Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The September Six

As expected, the founder of Ordain Women was excommunicated.

The LDS Church routinely engages in purgings of intellectuals. Usually it is done under the table. For example, about ten years ago, a powerful group was pushing the theory that the Book of Mormon took place in Central America. Apparently the scholars supporting the Meso-American view are out and a new group claiming the Book of Mormon took place in the US is in.

This was a major purge took place in silence.

About five years ago, there were several production companies producing independent LDS Moviies like Brigham City and God's Army. It appears that the filmmakers are on the out.

In 1993 there was a general purging of intellectuals. This purging created a group called "The September Six." This purge included the BYU historian named Dennis Michael Quinn who wrote books on some of the less savory aspects of Mormonism including the history of polygamy and the "Early Mormonism and The Magical World View."

The book suggests that Mormonism arose among people who believed in aspects of folk magic such as a belief in second sight.

Mormonism is not the first experience in America with the magical world view. In the 1690s folks in Salem held a magical world view. With support from the Mathers of Harvard, the good people of Salem engaged in witch trials based largely on spectral evidence. Twenty people were executed and scores imprisoned. The funny thing is that large numbers of people confessed to being witches based on spectral evidence.

Some people are challenged by the prospect that the testimonies for The Book of Mormon were based on claims to the magical powers of "second sight" and not real evidence. Excommunicating scholars who research such quaint notions is a must.

The overt act of excommunications in 1993 brought a backlash in bad publicity. Recent purgings have been much more tactful. For example, the people supporting the Meso American theory of the book of Mormon just disappeared along with the independent Mormon films.

The OrdainWomen was an overtly audacious movement to force change on the the LDS Church. The LDS Church has a right to define itself and acted exactly in the way that its fundamental doctrines tells it to act.

Much as I love open discourse. I believe strong that groups have a right to self-definitions. The big problems I see occur when a group has amassed so much power that they are able to suppress discourse throughout an entire community as appears to have happened here in Utah.

My pet issue, as you probably know, is free market health care reform. The LDS Church has billions invested in the Health Exchanges. Mormons supporting the Health Exchanges of PPACA include Harry Reid, Mitt Romney, Mike Leavitt, Jon Huntsman, Gary Herbert and more.

The LDS Church is heavily invested in the insurance industry and in the back bone processes of the exchanges.

I believe that Americans should question the Health Exchanges. For that matter, I think Americans should really question the wisdom of insurance.

I am not LDS. But since I live in Utah which is run by the LDS Church, I have to live with the reality that all attempts to debate free market health care reform will be suppressed.

So, while I support the right of the LDS Church to define itself, I have concerns about what point the right of self-definition turns to over arching societal. Anyway, it was interesting watching the overt and open excommunication of Ordain Women.

No comments: