Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Covenant and a Closed Society

Glenn Beck is actively promoting a theory called Covenant America.

The Covenant Theory holds that the US Revolution was staged by God. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were revealed by God to create the conditions necessary for the restoration of the church in the Latter Days. The Restoration of the Church occurred when God revealed to Joseph Smith the Golden Tablets that contained the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith was instructed by God to establish a church. Revelations continue to flow through the Church and are written in the Doctrine and Covenants.

In the Covenant Theory, The Constitution was revealed to give rise to the Mormon Church. A goal of the Constitution was to give free agency.

Free agency is best understood as a test. Free agency gives people a choice of accepting their position in the hierarchy of the Church and following the doctrine or of being cast out.

Those who follow the Doctrine and Convents are the righteous. Those not in the Covenant are called gentiles.

The Book of Mormon tells of millennial old conflict with the righteous pitted in struggle against the gentiles.

(I am one of those evil gentiles).

The Covenant reaches back to the beginning of time in the Garden of Eden. Adam ate the apple, which is why men have Adams Apples. Cain killed Abel. The descendants of Cain were smitten and turned dark skin. The Covenant theory holds that the proof of the Covenant can be seen in the color of one's skin.

Africans are the descendants of Cain and have dark skin. Europeans are the descendants of Abel. They are whitesome and delightsome. This pattern repeated with the Native Americans who are descendants of an evil group called Lamanites, which is why Native Americans are savage and red.

(Personally, I reject these arguments as false. But what is truth?)

A covenant can only be seen by revelation. The epistemology of the Covenant Theory starts with the idea that The Covenant is the highest of all truths. Unfortunately attempts to say that the covenant is reveal to each person individually fails because we would all fantasize different covenants. The Covenant requires a central political hierarchy. Thus Covenant Theory holds that truth flows through the political hierarchy to the people; So, the higher you are in the political hierarchy, the closer you are to truth.

Since truth flows through the political hierarchy created by the Covenant with God, you can judge the truth of a statement by one's position in the political hierarchy. The higher one's position in the hierarchy, the greater one's authority. As you work your way up the rungs, you gain authority.  (Pretty sweet, eh?)

Jumping back to free agency: The theory of free agency means that people are given the choice of accepting their position in the hierarchy or of being cast out. Satan works to cloud people's mind to make the truth appear false.

For example, Satan might compel an evil gentile so say something like "The idea that Africans bear the Mark of Cain is racist nonsense." Adherents to the Covenant are trained (indoctrinated) to see such statements as the work of Satan.

I happen to be one of those gentiles. From my perspective, the Covenant Theory ends up creating a closed society that is subject to group delusions.  Even worse, Covenant Theory leads to a deeply fractured society with a closed group claiming they are the holders of the truth and shutting the rest of the world out of political discourse.

Covenant Theory divides people and creates a cultural climate in which is it nearly impossible to engage in discourse.

Readers of this blog will notice that I spent five years with the goal of holding a meeting about free market health care reform.

My goal was to present the idea that insurance is the problem and that to restore liberty, we need to restore a system in which most health care is self-funded and provided on a fee-for-service basis.

I know enough about the nature of logic and ideas to understand that my position might be wrong. My goal has been to find a group of people who are open to free market reform to listen to the idea. I believe strongly in the scientific method. Peer review is a cornerstone of this method.

The idea I wanted to present is that the insurance mandate is the weakest part of PPACA (ObamaCare). The Insurance Mandate is premised on the assumption that insurance (group funding of individual care) is the only possible way to fund health care.

If a group developed a mathematically viable alternative in which the majority of care is self-funded and delivered as fee-for-service medicine, that group would attack PPACA at its weakest link.

 I live in Salt Lake City which is controlled by the LDS Church. The LDS Church suppresses open discourse. Because I live in Salt Lake City, I am unable to find people who would review the idea. So, I am stuck having to look outside of the state.

The only hope I have is that someone within driving distance (700 miles) of Salt Lake is willing to host a meeting.

People keep asking. Why is it that no-one in Utah is willing to discuss free market health care reform. The reason is that the leadership of this state believes in Covenant Theory. The leaders of this state believe that truth flows through the political hierarchy of the Church and that people not in this hierarchy are all evil. servants of Satan.

I've crashed local political groups. When I brought up the idea that insurance is the problem, people have looked directly at me and called me Satan.

That is just pure nonsense. In my opinion, anyone who believes in an ideology that automatically rejects all arguments outside that ideology is on the wrong path.

I have spoken with local Democrats and progressives about my thoughts. They reject the idea of self-financed care outright and will not consider any arguments in favor of self-funded health care.

I believe the Founders of the United States fought for liberty because they saw liberty being a good thing in and of itself. They fought for liberty and not free agency. I believe the Founders sought to protect freedom of speech because they believe that a system with healthy discourse spoken by people with different perspectives would lead to more fruitful results than ideas imposed by a top-down hierarchy.

I believe that the Covenant Theory (at least as it is practiced in Utah) is against the ideals of the Founders.

I enjoyed the Glenn Beck show. I am deeply disappointed to see Glenn Beck putting on a circus called Covenant America in Branson, Mo.

Likewise, I loved the book "The Open Society and It's Enemies" by Karl Popper. But I really dislike the direction of the Open Society Institute which I see as an enemy of freedom.

As for these last three posts. I am trying to explain why people in Utah are unwilling to discuss such as health care freedom. People in Utah believe that their group has a Covenant with God. Those who are not in their group need to be isolated and cut out.

I know, I've gone five years trying to find a group to discuss free market health care reform. I would still love to discuss that topic. I also would love to talk about tax reform. But I have to travel out of state and the only way I could ever have a chance to discuss these topics is if someone helped organize a meeting.

The picture below shows attendance of the 2012 Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally. This was the largest anti-PPACA rally of the last four years. From a population of 2M, the well promoted rally attracted about 200 people. About half of the crowd was composed of speakers, the media and direct family of the speakers.

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