June 8, 2012

"Making Mormons look bad helps others feel good."

"By imagining Mormons as intolerant rubes, or as heretical deviants, Americans from left and right can imagine they are, by contrast, tolerant, rational and truly Christian..."
Contemporary anti-Mormonism tends to emerge either from the secular left or from the evangelical Protestant right. For the left, Mormonism often functions as a stand-in for discomfort over religion generally... Any religion looks weird from the outside, but the image of Mormonism seems caught somewhere between perpetual strangeness and strait-laced blandness....

For the right... many rank-and-file evangelical Protestants call Mormonism a cult... or a “non-Christian religion.".... Anti-Mormon attacks by evangelicals have betrayed anxiety over the divisions in their movement and their slipping cultural authority as arbiters of religious authenticity.

162 comments:

Original Mike said...

How many people immediately thought of AndyR?

Scott said...

Americans love to hate "the other."

Synova said...

Sigh...

If you're an evangelical, then you believe in salvation and you believe in hell.

The fundy Christians may insist that Mormonism is a cult and are Not Real Christians (TM)... but they say that about the CATHOLICS, too.

Whore of Babylon and all that.

Besides which... cult or not, how is that worse than having a muslim in the oval office, huh?

Mormons were founded by a polygamist and Muslims by a murderous pedophile.

But by all means! Let the "concerned" class take every opportunity to whisper in the evangelical ear... psst, hey, Romney is a Mormon, did you know?

Lem said...

Chris Rock Lambasts Mormons for History on Race, Defends Obama

Synova said...

(Do I have to explain that I was joking saying Obama is Muslim?)

Andy R. said...

For the left, Mormonism often functions as a stand-in for discomfort over religion generally. Mormon religious practice offers a lot of really, well, religious religion: ritual underclothing, baptism for the dead, secret temple rites and “clannishness” (a term invoked in the past in attacks on Catholics and Jews).

This is not why I criticize Mormonism. I find these arguments uninteresting and generally applicable to all Christian faiths. (Not that all Christians perform proxy baptism, but that they all do theologically weird things.)

Christian criticisms of Mormonism are usually so un-self-aware that they could only come from people incredibly dumb.

Mark O said...

So, Mormonism really is all things to all people. And, because Obama is a composite, he might be part Mormon himself.

Just the white parts, according the renowned academic, Chris Rock.

Paddy O said...

I think Mormonism is a "non-Christian religion" but I don't see that as somehow being anti-Mormon.

I also believe that Christianity is a "non-Jewish" religion.

When you add a whole other book to the foundations, then you're doing your own thing.

Catholics and Protestants and Eastern Orthodox share a common root in the early church and a shared text.

I'm not sure what this has to do with being a good President during a time of economic crisis. We're not electing a new Constantine to help sew together the many divergent religions in the Empire.

edutcher said...

I believe the phrase Know-Nothing covers it.

Andy R. said...

Christian criticisms of Mormonism are usually so un-self-aware that they could only come from people incredibly dumb.

Pot.

Kettle.

You know the drill.

Andy R. said...

Liberals were outraged by Mormon financing of Proposition 8, the 2008 ban on same-sex marriage in California.

He raises this point but then doesn't follow through. Is this legitimate outrage? Are liberals "allowed" to be outraged at one of the leading organizations fighting for anti-gay policies in this country?

Saying that the problem that liberals have with Mormons is over their temple garments is a way to (purposefully?) avoid focusing on all the problematic parts of Mormonism.

Lem said...

(Do I have to explain that I was joking saying Obama is Muslim?)

I'm not joking, Obama is a Muslim ;)

Eric said...

Oh, look, another NYT article aiming to sow discord among Republicans. What a shock!

Andy R. said...

Oh, look, another NYT article aiming to sow discord among Republicans.

I thought it was trying to do the opposite.

edutcher said...

Andy R. said...

Liberals were outraged by Mormon financing of Proposition 8, the 2008 ban on same-sex marriage in California.

He raises this point but then doesn't follow through. Is this legitimate outrage? Are liberals "allowed" to be outraged at one of the leading organizations fighting for anti-gay policies in this country?


You get the feeling Hatman is unaware of the First Amendment.

Another exemplar of the product of public schools.

JorgXMcKie said...

"[Progressive/liberal] criticisms of [anyone not in total agreement with them] are usually so un-self-aware that they could only come from people incredibly dumb."
There. FIFY.

Christian said...

Paddy O - Protestants share no more root to that early church and shared text than Mormons... in fact at least Mormons argue they "are" the restored church. All the groups you listed, including Mormons, look to the early church and the apostles, and the apostolic writings. That you just willfully write them out of the argument in passing reveals either your bias or ignorance -- take your pick.

Andy R. said...

You get the feeling Hatman is unaware of the First Amendment.

What does any of this have to do with the First Amendment?

Sigivald said...

Scott: "People" love to hate the Other.

It's hardly specific to Americans.

TMink said...

"Anti-Mormon attacks by evangelicals have betrayed anxiety over the divisions in their movement and their slipping cultural authority as arbiters of religious authenticity"

OK, first, the use of the word "attacks" is just a tad inflamatory, dontchathink?

Second, the evangelical beef with LDS is theological in nature. We consider them heretics because they accept post-disciple revelation and evangelicals do not.

But since we are evangelical, we understand that heretics who trust in Christ alone for forgiveness and salvation are indeed saved. Salvation requires the asking and accepting Christ as Lord, not doctrinal purity.

Sounds like the article was written by someone ignorant of evangelical Christianity. Imagine that!

Trey

AllieOop said...

Salvation, so Jews and Buddhists, etc. need not apply, huh?

Oh darn, no salvation for me.

Mary Beth said...

When I think of Mormons, I think of the Osmonds.

Just before I wrote that I did a search for the Osmonds and looked at Donny's website. He has a page about Mormonism. It covers a fairly large number of questions he's been asked. Or says he's been asked.

bearing said...

Whether Mormons are technically Christians depends, obviously, on your definition of "Christian.". If it is simply "one who believes in the divinity of Jesus Christ" then they are (along with Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox, and quite a few others). But if your definition includes things like "agree with all the points of the Nicene Creed" or "believe in the Triune God" then Protestants, Orthodox, and Catholics fall within that circle and Mormons do not. It has nothing to do with when their denomination was founded and everything to do with what they believe about God.

You use the definition that makes sense for the application. If I am organizing an interdenominational service project and I am told to invite all the local "Christian organizations" to come help, I don't think I need to leave the Mormons out. If I am organizing an ecumenical Scripture discussion group, it might make more sense to restrict the field to people who have certain core beliefs in common, such as the nature of God.

Quaestor said...

AndyR wrote:
What does any of this have to do with the First Amendment?

We have little common ground, but I must say you're dead-on here.

Religious animosities prevail everywhere, and must do because of the non-factual basis of all religions and faiths. The First Amendment is supposed to guarantee such unavoidable tensions will not effect law and public policy. Whether it has been effective and faithfully observed is debatable.

The religion of a president is immaterial if he adheres faithfully to the Oath of Office. Since the Constitution is neutral on the matter of God (even the word is nowhere to be found) and insists on strict separation of the realms of faith and government (though the words "separation of Church and State" also are nowhere to be found) then any president who obeys the Oath will govern and administer in a manner consistent with the Constitution's religious neutrality.

Eric said...

I thought it was trying to do the opposite.

Really? So we have two groups that don't like Mormons - one that won't vote Republican anyway and one the NYT would like to see not vote Republican. Of course, they're not really saying anything. Just raising questions, you know?

Quaestor said...

Allie Oop wrote:
Salvation, so Jews and Buddhists, etc. need not apply, huh? Oh darn, no salvation for me.

