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Pres. Oaks and "Black lives matter"


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7 hours ago, stemelbow said:

No.  The teachings from churches, Christian ones, got us in this mess to begin with.

The best to bring peace and unity is something along the lines of secular humanism.  

It is a sad reality that tribalism and xenophobia are literally in our DNA. They have survival value. Fighting them has to be done in each generation.

“Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late.” -Thomas Sowell

 

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These are scary times. We are going backwards. I'm glad the church put this out, or that Oaks gave this talk but he may not know how much is needed to prevent going back to the way it was or worse. Scared to death. 

https://radiowest.kuer.org/post/director-daniel-lombroso-goes-inside-racist-right

 

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9 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Scared to death. 

You are?  About what?

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2 hours ago, Calm said:

You are?  About what?

Everything right now. White supremacy, for one. And with leaders that allow it. Civil unrest, climate change and the earth changes, things that caused the dinosaurs extinction might be coming our way. Mainly though is how well we all deal with what is coming down. The hospital's not able to care for so many situations, lack of health personnel to address all the needs. Another war and we will be the target. Lawlessness, core values going away. Fear that the virus will control all our lives and never go away. Loss of jobs, dreams not doable any longer. Families divided over political reasons. Hoping to be a strong and a supportive person. Fear of wanting the easy way out.

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9 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Everything right now. White supremacy, for one. And with leaders that allow it. Civil unrest, climate change and the earth changes, things that caused the dinosaurs extinction might be coming our way. Mainly though is how well we all deal with what is coming down. The hospital's not able to care for so many situations, lack of health personnel to address all the needs. Another war and we will be the target. Lawlessness, core values going away. Fear that the virus will control all our lives and never go away. Loss of jobs, dreams not doable any longer. Families divided over political reasons. Hoping to be a strong and a supportive person. Fear of wanting the easy way out.

Breathe, Tacenda.  There have been bad times before.  Worst ones.  We survived.  We will again as well as when the next time disasters hit.

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5 hours ago, Calm said:

Breathe, Tacenda.  There have been bad times before.  Worst ones.  We survived.  We will again as well as when the next time disasters hit.

I needed that, thanks!!  That's what happens to me in the middle of the night, drama! Thank goodness the sun rises and we get to start over. 

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6 hours ago, Calm said:

Breathe, Tacenda.  There have been bad times before.  Worst ones.  We survived.  We will again as well as when the next time disasters hit.

The scriptures testify that the great and terrible period of tribulation that was prophesied by the Savior — the worse period of tribulation for the saints of God that ever was or ever will be — is going to inevitably take place at some point in time. Speaking of this time of terrible tribulation the Savior declared that the only thing that will save the people of God at that day will be his Second Coming when he will rescue his people by utterly destroying the wicked at his coming.

As far back as 1988, President Benson warned the Church that the gigantic worldwide secret combination, prophesied by the prophet Moroni in the Book of Ether, that would be set up by the devil to destroy the freedom of every “land, nation, and country” in the last days, was, even then, gaining power and control over the nations of the world,, including the United States. In light of President Benson’s prophetic declaration that Moroni’s dire prophesy was in the process of being fulfilled in 1988, what makes you so sure that thirty-two years after President Benson’s initial warning that we’re not entering the period when the Lord warned us that peace would be taken from the earth, the saints of God would be persecuted like never before, and the cataclysmic judgements of the Almighty would be poured out without measure on a world that is very obviously ripening in iniquity?

It’s so very clear to me that we’re entering the period of the great tribulation of the last days, when modern-day Gadianton robbers fill the judgement seats and the divinely inspired Constitution of the United States is hanging by a thread, that I’m, quite frankly, astonished other members of the Church can’t discern the perfectly obvious signs of the times.

“I testify that wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. (See D&C 1:14–16; D&C 84:49–53.) It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world. (See Ether 8:18–25.)” (Ezra Taft Benson, I Testify, October General Conference 1988)

 

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18 hours ago, smac97 said:

Here:

A few thoughts:

1. Over all, very cool.

2. I have struggled with the "Black Lives Matter" organization, which seems deeply problematic.  See, e.g.:

3. I think the sentiment of "Black lives matter" is axiomatically true.  It is, or should be, as Pres. Oaks put it, a "universally accepted message."  The difficulty has arisen where, again as Pres. Oaks put it, this message is "sometimes used or understood to stand for other things that do not command universal support."

