Sunday, February 12, 2012

"A Piss-Poor Excuse For A Mormon"

Nothing is more unrighteous, more unholy, more un-Godly than man-declared mass slaughter of his fellowman for an unrighteous cause...We can look with no degree of allowance upon the sin of unholy war, and a war to make conquest or to keep conquest already made is such a war.

We in America are now deliberately searching out and developing the most savage, murderous means of exterminating peoples that Satan can plant in our minds. We do it not only shamelessly, but with a boast. God will not forgive us for this.
 -Apostle J. Reuben Clark

"We're going to have to pursue our interests around the world...We go anywhere they are, and we kill 'em."
 -Mitt Romney
One of the few times I ever heard my sweet angel mother use uncharacteristically crude language was just after I had borne my testimony in church.

It was that kind of typically fervid but empty testimony you often hear from LDS teenagers, a maudlin expression of appreciation for the church and all of my friends in the church and so on, and so on, with of course nary a mention of Jesus Christ.

For reasons I can no longer recall, I singled out for special mention one grownup in the ward, a man I had come to admire a great deal.  This member -I'll call him Brother Attaboy- was gregarious and affable, one of those stalwarts who was always present and in the thick of things at every meeting, function, and ward activity.  He could be found in the kitchen at every pancake breakfast, and was instrumental in helping us launch every roadshow. We kids liked him a lot. Sometimes Brother Attaboy would substitute teach Sunday School to us 15-16 year olds, and on those days no one ditched class.

Brother Attaboy was not only very active in the church, he was successful in his job, having amassed a comfortable living doing -well, I didn't really understand what the heck he did for a living, come to think of it.  No matter.  If you were to visit our ward, he would have greeted you warmly and you would have thought of him as the quintessential Mormon, the kind of man the rest of us are are proud to put out there as representing the best among us.

Dad was in the bishopric and had to stay after church as usual, and the rest of my siblings rode home with the oldest, Elsa. So it was just me and my mother and my learner's permit driving home from church that afternoon in Mom's green VW.  That's when she set me straight about Brother Attaboy.  Apparently not everyone in the ward shared my giddy admiration for the man.

It seems a number of ward members, my parents included, had been suckered by Brother Attaboy into investing substantial sums of money with him, and all had come out losers except the good brother himself. At that age I did not really understand the ins and outs of the scheme as she described it, but it was clear from my mother's telling that Brother Attaboy knew up front that a lot of money would flow out of the pockets of his fellow ward members and directly into his, and he felt no remorse over any of their losses.  Further, whatever it was Brother Attaboy had done to these people was not strictly illegal, so the members had no standing to sue him for the return of their funds.

"Some of us tried to get a Bishop's Court convened on him," Mom said, "But the bishop felt that might sully Brother Attaboy's good name.  The bishop is like you, Alan. He thinks Brother Attaboy is just wonderful."  She spoke the last two words with sing-songy sarcasm.

"A Bishop's Court?" I was stunned. "Did he commit adultery?"

"Well, that's the problem these days," Mom said. "You hear about a Bishop's Court getting held every time some young man gets caught playing patty-cake with his girlfriend, but in the old days Bishop's Courts were used to settle disputes when one member of the church had been wronged by another."

I was relieved to hear at least that Brother Attaboy was morally clean, but frankly I had a hard time believing the story my mother was telling me.  After all, Brother Attaboy was the sterling product of Mormonism in a three piece suit, and she was just my mother. What did she know?

"You think of Brother Attaboy as the ideal member of the church, don't you," my mother asked me. "Why is that?"

I thought a moment. "Well, he's very active, and he's very successful."

"Would you describe him as Christlike?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, for instance, does Brother Attaboy radiate love and kindness?"

Radiate? I had to think about this one. Like radiating warmth?  He did seem to have a quality that could perhaps be mistaken for warmth, but I had to admit that "love and kindness" were not words that automatically came to mind.  And although Brother Attaboy was quite popular and extremely capable, I didn't think I could describe him as particularly Christlike.

