The Long Version

Retired broadcast journalist. Blogging helps scratch the itch. Recovering exRepublican – Sober and still Conservative.

Posts Tagged ‘liberty

Liberty is NOT a Man Made Concept

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Editors Note:

Mike Jensen is a freelance writer and journalist who, according to his bio lives in Colorado. Back in 2013 he wrote an article for the Canadian Free Press where he talks about a teaching in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (The Mormons) that explains why Mormons are so adamant about free agency and liberty. I found it to be a very interesting perspective coming from a non-Mormon who isn’t familiar with the teachings of the church and wanted to share it here on my blog.

Title of Liberty

 

“SMART MORMONS?”
By Mike Jensen Tuesday, January 22, 2013

During the 2012 presidential campaign, that awesomely deep well of perpetual wisdom, Alec Baldwin, proclaimed that if Barack Obama were not black, his vote total would have been 20 percent higher.

People of real intelligence realize that the opposite was probably true: if he had been white, his vote total would have been 20 percent lower. The African-American voting bloc combined with enough whites suffering from liberal guilt guaranteed a higher vote total for Obama.

The truth of the matter is, if Mitt Romney had not been a Mormon, his vote total might very well have been significantly higher.

In fact, according to a Galup poll released in June of last year, while 4 percent of people said they would not vote for a black president, a full 22 percent said they would not vote for a Mormon. In fact, only atheists and gays ranked higher.

So Baldwin probably had it backwards, which he usually does, so that comes as no surprise.

What did come as a surprise to me is why people would have such negative views of Mormons. I have known lots of them in my life, and in most cases they have been hard-working, kind, generous, family-oriented people—just the kind of people this country used to value (and maybe that’s the problem right there.)

Mormons have intrigued me ever since Mike Huckabee back in 2007 claimed that Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers. With the recent election over, I decided to check out Mormons a bit more.

My hope in doing this was to explain to readers who Mormons are and whether or not 22 percent of the people were justified in opposing having a Mormon president.
But instead I’m going to share an intriguing bit of Mormon theology I learned that I think makes them perhaps the most politically wise human beings on the planet. Ironically, this story stems from that Huckabee quote about the relationship between Jesus and the devil, but the lesson to be learned is one that, regardless of our political or religious views, we would all be wise to consider.

So here’s what I learned: Mormons, unlike most other Christian sects, believe that all humans lived a life before mortality. They call this the pre-existence or pre-earth life. At birth a veil is placed over our minds so that we don’t remember it (you’ll see why in a minute).

In this pre-earth life, we were all in the presence of God as His spirit children. Jesus was there—the first-born of God’s spirit children, and a leader in the councils in Heaven. Lucifer was also there, and was another leader among the children of God. He was called a “son of the morning.”

At some point in this existence, the Father called all of His children together to explain how things worked. All of His children would have to leave His presence and come to earth for a period of testing. The goal was to see if we would live a righteous life even when we had to live by faith, as we would no longer be able to remember God or heaven (that’s the reason for the veil).

If we would live a righteous life, we would be given the opportunity to return and live with God forever. Otherwise we would forfeit that chance, because no unclean thing can live in God’s presence. However, God knew that we would all make mistakes, so he would provide a Savior for the world. This Savior would live a sinless life, and because of that, he would qualify to pay for the sins of the world through what would be called the “Atonement.” If people would sincerely repent of their sins, then the Atonement would essentially erase their sins, and they could still return and live with God. The Father called for volunteers to be this savior, and two stepped forward: Jesus and Lucifer.

Lucifer said that he would be the savior and he would force everybody to live righteously, thus guaranteeing that all of God’s spirit children would return to Him in heaven. Jesus said that He would follow the Father’s plan and allow God’s children their free agency. They could choose for themselves whether to live righteously and take advantage of the Atonement or whether to live in sin and forfeit the opportunity to return and live with God.

God rejected Lucifer’s plan, causing Lucifer to rebel and declare war on God. One-third of God’s spirit children joined Lucifer in this rebellion. In the end, the rebellion failed and Lucifer and his followers were cast out of heaven. They came to earth without bodies and now, continuing the war they started in heaven, they tempt men to do evil to one another and lose out on the chance to return to God.

PAY ATTENTION HERE; THIS IS THE GOOD PART

Now, any traditional Christians reading this will see similarities to their own belief system. Most traditional Christians believe that Lucifer lived in heaven as an angel, but then declared war on God and was cast out.. However, the causes for that war are not necessarily clear in traditional Christian theology.

