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Bias Against Mormonism?


wenglund

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In an article in the Deseret Morning News, mention was made of a recent Vanderbilt study showing that: "Twenty percent of the population is more biased against Mormons than against women and blacks....With evangelicals, (bias against Mormons) rivals bias against atheists."

Does this suprise anyone? (It suprised me. In spite of the level of animus I have personally witnessed against the Church on variuos internet discussion boards I have visited, I figured it was the rare exceptions, rather than the rule.)

What do you think about this?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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In an article in the Deseret Morning News, mention was made of a recent Vanderbilt study showing that: "Twenty percent of the population is more biased against Mormons than against women and blacks....With evangelicals, (bias against Mormons) rivals bias against atheists."

Does this suprise anyone? (It suprised me. In spite of the level of animus I have personally witnessed against the Church on variuos internet discussion boards I have visited, I figured it was the rare exceptions, rather than the rule.)

What do you think about this?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

I haven't noticed much at all. Or any, actually, except during General Conference when the Street Preachers make their appearance.

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In an article in the Deseret Morning News, mention was made of a recent Vanderbilt study showing that: "Twenty percent of the population is more biased against Mormons than against women and blacks....With evangelicals, (bias against Mormons) rivals bias against atheists."

Does this suprise anyone? (It suprised me. In spite of the level of animus I have personally witnessed against the Church on variuos internet discussion boards I have visited, I figured it was the rare exceptions, rather than the rule.)

What do you think about this?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Two possibilities --

1. It is the work of Satan and is to be expected as his demonic opposition to the "One True Church"

2. The people have some reason for their bias, and the LDS could lessen it by more eccumenism,

positive public relations, dropping their "One True Church" claims, and at least making some minimal

accomodation to creedal Trinitarianism.

UD

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The people have some reason for their bias, and the LDS could lessen it by more eccumenism, positive public relations, dropping their "One True Church" claims, and at least making some minimal accomodation to creedal Trinitarianism. UD

Did that work for the Community of Christ? And, if so, at what cost?

I ask because I personally haven't thought it functional to compromise one's beliefs and principle in order to get people to like one. ;-)

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Two possibilities --

1. It is the work of Satan and is to be expected as his demonic opposition to the "One True Church"

2. The people have some reason for their bias, and the LDS could lessen it by more eccumenism,

positive public relations, dropping their "One True Church" claims, and at least making some minimal

accomodation to creedal Trinitarianism.

UD

In other words go along with the joneses, Kinda like the COJC, or RLDS or FLDS e.t.c.......

:P

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Two possibilities --

1. It is the work of Satan and is to be expected as his demonic opposition to the "One True Church"

2. The people have some reason for their bias, and the LDS could lessen it by more eccumenism,

positive public relations, dropping their "One True Church" claims, and at least making some minimal

accomodation to creedal Trinitarianism.

UD

So Satan is in "opposition to the One True Church".

And you recommend that LDS should start "dropping their 'One True Church' claims".

Who are you working for? :P

Zemah

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Two possibilities --

1. It is the work of Satan and is to be expected as his demonic opposition to the "One True Church"

2. The people have some reason for their bias, and the LDS could lessen it by more eccumenism,

positive public relations, dropping their "One True Church" claims, and at least making some minimal

accomodation to creedal Trinitarianism.

UD

Why should we drop"The One True Church" claim? It's true.

Of course Satan is working against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, he knows it's "The One True Church.

I have noticed antagonism building towards the LDS church over the years.

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Two possibilities --

1. It is the work of Satan and is to be expected as his demonic opposition to the "One True Church"

2. The people have some reason for their bias, and the LDS could lessen it by more eccumenism,

positive public relations, dropping their "One True Church" claims, and at least making some minimal

accomodation to creedal Trinitarianism.

UD

Wouldn't that be similar to asking the EVers to drop their "you have to believe in our version of Jesus or you wil burn in Hell" claims or at least making some minimal accommodation to apotheosis.