"Well," Mom asked, "Isn't being Christlike the one quality you'd think we would first notice in someone we held up as the perfect member of Christ's church? Isn't that the ideal?"

"I guess."

"The strange thing is, out in the real world most people know Brother Attaboy as a glad-handing cheat and a scoundrel, and they mostly steer clear of him. But in the church he has a lot of the members fooled because he puts off the right image."

"The truth about Brother Attaboy," my mother concluded, "is that he's a piss-poor excuse for a Mormon."

I was shocked. "Mom! I've never heard you talk like that."

"Well," she said, "I got it from your father."

The Quintessential Latter-Day Saint
My mother's description of Brother Attaboy comes to mind whenever I hear some fellow member of the church giddily exclaiming about the prospect of our own Mitt Romney becoming the actual President of the United States!  Won't it be wonderful to have a member of the church standing as an example to the world, leading our country forward and closer to Zion? Won't that do wonders for the missionary efforts?

Well, no. It won't.

I find it curious that a great number of evangelical Christians oppose Mitt Romney on the grounds that he is a Mormon, yet what truly distinguishes him in my eyes is his clear rejection of Mormon fundamentals.  In truth, Mitt Romney has much more in common with those so-called "Christians" who advocate a religion of blood and thunder than he does with the founder of his own faith.

A Romney presidency would be no different than the presidencies of Clinton, Bush, and Obama -except of course far worse.  And in contradistinction to those starry-eyed members who think Romney's rise will "do wonders for the missionary effort," Mitt Romney in the White House would be a public relations disaster for the Church, undoing the decades of delicate rehab performed by Gordon B. Hinckley.

I know this because I have watched Mitt Romney speak and I listen to what he says.  Having watched all nineteen of this season's Republican debates, and most of his appearances from the 2008 campaign, it is clear as glass that in nearly all his public utterances, Willard Mitt Romney stands in open defiance of the teachings of Jesus Christ, and repeatedly disparages many of the core teachings of Mormonism.

But how can this possibly be? Isn't Mitt Romney the flawless Mormon archetype?  It would seem so on the surface. He certainly has all the right credentials.  He served a mission, attended BYU, married in the temple, did lengthy stints as both bishop and stake president, and has been active in the church all his life.  His success as a leader and administrator, both within and without the church, is unquestioned.

But therein, I think, lies the problem. I do not begrudge worldly success; I had a little of it myself for awhile there. But if you track the upward trajectory of the way Mitt Romney spent his time, you might conclude that all those years achieving and managing and administrating left little time for the actual study of gospel principles.  And, judging from his clear lack of understanding of the basic tenets of his faith, you would be right.

It may have begun as early as his mission, where Romney was called to be an Assistant to the Mission President.  That meant he and his companion were the hands-on leaders over all the other young men serving in that mission. Those of us who have been on missions understand what type of person is usually called to be A.P.  It takes a certain kind to be successful at it, one with the innate ability to supervise and motivate others. But most of all, the job of Assistant to the President is a job of herding cats, and it swallows up a lot of a young missionary's time that would otherwise be used for gospel study.

In every mission, there are maybe one or two missionaries who are amazingly well-informed scriptorians. They really know the gospel inside and out, and can effectively expound on the tenets of the faith.  These often bookish types are rarely the ones who are called as Assistants, or Zone Leaders, or District Leaders. In my experience, APs in particular simply never had time to read their scriptures and reflect. It was not in the job description.They were too busy leading.

You may know leaders in your local ward or stake who are wonderful persons and very good administrators, but who have never gotten around to reading -to give one example- something as basic as The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith.  They are simply too busy running the church to have had much time to read many church books.  I'm not implying that these are bad men, because you sure don't have to be a gospel scholar to live the gospel.  But it does demonstrate that just because a man has attained leadership and status in the church, it does not follow that he has a better grasp on the doctrines than you do.

