The Bundy Bunch

After every major terrorist attack committed by Muslims, some of my xenophobic facebook acquaintances passive aggressively question why moderate Muslims don’t speak out. The implication is that the actions of a few radical extremists speak for the entire religion. Of course, countless moderate Muslims do speak out against the violent radicalism. But that doesn’t fit the narrative, so it is ignored.

I’m no fan of Islam (or religion in general). I abhor particularly its sexism, propensity towards violence against those who leave or criticize, and general lackadaisical attitude for progressing human rights. But I find it incredibly hypocritical that many Christians lambast Islam for not doing enough to combat Islamic terrorism while simultaneously ignoring Christian terrorism, which is both frequent and deadly. Attacks against health clinics like Planned Parenthood are reprehensible, yet are largely ignored by right-wing conservatives in their war against Islam.

The most recent example is from Mormonism itself. Though the religion has a long and storied history of violence, culminating in one of the deadliest terrorist incidents in United States history, it is perceived in recent times to be a peaceful religion. Yet active, believing Mormons such as the Bundy’s continue to break the law and attempt to get into a violent shootout with government agents.

Yesterday’s news that two Bundy’s illegally occupied a federal building in Oregon and plan on defending themselves by killing any federal agents is frightening. But it leaves me wondering why the Mormon church, both its members and its leaders, are not speaking out against such threats and actions. When women like Kate Kelly are excommunicated simply for wanting gender equality, why are the Bundy’s treated with institutional silence and allowed to remain members?

My tongue is firmly in my cheek of course, but does this mean that the Mormon church endorses and encourages such violent, illegal measures?

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6 thoughts on “The Bundy Bunch

    • Yup, it’s a step forward finally. Years after the last Bundy standoff, they “strongly condemned” the current actions. They’re still excommunicating members who do podcasts or ask for gender equality, but domestic terrorists who get into armed standoffs with federal agents? No, they get some strong words from Salt Lake.

  1. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865644791/LDS-Church-condemns-seizure-of-Oregon-federal-facilities-by-militia-citing-Mormon-beliefs.html?pg=all
    While you and I may not agree with what Ammon Bundy is doing, he has a right to do it under the Constitution. He has a right to free speech, to assemble with like-minded people, and a right to seek redress for perceived wrongs. These are the 5 freedoms enshrined in the Constitution, along with freedom of Religion and the Press. As long as his protest does not become violent, then he has a right to do what he is doing. He does not, however, have a right to drag the Church into it. As long as he stops doing that, then the Church is not going to start any disciplinary action. Those who write blogs on gender or LGBT rights or equal rights for women, or whatever, are welcome to free speech, as long as they do not misrepresent Church doctrine or try to force the Church to accept or change beliefs to fit what the protesters want.

  2. Oh Lori… I’m so disappointed in you. And after years of being jaded by your responses, that’s not something I say lightly.

    They are illegally occupying a federal building. They broke numerous laws, including breaking and entering right from the outset. No, they do not have a right to break a bunch of laws and threaten violence against federal agents on the basis of free speech or freedom of assembly. If they were Muslim, you would be frothing at the mouth to have federal agents hit the building with a drone strike.

    However, they certainly do have a right to try and justify their actions based on religion. That is a right, even if it thoroughly embarrasses you and your church in this instance.

    “Those who write blogs on gender or LGBT rights or equal rights for women, or whatever, are welcome to free speech, as long as they do not misrepresent Church doctrine or try to force the Church to accept or change beliefs to fit what the protesters want.”

    See, that’s kind of the problem. You have a top-down, authoritarian institution that can’t stand criticism. It is quick to eject members from its own congregations who desire equality, but then goes out and drives political campaigns to fight against equality for minority groups who have nothing to do with it. The rank hypocrisy would be shocking if it was not so predictable.

