America Faces or Freedom or Slavery

Prophet Statesmen, J. Reuben Clark Jr.

The plain and simple issue now facing us in America is freedom or slavery . . . . Our real enemies are communism and its running mate, socialism. . . .Nor forget that while enslavement to an individual may on occasion be eased by the human instincts of mercy and love, yet these feelings are unknown to a soulless state . . . .

Unfortunately, one thing seems sure, we shall not get out of our present difficulties without trouble, serious trouble. Indeed, it may well be that our government and its free institutions will not be preserved except at the price of life and blood That is the record of freedom’s contest with communism and socialism in other lands . . . .

The paths we are following, if we move forward thereon, will inevitably lead us to socialism or communism, and these two are as like as two peas in a pod in their ultimate effect upon our liberties . . . .

We may first observe that communism and socialism—which we shall hereafter group together and dub Statism—cannot live with Christianity, nor with any religion that postulates a Creator such as the Declaration of Independence recognizes. The slaves of Statism must know no power, no authority, no source of blessing, no God, but the State. The State must be supreme in everything . . . .

This country faces ahead enough trouble to bring us to our knees in humble, honest prayer to God for the help which he alone can give, to save us . . . .

And do not think that all these usurpations, intimidations, and impositions are being done to us through inadvertence or mistake; the whole course is deliberately planned and carried out; its purpose is to destroy the Constitution and our constitutional government; then to bring chaos, out of which the new Statism, with its slavery, is to arise, with a cruel, relentless, selfish, ambitious crew in the saddle, riding hard with whip and spur, a red-shrouded band of night riders for despotism . . . .

If we do not vigorously fight for our liberties, we shall go clear through to the end of the road and become another Russia, or worse . . . .

The story is told that in the late afternoon at the battle of Marengo, Desaix reached the field after a forced march. The desperate situation was explained to him. Napoleon asked him what he thought of it. His reply was: “This battle is completely lost; but it is only four o’clock; we have still time to gain one today.” Bonaparte ordered him to join in an advance on their right wing. The advance was made; the new battle was won. Desaix died that day, shot through the heart.

We have largely lost the conflict so far waged. But there is time to win the final victory, if we sense our danger, and fight. Let us too, advance on the right wing. God give us strength to preserve our liberties . . . .

False New Deal Philosophy

Recently a believer in the new deal, while repudiating communism and socialism, yet sought to justify our traveling along the road that inevitably leads thereto, the road we are now on, by invoking the thesis propounded by President Roosevelt, namely, that, in order to avoid trouble, we must travel along this road and yield principle after principle as their abandonment is demanded. This plan is the equivalent of giving an unarmed robber, who has declared his intention of looting you, first a bludgeon and then a gun and then inviting him into your home in order to avoid trouble. Better take your trouble to begin with before he has the gun, the bludgeon, and is in your home, than after he is fully armed and inside. There will be less bloodshed in the end. No more fallacious policy, fatal to freedom, was ever inaugurated than this.

Source: J. Reuben Clark Jr., LDS Church News, Sept. 25, 1949. J. Reuben Clark Jr. (1871–1961), served as a mem­ber of the First Pres­i­dency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1931–1961. Prior to his full-time church ser­vice he was assis­tant solic­i­tor to the State Depart­ment, worked in the Attor­ney General’s office, Under Sec­re­tary of State, the author of the clas­sic study, the “Clark Mem­o­ran­dum on the Mon­roe Doc­trine” and U.S. ambas­sador to Mex­ico. Among those who knew his work best, J. Reuben Clark was rec­og­nized as the fore­most con­sti­tu­tional scholar of the 20th Century.