I look forward to your first non-trivial comment.

AllieOop said...

Salvation isn't trivial.

wyo sis said...

it's going to be a long evening. almost everyone's here except Crack.

A. Shmendrik said...

They may be intolerant rubes, or heretical deviants, but, gawddamnit, this year they're my kinda intolerant rubes or heretical deviants, and I like 'em just fine!

Paddy O said...

Christian, don't be silly.

Of course Protestants share a connection to that early church. Have you read the Reformers?

The early church wasn't the Catholic Church it was just the church, with a bunch of councils and stuff and a shared text--a canon. Then the Catholics and Orthodox split in 1014, and they both shared a common history but a different path. So too with the Reformation. It was precisely the charge that the 16th century church had gone a wayward path from its roots that prompted the Reformation. Whether or not you agree with the Reformers isn't the issue--the issue was they were going back to the earliest days--the early church--not contributing a new text to support their changes.

Jesus was Jewish, as were all the earliest leaders, and Christians still use the Jewish Scriptures--but they split paths with a new set of texts that came out of a new set of revelations. Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox all share that set of revelations, they just disagree what it means for who is in charge, and how we're supposed to hang out together.

Geoff Matthews said...

As a mormon (practicing), I like Shmendrik's attitude.
People get offended way to easily. We need insensitivity training.

jimspice said...

I wonder if it's always been the case that the craziest religion is always the newest (or vicy versy if you prefer).

Saint Croix said...

Oh my God the New York Times is annoying. So passive-aggressive, so dishonest, so fucking liberal. Yet again they are talking about how Mitt Romney is a Mormon. They are raising the Mormon question. But the New York Times knows this is evil, in the New York Times' lizard brain, so they deny what they are doing while doing it.

"You're so Mormon. You know how Mormon you are? Other people are attacking you because you're a Mormon. The right is attacking you. The left is attacking you. But we're not attacking you. We're the New York Times! Although you are a Mormon. You're definitely a Mormon. Not saying that's a problem. Just want to talk about the Mormon church and the Mormons and you're such a Mormon. You Mormon."

Geoff Matthews said...

Paddy,

Christians & Jews split paths long before the NT was compiled. It isn't the scriptures that lead to the division, it was the belief in Jesus' divinity, and role as the promised Messiah.
The notion of a closed cannon was not advanced by the apostles, as they were busy writing additional scriptures. This notion of no more scripture is a modern invention, one that isn't supported by the bible's authors.

Paul said...

My litmus test for politicians is simple. Are they promulgating the vision and attendant policies of Locke or Marx? Individual liberty and free markets or collectivism and state power? Everything else is of minimal importance...religion, sexual proclivities, etc.

Saint Croix said...

And, of course, Barack Obama's church is off limits. So the New York Times runs a story about how somebody dares to make an issue out of Barack Obama's church.

Because, as we all know, reputable people don't do that sort of thing.

Quayle said...

Mormons are really bad at editors their blog comments.

Freeman Hunt said...

I agree with Paddy O. Mormonism is not a theologically Christian religion, but that's not an anti-Mormon statement.

Q said...

For the left, Mormonism often functions as a stand-in for discomfort over religion generally...


After all, it's not like the left can mock Jews or Muslims.

Capitalist Infidel said...

I'm a Protestant and never have I heard any anti Mormon comments. Are there any that can be sourced?

sleepless nights said...

I remember as a kid thinking the Morman kid's parents were fruitcakes who forbade him to have a coke because they classified cola and coffee as drugs.

Now I think they were right. ;-)

Still haven't changed my position on the fundi zealot dad that wouldn't let his wimmenfolk wear pants however.

Q said...

Are liberals "allowed" to be outraged at one of the leading organizations fighting for anti-gay policies in this country?


I don't know. Are conservatives "allowed" to be outraged at leading organizations which are fighting for anti-Christian/anti-white/anti-male policies in this country?

Freeman Hunt said...

The Mormon and Christian conceptions of God and Christ fundamentally differ.

Under the former, men seek to become God, just as God is God, perfected beings in control of their own universes. This is incompatible with the latter which sees God as one and only.

Pointing that out isn't hatred; it's pointing out an actual difference between the two faiths.

But I don't think the NYT cares about Mormons or Christians. The NYT definitely cares about conflating evangelicals and fundamentalists though.

AllieOop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cold pizza said...

Mormons all think/emote/live/vote/ the same. Just ask Harry Reid. -CP

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

AllieOop,

Salvation, so Jews and Buddhists, etc. need not apply, huh?

Oh darn, no salvation for me.


I don't know about Evangelical teachings, but what I know of the Catholic and the Anglican Churches suggests that both teach that there is no salvation but through Jesus Christ. This does not logically imply that one must be Christian to be saved.

AllieOop said...

Assemblies of God on Mormonism

This is the church I grew up in.

edutcher said...

Andy R. said...

You get the feeling Hatman is unaware of the First Amendment.

What does any of this have to do with the First Amendment?


"Are liberals allowed to be outraged at one of the leading organizations fighting for anti-gay policies in this country?"

Last I looked, the First Amendment guarantees that everyone is allowed to express the religious principles - whether they interfere with the Gay Agenda or not.

Hatman doesn't see it that way.

BTW, the Prosecution rests.

Freeman Hunt said...

This also fits nicely into the probably large NYT readership of nominal, theologically ignorant Christians, the smiley-face god crowd.

Or:

"By imagining evangelicals as intolerant rubes, nominal Christians can imagine they are, by contrast, tolerant rational, and truly Christian..."

Kirby Olson said...

Romney will be a first if elected.

Freeman Hunt said...

There's also a lot of diversity of faith among Mormons. I think a lot of Mormons are probably theologically Christian rather than theologically Mormon.

Saint Croix said...

I agree with Paddy O. Mormonism is not a theologically Christian religion.

They say they are Christian, so why pick a fight? More importantly, why pick a fight that the New York Times is so desperate for us to be fighting?

I am sure Mitt Romney's church is as safe and boring and nice as he is. Obama's church, on the other hand, is actually vile.

yashu said...

Saint Croix, exactly. Totally passive-aggressive.

Especially in their subtly insulting needling of evangelicals ("Anti-Mormon attacks by evangelicals have betrayed anxiety over the divisions in their movement and their slipping cultural authority as arbiters of religious authenticity"). NB "attacks" is such a loaded word.

I haven't heard many... or in fact any "anti-Mormon attacks by evangelicals" lately directed at Romney, have you? At least not since the thick of the primaries (and most of those were by mobys). In fact, Liberty cordially invited Romney to give the commencement speech and I gather it was deemed by the religious right (evangelical and others) to be a success.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Freeman Hunt,

I agree with Paddy O. Mormonism is not a theologically Christian religion, but that's not an anti-Mormon statement.

I agree too. First Things had a large article on this (must've been a long time ago, because Fr. Richard John Neuhaus was still alive.

OK, the one I was thinking of was probably this one, from 2000, though I could swear there was some kind of symposium not long afterwards. I see that there was, e.g., this one, but I don't think that's what I'm remembering either; it was something with more participants, and it was a lot earlier.

Anyway, the gist for me is basically what you said. Mormonism isn't Christianity as most Christians understand Christianity. This is not a slur against the LDS, any more than saying Judaism isn't Christianity, or Islam isn't Christianity, or Hinduism isn't Christianity, would be a slur against any of these faiths -- including, obviously, Christianity.

The Mormon Church is somewhat in the position of Islam as regards the Christian faith, only its founding is is so much more recent that some ill-mannered persons find it entertaining to make fun of it. They would have had a lot less fun in the 7th c.

Quaestor said...

Allie Oop wrote:
Salvation isn't trivial.

