Mormon Media Observer: Two writers use the Book of Mormon to score political points

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  • Chris W Oklahoma City, OK
    May 9, 2012 10:30 p.m.


    I think you may miss understand the point I am trying to make. I'm not saying wealthy people shouldn't pay taxes. Everyone that has any income at all should pay some taxes. Unless we want to live in anarchy, we need some form of government, and that government should protect us from the worst among us or at minimum punish the offenders. With out getting into details of the role of government, clearly it needs money to do what it does. And it is certainly arguable that a more wealthy person gains more from government services, simply because they have more to loose. So the more wealth a person has, the more tax they should pay.

    My argument is against taxing wealthy people to then give money to those who aren't wealthy. One persons wealth is not dependent on, or even related to, another's lack of wealth. If a wealthy person gained wealth by taking it form others, they should be in jail, and their property confiscated, not taxed more.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 9, 2012 9:23 p.m.

    %Chris W:
    A family can be a society, but; beyond that you may be limiting your thought process too much. Think of in a developed society all of the infrastructure; roads, schools, police, government, etc. all provided by citizens paying taxes that go into making it possibe for some enterprising business person to become rich. Mitt didn't make Mitt rich, America made Mitt rich. It is not to take anything away from his contribution, but he is a product of the great American society.

  • Chris W Oklahoma City, OK
    May 9, 2012 4:15 p.m.


    You have a very limited definition of wealth or riches.

    In your island analogy. Let's have a several families each on their own island. On one island the family there work hard, grow crops, fish, make a nice house. Over time they thrive and have plenty of food and a nice place to live. On another island, they have different priorities, and end up with a much more modest home and just enough food to survive. To me one family is certainly more wealthy than the other.

    You don't have a society to get wealth. If your wealth does come from society in the manner you suggest, selling a product, then society has already benefited from your ingenuity. Even if you don't give a single thing or minute of your time to any charity, you have still benefited society. People have been given a job and paid to build the product, people have had the use of said product. Etc.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 9, 2012 2:41 p.m.

    %Chris W:
    I think the point you are missing is that people do not make themselves rich, society makes them rich, and that is why they profit by giving back to society (taxes) to support their getting rich. Ie: go on an isolated island with no society and produce a million gadgets with no demand and see how rich it will make you.

  • Chris W Oklahoma City, OK
    May 9, 2012 2:04 p.m.


    Who said agency should trump "all other moral values"? How can you justify taking away wealth that was justly accumulated? I avoid talking about specific people because I believe that leads to minutia that clouds the issue. So someone has tens or even hundreds of millions, who are we to force that person to give x% to charity? Where in scripture does it say that those who have less wealth are ever justified in ganging up on those who have more and forcefully taking any of that wealth? I submit that those who would support such action are likely far more guilty of envy than the wealthy are of greed. However, I don't see how anyone but God could possibly judge someones greed or envy and our attempts to do judge someone as guilty or greed or envy makes us guilty of the other.

    Section 104 is speaking of the united order, which is a government lead by those who are called of God. As such, it has not, can not, and never will work for a government ran by those who are appointed by man.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    May 9, 2012 1:39 p.m.

    People complain about the massive amounts of wealth accumulated by certain individules like Mitt Romney, or Donald Trump, or Bill Gates, ect.... However, what many forget is that behind the wealth of the ONE individule is thousands of jobs created that provide for people in a way much better than just giving those people money for nothing, which liberals seem so anxious to do. If a person has become very wealthy, and along the way given many people work, then I consider that much more of a contribution to society than just being charitable alone or being over-taxed.

  • LDS Guy USA, UT
    May 9, 2012 12:19 p.m.

    I think Mitt's a great guy- Scripture News wrote an article about 11 good things Mitt's done for others.

  • Nonconlib Happy Valley, UT
    May 9, 2012 9:20 a.m.

    Chris W:

    You can also find support in LDS scripture (D&C 104, for instance) for the notion that it is evil for an individual to accumulate wealth and not share it in a way that creates equality. But in our capitalist economy, which funnels wealth into the hands of the few and leaves so many wanting basic necessities or in deep debt, and which justifies someone like Mitt Romney in keeping his hundreds of millions rather than sharing more than 15 percent or whatever his charitable contributions are, government is necessary to accomplish what selfish individualists will not do of their own free will.

    Conservatives use the notion of freedom or moral agency as if it trumps all other moral values. This is willful blindness and not conducive to a sound republic.

  • Chris W Oklahoma City, OK
    May 9, 2012 8:54 a.m.

    Excessive tax rates are clearly not condoned in the Book of Mormon, however trying to relate what percentage would be considered excessive in the type of society that existed then vs now would not work. I have to strongly disagree with this quote,

    "an intelligent reader might well see taxes as one manifestation in a republic, not a kingdom, of our collective responsibility to one another"

    "collective responsibility" is an idea that is not consistent with the Book of Mormon. Such a view can only be held by someone who does not understand one of the most important gospel principles, "Moral Agency". By supporting government policies of taxing and using that money for the purpose of helping the less fortunate, you are supporting a policy that takes away others agency.

    Or responsibility is "individual" and as such we should all help those less fortunate, not compel others to do it by supporting government policies to that effect.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 9, 2012 8:44 a.m.

    "I'll take religious correction ..." What does tha mean? I reserve the right to make my own judgements on political and economic matters.

  • Red Headed Stranger Billy Bobs, TX
    May 9, 2012 7:24 a.m.

    A travelling speaker on socialism came to Nauvoo and expounded about the virtues and wonders of Socialism. Joseph wrote in his journal that he then replied to the congregation "I said I did not believe the doctrine."

    I do find it somewhat disconcerting when people inform me of what I believe, as if I had never made an effort to learn it before. I'll take religious correction from the First Presidency, The Quorum of the Twelve, other General Authorities, my Stake President, my Bishop, my Elder's Quorum President, my home teachers, and specifically from my spouse, not from journalists. In fact, the lack of understanding and insight from these journalists, makes me question their authority about other subjects.

  • seansto South Jordan, UT
    May 8, 2012 3:20 p.m.

    This whole "Mormon Moment" thing has been really interesting. While at times (lots of times) it's very frustrating for me to have my religion so much in the public eye, I am glad that the Book of Mormon is at least getting more discussion.

  • Give Me A Break Pullman, WA
    May 8, 2012 1:29 p.m.

    Bashir is interesting. He wanted to rail on a political candidate for lying, of all things, but in doing so he felt a need, for whatever reason, to lie himself. What is that all about? What he credits to be from the Book of Mormon is actually not in the Book of Mormon. He was quoting directly from the Doctrine and Covenants 63:17. If he didn't want to bring up this other book that is less well known and does not have a musical named after it, he should have just said it was from Mormon beliefs.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 8, 2012 9:54 a.m.

    The article brings out some good points. Since Islamic governments are modeled after some of the philosophy of the Quran and have build the nations of Muslims to their believe and liking. And Mitt Romney is a Mormon who believes in the truth of the Book of Mormon, it seems reasonable that he should take example from his holy believes and show how he can/will use them to govern and strengthen our nation. Good help should be welcomed from all sources; god knows we need the help.