Ha, it’s a trick question because there are no good Mormons, they’re just a bunch of anti-Christ-Joseph-Smith-worshipping-cult-polygamist-freakazoids! Ok, now that I’ve said it, nobody needs to plug up the comments section with irrelevant rants.
Today Mormons in the United States are overwhelmingly Republican. It’s not unusual to get into a political discussion with a group of Mormons and hear someone say “I just don’t understand how someone can be a good Mormon and be a Democrat.” This is due primarily to the contrasting views of the Republican and Democratic parties on abortion, sexual matters, the family, and limited government. Conservative Mormon Republicans often see liberal Democrats as sex-crazed maniacs who want to do whatever feels good and ignore the consequences, or blame the consequences on conservatives and pay for them with somebody else’s money. In other words, there is quite a bit of alignment politically between conservative Republican Mormons and conservative Republican evangelicals.
But do the beliefs, actions, or results, of either major political party truly match up with Mormon doctrine and culture? That’s the question that has arisen in my mind as I’ve been reading Latter-day Liberty: A Gospel Approach to Government and Politics by Connor Boyack. Boyack posits that Mormon doctrine matches up mostly closely with libertarian thought, not to be confused with the Libertarian Party. That is, Boyack promotes the idea that persuasion is better means of improving society than force, and uses extensive quotes from LDS Church leaders as well as scripture to back up his assertions. In doing so, he presents a compelling case for Mormons to have no great loyalty to either the Democratic or Republican parties, but to first and foremost be an advocate of liberty.
The book is well-written, interesting, and educational. And having sold out its first print run within days of its release it seems to be striking a chord. And not only with Mormons, as Boyack’s interview on the Judge Napolitano show on FOX attests.
If you’re a Mormon and politically inclined, this book is a must-read, regardless of your party affiliation. If you’re read it, I’d love to know what you thought of it.