Russell Pearce and Mormonism

Last semester I wrote a paper for a college philosophy course about the compatibility of religion and philosophy. I wrote specifically of how philosophy can be dangerous to faith and religion if not properly applied. I also wrote about Abraham and Isaac, and what Soren Kierkegaard said in Fear and Trembling. The teaching assistant who graded my paper wrote a comment by my statement. It said, “But can’t religion also be dangerous? It nearly turned Abraham into a murderer!”

And she was right, wasn’t she? Hasn’t religion been responsible for appalling acts of inhumanity and war?

I don’t have a problem with religion itself. In fact, I believe that some of the most beautiful things in the world come in humble acts of faith. Yet the religion that starts wars and breeds hatred isn’t, in fact, religion at all. Religion in these instances is just being hijacked, used as a type of vehicle to another end.

Arizona lawmaker Russell Pearce, author of the controversial Arizona immigration law and who is also a Mormon, is a man who is using religion as a vehicle for his political ambitions. Like countless others, he is mischaracterizing that religion. And now, according to a front page article in The Arizona Republic, it is turning dangerous.

The Hispanic community is feeling largely threatened by the actions of what they perceive to be Mormons themselves, and it is hurting missionary efforts in Arizona. The article states, “Pearce has repeatedly said his efforts to drive illegal immigrants out of Arizona and keep them from coming here is based on the Mormon Church’s 13 Articles of Faith, which includes obeying the law.”

Which is partly correct, Mormons do believe in upholding the law of the land. But at what cost? Christ clearly stated in the New Testament the two greatest commandments. And last time I checked neither one was, “Thou shalt not let those of a different background and skin color illegally partake of the wealth that should belong to normal, white, citizens.”

I would be willing to bet a lot of money that Mr. Pearce is not nearly as ambitious about enforcing and honoring the law when it comes to things such as constitutional rights, taxes, zoning laws, etc.

I can now thank Pearce for helping me to understanding something which I failed to understand in philosophy class.


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