a more grievous sin than transgressing some doctrinal point of one religion or another. And it is the sin of which he is really guilty.

Coulter, on the other hand, is guilty of a very different sin. She has grasped at the rhetorical tools that more commonly have been used to advance error, attempting to fight fire with fire. The analogy is more exact than usual, because it is the very heat and anger she possesses which make her arguments so effective. But such rhetorical exercises do little to encourage in the populace that tendency to calm, reflective thought which are essential to morality and liberty.

Lives are at stake here. Let us not be mistaken, many people will die as a result of the careless words spoken by one side or the other. And particularly rhetoric which incites feeling of anger or even hatred. If it falls to me to stain my hands with the blood of men, at least let it be my own hands, and not the hands of others whom I have moved to irrational excesses of emotion.

The time to attempt conciliation with the enemy position is long past. But emotional restraint and judgment are always in good season.

WingletDriver said...

Coulter likes to fancy herself as well informed, but she certainly disclaimed knowledge of Romney's abortion record a lot. That is really disappointing. After getting caught a couple of times, she should have researched the answer.

Sadly, most of the "conservative" talkers are no better. Bill O'Reilly incessantly resorts to the "everyone knows" line of proof (if everyone really knew, it should be no problem citing a legitimate study). Sean Hannity pushed hard for Schwarzenegger during his gubernatorial run in California -- thanks. The problem true conservatives run into is too many folks form their opinions from these entertainers. In the name of entertainment, too many of them are snarky and bombastic. True conservatism is humble and confident.

zune said...

dear chiu

I got about 1/2 though your comment and started to vomit so I did not finish. You frankly have no source. Let me give you one to correct all the crap you are making up.

http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,161-1-11-1,00.html

jadavison said...

From what I read here, neither Republicans nor Democrats are to be trusted with the future of this oountry. While that may prove to be true, you can be certain that this voter will be voting a straight Republican ticket until the socialist goals of Obama and his cronies have been thoroughly reversed. Maybe once that has been achieved we can afford more idealistic proposals for our government.

First things first.

jnewl said...

Winglet, Ann Coulter is not an entertainer. She's deadly serious about what she says. I guarantee you she says in private the exact same things she says in public. Moreover, she has more brains in one little finger than poseurs like Hannity and O'Reilly have in their entire bodies combined. BUT Ann shares a shortcoming with those two, as well as with Limbaugh and even, in my opinion, the editor of this blog: an inordinate attachment to the Republican Party.

I abandoned the Repubs three elections ago for greener pastures and far better candidates in the Constitution Party. My reasoning went thusly: in a democratic republic like ours, elected officials are intended to represent the people who elect them. That goes not only for elected Legislators, but also for the President. Hence, I do violence to myself every time I vote for a person who does not represent my will with regard to public matters. Now, let it be granted that no one is exactly like me and therefore no one will ever perfectly represent my will. Nevertheless, among available candidates, there will be one who represents me more than the rest, and that is the one I have a duty both to myself and the system bequeathed to us by our Founders to vote for.

This whole Party system is not, strictly speaking, a necessary part of our electoral process. It is an alien appendage tacked on after the fact. One can embrace it and become like those who continually vote for the lesser of two evils and are continually surprised when evil results, or one can reject it and simply do the right thing. I have chosen to reject it and simply vote for the person I want to represent me, come hell or high water. My guy may not win, but my conscience is clear. I have done my proper duty before God and man. If my candidate loses because others fail to do their duty, that is not my concern. One cannot do evil that good may result.

Why am I going on about this? Because I think Ann Coulter (not to mention Rush Limbaugh and everyone else) would be a much more effective weapon if she would take the same approach and back the person who best represents her in principle, regardless of party, rather than worrying about who "can win." I didn't follow her that closely over this last election, but something tells me Romney was not her first choice among men, but simply her first choice among Republicans (and even then only among Republicans who "could win").

Tim said...

While I agree with most everything that was said I really did not see Huckabee as a poor choice. In fact I agreed with almost all of his stances. He is very pro-life and not afraid to admit it. He willingly defends his faith whenever he has to. He sets an example by his actions, not his words. He speaks a ton of common sense.
I consider myself a Constitutionalist and I would have no problem voting for him in 2012. I actually would gleefully check the box next to his name. He is someone that has shown great consistency in his character.

