Sunday, November 9, 2008

A new Utah War?

In 1857, the President of the United States, James Buchanan, was persuaded by anti-Mormon sentiment and agitators to send the U.S. Army to "put down the rebellion in Utah." At the time, this was arguably the one of the largest, if not the largest military campaign undertaken by the United States in that period of our history. The War is also known as "Buchanan's Blunder" due to the fact that there was no rebellion. Nevertheless, the confrontation lasted from May, 1857 to July, 1858. Ironically, the General sent by Buchanan to put down the rebellion, Albert Sidney Johnston, became a General in Confederate Army and fought against the Union.

From current news articles, the United States apparently hasn't moved very far from that level of irrational anti-Mormon sentiment of the 1800s. With the recent passage, by three states, California, Arizona and Florida, of Marriage Amendments, mobs of Gay activists have attacked Mormon Temple sites in California and Utah and the government has stood by and allowed the attacks.

Here are several news stories of the confrontation.,5143,705261463,00.html,0,7790800.story

Significantly, the L.A. Times news article ignores the specific attacks on the Church at the Los Angeles Temple.

What is significant about these attacks is the fact that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints comprise less than 2% of the population of California and 52% of the population voted in favor of the amendment. Further, the attacks include specific threats to kill members of the Church.

The Church has responded with clear statements:

If this type of mob activity was directed at Jews, Blacks or Muslims, or other similar minority, the outrage and outcry would have swept the country. But, because the target is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, apparently we are still in the 1800s.


  1. Years ago during the civil rights movement the Church was neutral (as far as I know) on the subject of civil rights. They never spoke for it and many criticized the Church for not giving the blacks the priesthood (even members of the church). At the time it would seem like something the Church might be interested in supporting due to the fact that we emphasize the equality of man, but they did not take part in it. Neither did the Church give even nominal support for the civil rights movement by giving blacks the priesthood, until it was mostly over.

    This upset people because they thought that the Church was being unfair towards blacks. Now years later the "civil rights" movement has taken up the mission of giving homosexuals their "civil rights". Looking back, if the Church had supported the civil rights movement of the 60's, even if they were not actively involved, or even passively involved by giving blacks the priesthood, then today they (the Church) would be in a more difficult position because people (including many members) would have assumed that because the Church had previously supported the civil rights movement, even if it was nominal, passive support, they (the Church) would support the new "civil rights" movement.

    It was as if someone was aware of what would happen and purposely guided the Church to take a particular position (or non-position) regarding civil rights so as to avoid problems in the future, and put the Church in a position to take a stand on a critical subject.

  2. This guy has an interesting essay on the topic: