Please read this article. Here’s the highlight:
On the last day of the election, anti-Prop 8 forces ran a “home invasion” ad depicting two young Mormon missionaries ransacking homes. The ad further accuses Mormons in California of trying to take over the government because, as citizens, they participated in the political process by voting and donating to a cause they believed in. A week after the election The Los Angeles Times editorial board opined that No on Prop 8 forces should run more “hard-hitting” ads like “home invasion,” along with more “in-your-face radicalism.”
On the “Dr. Phil” show last week I sat next to a powerful politician — Mayor Gavin Newsom — who ritually rejected violence but refused to decry these extraordinary threats to ordinary voters’ livelihoods. I also sat next to Joe Solmonese, head of the Human Rights Campaign, when a young Mormon in the audience asked him, “Why are you singling out my faith when so many other people supported Prop 8?” Did Joe, an amiable guy, take a moment to call his troops to back off from religious bigotry, to refocus on the larger problem — 7 million Californians disagree with his organization’s gay marriage civil rights dogma?
No. I sat silent, dumbfounded, next to Joe when he pointed at the young man and cried, “We are going to go after your church every day for the next two years unless and until Prop 8 is overturned.”
Is there any doubt that we are in the middle of a cultural war?
Earlier this week, yet another Church member was forced to resign because he dared to contribute to a political cause. The number of blacklisted Mormons seems to grow every day.
I will leave aside the reason that we are being targeted specifically — that has been our destiny ever since the First Vision — but I will ask: who are our allies, our defenders? Ultimately, we know that our principal defender is the Savior Himself, the King of Kings. No matter what they do to our church and our Earthly bodies, they cannot damage a soul dedicated to the Gospel and building the Kingdom here on Earth.
But meanwhile, who will do what is right, who will help defend the principle of democracy, of freedom to vote as we please, freedom to participate in the democratic process? During the persecutions in Missouri and Illinois, we had a great defender, Alexander Doniphan. Doniphan helped lessen the impact of the Missouri extermination order and protected the prophet Joseph Smith when he was ordered to be executed.
Nobody is talking about murdering Mormons, which is what happened to us in Missouri and Illinois. But a great many people are talking about pursuing the Church and its members in other ways: picketing temples, going after tax exemptions and going after the livelihoods of people who dare to think and vote differently than them. And, most crucially, when they are confronted with the inhumanity of persecuting a specific religious group, they justify almost any action because we are Mormons. Stop and think for a second: would society at large tolerate such behavior against Jews, against Muslims? The clear answer is no, but Mormons appear to be a completely unprotected minority, free to be vilified and persecuted without repercussions.
If you read the Church web site, it is clear that Church public affairs is doing everything it can to protect the Church and call for tolerance of our viewpoints and respect for our rights to participate in the political process on moral issues.
But who has stepped up to the plate so far to defend our Church? Well, so far it is primarily the “religious right.”
Now is the time for traditional Christians — Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox — to come to the aid of our Mormon friends. They put themselves on the front line of the traditional marriage battle like no other church group. And now individual Mormons are paying a terrible price for standing up for something we all believe in. I don’t know how we can stand with them from afar, but at least we can thank them, and speak out when we see them being abused. We might also think again about how we view them. I’m with John Mark: I have deep disagreements with Mormon theology. But they are our friends and allies and fellow citizens, and they deserve our thanks and support.
It is the religious right that is primarily behind this petition, which is a wonderful defense of our faith. Notice the prominent signature from James Dobson and many other “religious right” leaders.
So, as Thanksgiving approaches, I would like to give thanks to the modern-day Alexander Doniphans who stand up for what is right, even when it is difficult.