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Comments about ‘Mormonism: The last acceptable prejudice?’

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Published: Thursday, Sept. 20 2012 12:01 p.m. MDT

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Pa. Reader
Harrisburg, PA

This is a silly article.
I recall my fellow-Mormons raving over the Da Vinci Code books & films, which contain material that is highly offensive and can only be characterized as anti-Catholic.
Also, framing the "last acceptable prejudice" question in political terms is simple posturing to score ideological points. Mormonism's detractors are found in both major political parties, in the ranks of the very religious and among atheists.
The implication that all other prejudices are now unacceptable across the board is laughable and does a disservice to our brothers and sisters of other faith groups, ethnicities and nationalities who are often subjected to the same types of mischaracterizations and misrepresentations we Mormons battle.
As a good Seventh Day Adventist friend said to me many years ago when I thanked him for befriending our missionaries, "We cults have to stick together!"

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

Nah truth.... there is a lot of very thin skinned people claiming victim status here. All this persecution going on in the heart of Utah... who would have imagined. Out here in the Bible Belt, I almost never see it..... in fact I can't remember the last time I heard anything "anti". And yes, all our friends know are Mormons simply because my oldest has disappeared for two years.

If you all are so victimized, I would love to see how someone has hurt you - personally.

The idea that Mormons are picked upon more than Muslims is pretty much laughable.

Tekakaromatagi
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

@Esquire: "When the LDS culture comes to their defense instead of hiding out when religions are attacked, standing up for a principle that applies to all faiths, showing courage, then come back to us."

I defend evangelicals, Catholics, Moslems all the time on this forum. The Deseret News editorial staff and the LDS church is regularly taking positions to support religious liberty and telling their members to stand up for the freedom of conscience. We had a discussion here a week ago about the requirements of the health care mandate and how they are a government restriction on freedom of conscience, so, we are coming back to you.

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

Mormonism has all the elements people love to hate these days:
Wealthy members (if they only knew how rare that is)
Conservative political views
Traditional family values
A presidential candidate
Strong faith

But we were warned that as the world turns more evil, we will look more peculiar.

A1994
Centerville, UT

There is disdain for Mormonism from both sides of the political spectrum. The difference is that the disdain on the right is rooted in ignorance. The disdain from the left is rooted in intolerance. When Mitt Romney was part of a field of 8 or 9 GOP candidates, so many of the same people posting here said he'd never win the nomination because the GOP is too intolerant. Well, he is the candidate and the base is extremely fired up about electing him. The hate is really coming from the left. (See Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC.) I know how hard it has been for the evangelicals to accept a Mormon candidate, but they did it. I don't think the left would ever dream of nominating a Mormon for President.

JWB
Kaysville, UT

I believe the better name for the article should have been the last acceptable religious prejudice. Joseph Smith wasn't the first martyr for religion and he is not the last as many people around the world have been killed because of prejudice against their religion and ethnic religious background.

If you are not to speak about religion and politics to keep family peace and neighborhood peace, then this year it has been some politics that is religious based, not too different than when John F. Kennedy ran for President in 1960. The town I lived in was a Christian Cooperative and Mormons are still not considered Christian in many of those people's eyes. That is a town of under 10,000. Our chapel wasn't even finished when someone came in and poured gas around the inside of the building and then lit it on fire. There was no real investigation into the fire and arson even though a member of the ward had seen a vehicle outside the chapel but didn't see anyone before she left after practicing on the organ for Sunday services.

We haven't seen tar and feathers used much lately, good thing.

JWB
Kaysville, UT

The disdain doesn't even have to be political but in this and last year's runup to the campaigns, it definitely was discussed more than in the past 50 years. In the 2008 and this years campaigns, it has been discussed more with Mitt Romney's Republican and Democratic circles. Why?

Bias and prejudice is still out there. It is controlled by law in the workplace and in schools, which is also a workplace. However, tradition has kept it going in the LDS community from people who don't want to know the truth.

If you want to know what members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe, read the Bible and Book of Mormon. There are truths in both those books that would inform people that the Church is a Christian Church. If it is of Christ, then it would have his name in the name of the Church. If it is a Christian Church, it would believe in the Bible, as some who are not Christian, also believe in parts of the Bible. However, the Book of Mormon is another testament of Christ. One would have to read it to know the truth.

Mad Hatter
Provo, UT

No, there are a number of other religious organizations which are subjected to prejudical commentary deemed acceptable including Scientologists, Wiccans, and other religious minorities. Mormons just happen to be the flavor-of-the-day because of Mitt Romney. It all depends upon the group doing the discriminating. We've already seen the fundamentalist evangelicals do their thing to advance religious intolerance. If Romney fails in this election, the Mormon Church will pass back into being an afterthought in most people's minds except for those conservative religious zealots who have historically found the religious to be suspicious.

As for prejudicial acceptability, any religious bigotry has always been unacceptible to some and unacceptible to others. However, when politics gets involved, the so-called "unacceptibility factor" increases among the less enlightened. Even anti-Islam fever finds strong support by many in this country as evidenced by Sharia Law inflammatory speech and the likes of people like Terry Jones, the Florida pastor. So far, there have been no attempts to burn the Book of Mormon. Perhaps there is not the level of acceptance as there is for anti-Islamic or anti-Semitic behavior that pulses through the nation periodically.

Shelama
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

We should wear it with honor as befitting those who hold and declare the truth. Jesus knew us and saw us. Seen in us, once again, is the fulfillment of prophecy. It is the price we pay and we should be proud...

"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake."