    Because the Mormon church is so incredibly defensive, so acutely sensitive to criticism, it allows domestic terrorists who break the law and threaten violence against innocents to remain members in good standing while peaceful scholars with unorthodox views are driven from it. And somehow it has you so beholden to protecting it and blinded by loyalty that you support such hypocrisy.

  3. I can guarantee that if Ammon Bundy continues to use scripture to support what he is doing, contrary to the Chirch telling him to stop then he will face disciplinary action. The Church gives people plenty of time to consider their actions and take time to repent when they have been censored, if they choose to do so. If they do not, then there naturally have to be consequences.
    C’mon, you can’t tell me that if an employee of smugmug started misrepresenting smugmug and its business mission and then started trying to smear its reputation with clients or in advertising or on social media that that employee would not be summarily terminated. And you probably wouldn’t even give him a second chance. Why the Church is supposed to take any and all members, even when what they are doing is to either foment dissension or agitate for change of doctrine does not make sense, just like keeping on an employee who is trying to undermine his employer.
    If, as you have stated, Ammon Bundy has broken laws in what he is doing, then it is up to the gov’t to handle it, not the Church. They have condemned what he is doing, but they are not going to excommunicate him unless he refuses to stop using scripture to support what he is doing.
    While I, in no way, support what Ammon is doing, I can understand what is driving him to it- the gov’t has WAY over reached their authority in taking away states’ lands and putting them under federal jurisdiction and then being very heavy handed about grazing rights and supposed environmental impacts. States are supposed to have more rights than the fed gov’t. That is what our Founding Fathers argued about and what they came up with to make sure the fed gov’t didn’t become too powerful. That concept has been slowly eroding over the years but seems to happen more when Dems are in office. States are supposed to have the final say about lands within their boundaries, but this is not the case. And when you are one little rancher, or small group of ranchers it can be very frustrating when the gov’t you pay taxes to does everything they can to take away your rights. So, while breaking the law is not the best way to go about it, when you have tried all the legal means to get the Feds to listen and you continue to be either ignored, or worse , marginalized and more of your rights taken away, then sometimes desperate times demand desperate measures. I’m sure the Feds are hearing Ammon Bundy loud and clear now.

    • This is a joke, right? You can’t be serious.

      John Dehlin, Kate Kelly, D. Michael Quinn, Rock Waterman, and the rest were not church employees! They weren’t even unpaid volunteers. They were volunteers who continually paid a significant portion of their income to be members of your church. So if you want to use an analogy, try a customer instead of an employee. My company would never cancel the account of a customer simply because the customer was complaining online. We field countless such complaints on a regular basis. We certainly don’t just boot them off the service!

      “If, as you have stated, Ammon Bundy has broken laws in what he is doing, then it is up to the gov’t to handle it, not the Church. They have condemned what he is doing, but they are not going to excommunicate him unless he refuses to stop using scripture to support what he is doing.”

      Maybe your church should eliminate Article of Faith 12? And if they’re going to excommunicate people who legally marry each other simply because they have the same gender, maybe they should also kick out domestic terrorists?

      As for the government side of things, you should do a little bit of reading about the supposed plight of the ranchers. So let’s look at the main points here:
      – Ranchers get a massive discount grazing on federal land versus private land.
      – The Bundys have nothing to do with the land in Oregon they are illegally occupying.
      – The two arsonists don’t want anything to do with the Bundys and their protest.
      – The ranchers never owned the land they are protesting about. The government didn’t take anything from them.
      – We have a judicial system to determine what is legal and illegal, not a bunch of militiamen. And the judicial system has consistently sided with the federal government on this issue. Article 4, Section 3, Clause 2 clearly gives the federal government the right to manage the land as they see fit.
      – Breaking the law and threatening deadly violence against federal agents is not a good way to protest something
      – If you had woken up a week ago to this headline: “Heavily armed group of Muslims take control of federal building and threaten to kill federal agents” you would have been outraged instead of sympathetic. Your hypocrisy here is incredible.

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