The murder continues.


May 6, 2009 by theradicalmormon

Afghan police are saying today that over 100 people were killed in this week’s US air strike in Farah Province. 25 to 30 are suspected Taliban, while the vast majority were civilians. A Red Cross investigative team confirmed the findings, saying they had seen “dozens” of bodies in two separate locations and that civilians were still digging through the rubble of their mud-brick homes looking for others.

Therefore, renounce war and proclaim peace, and seek diligently to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children;

–The Lord

Our traditions have been such that we are not apt to look upon war between tow nations as murder… Does it justify the slaying of men, women and children that otherwise would have remained at home in peace, because a great army is doing the work? No: the guilty will be damned for it.

–Brigham Young

13 thoughts on “The murder continues.

  1. Joseph says:

    Where did you get that great Brigham Young quote?

  2. Forest Simmons says:

    I remember back in the late seventies when citizens of Utah were all gung ho to have missles moving around the state on mobile platforms to create moving targets for the Russians. President Kimball spoke out against it. He quoted Nephi (2 Nephi 4:34):

    “O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.”

  3. theradicalmormon says:

    I also like his quote in relation to that one:

    “We are a warlike people, easily distracted from our assignment of preparing for the coming of the Lord. When enemies rise up, we commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel — ships, planes, missiles, fortifications — and depend on them for protection and deliverance.”

  4. theradicalmormon says:

    Got it here:

    Hugh Nibley, Brother Brigham Challenges the Saints, edited by Don E. Norton and Shirley S. Ricks [Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book Co., Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1994], pg 214.

  5. Grégoire says:

    This is so awful. It makes me want to vomit.

    There is no people more decadent anywhere than North Americans in the 21st century. They’re the people who are killing their kids in order to commit mass murder, and the most important things on their minds are whether the dollar menu is going to disappear at McDonalds or what color tie Great Leader Obama is wearing today.

    In the Vietnam era, these things caused people to go out in the streets. The U.S. was on the verge of a revolution… Our grandparents were made of sterner and more thoughtful elements, alas…

  6. Ron Madson says:

    Brigham said “our traditions” were to see wars between nations as murder of innocents. Ain’t our tradition no more. IMH we have sold out as surely as the early Christians did to the Roman Empire. There is no practical difference even down to believing we are God’s chosen kingdom—but we are not—

  7. Joseph says:


    Thanks for the citation.


    I interpret this statement by Brigham Young as a criticism of our notion that “it’s not murder when you kill in war” (a tradition I have heard defended many times from LDS pulpits and in Sunday School). Brigham is actually attacking those traditions. Strange that not many conference or sacrament meeting talks use this quote! (And no, I wouldn’t be brave enough) Is there another Brigham quote you were referring to about “our traditions” and wars being a “murder of innocents”?

    I do feel there are complexities when dealing with soldiers who trying to do what they think is right, but this statement from Brigham pulls the rug out from under people outside of the military who refuse to question the motives of politicians who create the wars.

    And we do seem to have sold out to the Romans (or Babylon). As Philip Dick observed: “the empire never ended”

  8. Ron Madson says:

    I did not make myself clear in my previous post. BTW, how do we address you? “The Radical Mormon” or just “Rad” or what would you prefer. What I meant to say is that Brigham Young and others, including his son Brigham Young Jr. had an “tradition” of denouncing the “tradition” of justifying the murder of innocents because it is under a banner of a nation…and that “tradition” of denouncing wars as such has been lost in our generation–at least since Viet Nam.

    As to using this quote in church. I have long since crossed the Rubicon. I was teaching GD in spring of 2003 on alternating weeks when the drums of war were pounding. I suggested and taught that we can read into scriptures both a war or peace narrative and that if we desire peace then we will find a way and rationale, but if we desire revenge then we can find a rationale/justification. Once the class caught the drift that I was denouncing our war of aggression into Iraq all hell broke out the next week when the teacher I alternated with specifically denounced my thoughts as not following the prophet, apostate, etc. etc. I was released that week…and have not been invited to teach GD since. I feel no sense of bitterness but I have come to recognize that we really do not worship the truth but rather as Thoreau said–“a reflection of the truth.”

    As to the complexities of soldiers…If a soldier truly thinks what he is doing is right, then it is not complex. If he comes to realize his acts are criminal as many did during Viet Nam and some in our present conflicts. Well, then it is also not complex—just walk away —only the consequences can be complex but I am learning that the military does not prosecute for the most part and would rather avoid the hassle and will let you go….

