No more humoring violence-infatuated Mormons

Back in October 2008, I posted a public response to an email that a Mormon friend of mine received and then forwarded on to me for comment: Enough with the Emails from Mormon McVeigh Wannabes.

An excerpt from my message to the Mormon author of that email rant:

I’m very concerned, Brian, by the lack of daylight between what you’ve written above and the words Timothy McVeigh used to describe the “why” behind his hatred of our country.

And my plea to the LDS leadership:

Many members have become increasingly disturbed by the tone and rhetoric that’s being adopted in Mormon email forwards like the one above, but so many members feel so browbeaten at this point that few bother to mount a challenge.

I believe it has become your responsibility to address the problem of paranoid and bellicose email forwards like Brian’s that are now in such heavy circulation among your members.

Admittedly, I’m under no illusion that anyone of importance at LDS HQ actually bothered to notice my 2008 request, but here’s a fresh 2011 request that I sincerely hope might have some chance of being taken seriously by the muckety-mucks of both the Mormon and ex-Mormon blogospheres: Please stop providing a platform for this pest.

Mike Tannehill FB 1

Mike Tannehill FB 2

I suppose the above (redacted) screen grabs speak for themselves, but just in case:

Memo to Mormon Expression: enough with the wink and nod routine, let this guy find his own platform for spreading his poison and be done.

In other news: Giffords’ husband releases first statement since shooting

Acknowledgments (for prompting my choice of title):

Russell Arben Fox, Great Work, You Over-Hyped Violence-Infatuated Morons

Chino Blanco

--- We are men of action, lies do not become us. ---

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73 Responses

  1. profxm says:

    Wow! I’ve typically liked Mike on MormonExpression as a voice of the nutty, faithful Mormon. But this is over-the-top. Claiming Oklahoma City was “necessary” and wanting Harry Reid dead? This guy is sick. If this is the level of the rhetoric in the US today, we have serious, serious problems. Maybe it’s time for the government to shut down Fox News and its ilk for fomenting terrorism.

  2. Urban Koda says:

    I have really liked Mike in the past as well – not because I agree with him, but because he conveys the position of the Church without apology or any of the vagueness of the actually leaders of the Church.

    I think in the thread above though, he’s fallen into that space between religion and politics where lines are blurred and people like Glenn Beck start to make sense to people. He’s not necessarily speaking as a mormon, but more as a right wing extremist.

    Either way, justifying Oklahoma or saying it was necessary is inexcusable in forum, religion or politics.

  3. Chino Blanco says:

    For the record, I’m a fan of Mormon Expression. Mike’s words are his own and I’m certainly not looking to lay responsibility for them at the feet of either the ME crew or Fox News. If it’s time for all of us to stop putting up with so much zaniness, maybe it’s also time for us to start holding our friends and family to account on our own local levels rather than holding out for a hero to rescue us from the national bleakness of our American for-profit political discourse. For example, Russell Arben Fox felt it necessary to pen this apology after offering his visceral response to the mayhem. For the life of me, I can’t understand why RAF felt that was needed. The sense (and signs) “of things slipping away” have always been with us. The only thing that’s new (and important) is our presence here, now, today, that allows us to register our objections and prescriptions (as well as our concerns when someone nearby appears to be losing the plot).

  4. chanson says:

    ProfXM — I don’t think there’s any legal possibility of shutting down political speech like Fox News (and any serious attempt in that direction would feed the paranoia more than anything else).

    My one hope is that this tragedy will finally politically marginalize the lunatic fringe, and maybe some people will wake up from the crazy…

  5. Miss Capri says:

    Look, anyone who supports Tim McVey is sick. This includes Peta’s applauding him for his last meal being vegan. And yes, anyone remotely connected to any sort of republicanism and Christianity, needs to stop with the stupid chain letters and start smashing rather than sending them. It’s time republicans and Christians started pointing out whenever the leftwing Foxphobics start and spread around their own chain letter propaganda, and said anything violent. The left aren’t innocent of violent wishlisting or actions, either.

  6. Elaine says:

    Political speech is one thing. It is protected by the First Amendment. I figure anyone has the right to express their political (or religious, or social) views, and I’ll stand up to anyone who said that they don’t.

    But, having said that, inciting to violence is a whole different matter, and I think it is pretty much settled law that you can’t do that and be protected by the First Amendment. Urging a crowd to riot, trying to convince someone to commit an illegal act, and so forth…not protected. My own personal feeling is that this includes statements such as that reportedly from Sharron Angle, who ran against Harry Reid in Nevada, that people might have to resort to “Second Amendment remedies” if the right people didn’t get elected. I mean, how else can that be interpreted, other than, “If we lose the election, we need to start shooting people”?

    It could be that what happened in Tuscon on Saturday had no direct, and very little indirect, connection to the current climate in political rhetoric. That doesn’t make any difference, as far as I’m concerned. The discussion of what is appropriate and what isn’t appropriate in political discourse that has arisen since the shootings in Tuscon is long overdue. The question is, how long and how vehemently are the worst offenders going to resist engaging in the discussion or, worse, try to prevent it?

  7. chanson says:

    Elaine — That’s a very good point. I just meant that they can’t exactly wholesale shut down Faux News. But you’re right that death threats do not have the same First Amendment protections as political speech.

    Actually, I just read an interesting idea about taking the current restrictions on use of language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against the President, and extending those to members of Congress.

  8. chanson says:

    Its time republicans and Christians started pointing out whenever the leftwing Foxphobics start and spread around their own chain letter propaganda, and said anything violent. The left arent innocent of violent wishlisting or actions, either.

    Sure, let’s talk about the fallacy that if one group is doing something reprehensible, then there must be an equally reprehensible opposite side. As for “Foxphobic” “chain letter propaganda” check out this terrible slander.

  9. Carson N says:

    I completely agree about Mike Tannehill and have been saying this for a while. I simply do not understand why people like him on the show. He does not in any way represent TBMs. The average TBM does not advocate murder. His presence on the show pushes Mormon Expression in an unnecessarily anti-Mormon direction by caricaturing believers in a twisted way. It seems everybody loves him because they like to laugh at what he says, or they somehow think that his beliefs are consistent with Mormonism. I absolutely love ME, but I no longer download ME podcasts that Mike is included on because there is too much time wasted in giving this guy a platform to say nutty things and in people wasting their time arguing with them as though they were representative of Mormonism as a whole.

  10. openminded says:

    Mike considered putting a javelin through an adulterous couple justified. I thought it was because he finds anything Mormon to be justifiable, but I think there’s just something about death and violence that he’s okay with.

    I really hope that’s not something he carried over from trying to defend his religion, but Mormon Expression really needs a strong Mormon apologist

  11. chanson says:

    Hey, maybe ME should recruit Seth R. as their token TBM (or go with his preferred title “The Dark Lord” 😉 ). He likes presenting the TBM position surrounded by antagonists, he’s totally unhesitant and unapologetic about it, and has the huge advantage that he’s not a psycho!

  12. Hellmut says:

    That is scary. Words have consequences.

  13. Elaine says:

    To be honest, I don’t think legislation is the way to address this, not least because I suspect that any legislation in this area would be written too broadly and struck down by the courts.

    People have got to quit voting for candidates who use violent rhetoric and images, and stop listening to pundits who do so. Otherwise, it will never go away, even if legislation is passed. The use of code words will just go way up.

  14. chanson says:

    Elaine — Yeah, I agree. As I said earlier, I really hope this is a wake-up call to a lot of people about how this violent rhetoric isn’t just harmless fun.

  15. Alan says:

    It could be that what happened in Tuscon on Saturday had no direct, and very little indirect, connection to the current climate in political rhetoric.

    Mentally unstable people are susceptible to the rhetoric of their environments. As the sheriff of the county where the congresswoman was shot said, “Arizona is currently a mecca of prejudice and bigotry.” While I wouldn’t blame Palin for what happened, the fact that she isn’t taking any responsibility (and instead focuses on Democrats as capitalizing on this situation to “silence dissent”) shows that she lacks moral integrity. When tragedy happens, everyone needs to take responsibility.

  16. John Larsen says:

    I find the publishing of a “redacted” and obviously edited section of a private conversation out of facebook to be a bit…creepy.

    Mike said a stupid thing, but he sometimes does that when backed into a corner. Since we don’t have the full story here, I cannot comment.

  17. someguy says:

    When I posted the initial comment to FB and Mike started replying I was surprised, shocked and then eventually dismayed. This whole thing has been a fiasco.