Salvation wasn't the point of your comment, Allie, and you know it.

Since you've established that your background is Pentecostal, then I assume "Oh darn, no salvation for me" implies you've embraced Buddhism is place of Protestantism, the Jews being highly reluctant to accept converts makes this likely.

Now then, since you converted from X to Y, I assume you have already concluded your "salvation" is assured by your choice, else why make the conversion. Ergo, your comment was intended to provoke a debate about specific doctrines, which you hoped would allow you to accuse Christians of bigotry in that they would exclude non-believers from their concept of bliss, and consign them instead to perdition.

BTW, from the atheist point of view salvation is trivial.

madAsHell said...

The only thing scary about the Mormons is that they are all so damn nice.

I'm acquainted with several Mormons, and I haven't found a bad apple in the bunch. I don't know how they do it! It's like the Stepford wives or sumthin' !!

edutcher said...

All the talk about anti-Mormon attacks by evangelicals is so much Lefty black propaganda to try to create the dissension in the ranks they hoped would happen in the wake of the primaries.

It isn't working any better.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I would add that the fiction writer I know who treats theological questions with more care than any other is Orson Scott Card, who is LDS. He created an imagined monastic order that I can actually imagine existing, and his depictions of religious practices here, there, and everywhere are sympathetic and detailed.


wv: echlying Casa No. 27. I am going to guess that they only want the 27.

AllieOop said...

No Quaestor, you do jump to conclusions. I am not a Buddhist nor am I a Jew, which I could've been, as my husband was Jewish, I could've converted.

My concern is that we as humans don't know really what happens in the afterlife. We don't really know who ends up in heaven, or who really recieves salvation. The alternative to salvation is hell. I simply do not think that the Christian faith has the market on Heaven.

And you can quit putting words in my mouth.

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quaestor said...

Trey Parker and Matt Stone (neither are Mormon) are the go-to guys on the LDS and their adherents. They mercilessly lampoon their doctrine and history, and yet they readily acknowledge their affability, their solid, enduring families, and their reputation as honest upright citizens.

One of my favorite "South Parks" concerns Satan and his love/hate relationship with Saddam Hussein. Satan, with the cooperation of God, finally banishes Saddam from Hades and sends him to Heaven instead, where he finds only relentlessly cheerful Mormons, and in their company, suffers the agonies of the damned.

Quayle said...

The Mormon and Christian conceptions of God and Christ fundamentally differ.

Under the former, men seek to become God, just as God is God, perfected beings in control of their own universes. This is incompatible with the latter which sees God as one and only.


I agree that traditional Christians and Mormons see the relationship between God and man differently.

As for your claim that Mormons "seek to become God, just as God is God, perfected beings in control of their own universes" - I would say that is overstating it, adding detail that no Mormon believes or fully claims.

Mormons believe that God is the literal father of our spirits, and therefore we differ in degree but not kind or basic type.

When Christ taught us to pray "Our father..." we take it literally.

As for becoming a God - the Mormon doctrine on what happens after this life is not as clear to Mormons as it is to anti-Mormons.

But we believe we are capable of growth to be like our Father, just as any offspring is.

So, for example, we also believe that becoming "heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:17) and being given the same glory and unity that God gave to and had with Christ (See John 17:22-) represents an elevation of man to a very high, almost similar level to the Father.

Lots of things stem from these core beliefs, but (as the anti-Mormons love to say we believe) having our own planet is not one of them.

Oh, and we consider ourselves Christian based on three core Mormon doctrines:

1. Jesus Christ was the literal physical offspring of God the Father;

2. No man can be saved but by faith in and reliance on the atonement of Jesus Christ, accomplished in his intercessory prayer in Gethsemane and on the cross of Golgotha; and

3. There is no other name given, nor way, whereby man can be saved in the Kingdom of God.

Cheers

Shanna said...

I saw this cracked out video as a kid on 'what mormon doctrine is really about' and I think I found it on YouTube. Although it's hard for me to believe they showed us this at school because it's kind of insane. I always remembered the thing about being gods living on planets. It's kind of like watching a cartoon on ancient mythology.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

AllieOop,

My concern is that we as humans don't know really what happens in the afterlife. We don't really know who ends up in heaven, or who really recieves salvation. The alternative to salvation is hell. I simply do not think that the Christian faith has the market on Heaven.

Well, possibilities:

(1) There is no afterlife, and there is no God, so we're all talking piffle.

(2) Christianity does indeed have the market on Heaven, because Christianity is a true picture of the universe as it is.

(3) There is a Hell, but no one is in it, because Christ manages to save every soul, however damaged.

You can add others as they occur to you.

wv: retarch 7.

AllieOop said...

#4 God or a Creator or whatever you want to call him is playing a trick on all of us. We all get to enter heaven, just because.

He wants us to be good and decent humans while we are here on earth, so he lets us have a thing called religion to scare us shitless, so we behave ourselves.

Just another possibility.

edutcher said...

No, just a lot of Lefty nonsense.

Freeman Hunt said...

They say they are Christian, so why pick a fight? More importantly, why pick a fight that the New York Times is so desperate for us to be fighting?

Who's picking a fight? I think Mormonism is theologically incorrect, but I've never met a Mormon I didn't like.

Believing different things isn't fighting.

Quaestor said...

Allie Oop wrote:
No Quaestor, you do jump to conclusions.

Please forgive me for assuming your comments are at least internally logical -- evidently a capital error, as Holmes would say.

AllieOop said...

Quaestor, I was simply listing some some non Christian faiths. How is it logical to jump to the conclusion that I belonged to any of them? Jumping to conclusions is a human fraility, so in the Christian tradition, I forgive you.

Revenant said...

BTW, from the atheist point of view salvation is trivial.

I have to disagree with you, there.

Speaking purely for myself, the concept of salvation isn't "trivial". The concept is *wrong*, but it is non-trivial because it has significant effects on human behavior.

The historical/non-Christian view that "heaven" (or the local theoretical equivalent) is achieved through good behavior probably has a positive effect, if only because it encourages people to be nice when nobody's looking.

Christianity specifically rejects the idea of salvation through works, though. Salvation through grace is a concept that worries me. I can't shake the feeling that it amounts to "you can be total scum and Jesus can still make it all better". Well, no -- if you're an evil bastard in this life there's really nothing you can do about that. You used up your precious minutes of existence being an evil bastard. There are no second chances.

Alex Ignatiev said...

Mormons aren't Christians. No Masons are Christians.

I don't care. We've had more Masonic presidents than any other faith.

Synova said...

You can be total scum and Jesus can make it all better... but that doesn't work so well as "you can continue to be total scum and Jesus will continue to make it all better" because grace as a free gift isn't forced on you, and if you continue to be total scum with malice aforethought, isn't that a rejection of God's grace?

That's why so much is made of repentance and putting off the old man. It's not the works that save you, but works that testify to the fact of your salvation.

Part of how that's talked about is with the words justification and sanctification. At salvation you're justified, washed clean, but without the ongoing growth and process of sanctification (which would be works and personal improvement) you've despised your salvation. This is an argument between the doctrinal traditions that insist that as a human in a human body you never cease entirely to sin (Lutherans) and the notion that a sinless state can be attained while in the flesh (someone else, who is obviously wrong.)

Synova said...

"Religious animosities prevail everywhere, and must do because of the non-factual basis of all religions and faiths."

Non-empirical (or possibly non-provable), not non-factual.

Saying that all are non-factual is making a judgement about something that can't be proven.

Something can be a fact without being measurable, you just can't measure it and prove you're right and someone else is wrong.

Saint Croix said...

Who's picking a fight?

The New York Times!

I think Mormonism is theologically incorrect

I think Jews are wrong on a few points, too. But when Joe Lieberman was running for Vice President, I don't recall the NYT running articles about how people on the left don't like the Jews, and people on the right don't like the Jews, and Jews Jews Jews. And if the NYT did run an article like that, the appropriate response is not to say, "I think Jews are theologically wrong" but rather "The New York Times can suck on a shit stick."

I've never met a Mormon I didn't like.

Yeah, they're way more polite than I am.

Quaestor said...

Allie, I was referring to your first comment, posted at 5:39 CDT:
Salvation, so Jews and Buddhists, etc. need not apply, huh? Oh darn, no salvation for me.

There is a clear implication that you included yourself in the "need not apply" category.

Quaestor said...

[When] Joe Lieberman was running for Vice President, I don't recall the NYT running articles about how people on the left don't like the Jews, and people on the right don't like the Jews, and Jews Jews Jews. And if the NYT did run an article like that, the appropriate response is not to say, "I think Jews are theologically wrong" but rather "The New York Times can suck on a shit stick."

On the nosey. Well said, Saint Croix.

traditionalguy said...

The pure theologians can point out errors in many Christian denominations. It's easy since the scriptures often say two differing doctrines are true and leave us in a tension between them...and then leave us to the Spirit of Holiness to lead our hearts and minds to do the right one. Simple, right?

It's not really that easy to do.
So after a lifetime of learning I have decided to judge them by their fruits in my own life experiences.

Ergo: Say what you will about doctrinal errors in the Baptists, the Methodists, the Episcopalians and the Mormons, but you cannot frighten me with that because excellent men of character from those Faiths have been good to me and never intentionally hurt me. And they are usually super friendly groups.

The Catholics, Presbys, Lutherans have not all been as good to me because they tended to revert into knee jerk doctrinal feuds that justifies their hurting people and not loving people; such as, many centuries of Anti-semitism.

The newest of all are the turn of the 20th century Pentacostals. They tend to legalism to their own detriment, but the Assemblies of God is full of good men.

So I could probably list Mormon doctrinal glitches longer than anyone else can, but why would I want to do that to my friends.

AllieOop said...

Quaestor, I was in the etc. category, sheesh, why are you arguing about this?

wyo sis said...

CS Lewis, who is one of my go to guys on Christianity, says that God must change us. We can't obtain salvation if we remain the way we are. He uses several analogies, but the gist is that we can't achieve salvation without becoming fundamentally different from the people we are. This is done by both works and grace. I'm not a religious scholar, but I don't think all "correctly defined" Christians believe that grace alone is enough for salvation.

hombre said...

Evangelical Christians, of whom I am one, would do well to focus on the similarities of our beliefs, that is, love of God and family, rather than the differences.

As they said of Kennedy, "He isn't running for Pope."

hombre said...

@wyo sis: You are mistaken, if you are talking about most Protestants. Salvation is about grace and faith. Sanctification, maybe not so much.

Sheesh said...

I am currently living in Provo, Utah. Before moving here, I had no feelings whatsoever regarding the LDS church. My cousin is Mormon, as are many other people I know, and I just thought it was a slightly quirky, typically American, way of reaching God.

However, there are quite a few things that disturb me:

1. 10% of your income. Your whole life. Where is it spent? No one knows.
2. My roommates have so much food in their preparation for doomsday that we could easily be mistaken for squirrels.
3. My rental agreement involves such gems as not being allowed to let men use my toilet, not being allowed to have tea, and abstaining from "indecent conduct or expressions." Also, they examine our apartment once a month to make sure we are compliant.
4. Breast implants are clearly widely tolerated, but you can get excommunicated for having a tattoo. Which is a more radical form of body modification?
5. I've heard that a parent cannot go to their child's wedding unless they are LDS. They have to wait outside the temple.
6. My friends are all compelled to spend 10-15 hours a week on unpaid labor for the church, doing tasks that range from being a janitor to accounting. No matter how poor they are.
...and I could go on forever. My point is that while the vast majority of LDS people I've met have been wonderful, open-hearted, and angelic, I find the church establishment (BYU, BYU-contracted housing, the church itself) to be creepy, fascist, life-consuming, and overly harsh. I am very uncomfortable with it generally.

Dave said...

The Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) are monotheistic. Monotheism posits that IF God is omnipotent then by definition there can only be ONE God, as there cannot be more than one all-powerful entity. That basic understanding of the nature of the deity informed the Christian explanation of the Trinity (three in ONE) and Islam's recognition of Mohammed as the "prophet".

Latter Day Saints theology proposes an entirely different concept divinity which falls far outside of the Abrahamic tradition. They acknowledge the God of Abraham and Jesus, but within a framework that is no more in line with monotheism than Hinduism. Mormons don't have the sort of rigorous theological disciplines that inform Judaism, Christianity and Islam, so they probably believe their assertion that they are Christians - but they're not. Their faith is an offshoot of Christianity but it's no more Christian than Bahai or Scientology.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Sheesh,

Mormons aren't the only people who tithe. Someone suggested some years back that GWB tithed. He has never (AFAIK) said so, but his charitable donations did seem to be about 10% of his income, consistently.

wyo sis said...

So, If I understand correctly hombre, salvation is not paying the consequences of sin? What then, is sanctification? And, further what is the transformation CS Lewis describes? When the mortal person becomes a completely transformed "creature" capable of bearing the presence of God.

Dave said...

"wyo sis said...I don't think all "correctly defined" Christians believe that grace alone is enough for salvation."

An easy way to understand "Soli Gratia" (Grace Alone) is to think of the thief on the cross. It was too late for him to perform any good works, but his faith alone (faith defined as a gift of the holy spirit) was enough for Jesus to promise that he would enter Paradise.

Quaestor said...

Quaestor, I was in the etc. category, sheesh, why are you arguing about this?

I'm trying to get you to critique the logic (or more precisely the absence of same) in your own comments. All through this discussion you've compounded these errors of reason. For example: "Etc." is not a separate category, nor can it be a separate category by definition. Et cetera, and the rest (of these things), means the unspecified members of the same list. In your remark if Jews and Buddhist "need not apply", then those unspecified and referenced by "etc." are also members of the category "need not apply". I'm harping on this because you need to a handle on the basics before you can materially contribute.

Sheesh said...

Yes, Michelle. But it is compulsory in LDS, as far as I understand it, in order to take part in the deepest religious moments (in the temple.)

Also, do other religions spend their money on things like the City Creek Mall in Salt Lake City?

wyo sis said...

Sheesh
But were the Mormons comfortable with that level of obedience, and does it make them creepy? The Mormons I know are very happy productive people. Maybe that's a good argument for religious obedience. It tends to make you a happier more productive person.

wyo sis said...

Dave
Is paradise the same as heaven? As in where God lives?

Andy R. said...

What does any of this have to do with the First Amendment?

"Are liberals allowed to be outraged at one of the leading organizations fighting for anti-gay policies in this country?"


Last I looked, the First Amendment guarantees that everyone is allowed to express the religious principles - whether they interfere with the Gay Agenda or not.


I'm not saying the government should interfere with the Mormon churches right to engage in anti-gay bigotry. There is nothing that I've said that would indicate this is what I think.

But just as the First Amendment protects the right of a church to engage in anti-gay bigotry, it allows me to criticize them for it. Again, this is completely uncontroversial. My comments were simply a personal criticism of an ideology that I disagree with, and I don't understand what this has to do with the Bill of Rights.

I happen to support adopting some governmental laws about marriage equality that the Mormon church might not like, but again, this is a civil matter related to who the government is going to allow to get married to each other that has no First Amendment bearing on the Mormon church.

