Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Strange Thing Happened Several Decades Ago

I live in Utah which is run by the LDS Church.

Several decades ago a really strange thing happened to me at work.

I was busily working in my cubicle. A coworker who was new to the firm ambled up to my desk and said a really strange thing. He said: "Let's go to lunch."

I live among Mormons. Human kindness and civility is a rare thing in this neck of the woods; So I was perplexed.

We had lunch at Hardees and talked about business. Apparently he had read in a book that people are supposed to use lunches to network with coworkers.

After the lunch, my bosses boss pulled me into a conference room and grilled me for an hour about the lunch then demanded that I write down everything said during the lunch. I was told that in the future I needed permission to eat lunch with coworkers and was advised to not do that again.

I never did that again.

Mormons are taught that people outside the political hierarchy of the church are Servants of Satan. Joseph Smith taught that those not in the political hierarchy of the church must be cut out and isolated. This notion that you need to oppress people and prevent them from communicating is one of those quirky Mormon things.

The LDS Church keeps detailed records on people in the state. I worked in companies where people were essentially assigned to keep tabs on who is talking to who with human interaction carefully regulated.

The NSA located its largest spying facility in Utah because the people here already have the right skill set.

This idea that people not in the political hierarchy of the Church must be watched and cast out is fundamental to the LDS Church.

The Book of Commandments (also known as the D&C) is considered the Supreme Law of the land. The snippet about the United Order of Enoch is the most important line in all of Mormondom. Before reading it, I want to emphasize that Mormonism appeared in a time when Hegel was the rage and Left/Right split that dominates current politics was new. Joseph Smith was creating a Right Wing Conservative Ideology. You can find photocopy of the plate on The Institution for Religious Research.

25 Thou knowest my laws, they are given in my scriptures, he that sinneth and repenth not, shall be cast out.

26 If thou lovest me, thou shat serve me and keep all of my commandments; and behold, thou shalt consecrate all thy properties, that which thou hast unto me, wih a covenant and deed which cannot be broken; and they shall be laid before the bishop of my church, and two of the elders, such as he shall appoint and set apart for that purpose.

27 And it shall come to pass, that the bishop of my church, after that he has received the properties of my church, that it can not be taken from the church, he shall appoint every man a steward over his own property, or that which he has received, in as much as is sufficient for himself and family:

28 And the residue shall be kept to administer to him who has not, that every man may receive according as he stands in need:

29 And the residue shall be kept in my storehouse, to administer the poor and needy, as shall be appointed to the elders of the church and the bishop; and for the purpose of purchasing lands, and the building up of the New Jerusalem, which is hereafter to be revealed; that my covenant people may be gathered in one, in the day that I shall come to my temple.

The Book of Commandments demands that the central authority take from each according to his ability and give to each according to his needs

This document says that God demands people give all their property to the central authority and be reduced to stewards over what they once owned with the bulk of the funds used to construct buildings that gloriify the central authority.

Those outside the political hierarchy of this totalitarian theocracy are to be cast out.

The Book of Commandments is the most right wing conservative document ever written. This document is considered to be the law written directly by God into the mind of the prophet, seer and relevator Joseph Smith. One cannot get more conservative than that!

What amazes me is that the most Conservative of all documents ever written says almost exactly the same thing as the most left wing progressive document every written (Marx's Manifesto written thirty years later).

I stare at this farcical Left / Right division and see only a difference in image and not in form.

Personally, I am fond of the US Founders and the Classical Liberal Tradition. The founders supported property rights and sought to limit and not glorify the central authority. They most likely would be horrified fundamental documents telling the people to cast out their neighbors.

I do not claim the power to see the mind of Christ. I suspect Jesus Christ would reject the words that Joseph Smith was trying to force into God's mouth.

Living in the most Conservative part of this country West of Tehran, I stare in horror at both conservatives and progressives who I see as simple mirror images of each other.

In the big upset election in Virginia. Eric Cantor was a conservative. He was engaged in Congress in a truly conservative manor. The conservative methodology is to use classical liberal rhetoric to gain power then to use political power to enhance the central authority.

I watch in horror as left wing and right wing rogues rip our nation apart and desperately want to do something.

But I am stuck here in the most Conservative State West of Tehran and can do nothing except sit and gripe online because of Conservative Oppression.

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