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Posts Tagged ‘evangelical’

Models for Conversation

Posted by nebula0 on November 1, 2009

There are several theological approaches to dealing with the problem of religious plurality, that is, how to deal with the fact that there are multiple truth claims made by others who seem very sincere.  These truth claims are often exclusive.  The evangelical and Mormon conversation typifies one response to the problem, that is, simply maintaining strict exclusivism.  The best that can be done in this model is attempting to understand the other position thoroughly while maintaining that the end of the day the other position is just not a path to God.  Though the other party may be sincere and well-meaning, there can only be one true path to God.  This position has several advantages, among which are that it is simple, straightforward, and in a not so obvious fashion perhaps more respectful than the other possible positions because it recognizes that the other side is trying to claim an absolute truth which isn’t the same as your own.  This model of conversation envisions an eventual total replacement of the other side by the one true way.

But there are other ways too.  In Roman Catholic theology it is common to think of other religions as containing ‘anonymous Christians’ who have access to real grace in their own religious traditions.  While Catholicism maintains that it has the clearest path to God and the most truth, it argues that there are sincere believers in other traditions that despite their traditions are, in a real sense, making their way to God.  So it is that Karl Rahner can argue that other religions are ways of salvation, if not as bright and well-marked as the Catholic way, and even if the individuals in question are in reality being saved by Christ even if they don’t agree.  This way has the advantage of approaching the other as possibly, in a true sense, approaching God and therefore listening closer, but all the while thinking that you are still most correct. 

In liberal Protestantism there are generally two approaches that can be taken.  One is that world religions are all mutually valid ways of approaching God- that is, different paths up the same mountain.  Some arguing that this position is too arrogant in assuming that someone has access to seeing the whole mountain while others do not (those who insist their way is truly exclusive, for instance) and that there is but one peak argue that there are multiple mountains with multiple peaks.  If a Buddhist expect nirvana and a Mormon the Celestial Kingdom, a good Buddhist will get nirvana and a good Mormon the Celestial Kingdom, exactly as they expect and desire.  Naturally this approach creates the greatest openness to hearing others speak and completely eliminates the desire to convert the other.

I argue that it is best to be clear and straightforward about what our biases are.  Obviously if we did not think we had the best way to worship God, we’d do it the way that we did think was best.  The danger is that conversations with those very jealous about the exclusiveness of their truth claims often quickly become frustrating as each side, rather than being able to have open conversation, is on constant guard against giving too much ground while attempting vigorously to convert the other.   I have seen too often conversations between evangelicals and Mormon degrade into a mutual play act, in which one side recalls ‘tips for evangelizing’ and the other resorts to bearing his testimony.  Both sides walk away frustrated and having gained nothing whatsoever.  Is there a way to engage in real conversation?  Only if there is a modicum of danger involved, that is, an allowance of the possibility of changing minds, if even a little bit.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

How to Witness to Mormonism

Posted by nebula0 on March 18, 2009

Since I do believe that the theology of Mormonism is fundamentally flawed in a significant way, it makes sense to me to at least explain why I think this way to Mormons who are interested.  I do not go into such conversations with the unrealistic expectation of converting them to trinitarianism, my aims are much more modest, the hope to impart a greater understanding of what the trinity is.  Now that is not what evangelicals usually think when they think of witnessing.  Evangelicals in general are an excited lot, certain of the obvious truth of their position to the point that many become quickly frustrated when others don’t see the obvious aspect of their truth claims.  When dealing with Mormons this leads to disastrous results that you can see on internet boards all over- accusing Mormons of being brainwashed cultists, mocking Mormon rituals, ridiculing Mormon leaders and so forth.  Evangelicals will gleefully take part in these activities with the explanation that they are telling the truth and therefore being loving.

Imagine for a moment if Paul, in a fit of exasperation, threw up his hands and let those at Mars Hill know that they were brainwashed beyond belief and incapable of rational thought because they didn’t agree with his explanations.  Not a pretty picture is it?  Paul, instead, found common ground and patiently reasoned with the people so they at least understood what he was saying.  Likewise, he tells us that for Jews he becomes a Jew and for Gentiles a Gentile in order that he might convert some, that is, he explains things in a way that makes sense for each individual, not that he compromises the gospel message.

So here are my tips for witnessing to Mormons, borne of my experience having been a Mormon and on the receiving end of terrible ‘witnessing’.

