Comments about ‘At BYU forum, Evangelical Mark DeMoss says Christians must be civil’

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Published: Tuesday, Jan. 24 2012 8:00 p.m. MST

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Salt Lake City, UT

I frequently cite 1 Cor. 10:29 which talks about not using our morals to justify infringing upon the rights of others. Paul's focus on the chapter was about not doing things, even those things we are otherwise allowed to do, if doing those things offends non-believers thus causing them to reject the Gospel. At every conference, every temple (re)opening, every pageant, etc...there are those picketing and causing LDS offense. Doing so makes them poor examples of the believers and poor witnesses for Christ.

There are those who come on these boards who likewise do the same calling us cultists. They try to justify it using the vague theological justification yet love using it in a sociological context. Doing so makes them poor examples of the believers and poor witnesses for Christ.

We LDS have our poor examples as well, but we are for the most part head and shoulders above those who oppose us. We may disagree with others, but we at least don't foam at the mouth.

Montana Mormon
Miles City, MT

What a breath of fresh air this article was!!! Thank you very much.

Buena Vista, VA

It is one thing to care for the poor and needy as King Benjamin teaches in the book of Mosiah - when that is done by individuals, churches, or other private groups, and another thing thing when the government tries to do it. I am not suggesting that the government should have no role at all; but we all know that whatever the government does is usually inefficient and wasteful, and sometimes even corrupt (look at the kickbacks, backroom deals, and waivers given to friends of Obama all resulting from Obamacare). Look at the "war on poverty" that has not ended poverty, but instead has made it desirable to have kids outside of marriage, leading to fatherless homes, leading to all sorts of problems. Most of the well-intentioned ideas that the government wants to do come with unintended consequences, and they backfire. There are too many examples of this to even start to list.

Layton, UT

Civil!? But this isn't a religious matter! It's political, and that's the antithesis of civil... All's fair in politics and war, right? And who cares that short term attacks yield years of scars, when you can win the rights to scare voters away from voting for the best candidates using their silly religious fears? Why... this idea of civil political people is absurd. Who ever heard of one in the political realm called a "Civil" servant? Err... um... Oh wait...

Yeah, I guess you got us there too. Civil would be nice.

Gilbert, AZ

Former Sen. Karen Hale pointed to her favorite term "liberal" in the Book of Mormon, "...and they were liberal to them all." Found in Alma 1:30, this chapter recounts that "because of the steadiness of the church" the people began to prosper and they began to take care of the poor. It was a voluntary, Church oriented expression of "liberal" treatment of the less fortunate. It was NOT a government imposed program.

Dallas, TX

DeMoss must be pulling his hair out over Florida. The most recent Quinnipiac poll in Florida shows evangelicals favor Newt over Mitt by 13 points (CNN). If you are voting your political conviction, great. If you are voting on religion, perhaps you should reconsider.

Gray, TN

the word "liberal" as used in the scriptures does not equate with a political group, but means "giving liberally" not holding back, giving freely without expectation of repayment in return.
Alma 1:30: "And thus, in their prosperous circumstances, they did not send away any who were naked, or that were hungry, or that were athirst, or that were sick, or that had not been nourished; and they did not set their hearts upon riches; therefore they were liberal to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, whether out of the church or in the church, having no respect to persons as to those who stood in need."
This kind of liberalism is humanitarian and charity based... not government based.

Burke, VA

"Those who follow Christ must always be civil, especially to each other..."

Stop right there. There should be no caveat "especially to each other.' There is nothing in the gospel of Jesus Christ that says we should be selective about our civil behavior. We should be civil to all of God's children. End of story.

RG said, "...whatever the government does is usually inefficient and wasteful..."

This statement seems a bit broad and general and is not based on fact. Certainly there are government programs that are inefficient and that do not meet the goals of the original legislation that put them in place. But to say "whatever the government does", in other words, everything the government does, is wasteful is not true.

- Think of the Agricultural Extension Program administered through land grant universities, that has produced the most productive farmers in the world
- Think of the efforts required to rebuild our military might after Pearl Harbor that led to the end of WWII within four years after we entered it
- Think of a Medicare system that operates with at least as much efficiency as prvate insurance
It is not "civil" to discount successes with hyberbolic generalizations.

Springville, UT

I find it interesting how the DesNews spun this. Compare this from the other paper: "Mark DeMoss has a message for his fellow evangelicals: You cant attack and demean Mormons or President Barack Obama and still consider yourself a follower of Jesus Christ. It is impossible to abide by Pauls admonition to regard others as more important than yourself, DeMoss said...." It reminds me of sitting in church over the years where when the President was a Republican, people would pray for him, but when the President is a Democrat, not a word. People speak Christian principles, but they are conditional and rarely lived, even in church or in the pages of a chruch-owned newspaper. Your writer was very selective in applying the words of DeMoss.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Is it civil to say everyone else is false?

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Jesus was a liberal when compared to the pharisees. That much is obvious. He changed the old, conservative ways of doing things and improved upon them. He said, in no uncertain terms, that those who hoard wealth, while others have nothing, aren't going to make it to heaven.
In as much as ye have done it to the least of these my breathren....

ute alumni
Tengoku, UT

civil? true? yes

Roosevelt, UT

Cudos to the Christian who came to BYU and told those listening how they should be behaving.

Not all have to agree but his principles are true and his words have cut to the core as there are some who seem to be interested in justifying their attitudes and or behavior.

There are even rules in war but in politics in this country those all go out the window. If your party does not get elected then you have the 007 license to kill with words any person who gets elected not from your party.


Excellent article. Be kind to Mormons and do not demonize Barack Obama.

Salt Lake City, UT

Novel idea: Christians must be..."christian". Whoa, this is groundbreaking stuff!

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

As a frequent recipient of incivility from religious zealots I would cheer the call for civility for Christians and others.

I am not anti-religious, but I am for keeping religion in its proper place, which I believe to be within a persons own mind, home, church and personal life. I believe it is uncivil when this is not the case.

Such cases of actions of, the redefining the meaning of words like marriage, the pretend ownership of holidays like Christmas, the feigned persecution when not allowed to break civil laws like placing advertising in the public square and even the misinterpretation of the meanings in the American Constitution.

If Christians and other religions wish to not be the object of uncivil actions, they need to not be uncivil to other people, other beliefs and other religions.

layton, UT

@LDS4: At every conference, every temple (re)opening, every pageant, etc...there are those picketing and causing LDS offense. Doing so makes them poor examples of the believers and poor witnesses for Christ.

(Jesus)Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits(Mt 7:15-16). Fruit can be doctrine and Christians have the right to be fruit inspectors. In John 7:24, Jesus said "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment"

(Christians) should earnestly CONTEND for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.(Jude 1:3).

Paul was sarcastic to the *Judaizers (Jewish Laws /customs) of his day, As for those *agitators I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves(Galatian 5:12 NIV).

Maricopa, AZ

@ULTRABOB, I'm sure that most anti religionist would agree that keeping religion in "it's proper place" would be ideal.
However, Christians as well as all religions have the same rights to speak out, express themselves and be a part of the political process as much as anyone and not be limited to "their proper place" just as those who are anti religion.
Being civil and allowing everyone the right to express their opinions is what our religeous God fearing founding fathers fought for;)

Salt Lake City, UT

@Ultra Bob,

As a Christian, I agree with most of your Church v. State views. However, when it comes to "crosses for fallen police officers on public lands", don't you think the "civil" thing to do is allow the fallen officer to pre-humously decide what symbol would be used to honor his/her service, if he/she were to be slain on duty?

I think public land is a PEFFECT place to honor a fallen officer, however and with whatever that officer would have chosen (ie a cross, a star of david, a nike sign, a question mark, a McDonalds sign, whatever!!!) After all, aren't we honoring the OFFICER and not the religion???? Isn't most civil to honor the wishes of the deceased?

Salt Lake City, UT

**'Gays greatest threat to America, Buttars says' - By Aaron Falk - DSnews - 02/19/09

**'Homosexuality Is a Sin: Rick Perry Tells Bisexual Teen Why He Opposes Gays in the Military' - By Buck Sexton - The Blaze - 12/19/2011

'..I dont agree that openly gays should serve in the militaryDont ask dont tell was working I hate the sin but i love the sinner.


We DO need to be more civil to each other.

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