Why Do People Get So Worked Up When You Mention Mormons?

CNN ran a follow-up to yesterday’s story on proxy baptims  that I thought was very fair.    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/16/explainer-how-and-why-do-mormons-baptize-the-dead/?hpt=hp_t3

The commentary from readers was unusually caustic.  I guess that any attempt at a fair discussion is too much to handle.  One comment particularly concerned me, which was that we should “learn from our ancestors why they killed Joseph Smith and chased the Mormons across the country.” 

Ouch.  Hadn’t heard that sentiment in a while.  For what it’s worth, I made this suggestion for civility:

The tone of these comments is typical of almost any article about the LDS Church.  Either poorly crafted comedy routines about religion generally, or insulting and ill-informed jabs at Mormons in particular.  Suggestions that we “learn from” the people who persecuted the early LDS Church and murdered Joseph Smith….well, that’s something new, but I guess not unexpected. 

It is one of the tenants of the LDS faith that we claim the right to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and we afford all other people the same privilege:  Let them worship how, where, or what they may. 

No religious organization is above criticism, and there are certainly plenty of maintalin Christian churches with far more embarassing skeletons in their closets.  But I don’t spend much time thinking about them, and even less discussing them, because the practices of other churches don’t affect me.  Why so many people of other faiths can’t extend the same civility to the LDS Church is baffling, and, in my view, speaks poorly of their professed discipleship.  Disagree with me, think I’m a nut, believe that I worship dirty gym socks…whatever.  But to incite hatred against me, my family, and my fellow believers goes too far.

Maybe I do worship a different Jesus from the rest of the world.  The Jesus Christ that I revere enjoined us from judging others, cautioned us not to throw stones, and urged love over hate.   If the God you worship encourages something different, then I don’t want any part of him.


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