Apostle N. Eldon Tanner had phenomenal leadership skills which helped him amass incredible wealth and success, skills which he turned around and applied to get the LDS Church out of its financial troubles in the 1960s. But Tanner admitted to not really knowing much about the scriptures, and could not give a talk expounding on his own religion that wasn't ghost written for him by his staff. Truth be told, most of us know only what we picked up in Sunday School and Seminary, and even as missionaries we didn't attain anything close to a mastery of God's word.  On my mission I was trained to prove from the bible several things: the great apostasy, the prophesied coming forth of additional scripture, the need for a prophet as in ancient times, and so on -all necessary for explaining to others the need and importance of the restoration of truth that I was there to share with them.

But as for an understanding of many of those actual truths themselves? Well, I hadn't been taught a whole lot about that.  That kind of deep understanding comes only from reading and re-reading the scriptures, by taking time to ponder and reflect on the messages contained within them.  Like Mitt Romney, I was not only too busy on my mission to absorb the deeper gospel message, I got too busy with life afterward to spend much time on it, either.

So it was that for most of my life within the church, I completely missed some of those same essential tenets of my religion that Mitt Romney continues to be ignorant of.  Those messages include a thorough appreciation for the Golden Rule; God's clear instruction that we are prohibited from invading or occupying the countries of other people; and that the Law of the Land always trumps the laws of governments.

The Most Misquoted Phrase In The Church
There are an endless number of reasons to oppose the candidacy of Mitt Romney for purely political reasons, but I don't intend this to be a political screed.  My primary reason for opposing Mitt Romney is for betraying, without apology, everything that is good, fine, pure, and most of all important about my religion, which happens to be the religion he, too, espouses.  Mitt Romney may be quite capable as a politician, but to borrow a phrase from my dear departed mother, Mitt Romney is a piss-poor excuse for a Mormon.

Rather than list all the numerous ways Mitt Romney consistently spits on the faith of his fathers, I intend to focus on just one area, and that is his open and repeated disdain for the law of the land.

We hear this phrase, "The Law of the Land" batted about quite a bit within the church, often by members who shrug in resignation over some legislation they disagree with, saying, "What can we do? It's the law of the land now, so we are commanded by God to obey it."

Most members who believe that way usually can't even reference the scripture.  Here is the pertinent part in  Doctrine & Covenants 58: 19-21:
19. For verily I say unto you, my law shall be kept on this land... 21. Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land. (Emphasis mine.)
So what does this mean? Could it really be that every statute, act, ordinance, rule, and regulation passed by the legislature represents "the law of the land," and therefore the law of God which must be obeyed?

Not hardly.  When Joseph Smith wrote down that revelation, he was well aware that the phrase "laws of the land" (also rendered in the singular as "law of the land") had a specific meaning which everyone living at that time fully understood. Sadly, it is a meaning not one person in a thousand is aware of today, least of all a good many of those members of the church who are so fond of bringing it up.

As far back as Runymede, the phrase "law of the land" had a very specific meaning under the common law which everyone understood. Joseph Smith was familiar with it, as were our founding fathers and everyone who lived in their day.  To follow the laws of the land did not mean obedience to all the laws that operated within a particular country.  Quite the contrary.  Derived from the latin Rex Terrae, "The law of the land" might be more accurately rendered as "the designation of laws that operate to protect a person living on the land."  The law of the land came to represent, according to The Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, "that body of fundamental law to which appeal was made against any oppression by the sovereign."

And if, after spending a lifetime of carrying around in your head a mistaken idea about what is actually meant by "the law of the land" and you're having a tough time wrapping your head around that simple definition, it may be instructive to examine the opposite meaning of the phrase.

What is the opposite of the law of the land? That would be the law of the sea, of course.

Welcome Aboard, Matey! Just Stow Yer Rights At The Dock
If you were an English freeman in the 17th and 18th centuries and decided to sign on as a shipmate to sail the seven seas, you would have understood that you were signing away your rights as a free man upon the land. Once at sea you could no longer claim any of the basic rights that naturally accrued to you as a citizen of the crown. And there were some very sensible reasons for why that was.

