I received the following letter from my good friend, Tony, not long ago. He gave me permission to post it here:
I have become increasingly concerned with the growing political polarization of the United States and the dramatic shift to the extreme-right. When I was in Boston in October, the political divisions in the country were amazingly palpable. I am concerned with the growing extremist and fascist groups in the United States that are becoming accepted by the mainstream population and condoned by political pundits, governmental leaders, political candidates and media outlets. In many ways the politically empowered are pandering to these new groups in order to retain their positions of power, control and influence. I do not know what the future holds, but I am worried that the extreme-right has the capacity of causing serious damage to the political infrastructure of the United States in a misguided effort of renewing the “Republic”.
The Doctrine and Covenants section 134 states, “We believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside, while protected in their inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such government; and that sedition and rebellion are unbecoming every citizen thus protected.” The inherent and inalienable rights are defined in section 134 to include “the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.” I challenge any individual to provide a legitimate illustration of infringements of these inalienable and inherent freedoms under President Obama’s administration. Thus, in the absence of any reasonable violation, LDS people should sustain and uphold the government of the United States.
We, as LDS people, have a responsibility to sustain and uphold our government. Thus, it is imperative that we resist the urge to affiliate with, espouse the beliefs of, or provide support to any extreme-right group that suggests subversive behavior. I recognize the key distinction between opposing a particular political position and sedition. I take no issue with a person’s opposition to the Healthcare Reform Bill. However, when that person’s opposition engenders statements or acts of government overthrow (generally cloaked in the word “renewal”) then he crosses the line between rigorous political debate and sedition.
I am including a few articles that validate my anxiety about the United States political landscape. I hope my concern proves to be unfounded.
All the best,