Mormon leaders to Oregon militia: Your religion isn’t with you

Jan 7, 2016

by Peggy Flatcher Stack

If Ammon Bundy and other Mormons involved in taking over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon believe their religion is backing them, they should reconsider.

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “strongly condemn the armed seizure of the facility,” spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a news release Monday, “and are deeply troubled by the reports that those who have seized the facility suggest that they are doing so based on scriptural principles.”

The release further states that “this armed occupation can in no way be justified on a scriptural basis.”

Americans “are privileged to live in a nation where conflicts with government or private groups can — and should — be settled using peaceful means, according to the laws of the land.

That statement echoes the church’s 12th article of faith, which declares, “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”

The Utah-based faith’s statement, posted onmormonnewsroom.org, also links to a 1992 speech by senior LDS apostle Dallin H. Oaks, a former Utah Supreme Court justice, in which he warns against “excessive zeal” in creating so-called militias.

“I caution those patriots who are participating in or provisioning private armies and making private preparations for armed conflict,” Oaks said in the address given at church-owned Brigham Young University in Provo. Such people “risk spiritual downfall as they withdraw from the society of the church and from the governance of those civil authorities to whom our 12th article of faith makes all of us subject.”

Mormons involved in the Oregon protest include Ryan Bundy and brother Ammon, apparently named after a figure in the Book of Mormon. Another militia member dubs himself Captain Moroni, a warrior in the LDS faith’s signature scripture.

They are sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who made headlines in 2014 after an armed standoff with U.S. authorities over grazing on federal land. The elder Bundy mentioned his family’s LDS faith, but his sons have made their religion more explicit in the latest dispute.

Throughout its 185-year existence, Mormonism has had a complicated relationship with the U.S. government, explained historian W. Paul Reeve. “There are significant crosscurrents in the history.”


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25 comments on “Mormon leaders to Oregon militia: Your religion isn’t with you

  • “this armed occupation can in no way be justified on a scriptural basis.”

    What difference does that make? What can be justified on scriptural basis is as bat shit crazy as these armed occupiers are crazy. In fact the occupiers are, on average, less crazy than some of that which is justified in scripture!



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  • There are a few excellent comments at the source:

    Cool story, bro. wrote:

    […] Rumor has it, if you die fighting in the name of Yeehawd, you get 72 cousins.

    -big stupid grin-



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  • @OP – Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “strongly condemn the armed seizure of the facility,” spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a news release Monday, “and are deeply troubled by the reports that those who have seized the facility suggest that they are doing so based on scriptural principles.”

    The release further states that “this armed occupation can in no way be justified on a scriptural basis.”

    Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “strongly condemn the armed seizure of the facility,” spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a news release Monday, “and are deeply troubled by the reports that those who have seized the facility suggest that they are doing so based on delusional principles.”

    The release further states that “this armed occupation can in no way be justified on a delusional basis.”

    Of course for those wearing their faithful, delusional, scriptural, interpretation blinkers, any “scriptural interpretation”, is justified and possible to their way of thinking!!! – Hence opposing views which are confirmed to be absolutely correct by assorted god-delusions!



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  • @OP – LDS writer Jana Riess denounced the protesters’ use of Mormon scripture — particularly the story of Captain Moroni — to defend their anti-government siege in Oregon.

    Yes! The second “m” in Mormon is still silent!!!



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  • Moderators, if you consider that I’m coming on too strong here, please feel free to take this post down.

    If your God commands you to carry out an act, be it murdering the staff at a family planning clinic, or at the offices of a satirical magazine, then His will must be done on Earth, as it is in Heaven.

    I’m so sick of weasal worded questions such as: what makes a person born and brought up in Denmark, France, Britain, The Netherlands, or where ever, up sticks and join ISIS, or blow up buses, or hack someone to death in the street, or fly aircraft full of people into buildings full of people?

    The answer to the question is hidden in plain sight, and within ear-shot, but the questioners never listen, or if they do they don’t let on, and in consequence keep repeating the question.

    The perpetrators of such atrocities continuously proclaim that they are following injunctions enshrined in holy scriptures.

    But, oh no, that’s not the answer the questioners want to hear, and so they keep on asking, searching, and agonizing over the matter, and because they will not face up to the reality of the situation they render themselves religious apologists.

    The one plea which was deemed inadmissible at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials was that of carrying out orders; it looks to me very much as if that excellent statute is now being flouted in the name of God!

    Here endeth my rant for the day.



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  • On the nail Stafford. If these “religious freedoms” are recognized, the problem will only get worse.
    The goal of Religion is to convert all. By force or by book.



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  • alf1200
    Jan 7, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    On the nail Stafford. If these “religious freedoms” are recognized, the problem will only get worse.

