May 21st, 2012

Why I Have (Largely) Given Up on the Federal Government

Over the past year I’ve come to two realizations that are driving some important actions in my life that will manifest themselves in the months and years ahead.

The first is that the federal government is beyond repair. This country is so deep in debt, so far astray from the Constitution, so uneducated on the principles of liberty, so controlled by centralized power and corrupt deals, and so unwilling to take the steps to reverse course, that its future is looking increasingly grim. Whether the future brings a crisis event such as a monetary collapse or military attack, or whether we simply will be gradually subjected to yet further federal tyranny, the direction has long been consistent and unrelenting. The United States of America is headed in the direction of disaster. I think this general observation is pretty much indisputable.

The second realization is that my time and energy are largely wasted when focused on trying to help fix it. For every good bill that passes through Congress—after expending significant time, money, and political capital—hundreds of bad ones fly through with little notice and even less controversy. It’s like trying to build a dam in the Mississippi river one twig at a time. Any progress that is made is quickly swept away in the overpowering and rapid current heading exactly where you don’t want it to go.

Still, those successes—few in number though they be—should be praised. We should also, I think, continue to try and elect pro-liberty candidates who are crazy enough to be willing to jump into the federal fray and attempt to solve some of the myriad problems which exist. One need only talk to a handful of congressional aides and federal employees, though, before realizing that the establishment against which such elected officials are opposed is immensely powerful and incredibly difficult to tweak even in the slightest degree. The chance of such candidates making much of a difference is unfortunately slim.

When I say that I’ve given up on the federal government, I’m not suggesting that I will become completely disengaged from or indifferent to what occurs. It’s not as if this government is not continually taxing me, sending my neighbors to die in faraway lands, claiming control over nearly aspect of my life, and overpowering the state government which theoretically stands between us. We all are intimately affected by the federal government, and so I will remain interested in and opposed to most of what they currently do.

Giving up on them means, rather, that I won’t be focusing my energies primarily on changing things at the federal level. The odds are in the house’s favor, after all, and if you happen to win a hand, a security detail intimidatingly stands behind you as you cheer your small victory, simply to remind you who is in control. Still supporting others who choose to deal directly with our problems at the federal level, I now spend most of my time and energy at the state level.

I do so for one specific reason: if we are to gain any victories in substantially restraining the federal government, they will be realized through state-based opposition, rather than trying to get the federal government to restrain itself. Token victories and small successes are not enough to actually turn the tide of federal tyranny. The best hope that exists in our current system is to work through the state governments to reject unconstitutional legislative and bureaucratic mandates from the national government. Asking the feds to please play nicely and follow the rules has rarely, if ever, worked; the states must be utilized, as they were intended, to “erect barriers at the constitutional line,” as Thomas Jefferson wrote.

This is no easy task. It requires a legislature, a governor, and an attorney general with spines sufficiently strong to take a stand and deal with the consequences. It requires a people who are informed of their individual rights, the Constitution, and the principles of moral government. But these are things that are much more manageable at the state level. Communicating with, persuading, pressuring, and/or replacing somebody in state government is far more achievable and realistic than working to do the same at the federal level.

Working at the state level is necessary not only to more effectively ensure that the federal government is appropriately restrained, but also to improve the internal affairs of the state. Utah and every other state has plenty of laws on the books which are absolutely anti-liberty and must be repealed. Something about cleansing the inner vessel comes to mind.

If this country is to be spared from the consequences of its current course, it will be done from the bottom up, not the top down. The federal government will not voluntarily nor willingly surrender the power it has acquired over the past century, even if there exists within its ranks a few principled patriots trying to stack their twigs in the rushing river. With apologies to Ghandi, I believe that we must be the change we want to see in our government. And we can manifest that change far more effectively at the local and state levels than we can by gravitating to the federal level and becoming easily lost in the fray. The tide is both more shallow and weak in the state, and therefore one’s efforts to build a dam to restrain the river of regulations is more likely to be successful.

This isn’t a defeatist attitude. Rather, it is a recognition of how and where practical solutions and feasible outcomes might actually be achieved. I applaud (though question the sanity of) those who have more hope and optimism for fixing the national government. I simply do not share that view nor think it realistic. I will, at times, support or oppose a candidate for federal office, or advocate for or against a bill. But where my goal is to effect change and increase individual liberty for myself and those around me, I feel that my time and energy is best spent at a more local level.

In 1840, Virginia statesman Abel Upshur penned a response to Judge Joseph Story’s Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States. Upshur’s writings contain many passionate and persuasive arguments for what today is generally referred to as “state’s rights.” Some of his words are eerily prescient and directly relate to the thoughts I’ve expressed here:

So far as (the federal) government is concerned, I venture to predict that it will become absolute and irresponsible, precisely in proportion as the rights of the States shall cease to be respected, and their authority to interpose for the correction of federal abuses shall be denied and overthrown. It should be the object of every patriot in the United States to encourage a high respect for the State governments. The people should be taught to regard them as their greatest interest, and as the first objects of their duty and affection. Maintained in their just rights and powers, they form the true balance-wheel, the only effectual check on federal encroachments.

The danger is, not that the States will interpose too often, but that they will rather submit to federal usurpations, than incur the risk of embarrassing that government, by any attempts to check and control it.