I am sure Mr Keyes sees a lot of that too and is maybe just pointing out some political differences as opposed to calling out Huckabee on his morals.

Huckabee's immigration policies do have me a bit weary but I am confident that if Huckabee is truly a servant of the Lord, then God will work it all out.

One thing I have noticed about the conservative folks on TV and radio is that they seem to lack compassion and any compassion they do show seems contrived. I agree with a lot of what Hannity says but I rarely agree with how he says it. Same with Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter. Their egos seem a bit too large. Glenn Beck is the only guy I have found that seems to be the genuine article. He speaks with compassion and a lot of the stuff he says is stuff that everyday people can connect with. He speaks of God very often. He speaks of the importance of the Constitution often. And its not just that he talks about those things its how he talks about them. They do not appear to be things he's just checking off a list. It comes across as him speaking his heart and feeling real emotions.
His book/play The Christmas Sweater was what completely sold me over on him. It was so passionate and so real that its almost impossible that he is anything but genuine.

Thanks again Mr Keyes for another extremely intelligent bit of writing. I always come away better off for having read or listened to you.

Alan Keyes said...

jadivason:
The point isn't that Republicans and Democrats both offer a bad future, it's that they are two instruments being played off against one another to get us there- You need to meditate on the significance of the bank bailout last fall, and the fact that what Obama is implementing now is basically the proposal Paulson made then. By voting for the Republicans you're not making a difference in the outcome, you're just following the dance routine that takes you there, doing just what's expected of you. If you really want to stop playing a role in the destruction of liberty, and thereby avoid socialism, you must refuse the dance, no matter which of the partners is used to lure you into it. We've come to the end game, so the apparent difference between them is greatly reduced already.
They're different ball clubs, but they play for the same owners. After last fall, I don't see how you or others can go on letting yourselves be taken in. I just pray that you wake up in time. (By the way, I'm of the opinion that the Republicans purposefully threw away the last election, after doing the preparatory work for the steps now being taken to destroy our sovereignty. George W.Bush's administration let our border security languish, for example. The Obama faction will now just move people through the door they lifted off its hinges.)
Voting Republican can't get us out of this mess. They insisted on taking us down the road that led here. (I know from first hand experience that they painstakingly squelched any voice raised consistently on behalf of the principled alternative.)

Sakievich said...

The statements regarding LDS doctrine are misinformed or misunderstood, and I'm sure that's done without any malice. And for disclosure purposes, I'm a lifelong active member of the the "mormon" church.

The LDS Church is very clear on these issues and the teachings regarding abortion are very very specific. There is no "rebirth" in the womb later on for aborted babies. There is the teaching that children who die young, miscarry or otherwise die in the womb may be raised after the 2nd coming by the parents, but that will come in its own time and way. The spirit and body of a child are brought together in the womb at conception or shortly thereafter and thus the Church's stand against abortion is very serious. There are exceptions made in cases of rape, incest and the protecting the life of the mother. These are not exceptions taken at a whim and are considered with full view of available options such as LDS Family Services which helps place unwanted children in loving homes and families.

The Church's teachings regarding homosexuality are also specific. The Proclamation to the World: The Family states that gender is inherent to who each person is. Thus a male is a male and female is a female. Those who persist in the sin are likely to be excommunicated from the Church, like a friend of mine who struggles with this issue and is working to overcome it so he can return to full fellowship. There are numerous resources provided by the Church or other independent LDS oriented groups that assist those who struggle with the sin and mental health issues of same sex attraction and work to help overcome it.

Both of these issues have become increasingly and unnecessarily complex in a morally grey world through the efforts of moral equivalents, eugenicists, and leftists. I think that anyone who paid any attention to the Prop 8 controversy can have no doubt as to where the LDS Church stands on these issues and where those who profess the faith should stand.

