Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Socialism and Religion

I have heard several comments during this health care debate that have piqued my interest. They are great thoughts that are designed to pull at our hearts. These are slogans such as "What would Jesus do about health care," or "Jesus would want everyone to have health care." This is true. Christ would want everyone to be taken care of and to be loved. There are also the ideas floated about how socialism is the same thing as the Law of Consecration.

However, the idea that is lost in these arguments is that Christ is also the ultimate defender of the agency of man. The scriptures are full of instances when God has refused to act because he did not want to interfere with the agency of man. In the 14th chapter of the book of Alma we have the account of Alma and Amulek watching the deaths of many women and children as they are burned for their beliefs. We read:

10 And when Amulek saw the pains of the women and children who were consuming in the fire, he also was pained; and he said unto Alma: How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God which is in us, and save them from the flames.
11 But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; for behold the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in glory; and he doth suffer that they may do this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them, according to the hardness of their hearts, that the judgements which he shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just; and the blood of the innocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day.

We really forget that we are here to be tested and tried in all things. We must show our willingness to follow the teachings of the Savior on our own. We can teach, we can exhort, but we must never force. In the words of the hymn "Know this, that every soul is free":

Know this, that every soul is free
To choose his life and what he’ll be,
For this eternal truth is given
That God will force no man to heaven.

He’ll call, persuade, direct aright
And bless with wisdom, love, and light,
In nameless ways be good and kind,
But never force the human mind.

Freedom and reason make us men;
Take these away, what are we then?
Mere animals, and just as well
The beasts may think of heaven or hell.

The problem with socialism is that it is forced. They may have good intentions, but our agency is taken from us. There is no free will for me to decide if I want to follow the Savior and to bless the lives of those around me- or in what way I would like to bless them. If I am forced to give a gift am I blessed for it? Have I really followed the example of the Savior? What of the person who decides that I have too much and thinks that I should give more to others, and then forces me to do so. That person is doing what Lucifer did. It is recorded of him, "That Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him." Moses 4:3.

They forget also that the founding fathers believed that property was sacred. This may seem like such a foriegn concept to us now. But what does property represent? It is our very lives. We expend of our lives, our time upon this earth, in work and labor for our possesions. And to take those possesions away from a person with out his consent or approval is akin to the theft of his life. Our government takes away a good portion of our life through taxes. That money is sacred money, because it repersents the lives of the American people. But they take it in order to do with it as they feel is right; denying us the privilege of giving of our lives in sacrifice to bless the lives of others. And the more they do this the more of our agency is taken away. I cannot bless others if I have nothing to give.

There are two glaring differences among a plethora of others between Socialism/Communism and the Law of Concecration. The first; who administers it. One is administered by God and his chosen servants. The other, by a corrupt government. The second difference is that Socialism/Communism is forced and takes away the agency of men. Concecration is completely voluntary and preserves the agency of man.

I can choose to live the Law of Consecration now, But I will never be able to force my neighbor to.

1 comment:

  1. Well said Bill!!! My sentimnents exactly, only better written!! :)