    Funny you should say that!!

    There are some people shouting about THEIR religious freedoms here:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-35252469
    An organisation of mosques says it “unequivocally” rejects government proposals to require madrassas in England to be registered and inspected.

    The Northern Council of Mosques, representing 400 mosques, says this “encroaches” on religious freedom.

    The Muslim supplementary schools would have to comply with plans for tighter scrutiny over “out-of-school education settings” if the plans were introduced.

    They say the registration and inspection plan “unduly encroaches on the legitimate right of faith providers to teach their children their faith”.



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  • 10
    andyrwebman says:

    Those who ask such questions often have a predefined agenda in their heads – the usual one is that it is all about poverty and lack of opportunity, as if material wealth will solve everything.

    They conveniently ignore evidence from security services which says that the classic terrorist is a middle class youth from a privileged family seeking answers to the nihilism that comes from an overindulged existence.

    So they latch onto the easy certainties of religion rather than face the hard questions of the Universe. Someone raised in a religion has an obvious place they’re going to turn to, and in their need they give themselves completely to that which seems to promise answers.
    The practical upshot of needing an answer so much is that they’re willing to obey the scripture completely – because they need it so badly.



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  • What’s worse, often people brought up in religion come to reject the original belief system, and embrace something even worse. Well-brought-up Muslims go for jihadism, people from comfortable enough Christian factions find themselves in fundamentalist fringe groups. They get the message from their parents , realise that their parents are not strictly following the code, then teenage rebellion, alienation and hormones do the rest.

    I rejected my Catholic upbringing (my mother was very orthodox), and embraced fundamentalist Trotskyism. Fortunately I retained a morsel of common sense, and eventually pulled away from it, but fundamentalism never quite leaves you once embraced. I’m lucky that I have the humour and love of life to overcome it. I know how they feel.



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  • Amen, Brother Gordon (haha)
    Seriously, I am so sick and tired of the media (and all religious apologists) attempting to find a reason (anything but their obvious religious agenda) for acts of in-humanity.
    I doubt that the mods will remove such a standpoint on this here forum.
    Peace.



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  • Two organizations I’ve come into contact with, eejit, are The Plymouth Brethren, and the WRP, and I’m hard pushed to distinguish between them.

    Their mottos, give or take, are: You are either with us or against us; thus spake G W Bush.

    I consider Fascism and Communism to be forms of religion too.

    Secularists leave people alone to believe what ever they like, just as long as they don’t frighten the horses, or try to impose their beliefs on anyone else.

    Quite frankly my dear, I have no more desire to know peoples’ religious beliefs than I do their sexual proclivities; unless of course the latter correspond with mine! But then, it is strictly entre nous.



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  • media (and all religious apologists) attempting to find a reason

    as far as I can tell it works like this; gun crime has nothing to do with owning guns, and religious extremism has nothing to do with being religious.

    once you accept these mantras you can go on scratching your head and pretending to care about all the crap going on while never doing anything about it, since it’s actually impossible as no one can work out what causes things like gun crime and religious extremism.

    it’s human nature, love to have a moan but avoid fixing the problem. in the UK we have a similar issue with democracy. young people refuse to vote in a system that always seems to favour the politics of the older generation.

    once you ignore the obvious answer that’s screaming in your face, some questions are so tricky. I’d suggest your comment is a little inaccurate and should read

    media (and all religious apologists) attempting to avoid the reason



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  • *clarification

    An “improved” kind of meth, filling niches after recent laws forbid sale of key drug store ingredient, are curtailing home labs. Apologies.



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  • “this armed occupation can in no way be justified on a scriptural basis.”

    Interesting. I’m British but even I know the church of the latter day saints had founding fathers who advocated armed violence from their militias. In the Mountain Meadows massacre they butchered 130 men,women and children.
    Presumably that was a different interpretation of scripture?



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  • It’s nice to be called my dear, though perhaps a mite patronising. I agree that fascism and communism have some of the attributes of religion, at least for some of their adherents; it’s more of a psychological resemblance than a philosophical one. Some of the discussions on this site get pretty heated, indicating that we’re not all as laid back as you imagine.

    I of course was in the real Trotskyite party, the Socialist Labour League, now, alas, like Gerry Healy and the miner’s wives, Gone With the Wind, or perhaps resident in the Dustbin of History. It was even more dogmatic than the RCC, but much more fun sexually.



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  • Maybe Jesus is going to rustle some steers in Missouri next ?

    Oh, I don’t think J’s big daddy would approve of that; unless of course, someone is made to feel His wrath by being subjected to a slow and agonizing death.

    But he still loves us really!



