Tag Archives: Progressive

Not Many Years


Not many years before the Lord sent fire and earthquakes and tempests and pestilence to America as a prelude to His coming, the Judges in the land became corrupt.

And seeing the people in a state of such awful wickedness, and those Gadianton robbers filling the judgment seats, having usurped the power and authority of the land, laying aside the commandments of God and not in the least aright before him, doing no justice unto the children of men, condemning the righteous because of their righteousness, letting the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money; and moreover, to be held in office at the head of government, to rule and do according to their wills, that they might get gain and glory of the world; and moreover, that they might the more easy commit adultery, and steal, and kill, and do according to their own wills — now this great iniquity had come upon the Nephites in the space of not many years — and when Nephi saw it, his heart was swollen with sorrow within his breast. And he did exclaim in the agony of his soul, Oh that I could have had my days in the days when my father Nephi first came out of the land of Jerusalem, that I could have joyed with him in the promised land! Then were his people easy to be entreated, firm to keep the commandments of God, and slow to be led to do iniquity, and they were quick to hearken unto the words of the Lord. Yea, if my days could have been in those days, then would my soul have had joy in the righteousness of my brethren. But behold, I am consigned that these are my days and that my soul shall be filled with sorrow because of this the wickedness of my brethren.

Helaman 7:4-7 (emphasis added)

This week’s Supreme Court Ruling conveniently timed to pander to the anarchist transgender mission of Black Lives Matter, may prove to be the most wicked and abusive legislation of our Nation’s history.

Dissenting remarks made by Justice Alito are worth studying to better understand the consequences of this ruling.

The Church and LDS politicians such as Mitt Romney who have been so focused on wanting to be seen as empathetic and compassionate and have even gone out of their way to make pandering statements and to openly protest with the Opposition, will now reap what has been sown by neglecting to fight enough against this wickedness. Rather than “leading the nation” with cutting edge, sophisticated LGBTQ legislation for Utah, that NO DOUBT inspires such Supreme Court decisions, how about a return to the Doctrines of the Gospel? A return to both Repenting and teaching Repentance?

Just as a sampling, this new Law written from the Bench will make it illegal for the Church or any public or private institution (at some point) to not let a man go into a woman’s bathroom or locker room in an LDS Church or Temple or school, if they should decide that day they are feeling like they are a woman. This law will make it illegal for a person to discriminate against a Transgender Person for any reason. The implications are huge and are best put forth by Justice Alito below.

Consider this one example — imagine your 18 year old daughter showering in the women’s locker room after a hockey game when a 45 year old man walks naked into the showers with your daughter, alone, late at night. He says that in that moment, he identifies as a woman. Is it wrong to feel violated as a young woman? To be scared for your safety? Your virtue? Your life? Are you now racist or transphobic because you as a parent feel vulnerable and refuse to let your daughter play on this person’s hockey team? Will you or your daughter be sued for referring to him as a he instead of by his preferred pronoun? Will this happen at BYU? It will happen immediately on other college campuses. If a young man or young woman wants to play on the “opposing sex’s” sports team, nothing now prevents them.

Or how about if your kindergarten child has a teacher who decides to do a sex change procedure over Christmas break? Your child’s role model and perhaps the most important one they have outside of their home, is now sending a very conflicting and potentially traumatizing message to your 5 year child. We have no idea what affect this can have on impressionable little children.

Sadly, this is only the tip of the iceberg, we now HIT as a nation.

If we think things are bad now as we see our nation unravel, I think things are about to get worse as a result of this new law, decided unconstitutionally by 6 Judges who have lost all Wisdom.

So much is taking place in such a short period of time. It ought to give us all reason to be deeply concerned and to prepare for what is now here. God help us all.

