Captain Moroni is NOT a Man of God

If a sure sign of a healthy organism is that its feces stink, then perhaps the steady onslaught over recent years of effeminate “progressives” (along with their cohorts in the Liberal Media) whining about the price of freedom is evidence that the bloggernaccle, as a deliberative body, is finally at fighting weight. No doubt in an effort to conceal their assault on virtue and decency, these liberals attack those with the courage to protect liberty from those who hate it, promiscuously employing irresponsible rhetorical flourishes like “torture” and “abuse of power” to make their self-righteous case. Red herrings aside, there is a real threat to liberty, justice, and our way of life, which true Americans must confront—a compelling danger that lies in abandoning our convictions and neglecting our divine mantle as leaders, and therefore, disciplinarians of the world.

Sadly, the disposition toward cowardice, so evidently common among Mormons, is not easily undone—a tragic byproduct of the lack of proper masculine role models in our culture. Take, as an example, the Mormon archetype of righteous manhood: Captain Moroni. Typically (inexplicably, for my money) held up as a military hero par excellence, Moroni was, in fact, an exceptionally weak—and weak-willed—leader. Despite the occasional moral clarity his actions evince (forcing the peaceniks to take up arms at sword’s point is an act of unparalleled righteous awesomeness), and his use of macho rhetoric in letter-writing campaigns, Moroni demonstrated a staggering naïveté in dealing with the enemies of freedom, families, God, and country. All of his moral (and, as a consequence, tactical and strategic) shortcomings are grounded in a singular, insurmountable weakness: he appears to genuinely see humanity—even, in a limited sense, to love—his enemies.

To wit: he is constantly referring to the savage, bloodthirsty, hate-filled, dark, and loathsome invaders of Nephite civilization as his “brethren.” Refusing to class enemies of righteousness as his own enemies, he opted instead to make excuses for them, ascribing the “root cause” of their hatred of freedom to their being misled by “the traditions of their fathers.” (You’d think Teancum would have had the sense at some point to remind his commanding officer that war is hardly the time to get philosophical). He also refused to take the fight to the enemy, choosing instead to engage the enemy only in Nephite territory (evidently, the plain and precious truth that fighting terror abroad means not having to fight it at home had been removed from gospel canon by Moroni’s time, only to be restored in the Latter-days).

But Moroni’s true colors shone during battle, where his lack of moral fiber was eclipsed only by his lack of commonsense judgment. Acutely aware of weakness in a foe, he seized upon the moment, not to finish them once and for all, but to conduct some UN-style appeasement negotiation. During which he offered to take the enemy’s word at face value—“just cross your heart that you won’t resume your jihad once you get back home, or perhaps you’d like us to resettle you in Nephite lands?” Pathetic. How would Moroni have dealt with a ticking time bomb? What do his battlefield “tactics” reveal about his ability to make hard decisions in a crisis that threatens the very fabric of free civilization? Would we really trust his judgment when it comes to protecting our families from the threat of islamofascism? The spineless take the truth to be hard, but that fact is that if those charged with protecting freedom today had been, and were, and ever would be like unto Moroni, the very gates of Zion would overrun by terrorists. He might once have raised a title of liberty, but his subsequent actions showed that standard to be as substanceless as an ACLU amicus brief.

Ultimately, Moroni’s imaginative failings are mirrored by our own. Confronting those failings with the lens of truth dispenses with the tortured logic (pun intended) of liberal lies. The supposition that strength can’t edify is as airless as a UN resolution without American moral and political tutelage. Sometimes the price of freedom is not just preemptive wars and intermittent waterboarding, but threats of execution (of both the detainee and his children), deadly pressure points, power drills, threatened rape, beatings, and, yes even the occasional death.

Terrorist psychopaths will continue jihad until our military might and our legal memos convince them of our immovable determination: that we will sooner carpet bomb them back to Allah than let them remain unenlightened. This threat is real; we need real courage, not idealistic, emasculated hand-wringing. How can we suppress Islamic fundamentalists, when we can’t even control Jeremiah Wright? How can we demand democracy in the desert, when a group of sore-loser closet-socialists can stifle it in town hall meetings across the heartland? How can we defeat immoral dictators when we can’t even control the insubordinate perverts in San Francisco? We need real leadership, not a fascist socialist Black Nationalist pacifist Islamic radical smooth-talking moral relativist. We need to remember that the forces of weakness don’t surround us; we surround them. Whose permission to stand up and act are we waiting for—the UN’s?

_________________

Captain Moroni is NOT a Man of God

Comments

  1. Nice rant, emphasis on rant. Fight rhetoric with rhetoric.

  2. “our divine mantle as leaders, and therefore, disciplinarians of the world.”

    You almost had me going until this line, which seems too over the top even for the right-wing noise machine.

  3. After a careful reading and re-reading of this post, I have but one reaction which I must carefully encode so as to not offend the denziens of BCC.

    Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. Over.

    I could go issue by issue with the author’s slandering of Captain Moroni. As he is a hero of mine and many others, it wouldn’t be hard to do but would require a lot of keystrokes. Therefore I will defer, with great admiration and respect, to a Prophet of God who had this to say about the man this post’s author refers to as a “exceptionally weak—and weak-willed—leader.”