Rynn
Las Vegas, NV

Re: Noodlekaboodle

True. I think it goes both ways. A family friend has a child whose father wanted the child to come live with him in another state (outside of Utah). The child, who is 10, was interested in the idea of living with his father but then said: "I don't think I could live in (said state) though. Because there aren't enough Mormons there."
The child's mother has been quoted in the past as saying "There are no good people outside of Utah." so it's probably her influence.
Not to say that all Mormons think this way, because they don't. But it's hard to feel sorry for someone that has a superiority complex.

Dennis
Harwich, MA

@ Jared....you're right. Most Mormons don't have a clue what they believe. Because the populace of the Church hears things they want to hear they take the liberty to decide what doctrine really is. Case in point, read this weeks story on Jesus had a wife here in the Deseret News. The doctrinal issues expounded put me on the floor.
The one thing the Church lacks is the ability to accept criticism. Nobody is telling you how to live your lives, just wondering why. When 17 different answers come from one simple question it's not hard to see where a bit of criticism might be returned. Just saying....

utahboni
Ogden, UT

Try living as a Pagan in Utah for a couple of months and then get back with me. We'll do lunch.

Southernmiss
HATTIESBURG, MS

Well, I just moved here, to "Happy Valley" this week! I have never seen so many UNHAPPY, UNfriendly people in the course of a day in my life! I am a mormon, and active, but when I tell people..clerks in stores, restaurants, etc., that we have moved here from the south they automatically assume we are not LDS, and they are less than friendly. Now, I can handle this..no problem! I am use to living in an area where I, and my family are by far the minority. We are use to living in the mission field. But what does this say about the members here?!

In the south, at least where I am from, we speak to the people who are in line at the store by us! We smile at people as we walk by them. The store clerks are friendly..for the most part. We wave as we pass another car on the street. We wave as we pass people who are walking down the street! I have been here for 4 days and not one person has waved back, spoken back when I have said hello, or even acknowledged that I am breathing.

Claudio
Springville, Ut

A1994,

All the hate is coming from the left, who would never nominate a Mormon for president? That must be why they chose Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader, nominated a couple to serve in the cabinet and sub-cabinet, and sent quite a few off as ambassadors.

Of course, the common theme is that the Democrats didn't see the need to shout to the four corners that these people were Mormons...because they saw them as humans, not a religion. That sounds more like tolerance to me than the "hold your nose and blindly vote R" definition.

sharrona
layton, UT

RE:Jared", Most Mormons do not understand their own beliefs and teachings; those who do put their head in the sand to stay apart. True, Mormons should be informed about their prophets prejudice:

Can you make a Christian of a Jew? I tell you Nay, If a Jew comes into this church ,and the blood honestly professes to be a Saint, a follower of Christ, and if the blood of Judah is in his veins, he will apostatize.(JoD V. 2 p. 142)Brigham Young.

I never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call it Scripture, Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon and it is a good as Scripture as they deserve deserve.(JoD v 13 p. 95 also see v. 13. P 264) Brigham Young

Social Mod Fiscal Con
West Jordan, UT

@SelectionCount
The article makes no assersion that other religions or groups aren't still discriminated against. Just that with every other group and religion, it is not acceptable to do so (society at minimum will frown on it, and in some cases raging hysteria will ensue). On the other hand, it seems that society has no problems with prejudicial words or actions towards mormons.

ClarkHippo
Tooele, UT

@Dennis 5:57

You said - "The one thing the Church lacks is the ability to accept criticism."

With all due respect, you've got to be kidding me.

Ever since 1830, the LDS Church has been getting criticized from all sides. We've weathered attacks from the left and from the right, from Christian and atheist alike. Every General Conference, building dedication and Manti or Hill Cumorah pageant, the presence of those eager to attack the LDS Church through pamphlets, street signs and other means has become practically routine.

In fact, if LDS people were to attend one of these events and no protestors showed up, we would wonder what was wrong.

You seem to indicate the LDS Church is the only group of people who get their knickers in a twist when they hear something they don't like from a critic. Care for a rebuttal?

The upcoming film "The Master" has been roundly attacked by the Church of Scientology, even though the film never mentions Scientology or L. Ron Hubbard. And that's only one example of how some in Scientology angrily deals with their critics or those who may misinterpret them.

UtahDemocrat
Salt Lake City, UT

I find it so funny that while these BYU philosophers take issue with the label of post-Christian, they only do so by taking out of context. Professor Critchley stated "Mormonism is properly and powerfully post-Christian, as Islam is post-Christian. Where Islam, which also has a prophet, claims the transcendence of God, Mormonism makes God radically immanent. Where Islam unifies all creatures under one mighty God to whom we must submit, Mormonism pluralizes divinity, making it an immanent, corporeal matter and making God a more fragile, hemmed-in and finite being. And obviously, both Islam and Mormonism have a complex relation to the practice of plural marriage.

Yet unlike Islam, for whom Muhammad is the last prophet, Mormonism allows for continuing revelation."

I acknowledge a general antipathy toward Mormonism; some warranted, much of it not. But in the Mormon spirit of seeking out the truth, I'd encourage Latter Day readers to read the source article before opining too much on their victim status. When Romney spoke of the 47%, did he mean you?

Central Texan
Buda, TX

But even Critchley gets it very wrong in many places in his article. The big error on women and the Church is mentioned in this article, but Critchley also wants everyone to believe that Mormons have a hidden agenda to bring back polygamy as soon as we get the political power to do so. The whole thrust of the article is really to make people think Mormons are strange. He even brings up Mitt Romney and a possible foreign policy brouhaha with Israel because of the Tenth Article of Faith where it talks about a new Jerusalem! I don't see why knowledgable Mormons are finding any reason to cite the Critchley article at all.

JohnH
Cedar City, UT

Mormonism is NOT the last acceptable prejudice. It's also quite acceptable to be prejudiced against whites, Christians, straight males, and wealthy people.

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