4. I am happy to see Pres. Oaks reiterate Pres. Nelson's General Conference address, the “powerful doctrinal condemnation of racism and prejudice."  It is also pleasing to see Pres. Oaks reiterating Pres. Nelson's call “to lead out in abandoning attitudes and actions of prejudice."  I found it particularly noteworthy that Pres. Oaks characterized Pres. Nelson's remarks as a call for us "to repent, to change and to improve."  Such universal calls generally should invoke introspection in all of us.

5. Any thoughts from y'all?

Thanks,

-Smac

Implicit in the phrase as it is used by followers of the movement who take it as their banner is the insinuation that one does NOT accept it as axiomatically true. I find that presumptuous and a tad insulting if not inherently divisive. 
 

It is also rife with the implication that if one does not accept all aspects of the movement (such as the demand to “defund the police” or the incessant assertion that American institutions and culture are “systemically racist”), one can automatically be regarded as rejecting the sentiment that black lives matter. 

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18 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Another black man was shot. He deserved some retaliation for wielding a knife, but why all they gunshots. Why not a shot in the leg to disable him? Something needs to be done. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/black-man-shot-dead-police-philadelphia-sparking-heated-protests-n1244888

I understand the predicament police are in, I wish there were some answers. Has it always been this way, and we're just seeing more footage because of cell phones?

People have already pointed out the probs with shooting non-lethally. Which is also likelh why the question isn’t about the shooting and so many shots...but rather why they didn’t go for tazing first. From what i read there wasn’t a big attempt for non-lethal management of the situation, which is the big problem with a lot of policing tactics in minority communities especially and policing in general. The tendency towards quick escalation by police. 

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16 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Have the teachings of various faiths been pressed into service to support causes that they should not support?  Yes.  But it would be one of the most egregious instances imaginable of throwing the baby out with the bathwater to say that this is a valid reason for jettisoning faith altogether.  Churches were at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement.  To say otherwise is to ignore history and to denigrate the contributions of The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., The Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, and too many others to list.  Were there religious leaders on the "wrong" side of history, opposing the Civil Rights Movement?  Certainly.  That's why Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. penned his Letter from Birmingham Jail.  Arguably, secular humanism is what has led, by contrast, to violence in the streets.  If necessary, peaceful, nonviolent resistance is, by far, the better way to go.

Certainly as our secular developed reason following certain principles like those from the Enlightenment beats against the dogma of religion, progress has been made.  But it's certainly not because of the dogma of religion.  It is because the outside world defeated the dogma that religion prized.  It certainly wasn't because of religion but in spite of religion.  

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16 hours ago, strappinglad said:

Sure , because that has worked out so well in Russia and China over the last 100 years. Oh sorry, I forgot . Secular humanism has never been properly practiced any where or when. If only people would seek the best interests of their neighbors and not themselves. If only there was a rule about that . 

Russia and China based their society on dogma, much like religious dogma.  They are anathema to secular humanist ideals, on that basis.  Oddly the societies you mention were based on the type of dogma that infects religion.  They are essentially religion.  

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12 hours ago, RevTestament said:

The true gospel is what will finally bring peace to the earth ... so that we will call every man under the fig tree his neighbor.

I understand that would be one's hope.  Of course, the old adage is the definition of insanity is to keep doing that which isn't working hoping it'll work, or some such thing.  Chiristianity and it's gospel has been around a long time.  It's about time we acknowledge it's role in the division we have seen.  Our best approach would be a secular humanist mindset.  Sure, as religion drops its old dogma and adopts that "world's" views more and more, religion becomes more palatable and useful.  That is good.  But it also means religion loses itself.  Its not religion anymore, if that time ever comes.  

12 hours ago, RevTestament said:

In this regard it is really sad what the Gentile churches have done to the gospel by their misinterpretations... So to a certain extent you are right... they have caused confusion and a mess. They excused and even promoted slavery. They have persecuted the truth, because they have been blinded by the teachings of men. I am not excusing "orthodoxy" in this regard either. "Orthodoxy" promoted numerous wars.

Sadly, not even the peace of the millennium will last. Your belief that secular humanism can lead to a utopia is pie in the sky.

The LDS Church has, of course, been a cause of much of the division, fighting peace and unity.  I'm not sure what you think you have.  

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19 hours ago, smac97 said:

Here:

A few thoughts:

1. Over all, very cool.

2. I have struggled with the "Black Lives Matter" organization, which seems deeply problematic.  See, e.g.:

3. I think the sentiment of "Black lives matter" is axiomatically true.  It is, or should be, as Pres. Oaks put it, a "universally accepted message."  The difficulty has arisen where, again as Pres. Oaks put it, this message is "sometimes used or understood to stand for other things that do not command universal support."

4. I am happy to see Pres. Oaks reiterate Pres. Nelson's General Conference address, the “powerful doctrinal condemnation of racism and prejudice."  It is also pleasing to see Pres. Oaks reiterating Pres. Nelson's call “to lead out in abandoning attitudes and actions of prejudice."  I found it particularly noteworthy that Pres. Oaks characterized Pres. Nelson's remarks as a call for us "to repent, to change and to improve."  Such universal calls generally should invoke introspection in all of us.

5. Any thoughts from y'all?

Thanks,

-Smac

Some opinions:

Those things that do not command universally support of course are to be settled in the public square, civilly and law-abidingly.

The Gospel is ultimately the key for the eradication of racism when translated into public and private policy, which people generally fall into line with (although die-hards might take until the third or fourth generation, and unfortunately, there are some in power for whom racism serves in maintaining their status quo, consciously or not). I take “The Gospel” in this case to loosely refer to all its forms; in our last conference Elder Christofferson spoke of the generally unrecognized but operative “Light of Christ” in both secular and religious matters.

There is a 1967 talk or two by Elder Benson that identifies the problems of bad actors co-opting a good cause (in his case, communists infiltrating the civil rights movement to the detriment of blacks). It is interesting to me that the same thing applies today with the BLM movement. I like to point out that the Genesis Group formed not many years after these talks, evidently when not enough saints warned their black friends (as exhorted). It shows how the Church very well ahead of the times, having created such a “safe space” to fellow ship without being neither segregated nor assimilated.

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57 minutes ago, BlueDreams said:

People have already pointed out the probs with shooting non-lethally. Which is also likelh why the question isn’t about the shooting and so many shots...but rather why they didn’t go for tazing first. From what i read there wasn’t a big attempt for non-lethal management of the situation, which is the big problem with a lot of policing tactics in minority communities especially and policing in general. The tendency towards quick escalation by police. 

We need non-lethal solution that protect the lives of all involved. Protect the police from harm as they seek to protect the public and to protect the individual that is targeted for potential wrong doing. Surely we have reached a point where other solutions can be produced except those of a lethal nature.

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19 hours ago, smac97 said:

Here:

A few thoughts:

1. Over all, very cool.

2. I have struggled with the "Black Lives Matter" organization, which seems deeply problematic.  See, e.g.:

3. I think the sentiment of "Black lives matter" is axiomatically true.  It is, or should be, as Pres. Oaks put it, a "universally accepted message."  The difficulty has arisen where, again as Pres. Oaks put it, this message is "sometimes used or understood to stand for other things that do not command universal support."

4. I am happy to see Pres. Oaks reiterate Pres. Nelson's General Conference address, the “powerful doctrinal condemnation of racism and prejudice."  It is also pleasing to see Pres. Oaks reiterating Pres. Nelson's call “to lead out in abandoning attitudes and actions of prejudice."  I found it particularly noteworthy that Pres. Oaks characterized Pres. Nelson's remarks as a call for us "to repent, to change and to improve."  Such universal calls generally should invoke introspection in all of us.

5. Any thoughts from y'all?

Thanks,

-Smac

This quote is getting big traction among my lds friends big in the lds minority communities. A lot of us were really wanting some acknowledgement of the rightness of at least the basic idea of black lives matter. Having that in any form can be extremely helpful for us who support the a BLM movement when talking to many of our church folks and fam who may be more leer of BLM, usually based on articles like the ones you’ve linked to.

speaking of which, on your links and in general i think it’s extremely important to find a balance of voices. I may have missed one, but all the links i clicked on come from right leaning sources and with a high variability in their scores for accurate reporting. I’m not saying people can’t read left or right oriented news. But if all or even the vast majority of their sources are coming solely from the right or the left, there’s likely a lot of the story they’re missing, unchecked blindspots, and misleading claims and assumptions. When there’s low factual ratings you can’t even fully trust that what your reading IS fact to begin with. That’s a big problem. And personally i think it’s a problem that’s been fueling a lot of the animosity our society feels towards each other right now in general...but that’s a different topic. On BLM as a movement specifically, that’s a problem because the right, as a whole have been farrrr more leery of the movement well before this summer for varying reasons. Whereas in most black communities BLM is heavily supported indicating that at the very least part of the message and cause rings true and real to much of the community. And whatever flaws there are not big enough to outweigh the righteousness of the cause for black people. In this, you’ll likely miss the perspectives on BLM that probably matter the most: black voices and specifically black voice more representative of said communities. 
 

Personally, this summer when my heart was at it’s lowest concering BLM, police violence and our nation’s issues surrounding this, God was a comfort. Specifically the BoM. Themes of equity in justice and it’s role in peace and interpreting/implementing the law rung true to me and gave me both an assurance that god was aware of my pain and that there was hope for a better path forward. I wish i could find this one part in particular but it alludes me ever since i read it. Basically it was that as the law applied equally to all people, including those expected to maintain/enforce the law, the greater the peace there was. Before a prophet or an apostle had  done enough work to say BLM. God was saying it for me. And that’s what i needed most. 
 

There is still a lot of work we in the church and in the US branch of it specifically need to do when it comes to race. But i do think Oak’s statement was generally a good step forward. 

 

with luv, 

BD

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10 hours ago, The Nehor said:

It is a sad reality that tribalism and xenophobia are literally in our DNA. They have survival value. Fighting them has to be done in each generation.

“Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late.” -Thomas Sowell

This is so -- I've seen it in my own multi-racial family. We were amused (mostly, but it makes the point) when a lighter-skinned great grandchild (18 months or so) had this appalled expression toward his dark-skinned great grandmother in a large family photo. Lack of exposure and familiarity are processed as fear (fight/flight), translated into racism on an infantile and reptilian level of human social development.

On the other hand, our brand of racism in the USA, hottest against blacks, was intentionally introduced into the policies of the slave trade, post Civil War compromises, and insidiously retrained for hundreds of years and into our modern society. That shows survival value as well, perhaps in a more economic sense.

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

It is also rife with the implication that if one does not accept all aspects of the movement (such as the demand to “defund the police” or the incessant assertion that American institutions and culture are “systemically racist”), one can automatically be regarded as rejecting the sentiment that black lives matter. 

President Oaks addresses the reality of systemic racism in his talk, actually:

Quote

There are many examples of racism in recent American history. The examples most familiarly reported by the media today are those that victimize Black Americans. These include the police brutality and other systemic discrimination in employment and housing publicized recently. Racism is still recognizable in official and personal treatment of Latinos and Native Americans.

 

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18 hours ago, stemelbow said:

It was good, except this last line:

No.  The teachings from churches, Christian ones, got us in this mess to begin with.

The best to bring peace and unity is something along the lines of secular humanism.  

I think secular humanism has some interesting ideas in the abstract, but in practice...

It's also not particularly coherent.  Elder Dallin H. Oaks addressed it a bit in 2015:

Quote

The rejection of an unprovable God and the denial of right and wrong are most influential in the world of higher education. Secular humanism, a branch of humanism probably so labeled because of its strong alignment with secularism, is deliberately or inadvertently embodied in the teachings of faculty members in many colleges and universities.

For religious people, the objectionable element in the various humanist philosophies is their rejection of the existence of God and their denial of the moral absolutes rooted in His commandments. Thus, the 1973 Humanist Manifesto rejected “traditional moral codes” and “traditional dogmatic or authoritarian religions that place revelation, God, ritual, or creed above human needs and experience.” It further declared, “We can discover no divine purpose … for the human species. … Humans are responsible for what we are or will become. No deity will save us; we must save ourselves.”3

Of course, adherents of humanism, called humanists, have made many positive contributions. For example, they have supported democracy, human rights, education, and material progress. So long as these advancements do not exclude believers, our issue with humanists is their rejection of divine authority and values.

As former BYU philosophy professor Chauncey Riddle has written, “Humanism makes a man to be god, the supreme being, and the educated human mind becomes the arbiter of all that is true, good and beautiful.” He also reminds us that humanism “enjoys good press in the world today because most of the writers, publishers, scholars and media people are of this persuasion.”

Many who deny or doubt the existence of God would probably disclaim the philosophy of moral relativism. They would see themselves as having some external standards of right and wrong, though absolute standards not based on belief in God are difficult to explain. Secular humanists, who formally reject “traditional religious morality” and declare their reliance on “the tests of scientific evidence,” seem to fulfill a Book of Mormon prophecy of those “who live without God in the world” (Mosiah 27:31).