Romney's past ambiguity on these issues has always been a concern of mine. There is a generally positive tendency among members of the LDS Church to seek common ground and civility with others. Unfortunately, with time and especially among the politically ambitious, this positive principle can be perverted to morally bankrupt compromise on important issues. I hope his relatively recent turnaround is sincere and maybe someone like him would've been helpful in the current economic crisis, but he was someone who did make me nervous, especially his desire to expand the Federal Government's influence into health care. Whether he recognizes it or not, that's a gaping monster waiting for it's meal.

There were no viable popular candidates this time around, which was a great tragedy. I always voted for Ambassador Keyes in past primaries against Bush, but alas...I'm just a drop in the bucket.

I thought I'd add this for clarity. Thank you for this blog Mr. Keyes, it's always a bright light of principled clarity in these troubled times.

danl1985 said...

i found an excellent radio ministry the other day. check it out http://newwineministry.net/radio/video_archives.html

WingletDriver said...

jnewl,

You and I agree on the gist of the argument so I'm almost sorry to quibble.

Even though Coulter is deadly serious, she can still be an entertainer. Her delivery is the key. You and I probably won't agree on this, but no big deal.

However, you need to read Dr. Keyes a little closer if you think he is tied to the Republican Party. He admits that he was at one time but that he now sees them as complicit with socialist Dems in destroying our future. In the last election he ran under the AIP.

Other than that, you and I both vote outside the mainstream parties. I find that both parties are beyond rehabilitation but that they unfortunately can still shut out any third party.

chiu_chunling said...

I'm sorry to have offended. My point was mainly that Latter Day Saint teaching on these issues is not as simple nor as clear as some would desire.

I'm not fully convinced that these statements are in error, given what I can find easily. If there is some specific authoritative statement as to the fate of aborted children, or as to how homosexual sin differs from ordinary sexual sin, I would be interested in seeing that. I could not find either, despite my interest in Mormon doctrines.

More certainly, I can say that Mormons tend to follow a philosophy of tolerating religious practices which differ from their own. So the fact that a given prescription is made for the behavior of Mormons does not always translate to a prescription for what ought to be made law. I also note that the Proclamation to the World on the Family does not single out homosexual sin from other violations of chastity. Nor am I aware of any prohibition against allowing abortion to remain legal.

I personally find overly simplistic doctrines inadequate to the task of creating a moral system that can address issues without making absurd demands, but recognize the temptation of individuals to use vague teaching as license for behavior that is less than perfectly moral. That Mormons generally are willing to rely on injunctions from their leaders without demanding particular doctrinal justification is usually a credit to their sense of religious devotion. But that does not mean that there is not a significant latitude for diversity of opinion within the LDS faith, particularly when it comes to political agendas, on which the Mormon leadership usually maintains an attitude of official neutrality.

Erik12 said...

Mr. Keyes,

I've just came across your blog site & looking forward to read all of your insightful comments.

BD22980 said...

WOW Thanks Dr. Keyes,

Why in the world was Ann a featured at CPAC last month??

I so agree with your statement about we as conservatives needing to understand what we are about more than what we are against. Ann Coulter's failure to separate her neo-conservative world view should be easily recognizable to conservatives but like so many she knows how to play her audience.

You, Dr. Keyes, have had a consistent and faithful message over the years. We so need people who have dedicated their lives to furthering the betterment of mankind rather than promoting their last book...a heartfelt thanks sir.

Looking forward to your speech at the tea party in DC this week.

Bruce

tGh_oTsEgJFk15RJHhPWVkAztWY- said...

Greetings to all here;

The difference between the GOP and the Democrats is like the difference between two roses.

They both offer something pretty to look at, but they both have a stem full of thorns that will pierce your hand when you grab them.

The only difference is the number of thorns on each stem, and the choices of bleeding to death quickly or slowly.

Neither party has defended the constitution, instead many of them have done the opposite either through design or cowardice.

We now have three branches of the federal government that have defined their own roles rather than the ones granted to them in the constitution.

We have a judicial branch that makes law, a legislative branch is to busy pretending to be the executive branch they do not have the time to read bills before they vote on them, and an executive branch that is to busy groveling before foreign monarchs it can't be distracted by things like ballistic missles, piracy on the high seas, or enforcing the laws such as immigration.

I will no longer vote, but I will vote, between a lesser and greater evil since the result is still evil.

