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Oh, those Satanic Socialist Liberals…

May 17, 2010

I love the idea of Mormon Stories podcast. However, each podcast is pretty lengthy, so I haven’t taken the time to listen to most of them. One thing that is almost as fun is reading through the comments and filling in the holes of what the interviewee must have said. So, that’s what I decided to do with the Mormon Stories interview with Mormon May Day co-founder Kate Kelly.

(…OK, so actually, I got a little acquainted with Mormon May Day as a result of the Mormon Matters article that briefly mentioned it near the end.)

The basic gist is this. You may have noticed it, but the church is quite conservative. Where are all the liberal Mormons? Apparently, inactive. The Mormon May Day is apparently just one movement to try to encourage liberal, progressive, and moderate voices within the church to speak out.

Well, that’s the gist. But more entertaining were comments in response to such an idea. After all, if the church is so conservative, then wouldn’t make sense to hear from some conservatives? Fortunately, Bystander came to the rescue to provide the obligatory conservative viewpoint:

Liberals should not whine about conservative attitudes in religion and bark the “social justice” mantra as it relates to the role of government. Governments will NEVER achieve the social justice liberals are looking for. Governments will NEVER achieve the socialistic nirvana that Marx (or his fellow travelers) seek. Why? (Atheists may skip the next part if they wish.)

[Matthew 26:11]

Christ stated that the poor will always be among us. ALWAYS. If you are Believer, then you know that the greatest good you can do in this world is to become one of the “sheep” spoken of in Matthew.

[Matthew 25:34-36]

These are the “acts of righteousness” the Book of Mormon mentions (Alma 5:16-17,35-36), but fails to detail in sufficient fashion.

This is how the world achieves social justice. You get yourself right and then you extend the love you have for yourself to your neighbors. You DO NOT PASS THE BUCK to government. Reputable, private institutions and religious organizations are better equipped to handle the needs of the poor than are governments.

Yikes. But it gets even better.

…No one should concern themselves with how many drops are in the bucket, whose drops are in the bucket, and how many drops each person has contributed to the bucket. We are told to “do not your alms before men, to be seen of them” (Matthew 6:1). We are also told to “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Matthew 7:1) I believe these are wise counsels. We should only have to answer for our own actions and not be overly concerned with “how much” our neighbor is or isn’t contributing.

Why do you feel a “more systematic effort” is appropriate? Why aren’t you willing to be long-suffering with those who maybe slow to hear the call to action? Why must liberals always default to force rather than love and charity?

Liberals seem to always see the bad side of the human spirit; that the better nature of people cannot be effectively appealed to in order to reduce or eliminate suffering and poverty. Liberals seem to fixate on the idea that people must be compelled against their will to give up what “the system” feels is appropriate or correct.

I’m sorry (and I know some of you reading this will be offended), but that is Satan’s plan.

[Moses 4:3-4]

Taking away an individual’s freedom and agency is not the way God intended for His human creations. I believe Satan would have been very comfortable keeping company with Marx and his merry band of liberal redistributionists. (They may be whooping it up as we speak.)

Double yikes.

The frightening thing that I get from this is that Bystander apparently recognizes that individual action can be insufficient due to humans not doing right (he himself has some thoughtful comments of criticism to the church’s subpar example in providing aid in comparison to some of the other things it uses its money for)…but he relates this back scripturally. We shouldn’t care if in the end, there are poor. After all, the poor will always be with us. We should only be concerned that we are doing what *we* need to do…not with what our neighbor is doing.

…since he had to make the comparison to Satan’s plan, I wonder how that analogy would work.

So, there is Satan (and a sizable part of the spirits in heaven), wondering about the souls that will be lost in a free will arrangement. And God, or Christ, or someone on that side tries to reassure, “Don’t worry. Just worry that you’re doing what you need to be doing.”

I can see how — out of compassion for souls — Lucifer might reel at the coldness of such a statement. I can see how, in response, he might say, “Too hell with broken free will and to hell with a broken free market! I will save everyone. Not a single soul will be lost.”

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  1. Goldarn permalink

    So basically, liberals and liberal thought have no place in the Mormon church. I’m glad that was cleared up.

    Also, to hell with everyone else, as long as I (and my family, who recognizes me as their patriarch on Earth) are saved.

    Bystander, did I get that right?

  2. To be fair, Bystander’s position does note the importance of charity, helping the least of these, etc., Those are the “acts of righteousness” that one does to “get himself right” and then extend the love to others.

    The link to the comment didn’t quite work (because the comments for that interview are split over two pages and the link won’t go to the right page), but the rest of Bystander’s comments had other surprising positions. For example, he has some fairly strong things to say about how the church is being a terrible example, etc.,

    but other than that, yeah.

  3. I’ve always tried to emphasize how REASONABLE Satan’s alternative really was.


    jk 😀

  5. So… because governments will never be able to achieve a perfect utopian society, they shouldn’t even try? We should just leave it to the private sector and churches, even though that clearly isn’t working well?

  6. Leah, not only that, but from what I can tell, the reason why governments can never achieve perfect utopian societies (according to bystander) is because they lack charity and love. And this is why they shouldn’t even try.

    At least the private sector has “charity and love,” supposedly.

    • FireTag permalink

      The problem with Lucifer’s plan was Lucifer.

      When I design a system to care for the poor, I don’t just want it to deliver services well (Who made the trains run on time, boys and girls?). I want to be really careful I can turn it off if it starts showing signs of delivering services more efficiently to the rich at the expense of the poor. Lucifers do tend to show up sooner rather than later, and I prefer to deal with minor demons rather than major ones.

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