  18. Chino Blanco says:

    Private? I wouldn’t have noticed it if it hadn’t shown up in my feed. Just a wild guess, but that “private” convo has probably already been seen by more folks on FB than will ever see it here at MSP. Anyways, it’s a little late to be creeped out by FB screen grabs – they’re standard fare at social news sharing sites like Digg and Reddit. I left my name unredacted for a reason, and it’s not as if Mike’s isn’t already known.

    What’s really creepy is exploiting Mike’s detachment from reality for chuckles.

  19. chanson says:

    OK, so that’s one accusation of “creepy” behavior in each direction. I think this topic is interesting and important enough that we can have a civil discussion about it.

    John — We can discuss the etiquette/ethics of publishing FB screen captures if you like. But the guy responded to this horrible tragedy by stating that he just wishes that it was Harry Reid who’d been shot instead. Are you saying that under some circumstances it would be OK for him to say that…?

  20. Carla says:

    I don’t want Mike to be shut down. His opinions often repulse me, but I think it’s important for someone who’s being honest (for a change) about what happens when you extrapolate some of the foundational tenets of Mormonism, for instance following the prophet. I believe that was the discussion in which he was asked if he would obey if a leader told him to kill someone, or something to that effect, and he truly hesitated before answering.

    I think the context of the ME podcast is the best place for Mike’s views to be heard – and they will be heard, regardless of whether or not ME continues to feature him as a panelist – because he is met with serious, rational challenges to the things he says.

    You can’t just stop them from talking at all. People who are vocal about their opinions will make themselves heard however they want. I think the best way to demonstrate Mormonism’s faults is to allow this type of faithful view to be heard in a format that also gives voice to the critical analysis of those views.

  21. chanson says:

    Carla — It’s really not a question of trying to stop him from talking. The question is whether it’s responsible to put him on a platform. Going out of your way to put a microphone in front of him gives his position an air of legitimacy and importance.

  22. kuri says:

    Here’s a brief history (very brief — since 2008) of right-wing violence and terrorism in America:

    — July 2008: A gunman named Jim David Adkisson, agitated at how “liberals” are “destroying America,” walks into a Unitarian Church and opens fire, killing two churchgoers and wounding four others.

    — October 2008: Two neo-Nazis are arrested in Tennessee in a plot to murder dozens of African-Americans, culminating in the assassination of President Obama.

    — December 2008: A pair of “Patriot” movement radicals — the father-son team of Bruce and Joshua Turnidge, who wanted “to attack the political infrastructure” — threaten a bank in Woodburn, Oregon, with a bomb in the hopes of extorting money that would end their financial difficulties, for which they blamed the government. Instead, the bomb goes off and kills two police officers. The men eventually are convicted and sentenced to death for the crime.

    — December 2008: In Belfast, Maine, police discover the makings of a nuclear “dirty bomb” in the basement of a white supremacist shot dead by his wife. The man, who was independently wealthy, reportedly was agitated about the election of President Obama and was crafting a plan to set off the bomb.

    — January 2009: A white supremacist named Keith Luke embarks on a killing rampage in Brockton, Mass., raping and wounding a black woman and killing her sister, then killing a homeless man before being captured by police as he is en route to a Jewish community center.

    — February 2009: A Marine named Kody Brittingham is arrested and charged with plotting to assassinate President Obama. Brittingham also collected white-supremacist material.

    — April 2009: A white supremacist named Richard Poplawski opens fire on three Pittsburgh police officers who come to his house on a domestic-violence call and kills all three, because he believed President Obama intended to take away the guns of white citizens like himself. Poplawski is currently awaiting trial.

    — April 2009: Another gunman in Okaloosa County, Florida, similarly fearful of Obama’s purported gun-grabbing plans, kills two deputies when they come to arrest him in a domestic-violence matter, then is killed himself in a shootout with police.

    — May 2009: A “sovereign citizen” named Scott Roeder walks into a church in Wichita, Kansas, and assassinates abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.

    — June 2009: A Holocaust denier and right-wing tax protester named James Von Brunn opens fire at the Holocaust Museum, killing a security guard.

    — February 2010: An angry tax protester named Joseph Ray Stack flies an airplane into the building housing IRS offices in Austin, Texas. (Media are reluctant to label this one “domestic terrorism” too.)

    — March 2010: Seven militiamen from the Hutaree Militia in Michigan and Ohio are arrested and charged with plotting to assassinate local police officers with the intent of sparking a new civil war.

    — March 2010: An anti-government extremist named John Patrick Bedell walks into the Pentagon and opens fire, wounding two officers before he is himself shot dead.

    — May 2010: A “sovereign citizen” from Georgia is arrested in Tennessee and charged with plotting the violent takeover of a local county courthouse.

    — May 2010: A still-unidentified white man walks into a Jacksonville, Fla., mosque and sets it afire, simultaneously setting off a pipe bomb.

    — May 2010: Two “sovereign citizens” named Jerry and Joe Kane gun down two police officers who pull them over for a traffic violation, and then wound two more officers in a shootout in which both of them are eventually killed.

    — July 2010: An agitated right-winger and convict named Byron Williams loads up on weapons and drives to the Bay Area intent on attacking the offices of the Tides Foundation and the ACLU, but is intercepted by state patrolmen and engages them in a shootout and armed standoff in which two officers and Williams are wounded.

    — September 2010: A Concord, N.C., man is arrested and charged with plotting to blow up a North Carolina abortion clinic. The man, 26-year–old Justin Carl Moose, referred to himself as the “Christian counterpart to (Osama) bin Laden in a taped undercover meeting with a federal informant.

    Links can be found here.

  23. Glenn Ostlund says:

    I don’t blame anyone for wanting to shut Mike off. I am certainly puzzled by some of the things that come out of his mouth, although I am also often quite amused. And I’ll tell you, in August when M.E. held our live recording on the UofU campus, I was sitting beside him looking out at the 80 or so people who showed up that day, and when Mike spoke, they all got that excited look in their eye. He’ll say things like “increased internet access leads to increased porn viewing which leads to increased homosexuality” which seems like a fairly typical ridiculously conservative misinformed thing to say. He was sorta baited in to the javelin comment by John quoting Brigham Young and dumbass Mike saying, “sounds like a good idea to me!”. But this stuff is just insensitive, but typical, unfortunately.

    And Chanson, I have to respectfully disagree. From my perspective at least, from the first time I heard a ME podcast that Mike was on — the fact that he had a microphone in front of him did not legitimze anything in my eyes — it only magnified his goofiness. But anyhow…

  24. John Larsen says:

    What is really creepy is this bullshit move to try to drag me into something that I am not involved in. And chanson, don’t preach to me about putting him on a platform when you post crap like this. What do you think you are doing?

  25. Urban Koda says:

    At the risk of running into a mine field… If I could offer my opinion.

    If we go back a couple of years to when Barack Obama was running for office, there was a whole lot of hoopla about his associations with the Reverend Wright and some other folks who had dubious pasts. It started with a murmur, and before long it had been blown way out of proportion by the pundits on the right, with every person who followed them spouting the same rhetoric about associations with terrorists and people who hate America.

    I suspect that I was not the only person on this board who found that whole thing distasteful.

    And yet it seems we’re kind of doing the same thing here. Mike said some dumb stuff in a semi private setting (I know we can justify it either way, but most of us look at conversations on our walls as at least somewhat private) and now we’re moving in the direction of a crazy mob demanding that his rights, and the the rights of ME to have him contribute to the show be removed because we don’t agree with him. I know we’re not there yet, but I think that is definitely the direction this conversation seems to be headed.

    From where I sit… The problem is that a few idiots in powerful positions have used their freedom of speech to create an atmosphere of violence. There are people who follow them, who have bought into their ideas and the atmosphere continues to grow. I think it’s at the point where it is no longer under control of those who created it, but that’s just my opinion.

    Perhaps what we should be doing is discussing why it exists and if there is any way to help mitigate it’s effects.

    I would submit that any attempt to try and stop it would be met with opposition. It’s based on rebellion against authority, and so any of the defacto leaders (Beck, Palin) who suddenly switch tactics and starts preaching tolerance and civil discourse are going to be immediately dismissed and marginalized.

    The problem is… That whole group have been raised inside organizations that demand loyalty and obedience. Mormons have been perfectly raised for this. Mike isn’t too different from most other active Mormons I know. I’ve heard the “Why couldn’t it be Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi” thing more times than I can count in the last year.