    And Moroni was a astrong and a mighty man; he was a man of a perfect understanding; yea, a man that did not delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery;

    Yea, a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which he bestowed upon his people; a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people.

    Yea, and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ, and he had asworn with an oath to defend his people, his rights, and his country, and his religion, even to the loss of his blood.

    Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.-Alma 48:11-13,17

    So let me get this straight: I can either take Brad’s fatally flawed take on Captain Moroni, or I can accept Mormon’s inspired record.

    Sorry, Brad. Its not even a fair fight.

  4. I was about to comment with the same quote from #3, and with an extra scripture that mentions how Nephite armies were led by prophets. But I had trouble taking this seriously. Its so out there, or I am comically handicapped, or maybe I just missed the nuance of his satire, that it wasn’t really worth the response I planned. I think WTF was a good summary though.

  5. careful reading and re-reading,
    I’m not sure how I can deflect your p0wn, so I’ll just remain silent.

  6. Cordeiro,

    Before Brad posted this, he and I had a long chat about whether or not it would understood.

    Thanks, pal. I just lost.

  7. sigh…

  8. Sorry Scott. But I am willing to admit that I got lost in the mind game with the Sicilian. At least death wasn’t on the line…

  9. Morgan–You’re fine–you at least acknowledged that it may be satire or comedy, even if it’s not your flavor of such. #3? Not so much.

  10. Well played, Deane…

  11. Brilliant. And gutsy.

    And comment #3 just made my whole day.

  12. Maybe we’re underestimating Cordiero, Scott. His response might be so brilliantly satirical that, even with careful reading and re-reading, we just can’t see it.

    After all, he was speaking in code.

  13. Cordeiro – I’m not certian that I am capable of effectively boiling down Brad’s OP into one or two lines, but I’m pretty sure that your take on it is off. Way off.

    Maybe for starters, go look up the definition of “irony”?

  14. Was #10 being satirical, or can I safely say thank you? :)

  15. Where are the breastplates, spectacles, and hats for translating when you need them?

  16. It was sincere, Morgan. It was a nice save.

  17. I don’t know if you’re witless or not, but you’d have been better off “whit” less.

    To Scott B.–I hope Brad gets a dinner or something out of this.

  18. Stephanie says:

    Just when I think I am smart enough to start playing with the big boys . . .

  19. Besides, isn’t “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”, with or without the bold initial caps and periods, impermissible vulgarity on a family blog like BCC?

  20. Have you heard of Poe’s Law?
    “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won’t mistake for the real thing.”

  21. Mark B., Brad received a full confession that I was wrong. A person who knows me would be able to tell you that such alone is worth the price of admission.

  22. I also urged Brad to post without explicitly declaring the piece as satire. Not so much because I doubted the capacity of the Internet to misunderstand, but simply because satire that’s labeled as such, well, just isn’t.

  23. Mark B. (19)–
    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot means “What the Fetch!?”

    Get your mind out of the gutter.

  24. I needed Scott B to help me understand it via IM:

    Me: Dude, WTF?
    Scott: Just keep reading.

    Glad I did. Nice work!

  25. Scott B. (23)–

    I said that to my Labrador retriever and she went nuts. It must be the Canadian in her.

  26. Brilliant. I have subsequently removed all the Captain Moroni posters from my kids’ rooms and have put up pictures of memo writing legal functionaries–the heroes of our day. I mean come on, what if one of those Laminates he captured knew where the next attack was? I don’t think Jesus’ teachings are relevant in that situation. “Love your Enemies? Not on my watch.” he should of said.

  27. Perhaps I should have limited my comment to: Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. This satire, heavily laced with multi-sylabbic words which are foreign to me – and evidently most of the people who read it – is obviously beyond my comprehension.

    Obviously I need another Ph.d.

    I’m curious, though, as to which phrase Starfoxy found most offensive in my reaction. Was it the Whiskey or the Foxtrot?

  28. Cordeiro,
    It was “careful”.

  29. Brad, I’ve never really enjoyed Captain Moroni. Thanks for making me reconsider (and giggle). Excellent post.

  30. I got the satire.

    My second choice, were this not satire, would be to label this as an excellent specimen of “black propaganda”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_propaganda

    The piece works exceptionally well in both cases, intended or not.

  31. Steve G.,
    That sounds like something someone would use to try to force the evils of universal health care on the unsuspecting righteous.

  32. Coreiro, yeah, “flourishes,” “insurmountable,” “loathsome,” “eclipsed,” “tutelage.” It’s virtually a GRE verbal section up there!

  33. Last Lemming says:

    Send this to Glen Beck. See if he bites.

  34. LL,
    I’m afraid he’ll sue me for plagiarism.

  35. I’ve just come to assume that any lengthy post on here that attacks pillars of LDS culture are satire. And then I skim until I reach the comments so that I may chuckle at the serious responses.

    And I agree with #22. If you have to label it satire, it isn’t a very good attempt at it. (I could carry that further to my belief that anyone who must start a talk with “I’ve been asked to speak about…” isn’t going to do a very good job speaking about the topic.)