A rickety wooden ship in the middle of the ocean is a very dangerous place to be, so there was little room for careful legal deliberations when neglect occurred. One unfortunate slip-up could put the entire crew in deadly peril.  The Captain's close supervision and precise execution of every detail was what was meant by "running a tight ship." All hands were assigned specific duties that had to be performed with precision, often down to the second, and if your job was to hoist the mainsail or batten down the hatches, and by some fluke you managed to inadvertently raise the mizzenmast and lower the boom on some other poor sailor, your punishment was swift and harsh.  There was no due process shipboard guaranteeing you a trial by jury of your sailor peers. Whatever went wrong may not have even been your fault, but someone had to be punished, and out there at sea, one bloke was as good as another.  On the high seas, there was no shared "common" law. The Captain was the law.

To take an example from Captain Queeg, suppose someone had stolen strawberries from the ship's galley.  Under the system of law that operated on the land, an attempt might be made to find the actual culprit and carefully and methodically bring the thief to justice. But under the law of the high seas, justice wasn't expedient; what was important was that someone be punished for the crime immediately, if for no other reason than to set an example.  It could be the guilty party who gets punished, or it could be pretty much anyone else. Sometimes the whole crew would be punished for the crime of one man, a system of law I call My Father's Law, who often announced to us kids, "I guess I'll just have to spank all of you just so I know I got the right one."

What mattered most at sea was that someone was made an example of so that everyone else would think twice before helping themselves to the strawberries. Actual guilt or innocence was not the prime directive at sea; what was important was that the captain ran a tight ship.

Punishment at sea was often more extreme than punishment for crimes committed on land. They almost never matched the crime, which was a requirement of the common law on land.  If you were lucky, you would just be thrown in the brig.  But most likely you would be tied to the mast and flogged with a Cat o' Nine Tails, a whip with sharp pieces of bone ebedded in the ends which would tear the flesh off your back in tiny chunks.  Although a ship's captain had almost complete carte blanche under the law of the sea, rarely was he permitted to summarily execute men under his command. But if he wanted, he could punish a man by having him keelhauled, a torturous ordeal that nearly always resulted in the agonizing death of the victim.

Truth be told, although the safety of his crew was important to the Captain, the safety of the crew paled in importance to the safety of the ship itself and all its cargo.  A ship's captain had a fiduciary responsibility to the company of investors for whom he answered, and there was absolutely nothing of more paramount importance to the captain of any ship than to return that ship and its cargo safely to port.  If he were to lose his ship, he could be thrown in irons, his personal estates taken as recompense as well as the property of his mother, father, brother, sisters, uncles, aunts and cousins throughout the land, after which they might also be put in irons, too.

This is why you've heard the saying "the captain always goes down with the ship." It had nothing to do with the captain being brave and heroic. If a ship ran aground or crashed on the rocks, the rest of the crew might escape in the lifeboats, but every British captain knew that drowning at sea was far preferable to returning to England and trying to explain to the board of the East India Company how he managed to return to England while his ship and its cargo did not.

So that's why the captain was the first and final word at sea, and his word was law.  It was self protection over everything else. And you may have guessed that it was the moneyed interests behind the crown such as the East India Company who supported this system -which the people on the land would not have stood still for- in order to protect their own commercial interests.

This law of the sea was known, under various permutations, as the law of Admiralty, Maritime, Military law, commercial law, or a variety of other names, but what it came down to was expediency.  Justice was not the object, expediency was.  Whereas on land the object is that before you exact punishment on a man you want to carefully make very sure you got the right guy, on the high seas there was no such compunction.  A guess was as good as a a mile.

On the high seas you had no right to face your accusers and challenge their testimony, no right to counsel, no right to examine evidence against you, no jury of your peers. Under Admiralty Law the aim was to punish without proof, as that was simpler and more expedient for the governing body to deal with.