    Because of their upbringing, these people need to be told what to think. And so when people like Beck make stupid comments these people buy into it hook line and sinker, plus it’s fueled by the mob mentality to rebel against the enemy.

    I’m not sure if that even makes sense, but at the end of the day, Mike isn’t the source of the violence or this atmosphere of hate and intolerance, he’s merely a product of it.

    If anything he should be kept on ME to show the real side of the Church – and like this incident in Arizona, perhaps he can serve as a voice of warning for people, without it resulting in more tragic deaths.

    Actually, if we’re going to get upset about anything, it should be the failure of the leaders of the Church (People who might actually be able to do something) to respond to Chino’s original letter. And yet, even if they did, I doubt it would make a difference. I recall GBH making comments about the negative effects of war, when the US invaded Afghanistan during General Conference, and yet… Suggesting that we shouldn’t be over in the Middle East in a Mormon setting, is like bringing up anti-Mormon literature.

  26. chanson says:

    John — I apologize that my comment came off as preaching.

    I think everyone here appreciates your work on Mormon Expression, and we don’t want to get into a fight with you. I assume that this panelist has never advocated violence on your show, hence you can’t reasonably be expected to be aware of (and answer for) stuff he says on his own time.

    I still think it would be useful to discuss whether it is a good idea to hold such a person up as representative of TBMs. (Hey, maybe one can argue that it is — I don’t know.) However, I understand that having a friendly discussion about it not be a realistic expectation on a thread where you feel backed into a corner by hostile accusations.

  27. John Larsen says:

    Okay, we’re cool. I have to evaluate Mikes future participation in ME and I don’t want to do that.

    Keep on truckin’.

  28. chanson says:

    Koda, I get what you’re saying overall, however, I have to take issue with this one point:

    and now were moving in the direction of a crazy mob demanding that his rights, and the the rights of ME to have him contribute to the show be removed because we dont agree with him.

    I think it is important to make the distinction between criticism of someone’s actions and “removing rights.” This is a dangerous conflation that I keep seeing over and over (eg. people claiming that criticism somehow infringes upon their first amendment rights to say whatever they want without anyone else being allowed to criticize them for it….).

    This is not an angry mob. We are John’s friends (or we were, maybe we’re not anymore, unfortunately…), and I assume this post was intended as constructive (if harsh) criticism of a friend. Unfortunately, it looks like it got off on the wrong foot. We’ll see if it’s possible to salvage the discussion and salvage our mutual respect.

  29. chanson says:

    John — Thanks for understanding and for taking this criticism into consideration, despite the way we sprung it on you.

  30. profxm says:

    I, for one, don’t want to see Mike off ME. Having listened to almost all of the episodes, it’s clear that John and the ME gang have tried to find other TBMs who are willing to participate and Mike is the only one. Yes, he might be a extreme in his views, but he’s as close to a TBM as they have found and he’s willing to say what he really believes in a public forum. That’s invaluable. So, I vote for Mike staying on ME (as if I have any say in the matter).

    I also appreciate John and Glenn coming over here to comment, despite them having no responsibility for what Mike says. Legally, I think this point has been decided: Online forums are not held responsible for what people post on them (maybe Seth can provide references). Just because ME is providing a forum for Mike doesn’t make them at all responsible for what he says. Mike is responsible for it. And as Koda said, if Mike wasn’t sharing his nutty thoughts in ME, where would he be sharing them? At least on ME they are quickly countered and Mike is challenged. That forum provides almost instantaneous rebuttals of his nuttiness, for all the world to see.

    So, props to John and Glenn and the rest of the ME crew for finding Mike and putting up with him. And it seems like we’re all still friends per John’s most recent post. (Not to mention that ME is up for a number of Brodie’s, which I’m sure they’ll win!)

    Outer blogness doesn’t need infighting, like the atheist community; they are so busy stabbing each other about how strident to be in their irreligiosity that they often lose sight of the fact that they are all irreligious and have a common enemy: religion.

    While I don’t want to paint Mormonism as “the enemy”, the one thing we all have in common is open discussion of Mormonism. Let’s let that unite us, not divide us.

  31. Urban Koda says:

    Thanks – I don’t think my thoughts got quite conveyed the way they were in my head… One of those Ebkac problems!

    The angry mob comments – afraid I went a little hyperbolic there!

