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June 12, 1980 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1980-06-12

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Page 4-Thursday, June 12, 1980-The Michigan Daily




Draft registration
program unfair
A LL LAWS ARE discriminatory in that they
distinguish between individuals by treating
some differently than others. A welfare law, for
example, treats those whose incomes are below a
certain level much differently than it treats those
whose incomes are above that level.
A fair law is one that discriminates between in-
dividuals in accordance with the law's purpose.
The goal of a welfare law is to aid those who do not
have as much to live on as others. The law properly
makes its distinctions between individuals on the
basis of income.
The draft registration program currently before
the Senate would not be a just law. The distinctions o rm
it makes between individulas are not compatible
with the program's ultimate goal.
The objective of the registration program is to
have a pool of names ready and available should a facex ne
military draft ever become a necessity. The goal of
a draft is to select a group of able-bodied The Mormon Church of
the military. Brigham Young, this year
Americans to serve inthmitay celebrating 150 years of growth
Instead of registering those who would best serve and prosperity, is d oth
in the military, the law will require only 19 and 20 brink of a challenge as great as
year-old males to register. To'assume that males any it has faced in its celebrated
would be better members of the armed forces than history. The church, which prides
females, and to assume that those who are 19 and 20 ofitself on the conservative outlook
fa t e w of its members, its tight hierar-
are preferable to any other age is ridiculous. It is chical organization, and un-
also a very unjust way to choose who may have to critical acceptance of the
fight in our next war. divinely inspired words of its
The registration program most likely to be patriarchs, is under attack from
signed into law relies on a basic fallacy about the withinand without.
sexes. By excluding women from draft peolndaepaticulary in Ugt
registration, Congress is saying that males, where 72 per cent of the
because of some sort of superior attributes, are population is Mormon, has recen-
preferred over females for military service. Our tly fallen off. And, numerous
representatives are reinforcing a very harmful women are either leaving the
sterotype when their legislation implies that the Equal Rights Amendment to
women should be kept under the protection of men. oppose the church's well-
Peace-time registration is both unnecessary and organized fight against the ERA.
costly, but if Congress wants a registration E
program it should insist upon a fair one. The only EVEN WITHIN the hierarchy
itself there are signs of discontent
truly just way to register for the draft is to consider over the church's future direc-
every citizen above the age of majority as a poten- tion. "Below us lie the deserts of
tial member of the armed services. Then if there sin and the forests of evil; below
should be a need for the draft, the military could us stretch the swamps of car-
chose its members on proper bases such as nality and the plains of passion,"
intoned Elder Bruce McConkie.
strength, health, and aptitude instead of unfair Foremost among those doing the
distinctions such as sex and age. work of the devil, according to
A fair registration program would have an added church General Authorities, is
advantage. If everyone-male, female, young and Sonia Johnson, the Virginia
old-was required to register for the draft, the housewife who has been excom-
municated for leading Mormons
country might not be so quick to jump on the World for the ERA. The Mormons con-
War III bandwagon. sider support for the ERA and
other feminist ideas as an attack
on the very basis of their church.
The church's official position
Letters and columns represent the opinions on political activities is they only
of the individual author(s) and do not involve themselves in moral
issues like the ERA. This position
necessarily reflect the attitudes or beliefs protects their nonprofit status
of the Daily...........and their nonprofit status in turn
keeps all information about their

)fl Church must
,w challenges



By Peter Wiley
and Bob Gottlieb
business activities out of the
public record. The ERA fight,
however, has highlighted the
widespread political influence of
the church can exert-not only in
the West, but as far away as
Florida-and not only in matters
that are strictly "moral."
Church spokesmen or mem-
bers have been active in lobbying
for federal water projects for
Utah, anti-union right to work'
laws, and exemption for church
programs and properties from
legislation such as reform of the
controversial 160-acre farm
limitation bill and the Indian
Child Welfare Act. The church's
concerns in Washington are well
voiced because Utah's entire
Congressional delegation is
BUT PERHAPS the most
significant area of controversy
within the church today is the
changing nature of the church
leadership. Among the next
generations of leaders are suc-
cessful businessmen and ad-
ministrators like Gordon Hin-
ckley, Neal Maxwell, and James
The ascendency of modern
corporate managers to the
highest levels of the hierarchy of
the church has sparked a major
debate, which focuses primarily
on the question of the next
prophet. President Spencer Kim-
ball, at 85, has survived almost
three decades of health problems
which include throat cancer and
open heart curgery. Tradition
dictates the president of the

Quorum of Twelve Apostles, Ezra
Taft Benson, Eisenhower's
Secretary of Agriculture, will
become the new prophet. But
Benson is a controversial figure
who reflects the hard core, small
town, family-oriented conser-
vatism of the church-a position
that could clash with the cor-
porate modernity of the younger
generation of leaders. In ad-
dition, Benson has long been ac-
tive in right-wing politics as a
supporter of George Wallace's
American Independent Party and
the John Birch Society.
Benson recently raised a stir
in a speech when he spoke of how
the word of the living prophet will
supplant those of dead prophets.
The next week, thechurch quitely
put out a statement reiterating
that it would not get involved in
secular politics.
MANY REGARD this as a
rebuke of Benson's eagerness to
get the church more involved in
politics. One liberal Mormon said
he suspected that at least some of
the hierarchy "were preying that
the Lord will take Brother Ben-
son beforehe takes Kimball."
If Benson, who is very active
and forceful at 80, takes the chur-
ch into a more active role in right
wing politics, many expect the
church to lose a significant num-
ber of members. And the efforts
of the modern corporate leaders
to more the church toward the
mainstream will be undermined.
Peter Wiley and Bob Gottlieb
are writing a book on Western
energy and politics. They
wrote this article for Pacific
News Service.



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