Archive for September 7th, 2010

A Gang Assembles in your Front Yard…

September 7, 2010

What would you do if a gang of young men, probably armed and obviously looking for trouble, begin assembling in your front yard? What if they were verbally threatening you and your family?

I am glad I have never been faced with such a problem, nor likely ever will be. However, it is apparent that if any one of them drew a gun, you would obviously have the right to kill as many as you could to protect your life and the lives of your family. One man in New York was faced with such a challenge. (link)

If they began forcing their way in, obviously, because of their numbers, you’d have the right to kill with a gun even if they had no guns and you knew they had no guns.

But what about assembling?

If it’s one man shouting epithets and threats at you from your front yard, obviously he is trespassing. Do you have the right to kill him? Probably not, at least until he pulls out a gun.

If it’s ten men? A hundred? Even if they were already armed and clearly didn’t have guns, could you shoot a gang assembling on your lawn with the intent to kill you and your family before they initiated the violence?

If the answers aren’t obvious, then you need to think of this. If we don’t have the right to protect our own life, we don’t have a right to live. If it means killing to save yourself, then you have the right to kill to protect the right to live.

Luckily, I live in a state and a neighborhood where guns are not rare and are not secret. Any gang caught trying to threaten any of our neighbors would be quickly asked to move along, politely by firmly, by everyone on the street. Perhaps we would be carrying shotguns or rifles, or have our pistols at our sides or under our jackets. There is nothing short of a full-scale military invasion that could ever hope to challenge our authority over our property. Should trouble arise, it is not the lawful homeowners in our neighborhood who would be pleading for their lives.


The Inequality of Our Immigration Law

September 7, 2010

I just got off the phone with a friend. He has a masters and is a software developer / program manager. He wants to start a company with blood, sweat and tears and has some pretty good ideas on ways he could write software that will not only help our economy, but help him make some money as well.

However, the federal government says he is not allowed to do that. It has decided that everyone else in the country is pretty much free to pursue their own businesses, but not people like him.

His crime? He isn’t an American citizen.

As he described to me the loops he has to jump through to get a green card, including staying employed by the same employer for up to five years, I commented that our country really isn’t free. We are turning away people from our country who would come here to make our country better because of our insane immigration policy.

This is the immigration policy we need: If you come here with an intent to participate lawfully, we should welcome you with open arms. If you come here to break our laws, we will hunt you down, punish you according to your crimes, and make sure you are never let back into our country. That’s really all there is to it.

We don’t need a complicated immigration system. While we may want to limit the number of people who become citizens every year, simply because our country could not long stand diluting our political blood with immigrants who don’t understand what freedom is supposed to be all about nor understand what it takes to maintain freedom–we certainly don’t want to limit economic opportunity for ourselves or others.

I think this is a position the vast majority of America agrees with. The only people who may disagree are those people who feel like they cannot compete with the world or that they would lose their jobs if we actually had more economic freedom. I say to those people—grow up! You are no different than the plantation masters from the antebellum people, who thought that their economic security was built on the backs of oppression and slavery—the opposites of freedom.

Real economic freedom means prosperity for all. The southern whites are doing far better economically today without slavery than they ever could’ve hoped for with it.

If America is going to preserve her economic status, it is going to do it in the same way she got her economic status: freedom and liberty for all.

Would a President Romney Take Orders from Salt Lake?

September 7, 2010

One of the criticisms of the LDS faith in general and the Romney campaign specifically is that we are slaves blindly following our masters in Salt Lake, the 15 Brethren who make up the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency, with Thomas S. Monson as the prophet, seer, and revelator at the head.

As a member of the LDS church, I am pretty much confused by this claim. On the one hand, we do all but swear an oath to follow these brethren. Yet, on the other hand, they do not dictate to us anything but matters pertaining directly to church organization and policy, and spiritual matters such as what we believe in and what we practice as part of our religion. The role of the church is specific and clear: proclaim salvation to the world through Jesus Christ.

If President Monsen were to announce that the LDS church throws its support behind Mitt Romney, and everyone should donate all the time, talent, and whatever the Lord has blessed us with to his campaign, the very church itself would fall apart. This is because the church doesn’t have anything to do with the government, other than encouraging its members to research and vote according to their conscience for wise and good people.

The reason why the church would fall apart is because it would no longer be a church. It would be a political party. Its officials would no longer represent the saving work that needs to be done to prepare the world for the Second Coming, but operatives in a political plot to gain as much power as possible in the government.

The same would happen if the church tried to govern through its members in power. The church is not a political party and it most certainly is not a government.

What keeps the church together isn’t its politics. It is its religion and faith. It is its role in the world today to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. Should that ever change, the church members would no longer have any reason to be together. The lay ministers from top to bottom would no longer have a reason to donate their time and talents. The tithing receipts would diminish, as well as the fast offering funds. Missionary work would stop.

While the church does and must take a stand on moral, religious, and spiritual issues, and while those issues do bleed over into politics, it does so to further its mission of proclaiming the gospel. What church can operate without religious freedom? What church can build families without society sanctioning the institution of marriage?

Look carefully at the rare occasions when the church does insert itself into the debate. Ask yourself whether it is doing so to see to it that it can continue to preach the gospel and fulfill its mission, or does it do so to increase its political power and influence?

If you need to, go read the bible. In ancient times, it wasn’t uncommon to see the prophet approach the king of Israel or other countries. What were they doing? Seeing to it that the government didn’t interfere or hinder their work in proclaiming salvation. They never asked, and never wanted, an iota of political power.

In the Book of Mormon, we have the story of Alma the Elder approaching King Mosiah. He wanted King Mosiah to continue in his original role as head of the church, but King Mosiah saw an opportunity to separate the government from the church, and helped Alma come to see the importance of such. We also see the story of Alma the Younger, elected as the chief judge over all the land, stepping down from office and all that political power because he saw a need to focus on his role as the high priest of the church and proclaim the gospel to the people. These examples should help anyone understand how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sees the proper role of church and government, and what kind of wall we have erected for ourselves between the two.

As an LDS member, I can’t imagine Salt Lake trying to dictate a President Mitt Romney in political and national matters. As an LDS member, I can’t imagine taking orders from Salt Lake in political matters, even though I’ve all but sworn an oath to receive the church leadership as prophets, seers and revelators. I can’t see how people can put our doctrine together to suggest that either scenario would ever occur.