January 6, 2021, is the day political danger was unleashed on America. It is the day when multiplying, anti-democratic, seditious elements of the Republican Party were unmasked — elements which sorrowfully and shamefully includes many members of my church.
The 1950s Red Scare, the 1960s sexual revolution, the 1970s feminism and abortion battles, the 1980s Moral Majority movement, the 1990s same-sex marriage offensive, the 2000s LGBT credence campaign and the 2010s clash over LGBTQ rights reeled the majority of members of my church in America into the embracing arms of the Republican Party and its mushrooming militancy.
Then, the 2020s opened and a year later insurrectionists, stirred by the QAnon conspiracy theories and stoked by rogue Republican leaders, organized an attack against the United States Capitol and the Constitution, convinced by the “Big Lie” that the presidential election was stolen from Republicans and their president.
Today, according to Public Religion Research Institute’s survey, conducted in May, 46% of the members of my church in America believe Joe Biden and the Democratic Party stole the presidential election from Donald Trump and the Republican Party. Just as inexplicable, 21% of the members of my church in America have been baited into believing the QAnon conspiracy theories, anonymously being spread throughout the nation out of the dark corners of social media.
But most alarming of all, 24% of the members of my church in America actually believe: “Because things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country.” Regrettably, many members of my church are delving deeper into a world of dishonor, placing a higher priority on preserving partisan political power at all costs, including through deceit and disruption if necessary, rather than devotedly promulgate principles of peace and honesty.
Their fidelity to politicians, pundits and provocateurs shockingly seems to supersede their declared ardent support of the anointed prophets and their proclamations — leaving them easily susceptible to menacing conspiracy theories and political lies. Misguided as they are, they perpetuate political conflicts and contentions for power, rather than lionize the prophetic priority to leaven society with peace — the peace intended to help rescue it from the very discontent they provoke in the name of their populist indignation.
Choosing political power over prophetic priorities is an abject failure to discern that church doctrines are foremost divine directives to peaceably establish the kingdom of God on earth, and not for pious pretenses to take up political swords, mindlessly imitating reckless Zealots whose crusade against Roman rule unwittingly triggered the prophesied destruction of Jerusalem and the temple of their God.
But most disgraceful of all, far too many members of my church revel in the political chaos and conflict conjured by anti-Christs, while hypocritically claiming discipleship to the charitable causes of the authentic Christ.
”This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.”
For the sake of the church, the nation and the Republican Party, members of my church must reject all vestiges of venomous suspicions and lies injected to inflame political contention and conflict, and immediately return to revering the anointed prophets calling for truthfulness and honor and tranquility and harmony.
”I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another. Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.”
Members of my church who have wandered onto dark political paths must pursue an immediate course correction, shunning even the shadows of contention, or be subject to Christ’s consequential condemnation: “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Stuart C. Reid, Ogden, is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Republican Party.