NEWS & POLITICS

Alito: Court’s ‘Preposterous’ Trans Ruling Threatens Religion, Speech, Privacy, and Safety

BY TYLER O’NEIL JUN 15, 2020 3:38 PM EST  Share  Tweet  Email Comments

FILE -In this Nov. 17, 2016 file photo, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito speaks at the Federalist Society’s National Lawyers Convention in Washington. Alito is giving the graduation address at a historic Roman Catholic seminary near Philadelphia. Alito will also be awarded an honorary degree during Wednesday’s ceremony, May 17, 2017, at the Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary near Wynnewood. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that discrimination on the basis of sex includes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the case of Bostock v. Clayton County (2020). In a powerful dissent joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Samuel Alito condemned the ruling as “preposterous” and betraying “breathtaking” arrogance. He noted that Congress has tried and repeatedly failed to amend Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in just this fashion and that no one interpreted the law this way until 2017. In this decision, as in Roe v. Wade (1973) and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), the Supreme Court usurped the power of Congress by creating “legislation.”

Perhaps most importantly, however, Alito warns that the decision will have wide-ranging destructive impacts on key freedoms Americans hold dear, and he predicts that “the entire Federal Judiciary will be mired for years in disputes about the reach of the Court’s reasoning.”

“As the briefing in these cases has warned, the position that the Court now adopts will threaten freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and personal privacy and safety. No one should think that the Court’s decision represents an unalloyed victory for individual liberty,” Alito warns. His dissent lays out seven different realms of American life that will be affected by this ruling.

1. Bathrooms and changing rooms

Naturally, the Supreme Court’s position that a ban on discrimination on the basis of “sex” includes a ban on discrimination on the basis of gender identity is not only a preposterous extension of the 1964 law but a dangerous reading of federal law in general.

As Alito warns, “the Court may wish to avoid this subject, but it is a matter of concern to many people who are reticent about disrobing or using toilet facilities in the presence of individuals whom they regard as members of the opposite sex. For some, this may simply be a question of modesty, but for others, there is more at stake. For women who have been victimized by sexual assault or abuse, the experience of seeing an unclothed person with the anatomy of a male in a confined and sensitive location such as a bathroom or locker room can cause serious psychological harm.”

Based on broad understandings of “transgender status” that could include those who identify as “gender fluid” and those who have not undergone any surgery to alter their bodies. “A person who has not undertaken any physical transitioning may claim the right to use the bathroom or locker room assigned to the sex with which the individual identifies at that particular time,” Alito reasoned.

This is not to say that transgender people are predators, but to note that women have passionately fought for their rights and now their private spaces will be open to biological males. The true concern is not that a male who identifies as a female will abuse women, but that prurient men will abuse this loophole and some women who have experienced sexual assault will be victimized by being forced to share intimate quarters with biological males.

2. Women’s sports

Alito also warns that “the right of a transgender individual to participate on a sports team or in an athletic competition previously reserved for members of one biological sex” may arise under Title VII and Title IX due to the Court’s ruling in Bostock.

“This issue has already arisen under Title IX, where it threatens to undermine one of that law’s major achievements, giving young women an equal opportunity to participate in sports,” Alito notes. “The effect of the Court’s reasoning may be to force young women to compete against students who have a very significant biological advantage, including students who have the size and strength of a male but identify as female and students who are taking male hormones in order to transition from female to male.”

Alito also warned that this ruling may affect professional sports, as well.

Indeed, women in Connecticut are challenging a school rule that forces them to compete with biological males. Even the Journal of Medical Ethics, which has published an article calling for Child Protective Services to remove gender-confused kids from their parents if the parents won’t give them experimental transgender drugs, also published an article condemning the “intolerable unfairness” of the Olympic Committee’s pro-transgender rules.

3. Housing

Bostock “may lead to Title IX cases against any college that resists assigning students of the opposite biological sex as roommates,” Alito warns. It may also force rape crisis centers for women to admit biological males who claim to identify as women. One such center has already been vandalized with transgender slogans, and some centers have fought long legal battles over the right to allow safe harbor only for women.

Military Transgender Ban Is Nothing Like ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ Lesbian Vet Says

4. Religious employment

Alito cites “briefs filed by a wide range of religious groups––Christian, Jewish, and Muslim–– [that] express deep concern that the position now adopted by the Court ‘will trigger open conflict with faith-based employment practices of numerous churches, synagogues, mosques, and other religious institutions.’ They argue that ‘[r]eligious organizations need employees who actually live the faith,’ and that compelling a religious organization to employ individuals whose conduct flouts the tenets of the organization’s faith forces the group to communicate an objectionable message.”

