Harry Reid came to BYU in 2007 to enlighten the conservative body on the Provo, Utah campus on the virtues of the Democrat Party. During his trip to Provo, he also criticized President Ezra Taft Benson, saying that the LDS prophet and staunch constitutionalist had led people down the wrong path. Apparently Reid, one of the most liberal people influencing our country's direction, felt the need to assert that his understanding of proper Christianity is superior to that of someone we regard as Christ's spokesman. If that mentality seems at all strange to anyone, you're not alone.
I have had many political conversations with Mormons in which Harry Reid's name comes up. For the most part, members of the church I've talked to are embarrassed that Reid shares membership with them in an organization whose priorities are in direct contrast to what Reid and his party espouse. Foremost among the religious principles contradicted by Harry Reid and the Democrat Party is that of the agency of mankind.
The Battle Over Agency
For those who are not member of my church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), I'll explain the Latter-day Saint perspective on freedom and agency. Our understanding of the battle between good and evil begins well before the earth was created. Humans existed with the Father of their spirits (Elohim) in heaven. A plan was presented to them in which each of those spirits would be given a necessary chance to experience mortality on this earth. The plan would allow them to use their freedom of choice and accountability (aided by the intercession of Jesus Christ to overcome their shortcomings) to develop into beings equal in knowledge, power, and authority to their Father. In addition to God's plan, which was righteously supported by Jesus Christ, a spirit named Lucifer presented an evil alternative. His plan mocked freedom, engendered slavery, and attempted to destroy agency by removing it from the equation. People would be forced to do "good". They would not have a choice. Lucifer, whose actions led him to become the Devil or Satan, attempted to sugar coat his plan by claiming that it would work perfectly, saving each and every one of God's offspring. The purpose for the devil's aggressive push to remove agency is clear. He wanted power. He wanted glory. He wanted to control.
Oddly enough, in many ways, the devil's plan has some appeal. Creating a system in which everyone becomes perfect seems enticing. However, coercion of the human soul, even forcing obedience to what is considered good, goes against eternal principles. It is evil.
If you read the preceding explanation with modern day politics in mind, it is little wonder that the LDS church membership strongly favors the Republican party and opposes Democrats. Although the Republican party is a long way from having perfect ideals,
it doesn't directly oppose the principles of agency and accountability as does the Democrat party.
Democrats, including Harry Reid whose religion attempts to teach him a better way, have an agenda that closely parallels that put forth by Satan prior to this world's founding. They pretend to have the best interests of their country at heart, yet their policies and programs have been demonstrated to create dependence on the government and destroy the self-sufficiency that comes when a person uses his God-given ability to make choices for himself and his family.
But what about charity and providing for the less fortunate? Another interesting twist in this discussion arises when we consider that the Christian religion teaches its adherents to be charitable, to help the less fortunate, and to contribute their means for that purpose. What's wrong with the Democrat position of taxing, taxing, and more taxing in order for the government to decide who gets what? The immorality of this stance is based on the fact that it subverts the personal choice of American citizens to provide for the less fortunate voluntarily, without being forced. Like the devil, Democrats want power. They want glory. They want to control the lives of each and every citizen in this country by expanding their government and redistributing what is not theirs. Despite the historical evidence that this approach makes everyone poorer and removes fulfillment from their lives, Democrats still want to be praised for creating such an environment.
A point that needs to be made here involves the voluntary giving habits of conservatives versus those of liberals. Studies repeatedly show that Republicans donate more to charity than Democrats. The latest formal study of this subject (a book by Arthur Brooks called "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism - Who Gives, Who Doesn't, and Why It Matters) would be a rebuke of Democrats, except that it's been universally understood for a long time that liberals, who would without reservation open up someone else's wallet to source contributions for their "philanthropic" projects, hold tightly to their own.
I've wondered how someone like Harry Reid can be so confused about the principles taught by his religion. If he attends the same kinds of meetings as I do, and if his brain works correctly; if he valued the essence of what he learns in church above rivaling political aspirations, he certainly wouldn't be who he is. Either Mr. Reid has problems understanding some pretty basic concepts, as demonstrated in his widely circulated interview with Jan Helfeld, or there is more to his political maneuvering than simple sincerity. During the interview, Reid attempts to explain that Americans are not forced to pay taxes. The interview may give us insight into how Satan himself might have attempted to portray the details of his plan as not necessarily being compulsory.