I really prefer to offer up-beat commentary and news on M*, but I couldn’t let these comments go by without pointing them out. It truly saddens me to see so much hatred from our evangelical brethren for the Church and its members. Yes, I know that anonymous comments on a blog can be ugly and unrepresentative, but still, these comments are so over the top that I am hoping that we can help shine some light on these sentiments so that hopefully we can start changing perceptions about the Church.
The matter at hand is a story in “World” magazine, which is primarily aimed at conservative evangelicals. The post itself is straightforward — looking at the Pew report, it points out that Mormons are in many ways more politically conservative than evangelicals. But many of the comments were, to be quite honest, uncharitable at best and downright evil at worst.
Here’s a sample:
Ouch! How can a bunch of polygamist, angel worshiping, joseph smith following, baptizers of the dead beat us at our own game? Since when was it conservative to think that Jesus is Satan’s brother?
I am glad that Mormons are conservatives and vote mostly with the GOP, God knows we can use every vote we can get, but to compare them to Evangelicals is like comparing a Cadillac to a Yugo; the Mormon theology is something out of science fiction and rivals L. Ron Hubbard’s Christian Scientology.
My indictments of mormonism should not be taken to mean that the religion makes its adherents treacherous. I merely believe that, being founded on a lie, it does not encourage honesty.
To be quite frank, these comments made me sick to my stomach. Why do people think it builds up their faith to insult another faith? It is amazing to me that nobody came forth to say: “c’mon guys, lay off the Mormons, you may disagree with them, but they are fellow children of God, and your attitudes are uncharitable.”
The purpose of this post is to bring these negative attitudes to light. For many of you, none of these comments are a surprise. My hope is that by shining some light on this issue we can figure out some ways to convince at least some evangelicals to tone down the rhetoric. It is simply unhelpful to begin a conversation by insulting the people who disagree with you.
The purpose of this post is NOT to say that we should hate evangelicals, write them off or avoid them altogether. And it is certainly NOT the place to hear that old tired argument that we should not ally ourselves with them politically. The reality is that you need to stand up for what you believe is right, regardless of who your allies are because you can’t always pick your allies. For all of you who buy the “we should never ally ourselves with evangelicals,” I would ask you: should liberals stop believing many things just because atheists believe the same things? The answer is obviously no.
Mean-spirited comments about our evangelical brothers and sisters are discouraged. Comments with ideas about how to “bridge the gap” in a loving way are encouraged.