Sunday, August 19, 2012

Politics and The Sunday School Lesson

This morning I took the unprecedented, for me, step of giving both presidential and both vice presidential candidates running this year a "Like" on Facebook.  I did that, not because I particularly like any of them, but because I want to see what they have to say for themselves.  Will they address the issues that are important to me like adults or lapse into the childish name calling that has me so frustrated with some of their followers?

Related to my struggle to decide on who to vote for, I had a brief discussion with a friend over this advertisement produced by the Catholic Church.

He had made what was probably intended to be a smart-ass remark about the Catholics burning Freedom and Marriage.  I tossed back an equally sarcastic "Why not?  Everyone else is jumping on that bandwagon."  Then the conversation turned a little more serious and he asked what I meant by that comment.  In large part, this was my reply:
"....we're not free. We keep giving up little bits of our basic freedoms under the guise of 'you wouldn't object if you had nothing to hide.' We get farther and farther from the traditional values that have underpinned the achievements and prosperity of our nation in the name of tolerance and saying the politically correct thing to the currently politically correct minority of the populace. We let people with evil intentions dictate the conditions of our travel and allow government-mandated invasive searches of our bodies to gain the privilege. We (or least I) pay more and more toward education every year so that schools can turn out ever less functionally educated students. We've lost the ability to treat each other with basic civility and let our language degenerate into a continual stream of f%$# this and f#*^ that to grant everyone the right of personal expression. We allow our government and agro-business/corporate farms to offer up poison [for food] and wonder why we are sicker and fatter while we allow them to shut up anyone who objects. We're not free. That's just [an ideal] we aggrandize on the 4th of July with fireworks, parades and backyard BBQs. So why not just toss it all on the fire and be done with it?"

Since it's Sunday, I bet you're wondering how I'm going to tie this back to a spiritual thought...

Our Sunday School lesson today was about possible locations related to military events in the Book of Mormon.  It included one of my favorite scriptural analogies from Alma 43 about Amalickiah tempting Lehonti down off Mt. Antipas.  Three times he tried, and three times he failed, to get Lehonti to meet him at the bottom of the mountain but for his fourth, and finally successful attempt, he came part way up which reduced Lehonti's fear of an ambush enough to agree.  Amalickiah proposed a traitorous plan to capture his own men in exchange for the place of 2nd in command and from that position of trust he slowly and almost imperceptibly poisoned Lehonti to death and gained full control of the army.  Brilliant military strategy!  And an equally brilliant way to convince each of us to give up what we want forever so we can have what we want right now.

In simplest terms, sin is deceit.  And it is easily and conveniently veiled from our conscious notice when it's spun as good the same way that freedom is eventually lost when it's spun as small concessions and labeled as honest, tolerant, safe, creative, or efficient or any number of other desirable sounding adjectives.

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