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Thunder from the RightEzra Taft Benson in Mormonism and Politics$
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Matthew L. Harris

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042256

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042256.001.0001

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Breaching the Wall

Breaching the Wall

Ezra Taft Benson on Church and State

(p.1) Introduction Breaching the Wall
Thunder from the Right
Matthew L. Harris
University of Illinois Press

Ezra Taft Benson’s fierce political views were often indistinguishable from his religious ones. During his five decades as an LDS general authority, including forty-two years in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1943-1985) and nine years as LDS church president (1985-1994), he promoted a conservative constitutionalism that breached the wall between church and state. This introduction explores Benson’s conservativism, particularly his views on church and state, and most prominently his indefatigable efforts to align the Mormon Church with his right-wing views. He envisioned a world of free markets, limited government, personal choice, and liberty under law. At the same time, he condemned labor unions, liberalism, and government welfare programs, notably federal aid to education, Medicaid and Medicare, and Social Security

Keywords:   church and state, David O. McKay, Hugh B. Brown, Spencer W. Kimball, Gordon B. Hinckley, Socialism, Communism, Liberalism, John Birch Society, Constitution, patriotism

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