That is all this retired navy chief has to say for now.

God Bless you all.

chiu_chunling said...

Well, there's no reason not to do both at the same time. Assuming that one is writing books intended to better mankind.

I have recently begun to enjoy the entertaining aspect of Ann Coulter's incisive commentary. But I have always found it to be dangerous rather than enlightening. There are two aspects of her arguments which trouble me. One is the negativity, she makes powerful arguments against the inanities of the left, but offers little elaboration of sound principles of government. The other problem is her emotionality. No doubt she feels a keen and lively sense of outrage personally, but sincerity doesn't really justify resorting to demagoguery. Passion is a powerful motivator, but it cannot be unrestrained by reflection, particularly in questions of government.

The first flaw makes her, like many other conservatives, look for the lesser evil. This is a basic problem with conservative thinking generally, it takes the good for granted and tries to judge everything by what does the least harm to that good, rather than considering what might be of greatest benefit.

The second flaw, unlike most conservatives, makes her more willing to embrace drastic solutions. The felt urgency of the outrages she (however rightly) perceives encourages people to accept solutions which may be worse than existing problems (Murphy's Law may be facetious, but is still one of the more important propositions ever devised for the instruction of intelligent thought).

That she champions Romney is actually very surprising. It suggests to me that she is much more pragmatic than her writings would suggest. That she is unable to effectively defend him is not so surprising (indeed, that her arguments do not generally lend themselves to 'nuanced' positions is the main reason it's so odd she would choose a 'negotiator' as her champion).

I do not reject the idea of good negotiation out of hand, but now is not the time for it. Romney seems a decent man with flexible ideas about government, in less dangerous times he would make a fine political leader. Coulter, I think, does not appreciate how fragile America really is these days, or she probably would not be so incendiary. If she's able to appreciate the practical value of a politician who plays the game well, she should be able to find a gentler mode of expression herself.

But I think she, like too many others, really doesn't see the need.

Derek P. said...

(The following was recently submitted to the blog run by Dr. Orly Taitz, "DEFENDOURFREEDOMS". Submitted, yes. Posted, no. Censorship? Dr. Keyes, she does represent your interest. Or does she.....)

"Can anything make any difference now? The more that I think about our country's situation, the more that I believe that our country has passed a point of no return when it comes down to getting 'our house' in order."

"Democrats want to be in power. Republicans want to be in power. Why? To give us their ideas of solutions!? Not hardly. I envision that when the dust settles on all of the political shenanigans currently ongoing it will go back to being business as usual. Business as usual regardless of what side prevails."

"When the dust settles, we will, in all likelihood, have a fifteen trillion dollar national debt hanging around our necks. Does Chris Dodd (who I do not like) have a plan to reduce and subsequently eliminate that debt? No, he does not. Does Richard Shelby (who I do like) have a plan to reduce and subsequently eliminate that debt? No, he does not either. Do their respective parties have a plan, or even a concept as to how that staggering debt is to be reduced, and eventually eliminated? No, they do not. And yet, both sides want to be the side that is in power. Why? If you ask me, it is absolutely ludicrous! Neither side is willing to be up front about what will be required to 'right this ship'. Neither side."

"Yes, there is plenty of blame to go around. If only there were someone willing to step up and assume some responsibility for what is needed to be done. Someone. Anyone. (Applications being accepted.)"

Is it fair to say that both sides only want to hear what they want to hear? And, conversely, dismiss (to the best of their ability) that which does not fit into their agenda? Like Ann Coulter, the rule of the day is "I talk, you listen", and with few exceptions.

Dr. Keyes, your response to "jadivason" hit the nail on the head for me. There is, in fact, no clear choice anymore in the world of partisan politics. Both sides want to be in power, but, in actuality, only to pursue the same goals, of which none have any true beneficial value for our country as a whole.

(This is my first posting here. I hope that it is not found to be too offensive.)

Lungfungus said...

Chiu, you wrote something insightful: “That Mormons generally are willing to rely on injunctions from their leaders without demanding particular doctrinal justification is usually a credit to their sense of religious devotion.”

