Mormon Discussion

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Uhhhlllllleeeet's get ready to RUUUUM-BULL!!!

It's been awhile since I've been able to post, and for that, I apologize. A lack of internet access has bogged down my ability to blog, as has the tremendous effort it takes to be in law school. However, I have some time now and so, here I am.

This week, I have been seriously ruminating over the Patriot Act II. Many people don't know a lot about this, and I'll admit that, until relatively recently, I didn't know too much about it. I am still no where near an expert on the whole issue. However, from what I have read and learned from speakers at school, I have begun to be really apalled at the PAII. It seems to be to be a gross and terrible jumble of our rights as American.

What does this have to do with a Mormon blog? Well, here's my train of thought. As usual, I'm sure that not everyone (or most people) will agree with me, but it's been rumbling around in my head, so I might as well get it out there.

We believe that the founders were divinely inspired, if my knowledge is correct, and that the Constitution and the rights therein are set up by people that were inspired by God to make sure that people in America would be free, especially in a religious sense so that the Church could develop freely in this country. So, since we believe that the principles that this country was founded on were divinely inspired, what effort are we required to put forth the protect those rights?

The time will come when the ever-terrifying end of the world will come. It seems lately like the signs of that impending day are blossoming up with a frighteningly rapid pace--with a year we've seen a killer tsunami, a landslide in CA, flooding in the upper East Coast, two hurricanes ravage the Southern states, and most recently, an enormous earthquake. So, it seems like there are rapid and unfortunate signs of what is prophecied about. So, if we believe that the end is coming, do we have the right to sit back and wait for it? Should we fight against Satan in more than just our personal lives, but on a largeer scale?

The Patriot Act II, in my opinion, is a turn for the worst in America. Some pieces of it include language that would allow persons suspected of a crime (not actually charged with, simply suspected) to be taken into custody without notifying anyone and without allowing that person to contact anyone. Your "one phone call" is no longer. Nor does the gov't, according to the PAII, have to allow you access to legal counsel or even charge you with a crime within any reasonable amount of time. Right now, the police must charge someone within 48 hours of arrest (it might be 72, but either way, it's a very short number of days) or release them. The new PAII doesn't have to follow that rule, at least with respect for persons suspected of being terrorists. The PAII also has stipulations that would allow any American citizen practicing civil disobedience to be stripped of his/her citizenship.

What is the point of this discussion on the PAII? Here's how I see it...legislation such as this makes it easier for people to be denied their due process rights. We have been forewarned that there will be a time when the Anti-Christ will come into power. We don't know for sure that it will be over America, but assuming that it is... So, before the AC comes into power, imagine that we, the American people and we, members of the church, have allowed legislation to pass that will make it easier to persecute us in the end times. Arguably, the definition of "terrorist" is quite loose, according to governmental standards. When normal people think of "terrorist" we think of someone trying to blow up people. But, the gov't doesn't have that narrow view of what constitutes a terrorist. Perhaps the definition will someday be those who are radically outside of the norm of society or those who won't conform. We, as members of the church, knowingly and proudly don't conform to the norm. We may some day be at peril for that.

As for civil disobedience, in a previous post I mentioned a website that I had found that said the church did not approve of civil disobedience. But, arguably, we may need to practice it ourselves some day. When the days come that all the ideas about the end times come, when we are apparently going to have to have the mark of the beast to get food, water, etc., we are church members will not do this. We will resist. We will practice civil disobedience, and if the PAII gets passed, risk having our citizenship revoked. And if we aren't citizens, we are no longer allowed due process.

Do we fight against things on a larger scale? Do we keep Satan at bay for as long as we can? Do we have an obligation to keep our ears and eyes sharp for things such as not only the bottle of beer in the fridge and the heavy petting in the backseat of a car, but also the legislation and the leaders that put us in future, but very real, peril? Do we have a requirement to protect not only ourselves but the lives of those outside of our little realm and those that will come after us? What is our obligation to a larger scale fight?

I have heard that we were saved for the end times--that valiant souls were needed to fight in the end. What does that mean, exactly? Are we valiant enough to withstand the offer for pot at a party? The temptation to cheat on our taxes or to not pay tithing? Or are we valiant in that we need to fight on a larger scale, to be the 10,000 stripling warriors in a different realm. Rather than arms, we take up political power and protest, the pen and the bullhorn, the ballot and the keyboard, to fight against the tide of Satan. Are we the ones responsible for fighting? Or do we sit back and let it happen, because it's an inevitabilty? What is our focus in this life?

The point isn't the rally against the PAII (although I really hate it myself). The point is to question what our responsibility is when we see things such as the PAII in my case, things that ruffle our feathers and create unrest. Things that put us in future precariou situations. Sure, we may not now feel the effects of some of that political power and maneuvering, but do we want to risk doing nothing and wait until we are in a troublesome spot?

The Church, to my knowledge, doesn't have anything to say about our responsibility to defend on a large scale. The Church doesn't tell us to vote one way or another, but to be informed citizens and active participants. So, what exactly does that mean?

In my opinion, it means I will be writing to my Congresspersons and letting them know that I think the PAII is deplorable. And I will keep writing in when things are good and when things are bad. I will protest when necessary. I will fight and be forward thinking. I think we are the 10,000 stripling warriors of our time, held back to keep things from deteriorating as rapidly as they could. We are here, in my opinion, to fight on a scale that the world hasn't seen yet. We are a powerful bunch, a large bloc. We are the ones sent here to fight.

So let's fight.

1 Comments:

  • I agree. It's an issue that needs more attention. We, as a people, have been encouraged to be politically active, but we continue to be passive. As such, I think we risk the Book of Mormon warnings about when the "majority" ceases to be righteous. In this country, I have often wondered if it isn't the majority of people, but the majority of voters who will determine when we lose our God-given freedoms. it's frightening to me. Very frightening.

    And, yes, i think we're expected to fight Satan wherever we find him. Whenever he appears and in whatever venue.

    By Blogger Glo, at 5:46 PM  

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