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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : Prejudice against Mormons » Prejudice against Mormons

Prejudice against Mormons

Susan M - October 4, 2007

Have you ever encountered it?

My daugher recently invited her non-LDS friend to a church dance, and her friend’s mom said no. Because she doesn’t like Mormonism. I can understand not wanting your kids to attend a church activity in a religion you don’t agree with. But a dance is pretty harmless. Especially when you consider the standards the church expects the youth to uphold.

We had neighbors when my kids were small who wouldn’t let their kids play at our house. Because we were Mormon. They never told us that, but they told my niece, who was living with us at the time. I didn’t care much, I let my kids play at their house all the time (they were born again types). I remember they did let their daughter come over for my daughter’s birthday party. And I remember her dad coming into the house to get her, looking agitated, like he thought the devil was going to consume his soul at any moment.

40 Comments »

  1. Its tough to detect prejudice sometimes. People don’t usually come out and tell you. I’ve had co-workers mysteriously stop talking to me after they found out I was a Mormon. But I don’t know for sure if that was the reason. I try not to carry and persecution complex but I admit I often gloss over the details of my spiritual life to co-workers/classmates because of persecution in the past. I guess its not very Christian of me. Letting your light shine in spite of prejudice is a pretty Christ-like thing to do.

    Comment by cj douglass — October 4, 2007 @ 9:51 am

  2. I can’t think of a time when I’ve been treated badly in person for being Mormon. Well, unless the internet counts.

    I don’t know how my professors and fellow grad students talk about me and my Mormonness behind my back (if they talk about it at all, which I doubt), but they’ve been very open and respectful to my face. By far I encountered more hostility to Mormons and the Church in Utah Valley than here in the East.

    Comment by Tom — October 4, 2007 @ 10:05 am

  3. Never. I have never felt that someone treated me a certain way because of my religion (except from co-religionists, who may not otherwise associate with me but tolerate me because I bear certain “orthodox” markers like having pioneer heritage, being an RM, being BIC, having 9 siblings, doing my VTing and making great brownies).

    Certainly I have met with misconceptions. People have asked me questions. I don’t think I gloss over my religion and I will answer any question asked as best I can.

    I wonder if geography might play into different experiences. I live on the east coast and I would guess most people just have not had enough experiences with Mormons to have had a negative one. My extended family lives all over the country and it seems to me that my relatives that are most convinced of having been persecuted because of their religion live in relatively highly populated Mormon areas (like CA).

    Comment by a spectator — October 4, 2007 @ 10:09 am

  4. My (geriatric) boss calls Mormons ‘cousins’ because we’re all related. Probably 4 times per week he introduces me as a cousin, to the confusion of whoever he’s talking to. It made it difficult to recommend my general contractor to him, because he’s my cousin. HA!

    Comment by cantinflas — October 4, 2007 @ 10:57 am

  5. Yes. But then, I’m an old relic. My family joined the Church in 1964 when I was ten. We lived in a small Texas town where my father was considered a “prominent” citizen, being a doctor. I did not figure out until many years later why the kids I played with on the schoolyard stopped playing with me. I just played with other kids. The family got anonymous phone calls and letters. Patients told my Dad that they could not have a Mormon as a doctor. The “upper-crust” of the town definitely changed their opinions of us.

    What’s been interesting is to see my kids encounter the prejudice – because it has been much less common in their lives.

    Comment by mondo cool — October 4, 2007 @ 11:08 am

  6. Only from extended family on my Mom’s side. Go figure.

    Comment by KyleM — October 4, 2007 @ 11:49 am

  7. Not personally, but my sister had a history teacher in High School ask the class one day, “Are there any Mormons in the class?” She raised her hands, to which he replied, “Well there goes today’s lecture.”

    Comment by marcus — October 4, 2007 @ 11:54 am

  8. Other than my mission and the Internet, no experience comes to mind that parallels yours.

    Comment by Kim Siever — October 4, 2007 @ 11:58 am

  9. Ironically, in Utah this stuff usually happens the other way around. Mormons not letting their kids play with the non-mormon kids, Mormons not letting their kid go to the dance with the non-mormon, Mormons not letting their kids date non-mormons, Mormons not hiring non-mormons (they drink, and they’re much more likely to steal, you know). It’s pathetic.

    Comment by MCQ — October 4, 2007 @ 12:37 pm

  10. My wife grew up in the South. Condemnation of all things Mormon was a community past time. But MCQ is exactly right. While serving my mission in Utah, our greatest asset and obstacle were the members.

    Comment by cj douglass — October 4, 2007 @ 12:59 pm

  11. Yeah, CJ, it is past time for that to end. Did you, perhaps, mean “pastime”? :-)

    Comment by Mark B. — October 4, 2007 @ 1:07 pm

  12. I have to agree with Tom. I’ve never seen such staunch Mormon-haters then the ones that lived in Utah Valley. And they were very vocal, too. Not as bad as the ones in SLC, though.

    My husband was recently the asst. ward mission leader in our ward, and so the missionaries were here in our home fairly often. One time, since my husband was not home yet, the missionaries and I chatted on our front lawn. The looks I got from my new neighbors went from curious to disgust. One of our neighbors, when the missionaries knocked on her door, yelled “I don’t want to be part of a cult!!” and slammed the door in their faces. She’s never spoken to me, and I now think I know why. (btw, we’ve only lived here for 7 months).

    MCQ-
    Everyone talks about those Mormons in Utah that act like that. But I never met one. Not saying it doesn’t happen, but I don’t think it happens as much as people believe it does. I’m starting to wonder if one or two incidences got spread around like those Mission folk-lore stories.

    Comment by Cheryl — October 4, 2007 @ 1:11 pm

  13. Every group has its share of jerkfaces. There are Millions of Mormons in Utah so there has to be many thousands of Mormon jerkfaces in Utah doing jerkface things. Of course, thinking people won’t become hostile to all Mormons and the Church due to the actions of the jerkfaces, but there are a lot non-thinking people everywhere you go. Plus, it’s the extremes that capture your attention. You don’t notice the quiet, respectable people; you notice the jerkfaces. So even thinking people might notice many more reasons to be leery of Mormons than to admire them. The whole situation is a recipe for hostility and rancor, which abound.

    Utah is also awesome in a lot of ways. I love and miss my home.

    Comment by Tom — October 4, 2007 @ 1:54 pm

  14. We live in the south. Most southerners are wonderful. There have been a few jerks. #1 and #2 sons have had teachers thatwe felt made prejudicial statements in front of the class. The missionaries come and visit our home for dinner once every few months or so. They often track our neighborhood before they arrive. Many sets of missionaries have had dogs sent out after them. One Elder was even bit. The doors are slammed and slurs yelled at them. I warn the new Elders. I tell them that if they choose to track our neighborhood to please not curse our neighborhood; as I would appreciate not having the next tornado that passes thru obliterate us. In the defense of southerners most of our neighbors are transplanted “Yankees” from Michigan. Jerk southerners are usually sweet to your face and stick you in the back when you are not looking.

    My #1 son’s roommate refused to speak to him the entire year when he found out on day one that he was LDS when he spotted #1 Son’s BofM. #1 son is reserved; so we sent up #2 son to spend the weekend at college with #1 son. #2 son can make friends with a rock so we instructed him to be friendly to the roommate. All #2 son got out of the roommate was a slight smile at one point. We think that the roommate was not so much trying to be a jerk; just scared of #1 son.

    Comment by JA Benson — October 4, 2007 @ 2:40 pm

  15. Cheryl,
    Tom is right. The ratio of jerk Mormons to loving Mormons in Utah is probably not that much different than the rest of the world. There’s just more of both Utah. And the exclusion stories were mostly told to me first hand by non members growing up in Utah but I guess the evidence is still mostly anecdotal.

