Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Caring for the Needy: The Lord's Way vs. Satan's Counterfeits

It seems like there is a counterfeit version of nearly everything that comes from God. Government, priesthood, miracles of healing, scriptures, spiritual experiences, sacred ordinances, marriage and family, and so forth all have their counterfeit versions. And even the basic concept of caring for the poor with an organized welfare system has its own demonic counterfeit when corrupt and vile organizations exploit poverty and hunger for their own gain. The sexual exploitation of children by United Nations workers is a classic example of this. The problems in Liberia right now are just a tiny piece of long-standing pattern of horrific abuse and one more reason why the world will not be made safer by turning over ultimate power and sovereignty to a massive international organization based on the principles of global socialism, which is another example of Satan's counterfeits. Giving the corrupt elite even more power is not the way to peace.

Have I stated that tactfully enough?

The problems were already bad enough back in 2004 when some degree of public outrage was expressed over the growing reports. But as WorldNetDaily put it in 2004, sexual abuse was not the only recent scandal involving the UN and Africa:
The new charges of rape and pedophilia by U.N. troops and workers in Congo are not the first scandal involving U.N. workers and troops in Africa.

Former United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali's tenure was marked by scandalous charges that he played a leading role in supplying weapons to the Hutu regime that carried out a campaign of genocide against the Tutsi tribe in 1994.

As minister of foreign affairs in Egypt, Boutros-Ghali facilitated an arms deal in 1990, which was to result in $26 million of mortar bombs, rocket launchers, grenades and ammunition being flown from Cairo to Rwanda. The arms were used by Hutus in attacks which led to up to a million deaths. The role of Boutros-Ghali, who was in charge at the U.N. when it turned its back on the killings in 1994, was revealed in a book by Linda Melvern. In "A People Betrayed: The Role of the West in Rwanda's Genocide," Boutros-Ghali admits his role in approving an initial $5.8 million arms deal in 1990, which led to Egypt supplying arms to Rwanda until 1992. He says he approved it because it was his job as foreign minister to sell weapons for Egypt.
By their fruits ye shall know them.

We continue on the path to surrendering increasing amounts of US sovereignty to international institutions outside the principles of the Constitution. We are on a path toward massive loss of liberty. The Gospel will still roll forth, but what challenges we face in the future as a nation too obsessed with pleasure and entertainment to care about the vital gift of liberty, a nation happy to hand it all over to others in the name of security and prosperity. Rome, Germany, Russia, and China have been down that path. Book of Mormon peoples faced related challenges, and wrote powerful prophecies for our day that we cannot ignore (Ether 8, for example).

May God bless America and kindle a spirit of liberty once again.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

One thing that President Bush did right was keeping the US out of the International Criminal Court (ICC) which would have given the ICC power and authority over our troops as well as given the ICC judicial review over US court cases.
The sexual eploitation of children in Africa is horrible and brings to mind the sexual exploitation of our children in the public schools where there is a push to introduce children at a younger and younger age to sex education including that teaching that homosexuality is OK and normal.

Timothy said...

How is the structure of the LDS Church compatible with the notion of liberty?

Alisa said...

As a new parent, it is difficult to see what is happening in the world and not be terrified for my son. Often my evening prayers can only be "Please send your Son soon." It was by faith alone that I brought my own son into this world in the first place, and my small victory to raise him to be nothing like what I am seeing in this world.

Walker said...

Timothy,

If you're implying that the basic hierarchical nature is incompatible with liberty, I would insist that these are contradicting elements.

Look at the fast offering program. The distribution of funds comes from a central office and each branch receives according to their numbers. Such a situation seems to invite tyranny and patronage. Yet it does not. All that is asked of members (members, mind you--humanitarian missions are even more liberal in the giving of monetary aid) is that they pay a full tithe and come to church. On numerous occasions, I learn of bishops and branch presidents taking care of numerous members in this regard, without preference for any class, race, or gender. Talk about liberty and freedom from want!

And while some may not take our view of common consent seriously, you can bet that if any motion were challenged by more than half of the ward, it would not pass. On one occasion, Joseph wanted to oust Sidney Rigdon. The members, however, differed. Joseph, though upset with the dissent, allowed the sustaining to take place, adding that the members would now bear the burden Rigdon's unfaithfulness.

Simply because the Church is institutionalized does not equate it with "the administration" or "the man." Neal A. Maxwell once remarked that the Church is merely "institutionalized love" and "institutionalized concern." Some may find this description to be cheesy, but I find it be correct.

Timothy said...

Neither the structure of the LDS Church, nor the Theology of Mormonism are compatible with the idea of liberty.

Walker said...

Define liberty.

