What should Latter-day Saint’s position on socialized medicine (or socialized anything) be?
I always look at what the brethren have said in general conference and there have been a number of statements on this subject made from the pulpit.
The apostle Ezra Taft Benson said:
No true Latter-day Saint and no true American can be a socialist or a communist or support programs leading in that direction. These evil philosophies are incompatible with Mormonism, the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
Conference Report, October 1961, p.74
President David O. McKay expounded on the why:
Every collectivist from Karl Marx to [the present leader] has agreed that faith in God must be destroyed before socialism can take over.
Conference Report, October 1966, p.5
Let us not be deceived by those who equate Christianity with socialism — they are incompatible.
Any Mormon familiar with our history and doctrine sees socialized medicine as unconstitutional as such programs entail government take-over of liberty and property. Elder Marion G. Romney explained:
Socialism, reduced to its simplest legal and practical expression, means the complete discarding of the institution of private property by transforming it into public property and the division of the resultant income equally and indiscriminately among the entire population.
Encyclopedia Britannica, 1946 ed., Vol. 20, p. 895
Conference Report, April 1966, p.95
President Obama is on record saying that the Constitution is flawed because it fails to address social and redistributive justice (if you need documentation for this just put the following words into a search engine: ‘obama’ ‘constitution’ ‘negative’ ‘liberties’). Since our current president feels that the federal government needs to be empowered to abridge our constitutional rights, (for our own good of course), we should be doing all in our power to fight Obamacare.
Elder Benson gave us some instruction on how to go about it:
Fifth, each priesthood holder should use his influence in the community to resist the erosion process which is taking place in our political and economic life. He should use the political party of his choice to express his evaluation of important issues. He should see that his party is working to preserve freedom, not destroy it. He should join responsible local groups interested in promoting freedom and free competitive enterprise, in studying political issues, appraising the voting records and proposed programs, and writing to members of Congress, promoting good men in public office and scrutinizing local, state, and federal agencies to see that the will of the people is being carried out. He should not wait for the Lord’s servants to give instruction for every detail once they have announced the direction in which the priesthood should go.
Conference Report, October 1961, p.75
I realize there are those who may view socialized medicine as a charitable act that should be supported. I urge you to examine the issue more closely; as responsible thinkers we must recognize that medical care does not exist in unlimited quantities and that those who practice medicine spend many years and dollars learning their profession. Socialized medicine by necessity takes away medical professional’s freedom to practice medicine as they choose. It dictates the treatments they must offer, the manner in which they provide those services, and what they can charge for their work. This is just one way constitutional freedoms are abridged by this legislation, and you can read hundreds more in the 2,700 pages of Obamacare. (And you have fun with that — our entire standard works total 2,476 pages!)
What we are witnessing is nothing new. Elder Benson expounded on how unconstitutional ends are achieved. (Note the similarities in the terms he cites from the past…they are almost a carbon copy of those used today persuade us to vote our liberties away):
During the first half of the twentieth century we have traveled far into the soul-destroying land of socialism… In this retreat from freedom the voices of protesting citizens have been drowned by raucous shouts of intolerance and abuse from those who led the retreat and their millions of gullible youth, who are marching merrily to their doom, carrying banners on which are emblazoned such intriguing and misapplied labels as social justice, equality, reform patriotism social welfare.
Gospel Ideals, p. 273
Conference Report, October 1961, p.74
In conclusion I cite the first prophet of this dispensation, cited by Ezra Taft Benson in that same talk:
It is significant that 118 years ago this month the Prophet Joseph Smith, after attending lectures on socialism, made this official entry in church history: “I said I did not believe the doctrine.
History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 33
Those who oppose socialism are regularly accused of being heartless, cruel, and many other unflattering names. This is done on purpose to guilt the freedom-loving into giving up their liberties. If you stand against socialistic measures you should count on being impugned — it comes with the territory. Let’s just be the happy warriors befriending and standing up for the U.S. Constitution.