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The Limits of How Far From the Mainstream a Candidate Should be Allowed to Go

OK. I guess I should put my two cents worth on this. I have read the Book of Mormon AND Doctrine and Covenants AND The Pearl of Great Price AND the first two Official Declarations. I can tell you that The Book of Mormon contains very little of the doctrine that makes the LDS different from mainstream Protestantism, and the other books contain less than half. These differences are not just “petty ----”. The LDS say that “a living prophet is better than a dead one”. In other words their doctrine is always changing. It doesn’t seem to matter if there is a contradiction. So I say that you are right in saying that most people don’t know what the LDS church teaches. They change their teachings so much, you have to be a very studious student of the LDS in order to always keep up with what they are they are saying. (Does this sound like someone you know?) Even most Mormons don’t know some of the crucial doctrines taught by the LDS church. I should note that there are other sects of Mormonism besides the LDS that are not as far away from mainstream Protestantism. The RLDS, for example, does not believe in polytheism, and denies (despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary) that the Mormon Church ever sanctioned the practice of polygamy.

Despite the major problems I with LDS theology (it is not doctrine unto salvation), I don’t think that Mormons should be discriminated against in the party just because they are Mormons. However, given the recent controversy, and the fact that the current President (prophet) of the LDS has made statements that abortion is acceptable in cases of rape, incest, AND birth defects, any LDS members in the party should have to make it clear that they believe that these statements do not imply that they must take a certain political position on this issue, but are statements which only apply to personal conduct of LDS members. They must be 100% pro-life. This standard should be the same regardless of religious affiliation.

I believe that the CP and the CP of Ohio should adopt a policies (if they have not already) against racism and religious discrimination. That is, no member can be in favor of a law (or interpretation of the Law) which would explicitly deny rights to a person based on the persons race or religion, and that there cannot be any bylaws within the party which would deny a person a position in the party based on race or religion. This does not mean that people can be thrown out of the party for having racist beliefs or preferences for people of a certain religion, because that is a witch-hunt.

Similarly, no member should be allowed to be in favor of a law which would explicitly deny a person’s rights based on whether or not the person is born (this should be worded in such a way to protect all portions of the unborn such as those conceived by rape or incest). Requiring members to be in favor of God-given rights (the ones contained in the Constitution, at least) for all human beings seems like reasonable requirement for membership to me. We all have our beliefs about what scriptures and prophets we hold up above the Constitution (for mainline Protestants, the Bible, for Catholics, the Pope, and for the LDS, their prophets). We may not agree on theology and we may not even agree on whether certain amendments to the Constitution should be in it, but if we are to be called the Constitution Party, all members should all have to at least be in favor of a strict, constructionist’s interpretation of it. Now it is a fact that either unborn babies are persons under the 14th amendment or they are not. If they are, then all members should be required to be 100% pro-life. If they are not, then there is no reason to have any restriction on what a member can believe about abortion. (I guess this is what the National CP has “virtually” done.) It is unreasonable for there to be two totally different ways of interpreting the Constitution in the same party, in this party anyway. This is not just “petty ----”. If what a person holds highest is not allowed under a strict interpretation of the Constitution, then that person should join another party (there is a Mormon party in Utah) or start a new one. This does not mean, for example, that a member should not be allowed to believe that the IRS should be done away with (because of the 16th amendment) because it does not say that there has to be income taxes--only that they are allowed.

It is reasonable for the CP of Ohio to withdraw over this issue. If the abortion issue is that important to us, then we should be allowed to keep money that we contribute to our party from getting into the hands of candidates who we wouldn’t vote for.

We should pray that God would use our example of consistency and resolve to be a good witness to people who are “tossed by every wind and wave of doctrine”.

1 comment:

Joe said...

I agree with much of what you say when you write "any LDS members in the party should have to make it clear that they believe that these statements do not imply that they must take a certain political position on this issue, but are statements which only apply to personal conduct of LDS members."

This sort of compartmentalizing is what we criticize Republicrats for. You can't differentiate between somebody's "personal view" and what they would do politically. Leaders and candidates who are needed who pledge and act to defend and promote the inviolable right to life of innocent human beings, from the moment of conception to natural death -- without exception. I won't vote for a candidate who says he is "personally opposed" to abortion but would allow the murder of even one human being - regardless if there reason is sincere religious conviction or some other reason.

Unfortunately this discussion strikes me as mostly moot. The Constitution Party decided in Tampa that they will not disaffiliate state parties who knowingly elect leaders and endorse candidates who would allow abortions in the case of rape and incest. The argument seems to be that the national party has no right to disaffiliate state parties, regardless of what they do.

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I am born again Christian with a strong interest in politics, doctrine, science, and how these relate to one another.