The problem with trying to identify doctrinal roots of LDS positions is that their doctrine is ever changing to adjust not to what is accepted in the mainstream but to what is not accepted. It may not be widely known but the president of the church is officially a profit who may receive divine revelation from God to make any changes in doctrine he sees fit. The most common example is polygamy, but there are many more. Jerald and Sandra Tanner of Lighthouse ministries have counted 3913 changes in the Book of Mormon, excluding punctuation changes since the original edition. Although many of these were grammar corrections, many changed the meaning of verses.

I do not want to turn this post into an attack on Mormons. I have a deep affection for Mormons as I am an ex-Mormon and much of my family is Mormon. I have yet to find a church whose community is as tight and caring of their “brothers and sisters” as is the LDS church.

As good as the hearts of Mormons may be, I do not believe I could wholeheartedly support a Mormon candidate for office. A Mormon’s principals and beliefs are not solidified by reflection and the search for truth, but by social pressure. Any open-minded study of the history of the Church of Latter Day Saints will reveal its founding by a professional con-artist, Joseph Smith, and expansion by a ruthlessly exploitative man, Brigham Young. To rebut the teachings of the Mormon Church is essentially to leave it. There is little room for debate. By leaving the church one is effectively black-listed, their spouse is even encouraged to divorce if one does not ‘come around’.

One has to ask, does Romney really KNOW what he believes through study and reflection or does he simply act within his social boundaries? Does he recognize the falsehoods in his own church and simply overlook them for social reasons, and if so what does that say about his character?

I argue that Mormons as individuals are typically wonderful people, but are misled and cannot be trusted with public office, as Orrin Hatch and Mitt Romney have shown.

Lungfungus said...

To anyone interested in the LDS Church, I recommend taking a look Utah Lighthouse Ministry: http://www.utlm.org/

Sakievich said...

Well, tragically, at least I now know who I'm talking to here.

I believe that the conservative movement will continue to be derailed as long as there continues to be this sort of divisive abuse. Claims of insanity and brainwashing are not helpful. Neither is calling someone nice, but hopelessly deceived. As opposed to looking for common ground, too often the demand for conformity at all levels among the right is their own Achille's heel. Let's leave that sort of conformity in the hands of those who have promulgated it for the last century or so, the left.

I think I was abundantly clear in my post above and while it may not satisfy everyone, it's more than enough for me. And I'm not sure where the lack of clarity comes from. If you'd spend some time doing some searches on lds.org's massive database of past and current Church documents and articles, I'm sure you would find plenty to read. The issues of abortion and homosexuality are taken very seriously and participation in either can lead directly to excommunication. I don't know what is ambiguous or simple minded about that. Certainly these issues can be complex. Same gender attraction isn't always a matter of choice, but can be deeply connected to one's genetics, their situation growing up and other traumatic or life changing events. I think that any good person would only feel the most profound sympathy for someone who pursues that sort of life and would do all they can to help turn them around. What a profound loss this pervasive and enveloping sin brings.

Religious debates and especially heartless attacks on those who believe differently are best left to those forums where that is it's specific issue. I do not believe Mr. Keyes wants to turn his blog, which is oriented towards achieving political and moral victories for freedom to be the sort where bigoted attacks are tolerated. This, I hope and believe isn't the purpose of his blog. I've looked at the Lighthouse Ministry's site before and found it's statements to be wanting for truth, because of how it twists or removes statements or actions from their context.

Mr. Romney's apparent compromises are not based in any doctrinal direction from the Church, but on his own free choice to support those issues which are not supported by the LDS Church. Maybe he felt it was justified since it became the law through injudicious judicial activism. I don't know, you'll have to ask him. I think it's too be remembered that the executive branch is not a dictatorial position, governors and presidents are expected to execute the laws of their region, even the ones they disagree with. With the ones that they disagree with, they should do what they can to overturn them within the bounds of the law of their state or region. Political expediency is not a relevant reason to abandon right principle.

I think that we could all agree that there shouldn't have to be a law governing either of these principles, that all people should have enough moral fortitude to never even consider either of these actions as viable choices.

jadavison said...