That is where Mormon theology is so intriguing. For Mormons, the greatest of all battles, the war in heaven, was fought over LIBERTY—or as they call it, “free agency.” Lucifer wanted to take it away, while God demanded that humans have it.

Although a Mormon might balk at my making comparisons between their religious beliefs and modern politics (and as I said earlier, every Mormon I’ve ever known was a very good person, so I apologize to any I offend), I see a direct correlation here. For a Mormon, the battle for liberty is not unique to this life; it is the core battle of the ages. Lucifer lost the war in heaven (he really thought he could beat God?), but the war continues on earth. So seeing the government become more and more tyrannical is not just a political concern; it’s a fundamental, eternal concern.

I’m inspired by this Mormon theological idea: God intended for humans to be free to make our own choices and live with the consequences of those choices. The Founding Fathers of this country said essentially the same thing in the Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evidence, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

My study of Mormonism has not only given me newfound respect for this people and their religion; it has also made me evaluate my own attitude towards the liberty that seems to be slipping through all of our fingers. Is this just something that is nice to have, and for which I thank the Founding Fathers? Or is it really something that is endowed by God, and that He expects me to fight for. According to Mormon theology, I already fought for this once. The fact that I’m here says that I was on God’s side in the war in heaven, and fought for liberty.

A Mormon might ask, why should any of us be less willing to fight for it here than we were there?”

Written by DCL

June 28, 2021 at 7:35 pm

What’s the Real Risk During the COVID-19 Shutdown?

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by Nedra Sorenson
Guest Blog

John Adams Quote on Freedom

I keep hearing that “the virus is the boss” – that it is the disease that has to dictate how life goes on…WHETHER life goes on. But that’s not what’s happening. The virus isn’t the boss here – FEAR is the boss. And the ones who are pushing the fear, the ones whose voices are the loudest, telling us how fearful we should be, are the LEAST fearful.

THEY are not worried that they haven’t gotten a paycheck for the last five weeks (because they’ve been voting themselves raises and non-deductible/no co-pay health care and Platinum Parachute pensions for years – all on the backs of American taxpayers).

THEY are not worried about overdue mortgages or not being able to make the rent on their business property (because their second home in the Hamptons or Napa Valley was paid for in cash and is now a huge tax write-off).

THEY are not worried about having to sit for hours in mile-long queues to get a cardboard box of groceries from the food bank (because they can snack on gourmet gelato kept nice and cold in their stainless steel Subzero freezer).

THEY can film themselves wallowing in a bubble bath in their oversized tub and say they are just like the rest of us. THEY can film their upper body workouts as they sit in their designer home office at their designer desk and tell us how important it is to stay inside while they can move around outdoors at will. THEY can set up hotlines for people to phone in “social distancing” violations by their neighbors while they sneak off to the gym.

I keep asking myself how many deaths have occurred from cancer in the last 40 days? How many from heart disease or diabetes? How many from plain, old everyday influenza? How many people died from accidents in the last month? How many lives were snuffed out by abortion since February?

Each death diminishes me because I am part of the main…yet death is a fact of life that we face every day. The fact, currently, is that we are NOT being held hostage by a disease (by the way with a 97-98% SURVIVAL rate!)…we are being held hostage by fear, fear that’s being promoted by those whose only real interest is in seizing crisis-produced power and holding on to it.

In the 1700’s there was this guy named George. He was rich and powerful…he was a tyrant. He used coercion and repression and fear to control his subjects. And the fledgling Americans – who had SO much to lose (but everything to gain) rose up and said “ENOUGH!”

Because freedom isn’t easy, people…liberty isn’t SAFE. Liberty is RISK. LIFE is risk. Every day we face and risk death…every day there is the possibility of losing everything. The question each person has to ask themselves is, IS IT WORTH THE RISK?

Do we live our lives in freedom, risking all we have for what we could have…or do we listen to the fear, give in to the fear and let our children and grandchildren struggle under the crushing weight of trillions of dollars in tax burden because we were too fearful to face the risk?

Do we leave future generations the knowledge that we were willing to be controlled, to believe the narrative that someone was only thinking of our health and safety, while the economic lifeblood of the world drained away?

Do we decide that Eliot was right…that this is how the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper? The whimper of a fearful world, masked and cowering behind closed doors – while those in power lower their silk scarves from their faces to tell us how safe they are keeping us?

You can ask me, am I scared? Yes. I’m scared. But despite the fact that I’m in the at-risk demographic – elderly, with underlying health issues…I’m more scared for my neighbors, for my country, than the possibility of death by COVID-19…because NOBODY gets out of this alive.