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Two possibilities --

1. It is the work of Satan and is to be expected as his demonic opposition to the "One True Church"

2. The people have some reason for their bias, and the LDS could lessen it by more eccumenism,

positive public relations, dropping their "One True Church" claims, and at least making some minimal

accomodation to creedal Trinitarianism.

UD

A couple of thoughts:

#1 - I think Uncle Dale means that we need to be smarter in the P.R. department if we want to reduce the growing criticism against the Church. He does have valid points. IF we go around claiming to belong to the only True Church, then what kind of reaction do we expect to get from others who aren't LDS?

Let's say you have a million dollars in the bank. When you meet people at work, school or a party and they think they're doing well because they've finally managed to save $10,000, you come along and boast about having $1 million. Would it turn most people off?

Most ordinary people want to think that you're just LIKE THEM, not better looking, not smarter, not more successful, not richer, not wiser, not more educated and definitely not having the only keys to Heaven! People get really annoyed by any entity that claims to have the entire truth, implying that others don't!

Of course, we can say: "Who cares? Our Church is true, take it or leave it!" It's that attitude that creates the very antagonism that puts us on the defensive. Sure, we can go about with that attitude but then we can't complain when antagonism increases. Especially nowadays when Mormonism is front page news. How we act now will go a long ways to help dissipate the negative image our adversaries have worked so hard to create.

#2 - As for the work of Satan and his messengers. I think it's very likely that he has his hand in the oppression, misinformation and opposition to the Church. So is all the misinformation and anti-mormon tone of the Internet.

I think Mormonism will be the hot topic for 2008, especially if Romney wins, which I don't think he will.

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Two possibilities --

1. It is the work of Satan and is to be expected as his demonic opposition to the "One True Church"

2. The people have some reason for their bias, and the LDS could lessen it by more eccumenism,

positive public relations, dropping their "One True Church" claims, and at least making some minimal

accomodation to creedal Trinitarianism.

Given those options, I choose #1.

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2. The people have some reason for their bias, and the LDS could lessen it by more eccumenism,

positive public relations, dropping their "One True Church" claims, and at least making some minimal

accomodation to creedal Trinitarianism.

And perhaps Jews could make minimal accommodations by becoming Messianic, Catholics could ditch the whole Pope idea, and blacks could maybe lighten their skin a little. That way everyone will be happy.

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Did that work for the Community of Christ? And, if so, at what cost?

I ask because I personally haven't thought it functional to compromise one's beliefs and principle in

order to get people to like one. ;-)

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

It really did not work that way. What happened is that diversity was allowed in the church and

a large number of members gravitated towards their Protestant neighbors.

Not all did, however, and a substantial number gravitated more towards the Mormons. You would

never see it that way from an LDS perspective, because the RLDS closest to Mormon precepts also

tend to be "one true church" people and "Restoration" compeditors.

But, all in all, I think the net results have been good ones, and that it is better to have numerous

semi-independent congregations, than it is to have them all dictated to by "supreme directional control,"

(as the Smith family used to call it).

At least there are opportunities for change and development, which were not available in the past.

I am no longer on the CoC rolls, but I am welcome in practically one of their congregations. I am more

in line with the fundamentalists, however, and am equally welcome in many/most of those groups.

And -- the accomodations made with the Protestants have not always been doctrinal ones -- the

changes mean that we seldom missionize among them in the way we used to do -- and seldom

tell them they are in the "wrong church" these days.

Just THAT much accomodation has worked wonders. Find a hundred Evangelicals or mainstream

Christions who actually know what an Reorganized LDS or CoC member is, and I'll predict you'll

get 99 postive answers. They may not like all of our beliefs, but they accept us much, much more

than they ever would Mormons.

From what I have seen and experienced, that has been a good and godly improvement.

UD

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And perhaps Jews could make minimal accommodations by becoming Messianic, Catholics could ditch the whole Pope idea, and blacks could maybe lighten their skin a little. That way everyone will be happy.