    Comment by cj douglass — October 4, 2007 @ 3:05 pm

  16. Mark, First the Modern Elitist and now you? Alright. I admit it. I don’t think before I write. Sue me. :)

    Comment by cj douglass — October 4, 2007 @ 3:09 pm

  17. I used to make fun of Mormon kids for not drinking Coke in middle school… they were nice enough to be my friends in high school and they all came to my baptism.

    As for going to grad school (in Utah) and college (in Washington) I have found nothing but people interested in my perspective as an LDS person and how it influences my work. (Everyone at my school in WA wanted to know what was wrong with all the cliquey Mormons where they came from).

    The only people I’ve encountered who’ve been really uncomfortable with my faith have been my Southern Baptist family members, and after five years of discourse about my faith in Christ, I think they’re starting to come around.

    Comment by Melanie — October 4, 2007 @ 4:01 pm

  18. Cheryl: Tom has it right. Unfortunately, it’s not folklore and it’s not just one or two incidents, but it’s not the majority either. I was dismayed recently by an actual debate in EQ about whether should let our kids play with non-member kids. These attitudes exist, but I think they are, fortunately, in the minority and, hopefully, dying out (though slowly).

    Comment by MCQ — October 4, 2007 @ 11:44 pm

  19. MCQ, your comments are interesting. I guess your observation might hold true for rural Utah though, or perhaps Riverton, South Jordan, or Draper. Otherwise, my observations (with regard to SLC) track Cheryl in # 12:

    Everyone talks about those Mormons in Utah that act like that. But I never met one. Not saying it doesn’t happen, but I don’t think it happens as much as people believe it does.

    My own experiences on the childhood front come from growing up in Dallas. Neighbors and friends’ parents were very nice to us and never seemed bothered by our religion. School, however, was different, with history teachers making gratuitous derisive comments about Joseph Smith and the Mormons in history classes or other times. The earliest instance was in Eighth Grade U.S. History when the teacher told us the Mormons weren’t really persecuted and if they were, it was their own fault and they deserved it for being a cult. But that teacher also did a whole unit on Hitler and the Occult so it might have been an outlier.

    I suppose the most prejudice came from the youth groups of the various creedal Christian denominations around town. You could always tell when they’d had their Mormonism night where they’d show the Godmakers or feature some other information meant to scare kids away from any interest in the Church. The next day at school could bring odd comments from random people in the hallways or classes.

    One factor that might have altered the “typical” experience of growing up in the buckle of the Bible Belt in relation to how creedal Christians typically treat Mormons was that our high school was in an area with a high concentration of religious and secular Jews — to the extent that the hallways were appreciably less populated during Jewish holidays. Having another religion with such visible presence perhaps ameliorated creedal Christians’ focus on non-creedal Christians or non-Christians (a lot of entirely secular people in those neighborhoods whose kids hadn’t ever gone to any church).

    Comment by john f. — October 5, 2007 @ 5:31 am

  20. I left Utah 20 years ago for many reasons but one big one was that I always felt stuck in the middle. There were those Mormons who were totally insensative to the experiences of non-Mormons in the workplace – saying things about other religions or arguing about religion, knowing they were in the majority and had “the power.” It was like they had no knowledge of the persecution our ancestors suffered. Then there were the whiney non-Mormons who constantly complained about the big bad Mormon Church. When I would ask where they were considering relocation they would most often answer, “Oh, I’d never leave here. I love it here.”

    I grew up in a small Mormon community in Southern Idaho and went to college at the University of Idaho in the northern part of the state. Before I got married I lived in a small “cooperative” dorm with about 35 other guys. One day a former resident came for a visit and some of the guys who often kidded me about my religion told this visitor I was a Mormon. He looked me squarely in the eye and said, with total disdain, “The only good Mormon is a dead Mormon.”

    At my current place of employment most people know I’m a Mormon. One of my co-workers is an evangelical Christian and he and I often discuss religious issues for which we always find common ground. He is a former Marine and he is a wonderful, thoughtful man. We’ve never openly discussed my Mormonism. I assume he knows because of the sometimes snide (in a kidding way) comments made by others in a our general vacinity. Once, shortly after we met, he asked me if I was a Christian. I simply said, “Yes.”

    Comment by lamonte — October 5, 2007 @ 6:06 am

  21. I’m sure that there have been some people who have avoided me when they find out that I’m a Mormon. Here in the Bible belt I have seen people who seem to recoil when I tell them. However, I really don’t care. I figure that anyone worth their salt will accept me for who I am. Anyone who wouldn’t associate with me because of my church membership is actually doing me a favor. I just don’t need people like that for friends.

    I also believe that being kind goes a long way to clear up misunderstandings. I feel a great sense of accomplishment when I can give someone correct information about the church for the first time.

    Comment by rk — October 5, 2007 @ 6:18 am

  22. Does the term “born again types” suggest any hidden prejudice against them?

    Comment by Jared — October 5, 2007 @ 6:46 am

  23. I doubt it. I have family members who are born again types. At least, what I think of as born again types. To me, it just means generic Christians who are very zealous.

    And as I said, I let my kids play at their house all the time. I hung out often with them as well. They were great people. I didn’t care that they were so paranoid about us. I just thought it was sad and rather ridiculous.

    Comment by Susan M — October 5, 2007 @ 7:13 am

  24. “Does the term “born again types” suggest any hidden prejudice against them?” Yes it does! It assumes that I’m going to get a lecture from them about what I believe in – as they know better than I what my religious beleifs are. It means that they assume that I am joined by my Jewish brothers and sisters as the only poor souls who will NEVER have a chance of being saved. (This was actually stated by “a born again type” who lived in my dorm at school.)

    Is my prejudice justified. Of course not. But right now it’s who I am.

    Comment by lamonte — October 5, 2007 @ 7:19 am

  25. I have heard reports from time to time from people here in my ward that neighbors will not let their children play with the LDS kids.

    This is the suburbs of Dallas FW so lots of evangelicals.

    One of our new neighbors visibly physically recoiled from us when we told them that we were Mormon a couple of months ago.

    I have a totally inactive BIL who works a “large corp job locally” he claims that he has seen 2-3 LDS job candidates turned down for religious reasons by hiring managers.

    Comment by bbell — October 5, 2007 @ 8:36 am

  26. I once tried to attend the Bible study lunch group they had at my high school in So. Cal., and after a few minutes, I was asked to leave because I wasn’t “Christian” and would “mock the spirit of their gathering.”

    I’ve never forgotten those words.

    Comment by Liz — October 5, 2007 @ 11:25 am

  27. I guess your observation might hold true for rural Utah though, or perhaps Riverton, South Jordan, or Draper.

    Umm, no. And I apologize to those communities on your behalf.

    Comment by MCQ — October 5, 2007 @ 12:21 pm

  28. Lamonte,

    I agree. One of these “types” kept sending letters to my sister while she was dying of cancer warning her that she was going to go to hell unless she renounced Joseph Smith. Needless to say, the letter didn’t have the intended effect.

    I have the greatest respect for many Born-agains, but there is a subset of them that are very mean-spirited and uncharitable. Unfortunately they stand out and give the other Born-Agains a bad name.

    Comment by rk — October 5, 2007 @ 12:46 pm

  29. I work in a counseling type field and have faced some pretty blatant prejudice. Overall I have to say it is there and we are being watched whether we recognize it or not. There are a number of people just waiting for us to screw up so they can drive home the point that Mormons are hypocrites.

    Mostly I have found that those who seem curious about the church are typically making small talk and are not as curious as I think they are. When I have shared small amounts of my beliefs, they see it as a major evangelism effort. I tend to share very little and make sure I dot my I’s and cross my T’s.

    Comment by gilgamesh — October 5, 2007 @ 1:27 pm

  30. I’m a recovering Fundamentalist Christian. It was the only faith I ever belonged to that actively taught disdain for other faiths as part of it’s doctrine. The anti-faith machine is enormous, coordinated, wealthy and has had generations to refine itself.

    I only bring it up because nearly all, and certainly the worst treatment I have ever received, came from that quarter.
    One example: I was helping a man and his family move. He was a big guy, somewhat disabled and his wife and daughter weren’t up to some of the bigger stuff. No one from his large, evangelical church had accepted the call to help, so it was he and I mostly.

    Over lunch, when the question of where do I worship came up, I told him and his meal came to a stop. Contempt covered his face and he made some sort of a sound, followed by “You’re even lower than Jehovahs’ Witnesses.”
    I was caught completely off guard and found myself saying “Gee Dave, It’d be fascinating to see where we each stand on this ladder of yours.”

    Not the wittiest thing in the world, but it was prompt and his wife started chuckling. He wouldn’t talk to me after that day; at least not once the move was over.

    We had another friend from the same church. We were good friends for 2 years, until her senior pastor caught wind and counseled her to stay away from us. I guess we weren’t the right color, I mean religion.

    Twenty-five years ago, I enjoyed being a jerk. I had been born again, and was sincerely trying to build on my faith in Jesus Christ. I could have let Christ become part of my healing process except that I didn’t resist the temptation of an adversarial doctrine.

    Having God’s own authority to assassinate other Christians’ spiritual character was too powerful for this jerk to resist. Eventually I began to disdain myself as much as those I targeted. I separated myself and spent 10 additional years as an anti-faith liberal.

    I’m 15 years now, reunited with God and His Son, and free of the bias and indoctrination that tainted my last go around.

    I want to bear my testimony, but this post is already much too long. Thanks for putting up with it.

    NV

    Comment by Noah Vail — October 5, 2007 @ 2:46 pm

  31. I’m from the southeastern U.S. and there were churches picketing and carrying signs with anti-Mormon slogans while our temple here was having open house before being consecrated.

    I had an evangelical boss and good friend who told me the devil had gotten hold of me when I converted to LDS. He told me about this speaker who had come to their church to teach about the evils of Mormonism, and gave me twisted versions of our doctrines that he had learned. He later told me I should be looking for another job, so I just put in my notice right then. His bosses got really upset about it and asked me to stay but I quickly found another job and decided it was best to leave anyway for a number of reasons.

    A couple of colleagues were laughing between themselves about how scary those Mormons are in the cubicle next door, in my current job. I popped my head in and said in a friendly way that I was LDS and not to worry, I would try not to scare them. I just wanted them to know so they wouldn’t further embarrass themselves before they found out. Our company has zero tolerance for religious or any other prejudice and real respect for diversity.

    My parents freaked when I joined the church and told me they decided between them that I had just turned off my brain. They treated me like I was clinically insane for a while. They’re reconciled now. Mom even gave money to the LDS humanitarian fund after the tsunami.

    An evangelical lady who was feeding my cats while I was out of town warned me that she had seen the LDS missionaries coming to visit my house and that I should be careful not to listen to them. When I told her I was LDS, she quit working for me, and brought me a bunch of anti-Mormon tracts to try to save me. She meant well, and was following her church leaders.

    One former LDS coworker was trying to show me the light about his post-Mormon beliefs. He was quite nice about it, though. No longer Mormon but still a proselytizer. :)

    So I’ve seen prejudice but even here where evangelicals are taught in their churches that Mormons are evil, prejudice is surprisingly rare.

    I don’t try to keep quiet about my faith at all. If it comes up I tell people all about it. Mostly people are polite or even curious.

    Comment by Tatiana — October 6, 2007 @ 8:32 am

  32. In the state of Maryland is the most backwards place you will ever see. The ends of the earth; a place where you have the right to believe what you want, so long as you agree with everyone else. A red county in a blue state. A place where intellect is adulterated by small town prejudices; a place called Liberalville because its real name does not matter.

    Liberalville is a small town where, if you stand in the right spot, you can spit into three different states. We’re a crossroads kind of place that brings outsiders in, and allows the occasional born-and-raised redneck to escape. These are the factions that classify us all; the Liberalville lower income that have been here for at least 2 generations, and the rich yuppies that come here in swarms to escape the larger cities that are less than 3 hours away in every direction.

    The locals are Catholics, and Christians of every variety. A 10 minute drive across the Liberalville town limites will take you past 6 churches total; Methodist, Episcopalian, Catholic, 2 Baptist, and Presbyterian. We’re a God fearin’ place, and we treat our people right, so long as we see you in our pews on Sunday morning. And all I can say is, “Lord be with you if you’re Mormon too.” If you look for the the Liberalvill ward, you won’t find it. Anyone LDS in Liberalville must either cross the state line or go two towns over to the nearest branch. That, if nothing else, should illustrate to you what being LDS in Liberalville is like.

    I’ve heard “the magic underwear” comment from public school teachers, peers, and even my friends. The Christians are convinced you’re going to Hell in a minivan, the Catholics are looking for your horns, and the intellectuals are convinced you’re a polygamist. In a high school of about 1000 students, 6 of which are LDS, you hear and see things every day that are not Christian by any stretch of the imagination; and from the kids that tell you you’re going to Hell. These are the self-righteous brats that are the oracles of a self-fulfilling prophecy. They make your life the Hell they think you deserve. The jokes, the derogatory questions, the isolation, the filthy language, and any other iniquity they can think to create in front of you. And do they care? Nope.

    But watch your step. If you’re involved in a fight (even if you didn’t start it) you are thrown out of public school, no questions asked. Your only option then are the private schools. There are only 3 in the area; the Baptist private school, the Catholic school, and *gulps* Tome. The Baptist school and the Catholic schools are bad enough; your teachers and fellow students follow you around trying to convert you. You either learn how to shut them up or ignore them. But Tome is the punishment of which we do not speak. It has only happened to 2 or 3 of the Young Women in my branch, but 2 or 3 was enough.

    Apathy is the only thing that saves you. Most days, people are too unconcerned to remind you that Dante’s Inferno doesn’t have a punishment cruel enough for you. But I guess the full moon kindles something deep and menacing in these people, even in the people that don’t belong to a specific religion. They get it into their minds that they NEED to convert you to their way of thinking, and they become relentless. I guess to them, it’s either convert you or *gasp* be converted. And with a zeal that only religion can create, they try to “instill” some sense into you. It only lasts for a day or two, but its enough to chase anyone into BYU.

    I’ve been told that Utah Mormon is a whole new level of weird. But I’d like to hear of any place in Utah that tops Liberalville.

    Comment by Paradox — October 6, 2007 @ 9:03 am

  33. Paradox-
    I can’t even imagine. I’d go to BYU, too.

    Comment by Cheryl — October 6, 2007 @ 4:28 pm

  34. Noah -

    I think the ladder comment was extremely witty. I have found that it is very disorienting for an anti-Mormon to be confronted with the fact they they are being extremely judgemental. Your friend was probably more embarrassed than angry once you pointed out that HE had decided where you stand in heaven.

    Comment by Gilgamesh — October 6, 2007 @ 4:52 pm

  35. NV #30

    Do these “Evangelical Types” who engage the incidents that have been discussed have any clue how they come across to any honest and fair person? I’m honestly curious.

    Comment by rk — October 6, 2007 @ 6:30 pm

  36. Hi. I hope nobody minds me posting here. I am fifth generation RLDS, I grew up in the Bible Belt. I just wanted to say that people recoil all the time when I tell them my religion. Growing up, my two best friends had fights with their Sunday School teachers over me. I am lucky to have two best friends (and their respective parents) who were of strong enough character that they basically thumbed their noses at their church authorities, for me. Even if I tell them, “My church doesn’t teach polygamy, never did,” it never worked. They just found some other excuse not to like me. In my opinion, polygamy is just an excuse to beat you all over the head with. A few years ago, we changed our name to Community of Christ, an idea I personally disagreed with, because, the people who hate us are always going to hate us, and they still do.

    Comment by Lisa — October 7, 2007 @ 7:57 am

  37. I guess I should also mention that, along the way, I became a born again Evangelical Christian (yes, did really have the born again experience, even if you’re being manipulated emotionally and psychologically by the Evangelical “missionaries”, from the viewpoint of the individual who has the experience, it’s still real.) One of the many reasons I walked away was because they are so hateful toward the LDS/RLDS, I just couldn’t live with it anymore. To me, such people are NOT followers of Jesus Christ, no matter what they may say.

    Comment by Lisa — October 7, 2007 @ 8:03 am

  38. MCQ, I don’t understand your comment # 27. If it doesn’t hold true for those areas which are predominantly LDS then you must be referring to rural Utah. SLC proper certainly does not represent such behavior, at least from my observations.

    Comment by john f. — October 9, 2007 @ 11:00 am

  39. RK, I’ll try to answer that from the standpoint of having been a fundamentalist, spiritual character assassin.
    First of all, the worship meetings are full of this charismatic energy that is assumed to be the Holy Ghost. It is incredibly powerful, addictive and wonderful. Receiving this energy from one man makes one highly receptive to any message he delivers. I’ve never felt it from a woman.

    One time, I felt the same energy in the presence of Bill Clinton (in a public arena). Another time it came at me like a dam burst, emanating from a man who had molested a girl years ago, but was still a treat to children. He was in the middle of long dialog about his current health problems. It was bizarre beyond description.

    FYI, I’ve found no evidence that this energy comes from the adversary, or is even malevolent. I really have no clue what it is. A few people can release it like a flood. But it originates from people, not God. That rules out the Holy Ghost. It is nothing like a witness or prompting from the Spirit.

    Pentecostal flavored worship services are a natural environment for this energy. Being in a room full of people who can only leak a bit of it, one is still awash in it. And once immersed, you become the message; whatever that message may be.

    Paid clergy target Latter Day Saints because we are a threat to them, on several different levels. One issue is that the fullness of the Gospel makes us more mature, spiritually, while the rest of the Protestant world is trapped in perpetual adolescence. Anyone who has raised an adolescent knows how confrontational, rebellious and all knowing they can be.

    We are also free of the doctrinal shackles, necessary to hold one to the belief in the triune God. The truth of the separateness of Father and Son pecks at them, just below their awareness. Since the triune belief is a core one, they experience it at every spiritual level.

    The result is a spiritual “Fight or Flight” response that manifests itself as a profound animosity to the true Gospel and those who hold to it. The anti-LDS machine and it’s twisted, inconsistent teachings are the logical end to men in deep denial of their spiritual crises.

    This crises driven tension demands an outlet and a building full of people high on charismatic energy and ready to receive any message as God’s, is the fully perfect receptacle. Thus the machine grows, a legion at a time.

    The early end of this relationship is classic cult-like (Think Jonestown) in it’s structure. However, the back end is not. People who are healthy enough to be at odds with an adversarial doctrine eventually leave on their own for other churches. Those who stay, though, become more entrenched. They are trapped in amber by their need for the charisma energy and their investment in this doctrine.

    Recovering Klansmen can tell you that hatred is a drug, as powerful as pornography or gambling. Here, hatred is tempered to disdain and animosity, where it becomes more socially acceptable. Without the stigma of overt destructive behavior, the hook is embedded even deeper. It’s similar to why we have more drunks than heroin addicts.

    Remember that the people who attack us are caught in a trap that is nearly custom fit for them. They were lured by a sirens song and are now unwitting pawns, set about the business of someone else’s revenge. Many of them are experiencing the same hell that their clergy are going through as truth battles with belief, all just beyond their understanding.

    I hope this helps.

    NV

    Comment by Noah Vail — October 11, 2007 @ 10:48 pm

  40. **Correction to Above**
    2nd Paragraph, Line 4 should be ‘threat’ NOT ‘treat’.
    Yow.
    NV

    Comment by Noah Vail — October 12, 2007 @ 4:56 am

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