If voting could change things, it would be illegal


We interrupt this program for the following (anti-)political message.

Now that the Olympic games are over, we are being inundated with press about the Democratic National Convention, the nomination of Barak Obama and the coming election, all of which preps us for our “civic duty” of voting.

For most, the questions are: What candidates should I vote for?  What initiatives should I vote for?  But these questions presuppose that you should vote.

To Vote or Not To Vote: THAT Is the Question

You can go to any political party, or to anyone who believes in voting, to learn why you should vote.  But where do you go to learn why you should not vote? Well, I’m glad you asked.  Your friendly, neighborhood LDS Anarchist will point you in the right direction:

Non-Voting Archive

To give you a taste of the many reasons against voting found in the non-voting archive, here is an excerpt of an essay by Lysander Spooner entitled, Against Woman Suffrage:

Women are human beings, and consequently have all the natural rights that any human beings can have. They have just as good a right to make laws as men have, and no better; AND THAT IS JUST NO RIGHT AT ALL. No human being, nor any number of human beings, have any right to make laws, and compel other human beings to obey them. To say that they have is to say that they are the masters and owners of those of whom they require such obedience.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Next Anarchism/Anarchy article: The Root Cause of the Current Financial (Monetary) Crisis and Its Solution

Previous Anarchism/Anarchy article: Anarchy in Education

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

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15 Comments

  1. Thanks for the link. It looks to be full of good information.

    I have never voted and never planned on voting, I figured out back in my early years it was just a scam and never could understand why people didn’t believe me, and why some even got angry at my ideas.

    It appears I may end up voting this year because the church is telling all members in California to vote on Prop 8. I do not think I will vote on any other issue, I will go to the booth, vote yes on prop 8 and leave all the other lines blank.

  2. Toeing the line, are we? I generally vote in self-defense (which usually translates to “no” on every initiative). I do realize it’s futile and carries a bit of the appearance of evil, though. But if I lived in California, I don’t think I’d bother to vote on Prop 8 (if I did, of course, it would be against.)

  3. I suppose you could say I am toeing the line, I like to think of it as practising.

    I have strong beliefs that I follow that have prevented me from voting. The reasons I do not vote have little to do with the issues or candidates at hand, it is the principle of the matter.

    Today in Priesthood opening exercises, a member of the stake high council came in and told us he was on errand from the stake president. He gave us a “pep talk” on the many ways we could participate in the church’s activities spreading the word on prop 8. They meet every Saturday morning in a high school parking lot then go canvasing from there, they call long phone lists, etc. He said three different times in his talk that Heavenly Father wanted us there, at that high school, this Saturday. I almost laughed out loud.

    Looking at the bigger picture here, what they are talking about does not matter. I suppose Prop 8 could prevent me from going to hell , but I doubt it, whether I vote on it or not will have little effect on my eternal salvation. However, I could easily see, sometime in the near future, the Prophet admonishing me to do something that I see as “not his place”, or “silly”, or any other number of things I have heard about this Prop 8 campaign, and it could prevent me from going to hell. The LDS Anarchist has written more than once about different ways the Lord could cleanse his church and the tough times ahead, some of which would require directives from the prophet.

    Me voting on Prop 8 is practise. It does not really matter one way or another if I vote, it will not change my views, it will not compromise my standards, I am not voting on anything else. It will not really effect me in any way other than I am setting aside my personal hang ups to follow the prophet. Practise for that day when it will matter.

    Now, having said all of that, that was the conclusion I came to when I thought they were asking us to vote. But as of now, I have yet to find an official church notice telling its members to vote. The letter they read in Sacrament Meetings across the state did not ask us to vote, the letters they gave to each of us did not ask us to vote. All the letter asks is to give of our time and our means, it even reminds us of our covenants in the temple to consecrate the aforementioned items to the Church. In short, the church has asked for time and money to help Prop 8 get passed but has yet to ask us to vote on it.

    If I am wrong, I would appreciate someone pointing me in the direction of the request to vote.

  4. I believe that you bring up a valid point. I haven’t seen a request to vote on Prop 8, either. Also, the covenant we make in the temple to consecrate what we have to the church doesn’t apply to Prop 8, as those moneys do not go to the church.

  5. The letter’s exact words were “do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment.” You are right, it doesn’t directly say to vote, but my understanding is that voting is THE LEAST you could do, which doesn’t exactly follow the prophet’s counsel. AND your covenant is to help “the building up” of the church. Which can be done in any number of ways, one of which is supporting the proposed constitutional amendment using your time and money.

  6. My next blog post (probably in a few hours) will be on Prop 8, mostly because I’m too busy for anything deeper.

  7. Kristina, the exact words of the covenant are the following:

    We are instructed to give unto you the law of consecration as contained in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, in connection with the law of the gospel and the law of sacrifice, which you have already received. It is that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion.

    All arise.

    Each of you bring your right arm to the square.

    You and each of you covenant and promise before God, angels, and these witnesses at this altar, that you do accept the law of consecration as contained in this, the book of Doctrine and Covenants [he displays the book], in that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion.

    A couple of points: First, you’ll notice that we don’t covenant and promise to consecrate these things to the Church, but that we merely covenant and promise to accept the law of consecration, as it is contained in the D&C. (We don’t currently live the law of consecration as it is contained in the D&C, so the use of the word accept makes sense.) Second, whatever is consecrated is specifically to go to the Church, not anywhere else.

    So, although some LDS may try to use the temple covenant to make people feel guilty that they must perform some certain action over Prop 8, only those who interpret this particular temple covenant as meaning that we are to give ourselves, our time, talents and everything, whether inside or outside of the bounds contained in the D&C, to the Church or to any organization the Church designates, whenever the Church says to or asks to, only such people who interpret it in this way will end up feeling guilty.

  8. Thank you LDS Anarchist, I agree. I was amazed, almost insulted, the first time I heard them refer to the temple covenants in this manner. It surprised me that someone would think I took them so lightly that it would not bother me to see them used in that way. Also, when I was told “Heavenly Father wanted (me)” in that high school parking lot, it seemed to trivialize Heavenly Father and my relationship with Him.

    I have had many discussions about this with other members of my local ward. It is interesting to hear their responses. My wife and I have talked about it, she is of the opinion that the church will not ask its members to vote. According to her, that crosses the line, they can ask them to donate time, money or whatever, but to say “Thou shalt vote yes on Prop 8” would go to far, crossing the line between church and state, removing the govern thyself rule, or something along those lines. If that is the case, I don’t think I’ll vote. I still haven’t made up my mind but I am leaning back towards the non-voting side.

  9. They read a new letter from the First Presidency in Priesthood this week. This letter tells us to vote. It does not mention Prop 8. For weeks we have been bombarded with Prop 8 propaganda and now a nondescript “get out and vote” letter. Still no official church statement asking members to vote yes on Prop 8. They also announced a special satellite broadcast from Salt Lake next week dealing solely with Prop 8. The more they pound this into the ground the more I think there is a lot more at stake here then the definition of marriage in the California courts.

    Interestingly enough, I was talking to some members from other areas of the state, some have been hounded as much as me for Prop 8 support, others have only heard it mentioned once or twice in church and not anywhere else. One person I talked to had brought an interested friend to church and said she felt like she was in a political rally, all talks in sacrament meeting were dedicated to Prop 8. Her friend had been interested in the church for some time and finely decided to see what it was like. What a great introduction.

  10. Therefore, in this election year, we urge you to register to vote, to study the issues and candidates carefully and prayerfully, and then to vote for and actively support those you believe will most nearly carry out your ideas of good government.

    How to apply anarchism to the above: Anarchists “vote” by not voting. We “register to vote” (for the anarchist party) by removing our names from the registrar of voters. We actively support the one candidate we believe will most nearly carry out our ideas of good government, namely, ourselves, good government being defined by us as self-government. As such, anarchism is compatible with this First Presidency letter.

    😉

  11. Ahhh, so that’s how it works. 🙂

  12. Fascinated by your non-voting ideology as one who has voted regularly during my life. Even when more cynical and discouraged by outcomes, scourge of minority, etc. I refused to not stop voting believing it to be a responsibility and part of my liberty.

    Am I to conclude that you favor no civil government? That the only government is self government [and in my case “under God”]. Is there not an “endorsement” of the existence of civil government in Moses’ father-in-law’s suggestions, and also from Romans 13?

  13. I do not know how I missed answering anarchonoclast’s questions, but it entirely escaped my notice until now. anarchonoclast asked,

    Am I to conclude that you favor no civil government? That the only government is self government [and in my case “under God”].

    That is correct. I believe in anarchism. Please see the latest post entitled, Anarchism. anarchonoclast also asked,

    Is there not an “endorsement” of the existence of civil government in Moses’ father-in-law’s suggestions, and also from Romans 13?

    I am not sure what you are talking about concerning Moses’ father-in-law. Can you (or someone else) please enlighten me? Also, concerning Romans 13, please see the post, Romans13: 1-7 and Joseph Smith.

  14. I believe he’s referring to the appointment of “rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens,” in Exodus 18.

  15. Thanks, Justin. I’ll check that out.


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