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Posted by: SEcular Priest ( )
Date: April 04, 2021 04:52PM

A most interesting talk on the USA Constitution. Very direct and fact filled. I am sure people from other countries are wondering what he was talking about. But it would not surprise me to see a couple of church buildings torched by people who might disagree with what he said.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: April 04, 2021 06:06PM

What did he say? What was the purpose of his talk?

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Posted by: Heartless ( )
Date: April 04, 2021 06:31PM

First. I support,protect and defend the constitution and have the scars to prove it.

But...as a global church, with many members living under oppressive and even dictatorial rule, is this a wise move? I'd hate for this talk to be used to persecute church members for belonging to an organization that could be interpreted to bring opposed to the government they live under.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: April 04, 2021 06:43PM

"Fifth is 'the vital purpose of the entire Constitution. We are to be governed by law and not by individuals, and our loyalty is to the Constitution and its principles and processes, not to any officeholder.'”

That sounds like a warning to the people who stormed the Capitol and their supporters.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: April 04, 2021 06:56PM

It could also be viewed as a sign of the jealousy the Afossil's feel regarding D.J. Trump, and the devotion some members of the church offered to him.

How many members would leave the church to join a church started by The Donald?

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Posted by: bradley ( )
Date: April 04, 2021 06:57PM

Trump supporters don’t burn churches. Rusty may have been wise to address Trump-supporting Mormons. They should be high on church Kool Aid, not Trump Kool Aid.

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Posted by: schrodingerscat ( )
Date: April 04, 2021 07:06PM

bradley Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Trump supporters don’t burn churches. Rusty may
> have been wise to address Trump-supporting
> Mormons. They should be high on church Kool Aid,
> not Trump Kool Aid.


"Latter Day Saints" are eager to expedite the "Latter Days" and thought DJT was their best shot at accomplishing the fulfillment of that apocalyptic fantasy. Evangelical Christians are just as eager to see the Book of Revelations fulfilled and that's why both groups supported DJT's authoritarian strong man approach, which he stole from his puppet master, Putin. He's been a Russian asset since the late 80's.
https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/ex-kgb-agent-trump-russian-asset-mueller-putin-kompromat-unger-book.html

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Posted by: anonyXmo ( )
Date: April 04, 2021 07:00PM

You think people from other countries are aware that SLC is in the United States and that the church is incorporated in the United States?

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: April 04, 2021 08:12PM

Yes and yes.

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Posted by: schrodingerscat ( )
Date: April 04, 2021 07:02PM

Nothing in about the separation of church and state?
Apparently that's not a 'divinely inspired' part of the constitution?

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: April 04, 2021 07:24PM

You didn't read the article.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: April 04, 2021 07:23PM

The LDS church is not really a "global church." Sure, it has a significant presence in many countries, but power is concentrated in the US whose constitution is supposedly divinely inspired and the basis of individual and religious freedom. If the church feels threatened in its home, the Q15 will prioritize the homeland's constitution.

That the church has long been worried about this is evident in the latter the Q15 had read in all stakes and wards in anticipation of the 2016 election. That letter said pointedly that church members should support people of strong moral values and personal character. Unless one believed that Hillary was killing babies in a Washington pizza parlor, the implication of that statement was clear: the church didn't like the prospect of a narcissistic libertine with no respect for the family or the constitution to serve as president.

Oaks's speech is a subtle but strong reaffirmation of that position. Oaks was chosen because he's purportedly the Mormon expert on the constitution and constitutional processes. Thus, according to the Church News, which was ready to go to press before Oaks's speech, he is reported to have said,

- 'The source of government power is the people. “The Constitution established a constitutional democratic republic, where the people exercise their power through their elected representatives.”'

In other words, don't mess with voting rights, and respect the power of representatives in each and every constitutional power center. Those centers are, of course, the presidency, Congress, and the courts.

- 'The separation of powers, or the delegation of “independent executive, legislative and judicial powers so these three branches could exercise checks upon one another.”

Again one branch of government should not dominate by, for instance, pressuring another branch into subservience or stacking a third branch with partisans. And the refusal by the overweening branch to abide by constitutional rules about oversight, supboenas, access to documents, refusal to cooperate in investigations, is dangerously wrong.

- 'The cluster of guarantees of individual rights and specific limits on government authority in the Bill of Rights.'

This means government should not punish people for their speech, their Congressional testimony, etc; deny people, including immigrants legal and illegal and asylum seekers, habeus corpus access to courts; etc.

- "The vital purpose of the entire Constitution. We are to be governed by law and not by individuals, and our loyalty is to the Constitution and its principles and processes, not to any officeholder.”

Mormon allegiance should be to the "entire constitution," including the separation of powers, the checks and balances provisions, and established voting rules and precedents--including the historical jurisprudential principle that voting should be race-blind and as easy as possible. And no "individual," no single "officeholder" should be allowed to disregard the constitution and its principles and processes."

Can Oaks be clearer? What "individual. . . officeholder" has threatened the constitutional processes and overridden many of its mechanisms? What party or individual has urged people to overturn free and fair elections?

- 'Independent actions will sometimes require voters to support candidates or political parties or platforms whose other positions they cannot approve.'

So when confronted by such a person or party, Mormons should reject that person or party in favor of preserving the constitution. Even if that means voting for a party one normally "cannot approve."

I think Heartless's interpretation is correct. This should offend a lot of American Mormons, but the truth is most of them aren't capable of reading subtly, so he probably won't ruin many Easter dinners. Oaks is trying to thread the needle: saying what the Q15 wants to say but doing so as inoffensively as possible. So Mormon Chapels are probably safe unless Oaks and his fellows decide to speak more directly.

