LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- A political science professor at Brigham Young University takes exception to comments about the rule of law by Nevada rancher, and fellow Mormon, Cliven Bundy.
Quin Monson, a faculty member at the LDS-operated school in Provo, Utah, told the Salt Lake Tribune this week that Bundy’s view of government is “far on the fringes.”
“It is not something I see or hear among people at BYU or at church,” Monson told reporter Peggy Fletcher Stack. “It has not made its way into mainstream Mormon websites or quasi-church material or affiliated sites.”
Bundy told KUER “Radio West” host David Fabrizio on Wednesday that even though Mormons are “subject to kings, presidents, rulers and magistrates,” as stated in one of the religion’s articles of faith, “if they don’t honor the Constitution, we don’t have no obligation to ‘em. Only as they honor the principles of protecting liberty and freedom of individual rights do we honor them and their government. It don’t say we honor them and their laws.”
Bundy owes the federal government more than $1 million in fees and fines for grazing his cattle illegally on Bureau of Land Management property in Nevada. Twice, a federal court has ordered him to pay the fees and authorized the BLM to confiscate his cattle. One of those Nevada federal judges was LDS.
Bundy has refused, prompting an effort by the BLM to begin removing his cattle from the lands in April. The government called off that action when confronted by armed protesters and militia members at Bundy’s Bunkerville ranch.
In the Wednesday interview on KUER’s “Radio West,” Bundy told Fabrizio that inspiration from God prompted his confrontation with the federal government
"I have no idea what God wants done, but he did inspire me to have the sheriffs across the United States take away these weapons, disarm these bureaucracies, and he also gave me a little inspiration on what would happen if they didn’t do that," Bundy said. "It was indicated that ‘this is our chance, America, to straighten this problem up. If we don’t solve this problem this way, we will face these same guns in a civil war.’”
In a July 1994 speech at America’s Freedom Festival in Provo, LDS apostle Dallin H. Oaks challenged the idea that Mormons can break laws they think are unjust.
Noting that the Constitution gives certain powers to federal and state governments, while reserving the rest to the people, Oaks said that does not mean "that each citizen is free to determine which laws he will obey or that one or more citizens are free to redefine the concept of sovereignty ... [which] would result in anarchy."