Tag Archives: authoritarian

Really Spring

Really Spring

It is really spring!  That’s right.  It is sunny and warm.  It is about time.

Sunday we saw snowflakes blowing around with temperatures in the low 30s.  Today it’s in the mid 70s.  Amazing what two days can do.

We came out of the temple tonight and the air was pleasant and warm.  Yes, it is really spring.  Let’s hope it is here to stay for a while.

Why Being a Republican Doesn’t Make You a Conservative

Okay, I have to state this.  I was watching a rather childish argument between to “Republicans” and the finger pointing was at “conservatives” (where it should have been at Republicans… not conservatives.)

A conservative (politically) is one who holds fast to time-honored traditions.  They are less likely to accept change for the sake of change.  The opposite of conservative is radical.

So, based on some of the things being argued about, here are two:   Extramarital affairs are NOT conservative values, and drug legalization is not a conservative value.

Taking that to the other side, liberalism is not humanitarianism.  It is the doctrine of change.

Liberals like to change things.  Conservatives like to keep time-honored traditions.  A liberal who likes to take change to the extreme is a radical.  Either one (liberal or conservative) who wants to force behavior is an authoritarian.  An extreme authoritarian is a totalitarian.

Why is that so hard for some people to understand?

Jesus Wasn’t a Socialist

Socialist:  Jesus Wasn’t One

Folks, Jesus wasn’t a socialist, and anyone who implies he was doesn’t know what socialism is, or doesn’t understand the teachings of Jesus.  I saw a meme today that implied that he was.  How rediculous.  And, before someone gets their knickers in a bunch, it is quite easy to explain why.

Let’s start with the definition of socialism (from Wikipedia):

Socialism is a political ideology and movement that seeks to improve society and social conditions. As a social and economic system, is characterised by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production, as well as a political theory and movement that aims at the establishment of such a system.

A socialist is someone who practices socialism.

Here’s where that meme falls apart…

  1. Jesus wasn’t part of a political ideology or movement.  He was God’s son, sent to do the will of the Father.  He was probably the least political person to walk the face of the earth.  When someone attempted to trick him, his reply was straightforward, “Render therefore unto Caesar.”
  2. While be sought to improve society and conditions, he did so through the needs of the individual.
  3. Jesus did not encourage social ownership.  In fact, he instructed some to “sell everything” and to “come follow me”.

Socialist would have you believe that government (or big business) is the best caregiver.  We see socialistic implementation in our own society.  Military and police being the obvious implementations and actually needed to maintain security and protection.  Neither one being anything Jesus got involved with.

However, when it comes to caring for the sick, afflicted, the fatherless or the widow, Jesus didn’t demand others do it.  He did it himself.  He set the example of service.

Yesterday in the High Priest Group, I led a discussion about the Savior and having a Christ centered life.   At no point did I ever feel that Jesus Christ was a radical socialist.  It just didn’t fit the teachings of Christ.

Socialism requires a level of authoritarianism, and if that doesn’t work, it requires totalitarianism.  (Case in point – Cuba.)  In order for socialism to work, there have to be sanctions or penalties if people don’t conform.  Nowhere do I read in the scriptures that Jesus Christ’s behavior was that of an authoritarian or totalitarian.  In fact, his example was just the opposite.

When confronted by a rich man regarding what rich man needed to do to be saved, Christ told him, “One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”

There was no penalty or sanction involved.  Jesus left he decision to the man.

Joseph Smith was in Nauvoo and visited by a reporter.  Impressed with the industry of the saints, Joseph Smith was asked how he did it.  His reply was simple, “I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.”

Smith’s summary of how the Savior taught says it all.  Socialism is a do-it-or-else situation, where true christianity is do-what-is-right-let-the-consequence-follow.

It is best said in the hymn’s chorus:

Do what is right; let the consequence follow.
Battle for freedom in spirit and might;
And with stout hearts look ye forth till tomorrow.
God will protect you; then do what is right!
Nope, Jesus wasn’t a socialist.  He definitely wasn’t a communist, nor were his actions totalitarian or authoritarian in nature.  He was a servant to all who needed him.

