The Catholic church takes a ton of crap from all sorts of media.
Can you imagine if the movie “The Exorcist” had been about a Mormon bishop instead of a Catholic priest? What about that Sean Connery movie “Name of the Rose?” Not to mention “The Da Vinci Code.” The list goes on.
The Mormons have “The Godmakers” but it doesn’t even come close to the volume of negativity Catholicism gets.]]>
If Mitt Romney doesn’t get the Republican nomination I don’t think it will be because of anti-Mormon sentiment. It will be because of his own blunders and his tendency to switch his position on issues depending on the audience he’s speaking too. It seems to me that some of his recent record has done as much to damage the reputation of Mormons as any anti-Mormon sentiment expressed by ignorant bloggers.]]>
But I rant.]]>
Who says ‘we’ don’t talk about those things? After the sex abuse scandal, Maureen Dowd compared the priesthood of the Catholic church to the Taliban. Mentioning the Inquisition when criticizing religion (especially Catholicism) has got to be almost as hackneyed as comparing very bad people to Hitler. If blogs are your standard, then there are plenty of anti-Catholic sites out there to pick from. Indeed, some Catholics think *they* are singled out for abuse (most believers are a lot more familiar with criticisms of their own religion than they are of criticisms of other religions, so they think the former are more prevalent). But rude, ignorant comments about just about everyone and everything are easily found on the internet. So I think that we are treated surprisingly well for a movement that claims between 1 and 2% of the U.S. population, and I also don’t think that the kind of hyper-sensitive religious discourse which sees discussions of polygamy, racism, etc. as taboo is healthy in a democracy.]]>
I think I could have written your first four paragraphs because I completely agree with them. But I certainly am not trying to run away from “the reality of our church’s past,” rather I think a peepstone in a hat has virtually nothing to do with what it means to be a member of the Church. What I’m saying is that many/most members don’t know about the peepstone, yet somehow they still live the Mormon lifestyle, still try to follow the commandments and most importantly they still believe in the Atonement. If someone were to ask you “in fifty words or less describe the Mormon religion” I’m doubting “peepstone” would find it’s way in that description, and I imagine the reason is because it’s not who we are, it has little/nothing to do with our beliefs and has no bearing on how we make our decisions that determine our lives.
Exactly, that’s my exact point.
We can’t have it both ways. We have to accept that our Church has some pretty radical doctrines.
I don’t think that I knew that Joseph Smith was a polygamist when I went on my mission. Later I learned that not only was he a polygamist, but some of his wives were teens and some were married to other men. It’s a little shocking. But it’s true.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s the magic peep stone in the hat B of M translating, the Book of Abraham papyri, the Kinderhook plates, the non-existence of the Word of Wisdom until the 20th century, blacks and the priesthood, and now Lamanite DNA.
So what do we do? We need to embrace these things, not run away from them. I still believe in this Church; my testimony is just more nuanced than it was when I was in high school and saw things (quite arrogantly, I suppose) in black and white. But I’d say it’s just as strong.
You seem to want to run away from the reality of our Church’s past, as if you want to deny that anything radical was ever institued by Joseph Smith. Bizarre things happened and they are noteworthy. I’m not really bothered that they happened; indeed I find them interesting. And it’s possible to embrace them and still be a believing Latter-day Saint. The odd things don’t bother me so much as the cover-up by the Church that they ever happened. Like I said, when I was a missionary I don’t think I knew that Joseph Smith was ever a polygamist. I probably just thought that Brigham Young was.
I actually think it’s wonderful that the Internet is uncovering all of this uncomfortable information. If we are indeed the true Church, we shouldn’t be afraid of anything, not even the warts.
And I think you’re wrong about the media. It has been respectful about the Church as it has covered Mitt Romney.]]>
(In addition to any consideration of ever joining the church. How many converts would have joined if they had been told the details of the temple in the first discussion? What will missionary work be like in a post-Mitt world?)]]>