Get a suntan and the Blacks will be more like you, without their having to change. And I know Jews who

honor the teachings of Jesus better than some Christians. They may not call him Messiah, but many are

much more open to acknowledging his goodness than their great grandfathers were.

As for the Pope -- perhaps one day the LDS Prophet will get a revelation, telling that guy what to do,

and he'll retire to a monestary and solve the whole problem.

Then again, maybe we're just stuck with the Pope for the duration.

UD

.

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Just THAT much accomodation has worked wonders. Find a hundred Evangelicals or mainstream

Christions who actually know what an Reorganized LDS or CoC member is, and I'll predict you'll

get 99 postive answers. They may not like all of our beliefs, but they accept us much, much more

than they ever would Mormons.

From what I have seen and experienced, that has been a good and godly improvement.

UD

I imagine Esau's soup also tasted good.

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dropping their "One True Church" claims

Are you kidding? The Lord said it Dale. Are you suggesting the Saints contradict the Lord?

This is one of the cornerstones of the church and is part of it's appeal. Show me a church that doesn't believe they are the one true one. They just don't phrase it in the same terminology.

In reality the church believes there are portions of truth in all religions so isn't the "one true church" phrase just a simple way of saying "Church with the most truth."

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Get a suntan and the Blacks will be more like you, without their having to change.

I burn easily. My black friends must like me for something other than my skin color.

And I know Jews who honor the teachings of Jesus better than some Christians. They may not call him Messiah, but many are much more open to acknowledging his goodness than their great grandfathers were.

That doesn't make their great grandfathers any less worthy of equal treatment.

Then again, maybe we're just stuck with the Pope for the duration.

As someone becoming Catholic, I don't have a problem with that.

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Does this suprise anyone? (It suprised me. In spite of the level of animus I have personally witnessed against the Church on variuos internet discussion boards I have visited, I figured it was the rare exceptions, rather than the rule.)

What do you think about this?

I have found it shocking. But now that Romney has opened Pandora's box and made this public...I think it may bite the "Christian" bashers in the proverbial butt. Perhaps it will be similar to what happened with the temple protestors...everyone starts noticing how bizarre they are and slowly starts backing away.

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#1 - I think Uncle Dale means that we need to be smarter in the P.R. department if we want to reduce the growing criticism against the Church. He does have valid points. IF we go around claiming to belong to the only True Church, then what kind of reaction do we expect to get from others who aren't LDS?

If you believe the claim, you shouldn't keep your mouth shout. But the claim alone may be annoying if not paired with the explanation of why we are the only true Church.

1). Restored revelation makes us the only living Church.

2). The restored priesthood makes us the only Church with Christâ??s authority.

From these two institutions of Godliness truth emerges, hence the LDS Church is the only true Church.

Zemah

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From these two institutions of Godliness truth emerges, hence the LDS Church is the only true Church.

Until the rest of the religions stop sending everyone else to hell it is beyond ridiculous to expect Mormons to give up their truth claims. We really need to stop acting like this is even rational.

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Are you kidding? The Lord said it Dale. Are you suggesting the Saints contradict the Lord?

Not at all -- I'm suggesting that there was some special wisdom in Jesus' saying that those who

were not against him and his disciples were with them.

Decency, cooperation, brotherly love, empathy, mutual improvement, and discovery all can be virtues

of great spiritual value, when lived out in new and courageous ways. There are RLDS who firmly believe

they (we) are the one true church and the only means of salvation ---- but that message is no longer

the message of the group -- it is a belief of individuals and, if they congregate, of individual congregations.

The church as a whole does not go about saying "We are/are NOT a true church" or "You are/are NOT;"

more likely, the message is, "We are all God's children."

This is one of the cornerstones of the church and is part of it's appeal. Show me a church that doesn't

believe they are the one true one. They just don't phrase it in the same terminology.

No that is not true. I have found United Methodists, American Convention Baptists, Disciples of Christ,

Evangelical Lutherans, United Church of Christ, and even some Roman Catholics who are no longer

pushing their old "one true church" message. There has been a great growth in non-denominational

and independent churches who do not preach such stuff -- except in reference to the entire Church

Universial -- the Communion of Saints -- the Church Invisible.