Which is why kings and tyrannical governments have, since ancient times, constantly tried to sneak Admiralty Law back up onto the shore. It's way more convenient than having to abide by that pesky law of the land.

The Perfect Law of Liberty
Here is how Law of the Land is defined in Bouvier's law dictionary, the first dictionary of American law, and the only law dictionary given official weight by an act of congress. Bouvier's definition is pertinent because it was first published in 1839, during the lifetime of Joseph Smith. If you wish to have an understanding of what "Law of the Land" meant to those living in Joseph Smith's day, Bouvier's is the place to look:
Law of the Land. The general law; A law which hears before it condemns, which proceeds upon inquiry, and renders judgment only after trial. The meaning is that every citizen shall hold his life, liberty, and property and immunities under the protection of the general rules which govern society.
When attempting to ascertain the meaning of words and phrases in common use during a certain period, it's always best to refer to sources close to that period. Thus, if we wish to know what the founders meant by their use of the phrase "law of the land," a good authority would be Lord Edward Coke, a 17th century English barrister whose works were a major influence on the men who drafted our constitution. Coke defined "law of the land" as synonymous with "due process of law" and further clarified that due process was the divine, god-given right of all men everywhere, not just those living in England.

This is consistent with what the Lord revealed to Joseph Smith in 1833 when he affirmed the "law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me." -D&C 98:5 (Emphasis mine.)

This declaration from the Lord stands in stark contrast to the flimsy opinion of Mitt Romney, who insists that only American citizens are entitled to due process, and therefore our government is justified in locking away foreign nationals indefinitely in torture dungeons such as Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. Of course, if Romney has an aversion to looking up scripture, he could have instead consulted the fifth amendment to the constitution, which agrees with God that NO PERSON, not just American citizens, shall be deprived of their liberty without due process of law.

But sadly, Mitt Romney has demonstrated that he also has an aversion to the constitution as well as to scripture. Debate Moderator Chris Matthews asked Romney, a graduate of the Harvard School of Law, if, as president, he felt he would need to go to congress to get authorization to take military action.

As every schoolboy knows, the correct answer to this question is a simple "yes." But Romney's response was a long, convoluted stumble about handing the issue off to his attorneys, rambling on as if he was Miss Teen South Carolina making a guest appearance on "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?"

Mitt Romney at the Republican National Debate.
"Uh, you sit down with your attorneys and they tell you what you have to do...uh, Obama certainly...and, uh, we're gonna let the lawyers sort out what we need to do and what we didn't needed to do, but certainly what you want to do is have the agreement of all the people, lead-uh-leadership of our government as well as friends around the world where-where those circumstances are-are-are-available...and so we will take the action necessary to keep that from happening and I think every person here on the stage...and I would want to sit down with the attorneys and let the lawyers sort out what we needed to do."

And like such as South Africa, and the Iraq, and everywhere like, such as, and maps. 

When it was finally Ron Paul's turn to speak, he asked Romney in exasperation "Why don't you just open up the constitution and read it?"

Hey Mister Moderator, I have a question for the candidate! How much dumber than a fifth grader do you have to be to get a degree from Harvard Law?

Over time as the debates progressed, Romney's ignorance of the constitution was becoming so obvious to everyone that when he found himself unable to answer a simple question about privacy and state's rights, Romney laughingly joked, "We can ask our constitutionalist here," motioning to Ron Paul.

Ha ha ha.

Now I want you to think about this for a minute.  How did we as a church fall so low as to celebrate one of our own as a candidate for president who actually defaults to another on stage regarding a question that should be central to his own religion?  And make no mistake, the Constitution is central to our religion.