You'll have to be more clear about how the First Amendment applies since I clearly wasn't saying that the Mormon Church should not be "allowed to express the religious principles" of their religion.

There is sometimes a paranoia among the fever swamps of the right that the secular left wants to ban religion or something like that, but I am clearly not advocating anything like that.

Sheesh said...

wyo sis: I never said I found Mormons creepy. Actually, I like them. My only problem is with the LDS establishment, and only then because (I admit it, I am selfish) they are making my life very complicated at the moment. Please read my comment more clearly.

Sheesh said...

Anyway, wyo sis. Are they happy? I believe Utah has very high rates of suicide and anti-depressant use. See here:
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700066056/Antidepressants-flow-freely-in-Utah-as-1-in-5-women-partakes.html

(Deseret News is an LDS news source)

AllieOop said...

Dave or anyone, but faith in whom? Is faith in God alone sufficient, must one accept that Jesus was the Son of God to enter Heaven? What happens to Jews when they die? Or any other person who doesn't believe Jesus was the Son of God?

What of near death experiences by very sinful bad rotten people who say they were in Heaven?

Muns said...

Synova I believe you have a better grasp of Christian doctrine. Whoever believes that Jesus Christ died to forgive them of their sins is considered a Christian by Protestants. Protestants don't believe Catholics aren’t Christians. We believe there doctrine which places the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church at the same level of importance as the Holy Bible and their work righteousness is in egregious – no - deadly error. There are many wonderful and true Christians in the Catholic Church. However, the Catholics unfortunate doctrinal errors cause many to stumble and fall away. Mormonism is a cult. Their doctrine clearly states they do not believe in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who in his infinite Grace died for all mankind to forgive them of their sins.

hombre said...

@ Dave: Really? Where do Baha'i and Scientology stand on Jesus?

I prefer to let God judge what we call heresies and to assess conduct, I.e., "wonderful, openhearted and angelic..." works for me.

Otoh, I do judge predictable lefty nitwits like AllieOop (see 7:41) to be essentially brainless. I'm pretty clear God will forgive that since she is clearly not a "sister."

AllieOop said...

Hombre, quite unChristian of you, and THAT is why I reject organized religion, because of hypocrites and haters like you.

Since when is this discussion limited to believers? Who appointed you and Quaestor God?

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

Mormons have a higher than average tendency to success in the commercial world, which may account for some of the angst.

How about a tag: "Mormons are the new Jews."

Quayle said...

Sheesh writes, "I am currently living in Provo, Utah. Before moving here, I had no feelings whatsoever regarding the LDS church. My cousin is Mormon, as are many other people I know, and I just thought it was a slightly quirky, typically American, way of reaching God.

However, there are quite a few things that disturb me:"


My friend, as a Mormon that grew up in the NYC metro area, I feel for you, living in Provo, Utah.

You are in the belly of the worst cultural beast you'll likely ever find.

A place where the Mormons are having a huge problem distinguishing between what is their religion, what is their bubble-provincialism, what is hold-over John Birch-ism, what is is Fox News product salesmanship, and what is just plain Utah-county weirdness.

Inside the Mormon culture (among those of us not raised in Utah) the whole Provo/Orem thing is the butt of a lot of jokes and cause of many an eye roll.

Run. Run away very fast.

wyo sis said...

I'm sorry if I mistook your meaning Sheesh. I assumed if you find the leadership creepy, you must find those who are obedient to be creepy.
The leadership thing confuses me. Is the leadership of the University the same as the church leadership, as in taking direction from them or are the university housing and behavior codes simply a product of the university administration of a private religious university?

AllieOop said...

Hombre, on second thought I'm going to be a better Christian than you and forgive you. My pastor used to say, when someone complained about all the hypocrites sitting in the pew benches of churches, " What better place for them, they need God the most".

Sheesh said...

The leadership of the University and the church leadership are the same. Mormons believe those currently in leadership positions in the Church to be prophets, and take directions from them (similar to fatwahs) about how to behave.

Sheesh said...

Also, BYU is directly owned and operated by the LDS church. It's not like, say, Notre Dame, which is just affiliated with a church.

Quayle said...

Mormonism is a cult. Their doctrine clearly states they do not believe in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who in his infinite Grace died for all mankind to forgive them of their sins.

(Oh, this is just plain silly.)

So, pray tell, where does Mormon doctrine 'clearly state' this?

In the Book of Mormon?

What about these?

2 Nephi 25:23 & 26

"23. For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do."

"26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

Or in the Doctrine and Covenants:

Section 20 (Sorry this is to long, but I feel the need to refute such ignorance.)

"17 By these things we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them;

18 And that he created man, male and female, after his own image and in his own likeness, created he them;

19 And gave unto them commandments that they should love and serve him, the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should worship.

20 But by the transgression of these holy laws man became sensual and devilish, and became fallen man.

21 Wherefore, the Almighty God gave his Only Begotten Son, as it is written in those scriptures which have been given of him.

22 He suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them.

23 He was crucified, died, and rose again the third day;

24 And ascended into heaven, to sit down on the right hand of the Father, to reign with almighty power according to the will of the Father;

25 That as many as would believe and be baptized in his holy name, and endure in faith to the end, should be saved—

26 Not only those who believed after he came in the meridian of time, in the flesh, but all those from the beginning, even as many as were before he came, who believed in the words of the holy prophets, who spake as they were inspired by the gift of the Holy Ghost, who truly testified of him in all things, should have eternal life,

27 As well as those who should come after, who should believe in the gifts and callings of God by the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and of the Son;

28 Which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end. Amen.

29 And we know that all men must repent and believe on the name of Jesus Christ, and worship the Father in his name, and endure in faith on his name to the end, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God.

30 And we know that justification through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is just and true;

31 And we know also, that sanctification through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is just and true, to all those who love and serve God with all their mights, minds, and strength.

32 But there is a possibility that man may fall from grace and depart from the living God;

33 Therefore let the church take heed and pray always, lest they fall into temptation;

34 Yea, and even let those who are sanctified take heed also."

Kirby Olson said...

Mormons believe that after Christ died he worked among American Indians. Anti-Mormons say then why don't the American Indians have any words from Aramaic? Maybe it's because he worked with them in their own languages. He could probably learn different languages since He was God. However, there is no trace of this amongst American Indian histories. When you go into a Mormon church you see wondrously poorly painted pictures of Christ among the American Indians. I find the Mormons to be a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to a Mormon president. What could drive the left more insane?

Sheesh said...

Quayle--thanks for the understanding hahaha! I like it here in some respects, but yeah, it can be a bit stifling. I'm just here for the summer so it's not the worst thing in the world =)

Anyway, as I've said, I've made a lot of friends!

Synova said...

"Synova I believe you have a better grasp of Christian doctrine."

Er... than what?

"Whoever believes that Jesus Christ died to forgive them of their sins is considered a Christian by Protestants."

Depends on the Protestants. There's a reason they keep on breaking off and starting a new group. ;-)

"Their doctrine clearly states they do not believe in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit..."

The Trinity is actually less universal in Christian churches than I ever thought. Oneness Pentacostals consider it polytheism. And something in the back of my head is insisting that the Copts don't go with the Trinity either, but I wouldn't pretend to know that was so.

I think that it's important that people try as hard as they can to be right about doctrine. It's better to *try* and be wrong, than to decide it really doesn't matter and not bother. I'd rather than someone said I was wrong than if they decided that Truth was less important than getting along. *That* I find insulting.

In the context of this thread and discussion, I mostly set out to illustrate that there's a limit to how bent out of shape evangelicals are going to get over Mormons. There's a context to the issue that the concern-trolls at the NYT are undoubtedly going to miss because they don't *get* evangelical Christianity.

Firstly, that EVERYONE is going to hell and deserves to go to hell. Suggesting that this group or that group isn't saved or has their doctrine so wrong it would be a miracle if someone stumbled onto the truth, isn't an expression of hatred, it's the default.

And in that *default* sense, it's unlikely to make any difference at all that Romney is Mormon, particularly considering Obama's church history.

traditionalguy said...

Finding men of sincere Christian faith and of superior education has been like finding 4 leaf clovers.

You usually find one without the other.

Three teachers that have combined those traits are the oft quoted C. S, Lewis, Derek Prince, and the third one who is living and an acquaintance of mine now teaches at an Anglican style Episcopal Church meeting in my old High School's Auditoriom. He is named Ken Boa.

Anyone in need of an educated teacher on Christian doctrines should check out Ken Boa's website.

jeff said...

"Quaestor, I was in the etc. category, sheesh, why are you arguing about this?"

Probably because you chastised him for putting words in your mouth even though he did no such thing. He made a reasonable inference based on your previous comments.

"Who appointed you and Quaestor God?"
Why are you putting words in quaestor's mouth? Where did he claim to be God? It appears he is doing nothing but explaining his doctrine.
The best part about all of this is I share the same faith (or lack thereof) as Andy R, with the exception I neither hate, nor hold in contempt, or consider those who believe as idiots. Probably because I'm not as young and arrogant as he is.

AllieOop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllieOop said...

Kirby, I couldn't care less that he is a Mormon. Deflecting all the angst about him being a "true" Christian by Fundies onto the left, that's rich. And guess what? I'm voting for him.

Personally I don't think even Fundies really care, as long as they get their Republican President.

The only one who really does care is Crack.

Pogo said...

God damn America
versus
God bless America.

Gee, how to choose?

Henry said...

Original Mike wrote: How many people immediately thought of AndyR?

Funny. I immediately thought of Crack. But then AndyR showed up like you'd summoned him with incense.

Dr Weevil said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson (9:18pm) has a very long memory. I believe I was the one who first pointed out that George W. Bush seemed to be discreetly tithing, since his charitable contributions had added up to around 10.2% of his income two years in a row. My post from April 13, 2002 has lost its comments over the years, but the link to Turkeyblog (my source for the figures) still works.

JAL said...

@ bearing 5:42
"one who believes in the divinity of Jesus Christ" then they are (along with Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox, and quite a few others).

Ahhh ... but you have to define "divinity of Jesus Christ"

Therein lies the rub.

But I am going to vote for Romney, even though our definitions (I was taught many years ago by a wise man: "Define your terms.") are at odds.

At least under Romney I will be able to disagree with him and the local door to door LDS guys (who are going to be doing somersaults of joy as they tout the "Mormon POTUS!" to swell the roles).

With the erosion of the First Amendment under Barack Obama, (ask an informed Catholic) I could be guilty of hate speech with a "more flexible" second term.

hombre said...

AllieOop wrote (9:41): Hombre, quite unChristian of you, and THAT is why I reject organized religion, because of hypocrites and haters like you.

Since when is this discussion limited to believers? Who appointed you and Quaestor God?


See, Allie. That's what I mean by predictable. I was tempted to write: "Now's the time to call me a hypocrite, Allie," because that's always the last line of attack for lefty nitwits.

As for the hypocrisy, where is it written that Christians are not allowed to notice brainlessness?

Also. when did I suggest the discussion should be limited to believers? More lefty predictability: When the goin' gets rough, make shit up!

Finally, I am in no way responsible for your faithlessness. Grownups make choices and take responsibility for them. Give it a try.

The Crack Emcee said...

Henry,

Funny. I immediately thought of Crack.

Because I fit the profile so well:

The Crack Emcee - everyone's favorite Left-Wing evangelical Christian.

That almost makes as much sense as supporting a member of a cult started by a convicted con man and child rapist (I love how none of you mention that) for president of our country. Truth? Education? History? Science? What's that? Something to be ignored whenever convenient for political purposes. Just like with Obama's presidency, I can't wait to hear you guys explain electing a Mormon - and what that exactly is - to your kids. You're burying yourselves so deep, here, you may never be able to credibly crawl out of this hole. Not on my watch, anyway.

I just spent the last five days with a Mormon on a business trip - traveling, sharing a room at night, the whole bit. In that time, he ratted out almost everyone he came into contact with, including our boss back home in Utah, in an attempt to win brownie points with the team leader we were visiting. (At night he read a book by a convicted con man who converted to Mormonism, which figured, I thought. A totally natural fit.)

I'm sure the rest of you would focus on nothing more than his salt-of-the-Earth demeanor, and would call him a "nice" guy, but all I saw was an always-smiling snake in the grass.

One day you're all going to understand the error of your ways - and how utterly superficial your thinking is.

But, as usual, it's got to be The Hard Way,....

JAL said...

Kirby -- you missed all the rich archeological digs uncovering all the stuff that the Book Of Mormon indicates is to be found in the Americas.

Oh. Wait. Ooops.


I am still voting for Romney.

The Crack Emcee said...

The only one who really does care is Crack.

That statement is so profound it hurts.

Like I said, you're all superficial people, to the extreme. I see it in this, how you discuss politics - everything. It's all surface level, mostly regurgitated, media talking points, delivered as though they're your own opinions when, the truth is, you barely understand the issues at all. You know nothing of Mormons or Mormonism and the most revealing aspect of that - as with all cultism - is you trust THEM to explain it to you. That's like trying to get the truth about Scientology from Tom Cruise. Good luck.

Yes, it's your NOT CARING that I find most disagreeable, along with your tortured attempts at being clever, both being regularly used to cover for your ignorance. As I remind you regularly, PEOPLE DIE from these delusions - daily - and all you do is allow it. Well, you allowed one cultist into the White House, and didn't like the result. Now you're going for two-in-a-row. But this time, with a bunch of whack-jobs who are organized. You are holding the door open for them - to narcissistically prove how "open-minded" you are. Yeah, so "open-minded" your brains have fallen out.

What did Benn Franklin say? He gave us a republic, if we can keep it?

You no longer even trying to protect your country.

And then, after you fuck it up, as always - just like with Ann and what Obama's left us with - you'll try to act like your unfeeling asses had nothing really to do with the results of your actions.

But I'll know - because I was the only one who cared.

I was the only one who cared - when it mattered.

Shit, I'm practically the only one that still matters at all,...

JAL said...

Quayle -- You must include relevant readings from the Doctrine and Covenants. Don't cherry pick.

{For the uninitiated: "The Doctrine and Covenants is one of four books of scripture used in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the other three are the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Pearl of Great Price).}

And you're not defining your terms.


Regardless, I am still voting for Romney.

RonF said...

Considering the LDS to be non-Christian is not the position of a few radical fundamentalist Christians. The LDS is held to be non-Christian by the Roman Catholic Church and almost every mainstream Protestant church. About the only people for whom classification of the LDS as a non-Christian church is controversial is a) the LDS and b) the leftist news media.

AllieOop said...

Crack you are the lone voice in the wilderness.

I may not agree with you or understand where you are coming from entirely, but I will give credit where it's due, you have strong convictions and aren't afraid of ridicule, because you feel that what you have to impart is more important than yourself.

That's admirable, a rare trait amongst most folks here.

Kirk Parker said...

I have some theological disagreements with official Mormon teachings, but you know what? We aren't electing a pope!

As long as we're talking a civil office, I'd vote for Romney any day of the week, and twice on Sunday, over someone like my fellow-Christian but leftie Jim Wallis.

Alan said...

If this thread is any indicator, Mormons and Trinitarians may have sharp disagreements, but they treat each other more nicely than many on the Left treat conservatives.

Alan said...

(Full disclosure: I am an Evangelical Christian.)

Regarding Kirk's sentiments...I believe that there's a Biblical approach to selection people for civil office, one that happens to match that of any freedom-minded political philosophy: pick the candidate who is most consistent with "Thou shalt not steal."

On that count a libertarian Wiccan is closer to Jesus than Obama is.

Jim in St Louis said...

What an interesting conversation. I get such pleasure from reading all the comments.

Some here predict a nasty backlash from the born-again folks against Mitt. I sorta agree, but the attack will be come from the left.

Mitt will be challenged this summer over his faith, and this will be sign unto you that you will know my prediction is true:

The attacker will be someone you never heard of before. It won't be Dobson or Warren or any known and named leaders of the evangelicals in this country.

But the left will dig up some preacher somewhere and give him a forum to get all nutty about false doctrine and cults- they will get him a haircut and a new suit and put him on with Sharpton, and Schultz and Maddow, and the alphabet networks.

After all they did that same thing when they were promoting Koran burning. They found "mutton-chops" and set him loose. Yes, the religious right thinks the Koran is the devil's book, but they do not get all wacky about it, and they won't get wacky about Mitt. But it will be all we are going to hear about for a month or so this summer. Say about July. That's my prediction.




note: I am NOT a crackpot.

Ryan said...

"I think Mormonism is a "non-Christian religion" but I don't see that as somehow being anti-Mormon."

Actually, it is completely anti-Mormon.

A "Christian" religion is a faith that asserts Christ atoned for our sins. This believe, of course, is a central tenant of the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Calling Mormons non-Christians is a game that anti-Mormons like to play, I think, to mislead the uninitiated about LDS doctrine. First they identify some difference between Mormon doctrine and other Christian faiths' doctrine that they think is out of the mainstream. Then they define being "Christian" as turning on that difference and declare that Mormons are non-Christians. The effect (if not the intent) is to giving people the impression that Mormons do not believe in Christ or his atonement.

Other than misleading people about Mormon doctrine (which is obviously anti-Mormon), the only other reason anti-Mormons can possible care so much about labeling Mormons non-Christian is that they want to make sure people understand loud and clear, that Mormons are not part of the group! Any effort by other Christians this sustained to disassociate from Mormons is, by definition, anti-Mormon.

Kirk Parker said...

Ryan,

LDS: We're one of you!

Orthodox Christianity: No, not really.

Hmmmmmmmmm.....

Saint Croix said...

Arguing Christian doctrine has made Allie nicer to Crack. Yay!

roesch/voltaire said...

I have a right to question Mormon beliefs, Smith was no Luther, and the Book of Mormon is no Bible, but that does not mean I am attacking Mormonism . People can believe in all sorts of things and lead positive productive lives so I judge by the actions. Still one has to examine how beliefs influence action.

Freeman Hunt said...

For what it's worth, one of the email lists I'm on includes a contingent of hard care fundamentalist Christians.

They're all voting Romney.

Ryan, your comment seems to say that saying Mormonism is not a Christian religion (It's not.), is anti-Mormon because it makes Mormons feel excluded from a group, but feeling doesn't alter fact. Jews aren't Christians. Atheists aren't Christians. To say so isn't to be against Jews and atheists.

Freeman Hunt said...

"hard care"

Heh.

Should have been "hard core," but I do like "hard care."

Unknown said...

Freeman

Ryan, your comment seems to say that saying Mormonism is not a Christian religion (It's not.), is anti-Mormon because it makes Mormons feel excluded from a group, but feeling doesn't alter fact.


Actually he did good job explaining why statements that Mormons are not Christians is so offensive.

First they identify some difference between Mormon doctrine and other Christian faiths' doctrine that they think is out of the mainstream. Then they define being "Christian" as turning on that difference and declare that Mormons are non-Christians. The effect (if not the intent) is to giving people the impression that Mormons do not believe in Christ or his atonement.

Personally, I always thought that Christ knows who His followers are - the rest is opinion, not fact.

Jews aren't Christians. Atheists aren't Christians. To say so isn't to be against Jews and atheists.

Have Jews and Atheists claimed they are Chrisitan? Not to my knowledge. If not, then your analogy is flawed.

Unknown said...

My apologies at the "uknown" on the above comment. Having problems with my account today. I'm Rose.

hombre said...

St Croix wrote: Arguing Christian doctrine has made Allie nicer to Crack. Yay!

She just noticed that Crack, like Allie, now spends much of his time denigrating the commenters here as a group.
---------------------

Ryan wrote: A "Christian" religion is a faith that asserts Christ atoned for our sins. This believe (sic.), of course, is a central tenant (sic.) of the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

By most standards, that is a pretty gross oversimplification of what it means to be Christian.

Well-meaning Christians who distinguish Mormonism from traditional Christianity do not do so to be "anti-Mormon." They do so because they fear, rightly or wrongly, that those who follow Mormonism will be denied salvation.

None of that has to do with politics, however, and any Evangelical who votes against Romney because he's Mormon joins the Christian rubes who still vote for godless Democrats who think the First Amendment is limited to the Establishment Clause.

AllieOop said...

Baloney Hombre. I've been having quite a bit of fun interacting with the commenters here on other threads the last few days. Not all the commenters here wear a constant scowl, on the lookout for a liberal to bash. Some here, actually have a desire to hear another viewpoint. Some here have a sense of humor!

Refreshing. It gets boring living in an echo chamber, but you Hombre seem like a boring man. And you are the epitome of a hypocrite. I'm glad you gave me the opportunity to point it out to you twice now in he same thread.

Aridog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aridog said...

Passive = I've been having quite a bit of fun interacting with the commenters here on other threads the last few days.

Aggressive = but you ... seem like a boring man. And you are the epitome of a hypocrite.

The definition.

Fen said...

Allie: I've been having quite a bit of fun interacting with the commenters here on other threads the last few days. Not all the commenters here wear a constant scowl, on the lookout for a liberal to bash. Some here, actually have a desire to hear another viewpoint. Some here have a sense of humor!

Allie insists she presents a viewpoint and is funny.

AllieOop said...

Aridog, yes I know it was bugging you that we all were getting along so nicely on that Cafe thread a couple days ago. Why is that? Do you need to remind some conservatives here who their "enemies" are if and when they start fraternizing?

Are you the sheepdog who nips the wandering sheep in the heels when they stray from the narrow path? We are all sheep of sorts, only some of us know it, some think they are dogs.

AllieOop said...

Well inevitably it always devolves into a feeding frenzy, too bad it was an interesting thread.

Fen said...

AllieTheFakeNurse: Do you need to remind some conservatives here who their "enemies" are if and when they start fraternizing?

Geez, you really take yourself too seriously. Enemy? A flea collar is enough to ward you off.

Aridog said...

Mizz Oop ... please re-read your own comment that I cited by quotation. Now tell us if the second paragraph was necessary to affirm the valid position you took in the first?

I'm not judging you. You do that yourself by making a laudable comment about getting along, and then insulting a guy by calling him a boring hypocrite.

Freeman Hunt said...

Actually he did good job explaining why statements that Mormons are not Christians is so offensive.

No, he didn't. He said this to justify the claim that Mormons are Christians:

A "Christian" religion is a faith that asserts Christ atoned for our sins. This believe, of course, is a central tenant of the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

That is a facile and incorrect definition of Christianity. There are plenty of Hindus who might agree that Christ atoned for our sins, but they wouldn't make them Christians.

It is not offensive to say that Mormonism is not theologically Christian. It isn't. No doubt there are, however, people who identify as Mormon who are actually Christians.

Take this for example from Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith:

God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!

That is wholly incompatible with orthodox (little O) Christianity. It is a non-Christian belief. There are many more.

If a Mormon who is theologically Mormon wants to say, "I follow Jesus [as I interpret him]," okay fine. But if he wants to say, "I am a Christian," he is incorrect.

He'd hardly be alone. Plenty of people who call themselves Christians have no idea what Christianity is and are wholly ignorant of its theology.

hombre said...

Oh look. Here's Allie just having fun:
Are you the sheepdog who nips the wandering sheep in the heels when they stray from the narrow path? We are all sheep of sorts, only some of us know it, some think they are dogs.

And here's Allie lamenting the degeneration of the thread (not noticing that she is the common denominator in the inevitable degeneration):

Well inevitably it always devolves into a feeding frenzy, too bad it was an interesting thread.

Nice ol' Allie here with the meanies just havin' fun.

Allie, I recommend you explore the relationship between "disingenuous" and "hypocritical."

And if you think I am the "epitome" of a hypocrite,
check out "epitome" as well.

hombre said...

Plenty of people who call themselves Christians have no idea what Christianity is and are wholly ignorant of its theology.

A-h-h but atheists, agnostics, apostate childhood Christians, etc., have it all down pat. LOL

Nice clarifying post, Freeman. Thank you.

Aridog said...

Hombre ... Mizz Oop is just "cleverly" conflating me with my avatar, one of our German Shepherd dogs, and the herding "Auspferchen" test, which requires driving a large flock (150+) of sheep out of an enclosure, while the Haupthund (main dog that works independently of two dogs testing) keeps them in a semblance of order.

Very cute, eh ... and since WI is a home to many very good Schutzhund type dog breeders, Mizz Oop might even know that. Fact is, "Ari" is Wisconsin bred by a knowledgeable breeder and competitor, out of W. German stock. Herding, however, is not one of his talents, even if bred for it, but obedience and bite work suit him very well.

Freeman Hunt said...

A-h-h but atheists, agnostics, apostate childhood Christians, etc., have it all down pat. LOL

No. Why on earth would you think that I think that?

The Crack Emcee said...

Ryan,

Other than misleading people about Mormon doctrine (which is obviously anti-Mormon), the only other reason anti-Mormons can possible care so much about labeling Mormons non-Christian is that they want to make sure people understand loud and clear, that Mormons are not part of the group!

Wow. Thanks for limiting the possibilities, of my thinking, to what you can imagine:

Even utilizing the "logic" of the metaphysical, there is no way to get from a man notorious for peddling himself as a user of a "seer stone" - and who dictated his doctrine from a hat holding golden plates - to This is Christianity. But Mormonism says to defend it, so Mormons lie, revealing a slippery willingness to play fast-and-loose with the truth that's traceable directly to Joseph Smith, the multiply-convicted confidence man who started it all. And/or, like Elizabeth Warren, proud Mormons are compelled to make claims they can't back-up (about their history, themselves, their actions and motivations, etc.) and calling everyone else crazy. Sure.

Knowing theirs is a slap-dashed collage of other "beliefs," Mormon cultists look for validation within the ranks of religion, understanding them better than themselves. This is because Mormons are NewAgers - devouring that "spiritual" group's traditional staple of an occult smorgasbord of delusion, though a plate specifically chosen by their founder and not, say, the hippie "free spirit" Oprah-watching cat owners themselves - which is most definitely not Christianity, Upright Citizen's Brigade uniformity or not.

Sorry but just as we don't have to accept Elizabeth Warren's a Cherokee, simply because she says so, we don't have to accept Mormons are Christian because they do.

hombre,

A-h-h but atheists, agnostics, apostate childhood Christians, etc., have it all down pat. LOL

Laugh all you want, but according to the Pew Research Center, it's American Mormons, Jews, atheists, and agnostics who understand religion better than most - with atheists coming out on top.

Unknown said...

Freeman,

I see that you decided to prove the point of Ryan's that I quoted in my earlier comment. :-D

As I said earlier - Christ knows who his followers are. Everyone else is just expressing an opinion.

Rose

hombre said...
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hombre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hombre said...

Aridog wrote: Hombre ... Mizz Oop is just "cleverly" conflating me with my avatar, one of our German Shepherd dogs, and the herding "Auspferchen" test, which requires driving a large flock (150+) of sheep out of an enclosure ....

I'm sure that must have been what she was doing -- cleverly.
----------------
Crack wrote: Laugh all you want, but according to the Pew Research Center, it's American Mormons, Jews, atheists, and agnostics who understand religion better than most - with atheists coming out on top.

My comment wasn't about "religion", it was about Christianity and Christian theology.

But, wow! Something's true because Pew Research and CNN say so so, eh? Who knew?
---------------
Freeman wrote: "No. Why on earth would you think that I think that?"

I don't think you think that. I think they think that. See Crack's post referenced above.

hombre said...

@Freeman: I wasn't kidding at 1:35 about liking your post. Sorry if my sarcasm about atheists, etc., obscured that.

The Crack Emcee said...

hombre,

My comment wasn't about "religion", it was about Christianity and Christian theology.

And now you're going to pretend that, because of your singular specificity, that Christianity and Christian theology don't fall under the heading of "religion"?

Whatever - that's such a cheap dodge you might want to consider a job with the Romney campaign:

You'll go far,...

hombre said...

Crack wrote: And now you're going to pretend that, because of your singular specificity, that Christianity and Christian theology don't fall under the heading of "religion"?

No. I was pointing out that the results of the Pew survey on religion in general with questions about Maimonides, the faith of Indonesia and the permitted use of Bibles in schools do not address proficiency in Christian theology among atheists.

I'm sure you knew that and chose to cite it anyway, aware that it did not address my comment or prove your point in the context of my comment.

You didn't use to pull that kind of stuff, Crack. Is it Romney's fault?

rsb said...

All christians are stupid.

JAL said...

@ Kirk P As long as we're talking a civil office, I'd vote for Romney any day of the week, and twice on Sunday, over someone like my fellow-Christian but leftie Jim Wallis.

Amen.

wyo sis said...

All atheists are stupid
All buddahists are stupid
All muslims are stupid
All deists are stupid
All heathens are stupid
All things are stupid
or---maybe it's just rsb.
It's good to be specific.

furious_a said...

...there it is, right there in Article VI, Section 3:

[etc., etc.]...shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

furious_a said...

...because, you know, bringing up the time Mr. Obama spent at Trinity United marinating in Rev. Wright's racist sermonizing would be, you know...racist.

vets74 said...

I just read/skimmed the above. Indeed the SLC-based LDS hierarchy offers titles and statuses so "(adherents) seek to become God, just as God is God, perfected beings in control of their own universes." Same as St. Pete-based Scientology. The model is getting your own planet in an afterlife.

Candidate Mitt Romney has been a high figure in LDS hierarchy. Saints, Sisters, Angels, the Council -- he was President of Boston Stake. Theology is not the issue, it's use of power.

Also: "lying for the Lord." Secrecy and disinformation to "Gentiles" is a nagging problem. Ordinary Christians are "Gentiles." LDS official attitudes emphasize an us-versus-them world view and a John Birch Society political idealism. E.g., "Marx vs. Locke" single-mindedness.

One longstanding LDS public fiction is related directly to Mr. Romney. Google [ romney jean vilnet ] An invented figure, "Albert Marie," is blamed for Romney's June 16th 1968 auto accident in France. This fiction served LDS public relations goals. But now in 2012 the stubborn facts emerge. Mr. Romney is connected to the worst day in the long life of Ted Kennedy and the worst lying of John Edwards.

LDS and Scientology tell people to open themselves, seeking mystical knowledge. First, LDS could study Gandhi: "There is no god greater than truth."