1.  Don’t be a jerk.  This seems obvious but let me reiterate: don’t be a jerk.  Don’t take pleasure in trying to cause another discomfort with negative information about things they’ve held sacred or persons they’ve held in high regard.

2.  Understand Mormon culture.  Mormons are often thought of as nice people, that is because Utah Mormon culture prescribes extraordinary niceness and the standard of communications.  So this is especially for you Reformed people out there who liked to be in your face- realize that Mormons will interpret that ‘in your faceness’ not as being bold, but as being rude and whatever you have to say will then be ignored.  If you actually care about communicating a message, communicate in a way that Mormons are willing to hear.  Be polite, even excessively so, and you will find that Mormons will listen to your message without the message itself being compromised.

3.  Do your homework.  If you happen to run into misisonaries  coming to your house, or find yourself suddenly in a conversation with a Mormon friend, you may have to rely on scattered information.  In that case, stick to what you know best, your side of things, and avoid venturing into Mormon territory.  If you think that witnessing to Mormons is something that you should be doing all of the time, do not be lazy and rely on what this and that website tell you.  Take the time to read through Mormon scriptures, attend a few Mormon meetings, read through the literature they use to teach other Mormons so that you understand Mormon language and understand what Mormons hear every Sunday.  That way you will understand what is truly significant to average Mormons and not get on useless sidetracks about whether or not the Journal of Discourses ought to be counted as scripture, it’s just not.

4.  Take the time to learn about different Mormon circles.  This relates to the above point.   Your average Mormon isn’t going to be in the same boat as your apologetic FARMS oriented Mormon, and he isn’t going to be in the same boat as your theologically  liberal Sunstone oriented Mormon, and you may occasionally run into the old school Mormon who hold onto old ideas such as natives getting lighter skin with baptism.  Get to know the way of thinking of these different groups and learn the basic apologetic arguments.  For instance, you may find yourself embarrassed if you aren’t at least familiar with the limited geographical model of the Book of Mormon widely accepted amongst true believers.  It is wrong to insist that “Mormons” believe that Elohim had sex with Mary when only your old school believers will assent to this.

5.  Examine your own motives.  You may have wiggled at some of my above information and said “but it’s true!  Mormon leaders DID teach that natives become lighter and that Elohim had sex with Mary!  that’s right!”.  The point is, will insisting on THOSE issues with average Mormons get them any closer to understanding the gospel?  The point is not about you winning points.

6.  Focus your conversation.  I suggest sticking to theological issues rather than trying to attack the historicity of the Book of Mormon or prove that Joseph Smith had sex with all of his spirit wives.  That is, I suggest sticking to the issues that actually matter- the nature of God, grace, atonement and so forth.  Now it is true, that some Mormons will show some interest in learning about other topics, and if that is so, you should discuss them using discretion, but avoid attacks.  I think of this as trying to talk to someone about a straying spouse, if you go in for the attack straightaway the natural human reaction is to clam up and defend the spouse.  Be patient and kind and avoid casting dispersions on Mormonism. 

7.  On that last note, think of a few things you can admire about Mormonism.  It will help the conversation along if you can admire some things about Mormonism- find some kind of common ground, to set the tone of the conversation as positive.  Likewise, be willing to defend misinformation of Mormonism against others who have an incorrect understanding even if it may seem to them that you are defending Mormonism itself.  It will advertise to Mormons that you have integrity and won’t lie to them.

8.  My last suggestion is to listen.  Do not follow a script.  I repeat, do not follow a script.  Be open to a real discussion, that’s where any meaningful exchange of discussion is going to happen.  You may never know if your Mormon friend was altered by your conversation, but it’s not for you to know, it’s for God to know, but you can be sure that if you are rude, if you are simply throwing out this and that negative statement about Mormonism, you did nothing for the glory of God.  In fact, many Mormons point to the perceived rudeness of evangelicals in general as proof that their messages must not be any good. It’s time to turn that around.