That danger has become our reality. It is a reality I will be working to change in the coming years. Expect good things to come.

49 Responses to “Why I Have (Largely) Given Up on the Federal Government”

  1. Jeremy Nicoll
    May 21, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    “I applaud (though question the sanity of) those who have more hope and optimism for fixing the national government.”

    I’ve been called crazy my whole life. :) I myself have little hope of fixing it, but that’s not going to stop me from trying.

  2. Jon
    May 21, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    Yes, I’ve given up on government entirely. I figure if even the local governments (like cities) are socialistic/fascistic what hope do I have with state and federal governments? Even talking to others about freedom and liberty I realize how far we need to go. So, I just start with my own family, firstly by not letting my children go to government indoctrination camps. I also try and teach others what freedom and liberty truly are. That is all my hope. I think it can change things quite a bit.

  3. Rob Holmes
    May 21, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    Thanks Connor. I’m arriving at the same conclusion. I live in Kansas. Like Utah, we are supposedly a “conservative” state but somehow Katheen Sebelius is a former governor and we have higher state taxes than any of our neighboring states. Change is starting to happen here and if the state senate shifts more conservative this Fall then things could really get cooking.

    What’s your advice for somebody who’s interested in getting involved at the state level. 10th amendment center? Local Republican party?

  4. Connor
    May 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

    What’s your advice for somebody who’s interested in getting involved at the state level. 10th amendment center?

    Yes, if your goal is to push back against the Feds. As for cleaning up house within the state, that will obviously vary from state to state depending on what organization exist, and have any influence, in helping to see that happen…

  5. Val
    May 21, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    I’m now at the point of seeking Galt’s Gulch. My only hesitance is that it seems so selfish. Someone needs to stay in the world and take the Gospel to those who are seeking it, but that requires a life that just seems so wearisome to travel given the current state of society. Oh to live among the truly free.

  6. JJL9
    May 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    Using the state to protect individual rights makes sense.

    Fighting a “states rights” battle to empower the state with authority that fall outside of the scope of the proper role of government does not make sense.

  7. Rod
    May 21, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    I believe the time is not too far distant when those who know, love, and teach true liberty will be spared to rebuild after the collapse. However it will not be the United States that is rebuilt. The “New Jerusualem” will rise out of the ashes and be the most incredible society since the City of Enoch.
    Therefore it is important to continue to fight for freedom at all levels. We know who wins in the end. I for one want to be on the right side when that time comes. LJ

  8. Kelly W.
    May 21, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

    We all know the cycle of the Book of Mormon wherein a humble, God-fearing people is blessed and prospered by the Lord. Then, pride takes hold and the rich no longer notice the sick and poor among them. Their riches then canker them, and their economic system fails. This economic failure tries to use war to stimulate the economy and the governing Secret Combinations are rooted out of society by a newly-humbled society that now turns to God instead of their own “arms of flesh.”

    We see this cycle now happening in our own world. Like President Hinckley stated: “The Book of Mormon is more accurate than your morning newspaper.” As Samuel the Lamanite prophesied from the wall, “your riches will become slippery; you will bury them in your back yard but in the morning they will be gone and you will not be able to find them.”

    As we see our riches become slippery in the current global economic disaster, we should use the Book of Mormon as our morning newspaper and realize that we are now at the bottom of that proverbial Book of Mormon pride cycle. We are really that close to having gone that full cycle. We will have very limited success in trying to reverse the direction of that cycle to try to bring society backwards to the top. History instead tells us that we are bound to witness the cycle going through its natural cycle to the end.

    At this point in our own pride cycle of the 2000’s, we really can see that it would be easier now to survive the economic failure, become humble and start serving God and keeping the commandments and then rebuilding our awful situation according to principles of the Constitution and the Law of Consecration than it would be to reform the corrupt Secret Combinations that now have sole management of the governments of the world. (Helaman 6:38 – 40)

  9. Rob
    May 21, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    After re-reading Daniels interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream I came to the realization that “The World” and all it’s violence is gonna end in a pile of rubble. The book of Revelations also describes the astonishment of the merchants as they look upon that destruction.

    As the world becomes more and more violent people will be compelled to be humble and acknowledge the Lords chastening hand. As the rough stone rolls down the mountain it will become polished, and at that point a people will be prepared to receive the Lord.

    “The Kingdom of God or Nothing!” The church’s position on things are correct. They don’t spend much (or any) time on national campaigns, protests, and lobbying. They spend their time passing out copies of “Proclamation on the Family” and teaching principles using unlearned missionaries. The Bottom up approach.

    Connor, your on the right path. You’ve changed your focus from Federal to State. I would like to make the humble submission to not stop there. Continue to the true bottom until you get to you and your family and focus all your energies on that.

    Continue to be aware of the Worlds problems for the purpose of being able to cry repentance to your children and direct contacts. When the winding up scene takes place, its the relationships you have with others and your standing before the Lord that matters, not some law.

    True “Bottom up” is taking the Holy Ghost as your companion.

  10. Andrea
    May 22, 2012 at 7:07 am #

    My musings: http://www.zpatriot.com/zpatriot/articles/72/the-voice-of-the-people-on-beh
    The only way to change is bottom up. When the voice of the people chose wickedness, the country is ripe for destruction. Trying to change things on a national level does not do nearly as much good as trying to change the hearts and minds of individuals.

  11. outside the corridor
    May 22, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    Agree.

    I’m just trying to change my family–

    get rid of the violence in our hearts, so we can no longer be held accountable for the violence overseas.

    Be self-reliant, work harder and harder and drop ‘deader’ at the end of the day–

    and don’t be accountable for taking from others–

    etc.

    Cherish the life within the family and don’t be held accountable for those who are taking life at any level–

    it’s all so very sad; it’s so hard. This is the ‘last days’, my ‘friends’–

    :(

  12. jpv
    May 22, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    I feel as disheartened about working at the state level (Utah) as I do the federal. Last session, the senate refused to even vote on a law protecting our natural right to be free from unconstitutional warrantless checkpoint searches.

    http://le.utah.gov/~2012/bills/hbillint/hb0140.htm

  13. MuchoBrento
    May 22, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    Connor-

    I couldn’t agree more. The federal government sheer weight is crushing itself, and there’s no use trying to get under it to prop it up. And like many on this thread, I look forward to the day when the government will crush under it’s own weight, because I know that there is a beautiful society to be born out of the ashes of what we have here currently.

    However, I feel a little saddened to hear a few on this thread (and who I believe represent the vast majority of our LDS friends) that are just “battening down the hatches” and getting ready for the disaster to happen. I will admit that this is MUCH better than living amongst the wicked (as some other of our LDS friends are doing). However, this doesn’t seem to be pleasant to the Lord; at least from how I read the scriptures.

    The scriptures remind us that we should not be “compelled in all things”, and to “anxiously be engaged in doing good” (D&C 58:26-29). We are also taught through the life and example of Captain Moroni the greatness in taking a stand for liberty. Remember how the scriptures describes what kind of man he was; that “if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.” (This reminds me of other teachings about the Millenium; that we must become a Zion-like people to usher in the Millenium, and not vice-versa).

    Finally, I am also reminded of the teachings of our modern day prophets that tell us that the war in heaven would continue here on the earth, and as such, it would be a war against those of us who would defend the principles of liberty versus those who would want a system that compels people into security.

    Again, to me, it doesn’t seem like it is pleasing to the Lord not to defend freedom and fight against those who desire to take it away. It seems insufficient to me to just try to live the commandments and let the world burn around us. Just my two cents.

  14. MuchoBrento
    May 22, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    Oh and in answer to the question, “What’s your advice for somebody who’s interested in getting involved at the state level?”

    I would suggest becoming a PC (a Precinct Committeeman) in your community. This is truly something that ANYbody can do, while it is vitally important for changing the corrupt system that we live in to get liberty minded individuals in these PC positions.

    http://becomeapc.com/become-a-pc/why-become-a-pc/

    (This is NOT my site. I am not affiliated with it. It is offered only to help my fellow liberty loving brothers and sisters out there get involved)

  15. Rob
    May 22, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    MuchoBrento, I agree with you completely. I am sorry to put your comments in my own words, we shouldn’t give up or have despair, etc…

    Where I think we should have some clarification is in How we accomplish the goal.

    We should be focused on love and gentle persuasion. I find it rather difficult to talk to people about freedom and liberty and all things of this nature if we cannot agree that all people are children of god, etc. There are more ways to sin than we can properly identify and for that reason I find that it is best to teach the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ with the hope that it will enable each individual to be guided by the spirit.

    I don’t see this as hunkering down or battening the hatches. What is more important in life than to teach people how to receive the gospel?

    I remember having this parable told to me about the world and our responsibility towards it.

    A man is walking on train tracks towards his destination and he see a train approach him head on, he decides it is best advised to change tracks instead of trying to stop the direction of that train to turn it around.

    Changing tracks is Zion.

    In this response to you, in no way am I taking offense or giving it, I find our discussion very spiritual and the points you’ve made enlightening.

  16. Andrea
    May 22, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    “And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just–yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened to them–therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God.”

    That’s what we’re saying. Bottom up.

  17. Jon
    May 22, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    Andrea hit it on the nail. How can we expect to get liberty and freedom when the majority neither understand, nor desire liberty and freedom. I figure we are on the right track when people accept and practice this single principle, that taxation by force is theft and that it is not OK to steal. When I tell people that now, some get offended or they reject the concept, even though it is a logical position and is supported by scripture.

    My mother-in-law had all her kids go to government schools, even though they talk politics and are very conservative they still come out confused, and one that I was talking to had a hard to accepting natural law (or God’s law). I think that is part of the reason why we need to get our kids out the indoctrination camps. Don’t get me wrong I don’t judge those who choose to put there kids in government schools, I think we all need to choose are battles and go from there. Just like the OP, he has chosen his battles in politics, which is important. I’ve chosen mine with my kids and trying to influence those around me and trying to get a good grasp of what freedom and liberty are. In the future I might do other things, like stop using credit cards (oh, but they are so convenient!).

  18. JL
    May 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    Connor and the others here are “aware.” Our responsibility as I see it, in addition to one’s family, is found in these words:

    “And let your preaching be the warning voice, every man to his neighbor, in mildness and in meekness” (Doctrine and Covenants 38:41).

    “Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:81).

