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Joe and Jill Mormon...who controls our lives more?


Bsix

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Question: Who controls the life, choices, actions, money, etc. of a typical Latter Day Saint? The US government or the LDS Church?

I pondered this question as an offshoot of the thread about LDS control.

It seems to me that the US Government has more direct control and command over almost every aspect of our lives than the LDS Church has over its members.

The government has regulated, taxed, and forced its will upon our lives in ways that pale in comparison the the LDS Church.

That being the case, why are the critics of Mormonism not howling in protest over the actions of Big Brother? Why are they so focused on the rather begign efforts of the Church to inspire members to be better people?

Six

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I’m loyal to both the Church and our government. Our government is not perfect, but it nevertheless performs many vital functions for the benefit of all its citizens. Regulation and taxes are the price we pay to live in a civilized society. And taxes will most definitely need to be raised in order to pay off our huge deficit and balance the budget.

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There is nothing one sees from arising in the morning until long after he retires to bed that the government does not tax, regulate, control, restrict, or otherwise affect.

I defy anyone to identify anything even remotely parallel about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Lehi

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I’m loyal to both the Church and our government.

When I swore an oath "to uphold and defend", it was not to uphold and defend the government, but the Constitution of the united States of America. I am a loyal citizen precisely because I object to those elements of the government that do not have any basis in the Document. Most of the acts of the government over the past 80 years fall into this category.

I am a loyal Saint. My oaths of allegiance directed toward her are intact and, in many respects more importantly, voluntary.

Lehi

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When I swore an oath "to uphold and defend", it was not to uphold and defend the government, but the Constitution of the united States of America. I am a loyal citizen precisely because I object to those elements of the government that do not have any basis in the Document. Most of the acts of the government over the past 80 years fall into this category.

I am a loyal Saint. My oaths of allegiance directed toward her are intact and, in many respects more importantly, voluntary.

Lehi

I am also a loyal citizen and saint, thank you. I just don’t subscribe to conservative tea-party ideology. That does not make me any less worthy of a Church member or less patriotic to the Constitution.

I happen to like the many services that government provides – at the federal, state, and local levels. It includes everything from Medicare and Social Security, as well as things like interstate highways, national parks, local rec-centers, air traffic controllers, public education, the Environmental Protection Agency, high-speed rail on Amtrak, the local police and fire departments, code enforcement, and so forth. I gladly pay my taxes for these services that all contribute to make our nation a better place.

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I am also a loyal citizen and saint, thank you. I just don’t subscribe to conservative tea-party ideology. That does not make me any less worthy of a Church member or less patriotic to the Constitution.

I happen to like the many services that government provides – at the federal, state, and local levels. It includes everything from Medicare and Social Security, as well as things like interstate highways, national parks, local rec-centers, air traffic controllers, public education, the Environmental Protection Agency, high-speed rail on Amtrak, the local police and fire departments, code enforcement, and so forth. I gladly pay my taxes for these services that all contribute to make our nation a better place.

I don't think anyone's equating the tea-party with worthy church membership or patriotism. I'm also certain that your approval of the government providing services does not mean you're not worthy of a temple recommend.

But the provision of services by the government is an arguable proposition; and there's lots of room for argument. Here's some of mine.

It is true that government provides many services. However, some folks such as me believe that it provides far too many services, and over-reaches its actual authority as expressed in the Constitition. Should the government be permitted to do anything at all, just as long as you happen to like it? Or should the government be limited to keeping within its own fundamental law? Because if the Founders went to all that trouble to limit the government to certain enumerated powers as expressed in the Constitution, then how can we then turn around and say that the government can nevertheless do anything that is "nice"?

Even assuming that the government should do all the things you like it to do, can you say that it does all of them well? Medicare and Social Security are bankrupt; their unfunded liabilities run in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Amtrak loses in the neighborhood of $1 billion per year, and the Post Office loses over $4 billion per year. You might be happy to pay to subsidize these money-squandering institutions, but maybe some others aren't. But worse than money-losing service organizations is one that isn't expected to make a profit, but is vital to our national future, and that is education. And unfortunately, by and large, public education is a miserable failure, evidenced by the horrifying high school dropout rate, and the fact this country's public schools rank well below those of many other countries that don't spend anywhere near as much on them as we do.

Much of what government does could probably be provided by the private sector more efficiently with less cost. And it is also possible that some of what the government does shouldn't be performed at all! I think perhaps that the tea-party is of the feeling that after decades of demonstrating that it screws up much of what it does do, perhaps it should try to keep within what it seems to have actual authority and competence to do, and let the private sector try to provide the rest.

Incidentally, some of the services you mention are in fact perfectly Constitutional for the Federal government to do. For instance the Air Traffic Control system and the Highway System. These are clearly within the bounds of "the common welfare" and the Commerce clauses. Police and fire services are clearly within local government competence and Constitutionality. Code enforcement could be provided by the private sector or by government (though if by the private sector it would still have to have governmental oversight). And recreation centers? Purely a local matter, and clearly within the authority of local government to provide, if it wants, though historically recreational facilities have also been successfully provided by the private sector, too.

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I would say that although the mail system does not make money, it is extremely good for a government run program, and I appreciate it much.

