by Alan Keele
I begin with some words of President Spencer W. Kimball from the Ensign of June, 1976. His article commemorated the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and is entitled: “The False Gods We Worship.” President Kimball wrote:
We are a warlike people, easily distracted from our assignment of preparing for the coming of the Lord. When enemies rise up, we commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel … and depend on them for protection and deliverance. When threatened, we become anti-enemy instead of pro-kingdom of God; we train a man in the art of war and call him a patriot, thus, in the manner of Satan’s counterfeit of true patriotism, perverting the Savior’s teaching: “Love your enemies. . . ” Read the rest of this article here.
Christianity vs. Capitalism
by Cory Bushman
Capitalism is one of the many economic and social systems that exist within the context of modern day society. Capitalism is defined as a “system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for profit, and in which investments, distribution, income, production and pricing of goods and services are determined through the operation of a market economy.” http://www.wikipedia.com. For many, capitalism—like democracy—has become something that is loved, revered, and worshiped. Writer and political activist, Michael Harrington wrote, “One of the things capitalism brought into the world was democracy, though I do not think the two are inseparable.” Read the rest of the article here.
Rio Tinto vs. Working-Class Mormons
By K. Jorgensen
Mormon workers in Boron, California played a key role in winning a labor struggle after being locked out by Rio Tinto, a multinational mining corporation, for almost four months. The workers, members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 30, operate the largest borax mine in the world. Over 560 workers were locked out. After the union’s contract had expired on November 4th of last year, negotiations were held to draw up a new contract. Rio Tinto, seeking concessions from the union members, proposed a contract that would have reduced benefits, scrapped the seniority system, allowed full-time jobs to be converted to part-time with little or no benefits, and opened the worksite to non-union employees by outsourcing jobs. Read the rest of the article here.
By John D. Gustav-Wrathall
A few years ago, after I had given a talk discussing the dilemmas faced by gay Mormons, a young woman clearly moved by my account of those dilemmas raised her hand and wanted to know what well-meaning people of faith could do to help. In another time and place, and under other circumstances, I might have offered the usual activist’s laundry list: demonstrate and work to raise awareness, talk to friends and family, write letters to leaders, give money to organizations committed to gay rights, vote and encourage others to vote. But under the circumstances that had brought me to the particular place and time in which I had given that talk, I had different advice for her. I told her to be faithful. To live the Gospel of Jesus Christ fully and authentically. To stay active and involved and true to the Church. I encouraged her to keep her heart from bitterness or anger or impatience, and never to become critical of the Church. I told her I certainly never want to hear about individuals leaving the Church in frustration because they feel that the Church is treating me or others in my situation unfairly. If she did feel genuine concern for her lesbian and gay sisters and brothers, I encouraged her simply to keep us in her prayers. Read the rest of the article here.
By James F. Holwell
Ammon Hennacy (July 24, 1893-January 14, 1970) was a Christian anarchist, pacifist, social activist, Catholic Worker Movement supporter, a “Wobbly” vegetarian and tax resister. He established the “Joe Hill House of Hospitality” in Salt Lake City, Utah. Hennacy eventually married and left the Catholic Church, though he remained a “non-church Christian.”His most popular and emblematic essays can be found in his memoir “The Book of Ammon.” Read the rest of this article here.
By Kate Kelly
As I read the book The Spiral of Violence by Dom Hélder Pessoa Câmara, I found myself nodding along. “Do you think you are alone?” Yes, I nodded. He wrote, “Whatever your religion, try to demand that, instead of separating men, it helps to unite them…In the teachings of your faith, what are the principles, the directives which call for justice and peace?…Beyond the barriers let us unite! If existing minorities–and there are minorities within all…religions–can come together in action for justice and peace, we shall have the right to hope.” Read the rest of the article here.
By Tristan Call and Katy Savage
Where I began: I grew up not caring much about genealogy, maybe bucking the uniquely Mormon distinction of being the only Christian cult with a real tradition of ancestor worship. As a kid, it seemed to me that old people were pretty dull anyway, and long-dead old people, even if they were the source of my last name and my easily-sunburned skin pigment, were even more so. It may have started with apathy, but as I got older I took it further: for most of my adolescence, I was actually against family. Not just dead family, or even boring family, for that matter. Read the rest of the article here.
By Ashley Sanders
I have called myself many things in my life, as I am sure you have. I have been a radical and an anarchist, a feminist and a separatist, a secessionist and a primitivist. I am still all those things, depending on the day and my mood. But these –ists and –isms, for all their fighting, have one thing in common: none of them are big enough to do what we have to do, and none of them is complicated enough to honor the density of the most average human being. We need a new-old word, a word that is old enough to fit us all and new enough to house our vision of a new world. We need a word small enough to still mean something and big enough to fit all us fighters inside of it, with enough space to put out our arms and turn, touching only fingertips. We need a word that is a cat to your dogma, a vision to your ideology. We need a word that staunches bleeding in the body of the Left, that stops the civil war between the mind and the head, that allows for justice and mercy, beauty and survival, art and resistance, hands and lips. Read the rest of the article here.
By Jason M. Brown
Theologian Thomas Berry has suggested that we are entering an “ecozoic” age. A new epic of ecological consciousness that will transcend the shorted-sightedness of the modern age which has precipitated the greatest environmental crisis humanity has ever faced; a crisis which recently presided over the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Many of the problems associated with the crisis—pollution, species extinction, climate change—have been framed in technical terms, to be resolved with minor adjustments in consumption habits, policy, or innovations in financial markets (such as carbon trading). However, the problems we face are but symptoms of a much deeper failure on the part of our civilization to relate to the earth and its creatures in moral terms. Read the rest of this article here.
Plotino Constantino Rhodakanaty: Introducción a un Anarquista Mormón
Por Jason M. Brown y Christopher J. Nielsen
Traducido por George E. Brooks
El tema de este artículo mantiene una posición prominente en la historia Mormona, Mexicana y radical; sin embargo, es prácticamente desconocido a los miembros de la comunidad mormona. Plotino Constantino Rhodakanaty, un inmigrante griego a México, que fue contemporáneo de Brigham Young y John Taylor, llegó a ser el primer Mormón, el primer Elder ordenado y el primer presidente de rama en México. Aunque al final dejó la iglesia, a Rhodakanaty no se le puede descartar como “converso débil,” o como uno que no estuviera dispuesto a hacer sacrificios. Al contrario, Rhodakanaty estaba demasiado dedicado a lo que él entendió como el evangelio. Y su impaciencia con la decisión de los líderes de la Iglesia de no implementar asentamientos comunales al estilo Orden Unido en México durante ese periodo temprano le costó a la iglesia un aliado entregado y ardiente. Read the rest of the article here.