Search
Generic filters
Exact matches only
Filter by Categories
All Audio
All Ebooks
All References
Blog
Documents
ZionTube
Wiki
Raising the Bar
FAQs
Guardians of an Altar
Newsletter
Papers

Try these: joseph smithfree moviesfaith crisishomeschool

Commentary

The “Fanatic Test”

  1. Believe in following the words of prophets
  2. Believe the family and parents are responsible for education
  3. Believe the Father should preside in the home
  4. Believe in adhering to scripture above the philosophies of men
  5. Believe God created the earth rather than chance
  6. Believe sovereignty belongs in the home
  7. Believe there is right and wrong not just grey
  8. Believe that men should act like men and women like women
  9. Believe that an individual has the right to make choices without dictation by the state
  10. Believe that an individual is responsible for his own conduct and support
  11. Believe that time and all talents should be consecrated to the work of God
  12. All the other things I forgot

Now, now! Your list of beliefs below conveys a “holier than thou” attitude. Why are you always making it sound like you’re so much better than everyone else? It’s almost like you’re backbiting everyone else who doesn’t live up to your extreme standards. You need to be more tolerant…even infinitely tolerant…of the views of others. Why don’t you just relax and follow the path of the peacemaker? You’ll be more popular if you do. And how can we ever hope to have unity if you don’t relax a bit?

Now seriously, sorry for the “ill humor”. Your list is great. And you’re right, I guess we are both fanatical extremists…I fail the “test” on every one of your points. It brings me a great deal of sorrow to see how simple and straightforward your list is, and yet how true it is that many reject almost every one of them. Thank God that there are still some that have faith.

As for my creed, I suppose it could basically be your #1 below; it is to “live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God”. Everything else (literally)ties back to that first point. When we really think about it, our problems of the day boil down to rejecting the prophets, and thus rejecting God. That is all. It hasever been thus, and it will ever be so.

After sending you that quote from Ezra Taft Benson, I couldn’t help but ponder why so many today criticize those who cleave to the truth as being “fanatical”. I thought of Joseph Smith, and Enoch (the “wild man”) as being perceived as extremists and fanatics, not to mention the Savior himself. This morning I looked into the word fanatic, and found something that is not surprising (well maybe a bit surprising), but interesting nonetheless. I thought you would be interested in what I found.

Next time someone calls me a “fanatic”, I’m going to thank them for the compliment 🙂

1) From Websters
FANAT’IC or FANAT’ICAL, adjective
[Latin fanaticus, phanaticus, from German, to appear; literally, seeing visions.]

2) From Latin http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fanaticus
fānāticus m. (feminine fānātica, neuter fānāticum)
a) Of or pertaining to a temple.
b) divinely inspired, enthusiastic.

3) Translation from the German Dictionary at http://de.wiktionary.org/wiki/Fanatiker:
Fanatiker: One who absolutely holds to an idea or an ideological law or guideline. Synonmym: Fundamentalist

4) From Merriam Webster Dictionary online (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fanatic):
fa·nat·ic
Pronunciation: \fə-ˈna-tik\
Etymology: Latin fanaticus: inspired by a deity, from fanum: temple

5) From Latin http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fanum:
fānum (genitive fānī); n
temple, sanctuary, place dedicated to a deity

6) From Wikipedia about Religious Fanaticism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_fanaticism)

Possible Fanatic Scriptures
There are some who think that certain scriptures can influence fanatic and even violent behaviors. In Volume 3 of his book, The Destructive Power of Religion: Violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, J. Harold Ellens indicates a few possibly fanatic stories in The Bible.

Story of the blind born man: Ellens speaks in depth about the story of Jesus’s miraculous healing of a blind man living on the city streets. The story goes as such: Christ was walking in the city when he saw a blind man. Jesus approaches the man, applies some clay to the man’s eyes like a salve, and sends the man to bathe in the pool of Siloam. The man emerges from the water and is able to see. Jesus, though, is nowhere to be found. Later, the Pharisees see that this man has been healed and try to interrogate him a total of four times, asking him who had healed him and where that person was, and asking him to admit that whoever healed him was a sinner for doing so on the Sabbath. The now seeing man responds, saying, in essence, “Whether my healer is a sinner, I do not know. This one thing I do know, once I was blind, now I can see”. Most logical people think that anyone would consider it very kind to be healed of blindness; however Ellens finds fault in Christ in this story, saying:

It was abusive for Jesus to abandon the healed man to the assaults of the Pharisees, whose psychology was . . . taking the role of the scolding parents and putting the healed man down into the role of the naughty child. . . .The gamesmanship of the healed man does not obviate the fact that Jesus abused him, exploited him for his own purposes, abandoned him to significant persecution, and only thereafter, when all the damage was done, embraced him in a redemptive way.

Christ’s cleansing of the temple: Ellens makes his case again in the story of Christ purging the temple during Holy Week, saying that during his cleansing, “Jesus had one of his fits of violence”. He says that Christ, in cleansing the temple, “chase[d] cattle, release[d] birds, overturn[ed] money tables, annoy[ed] legitimate assistants to the temple program, and attack[ed] the temple itself”. Ellens’s explanation for this is:

[Christ] walked into the temple . . . trying to find a place of tranquility in which to pray and an audience with whom he could discuss the coming kingdom of God. All he could see was the hated priests in their formalistic rituals. All he could hear was the bawling of the cattle. All he could smell was the odors of the stable. . . .He cracked. He picked up a riding crop or bullwhip and . . . abuse[d] those most available, expending his long-anguished anger, his weariness with the spiritual mediocrity of human life.