Yep.

Secular humanism is the ultimate have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too philosophy.  It accepts the law, but rejects the lawgiver.  It's tantamount to being an ardent admirer and devotee the works of Shakespeare, while simultaneously insisting that these works were not authored by Shakespeare or anyone else.  They just . . . are.  They sprang into existence somehow.  

Secular humanism can only exist an a pluralistic-but-still-predicated-on-judeo-christian-ethos society.  It relies on the very bedrock it rejects: an external and superior arbiter of right and wrong.  It then proceeds to arrogate that role for themselves.  It wants all of the rights and benefits arising from morality, but wants to remain at liberty to reject any responsibilities or constraints that are bothersome or inconvenient or socially unpopular.

Having said that, I affirm the right of secular humanists to believe as they like, and to share what they believe.  Alma 30:7-9 puts it well:

Quote

Now there was no law against a man's belief; for it was strictly contrary to the commands of God that there should be a law which should bring men on to unequal grounds. For thus saith the scripture: Choose ye this day, whom ye will serve. Now if a man desired to serve God, it was his privilege; or rather, if he believed in God it was his privilege to serve him; but if he did not believe in him there was no law to punish him.

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

 

The LDS Church has, of course, been a cause of much of the division, fighting peace and unity.  I'm not sure what you think you have.  

Bilge water. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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19 hours ago, Calm said:

A leg is just not that easy to hit.  Don't believe all those movies and tv shows where people can hit the knee cap every time.   It tends to be in more motion than the trunk (it moves forward and back in relation to the body while the trunk moves forward) A leg is not that big, pants may confuse where it actually is and a graze might not cripple them.  It would have to tear up enough muscle or break bone to disable.  Pain is not always enough.

They aim for center mass so they are more likely to hit something, anything.

Added:  smac not only got there first, but much better detail.

It is far easier to shoot the gun out of the perp’s hand. They do it all the time in the movies and on tv.

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39 minutes ago, pogi said:

President Oaks addresses the reality of systemic racism in his talk, actually:

 

In this remark, President Oaks was explicitly addressing “recent history.” I don’t get from this that one is bound to accept that today’s culture and institutions are “systemically racist.” Occasional incidents don’t make the case for there being “systemic” racism. 
 

There is widespread looting and arson going on just now, far too much of it. From this, are we to conclude that America is “systemically” lawless and anarchist? 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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23 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

In this remark, President Oaks was explicitly addressing “recent history.” I don’t get from this that one is bound to accept that today’s culture and institutions are “systemically racist.” Occasional incidents don’t make the case for there being “systemic” racism. 
 

There is widespread looting and arson going on just now, far too much of it. From this, are we to conclude that America is “systemically” lawless and anarchist? 

Like it or not, he said it was "systemic".  He was commenting that racism is still evident, even in recent history as evidenced by "systemic discrimination".   He didn't say "occasional incidents" (those are your words), he said "systemic discrimination".  He even went as far as to say that racism is evident on the "official" (not just personal) level.

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1 hour ago, Storm Rider said:

We need non-lethal solution that protect the lives of all involved. Protect the police from harm as they seek to protect the public and to protect the individual that is targeted for potential wrong doing. Surely we have reached a point where other solutions can be produced except those of a lethal nature.

Most things that can disable or incapacitate a person also have the potential of lethality.

Also, tasers are not always the answer. For example, thick clothing makes them less effective.

Quote

APM Reports found more than 250 cases across the country where police shot and killed people after a Taser proved ineffective — over just a three-year period. These incidents accounted for about 1 in 12 fatal shootings by U.S. police between 2015 and 2017.

https://www.npr.org/2019/06/27/729922975/despite-widespread-use-police-rate-tasers-as-less-effective-than-believed

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14 minutes ago, pogi said:

Like it or not, he said it was "systemic".  He was commenting that racism is still evident, even in recent history as evidenced by "systemic discrimination".   He didn't say "occasional incidents" (those are your words), he said "systemic discrimination".  He even went as far as to say that racism is evident on the "official" (not just personal) level.

“Recent history” is, by definition, referring to the past, not the present. 
 

And “recent” is an ambiguous descriptor. Comparatively speaking, it could refer to the days before the civil rights movement of the 1960s. From a historian’s perspective, that is fairly recent, definitely within my lifetime and vivid in my memory. 
 

I haven’t yet read the talk in its entirety. Did President Oaks say there is systemic racism prevalent in America right now?

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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