Monday, February 19, 2007
Beating Up on the Mormons
Today, Meridian magazine (an online site for Mormons) includes a fascinating article: "Beating Up on the Mormons." In light of the brewing controversy of a Mormon running for President, Davis Bitton provides a history lesson from 1919. Much can be learned by reading Latter-day Saints' own perceptions of their history as a persecuted people. Here is his conclusion:

Jumping from 1919 to 2007, with a Mormon candidate for the Republican presidential nomination thrusting the subject into the national consciousness, we again find strong animosity. The haters are still out there. For an entire generation and more they have peddled their books and pamphlets, showed trumped up documentaries, and disturbed the peace at Church meetings, temple dedications, and even weddings.

Will other voices also be heard? “Leave them alone.” “My sister is LDS, and I don't like anyone to put her down.” “Their religion is not for me, but they have their right to it.” “Those who show contempt for Mormonism are the same people who have no use for Christians in general. Why should I join forces with them?” “I didn't care where John F. Kennedy went to church, and I don't care where Romney goes to church. What matters is his position on the issues and how he would govern.” Will such statements be heard?

Will any who work alongside Mormons state that they are honorable and hard-working? Will any who have performed community service in company with Mormon participants in the same cause come to their defense? Will any recipients of Mormon kindness and humanitarian aid speak out? Will the better angels of our nature speak up or remain silent?

We can hope. Pittsburgh in 1919 was not America's proudest moment. It would be sad to see the dark spirit of bias and bigotry again pollute the atmosphere.

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posted at 11:00 AM  
Comments (2)


2 Comments:
At 8:13 PM, Blogger Arthur Sido said...

Interesting. I remember well my own feelings of outrage that anyone would question my credentials as a Christian when we were still mormons. After all we had the name of Jesus Christ right in the title of our church! Why do Christians get so uptight about mormons? All we want to do is spread our truth (and declare their churches as an abomination in the eyes of the Lord…)

I am doing a regional conference this Saturday on witnessing to mormons, and that is always one of the first things I bring up: the culture of victimhood and persecution that runs deeply in mormonism. It is a hallmark of a cult that there is an us-versus-them mentality. It may be the most clever defense mechanism the mormons and other cults ever devised, that any questioning of your beliefs causes a wall to spring up. I remember after we were saved out of mormonism, we had the missionaries come over. They knew we were apostates, so they grabbed an extra elder to come with them. About an hour into their visit, looking at my recently tabbed Book of Mormon, a bunch of older mormon books I had accumulated and having backed them into a few corners, you could see the wall go up and they backed into the “well I have a testimony” and then they left. They never came back.

John, I am curious to hear your thoughts on the evangelical response if Romney is the GOP nominee and is running against Hillary or Obama. I may or may not vote for him if it comes down to him versus Hillary, but people need to understand that polytheistic mormons have less in common with orthodox Christianity than monotheistic muslims. There are a lot of people who wouldn’t vote for a muslim or atheist on principle, but wouldn’t bat an eye at supporting a mormon.

 
At 2:49 PM, Blogger John said...

Arthur,

Thank you for writing! I believe that Mitt Romney's presidential run is a tremendous opportunity for evangelicals to contrast Mormonism with historic Christianity. I pray that evangelicals will wisely and lovingly proclaim and show the good news to Latter-day Saints and all who need to hear the gospel.

 

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