Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Why Freedom Matters

There is much more at stake in the push to redefine marriage than is popularly assumed.  For those who wish to understand a sincere, powerful and well reasoned argument for why it matters that marriage retain it's true definition, and why religious freedom is vital, not just for people of faith, but for all people, please consider or reconsider Elder Dallin H. Oaks' speech at Chapman University's school of law.  A few gems of wisdom that can be discovered in this speech include the following statements of some of America's founding fathers: 

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other." -John Adams

"Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people, by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations: but, on a candid examination of history, we shall find that turbulence, violence, and abuse of power, by the majority trampling on the rights of the minority have produced factions and commotions, which, in republics, have more frequently than any other cause, produced despotism. If we go over the whole history of ancient and modern republics, we shall find their destruction to have generally resulted from those causes. If we consider the peculiar situation of the United States, and what are the sources of that diversity of sentiment which pervades its inhabitants, we shall find great danger to fear, that the same causes may terminate here, in the same fatal effects, which they produced in those republics. This danger ought to be wisely guarded against."  -James Madison (Va. Ratifying Convention, 1788)

There is a direct correlation between the decline in faith and the augmentation of governments, as this doctrinal diamond from Elder Neal A. Maxwell so clearly indicates:

"Decrease the belief in God, and you increase the numbers of those who wish to play at being God by being 'society's supervisors.' Such 'supervisors' deny the existence of divine standards, but are very serious about imposing their own standards on society." 

It is no accident that the lessening, or loss, of belief in certain absolute truths, such as the existence of God and the reality of immortality, has occurred at the same time there has been a sharp gain in the size and power of governments in many portions of the world."

These are the kinds of insights that offend mortal pride and see through the intellectual and political fads of the moment.  With time Elder Oaks' speech will prove to be nothing short of prophetic.