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  • 20
    bonnie says:

    Overheard at the water cooler…

    Person One – I attacked in the name of my god. Person Two – victim was saved by the grace of my god. Person three, days before – They worship the same god!

    It don’t add up.



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  • @op – If Ammon Bundy and other Mormons involved in taking over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon believe their religion is backing them, they should reconsider.

    It seems they did not reconsider respecting the law soon enough!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-35416516
    US police say they have arrested the leader of an armed militia which has occupied a wildlife refuge in Oregon, with one person killed in a shootout.

    .Ammon Bundy and four others were arrested during a traffic stop. One person was injured. Three others were held in separate incidents.

    The militia occupied the refuge on 2 January to support two ranchers jailed for setting fire to federal land.

    It says the government has taken land illegally from ranchers for decades.

    Other members of the group were reportedly still at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon, where the FBI was setting up a perimeter.

    On Oregon’s snowy plains, over the past few weeks, there has been some sympathy for the leaders of the occupation. Many people in the little town of Burns said they understood the militia’s message about federal government “interference.”

    The federal government is not popular with ranchers in Harney County who accuse it of failing to respect a distinct way of life. But there was also hostility to the tactics employed by Ammon Bundy and his followers.

    Armed militiamen rumbling in and out of town to gather supplies made residents nervous. So, too, did the presence of the FBI. The community had repeatedly asked the militia to leave but law enforcement officials had come in for criticism, too, accused of passivity in the face of flagrant criminality.

    In recent days the pressure had mounted, with Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown writing to the White House to demand federal action to end the stand-off. But with both sides heavily armed, violence was always a possibility when, and if, that moment came.



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  • It looks like the armed defiance is over and the legal repercussions are about to start

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-35426084

    Ammon Bundy, the leader of an armed protest at a wildlife refuge in Oregon who was arrested on Tuesday, has urged the remaining occupiers to go home.

    One of Mr Bundy’s fellow activists was killed during the arrest of the protest leader and seven others.

    Three more arrests have since been made at a checkpoint outside the refuge.

    It is unclear how many people are still at the refuge. The local sheriff, Dave Ward, said the illegal occupation was tearing the community apart.

    Speaking through his attorney, Mr Bundy called for the siege to come to an end.

    He said: “To those remaining at the refuge, I love you. Let us take this fight from here.

    “Please stand down. Go home and hug your families. This fight is ours for now in the courts.”

    Mr Bundy paid tribute to the deceased, identified by friends and family as Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, an Arizona rancher who became a spokesman for the self-proclaimed militia group at the refuge.

    “Right now I am asking the federal government to allow the people at the refuge to go home without being prosecuted,” he said.

    Mmmmm! The delusion is strong in this one!

    The federal government is going to be interested in advice from one arrested criminal on how fellow law breakers should be treated/prosecuted after an armed conflict with the authorities?!



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  • armed defiance is over

    Remember the scene from ‘Contact’ at the VLA in N.M.? The “lunatic fringe” started showing up, circus like.

    Similarly, a few folk came out of the woodwork, and made a bee-line for the Wildlife Refuge (ironically named, as nature was imposed upon by all the yahoos). Back to hiding I ‘spects, with a hair trigger.



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  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-35435824
    Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, the Oregon militiaman killed by police on Tuesday, reached for a handgun before he was shot, according to the FBI.

    The agency has released dramatic footage of the shooting, showing Finicum speeding away from police.

    Finicum was a key player in an armed anti-government protest at a wildlife reserve in the state.

    The footage released by the FBI shows Finicum’s vehicle careering into a snowbank in an attempt to avoid a roadblock.

    It comes to a stop after narrowly missing a police officer and Finicum steps out. After briefly raising his hands, he appears to reach for his pocket, where the gun was reportedly later found, and is shot dead.



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  • After an armed stand-off with police, for over a month, they plead “NOT GUILTY”! In any other developed country this would be laughable!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-35655402

    More than a dozen people have pleaded not guilty to charges related to an armed takeover of wildlife refuge in the US state of Oregon.

    The group of armed militants held the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for 41 days in protest over how the federal government regulates public lands.

    Eventually, FBI agents moved in to end the standoff and one man was killed.

    In court on Wednesday, many of the accused questioned whether they would receive a fair trial.

    “You’re the federal government; you’re going to do whatever you want,” said Jason Patrick, one of the militants.

    The group’s leader, Ammon Bundy, asked to accompany his defence lawyers on a fact-finding trip to the refuge, but the judge denied his request.

    Prosecutors said they expected to bring additional charges against the 16 defendants.

    The trial date was set for 29 April though a delay is likely.

    Faith-thinking ideology, really does addle the brain!!!



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