    And good call on the distinction… I would agree with that as well. Sometimes it’s hard to see where the line is though, since oft times I thinks it becomes a little blurry. At least in the circles I’ve run in the past.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think Mike represents the average Mormon. But I think if you look at him as your average bishop, or person who is trying to ascend the ranks, Mike is the perfect example.

    As a participant in ME – definitely. But if ME were to become the Mike versus show, then I think that could be problematic – But I don’t see John letting that happen – he seems to keep everyone reigned in and on topic for the most part.

    So the next question is… How does a religion which claims to be centered in Christ, end up with some much violence and rage? And what (if anything) can be done to over come it.

    And I’m not just talking Mormons here, but Christians in a lot of different flavors as well as Muslims and the rest. Religion is supposed to be about peace and love.

  32. chanson says:

    At least on ME they are quickly countered and Mike is challenged. That forum provides almost instantaneous rebuttals of his nuttiness, for all the world to see.

    That’s a good point, and kind of echoes what Glenn said about the platform not legitimizing his position. OTOH, you and Glenn already disagree with him — who knows how his position sounds to TBMs….?

  33. Urban Koda says:

    I doubt any TBM who has what it takes to listen to ME, would be influenced by Mike’s opinion. They might agree, but I doubt he’ll sway anyone.

  34. chanson says:

    Sometimes its hard to see where the line is though, since oft times I thinks it becomes a little blurry.

    True, there’s often just a quick hop from criticism to calls for actual censorship. Another reason to be vigilant about remembering the difference! 😉

  35. Alan says:

    I think there is a very strong connection between right-wing violence and evangelical theology, particularly when it comes Muslims and ensuring that this remains a Christian country. Im not sure, however, about Mormons and violence. Most Mormons Ive met think that even getting angry is a bad thing, so how can they be violent (other than psychologically so)? Am I missing something?

  36. Hellmut says:

    Well, Mormons tend to feed recruits into the survivalist and militia movement, the Bo Gritz fans, and the IRS haters.

    While some of those movements have a decidedly Brighamite flavor, cultural manifestations are not sufficient to demonstrate causality.

  37. Seth R. says:

    I don’t know why the Mormon Expression podcast still has Mike as some sort of “representative believing Mormon.” He’s obviously nothing of the sort.

    I really think John could do better than this for getting a Mormon perspective.

  38. Seth R. says:

    And incidentally, I think this sort of violent rhetoric can be blamed more on politics than religion.

    If you want to point to causes – I’d say the Tea Party is more to blame than the LDS Church.

  39. wayne says:

    @ Urban Koda.
    Historically religions more often are about peace and love within the confines of the religion. The idea that the love should be extended to individuals outside the boundaries is fairly modern.

  40. Carla says:

    @ Seth – I believe John and the rest of the ME panel has stated that they’ve tried to get other believing Mormons, and nobody else has stepped forward. Perhaps you could offer yourself as such?

  41. Andrew S says:

    I’d be very interested to see a panel of Mormons discuss who is *more* representative of Mormonism: Mike or Seth.

    The problem: how could you form a “panel” without essentially deciding the answer?

  42. chanson says:

    Andrew — That’s a really interesting question (that I was wondering about myself right after I suggested Seth, above). In my extended Mormon family, we definitely have some tax-evading-conspiracy-theorist-tea-baggers, but we also have some TBMs who are more like Seth…

  43. Chino Blanco says:

    I’ve given this post some thought and I think I’ve pretty much concluded that it would’ve been better if I’d left out the shout out to Mormon Expression in the OP. I should’ve stuck to addressing my concerns to the LDS leadership and foregone the gratuitous mention of a crew whose work I admire. That said, it’s nice to know you’re all reading along, cheers.

  44. Hellmut says:

    I am sorry, Chino, but I don’t get it. What is the significance of that screen shot, please?

  45. Chino Blanco says:

    Nothing to write home about, just the latest lurking at MSP by folks working for the LDS church. The context is that I should’ve limited my remarks to calling out the LDS leadership and contented myself with knowing that the message was received instead of fomenting an internecine squabble.