Best Wishes,

TAO :)

Oh, I agree. In fact, the Constitution provides authority for a postal system operated by the federal government. The Feds cut it loose hyears ago oping it would at least break even, but of course it hasn't, probably because it is being run like a government program, with no regard for costs. Then, too, the union doesn't help, either.

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I believe the LDS Church holds more water for me than the U.S. Government, but the reality is that the U.S. Government and the Constitution are actually very important to the Church. I believe the LDS Church is far more patriotic than another certain other door-to-door group.

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I am happy to say that the US Government does not in any way control my life.

All Hail King Harper!

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Well, how about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – which regulates and supervises the safety of the food we eat, as well as things like tobacco products, dietary supplements, prescription and over-the counter drugs, vaccines, medical devices, and cosmetics?

Or how about the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation – which helps to bring water to the thirsty western states (which also happen to have large LDS populations) through building and maintaining dams, powerplants, and canals?

Is the U.S. Government perfect? No. But nevertheless it performs many vital functions for our country, and I have a hard time understanding why some say that they feel no sense of loyalty to our government. Like it or not, the government influences nearly every facet of our lives – the list could go on and on. Sometimes it is for the better and sometimes it is for the worse. But I happen to believe that many times it is for the better.

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Well, how about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – which regulates and supervises the safety of the food we eat, as well as things like tobacco products, dietary supplements, prescription and over-the counter drugs, vaccines, medical devices, and cosmetics?

Yeah, how about that?!? Phen-Fen, Vioxx, and a host of other examples. Glad we have a bunch of bureaucrats looking out for our drug safety.

E-Coli anyone? Eat your spinach.

Effectively outlawing raw milk (which has virtually no evidence of harming people in the recent past: I grew up with it fifty years ago —milked the cow myself), and imposing pasteurized/homogenized "milk-flavered poison" in its place.

Taking years to allow people effective treatment for terminal diseases.

There are, as I understand it, frequent attempts to regulate vitamin C and other supplements for no reason other than to assure that people must go to their doctor to buy aspirin.

Yeah, glad we have the FDA to protect us from ourselves (not to mention how they protect the pharmaceutical industry's profits).

Or how about the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation – which helps to bring water to the thirsty western states (which also happen to have large LDS populations) through building and maintaining dams, powerplants, and canals

You act as if these things would not have been undertaken with out governmental interference. If they made sense, they would have been. After all, the LDS pioneers of the 1840s~90s dug their own canals and built their own dams.

Most power plants in USmerica are privately owned, and PG&E, in California, before all this government trash, built them by the dozens.

The water wars of the West are just one example of governmental failure to manage a scarce resource. LA always demands more water, and wants agriculture to cut back so they can water their lawns more often. And, given the votes are in the cities, the politically oriented Bureau of Reclamation gives in. And please don't get started on the Snail Darter, or Spotted Owl (that nests quite happily in a K-Mart sign, but must have thousands of square miles of "Old Growth Forest" to survive).

Is the U.S. Government perfect? No. But nevertheless it performs many vital functions for our country, and I have a hard time understanding why some say that they feel no sense of loyalty to our government. Like it or not, the government influences nearly every facet of our lives – the list could go on and on. Sometimes it is for the better and sometimes it is for the worse. But I happen to believe that many times it is for the better.

And I, among many others who've taken the time to reflect on both the seen (what government has done) and the unseen (what government has stopped from being done), arrive at a very different conclusion.

Government does very little well, and almost nothing better than private enterprise could do. Monopolies, always a government function even when privately run, do not use the resources well, and government monopolies are last even in this class of losers.

No our government is not perfect. But not seeing that it is much more detrimental than positive seems to require rose-colored glasses, usually supplied by the youth indoctrination centers commonly called "public" schools.

Lehi

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Lehi,

You and I have very different views about the proper roles and functions of government, as well as the good or harm those functions cause for society. I suppose neither one of us will convince each other. And that is fine with me. I respect your views. I only ask for the same in return from you. I don’t appreciate it when I get the connotation that I’m less worthy of a Church member or less loyal or patriotic to the Constitution because of my views. Maybe that was not your intention – but I frequently get that vibe around Church members who have viewpoints similar to your own.

Best wishes,

Sky

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You and I have very different views about the proper roles and functions of government, as well as the good or harm those functions cause for society.

My opinion is based on the Constitution which God caused to be written by wise men He raised up for this very purpose.

I can't imagine what others base their opinions on.

I suppose neither one of us will convince each other. And that is fine with me.

You're probably right about this. Would that it were different.

I respect your views. I only ask for the same in return from you. I don’t appreciate it when I get the connotation that I’m less worthy of a Church member or less loyal or patriotic to the Constitution because of my views.

I can't see how the expansive roles arrogated by the government fit at all with the Constitution as written nor as intended by those who wrote it.

I have tried. No one who shares your view has been able to show the first basis for those beliefs.

Maybe that was not your intention – but I frequently get that vibe around Church members who have viewpoints similar to your own.

It is not my intention.

What I hope to do is explain that freedom is more important than security; that liberty is the point of the government outlined in the Constitution. Big, invasive government, government that does all the things you outlined leads in a different direction. We were not born to be slaves, and especially not slaves of the state.

Lehi

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