Glass Houses – Christians Attacking Mormonism
There have been just loads of funny stuff coming from the Right in America as we ramp up the politics and get ready for the 2012 elections, but by far some of the funniest stuff that is coming from the Right is what’s being thrown at someone on the Right. The big humor of the moment is what’s being thrown at Mitt Romney; or more precisely, what’s being thrown at his faith.
Mitt, for the four or five people who have been living under a rock or on a deserted island for the last 15 years, is a Mormon. Mormonism is a bit different than the other branches of Christianity because, unlike the Catholics, Baptists, Lutherans and other specific groups under the overall header of “Christianity,” Mormons don’t simply hold a different view on what scripture means. Mormons actually have their own book in addition to the old one. They’re not a reinterpretation of what’s been before; they’re an offshoot based on a new chapter that is only found in their church.
Interestingly, this actually makes them just like Christianity as a whole since Christianity is the religion that came from the new book written to continue the old book that was the holy text for Judaism. That’s basically where you get that whole “Old Testament/New Testament” separation from. Kind of an interesting fact to think about when you consider that one of the things that many Christians attack Mormons for is having a new book rather than just sticking to the old one.
The latest bit of humor was caused this week when one of Newt’s people had to throw himself on his own sword for the campaign after making comments about Mitt’s religion that were meant to pander to the Christian Right and the Evangelicals. Newt’s man basically said… well… exactly what most of the Christian Right and the Conservative Evangelicals actually say about Mormonism.
Mormonism is a “cult,” Mormons have weird beliefs and the book that Mormons call their holy text is full of weird stories. Yeah…
This isn’t actually meant as an attack on Christianity or as attacking Christians, but, unfortunately, it’s going to be seen that way by some. As far as I’m concerned, you can believe whatever you want to so long as it’s not hurting others and it works for you. I have no real issue with Christians here, but rather just the ones saying this stuff about Mormons…
You’re going to throw out the cult thing given the origins of Christianity? You do know that back in the day when there were only a few hundred followers of Jesus, you guys actually were the new cult on the block. It’s maybe just a little hypocritical of you to say that another branch of Christianity is a “cult” because they have a new book and a slightly new path to get to Heaven when that’s basically exactly how Christianity started.
But the “cult’ thing, that’s the minor one. It’s the other two that have me really rolling my eyes. Conservative Evangelical Christians are, with a completely straight faces, going to tell Mormons that they have weird beliefs and that their book is full of weird stories. Have you checked on the walls in your glass houses today?
When you look at almost every religion of the world, the basic ideas behind it look a little odd and the stories in it pretty strange. The only thing that makes it not seem too odd and strange is actually being a member of that religion. And, frankly, the same can be said for Christianity.
Let’s break the basic idea of Christianity down for a moment.
A mystical Jew who is his own father is born, grows up, dies and comes back to life. He teaches us that we can live forever if we symbolic eat his flesh and drink his blood and telepathically let him know that he is our master. Besides the living forever bit, we also do this so that he can remove the stain of sin from our souls that basically got started back when a woman made from a man’s rib was talked into eating magical fruit from a forbidden tree. Oh, and she was talked into doing this by a talking snake.
This is somehow on the face of it supposed to make more sense and be less weird than the additional scriptures written by their founders that the Mormons believe?
And strange stories? Have you people actually read your Bibles? People who are out there calling themselves Christian have absolutely no room whatsoever to throw that particular stone at anyone else. Women turning to salt, burning bushes, a pair of every creature on the planet fitting on a big boat and paddling around for a month-plus, God torturing a faithful follower because he made a bet with the Devil, man building a physical tower that gets destroyed because it almost gets built high enough to touch Heaven (despite the absence of harps and angels reported by shuttle astronauts now,) a man getting punished because he didn’t want to knock up his dead brother’s wife, etc, etc, etc…
You have a giant glass house here, guys. Put down the stones and stop busting out your own walls.
And, and this is specifically aimed at the Conservative Evangelicals and the Religious Right here, you’re acting like some of the biggest hypocrites on the planet right now. You, you same people who jump at the drop of a hat to proclaim yourselves victims of religious intolerance and persecution, are some of the most intolerant and religiously bigoted people in this country. Why don’t you grant the Mormons (and everyone else) the same right that you falsely and endlessly claim is being taken away from you? Why don’t you just shut the hell up for a change and let people practice their faith without you persecuting them, demonizing them or threatening to keep them from achieving things so long as they hold on to a faith that you personally don’t endorse?
Religion can be a beautiful thing. Please stop making it so ugly.