The Controversy over the Title of Liberty Flag in Idaho Falls

During July, the Title of Liberty Flag is a big thing in Idaho Falls.

See here and here.

But in this Sunday’s Idaho Falls paper, Corey Taule (Opinions Page Editor) takes the Idaho Falls mayor to task for signing a proclamation and declaring July Title of Liberty Month in Idaho Falls.

Corey writes,

The Book of Mormon tells the story of Captain Moroni, a central figure in LDS theology, tearing off his coat and writing on it the following words: “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.”

Moroni fastened his message on the end of a pole and called it the Title of Liberty.  Believers flocked to Moroni’s banner, which was eventually “hoisted upon every tower which was in all the land.” 

Some think a new group of believers will flock around the Title of Liberty banner in order to save the United States Consitution.  LDS writer Michael J. Snider says this would fulfill a prophecy from Mormon church founder Joseph Smith.

The modern symbol is an almost exact replica of Moroni’s coat. . . .

. . . . By issuing his proclamation, Fuhriman [our town mayor] gave the city’s official seal of approval to a group specifically rooted in one religion.

This is more than one person giving a speech.  It’s an entire community’s endorsement of a symbol that unquestionably derives from one religion’s primary text.

Corey goes on in his post, “Separating religion and politics”, to encourage elected officials to “leave the official seal at home.”

I would disagree with Corey.  But to my LDS friends, I have completely different foundational premises on “God, Family, Faith, Peace and Freedom.”

10 comments

  1. I agree with Corey. A town shouldn’t be endorsing one religion’s scriptural text. I am sad to see Mormons in that part of Idaho dealing inconsiderately with their religion vis-a-vis people who do not share that religion and, furthermore, conflating the LDS religion with a particular political affiliation.

  2. It doesn’t seem to me that they are endorsing the religious text. Mayor Jared signed a proclamation that speaks of nothing other than America’s liberty to celebrate God, family, faith, peace, and freedom. Those are 5 unifying features of all religion and I dare say much of life in general.

    While the Title of Liberty’s origins may be rooted in Mormonism, there are many American traditions rooted in Christianity that both Christians and non-Christians can agree upon and celebrate.

    So rather than be a rabble rouser… why not celebrate and uplift what the flag, event, and proclamation stand for?

  3. Well, I just read the story and it finally clicked. “Oh, that’s what that flag is I see every where.” So to Tate I say this in response to:

    “While the Title of Liberty’s origins may be rooted in Mormonism, there are many American traditions rooted in Christianity that both Christians and non-Christians can agree upon and celebrate.”

    What traditions? Christmas? Easter? I do not see you guys celebrating Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Lent, etc. We don’t do the Stations Of The Cross in the streets!

    I never heard of this “Title Of Liberty” so don’t tell me we should all celebrate it.

    Growing up in this town as a Roman Catholic (I am agnostic now) has had its hardships. When I was a little girl I had friends mothers call my mom to say that I can’t come over any more because I am not in their “ward”. I cannot drive 1 mile without running into your churches. The 4th of July was changed to the 5th of July once because it fell on a Sunday and Frank Vandersloot wouldn’t fork out the money for fireworks if it were to be held on the day of worship. It’s everywhere… I cannot escape it… I cannot ignore it. So don’t go declaring a whole month to YOUR Title Of Liberty Flag, cause it’s not mine and I am sick of Mormonism being shoved in my face. You have your house, declare that land so I know where to avoid.

  4. Kate, in 2010, July 4 falls on Sabbath Sunday. It will probably be an interesting community response for both this particular massive, towering flag in the field of freedom a half mile from my house and the city fireworks.

    On July 4, 2010, I hope to invite the Mayor of Idaho Falls and Ammon to our morning worship service for the special music and message.

  5. Kate,

    Try again. I’m not mormon. Thanks for exemplifying another aspect of the town – stereotypes and assumptions. I speak in favor of something mormon-related, therefore I must be mormon. Yet had I said the opposite it would have been assumed that I am anti-mormon. When in reality I think it’s a shame that both communities can’t get along.

    And if you’re so ticked about the influence of that church in the town, nobody is holding a gun to your head to stay. I’ve left at every opportunity, and only gone back for the sake of family. So quit whining and do something about it.

  6. I am only back for family too. I have left, and once my mother is taken care of I will leave again. BUT, why should I have to leave?

    Tate, I wasn’t calling you a Morman. Take a breath and calm down. I was asking you a simple question wich you still haven’t answered…

    What traditions?

  7. I am truly sorry that your experiences with members of the Mormon Church have been negative. There are idiots in every church and every part of our society. We don’t have a corner on the market. My hope is that you won’t judge all Mormons because of one bad experience. As for the Title of Liberty, it is a symbol of belief in God, country, family and liberty. Any person that displays it is standing for these things. It is a call for good people everywhere to stand up for liberty and recognize that there is organized evil in the world that would take our liberties from us. It is not an official declaration of the LDS Church. Nor is meant to be exclusive or discriminatory. I am sorry that you have seen it as such. M. Cox

  8. Angry people will be angry, you don’t have to give them something to get upset about, neither should you avoid standing for something in an effort not to offend. In an era where we fight to protect perversion and sin by quoting the first amendment, I would have hoped we could promote some quality moral ideals without crying “separation!”

    The Founding FATHERS of this country knew very well that if we were going to enjoy our Republic then we would have to, “keep it.” (B. Franklin) In forming the founding documents they drew from Greek, Roman, Jewish, French, German, Atheist, and Christian scholars of law, religion, and philosophy. They were of different faiths and of different professions and agreed together on very few things. The common vein was that God provided them with liberty and it was only God who could preserve them.

    If you want to blame Mormons for trying to preserve God and Liberty then blame them. At least they will be getting blamed for something good. If you want to avoid them then do so. But, trying to make the argument that an idea should be avoided because it comes from a specific organization is stupid and immature. Let each and every action be judged by its own merits. If you disagree with God, Freedom, Family, Peace, and Faith then fight those ideas and prevent them from perpetuating in your own life and your own community. I have a feeling that if you do so you will become and outlaw and a villain. If you do agree with those five pillars then support them and leave your wounded pride at the door.

  9. Yes it happened to a religion group, but erase “religion” and if you say you are not for the quote? Then you deserve any thing and every thing that can happen!

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