  36. Brad (31)
    I’ll look for your next piece: King Benjamin was a commie pinko dictator.

  37. So obviously Moroni is Lt. Kaffee. Who is Colonel Jessop?

    “Son, we live in a world that has walls and those walls need to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and curse the Marines; you have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives and that my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use then as the backbone of a life trying to defend something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said “thank you,” and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest that you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to. “

  38. Steve,
    That will have to wait the installments I’m already planning:

    Ammon is not a man of God

    Jesus of Nazareth is not a man of God

    I’ll leave the criticisms of the non-capitalist economies of 4th Nephi, Acts, Kirtland, etc. in the able hands of the folks at M*.

  39. thanks brad. this is too choice.

  40. queuno,
    I’m Col. Jessop.

  41. to whit–>to wit.

  42. Leave it to the intellectually superior denizens of BCC (Mark, Sam) to disarm the whole thing by pointing out a spelling error. I’ll be commiserating with Bro. Peck if anyone needs me.

  43. laurenlou says:

    i’m thrilled to be the first to welcome brother beck to the bloggernacle!

  44. You mean Brad isn’t serious? Man, I’ve got to get a life…

  45. aloysiusmiller says:

    They let you say this here at the sisterhood of Mormonism?! This is an affront to bloggernacle manhood.

  46. Brilliant, as is comment 38.

  47. Any compromised bloggernacle manhood this post contributes to is more than compensated for by your gracing it with a comment, Aloysius.

  48. I think you’re wrong, Brad — Capt. Moroni really WAS a man of God. Read your scriptures before you write such dribble.

  49. Sad attempt at satire, my friend.

    If the average educated reader can’t tell that it’s satire pretty quickly and the piece needs the satire label (and this one desperately needed the label–I sat there with brow furrowed for some time trying to make heads or tails of it–is he serious? Is he not? Is he TRYING to be funny? Is he an utter idiot? And I’m obviously not the only one–and yes, I consider myself quite educated), then it’s it isn’t satire. It’s a piece of poor writing.

    Read some Jonathan Swift and try again.

  50. …then it’s it isn’t satire. It’s a piece of poor writing.

    Delicious.

    But seriously, the fact that you reacted the way you did is, I think, definitive evidence that this is, indeed, very, very bad satire.

  51. I seem to remember the phrase “Whither The Fries” being used … thought that was a good one.

  52. I read through this a few times and think it is quite a brilliant piece.

  53. I read through this a few times and think it is quite a brilliant piece.

    Sounds like you need to brush up on your Jonathan Swift.

  54. Swift wasn’t serious?

  55. Excellent post. I really wonder what it must be like to live life with a world view that prevents you from seeing the satire and appreciating it.

  56. It’s like reading the side of a bottle of Doctor Bronner’s.

  57. That’s an interesting thought, Alex. I think a useful barometer of how ridiculous a worldview is would be to try and satirize it and see if you can tell the difference. For example, would Glenn Beck sound any different if he were a persona fabricated by Stephen Colbert’s writing staff in order to make conservatives look like pompous, paranoid, self-important boobs?

  58. Catchy title… When I read it on the home page I thought WTF!!! and turned immediately to read the blasphemy.

    If there is no right brain activity then everything is literal. There are those.

  59. Bob, you should have used “right brain activity” in the service of some kind of super clever political pun.

  60. @ Annette (# 49),

    Perhaps your bewildered reaction has more to do with the fact that ultra-right-wing conservatism isn’t all that uncommon among Mormons–that is, that it’s not entirely unfathomable that Brad might have been serious–and less to do with the quality of Brad’s writing.

    I for one think it’s an excellent piece of satire.

  61. Steve M,
    If there’s one thing a careful reading and rereading of Jonathan Swift has taught me, it is that good satire never, never bewilders the people whose worldview it targets.

  62. I think if we are to use Mr. Swift as the barometer of quality satire, then Brad has been quite successful. After all, it has been my understanding that the majority of readers in the early 18th Century took him quite seriously and were quite perturbed by his suggestions.

  63. “We need to remember that the forces of weakness don’t surround us; we surround them”

    This is totally a jab at brother Beck.

  64. Apparently many still haven’t figured out Colbert is satire. http://hij.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/14/2/212

    I wonder if that’s what prompted the Colbert invite to the correspondent dinner.

    I saw a recent study, link anyone?, that showed roughly 50% of the population did not get satire and of those who did only a small percentage could produce even a sentence of satire.

    Ironically, Brad’s post gave me new appreciation for Captain Moroni. Whereas before I tended to see the negative in him more oft (eg. forcing people to take up arms at swordpoint). The post worked on two levels. On one level showing through satire the insanity of certain positions we hear all too often today, and on the other hand illustrating some of the key aspects to BoM warfare that we gloss over when we use the text to justify modern conflict.

  65. Me? Wow Brad, I didn’t know I had such a prominent reader of my blog in you. Thanks for the compliment.

  66. Holy crap Brad, talk about feeding the trolls. Don’t you know the rule? NELTD: Never Ever Link To Dan!

  67. I’ll stand with Steve Evans (#48). He said it best.

  68. I thought Steve’s comment was pretty thoughtful as well, Jared.

  69. Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all blogging men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Brad, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever.

  70. Brad, I’m fully aware of who Jonathan Swift is and the nature of the post.

  71. Yahweh or No Way? . . . Yahweh!

  72. Awesome post. I wish I could write like this sometimes.

    I don’t know what the deal is. I knew it was satire by the start of the second paragraph.

  73. danithew,
    It wasn’t a shot at you.

  74. ummquestion says:

    “You should never assume contempt for that which it is not very manifest that you have it in your power to possess, nor does a wit ever make a more contemptible figure than when, in attempting satire, he shows that he does not understand that which he would make the subject of his ridicule.” Lord Melbourne

    The most deliciously ironic thing about this piece is that when someone tries to shine a light on the “vice, folly, or stupidity” of others, it always illuminates their own at the same time. I must hand it to the author though. If you don’t want anyone to notice you’re burning a strawman, using “feces” in your first sentence to start the fire is a brilliant way to distract observers.

  75. “The world itself is a satire. All you’re doing is recording it.” -Art Buchwald

    when someone tries to shine a light on the “vice, folly, or stupidity” of others, it always illuminates their own at the same time.

    That is indeed true.

  76. Satire always fails on the Blog. Put it with the word Nazi.. will always end a post.

  77. ummquestion,
    If only the strawmen would stay off the blogs, we wouldn’t feel a need to set them aflame.

  78. Brad,

    You forget one thing about Captain Moroni. When he needed to find out where his enemy was going, he did the girly thing and asked the prophet to ask God, rather than doing the manly thing and torturing…. er excuse me, using enhanced interrogation techniques on the Lamanite prisoners…what a girly man.

  79. #71– blt FTW!

  80. “he shows that he does not understand that which he would make the subject of his ridicule”

    Not to start a flame war, but where does Brad show a lack of understanding of his subject? Yes, the feces remark is a rather lame start and some of the satire gets a little too sodden (I like mine to be darker but with a lighter touch), but the rhetoric itself tracks pretty darn well with what one hears from convervative pundits.

    Of course, this is not a rhetorical victory for the left by any means. Or at least one would feel much better about politicians and bureaucrats and soldiers of all stripes if one could really trust that they woud “defend their people, their rights, and their country, and their religion, even to the loss of his blood.”

    Not that I’d be willing to take such an oath at this stage in our democracy because I’m not sure who I trust to determine the concept of “defend.” Thrones of stupour (one of my favorite lines from the Book of Mormon and the subject of an AMV t-shirt concept) and all that.

  81. Loved this. Chortled all the way through.

  82. floridagirl says:

    First of all, it’s so great to have my Book of Mormon heroes politicized. secondly, it was a a kind of funny post, but seriously, you can start to write these posts in your sleep:
    a. we interrupt the usual thoughtful, love one another post for a snarky, only-the-smart-people-will-get-it post.
    b. any commenters who express otherwise or somehow “don’t get it” are immediately bashed and put in their place. Because we’re tolerant like that.
    c. throw in a liberal (did you catch that super funny political pun??) dash of glenn beck tomfoolery. if only gb were as cool as colbert. or if only he made that cute puzzled face like jon stewart. instead he just cries.
    d. #55 catches it so well. If only we all lived in your world. #78 That was almost too easy!!! You’re a genius!
    Cordeiro and Annette: HOW DARE YOU express a different opinion and not get it?? You are obviously an idiot. Maybe you don’t have a big, fancy degree like the rest. Go back and watch Glenn Beck (because disagreeing with us automatically means you MUST be a fan) while the rest condescendingly and smugly put you back in place. It’s just like being in high school again! Isn’t it great? High fives to the cool table. Which you are not at. Oops, bad grammar!! I must have voted for Bush.
    I think I’ll go back to Margaret’s wonderful post.

  83. Anyone who thinks Jonathan Swift wasn’t serious has never tried Irish cuisine.

  84. The Right Trousers says:

    #82 got it dead-on.

    Also, you can stir up the base with this kind of rhetoric, but you risk alienating moderates who know that conservatives don’t think that way. It’s too easy to interpret as ad hominem. Even if you only meant to exaggerate a little, remember that your notion of conservatives in your mind is very likely already exaggerated.

    A good question to ask about this kind of satire is “Would depicting my target as a baby eater make this less effective?” If the answer is “no,” then it’ll stir but not convince. I’m afraid I answered “no” on this piece. The comments so far are further evidence.

  85. Latter-day Guy says:

    “Anyone who thinks Jonathan Swift wasn’t serious has never tried Irish cuisine.”

    You just have to be sure to catch them young, otherwise they’re stringy and taste of guinness.

  86. Eric Russell says:

    I’m pretty sure this post is a response to Ronan’s post about why he hates Captain Moroni.

  87. floridagirl,

    I love your kidding on the square. Your double satire allows you to simultaneously ridicule the truly stupid, set up as fools the merely mediocre, and entertain the cleverati such as myself who actually get the joke.

    And in case I missed some third layer of satire, just kidding…I am being sarcastic.

  88. Aaron Brooks says:

    #82 Loving it, floridagirl!

    Yours got my vote for best comment, I’m glad I kept reading to the very end :) This whole string is full of people misunderstanding one another, it’s great.