To members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Constitution of the United States is as important to us as scripture.  That's because we believe God not only inspired the founders to create that document, He tells us the whole thing was His idea to begin with: "I established the constitution of this land," the Lord informs us, "by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose." (D&C 101:80)

Apostle J. Reuben Clark expressed the sentiments shared by every believing latter-day saint when he declared,
"I have said to you before, brethren, that to me the Constitution is a part of my religion. In its place it is just as much a part of my religion as any other part. It is a part of my religion because it is one of those institutions which God has set up for His own purposes."
So here's a question. If Mitt Romney claims a place among the saints, why isn't the constitution a part of his religion? Why does he defer to lawyers and others to "sort it out" whenever a question about this key part of his religion comes up?

Suppose Mitt Romney and Ron Paul were participating in a religious forum and Romney was asked the simple question, "Do you believe that baptism should be done by immersion?"

Now, Ron Paul happens to be a baptist and would be perfectly qualified to answer that question.  But the question was directed to Mitt Romney, and since baptism by immersion is a pertinent part of Romney's  own religion, would we expect him to look over at the baptist and suggest that the baptist is more of an expert on baptism than he is?  No. We would expect Brother Romney to respond simply that baptism is immersion, and either you perform a baptism the right way or you don't.

That is essentially the answer Ron Paul gives to any question on the constitution: either you follow it or you don't.  There's no reason in the world Mitt Romney should not be every bit the champion of the constitution that Ron Paul is.  He doesn't even have to be as well-read on the subject as Dr. Paul.  All Mitt has to do is believe in it.  Then every question has an easy answer: either you follow it, or you don't.

The Law Of The Sea On The Land
The American colonists at the time of the revolution did not envision themselves as some new breed of persons called Americans.  They thought of themselves as Englishmen living on the American continent, and as Englishmen, they were entitled to the same treatment under the law as anyone who actually lived in England.

But King George did not treat the colonists as Englishmen on the land.  He treated the thirteen colonies as if they were thirteen ships anchored somewhere far across the sea.  In the mind of the king, the people in the colonies existed to serve England, to provide her people with raw materials such as lumber, cotton, silk, sugar, and tobacco.  Were they not originally chartered for these purposes by the king's predecessors? Then they should just tote that barge, lift that bale, shut the hell up and obey their captain.

When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he structured it as a legal Complaint, listing the numerous ways in which the king had, in effect, been applying the law of Admiralty on the land where it didn't belong.  The Declaration of Independence was the colonist's demand for their rights to the law of the land under English common law, not this strange hybrid of Roman/Babylonian/Clipper ship bullcrap the king was using to rule them with.

The Constitution was created to embrace, embody, and codify the law of the land, its primary purpose being the protection of the rights of the individual against the encroachment of government.  The constitution even included within itself a clause that identified it as the supreme law of the land.  That meant that any subsequent ruling proposed by government would be required to undergo the process of being measured against that document. No longer would kings and tyrants be able to shove the law of Admiralty up onto the land. The supreme law of the land forbade that from ever happening again.

But would-be tyrants do not police themselves.  "The price of liberty," as the saying goes, "is eternal vigilance."

Which brings us back to Mitt Romney.

God tells our national leaders to respect the law of the land, which he instituted to protect his people from unnecessary persecution.  Mitt Romney looks God squarely in the face and says no, he will do it his way. Watch here how Mitt Romney blows off a dying cripple:

Notice this man is not asking Brother Romney if his administration would supply him with free medicine.  All he wants to know is this: If Mitt Romney becomes president, "will you arrest me and my doctors if I get medical marijuana?"

Romney turns his back on this embarrassing gimp as fast as he can, while the man in the wheelchair asks again "will you have me arrested?" Others in the crowd demand that Romney answer the man's quite reasonable question, but Romney blows them all off because it's much more important to glad-hand a bunch of other supporters than to give a man an honest answer.

The truth is, Romney did answer the man's question.  By turning his back on that man, Romney was telling him in so many words that even though God has provided the very medicine this man requires, in such abundance that it could be grown in the man's own backyard; and that Romney's own religion affirms God provided that plant for his use ("All wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man"), Mitt Romney has a better idea.  His friends in the pharmaceutical industry have figured out a way to artificially synthesize this wholesome herb, while making it utterly inferior to God's original prototype.  The best part: Big Pharma gets to charge the man in the wheelchair a lot of money for their recipe, money they would not receive if he was permitted to depend on God's grace instead of on them.

