by Cody Quirk
Recently, there was a controversial and outrageously inaccurate article in the Salt Lake Tribune which gave the false impression that our state affiliate in Utah was not only a religious (specifically a Latter-Day Saint) extremist party, but even attempted to portray the National Independent American Party as willing to disrespect the LDS Church’s stance on political neutrality!
Unlike what was portrayed in the SLT article, the so-called pamphlet in question was a simple party-unapproved flyer that was put out by a well-intentioned member of the IAP whom did have previous permission from his Church’s Bishop and Stake President to conduct a nonpartisan class on the U.S. Constitution and was advertising it on the flyer in question. However this individual also included several inappropriate ‘religious’ quotes that, while might be regarded as ‘fact’ by a few in our party, however are also regarded as hogwash by other members of our party as well. Unfortunately, several critics later got their hands on the fliers and thereafter put their conservative and LDS-bashing spin on it with a newspaper that bears a long history of such slander.
And then in the follow up article, the author again added his spin on comments and statements put out by the various state & national leaders of the Independent American Party and its affiliates on the recent matter at hand- again demonstrating the Tribune’s penchant for yellow journalism.
How sad it is that the National Independent American Party, which is a political party seeking to restore constitutional government and our diminished liberties, including the right to free speech and the ability to practice one’s religion without any government inference or preference favoring one denomination over another- gets inaccurately portrayed and stereotyped as both a political party that gives favoritism towards members and any form of patriotic genre of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and even one that would dare favor theocracy with a Mormon-bent.
And sadly, this misconception about us has been going on for quite some time.
Yet the truth is the complete opposite, and it is something that must be addressed in this article.
First, I will admit that yes, the National IAP was founded largely by political activist who are members of the LDS Church, and that yes, in the past our party did have previous themes and an outreach that appealed largely to Latter-Day Saint voters, as many in our party are outspoken on what various LDS constitutionalists have said and taught from before.
That said, and also speaking personally as a individual leader of this party- the National IAP has never, nor ever will exclude non-LDS from joining our ranks, regardless of what denomination or religion they belong to, or even if they belong to no faith at all, or even if they critical of the LDS Church in their personal views and opinions; our party is one that is principled in it’s support and adherence to the U.S. Constitution and especially to religious liberty; being in conformity to what our founding fathers have said many times about religious tyranny and prejudice, which is why the National IAP considers the word ‘theocracy’ to be on the same level as Fascism, Nazism, Communism, and any form of severe totalitarianism that is anti-American in spirit, and anti-Freedom in practice.
And it is comforting indeed that LDS members of the IAP do understand this and do cherish the principles of religious tolerance and liberty as found in D&C Section 134, as well as the 11th Article of Faith in LDS Scriptures, as sectarianism is contrary to what such a faith preaches and believes.
In fact, while many members in our Party do adhere to the LDS faith, including this author, yet the National IAP wants ALL fellow principled conservatives and American patriots of all races and creeds to join with us to help restore our country, because it is going to take more then those of a particular faith, or even no faith at all, to restore this country and it’s government back to its constitutional limitations.
At this point however, this party has grown, organized, and gained ballot-access in various other states, and come to better include those of many faiths in it’s ranks at the present moment, and has further spoken up for ALL religions that are currently on the front lines with our own government on the social issues, as unfortunately such long-cherished rights to free speech and protection from government interference in their matters have become more dire these days for such faiths and those with beliefs that are becoming more vilified by a ever increasingly vile, politically-correct society.
Nevertheless, religious freedom is not only American, but essential for a free nation, and a right that has been disregarded often in both the civilized and uncivilized world. However sadly, even religious prejudice has roared it’s ugly head at certain times in our nation’s past history, and especially with other political parties that have attempted before us to bring back a government and society that was once restricted and bind by our Constitution and the moral values that once governed society.
Being believers of religious harmony, and fighters for religious liberty, the idea of this party fostering one particular denomination over another is not just silly, but downright unacceptable, and even anti-constitutionalist.
Therefore, the National IAP- while championing and upholding the religious rights and freedoms of fellow Christians and non-Christians -affirms on such principles, that we are NOT, nor ever will be- a Mormon (LDS) political party -and that any supposed ‘member’ of this party that attempts to tarnish this fact, or even attempts to turn the National IAP to a sectarian party that caters only to one particular denomination, is undeserving and unworthy to be considered a Independent American, or even a fighter for freedom.
Therefore, let us put this issue to rest and move forward as a vehicle for restoring constitutional government for everyone, once and for all.
by Cody Quirk