Alito warns that this problem is “perhaps most acute” in the employment of teachers. “A school’s standards for its faculty ‘communicate a particular way of life to its students,’ and a ‘violation by the faculty of those precepts’ may undermine the school’s ‘moral teaching.’ Thus, if a religious school teaches that sex outside marriage and sex reassignment procedures are immoral, the message may be lost if the school employs a teacher who is in a same-sex relationship or has undergone or is undergoing sex reassignment.”

5. Health care

“Healthcare benefits may emerge as an intense battleground under the Court’s holding,” Alito warns. “Transgender employees have brought suit under Title VII to challenge employer-provided health insurance plans that do not cover costly sex reassignment surgery.”

“Such claims present difficult religious liberty issues because some employers and healthcare providers have strong religious objections to sex reassignment procedures, and therefore requiring them to pay for or to perform these procedures will have a severe impact on their ability to honor their deeply held religious beliefs,” he explains.

Indeed, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) just finalized a rule rightly defining sex as biological sex and reversing the Obama administration on these issues. Does Bostock make that HHS rule unconstitutional?

Lesbian Feminist: It’s Time to Stop Trans Indoctrination in Public Schools

6. Freedom of speech

Alito warns that “the Court’s decision may even affect the way employers address their employees and the way teachers and school officials address students. Under established English usage, two sets of sex-specific singular personal pronouns are used to refer to someone in the third person (he, him, and his for males; she, her, and hers for females). But several different sets of gender-neutral pronouns have now been created and are preferred by some individuals who do not identify as falling into either of the two traditional categories.”

“Some jurisdictions, such as New York City, have ordinances making the failure to use an individual’s preferred pronoun a punishable offense, and some colleges have similar rules. After today’s decision, plaintiffs may claim that the failure to use their preferred pronoun violates one of the federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination,” the justice warns.

7. Constitutional claims

While Title VII cases are different from cases about the Fourteenth Amendment, Alito warns that Bostock “may exert a gravitational pull in constitutional cases. Under our precedents, the Equal Protection Clause prohibits sex-based discrimination unless a ‘heightened’ standard of review is met. By equating discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity with discrimination because of sex, the Court’s decision will be cited as a ground for subjecting all three forms of discrimination to the same exacting standard of review.”

“Under this logic, today’s decision may have effects that extend well beyond the domain of federal antidiscrimination statutes. This potential is illustrated by pending and recent lower court cases in which transgender individuals have challenged a variety of federal, state, and local laws and policies on constitutional grounds,” Alito warns.

Although the six justices in the majority on Bostock likely had honorable intentions in redefining the word “sex” and effectively making law in this decision, it was “irresponsible” for them not to consider its wide-ranging consequences, Alito warns.

“The updating desire to which the Court succumbs no doubt arises from humane and generous impulses. Today, many Americans know individuals who are gay, lesbian, or transgender and want them to be treated with the dignity, consideration, and fairness that everyone deserves,” he writes. Even so, “The Court’s brusque refusal to consider the consequences of its reasoning is irresponsible.”

“If the Court had allowed the legislative process to take its course, Congress would have had the opportunity to consider competing interests and might have found a way of accommodating at least some of them.” Instead, the Supreme Court has made law, just like it did in Roe v. Wadeand Obergefell v. Hodges.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

Boy Scouts “Kind of Left Us”


In a recent statement Elder Ballard said the following regarding the Church’s decision to end its 105-year relationship with Boy Scouts of America:

“The reality there is we didn’t really leave them; they kind of left us… The direction they were going was not consistent to what we feel our youth need to have…to survive in the world that lies ahead of us.”

But, did the Boy Scouts really leave “us”? Is that a fair description of what actually happened? And is BSA really heading in a different direction than we are as a church?

A Little Bit of Background

For over 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America was an iconic defender of Constitutional principles. They won case after case before the Supreme Court that reaffirmed their right to allow or disallow participants, based on their own criteria for affiliation. Their victories established important case law and legal precedent for other institutions that sought the same protections.