In reality the church believes there are portions of truth in all religions so isn't the "one true church" phrase just a simple way of saying "Church with the most truth."

And if at next General Conference your topmost leaders made a call for greater cooperation with other

Christians, less argumentation, and more friendliness, you would disobey such apostolic counsel???

UD

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Sounds about right. hhahahah The reality is Mormons really are sorta odd men out in this sense:

Alot of conservative Christians have issues with our religious beliefs. It's blasphemy in alot of ways, at least how they understand some things.

Alot of liberal folks have issues with some of our social stands and what they see as retro or dated lifestyles.

And then there's the people in the middle of the road. Most likely they won't know alot about our religious beliefs, cause they don't really care. And they probably don't keep up on our social stands. But they do watch Dateline and saw fringe Mormon offshoots with 20 wives and a bunch of kids running wild in Az. And that's the only image they have to go with!

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Two possibilities --

1. It is the work of Satan and is to be expected as his demonic opposition to the "One True Church"

2. The people have some reason for their bias, and the LDS could lessen it by more eccumenism,

positive public relations, dropping their "One True Church" claims, and at least making some minimal

accomodation to creedal Trinitarianism.

UD

May I suggest a few additional possibilities?

3. Since bias, by definition, is irrational, there is little the LDS Church can do to lessen bias against it, short of abandoning all of its distinctive doctrines (with no guarantees that even that would be sufficient).

4. Since people are responsible for their own biases, they could lessen them if they chose to do so.

5. Since non-Mormon religious people generally tend to be more influenced by their own churches than by the Mormon church, some of these churches could lessen anti-LDS bias by more ecumenism, positive PR, etc.

Even the worst bigots generally have some reason for their bias. Since when is the onus on the victims of religious bias to change their religious doctrines in order to accommodate anyone?

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May I suggest a few additional possibilities?

3. Since bias, by definition, is irrational, there is little the LDS Church can do to lessen bias against it, short of abandoning all of its distinctive doctrines (with no guarantees that even that would be sufficient).

4. Since people are responsible for their own biases, they could lessen them if they chose to do so.

5. Since non-Mormon religious people generally tend to be more influenced by their own churches than by the Mormon church, some of these churches could lessen anti-LDS bias by more ecumenism, positive PR, etc.

Even the worst bigots generally have some reason for their bias. Since when is the onus on the victims of religious bias to change their religious doctrines in order to accommodate anyone?

Then again, we might ask ourselves why it is that some religious groups do not suffer from such a

large amount of bias. I gave two basic possibilities on the negative side -- but you have provided

some additional details.

In working with diverse cultures "overseas," I have confirmed to myself that one way that bias can

be reduced is by our helping different sorts of people come together and cooperate in ways that they

might not otherwise -- in ways that might seem going against their peer group's "party line."

I've seen the good results outweigh the bad many times over -- with Hindus, with Buddhists, with

sectarians, with Christians, and with at least one group of Muslims.

It's worth a try, don't you think?

UD

.

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No that is not true. I have found United Methodists, American Convention Baptists, Disciples of Christ,

Evangelical Lutherans, United Church of Christ, and even some Roman Catholics who are no longer

pushing their old "one true church" message. There has been a great growth in non-denominational

and independent churches who do not preach such stuff -- except in reference to the entire Church

Universial -- the Communion of Saints -- the Church Invisible.

Their is no doubt that people of non-mormon churches will be bias. By claiming to be the only true church means that all the other churches are false. The LDS church has a big claim to prove.

Sorry for not getting more posts out. I hope to say more over Christmas break.

sw

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And if at next General Conference your topmost leaders made a call for greater cooperation with other Christians, less argumentation, and more friendliness, you would disobey such apostolic counsel???

Unless they specifically mentioned the verse, it would not change my keeping of Jude 1:3. Nor would it change the fact of Matthew 10:34. However, all these items in your list can easily be keep while still expressing LDS doctrine.

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