  46. Mike Tannehill says:

    I was completely unaware that this discussion existed, but John was kind enough to post a link. I’ll take just a moment to calirify my statements –

    Harry Reid: What occured in Arizona is without question horrific. By all accounts from both political parties that woman is sweet and kind and takes regular time out of her schedule to meet with her constituents in an effort to stay in touch with their needs. The man who shot her was by all accounts mentally unstable, and had been for quite awhile.

    Would I have rather it been Harry Reid who took the crazy mans bullet? Absolutley. Harry Reid is a cancer on our society. Here is a man who has made oaths and covenants with his God in the temple and who on a regular basis spits in those same oaths. When we did the podcast on the CHI I was able to find four reasosn to excommunicate this man from the church. Here is a Mormon priesthood holder in a position of political power who uses that same power to forward the homosexual agenda. He FOUGHT and STRUGGLED for homosexual marriage. He FOUGHT and STRUGGLED for the repeal of Dont ask Dont Tell. Is this the same man who raised his hand to the square in the Temple and swore an oath to contribute his time, talents, and everything the lord has blessed him with to the building up of the kingdom of God? Is this the man that swore an oath to uphold the law of chastity?

    I hold Harry Reid to a higher standard, and it is baffling to me that a man in such a position of earthly power would reject everything he supposedly holds sacred and still remain a member of the church. Do I wish it had been him who was shot instead of that poor woman? Your damn right I do.

    The Oklahoma City Bombing – I worked with a man whose mother worked at that building. She just happened to be sick that day and didnt make it to work, and is alive today because of it. The Oklahoma blast claimed 168 lives, including 19 children under the age of 6. An absolutley horrific event, sickening in every detail. Its the same with any war, there really are no winners. That event had a cause and a reason for being, which was stated clearly by the perpetrator: McVeigh timed his attack to coincide with the second anniversary of the deaths at Waco.

    Waco represented an astounding abuse of power by our government. It was the wholesale murder of 74 men women and children, 21 of which were under the age of thirteen. The people there were innocent of the charges made against them, and their deaths were gruesome. The children did not die from the fire, They were gassed to death, and after the tears and the vomiting their muscles contracted and broke their own spines. Those who tried to leave out the back as the fire was started by the government agents were gunned down by machine guns, one man was run over by one of the tanks.

    I am not so naive as to glorify in any of these events, I am also not immature enough to believe that sometimes war is not neccesary. A message needed to be sent, and as horrific and troubling and disturbing as the Oklahoma bombing was, the event at Waco could not be left to stand. When I say that the thing was neccesary, that is what I meant. Our government which was meant to serve the people cannot be allowed to abuse them.

    I am not a nut as some people here seem to think. I dont even like Sarah Palin, I find her grating. I am not a tea party member. I just recognise things for what they are and say what I think. Am I bad at stating my case? Most of the time. I am sorry some of you are offended by the things I say, but in my view that just means you dont know all the facts or you see them in an incorrect light. In the future I will try to tone down my rhetoric and be wiser about my public statements. I owe that much to my fellow ME panelists.

  47. Glenn Ostlund says:

    Holy shit, Mike! A message needed to be sent to the govt? Through a BOMB!?!?! Harry Reid and a bullet?!?!?!

    Hopeless and wrong in just so many ways.

    Too bad we don’t hold up our arm to the square in the temple to be charitable. Then maybe you’d take it a little more seriously — cuz as it is, it’s only in the scriptures, and those are just books. Plus I’m no expert on the CHI, but I’m pretty sure McVeigh would get ex’d in a heartbeat for what he did and I don’t see any church courts kicking Reid out for his politics.

    Hopeless and wrong in just so many ways.

  48. Mike Tannehill says:

    Glenn to my memory we do promise to be charitable. And when I said the scriptures are “just books” I meant that a living prophet is more important. A living priesthood is more impotant that the writings of its past members. I dont think that belittles a tool that trains our ears to hear the still small voice.

    Maybe he would have gotten ex’ed if he were a member, I dont know. I also am going to make an effort to find out who Reid’s bishop and/or stake president are. I’ll ask them myself what the hells going on.

  49. Chino Blanco says:

    This living prophet?

    Monson Reid Obama

  50. Mike Tannehill says:

    Nice picture Chino. Is that Obamas family tree they are showing him?

    I’m going to refrain from commenting any more on this. My opinion is unpopular and only serves to bring trouble to people and causes I care about. I wont comment anymore on facebook or here. I’ve said my peace and will leave it at that.

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