I’m not saying there isn’t a time and place for out and out debate, if for no other reason than mutual amusement, but please be honest about your motivation.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

More Comments on Women and the Priesthood

Posted by nebula0 on October 7, 2008

This is one of those hot button issues in the LDS church that usually brings about the silent treatment from most Mormon women if brought up.  The truth of the matter is, most Mormon women are busy enough doing other things that they don’t care, at least, not too often.  And, it isn’t as if Mormonism is alone in having sexist doctrine (in the most technical sense, doctrine which gives special privileges to one person but not the other based on their sex)- look at conservative Christianity.  Most conservative evangelical churches do not countenance the notion of having a woman senior pastor, the Roman Catholic Church does not allow for women priests either.  Mormons would be fair in pointing out these facts when discussing this issue: hey, we’re not the only ones who think that ecclesiastical power ultimately should be located in the hands of men, and with women only under the supervision of men.

With that being said, let me open this up, why is this the case?

I’ll start by venturing a few thoughts:

– the first is that women are traditionally, and biologically, busy with children.  You can imagine this beginning when a woman is nursing a small infant, and from there having the role as primary care provider.  This is usually the case around the world.

– the New Testament suggests that men are to be leaders (remember that line about elders being the husband of one wife?  that certainly suggests that the elders were men!).  Even if there were women deacons and apostles (and there were definitely deaconesses, perhaps women apostles) the norm was men as the leaders.

– the New Testament also spells out that good wives are submissive to their husbands.  There are so many different ways to interpret this and give it nuance, but the essential core remains: the man as the ‘head’ of the family.  This naturally extends itself into ecclesiastical life.

– either by culture, biology or a combination of both women are perceived as more ‘sensitive’ and emotional than men, not making them not as attractive as leaders in any extensive sense (think bishop over the ward, and even prophetess over the church).  Not just men hold this opinion of women by the way, women hold this opinion of other women extensively.  Is there truth to this?

Posted in Controversial Topics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Nicety Niceness

Posted by nebula0 on September 26, 2008

Let me state from the outset that my purpose here is not to argue that Mormons are meaner than anyone else.  I don’t think that.  What I am going to argue though is that Mormons aren’t nicer than anyone else either.  I’d say if you could get into the heads of Mormons you’d discover that they are thoroughly human, no nicer or meaner than any other large group of people.

Now if you don’t know about Mormonism, the above might seem trivial to you, but consider this, when people talk about knowing Mormons, what is one of the things they are bound to share?  Probably something like: oh, they are so nice!  Now this was my reaction when I first got involved with the Mormon community, first as an investigator then as a new member.  It wasn’t the primary reason I got involved, but I thought they were some of the nicest people on the planet.  So what changed my mind?  Experience, that’s all, and not even bad, traumatic experience or anything like that.  Just everyday experience with lots of Mormons all over.  This is my discovery: what I call nicety niceness is a cultural element.  It’s like saying please and thank you if you are a polite person.  Mormon culture obligates people to avoid conflict (because, contention is of the devil, after all), and just be nice.  The Fundamentalist Latter-day Saints take this to an extreme with their women whose motto is “keep sweet”, a phrase which helps illuminate the larger Mormon culture.  So, smiling, avoiding contentious topics, a sense of eagerness, all of that are a part of what it is to be polite in Mormonism, and doesn’t necessarily reflect the inner attitudes of those speaking.  Why would I say this, you might ask.  The reason is because I’ve seen people be nicety nice to someone, and whether male or female, turn around and immediately gossip about them.  Actually this happened, well, a lot.  At first it was discouraging to me to realize that Mormons weren’t as nice as I thought, but then it was something of a relief to know that they weren’t robots after all.  Another thing I observed is that if one Mormon wanted to get someone else to do something, or find out why they are inactive, or cover some other potentially contentious ground, they tend to go round and round but never actually touch the topic they wanted to get to or only get there after ten minutes of nicety.  As you can imagine, this tends to lead to plenty of passive aggressiveness.  Mormons who have a problem bottle it up and take it out in bizarre ways, such as the cold shoulder.

In short, if you are going to become a Mormon, one of the best things you can do is be someone not afraid of a little conflict because then you can get away with doing whatever you want.  Chances are, no one will quite know how to deal with that.  I much prefer just coming out and saying whatever it is you mean, even if it isn’t nicety.  I’m certain that this is one of the major reasons Mormons think everyone else is so darned mean because in other Christian cultures (especially the reformed, I’ve noticed) it isn’t considered rude at all to “state things as you see them”.  So you’ll see Mormons and some kind of other Christian apologists going back and forth, the Mormons aghast that someone would be so darned mean, and why are they trying to pull other people down and and… while the Christian apologist starts to accuse the Mormon of being brainwashed because why else would they avoid the topic?  and both sides don’t get it.  In Mormon culture you have to be nicety nice to have effective communication, no matter how distasteful or simply annoying you may personally find it.  If you don’t, the other person assumes you are a rude brute, that doesn’t mean that they are brainwashed or anything else, it means that you are ineffectively communicating with Mormonism.

