Americans aspire to a society that does not discriminate against people for their religion. This aspiration begs the question of how one should deal with a politically ambitious church.
Classical liberals were not absolutists. They knew that ideals pushed to absolutes leads to paradoxes. A free society admiring toleration cannot tolerate intolerance.
Speaking of politically active churches …
It's conference weekend.
Conference weekend is the biggest political event in the Utah Political season.
This Conference Weekend is extra exciting because the LDS Church is not just fielding one but two presidential candidates. Best of all, one of the candidates is considered the top contender for the Republican primary.
Currently, the most powerful member of the LDS Collective is Senate Majority leader Harry Reid … the primary supporter of the PPACA health care bill. PPACA drew heavily from the health care bill passed by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts.
The first presidential candidate fielded by the LDS Church was none-other than President Joseph Smith.
Joseph Smith gained notoriety in the 19th century when he wrote a parody of the Bible set on the American Continent. In this parody, the Native Americans were descendents of the Lost Tribe of Israel called the Nephites.
The king of the Nephites, King Benjamin, granted the people Democracy. The society degenerated into a Hegelian-style conflict between the righteous followers of Nephi and an evil group of gentiles.
The righteous were superior in both looks and grace, but evil gentiles formed a conspiracy and won the election. This led to a big war that concluded with God smiting the Nephites and turning them into red savages (Native Americans).
(Early American theological-nonsense taught that blacks were the descendents of Cain who killed Abel. So, it is biblical that Mitt Romney, the son of the righteous, is running against an evil gentile bearing the Mark-of-Cain who actually has the name Cain.)
The Early Mormons sent missionaries abroad to recruit members specifically to build political block in the US. They first sought to establish their political dominion in Missouri. This effort was not turning out well. Other Missourians didn't like being under the yoke of a political dominion. Anyway, the leader of the Missouri LDS Church declared an extermination war against the gentiles.
Yes, the political leaders of the early LDS Church were so power mad that they openly preached genocide.
Of course, you don't threaten to exterminate Missourians with repercussion, and the governor of Missouri responded to the declaration of an extermination war with an extermination order.
Interestingly, to this day, the LDS Church only teaches of the extermination order and fails to inform members that the extermination order was in response to an extermination war.
When the Governor of Missouri threatened to exterminate back, the Mormons fled to Navou. While in Navou, Joseph Smith ordered the assassination of the governor of Missouri.
Smith burned presses of ex-Mormons who complained of corruption in the church. Smith was arrested. At the Carthage jail, he was shot by an unidentified assailant.
I contend that if the trial took place, the LDS Church would have come to a whimpering end.
Who do you think the assassinate Smith? 1) An evil gentile (non-Mormon) who killed Smith out of the evilness inherent in being a gentile. 2) An Ex-Mormon who was upset at Smith for whatever reason, or could it have been 3) a Mormon who was heavily invested in the hierarchy of the church and didn't want the investment to fail.
We are taught that the assassin was a gentile who killed Smith simply because gentiles are evil. Personally, I suspect that the assassin was either a Mormon or an ex-Mormon.
After consolidating the LDS Church presidency, Brigham Young marched his followers outside of the United States into the Mexican Territories to set up a new country called "The Empire of Deseret."
We not only have a politically active church with presidential ambitions. We have a church that rejected the Constitution of the United States and set forth on imperial ambitions.
The Founders sought to create a society that did not persecute the citizens for their religious beliefs.
This does not mean that people should be blind to the beliefs or political affiliations of their leaders. When faced with candidates backed by a politically active church, the American people should scrutinize that affiliation.
As long as I can remember, each and every time there was a good looking Mormon politician who polled well, the LDS Church vetted the politician as a potential presidential candidate. The LDS was very active in assuring Harry Reid retained his political post.
While we aspire to religious tolerance, one must to be wary of any politically ambitious group or ideology, even those that are religious in nature.
As an "evil gentile" living behind the Zion Curtain, I can attest fully that Mormons actively marginalize non-Mormons in their pursuit of political dominion. Having had direct experience with the hierarchy of the LDS Church, I will attest that this is a group that freedom loving Americans should worry about.
While I promote religious tolerance, I am not such a fool as to ignore that there are groups in this world hostile to freedom.
*Yes, Hegel's historicism (1770-1831) was already the rage in both the US and Europe when Joseph Smith (1805-1844) penned the Book of Mormon. The newspapers of the day were filled with fantastical fake-history centered on thesis-antithesis conflicts. That Smith wrote a fantastical history of the Americas with a thesis anti-thesis conflict centered on Democracy is not that far fetched.