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NeedleinA

New Church video - What is Religious Freedom?

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From the Church Newsroom - What is Religious Freedom?

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"When protection for religious freedom is up, tensions and strife go down. So when religious liberty and conscience is protected societies are more likely to enjoy greater benefits of health, prosperity, harmony and stability. Once more, it's citizens are more civically minded, more generous and more neighborly."

I suppose that means the opposite it true. As religious freedom goes down so does: prosperity, harmony and stability. Food for thought as we look around at ourselves and others.

 

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When Frank Fox, former BYU professor, talks about what a miserable, evil, awful human being Donald Trump is and how he (Fox) is proudly voting for Joe Biden, I have to wonder about the cognitive faculties of many of my more educated fellow Saints. Joe Biden as a defender of faith and integrity? No one can seriously believe that.

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1 hour ago, Vort said:

When Frank Fox, former BYU professor, talks about what a miserable, evil, awful human being Donald Trump is and how he (Fox) is proudly voting for Joe Biden, I have to wonder about the cognitive faculties of many of my more educated fellow Saints. Joe Biden as a defender of faith and integrity? No one can seriously believe that.

Never heard of him before.
Typed his name in Google and first thing that came up is an 8 point rebuttal to Fox's criticisms.
This was made just a couple of days ago by the guy who was doing the Book of Mormon Movie on kickstarter a couple of years ago, if any of you remember that.
Well done and worth the 18 minutes I spent watching it.

 

 

Edited by NeedleinA

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I'm not ready to call Brother Fox a Pharisee. I prefer to believe that he's blinded by his emotions into taking a clouded view of things and in turn being overly judgmental against both Trump and his fellow Latter-day Saints. But I'm at least a little sympathetic to those who take offense at Fox's sanctimonious and self-serving preaching to the point that they are ready to do so.

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4 hours ago, NeedleinA said:

From the Church Newsroom - What is Religious Freedom?

I suppose that means the opposite it true. As religious freedom goes down so does: prosperity, harmony and stability. Food for thought as we look around at ourselves and others.

 

That would make sense to me. From a historical perspective some of the most successful empires in history practiced religious toleration towards their subjects. Persia is one of the best known examples of this, but several of the great Indian empires including the Mauryan and Gupta empires also demonstrate this principle. Religious toleration, from a purely secular viewpoint, reduces civil unrest and foments loyalty amongst your subjects. Of course it's also ideal from a religious perspective as well, Agency being of supreme importance to God, but there is lots of good historical data backing up the concept.

Edited by Midwest LDS

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What is interesting to me is that in the history of this world - some of the most egregious offences against freedom of religion come from religious institutions.   I do not fault brother Fox for mixing his religion with politics.  I do not agree with his assessments but he has the freedom to say it.  Others have their freedom to disagree.  Trump is an enigma to me - I have never been comfortable  with his morals.  I am not sure he is presidential material.  But there are some thing he has done that I believe is good for our country.

#1. Prior to Trump no one was willing to say that our border policy was horribly wrong - especially our southern border policy.  If anyone wants to discuss details - I would be glad to do so.  I will be short in saying that drug cartels and other foreign interests have obviously bought off politicians to block border security and limit ICE.  I am more in line with Trump than the criminal elements controlling politicians (swamp).

#2. Prior to Trump no one was willing to stand up to the bazar claims of climate change and carbon pollution.  I will be glad to debate this issue - we are not destroying our environment with carbon.  I am not saying that we should not be concerned about the environment - just that carbon never was nor is it now a threat to live on earth.  I agree with Trump - the carbon threat does not exist and we need to re-think our environment concerns.  Utah has a severer inversion problem that needs to be address but the environmental  groups are not properly focused - I used to be a member of the Sierra Club but I no longer support their mostly political (not environment) concerns. 

#3. Health Care.  I am old enough that I remember when the government stopped allowing itemizing health care costs on income tax returns.  The reason given was that health care costs would drain the government coffers.  This was also an era that did not include the cost of health care insurance in health care costs and doctors made house calls.  But two things happened.  Employers started including health care benefits - and with that the costs of health care has increased out of control.  Every place that government has stepped into to help with health care - has only made the problem worse.  I agree with Trump - we need to re-do our health care - I believe people must be invested in their health more than anyone else.  The two biggest problems with health in America is overweight and sedative life style - the two most often responses of health care is drugs and surgery.  There is an obvious disconnect that will prevent incentives to be healthy.  It is considered hate speech to fat shame.

#4. Foreign affairs.  In the last 50 years I have never read a single article praising the American foreign policies in hindsight.   I agree with Trump that we have blundered - or corrupt foreign policies to the profit of politicians peddling favors.   I do not know for sure but it does look like to me the Biden has cashed in on corruption. 

 

I could add several more numbers to this list.  I do wish we had someone better.  For me it is like my support of the Big Bang Theory - I know it is flawed and is not the answer but I support it just because it is the best we've got.  I will be so glad when a better theory comes to light - but not near as glad as I will be when someone better than Trump shows up.

