“Joseph Smith was a Champion of Religious Liberty”

“Joseph Smith was a Champion of Religious Liberty” November 18, 2017


Wilmette, Illinois, Bahai Temple
The Bahá’i House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois
(Photo by Purpy Pupple, Wikimedia CC)


I know.  I know.  It’s not, strictly speaking, a “Muslim ban.”  I don’t use that term myself; I’m merely quoting the title of the article.  So please don’t waste electrons informing me that it’s not actually a “Muslim ban.”  To quote what I myself just said a very short while ago, “I know.  I know.”


I don’t agree with everything this fellow says.  I’m a conservative; he’s a liberal.  But his accumulation of authentic quotations from Mr. Donald J. Trump — quotations that have seriously and understandably hurt his attempts at imposing certain restrictions on emigration — is worthy of review:


“Trump’s Muslim Ban Impoverishes Us All”




I am, it turns out, an ardent advocate of freedom.  My commitment to liberty for myself and for others is bone-deep.  I came to it originally for secular reasons.  But, happily, both my faith and the church that embodies my faith hold to freedom as a fundamental principle.  Not an odd-on.  Something basic to our theology and, we believe, foundational (via the decisions of a heavenly council before the world was) to the very purposes of creation and mortality.


In that light, this article, by one of the most interesting of the new crop of Latter-day Saint historians, is very much worth reading:


“Joseph Smith was a champion of religious liberty”


Piercy in Nauvoo, with ruins
“The Nauvoo Temple in Ruins” (1853), by Frederick Piercy

(Wikimedia Commons public domain)
The Latter-day Saints had been driven from Nauvoo, Illinois, just six years before, after the murder of Joseph Smith. During the Mormon period, Nauvoo was roughly the same size as Chicago.




The case of Kelvin Cochran, in Atlanta, is — so far as I can see — a plain violation of the freedom of religion and, in fact, an example of encroaching wannabe tyranny:


“For Chief Cochran, His Faith Is More Important than His Dream Career”




This article (from The Atlantic) doesn’t mention the use of zoning laws to block the construction of Latter-day Saint temples and meetinghouses, but I would expect that several readers out there can think of cases where precisely that has happened:


“The Quiet Religious-Freedom Fight That Is Remaking America: A federal law was supposed to put an end to the use of local zoning laws as tools of discrimination. It hasn’t.”




Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey (whom I always found curiously slimy and repellent) and Judge Roy Moore and Al Franken and . . .


“In the Age of Sexual Misconduct, How Is Mike Pence a Problem?”




In a blog entry broadly aimed at political issues, this item may also fit:


There has been a great deal of much-deserved ridicule aimed at the fact that the proposed Senate tax-reform bills would eliminate mortgage deductions but would allow owners of private jets to deduct their expenses.  So it’s worth knowing that


“The Disgraceful Private-Jet Tax Break in the Senate Republicans’ Tax Plan Was Introduced by a Democrat”


It will, I think, not survive.  And, off hand, I can think of no reason why it should survive.


Posted from Chicago, Illinois



"Many readers (emphatically including myself) would disagree with you.This statement got me to thinking. Dr ..."

Of “Visions in a Seer Stone”
"Sham, I'm probably the least educated of the lot here. But even so, I've read ..."

Of “Visions in a Seer Stone”
"I truly look forward to the day I can read Twain's words back to him ..."

Of “Visions in a Seer Stone”
""...rubbish that would never survive the most cursory fact-checking by a reputable publisher gets promoted ..."

Observations of a Jaundiced Eye

Browse Our Archives