Monday, June 05, 2006

The deceivers who tangle the web...



Interesting SLTrib article today, from outspoken church critic RB Scott.


Mixing religion and politics: Oh, what a tangled web . . .

Ron starts off on the wrong foot with his blatantly inappropriate and offensive poetic title, and just naturally flows down hill from there.

He flatly -- and mistakenly -- insinuates that church leaders are practicing deceptive tactics in order to play a political game. Stirring up controversy, sowing the seeds of confusion and discord -- these are exactly the kind of reaction Ron always seems wont to provoke.

President Hinckley is not a liar by any definition. He needs no defense from people like Ron, who always manage to twist things to serve their own point of view.

I personally am certain that Ron will find, sometime in the future, that editorializing against the church carries a far greater cost than he can afford.

I have been following the reaction of various church members toward the First Presidency statement. It makes a fascinating study.

For the most part, in the general body of the church I think there is little controversy or question in our minds. When Church leaders counsel us to act, we act. Since we already support and sustain members of the first councils of the church as prophets, seers, and revelators, when they speak with authority, critical analysis can wait.

There are many, however, for whom some deliberation is apparently warranted. They demand to test inspired counsel against the philosophies of men, to satisfy their own intellect, or simply to show their own politically-correct approval or disapproval.

Whatever the reason, this small but vocal minority can always be noticed in such matters. They take the forefront in media coverage. They seem to love to "be seen of men". And, I believe, because they hear their own voices echoing in the silence, they presume to represent the rest of us.

I have no objection to others voicing their opinions, but I take exception when they presume to issue moral or intellectual judgments against the church or in opposition to Church authority. Those of us in the silent but faithful minority need to participate in the public forum, so as to avoid leaving the impression that dissenters and dissidents represent any significant segment of the faithful disciples. While it goes against my natural inclination to be outspoken, I have learned through sad experience that if we fail to protest when we are misrepresented, many of those who view things from without will assume that we have no opposing views and nothing to say in such matters. Apparently, from the legalistic perspective, it is true that "Silence gives assent".

In case any are mislead by the attempts so sow doubts about the legitimacy of religious groups engaging in political activism, at this link some of the guidelines are nicely illustrated.

It is a specious red-herring to insinuate that the tax-exempt status of the church is in jeopardy, or to suggest that the church would fail to take imperative action or unequivocally express an official position on issues with clear moral implications. This misinformation has often been perpetuated by the doubters and naysayers as justification for advocating non-involvement or avoidance of politically sensitive issues, but it is clearly contradicted by the facts. Those asserting that the church is putting tax-exempt status in jeopardy are apparently more interested in sowing the seeds of doubt than any loss of tax status.

When there is an issue upon which the voice of the Lord has been heard, the church will let it be known, in clear and unmistakable terms. Those with ears to hear, let them hear.

2 comments:

Jim Cobabe said...

I've received some personal correspondence from Ron Scott, the author of the SLTrib editorial. He asserts that I misrepresented his editorial position, but I shrug this off as de rigueur. No one but Ron can ever say what Ron meant except Ron. In many online discussions over a wide range of topics with Ron, it has ever been his response to any matter upon which we disagreed.

I was only mildly surprised that he took the time to send a personal response.

Connor Boyack said...

Jim,

An excellent post. I agree that "silence gives assent". Far too many in the majority don't let their voices be heard, and so politicians, and the public at large, are all led to believe that this outspoken minority represents the desires of the masses.