 

The Traveler

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The last video led me to the following: Political Neutrality

Quote

Members are encouraged to get civically involved. Like other citizens they are active in the political process...
Elder Ballard, "The civic duty of any Latter-day Saint... is to be actively involved in the political process. That means that they study the issues, they determine the needs as they see it, that they then use their freedom and agency to vote according to their own conscience. It is very important that good people everywhere are involved in this process.

Edited by NeedleinA

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On 10/21/2020 at 7:00 PM, Vort said:

I'm not ready to call Brother Fox a Pharisee. I prefer to believe that he's blinded by his emotions into taking a clouded view of things and in turn being overly judgmental against both Trump and his fellow Latter-day Saints. But I'm at least a little sympathetic to those who take offense at Fox's sanctimonious and self-serving preaching to the point that they are ready to do so.

Fox is a GREAT GUY.  I'll defend him, because I actually have met and known him in the past.  He is a hard worker, funny and humorous to talk to.  Regarding him setting himself up as a prophet (which Fox never has done from what I've seen...ever)...Interesting accusations of Fox trying to be prophet or using church's words from a guy (Darin Southam) who LITERALLY (or at least helped and was involved in doing thus) cast himself as Christ in a movie...

A.  I am editing this...for once...

Instead...I'll simply post a link that can lead you to the video letter that was posted originally...As well as the rest of Fox's videos...a link to where he seems to have become more active over the past few days...

Fox's Youtube channel

B. On Darin Southam's video itself, tired of this guy preaching to me.  At least Fox never preached to me...talk about someone (the video maker).  trying to promote their new religion (Trump) and set themselves up as one of it's prophets.  I am a solid member of the church.  I believe in the gospel.  Obviously, as I do not think the same as this guy he says I am not a member of his church...which brings me to question..what church is he a member of?  I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints...which apparently is NOT the church Darin Southam is a member of from what he states in the video.  My church is politically neutral and allows men to think for themselves.  His church says if you do not vote for Trump you do not love America and are filled with hate and are disobeying his Deity.  Wierd as I thought he was a member of my church, but his own video seems to indicate his is another.  And that's it about the video.

I think this video is just a guy (Darin Southam) ranting because he  has a new religion and someone doesn't worship the same idol he does.  Fox made some mistakes...the FIRST is that this letter should not have been sent out to as many as it did in such a general way.  I think that's what caused the uproar in the first place. Secondly, to think that it would be accepted kindly by all who received it when, in fact, many found it quite the opposite.  Third, connecting his class to the choice I think was also a mistake.  He should not have referenced his class or what he taught as it casts it in a bad light for those who do not agree with his political opinions.  Fox has many mistakes, but this counter video goes overboard. The video by Darin Southam seems to be to me a Self Righteous guy who has adopted a new religion with a new Deity (Trump) and is trying to preach to everyone else why his way is the right way and everyone else should join his church.

 

Edited by JohnsonJones

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On 10/21/2020 at 7:00 PM, Vort said:

I'm not ready to call Brother Fox a Pharisee. I prefer to believe that he's blinded by his emotions into taking a clouded view of things and in turn being overly judgmental against both Trump and his fellow Latter-day Saints. But I'm at least a little sympathetic to those who take offense at Fox's sanctimonious and self-serving preaching to the point that they are ready to do so.

I would agree that he's been blinded somewhat by emotions and taken a clouded view of things.  He should not have taken the course of action he did from what I've seen of it.  I can also see why there are those who took offense at it, and probably SHOULD have taken offense at it.  It WAS offensive to MANY, especially those who do not feel the same way he does about Trump.

I don't think that qualifies one to do the same thing back to a larger audience.

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23 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

I don't think that qualifies one to do the same thing back to a larger audience.

I agree with this. I thought the YouTube video was an unnecessary escalation that served only to worsen the situation. Professor Fox was unwise to approach the issue as he did with a didactic, lecturing essay on how foolishly misguided it is to vote for Trump and how awesome Joe Freaking Biden is. But the response was gasoline thrown on a match, like responding to a slap on the face with an artillery shell.

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On 10/24/2020 at 3:38 PM, JohnsonJones said:

I would agree that he's been blinded somewhat by emotions and taken a clouded view of things.  He should not have taken the course of action he did from what I've seen of it.  I can also see why there are those who took offense at it, and probably SHOULD have taken offense at it.  It WAS offensive to MANY, especially those who do not feel the same way he does about Trump.

I don't think that qualifies one to do the same thing back to a larger audience.

I don’t know Fox, and haven’t seen the videos by or against him.  I’ve read a synopsis of his arguments, and was frankly thunderstruck that a man of his credentials and background would cite to so many relatively-easily-discernible falsehoods in furtherance of his position.