    There are so many people who still have no idea what is going on in our government—at any level. The every man/person for himself/themselves mentality is endemic in our society.

    “His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter” (Isaiah 56:10–11).

    Thanks Connor for doing a great job sounding the watch-cry.

  19. MuchoBrento
    May 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

    I was just reading a talk from Ezra Taft Benson, and it is so pertinent to this thread that I’m posting a link. It is a FANTASTIC talk:

    http://www.spingola.com/not_commanded_in_all_things.htm

    Thanks and looking forward to interacting more with all of you!

  20. Jim Davis
    May 24, 2012 at 10:09 pm #

    Rob, I think I agree with the premise of your comments. I believe in taking a cleanse the inner vessel before cleansing the outer vessel approach to politics. But I just wanted to analyze one thing you wrote:

    “Continue to the true bottom until you get to you and your family and focus all your energies on that.”

    I disagree that “all your energies” should be focused on family alone. But by the simple fact of commenting on this blog you are already in agreement with me. We are not family or direct contacts but here you are using persuasion to influence us.

    Joseph Smith wrote:

    “A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race” (History of the Church, 4:227).

    So, in context of blessing our family with a testimony/zeal for liberty, we shouldn’t stop there. We should use our influence at any and all levels that we can. I think the argument of focusing energies at the bottom can be misapplied. For one, we shouldn’t stop at “direct contacts”. For another, even Connor was able to make a significant impact on the federal level by (in my opinion) nudging Utah’s GOP in Mike Lee’s favor. Minor victory for liberty? Sure. But Connor is one man. Imagine what we could do if more of us put forth the same amount of effort. What would have happened if Connor had the “Goliath-is-too-large-to-defeat” attitude during that campaign? Too many capable, liberty-loving people have been dormant for too long. We shouldn’t have a defeatist mentality.

    What I’m saying is that, in principle and strategically speaking, we shouldn’t give up on the large tasks just because they’re harder. Tactically speaking, though, I agree that a greater percentage and degree of our efforts should be spent influencing those most close to us.

  21. Jim Davis
    May 24, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

    Also, on a related note, Ezra Taft Benson addressed the apathetic tendencies of the saints to give up on the fight for freedom when he said:

    “Now Satan is anxious to neutralize the inspired counsel of the Prophet and hence keep the priesthood off-balance, ineffective and inert in the fight for freedom. He does this through diverse means including the use of perverse reasoning.

    For example, he will argue, “There is no need to get involved in the fight for freedom – all you need to do is live the gospel.” Of course this is a contradiction, because we cannot fully live the gospel and not be involved in the fight for freedom.

    We would not say to someone, “There is no need to be baptized – all you need to do is live the gospel.” That would be ridiculous because baptism is a part of the gospel.

    How would you have reacted if during the War in Heaven someone had said to you, “Look, just do what’s right, there is no need to get involved in the fight for free agency.” Now it is obvious what the devil is trying to do, but it is sad to see many of us fall for his destructive line.

    The cause of freedom is the most basic part of our religion.

    Our position on freedom helped get us to this earth, and it can make the difference as to whether we get back home or not. (Our Immediate Responsibility)

  22. Jon
    May 25, 2012 at 1:02 am #

    Jim,

    If we first learn what freedom & liberty truly are for ourselves, then teach our families, then teach others around us it would matter little what governments do, for we can just ignore them (if there is enough of us) and then they would just go away. Read “The Politics of Obedience.” Having said that, I agree that doing more than those two things can help others see the light, but it also helps others obscure the light, in the sense that they think they can obtain liberty through politics. Liberty is obtained through individuals, if individuals understand freedom and liberty then there is nothing the government can do to take it away from us, since we will just ignore them, assuming there is a high enough amount of people that understand these concepts.

  23. jimz
    May 25, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    Mr Davis,
    I think you have somethings completely backwards. RHP religion is concerned with removing freedoms of all types. Why else would the lds faith place such emphasis upon Obedience? (3rd article of faith) Defining obedience as:

    ‘a form of social influence in which a person yields to explicit instructions or orders from an authority figure’

    exactly the opposite of freedom, free will, self direction

    Not completely exclusive of the christian faith either. In Islam angels are the ‘good guys’, they completely lack free will. The jinn are ‘evil’ and have free will, its implied that they are evil via the property of having freedom. In addition humans also have this ‘free will’ so I suppose ultimately are ‘evil’.

    Baptism is not exclusive to the christian faith and existed prior to the christian faith. I am still uncertain how baptism fits into pre-christian religion, but I am aware of ‘cleansing the inner vessel’. An interesting phrase, can be applied to aura cleansing mediation, which is quite effective at removing stress from ones life. I

  24. Andrea
    May 25, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    jimz,

    First, please, what is RHP? I don’t know and can’t comment on non-Christian religions, but those of us who believe that Christianity goes back to the dawn of time and that Adam and Eve worshiped Christ, the fact that “pre-Christian” religions practiced baptism supports the idea that the practice was known in ancient times and that “pre-Christian” religions were in fact preceded by Christianity.