My guess your assumptions about liberty are different from mine (of course, I'm anticipating that you'll yours are better because, after they're yours--or Aristotle's or Milton's, or whoever's)

Timothy said...

Walker...there's no need to seek out nuanced views of what "liberty" means in the context of this post here we are commenting upon. The LDS Church and Mormon Theology generally don't even come close to approximating liberty in an American context.

Walker said...

To quote a previous poster: Sloppy definitions lead to sloppy reasoning.

If one is going to say that such and such organization does not follow a given idea, then I'll need to know what that idea is.

In any case, there was no treatment of the examples I mentioned earlier. Why was that? (besides the "Mormons are wild-eyed apologists whose arguments aren't worth my time" and the "Mormons are wanna-be totalitarians" bits--nothing new added there)

As to contexts, take FDR's concept of freedom--"freedom from want." In the context of this post, the LDS church is doing a great deal to further freedom at home and abroad.

Even take the abstract Judeo-Christian concept of liberty--"and the truth shall make you free." This is speaking talking about something fundamentally different from the "do what you like" paradigm or even freedom from secular oppression. Indeed, this implies that a person can be free even in a totalitarian state--all she has to do is have knowledge. In this context, of course, the freedom more than likely refers to a freedom from self and freedom from death/hell. Hence, if Mormon theology is correct in God's eyes, then whoever follows its precepts is therefore free. American, Western, Wyomingian concepts become irrelevant.

Also, I saw no treatment whatsoever of the examples I mentioned previously. Why was that?

In any case, since I've yet to see how the LDS church fails to do this in your eyes (I'm sure you'll be happy to share your reasoning), all I see is a vague buzzword being glibly kicked around instead of concrete evidence/reasoning.

Timothy said...

The LDS Church is organized as an Oligarchical Authority, and Mormon Theology is organized as a Monarchial Authority. American notions of liberty are overwhelmingly tied to ideas of democracy and open socieities, both of which are rejected by the structures chosen by the LDS Church and the theology chosen by Mormonism.

You seek after obscure and nuanced definitions of "liberty" because, I suspect, you know that it doesn't really fit in the context of mormonism. But, I applaud the effort! ;-)

Walker said...

So how DO you define liberty? Certainly, if I'm willing to lay out my personal ideology, it's only fair for you to do the same.

Before you respond to my comments, please read D&C 134 to get a real idea of Mormon liberty. There's some serious confusion going on. It's leading to wrong conclusions based largely on caricatures and, so I suppose, rumor.

I would suggest that you use a cliche, dare I say, "institutionalized" paradigm of liberty. As with the traditions of "mainstream Christianity" (whatever that means--try "majority-rule" Christianity), I don't fully accept what has become of the Western idea of liberty. Gone are the days when virtue (self-restraint, as defined by the founders) was intimately tied with liberty.

Not to mention that the proposition of the LDS church being oligarichal is utterly incorrect, wrong on its face. None of the Apostles determine how my bishop uses tithing/fast offering funds in our ward. There's something to the monarchy charge--in that we/I do accept Christ as our King.


And gosh darn it, I'm still waiting to see real specifics as to how the LDS church fights liberty. Considering that liberty is what early Mormons sought most, it would be ironic indeed if we truly were totalitarians in sheep's clothing.

Ryan said...

I've been reading a very interesting book lately that touches on this topic. "Foolishness to the Greeks", by Lesslie Newbigin. He clearly details how our modern Western culture demands that value systems and religious views remain in the "private" world of beliefs, rather than the "public" world of scientific facts.

Under this mindset, my value system is perfectly acceptable until the moment I claim that it is the only "correct" one. Then it becomes unacceptable because it imposes on the complete freedom of others to choose their own value system. (Never mind that the "private" value system people choose has a profound impact on their "public" life.)

That is probably the root of Timothy's complaint, along with a lot of other people. If so, we're guilty as charged. We really do believe the the gospel is universal truth that applies to everyone.

Roy W. Wright said...

How is the structure of the LDS Church compatible with the notion of liberty?

Come on guys; that's an easy one. Church membership is completely voluntary.

Walker said...

So you think, Roy. What THEY haven't told you is that these 19-year olds are highly trained experts in the art of brain-washing (and are brain-washed themselves). It's like they LIVED the Manchurian Candidate for two years. Missionaries are the real evil, the real Opus Dei, 11 million walking minions of Mormonism. Wolves who have convinced themselves that they're sheep (actually, they ARE blind sheep...wait, I'm mixing up my name-calling apparati)

Make it better, they have an institution with a centralized authority. Of course, because they're centralized, it must mean that they're tyrants (how do we know? Because they're hierarchial--we don't need any more evidence than that)

I'm going to now go oppress myself at BYU (Brainwashing Youth University). Take care all.