  89. For the record,
    There is a fundamental difference between expressing an opinion and not getting it. Expressing an opinion would be “I don’t find this funny/relevant.” Not getting it means failing to identify this as satire (or an attempt thereat). These are too separate things.
    As to this as a parody of conservative speech, I’ve seen those conservatives on the blogs. However, it may be that those were people only posing as liberal stereotypes of conservatives (has anyone ever seen Dan and aloysius in the same room together?). I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve assumed that someone was faking their crazy ideas only to realize later that they were dead serious. For instance, this one guy implied that Bush was a satan worshipper…

  90. for the record, I’m not aloysiusmiller. Of course stating this immediately implies guilt…

  91. Ron Madson says:

    Brad,

    Thank you! Thank you! for telling it like it is. Us noble “band of brothers” must stand up against the powers of the devil. Captain Moroni was a great guy– but he fell short as you pointed out. THe BOM teaches us that we must never give in to our enemies and if Captain Moroni had like Joshua Son of Nun pursued the enemy to their lands and killed every man, woman and child as God commanded then this continent would have been inhabited by pure, righteous Nephites rather then being overrun by unbelievers. We see what happens when you give in to enemies rather then destroying them–Joshua and his people inherited the land while Captain Moroni’s people were in the end overrun because he and others could not finish the job. We never learn.
    Like you said–same thing today. That is why I, like you, seek to defend our band of brothers in Iraq. Here is my article defending Blackwater and our modern day Teancum (Cheney) from critics so you can know that I am with you in defending our freedom fighters.

    http://www.themormonworker.org/articles/issue2/in_defense_of_blackwater_gangs_and_neocons.php

  92. nasamomdele says:

    Disparaging Moroni is racist.

  93. J. Nelson-Seawright says:

    floridagirl, you say, “First of all, it’s so great to have my Book of Mormon heroes politicized.”

    Right on! How dare our scriptures have something to say about how society ought to be run? Don’t they have the sense, the common decency, to keep their nose out of politics? They should only tell us about private morality, about what we can legitimately do with our bodies and which sorts of worship are all right. But they better not tell us what is right and wrong when it comes to defense policy or macroeconomics! Politicization! The fourth-worst sin!

  94. Mike Ricky says:

    I think the uniqueness of Captain Moroni is why he got so many pages in the BoM. He was able to live a higher law even as a military commander in a war that threatened every earthly thing dear to him.

    Shortly after Moroni’s battles, it appears there are other battles even larger that only receive a verse or two. I have often wondered what about Captain Moroni’s time was so significant to spend so much time on when other battles, seemingly just as large, are glossed over.

    As the original post was more a commentary on our time and situation than that of Captain Moroni, I’ll just make a quick political comment. As well intentioned as I believe the conservatives have been on their approach to the war on terror, they do not follow Captain Moroni’s view on what the most important things are. They are so intent on the goal of preventing future attacks against America (no doubt an important objective), that they fail to consider there might be an even more important objective: righteousness (for lack of a better word).

    While I am sensitive to arguments to keep religion seperate from government, there must be something to provide morals and principle to those leading us.

  95. floridagirl,
    HOW DARE YOU suggest that I would bash people who don’t agree or don’t get what I’m trying to do. You must be a stupid, super-uncool, Bush-voting stupid person.

    For the record, and despite the speculation here on my motives or purpose for writing this, let me make clear that this post filled the measure of its creation the moment aloysiusmiller showed up, dripping with righteous masculinity, and called us all girly-men. Your cup runneth over, AM.

    If any of you need me, I’ll be in my room repenting — for politicizing people who obviously had nothing useful or relevant to say about politics, for my condescending overuse of cleverspeak, and for the completely unrelated sins of depicting my political foes in an exaggerated fashion and disparaging Glenn Beck.

  96. The sad thing is that this piece of satire even had to be written, given that it perfectly exemplifies the attitudes of far too many Americans these days.

  97. Can someone please help me depoliticize Mosiah 29?

  98. J. Nelson-Seawright says:

    James, it’s all an allegory about the movie industry.

  99. Brad,

    I got the satire immediately, and I appreciate it (sort of) on that level. Nothing offensive here. Nothing particularly funny, either, because I think you give yourself a little too much credit for understanding conservative thought.

    Is it possible that the “voice” you chose was that of the Left’s common caricature of conservative thought. It certainly didn’t strike close to the bone for me. I didn’t recognize my own conservative-leaning values thoughts or values under attack in your satire, nor did I see the thinking of any of my favorite writers or pundits so much as challenged.

    Are you sure you know what serious conservatives think? I never watch Fox or listen to Rush or Hannity, so maybe you know something I don’t. Or maybe the caricature of the Right you hold is as shallow and ridiculous as the one some pundits sell regarding the Left.

    I might have laughed harder at the political satire (I love John Stewart for example) if it had hit closer to the bone. For the most part, I think you missed your target and hit a straw man instead.

  100. Brad,

    An aside: Even accounting for the satire, I think you cherry picked some examples from a complex man with a very long war record. The peacenik-like examples you presented came from the same man who DID threaten to extend the war into Lamanite territory, who DID carry out preemptive attacks on Nephite dissenters prior to Amalikiah, and who ordered the deaths of thousands of Nephite kingmen who subverted the war effort, both toward the beginning and the end of the major war.

    I believe there’s a lot to learn about Captain Moroni and his hatred of bloodshed and love for his enemies. But I don’t think either his character or works fit neatly into any 21st Century left-right political schema. I take either side’s effort to claim Moroni as a man after their mind with a big grain of salt.

  101. Lorin,
    The point here was not to skewer the most thoughtful examples of conservative policy preferences RE: national security, terrorism, etc. Exaggeration is, in my humble view, an important component of parody. If you don’t listen to popular rightwing opinion-makers like Beck, Hannity, or Rush, then I’m not surprised that, as a thinking conservative, the parody here didn’t strike you as particularly spot on (especially given the fact that there is a strong argument to be made that there is nothing particularly conservative about Bush administration excesses or Hannity and his ilk). The point was not even to mock the radical right, per se. This would have been a completely different piece, though still an attempted parody, if I had left Moroni completely out of it. The point was to direct the hyperbolic rhetoric of the radical right against a figure that, inexplicably, also appears to be a poster-child for many, many conservative mormons. I’ve actually seen Moroni invoked (by very intelligent conservatives, no less) in bloggernacle debates about torture in defense of Jack-Bauer-like approaches to security. If there were no references to Moroni, and if I were widely known as a conservative, conservatives would not be outraged by what I wrote. It’s the deployment of Limbaughesque rhetoric against Moroni that causes trouble.

  102. You know, J, that’s a good point. I mean, they DID see our day – how else would you pass the time when your whole civilization is imploding before your eyes?

  103. And mom’s apple pie is just a commie conspiracy to make us soft in the middle and unable to respond to Armageddon.

  104. I guess I’d be more apt to see this as *obvious* satire if I hadn’t seen almost the exact same thing stated in complete seriousness in the bloggernacle. For example:

    “We claim the life-affirming powers of spirit and wisdom, and reject the glorification of violence in all its forms. We are filled with unutterable sadness by the Book of Mormon story of more than 2,000 young soldiers whose mothers teach them that faith in God will preserve them in battles in which they kill other mothers’ children. This is not a success story. It is a story of the failure of human relationships and the horrors of war. In a world that has grown increasingly violent, we believe that one of the most important passages in LDS scripture is D&C 98:16: ‘Therefore, renounce war and proclaim peace. . . .'”

    http://www.whatwomenknow.org/

  105. I recognized this was satire – but when I first saw the title I expected it was serious – because I have seen condemnations of Moroni written out in the ‘Nacle. This satire wasn’t far away from some of the things that were written.

    By the way Brad – I went back and re-read what had been written and saw it (your comment) more in the context of other comments that were also being written. So no worries. Sorry for my from-the-hip response.

  106. Here are some posts (1, 2) right here at BCC: where we had some fun arguing about Captain Moroni.

    I forgot how involved I got in commenting. I don’t think I get that excited about issues in the blogs anymore.

    I still think these posts (and the resulting comments) make for interesting reads.

  107. I love kittens and I’m a self-avowed pacifist.

  108. This is pretty much apropos of nothing, but Cordeiro, you need to start citing new scripture passages.

  109. So, John C., what you’re saying is the trashing of Captain Moroni here at BCC is an annual event? :)

  110. It should be semi-annual. Fits with the rest of the pattern of the church. :)

  111. #95, Brad, Brad, Brad…..You can’t disparage one with the truth. You only show them what they truly are. And if the peanut gallery doesn’t understand the satire, then we are truly truly in the last days when the Constitution shall hang by a thread because of those who hijacked its concepts for their own ill-gotten gains…..
    and yep, I’m one of those legal functionaries who’s wore the uniform and been ready to stand on the wall and man a watch….

  112. ummquestion says:

    To Sam,

    “then we are truly truly in the last days when the Constitution shall hang by a thread”

    That’s the sentiment of every conservative I know.

  113. That’s the sentiment of every conservative I know.

    As I’m sure it was for the past eight years…

  114. ummquestion,
    As far as I can tell, that’s been the conservative position since Adams/Jefferson. I think that this is a case where repetition has weakened the effect of the rhetoric.

  115. #114,
    Plus the fact that every time a conservative has been elected in the past century, he’s done everything he could to increase the power of the federal government and of the executive within that government. And let’s not forget the absolute non-existence of such rhetoric coming from “principled conservative” corners under Bush 43.

  116. yawnnnnnnnnnnn

  117. Chupacabra.

  118. Brad & John C.,
    What you don’t understand is that this time, they really mean it.

    (They were just joshing you last time. And the time before.)

  119. Mark Brown says:

    And let’s not forget the absolute non-existence of such rhetoric coming from “principled conservative” corners under Bush 43.

    Brad, let’s give credit where credit is due. When Bush 43 tried to reform Medicare, most principled conservatives opposed it on the grounds the health care needs of our senior citizens are already being met very well by the free enterprise system, and that to meddle with this system is to take away their God-given free agency to die penniless. After all, we don’t want this country to become some third world hellhole with socialized medicine, like Switzerland.

  120. Alright, Mark. I can only pretend to be one of the in-crowd here for so long. When you start threatening my right to die penniless, the gloves come off.

