Tuesday, March 07, 2006

a leaf from provopulse : on mormon conservativism

here is something i jotted down on provopulse this morning.

why do mormons feel they are supposed to be conservative anyways? jesus was hardly a conservative, he actively fought against those who were trying to conserve the social, economic, political, and religious norms at the time. jesus was not conservative. he was not trying to conserve anything. he was progressive, pushing for progress. he was a liberal, "Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry" and "Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded." joseph smith was the very same. to call joseph smith conservative would be ridiculous. do you think polygamy, new scriptures, communitarianism, exotic doctrines, and etc were conservative ideas? no. do the teachings in the book of mormon (and bible, d&c, and pofgp) about equality, forgiveness, pacivism, social reform, political reform, economic equality, and liberation represent conservative values? no. when did mormonism hop in bed with the christian-right and abandon so much of the gospel?


  1. There are a lot of Mormon liberals, just not as we now define the term--along political lines. Today's liberal is not exactly the FDR/New Deal liberal of our grandparents generation. When did Mormonism abandon political liberalism in favor of conservatism? When liberalism abandoned its traditional moorings and became the movement that we all know and love today. In other words, the 70s.

  2. don't quite catch ya russ. are you saying that the 1930's liberalism is the same as today's conservativism?

    i say mormonism abandoned it's liberalism around world war 1 when it got caught up in the wave of nationalism. it further abandoned its liberal ideals with the public relations program beginning in the 60's and capped the deal when it wanted to join hands with the christian-right to fight the new enemies...homosexuals.

  3. I agree with everything you just said. However, I think that you're putting too contemporary a spin on the 1960's thing. Sure, homosexuality was a big deal, but it was only a larger part of the entire counter culture movement that I was loosely defining as the break between traditional liberalism and modern liberalism. I think that a lot of Mormons who identified with the former would reject the latter.

    I guess my main point is that Mormonism has remained more static than liberalism; that liberalism fled its Mormon constituency and not visa-versa.

  4. Geez, no wonder you were ex-communicated. You are totally twisting things.

  5. i got excommunicated? wow. i wish someone would have told me.


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