Instead

Instead of thinking socialism is a cure-all for societies ills, imagine what the world would be like if every person were to (on their own accord) pick out 4 households (non-relatives) and visit them and see that they are cared for?

Imagine what a difference that would make in the world.  Nope, that wouldn’t be socialism, but I bet it would make a bigger impact than a government-ran program ever could.

Ideologies Explained

Ideologies Explained

It is time to explain — Political Ideologies Explained.  You read it here.  It’s time to explain some political ideologies as many people have some strange ideas.  I’m going to keep it simple.

A guy is driving down the road and his car breaks down.  Here is how the guy would deal with it based on his political ideology.  (Presented in alphabetical order.)

  • Authoritarian – He contacts the nearest auto mechanic and threatens the mechanic with a lawsuit if he doesn’t repair his car.
  • Communist – He decides the government should repair his car so he can drive to his government job.
  • Conservative – He decides to take money from his savings and pay someone to repair his car.
  • Liberal – He decides his car is old and he borrows money to buy a new car.
  • Libertarian – He decides to get out his tools and repair his own car.
  • Socialist – He decides goes to the town hall and asks what sort of government funds are available to repair his car.
  • Totalitarian – He contacts the nearest auto mechanic and threatens him with economic failure, bodily harm or death if the mechanic doesn’t repair his car.

Which are you?

Today is Tuesday which means I had my missionary meeting, and later the temple.  I hate to start projects on Tuesdays because of my limited attention and time.

Twisting Words

Twisting Words

There are those who, when they don’t like something, start twisting words to make others join in their contentious cause.  Such is the case in today’s victory for religious rights.  Today the Supreme Court upheld Hobby Lobby’s right to follow their conscience.  Reading the “Opinion of the Court” it become apparent the ruling was to protect the owners of Hobby Lobby and their religious freedoms.

Unfortunately, there are those who make this all about a “woman’s reproductive rights”.  One such group went so far to post a meme on Facebook showing a picture of Viagra and a caption stating “covered”, and a picture of birth control pills stating, “not covered”.  Both statements are incorrect.  Most insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act do NOT cover male enhancement drugs.  All plans are required to cover birth control pills.  (Note:  Today’s ruling only allows companies to opt-out of cost sharing for practices or drugs that are contrary to their religious beliefs.  An analysis today by the Kaiser Foundation made it very clear that this ruling does not effect those covered.)

In addition, many are twisting this ruling to be an assault on women.  Even Justice Ginsburg attempts to make this about women, and her dissenting comments seem to ignore the opt-out section of the ruling, and this clause in the ruling:

The most straightforward way of doing this would be for the Government to assume the cost of providing the four contraceptives at issue to any women who are unable to obtain them under their health-insurance policies due to their employers’ religious objections. This would certainly be less restrictive of the plaintiffs’ religious liberty, and HHS has not shown, see §2000bb–1(b)(2), that this is not a viable alternative.

If anything, the ruling was a slap to Congress for not taking care to protect people’s religious beliefs.

Some claim the Greens (owners of Hobby Lobby) are forcing their religious beliefs on others.  Well, they should read the ruling.  Here why it is not…

  • Although the Greens believe life begins at conception, and thus are opposed to abortion, the Greens are not going to fire or not hire someone because they had an abortion.  In fact, it would be illegal for them to ask.
  • As previously quoted, the court is urging Congress to provide the contraceptives.
  • There is no mention of Hobby Lobby’s employees to embrace the owner’s beliefs.

If anything, this was a very libertarian approach to fixing an authoritarian law.  Any law that forces someone to do something against their will, that has nothing to do with the safety of the public, is authoritarian in nature.

I applaud the Supreme Court in this ruling.  It was the right thing to do.

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I took some more pictures at the hill.  The stage is progressing nicely.

copyright 2014 db walton

Hill Cumorah Stage Setup

We’re having a heat wave currently.  Hopefully, this will break before pageant starts.

 

Pharasitic Law

The Pharisees were very strict on the letter of the law. They had rules about how far one could walk on the Sabbath Day, for example. I think sometimes I need to be careful that I’m not Pharisaic in my judgment of others.

On the other hand, I think there are commandments that are very clear. They don’t leave room for wiggle room. Some people keep these commandments, and others don’t; there is no gray area. For example, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” is pretty straight forward and clear.

