a "person of faith" (not a phrase I would normally use) follows their
human conscience while going against the actual doctrines of their
church, most people rush to say "See, we're (they're) not all like
that!" I usually go another route: "See, some of them ARE like that!"
It's my contrary nature and I know that it's unpleasant, but I allow it
to take hold once in a while. Luckily, there are days when BOTH
conscience and doctrine crop up so that I can present them more clearly.
Today has been one such day.
the Mormon Church was found guilty of 13 counts of failing to report
campaign staff contributions by the Fair Political Practices
Commission. They were fined approximately $5,000.
Today a story in Religion Dispatches
told the tragic story of a soldier who defied a Mormon precept,
followed her basic beliefs and paid for her guilt ...with her life.
story about The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints failing to
properly report staff contributions has been going on for over 19
months. It might seem like a paltry situation, but there is nothing
paltry about the fact that the FPPC nailed the Mormon Church. While the
amount of the fine is certainly minuscule - especially since there were
actually million$ involved (40+) - and perhaps we will never know the
scope of their campaign to derail same-sex marriage in California, but
the outcome of the suit puts the Mormon Church in the worst possible
light and, in fact, warns future propositions in other states to
monitor exactly where the money is coming from.
"The Mormon church has been leading the charge to create constitutional amendments to take away marriage equality from gay and lesbian people all over this country and they've been doing it dishonestly and in the dark of night," said Mr. Karger, who referred to the situation as "Mormon-gate" when reached by phone. "I blew the whistle and they got caught for violating the law," he said.
all of those Mormons who gave millions, who volunteered, who worked
tirelessly to press California voters to support "family values"
thought that they were doing the work of the Church and of God. The
hold the church had over them was complete, but they didn't feel
compromised in any way. To them, it's simple: The Church = morality and
the only way to live. Never question the Church's reasons. Never
question its authority over every aspect of life.
course, we see that kind of blind obedience in many churches today,
but never to such an extent as was seen that campaign season. Millions
of dollars were donated sub rosa as if under cover of darkness: no one
should know the extent of their work, the cost of their work, the
sacrifices to their work.
The tragedy of Alyssa Peterson
Peterson originally joined the Army as an Arabic language specialist.
By the age of 27, she had served as a Mormon missionary in the
Netherlands and was familiar with other cultures outside the U.S. She
was assigned to Tal Afar, Iraq as a counter-intelligence interrogator.
She was, of course, commanded to apply "enhanced interrogation
techniques" - techniques she thought were torture.
She refused. Peterson was then labeled a "detainee empathizer" and assigned to another unit.
days later, Alyssa Peterson was dead from a self-inflicted shot from
her service rifle. Her devout Mormon upbringing, that sometimes
conflicting foundation of nationalism and morality was her undoing.
Joanna Brooks, Religion Dispatches Magazine:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stresses to members the importance of respecting established governments and laws of the nations where they live. American Mormons have traditionally been an especially nationalistic group, stressing our loyalty to the United States government even at times in our history when that government has failed to protect our lives and our interests.
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