How did this all come about?  A few things: Mormons are supposed to be really, really happy.  It’s part of the gospel in Mormonism, man is that he might have joy.  If you are not happy, then you aren’t doing something right.  Hence, act happy, all of the time (and plenty of Mormons are not afraid of taking anti depressants either, however you want to interpret the fact, Utah is the anti depressant capital of the country– I don’t think Mormons are any more, or less happy than the average outside person either).  For example, take the saying that goes something like “no outside success can compensate for failure at home”- family harmony and happiness is considered in the complete control of the parents, particularly the father and so if it lacking it is all his fault, so darn it, act happy.   Another element is that there ought to be total harmony amongst the Saints, after all, they are part of the one true church on the face of the planet led by a living prophet.  Contention, any contention, is from Satan.

hmm, if I think of anymore background elements I will add them, feel free to add your input too.

Posted in Reflections, sociological thoughts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Exclusivism of Mormon Truth Claims

Posted by nebula0 on September 22, 2008

All this talk about whether or not Mormonism is a part of Christianity, or whether or not Mormons can be Christians got me thinking about this from another angle.  This goes back to my original question: why are Mormons so concerned about whether or not the conservative Christian community accepts them as Christians?  This question is quickly complicated when you take into account the fact that Mormons proclaim themselves to be members of the one and only true church on the face of the planet, the only church with the authority to baptize, the church to which one must belong and be a faithful member of if you want to have eternal life.  Given the exclusivism of those truth claims, is it so surprising that the conservative Christian community reacts?  -particularly given that Mormon theology is truly different.  Are Mormons really passive victims of a smear campaign, or is it time that they own up to their complicity in this problem?  I vote for the latter. 

Mormons, acknowledge that you preach exclusivist truth claims, truth claims which are truly unique as compared to normative/traditional Christianity.  By putting that forth on the table from the start, perhaps a fruitful discussion about where and how Mormonism fits into the Christian world can begin.

Posted in Basic Background, Controversial Topics, sociological thoughts | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Are Mormons Christians?

Posted by nebula0 on September 21, 2008

I argue that this question is a very different one thannit asking if Mormonism is a part of Christianity.  Asking if particular Mormons are Christians, or if Mormons can be Christians is an easier topic if anything.  I propose that if you were to go around and ask a random sampling of say, one hundred Mormons what they believed in depth, you’d find great divergences in beliefs between them and to what you might see as Mormonism proper.  I’d suspect that you’d find a majority sincerely believe themselves to be monotheists, not seeing at all that Mormonism posits the existence of more than one God (and more fundamentally, that Heavenly Father is not the creator of the cosmic laws, but is a product of them).  I also argue that you’d see a disproportionate number of Mormons, of the younger generation and especially young converts, speaking in evangelical terms about salvation, were you ask them about that.  This is possible because Mormon theology is nebulous and ill defined.

That is, you’d find a number of Mormons agreeing to basic Protestant propositions about God and Christ’s soteriological role.  Their Mormon-ness would be a product of their acceptance of the Mormon canon and embrace of the basic Joseph Smith story (sanitized, of course), as well as acceptance of Mormon authority as expressed in the priesthood.  The question is, to you readers, are the elements in the last sentence enough to bar them from Christianity?  If you are evangelical, let me pose it this way, can someone sincerely believe that Christ has saved them from their sins through grace, believe in one God and be saved regardless of whether or not they also happen to believe that the Book of Mormon is scripture?  I leave this as an open question.

