Beastie, quoting an official church released statement:
Moreover, the Church itself is not aligned with any particular political ideology or movement. It defies category. Its moral values may be expressed in a number of parties and ideologies.
Droopy’s direct response to that statement:
This is, of course, sheer nonsense (as political ideologies, and the morality and philosophical assumptions that underlie them, very widely), but exactly what I would expect from leftist apostates seeking to create the impression of the Church as a "big tent".
It is, of course, still a "straight and narrow way", that the scriptures say relatively few are desirous to find.
The "big tent" is, of course, code for "wide and broad", where many find their comfort zone (the "great and spacious" building).
Back in context, what I contend is "sheer nonsense" is Beastie's longstanding contention that the institutional Church's
political neutrality has something to do with the gospel it teaches, which by definition and by virtue of the substance of the questions and aspects of human existence within its purview, cannot possibly be politially neutral, at least on central, salient issues and values. Nor does this in any manner place bridle and reins upon individual members who have covenanted with God to testify of him and his gospel, defend the truth and confound false doctrines, to "preach, teach, warn and expound", to cry repentance and warn our neighbors to prepare for the Second Coming of the Savior.
The contradiction in your interpretation of the Church's statements, always attempting to extend its neutrality on matters of partisan politics, elections, and the moral status of members of various parties is abrasively stark. Spencer W. Kimball, famously, strongly counseled Latter Day Saints to be involved in politics, to "stand up and be heard" and to make their "voices" heard in political matters. We are to be involved and engaged in politial matters...from a gospel perspective.
This counsel has been repeated on a number of occasions by other GAs since that time, and a contradiction between this counsel and the Church's neutrality statement looms unless it is understood that the fact that the institutional Church does not take a position on some secular/political subject in no way implies that individual members, seeing political concepts or philosophies that tend toward compatibility with the gospel or away from it (or which are overtly hostile, as many historically have been), are either restricted from or absolved from their covenant responsibility to critique, evaluate and make gospel centered, critical judgments regarding political ideologies, programs and beliefs from a gospel frame of reference.
You know, the really ironic thing about your entire approach is that I have posted here, on several occasions (and bc on several more), extensive quotations by General Authorities, both from early Church history and over the last three quarters of the 20th century or so, regarding any number of subjects, but mostly concerning the nature of the United Order, Socialism, Communism, and the New Deal welfare state.
These GAs, while remaining perfectly neutral as to party affiliation and without naming any political official, have clearly, unambiguously and without equivocation brought political ideologies, programs and polices under the scrutiny of gospel principles and made unmistakable statements regarding them and their relation to Church doctrines.
This has been done with aspects of the New Deal welfare state, the later Great Society welfare state, Socialism, Communism, abortion, the ERA, population control, homosexual marriage, and other aspects of the late 20th century secular culture.
At no time have the Brethren ever shied away from a critique and judgment of gospel principles and values when they are in conflict with the World and especially when the World's political values and policies are in hostile aggression against the moral and spiritual basis of a civil, free and ordered society.
Your inability (or aversion) to comprehending the difference between neutrality on party politics
and involvement in elections
, and accepting that there are members of different political parties
who are, in essence, good and moral people, and direct and deep engagement with the claims, assertions and beliefs made in ideological systems and polices that are in conflict with the gospel and its standards, has worn out its welcome.
Apparently, numerous GAs, all the way back to Joseph Smith and John Taylor, and including, in modern times, Spencer Kimball, Marion G. Romney, Ezra Taft Bensen, and many other authorities of the Church, are in violation of the Church's neutrality policy.
Of course, the real problem behind all of this is precisely that, in many cases, and as politics and political ideology have colonized, encompassed and enveloped more and more aspects of our lives in the 20th century, the difference between a political theory or ideological statement and various beliefs and values deriving from and found within philosophy, ethics, history, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and religion (ideology itself encompassing and having incorporated into itself so many of the questions and concerns of these areas of human interest) is virtually indiscernible.
This means that, if Latter Day Saints cannot critique and make critical judgments upon the ideological and political questions (and Zeitgeist
) of the day, then what you are saying is that "Mormonism", outside of some narrow channel given over to morals and dress standards, have no business pronouncing upon virtually anything regarding the surrounding secular culture at all,
and that is, I believe, precisely the end sought by your particular augments.