As a staunch and “devout” Latter-day Saint (Mormon), I firmly and completely support the individual right of personal and public association (and the negative right of disassociation) and of contract. Politically, it was the principle of the natural right of association, disassociation, and contract that even made the Declaration of Independence a rational possibility. England didn’t feel the Colonists had the right to disassociate politically, publicly, or individually, but the colonists thought
As of my writing this, there are approximately 675,000 Americans from every state in the Union who have digitally petitioned the White House to allow their state to secede from the United States of America. In other words, there are the beginnings of a movement that seekito break up the United States as we know it.
On its face, I support secession as a principle of individual liberty and sound Constitutional government. If government goes beyond its authority, it is the right of the people to either remove themselves from the association of that government or to abolish it altogether.
That said, the current movement to secede is an endeavor in fruitlessness.
Originally posted on LDS Liberty here.
[A podcast of our interview with the author on this topic can be found here.]
We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying honoring, and sustaining the law.
The Twelfth Article of Faith is a standard of religious compliance and belief of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints specifically regarding every member’s obligation to be subject to the laws of their country and to their leaders. Many interpret this Article of Faith to mean absolute compliance to all laws enacted within a political mechanism, while others have used this article to justify a higher principle of natural rights, justice, and morality.
Grammar of the Twelfth Article of Faith
This particular Article of Faith is commonly misread to include a coordinating conjunction that is not actually found and which dramatically changes its meaning when added. Most quote theTwelfth Article of Faith to read, “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents rulers, and magistrates, [and] in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” The coordinating conjunction “and,” however, does not exist in the actual text. This is important because, grammatically, the coordinating conjunction changes the meaning of this passage.
I am often told that our nation is hanging in the balance, and that if Obama wins the election then all will be lost. In such discussions, however, I am left wondering – what happened to the checks-and-balances within the Constitution? How can one man yield so much power as to single-handedly destroy this country?
Speaking to the frailties of the US Constitution, James Madison – the “father” of the US Constitution – observed in the Federalist No 48 that while not every branch of government “should be wholly
Riddled throughout both US and international politics are the terms of conservatism and liberalism. Generally speaking, these terms are thrown about with little understanding of their origination or of their meaning, but, when elicited, feelings of emotion, sentiment, and passion are often triggered as epithets of self-identification. David Hume is often described as “the father of Conservatism,” but what is conservatism? Conversely, some have called David Hume a liberal (or, a classical liberal), but what is liberalism? In finding whether David Hume was a conservative or liberal political philosopher, we can define the foundational basis for both liberalism and conservatism.
**********************************I have said, very many times… that no man believed more than I in the principles of self-government; that it lies at the bottom of all my ideas of just government,; that it lies at the bottom of all my ideas of just government, from beginning to end… I believe each individual is naturally entitled to do as he pleases with himself and the fruit of his labor, so far as it in no wise interferes with any other’s rights — that each community, as a State, has a right to do exactly as it pleases with all the concerns within that State that interfere with the rights of no other State, and that the general government, upon principle, has no right to interfere with anything other than the general class of things that does concern the whole (Abraham Lincoln, July 10, 1858; Collected Works 2:493).
My fellow Americans: I stand before you tonight humbly grateful to God for the blessings we all enjoy as citizens of these great United States of America. I am grateful for our founding fathers who were raised up with the courage to give their lives, with the unselfishness to give their fortunes, and the vision to pledge their sacred honor, in order to establish a new kind of government of their own choosing where men might be free. I am additionally grateful that these founding fathers had the faith and humility to accept the divine inspiration so necessary in setting for a Constitution as the foundation for their new Republic.