    Most importantly, you seem to have the wrong idea about obedience. Our greatest gift is our moral agency, and the greatest gift we can give to God is to freely submit our will to his. This is a gift that can ONLY be given freely. And it doesn’t remove our freedom! We are told to learn and grow and explore the world, and to make our own decisions! He who doesn’t act unless commanded is derided as slothful. Free will is beautiful, but it can be used for good or evil. To say that it can only be used for evil seems very strange.

  25. jimz
    May 26, 2012 at 4:01 am #

    Andrea,
    Don’t worry about it. I think I just need to get out more. Do LDS believe that adam and eve worshipped christ? Does it follow then that jesus was mormon? Well there are people who believe that being willful is not good. I guess what they really mean is making the wrong choice is not good.

    I will have to agree with Connor in that things for the states look pretty grim at the moment on many levels. The causes and the cure, I am sure we are likely to disagree on. The thing that amazes me is how doctrines seem to become politicized.

  26. AV
    May 26, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    Things are so dire now and our bondage is so deep & sure, on every level of society & government, and nearly everyone, even in the Church, including leaders, seems so unrighteous, blind, unconcerned & deceived by the Gadiantons, even to support them & partake of their spoils, (even common spoils like public school, which even most church leaders seem deceived to support), that I believe it’s impossible to regain our freedoms, (which are totally & completely gone now) or make any headway against the Gadiantons.

    There is no politician or Prophet who can save us now, for almost all people are willfully choosing wickedness and society is getting worse every day.

    Only Christ & his return & takeover can save us now. We must pray for his deliverance, IF we want to ever be delivered from the bondage that most don’t even know they are in.

    But I agree we should never stop trying to teach others about the principles of freedom or stop trying to find righteous honest men & women who will uphold the Constitution in any government position. For these efforts will stand as a testament of our righteousness in the last day & we may even be able to save a few more souls before the destructions come, because of such efforts.

  27. jimz
    May 26, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

    Andrea,
    Is the word obedience the correct word being used? Pages and pages are written about the word, and it always come back to the basic idea of:

    ‘a form of social influence in which a person yields to explicit instructions or orders from an authority figure’

    That doesn’t sound like “We are told to learn and grow and explore the world, and to make our own decisions!” That does not sound like obedience at all. You say this about free will “To say that it can only be used for evil seems very strange.” Am I missing something? isn’t that the ‘natural man’ in mormon teaching? I don’t quite understand how being obedient to an authority figure is an act of freedom.

  28. Liz
    May 26, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    Give up on the federal guv all you want, it’s still rolling over you like a steam roller.

    I’m thinking you have to cut off the MONEY supply to the wastoids that are FLUSHING it down the waste hole, daily.

    So, we need a good president to push low to no taxes, and we need, like you said, states with the discipline to refuse the cash dumped on them by the federal government in an effort to curb state autonomy. Then there is the John Galt approach.

    It’s desperate times, but it’s not over by a long shot. I want TSA abolished. That is outrageous to me that ex-pedophiles and budding new ones can grope my kids with impunity under color of law.

    Why do I have to pay to go fishing? Can the government really take my kid and put them on a stationary bike until they fit into the government-mandated weight tables? I share your outrage. Not on the sending neighbors to war, part. That is one of the few things I believe the federal government is authorized to do – defend the country. But on all the other stuff, yep. It is getting OPPRESSIVE.

  29. Liz
    May 26, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    Ezra Taft Benson said it is his belief the American flag will still be flying when Christ comes again.

    Just saying.

    Hows about all the depressed Utah people move to a sunnier state, your whole outlook will improve.

    It’s the end, AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGH!
    There’s nothing we can do about it, I hate my country!

    Look, if the US of A isn’t going to make it, the whole earth will be wasted at His coming. I’m thinking Christ will come to a fully operational, functioning kingdom. Not a nuclear waste site. And none of us will be around to see it ANYways so enough with the Eeyore syndrome.

  30. AV
    May 27, 2012 at 12:43 am #

    Just because most of the nation will probably be destroyed doesn’t mean no one will survive. Most of the righteous will be preserved in Zion, while all the destructions are going on.

    Christ will not come to an intact nation, for few could withstand his glorious presence and it doesn’t look like hardly anyone is repenting to make that even possible.

    The only thing that could save our nation is swift mass repentance, which is the opposite of what is actually happening, even in the Church.

    No politician can change much if the people refuse to repent.

    But Christ will come to the city and people of Zion. And they will definitely be flying the American flag.

    Just because one sees the reality of the awfulness of our situation today, doesn’t mean they are depressed, actually the opposite, they are looking forward with hope and peace for Christ’s return & cleansing of the earth.

  31. jimz
    May 27, 2012 at 7:31 am #

    Liz,
    lol! your talking about oppression and wastoids flushing down money daily, yet you believe in the military? It should be renamed to the department of offense. Its the largest portion of spending by the federal governement. There is no way to control spending effectively without cutting this department severely.

    The TSA doesn’t need to be completely dismantled, but perhaps some policy changes might set your mind at ease. Other than a pat down, another option is xrays. Would you be willing to expose your child to full body exposure? How about the general public? Probably low enough for the occasional flight, but if one flys frequently the exposure could add up pretty quickly, in addition to the added radiation from actually flying.