  121. ummquestion says:

    If you were angry about how Bush handled Medicare why aren’t you just as angry about what Obama proposes to do to it? If you protested Bush sending soldiers into Iraq are you protesting Obama sending soldiers into Afghanistan? If you thought Bush was a criminal for being “in bed” with Pharmaceutical companies isn’t Obama one for doing the same thing?

    The citizens of this country who read the bills, watch the legislation, and have actually studied the Constitution HAVE been angry and HAVE spoken out for decades. No one paid any attention to them because they seemed to be nothing more than any annoying MINORITY. (aren’t liberals supposed to be the champions of minorities?)

    But, when those people decide to set party distinctions aside and unite on the issues that concern them both (Obama is all about bipartisanship) and attempt to get Washington’s attention, are they viewed as fellow “brethren” who are only acting on the “traditions of their forefathers”? Nope. Ridiculed as “functionally retarded” and “tea baggers”. Slandered as “racists”. Paranoia runs rampant about “mobs” and “guns”. And that’s WITHOUT satire.

    At least no one will ever be able to say that there wasn’t bounteous rhetoric coming from the “principled liberal” corners under Obama 44.

  122. There is bounteous criticism of Obama — on foreign policy, on bank bailouts, on torture, on military contractors — coming from the left.

    Teabaggers are functionally retarded and racists. I leave it to you to determine whether or not that is satire.

  123. “If you were angry about how Bush handled Medicare why aren’t you just as angry about what Obama proposes to do to it? If you protested Bush sending soldiers into Iraq are you protesting Obama sending soldiers into Afghanistan? If you thought Bush was a criminal for being “in bed” with Pharmaceutical companies isn’t Obama one for doing the same thing?”

    Dude, some of your equivalencies aren’t equivalent. And all of this is beside the point. This is a satire of a specific group of conservatives who argue that torture is justifiable. If you don’t feel that describes you, great. But don’t pretend that they aren’t out there.

    Regarding the tea-folk, I would be more open to their comments if they were more coherent and less similar to a wide variety of conspiracy theories with which I am familiar. At present, they sound like paranoid ducks and walk like paranoid ducks. There are plenty of good questions to be asked about the budget, the shaping of health care policy, and the future of the union, but they aren’t asking those. They are demanding documents that have already been provided (when you think about it, there is a lot of simularity between birthers and Spaulding theory enthusiasts) and buying into rumors about death squads and massive gun confiscations. If they stopped acting crazy (not invoking Hitler at every opportunity would help), their opinion would not be dismissed.

  124. aloysiusmiller says:

    Y’all are just so much smarter than me. I don’t know why I bring mah meagre mind here to try to understand how y’all think. It would take me a step ladder to reach up to your intellectual toes. I jes’ better hi tail out of this here blogosphere afore I git stepped on by the mental giants that be about here.

  125. aloysius,
    Point out to me the point where I called you stupid, please.

  126. Brad,
    So, it’s seems clear, despite the comments to the contrary, that you aren’t mocking Republicans in general, Conservatives, or even tea-baggers, but those pundits and politicians who attempt to justify torture. More directly, you seem to be challenging Mormons who tend to agree with said politicians and pundits.
    It sure would be nice to read a clear rebuttal from such a Mormon, but so far it seems to be an argument about whether or not it’s elitist and mean of you to satirize those you disagree with. I want to make a jab here about maybe buying a gun and a Hitler sign as a kinder means of discourse, but I shouldn’t assume that everyone who feels that the times require torture is one of those 3 or 4 guys at the town hall meetings. Seriously, though, I would love to read a rebuttal (looking at Aloysius).

  127. umquestion #74 and WM Morris #80:

    http://www.anncoulter.com/cgi-local/article.cgi?article=291

    Okay, so she doesn’t specifically call Democrats poo bacteria, but I’m thinking that her point that they are less sophisticated than fruit fly larvae is close.
    I guess Brad should have chosen to satirize a less crass pundit, like . . . ummmmm . . .

  128. One other thing, aloysius, I’m from the south. Don’t play southern rube with me; it won’t fly.

  129. #124,
    Was that supposed to be satire? Because I just gotta say, it doesn’t really work for me.

    There seems to be a rather widespread misunderstanding here that I’d like to address openly and straightforwardly. The conviction that the willingness to torture or the actual enabling of or participation in the torture of another human being, regardless of how much said being hates freedom, are admirable qualities does not make you stupid. It makes you a morally corrupted, insecure, unchristian, hollow, small fraction of a man.

    But not stupid.

  130. aloysiusmiller says:

    125 and 129

    No one called me stupid. I was jes looking at all them very intelligent posts afore mine an thinkin jes how unliterate and unsophistiticated I was. And I do live in the south but what made anyone think I was from the south? Mah granny from southern Utah talked a lot lahk me. Y’all are different kind of Mormons from me. Ahs apparently one of them nonmoral, unchristian, hollow and corrupted ones but I can’t figure why it is.

  131. am,
    Fair enough. You’re the victim here and we are all too high-falutin’ for simple folk like yourself. I’m sure you have friends in low places, so I’ll try not to feel terribly sorry that you are unable to reach the heights of sophistication necessary to intuit that torture is bad. Whatevs, dude.