When you look at commandments like, “Six days shalt thou labor”, and how one honors the Sabbath day, that’s where God has given us a bit more agency as to how we choose to honor it. I am amazed at how many businesses are open on Sunday in the Utah and Salt Lake Valleys. I’m amazed when I see people leave church (any church) on Sunday and then head to their favorite restaurant. But, again, it’s up to us to decide how we honor the Sabbath, and up to God to decide whether we reap the blessings.

As a society and nation, I see many of our laws becoming authoritarian (like Pharisaic laws). After the events of the weekend, I see people commenting that we should outlaw this, or that. Quite frankly, I don’t think outlawing anything will stop crazy people from doing crazy things. I don’t see an easy answer.

As to blame, I don’t see a simple answer there either. I read the news stories about how the perpetrator was a loner, his dad had died, and so forth, but there are a lot of loners with deceased fathers who don’t go on a rampage killing people.

As to prevention, I don’t see a simple answer. I think there are things we can learn that might help curtail, or lessen the impact. (That said, one or 100 deaths, they are equally painful to the family members left behind to mourn.) Given how many times we’ve had shootings like this in schools, I’m in complete bewilderment as to why we don’t have armed personnel at schools. But, that in itself is not prevention, just a way to mitigate the escalation during an event. Punishment isn’t a deterrent either. As you’ll note, most, if not all, of these rampages end in the shooter taking their own life or going down in a shoot-out. Again, there’s no easy answer.

These events seem to be happening more often, and perhaps it is a sign of the times. We can only pray for protection. But, I for one, do not want to see authoritarian laws banning guns because I don’t see that as any deterrent. I don’t want to see us turn into a police state with armed guards at every corner, watching every move we make. I’d rather see some armed citizen pull out a pistol and return fire if something like this were to happen. I don’t know if such an event would lessen the impact, but I think there is honor in defending the innocent. Who am I to say what would be better? Act like sitting ducks? Or, take up arms and be ready to defend oneself?

There’s no easy answer, as I’ve said. I know God waits with open, loving arms for those slain. For those left to mourn, I pray they find peace and solace in knowing all will be well with God.

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We fed the elders tonight. Dinner was a little on the festive side – roast chicken, sweet potatoes, rolls, cranberry sauce, kale with cherries, etc.

First Things First

I think there is a good reason the First Amendment is the first one listed.  It is the basis for so many principles.

Today we got a notice from the town that our Romney sign is on an easement of our property between the sidewalk and the street.  I can understand that if it really interferes with traffic, but having a small political sign a couple of feet from the curb is hardly an issue.

How such a regulation crept in to law baffles me.  I can see how a 4 foot tall sign that close to the road could create a blind spot, but a 14-inch sign creates less of a visual impairment than a the stack of branches down the street.

It raises the question, “Would an Obama sign received the same notice?”

I’ll never know the answer to this question.

As a society it is time for us to take a step back and say, “Enough is enough”, and start un-doing some of our regulations and laws.  In this case, if a sign contributes to an accident, go after the person posting the sign, but don’t create a law that says you cannot place a sign in your own yard.  Now, if the town wants to take responsibility for that section of the lawn, fine!  Let them purchase it from the property owners, and let them maintain it.  Oh, but wait… that would require tax dollars.

I think you can see where such things lead, and if you can’t, let me spell it out…

Municipalities take property by eminent domain so they have control.  But, to take control, they raise taxes.  This becomes a vicious cycle.  Before long, you end up with very high taxes, lots of government controlled land going to waste, and disgruntled citizens.

There are two ways to govern a people – Authoritarianism (which has been where we’ve been heading – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authoritarianism) and Libertarianism (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarianism).  In the latter, people are taught correct principles and are allowed to govern themselves.

When you read the U.S. Constitution, you can see the document really leaned towards libertarianism, and over the past 230+ years we have drifted to being more and more authoritarian.  Our laws tell us the government doesn’t trust us to wear our seat belts, wear a helmet when we ride a motorcycle, save for retirement, take care of our poor, and so on.

And all this time, the U.S. Postal Service continues to lose money.

Hmmm…