Sen. Hatch says the Constitution is hanging by a thread

Sen. Hatch’s comments will be familiar to most Mormons who have heard that the “Elders of the Church” will step in to save the Constitution when it is “hanging by a thread.”

Here is what Sen. Hatch (a Church member) had to say to Glenn Beck (another Church member) today:

SENATOR HATCH: Well, let me tell you something. I believe the Constitution is hanging by a thread. I’ve been fighting the save it for all 32 years I’ve been in the Senate and I think anybody who looks at it knows I’ve been in almost every fight that’s been saving the Constitution.

I would encourage anybody who is going to comment on this thread to read the entire interview to get a fair view of what Sen. Hatch is referring to. In addition, I would really discourage rants against what an idiot Sen. Hatch is, etc. His position is pretty common among Church members. If you would like to dispute it, please do so reasonably and calmly.

Regarding the statement that church elders will step in to save the Constitution, I think the historical accuracy of Joseph Smith making such a prophecy is in doubt. Please see this link from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

44 thoughts on “Sen. Hatch says the Constitution is hanging by a thread

  1. One quick additional note: M* has really tried to foster an environment free of contention today. I think I can speak for all of the permabloggers here that we will respect the results and will give support to the new president and pray for him to make good decisions, regardless of who he is. I am linking these comments from Sen. Hatch not because I agree with them but instead because I believe them to be newsworthy.

  2. It’s difficult to be a Latter-day Saint who agrees with Sen. Hatch that the Constitution is hanging by the thread, and, at the same time, a Latter-day Saint who believes that it is Sen. Hatch’s positions and votes that are the cause of said hanging.

    I certainly don’t think he is an idiot. I simply disagree with him in a number of important areas.

  3. Some people in the Mormon mecca of Provo still think the constitution is hanging by a chain, not a thread.

    Last night on my way home from work, I saw some protestors on a corner with a sign that said something like, “Bind Obama in the chains of the constitution.”

  4. I remember when Bush won his second term, lots of my colleagues were all doom and gloom because Bush was going to destroy the country, etc. Hatch and Beck sound the same; i.e., over-reacting.

    (I say this as one who would probably oppose the card check.)

  5. Chris, just a clarification: are you claiming that the good people of Provo were saying Obama should be enslaved? I’m not sure what the point of your comment is.

    BrianJ, I agree — I oppose Obama and voted against him but gloom and doom is definitely not the right reaction, imho.

  6. With regard to binding Obama with the chains of the Constitution, I guess the fun stuff like signing statements (“I, the President, reserve the right to ignore this law whenever I feel like it”) and refusal to respond to information requests and subpoenas for staff members is only for Republican Presidents.

    Can we agree to bind all of our future Presidents with the chains of the Constitution? Please?

  7. I realize you and I see things differently Geoff, but to me the Constitution has been hanging by a thread for the last 8 years. In particular, I believe the system of checks and balances were broken during 6 of the 8 years, when Congress, in my view, offered essentially no oversight of decisions of the President, and the President did not veto a single spending bill (or any other bill).

    I remember 1976 in Provo as a BYU student, having voted for Ford, and learning that Carter had won. My feelings then, and I think the feelings of many BYU students and other Latter-day Saints, were well represented in a local editorial cartoon (or maybe it was in the Daily Universe) showing a family loading up their car to move to Jackson County–in light of the victory of that rabid left winger Jimmy Carter, the end of the world must be near.

    My sense is that the vast majority of members of the Church share your and Hatch’s feelings that Obama is a “socialist” or worse.

    In retrospect, while I do not think Carter was an effective president (and I voted for Reagan in 1980), I do not believe he was in any sense the rabid left winger I thought he was in 1976. And, for what it is worth, I think that Carter, as a human being, is one of the most Christian individuals (in the good sense of the word) who has ever served as president.

    I may be wrong, but I believe that Obama too is a wonderful Christian in the finest sense of the word, that he is a good listener, that he has a marvelous temperament, and that he has good judgment.

    Please note that I am not anti-McCain–I think he would be a fine president (although I am skeptical about Palin). I just think that Obama would be a better president. And, I think I largely again with James Fallows’ short piece why he thinks an Obama vote is appropriate.

  8. What is up with posting something this controversial and then saying that you are avoiding contention?

    Sen. Hatch was a childhood hero of mine, though I do not agree with him much anymore. I think we can be sure this is not prophesy.

    Of course, even if this is true, I do not agree with Hatch’s interpretation of what the Constitution means.

    Thanks for point out this story.

  9. I don’t agree the Consitution is hanging by a thread, and I don’t agree that Hatch has been in every fight to save it.

  10. Imagine if Romney was the Republican candidate for President, this would have been a fun conversation for all the media to focus on throughout election day.

    Senator Hatch should be more careful in his choice of words. He could have said this in alot of other ways that wouldn’t have the potential to raise as much controversy. Was he trying to use a Mormon “dog whistle” to convince all Mormons to vote Republican? Most of us are anyway.

