Monday, October 12, 2020

Conspiracy Theory Is Not the Way to Go

There are a couple of books out by Matthew L. Harris of Colorado State University - Pueblo. One was noted in a link I shared in a Facebook posting that I will copy here because it led me to state my political interpretation rather succinctly.

Hopefully, we're finally getting out of this philosophy of one man....

Ya know it's interesting that no one of that stature has ever taken the extreme positions and conspiracies theories he did. Sure, there was that guy in the dorm and more than one crazed Utah politician, but nobody of the same stature in the church. What's that thing about paying attention to living leaders and not dead ones?
I'm going to be very blunt here. As blunt as Steve Schmidt has been with trump.
The Conservative Mormon fallacy has been:
Government can't do good because that would be doing good by force. Forced to do good is Satan's plan. Therefore, all liberalism is bad because it uses Satan's plan to force us to do good through government.

OK. Still not clear enough?
Satan's plan was not to force us to do "good." It was to give up our Agency and give him the glory. I use my Agency to do good in my personal life, my home, my community, my nation, and my world. To do good, I use government as a tool to further my ability to act and for those in agreement to join me as we work to that more perfect union that our divinely inspired Constitution aspires to achieve. And I give God the Glory.
I am a Liberal.

There was a supportive comment from friends including this from a mission buddy:

Considering that the events of the late 1980s and early 1990s proved false virtually every confident political prediction that Ezra Taft Benson repeated or endorsed from the John Birch Society, I have NO patience with people who throw Benson political quotes from me and demand that I accept them on prophetic authority.

Harris also compiled another book by LDS Historians that I just finished, Thunder from the Right: Ezra Taft Benson in Mormonism and Politics. You can read by review at Goodreads here. In one of the essays, Matthew Bowman, who teaches history at Henderson State University, Arkansas, explains how Benson modified the LDS doctrine of "free agency" to be threatened by political coercion of a Communist Dictatorship reforming the LDS view of the pre-mortal war in heaven as a battle of political philosophies. This fit right in with what I have blogged previously here that:
It doesn't matter in what cultural, political, or economic situation we find ourselves. We are constantly either choosing evil or good, to follow Satan or Christ - sometimes without even a solid concept of who they really are.
So, my previous blogging about President Benson still stands up well.

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