Patrick Mason on Radio West: “Bundy-Style Mormonism”
with Doug Fabrizio
Radio West, January 14, 2016
In early January 2016, an armed militia entered and took over a wildlife refuge in Burns, Oregon in protest to what they perceived to be the unfair persecution of ranchers by the federal government. Many of the leaders and members of the group, including Ammon and Ryan Bundy, were practicing members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. Many of the militia members who have spoken to the press expressed Mormon ideas, quoting the Book of Mormon and expressing belief in personal revelation. Patrick Mason (Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University) appeared on NPR to discuss the occupation. Mason noted that style of Mormonism presented by members of the militia is a radical strain as the mainstream church seeks to be “subjects of kings and presidents and honor and obey and sustain the law. That’s been the ethos of modern Mormonism.” Indeed, the Mormon members in the occupation draw on “certain resources in the religion,” while ignoring others, in order to justify actions.
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