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#OregonUnderAttack and Mormons

January 4, 2016

Something about states’ rights.  Federal overreach.  2nd Amendment.  Protesters and such.

Don’t caaare.

But I do care a little bit when the protesters are citing Mormonism.

The family behind the Oregon militia cites Mormon beliefs for armed conflicts with the government

Explainer: The Bundy Militia’s Particular Brand Of Mormonism

 

I didn’t read the two articles too carefully, but I didn’t really see anything wrong with the characterizations of the Church, the doctrine, or the Book of Mormon.

A little background: Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty is one of the great stories of the Book of Mormon.  It’s about the righteous people of the land rising up against a government that no longer represented them and, in the face of annihilation by a foreign power, fighting for their lives, religion, and families.  They rent their garments and cast them at the feet of Moroni, swearing an oath that they would uphold the Title of Liberty.  A return to tradition and to God.

Of course, it’s inspiring.  It would make one hell of a Hollywood movie.   Of course, you’d be dumb to not notice any parallels to today’s society, especially if you’re of the small-government-is-best persuasion.  Additionally, as Mormons, we are frequently told that we should “liken scripture unto ourselves” and that the Book of Mormon was written for our day.

But a call to action this story is not.  In fact, nowhere in the Book of Mormon is there any instruction on when or why to take up arms against the government.  For that, please just read the Declaration of Independence.

However, Church leadership apparently thought these things were worth responding to.  In a news release, the Church asserted there was no doctrinal support for Mr. Bundy and Company’s protest (and they’re right).

With respect to the Church leadership preempting any more bad publicity, everyone (including the leadership) needs to pump the brakes on worrying about the Oregon protest’s Mormon ideological roots.  In fact, let’s all just pump the brakes on the Oregon protest in general.

What’s actually happening in Oregon?  A federal judge ordered a couple of people to do something that they’re going to do and then a bunch of people occupied a building no one uses in the middle of nowhere.  Captain Moroni stormed the capital with an army and hanged traitors by the boatload.  Bundy and Co. called up a few buddies and hung out by their pickup trucks.

Cool it, everyone.  The world is not burning.  Actually, nothing is burning.  I think it’s likely that if everyone ignored the protest, they’d get bored and go home on their own.

 

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