Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mormons get a taste of their own medicine

If you've been keeping up with the news lately, then you'll notice a lot of controversy over proposition 8, which is an attempt to define marriage as "one man and one woman." In this video, the Mormons are very falsely portrayed as bigots who are trying to force their views down others' throats. Take a look.

Anyone who's ever encountered Mormon missionaries knows that this would never happen. But the point is, this is what the world is portraying them to be, since they are "taking away their rights." The reason I find this ironic is because Mormons often find those of us who point out the errors of Mormonism to be "hateful, mean," or whatever. Even if their errors are pointed out in a gentle and respectful way; we are still categorized as opposing bigots. I've always found this odd since Joseph Smith himself disagreed as sternly with regards to the churches of Christendom as Christian apologists do with the LDS church today.

Now, the Mormons are finally seeing what its like to be falsely categorized into the realm of "hateful opposers." I hope and pray that at some point the Mormons will learn that disagreement is not the same thing as hate.


Shawn said...

Mike, I have to call you on this one. First, no one believes that Mormon missionaries are going to invade lesbian homes. In funneling millions of dollars into support for Prop 8, the LDS have actively fought to take rights away from people, not fight for their own rights. They have fought to impose their particular views on how to live on others. (I do find it ironic the the Mormons have something to say about what a marriage should look like)

What if Orthodox Jews successfully passed a law that required all restaurants to be Kosher? Sure, you could eat all the pork and cheese sandwiches you wanted at home, but you couldn't get one at a restaurant. Sound crazy? Why, because Orthodox Jews are the minority in the U.S.?

Many people view Prop 8 equivalent to the Kosher scenario above. Prop 8 is simply a case of civil rights being trampled on by people who want their particular lifestyle imposed on everyone. Even worse, it makes the religious views of one particular religion law. The government needs to be a secular institution to carry out its mission to offer liberty and justice for all. Otherwise, we're no better than a country under Sharia (or any other religion's) law.

Mike-e said...

Thanks for your comment, Shawn. Whether people think Mormons are really going to invade homes or not; you are probably right on that one. I just thought the video was pretty lame and falsely portrayed Mormons.

But my main intent in posting this had nothing to do with whether or not I agreed with Prop 8. It had to do with the fact that Mormons are getting criticized on the same level that they criticize people like me who disagree with the LDS church.

Hope that make sense. Maybe in another post we can discuss my beliefs on "marriage rights" and such issues.

Shawn said...

Ah, I see now.

I think the kind of reaction that Mormons have to criticism is the result of being group oriented instead of belief system oriented. A we-vs-they mentality is a good way to shut down minds. Instead of focusing on the merits of the different viewpoints of a given issue, a person who has this in-group mentality automatically dismisses an opposing view as wrong because it's coming from the out-group. When they can no longer defend their position (assuming they try to defend their position at all), they fall back on ad hominem attacks like labeling the other side 'bigots' or accuse them of trying to deceive others by taking 'things' out of context... without actually providing the context that the other side 'left out'.

As far as Prop 8 goes (and I'm really going to try to avoid getting into a marriage rights discussion), I know there are those who have accused people for prop 8 as 'hateful' and there is some merit to that. Some of the other LDS ads that ran talked about loving the sinner - hating the sin, which just sounds like double-speak to those on the other side of the issue. Being a former fundamentalist turned secular humanist, I've also subscribed to the 'hate the sin' concept, but I realize now that telling someone that only polarizes those on either side the way calling the other side 'hateful bigots' polarizes people.

The Mormons really do believe that 'love the sinner, hate the sin' concept is loving and homosexuals don't see their sexuality as being separate from from their core being.

Ultimately, I don't think there will be any progress until people on both sides stop calling each other names and start dealing with the issue of whether the government should be allowed to put a restriction on what is essentially a legal contract between two people.