In the end it’s HOW you live, not IF you’ll die.

Written by DCL

April 25, 2020 at 10:36 am

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

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A North Carolina State Senator was recently in the news after he shot one of two intruders at his home near Tabor City, NC.  The intruder wasn’t killed and his injuries were reported to be non-life-threatening.  75 year-old RC Soles, Democrat in the North Carolina Senate, ultimately plead guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge, was fined $1,000 and sent home bringing cries of injustice from many in North Carolina.  Whether his sentence was light or not isn’t the point.  If he was acting in self defense I stand by his right to act as he did.  But that’s not why this story made it into my blog nor is it what incited the headline.

You see, Senator Soles has a long history and has made his career in politics rallying against gun ownership for the general public.  Interesting, how politicians like Soles are so eager to take away your right to defend yourself in your home with a gun yet don’t hesitate to do it themselves when faced by an intruder.

In typical hypocritical fashion, and some would say “Liberal fashion”, the “Do as I say and not as I do” Anti-Gun Activist Lawmaker picked up his gun and fired at his would-be assailant. Why hypocritical you may ask?  One look at his long legislative record shows that the actions he took to protect his family, property, and life, are actions he feels ordinary citizens should not be allowed to take if they are faced with an identical situation.

It  prompts us to ask if the Senator believes his life, family, and personal safety is more valuable than yours or mine.  But, it’s what we’ve all come to expect from those who believe they can run our lives, raise our kids, and protect our families better than we can.

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Just for fun here’s a little 2nd amendment “Tedbit O Fun” from our good friend Ted “Snakeskin Cowboy” Nugent as he schools CNN’s Piers Morgan on gun control. Gotta love Ted!

CLICK HERE to see Ted in action.

It’s Time to Sacrifice

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Times are tough.

I’ve felt the sting of the economic downturn myself and understand the concept of differentiating between my wants and my needs.  In so doing I have had to cut back significantly on my monthly spending.  It hasn’t been easy.  In fact it’s been pretty damn hard and humbling.  But we’ve done it to the best of our ability and are managing to keep afloat even if that means our noses are just above the waterline.

With that in mind it is with great interest that I follow the current furor over the nation’s budget and the proposals to come out of congress and the White House.

The President ordered the cabinet to cut $100 million from the $3.5 trillion federal budget.

Those numbers are so incredibly large they become surreal to most of us average folks making it tough to really wrap one’s head around it.  So I decided to do some math and get some comparative figures based on my own budget.

You know, to help bring it down to earth.  The one you and I live on at least.

My monthly expenses, prior to my own personal economic downturn, came to about $5000 a month.  That includes my mortgage, car payment, utilities, groceries, household expenses, medical needs, child related expenses,  credit payments, meals out and entertainment, etc.

If I was to follow the lead of the president, taking the same action he took in the face of reduced revenue and the prospects of financial failure and a bankrupt government, I would have to get out the budget cutting axe and bite the bullet!  100,000,000 dollars is a big number.  That has to hurt.

Cutting my spending by exactly the same ratio as the president’s proposal is 1/35,000 of my total budget: 100,000,000 / 3,500,000,000,000 = 1/35,000.

The ultimate burden of sacrifice I would have to ask my family to commit to and share would be…

18 cents.

Kind of puts the whole fiasco in Washington into perspective doesn’t it?

Unfortunately I don’t have a printing press in the basement rolling out sheets of $20’s to supplement my spending habits nor can I vote myself a new debt ceiling to waylay the approaching and open hands of my creditors.

In the personal economies of my world and yours, sacrifice is real.  It can cut deep and be painful. Still, we do what is necessary to provide the needs of our families, we work to improve our situation and over time we hope it gets better.  In the meantime we survive, sometimes with a little help from our friends, families, or religious communities.

What our government is doing through its inability to understand the word sacrifice, by not saying no to its wants, by not being fiscally responsible, by printing money that has no foundational backing, spending recklessly over generations of time, over-taxing its citizens, and not seriously considering balancing its books, is making our personal efforts to improve our own personal economies next to impossible.

For me this isn’t about political parties, ideologies, or the power struggles that pervade the beltway of our nation’s capital.  It’s about liberty.  The freedom to go out and create for myself and my family the means by which we can enjoy the wonderful things and opportunities in our world.

Vote for Liberty in 2012.  Change, as we are learning, is simply too ambiguous and too risky.