Who do you think has been lobbying for decades to keep this natural medicine unavailable?

By turning away from this young man's urgent query and choosing instead to glad-hand with his fans, Romney was tacitly admitting that yes, his administration would indeed work tirelessly to arrest this young man and his compassionate caregivers.  These days that usually means a violent midnight raid by a swat team in full riot gear, followed by a lengthy prison sentence where adequate medical care for the terminally ill man would be seriously curtailed.

There is one more element missing from this equation: due process. The blanket prohibition disallowing free Americans from owning their own marijuana plant violates the law of the land, because the plant was made illegal absent any kind of process involving scientific, medical, and government hearings. Americans simply woke up on August 3rd, 1937 to learn a crop that had been farmed since the time of George Washington was now arbitrarily declared malum in se. The legislature had acted on rumors that this newly labeled "devil weed" was a favorite of Mexican wetbacks and jazz-dancing Jigaboos, and that was all they really needed to know.

If anything is calculated to set off alarm bells among members of the church of Jesus Christ, you would think it would be Mitt's enthusiasm for getting rid of the law of the land once and for all.  And not just in America; Romney wants to see the law of the land eradicated across the entire planet. Take a look at these three short videos, each lasting less than seven minutes each, and then think about whether you, as a latter-day saint, can support a fellow Mormon who advocates treason against God and country.

The Lord tells us in section 98, verse 7 that any law of man that is inconsistent with the constitution "cometh of evil."  This National Defense Authorization Act that Mitt Romney so enthusiastically endorses is unquestioningly inconsistent with the constitution and unquestioningly born of evil intent.  Through his words and actions, Mitt Romney has proven time and again that he holds no respect for the word of God or for God's law, no matter how often he draws near to the constitution with his lips.

President David O. McKay reminded us that "next to being one in worshiping God, there is nothing in this world upon which this Church should be more united than upholding and defending the constitution of the United States."  Did you catch that? Nothing in this world should be more important to us. Why? because the constitution embraces and codifies the law of the land. God is a god of justice, but without due process there can be no justice.

Yet our own Mitt Romney embraces legislation that effectively abolishes that which his own religion deems to be absolutely essential to the freedom and progress of all mankind.  To Brother Romney, nothing in the world is less important than honoring, obeying, and sustaining the law.  And we still have members in this Church of Jesus Christ who wish to see this man placed into a position of power?  King Noah would be green with envy.

In ordinary times, a man advocating treasonous views such as those Mitt Romney puts forth wouldn't even be considered for public office.  In ordinary times, a man who claimed membership in the church of Christ yet advocated views antithetical to the commandments of Christ would have had the hand of fellowship withdrawn from him years ago. But these are not ordinary times.  These are the times foretold by Isaiah when good would be called evil, and evil would be called good.

In April 1949, Mitt Romney had just turned two years old, but Apostle J. Reuben Clark gave a talk at that month's general conference that was eerily prescient:
"We live in an age of deceit... Even within the Church we have been warned that the ravening wolves are amongst us, from our own membership, and they, more than any others, are clothed in sheep's clothing, because they wear the habiliments of the priesthood."
Elder Clark added this ominous warning: "We should be careful of them."
[A note about leaving comments: Many readers have posted as "Anonymous" even though they don't wish to, only because they see no other option. If you don't have a Google, Wordpress, or other username among those listed, you can enter a username in the dropdown box that reads "Name/URL."  Put your name in the "Name" box, ignore the request for a URL, and you should be good to go.
I have a pretty firm policy of never censoring or deleting comments.  If your comment does not immediately appear, it probably means it is being held in the spam filter, which seems to lock in arbitrarily on some posts for reasons unknown.  If you have submitted a comment and it doesn't immediately show up, give me a nudge at and I'll knock it loose. -Rock]