Other possibly fanatic scriptures: Grant R. Shafer suggests that there are a number of teachings of Jesus that have a preoccupation with death and violence. He says,

“The parable of the wicked husbandmen ends with the Lord of the vineyard killing them [1]. One version of the parable of the wedding feast includes the king sending his armies, killing those who murdered his servants, and burning their city [2].

Prophetic Statements

Brigham Young

It is true the Constitution has been revised by the voice of the people; but wherein is it bettered? Some say it is bettered; but as to the light and knowledge that now exist with regard to the true spirit of republicanism, the revolution is on the retrograde motion. [3]

David O. McKay

Today, freedom – political, economic, and individual freedom – lies destroyed or is in the course of being destroyed over great areas of the globe. And it has been destroyed and is being destroyed in the name of freedom . . . a ruthless dialectical battle is being waged against individual freedom, and it is being waged in the name of Freedom. Black becomes white; Tyranny becomes freedom; The Forced Labor Camps stands for Liberty; The Slave State is represented as Democracy. This is the deadly challenge of Communism (Socialism). [4]

During the first half of the twentieth century we have traveled far into the soul-destroying land of socialism and made strange alliances through which we have become involved in almost continuous hot and cold wars over the whole of the earth. In this retreat from freedom the voices of protesting citizens have been drowned by raucous riots 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. [5]

Ezra Taft Benson

There is yet another threat to American freedom we should consider…It is the current branding as “super-patriots”, “fanatics” and “right-wing extremists”, those who defend the freedom, traditions and principles on which this great nation was founded. The implication is to make of them something that is evil.

…No more should we condone name calling and castigating those who would defend American freedoms…The avowed socialists and the liberals both call the current anti-communist uprising an “extremist” movement…The liberals are scared; that’s why they use lies, distortion, mis-quotations, guilt-by-association, nasty labels, and ugly innuendos in their all-out campaign to discredit the “super-patriots” and “extremists.”

The[ir] present line is: criticism of socialism…and efforts against communism create disunity. The claim is that it divides our people and therefore should be discouraged. Many of our people–some in high places whose influence is far reaching–fall for this line of reasoning.That we might face up properly to such a campaign of lies and name-calling, we should accept the advice of Thomas Jefferson who warns us as follows:”The patriot, like the Christian, must learn that to bear revilings and persecutions is part of his duty; and in proportion as the trial is severe, firmness under it becomes more requisite and praiseworthy.”Certainly a true American cannot have too much patriotism. [6]

There is yet another threat to American freedom we should consider…It is the current branding as “super-patriots”, “fanatics” and “right-wing extremists”, those who defend the freedom, traditions and principles on which this great nation was founded. The implication is to make of them something that is evil….No more should we condone name calling and castigating those who would defend American freedoms…The avowed socialists and the liberals both call the current anti-communist uprising an “extremist” movement…The liberals are scared; that’s why they use lies, distortion, mis-quotations, guilt-by-association, nasty labels, and ugly innuendos in their all-out campaign to discredit the “super-patriots” and “extremists.”The[ir] present line is: criticism of socialism…and efforts against communism create disunity. The claim is that it divides our people and therefore should be discouraged. Many of our people–some in high places whose influence is far reaching–fall for this line of reasoning. That we might face up properly to such a campaign of lies and name-calling, we should accept the advice of Thomas Jefferson who warns us as follows:”The patriot, like the Christian, must learn that to bear revilings and persecutions is part of his duty; and in proportion as the trial is severe, firmness under it becomes more requisite and praiseworthy.”Certainly a true American cannot have too much patriotism. [7]

Youth of the world, as you strive to increase in favor with man, be ever on your guard that you do not unwittingly, in the name of tolerance, broadmindedness, and so-called liberalism, encourage foreign “isms” and unsound theories that strike at the very root of all we hold dear, including our faith in God. Proposals will be offered and programs will be sponsored that have wide, so-called “humanitarian” appeal. Attractive labels are usually attached to the most dangerous programs, often in the name of public welfare and personal security. Have the courage to apply this standard of truth. Determine what the effect of the various issues at stake is upon the character, the integrity, and the freedom of man. [8]

I am for freedom and against slavery. I am for social progress and against Socialism. I am for a dynamic economy and against waste. I am for the private competitive market and against unnecessary government intervention. I am for private ownership and against governmental ownership and control of the means of production and distribution. I am for national security; and against appeasement and capitulation to an obvious enemy. [9]

Socialist and Communist Statements

Scriptures

Founders Statements

Supporting Statements


  1. Matt. 21:41; Mark 12:9; Luke 20:16
  2. Matt. 22:6-7; Luke 14:16-24 omits these details
  3. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7:9
  4. David O. McKay, Conference Report, October 1962
  5. David O. McKay, in Deseret News, “Church Section,” 18 October 1952, p. 2
  6. Ezra Taft Benson, The Red Carpet, pp. 197-199
  7. Ezra Taft Benson, The Red Carpet, pp. 197-199
  8. Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 321; God, Family, Country, p. 7
  9. Ezra Taft Benson

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

shares