I would like to comment on another element in the opening paragraph however, on a different note, concerning the nebulous nature of Mormon theology.  Many educated Mormons would probably agree with that diagnosis, but would construe it as a boon rather than a problem.  They may argue that Mormonism is a religion that emphasizes orthopraxis over and above orthodoxy, leaving room for individual members to construct their own theology within certain malleable limits as long as they toe the line with their behavior.  It all sounds so good on paper… is it really though?  The lack of well defined theology is not a product of something inherent in Mormonism that really, from its groundwork, emphasizes good works more than correct belief.  You need only sit through a temple recommend interview to understand that fallacy: do you have faith in Christ?  Do you sustain the leaders?  Do you have a testimony of the restoration?  Having a testimony of the truthfulness of the Mormon story is the cornerstone to being a Mormon.  Sit through any fast and testimony meeting, and you’ll hear member after member testify that they have knowledge, not just belief, that ‘the church is true’.  In fact one of the first things missionaries will try to teach potential converts is to recognize the Spirit testifying of truth.  All this talk about knowledge and truth clearly reveals an obsession with some kind of orthodoxy.  The reason it is ill defined is because Mormonism shuns a professional clergy who could have the training necessary to untangle it all in a clear, and meaningful fashion.

The other tidbit I want to mention is this talk about ‘following Christ’ making someone a Christian.  What does that mean?  There are good people in all religions, including plenty of great atheists who are out to love their neighbors.  That doesn’t make them Christians so why should some vague set of good deeds make anyone else a Christian alone?  It doesn’t work that way.

Posted in Controversial Topics, Theological Thoughts | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Are Mormons Persecuted?

Posted by nebula0 on August 23, 2008

Okay, so I’ve already complained about certain ex Mormons (oh I’m sorry, ‘recovering’ Mormons, too much jello I guess) so it’s only fair that I alienate more people by complaining about certain Mormons in a like way.  Certain Mormons, many of them, need to grow a thicker skin, really.  Here’s an example of what I mean.  Back when I went to the university, I used to love to watch street preachers coming onto campus, and my absolute favorites were these guys with giant signs condemning all kinds of people to hell.  They condemned homosexuals, people who love plants more than God, creators of motherboards (yup, odd huh?) and so forth.  Not surprisingly, Mormons were on the sign.  Now it would seem like with many people condemned to hell on the boards, that Mormons would be on the sign too wouldn’t be the biggest shocker.  Yet, I saw more than one Mormon girl walk away in tears, her sensitive feelers all hurt because the mean street preacher didn’t think she was a Christian.  Naturally she expected the other Mormons to feel sorry for her.  I say: duh.  Next, she would claim that she’s being persecuted, and the strong manly men who gathered around to pat her back would agree, those street preachers are persecuting them!  I hope you agree with me: that is NOT persecution.  Persecution involves getting killed, tortured, or at least discriminated against legally for your beliefs.  Mormons, in their past, had periods of persecution, but even then, hey, they fought back, and you know what?  The way Joseph Smith liked to conflate civil, ecclesiastical and military power, he was kinda asking for it (not that innocent Mormons caught in the cross fire were asking for it, they weren’t).

So I say, even if a street preacher is such a meany as to get garments and even if he were to stomp on them, or drag around a Book of Mormon, in protest of a temple dedication, or General Conference, or the Manti pageant, it’s not persecution.  If you think it is, grow a thicker hide and grow up.  Expressing disagreement, even if it is expressing strong disagreement, does not qualify for true, feel sorry for me, persecution.

Posted in Controversial Topics, Reflections | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Are Mormons Brainwashed?

Posted by nebula0 on August 22, 2008

(Disclaimer: there are people who have suffered real physical and sexual abuse.  That’s not at all what I intend to talk about here.)

Or, Post Traumatic Mormon Syndrome

Those who have gone through cyber space looking up Mormon related sites will no doubt find many, many from ex Mormons.  Okay, I admit it, I’m one so it’s a little strange for me to comment on this, but I don’t plan on a little strangeness from stopping me any time soon.  For instance, check out exmormon.org, hundreds of so called ‘exit’ stories from the LDS church.  Pick any one at random, and you are most likely to see a couple of genres including first of all conversion stories from Mormonism to American neo-evangelism.  They go like this: “I was lied to and deceived in the Mormon church, but I found the true Jesus and saw the light!  Now I know that I was trying to work for my salvation, but now I know that despite my ability to measure up to the strict standards of Mormonism through God’s grace I’m saved.  Now I’ll witness to the lost Mormons still brainwashed into that awful cult.”  Another genre you are likely to find is the one that emphasizes victimhood.  It’s true, that the conversion to evangelicalism genre, or the “I saw the light, hallelujah” genre, usually involves some claims to victimhood, I’m talking about the extra whiny, never saw the light, poor me genre.  It tends to go like this: “Mormonism is nothing but a cult that brainwashes and abuses people.  I never had a chance, I was deceived and lied to.  My bishop asked me embarrassing questions and I was traumatized.  Mormonism made me feel awful because it’s standards of perfection are impossible to meet and I was made to feel like trash when I didn’t live up to them.  I had to wear garments and they were embarrassing.  whine whine whine… “.  Here’s the main thing that is similar in these two main genres, the notion that Mormons are brainwashed.  Is this true?

I answer no, this is ridiculous.  The only thing that comes close to true brainwashing includes physical torture, physical removal from family and friends, sleep deprivation, starving and the like, and even then it’s an iffy topic.  Mormon “love bombing” doesn’t even come close to this kind of coercion and torture.  The fact of the matter is, people freely join Mormonism because they think it’s a good idea at the time.  Deciding later that it wasn’t a good idea after all doesn’t mean the person was therefore brainwashed.  It means the person changed his or her mind.  Americans can really be victims, that’s the real problem.  Look in the so called self help section in any bookstore and that’s easy enough to see.  Everyone suffers from something.  I say, get over it, and take responsibility for your own happiness.  So there it is.  It’s true that Mormonism is a higher than average tension religion, meaning, Mormonism requires more and differentiates its members more from the rest of society than the average religion.  But brainwashing?  Nope.  If you were wrong, be man or woman enough to say “you know what, I was wrong” and quit passing the buck.  Really.  If the worst that happened is that you ‘believed a lie’ and felt bad about it how does obsessing over the fact help anything.  We’re all taken in by wrong things at one point or another, the best idea is to learn from it, explore it (as I intend to do here, as best as I can), but do not allow yourself to be such a sniveling non person as to insist that you had no will at all and were ‘brainwashed’.

For the record, my bishops when I was a Mormon ranged from great to okay.  Whereas one crossed the line, I never felt ‘victimized’ because I took responsibility to speak out.  I also recognize that some who have grown up in the LDS church do have real, bad memories that are more ingrained than my experiences, but still I say, get over it.  Unless there was real, physical or sexual abuse, there is no basis to claim that your will has been hijacked.  If you are so easily robbed of your will, how are you so sure that you aren’t brainwashed into your newest opinions?  After all, brainwashed people never do admit to being brainwashed…

Posted in Controversial Topics, Reflections | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Is Mormonism Christian?

Posted by nebula0 on August 21, 2008

Better yet, why are Mormons so intent on being considered Christians?  Because here’s the deal, a hundred years ago, Mormons were perfectly happy being just Mormons, a peculiar people, a people set apart in their land of Zion.  They saw the rest of Christianity as apostate, the central creeds of historic or normative Christianity as abominations (see Joseph Smith’s first vision as canonized), their paid clergy as corrupt.  Now Mormons go out of the way to promote themselves as everyday Christians just trying to live a clean lifestyle.  What happened? 

Before the middle of the 20th C Mormons who used to understand their identity as Mormons as tied to their land of Zion (Utah/southern Idaho).  They were literally set apart.  However in the middle of the 20th C Mormons began to migrate outside of the Mormon corridor, into that vast mission field which is the rest of America.  Suddenly many Mormons found that they had an investment in the outside society, they had careers, business contacts, friends, all who weren’t a part of that integral Mormon system they left behind in Utah.  Is it any coincidence that they started to advertise themselves as quintessential Americans during this period?  As time wore on, conservative Christianity came into vogue.  Carter, Reagan, Falwell all signaled the reentry of conservative evangelicalism back into the American public sphere.  The Christian Right set the standard for what was to be clean, respectable living, and you bet the Mormons were interested in being cast as part of that group.  They got their chance by actively and openly challenged the ERA movement (as they are now quite explicit about their opposition to gay marriage), and their PR department worked overtime to fit them into the American Christian mainstream.  Their logo changed from equal font size of every word in: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to emphasizing, through a bigger font size, the name Jesus Christ.  This is but one example of many.  Now you hear young Mormons refusing to call themselves Mormons but rather “LDS Christian” and insisting that they are Christians because, after all, they believe in Christ (as if it is that simple, see Mormon Theology 101 on this blog).  What a difference a century makes!

Posted in Controversial Topics, Reflections | Tagged: , , , , | 48 Comments »