I too would welcome a third party with clout. I just don't see one on the immediate horizon. Does anyone? In the meantime I'm sure going to exercize my franchise. It will be straight Republican. If Ambassador Keyes can muster sufficient support he will get my vote

Sakievich said...

Oh yeah...There is no black list and I know several women, whose husbands have left the Church and none of them have been encouraged to divorce or otherwise sever the relationship. I've heard these accusations many times and have found them wanting.

chiu_chunling said...

Here I am trying to call for a reduction in the negativity....

Frankly, I find the Mormon spirit of religious tolerance far more becoming than their usually somewhat indifferent approach to theology. But then again I was just today defending Thomas Paine's Deism, which is almost completely free of doctrine. I can't claim any authoritative special knowledge of Mormon beliefs, but I know probably as much as anyone. Many of them are interesting, few of them are as silly as is usual for other faiths. Particularly telling is the common practice of "gaining a testimony of" each particular aspect of their faith. I'm not sure whether the leaders approve of this or not, sometimes they ask members to concentrate on the central tenants of the Gospel, other times they seem to fall into the "gaining a testimony of" pattern themselves.

Maybe this is just the leaders being tolerant.

Does that emphasis on tolerance make them, as a whole, less courageous allies in the fight to promote morality? Given that they practically encourage anti-Mormon ministries in their own capital, it does make one wonder. I'd like to think it's just excessive devotion to the ideal of religious freedom, to which they attach particular importance, given their history.

Mitt Romney wouldn't have been (wasn't) my first choice for the American Presidency. His main qualifications would be fiscal responsibility and expertise, but the monetary crisis America faces is just a symptom of the deeper moral quagmire that saps the character required of a free people. Romney shares his faith's emphasis on freedom of conscience, which blinds him to the fact that some things just aren't conscionable.

That said, I think there are more important concerns in the world today than trying to stamp out Mormonism. If it didn't happen back when it was legal to kill them, it's just not going to happen.

Sakievich said...

If you missed the events surrounding Proposition 8 in California, then I think you missed out on whether Mormons will stand up. I don't know that there can be excess in standing up for religious freedom, unless that tolerance extends to those who would violate others' freedoms. Because a few politically ambitious types are publicly visible and deplorably pliable, you project that to everyone else. According to that sort of thinking, I should project the honorable Speaker of the House's or the Kennedy's stand on abortion, immigration, and homosexuality to all Catholics.

To expect the Church to stop anti-Mormon ministries from coming into Salt Lake City or Utah, implies that they would violate one of the foundational amendments to our Constitution. By that statement you set up a Catch-22, because if the Church were to actively block them, then what would you say...Oh yes, that the Church is violating the First Amendment...and is acting as a despotic theological regime. But to act otherwise is to encourage it instead.

The Church's centers very much around the ideal of teaching correct doctrines and principles and then expecting or hoping that those who profess to believe in those doctrines to govern themselves.

Call Me Mom said...

I'm just visiting the blogs I read today to wish you and yours a glorious Resurrection Day. He is risen indeed.

Matthew R. said...

Here's something that I think many of you miss about people like Anne, Rush, and Sean. No time in the next probably 30 years will the system really split into 3 political parties. The brands of Republican and Democrat are so entrenched that, at least when running for President, a 3d party person isn't going to go much of anywhere. These media people know that and so they are trying to change things in the Republican party instead of abandoning it. Why let the moderates take over a good brand when conservatives should be running the Republican party. Instead of running a blog, why not run for a local or state office. Stick to conservative principles and show people that they do work. Far too long we've had people claim "conservative principles", but are really just being moderates or even worse, liberals.

One thing that needs to be done is clearly state what the conservative principles are, both morally and fiscally. Not redefine it like little Miss McCain wants, but make clear what conservatives believe. A one page doc that outlines those principles would be great.

Also, something else. Why are many of you wanting to fight fire with air? I know some "conservative" media people don't seem so compassionate, but are you compassionate when a wolf is attacking? The attacks that people like Rush and Anne get are brutal, and you have to be strong fighting back to those attacks. I know it seems bad, but that's the reality. It's the same reason that these terrorists will only back down if you fight them (although, that is questionable, they really won't ever back down so you can either be killed, or kill them sadly enough.) It's why I laugh when Obama says he's going to "talk" to all these evil rules around the world. Talk is cheap to them. I'm sorry but flexing your muscle is what they understand.

chiu_chunling said...

