Theoretical Theocracy

Have you heard of Joseph Smith’s prophecy that one day the U.S. Constitution would hang by a thread, and that Mormon priesthood holders would be the ones to rescue it? It’s not hard to find references to this prophecy in LDS sources, Glenn Beck and Orrin Hatch had a tea party over it, and some wingnut named Steve Thomas wrote a book on the subject, which is on the tightly regulated approved list for LDS missionaries to read in their spare time.

The prophecy was endorsed by plenty of mucky-mucks over the years and was heavily favoured by LDS prophet/Commie hater Ezra Taft Benson, and now perennial Idaho political wannabe Rex Rammell is trying to use it to get himself elected Governor of Idaho. In a video circulated on YouTube, Rammell explains and defends why he has set up a meeting with only LDS priesthood holders to discuss this “White Horse Prophecy.”

When asked why he only invited Mormon priesthood holders, his response shows that he hasn’t given women a second thought: “To be right honest with you, the reason I invited only LDS elders to this particular forum is I didn’t think anybody else would want to come.”

I don’t doubt Rammel’s sincerity. I also don’t doubt that it never occurred to him that he should consider how exclusionary his attitude is to Mormon women, because to tell the truth his position is in perfect harmony with LDS teachings and practice. Plenty, if not most, of Mormon meetings associated with planning, decision-making, and leadership take place without women present.

As with most things relating to gender, politics, and religion, it’s the implications, rather than the explicit words, that deserve the most attention. Based on Rammel’s speech, the prophecies of Joseph Smith, and the elaborations of Ezra Taft Benson, here’s what we can infer:

  • He refutes the notion that religion and politics should be separated as “absurdity,” meaning some degree of theocracy is desired.
  • Saving the government is the work of the elders (Mormon men), excluding non-Mormons and Mormon women from exercising critical political authority.
  • It’s hard to see how this action could take place without putting LDS males in positions of prominence in the newly rescued U.S. government.
  • Despite all this, there doesn’t seem to be any sort of plan to get from “hanging by a thread” to “constitution saved.”

The problem with the “White Horse Prophecy” is that it’s a bit like the Underpants Gnomes’ business model:

Just as the gnomes haven’t really thought through the nuts and bolts of success, all I really see in this mighty prophecy is:

  1. Elders of Israel step forward
  2. ?
  3. Prophet!

That’s why I’m curious to see what the results of the discussion are. There are plenty of wingnuts out there whose sausage parties I don’t care to listen in on. This is going to be a group of guys who don’t know anything about politics attempting to prove that priesthood inspiration is all you need to run a country. I want to see what these good brethren from Idaho cook up to put in place of the question mark. Are they just going to end up collecting spiritual underpants, or will they actually profit prophet?

One thought on “Theoretical Theocracy

  1. OMG I’ve been ranting against Rex Rammell for weeks! I was beginning to think I was the only one who’d noticed him, I’m so glad I’m not! Just thinking about him makes my blood pressure rise.

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