    How did the USA become ‘christ central’? I think that is purely an LDS projection, as well as the redefinition of zion. The am not so certain about the doctrine of the ‘messiahs sencond coming’. A local preache/shop owner talked about that almost daily. He actually looked at negative things as something being positive, because he thought it meant ‘jesus’ was returning soon. He was so certain of this, as certain as he was that he was going to recover from a severe medical condition. Hes now dead. I think I will always remember that forever.

  32. Jon
    May 27, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    Oh the days when you could just get on a plane and pay w/ a credit in flight with absolutely no ID required. Big brother has really gotten big!

  33. outside the corridor
    May 28, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    MuchoBrento, I assume you mean me when you say “some on this board have given up”, because I said that I was focusing on my family–

    I’m involved (though in a small way) with the Ron Paul campaign–

    is that enough for you? LOL!

    In the D&C several of Joseph Smith’s associates were told to take care of their families first–

    but some of *us* construe ‘being a light’ to mean being a light at home and then reaching out from there–

    or strengthening ourselves and our families, and having that strength send out waves–

    I once heard President Kimball speak on this topic, in the late 60s/early 70s.

    He said that if each member of the church became truly converted and ‘lived’ the ‘gospel’ the effect on the world would be so electrifying that there would be no need for the missionary program–

    so, tell me, again, what I should be doing?

    Shouldn’t I begin to build Zion in my own home, instead of running around trying to make sure others are becoming ‘pure’?

  34. jimz
    May 28, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    OTC,
    Your definately on to something. I got some brutal mistreatment from my LDS family over a few things, and I have heard horror stories about how some lds familys treat those that don’t fit the lds ideals. Its had such an affect on me that I am sure that the lds faith is definately not true. Otherwise, those events wouldn’t have happened.

    I am actually glad now that I never severed an LDS mission. I don’t know if I actually believed any of it. I felt kind of put up to believing it. I would have never made it. I don’t know what zion is, but it sounds like something jewish. Isn’t it something that has been redifined by the LDS faith?

  35. MuchoBrento
    May 29, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    OTC… please note first and foremost, I am not here to offend, nor to judge. Quite the opposite. Many of the comments (including yours) give me hope and inspiration. If anything, I feel that I am interacting with others who love the gospel, and who love liberty.

    With that being said, let me respond to your comment. I agree 100% with you that our responsibilities should be centered in the home. I am adamant that the solution to the society’s ills HAVE TO be centered in the home, and that government cannot regulate moral behavior.

    However, I would venture to say the vast majority of LDS people (I’m talking about active church members!) stop short by JUST focusing on their families and church callings, while being almost 100% apathetic to government. They are almost completely ignorant about what the proper role of government is. They see the world becoming dark and dreary all around them; yet they do nothing absolutely nothing to stop it. So, they strive to make their homes a temple, while they’re content to let the decay of the world go right up to their front porch.

    So, I made the statement that it seems to me that there are even some on this thread who may be doing the same. I wasn’t trying to say that church members who do so are “giving up”, though that may be the case. What I was trying to say, is that (from my understanding of the scriptures) this isn’t pleasing to the Lord to be content with reinforcing our families and homes alone, and not doing more outside of our homes.

    Believe me when I say that I was as guilty as the rest up until recently. I have always been active. I’d label myself a serious student of the gospel. I’m not a political person by nature. But, I had a “wake up” moment of sorts a couple years back, and realized that church members are doing very little, if anything, to stop the encroachments of evil in our government. I decided that, even if I cannot make much of a dent in the progress of evil, that I’d still be doing what I can to stop it. Even if I have to throw myself into the political arena. Until church members are more interested in the fight for freedom, than they are in television programs, I believe that we are guilty.

  36. AV
    June 1, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    I totally with agree with you Mucho! Great post.

  37. Liz
    June 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    Oops this may be a budding anti-Mormon site, I did not know. I was really only here for the politics and general philosophy.

  38. jimz
    June 2, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    MuchoBrento,
    I recently read an article in National review, entitled ‘Differently the same”. It was perhaps one of the strangest articles I read in a long time. I didn’t know it was a conservative magazine. I was surprised to read what I read. Basically, the author projected that everyone who doesn’t believe in his point of view is out to destroy him and everyone with conservative values.

    I am sure its easy for someone like the author to project that onto those that are doing what they can to empower themselves. I don’t believe for a second that Jenna Talackova is out to destroy anyone. You didn’t specifically mention this person in your comments, but is this some example of evil influence in your point of view?

    Decay and evil approaching in government and daily living, is this for you personally? what exactly do you mean by this? I just don’t get it most of the time. Its like the LDS church body wants that government and the rest of the world to ‘live the gospel’. And if nobody complies, then evil is approaching or somehow disrupting your life.

    All I can think is that people like Jenna Talackova are also fighting for freedom, although freedom is really something different for lds. May I ask how exactly is freedom defined for lds people? is there really an exact definition? All I know is that it means comliance and obedience to the laws and ordiances of the gospel. Is that a projection?

  39. jimz
    June 2, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    liz, I don’t think connor is going ‘anti-mormon’ anytime soon, he has too much invested. If you came here for politics, you’ve come to the right place. general philosophy? of what, the lds faith or just philosophy in general, I am sure many sites offer that. Connors particular take on religion and politics I guess?

