Musings on Mormonism



Ron Paul, freedom, and Joseph Smith

Now there’s three topics you never see together! The Libertarian in me is fairly sympathetic to Ron Paul in his candidacy. I do disagree with his stance on Iraq – as I understand, he wants to pull out, which I think would probably be a big mistake at this point – but I can understand his strong stance in this matter, having been one of the very few Republicans to oppose our direct intervention there in the first place. In hindsight, I think he may have been right to oppose invasion. Iraq aside, though, I agree with him that our government ought to more closely abide by the powers actually granted by the Constitution (that ol’ thing), and furthermore that it ought to do less regulating of the private lives of its citizens; make no mistake, our lives are highly regulated (in all likelihood, of course, this is still probably the most free and very best nation in which to live, perhaps in part because of certain of these regulations)! Among the various institutions which Paul hopes to abolish is the IRS, which I admit seems a bit strange. Granted, it IS a big mess, no thanks to rich people and their rich lawyers, as my lawyer brother tells me, but I imagine Paul must have some better system for collecting taxes.

Would this other system be a different system of compulsion? Most likely “yes”, i would expect, because granting citizens complete freedom over whether to pay taxes would probably be a darn ineffective way of collecting revenue. Assuming that personal freedom is the ideal and compulsion is its antithesis, how, then, can a society achieve its goals for the benefit of the whole by the free cooperation of the people? The short answer: I don’t know! It’s probably a whole lot more complex of an issue than I realize. However, I do believe that the great Prophet of the Restoration, Joseph Smith, presented an important principle that is key to solving this problem, if we can just figure out how best to apply it. He once said, in answer to how the people of Nauvoo, Ill. were so well-governed, “I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.” How awesome is that! The Book of Mormon, The Bible, the words of modern day prophets, and other scriptures all defend and declare the principle of liberty, and the BoM is particularly clear about the fundamental importance of our freedom to live and especially to worship. Furthermore, the scriptures teach us that we ought not force others on any behavior, even those acts that are righteous (although they heartily endorse kindness, long-suffering, and persuasion). Of course, on the matter of whether or not we ought to forcibly prevent people from acting unrighteously, the scriptures are not quite so clear. But that’s a discussion for another time 🙂

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Comments

  1. Hi,
    I wanted to comment on a point you made above, where you stated, concerning the abolition of the IRS, “but I imagine Paul must have some better system for collecting taxes.” What Congressman Paul has been trying to tell folks is that income tax is completely unnecessary, once you understand why it exists in the first place. Your income tax, if you’re an average American worker receiving wages from your employer, serves one soul purpose. It isn’t to run our country’s infrastructure, it isn’t to help with the war effort. The soul purpose of the income tax is to pay off the debt (interest) incurred when our government borrows money from the semi-private banking cartel known as the Federal Reserve, which prints the money from thin air, in direct conflict with the US Constitution.It is the responsibility of the IRS to see to it that we pay this income tax, regardless of the fact that no law in existence requires us to pay it, nor to even file. The bill, which brought into existence the Federal Reserve, was never ratified by the required number of states, so the existence of the Fed is, in all actuality, unlawful. Only Congress was granted the right to COIN money. Printing a fiat currency, backed by absolutely nothing, was one of the reasons for the Revolutionary War and the founding of this country and a deep desire by our founding fathers to make sure a bank never got out of control like that again, thus our Constitution (as important today as the day it was penned). No one but the Central Banks and the power elite benefit from this tax. It is a debt which, by design, can never be paid off, it can only grow exponentially. This, of course, is only one of many reasons Congressman Paul will receive my full support.

    I thank you for the opportunity to comment. God bless.

    Hollan Holmes

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 6 months ago
  2. * zugman says:

    Wow, thank you for your very illuminating comment! I’ll be the first to admit that I’m pretty ignorant of a lot of things in our government, so your information was very helpful. It really seems like there’s a great deal of merit to what Congressman Paul is saying. We ought to take the Constitution a lot more seriously for at least 2 reasons: 1) it is supposedly the foundation on which we have agreed to handle government, and 2) it contains, as I believe, inspired or otherwise very wise principles which would be of most benefit to man (Americans, in this case, of course) during our mortal sojourn. Congressman Paul is certainly a contender for my vote, and his proponents, such as yourself, Hollan, generally strike me as insightful and intelligent people, which I think is a very good sign. But his stance on Iraq…

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 6 months ago
  3. * Eddie says:

    May I be allowed to contribute to this discussion?

    I appreciate your concern about the solution to the income tax removal. I personally find a national sales tax to be the only fair way to satisfy our debts as they stand. We must also undo the damaging commitments to international welfare programs that have proven to be as effective as our domestic welfare system.

    My feeling is that you reap what you sow: if you punish someone for being productive, you’ll soon find them choosing to be unproductive.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 5 months ago
  4. * zugman says:

    Thank you for the comment, Eddie! I definitely agree that taxing productivity diminishes the incentive to be productive, although incompletely, as there are still plenty of productive people in the country. I do think our laws as they are now discourage personal responsibility, which is a darn shame because by doing so they discourage personal freedom, something our nation supposedly cherishes as an inalienable right. Freedom and responsibility cannot be separated; if we had freedom but were not accountable for what we do, then it would really just be something like subsidized, destructive egoism, ultimately destroying liberty for all.
    It’s interesting that you bring up welfare, because that is something that I’ve also been pondering lately. I agree that our domestic welfare program is woefully flawed, but I admittedly don’t know enough about our commitment to international welfare to take an intelligent decision (although I suspect that it’s similarly flawed).

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 5 months ago


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