And I differ from Heartless on the international dimension. I don't think the message will be emphasized outside of the the US, where the American constitution is irrelevant. This speech and its pre-arranged summaries in the Mormon media, are aimed narrowly at the United States.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: April 04, 2021 08:34PM

Executive summary: Ammon Bundys of the Church, shut up and sit down. The rest of you, don’t ever let this happen again.


I haven’t read the piece yet. I expect it will have Oaks’ usual pharasaical tone, but I may have to pinch myself, because from what I’ve seen so far, I will probably agree with him. That after agreeing with their handbook updates from last week.

They are starting to sound downright Presbyterian.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: April 04, 2021 08:52PM

It's short article. I think you will agree with the substance of his speech although perhaps find him excessively timid.

As we've noted before, the Q15 want to discourage the Captain Moroni crowd but are hardly speaking with the voice of angels. The target is those who in their enthusiasm vote for people or entities that would overthrow the constitution.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 01:47AM

It's a lot more than I would have expected from them. Thanks for the summary and comments.

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Posted by: [|] ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 07:02PM

https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2021/04/05/jana-riess-lds-leader/

Some highlights, but I recommend reading the entire piece

Oaks • “Sovereign power of the people does not mean that mobs and other groups of people can intervene to intimidate or force government action … The people exercise their power through their elected representatives.”

This was for right-wing Latter-day Saints. Oaks was referring to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, in which Trump supporters sought to disrupt the legitimate functioning of government through violence.

Oaks • “We are to be governed by law and not by individuals, and our loyalty is to the Constitution and its principles and processes, not to any officeholder … These principles block the autocratic ambitions that have corrupted democracy in some countries.”

This was also for right-wing members. The context for this is Trump tried to overturn a legitimate and peaceful election, which is the bedrock of good government. Because Trump seemed to view government primarily as a tool for furthering his own ambitions, he considered it a personal betrayal when his vice president and attorney general would not overturn the Constitution and two centuries of political precedent just to keep him in office.

To someone like Oaks, this kind of behavior is exceptionally dangerous. Democracies are more fragile than we think. To survive, they need to be greater than one leader’s desire for power.

Oaks • “Despite the divinely inspired principles of the U.S. Constitution, when exercised by imperfect mortals, their intended effects have not always been achieved. Important subjects of lawmaking, such as some laws governing family relationships, have been taken from the states by the federal government.”

This was for liberal and moderate Latter-day Saints. Oaks here was reminding listeners of his view that individual states should never be forced to allow same-sex marriage if that is not the will of the people in those states.

Oaks • “Being subject to presidents or rulers, of course, poses no obstacle to our opposing individual laws or policies. It does require that we exercise our influence civilly and peacefully … On contested issues, we should seek to moderate and unify.”
This was for everyone.
Oaks suggests that, while we can have strong views about politics, we cross a line when we claim church members who voted differently are somehow deficient in faith.

Oaks • “We should never assert that a faithful Latter-day Saint cannot belong to a particular party or vote for a particular candidate.”

This was also primarily for the right wing. This was the money quote, which the church immediately tweeted from its official account almost as soon as the words were out of Oaks’ mouth.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 07:07PM

[|] Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Oaks • “We should never assert that a faithful
> Latter-day Saint cannot belong to a particular
> party or vote for a particular candidate.”

"Sorry, ladies and gentlemen. That bump was the body of Ezra Taft Benson. Please don't worry. We're confident our tour bus remains undamaged."

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Posted by: [|] ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 07:10PM

True.

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Posted by: Anonymous Muser ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 08:05PM

I think that part of the reason Oaks spoke out is the Q15's concern that mormons' devotion to the church is in danger of being superseded by their political loyalties. The church must always come first.

Now we'll see if the original spoken address is going to be edited for the final printed version and, if so, what will be changed.

Thanks for the synopsis, Bracketed Vertical Line.

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 03:27PM

First of all, the message was, as usual in Mormonism, much too subtle, as if they never want to offend anyone. Second, if the LDS church IS a "world church," it's unseemly for the leaders to always speak of the US Constitution as if other countries don't have anything similar, or as if the US Constitution is more important than all other similar documents.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 03:59PM

Yes, the message was subtle: the church is acutely aware of how dangerous this position is when 1/3 or more of its membership are political as well as religious lotus eaters.

As for the US constitution, it is scripturally "more important than all other similar documents." It may be impolitic to say that publicly, but if the church is worried about the political situation in its most important "market" the apostles will inevitably speak up.

My guess is that they'll simply de-emphasize Oaks's speech outside of the United States, which they can do since they basically tell everyone what to teach and discuss.

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Posted by: oldpobot ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 08:56PM

Thanks Cludgie!

I think it would be great if the Mormon church made occasional reference to the Australian Constitution, which God also has a copy of, or knows where to find it if he needs it.

This document is almost as holy as the US Constitution, despite not explicitly allowing us to form armed militias. Doesn't say we can't though!

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Posted by: csuprovograd ( )
Date: April 04, 2021 08:31PM

Who’s gonna be the arsonist?

Whoever it would be would come from a very minor demographic (people who heard/read this speech).

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: April 04, 2021 09:59PM

I imagine a few million of the Q-ish ilk will hear about it. And how many people do you think it takes? There was already a steady drizzle of ward house vandalism in Utah going back many years. There was an incident just a few weeks ago.

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 01:25AM

at least he didn't have any White Horses as props for his talk...


just sayin'

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 02:14AM

At the end of the text there was a note stating that:

"No white horses were hurt in the composition, editing, PR vetting, early distribution to friendly media, and final legal review of Oaks's address. The LDS church likes horsies."

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