Wrote Shakespeare in Hamlet, “To be or not to be, that is the question.” For us, however, the question becomes, “To compromise or not to compromise.” The prophet of the Latter-day Saint Church, President Monson, recently admonished listeners,
Let us have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval…Remember that all men have their fears, but those who face their fears with dignity have courage as well (2004).
We live in perilous times. Times when James Garvey tells us the state has forced men of religion to choose between worshipping God or worshipping the state (2012). Times when J. Christian Adams tells us the religious people of Houston, Texas also must choose between worshipping God or obeying corrupt laws, such as when that city’s openly gay mayor attempted to subpoena sermons from local churches when her open-borders bathroom policy failed, thanks to a grassroots movement to put the edict to ballot (where it failed) (2014).
In presenting the Houston, Texas story to my students recently two of my students supported open-borders bathrooms in the public schoolhouse while one voiced her support of the mayor of Houston. I attempted to explain, in as polite of speech as I could muster, that not all value systems can coexist; I used the assault on the Catholic religion by the Affordable Healthcare Act and the subpoenaing of church sermons by the gay Houston, Texas mayor as cases in point. I further noted that when members of the progressive party, whether pushing for so called gay rights or for nominal women’s rights, attempt to legislate policies that violate the religious beliefs of the faithful, one group of citizens must surrender its rights for another.
What is more, many of the policies these groups have succeeded in applying involve crimes for which one could be prosecuted for not so long ago. For instance, it wasn’t so long ago that men committing the crime of sodomy were arrested and dragged down to the courthouse to answer for their salacious acts. Meanwhile, unwed births once heralded the kind of social stigma requisite for preventing the kind of poverty, crime, and indolence now required by state welfare entitlements. To wit, adultery remains on the books in Utah, although no one seems interested in prosecuting that crime anymore, either.
A candid evaluation of history, even recent history, suggests that as a people wax increasingly gross in corruption of law, embracing the most licentious of sins and crimes where once law and stigma sought to confound them in their deeds and bring them to humble repentance, now the people must go on in the arrogance of their own wisdom until they destroy themselves. Of a similar attitude, Diana West wrote regarding the advent of the socialist movement here in the United States, whose decrees mirror exactly, and whose tenets serve directly in lineage as the inspiration behind all subversive movements in the United States (and in the West, for that matter) today,
How can we look at darkness and see purity? (2013).
Her words echo those of an ancient, Old Testament prophet named Isaiah, who wrote,
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:20-21).
To echo West’s point, our country’s history has reluctantly witnessed since the advent of godless atheism, manifest in socialist (“progressive”) incursions since at least the World War II era when Franklyn D. Roosevelt (prince of the modern progressive movement) declared his affinity for Josef Stalin, a steady destruction of not only our morals, but in consequence thereof, our laws and our grasp of history. Similarly, our people collectively lack the ability to not only discern between right and wrong, but any semblance of desire to even acknowledge that right and wrong exist. Such is the nature of cultural relativism.
As various bastions of progressive nonsense gain in strength, thanks largely to the growing atheism among our people (which tells us the secret to restoring our republic: repent and believe in God), men of faith will increasingly find themselves faced with the epic conflict: To compromise, or not to compromise; to worship God, or to worship the state. In the scriptures, and even in modern history, we see an abundance of courageous examples for us to follow. Joshua is included among them.
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15).
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