Thursday, September 24, 2009

Yes They Can, II

I did a recent post about the creepy video of children singing to their dear leader, Barrack Obama. I did not explain in great detail why it was so creepy. Let me clarify, when I pledge allegiance its to the flag of the United States and what the country stands for. Principles like justice apply to everybody regardless of who happens to be in the White House. When I took my oath of enlistment I promised to uphold and defend the constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic. I most certainly did not pledge my allegiance to the President, but to the same document that he swears to protect. And the hymns I sing are reserved for subjects such as God, his prophets, and general patriotic themes. Again, I would never sign a song about a politician.

Doing so smacks of what historians call a "cult of personality". Its defined by Random house as "a cult promoting adulation of a living national leader or public figure, as one encouraged by Stalin to extend his power." And Encyclopedia Britannica say "A cult of personality [is] when a country's leader uses mass media to create an idealized and heroic public image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise. Cults of personality are often found in dictatorships and Stalinist governments."

In The Book of Mormon the most famous cult of personality would be the one that surrounded the Gadianton Robbers. In Ether chapter 8 we learn that the primary bound is an oath of personal loyalty to their leader. Not only were personal loyalty oaths frowned upon but their motive to get power is similar to the cult of personality and strongly condemned:

22 And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed; for the Lord will not suffer that the blood of his saints, which shall be shed by them, shall always cry unto him from the ground for vengeance upon them and yet he avenge them not

Plus in this post, I discussed how historians called private soldiers "robbers" because they did not take a CIVIC oath, instead it was a personal oath of fealty to a landlord. Notice the comparison in the Roman robbers with the oaths that I took, then look at what, or more properly who, the following links praise.

I don't think President Obama is a Gadianton Master, although a future post could compare Alinsky's rules for seizing power with that of the Gadiantons within the BoM. However I am genuinely concerned when I see behavior like this. Remember with any president concerning fascism, extending government control over our lives, and stealing our money: yes they can, especially when you have little children singing primary like hymns to their dear leader. (Dear leader is one of the titles of North Korea's dictator.)

Indoctrination Quiz

More Indoctrination

I have no problem with people supporting President Obama. I do have a problem with people telling me what to think, and making children sing primary songs about him.


David J. West said...

Come on Morgan , you're acting like that dusty old book has something to say about our lives today.

Morgan Deane said...

Yeah really. I should point out that it would be very creepy if children started singing about George Bush too. This has less to do with politics and more to do with the cult of personality that seems to be growing around B.O.

David J. West said...

Whoa - don't take my sarcasm for even the slightest hint of sympathy or tolerance for B.O.s followers antics.

George Bush wants me for a Sunbeam would be equally creepy.

Seems to me in our day and age so many things are a trade-off. We have TV-Radio-Internet which we can utilize for information and knowledge at extreme speed and therefore we get "pretty" politicians with smooth speeches (while their tele-prompters work) 150 years ago if a man was a good speaker he could get into office-Daniel Webster type scenario so there is always that cult of personality in existence (not a rip on Daniel Webster) Hitler's speeches helped his clout quite a bit-as did the brown shirts-as does Acorn-

So it seems to me that as much as things are different they stay the same in their own sphere of the times-I suppose that is a theme within my book.

But I do think the events in the B of M relate to us better than they did to J.S. in 1830, the parallels are stronger with the humanism espoused by Korihor for example-who would have even dared teach that in 1830? but its de rigueur today.

Sorry for rambling on a tangent.

Morgan Deane said...

Your tangents are great. This is the first thread thats had more than a couple comments in a long time

Michaela Stephens said...

Interesting idea that Gadianton robbers were cults of personality. I hadn't thought of it like that before. But I suppose that clarifies why the judges got torked at Nephi for denouncing them. Perhaps it was an unpleasant shock to not be praised.

thefirestillburning said...

Ut seems to me that even those who regard the Book of Mormon as metaphorical (as many in my denomination do) ought to be paying more attention to the unpleasant parts of the metaphor!