  132. Seriously, Aloysius, I hope and pray that this kind of populist appeal in the name of evil is played out in America. I don’t care how you talk or where you live; what I care about is whether you’re willing to stand against the devil. When it comes to torture, you aren’t; you cheer him on.

  133. This post was entertaining. Although the point may be weakened a bit by the fact that Capt. Moroni’s civilization really did come to an end, just like the wingnuts keep predicting vis-a-vis leftist rule…

  134. Christopher Smith-

    I think if anything, it is strengthens the underlying point, since the reasons for the Nephite civilization’s downfall were in contradiction of Captain Moroni’s precedent and example, not as a result of them.

  135. aloysiusmiller says:

    I don’t doubt that those who are against harsh interrogation will continue in a principled way to remain against it. But it is interesting to note that the Washington Post and San Francisco Chronicle are starting to walk back on this subject. It seems that, for many, opposition to harsh measures was merely opposition to Bush/Cheney. Now that a certain reality and sense of responsibility has set in it isn’t quite so bad. I have had some ambivalence to harsh measures. I think that Dick Cheney is a highly moral man and that his harsh measures were very controlled but I don’t think that it will remain so. Can you imagine Rahm Emmanuel in the torture chamber? Chills and terror.

    I am sure that that is not true at all here.

  136. Sad to say, but every President in my lifetime has crossed lines I wish they had not. I am also sad people who knew better, and SAW, who were there to advise them, made no effort to stop them.

  137. First, a disclaimer: This particular brand of satire isn’t my favorite simply because my gut reaction to politicizing the scriptures (no matter the direction) in church always bugs me.

    Don’t misunderstand, I’m not trying to criticize or judge anyone. I am perfectly aware that this isn’t church and I really have no problem with people discussing their politics and how the scriptures / gospel inform them in the Bloggernacle (it’s one of the great things about it, really) — but, sometimes just by association, perhaps, my church meeting instincts kick in.

    All I’m really trying to say is that I don’t want to comment on the message here one way or the other. No disrespect to those that do, it’s just not my thing.

    That said, I am a huge proponent (and humble contributor) of satire in the ‘Nacle, so I want to give Brad mad props for the “Moroni as Pacifist Weeny” rhetorical fulcrum. Mischievously transgressive… I love it. It’s an irresistible idea to play with.

  138. am,
    Comparing the moral value of your torturer to my torturer doesn’t sound like the sort of conversation that gets us anywhere near the good (ditto comparing the dems influential cussing politician to the republicans). I’m going to stick with torture is bad no matter what side of the political spectrum is represented.

  139. you gotta give it to aloyisus. He has no problem with Barack Obama ordering that aloyisius’s children’s private parts be crushed if Barack Obama deemed it the right thing to do. It’s the president’s prerogative.

  140. aloysiusmiller says:

    Daniel, You read lak ah talk! How did you get to here from where I started mah friend?

  141. aloysiusmiller says:

    Lak I said John C most of you moral bloggernacle types are pretty consistent. Not lak them dems who are walking back from their cussing of Dick Cheney. I trusted ol’ Dick not to go too far but ah was always a bit leary because I knowed that Dick warn’t goin’ to be around forever and that ol’ Rahm boy scares the tarnation out of me.

  142. am,
    So long as we agree that you are an immoral bloggernacle type, we can all just move on.

  143. MarkinPNW says:

    I’m with Bob (136). I used to think that I could choose the lesser of two evils in the polling booth, but bitter experience has shown me that the “lesser” of evil is still evil, whether of the “right” or the “left”.

    Remember, if you think the government should dictate how people should llive their lives inside the USA, you’re a liberal; if you think that the government should tell foreigners how to live their lives, you’re a conservative; if you think the government should do both, you’re a moderate; but if you think the government should’nt do either but only do the minimum to protect the lives, liberty and property of it’s citizens (some weird idea like free agency? and the Bill of Rights for liberty?), well then you must be on of those crazy nut-case idiots.

  144. MarkinPNW,
    So long as you are not shouting down congresspeople with wack job theories, I’m cool with you (although I’m deeply curious as to what you think government should do if it shouldn’t be involved in people’s lives).

  145. MarkinPNW says:

    John C. (144) In theory I am a libertarian modified by Constitutionalism as described in D&C98 and 101, in practice more pragmatic but with a firm belief that Governments should only support the protection of life, liberty and property according to the principles espoused in the D&C and the Bill of Rights. In foreign relations, the vision of the founding fathers and the Clark Memorandum (Google it to find the source), and national defense and fighting terrorism in accordance with the teaching of Giddgidoni in 3 Nephi 3, instead of doing the opposite as the Bush and Obama regimes have been/are doing. (In regards to torture of non-American citizens, I believe in the D&C when it says that the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, was given for All men!)

  146. MarkinPNW: That was a really good quote in 143! I feel that way more often than I would like.

  147. >>I think if anything, it is strengthens the underlying point, since the reasons for the Nephite civilization’s downfall were in contradiction of Captain Moroni’s precedent and example, not as a result of them.

    Ah, yes. The old “I was in office at the time of the nation’s downfall, but the fault really lies with others” defense. A likely story. ;)

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