Latter-day Saint Extremism

by | Nov. 10, 2010

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While there are so-called “extremists” in many areas of our political spectrum this article will deal more with the supposed “right-wing extremists” within our Church and nation. I have seen a great resurgence of interest in the core principles of liberty and the Constitution within our Latter-day Saint community. I, myself, have been a part of this resurgence. Anyone familiar with the principles of liberty can understand why we as Latter-day Saints are particularly attracted to this philosophy and to the cause for freedom. Simply put, the preservation of man’s agency is at the very heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, many of us who have whole heartedly embraced this new philosophy and way of life have been shunned and labeled “extreme” by those with whom we feel the most kinship, our fellow Latter-day Saints. The purpose of this article is not to explain whether we are extreme or not, but to dispel public perception and provide tools for us to explain what we are really about.

Extremism can be defined as any political theory favoring immoderate uncompromising policies. Certainly we as LDS liberty lovers fall under this definition of extremism. However, there are other elements to defining this topic in today’s vernacular. The term we’re focusing on can be relative to the group, culture, and time in which one lives. Some ideas and ways of thinking can be perfectly acceptable in one culture and time and quite extreme in another. I argue that many if not most of the views we hold would not be out of the norm at all in the days of the American Founding. However those same views are thought of as “radical” today. The principles of liberty were common knowledge among all Englishman during the American Colonial period.

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