I think that a lot of people assume the continuation of the republic as a going concern. But when I try to justify that confidence, I simply cannot find any basis for it. America today is in very real danger of breaking apart, as it has before.

If you would forestall that, you must take seriously the study of what kinds of trends have brought the nation into such danger. Most of these are easy to identify, progressive assaults on the stability and morality of society, a fiscal and market policy calculated to undermine the nation's financial independence and stifle productivity, radical changes in the republican character of the nation through rewriting the foundational law of America, the list goes on even painting with such broad strokes.

One of the most dangerous and destabilizing trends introduced by the progressives has been the practice of viciously attacking conservatives and republicans through coordinated media assaults. A spirit of mob rule, the power behind many of changes the progressives want, cannot be sustained where the population is given to reflection and consideration in thinking about others. Naturally the willingness of progressives to use this tactic puts defenders of American independence and freedom at a serious disadvantage.

But succumbing to the temptation to rely on similar tactics, however evidently justified by "fairness", signals the end of any positive hope for the Union. If the advance of progressivism can only be fought by undermining the basis for the continuation of the Federal government, that America remains a single nation rather than two, then so be it. But you must understand the implications of such a step.

I cannot say whether it is now too late by any means to preserve the nation. But stoking the fire of indignation in that part of the people most committed to America is not going to help. And even if the nation is already doomed to fail, maintaining a spirit of reasoned respect for the unalienable rights of all is the best hope for the survival of liberty.

It may yet, and in my opinion almost certainly will, come to bloodshed. But if so, remember what you fight to defend. Too many have already forgotten.

chiu_chunling said...

I wish to clarify a point, lest there be any misunderstanding.

Virulent press attacks are part and parcel of the American tradition of free speech. If it does come to fighting, I think the right to say incendiary things is part of what freedom loving Americans should fight to preserve.

But let those voices stay on the fringes of your political discourse. Overwhelm them with reasoned debate of the issues wherever you can. Present a better option for the elucidation of the issues. Don't let vituperation drive out reasoned argument as your rallying cry for political action.

Political comedy is necessary to help people deal with the ordinary insanities of self-government. It's healthy to laugh at the silliness of what some people will suggest. But don't adopt ridicule of the opposition as your method of making or even justifying serious decisions. The cost is just too great.

YellowJacket said...

Hello,Dr Keyes
I thought i would let you know how our Tea Party went,We had anywere from 100 to 200 people In Lawton,Okla and it was awesome!we the people are wakeing up you said it would take we the people,And you might get ready as you are the only one qualified to become President everyone we talk to said thy voted from you we also had some people from Texas there.
Thank you Very much keep up the good work.
we are going to try to have another one for Memorial Day And Independence Day Hopefully

YellowJacket said...

God bless you

chiu_chunling said...

God bless us every one. That at least I can still ask. Turn unto Him who is mighty to save, for His hand is ever outstretched unto you.

His hand is ever outstretched unto you.

Everything changes. Those who once stood common cause against the foe betray you for a taste of the mob's adulation, your weapons dull and break, even your own strength abandons you as body and heart wear out. He alone is worthy of trust. Therefore trust in Him.

Even now, His hand is ever outstretched unto you.

jadavison said...

The real enemy is Barack Hussein Obama. To save cyberspace I refer you to comments 125 - 128 below.

http://jadavison.wordpress.com/2009/01/01/miscellany/#comment-1844

Mother Mary Nello said...

I just came to this site today and find it very interesting. I was surprised with the Ann Coulter interview, I didn't know these facts about Romney. It makes me sad about Romney and Ann Coulter's defense of him. I will check this out further on my own, and see if I can verify this information. Thanks for putting it on this site.

Post a Comment

Be advised that this comment section is moderated in order to assure respect for civil proprieties. Posts that use obscenities, scurrilous epithets or that are gratuitously disrespectful of others will be removed ASAP. If you think a comment offensive in this way, report it in an email to alan@loyaltoliberty.com.