IIRC, Fox’s broadside first sought to establish his own credentials by citing to his background at BYU and his past work under the auspices of the First Presidency.     I will leave it for others to argue over whether he’s setting himself up as some sort of “prophet”; but it does seem quite clear that he wanted this to be distributed widely and he wanted it to be associated with both BYU and the Church.   In that context it would seem odd for him or his supporters to insist that any pushback should only be offered in private.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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On 10/24/2020 at 4:38 PM, JohnsonJones said:

I don't think that qualifies one to do the same thing back to a larger audience.

I'm reminded of the following Gospel Principles, Freedom to Choose:

Quote

Even though we are free to choose our course of action, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions. The consequences, whether good or bad, follow as a natural result of any choice we make (see Galatians 6:7; Revelation 22:12).

Fox set his plan into motion when he posted his Youtube video. He and his supporters don't also get to choose the level of resulting reactions of that choice.
In like turn, by hitting the "Submit Reply" button to this post, I don't get to decide the level of reaction to my words either.
Fox made a Youtube video, someone else made a counterpoint Youtube video.

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On 10/24/2020 at 4:31 PM, JohnsonJones said:

Fox is a GREAT GUY.  I'll defend him, 

JJ -
Fox is clearly targeting LDS members and BYU students with his message.
I found the following video just tonight, it was published 10/23/20 after many of our comments above.
Again, until @Vort mentioned Fox, I had never heard of him. He seems to have been busy at work. If he lives in Utah, why is he sending hard copy letters to people in Arizona on Democrat letterhead? Who is paying for his videos to be played on Youtube? Was he terminated from BYU? Did he take legal action against BYU? All questions and more brought up in this video.

Sad for some to hear, but perhaps who Fox was vs. who Fox is today simply may not be the same any longer?

Time marker 10:20 summarizes the points




 

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Darin Southam's fully fledged attack is reprehensible. You don't publicly attack people about such private matters.. I don't know if the allegations against Fox are true—Southam himself admits the "excommunication" charge was false, yet he still includes it in his discussion—but the attempted character assassination is completely over the top. Brother Fox can reasonably be called out for false statements, irresponsible allegations, misleading claims about his position in the Church and/or acquaintance with various leaders, politicizing a religious discussion, wrongly injecting religion into a political discussion, or a whole host of other things. That's all reasonable and fair game. But insinuating that Brother Fox is a bad Mormon is simply beyond the pale.

This is so, even if the allegations are true. Some things are sacred, and you don't approach them unless it's absolutely vital and you have both proof of malfeasance and the responsibility to make the clarification. As far as I can tell, Brother Southam provides only hearsay with no real evidence to back up his slander, and doesn't even claim any responsibility or authority to do this exposè. It seems mean-spirited and wholly beyond the pale—again, even if it's all true. This is not a random internet troll getting skewered. It's a publicly named man, someone well-known in the (rather large) BYU community. Literally hundreds of thousands of current and former BYU students know who Frank Fox is.

I concede that Fox has made himself an easy target by his unwise actions. To some extent, he has brought criticism on himself. But we are brothers in Christ and fellow Saints. This shouldn't happen. Just because he makes himself a target doesn't mean we should feel free to take potshots.

Edited by Vort

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2 hours ago, NeedleinA said:

Again, until @Vort mentioned Fox, I had never heard of him.

Then perhaps this is my fault, for which I apologize. I thought most Latter-day Saints had heard of the Fox brouhaha. I thought Fox was way off-base in his attacks and in his actions, dragging religion into a political screed against Trump. I was not familiar with Darin Southam's vicious rebuttal. I'm not completely without sympathy for Southam's position, but it seems to me that he crossed a line as much as Fox did. And if Fox did it first, that doesn't justify Southam.

My point is not to condemn either man. My original point was to decry Fox's actions as foolish and unwise, and a sign that even highly educated Latter-day Saints who you would think should know better still fall into the trap of accepting the wider "Orange Man Bad" meme. I didn't mean for it to become an attack on Dr. Fox's character.

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Here is an excellent deconstruction of Frank Fox's hit piece on Trump, done in devastating style and yet without personally attacking Fox, even where he probably deserved it.

https://khadlock9697.medium.com/on-nevertrump-and-gaslighting-an-open-letter-to-frank-w-3190ffce656c

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Thanks for the above link @Vort.
Fingers crossed that this rebuttal gets pushed up in the Google search results.
I believe both Southam & Hadlock used the different talents/skills they each have in order to respond to Fox. As evidenced here, some may prefer one style over the other.
I enjoy Hadlock's comment to Fox:

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Yet nowhere in your letter do you present evidence that the president is lying, or that he’s trying to enslave anyone. It’s gaslighting at its finest, a familiar misdirection and not a hint of fact. Never Trumpers and Democrats this cycle, especially Joe Biden, excel at this, and they go much further, themselves lying prolifically about President Trump from dawn to dusk and far into the night with no respite.

 

Edited by NeedleinA

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