  40. outside the corridor
    June 4, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    To anyone who wants to read:

    Well, this is Connor’s blog; I read and comment, because, like him, I support Ron Paul–
    that’s what brought me here. And like him, I am LDS–
    but there are many different kinds of Ron Paul supporters, and there are many different kinds of LDS–:)
    I’m pretty much the traditional Ron Paul supporter. I am pro-life, but that doesn’t just mean I don’t believe in abortion; that means I also don’t believe in war.
    I believe drugs should be legalized, because I believe that, like with prohibition, the evil people will control whatever is happening even more heavily if something is outlawed–

    So, I believe in freedom, but it’s a different kind of freedom, I suppose, than what another person believes. I am less afraid of people who live differently from me than I am in people who try to control or enslave other people–

    I really believe powerfully in moral (or free) agency, the right to choose–
    I was raised that that was what made LDS people different–agency–even if it’s not comfortable for other people, but I am running into many of my LDS ‘colleagues’ lately who don’t seem to believe in agency anymore–:(, who seem to think that agency means that one group tells another group what to do. It seems that sometime between my mission in the early 70s and now it has changed and many LDS don’t believe in agency anymore–:/
    I do believe that no nation can survive without some kind of moral standard–and so this nation will probably fall. But I don’t believe that laws will necessarily help people to be better. The Book of Mormon makes it clear (see Alma 31) that teaching people with love and kindness does more good than forcing or threatening people . . .–
    In response to MuchoBrent, I respect your agency to have had an experience where you felt ‘changed’ and felt inspired (I believe inspiration can come over things like politics) to do things a certain way; I’m assuming that this is in regards to becoming involved politically. But there again, I believe so much in personal agency and even in personal mission that I think that one person can have that experience, and another may not. Another may be ‘called’ to do something entirely different. And they both are valid and righteous and fulfilling their missions–
    Philosophy is a hard thing, because if you are really studying it you are pretty much turned cognitively inside out, trying to understand all the different philosophies–
    and religion–
    religion can be true or it can be false, more depending upon the person who interprets it, I believe, than on the dogma or the doctrine.
    A person can say he/she believes in the most wonderful religion in the world, but if he/she is mean or tries to take other peoples’ agency away, then that religion really means nothing, no matter how much he/she knows or says he/she believes it.
    You can tell what a person’s real religion is by how he/she treats other people, generally. I think that is what Jesus taught. It’s what I get out of the New Testament anyway–
    So, labelling a person a particular label and saying, “this is what this person says/does/believes” is really futile, because until you see/feel how that person really lives, how they treat others, etc.–
    you won’t know what his/her religion is, no matter how many labels that person has or how many meetings that person attends, etc.
    I really do respect the right for people to make choices, even if they stumble and fall. There are many things *I* would never, ever choose that I realize I must allow other people to choose, otherwise the plan of salvation is . . . foiled.
    But, above all, I believe in Jesus Christ, and I believe that there are people who are Christlike who claim not to believe in Him, and I believe there are people who say they do believe in Him who don’t know Him at all. I am trying very, very hard not to fall into the latter category–
    It isn’t easy to be a Christian AND say you are one, too–so . . . that is my heavy challenge. Not just to talk about it, but to be “it”.
    So–
    I like Connor’s blog; I like the things he posts here–
    I appreciate his acknowledging the conundrums–
    :)

  41. MuchoBrento
    June 4, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    Jimz

    You said, “Decay and evil approaching in government and daily living, is this for you personally? what exactly do you mean by this?”

    What do YOU mean by this? LOL. But, seriously, though… I don’t know what you’re asking. Want to re-word that question?

    As to your reference to Jenna Talackova. I have no idea who that is. So, I doubt there’s any influence. To clear up where my influences come from, I’d say the strongest political influence in my life is Ron Paul. The reason he is such a strong influence, is because he is:

    a) the only politician whose beliefs AND TRACK RECORD are consistent with the Constitution, a document that I believe was created by divinely inspired men

    b) the only politician whose beliefs AND TRACK RECORD are consistent with the teachings of the gospel (as I understand them).

    c) the only politician whose beliefs AND TRACK RECORD that is in direct opposition to the evils that would be prevalent in our government in the last days.

    I’d say that my greatest political influence in the church has been Ezra Taft Benson, whose teachings seem to intertwine with the philosophies of Ron Paul.

  42. MuchoBrento
    June 4, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    Outside…

    Again. I didn’t feel as though I was giving any reason to offend. I’m not sure if you took my words that way.

    Because we are both RP supporters, I imagine that we agree on sooo much more than we disagree on. If there is any misunderstanding between us, I have a feeling that it is more of a miscommunication due to interacting on a blog.

    I do support your freedom of choice. And if that’s what you think is right for you, I wouldn’t think any less of you. The fact that you support RP speaks volumes, because not many people casually come to support him. By the time you do, you are a committed believer in freedom. My words are only meant to get people to think.

    But, may I offer up a couple things, again, just as food for thought?

    The first is a repeat of what Jim Davis has already written; a quote from Ezra Taft Benson. “For example, [Satan] will argue, “There is no need to get involved in the fight for freedom – all you need to do is live the gospel.” Of course this is a contradiction, because we cannot fully live the gospel and not be involved in the fight for freedom.”

    The other is a quote from Ron Paul: “In order to change the government, we must become the government.”

    Just food for thought. It isn’t intended as anything else.

  43. outside the corridor
    June 5, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    If I sounded (or my words did) as though I was offended then I don’t belong on any discussion on any blog–LOL!

    (that is to muchoBrento)–

    No, I’m not offended at all, but as I said, if I sound offended, then I (*sigh*) had perhaps better not post–

    Well, communication is difficult, and the fact is that I am always trying to be understood–
    I’ve been a minority in many ways; I have believed the way I believe politically for almost 4 decades; of course, I’m a bit ancient–LOL!

    But, still, I’m used to sitting in Sunday School classes, etc.–listening to people talk about politics in ways that are very different from what I believe.

    Oh, I love Elder Benson, bless his heart. President Benson as he was.

    I think many of the communication problems *we* have (anyone/anywhere) is that we don’t have the same definitions for words–

    How *I* interpret those two great quotes by those two great men might be different from how another interprets them, and there is the greatest challenge *we* have in human communication!

    You see, when I hear President Benson say that, I think “the fight for freedom is in exerting my ability/freedom to choose daily” (I choose to live differently; I choose to produce most of my own food, not rely upon others for anything that I don’t absolutely have to, etc.; I govern myself strenuously, so I am definitely fighting for freedom)–

    As for Ron Paul, bless the man, when I read that quote I think of what Joseph Smith said when he said, “I teach the people correct principles, and they govern themselves.”

    I homeschooled my children (battle for freedom); I did everything in my power to teach them how to think for themselves and govern themselves, to exert their freedom; well, I did a lot of things that have not been ordinary–all in the name of liberty and freedom–

    But, again, I believe in individual gifts (so does the Lord, or why would there be patriarchal blessings)–

    there are gifts of the spirit, and not everyone has every gift–

    this, really, was what I was trying to say. Some people can get up and speak before others and cheer them on to new and wonderful ideas; others can plant a garden; I do happen to be better at the latter than the former–

    :)

    Peace.

    You’re doing just fine–

    OTC is quite old–
    :)

  44. outside the corridor
    June 5, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    Oh, and I appreciate Jimz, because he (you, Jimz) talks about definitions; he tries to get at the roots of things (history, philosophy, what do religions really believe, etc.)–

    I appreciate people who are always learning and wanting to understand the world; it’s the old home educator in me–

    :)

  45. jimz
    June 5, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    OTC,
    I appreciate that, but lately I am thinking I should be more careful about what I say. And then I look back and say “did I say that?, what did I mean by that”.

    There are sometimes stated reasons why a government or institution does something, or sets a policy and then reasons which may not be so immediately obvious, for why they are doing it. Actually the official reason may be true also.

  46. jimz
    June 5, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    MuchoBrento,
    Jenna Talackova is a beauty contestant in Canada. I suppose I will leave it that. I can only think that she believes in freedom.

    I watched a documentary about North Korea, and they spoke about freedom, but to most americans thats not freedom. I think everyone believes they are free, depending on what is emphasized and believed, and according to the context. Maybe americans aren’t as free as we would like to believe.

    Approaching evils, I think of them as more subtle changes which are perhaps more annoying than anything else. Like internet, I think its made various view points more easily accessed, but sometimes it seems like there is less focus. Communication is better, but at times I feel like its easier to talk to someone hundreds of miles away, than my own neighbor that I see everyday. Or cable tv, there seems to be so much variety on the surface, but usually nothing really interesting to watch most of the time.

    Who would have ever thought one would have to check their fingernail clippers, and take off ones shoes before boarding a flight? One used to be able to greet friends, family and associates as soon as they off boarded a flight.

    Weather, unpredictable and often warmer for longer, more severe. A lot of people deny it, but I really think its worse more of the time. I do encounter and enjoy beautiful days, but sometimes I am scared of the weather.

    The most importan freedom I think I lack the most right now is financial freedom. I think we could all use more of that, and more choice for jobs.

  47. outside the corridor
    June 8, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    I finally realized why Connor posted this. As a long-time Ron Paul supporter, Connor, I feel your pain.

    Not really sure if I ever had high hopes, but things seem truly bleak now.

    *going back to the scriptures*

    :(

  48. THOMAS DYCHES
    June 16, 2012 at 2:43 am #

    I’ve come to a similar conclusion over the past year Connor regarding the Federal government. The state government’s where it’s at if you are a proponent of nullification and really standing up to the Feds. My realization that energy spent on Federal contests is pretty much wasted has dissipated a lot of my passion towards the presidential race. I hate to see Romney or Obama win but I am far less concerned about that than I was to see Herbert remain as Utah’s governor.

  49. Lynne
    June 22, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    Re: “This isn’t a defeatist attitude. Rather, it is a recognition of how and where practical solutions and feasible outcomes might actually be achieved.” Exactly. Re-prioritizing. Any spare time now is spent in the Word, re-reading the standard works, myself, without an earthly interpreter or middleman, or comfortable Cliff notes and lesson manuals. Asking The Lord how best to prepare, to be of value as a help instead of a hindrance as we move towards that wonderful thing we keep forgetting to focus on: Zion. Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for those that love Him. No time now for rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic (all the politics), I’m focused on making it though the storm and waves to shore, and being part of the rebuilding of genuine community under the reign of the True King.

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