Friday, 10 February 2012

The future of Mormonism - recreating an independent state?

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Readers will know that I am well-disposed towards Mormons, and I was pleased to see there have been a couple of good articles about Mormons lately:

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/01/mormonism-obsessed-with-christ

http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2012/01/wholesome-mormons.html

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What attracted my interest to Mormonism in the first place (although my attention was retained by other aspects) was 'sociological': that they were a modern group - well-integrated with contemporary society in terms of being high status, highly educated, high earning, holding many responsible positions of leadership, exceptionally well-behaved - yet Mormons have had larger-than replacement-size families, and the richer and more devout the Father, the larger was the family (pretty much all Mormons use contraception, so these all represent deliberate choices).

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Yet, having since become a reactionary (at least in aspiration), I now wonder whether Mormonism is equipped to survive: since I suspect that moderate 'conservative' or 'Republican' views cannot survive rule by Leftism/ Political Correctness - we now perceive that 'sensible' moderates will always compromise with the Left until they have nothing left to compromise on.

What - if anything - may survive is the intransigent, immoderate, extremist, anti-modern religious Right (although not necessarily nor probably the Christian religious Right - at least not in the UK and Europe).

So, now my concern is that the recipe for Mormon success, the special mixture of modern/ integrated and traditional/ patriarchal - may have made the religion just too expedient (when compared with the founders of the LDS church, who certainly were intransigent!).

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Speculation time.

I suspect that the Mormon diaspora is unlikely to survive - what will be critical is what happens in the Mormon heartland around Utah, in face of an ever more aggressive and intrusive Federal Leftist government.

(By Leftist government I, of course, include the mass of mainstream Republicans. US Federal government is intrinsically Leftist. And modern Leftism is intrinsically secular.)

The choice would seem to be either to re-create an independent Mormon state - which Utah was originally - and to call upon all Mormons to come and dwell there; or else become assimilated to the ever more Leftist, secular, materialist norms of the USA.

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I have no doubt that a Mormon state would be highly viable in all vital respects - and would be large enough in population - probably around 10 million.

But what I wonder is whether this really is a choice for modern Mormons.

Whether the LDS Church, or its leadership, is nowadays capable of such an extreme and intransigent step as making an independent State.

It would be a U-turn on the expansionist, assimilationist, quietist strategy of about a century - with Mormons supposed to 'plant' themselves and found 'colonies' all over the world. It would mark a return to the consolidation and fortification of the Brigham Young era and after; when Mormon converts were supposed to migrate or emigrate to live in Utah.

The very success of Mormons in US national life means they have a lot more to give-up now.

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If presented, now, at one crisis, with a clear and immediate choice between the LDS Church or the Federal government, between secularism and personal success or the spiritual life and hardship, Mormons would no doubt choose the Church, the spiritual life and hardship.

But it will not happen like that.

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6 comments:

GFC said...

Dr. Charlton,

Given the mindset of the current ruling class of the USA, as well as the historical behavior of the USG, any Mormon attempt to go it alone in Utah would be met with savage violence on the part of the USG. This same government destroyed the South and has the blood of hundreds of thousands of Americans on its hands just to keep a population that wanted no more part of it, and particular to the Mormons, has a history of armed suppression of that sect.

The best the Mormons can hope for is a collapse of the USG, which will give them the space they need to develop without being enslaved to the Satanic modernist establishment. Fortunately for them, and us, such a collapse seems increasingly likely in the next several years.

bgc said...

@JP said

"I grew up in Arizona, where there are plenty of Mormons. I always respected their conservative politics and their hard-working, law-abiding behavior...

"The power ... to withstand the relentless erosion of the PC state and PC culture has to be significantly less than that of an ancient .. faith. Much less recent Protestant denominations have been unable to resist PC, and even the RCC is on the ropes. Therefore I am skeptical of Mormonism's ability to do so...

"Mitt Romney and John Huntsman are clear cases of elite Mormons who have been coopted by PC. As go the elites, ultimately so go the masses. This is not a good sign."

Audacious Epigone said...

BGC,

I share the positive disposition you do towards Mormons. But each time I read through something like the Pew Research report on contemporary Mormonism in the US, I can't help but wonder how long it will be before "It" gets them, too. It feels inevitable, more a question of when than of if.

Ron Guhname said...

I have a great deal of experience with Mormons. They are flexible survivors. They shed polygamy and racialism when they felt the pressure. No doubt, many would die for the faith, but with the belief in modern revelation, the Mormon president is likely to resolve a conflict with the state by praying and getting an answer to assimilate. I can only imagine separation or insurrection if the choice was fighting or church dissolution. The way to ruin this wonderful people is not through frontal attack, but slow corruption.

bgc said...

@RG - Also, if Romney becomes President I think this will (paradoxically?) make Mormons much more vulnerable - in the sense they will be more strongly attacked by the (unelected, bureaucratic) Federal Government and the media (because Romney is a Republican - of course Harry Reid, as a Democrat, has been given a free pass); but Mormons may be less likely to resist this with a Mormon President 'at the helm' for fear of it being seen as Mormon infighting.

Gideon Burdick said...

Harry Reid is a convert to Mormonism. Mitt Romney was born into it. With Mormons, there is a big difference. Reid gets a pass from Gentiles (non-Mormons) because he's a Democrat, but he gets a pass from Mormons because ... really ... he's not as much a Mormon as Mitt. Mormons don't really care what non-Mormons think about their religion. All that matters is their status in the Church. Geneology is very important and if you derive from a long line of Mormons, your status is much higher than a convert.