Joe Cannon: Perception of the Almighty has changed over the centuries

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  • Nietszche is Dead
    May 4, 2009 1:18 a.m.

    Of that we can be sure while God continues to live and the majority of mankind believes in deity.

    Communist China and the old Soviet Union were officially atheist but, when people are allowed to decide and not hide their religious views for fear of persecution, the human race is largely deist.

    Nietszche and Arnold do not decide what people believe. The former died a deranged man to inspire Hitler and others to infamous deeds.

    Things done in God's name have sometimes been horrible as have the deeds of notorious atheists like Stalin and Mao. God goes on needing nobody's approval.

    The mid-Victorian period whic was the mid nineteenth century was a period when many people in the West sought to be Christian and it was a time of progress. That progress included the abolition of slavery under the influence of Christians like William Wilberforce.

    Under the influence of unbelievers such as Marx, Darwin, Nietszche (author of "The Anti-Christ"), Stalin, Hitler, Mao and others terrible acts were perpetrated resulting in the death and misery of tens of millions. I agree that the Roman Catholic Church did evil things too and ruthlessly suppressed true believers in Christ.

  • RE: Mr DJ
    May 3, 2009 4:58 p.m.

    As Joseph Smith recorded that God said (and I paraphrase):

    They draw near me with their lips but their hearts are far from me,

    Just like you said we need to live our belief and not just talk about it.

    The real truth is God has NOT moved or changed,

    but it is the people and their beliefs and their perceptions and their reliance, and their faith,

    that waxes and wanes, that moves, that changes,

    when people need God, when life is terrible and their are disasters, the people humble themselves and seek God, making promises to him,

    when things are good when they are prosperous, they don't believe they need god, or need to thank him, and move away from him.

    or when their faith is tested and they lose faith in god because they are not immediately blessed or saved,

    This is much closer to the truth, than the nonsense and psuedo-intellectualism of john frum.

  • Mr. DJ
    May 3, 2009 12:25 p.m.

    What exactly constitutes bringing God back into society? If it is something so shallow as simply using the word "God" in public discourse and using "God" in our political sales pitches and then congratulating ourselves for acknowledging "God" verbally and working ourselves into a euphoria because people are talking about "God" again, allow me to add my name to the list of cynics who scoff.

    When we start placing more emphasis on making life affordable for our people and stop worshipping the Almighty Dollar, the "God" in which we truly trust, and when we start showing some respect or the earth and our natural resources instead of bending over backwards to maintain our current lifestyles of waste, then I'll buy in.

  • Consider this
    May 3, 2009 11:19 a.m.

    The pope recently said we have entered into a wilderness of a godless society.

    When we were full of God, catholic style, people were burned at the stake for questioning Catholic doctrine. Galeao was put under house arrest and threatened with being killed if he didn't recant his believe that the world revolved around the sun.

    Now the pope say God doesn't want people to use birth control. He is obviously dismayed almost no one listens to this. Given the popes track record of being wrong in history, and given that birth control does no actual harm, where is the credibility that they should be believed on this issue?

    Given some peoples idea of what being Godly means, I'd say its a good thing we are no longer "Godley". If we were we would be slaves to the arbitraty dictates of one who would keep people in mental bondage.

  • Oh Please
    May 3, 2009 11:17 a.m.

    Joe Cannon, who ran Geneva into the ground, is now going to turn theologian. Oh well.... why not?

  • US has improved
    May 3, 2009 11:12 a.m.

    Earlier in our countries history, people were careful to keep the sabbath day and to attend church, but depending on time period, either kept slaves or thought nothing of discrimination based on race.

    I would imagine God thinks going to church and keeping the sabbath day is small patatos compared to the progress we have made in basic human fairness.

    I would argue we are worshiping God by treating our fellow human being as we would be treated, and in comparison going to church is nothing.

  • Inappropriate for editorial.
    May 3, 2009 10:16 a.m.

    This should have been in the LDS Newsline section.

  • Kevin
    May 3, 2009 7:56 a.m.

    I sought out this opinion piece by the Economist writers. Here's an interesting line from it:

    "America became religious after the Constitution separated church from state, thus ensuring that religious denominations could only survive if they got souls into pews."

    America wasn't founded on religion but became religious by establishing a secular government. Now I see the Joe Cannons of the world using our history to justify the very opposite, that government should not be secular because of Americans religiosity.

    Another quote from the article: "The new American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) shows that the proportion of Americans who claim to have no religion has increased to 15% today from 8.2% in 1990."

    That's the great news in that op-ed. I'm sorry Mr. Cannon didn't notice it.

  • Maurice McBride
    May 3, 2009 7:00 a.m.

    I look forward to Mr. Cannons future columns on modernity and the Age of Relativism and hope that he will combine them, expand upon them, write more on what it means for us today and what it portends for the future of humanity, and include all this in the book that only he can write.

  • PSmith
    May 3, 2009 6:24 a.m.

    This silly "editorial" belongs in your religion section, not in the news section. Utter nonsense.

  • CougarKeith
    May 3, 2009 5:33 a.m.

    It is funny how people of the "World" began to consider God, perhaps dead. While those of faith, know better, they see, smell, hear, and notice God's hands in all the handywork of the heavens, in all the doings of their lives, and all the goings on of the world events. It is so sad so many turn the naked eye which has never had clothes, or eyes to see the reality of the things of God simply because they choose not to see. A careful reading of the bible for what it actually says, not what people tell you it says will explain the hour of darkness that will cover the earth, the famine in the land for the word of God, for the truths of God, and the eventual restoration of it. For those who look, they find it, whether in whole or in part, for those who don't, well they simply don't and are mistaken by wolves in sheep's clothing. In any event it's there for the finding if your humble, and if your sincere, and God will reveal the truth of it to your heart, mind, soul, and being.

  • John Frum
    May 3, 2009 3:54 a.m.

    About the "Age of Relativism": Note that our greatest modern liberal thinkers scoff at the idea of relativism. For example, the champion of relativistic thinking, Albert Einstein, also said that things should be stratified "to their simplest form but no simpler."

    It's not that our best thinkers abhor absolutes; it's that we must use valid processes for determining what the correct absolutes are. "Faith" and "belief" don't pass muster; "logic" does. Just try proving otherwise without using logic. What many accept as "absolutes" aren't the real absolutes at all. Not by a long shot.

    As for everyone believing in God prior to 1800: How could you have so much hutzpah as to actually think you know what was on the minds and hearts of everyone on earth, or how many suffered their opinions silently in the face of oppressive religious theocracy and tyranny?

  • John Frum
    May 3, 2009 3:54 a.m.

    Mr. Cannon,

    At the risk of elevating you far beyond what you merit: You're making the same mistake Prof. Cox made those 40-odd years ago. There exists a clear long-term trend, atop which are generational perturbations. Those who do not learn from history are indeed doomed to repeat it.

    "God is back" is happy news only to those who don't mind living in a world of make-believe, where things that are made up enjoy as much credence as those that are subject to verification and validation. It's like discovering that many of the inmates in the asylum agree once again that "the purple creature" is real.

    To those who insist upon living within the confines of reality, this is neither "happy news" nor "mildly amusing". It is a reminder that any victories in the struggle toward sanity on a humanity-wide scale are fragile and tenuous, and that the path toward fulfillment of our purpose will be filled with heartbreak along the way.