  9. theradicalmormon says:

    I think you were probably addressing Joseph’s post above, but since you ask, you can call me anything but late for dinner.
    I did enjoy reading your experience though. I’ve often said something that riled up someone in church, but never as the GD teacher. I like to throw out quotes from the peanut gallery in GD from Brigham Young or the Spencer W. Kimball talk when it comes to war. I similarly like to throw out quotes from Nibley when it comes to a discussion of wealth in GD. There’s way to much justifying that goes on in GD on those two subjects. It’s good to know your scriptures really well too. It’s amazing that you were released so quickly after that.

    I had an issue with my calling recently too. I was called to be the Webelos leader and when I went for the complimentary one-time-observation-before-taking-over visit, I came to realize that I couldn’t do the whole flag salute thing with the way I feel about what the flag has come to represent. I explained this to the 2nd counsellor in the bishopric and they decided that I should do something else. So I was the 10 year old primary teacher for a while and now they have me teaching Gospel Essentials.

    I did teach GD for a while back in 2000 which was a Book of Mormon topic year and I was very motivated to preach the Book of Mormon the way I saw it with an emphasis on what the Book teaches about the Nephites and their shortcomings and how that reflects on us members of the Church and our shortcomings. It was a lot of fun to see people’s eyes opened, and they were more liberal in Milwaukee, WI than they are in your neck of the woods and let me stay on until I moved. I don’t try to rile people up too much but I will not sit still when someone brings a life-sized machine gun to his talk on Sunday as a visual aid in a talk on patriotism (that actually happened in my ward in San Diego).

  10. Grégoire says:

    Hey Ron:

    I just call him “RM” — it’s a nice little double entendre in our tradition (even if RM never served a church mission, he’s sorta serving one now with his blog).

    but I am learning that the military does not prosecute for the most part and would rather avoid the hassle and will let you go…

    I dunno man. Ehren Watada is a junior officer from Hawaii who jumped through all the hoops and tried to get himself transferred out of a unit that was going to Iraq. He did not meet the conscientious objector qualifications because he is not necessarily against war… just against that particular war. When this was refused, he begged to be demoted, sent to Afghanistan as a foot soldier, or simply dismissed with a dishonorable discharge. Rather than come to some sensible compromise, his superiors tried to *make an example of him* and railroad him into many years of prison.

    Thankfully, someone at the justice department put an end to this nonsense just this week. It has been three years of total chaos for him and his family, simply for refusing to become a war criminal.

    I don’t try to rile people up too much but I will not sit still when someone brings a life-sized machine gun to his talk on Sunday as a visual aid in a talk on patriotism (that actually happened in my ward in San Diego).

    Honey! Go out to the garage and get the AK-47… I’m taking it to church/temple!

    Good gawd almighty! That’s insane!

    That aside, I wish I lived close enough to attend some of y’all’s classes. I’d bring my kids.

  11. Forest Simmons says:

    I’m proud of my twin daughters for not giving in to the Young Women’s leader who recently tried to make them believe that if you could save enough lives by torturing somebody, it would be the right thing to do.

    We didn’t confront anybody about this, because none of them are a match for our girls!

  12. theradicalmormon says:

    Wow. Good girls. It is a great thing when our kids can stand up for what they know is right even when authority figures are saying something different. Sometimes it will feel like one is going against the grain of the rest of society. Sometimes I think we are all living our own personal Truman Show and we are presented with a “reality” when in fact things are very different and it takes an almost schizophrenic break to free one’s self and see things as they really are. If you haven’t seen the movie you have no idea what I’m talking about. Highly recommended flick.

  13. Joseph says:


    Thanks for clarifying. And what happened to you as a Gospel Doctrine teacher is terrible. You know, I haven’t yet come across the conference talk where any General Authorities encouraged mean-spirited, contentious, un-Christlike responses to differences of opinion. I find it interesting that members of the LDS Faith who cry the loudest against not following the Prophet or who are the most anxious to accuse others of apostasy seem to have the most selective hearing when it comes to actually following the prophets.


    That’s awesome that your daughters can stand by the truth like that!


    I agree with you about the schizophrenic break. Haven’t seen the Truman Show (I know what it’s about, though), but I’m a big Philip K. Dick fan (see my previous comment on this post). Anyway, good point!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 262 other followers



Recent Comments

threattadmin on Evicting God!
Lilly on Speaking Truth to Power: 9/11…
fwsimmons on Evicting God!
jkotab on Sparrows Matter
Korance on Trading a Cross for a Fla…
Korance on Trading a Cross for a Fla…
Ron Madson on Where is Jeremiah Today?
Stephanie Steffen on Where is Jeremiah Today?
%d bloggers like this: