Apparently some Utahns don't think the tea party is right wing enough.
A flier dropped in mailboxes in the Millcreek LDS Second Ward appears to be an attempt to recruit the faithful to a political party that, by the handout's wording, could be called the Joseph Smith Party.
The party's official name, however, is the Independent American Party, which was founded in 1998 as the Utah Independent American Party by activists who were inspired by a speech in 1968 by Ezra Taft Benson, who later became president of the LDS Church. The flier boasts that the party is enrolling thousands of registered voters for a ballot position in Utah and that the effort is expanding to "every state in the union."
The party's philosophy is revealed in the quotes on the recruitment flier:
"There will be two great political parties. One will be called the Republican, and the other Democrat. These two parties will go to war and out of these two parties will spring another party, which will be the new Independent American Party." Mormon founder Joseph Smith, June 19, 1844.
"The Constitution will hang by a thread." Joseph Smith.
"The Constitution now hangs by a tenth of a thread." LDS President Harold B. Lee and apostle Hugh B. Brown.
When you think about it, that's one tough thread. It's been hanging there for 169 years since Smith's death.
The flier contains another quote from Benson: "The Elders will step forward to save the Constitution." The flier then adds the parenthetical phrase: "The sisters will also be involved."
Can't leave the sisters out in this day and age.
Recruits are invited to a study course on the Constitution every Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Millcreek Stake Center's Relief Society Room at 4220 S. Jeannine Drive.
I checked with the LDS Church's public affairs department and was told political meetings are not allowed in church facilities. Church spokesman Cody Craynor told me he contacted the stake president and was informed, after my inquiry, the classes will no longer be held in the Mormon meetinghouse.
Here's an alternative •Perhaps the Independent American Party folks could follow the lead of the National Bible Association and have their "save the Constitution" meetings at the Utah Capitol.
The NBA (not that NBA) staged a Bible reading in the Rotunda recently that featured remarks by Gov. Gary Herbert. It was held Nov. 25 in conjunction with National Bible Week.
Allyson Gamble of the Capitol Preservation Board said the NBA reserved the space and paid fees for use of equipment just like any other group. The only downside for the Independent American Party using the Capitol is that it wouldn't be free like the Relief Society room.
Words and actions • Herbert's remarks at the Capitol Bible event, by the way, included a reading of the parable of the Good Samaritan in the New Testament. Apparently, those who drove by the man in the broken wheelchair I wrote about on Friday were not in attendance. Neither were the legislators who are so adamantly opposed to Medicaid expansion.