But then all of a sudden, the Boy Scouts decided to vote on whether to allow openly gay scouts into their organization. This went against 100 years of Court victories that gave them that right and to many members of Scouting and of the Church, this came as a huge surprise.

At this same time, two of my sons were literally only a Court of Honor away from getting their Eagle Awards. I was the official Charter Leader in our ward, was an Eagle Scout myself, and was over Scouting as the bishop.

I was certain the Church would vote against the proposal and knew they represented a very large voting bloc and funding source within the organization. Surely BSA could not pull this off without the Church’s full support.

To make sure my voice was heard, I did all the things my Church had taught me to do to be “involved” in such important matters. I wrote letters to the Church and to the Editor of our local newspaper and gave reasons for why I believed the Church would/should vote NO on this progressive proposal. I was very open about my views with ward members and with local Church leadership. In fact, I received letters and phone calls from people in my town, even from strangers, thanking me for my letter to the paper. One elderly man said, “I agree with every word you wrote.” Another gentleman said, “When I saw your letter in the paper I thought to myself, ‘oh no, he’s going to be excommunicated.’ Then I read it and now I think you’re going to be called as a general authority.” (Not very prophetic obviously). The point is, many LDS people of all walks of life had very strong feelings about this issue and were opposed to caving to the pressures of the progressives.

Like many of you, I could see this for what it was. It was never about young boys or girls being discriminated against. Not even for a moment. It was always about taking down an iconic conservative institution. And I wasn’t going to just sit idly by. I was hopeful the Church would do the right thing — back then in 2013 — and pull out of Scouts if everyone else voted in favor of the measure.

Eventually, when the Church and other Scouting Board members voted in favor of the above proposals, I refused to sign the yearly ward Charter and refused to support Friends of Scouting. My boys, to their credit, refused to continue in an organization that suddenly seemed confused about what it meant to be morally straight.

Our family left Scouts in 2013 and I was very perplexed why the Church wasn’t doing the same.

The Rapid Demise of Scouting

The great conservative thinker John O’Sullivan once said: “All organizations that are not actually right-wing (conservative) will over time become left-wing (liberal).”

The Boy Scouts is now among countless other institutions that have fallen prey to O’Sullivan’s First Law. They officially filed for bankruptcy in February of this year.

And Yet…

For 105 years, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had partnered with the Boy Scouts. Scouting literally had been the activity arm of the Aaronic Priesthood. It shared our same values. We were literally joined at the hip.

Both the LDS Church and the BSA had become synonymous with conservativism. In fact, I challenge you to find two more conservative institutions at their pinnacle.

But, at the same time Boy Scouts was moving left, it seemed the Church was moving left too. Here’s just a quick list of things the Church has done in the last 9 years that clearly represents their own change in direction:

  1. The Church changed its conservative position on illegals.
  2. The Church abandoned its formal role in the fight against gay marriage.
  3. The Church unwittingly paved the way for gay marriage by introducing added protections for LGBT people in Utah. A plan they hoped would be the new model for the nation. This upended legislation that had protected landlords and employers previously to be able to choose who they rented to or who they employed.
  4. Mormonsandgays.com, later changed to “Mormonandgay” was put online by the Church.
  5. The Church published numerous videos highlighting people who are gay, but who are trying to not act out on it. A very different and deliberate approach that would be criticized by people of all different opinions. Some might argue that if you are not acting out on it, then you are not gay. Others would say it’s preposterous to “be” something and then be asked to not be allowed to be who you are… and then to be withheld the same blessings of those who do not act out or who are straight.
  6. The Church changed its position on whether a person could be born gay or not with Elder Oaks teaching a person can be born gay–a very different position than what its prophets had taught previously.
  7. The Church helped fund the Hale Theater and tacitly endorsed the very pro-gay, anti-Mormon, Book of Mormon musical coming to Salt Lake City among other very non-PG-13 performances.
  8. The Church removed its ban on children of gay parents being baptized (They flip-flopped on this one thank Goodness).
  9. The Church-owned BYU changed its rules to allow gay ballroom dancers.
  10. BYU seemed to change its policy on same-gender affection. Then “kind of” reversed it back.
  11. The recent Cosmo the Cougar came out as gay without any retribution or official response from the Church.
  12. BYU’s valedictorian came out as a “gay son of God” in an approved valedictorian speech. The audience erupted in applause.
  13. And now they are in favor of decriminalizing polygamy.

Now to be clear, I am not arguing here that all these changes are wrong or right. I’m simply showing how the Church, like Boy Scouts and like most worldly institutions, is simply becoming more progressive.

The list of policy adjustments and talking points by the Church that veer progressive is much longer than what I’ve listed above. But, the evidence presented is sufficient to show that the Church is on the same course as Boy Scouts when it comes to “leaving” its more conservative principles.

Is it really fair to say that Boy Scouts left us? Even “kind of”?

Couldn’t the Church have voted against the Boy Scout proposals if it wanted to? Wouldn’t that have made a difference, didn’t they have clout in that organization? Some estimated that the LDS Church represented 40% of BSA funding. If the Church didn’t like the direction of BSA, shouldn’t the Church have left in 2013 instead of continuing to pour millions more of tithing money into it? What part about BSA’s direction finally made the Church uncomfortable? How can the Church now say that the Boy Scouts left them when they supported and voted in favor of all the changes being proposed? And when at the very same time the LDS Church was pushing its own progressive changes in the Church, I.e heading in a very similar “direction.” To the left.

One would think that all this capitulation and appeasement would mean that Boy Scouts would now have gay kids and gay leaders and girls and transgenders all lining up at their doors and that membership, even with the loss of the LDS Church, would be through the roof, instead of in bankruptcy. The very argument Scout board members were making was that they needed to “expand their base.” “Make the tent bigger.” “Be more inclusive.” Surely part of their reasoning, if not all of it, was to grow their membership by making these changes.

The Church has also suffered from a numbers and growth standpoint since they changed their course it would seem.

The church’s reported membership as of December 31, 2019 was 16,565,036. The growth of 1.21% in 2018 was the lowest annual percentage growth since the 0.93% in 1937.

Wikipedia

Interestingly, since 2013, while the Church has been shifting further left, it has only been growing at an abysmal rate of somewhere between 1 and 2% compared to 8.74% when I was a missionary. The focus then was “flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon” rather than focusing on progressive policy adjustments. Coincidence? It just reinforces the idea that people want to focus on doctrine. The average growth rate in the last 40 years has been well over 4% — that is at least until the Church started trying to be more “inclusive.”

Careful What You Wish For

One thing is certain–the same people who took down the Boy Scouts are demanding more changes from the LDS Church. They demand that we abandon what they view as hate speech and discrimination among other things.

Will we continue to give in as a Church? Mormon Prop 8 picketers have been replaced by LDS pro-gay marriage protestors in a period of just a few years. Is that a coincidence? This picture from this website is the new face of Mormonism when it comes to these progressive issues.

In Closing

I’ve always been intrigued by what Ezra Benson said he was told by a visiting Soviet leader. I think the same applies here and I think the Church would do well to consider the implications of its movement left:

I have talked face-to-face with the godless Communist leaders. It may surprise you to learn that I was host to Mr. Khrushchev for a half day, when he visited the United States. Not that I’m proud of it — I opposed his coming then and I still feel it was a mistake to welcome this atheistic murderer as a state visitor. But according to President Eisenhower, Khrushchev had expressed a desire to learn something of American agriculture, and after seeing Russian agriculture I can understand why.

As we talked face-to-face, he indicated that my grandchildren would live under Communism. After assuring him that I expected to do all in my power to assure that his, and all other grandchildren, would live under freedom, he arrogantly declared, in substance:

You Americans are so gullible. No you won’t accept Communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and you find you already have Communism. We won’t have to fight you. We’ll so weaken your economy until you fall like over-ripe fruit into our hands.

–1966 address at Brigham Young University

Is the Church heading down the same road as our nation? Of Boy Scouts? Will it fall into the devil’s hands like over-ripe fruit? Is it doomed to move completely to the left? You can bet that these youth in our Church pictured above will push for Equality of Temple Sealings at some point especially now that the Church has encouraged them. And at this rate, they’re bound to eventually get what they want.

One could more reasonably ask, “Is the Church kind of leaving us?”