  11. Chris H, you can choose not to believe me if you want, but my primary purpose of posting this was simply that I had not seen it anywhere else in the Bloggernacle and I thought it would be interesting to readers. Many moons ago I was a journalist and I still see things as “newsworthy” sometimes and just like to post the news.

    You will note that there have been no comments yet saying, “heck yeah, Hatch is right — that commie Obama is going to ruin the constitution, etc, etc.” That is not my position either, by the way. So, please take this post in the spirit it was intended — as news first. The anti-Obama rants will come in the months ahead — stay tuned!

  12. DavidH — I agree with you! If only Pres. Bush had vetoed some of those spending bills we would have been in a very different position today, in my opinion, both on the state of the economy and in terms of the disgust in general with Republicans who don’t act like Republicans.

    I agree with many other statements in your comment, although I disagree with others. Peace, brother.

    BTW — I posted a link to the recent Rasmussen poll on Palin and McCain just for you in the “worth reading” section. Palin is more popular than McCain among Republicans — so much for the argument that she is weighing him down. 🙂

  13. Geoff B,

    I love ya. Just giving you a hard time. Sorry if I have been rude in the past. Apparently I can be a jerk. You are one of my favorite conservatives on the bloggernacle because of your polite and friendly demeanor.

  14. Mormon “dog whistle”

    As opposed to the Mormon “Queen of Diamonds”, which isn’t allowed because playing cards are evil.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to my game of Windows Solitaire.

  15. David Sundwall at A Soft Answer is also one of my favorites, but that is because he home taught my family when he was a teenager and I was a youngster. Okay, it is a small list.

  16. Note Life on Gold Plates has a story on this as well with lots of links to the problem of the White Horse Prophecy.

    As with Ardis I won’t rant about Hatch nor his apparent fixation with this issue and his purported destiny relative to it. (I had a roommate who interned in Hatch’s office and it’s hard to take Hatch seriously now)

    I will say it quite unfortunate that the Contract with America back around ’94 didn’t really come to pass and we never got term limits. (Which I think are long overdue)

  17. I will say that if you are going to quote controversial purported visions the one Wilford Woodruff found in the temple (sometimes ascribed to John Taylor) is far more interesting.

  18. Although I completely disagree with Sen. Hatch and his comments, in all fairness, Glenn Beck fed him the term. He took it and ran with it, but he didn’t initially bring it up.

  19. I like Glenn Beck. I have no great quibble with Orrin Hatch.

    But I would respectfully suggest that neither of them (or any of us, for that matter) have the faintest notion of a country with a truly endangered constitution looks like.

  20. I think the historical nature of the prophecy immediately calls into question Senator Hatch’s and Mr. Beck’s interpretation, and feel it is unfortunate to see these two use the phrase in terms of an impending Obama presidency, and the other implications of this election.

  21. Thanks for posting this, Geoff. I find it interesting that the WHP continues to hold such currency among members of the church, and find it especially fascinating that Latter-day Saints continue to refer to it in public statements, interviews, speeches, etc.

    Clark, what vision did WW find in the temple?

  22. If it is hanging by a thread, fortunately there is a priesthood holder in a position of authority. Harry Reid.

  23. Here’s the purported vision. It’s sometimes attributed to Woodruff but while he recorded it in his journal it wasn’t his. Some attribute it to John Taylor but there are a few reasons to think that’s not correct. It is, however, quite interesting. I’m not sure I’d trust it as a guide for the last days but I kind of dug it on my mission.

  24. As Jim says most using the term don’t have a clue what it means. That includes those on the left criticizing some of the monitoring by George Bush which was frankly pretty minor by the standards of FDR or Lincoln. It also includes those on the right who seem to hold the ridiculous notion that Obama is some far left wacko who makes French liberals seem like Rush Limbaugh. I truly wish people could disagree with each other on ideological grounds without getting into such outrageous hyperbole. The only thing worse are those who can’t even recognize it as hyperbole.

  25. Sen. Hatch has always had a Messiah complex and nowhere is it more in evidence than in this stupid comment. Isn’t it about time Utah elected a more mature adult to the senate?

  26. Sen Hatch a Messiah complex?

    Surely you jest!

    I heard reports of a speech he gave (when he was chairman of the Judiciary Committee) in which he said that he was the most important man in America, since he was the gatekeeper on judicial appointments.

    Give that man some more gas, so he can pump up his ego a little. He’s got a serious self-esteem problem.

  27. Isn’t Hatch the man that suggested that Clinton nominate Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court.

    Hatch is the second lamest Mormon in Washington. He is second only to Harry the R

  28. Did that apply only to yesterday morning, Geoff, or is this a lifetime ban on telling the truth about Orrin on this blog?

  29. I was banned from one LDS web site for criticizing Orrin the H. Republicans like Hatch need to be retired.

  30. Oh yes and one of his fights to save the constitution was some sort of flag burning amendment. Yeah right….

  31. Nothing seems to be easier than seeing someone whom you can help but not helping.
    I suggest we start giving it a try. Give love to the ones that need it.
    God will appreciate it.

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